Affective McJobs && Judas Goats

Creativity is key to the economy. But creativity in science and engineering, not in the “creative industries”. Which is why the Lisbon Agenda needs not DRM but investment in chemistry departments. Or the opposite of what is actually happening.

In what is actually happening is the spectre (or fetish if you’re in Cretinous Sundries) of Affective Labour. Of work not at machines but at interactions (relational labour…). Aesthetics as the product of the proletariat. Precessive kitsch, if kitsch is industrialised folk culture. With the smile as the core competence, not the added value. With no job security, respect or prospects (welcome to how the rest of the world lives, “precariat”-fearing web designer weekend marxists).

These relational loan-stretchers in the cargo-cult economy of governments that still believe we should all be Living On Thin Air have useful idiots to lead the unwashed into the abbatoir. The artist-statement-writing-workshop sector of the non-art non-market, bourgeois would-be-career-artists (hi), lurching from subsidised training day to temporary residency, are the harbingers of the new economic order of the post-Lisbon cracked mirror.

Highly collectible gestures of resistance to the ancient regime aside, there are two strategies for art. Non-instrumentalised, disruptive, qualitative, unimproving pleasure. Or institutional critique that actually critiques the current institutions. Or possibly both. Art always serves new money, so let’s not kid ourselves, but if we can start serving the next-but-one regime, we can speed up firing the ejector on the current boss. Which, since they want art to be socially instrumental, should please everybody.