[rohrpost] XPT Questions Concerning Volkswagen and Ars Electronica (and vice versa)

n0name at gmx.de n0name at gmx.de
Mo Jul 4 14:03:43 CEST 2016

XPT Questions

Concerning Volkswagen and Ars Electronica (and vice versa)

This article contains more experimental questions than answers, or preliminary answers encapsulated in questions.

If "Like a Second Nature” is "the [...] exhibition Ars Electronica and VW have jointly staged in VW’s Automobilforum Unter den Linden in Berlin", in 2013, can there be a link to Volkswagen's emissions scandal two years later, when linking is comparison and juncture of insignificance?

Has the Ars Electronica (AEC) at Unter den Linden, between KunstHalle by Deutsche Bank and the Mercedes-Benz Gallery, been able to produce a discourse around a possible cheating of emissions tests in the US in 2015, when emissions do harm to what we call the environment, at least what we call nature, as the very physical and material basis of what others call the anthropocene, indeed a basis that has to be part of culture, a 'non-natural' nature which can not be separated from society–if this materialism is a "practical action", and "man does not only observe external Nature: he changes it, and himself with it" (Emile Burns)?

If the AEC for reasons of chronology of year dates could not produce a discourse around the cheating of emissions tests, is its futuristic touch a merely positive one?

Was the positivity of this exhibition (techno-trees, tiny machine-creatures, beautiful chimaeras) the layout of attention for a society „permeated by it [modern technology] as if by a second nature that we have created on our own“?

Are the AEC and VW, therefore, part and confronted with a natural nature and their own cultural nature?

Is aec.at/aeblog/en/tag/vw-automobilforum-unter-den-linden resp. http://export.aec.at/berlin2013/en/ showing a "Second nature" as discussing it as a problem of software, and if so as natura naturans or natura naturata?

We can see..., can we see "natura naturans" as the always given nature, making itself and  "natura naturata" as a social 'made' nature (for using it)?

Or is it a problem of 'hardware'–pollutants as subtances– we can not see, a materialist unconscious besides the 'unconscious' of algebraically algorithms working (compare „Today's 'postoptical subconscious', however, refers to program codes that are deliberately hidden, whether to reduce complexity or in order to establish closure and privatisation“, Inke Arns. „Read_me, run_me, execute_me“ http://www.medienkunstnetz.de/themes/generative-tools/read_me/print)?

Do we have to only politicise Lacan (that „we are being 'spoken', as per Lacanian theory“, FArns)?

Is it even possible to divide nature in natura naturans and natura naturata: one self-making nature therefore always ready-made nature, and another always human-made nature as a source and telos?

If nature makes itself, is there no difference to a making of nature by itself and a social made nature, if the social is always given "like a nature", a cultural human-made nature of course?

What is VW's interest in nature together with the artists' aesthetical/scientific interest in a making of nature and a made nature when the exhibition's mode of expression is a referencing to a technical nature that is not a "first" and original natural given nature" but a second produced nature aka tech?

Hence do we have three topics relevant to nature in relation to VW as tech: firstly a natural given nature as a self-made one; secondly a man-made non-nature that is tech; thirdly a nature that is not a given nature anymore and not just tech only but an artificial something that is tech as another possible nature–a second nature, another nature as second 'copy' (as an issuing); e.g. Baudrillard's simulation?

Is tech (still or only) derived from nature?

Is the discourse, dialogue and/or discussion VW and AEC are interested in a making of a discourse of tech derived from nature as new or other nature by taking into account the necessary technology and by skipping this technology at the same time, a discourse which lets this doubles be 'natural'?

Is there a line from Spinoza to Bergson to Deleuze and finally VW/AEC?

When Bergson (somewhere) defines natura naturans as a given social context and natura naturata as the desires of the individual, can we follow him in understanding natura naturans not longer beeing the source but the aim of a élan vital?

Is VW's nature an aim of business?

Is AEC's nature a source for VW or the other way round?

Is VW's nature and is AEC's nature a deal dealing with sources and aims as naturalisation?

Can the wage policy of the big (business) concern be a kind of natural course due to factual constraints and inherent necessity?

Who is bigger, VW or AEC?

