Category Archives: snow

Stagnation and iPhone 5c #iphone #speed #trinket

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With no real movement in the austerity capital that was imposed through fear, the iPhone candy coloured stagnation dream baby is the must have trinket for go-nowhere fast slow capital. Trillions could be invested but is sitting idle waiting for finance market opportunities that will not arise, bonus culture keeps a fraction of the ruling class in clover, but forced austerity for the rest all keeps the squeeze on what might otherwise be a full employment economy. Full employment would mean no leverage and threat on jobs, no need to dangle shiny baubles of distraction before those with false spending power future credit/debt and no need to manufacture a proto-fascist military policing at home and abroad to keep the peace pieces. Your trinket is the symbol of a stalled and broken system, afeared of development because Chinese and Russian capital would swoop, afeared of employment because the demand would soon not just be for a 1940s style welfare compact but root and branch transformation, afeared because its clear, from August 2011 for example, that the facade of Olympic glory, new sports channels and iPhone video streaming will not be firewall enough to contain the coming revolt. The iPhone five is the shiny bauble of a frozen momentum, a deep coloured snow globe of ice where we will be thinking of fire. Light up folks, light it up.

written on my mnemotechnical retentional device baby
#iphone #speed #pantomime #trinket

Olympiss Trinkisss

including a snowglobe to freeze the heart of Walter Benjamin: thanks Sophie-trinkspotter

Citizens: On Marx and Kane (talk abstract for 16.3.2012)

This is the abstract, or at least the opening move, of what I wil say at the “Marx at the Movies” conference at Uni of Central Lancashire in March.

Citizens: On Marx and Kane.

In reading Capital, if anything about beginnings should be considered necessary, it might be good just to start with what is immediately at hand. There is much much discussion and theory about this, and its probably naïve to simply say that materialism might start with things themselves, but why not start with the objects, commodities, souvenirs or detritus of our lives? There surely is enough stuff of which to take account in our contemporary world.

The key to the beginning of volume one is where Marx starts with ‘an immense collection of commodities’, but there are many possible starts… So, I want to begin with something, or even someone, who might seem the total antithesis of the celebrated critic of capitalism. Marx was not a rich man, however well bred, well married, well educated, he was in and out of the pawn shop, knew a lot, intimately, about debt, borrowing, credit, and – as is very well known – relied upon a certain moneybags called Frederic Engels very often to get by. Engels though, whatever his peculiar foibles in taking up with two sisters, riding to hounds, effecting a mourning jacket and partial to fine liqueurs, does not deserve to be lampooned as much as the figure with which I want to begin. I choose a character from the not too far removed history of Capitalism, though glossed through a film – I have in mind the life of William Randolph Hearst. Moneybags. As portrayed by Orsen Welles in the film Citizen Kane.

In this talk, I want to develop this as an introduction to Capital, through a contrary incarnation in the figure of moneybags Kane, and begin to get at commodities through a focus on the kind of obscure, miniature, almost irrelevant and insignificant of objects to hand – those baubles and trinkets that mesmerize us all. When the film opens, Kane’s life is over, the story ends before it begins – the ‘No Trespassing’ sign raising questions at the beginning to flummox would-be explanations of a man’s life, or – since we know the ending – to dissuade us from thinking that Kane’s life can be referred back to the primordial snow globe scene where he is wrenched from his sled, and his mother, and catapulted into education, the news, the world… abundance and loss. Kane is a collector – and the one thing he hangs onto is the snow globe. The first sequence of the film has him dropping it as he dies, it shatters… A cinematic object, collected, contemplated, pondered, shaken, smashed. A snow dome is not always a frozen moment, its kitsch relevance to the everyday and its souvenir quality make it both domestic and profound, familiar, but also strangely remote. Miniaturized, yet televisual. I am fascinated by these domes.

John Hutnyk

snowed out

img_1013I have always been more amazed that London cannot cope with mildly warm temperatures like 30 Celsius, than I am that everything stops also for snow. Mind you, it is a lot of snow I reckon, and well cold, so I am only going outside to build a snowperson, and to join the occasional impromptu snowball fight that happens on my street when pedestrians venture by. College, bless em, shut up shop at the first sign of weather. As this letter attests [editorial comments mine]:

2 February 2009
Due to today’s poor [no, fantastic!] weather conditions and the lack of
public transport, it has been decided that Goldsmiths, University of
London will be closed on health and safety grounds and all classes
will be cancelled for today [in favour of toboggan races on the back field].
The College should be open as usual, tomorrow [damn], Tuesday 3 February but
any updates to this will be posted on www.goldsmiths.ac.uk
We apologise for any inconvenience this might cause you [enjoy it while you can!].
Hugh Jones
Registrar and Secretary

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