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

No. I refuse to accept this. Something quite other is going on. "All art is
quite useless." Oscar Wilde was a modernist when he said this. English
suffers from the lack of the second person plural: you who own your reality
(?): we who don't doubt our reality because we are not I; we who are not
others to ourselves; we who do not write in order to be other; we who cannot
imagine why it might be necessary to write or think sous rature. Harold
Bloom has called our culture a late efflorescence of Romanticism and this is
appreciable in the current fetishisation of art, masquerading or queered
under its drag of utility. The Great Fetish Art. This has always meant the
virtual to me with all that is problematic about it. And also liberating.
(And Deathlike - or enantiomorphic. Caution: Dark Ages Approaching.)
Technology and Art together: my God - our God - your God - what a
floundering is thereby engendered...
There is a general - even amongst amateurs and dilletantes - discretion and
delicacy about poesis: a poem is what one aspires to make and writing one
does not automatically make one a poet. An artwork is it not the same?
(There is a beautiful and extended discussion in Ariel Dorfman's Some Write
to the Future on the literary qualities - qua literature - of the
'confessional literature' in Chile. Most nations and states now have this
sort of literature, mirror-struck - as Stravinsky said he was not - by its
own mental state.) And being human is it not a sort of poesis?
For godssake write propaganda - like old EZ - draw it, paint it, and
writedrawpaintfilm it in the ether: your personal belief is possibly the
worst way to win converts; the market and the Affect shall judge it; but I
agree that posterity can go fuck itself: it's task has been abrogated in the
most insipid way: you know now who owns your reality... we do. ...

What is going on here? What happened in Australia? A culture that still
holds to the ladder of creation, with the squatters at the top and the abos
at the bottom?
If I were in America (North) would I be on those buses, signing up the
flaccid voters - are they complacent? or - as the moralists would have it -
apathetic? - or would I be trying to be funny in a way that doesn't travel
without its laughtrack?
I've brought up the NSK before with narry a nibble but I would have thought
they'd be a godsend to this sort of discussion and to relieving it of its
claptrap about art! ...

Bush must go but even Democrats are saying the worst thing that could happen
for the Democrat Party is inheriting the country after Bush. Machivellian
desire for longevity may prevail over the expedient of removing the current
administration. But as Randall says, you will know the devil you don't know
as the devil, when he is voted in, and seen to be the devil, etcetera.

Clinton - a man who could speak in complete sentences - with clausation -
bombs a pharmaceutical factory in the Sudan. And sanctions, what were they?
and how did they work to the betterment of the general population? (Or IMF
incentives and initiatives, for that matter - seeing as how they work in
Papua New Guinea.) And debts, 'third world' debts - as John Ralston Saul
says - a Solon would be wise to...

This is not cynicism. This might not even make sense. But it seems to me the
struggle is within the West as it is within the East - with Israel as the
exception that will prove the rule - of misrule.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Randall Packer" <>
To: "soft_skinned_space" <>
Sent: Wednesday, October 13, 2004 3:44 PM
Subject: Re: [-empyre-] Do You Still Own Your Reality? (forwarded from

