Discover

Quality of Life | Josh Kline


QUALITY OF LIFE
September 3 – October 13, 2013
Opening TONIGHT: Tuesday, September 3 // 6 – 8 pm
47 Canal
47 Canal Street, 2nd Floor New York, NY 10002

Youth is the ultimate commodity in a society of dying people. The human body is capable of producing youth. But not after you’re 21. Not for you. Inside your body, youth is a nonrenewable resource. Outside your body, it’s a baby. Even with exercise, a good diet, and a supersized bucket of supplements, your genes will only keep you looking and feeling ripe for so long. You’re either in the desirable demographic or you’re not. In the “free” market—where people are for sale—you have a sell-by date.

Our society’s lifestyle economy keeps middle-class youth around as a commercial engine. When we’re young, companies connect youthful feelings of health and well-being with various goods, services, desires, and experiences: music, clothing, sex, drugs, drug-foods, hair cuts, hair color, graphic design, celebrities, etc. For the rest of our increasingly long lives, companies will use these formative consumer experiences to sell us the feelings of youth and to promote the inadequacies of advanced age. I will always love/drain you.

Once youth starts slipping away—at a glacial pace in the beginning and then like a horrible rampaging avalanche—aging becomes a battle of attrition, a chilly arthritic retreat from Moscow in your telomeres and mitochondria. And in your mind. Meanwhile, circling above, marketing experts track your passing birthdays. Companies sell you back your own youth, preserved in deadstock eBay amber or reissued and updated in this season’s colors; or a contemporary vision of youth, the alien cultural tastes and desires of people born decades after you. Or they sell you physical remedies: exercise, health food and diets like the venus factor system, vitamins, and primitive body modification. Simulation teenager skin cream. Twentysomething-colored hair dye.

As we march forward into the future, through the decades that lie beyond our culturally prolonged “endless” childhoods, youth escalates in value and desirability like profits accruing in the banks’ government-secured electronic coffers. Youth can be used to sell almost anything. Put a youth on it. In front of it. Standing next to it half-naked. In denim. In rip-stop nylon. In nostalgia for another generation’s adolescence. Anything looks good on young people—even the past. Perform an amputation and screw on a golden C3PO leg; a 22-year-old will still look good. Teenagers can dress in rags and old men and women will still drool at the sight of their flesh. Pop music.

Radical life extension begins in your ears. Its clandestine operating clinic is currently a clothing store. Youth always has a soundtrack. It always has a look. Generational opposition is a built-in feature of our economic system. Planned human obsolescence. Feeling stranded in a strange time? If you want to slough off your thirtysomething skin or shed your fortysomething fatigue: delete all the nostalgia from your bloodstream and get a taste transfusion. Keep your skill set current. Aging generations are the failed states of the future.


Made possible by/in collaboration with: Rodrigo Trombini Pires, Domenick Ammirati, Avena Gallagher, Preston Chaunsumlit, Taylor Absher, James Ferraro, Lukas Geronimas, Merche Blasco, MacGregor Harp, Alexander Lau, Trevor Wade, James Foster, David Melrose, Matthew Patterson Curry, Gerlan, Mike Eckhaus, Zoe Latta, Tim Coppens, Margaret Lee, Oliver Newton, Bobby Warden, Rebecca Bratland, Christina Anderson-McDonald, Promise Smith, Tyler Benz, Piotr Ryterski, Esthe Cleto, Drew Gilmore, Juliet Jane, Nicole Bridgeford, Patric Dicaprio, Paul Daunais, Jesse Greenberg, Justin Sloane. Special thanks: Antoine Catala, Shabd Simon-Alexander, Eleanor Cayre, Dennis Freedman, Ken Miller, Christopher Y. Lew, Miriam Katzeff, Ajay Kurian, Dina Chang, Babak Radboy, Cynthia Leung, Karen Archey, Rachel Rose, Justin Luke, Micaela Durand. Customized software based on work by Arturo Castro and Kyle McDonald.

