Void Manufacturing

“Turning and turning in a cell, like a fly that doesn’t know where to die.”

Archive for the ‘Economy’ Category

An interview with Nic Clear from the Ballardian

Posted by voidmanufacturing on December 11, 2009

Here is an interview with architect/theorist/educator/etc Nic Clear concerning ‘The Near Future’, the issue of Architectural Design guest-edited by Nic. The interview covers a number of topics including the relationship of J. G. Ballard’s work to architecture. On the Ballardian site are included videos made by some of Nic’s students (www.ballardian .com, this is a very good resource for anyone interested in Ballard). We here have replaced the videos with images of some of the more ridiculous projects proposed in Dubai… the oasis of idiocy.

For example this classic:

“A journey. A saga. A legend. The World is today’s great development epic. An engineering odyssey to create an island paradise of sea, sand and sky, a destination has arrived that allows investors to chart their own course and make the world their own”… a vision realized… an ecosystem eliminated

In recognition of the sophistication of Ballard’s architectural analysis, a raft of discourse has been produced in recent times from within both academic and pop-cultural realms. This takes the form of tributes, analyses, ‘reimaginings’ and course syllabuses. In the influential architecture blog BLDGBLOG, for example, Geoff Manaugh sounds the note:

We have more to learn from the fiction of J.G. Ballard … than we do from Le Corbusier. The good city form of tomorrow is a refugee camp built by Brown & Root; the world’s largest architectural client is the U.S. Department of Defense. More people now live in overseas military camps than in houses designed by Mies van der Rohe — yet we study Mies van der Rohe. Read the rest of this entry »


Posted in Dystopia, Economy, Evil, Hell, Insanity, Nightmare | 3 Comments »

Woe is the economy….

Posted by voidmanufacturing on December 2, 2008


Fathoming the financial crisis at the Brecht Forum

By Casey Samulski

The Web site’s introduction opens with the words of playwright Bertolt Brecht: “Everything changes.” Like the economy, for one.

Even for those unfamiliar with the playwright’s work, prominent quotations on the Brecht Forum’s Web site from Marx’s “Das Kapital” should leave no room for error when guessing which direction its politics lean. However, now perhaps for the first time, the forum and its contributors are not just being taken as a bastion of leftist intellectualism in the city, but rather, something much more: scarily prescient. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Economy, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

The Inimitable Frere Dupont

Posted by voidmanufacturing on November 25, 2008




By Frere Dupont

Complex Reproduction

The individual consumption of the labourer, whether it proceed within the workshop or outside it, whether it be part of the process of production or not, forms therefore a factor of the production and reproduction of capital; just as cleaning machinery does, whether it be done while the machinery is working or while it is standing. The fact that the labourer consumes his means of subsistence for his own purposes, and not to please the capitalist, has no bearing on the matter. The consumption of food by a beast of burden is none the less a necessary factor in the process of production, because the beast enjoys what it eats. The maintenance and reproduction of the working-class is, and must ever be, a necessary condition to the reproduction of capital. But the capitalist may safely leave its fulfilment to the labourer’s instincts of self-preservation and of propagation. All the capitalist cares for, is to reduce the labourer’s individual consumption as far as possible to what is strictly necessary, and he is far away from imitating those brutal South Americans, who force their labourers to take the more substantial, rather than the less substantial, kind of food. [ – Karl Marx chapter 23: simple reproduction, Capital, vol 1]

To place some emphasis here,

The maintenance and reproduction of the working-class is, and must ever be, a necessary condition to the reproduction of capital. But the capitalist may safely leave its fulfilment to the labourer’s instincts of self-preservation and of propagation.

This evidently has not been the case since 1914; the whole apparatus of social control from the outsourcing of “training” from private enterprise to state education, to ceaseless “welfare” interference, to continuous regulation of industrial relations, all prove that the capitalist social relation finds it extremely difficult to reproduce itself when relying on the working class”s “instincts of selfpreservation and of propagation”. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Communism, Dystopia, Economy, Poetry | 2 Comments »

Simon Critchley on Obama

Posted by voidmanufacturing on November 19, 2008



Obama’s victory marks a symbolically powerful moment in American history, defined as it is by the stain of slavery and the fact of racism. It will have hugely beneficial consequences for how the United States is seen throughout the world. His victory was also strategically brilliant and his campaign transformed those disillusioned with and disenfranchised by the Bush administration into a highly motivated and organized popular force. But I dispute that Obama’s victory is about change in any significant sense. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Anarchy, Economy, Obama | 1 Comment »