Proletarian improvizations

August 14th, 2018

Work, whether artisanal or artistic, is a struggle with time and space to make time and space for the work one needs and/or wants to do. In physically demanding job, it is also a struggle with and against your body – body felt through old relations of production and use, but also for body as it could be used in new forms of production. It pertains to making your lungs, feet, hands stronger and somewhat joyfully freeer and not used to the zero level by the work one has to do to make a living. A lot of what I do as an artisan and a worker – stone mason, painter, digger, makes my body something else, not just older, more used, more tired, but also more connected with itself through forms of movement and use I would not have thought about consciously if the work did not depend on the use of my body. From using mouth to hold things, hands to understand textures and feet to sense your position on the ladder. All this is quite obvious, but not necessarily understood as one of the most interesting consequences of work – a sort of a dance, and thus free, relation of how one uses her/his body, even if in very limited field of movement. The space and time an artisan worker wants to make for an artist worker is the space and time where the body could be used in the utmost free form of passion. Meaning that forms of time and space and body’s relations to them in working environment want to/need to be expressed in less socially and physically constrained mode of use, which can only be achieved in free time and space. This is not to say that artisanal body (of work) is lacking something in itself, it is to say that artisanal body finds and senses spaces and time that for one or another reason can best be worked with and in a relation that has no other goal, but the artistic contemplation of senses, which is use and movement contemplating itself through use and movement of a body. Besides the necessary and tedious work to open more time and space in a social-political sense – having time and space that are not appropriated, where the surplus created remains surplus for the worker to use, there is also a work that opens a body for new understanding of itself, for having its time and space as it has been conceived in time and space that managed to resist of being subsumed under work as a form capital exchange – the forms of use of one’s own body that for various reasons are not capitalised on, but are thought of/saved in a potentiality of being used in the work free of the relation to capital. That work is active contemplation of senses and uses, forms and relations, and it can – frankly – be magical in a very materialistic sense. And the magic of it consists of being free to play an organ with weights, to blow the saxophone with a hose, but, also, to play saxophone with tired lungs, to play synthesizers with feet or even saliva, to touch sound as one touches the earth one digs, and to resist using it as a form of capital exchange, but now, in artistic mode of use, the resistance is realized as a form of creation, that remains opaque and meaningless to be used as anything else but contemplation of its own being in the world, free and poor in a very basic sense. For me as an artisan worker, participating in capitalist political economy, these lessons of use of my body that form a feedback from use encountered in work done for selling one’s labour’s and use experianced as itself, as contemplation of body’s senses and forms of relations to the things (tools and materials, but also already formed things, a space of a house, a space of a sensors on a synthesizer) are something that I want to express and fulfil, to be in as long as I can, since they let not my body get defeated, taken away in a form of complete appropriation, leaving just ideological/culttural uses of body in so called free time of consumption. No, the magic of one’s own use of one’s own body, encountered through its use, most frequently, in forms of work that has to be exchanged for something else, this sense of body’s possibilities that can be freed in work outside constrains of preserving it, outside of directing it towards further use for exchange, and just letting it shine in its magic of contemplating itself through relations, forms, and uses it forms with other bodies, this magic is as necessary and real as anything else I have experienced. And while I’m aware of certain artistic pitfalls due to lost time and space (not enough practice, bad techniques etc. and other pressures), I would also not exchange this freedom of body’s contemplation of its senses and relations to its possibilities, well, for riches of capital exchange and use, whether cultural, ideological. In other words my body of work is a work of my body (torn from the uses for capital exchange) – it’s imperfect, dirty, very difficult to sell, always looking for spaces and time to find itself changed and experieced anew, it does not capitalize on itself, for it has no goal, no structure, but to be alive as long as it can resist in creative anarchy of amateurism.

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