COLLECTIVE HEAD | Fred Moten (26.2-3)
With its coming together in the city, the commune possesses an economic existence as such; the city’s mere presence, as such, distinguishes it from a mere multiplicity of independent houses. The whole, here, consists not merely of its parts. It is a kind of independent organism. Among the Germanic tribes, where the individual family chiefs settled in the forests, long distances apart, the commune exists, already from outward observation,only in the periodic gathering-together [Vereinigung]of the commune members, although their unity-in-itself is posited in their ancestry, language, common past and history, etc. The commune thus appears as a coming-together [Vereinigung], not as a being-together [Verein]; as a uniﬁcation made up of independent subjects, landed proprietors, and not as a unity. The commune therefore does not in fact exist as a state or political body, as in classical antiquity, because it does not exist as a city…The commune is neither the substance of which the individual appears as a mere accident; nor is it a generality with a being and unity as such [seiende Einheit] either in the mind and in the existence of the city and of its civic needs as distinct from those of the individual, or in its civic land and soil as its particular presence as distinct from the particular economic presence of the commune member; rather, the commune, on the one side, is presupposed in-itself prior to the individual proprietors as a communality of language, blood,etc., but it exists as a presence, on the other hand, only in its real assembly for communal purposes; and to the extent that it has a particular economic existence in the hunting and grazing lands for communal use, it is so used by each individual proprietor as such, not as representative of the state (as in Rome); it is really the common property of the individual proprietors, not of the union of these proprietors endowed with an existence separate from themselves, the city itself. …Now, wealth is on one side a thing, realized in things, material products, which a human being confronts as subject; on the other side, as value, wealth is merely command over alien labour not with the aim of ruling, but with the aim of private consumption, etc. It appears in all forms in the shape of a thing, be it an object or be it a relation mediated through the object, which is external and accidental to the individual. Thus the old view, in which the human being appears as the aim of production, regardless of his limited national, religious, political character, seems to be very lofty when contrasted to the modern world,where production appears as the aim of mankind and wealth as the aim of production. In fact, however, when the limited bourgeois form is stripped away, what is wealth other than the universality of individual needs, capacities, pleasures, productive forces, etc., created through universal exchange? The full development of human mastery over the forces of nature, those of so-called nature as well as of humanity’s own nature? The absolute working-out of his creative potentialities, with no presupposition other than the previous historic development, which makes this totality of development, i.e. the development of all human powers as such the end in itself, not as measured on a predetermined yardstick? Where he does not reproduce himself in one speciﬁcity, but produces his totality? Strives not to remain something he has become, but is in the absolute movement of becoming? In bourgeois economics – and in the epoch of production to which it corresponds – this complete working-out of the human content appears as a complete emptying-out, this universal objectiﬁcation as total alienation, and the tearing-down of all limited, one-sided aims as sacriﬁce of the human end-in-itself to an external end. This is why the childish world of antiquity appears on one side as loftier. On the other side, it really is loftier in all matters where closed shapes, forms, and given limits are sought for. It is satisfaction from a limited standpoint; while the modern gives no satisfaction; or, where it appears satisﬁed with itself, it is vulgar.
In the hope of renewing the anti-professional profession and professoriate of deviance, where certain sly growls and sweetly devoted cuts of pedagogical irascibility-in-love sound the deepest commitment to insurgent study, let’s move in the proliﬁc distinction between the city and the commune that animates these passages from the Grundrisse.1 That distinction allows Marx both to deﬁne property (with the serial, locomotivic intensity of a runaway tenor man) and to distinguish it from wealth. Moreover, that distinction’s offspring – the difference between personhood and citizenship that grounds Marx’s critique of the abstract equivalence of bourgeois subjects (in the delusional isolation of settlement, enclosure, propriety, home), which is nurtured in the appositional rub of personhood and thingliness afforded by a kind of deviance from and in Marx’s elucidation of the commodity (its fetish character, its secret, its relation to the very idea of a general equivalent)–is poised to grow into the rough beauty of the “real assembly.” We ought not to be able to keep from imagining the real assembly – the gathering of things in the ﬂesh, of fantasy in the hold – as the fecund caress of earth/commune/school/lab/jam/(collective) head, where the performed devotion of calling and responding in an arrangement refuses every enclosure of its resources.
