Research Project
Delusional Cause


Delusional Cause is an ongoing artistic project within the theoretical framework of Alfred Sohn-Rethel's critique of epistemology. The videos and performances are interruptions in a cumulative and reiterative study which aims to work toward a method or model to adequately visualize capital. The project is expanding towards a speculative exploration of the real abstraction and it's aesthetics in the digital age using the notion of autism as an artistic tool.

Today, with GPS and Google Maps, we are more than ever used to images with a God's eye-view: a vertical scaling up and scaling down that depicts knowledge as an overview. But what do these maps tell us about the intelligibility of political economy and social conflict? The map gives a misleading overview that projects delusions of stability, safety and extreme mastery. It is capital that creates the effect of wholeness, while mapping disorients under the banner of orientation. It feeds our encompassing will-to-know, when in fact it doesn't supply any knowledge.

Activities of modeling, diagramming, and envisioning, such as those used in economics, are representational in a counter-intuitive sense because they break with a model of representation as mirror, photograph, or correlation between signifier and signified, index and referent. As representations of practically abstract processes and relations, they are also representations of invisibilities.

The mapping or figuring of capital is not a question of accuracy or resemblance, in which aesthetic form would be a mere instrument of knowledge, but constitutes a kind of force-field in which our conceptions of both modes of production and aesthetic regimes are put to the test.

Representation no longer needs to refer, in the sense of being physically mappable onto the outside world. The graph is not a picture of the social body as a whole, but a statistical correlation that shows patterns as a sign of nature's plan. If we take Sohn-Rethel's theory seriously, a bold diagram is actually more adequate than a precise map.

We don't need a deep mining of the world's detail for bits of evidence; there is no knowledge there. Fiction is a condition of truth and the blindness of the interior is a precondition of perspective. We have to think through the abstraction and not of revolutionary prospects. Overview is a fantasy, especially when it comes to capital.

Delusional Cause is an attempt to create a stylistic structure whose internal tensions are a metaphor for the internal tensions and structural tendencies of a social 'body' moving by a revolutionary path toward its own 'form'.

- Published by Open! Platform for Art, Culture and the Public Domain

              Delusional Cause, single channel video, Full HD, 16:9, 10'48"

  Delusional Cause, Video at Showroom Arnhem, July 2015

  Delusional Cause, Performance at Dutch Art Institute, June 2015

  Delusional Cause, Performance at Casa do Povo São Paulo, March 2015

  Delusional Cause, Performance at Dutch Art Institute, June 2015

Photographs by Maria Barlasov, Nil Ilkbasaran and filmstills from registration by Ricardo Liong-A-Kong