Useless equipment


Over at Planomenology, gestures toward thinking about philosophy proper from a salvage perspective. (However, perhaps not salvagepunk, or not anticapitalist salvage, in that it strays towards the revelling of ruins melancholia that stains this moment. Thought now stands between a triumphalist destructionism or the stillness of witness in the face of slow collapse. Against this, salvagepunk is unfreezing of frozen labor, not setting the depth charges or watching winter come.) Freeing objects to see them in their "weird and inexplicable glory": yes, indeed. But for us, this can only be the work of trying to grasp their idiosyncratic "equipmental" possibilities. Of, at the end of the day, the accidental, unintended qualities of objects and concepts designed to be thrown-away. Strange resilences.


Hence the metaphor of the hard work of picking and choosing, of the trash-picker, of combing the wreckage, etc. Something of worth out of the shitbed of value, that massive glacial thaw across time of frozen labor, human toil stuck in the shape of its coercion and exertion: the shape of a piece of discarded plastic. Some things never unfreeze, or only barely: they will at best be barricades, their residual mass organizing the landscape. Inertia and mass, degraded but non-degradable.

1 comment:

planomenology said...

I'm really more inclined toward a making-what-you-will of what remains than of a sterile and subtracted reverie. But I need to begin with melancholia at the moment, with motionless awe in the face of a suspended world, because after all, I am myself a ruin-to-be, and I need to do what I can to undo every inclination toward self-legitimation.

Otherwise, it would be too easy to make out of the scrap heap new self-extensions serving a crypto-legitimation on the basis of 'my will'. I think the (continuous) passage through a melancholic shock is necessary to suspend not only equipmental embedding of future-ruins, thereby freeing them for misuse-value, but the average everyday absorption of 'Dasein', which is already Dasein itself. In other words, I think it might be necessary to shake off the vain notion that I 'am' 'there', rather than not there or anywhere, and nothing at all, the almost nothing of ruins without proper use.

I'm all for salvagepunk, so long as oneself is reduced to ruins along with the rest of the world, and the experimental equip-manipulation is not the petty prosthetic self-extension of 'last men'. The melancholy is the suspension of the legitimacy of the user, so as to make of it no more than an avatar of decay.

In short: melancholia is not the end, it is the traumatic exposure of oneself to its total loss and ruination, as the commencement of a scrap-work. Without this exposure, capital would still have a foothold. It's the trauma of a reduction of oneself to ruins, so as to make equivocal use of oneself and the other inhabitants of the scrapyard.

I think the end of my post tomorrow might start pointing in that direction.