Does bigness really count?

When Spinoza combining both–natural nature and nature made by man–to a nature AS god, is Volkswagen doing something with art institutions like the Ars Electronica by claiming a "like" Second Nature, getting close to a "making of nature" that has already been made?

Is there a natural nature beeing made by us?

Do we, or does Volkswagen, need a natural nature by making it natural using tech like nature, a system unquestioned, but uncircumventable, but disclosable?

Is this circle on something that can be claimed or can not be claimed, and is this not-being-able-to-claim the (in-claimable) discourse VW is interested in with the AEC?

In case of this natura naturans: can we read Spinoza and Deleuze here with something "what is in itself (...) through itself" (Spinoza), conceiving itself without any transcendency or an outside of the world, acting as an ever growing endless complex process, not a thing and never coming to an end (Hegel)–a groundless nature naturing?

Is nature a social cultural 'construction' or a predetermined material when we see it in the light or hear it in the sound of a "just being" (Sein)?

When nature, given as a non-predetermined natura naturans and its social construct would be the same, is there any thing left outside a discourse, the (Lacanian) real, as this outside is material for the social and therefore determined by social interactions?

And can a just-being (Sein) be the aim of VW, being an indisputable?

Is capital indisputable, with no beginning and no end?

Does capital have a history?

What is the main inherent necessity for VW, what is the main inherent necessity for AEC?

Or is there a natura naturata given by a higher power (or a lower power, Bataille)?

Is nature 'endless' evolutionary variety?

Can technology be (if not revolutionary as in the discourse of disruptive technologies/businesses) evolutionary as it is social and not natural, or is tech socio-natural?

Or is there a relation between nature and culture (techne) which is practical philosophy 'ending' in a technology of diverse variety and multiplicity: things doing something?

What is the role of art, if the Automobilforum has to showcase the variety or "diversity of the corporation" ("Vielfalt des Konzerns präsentieren", http://autogramm.volkswagen.de/09_13/panorama/panorama_02.html)?

What is diversity in this case, a multiplicity of car models?

What is the relation of a car’s computer and fuel and more or fewer pollutants as the system of second nature (which would be the moral issue)?

Are social developments (as incalculable constructions) like natural behaviours, is the social natural or is it tech as a non-nature?

Does Deleuze bergsonise Spinoza?

Is the difference nature : technology obsolete?

Or is the "like" in "like a [...] nature" the statement of a cooler, better nature: tech?

Can there be a nature, second to a first, which is a tech in itself (artificial) and therefore not being neutral (natural)?

Merriam Webster's definition of "Second nature", is it brutal in saying: "something you can do easily or without much thought because you have done it many times before", and: "after a while, using the gearshift becomes second nature"?

Can tech-nature be an augmentation (a gear becoming a second nature ... of what?) of the social subject after all?

What or who is the social subject, who is the historical subject if humanism can be regarded narcissistic?

Who is VW and who is AEC de facto anyway, are they historical subjects?

What is their hi-story, what is their narrative?

Can the old bureaucratic tradition of funky-functional acronyms replaced by fresh storytelling brands like "up!", "Phaeton" or "Golf" be regarded as a kind of "amortisation" of the production of names in Nazi Times (see for the "I.V.V.M.", the International Vintage Volkswagen Magazine http://gedo-fotos.de/wp-content/myfotos/00_oldtimer/vw006b.jpg as shown in the year 2000 at the Automobil Forum unter den Linden)?

Do "VW" and "AEC" as labels and words tell a story, or are they forms at a top end, an ultimate that can not be put to a more extreme (see the "LTI – Lingua Tertii Imperii" by Victor Klemperer)?

Are "Jetta", "Beetle", "Passat", "A3", "Touareg", "A6", "A7 Quattro", "Cayenne" softer narratives of multiplicity or diversity, and what is the difference between "storytelling" (one important topic and 'method' of the upcoming documenta) and "narrative" (a killer phrase of the contemporary) here?

Is multiplicity nothing but commodities, besides the storytelling and the narrative?

Does narrative come from telling a (hi)story?

