In 2012 I visited Bytom for several times. These visits were composed of workshops, interviews, field trips and other events. In between the visits, I was working in Helsinki – where I am doing my doctoral studies in the Theatre Academy – with the material gathered. Life in Bytom has a theoretical question around subjectivity, affect, plasticity and agency in the context of neoliberal capitalism – the period we are living now. However, this project was not only about theory, nor did it aim to illustrate it.

My starting point was to ask, how life has changed in past twenty years in this particular context of Bytom – a post-industustrial town in Upper Silesia? I cannot say I found any objective answers for that, but encountered many individual and singular stories and events, which were not only particular, but more general in the life of neo-liberal Europe. How privatization, competition, excess, cynicism and opportunism effects everyday life. Thus, my work did not frame itself only in Bytom, the origin of the project, but touched upon many events, attributes and phenomenons, which we can locate in different parts of Europe, and different paths of life, right now.

Capitalism is in a perpetual crisis, a messy journey from one crisis to another. A factory becomes obsolete in the similar way as a clerk in the bank, as his or her tasks are reconfigured to fit into the new systems and operations. Capitalism is a mess. It lives from the success of others, build upon the nescessary amount of excess – excess of images, people, labour, art, and other productions. Thus, the provocative strikethrough in the title, where the word ‘life’ is penciled over. We supposedly have a life – but do we have a life, which would be considered culture or social? What are the expenses culture in such conditions as neo-liberalism?

After collecting material from workshops and interviews, the next step was to assess and process the material. It was not an objective documentation of the crisis, but a subjective and affective interpretation of the situation, the event of life in Bytom. The project took form of a scripted performance, which was repeated during the exhibition, a video, and an installation. Aside from this Karolina Kucia, a performance artist originally from Poland and living in Helsinki, assessed my material and produced an extension of my project: a second interpretation of collected material including my subjective process as a performance artist in Bytom. She produced a piece, which focused on the lapses and cul-de-sac’s of my project. It was presented during the exhibition, as well.

All of the works were based on the encounters, meetings, interviews, workshops, images, reflections, recordings, archives, questionnaires from Bytom. This project was an interpretation of these narratives. Aside from this, it was a reflection of artist’s projections and desires – how life becomes interpreted and structured? What is the cultural added value he produces? Artist’s reflection is not disinterested, but loaded. What is he looking for in such a place? How can this performance, which was a subjective interpretation, relate to the matter of the heterogeneous informations and realities of this city? It was not a documentary of a post-industrial city, but an affective report or articulation of problems, hopes, antagonisms and flow, which surfaced.

Human capital
In his book Perform… or else (2001) Jon McKenzie describes a shift from Taylorism, as a transition from the overall dominating and rigid system of organization of life towards a new paradigm as he calls it a ‘Performance management’(McKenzie 2001, 6). Taylorism and liberalism were based on rational and scientific organization of labour and life, which had drawback of massive, centralized production lines, and little flexibility to reflect changing social circumstances. Transition towards the neoliberal society of performance started from the early 70’s and the transition reached its momentum in the end of 80’s, simultaneously with the collapse of Soviet Union. For McKenzie subjectivity and

”Performance Management […] attunes itself to economic processes that are increasingly service-based, globally oriented, and electronically wired.”(McKenzie 2001, 6)

Another dominating idea of postwar, liberal capitalism, was human capital, which was an apparatus developed by Nobel Prize winner Gary Becker in the Chicago School of Economics in the 1960’s and 70’s. (Becker  1974) Human capital became one of the engineering and managing strategies to organize not only labor, but life in general: the register of intimacy, affect, emotion, solidarity and friendship, all folded into the space of capital. Yet, in last twenty years, such an organizational apparatus, aside from performance management has proven to be in crisis. However, the idea of personal as capital functions in the present crisis situation, as well. Catherine Malabou argues that

“Suppleness, the ability to bend, and docility thus appear to join together in constituting a new structural norm that functions immediately to exclude … in effect, anyone who is not flexible deserves to disappear … The depressed person, like the ‘social failure,’ evidently suffers from a lack of ‘employability’ and adaptability.” (Malabou 2008, 46-47)

If one does not obtain the skills of flexibility or ‘employability’, then one cease to perform.
Finnish political economist Akseli Virtanen says, that instead of rational choices, what matters are the affective directives. As such, it is conflicted with the rational base of the neo-liberalism. According to neo-liberal theorists such as Becker confusion would certainly be confounding with the rate of profit. Following the apparatus of human capital, there are risks, but no unpredictable events, because risks are distributed into smaller fragments, then overall organization is able to control and maintain them. (Becker 1974, 1063-1093) There are arbitrary regulations at play, where reflexivity and suppleness is required from the subjectivity.

