"Through quantum leaps in the enlargement of capital, in the latter’s penetration and colonization of hitherto uncommodified areas, three historical stages of capital have each generated a space unique to it. Following a logic of the grid, the space of classical or market capitalism is one of infinite equivalence and extension, characterized by a reorganization of some older sacred and heterogeneous space in geometrical and Cartesian homogeneity. The next stage, the passage from market to monopoly capital is what Lenin called the “stage of imperialism“. Its space is defined by a growing contradiction between lived experience and a more properly structural model of the conditions of existence of that experience, whose truth no longer coincides with the place in which it takes place but is spread out across the globe. My mic is made in the US, my shoes in Vietnam. Dominated by transnational corporations, the postmodern space of late capitalism involves the suppression of distance, relentlessly saturating any remaining voids and empty places and exposing the postmodern body to a perceptual barrage of immediacy from which all sheltering layers and intervening mediations have been removed."
A History of Spatial Production is a piece for two performers based on a shortened and cut up version of Cognitive Mapping (1988), an essay by Fredric Jameson, in which he analyses different kinds of spatialities in their relation to different historical modes of capitalism. One performer reads out the text, very slowly using a very soft voice, while being heavily amplified through a single speaker on wheels next to him. Thus, it is not possible to hear the natural voice anymore but only the amplified one, even from a close distance. Simultaneously, a second performer pulls the speaker towards the back of the performance space. What happens at first is a gradual disassociation between the speaking body and its voice. As the speaker gets pulled farther to the back, reverberation increases and the voice’s timbre and volume changes as it gets modulated by the acoustics of the space.
A History of Spatial Production has been realized during the workshop Discontinuity by Michael Maierhof as part of the 49th Darmstadt Summer Course for New Music. We’d like to thank him and all of the other participants for their feedback and discussions, including Caroline Miller, Giulia Lorusso, Iman Jesni, Leo Hoffmann, Loic Destremau, Maria Teresa Trecozzi, Naomi Woo, Sara Glojnaric, Sasha Amaya, Teppei Higuchi.