Exploding Appendix Questionnaire: McKenzie Wark

Exploding Appendix Questionnaire: Nikola Gocić
August 15, 2019
Exploding Appendix Questionnaire: Benjamin Noys
August 28, 2019
The Exploding Appendix Questionnaire is an ongoing data collecting exercise that, drawing upon divergent public figures from different intellectual disciplines and artistic practices, seeks to create an ongoing and ever-expanding map of ideas. Through this ever-expanding map of divergent views, we seek a kind of dialogue that, in both its overlaps and contradictions, creates a kind of hive-mind, which, in turn, helps contribute to the intellectual unfoldings of Exploding Appendix’s overall mission.
For the Exploding Appendix Questionnaire, we have asked some of our favourite intellectuals, activists, artists, creatives and commentators to contribute to a series of 11 generic questions. The same generic questions have been sent to everyone, and what you read below is one response to this.

 

1. Who are you and what do you do?
To the extent that I know anything about myself: I know that she is a writer. I’m sure about that part, although not sure if she is a she, yet. Too early in transition.
2. What are your biggest influences in art, literature, music and cinema?
It changes all the time. Whatever I’m trying to write selects, retrospectively, what then becomes what was always an influence. Right at this moment the work that has my heart is Jessie Rovinelli’s film, So Pretty.
3. What, for you, is the purpose of art and culture?
Culture is always collective, always a given-ness, a sharing, a zone of commonality that allows us to be us within its ambience. Art is the proposing of new forms for what culture could be, that might enable some other belonging together, or not.
4. What makes something subversive?
Perhaps it’s an over-used word. If you’re attempting it self-consciously I don’t think you’re going to make art. The prefix ‘sub’ already implies something that would fly under the radar of your own awareness.
5. How would you approach the task of winning friends and influencing people?
That assumes a sense of self-worth I don’t really possess. I don’t really think of myself as worth listening to and as for worth knowing – even less. I wrote a lot so that somebody better, that writer, could take my place. In real life I just do my best to be giving.
6. What does individual freedom mean to you?
It means, firstly, a collective freedom from unnecessary suffering. At the moment, the best one can do is create and maintain stubbornly persistent covens of care which are temporary exceptions to the commodity form, the prison state, information surveillance.
7. Is there, for you, a relationship between the personal and the political?
Maybe both those categories are questionable. The political creates the myth of the individual which is then subject to its power. There’s a relationship, sure, but it’s between things that cross that at a diagonal, and the relation is more interesting than the putative categories one might stick at either end.
8. What is the root of society’s problems?
Nobody knows, and it may not matter. All we can do is try to make forms that minimize exploitation and suffering, even if the prospect is hopeless.
9. Will technology liberate humankind?
That assumes that humanity exists separately from technology. To be human is to be technical. The stone axe shaped the evolution of the hand, not the other way around.
10. Do you have a vision for utopia?
Utopia is always practical, immediate, and real. Utopia just pursues real everyday problems to their logical consequences, which no other form is ever prepared to do.
11. Finally, where can people find more of your work?
Just google “McKenzie Wark.” Information surveillance already has me pegged.