To speak of the thing that is before the city – as the previousness of a rigorously imagined contemporary projection of an insistent, departive turning over of soil and blood and language – is to engage in something that wants to be called sentimentalism while asking you to remember that sentimentalism is the aesthetics (which is interinanimate with the extra-political sociality) of the unﬁnished project of abolition and reconstruction that is our most enduring legacy of successful, however attenuated, struggle; and that sentimentalism is too often and too easily dismissed by students and devotees of power, especially in its connection to what they dismiss as identity politics (where such dismissals are always hyper-critical of (non-male, non-straight, non-white) identity while courteously leaving politics to its own uncriticized devices. To be interested in the rematerialization of wealth as something outstripping, even as it is constitutive, of limited bourgeois-imperialist forms and modes is to think such re-materialization as an anticolonial complaint for the anarchic, undercommon) permeation borne by what would have been outside, where we work and work out the poetics of our beautifully ugly feelings, as Thelonious Monk + Sianne Ngai might say. To be interested in this subtensive irruption is to be concerned with what a genuine anti-colonialism might be.
My teacher, Masao Miyoshi, studies and extends this subtensive irruption by way of architecture’s vexed instantiations, its mixture of tragedy and utopia, its interinanimation and repression of work/thing/play/image. Operating at the intersection of performance and architecture, at performance’s disruption of architecture, its bringing to bear on architecture an outside/r, Professor Miyoshi is concerned with the rupture of restricted economies, those privatized sites of public exclusions in which the naturalized limit, like some retroactively indeterminate wall or door of houses that are imagined to have built themselves, bespeaks a mode of rationality that would posit the externality as something other than either the effect or object or victim of surreptitiously intentional non-intention. Exterior things pierce naturalized economic exclusion, envelopment, and exploitation, thereby initiating the work of abolition and reconstruction: on the one hand, they body forth antagonisms; on the other hand, and deeper still, in discovering them, inventing them, making three- or four-part inventions and interventions in or on them with the outside human voice of city nature, they intimate the general antagonism, the general economy.
Reﬂecting on the (anti-)aesthetic experience of the immediate peripheries of Taipei, Tokyo/Yokohama, and Seoul, Professor Miyoshi considers the outskirts of these intensely localized communes in capitalism’s newly reglobalized space as monuments to an accumulative drive that marks the derivation of the proper from the commune. He also notes that while they are erected with the ironic capitulation of a certain mode of architectural genius, these communities are often characterized by residents and tourists alike as drab, sprawling, unattractive working- and middle-class slums. However (or, perhaps more precisely, therefore), Professor Miyoshi’s reﬂections turn towards the life that is both embedded in and escapes these city edges (as the outside that allows the very constitution of their centers), which is symbolized by the merry playing of children and the everyday work of their elders, something Marx gestures towards in the presupposition of their activity, which is represented as individual property by way of the power that is vested in, and invested by, enclosed commonality and which is, before that, in the double sense of before, the thing that underlies and surrounds enclosure. Professor Miyoshi’s complaint, a recording with differences of the beautiful music that emerges from and as assembly’s serration, helps to illuminate the city’s underconceptual, undercommunal underground and outskirts that Marx (re)produces without discovering, in and as the very essence and emanation of his phrasing. Professor Miyoshi is ﬁnely attuned to the collective dissonance and logic of irreducibly economic existence, “the universality of individual needs, capacities, pleasures, productive forces, etc., created through universal exchange” that is persistently lived as wealth in the commune, as the project of the project(s) which we wrap around ourselves as a kind of shawl, since we are poor (in spirit).
Professor Miyoshi’s attunement takes the form of a question: How do people live in the absence of that inﬁnitely expandable list of “amenities” ﬁgured as “necessary”? But one might also put it this way: How do people live in the absence of the attractive? Or one could even ask: How do people live in the absence of any point of attraction? Life, in the very fugitivity of the working and playing that escape whatever might have been experienced or theorized as its own bare self, turns in this turning, divisive, recollective run of questions, demanding the pivot Professor Miyoshi enacts. Moreover, his veered inquiry is aesthetic, however much it might seem that that aesthetic has been liquidated or overcome or avoided in its constant throwing of itself beyond its categories, as Duke Ellington + Sianne Ngai might say. Implicit in this step/run/fall/dance is something essential to the general structure of complaint. It is a need that will have been inseparable from capacity, pleasure, productive force given in exchange’s irreducible sociality, the contrapuntal anarrangement of its collective head. That pivot, where life’s exhausted beauty initializes the questions concerning its absence that appear to be its antecedents, is this: is there something on the order of a life of attractions, which might be thought in relation to an architecture of attractions, a life and an architecture of attractions in the absence of any point of attraction?
