Re: [-empyre-] Do You Still Your Own Reality?

Well-said. There are no short-cuts, and today, at least, any irony and
provocations can only fall flat in the face of reality (the preferred
reality, that is). A comment on Slashdot <RE: Natalie Jeremijenko?s work
merges engineering, biology, politics and art> read as follows:

Hmmm... I thought it was Arnold Schwarzenegger's job.

Truly, although Arnold could not deliver California, he masters power,
provocation, media manipulation, image, and rule-bending in a way academic
artists can only fantasize.

*Slashdot thread linked to an interview with the artist -

> In retrospect (post-election), and as a citizen of the U.S., it occurs
> to me again that way forward for (political) artists (again, here at
> least) is no longer tactical subterfuge, but a long term strategy of
> analytical practice that produces "reality congruency" tools/experiences
> that are non-didactic and non-ironic. In much of my country, (the only I
> can speak for), many people are suspicious of teachers and knowledge
> workers unless they are vetted by a church, and really are impervious to
> irony. Culture jamming, media manipulation, and subterfuge that draw out
> the contradictions (mostly by giving gentle assistance to machines such
> as the Bush-machine, which are on some level self-ridiculing to begin
> with - like the Yes-men and smoky the log, for example) indeed bring
> much joy in revealing the now fully merged fundamentalist/corporatist
> world-view for what it is. But it reveals it, over and over again, only
> to the choir. In a democracy, there is sometimes a price to pay for
> making fun of people.
> At the same time we are competing with a representational machine that
> is able to reflect a great deal artificial-ridiculing back against
> reason; to create artificial realities for reasonable people to think
> about and respond to (in a mode of constant defense), and to do all of
> this with a much greater array of media resources that artists could
> ever hope bring to bear. Politically then, there is little we can do in
> the short term. Art can best serve reason by turning back toward it;
> trying to serve and fortify it without being cheeky. In the U.S.
> anyway... In short, the way forward would seem to be a long-term
> strategic radical transparency, dialog, and honesty over tactical
> culture-jamming and subterfuge.
> Brett Stalbaum wrote:
>> Hi Randall,
>> Given, yes. But it raises some interesting questions. At this moment
>> (politically/tactically) is it most effective (or interesting) for
>> artists to perform their own "pre-emptive reality annihilation" (or
>> perhaps: envisioning an alternative future and trying to instantiate it
>> as the Rove's of the world seem to do quite successfully), or to
>> "culture jam" any such (nearly psychotic) right-wing reality distortions
>> (using them as art supplies and comic fodder - seemingly easy to do), or
>> perhaps to formulate an art practice that turns to and engages with (or
>> grapples with) the real maintaining a general goal of producing tools
>> (be they analytic, aesthetic, software, hardware), that are useful for
>> individuals in terms of formulating their own, more congruent readings
>> of the real? All? Something else?
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum

mining the urban landscape

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