Would it bee too much of an associating of linguistic ideas if one asks about the narrative(s) of VW and the term narrative in context of the IS and the new white book of Germany, which deals with a bigger defence budget, a higher degree of militarisation and so-called hybrid wars as narrative (see "Rede der Verteidigungsministerin" Ursula von der Leyen on the White Book 2016 and the "51. Münchner Sicherheitskonferenz [Munich Security Conference]" http://www.bmvg.de/portal/a/bmvg in German. For the statement of Leyen also see the video with simultaneous translation in English: https://www.securityconference.de/en/media-library/video/opening-statements-and-discussion-1/?tx_dreipctvmediacenter_mediacenter[venue]=16&cHash=9627fff24dcbab17a3773d0bb58de9b4)?

If VW, as a full and filled signifier, simply stands for capital, and AEC stands for art, do we have a de- and re-contextualising sampling here or do we stand in front of powers?

Is linguistic a technique?

Is a simple combination of VW + AEC allowed to get to a narrative?

Can we break down these signifiers into concern and art, or business as showcase and art as a business, or concern (firm) and biennale (Italian for "every other year")?

Syllogistic: is the business of cars and one of its surroundings, namely art, a combined social tech for a discourse, discourse understood as ideology and something "we (who?) do with things" (Foucault)?

What is this performative "doing things with art" or this "How to Do Things with Art" (Dorothea von Hantelmann)?

Is there a performativity of doing things with things?

Can we know that "doing things with things"–regarding art as doing things with art (which is teleological)–is to impose a difference between different sectoral modes of production, of categorically different productions?

Do we remember art as a sector in which production means something else than doing things for a purpose?

As we read some production (art) "like" nature in the framework of a showcase of another framework (business of diversity in multiplicity of commodities), are we allowed to break this down again into other signifiers or one bigger signifier (a concept) "like" discourse making, if "second nature" points out or means a social tech beeing naturalised?

Will we note that this doing things for a purpose can be regarded as the production of commodities, whereas the production of art is not (ideally)?

Is a worker doing things idealistic while producing?

What is the relation of the production of commodities and the production art, ideally non-commodities or–as some say–hyper-commodities, known as fetish?

Can one understand art as research and funded by firms as an applied art, leaving the fetish behind?

A term as "second nature"–can it be named in terms of a conceptualisation of the commodity system, a strive after a departure of idealistic art (things without a purpose) in the context of art as something else?

Is art about to de-aestheticise and de-symbolize itself in order to become something else, a discourse that does things with things (art) for doing things with things (non-art)?

Is art about to leave its function representation and become real (things, methods, examples, social work, cultural capital and so on)?

Can such non-art turn into a part of the naturalised machine of nature (Deleuze, the root of a fig tree literally searching for water) which can provide a re-definition of production for us?

Or is this non-art, de-aestheticising itself, in reverse aestheticising production (doing things with things), while these things are clearly commodities in competition with other commodities, and while its doing (production) is doing in competition with other doers (producers), while this doing is simply surplus work for wages?

Do some want this non-art to be a crossing, a new hybrid?

Are hybrids, as beeing hybrid and not fixed identities and changing values, docking to everything? 

VW's clean factory functions as showcase from an aesthetical perspective, it is aesthetics; from a market economy perspective this showing of sober doing is most important for the commodities offered; but how can a corporation learn showcasing its own 'body' as being sober, clean and beautiful while beeing a corporation with a brand as brand and a brand as factory?

Would it (the corporation) see nature as a realm of beauty in contrast to an ugliness of pollution?

Was the ugliness of pollution THE green public dialogue, especially in Germany, for more than thirty years?

Was good working conditions as well as high rates of wages the beauty of the clean factory?

Is the new hybrid of different variety or species (the "second" as the other in "second nature") in commodity-multiplicity mediating good working with a rejected pollution in general and beauty, if beauty can not be mass products and non-organic food, cheap fashion, belonging to the 'primal' area of the proletarian?

Can critical discourse analysis–and every analysis of discourse is another wording discourse–of beauty function in political manner and actually be political via (indistinct) politicised aesthetics (see also Michael Hirsch's "Logic Of Differentiation - Ten Theses On Art And Politics“[author's translation], here the Hirsch differentiates art and politics strictly to get to a widely accepted aesthetics that claims political issues and aestheticises them in order to become critical, resistant and 'political' with the result of de-politicising the political and allegedly de-aestheticising itself in becoming more 'real')?