This question assumes the necessity of the aesthetic dimension of anticoloniality. Moreover, its occasion, Professor Miyoshi’s occasion, demands that we consider the sentimental pedagogical aesthetics of the curmudgeon, whose enduring message to his students is “Always complain!” and whose critico-celebratory feelings make possible an investigation of the relationship between what some combination of José Gil and Kevin Lynch might call the theoretical image of the city and something Samuel R. Delany intimates as a submerged and negative inscription of its preﬁgurative gathering on the underside of a mediating surface or lens, (in)sight made (un)available by the motion of light in water.2 What is this image of the thing that happens when a limited form (the city of attractions and its attendant, etiolated notion of wealth and necessity) is stripped away? Maybe you have to be a curmudgeon to ask questions that bring the world and the city–their geographical delineations and historical divisions – into play by way of the question of the thing, this indexing of the commune and the earth that anticipate and survive the end of the city and the end of the world by placing them under the disarranging pressure of performative study. The thing itself is also brought into play in such questioning. The thing-in-play, in turn, turns toward the question of (the) work, the work in play, the work-in-progress, which, for Professor Miyoshi, leads to the problematic clash, if you will, of two utopias or, more precisely, the eclipse of (a modernist) one by its (postmodern) other. As he writes:
Architectural discourse, like that of city planning, is inescapably utopian. Possibly because a completed building no longer belongs to its architect but rather to its buyers and users, architecture is only fully itself while it is a blueprint under construction and thus still addressing a future condition. This future most preoccupies us during phases of violent cultural change. How can an urban building relate to the changing demands of a city? How can a city respond to its “globalized” economic needs? Such questions occupy a major portion of the architect’s and city planner’s thoughts. Yet the future of a building and/or a city is necessarily negotiated with the dominant powers, those who manage and administer as well as own and dictate. The dreams of those who organize and direct are increasingly transnational and corporate.3
The rejection of modernist utopianism around 1970 was probably unavoidable. In the past two decades in particular, the social contradictions built into bourgeois capitalism were too brutal to contemplate in a single, seamless context. For culture-industry employees, the choice was either to convert these contradictions into disjunctive fragments or to dissolve the materiality of the contradictions into linguistic games. The best example of the former strategy is the sharp division of all knowledge into disciplines and professions so that no one can gain an inkling of totality. Each sector is mandated to develop exclusive terms and methodologies as if it could successfully seal its autonomy. (Totalization is perhaps now the dirtiest word in the academia of industrialized countries.) An example of the latter strategy is a reassertion of linguistic and discursive priority where material obstructions such as poverty, suppression, and resistance are decomposed and erased in abstract blurs and blobs. (Hence, the popularity of terms like hybridity and discourse.) Both are gestures of surrender and homage to the dominant in the hope that culture employees might be granted a share of the corporate proﬁts. So-called global capitalism is a supremely exclusive version of utopia, to which “intellectuals” ache to belong.
Actually, global economy is merely a maximum use of world resources via maximum exclusion.4
For Professor Miyoshi, the eclipse of modernist architectural utopianism is signed by the demise of mass public-housing projects that, no longer an object of planning, have become objects of demolition. The utopian nature of architecture is tied to the utopian nature of city planning, however the utopian is the in-progress, the in-playness of the thing, the (art)work, the planning away of the city into, and which is also enacted by, the real assembly or assemblage that is present outside and underneath the city’s absence. To ask the question concerning that thing is to bring the outside so deep inside that it cuts that opposition until it can’t be seen then cuts where it was. Such questioning engages in a thinking that is something other than the detached contemplation that occurs in detached houses or isolated huts. It is, rather, the anaprojective poetics of the projects and it affects a kind of inhabitation – directed, in this case, toward the problematic of inhabitation, where building, dwelling, and thinking go together in ways that reveal how Heidegger’s most characteristic sound is often, ﬁnally and surprisingly, a recording of a speciﬁcally Marxian music. This inhabitation is a movement that Miyoshi characterizes as outside architecture. More speciﬁcally, he speaks of a rematerialization of architecture that would constitute its genuine eradication, rather than a doing away with its utopian displacements.Part of what’s at stake is that these utopian displacements might very well be the way into a resistance to state power and its conception of private wealth.
