Speculation as Surplus-Value

Eckersley, A and Bird, T 2019, 'Speculation as Surplus-Value', MaHKUscript. Journal of Fine Art Research, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 1-6.

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Speculation as Surplus-Value
Author(s) Eckersley, A
Bird, T
Year 2019
Journal name MaHKUscript. Journal of Fine Art Research
Volume number 3
Issue number 1
Start page 1
End page 6
Total pages 6
Publisher Ubiquity Press
Abstract Speculation is an artists capital, enabling the emergence of the new. This is arts capacity to bring about new frames of referencenew kinds of questions, experiences, events or encounters to leverage difference in order to open onto an indeterminate future. As Elizabeth Grosz (2014: 123) notes, (i)f art reads as other than an artistic expression, it is always about the summoning up of a new future, and as such its always a kind of political gesture. Brian Massumi (2018: 25) regards this gesture as a means of reclaiming value from its reduction to the economic logic of the market, in order to emphasise the intensities of experiences that have value in and of themselves, such as the singular vivacity of an experience of colour. Excess is at the core of this theory of value, the unselected that forms the virtual background, a world of surplus. However, Massumi argues that capitalism produces an impoverished version of surplus value, dependent on a continual accumulation of increasing quantity to the detriment of the singular quality appearing as such. Artists social, affective and material speculations, their attempts to create something new, produce a processual surplus value as an affective excess that differs in kind from the surpluses of capital accumulation. We will argue that these speculative practices ought to be understood primarily in terms of an ethos actualised in an artists practice and not, as is so often the case, only in terms of the speculative financial returns the products of such practices may yield in the global art markets. The paper will explore the affective aspects of speculation through an investigation of the practice of Belgian artist Joëlle Tuerlinckx. Her associative mode of working produces a web of processual thinking that forms connections as well as leaving loose ends open, often reactivating forgotten or abandoned objects, in a manner that produces a different order of value. Grosz, Elizabeth and Esther Wolfe (2014). Bodie
Subject Art Theory
Keyword(s) value
art practice
DOI - identifier 10.5334/mjfar.43
Copyright notice Copyright: © 2019 The Author(s). This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC-BY 4.0)
ISSN 2397-0863
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