Negative Accumulation: The Racial Event or That Which Happens Without Time

July 6, 2022
7:00 pm (GMT +2)

Negative accumulation foregrounds racial and colonial subjugation in considering the political architecture of the global present. It encapsulates two questions: how to account for how those with nothing were blamed for financial losses of those who attempted to profit from their (the former) lack of asset, that black and migrant persons were blamed for the Global Economic Crisis of 2007-2008? How to account for how, yet another global crisis, COVID-19 pandemic again disproportionally impacts black, indigenous, and certain migrant persons and collectives from Europe’s postcolonies, that they have disproportional numbers of infections, instances of severe disease, and deaths from COVID-19. This presentation elaborates on these questions by considering accumulation as both of (a) what is valued as negative (bad, pernicious, etc.) and (b) of negative values. It considers accumulation, as an ongoing generation of excess (surplus) and loss (surminus) by privileging that which has been expropriated and extracted under total violence,). Through this spelling out of accumulation, this exposure of the indifference between excess and loss allows for an account of capital that captures how the colonial and the racial function in the political architecture of the global present.

Denise Ferreira da Silva is an academic and practicing artist. She is the author of Toward a Global Idea of Race (University of Minnesota Press, 2007), A Dívida Impagavel (Oficina da Imaginaçāo Política and Living Commons, 2019), Unpayable Debt (Stenberg/MIT Press, 2021) and co-editor (with Paula Chakravartty) of Race, Empire, and the Crisis of the Subprime (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013). Her several articles have been published in leading interdisciplinary journals, such as Social TextTheory, Culture & Society, PhiloSOPHIA, Griffith Law Review, Theory & Event, The Black Scholar, to name a few. Her artistic works includes the films Serpent Rain (2016), 4Waters-Deep Implicancy (2018), Soot Breath/Corpus Infinitum (2020), in collaboration with Arjuna Neuman; and the relational art practices Poethical Readings and Sensing Salon, in collaboration with Valentina Desideri. She has exhibited and lectured at major art venues, such as the Pompidou Center (Paris), Whitechapel Gallery (London, MASP (Sāo Paulo), Guggenheim (New York), and MoMa (New York). She has also written for publications for major art events (Liverpool Biennale, 2017; São Paulo Biennale, 2016, Venice Biennale, 2017, and Documenta 14) and feature (essays and interviews) in art publishing venues, such as Canadian ArtTexte Zur Kunst, and E-Flux