I think of a more literal and less cerebral eradication of architecture: to being architecture around to the material context, to the outside space where ordinary workers live and work with little participation in the language, texts, and discourse of architecture.
Modernism – with all of its ills – was at least mindful of those left outside architecture. Urban workers had their housing projects, though ugly, unlivable, and ﬁnally useless. Today’s industrial cities eliminate those rational monstrosities and, with them, homes for vast numbers of people. Las Vegas has a steadily increasing population of homeless people, but no one remembers to mention them. In the streets of Kawasaki and Keelung, on the other hand, there are still homes and apartments, however hideous. Whether they are inhabitable or not should not be hastily decided – especially by those who do not live there.
We cannot return to modernism. We do, however, need to think about shelter and workplaces for anyone, anywhere, and indeed, “anywise.” How we live is ﬁnally not that important; that we live is… Perhaps, instead of building guilty conscience into aesthetically, theoretically, intellectually admirable but useless shapes and forms, we might stroll in the streets of Kawasaki, Keelung and Puchon (west of Seoul) and learn how people live in these “ﬁlthy” and “uninviting” places. There may be more life there than in architecture’s patronage houses, where the patrons are not always more satisﬁed or more comfortable than the residents of these streets.5
This outside and insovereign place can be thought more literally by way of the theoretical image Professor Miyoshi begins with: that of children playing on the streets, outside the project, outside the dismal house and its anti-social science. They play outside architectural discourse, too, with extreme subcommunal enjoyment. The ones who live and work and play outside the modernist architectural structure are Professor Miyoshi’s object here, but there is, deeper still, a rigorous mode of study that animates his words – a project mode that is thoroughly theoretical, intellectual, and, above all, aesthetic, and which is enabled precisely by the curmudgeonly “rejection” of these. Professor Miyoshi recognizes that the city is where life escapes but that recognition is already embedded in a thinking of the undercommons, the (under)commune, against and outside and before the city. He thinks outside the city in the interest of what will have surrounded it just as surely as he wants to think and inhabit an architecture whose rematerialization makes it an architecture outside architecture. Outside as in before, of the attraction against attractions and amenities, of attraction in the supposedly unattractive, whose music is discomposed by the curmodgeon, the outsider, the metoikos, the fugitive, the exile, the hermit, the complainer. The attraction of the unattractive moves in another ecology. Where else can that thinking occur now but at the edge of the (image of the) city. How might we persist as a scar at the underedge of the university, which wants to be the economic engine of the urban apparition, which wants to police the apparitional polis, which would enclose the essential gift that animates and undermines it? How do we renew the presence that turns the absence of the city and the university inside out? How can we access the breath and (en)lightning that remains of Professor Miyoshi’s destruktive and devoted inhabitation? These are questions for my friend, José Muñoz.
At bottom, above all, in the heart of it all, on the outskirts of it all, for José queerness is its own deliciously ﬁlthy and uninviting utopian project, one whose temporal dimensionality is manifest not only as projection into the future but also as projection of a certain futurity into and onto the present and the past, piercing their previous arrangement and administration. Queerness has a dimension for José but only insofar as it is located in displacement, at sites that are both temporary and shifting, in underground, virtual neighborhoods, ephemeral, disappearing clubs and ordinary, everyday venues broken and reconstructed by extraordinary everynight presences whose traces animate his writing with the sound and feel – as well as the principle – of hope. Like Heidegger, but wholly against Heidegger’s grain, José inhabits the convergence of “ecstasy” as spatio-temporal derangement with “existence” as stepping in and out of time. He studies study’s performative appearance in and as the social life of the alternative. He knows that sometimes the alternative is lost. That sometimes it has to get lost. That sometimes the alternative is loss.To be or to get lost might be neither to hide nor to disappear. Similarly: to lose, to relinquish or to veer away from – even if within – a given economy of accumulation— José thinks this in relation to or as a certain disruption of property, of propriety, of possession and self-possession, of the modes of subjectivity these engender especially in fucked-up, Locke/d down, America). Inappropriateness such as José’s – which is his, and his alone, because it is not his, because he gave it to us from wherever he was and gives it to us from wherever he is – remains undeﬁned by the interplay of regulation and accumulation that it induces.