> Yes, yes, and yes!
> To pick up where I left off, in the US DAT is Virtual post, this
> statement takes this idea one step further, in which the artist
> actually reshapes the world according to his or her own vision. That
> is truly the power of art! The artist takes command of the space,
> sculpts the space, refashions the space with the intent of creating
> something that did not exist previously. I feel that art is political
> by nature because it inevitably suggests some kind of change, it
> forces us to look at things differently. That is real change! I have
> no desire to be a political artist, but rather to make art that is
> political in the sense that it pushes us as individuals and as a
> society to rethink who we are, to question, to probe, and sometimes
> to resist.
> >I believe that if art has a part to play in the political sphere
> >(which I certaintly hope it can) it needs to discard to notion of
> >being an instrument that is used to fix specific problems.  To me
> >this is a far too literal and reductive interpretation of the
> >potential of political art. Art doesn't change the world like
> >legislation does. It has a much more abstract  way of working; a way
> >that is more concerned with experimentation, the speculative and
> >difference than with effectiveness. To paraphrase Kant's aesthetics
> >(and maybe streching my point a little): Art is effective exactly
> >beacuse of its ineffectiveness. I agree with Randall that art has to
> >connect to the world people live in but I see this as a condition
> >for all art not as an exclusive point in political art. Instead of
> >just refering to this world solely as materialistic reality or as a
> >surface that can be redecorated political art has to open this world
> >as an imaginary space, a potential for change, mental as well as
> >actual. Instead of being dialectical it should be multi-dimensional.
> >It should recognize that being political today is a far more complex
> >position than just 10 years ago. This is the era of bio-politics.
> >The society of control, where everything is politicized. To go on
> >the streets, whether they are physical or virtual, to protest seems
> >to me a dated form of political art, which has a tendency to turn
> >political problems into a question of symbols (brands) vs.
> >anti-symbols. Of course the mobilsation and the presence of the
> >critical people is an important factor but I think a far more
> >radical political statement for art would be to suggest a multitude
> >of reconceptualizations of the world which the system as we know it
> >so far doesn't allow us to comprehend. This strand of thought
> >connects to the recent revival of the utopia, but as this term is so
> >ladden I prefer to call it responsible dreaming with a cause.
> >Jacob Lillemose
> >
> >Den 10/10-2004, kl. 0.05, skrev Randall M. Packer:
> >
> >>Geri (didn't we meet at Joel Slayton's some years ago?).
> >>
> >>I wish you could have seen our recent installation, the
> >>Experimental Party DisInformation Center, installed at LUXE gallery
> >>right in the heart of the 57th St. gallery district in NYC during
> >>the Republican Convention. Also the heart of the NYC Gucci
> >>neighborhood. Not a typical place for political art.
> >>
> >>In any case, we had everyone from students to activists to red meat
> >>Republicans, etc. going through the gallery. Around 5,000 people in
> >>two weeks. There was one group of students from a New School
> >>sociology class that had been given the assignment to view the show
> >>and interview me. The Professor said the show had "opened the eyes"
> >>of her students to the current political climate and the use of
> >>propaganda by the Republicans. These were kids not at all
> >>experienced with contemporary new media art, so this struck me as
> >>particularly compelling.
> >>
> >>To get to the point, US DAT is a form of "performance art" that
> >>dissolves the border between the virtual and physical realms of
> >>galleries, Web sites, press releases, live performance, etc. It is
> >>intended to reach people viscerally in its use of fantasy and
> >>satire, which I believe, has been effective in drawing a large
> >>audience into thinking about complex issues that might otherwise be
> >>inaccessible.
> >>
> >>I believe that if art has a political message, it needs to touch
> >>people, it needs to connect with people and the world they live in.
> >>Otherwise, you are right, it comes off being not only humorless,
> >>but colorless and ineffectual.
> >>
> >>Randall
> >>
> >>
> >>>Yes, thank you Randall, very valid point. That's something I've
> >>>been trying to reconcile for a long time myself. I was involved as
> >>>an artist with ActUp in the early 90's and did a lot of political
> >>>art in the 90's related to such U.S. domestic issues as the
> >>>Telecommunications Act (media concentration) and international
> >>>issues such as the Hong Kong handover in '97, but with the
> >>>explosion of global information technologies in the past decade I
> >>>began thinking there needed to be new strategies that weren't so
> >>>didactic, etc. I've been to lots of art and activism discussions,
> >>>actually recently went to one a few weeks ago up in Northern
> >>>California - one of the key points that was made there was the
> >>>need for not being over the top and hitting people over the head
> >>>in a humorless way and also communicating to people on a
> >>>personal/emotional level. What you at DAT do does embody humor and
> >>>I think that is one of your strengths, but I think my negative
> >>>reaction when I read some of your statements is some of it seems
> >>>like preaching to the choir and perhaps holds a condescending tone
> >>>that might not be helpful. But of course I could be wrong, as I'm
> >>>not really sure who DAT has been reaching in terms of audience.
> >>>
> >>>I agree with Tobias and think "stealth" was probably the wrong
> >>>choice of words.
> >>>
> >>>At 12:18 AM -0400 10/9/04, tobias c. van Veen wrote:
> >>>>Although sometimes I feel the stealth approach, unless as disguised as
> >>>>ultimate model, the mythical Hashasheen, is simply an excuse for
faking the
> >>>>chameleon and reaping the benefits of the system while espousing its
> >>>>downfall.
> >>>
> >>>What I mean instead is to work to communicate in a way that is not
> >>>in a confrontational/didactic way that builds resistance to
> >>>hearing, but in an expansive way that is stealth in that one
> >>>attempts to fully understand what makes those you're trying to be
> >>>in dialogue with tick and using that knowledge to be more
> >>>effective.
> >>>
> >>>To point to a work that I think has been very enlightening in
> >>>these technologically-savvy times, I would say Josh On of Future
> >>>Farmer's "They Rule":
> >>>
> >>>geri
> >>>
> >>>>To Geri and the rest of the empyre list:
> >>>>
> >>>>Elaborate on the proposition of a "stealth" approach to
> >>>>confronting the current political environment and its players who
> >>>>partake in elaborate mechanisms of public deception and media
