My argument is simple: that accelerationism is an aesthetics. Accelerationism is the strategy that demands we engage with forms of technology and abstraction to chart a post-capitalist future. While discussion has focused on how this strategy might be translated into artistic practice, my claim is that it is already an aesthetics. To substantiate this claim I explore the two dominant forms of contemporary accelerationism – ‘right’ (or reactionary) accelerationism and ‘left’ accelerationism. I argue that their visions of acceleration and the future are fundamentally aesthetic, drawing particularly on electronic dance music and sci-fi imagery. In particular a common use of hyperstitional devices, fictions which produce an effect in reality, leaves both left and right accelerationism as an aestheticized politics of will and so fundamentally irrationalist. In contrast, to develop political and cultural strategies to imagine the future requires, I argue, an emphasis on necessity and already-existing struggles.
Foto: Sylvia John