kodwo

Nobody escapes the way machines scramble identity at the push of a button, turns the soul into sound-fx with the greatest of ease. Instead of retreating from machinic mutation back into an ethics of sound, UR is mutation-positive. The sampler is a mandate to recombinate - so it’s useless lamenting appropriation. Resisting replication is like doing without oxygen. The sampler doesn’t care who you are.
—  Kodwo Eshun, More Brilliant than the Sun: Adventures in Sonic Fiction (1998)

anonymous asked:

What do you think about altwoke?

i agree generally with much of their assessment of the problems with leftism/progressivism as it exists, but i’m skeptical of their proposed solutions, which seem to be more style than substance, more sizzle than steak.

take this excerpt:

WHAT IS #ALTWOKE:

1. Theoria

AltWoke is a new awakening for the post-modern Left to navigate the protean digital era. Altwoke can be categorized as the new New Left. Or Second Wave Neo-Marxism. The Post- Truth Left. 

hollow buzzwords chosen mostly for aesthetic purposes, communicating little to nothing.

Anti-liberal postcapitalist left. AltWoke is antithetical to Silicon Valley techno-neoliberalism. AltWoke is not the cult of Kurzweil.

i mean generally yes, leftism should not be neoliberal right-libertarian.

AltWoke is not merely analogous to the Alt-Right.

maybe you should have used a different name then

AltWoke injects planning back into left-wing politics.

 did planning ever go away?

AltWoke supports universal basic income, biotechnology and radical energy reforms to combat climate change, open borders, new forms of urban planning and the liquidation of Western hegemony.

good, finally some policy proposals! but most of this is already standard boilerplate left-wing stuff, with the possible exception of “biotechnology”, which isn’t necessarily standard across the left overall, but is standard among left-transhumanists.

AltWoke sees opportunity in disaster. AltWoke is the Left taking futurism away from fascism. David Harvey is #altwoke. Situationist International is #altwoke. Lil B is #altwoke. Jean Baudrillard is #altwoke. Kodwo Eshun is #altwoke, Mark Fisher is #altwoke, Roberto Mangabeira Unger is #altwoke. Edward Snowden is #altwoke. Daniel Keller is #altwoke. Chelsea Manning is #altwoke. Theo Parrish is #altwoke. William Gibson is #altwoke. Holly Herndon is #altwoke. Frantz Fanon is #altwoke. Alvin Toffler is #altwoke.

see now this is just an attempt to name-drop to increase one’s own clout without actually having a meaningful connection to the people named. and some weird choices are made along the way too- Edward Snowden? Lil B?

it’s take on accelerationism rubs me the wrong way too. “Left Accelerationism insists the only way out of capitalism is through it”? nah. i’m not feeling it.

also it’s rejection of morality is kinda dorky. “AltWoke is duplicitous, amoral, & problematic.” oooo. edgy. what great PR.

look, like, i appreciate the aesthetic they were trying to capture here, i also enjoy cyberpunk and leftist takes on transhumanism. but they need to put more effort into the substance underneath. politics and art overlap, but politics isn’t just art, there needs to be actual policy under all the aesthetics.

also please for the love of god, literally any name other than #AltWoke. it’s like nails on a chalkboard, the political equivalent of doing fidget spinner tricks while riding one of those hoverboards with a dubstep remix of the family guy theme playing in the background.