Consider (which is to say feel, which is to say dig) Kevin Aviance (deviance and essence, the trace of another scent and gest and groove) as José approaches (which is to say dances with, which is to say grounds with) him – accursed share and shard, cracked vessel of essence-in-motion, counterfetish instantiating the critique of possession that only the dispossessed can make. Such consideration isn’t easy. In their mutual approach, José and Aviance become something else; something else becomes them and we have to try to get beautiful like that. That beauty is hard, brown, black, black brown, and beige, tinged with the sadness that attends ours, and that keeps us, moving through the ongoing history of brutal enjoyment to get to what survival demands that we enjoy. José says that on the way to that – in the slow, inescapably lowdown path of our escape – we critically rush the impasse of our fetishization, the sociosynaptic (log)jam that keeps us from becoming instruments for one another, which is our destiny. What José knows about Aviance is what we also know about José. If the force of the counterfetish is lost in the Roxy, lost in all the various pragmatisms whose asses José kicked, lost in Marx though he, at least, as Althusser might say, produces the concept that José came to discover; if the “fetish, in its Marxian dimensions, is about occlusion, displacement, concealment and illusion”: then it can also be said to be about loss or to be the lost.6 The fetish is representation of loss or of the lost. The condition of possibility of this necessary representational function is loss. Heidegger might say that the fetish, or the counterfetishistic property of the fetish, tends toward unconcealment, aletheia, truth. He would say that unconcealment has concealment at its heart, which we recognize in the anarepresentational content that is borne, the ephemeral and performative energy that is transmuted and transmitted, when Aviance and José dance their queer, spooky pas de deux at a distance. What Marx ﬁgures as subjunctive we now know to be actual. This is to say that José neither reads nor interprets the rematerialization of dance; he extends it, becomes part of the ongoing rematerialization that is (its) performance. This is a migrant curve evading straightness and its time. This is the counterfetishistic, redistributive, performative, gesturally perfumative content of José’s writing, which theorizes loss as the instantiation of another condition of possibility: the preﬁgurative supplement of loss that deconstructs and reconstructs identity, that reproduces a personhood at odds with, or radically lost within, the accumulative-possessional drive; the future lost in the present, fugitive of and in the present; our subterranean movement; the shard of light we share.
José – whose irreplaceability is given in that he was movement in collaboration – sheds that light on and with Aviance. They remain as “queer ephemera, transmutation of the performance energy, that also function as a beacon for queer possibility and survival” so we can see ourselves, both descriptively and prescriptively, as the history of abnormative in(ter)vention.7 We have to see our everynight selves like that everyday, until the party becomes The Party; and though we’re not party to this exchange, because we’re not, we feel it, because it moves through us when we feel (for) one another. The ones who don’t see the gravity of this have never been on, le/t alone under, the ground. Such grounding, such approach, is José, ﬂying. The velocity of his escape remains in (f)light, as what we ﬁght with and for. See, if Aviance and José hip us to the notion that ephemera mark the ongoing production of (a) performance whose origin is always before us, then every vanishing point signals the inevitability of a return, even if it’s just in the way we get up tomorrow, even if our loss make us not want to get up, because tomorrow we’ll see that the one we lost has left us something to help us ﬁnd him. Deeper still, way before the end, the ephemeral counterfetish will either make the bosses beautiful – multiply perspectival, contrapuntally out, in recovery of what’s lost in the stiffness of their stride and minds – or destroy them. Now that Professor Miyoshi and José are, along with Marx, lost and found, improperly dispersed in us, it’s our job, our animated and animative labor, to bear that, to be borne by that, to keep being reborn in that – so we have to keep on playing.
