Real Review #12

We can't go back, but we don't want to. Nor can we go on like this much longer. What will emerge from such a transitional phase, when the civic body is so lacking in health (physical, moral, political and economic)?

The Renaissance was not an end in itself, but a bridge between two paradigms (feudalism and modernity). It was a cultural movement that diverted history by rediscovering lost pasts. Today, we do not need newness to cut short capitalist realism, to restore a degraded nature, to achieve greater equality. We have everything necessary for change. We only need the will.

The collective trauma of the pandemic has become an excuse for global capital to accelerate the total commodification of everyday life. Everything is for sale. There is more merchandise than love, more sponsored content than truth. No society in human history has demanded so many people be such active participants in producing the contemporary. No contemporary has ever been so aggressively monetised.

As a coping mechanism, many amongst us have decided to check out from reality altogether; preferring to inhabit tailor-made fantasies and simulations. But only children believe that closing their eyes renders them invisible to monsters. When the monsters are real, closing our eyes rather increases the danger.

The people and things we want feel very far away. Everything else feels far too near.

Daily life is incorrectly calibrated. Lockdown kept us painfully apart. The virtual keeps us painfully together. Everyone wants the same thing. We all crave spaciousness. We all feel too close, without any closeness. This paradoxical sensation of claustrophobia and isolation is a condition of "absolute proximity".

David Wengrow, Slavoj Zižek, Timothy Morton, Cao Fei, Tacita Dean, Metahaven, Ursula K. Le Guin, Magali Reus, Jack Self, Róisín Tapponi, Harry Woodlock, Kristabel Chung, Claire Marie Healy, Anna U. Andersen, Jacob Dreyer, Maddy Weavers, Secretary, Vivian Amos, @whylookatanimals, Leonie McQuillan