Recent Posts

NHU DUONG SS17 WORK COLLECTION FT. KARL HOLMQVIST

What is a piece of clothing that “works”? Who is working whom? Is the one who poses the one who actually “works” hardest? The S/S 2017 collection of Berlin-based, Swedish- Vietnamese designer NHU DUONG entitled ‘WORK COLLECTION’ plays with the ideas of professionalism, leisure and appropriateness through a range of garments that are inspired by work outfits and hobby uniforms. Overalls, raw denim outfits, kung-fu pyjamas, biker pants, baggy tights and gloves, bomber-jackets, bomber suits,… [read more »]

Preparing to Welcome the Chthulucene | Agustina Zegers

Preparing to Welcome the Chthulucene is a text made up of living exercises to accompany Haraway’s theorization of the Chthulucene and her upcoming book Staying With the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene. Haraway posits that not only should we name the Anthropocene carefully (including the terms Capitalocene and Plantationocene within its narrative) but that we should also be using this crucial ecological timeframe to move towards a dynamically multi-species, “sym-chtonic“, sym-poietic future: the Chthulucene.… [read more »]

Laboria Cuboniks in Conversation

Laboria Cuboniks is currently a group of 6 women working together online to redefine a feminism adequate to the twenty-first century. They collectively wrote Xenofeminsim: A Politics for Alienation in 2014. Here, in conversation with Postcontemporary Issue guest editors Armen Avanessian and Suhail Malik they discuss the dissatisfactions and limitations of historical feminism and the importance of theorizing “the future” as a feminist project. Armen Avanessian and Suhail Malik: The initial formulation of your political… [read more »]

Situating Global Forms: An Anthropology of Cosmopolitan Science

Aihwa Ong, interviewed by Armen Avanessian and Suhail Malik Constructing Globality Armen Avanessian and Suhail Malik: Your anthropological research pays close attention to specific emerging and inventive configurations of globally-constituted modernization, particularly in East Asia and its diaspora. Throughout this work you identity many ways in which ‘things that used to be fused together — identity, entitlement, territoriality, and nationality — are being taken apart and realigned in innovative relationships and spaces by neoliberal technologies… [read more »]

Ways Of Living ⎮ Arcadia Missa

Ways of Living, curated by the team behind Arcadia Missa, moves beyond the home as a site of political contestation and into the working place, the artist studio, the public sphere, and nature. While so-called ‘social practice’ taught us that any attempt of art to engage with issues outside its own institutional reality are easily coopted into the mythologizing machinery of individualism and patriarchy, art still possesses an ability to address issues far beyond the… [read more »]

What is at Stake in the Future? | Alex Williams & Nick Srnicek

Every ‘future’ inscribes a demand upon the present. This is so whether at the level of human imagination, or within the sphere of political or aesthetic action necessary to reach towards their realisation. Futures make explicit the implicit contents of our own times, crystallising trajectories, tendencies, projects, theories and contingencies. Moreover, futures map the absent within the present, the presents which could never come into actuality, the wreckage of dreams past and desires vanquished. Futures… [read more »]

Dog Plays | Hayley Silverman

Hayley Silverman’s “Dog Plays,” an ongoing series in which a cast of untrained dogs take on the role of characters from a range of pop-culture texts, disrupt the canon of identities traditionally represented in Hollywood as they are re-inhabited by animals. Calling on artifacts ranging from Richard Linklater films, to science-fiction thrillers, to Depression-era musicals that rhapsodize class difference, these performances investigate how our understanding of narrative, authority and identity transforms when we project stories,… [read more »]

A poem by Ser Serpas

ripped apart you rip me apart collage million dead collage donde queda mi cuerpo el temporal como dios en mil partes clothing as point of impact a totem is a wrap around a city as it is engagement with one’s surroundings and engagement with that which has been worn out discarded and filtered into alms buckets and newly tagged i wear my surroundings on my feet when it wears out i see only my vantage… [read more »]

DISCREET Call for Participants

DISCREET – An Intelligence Agency for the People The 9th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art invites you to apply for one of fifteen spaces open to individuals interested in taking an active part in a three-week-long public workshop conceived of by Armen Avanessian and Alexander Martos for the formation and development of a civil secret service organization. Held from June 22 to July 11, 2016, the workshop brings together renegade experts from art, theory, technology,… [read more »]

Parent and Parroting | Nancy Lupo

Each year retail displays are readied in preparation for the gestation and labor of the catch-all holiday season before floating into a colorless postnatal celebration of mundane plenty. Capitalism’s sympathetic pregnancy makes for a cold and lifeless pas de deux, at times humorously inseparable from the vitality of social milestones. In Parent and Parroting, Nancy Lupo continues with a series of interventions into commercial products and industrialized food. Her interferences often reveal or reconfigure the… [read more »]