How easy would it be proving art cheapens the commodities by turning cultural capital into capital ("A [...] car is more beautiful than the Nike of Samothrace")–art de-aestheticised and aestheticising the business? 

As one agrees to that "the battle of competition is fought by cheapening of commodities" ("Der Konkurrenzkampf wird durch Verwohlfeilerung der Waren geführt", Karl Marx. Capital Vol. 1. Chapter 25: The General Law of Capitalist Accumulation)–the domain of beauty–this domain is still there, but isn't this production of the nice inexpensive changed beyond its old bourgeois appearance?

Does this art, concerning the beauty of a commodities producing corporation, as an applied but not fully appliable process, modernise and update the old understanding of the inexpensive, the beauty of the masses?

Is to harness notions of aesthetics in the world of the accumulation of capital a problem?

Who sponsors the sponsor of a beauty that passed to the social interrelationships of mobility as the form of accumulation?

Would a "doing things with art", a radical extension of the concept of art in the direction of the social in real terms of artistic values, include surplus work?

In other words: can work be art when the latter can't be the former?

Do art, its mediation and its theoretical discourse included (!), behave as a formless and for that reason all forms consuming category?

Do categories implode at this point (if and when there were any categories at all?)

Will Volkswagen restructure?

Will the leaders of VW push the components business in the house of Volkswagen to the 'open' market?

As "the battle of competition is" not only "fought by cheapening of commodities" but by technology towards productivity, how does "Work 4.0", this "re-imagining work", a debate lead in Germany for economic growth, affect the beauty of a paradox work that can be art which is a non-work?

Would be the function of art to "do" exactly this hybrid: beeing art and non-art (science, discussion, technology, life), being work and non-work at the same time?

Or alternatively: is work as art and art as non-work a misunderstanding when Work 4.0 means transhumanism, a naturalising of technology?

Or is transhumanism a destiny from the (historical) beginning?

What it there is no beginning and no ending (Deleuze) in history?

If art can be productive for capital, how can sorts of art funded and sponsored only relate to its sponsors?

Can the aestheticising of work through a social and political art, that is not fully appliable to a purpose, be a wrong conclusion–or how does this work?

Is aestheticising of work a mechanism indirect and targeting a more universally minding, the zeitgeist?

Do we find any worker's beauty in the Volkswagen "family"?

Since a workers committee against the ecological intrigues of VW at the local VW factory has been established in summer 2016 in Baunatal, close to Kassel, home of armament industries and the art show documenta as well as home of Hantelmann (see above) in 2013-2015 ..., those interested in the fine arts, can they be able to act "like" connoisseurs of factory life?

In Kassel 17.000 workers, depending on decisions of their employers (perverted in German to "Arbeitgeber", the one who gives work, not the one who takes it), could face a more lean, more efficient exploitation, wage dumping in the near future of VW's "Strategy 2025"; but will they be fine?

Does the VW management shrink its model variety, its product line?

Is diversity declining here?

If the components business of VW will compete with other suppliers, will it be one of the biggest suppliers on the automotive market and foster competition in total?

Is one inherent necessity of capital competition?

What is the connection of a company's Agenda 2025 to the political Agenda 2010, the austerity programme in Germany, in France and elsewhere?

Is nature plannable?

Is the "active resistance against capital interests in the labour unions" (VW Committee Kassel) a possible "minority" in the sense of the documenta plans of Adam Szymczyk or the phantasm of a "Blue Planet" (http://export.aec.at/berlin2013/en)?

Is the nature of business, apart from beautified former ugly (work) but closely in need of it "like" a "tree" or a "robotic plant", plant in terms of vegetable, (http://export.aec.at/berlin2013/en/projekte) or "butterflies react[ing] to the light"?

The degraded "intelligent (robotic working) ants", are they Deleuzian self-reproducing biomachines or are they socially paying–i.e. in the real abstraction of less money, "like" wage, "like" pension, "like" living–the beauty of the second nature of pollution for profits on a daily basis?

