The Counsel of Spent

Inventory (2018)


Use this book as a field guide, lovingly prepared with words and images that do not satisfy but irritate – un vandalisme vernaculaire contre la servitude volontaire – a cavalier text that traverses the cosmological scale and the anxieties of everyday survival under latest capitalism; or, a series of fragmentary yet interconnected rants that repeat the basic banalities that everyone thinks and feels, that are quietly acknowledged in private, but that rarely manifest themselves as collectively organised opposition and concrete action.

Lying beneath these writings is an insistent attack upon the soft underbelly of middle-class duplicity that willingly supports capitalist mediocrity in order to maintain privileges, thereby aiding endless repetitions of growth and collapse.

Capitalism continues to disempower us, with its corrosive mantra that it provides the best of all possible worlds and that we must stay silent and accept its violent side-effects as unfortunate necessity: we are told to tolerate its hereditary and dynastic aspects; to keep our faith in the humane reformist role of the state; to trust in the electoral process and to turn a blind eye to unrepresentative lobbyists and private interests.

We are told that technological change alone will bring the deleterious effects of profit and loss to heel. And so it appears, that unless we are driven to the brink of extinction, there will be no collective counter-attack of lasting value. This is the counsel of spent, asking how far we must be pushed as a species, as a planet, and how much more must be tolerated in the interests of ‘survival’ before we awake and understand that there is no natural evolution under capitalism?

Another end of the world is possible.

Formed in 1995, Inventory was a loosely associated group of writers, artists and theorists, currently guided by the efforts of two artists/heretics, Adam Scrivener and Paul Claydon, who advance a practical and theoretical notion of what they call ‘fierce sociology’.

Common Objectives is a series of quick-fire, rapid-response projects from artist/writer collectives or individual art practices engaged with emerging political struggles, rejecting the idea of culture as a playground for the elite, engaging in the potent mix of free discourse, solidarity and the production of new desires and prepared to break open old worlds, either in the virtual space of communication and networks, or in the concrete world of action, discourse and distribution. Other projects in the series include: After The Night by Everyone Agrees; Bad Feelings by Arts Against Cuts; Even the Dead Rise Up by Francis McKee; Move…ment, a new issue of the journal …ment, edited by Federica Bueti; The Night by Michèle Bernstein, translated by Clodagh Kinsella and edited by Everyone Agrees; Pre-enactments by Victoria Halford and Steve Beard; and Shy Radicals by Hamja Ahsan.

The Counsel of Spent | Inventory; | Commission: Common Objectives | ISBN: 9781906012564 | Price: £12.00 | Classifications: Critical; Experimental writing; | Extent: 238 | Edition: 1,000 copies | Dimensions: 170mm x 114mm | Publisher: Book Works | Designer: Modern Activity;

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