> >>>>manipulation.
> >>>>
> >>>>What is the 21st century solution?
> >>>>
> >>>>How can artists engage in effective mediation in these
> >>>>increasingly, technologically-savvy times?
> >>>>
> >>>>Randall
> >>>>
> >>>>>I think there's a very clear understanding of the power of the
> >>>>>media and has been for a long time in academic, publishing, art,
> >>>>>media, etc. fields. I just don't think this "rhetoric" is
> >>>>>effectual, in my opinion it's not shedding any new light. I
> >>>>>think this strategy echoes a political activist art practice
> >>>>>that worked well in the 80's and early 90's, but we're in a
> >>>>>different even more media savvy time that I think demands an
> >>>>>even more stealth approach.
> >>>>>
> >>>>>geri wittig
> >>>>>
> >>>>>>The statement was posed rhetorically, clearly not everyone is
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>>The problem is: 45% of the country can't be awakened from their
> >>>>>>hypnosis. They will vote for Bush even if he is campaigning for
> >>>>>>the apocalypse (which, by the way he is). If the rest of us are
> >>>>>>searching for ways to confront our "nation of robotic
> >>>>>>brethren," to quote Abe Golam, we must have a better
> >>>>>>understanding the power of the media as the opiate of the
> >>>>>>masses.
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>>>----------
> >>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>From: Geri Wittig <>
> >>>>>>>Date: Thu, 07 Oct 2004 08:35:17 -0700
> >>>>>>>To: soft_skinned_space <>
> >>>>>>>Subject: Re: [-empyre-] Do You Still Own Your Reality?
> >>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>I completely understand the sentiment of this post - the Bush
> >>>>>>>movement in this country has been critiquing the power of the
> >>>>>>>misinformation
> >>>>>>>and fear mongering that comes out of the Bush administration -
> >>>>>>>this is not a
> >>>>>>>new observation and has been duly noted for years. I watched the
> >>>>>>>Cheney/Edwards debate and had the same analysis of Cheney's
> >>>>>>>uncanny ability
> >>>>>>>to hypnotically put forth inaccuracies that an uninformed
> >>>>>>>public would take
> >>>>>>>at face value without question, but to lump all of "America's
> >>>>>>>reality" into
> >>>>>>>one basket is a disservice to the many in the trenches who have
> >>>>>>>fighting the good fight to oppose the Bush administration in all of
> >>>>>>>varied negative policy impacts upon the world. For example, in
> >>>>>>>these last
> >>>>>>>few weeks of this campaign, the work that many grassroots
> >>>>>>>voter registration
> >>>>>>>efforts have been doing are showing results - the late voter
> >>>>>>>registration
> >>>>>>>has been surging. A friend of mine who recently moved to North
> >>>>>>>Carolina, a
> >>>>>>>Republican stronghold, informed me that late voter
> >>>>>>>registration is running
> >>>>>>>60% Democrat, 12% Republican. Yes, we need to continue to
> >>>>>>>critique and point
> >>>>>>>out the insane "reality" that the Bush administration is
> >>>>>>>trying to pull over
> >>>>>>>the uninformed American public's eyes, but we need to also
> >>>>>>>acknowlege where
> >>>>>>>the work in action is gaining some ground. On a psychological level
> >>>>>>>going to be important to help boost any momentum that is being
> >>>>>>>gained by the
> >>>>>>>Bush opposition, as it's going to be very important for
> >>>>>>>getting out those
> >>>>>>>left leaning voters who do not support Bush's policies, but who
> >>>>>>>voted in years because they've become disillusioned with the
> >>>>>>>system and have
> >>>>>>>gone into inaction. Critique is vital, but without action and
> >>>>>>>acknowledgement of the successes that that action may be attaining,
> >>>>>>>critique is futile.
> >>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>geri wittig
> >>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>  (((((((((( We the Blog Update: Do You Still Own Your
> >>>>>>>>Reality? ))))))))))
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>  October 07, 2004
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>  The Republicans are heightening the attack, ramping up their
> >>>>>>>>  strategies to reinforce disinformation in order to fool the
> >>>>>>>>  into re-election.
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>  Straight out of the playbook from Orwell's 1984...
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>  They continue to retool their highly refined doublespeak tactics
> >>>>>>>>  maintain a stranglehold on the reality of unsuspecting
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>  Have the Republicans co-opted your reality?
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>  According to columnist Tina Brown in the Washington Post
> >>>>>>>>discussing the
> >>>>>>>>  VP debate:
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>  "Cheney found a more primitive way to bluff with a bad hand...
In a
> >>>>>>>>  culture of blatherers, Cheney intimidates with his silences, his
> >>>>>>>>  stingers, and above all his awesome capacity to stare down
> >>>>>>>>the evidence
> >>>>>>>>  and assert that black is white."
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>  Despite the fact that this week, the administration's own Paul
> >>>>>>>>  Don Rumsfeld, and the weapons investigator Charles Duelfer have
> >>>>>>>>  declared the reason's for going to war were deeply flawed,  as
well as
> >>>>>>>>  the so called follow-up plan, Bush and Cheney not only stand
> >>>>>>>>  ground, the tighten their tenuous grip on a fictional narrative
> >>>>>>>>  designed to disguise their true ambition to control the
> >>>>>>>>oil-rich middle
> >>>>>>>>  east.
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>  The real issue in this election though, is America going to wake
up to
> >>>>>>>>  the dream (or nightmare) it finds itself in? Can we lift the
> >>>>>>>>veil on the
> >>>>>>>>  disinformation pouring out of the White House. Can we take
command of
> >>>>>>>  > our own reality?
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>  Or has America's reality been permanently hijacked by the
> >>>>>>>>  and their media propaganda machine?
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>_______________________________________________
> >>>>>>>empyre forum
> >>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>>_______________________________________________
> >>>>>>empyre forum
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>>>_______________________________________________
> >>>>>empyre forum
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>
> >>>_______________________________________________
> >>>empyre forum
> >>>
> >>>
> >>
> >>_______________________________________________
> >>empyre forum
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >
> >_______________________________________________
> >empyre forum
> >
> >
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum

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