In the mess subjectivity may perform only to adjust his or her delocalized performance in the everchanging conditions. These conditions do not produce a swarm, rhizome, or wolf’s huddling in a ring by a bonfire, but in fact disturbing and confusing “antechamber of depression.”(Malabou 2008, 49) In my example of post-industrial town of Bytom, subjectivities are not side by side, but confusedly in a mess. In the poorest area of the city, Bobrek there is no performance. Such subjectivities are dislocated, in the same way as depressed or ill. In this context, performance in the sense that McKenzie proposed exists only in corporate and institutionalized settings. In the level of life as it is in a post-industrial city of Bytom, there is no coherence with such a performance. Performance management functions in corporations and institutions, but it is not sufficient as a general rule applied in life. However, this is what the neo-liberal capitalism claims to do.

Neoliberal capitalism is an apparatus of discursive and non-discursive elements, of which completion is to produce subjectivity, which is compatible with this mess. It is subjectivity whose obtained attributes are precariousness, cynicism, opportunism, and distractedness. Malabou adds, that such subjectivity is necessarily supple and flexible. Having obtained such subjectivity, s/he is able to perform in the conditions required by the apparatus, and s/he is able to create profit in a mess. Successful performance is not easily produced in a mess and it is rarely functioning in such conditions as Bytom. Needles to say, suppleness does not produce new or difference, but repetition of the same.

Three capacities of  plasticity
A hegelian concept of plasticity, which has been recently developed in relation with neurosciences, philosophy and psychoanalysis by Katherine Malabou, is closely related to arts, since it carries with the idea of giving form and receiving form. Yet, Malabou wants to emphasize another aspect of plasticity, namely the annihilation of form. Annihilation is a trauma, an accident or disaster which will change the subjectivity interminably.

“[plasticity] means at once the capacity to receive form (clay is called ‘plastic,’ for example) and the capacity to give form (as in the plastic arts or in plastic surgery). […] plasticity is also the capacity to annihilate the very form it is able to receive or create. […] to receive and to create his or her own form does not depend on any pre-established form; the original model or standard is, in a way, progressively erased.” (Malabou 2008, 5-6)

I would like to appropriate her thinking with the concept or idea of a subjectivity as a sponge. Sponge does absorb a form or give form. However, it is how it is corraleted with annihilation or through an accident is when a new subjectivity is created, instead of modification of identity. A sponge is not an identity form, but form of subjectivity; it is not form of self, but a subjectivization, self as a collective process. A brain is not only a material base, which receives form, like a sponge, and gives form to a subjectivity. (Malabou 2012a, 36) The affective economy between the psychic and the cerebral, is what, according to Malabou is producing the dynamics of an ‘emotional brain’. (Malabou 2012a, 37)
Accordingly, a sponge subjectivity, is not merely receiving and giving, but is similar to this “homeostasis of affective economy.” (Malabou 2012a, 37) It is this economy between the cerebral and psychic, which maintains a subjectivity and it’s identity; economy of the drives, stimuli and their representations. (Malabou 2012a, 29-37) It is an affective economy of a sponge-type subjectivity, which, as we are not aware of our brain thinking, we are not aware of our identity being carried out by this economy: the way how identities are produced temporarily, whereas subjectivity is an unconsicous process. Malabou writes:

“In the usual order of things, lives run their course like rivers. […] In time, one eventually becomes who one is; one becomes only who one is. Bodily and psychic transformations do nothing but reinforce the permanence of identity, caricaturing of fixing it, but never contradicting it. They never disrupt identity. […] As a result of serious trauma or sometimes for no reason at all, the path splits and new, unprecedented persona comes to live with the former person, and eventually takes up all the room. An unrecongnizable persona whose present comes from no past. […] A form born of the accident, born by accident, a kind of accident.” (Malabou 2012b, 1-2)

