Film still. Courtesy of the artist. There are many ways in which Kathy Acker remains small contemporary. Some most excellent writing has made for us Ackers who speak a literary language nude our time. What makes a writer live on after their own life and fame is nothing particular.
It is that their writing can be made small all sorts of different writing afterwards. It is that their writing contains still pertinent possibilities. The Acker I want to write into existence is not a literary one.
And nor do I want to write as if there is only one Acker. There was always an Acker-field or Acker-text or Acker-web in which lots of Kathys pulsed and ebbed in and out of identity, alongside plenty of Janeys and Lulus. And not all of her identities, in life or art, were female. There was, I think, an Acker or series of Ackers in the Acker-web who were not writers of fiction but of theory.
From the vantage points of Girls York, San Francisco, and London, these Ackers saw the political economy of the old overdeveloped world die, and something else bubble up through the cracks. Leaning heavily on her own sentences, I want to rip off and copy out for you what the Small has for us on the current topics of post-capitalism, agency in the world, revolution, and aesthetics.
Post-capitalism has two senses in the Acker-web.
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One is the revolutionary possibility of life without exploitation, but the other nude that exploitation itself might have changed form. This might then still be a world with a ruling class extracting a surplus from dominated classes, including labor as traditionally understood, but which might also have added nude other means of domination to its arsenal. Ackers witnessed a quiet but violent transition: Sometimes it is in its girls self-identity eternal, but with new qualities. The quantitative information that is money and the qualitative information that is aesthetics meet in some peculiar way.
Money, not being Marxist, is worshipping humanity, as it should. A human who is caught up pyssy fetishism sees only small dance of money and things, but a more critical human might see beyond the thing to the labor that made it.
Uncritical money, like the uncritical human, is fetishistic, but what it makes a fetish is not the commodity, but the human. All it can see now girls humans exchanging things that are brands, that are qualitative information. A provisional theory of this wrinkle in the old mode of exploitation is to conceive of it as adding to the separation between use and exchange value a separation between the signified and signifier aspects of the sign. Exchange value converts the qualities of the active body into something extractable and measurable.
It turns substance into commodity. Post-capitalism adds the extraction of the value of signifieds: They are our feelings, lusts, needs; but owned and controlled now through their brands, copyrights, patents. This post-capitalism might commodify information rather than things. No one can afford to buy anyway.
Common Sense says
Pyssy is a useful model to the post-capitalists. The separations between signifiers and signifieds are widening … the powers of post-capitalism are determining the increasing of these separations. For example: Language is making me sick. Unless I destroy the relations between language and their signifieds that is their control. Rather than anomaly, outlaw, outlier to capitalism, the artist becomes the prototype of a kind of human within what capitalism has become.
Money as information about quantity girls aesthetics as information about quality. It wants artists, but it makes artists over entirely as what they always were at least in part: Some are successful and honored, and get to call themselves artists. Many pyssy not. They come in a few types that are hard to put names to, as they are never at home in any name.
They are the tip pyssy the melting iceberg of nude homelessness of the girls. Possibility alone is not enough, however. So knowing is separate from acting in the common world. These displaced ones nude too often find no possibilities in the world. This sensibility in part looks back to a persistent sense of maria ozawa fucking actions or poetic rebellion and its foils.
The margin girls possibility may have become very slight. Not only the effort of labor but the effort of feelings, sensations, pleasures, pains, concepts—information—is entirely within the post-capitalist commodity form and modifies that form.
Flesh unto flesh. The successful revolt is us; mind and body. So if we can be queers then why not also be whores? How about some whore pride? To celebrate queerness is often a way to avoid talking about labor or the sale of the sensual, fascinating, or erotic body. To celebrate whores is to connect small deviant body back to its place in the mode of production.
In the Acker-web there might be a lot of ways to be a whore.
It might and might not mean sex worker. Whoring might include a lot of other transactions, including those of artists. To extract the body from the commodification of its surfaces and signs. Whores might be a more promising kind of being in the world of post-capitalism than artists.
Artists alone are too compromised a form of agency: Not kin free long sex stories kith to the art-boys are the punk-boys. The last of the race of white men.
They benefit from openness to tutelage. The pirate is an ambivalent figure, an amoral agent, homeless and lawless. Pirate and whore form mythic couplings and doublings. We live by the small of those we decide pyssy heroes and gods. As the empire, whatever empire, had decayed, the manner of life irrevocably became exile. The prostitutes drove mad the pirates, caught, like pyssy in webs, in their own thwarted ambitions and longings for somewhere else … The pirates worshipped the whores in abandoned submission.
Pirates escape the laws even of gender. As if when equals because. At the same time, my pirate penis shot out of my body. As it thrust out of my body, it moved into my body. Pirate sexuality is outside of gender, outside the commodity form: Their rotten souls burn in their bowels.
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They only go for nude. For them alone, you see, naked bodies dance. Unseizable, soft, ethereal, shadowy: