Neomaterialism is a blog run by Joshua Simon, curator and writer and a 2011-2013 Vera List Center Fellow at the New School, who is researching expanded notions of Thingness.


The aim of this blog is to examine the order of things today. How come symbols behave like materials (“fake” and “real” brands)? Why have commodities become the historical subject (do we furnish our world with IKEA or rather we dwell in its world)? Are humans reduced to simply absorbing surpluses (with baby diapers being a form of child labor)? How labor has shifted from production to consumption? Why is everything we do is work (even when we are not employed) and how can a generation overqualified for the labor market can change everything?


This blog hosts source materials and documents, together with commentary and analysis.

Re-introducing different notions of dialectical materialism into the already established conversation on the subjectivity of things, Neomaterialism challenges the investigation which the new-materialists have begun, relating it to labor, debt, credit, animisim and alienation, life-taxes and social organization.


With the book Neomaterialism (Sternberg Press, 2013), available in stores now the blog also operates as an ongoing archive for references, reviews and events.
A special session of the Social Theory Workshop discussing Noam Yuran’s book 
WHAT MONEY WANTS
AN ECONOMY OF DESIRE 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014 
4:30-6:30pm 
Franke Institute for the Humanities 




“When I read this book, I am alternately thrilled and enlightened, confused and frustrated… You just might be reading one of the formative tracts of our time.” Keith Hart


What in everyday life is an obvious truth, namely, that in some sense or another, people want money— is basically unthinkable in economic terms. Herein lies the starting point for the main argument of this book. If desire for money in itself is rejected by economic thought, then an idea of money as on object of desire is a point of departure for an elaboration of a comprehensive alternative to contemporary economics. Conceiving the desire for money not as an pathological aberration (“greed”) but as fundamental economic reality necessitates a radial shift not only in concept of money but also in conceptions of what commodity is, what economic behavior is, and what the economy is. So, what would economics look like if it acknowledged desire for money?

Through the works of Thorstein Veblen, Georg Simmel, Max Weber and Karl Marx, a philosopher Noam Yuran in intellectually engaging manner shows in this book how money permeates economic reality, from finance to its spectacular double in our consumer economy of addictive shopping. Rich in colorful and accessible examples, from Charles Dickens (juxtapositing him with Adam Smith) to Reality TV, this outstanding book debunks the mainstream economics perspective and lays out a radically different economic ontology.


Read the introduction here


Read the preface by Keith Hart here
Monday 10/20/2014

(1 note)

book; display; money; WMW; chicago;

A special session of the Social Theory Workshop discussing Noam Yuran’s book 
WHAT MONEY WANTS
AN ECONOMY OF DESIRE 
Wednesday, October 22, 2014 
4:30-6:30pm 
Franke Institute for the Humanities 
“When I read this book, I am alternately thrilled and enlightened, confused and frustrated… You just might be reading one of the formative tracts of our time.” Keith Hart
What in everyday life is an obvious truth, namely, that in some sense or another, people want money— is basically unthinkable in economic terms. Herein lies the starting point for the main argument of this book. If desire for money in itself is rejected by economic thought, then an idea of money as on object of desire is a point of departure for an elaboration of a comprehensive alternative to contemporary economics. Conceiving the desire for money not as an pathological aberration (“greed”) but as fundamental economic reality necessitates a radial shift not only in concept of money but also in conceptions of what commodity is, what economic behavior is, and what the economy is. So, what would economics look like if it acknowledged desire for money?
Through the works of Thorstein Veblen, Georg Simmel, Max Weber and Karl Marx, a philosopher Noam Yuran in intellectually engaging manner shows in this book how money permeates economic reality, from finance to its spectacular double in our consumer economy of addictive shopping. Rich in colorful and accessible examples, from Charles Dickens (juxtapositing him with Adam Smith) to Reality TV, this outstanding book debunks the mainstream economics perspective and lays out a radically different economic ontology.
Read the introduction here
Read the preface by Keith Hart here

NYC Book Launch: What Money Wants — An Economy of Desire | Panel Discussion with Author Noam Yuran

Book Launch: What Money Wants — An Economy of Desire | Panel Discussion with Author Noam Yuran

21 October 2014

06:30 PM - 08:30 PM

8th floor, 239 Greene Street, New York University, New York, NY 10003

image

The Cultures of Finance Group at the NYU Institute for Public Knowledge invite you to join us for the US launch and panel discussion of Noam Yuran’s What Money Wants: An Economy of Desire from Stanford University Press. This event will be hosted by the Department of Media, Culture and Communication at NYU Steinhardt, on the 8th floor of 239 Greene Street. In conversation with Noam are scholars Arjun Appadurai, Ben Kafka, Ben Lee, and Robert Wosnitzer. 

Throughout the second half of the 20th century, economics has suppressed its long lasting association with philosophy. Its basic concepts, such as money, exchange, goods or capital, whose meanings were traditionally subject to philosophical controversies, appear today as purely technical terms. This technical form that economic language wears reflects a categorical philosophical resolution which has been made, and thus no longer appears philosophical. If that is the case, then answering the challenge to rethink economics, raised at the wake of recent financial crises, cannot stop short of reopening suppressed philosophical questions.

What Money Wants addresses this challenge through the question of money. It attempts to conceptualize money as an object of desire. As this possibility is comprehensively rejected by contemporary economic thought, it necessitates a comprehensive reformulation of the philosophical foundations of economics. The book shows that such foundations can be found in the works of thinkers who were banished from the discipline as part of the crystallization of the contemporary orthodox framework, primarily Karl Marx, Thorstein Veblen, Max Weber and Georg Simmel.

The book explores the philosophical implications of grounding money on desire as well as the new light it sheds on contemporary capitalism. It argues that we need to reread Marx and Veblen in order to better understand economic phenomena such as brand names, finance, consumer society and more.

Noam Yuran is a lecturer at the Department of Politics and Government in Ben Gurion University in Israel and a research fellow at the Minerva Humanities Center at Tel Aviv University.

Neomaterialism copy at Pro-qm Berlin
Thanks to Nitzan Wolanski
Thursday 9/18/2014

book; display;

Neomaterialism copy at Pro-qm Berlin

Thanks to Nitzan Wolanski

Monday 9/8/2014

book; review; display; commodities;

Review of Neomaterialism by Boaz Levin in Bezalel Journal (Hebrew)

Thursday 9/4/2014

(2 notes)

book; display; animism; communism; unreadymade; overqualified;

From the conference: Living Labor: Marxism and Performance Studies (April, 11-13, 2014, NYU), video archive:

ANIMATE THINGS
April 11, 2014

Theater of Circulation: Marxist Fembots in Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress
Li Cornfeld (McGill University)

Replica Res Publica: A Theoretical Consideration of Japanese Replica Food
Ksenia Sidorenko (Yale University)

Neomaterialism: the dialect of matter and dialectical materialism
Joshua Simon (MoBY-Museums of Bat Yam; Goldsmiths College)

Respondent: Barbara Browning (New York University)

 

Wednesday 6/18/2014

(2 notes)

surplus; display; overqualified;

Finance capital and installation art, derivatives and theory, the curator and molecular food, event and singularity, subjectivity and the end of the future.

Fredric Jameson speaking on the “Aesthetics of Singularity

Thursday 4/10/2014

(8 notes)

book; display; nyc;

AGITATIONISM: EVA INTERNATIONAL - IRELAND’S BIENNIAL | Curated by Bassam El Baroni

In the past few years we have witnessed protests unfolding into serious unrest across many parts of the world. After initial excitement at this new global wave of voicing political demands, seasons change, and what was a novelty becomes a norm that lures many of us into the trap of trying to determine and define this previously undetermined phenomenon. Such engagements with current political upheavals can be termed agitations, an old philosophical term which denotes the extreme tension of the brain in its attempt to determine something perceived as previously undetermined—such as a sublime experience of nature. These agitations usually recast the sense of the human self accompanying all thinking into a clearly distinguishable entity, treating it as if it were something we could claim to really understand.

Agitationism, on the one hand, is the condition of living under a constant flow of agitations, including the ones that you inevitably sometimes produce yourself. However, it is also the process of ‘working through’ them with the aim of seeking adaptation to a logic situated somewhere else beyond the entrapment between past, present, and future—three tenses that overlap in the contemporary moment, creating a kind of palimpsest of half undone histories, half imagined futures, and a present of phantasms as a consequence. 

EVA International 2014 AGITATIONISM simulates the sense of living under agitation while capturing how we are slowly adapting to a different perception of the world by working through our relationships with historical ideologies, post-colonial narratives, other beings (including animals), and speculations about the not-so-distant future.

