The Erotics of Infrastructure:
4 November 19, 7 pm
Venue: KW Studio, front building, 1st floor
Public talk as the third part of Rachal Bradley’s program series The Erotics of Infrastructure taking place from 29 October – 8 November 19 at KW
“The subjective achievements neoliberalism had promised (“everyone a shareholder, everyone an owner, everyone an entrepreneur”) have plunged us into the existential condition of the indebted man, at once responsible and guilty for his particular fate.”
– In: Maurizio Lazzarato, The Making of the Indebted Man, 2012, p. 60, Semiotext(e)
“Debt constitutes the ground for constructing citizenship and subjectivity. Given its ability to constitute our social body, via economies, how does this affect our sense of vision? Shot through our senses, desire drives perception. With Western culture’s primacy on vision how does the figure of the ‘indebted man’ intersect with accumulation’s salient organ, the eyeball? Could our vision be considered in indenture to a larger system of debt structured by bondage through legal arrangements and ‘life taxes’?”
– In: Rachal Bradley, Nottingham, November 2017
Drawing on individual personal reference material, artists Inka Meissner and Rachal Bradley discuss the operation of indebted vision, proceeding from central thoughts presented in Maurizio Lazzarato’s The Making of the Indebted Man (2012) but associatively extending it to the context of visual arts. Given the power of the debtor-creditor relationship to affect individuality and subjectivization and to produce a specific morality of life-long indebtedness, Meissner and Bradley, through the discursive model of the ‘conversation’, present examples of how our vision, both as a physical and as projective thinking, is deeply molded by such an atemporal condition. The question beckons of the potentiality of the recuperative properties within visual art to assuage such a condition.
Inka Meißner is an artist living and working in Berlin. Her work manifests itself in different artistic and theoretical formats and collaborations. Current projects look at questions around the migration of violence through alleged fictional and real media such as literature, art, currencies, and people.
Rachal Bradley is based in London. Her work explores infrastructural and constitutional theory through a strategy of the erotic, and investigates this intersection through artistic practice. This approach reconsiders how the body can find agency within social organisations.
The Erotics of Infrastructure is a series of workshops, readings, and talks conceived by artist Rachal Bradley (born in 1979, Blackpool, GB) to constitute a discursive body. This proposes an erotics of infrastructure in the sense of Audre Lorde—primarily in, but also outside of the arts. If infrastructure can be understood as obliquely involved in processes of conditioning and regulation, the program examines where and how the idea of the erotic might serve as an approach to sustain and regain agency.
“The principal horror of any system which defines the good in terms of profit rather than in terms of human need, or which defines human need to the exclusion of the psychic and emotional components of that need – the principal horror of such a system is that it robs our work of its erotic value and life appeal and fulfilment. “
– In: Audre Lorde, Uses of the Erotic: The Erotic as Power, Kore Press, 2012
Over the course of five events, the discourse evolving at KW will explore how the pleasurable, the charged, and the circuitous might recalibrate infrastructure from a non-neutral to a negotiable framework underlying our perception and our behavior in manifold ways. As such, it is suggested as highly inter-dependent with the people and things inhabiting it. The Erotics of Infrastructure is the second, Berlin-specific iteration of an ongoing program that began at Gasworks, London, in 2017.
The Erotics of Infrastructure is curated by Kathrin Bentele as part of the exhibition The Making of Husbands: Christina Ramberg in Dialogue.