Artistic practice produce such anomalies. R. Justin Hunt and Joanna Linsley quote Brecht, when writing about their archival project on performance art practices by saying: “that ‘art must make strange’ its techniques of production to have any revolutionary effect at all.” (Hunt & Linsley 2012, 7) Artistic practice and production is aligned with this third aspect of plasticity, which Malabou extensively argues in several of her books: the destructive annihilation of a form that a trauma, illness or accident produces. The production of strange, weird, Unheimlich, and rupture — the production of an event, which takes over the viewer or participant. It takes place outside from the analytical and rational, creating a rupture or a cut. Here, I am not thinking about a catharctic or ritualistic practices such as those of Viennese Aktionists, nor liminal explorations in artistic practices since annihilating plasticity produced for instance by Alzheimer — an example, which Malabou often uses — does not follow a paradigm of ritual. It is not cultural, but an event of perplexitity which can take place in heterogeneous art practicies. So, what I am actually interested is to look at those instances, which produce a change or transformation by annihilating a form — leaving us stunned or irritated. These instances are sometimes read through a psychoanalytical view point, for instance through the idea of fascinum (the capturing evil eye) developed by Lacan in his lecture “What is a picture?” (Lacan 1998, 105-119) or fascinance (connecting and com-passionate),  which is a kind of contrary concept developed by Bracha L. Ettinger, more recently in “Fascinance. The Woman-to-woman (Girl-to-m/Other) Matrixial Feminine Difference” (2006). However, here I would like to utilize the idea of sponge subjectivity —  in some connection with Ettinger’s idea of linked subjectivitites — which includes the collectivity of subjectivity production and the production / annihilation of form as it is proposed by Malabou. The annihilating event or instant in art piece is not read as a unconscious play, but rather a physical change in relationship with matter, as it is the case with a sponge. A physical change will take place in such an event, and not only a mental alteration. A production of subjectivities nescessarily requires a concrete physical transformation of matter, not only signification by the signifier. An example for this would be any performance, where a viewer and sometimes performer(s) him or herself feel simulatenusly confused, lost, perplexed and exited, vitalized and joyful.

In the case of Malabou, when she writes about the famous studies done by Alexander Luria  of brain damage (Luria, 1987), it is a real physical damages which permanently and irreversibly alters the subjects personality.  In  very different manner, but still through physical means, a performance at work-place is executed with a keyboard, whether it would be an office, nuclear powerplant or school-library. Here, a body is physically manipulated and thus certain subjectivity is produced for certain performances, as well. In relation to plasticity, it is clear, how a sponge is taking a form in this example, and not giving form or annihilating form.

Counter to this track of plasticity, a procedure, which artistic practice takes, would be to produce a shock in the avant-garde manner. To produce new through annihilation and at the same time produce possible alienation — as it is the case in brain damage, as well. There is obvious fascination for destruction, annihilation, corrosion and brain damage througout the history of avant-garde and pop culture practices: a desire to destroy in order to build new. As such my project is not following this dictum of avant-garde, to destroy the old in order to start something new from a clean slate. Neither it follows the other practice of art, which uses the stategy of fashion: to produce somethinge new in cycles, repetition without a difference, as Simon O’Sullivan writes about the new. (O’Sullivan 2008, 91)  But, in fact my project takes the idea of placticity in all forms: to take form, to give form and to annihilate form, to produce repetition with a difference. Thus, I am concentrating on these three factors of form, as they circulate in artistic practices. Annihilation of form can be seen simply that alien element, which asks either or both performer and the participant to cross the comfort zone. The new is not comfortable, but it need not to be explicitly destructive. It might be an intimacy, which produces discomfort at first, but in the end the result is a transformation in the subjectivity.

Then, what happens to absorbing nature of sponge subjectivity? A sponge explodes, and after that the river of life is not following the predetermined path, but another one; another subject and another identity emerge — if an identity at all. A sponge subjectivity is related with the vulnerable construction of cerebral, where as Antonio Damasio writes: “The entire biological edifice, from cells, tissues, and organs to systems and images, is held alive by the constant execution of construction plans, always on the brink of partial or complete collapse.” (Damasio 1999, 144-145) As long as there is a coherence between the signals subjectivity is receiving and the previous forms within a subjectivity, a coherent system or subjectivity remains and functions. As long as there is a coherence between the signals one is receiving from the performance or from the art work, there is a sense of coherent understanding and signification of the piece. In the level of subjectivity, existential territory remains in a loop with other subjectivities in the milieu, as well. These modes work follow the paths of giving and taking form, repetition without a difference. However, when there is a scission, rupture or a cut — or several of them in sequence, a sense of meaning of function blurs or disappears. This is óne of the aspects of destructive side of plasticity, which — as Malabou articulates in her book The New Wounded (2012) — produces irreversible changes in the subjectivity, even the full transformation of subjectivity in unknown, neutral, cool and flat manner. Not only physical trauma, but exhaustion may produce such drastic changes, as well. “The transformation of identity emerges from a sudden, isolated event, unrelated to other events that constitute and individual life story.”(Malabou 2012a, 52) Such an event in the context of art context, is not only an element of surprise or aleatoric structure, but it also produces irreversible changes — it also must repeat with a difference. Not one event will produce this, but it must build a nest for it’s own continuity and contaminate a subjectivity permanently. Such a process is not unfamiliar and rare, but common practice, in fact.

