Rent and debt can be seen as, respectively, the property and governance regimes of the speculative mode of production.

Examining the politics of rent and debt as they achieve unprecedented economic centrality in geopolitics, access to social goods, and production of subjectivity, Vishmidt will lead a seminar based on her research project Speculation as a Mode of Production (in Art and Capital). The guiding principle of this research is to see how modes of production which can be considered exceptional to capital's law of value—such as art or education—are not at the same time exceptional to the value-form, either from the side of labor or from their products. Rent proposes an indefinite relation to time—a licensed good may be sold any number of times in regimes of intellectual property—and a purely formal relation to property, which can be intellectual, immaterial, symbolic, etc. Debt, on the other hand, locks down the future into payment schedules, often also for imaginary commodities such as education. What seems to be at issue here is the dialectic between the disruptive and the controlling tendencies of rent and debt, as we can see from the sovereign debt crisis in Europe, and the explosion of social critique in the sites of social contraction that we occupy (or Occupy) and that occupy us.

11 April 2012. Part of a series of seminars, Publishing In Process: Ownership In Question, at Tensta konsthall in Stockholm. Organized by artist Marysia Lewandowska and curator Laurel Ptak and part of a larger project that will culminate in a book publication in 2013. Full details at: tenstakonsthall.se

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