View: currency

The most radical force for a long time has been finance. In just one example of its conceptual inventiveness, most of the economy has been recently retooled to trade on our attention. Art activism, like much of the cultural apparatus, often falls prey to this logic, producing the image of a radical contemporary in which all the old problematic codes promise to be triumphantly disrupted when in fact, switching the codes is precisely how the 1% now maintains its power, and how nations are maintaining their class divides. Yet despite the protests against Wall Street fading into history as cultural politics and identity politics rose heartily in its place, 2008 has quietly reverberated through the last decade, gradually reshaping both political parties in the US, who now embrace economic populism whether in rhetoric or action. President Biden now appears on the brink of enacting an agenda that resonates with the Occupy Movement—and at the time of writing, the US secretary of the treasury is speaking about an international minimum corporate tax—a position that sits to the left of much radical art discourse of the moment. Times are strange.

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