Amateur sponge
Amateur, adolescent mind is a sponge mind, which is able to absorb and use a difference in order to mix and produce something new. In relation to a concept of plasticity sponge first receives a form. A sponge mind is not fully conscious of this receiving process, which has a implicit notion of receiving an identity. Receiving a form as a sponge follows path, pattern and repetition. In a sponge the actual matter, a matter of reference, which can is analoguous to the curves and cavities of a brain. In the way of a brain, sponge works through synaptic connections, and produces a system of reference — a brain is emotional and rational at the same time, through these connections. (Malabou 2012, 38-39) A sponge is a possibility for a new, a potentiality. However, potential only in the virtual, but not yet in the actual. Sponge absorbs a repetition with a possible difference and seeks for actualisation of it’s potential. Such a sponge is receiving form, and remains open to the form. Following the second idea of plasticity, of giving form a sponge might be more rigorous and focused, but also more idiotic, privatized and opportunistic. After receiving a form, another form is produced only to become absorbed into subjectivity’s possession. In another words, what was at first without a significant form, thus received it and became signified and functional. An amateur sponge, receiving form lives a public life, and not like and idiot (idios) spending life on his or her one’s own.
In his book Common as Air (2011) Lewis Hyde describes an artistic process of Bob Dylan followingly, by quoting musician Liam Claincy:

”‘Do you know what Dylan was when he came to the Village? He was a teenager, and the only thing I can compare him with was blotting paper. He soaked everything up. He had this immense curiosity; he was totally blank, and was ready to suck up everything that came within his range.’ But of course he didn’t simply soak things up; he then mixed them, added and subtracted, and wrung himself out.”(Hyde 2010, 199)

What is significant here, is that sponge, aside from having a social status, is not solely a relational, but active individuation process. Sponge has a potentiality for something, and a partial consciousness of a path, sponge (Dylan) absorb some forms, which are referenced with previous forms, in order the potential to become actual. However, the path is only an inclination towards something, which will eventually give form to Dylan, and Dylan becomes something else than Robert Alan Zimmerman — or even a respectable folk musician. But only through accidents and traumas does a truly strange and new Dylan appear, the annihilating plasticity of a motorcycle accident or exhaustion produces Dylan, and Zimmerman cease to exist. Plasticity of giving, receiving and annihilation of form do not produce only events, but a mass of residue and excess, which remains in the shadow.

”Chaosmosis: the (mental) apprehension of the world […] I absorb and I dissolve all discursivity while affirming this discursivity. But in general this time of fusion, or absorption, goes completely unrecognized, or is even thought.” (Guattari et al. 2000: 10-11)” (Watson 2009, 133)

As such chaosmosis is a process of the first two types of plasticity: of receiving form and giving form — and it goes completetly unrecognized. “You are the music while the music lasts,” writes Damasio about the continuous auto-production of the self, and subjectivity. (Damasio 1999, 191) Sponge follows the path of taking form, as becoming-something, something, which is implicitly included into a becoming. This unrecognized process is part of a creative procedure, in which a form is being received and in the end a form is given to a performance, drawing, composition, and so on. However, what Deleuze and Guattari emphasize on becomings, is that they do not follow a path, becoming is not a method. (Deleuze & Guattari 2004, 232-309) A becoming is a process of transformation, which includes discomfort, a potential danger of annihilation and becoming neutral, cool and flat. That in the process of becoming subjectivity may exhaust and pear-shape itself. In this way, becoming-something encompasses all three aspects of plasticity. For Guattari and Deleuze becoming-animal is “traversing human beings and sweeping them away, affecting the animal no less than the human.”(Deleuze & Guattari 2004, 237) It is a process of becoming in which both receiving and giving form are simultaneously taking place, but also annihilation, which is producing something new, a monster with a shadow.

