Toward a revolution in Desire
As Francis Fujiyama declared definitively that history was over the bombers were already leaving the runway, on route to Baghdad, bomb bays full of shock and awe). Nobody doubted he was right. The Berlin Wall was just a tourist attraction, the Iron Curtain so rusted that Soviet Masses had only to kick and the whole edifice of the “Evil” Empire vanished into thin air.The revolution of 1917 the shattered shell of Lenin’s dream turned to midnight mare by the Georgian Psychopath was replaced, slow-by-slow, by the logic of Western Capital. The egotistical calculation, the triumphant logic of cold cash payment.
By 1991 ‘the liberated people’ were at the trough of freedom stuffing themselves with those things, a free people must have. Soap operas, insecurity, credit cards, redundancy, mortgages, poverty, advertising and the endless nomenclature of real estate agents, the joy divisions of a privatizing neo-liberal reality, heralded in the new order.
The word on the street was of house prices, house prices, house prices. By the end of the century the people (well everyone except the oligarchs and the flatterers who held Yeltsin’s bottle of vodka, the opportunist, the dregs of the KGB) were spewing their guts up as a first crisis of capital left the young men begging in the streets of Rostov and their daughters, to be traded to the brothels at the end of history.
The forces of progress held the line until
Progress was abolished first in academia, then by Thatcher and Reagan, through governmental decree. Power was the only game in town. It’s all about Power! The stink of the crematoria, the wars, wars, wars, still hung in the air. But the highest values had sdevalued themselves in the face of a triumphant capitalism.
Adorno signalled the retreat, the meaningless of Art in face of the modernist horror. There can be no poetry after Auschwitz. Only pop songs
The Left castrated by the horror of the final solution, Stalin’s purges, the soviet tanks on the streets of Hungry in 56 and Prague in 68. Were seduced by the financial possibilities of the securitised credit swap, hedge funds, robotic trading, Bloomberg TV, they were seduced by pure rationality of the Dow Jones, the Footsie 100, of Nasdaq. These new oracles of Delphi praised Capitalism, as if it were the shadow of GOD on earth. Communism, like some latter day Lucifer fell permanently from grace. Deleted from history and CNN.
The street fighting men, the proletarians, the radicals, the artists, the bohemians, flushed their grams of speed down the toilet, the spirit of the 1970’s , was dead, the dynamic, opposition, decayed. They drowned their irrelevance, in the chemical oil-slick of choice.
MDMA, was raised to the godhead. This skinny low-fat, cal-free, diluted, sterilized, circumcised, faux vision of the Dionysian urge, this watered down liberation through psychopharmacology. This plastic God of intoxication reduced after the Health and Safety Executive regulated the irrational and turned the strong Soma of Bacchus into a discourse, fit for the viewing public and polite academic society and the Daily Mail.
This was cutting, puking, gagging, moll rat sign of the Times. This was the era when even a echo-head, valleyette of an idea, could be taken seriously, and the idea?
Post- Modernism. The philosophical negation of high-born modernism, of the enlightenment project, soon left a waste in the heart of culture.
Post-Modernism found a city of Reason and Rationality, destroyed the city and left a desert. And called it peace .It is accomplished. In the boots of the cars of a derelict generation, meaning gagged and bound, was on the way to the killing fields of east of the Absurd. The dialectical materialists, shell shocked turned their backs on Party discipline, the plan, on progress, on the decrees of politburo functionaries, on the international And fell in love with the moment, finding, amid tatters of their broken dreams nothing else upon which they could fall in love with. They danced to a digital anthem of the New Order, wept without knowing it to German industrial Techno.
If asked “what was the purpose of life, what was the good society, what was the economy actually for ?” They replied: “Is the answer Nietzsche?” Then with a shrug of the shoulders added “Oh I just don’t think about it” And carried on dancing to Goa trance. No one noticed that beneath
their feet, under the broken glass, spilt beer, under the dog ends and spit, under the detritus of the 20th century, under their blasted and bleeding ideals, lay the beheaded corpses, of “equality, fraternity, liberty”.
“Oh we just don’t think about it”
They said popping into their mouths another bitter little pill. But there were others. 35.000 feet over the city of New York, and they danced to a different tune. A group of young, passionate men, mostly in their 20’s, men that a few years earlier would have been Prime recruits to the Berkeley or Ox-bridge campus cadres whose Marxism was Fueled by hash, L.S.D and free-love. Those young men, high above the city of New York were human all too human and full of absolutes, ideas, ideals, and the capacity, to get things done. Whilst their peers back in London were setting up another squat party somewhere in Hackney, they were carrying death to Manhattan.
We Just Don’t Think About It
On September 11, 2001, history woke up from its dogmatic slumbers kicking and screaming. The shock that was sown over the ruined city Of Baghdad was reaped as awe on the T.V. screens around the globe, endlessly, in exquisite detail, over and over, through the 24 hour news cycle, was reaped in the streets of New–York City. As we watched the planes crash into the towers we didn’t know if it was art, critique or act of war. Then we understood it was all of them at once. In Washington, the president’s first order committed the America’s sons to a war without end. Their mothers, wives, sisters, who had seen their own brothers and fathers, broken in the paddy fields of Vietnam. Those subject women knew what was coming, They said “ once the killing starts, it’s hard to draw the line.” For 24 hour news hounds they kissed the flag and supported the president and American destiny but later hen they were left alone, by Grand Central Station, they laid down and wept.
