Techniques against optimism

Astrid Lorange and Andrew Brooks

Opaque destinations, queer orientations, the absence of definition. An unclear drift towards a chosen family.
In Bartelbian terms, a passive form of dissent. A response to the pathological urge to participate, act or intervene. It is a paradoxical state: violent and non-violent, active and inactive. It is occupation of a middle ground – a territory requiring continuous making and remaking. A radical state of suspended agency.
This prefix, rather than simply negating its object, sets up an impossible alliance between object and irritant/attractant. Anti-philosophy is the chief example. Unbecoming, a variant of anti-becoming, refers to the odd materials that give wonk to process. No slick passage or free fall, but little lags or nose-hairs.
Necessary heat pollution; quantum of ambivalence.
Category Errors
See above and below.
Crush, The
Ecstatic, embarrassing, anti-outcome forcefulness of the libido. The crush is a vector machine – without foundation or deceleration. A crush emerges as a strategy of self annihilation and as an offer to the other (who cannot be disclosed). The other must, in order for the crush to sustain its own energies, refuse to recognise the crush while at the same time receiving its intensity. Crushes are terroristic (insofar as their networks cruise) and communistic (insofar as their labours are for good of the more-than-one). A crush is a way to shuck the ego, leave it quivering.Technique for unbecoming: get a crush, let it rage.

A condition of resistance: to patriarchies, normativities, nuclear families, narratives and nationalisms. Associated with a series of negative affects such as despair, disillusionment, disappointment, anxiety and shame, such states offer possibilities for escaping the booming economy of unregulated optimism. A mode of being in the world, failure is a shadow state, a desirable recession, a crash.Technique for unbecoming: “Fail again. Fail better.”

Well-theorised in queer studies, shame is an intensive, social affect that accompanies the experience of spectacularisation. Ablaze with public scrutiny, the ashamed subject perceives themselves as part-object, part-image – a mediated phenomena and an archive of errant fears and violences. Understood in these terms, it can be repurposed as an anti-spectacular strategy; a mode of unbecoming an object-image by short-circuiting the signification that literally names and shames aberrant players.
  1.     Awkward, daggy, unkempt, ungraceful, undesirable, unappealing; a deviation from aspirations of excellence.
  2.     A kind of deviated becoming, an emergent process with error-prone tendencies, a mode of thinking that complicates thought, the construction of minor novelties with major glitches.
These techniques intervene in boomcentrism and its telelogy. If a boom provides for a future secured only by its impossibility of becoming (to boom is to spend in the present a fantasy of the future) then booms are, temporally speaking, weapons. A boom is an uncertainty dressed up as a certainty: growth is exponential, wealth is imminent.
Wearing one’s ontology like a bad pair of jeans.
What can be said to be, and where? The vague is the never (only) the periphery, distant past or unperceived future but also and constitutively the here and now.
Astrid Lorange and Andrew Brook operate as Body Party. Body Party are a collective of deviants who individually and collectively make words, sounds, images, objects and conspiracy theories.