One of Professor Miyoshi’s most important and celebrated works, “A Borderless World? From Colonialism to Transnationalism Over the Decline of the Nation-State” is reprinted in Documenta X – The Book.8 In this reprint his words are juxtaposed with photographs of Lygia Clark’s work or non-work or work-in-progress or performance or thing or play Cabeça Coletiva (Collective Head). There is, in particular, what the editors identify as a picture of Cabeça Coletiva moving or being moved down a street in Rio de Janeiro in 1976, out of or in withdrawal from Clark’s authorship and control. It’s like a ﬂoat into which people have entered or, somehow, returned as if in exile from exile; a ﬂoat like a hat that a group of people wears; a hat like a garden that a bunch of people cultivate; a garden like a living that a congregation serves; a living like an artwork that a curacy disperses. It is work at play in the city on the order of a theoretical image (à la Gil and Delany, on the one hand, Lynch and Fredric Jameson, on the other) of the city that is outside and before the city, the city of displacement now given as the axiomatic primitive of a new ecology, a general economy. It marks attraction in the absence of the attractive, friendship in the absence of the amenity, moving in what Andre Lepecki might call an extension of Clark’s own (non)performative “withdrawal of her body’s presence,” where withdrawal might also be understood – as in Gil and Eleonora Fabião – as complication: body turned through absence into present paradox, secret divulged in secretion.9 What 40 years earlier in Kansas City they might have called a (collective) head arrangement, moves down the street in Rio as and on the way to what Clark would call an empty fullness, the “vazio-pleno,” that anti- or ante-subjective no-thing-ness of the plenum that displaced carioca Denise Ferreira da Silva illuminates in her special and general theories of the no-body.10 In the dispersive, differential gathering of the project, the projective work, the resonant instrument and collective head walking hand in hand in a ﬁeld of feel, an approach toward a social physics of psychical ﬂesh is practically imagined as an undercommon precedence of the city, before (and up ahead of) the nation-state, its local antecedents and its global residue. Such rematerialized, transportive, anarchitecturally anarranged utopianism constitutes a non-exclusionary urban plan, structured by communicability rather than relation, in acknowledgement of an already given and incalculable wealth.
It turns out that the end of “Outside Architecture” echoes the end of “A Borderless World?”
Los Angeles and New York, Tokyo and Hong Kong, Berlin and London are all teeming with “strange-looking” people. And U.S. academics quite properly study them as a plurality of presences. But before we look distantly at them and give them over to their specialists, we need to know why they are where they are. What are the forces driving them? How do they relate to our everyday life? Who is behind all this drifting?11
Now what’s the relation between these strange-looking people, these outsiders, these metoikoi and the ones who are outside architecture in their own homes, the ones dancing in their collective head, like Lygia Clark or Ornette Coleman or Kevin Aviance? What is the nature of this before of the distant look, a thinking antecedent to detached contemplation? Direct examination is distinguished from distant look, from the distancing of political actuality and the detached contemplation of people in/at/as work-in-play. The before of the distant look is an inhabitation, an assembly, a public thing, that is nothing, ﬁnally, if not aesthetic, that is driven by nothing if not the intensity of a whole other payment of attention. Inhabitation, here, is immediately a question of drift. To think those who are outside architecture alongside the “strange-looking” people is to consider the universal exchange of extra-ordinary lives. The question of the architecture, economy, and ecology of our down and out commonality is the song-like question of the earth that is also, and immediately, the question of art to the extent that it is bound not only to the ability to inhabit the differential but irreducible totality but also to deal with the mobile jurisgenerativity of dwelling. The collective head always complains, always sings together; the collective head is coming-together, way on the outskirts of town. To complain is to sing with that communist sound to which Professor Miyoshi and José are attuned and which they amplify and extend insofar as their work is an open installation, the thing you live in and play in and play and wear and are.
