17 May 2013

Quote of the day, yay!

'The traditional idea of the subject is that he is the master of the world: a bourgeois enlightenment subjectivity which is detached and able to judge phenomena. This is a brutally abbreviated traditional idea of the subject. But the subject is also something that is always subjected and defined by modes of subjection rather than subjectification. Any subject is always in this tension. But I think that in this globalisation/digitalisation/emergence of post-Fordist conditions of labour, the order to subjectify constantly and to produce yourself as a subject is stronger than ever. You have to consume all the time to become a subject. You have to construct your subjectivity by social media and so on. It’s basically a full-time job to produce yourself as a subject.

Simultaneously so many emancipatory movements have always claimed this position of subject. Everyone wanted to be a subject. It is fair enough and there is a reason for that. On the other hand, just giving up trying to become a subject and trying to ally with other participants in the social sphere such as inanimate objects, or processes of production, or data protocols seems at the moment more interesting. I’m just following up on things that people have said since the ’20s. My initial cue comes from several texts by Walter Benjamin on mimesis and affinity and of course in recent decades many, many people have started thinking about objects and the forces inherent in objects. I’m just trying to apply this to my practice, and also to find different ways of relating to the world rather than becoming a subject.'

-- Hito Steyerl, interviewed by Andrey Shental, 'In the Junkyard of Wrecked Fictions', Mute, 14 May 2013

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