[-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 a simulation.

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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