[-empyre-] the N-space
Right now we're in a clash of civilizations. The modernist world, the
capitalist consumer utopia vs. The religious. Neither world is very
appealing. An N-space then is anything that is not this. It may be
that Hakim Bey is right in the idea of a TAZ.
My father was born in Istanbul in 1927. For people outside of Europe
or on the fringe of Europe the idea of modern was anything but where
they lived. It meant escape from religious oppression, racism,
xenophobia and genocide. After World War II, America exemplified
that same idea of modern. My father came to America. He studied
engineering. He became an electrical engineer. He worked in computers
and communications. He was the epitome of an American modern
technocrat but he spoke with a foreign accent. The idea of modern is
linked to the idea of Utopia which I am told translated means (no
place.) Now the Chinese are more modern than the Americans or am I
mixing up contemporary with modern?
The European idea of Modernism can be summed up by a quote from the
Futurists , F.T. Marinetti, "...war is the universal hygiene." The
notion of revolution is always a call for the death of an entire
political class. Baudrillard in his latest book the Conspiracy of
Art talks about how all art since the 1960's has been a simulation
and rehashing of art historical styles. Now we are in a simulation of
I can't help but think that the West is being sold a reflection of
itself by the East (Japan, Korea, China). It's similar to British
bands taking American Rock and Roll and doing it better than the
Americans or Alfred Hitchcock creating the absolute image of American
Modern in North by Northwest or Vertigo or Marnie. If I were totally
crazy I'd say we are living in the Matrix. We just don't know it.
And what about the rest of the world, specifically Africa, The
tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn, how do they define
modern. Is it a (no place) dream?
The 2006 Whitney Biennial follows this same course of Europeans
defining America's dark night of the soul. It's odd because I feel
that America is the place where everyone goes looking for their own
personal (no place). Baudrillard in his book is interviewed by the
press about his exhibition of photographs. They ask him if this is a
contradiction to his idea of being an outsider critiquing the
system. He says that of course you can be inside the system while
critiquing it at the same time.
Kemel Attaturk is called, "The Father of Modern Turkey."
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