David Attwood

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The Making of the Indebted Man
2020
Disneyland Paris
Photo: Jordan Halsall

“What is credit/debt in its most elementary sense? A promise of payment. What is a financial asset, a share, or bond? The promise of future value. For Nietzsche, the ‘oldest and most personal relationship there is’ is that between creditor and debtor, a relationship wherein ‘person met person for the first time, and measured himself person against person.’ Consequently, the task of a community or society has first of all been to engender a person capable of promising, someone able to stand guarantor for himself in the creditor­-debtor relationship, that is, capable of honoring his debt. Making a person capable of keeping a promise means constructing a memory for him, endowing him with interiority, a conscience, which provide a bulwark against forgetting. It is within the domain of debt obligations that memory, subjectivity, and conscience begin to be produced.

Debt therefore implies subjectivation, what Nietzsche calls the ‘labor of man on himself,’ a ‘self-torture.’ This labor produces the individual subject, a subject answerable and indebted to his creditor. Debt as economic relation, for it to take effect, has thus the peculiarity of demanding ethico­political labor constitutive of the subject. Modern-day capitalism seems to have discovered on its own the technique described by Nietzsche of constructing a person capable of promising: labor goes hand in hand with work on the self, with self-torture, with self-directed action. Debt involves a process of subjectivation that marks at once ‘body’ and ‘spirit.’”

Maurizio Lazzarato, The Making of The Indebted Man: An Essay on the Neoliberal Condition, Semiotexte/Smart Art, 2012, 39 - 42.

The Making of the Indebted Man I
2020
Nike Air Max 90 infants trainer, iPhone packaging.
14.5 x 8 x 17 cm

The Making of the Indebted Man II
2020
Nike Shox TL infants trainer, iPhone packaging.
13 x 6 x 15.5 cm

The Making of the Indebted Man III
2020
Nike Free Run 5.0 infants trainer, iPhone packaging.
13 x 6 x 15.5 cm

The Making of the Indebted Man IV
2020
Nike Free Run 5.0 infants trainer, iPhone packaging.
14.5 x 8 x 17 cm