Magazine Mute Vol 2 #15

Magazine Mute Vol 2 #15

‘Grey Goo’ is a hypothetical end-of-the-world scenario involving molecular nano- technology in which out-of-control self-replicating robots consume all matter on Earth while building more of themselves. This spectacularly dystopian meme not only provides a Sci Fi analogue for the carnage reaped by capital accumulation, but also conceives of its residue – a world not definitively destroyed, but degenerated into a mass of undifferentiated, yet still active goo. The goo’s combination of inhuman self-replication and destruction is an instance of how the pop imaginary conceives of The End. Not as an interruption ushering in the transvaluation of all values, but as an infinite extension of more of the same old shit. Writers in this issue of Mute also recognise the likelihood of this gooey scenario in which crisis doesn’t automatically release us from our current conditions but may well simply deepen them. Soberly examining the general deployment of endings, from Hollywood disaster movies to anti-capitalist theory to the manipulation of climate-change panic, this issue of Mute puts an end to the endgames.

By Josephine Berry Slater

Crisis at the ICA: Ekow Eshun’s Experiment in Deinstitutionalisation
Amidst a general acceptance of the cash crisis afflicting the ICA as an accident of the recession, and a rush into ‘hairshirt' institutional self-critique as a means to deflect real scrutiny, JJ Charlesworth uncovers a catalogue of avoidable mistakes and the free-market, lifestyle thinking behind them

An End Without End: Catastrophe Cinema in the Age of Crisis
Dusting off the tedium and ash deposited by Hollywood's recent spate of catastrophe movies, Evan Calder Williams takes aim at their world-affirming pessimism and calls for some real apocalypse

Apocalypse, Tendency, Crisis
Crises tend to generate apocalyptic dreams and nightmares. Through a reappraisal of 20th century anti-capitalist thought, Benjamin Noys urges us to critically re-think how such an apocalyptic tone operates within radical analyses of the current crisis

Post-Crunch Futures II: A Mute Fiction Special
Where 'fixing' the future is a game for social engineers, writers Matthew Fuller and Anthony Iles prefer to open out the present, egg on its energies, taunt immanence ...

Help and Advice
By Matthew Fuller

Speculating on Housing
By Anthony Iles

By Martin Howse

How Not to be an Atheist
Ben Pritchett dives into the alphabet soup of Brian Rotman’s Becoming Beside Ourselves and Joanna Zylinska’s Bioethics in the Age of New Media and picks apart the jumbled relations between ethics, new media and subjectivity

Hung, Drawn and ‘Quartered’?
Two recently published books – Anna Minton’s Ground Control and This is Not a Gateway’s Critical Cities – take stock of the accumulated effects of New Labour’s ‘urban renaissance’. In his double review, Owen Hatherley sees the tired politics of micro-resistance go head-to-head with some much needed materialist geography

Against Representation: A Revolution in Front of You
By taking everything as possible material for improvisation (not just sounds, but ideas, affects, power relations, hidden structures contained within the room...) it is possible to develop a practice of ‘extreme site-specificity'. Noise artist Mattin probes the enigma of radical performativity

Hopenhagen against Hope
Amidst the general eco-panic and its commodification, Ilya Lipkin travelled to the Copenhagen Summit to witness capitalism's first last chance at preserving a climate conducive to its growth