Recent scholarly works have described the perceived shift from liberalism to neoliberalism in terms of a shift in the logic of constitution of forms of personhood and governmentality from one constructed around rights and property to another constructed around risk and security. The identified shift in global hegemony is seen to produce and issue out of changed structures of lived subjectivity and feeling, social experience and imagination. In this paper I explore the question of disposability and temporal aesthetics—particularly the relation between land, people, and time—in global neoliberalism as exemplified in the cinema of Jia Zhangke and Brillante Mendoza and situated within the regional context shared by China and the Philippines. I look at the practices of attention of these filmmakers and the specific forms of rendering what I call “life-times” of disposability, life-producing practices of social experience of surplus populations that are at once the consequence and means of new forms of value production in the financialized global economy. I consider the differences between the aesthetics of dilation and the aesthetics of abidance as attempts by Jia and Mendoza, respectively, to heed the different temporalities of disposability perceived as event versus as condition. I consider both these aesthetic forms to think about the uneven yet connected dynamic of the broader economy in which these works participate and the different political possibilities that each instantiates.

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