When Professor Miyoshi and José encounter one another in the call for the art/work/play/thing of a queer, utopian, futurial anarchitecture – not (just) as something sculptural but in/as irreducible presences of improper, impersonative ﬂesh in all its thingliness and earthly inhabitation – he is calling for and also joining a rematerialization of wealth, of what we ought to treasure in what is always here, the future in our present that is beautiful however unheard or unappreciated. He calls for the actuality of what is often feared in artistic presencing; for an architecture of what people outside architecture, outside the house and the city, outside citizenship and subjectivity, outside settlement and sovereignty, do to all of these by living; for an architecture set up to receive aninstrumental, anarchitectural doing, thinging, thinking; for a communal, anarchic, textural environment that is ecological, social, and personal. This is also to call for a necessary reconﬁguration of economics – beyond the rapaciously incorporative incorporealities of what Randy Martin calls the “ﬁnancialization of daily life”–so as no longer imperiously and imperially to exclude, by way of the most violent calculations of forced and rationalized inclusions and in/corporations, externalities (not just unaccounted-for costs but also irreducibly originary material beneﬁts), in their undercommon and erotic indebtedness.12 It is in the interest of unsettling, of the unsettled who are without interest, that Marx, Miyoshi, and Muñoz walk the resonant bridge between the city and the commune. I once heard Professor Miyoshi speak, with a mixture of understanding and impatience, of Edward Said’s need for art, which he understood as a tendency to veer away from the urgent necessity to concentrate on the economic. But José lets us know that attunement to the economic, where the economic is an irreducibly edgy anoriginarity that Marx would call the commune, leads immediately to the aesthetic so that the need for art will manifest itself materially, as the re-materialization of wealth that Marx also calls for by way of his production, if not discovery, of the commune, his undercommon making and joining of the real assembly. What emerges is an aesthetic of material wealth and beauty that also allows discussion of the ugliness by which it is permeated. The aesthetic’s improper home is the curmudgeon’s inappropriate
ofﬁce, the bitch’s loving ﬁerceness, which is what we should have been treasuring all along. We move, along with Marx, Miyoshi, and Muñoz, in anticipation of rearrangement, in step with anarrangement, as if remotely performing Clark’s collective head arrangement, her anoperatic offering of the subrepublican public thing, and Aviance’s ongoing project of the broken vessel, his projection of its immanence and emanation, the outside we live (in), our making and joining and renewal of the real assembly.
1. Marx (1973, 483, 487).
2. See Gil (1998); Lynch (1960); Delany (1983, 2004).
3. Miyoshi (1996, 44).
4. Miyoshi (1996, 45).
5. Miyoshi (1996, 47).
6. Muñoz (2009, 78).
7. Ibid., 74.
8. Miyoshi (1997, 182–202). Originally published in Critical Inquiry 19 (Summer 1993): 726–51.
9. Lepecki (2014, 279). See also Fabião (2014); Bessa (2014).
10. Lepecki (2014, 282). See also Ferreira da Silva (2009).
11. Miyoshi (1997, 202).
12. Martin (2002).
.Bessa, Antonio Sergio. 2014. “Word-Drool: The Constructive Secretions of Lygia Clark.” In Lygia Clark: The Abandonment of Art, edited by Cornelia H. Butler and Luis Pérez-Oramas, 301– 305. New York: The Museum of Modern Art.
.Delany, Samuel R. 1983. Neveryóna. New York: Bantam.
.Delany, Samuel R. 2004. The Motion of Light in Water: Sex and Science Fiction Writing in the East Village. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
.Fabião, Eleonora. 2014. “The Making of a Body: Lygia Clark’s Anthropophagic Slobber.” In Lygia Clark: The Abandonment of Art, edited by Cornelia H. Butler and Luis Pérez-Oramas, 294–299. New York: The Museum of Modern Art.
.Ferreira da Silva, Denise. 2009. “No-Bodies: Law, Raciality and Violence.” Grifﬁth Law Review 18: 212–236.
.Gil, José. 1998. Metamorphoses of the Body. Translated by Stephen Muecke. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
.Lepecki, André. 2014.“Affective Geometry, Immanent Acts: Lygia Clark and Performance.” In Lygia Clark: The Abandonment of Art, 1948–1988, edited by Cornelia H. Butler and Luis Pérez-Oramas. New York: The Museum of Modern Art.
.Lynch, Kevin. 1960. The Image of the City. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.
.Martin, Randy. 2002. Financialization of Daily Life. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press.
.Marx, Karl. 1973. Grundrisse: Foundations of the Critique of Political Economy. Translated by Martin Nicolaus. New York: Vintage.
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