Search View Archive

What is the Alternative?

Alternatives never cease to exhaust themselves with their actions, happenings, campaigns, debates, pop-ups, sit-ins, deconstructed tendencies, relational aesthetics, whatever. In the end they are all simply forms of culture production. These alternatives are nothing more than a refuge from the forces they refuse to comprehend under any heading other than moral distaste, thus guaranteeing their irrelevance in the face of the ever more subtle, ever more silent techniques of capitalist dominance.

All production, as we know, produces not only an object for its subject, but also a subject for its object. The expansion of any sector of production, and the growth generated by progress for its own sake, can be nothing other than an increase in the very alienation that was at its origin. Every new territory invested in constitutes one more class relation, and gives support to capitalism’s victory over the crisis.
Like any other self-preserving system, the status quo has to monitor potential threats. All alternatives are either rendered invisible by their own insignificance or assimilated into yet another innovation toward which the public must be guided. This illusion of permanent novelty, which is continually reproducing itself, occludes the possibility of any real surprise.

Torn asunder by this present state of things, these alternatives writhe in the guilt of their own self-awareness, consuming each other in an attempt at restructuring without any real community. The alienations that this produces cannot be distributed amongst a range of variants, but only rejected along with the very system that gave birth to them.

Therefore, all alternatives must be suspended until a revolutionary solution is found for this present multiform crisis.The critical truth of this is endlessly betrayed, but you have one last chance to not betray yourself. The only real alternative now is to jump ship—that’s the only adventure open to us now that really undermines the system. 

And finally, don’t forget that all supposed alternatives demand to be treated in a certain way. Don’t believe that they ever were anything else, all told, than just another demand, demanding your submission to this new alternative.


Kay Eske

KAY ESKE is the nom de plume of a non-artist, an anti-artist, an artist on strike, and a provocateur.


The Brooklyn Rail

FEB 2013

All Issues