By Maja and Reuben Fowkes
In Creative Time: Another World is Possible edited by Corina Apostol and Nato Thompson (New York: Routledge, 2019)
As the ecological crisis intensifies, the extractivist logic of late liberal capitalism is entering a new phase of adaptation and profit-seeking, unleashing a high-stakes rivalry for control over dwindling natural resources and an opportunistic exploitation of the geophysical effects of climate change. The drive to reduce all living and nonliving matter on Earth to its financial value is accompanied by the rise of deviant democracies in which kleptocratic elites use state apparatuses to maximize their private wealth, fuelling a tendency to disregard civil rights, abrogate international agreements and resort to populist techniques to distort public debate. Although all indicators are screaming in red and the alarm bells are ringing, the present danger that the noxious pairing of xenophobic nationalism with disaster capitalism will triumph over the alternative course towards a pluriversal, inclusive and ecologically-attuned politics is still not a foregone conclusion. As these trajectories hang in the balance, contemporary art has the potential to unmask the covert infrastructures of extractivist power and give voice to the cosmopolitical demand for planetary justice.