Flash exchange with Stephen Muecke on E-Flux

After reading Elizabeth Povinelli's short essay on the film Windjerrameru (The Stealing C*nt$), and Stephen Muecke's response as part of the E-flux Superconversations series, I was drawn to Povenilli's description of improvisational realism as a documentary style, and the tragically challenging idea of indigenous sovereignty emerging within spaces of capital abandonment and wreckage.  While the film described takes place in Northern Australia (a work by the Karrabing Film Collective), for me it had resonance with what is happening to Hawaiian lands as a result of the US military presence here, the tourist economy, and major commercial development.  The idea of improvisation as anti-capitalist deserves more attention as an aesthetic intervention, even if its terminal prognosis is intimately tied to our own. Povinelli's essay and Muecke's response point to improvisation not as a form of transgression in the service of capital expansion, but is or can be anti-capitalist when it becomes a kind of accelerationist aesthetic. I agree with Muecke that we need to think about what kinds of disruptive aesthetics engage the attention of the global affluent, but this is also a question of attunement (how can we better hear the disruptions already at play?) and amplification (how do we make them harder to ignore?). Something like LulzSec and some branches of Anonmous come to mind here, as hacking is both improvisational and threatening to digital apparatuses of security.  Stephen's response to my comment on E-flux: 

yes, what I mean by (not) 'getting away with it' is to keep telling stories, like this one, about how there is nowhere to get away to (with your profits or poisons). We are all 'complicit' (with anonymous materials…)


Nicole Grove