[-empyre-] Fascination or, the market/culture parallax

editor at intertheory.org editor at intertheory.org
Fri Apr 10 23:37:06 EST 2009

mt...it's fascinating i think, that we are free to be trapped in the market/culture parallax, and unable to differentiate, between our 'culture(s)' and our 'market(s)'...entangled... ...Warhol seems to show us they are one and the same...

jp...with regard to the market for virtue (or not) and since it has come up recently...

is it morally wrong to short stocks as they are going down? does our culture need an uptick rule in its stock market?

...the regulators (in this case, administrators of sociocultural market standards) seem to think so...they seem to believe that stocks should only go up up up in the US...they claim it is 'unfair' that when a stock price declines, that short sellers can 'gang up' up on the poor stock and drive it lower; they say that is 'manipulation'...but the same cast seems to have no problem with 'ganging up' on a stock that is going up in price, and as these insiders and purchasers of the stock drive prices to the moon (and then dump shares onto the unknowing public at the very highest of prices)...then the stock tanks, and the public gets burned...

 ...the regulators seem to claim some ethical virtue in their position...and it benefits but one particular group of observers viewpoint of the parallax, no?  ...the daytrading rule (min $25000 balance requirement to actively daytrade), seems another foul product of such a privileged position...

...can we discern the market/culture parallax? ...who is the market/culture for...?


Nicholas Ruiz III, Ph.D Editor, Kritikos http://intertheory.org

--- On Sat, 4/4/09, Michael Angelo Tata, PhD <mtata at ipublishingllc.com> wrote:

> From: Michael Angelo Tata, PhD <mtata at ipublishingllc.com>
> Subject: [-empyre-] Fascination
> To: "Soft Skinned Space" <empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au>
> Date: Saturday, April 4, 2009, 5:17 AM
> #yiv2081555842 .hmmessage P
> {
> margin:0px;padding:0px;}
> #yiv2081555842 {
> font-size:10pt;font-family:Verdana;}
> I think that
> thus far what I have been trying to advocate is a certain
> poetics of capital, as this is the way I personally access
> phenomena like stocks, bonds, futures, even the brute
> physicality of Wall Street and that giant bull with
> larger-than-life genitalia presiding over all those wild
> exchanges (even when those exchanges involve randy execs
> racing over to the Wall Street Sauna to release some tension
> with a stranger).
> If we keep
> Marx in the discussion, it is really the transformation of
> “money” into “capital” that mystifies concrete
> relations—even networks—into metaphysical concepts that
> are more efficient at mobilizing human desire, and hence
> keeping the network going in all its self-sustaining
> wonder.  The mystifications of
> Wall Street complicate the simple quid pro quo of exchange,
> whether we root that change in the body’s relation to an
> external or even interstitial environment (metabolism), in
> the confabulations of a psyche negotiating the effusions of
> the body it animates and the meanings its flows assume
> (object relations) or within structures and strictures like
> the community itself (intersubjectivity, communicative
> reason).  For me, the
> opportunities which find themselves fetishized within the
> market are, to use Joseph’s term from the Warhol
> discussion, “fascinating”—but without fascination, it
> is not clear to me that the networks animating our or any
> societies would continue to function at all.  Enter the media, a perpetual motion
> machine of fascination and enrapturement, even when all it
> can present are sensational stories about unnerving Dow
> Jones fluctuations, suburban execs forced to live in tent
> communities, or “the new face of the poor.”
> As for
> Warhol vs. J.S.G. Boggs, Warhol’s early paintings of $2
> bills vis-a-vis Boggs’ gorgeous and cheeky counterfeits
> (like the $0 Pittsburgh note) call to mind a host of
> observations.  First off, how
> strange that money itself can come and go with other fads
> and impulse items: and so the canvas depicting this money,
> as demystified object identical with its physicality,
> becomes a documentary of a past order and of instrumental
> complexes which have taken on different imperatives, making
> me think of kindly grandparents handing me a stash of $2
> bills so I could buy a new Izod or venture over to the
> arcade, while also highlighting the fact that capital
> necessarily transcends money itself, which is little more
> than its temporary and transitional home: no bill can
> contain it, no denomination assert its control of how it
> will be organized, mobilized, deployed. 
> If only there were Susan B. Anthony canvases as
> testament to the logistics of cash and its failures in the
> day-to-day use of its tokens. 
> Comparatively, Boggs does not paint money: he makes
> money.  As when we
> attend the best Felix Gonzalez-Torres
> installation, we are able to take something away from
> the experience (for Boggs, bills we might or might not
> spend, depending on our bravery and whether or not we have
> inherited the criminal gene; for Torres, a Baci chocolate or
> piece of paper graced by the presence of cloudbanks).  Still, both artists effect a critique
> of art and value and are hence in conversation with
> themselves, and with our panel. 
> As for the issues of an us/them, cultural war and
> complicities raised by Nick and Joseph, I gravitate towards
> Bataille and his contrast of a general economy with a
> restricted economy in The Accursed Share.  When times are swell, and capital is
> coolly traversing its networks fueled by its own mystique,
> the economy can afford to support innovation,
> experimentation, even deviation, so much so that even a
> fantastic junk bond salesman like Derrida or Lacan can
> risk nonmeaning, nonsense and dispensing with the external
> referent altogether (think, for example, of the poetry of
> the L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E school; in fact, Charles Bernstein cites
> Bataille as one way of making sense of a poet like Gertrude
> Stein as well as the often impenetrable work
> of his Language cohorts). 
> Times like these call for potlatch, and it is almost
> our duty to join in the frenzy—for, as Rimbaud demands, we
> must be absolutely modern. 
> This is all fine and dandy, but when capital—which,
> I would argue, still maintains its prestige and
> seductiveness even in the worst of times—dries up or
> diminishes, the economy cannot afford to tolerate, let alone
> propagate or finance, transgressive work: culturally, it is
> simply too expensive in terms of capital proper and cultural
> capital (the transmission of knowledge from one generation
> to another, the preparation of individuals to take up an
> active position within the social fabric, the creation of
> disciplinary value and worth to justify salary and
> status). 
> To draw on Joseph’s very particular and concrete
> observations about the fate of new discourses and
> disciplines after the Wall Street fiasco, I turn to my own
> history teaching English and Comp Lit at Hunter College in
> NYC.  Before the dotcom crash and
> 9/11, I was fortunate enough to have been invited to create
> and teach honors seminars on the work of Madonna Ritchie,
> Quentin Crisp, and Jeff Dahmer, among others, but after
> these historical and economic traumas transformed the City
> and world, it was straight back to Romantic poetry seminars
> for me.  The new, chastened City
> University system could afford William Wordsworth, and on a
> good day might have some cultural capital left over for
> Dorothy Wordsworth, but, alas, the Material Girl had gone
> out of bounds with regard to the “cost” of reflecting
> upon her: she had suddenly become expensive and frivolous,
> and these were not times for rash speculation or semantic
> excess.             
> *******************************************
> Michael Angelo Tata,
> PhD  347.776.1931-USA
> http://www.MichaelAngeloTata.com/
> Rediscover Hotmail®: Now available on your
> iPhone or BlackBerry Check
> it out. 
> -----Inline Attachment Follows-----
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
> http://www.subtle.net/empyre

More information about the empyre mailing list