Accellerationist play by The International Western & Company.
“Accelerationism is a political heresy: the insistence that the only radical political response to capitalism is (…) to accelerate its uprooting, alienating, decoding, abstractive tendencies.” (Mackay & Avanessian, 2014).
Calling Y “Z” is a performance made in a crisis of solidarity and in aesthetic and conceptual impoverishment: it suggests to live as if the end was nigh as nihilist, unglorious yet only compassionate strategy of resistance. We describe it to ourselves as an ‘accelerationist play’: ‘accelerationist’, because it garners a destructive but also ultimately refoundational force in speeding up the process of affective alienation given by the only-just-bearable situation of contemporary neo-liberalism; and ‘play’ because, in the arc of our work, we take advantage now of the formal power of ‘acting out’ as both a rehearsal and an exorcism of the real.
Moving from our previous Calling pieces, this ‘end of series’ performance shifts the meaning of the verb ‘to call’ from signal to nomenclature: ‘to call’ is also and fundamentally to give something a name and hence a form of existence. To call Y “Z”, then, is to give what feels like almost the end the status of an end, to artificially increase the speed, volume and weight of our actions in order to transform a slow fade into a blackout.
In concrete terms, this means that our work to date – developed since 2012 through the form of live installations and performances in darkness utilising industrial/domestic torches and morse code as exclusive means of communication – is glitched here by naturalist parentheses of micro-narrativity to arrive at a situation which can only end by ‘coming out the other side’, into another, stranger, register of performance and of life.
First presented as part of Four Second Decay’s “High Fidelity” Chisenhale Dance Space, London 2016. Thank you to Nadège Adlam and Cole Michaels for their collaboration.
Video by Alessia Milo. Photographs #7 and #8 by Manu Valcarce.