April 12 - July 6, 2014

See more here

Tuesday 4/1/2014

display; ireland; animism; speculation;

Sculpture Center Conversations: Neomaterialism | Saturday, April 12 2pm

SculptureCenter Home
SC Conversations: Neomaterialism
Saturday, April 12, 2pm
Inline image 1
SculptureCenter is pleased to present the New York City book launch of Neomaterialism (Sternberg Press, 2013). Following the ideas presented in his new book, Joshua Simon’s talk will engage with notions of the commodity, the general intellect, debt, labor, subjectivity, thingness, the dialect of material and dialectical materialism.
 
Joshua Simon is director and chief curator at MoBY – Museums of Bat Yam. He is co-founding editor of Maayan Magazine for literature, poetry and ideas, Maarvon (Western) – New Film Magazine, and The New & Bad Art Magazine, all based in Tel Aviv-Jaffa. Simon is a 2011-2013 fellow at the Vera List Center for Art and Politics, The New School, New York, and a PhD candidate at the Curatorial/Knowledge program  at Goldsmiths College, University of London. He is the editor of Solution 196-213: United States of Palestine-Israel (Sternberg Press, 2011), and author ofNeomaterialism (Sternberg Press, 2013)
 
The event on facebook
About the book
Blog

LIVING LABOR: MARXISM AND PERFORMANCE STUDIES
APRIL 11-13, 2014 DEPARTMENT OF PERFORMANCE STUDIES, NEW YORK UNIVERSITY, 721 BROADWAY
Capital is dead labor, which, vampire-like, lives only by sucking living labor, and lives the more, the more labor it sucks.—Karl Marx, Capital, Vol. 1
FRIDAY APRIL 11, 2014
TRACES (10:00AM – 11:45AM)
The Traces of Their Hands: Women’s Work at American Animation Studios, 1928-1961Hannah Frank (University of Chicago)“Do they hold as much mystery for you as they do for me?”: On Jean-Pierre Gorin’s My Crasy Life and Documentary ImprovisationsAnthony Yooshin Kim (University of California, San Diego)Frozen History: Sound, Ice, and Mexican MarxismsIván A. Ramos (University of California, Berkeley)▣世界から解放され▣ or, “To be freed from the world”: Vaporwave and the Sonic-Affective Glitching of Real SubsumptionNick Bazzano (New York University)
ANIMATE THINGS (10:00AM – 11:45AM)
Theater of Circulation: Marxist Fembots in Walt Disney’s Carousel of ProgressLi Cornfeld (McGill University)Replica Res Publica: A Theoretical Consideration of Japanese Replica FoodKsenia Sidorenko (Yale University)Neomaterialism: the dialect of matter and dialectical materialismJoshua Simon (MoBY-Museums of Bat Yam; Goldsmiths College)
For more on the schedule go here. 
Contact: livinglaborconference@gmail.com

LIVING LABOR: MARXISM AND PERFORMANCE STUDIES

APRIL 11-13, 2014 DEPARTMENT OF PERFORMANCE STUDIES, NEW YORK UNIVERSITY, 721 BROADWAY

Capital is dead labor, which, vampire-like, lives only by sucking living labor, and lives the more, the more labor it sucks.

—Karl Marx, Capital, Vol. 1

FRIDAY APRIL 11, 2014

TRACES (10:00AM – 11:45AM)

The Traces of Their Hands: Women’s Work at American Animation Studios, 1928-1961
Hannah Frank (University of Chicago)

“Do they hold as much mystery for you as they do for me?”: On Jean-Pierre Gorin’s My Crasy Life and Documentary Improvisations
Anthony Yooshin Kim (University of California, San Diego)

Frozen History: Sound, Ice, and Mexican Marxisms
Iván A. Ramos (University of California, Berkeley)

▣世界から解放され▣ or, “To be freed from the world”: Vaporwave and the Sonic-Affective Glitching of Real Subsumption
Nick Bazzano (New York University)

ANIMATE THINGS (10:00AM – 11:45AM)

Theater of Circulation: Marxist Fembots in Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress
Li Cornfeld (McGill University)

Replica Res Publica: A Theoretical Consideration of Japanese Replica Food
Ksenia Sidorenko (Yale University)

Neomaterialism: the dialect of matter and dialectical materialism
Joshua Simon (MoBY-Museums of Bat Yam; Goldsmiths College)

For more on the schedule go here

Contact: livinglaborconference@gmail.com