[-empyre-] Eddies, Whirlwinds, Trade Winds

Nicholas Ruiz III editor at intertheory.org
Mon Apr 6 01:33:25 EST 2009

ghh...what might an 'extra-marketable' utopia look like...?


Nicholas Ruiz III, Ph.D Editor, Kritikos http://intertheory.org

--- On Thu, 4/2/09, G.H. Hovagimyan <ghh at thing.net> wrote:

> From: G.H. Hovagimyan <ghh at thing.net>
> Subject: Re: [-empyre-] Eddies, Whirlwinds, Trade Winds
> To: "soft_skinned_space" <empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au>
> Date: Thursday, April 2, 2009, 8:03 AM
> On Apr 1, 2009, at 8:35 PM, Michael Angelo Tata,
> PhD wrote:
> Aside
> from Warhol, the place toward which my mind immediately
> turns as I think about what Nicholas refers to as the
> Immaculate Deception is Camille Paglia’s identification of
> Jacques Derrida as a junk-bond salesman in her “Junk Bonds
> and Corporate Raiders” (part of Sex, Art, and
> American Culture).  I think my
> mind races to this piece of writing because it does raise
> the important question of the potential bankruptcy of theory
> in general (a risk that does not seem to plague philosophy
> quite the same way). 
> Well now what. 
> As a child of the 1970's art world, I
> remember Warhol as more commerce than art.  He did have
> three areas of production that related to each other and
> were reflections of commodity capitalism, the mode of
> America in the late '60's.  The three areas were
> his films which involved a party culture at the factory, his
> silkscreen paintings and Interview newspaper.  The social
> scene,party culture migrated to Studio 54 and the clubs in
> the 1970's. My friend the Art Historian Alan Moore
> coined the term, "Clubism" when that scene morphed
> into the Late Seventies East Village Punk/Performance
> scene. 
> The idea of a brand name and signature style was
> the legacy of Warhol's silkscreen paintings.  Interview
> was a sort of media art work that was about celebrity as a
> commodity.   The progression of these notions
> in American Culture continues. Reality TV shows are about
> banal people being promoted to celebrities. celebrity as
> commodity becomes a quality that can be created by
> obsession.  The signature style/ brand name  products of
> Warhol became appropriation in the late seventies and
> copyright, remixing and sampling culture in the present.
>  The other part of this commodity matrix continued in the
> 1980's  when the market became more important than the
> art object or the ideas behind it. This occurred with the
> Neo-Expressionists and Neo-Geo. The discussion was that if
> there is an end to historical modernist progression than all
> styles are viable. The market decides what is art.  Money
> trumps ideas.  This market logic was manifested in the
> first explosion of 400 galleries in the East Village in
> Mid-80's and continues today in various art market
> expansions  in particular the latest L.E.S galleries and
> the art fair as a sped-up/condensed art buying
> experience. I come from the intellectually
> opposite camp. I believe in Idea overs form and in
> particular that art should be a force for experimentation
> that critiques the main culture rather than glorify it. I
> also feel that the utopian spirit in art is alive and is an
> anathema to the "Extreme Marketism" of the art
> world mantra of unique object/signature style/ brand name.
>  What this means is that in this 21st century art world the
> signature style and uniqueness of any any art work gives way
> to collaboration and collective expressions.  Interestingly
> enough that doesn't mean that individual expression and
> creativity goes away. Within any collaboration there is
> something else that occurs; the collaboration encourages the
> individuals to push their practice further and to look at
> the world from unthought of points of view.   
> What has occurred in the USA with bubble markets
> is a lot of money (capital) in the world seeking a safe
> haven and a decent rate of return. The US has been the
> beacon for this because most of the rest of the world is
> politically unstable or doesn't give a decent rate of
> return.  Essentially it's capital looking for an
> investment instead of a producer looking for capital.
> It's essentially a disease of success like obesity.
>  It's also a consequence of the dismantling of our
> manufacturing base.  Manufacturing creates wealth. The
> logic o Capitalism is the differential.  Labor is still the
> basis of that.  What happens now is that we have a
> situation where the culture and the world are trying to find
> a new world system based solely on ideas and abstractions.
> The problem is that the motivating force behind this is
> greed and markets. In an earlier time it might have been
> war, conquest and plunder that was an organizing principal
> for societies.  This current moment is about creating small
> utopias that are outside of the markets.   
> G.H.
> Hovagimyanhttp://nujus.net/~gh/http://artistsmeeting.orghttp://transition.turbulence.org/Works/plazaville
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