In the basement clubs the dancers closed their eyes and said nothing, they danced so they didn’t have to think about it.In the colleges and art schools, the cultural theorists the hired critics, the public intellectuals drunk on Nietzsche, high on Foucault declared the enlightenment project terminated. Objective reality was just a name for naked will to power Truth was Tyranny. The real was imaginary. Meanwhile in Helmund Provence, the only “post” the infantry got was post traumatic stress disorder. The marines died not relatively, symbolically, not as sign or simulation, nor virtually only on T.V. but because they followed their orders to the letter.
The professors gave on the future and groped in the dark for meaning but found nothing. The feminists who bestrode the 70’s like amazons of old, now gave to birth daughters schooled in mass communications and social networks and advertising were puking up their curries in the toilets of white suburbia in search of a new aesthetic. The beauty of invisibility, the abyss of the size “0” dress and in the basement clubs they kept on dancing. No-one offered an opinion or even cared as the planes hit, as long as the MDMA kept flowing, as long as the D.J. on the Titanic of their (Hyper–Reality) spun right the tunes. But there were others. Not the last of the bohemians, reading in their bedsits, the doomed manifestos of the Red Army Faction or the banal scribbling of professors bored to the point of nihilism. Glued to TV. screens they were in awe of the sheer audacity of their hate.
Some grasped that in the horror and slaughter was a new possibility, a strange proof that said human action, agency however limited or mad or wrong may still be the mid-wife of a devastating change. The theory that said all was relative, that absolutes, and objective judgments were impossible was shattered by two jumbo jets. Their judgement on America was final.
All Terror is public relations.
A few artists, saw in the ashes of Manhattan germ of an idea and the called that idea in opposition to all that stood for death and darkness.
They had no time for a crisis of meaning. They saw that what was needed was a fanaticism in the service of Joy and Desire equal to those men in their service of nihilism and death. They wanted to create
A Revolution In Desire
In the dust of Manhattan we saw the possibilities for a new order in the arts, The propagandists of the Nothingness Of nihilism had to be utterly defeated and With it the tyranny of an absolute liberalism The reduction of art to that of the gestures, Irony, an art of sensation, and spectacle, art of celebrity and fame.
The art of politics was now the science of the focus group. Democracy was a suckers game, but those days of inertia were over. War had been declared and the struggle now was against the enemies of Becoming.
Art if it no longer mattered politically or socially, if it had lost its sense of duty if it forgot that its principle aim was to serve the people.
Then that ART would have to transformed, the audience reconsidered. Its integrity restored, its methods adapted. Art was now in a war of ideals that would decide who dominates the meaning of the future.
Picasso’s Guernica became the banner our beliefs, it showed that art could be political and yet may still be able to transcend mere propaganda, it could still have a soul, indeed it was essential that its soul was a belief in life and beauty, a dancing spirit, a joyous soul, art must have fervor, be epic, vast in conception, infinite in the certainty of its beliefs. An art that was in for the species that saw the projection of the ideals of Humanity as its own personal responsibility..
Against the noise of of empty expression, of meaningless updates, the neo-neitzchian chatter, the scream of a million pointless likes and dislikes, in the face of relentless faux communication and shouting, of tales of thunder and fury that signify NOTHING we advocate an Art of Quiet reflection upon the needs of the moment and what to be done. Where does Art find meaning? In the Human realm. Always in Human life. In Humanity is our Spiritualism born, not out of thin air but out of the material of everyday life. The rest is metaphysics or worse theology.
Having something to say is not enough. Art must compete for attention. Against all over media. It must adapt or die. Advertising and terrorism should not be the only means of propaganda and media in the 21st century. They are the enemy but they have taught us what is possible with either cash or will. If you have something to say then find a way to make them listen. If they don’t listen find another way. Art is the highest form of communication. This Is not the time for Art for Art’s sake…this is a time For art to cleans itself in a new struggle a struggle of life and death. There is high art and low art but there is only one kind of stupidity and that is silence in the face of terror, submission to the abyss. The question of morality, of right and wrong, good and bad is a question of power.
We agree. All power resides with the people. We serve the people, not God or profit we serve only them, always them, not through a thoughtless servitude but with a hard clarity. If our art does not have a vision of the future then another’s art will.
Democracy is a means to an end not an end in itself. That road leads to bourgeois’ banality and the domination of oligarchy. Of the herd instinct. The voter or consumer. Art chooses sides unless it is dead. Art is not a hobby it is a most serious of serious businesses, the Soviets used to shoot poets and for good reason. Art is radical, reactionary or redundant. Redundant things proved useful but fail to in the present. They are of a merely academic interest. Reactionary art on the other hand will grab you by the throat unless you have the will to break its back.
A Call to Action
Poets, philosopher, painters, the unemployed, the worker, craftsmen, creator, soldier, scientist, theorist or athlete, you men, women, children, from the city to the sea. What is the point of your freedom? when you don’t do anything with it?
You Kings and Queen’s of Infinite Space It is time to create a new way of Being. So far we have only Interpreted, Painted, Represented, Abstracted,Expressed, Minimised,
Rationalised, Poetised, Deconstructed, Analysed, and finally Dismissed, the World as unreal and relative. The point always was and always will be
To change it.