Walker Art Center


February 23, 2003




is it time to unleash the [b]Other virii now ?!




"the image factories care for neither memory nor visionary revisionism. in the realm of the image all is postmodernly equal. politics has become the art of manipulating images that are impervious to textual criticism. a politics without memory tends to become authoritarianism, or as is the case now , corporatism.
a politics without vision tends toward the same result. interactivity and networking may help circulate ideas in a certian kind of defense against visual propoganda, but the very medium they are employing renders them ineffective.

...what was once , not very long ago in narrative time, an artistic hope has proved to be only an alarm signal, the cry of the canary in the mine. ... there was a hope in those days that the image might lead an autonomous but neighbor-friendly life with critical thought. there was for instance the matter of abstract painting, which was presented as a modality of thinking in process, thinking de-conditioning itself , untranslating itself...
a commendable, though hardly possible utopia. it is the equivalent of taking a vacation , which is only a dream in the intensely confrontational time crisis of the fin de millenium.

the constant call for " creativity " and "content " now issuing from the ever-hungry maws of the new media are nothing less than calls for the drafting of our entire society for the purposes of writing poetry, or, if you prefer, formatting what's left of reality for broadcast.

how does the world of cyberspace contribute to our efforts to understand a century in which human beings have done their practical best to eliminate humans altogether ?

daydreaming has already been replaced to large extent by programming. television has effectively turned daydreamers into screenwriters - and when i say thta the purpose of programmning is to tune out text i mean precisley that. we may have to resign ouselves to becoming "textual aids" to an interactive , visual world. what this interactive visual world says - what its text is - is made infinitely more complex , however, by the fact that this text does not give a fig for interpretation or criticism.

the basic text of the coming virtuality will be " the User's Guide " which , with appended " Operating Instructions" , will replace the Constitution, the Bible , and all our books. it will be written in a language not subject to multiple interpretations- hopefully - and blindingly clear to the user , or THE ADDICT ( my capitals ). no one will ever know that the pidgin English that once came with cheap transistor radios made in Hong Kong, a mysterious language that itself suceeded the Ur-language of the mechanical age known as " Instructions for Assembly .

i saw 2 other cultural studies scholars strapped into VR gear. these two pudgy cybernauts had an amazing array of expressions on their faces as they dodged dangers , fought evil, and generally triumphed in heroic fashion over untold programming. watching them at a distance of about 2 feet were 3 tough-looking Chicano hombres wearing gang colors and grinning like bobcats who'd come across 2 captive turkeys.
that scene gave me great hope- thank god for the barbarians. we do miss the barbarians don't we ? "

random excerpts from the new forward of
the Disappearance of the Outside - a Manifesto for Escape
Andrei Codrescu

(nostalgic ?) romanian poet , rtmark contributor , educator

Posted by pod(s) at February 23, 2003 11:20 PM

instructions for asssembly - un_des-instructions to hack...

Posted by: osfa on February 24, 2003 07:45 AM

Loved some parts. Really. Art moved form religious messanger towards the strugle for images of the unconscious. Whic is a lot like trying to take a picture of god (or fairies). But what are we when we are trying to create art? Marxism with its hope for etarnal glorry, was in a way an extension of something old. Now the times they are achanging. But do we need barbarians?

Posted by: Jeroen Goulooze on February 24, 2003 05:25 PM
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