|Bearings in Space /Cuzineti in spatiu|
|Bearings in Space, installation, Magma, Sfantu Gheorghe, 2019|
|Mona Vatamanu & Florin Tudor's contribution insists on the notion of production overwriting the social and political narratives as well as the role and status of the worker. Their new installation ‘Bearings in Space’ (2019) departs from a motif - object, the bearing, a component largely used in different technologies including space exploration. The notion of production is being depicted by multiple associations that relate to work and labour, industrial processes and, as well, to the production of images, including the high-cost technologies employed to explore and create images of cosmos nowadays. An industrial mould used for producing bearings in the seventies, conceived here as a mark for production, will be presented in the installation, the earlier metal cast technology being resurrected in the current additive manufacturing technology.
|In his book “Crowds and Power,”* Elias Canetti treats the resemblance between capitalism and socialism pointing out that independently of the political system, in this case, “if the commodity is produced for sale” or “to be distributed” evenly, what is not questioned is the “production process” and, not only that it is not interrogated, questioned, but on the contrary, it is “venerated”. People regard production as something sacred; “Where does this awe come from?” Canetti wonders, and his answer is connected to the success of the pack in human history, to the success of the group that is dedicated to finding and multiplying resources (the increase pack). This “increase pack” has transformed over time into today’s “masses”, into those who produce more and more goods, without distinction between the animate (plants, animals) or inanimate character of the produced objects. Each “factory serves the same cult”. We could now consider that even banks, through fractional multiplication, by constantly producing money stock through liability, are involved in such a process, but what was new to Canetti was the acceleration of the production process. The spectrum of this pervasiveness of production has lost contact with the optimism of the pack from the time when the increase in the means of production was closely related to the increase in the number of members of the pack. The idea that “proletariat and production should grow together”** has been replaced by the redundant worker, by the reality of precariousness and the accumulation of automated goods. What multiplies now is mostly objects, and human dependence on them is amplified, “man finds utilization for new and newer objects, and through them reveals new needs”;*** Canetti’s words recall here the human-slave-machine relationship – Proudhon, but from the perspective of the consumer enslaved by the product of the work. Developmental projections are not confined to goods, to values of utilization extracted through human workforce and habitat exploitation; they imagine through space exploration a future colonization as a possible solution to further sustain production. The process of production, understood as continuous expansion, conceals the part of destruction, waste, giving rise to the illusion of human power to spend the whole earth and to transform it into material for the work of its hands.
* Elias Canetti, Crowds and Power, original title Masse und Macht, published April 1st 1984 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (Macmillan) (first published 1960). p. 192.
** “Proletariat and production should grow together”, Ibidem, p. 193.
*** Ibidem, p. 194.