I have started a new writing project with my long-time friend Ko Banerjea. Southern Discomfort is an experiment in developing a poetic form of critique of our contemporary situation. Maybe a sort of literary zine. http://southerndiscomfortzine.wordpress.com/
This was my initial entry to the About page of the Zine, it gives a sense of where we are at:
‘What does not happen defines the contemporary’ (Agamben)
The invocation of the punk refrain ‘No Future’ is not some simple nostalgia for a time gone by, or hipster retromania desperately trying to give stylistic legitimacy to its ever-so-comfortable incorporation into contemporary ‘friction-free’ capitalism. Rather, it is the dialectical unraveling of the historical present in which the future has already been sold to the highest bidder. The hedge fund managers and futures traders have pre-emptied the time to come. A future in which co-ordinates of life and death are inscribed in the corporate data banks, to be exchanged through the social networks of the new masters of the universe. Resistance is futile.
The future had already gone, and we just didn’t know it. Maybe the ruins of the past are just fragments of the future that could not be integrated into the stories that we are told. In our times of digital distraction and boredom, of violence and spectacle, of ethnic branding and racial tourism, do we just provide a distorted rear mirror to our slow death? What if the fragments can be combined and remade to offer another future in the present?
Our refusal is a negation of the sold-out future. Through the psycho-geographical speculative reimagining of the spaces of the city in ruins, we remember what we can be. We are the last fools standing, laughing out aloud, scavenging for bits of subterranean culture; holding on against the maelstrom of banality, we live now by re-inventing the present.