[-empyre-] Fungal Arts and Despolitics

simon swht at clear.net.nz
Fri Nov 18 13:33:53 EST 2011

Dear Ioannis and <<empyreans>>,

Not everything even within the economy is within reach of money's grasp 
was more my point. When the discourse of the former is limited to the 
sphere of the latter what we see is ideology - even as Values may be 
given a price - even as it is the "wrong" one - even as we await the 
"right" one - so the legitimacy of a market-ridden political ideology is 

There follow some thoughts, some rather fugal - apologies for frugality 
of explanations also:

The arts speak the language of the carneval? A babble. Out of which 
everything sensible comes. From the sensate meatspace of it and from the 
multiplicity of voices - not even voices, chords and vocal folds and 
sheer inspirations, expiring ... - despite that art is prediscursive?

A creative prediscursivity then as precondition for the discourses that 
may come thereafter. When, in which postideology, with Wilde we attest 
that we have come to know the price of everything and the value of 
nothing. Now even that that value is up for sale, in the art of 
disappearance of art into relationalism.

I agree, Ioannis, which end of history are we at? Where it is incumbent 
- a comfortable word - on us to 'start again'? Or where we are more 
excitingly - where my agreement may be placed - called on "to build what 
comes next"?

The software example is interesting. Mr. Moglen speaks and Friedrich 
Kittler answers with less urgency, less (techno)positivism, however 
persuasively that "there is no software." What we have are layers 
redoubling of byzantine more than baroque and labyrinthine sinuous 
codings to hide the material fact of the physical machinery, the 
hardware. Which, while it may be very little, is disbarred from 
accounting for itself at the quantum level by noise control. Mr. Kittler 
makes an economic point when he alludes to the "price of 
programmability" as at the root of inflationary representative (software 
or fiduciary) practices.

Monetizing is all very well and a god-given activity (albeit by a 
green-eyed god), even as the term has been perverted in the usage of the 
IT industry to mean "how to make money from..." and turned away from 
fitting the monetary model to the practice, discipline, skillset, art in 
question. How to monetize the arts? The lesson of Kittler would be 
riding the information boom into out-of-control representational overload.

But isn't this exactly where we are? The 'traditional' 'pedagogical' 
arts may want to edify us about gods other than Mammon or Hygieia but 
there has never been such a time for the arts! Design is everywhere. The 
motorways are lined with artistic concrete mouldings in Auckland. 
Depictions of pohutakawa flowers, silhouettes of Rangitoto, and abstract 
patterned indentations, signs everywhere showing the impressions left by 
the artist's expressive gift.

To make theatre I ought to work in PR. There is no end of coaching as we 
gear up for the general election. Dramatic and cosmetic resources are 
stretched to the limit to turn our political representatives into 
aspirational representations and media puppets. Meanwhile the mailbox 
groans with publicly funded graphic art on pamphlets describing the 
electoral process and how to fulfill one's democratic obligations. Now a 
matter of cartoons - or cartoonization.

Which is to say nothing of the media - the mass media = monetized - in 
both senses - arts.

On asked why people like second-rate art, a friend once observed that 
they do not like it; they prefer it.

In order for fine or even good art to get money and ... mushroom ... 
mustn't mass media be overcome? forming a rich bed of mulch.


Simon Taylor


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