Is nature the equivalent for arty technology representing business but acting as if it would be not representing but be 'real'?

VW's chairman Matthias Muller talks of "Structure, Culture and Efficiency", in respect of the software/emission scandal; does he mean work, labour and job, or does he mean beauty, fineness and bloom?

Keiko Takahashi's "work" "Meter Crawler" for VW's/AEC's "Like a Second Nature" treated a "life of its own", the locomotion of things that are dead; but does the living labour of the living dead (ugly Zombies) result in dead labour, a product which is bio-dynamic actants, does Takahashi produce toys in consideration of machinery and is art still play for that reason?

Is work play?

Is it possible to see the similarity of a „second nature“ related to a „first nature“ as biologistic reductionism obscuring the social act of the production this other (second) nature, if social production of something can't be a natural process?

Is the social 'nature' as big as a natural first unmediated nature per se?

Again: does a natural first nature per se exist?

But when nature does not exist apart from culture

When „the growing process is to trees, so generating money [...] appears innate in capital in its form of money-capital“ (Karl Marx. Capital Vol. 3 Part V. Chapter 24: Externalization of the Relations of Capital in the Form of Interest-Bearing Capital), what is the nature of a second nature of independent things beeing produced in culture?

Are produced and networked things independent?

Is it intuitive (knowing it without explaining it)?

Is second nature just the „daily routine that marginally changes“ and was to remain (HNA article http://www.pressreader.com/germany/hna-hofgeismarer-allgemeine/20160617/281968901972309)?

Will surplus work, the daily routine, remain as VW workers criticise the plans of the management and talk about sweating?

Concerning Virtual Reality: is the general works council representative of VW (social democrat Bernd Osterloh, Industrial Union of Metalworkers [IG Metall] and SPD) talking about a „virtual structure“ (HNA) to remain competitive?

Do workers know what „competitive“ means (sure they do)?

Can we simply rewrite Marx' text like this: „For vulgar political aesthetics, which seeks to represent art as an independent source of beauty, of beauty creation, this form is naturally a veritable find, a form in which the source of theory of art is no longer discernible, and in which the result of the aesthetic process of production–divorced from the process–acquires an independent existence“?

Does „competitive“ mean: the nature of the process?

When the „Plug-In-Hybridantrieb DQ400e“ by VW–most important to the factory in Kassel and for electromobility in the transition of the automobile industry–the ready, done and finished thing, is „divorced from the process“ of production, what do we have as a result?

Does a total extended and applied art, in its function as an aesthetic process, which can be applied to everything, project an image as the old phenomenon beeing a phenomena-machine (-discourse, -activity) without showing its process of production?

When the theory of extended art states that all art is made by discourse consisting or configurated in makers and audiences, is there still a difference of professionals and others?

Or do we have to beuys it into „everyone is an artist“–raising workers to middle-class fantasies?

Is it that the extended concept of art means everything potentially can become an item of art but not the other way round?

Which documenta was it and which workers situated a failed workpiece of metal there at the exhibition area, and it passed as a piece of art, a modern sculpture?

Can we say: nature can be changed, but as an act of social life this relation is not natural nature (natura naturans) but a man 'made' (appropriated) nature (natura naturata)?

Or do we have to say: as daily routine, as „like nature“ (routine at work in manufacturing), will not or hardly change and stay alienation, the 'nature' of capital (VW) must change according to competition, and artists have to have the daily routine acting unconventionally in new types (http://export.aec.at/berlin2013/en) breaking the routine for change?

Or is change–the perpetual adjustment to and of the market–the remaining nature of capital?

Do artist–like the privileged workers they are–perform the excitement of change?

Do artists incorporate into something like a corporation, AEC or VW?

Are they autonomic?

Is change for workers of VW exiting?

Was the general works council representative careful to point out a continuance („a VW factory remains a VW factory“) in order to co-manage?

Did the workers committee in Kassel ask whether they „attack the 'VW corporation' or the 'criminals of the VW corporation'“?

Did they answer: „The VW workers must have to learn to not identify with the corporation, but to feel, think and act as workers. That's why it is right to attack the VW corporation“ (http://trend.infopartisan.net/trd0616/t550616.html)?

Matze Schmidt, July 2016

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