“Society constructs its own delirium by recording the process of production; but it is not a conscious delirium, or rather is a true consciousness of a false movement, a true perception of an apparent objective movement, a true perception of the movement that is produced on the recording surface.” Deleuze & Guattari (2011) Anti-Oedipus, p11

I cannot shake off the echoes of The Arcades Project that this quotation from Anti-Oedipus generates.  The dreaming phantasmagoria that Benjamin found in the Paris of the Arcades (and thus in C19th capitalism) was similarly constructed from the ruins of production that were its only record.



Everything is politico-ecological (is imbricated with power & resources). For instance:
“… all artists depend on the state and their work embodies that dependence.”  
Becker, Art Worlds, p191 


In his discussion of the legal frameworks that provide some of the structures of ‘art worlds’ Becker takes in the law of nuisance and art world participants subjection to that part of the civil law. Becker then extends this line of thought into the comparative:
“In all the relevant respects, they [artist or art world participants] can be thought of as not very different from industrial or business polluters.”

The implications of this (the extensions of this idea we could follow) are not taken up by Becker but we should draw this into our considerations of the ethics of objects. ——————

Goffman/Marazzi: performance as property

“When objects or performances are made into property to be sold, the legal system created by the state defines who has what to sell, and the conditions and terms under which the sale may occur.”
Becker, Art Worlds, p168

Becker is, of course, discussing things he calls art in this short passage but there is something else in this, something goffmanian.

Becker is clearly working in the Symbolic Interactionist tradition (Blumer appears in the bibliography & index of Art Worlds) and the mention of ‘performance’ cannot but evoke Goffman’s work. What is immediately apparent is the ‘social-production’ that this allusion to Goffman suggests. The idea that the ‘performance of the self’ could be ‘made into property to be sold’ is an obvious marxist analysis of ‘bio-capitalism’. Symbolic Interaction, as with Structuralism, may be very old & deeply unfashionable but that does not mean its lessons are invalid. On the contrary it shows us that we still refuse to learn them. ——————

aesthetic ‘configurations of scarcity’

“The stratified societies that produce patrons exhibit a complex relationship between wealth, knowledge, taste, patterns of support for artists, and the kind of work produced. Patrons want artists to make what they have learned to appreciate and prize as the elements of fine art, so how the wealthy and powerful are educated becomes an important determinant of what they will pay artists to produce.”
Becker, Art Worlds, p100

‘conditions of civic order’

“Finally, to do all this [make ‘works of art’] supposes conditions of civic order…”
Becker, Art Worlds, p5

In his wonderful Art Worlds HS Becker hammers home the social & collective origins of ‘works of art’ in the web of co-operative, collective, & coercive action that is (constitutes) society. The role of what we could call the repressive and ideological state apparatuses is integral to this creation of ‘works of art’ because it provides the resource framework within which such creation takes place. All ‘art’ is tied into the disciplinary systems & institutions of society and represents the darkside of life-in-society (its inequality, unfairness, & ‘exclusion activities’) made palatable. ——————