The curious thing about the annihilation side of placticity is that, beyond and in the event of  annihilation there might not be a sense of suffering, but simply numbness. Malabou refers to particular phenomenons, which Damasio brings up from his practice, such as akinetic muteness, where “the patient no longer manifested any emotional reactions and seemed neither surprised nor unhappy to be in the hospital.” (Malabou 2012, 51) Such a ‘numbness’ is not in the level of neurosis, but deeper on the cerebral structure: a link between the emotional and rational has been damaged. Such a scission seem to be present at the moment, in the context of cognitive labour. It might not be a brain damage, which may cause a numb and disinterested behaviour in the work-place, but exhaustion that produces such subjectivities. A potentiality of giving form has been annihilated, and potentiality withdraws into a repetition, but no more with a difference. The production of art is easily linked here with the overall commodification of labour in the global market. And as such, artistic production follows the same seasonal repetition and disinterestedness as fashion does produce new, with repetition but not with difference.
In the language of Guattari, subjectivity reterritorializes into a limited existential territory. A result is depression, suffering and flatness.

In her presentation based on the philosophy of Clement Rosset at the “How Performance Thinks” –conference in London, April 2012, Kelina Gotman’s proposes that a transformation includes a nescessity of a double — shadow, mirror or echo.(Gotman 2012) A transformation includes discomfort, where a potentiality of annihilation is present, in the form of a shadow, mirror or echo — transformation of becoming with difference takes place in the discomforting presence of a shadow, double or echo. As such it is a process in distinction from a sudden trauma and the full annihilation of the past it produces. This process of becoming produces — or maybe, it rather heightenes the presence of suffering. Transformation of the sponge produces suffering, where giving, receiving and annihilating of a form alternate and bypass each other. Plasticity of becoming produce a discomforting process. The work of art makes the world strange, as strange as Dylan’s voice and awkward playing of harmonica must have sound at first. And throuhg repetition this voice contaminates the receiver and a subjectivity is transformed and existential territory deterritorialized.

Thus, a sponge has three procedures, which are not conscious. Either sponge receives form, but without a difference, it risks remain in a subdued position of a ‘user’; sponge gives form and produce an event, but may simply follow a method or path, with identifiable contours; or sponge lives with the proximity of annihilation in the process of actualizing a potential. It is process of suffering in the sense, that there is no comprehension of an end for this process — which in turn produces exhaustion in the context of cognitive labour. Suffering has no sense of duration, as Gotman says. Suffering is produced by the constant presence of three aspects of plasticity. However, when matter takes form and an event takes place, three parts of the plasticity take more fixed positions, and something is actualized, but a potentiality of annihilation remains attached as a form of unknown, incomprehension, shadow or doubt. Elie Ayache writes about an event:

“The true contingent event escapes the category of possibility because it is truly unpredictable and cannot even be identified as a possibility before it is realized. For this reason, the event is real and not possible. It is real to the extent that it is opposed to possibility. Contrary to what the metaphysics of possibility provides, the real preceds the possible and the true contingent event creates possibilities that will have lead to it […] future contingent event should be thought to be real before it becomes actual. […] A thing can be real without yet being actual; this is what Bergson and Deleuze call the virtual.” (Ayache 2011, 28-29)

Here an event, a true contingent event as Ayache writes, is “truly unpredictable” and “can be real without yet being actual”. It is the virtual unpredictability which lies in the annihilating plasticity, not the possibility of destruction, but the virtual real of the annihilation — the deterritorializing power of an event. It is beyond comprehension, since there is no preceding sings of such an event of annihilation. “The true contingent event creates possibilities that will have lead to it,” that virtual potential of annihilation of the form is an event, will reveal what might have been there all the time. A creative, artistic process is never taking place in retrospect, but it is a method without a path — thus it is not a method. A conscious choice of accepting the presence of the shadows and the incomprehensible virtual. As it was for instance for John Cage to accept and utilize the aleatory systems in order to produce not only something neutralized from his own decision, but also to use method as a way to invite the presence of a shadow, suffering, boredom and annihilation as a part of artistic process. Deleuze and Guattari warn about the annihilating black hole, which may appear in the deterritorializing processes of becoming, and may not produce any results, but lead into a flat, pear-shaped numbness, instead of joy of the new. Such a destructive black hole does not reveal archaic self, nor does it regress, but exhausted subjectivity is without past — primitive or childhood. (Malabou 2012a, 59)

Sponge in theory
Finnish political theorist Jussi Vähämäki writes about the abstract and cognitive labour of being:

