The guest this week is TJ Clark. TJ Clark is an art historian and a former member of the Situationist International. His paper For a Left with No Future has gotten quite a bit of attention over the last six months, and this essay is the subject of our discussion this week. My hero Slavoj Zizek has supported this essay saying “We have to admit the grain of truth in this simplified bleak vision which seems to sap the very possibility of a proper political Event: perhaps, we should effectively renounce the myth of a Great Awakening—the moment when (if not the old working class then) a new alliance of the dispossessed, multitude or whatever, will gather its forces and master a decisive intervention.”
In my conversation with TJ Clark he contradicts this interpretation, saying that he does believe in the ability of the people to make a spontaneous revolution, and yet he continues to advocate a tragic vision.
It’s Wednesday, February 6th, 2013 (well past the Eschaton) and I’m Douglas Lain, the host of the Diet Soap podcast.
Okay. So the Podomatic feed is up and running again and I’m slowly uploading the back catalog for the podcast. So you can subscribe to the podcast through my website douglaslain.com or through podomatic, and you might get email alerts as I upload old podcasts.
I also want to urge you donate to Diet Soap and to tell your friends about the podcast. While I’m aware of how dreadfully Marxist the podcast has become I also believe that I haven’t wandered away from real human concerns here. My goal for 2013 is to continue on, to hold tight to the direction the podcast has found, while also returning to the sense of desperate improvisation that founded this thing. The strange moment that I’m in is this: I believe more firmly than ever in Value theory and Marx’s critique of Capital while I’m simultaneously convinced that we are as far away from resolving the deadlock of Capitalism as we’ve ever been.
In this episode you’ll here clips from older episodes of this podcast and of Talking Art. My son Benjamin and I discussed the Arab Spring and Manet’s painting Luncheon in the Grass for Diet Soap and the now defunct One Thousand Words podcast. (I’d love to revive that second effort, although editing an art podcast was very time consuming.) This conversation with TJ Clark represents a culmination or conclusion for Diet Soap. Without meaning to I think we’ve reached a turning point here.