”formless, moveable, like gas or liquid, and in that way real, though it would have never been fixed on specific space or time, on specific being or event. It needs not to be totality, which joins all separate ”individuals”, events or beings. ”Individuals” are being articulated, separated and differentiated in abstract, coagulated soups of virtual, they get form in theory, and carry on this common, virtual or abstract confusion in them.”[translation from Finnish my own](Vähämäki, 2006)

Such a subjectivity need to be a sponge like, which is able to absorb and use the new refrains, to mix them and be productive. Such a sponge in the context of neoliberal, cognitive capitalism follows the notion of flexibility, but not a plasticity, as Malabou makes distinction with them. Similarly with plasticity, such a sponge is balanced with the rigidity and suppleness — thus it is not towards a new, unknown, the other and difference, but is supple and flexible for the retourn of the same. It is the pertinence of potential plasticity in the social, mental and political aspect of individuation process of a sponge, which are valuable for creative processes. It is the pertinence of noticing the potential difference between rigidity or supple flexibility and the capacity “for deformation, re-formation, or explosion.” (Malabou 2008, 15)

What can a performance and artistic practice do? It is to distinguish these two aspects of rigidity and plasticity — impermanence and change in contrast with the rigid forms. It may enhance a distinction and awareness of the uncertainty of a system and precariousness of working conditions. “The hierarchical principle is demolished and organizations become flexible, innovative, and highly proficient. […] the network is the master term,” writes Luc Boltanski and Eve Chiapello in their book The New Spirit of Capitalism. (Boltanski&Chiapello 2005, 75) It is in the network, where artistic practices are indistinguishable from the flexible neoliberal capitalism. In the network flexibility of a sponge, makes it an unreliable and merely relational concept. It is the network, which makes relational artist unreliable but flexible. Malabou criticizes such flexibility:

“One is formed only by virtue of a resistance to form itself […] Rather than displaying a real tension between maintenance and evolution, flexibility confounds them within a pure and simple logic of imitation and performance. It is not creative but reproductive and normative.” (Malabou 2008, 71-72)

A flexible and relational sponge subjectivity would follow and imitate forms of normativity and lead  to suberb employability, as Malabou translates term flexibility. A sponge subjectivity without resilience, imitates exactly the path of employability, and in the mess of capitalism, this supple spongeness is required. Imitative practice produces repetition without difference. What distinguishes plasticity from flexibility, is exactly this resilience and resistance it produces in the real, in matter.

“Explosive correspond to the transformation of one motor regime into another, of one device into another, a transformation necessitating a rupture, the violence of a gap that interrupts all continuity.” (Malabou 2008, 72-73)

A sponge without resilience is flexible, employable, bland, passive, and too rhizomatic. It is like rhizomatic thinking without context, mere imitation of the rhizoamtic – aesthetization of a concept.

“[…]transition from ‘homeostasis’ to ‘self-generation’ is not made without rupture or gap. The plasticity that situates subjectivity between maintenance and construction or production of newness is not smooth,” writes Malabou. (Malabou 2008,74-75)

Sponge itself, is part of the necessary homeostasis and flexibility. But as a felxiblesuppleness it misses the explosive self-generation and resistance, in order the new to be generated. A tension released by art event or performance, would only maintain flexibility, whereas artistic practice should articulate tensions, contradictions, shadows and rigidity in order to produce repetition with difference.

In Bytom project, the matter at hand was daily life of imaginary, political and social universe of contagions, which lingers on within the mess of neoliberal capitalism. It is the lingering homeostasis, and not articulated self-generation, which produces sponge subjectivity. One should have a critical stance on adaptation, flexibility and creativity of a sponge; on that , how spongeness obstructs or permits me to live, perform, experience and express; how does spongeness produce the repetition of the same and not the difference?

Life in Bytom –project explored a potentiality of conflict and transformation, by giving a form for the conflict, difference and contradictions. What is not being actualized or articulated, remains virtual but also rigid, inhibited and at the same time supple. In Bytom, and namely in some poor suburbs such as Bobrek, where instead of human capital the social alienation, homelessness, drug addiction and other symptoms are produced by the overall paradigm of “employability”: there resilience also resides. Resilience resides in anxiety and depression. If traces of trauma or disillusionment can change their meaning, thus generating resistance and agency of explosiveness, then it is what artistic practices could do. Connect through contradictions and confrontations, instead of merely releasing tension. This project was an articulation of these tensions, which we come accross in everyday life in neo-liberal Europe. However, it is not a coherent document of a reality, but a subjective articulation – often bleak and dark, rather than positive or empowering.

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