May 29, 2010

1,2,3.

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1.
We live in a consumer culture. Advertising is everywhere, and would not be everywhere if it did not perceive within us something closed it considered worth opening. We do not live in a democracy, we live in a corporate oligarchy. We are nervous about politics, about politicians, about most utopian options or possibilities for positive social change. For the past fifty years, whichever party has had more money, spent more money campaigning, has won the election. Facts and statistics often convince us, however much we wish they did not: it is as if our brain wanted to eat them whole. We know those in power continuously shape the truth, shape what will be considered true by the vast majority of the population, that there are two kinds of truth: the kind you read in a newspaper, or see on television, and more timeless truths, which will be equally true for future generations as they are for us today. Stating that something is timeless and true is a value judgment requiring conviction. We fear productive convictions are in short supply. History has taught us that certain convictions, taken to their absolute extreme, are terrifying. There is much talk about happiness, about development, about different ways of seeing things. There is a great deal of talk suggesting the future will be tragic. We know predicting the future is a suckers’ game. It is easier to predict the past. It is easier to predict the past than it is to remember it.



2.
The fact that a concept such as planned obsolescence exists, and is the model for so much of our industrial production, generates within me a level and intensity of anger I am simply unable to process. However, one rational trajectory for such anger is equally pernicious: to purchase only expensive, well-made objects that will last a very long time. Works of art are made to last a very long time. Their physical durability, in some sense, echoing their thematic or qualitative timelessness. If they have not been made to last, conservationists and restorers might be hired to preserve them. The term planned obsolescence is generally attributed to the industrial designer Brooks Stevens who used it as the title of a 1954 talk. Wikipedia says: Stevens defined it as “instilling in the buyer the desire to own something a little newer, a little better, a little sooner than is necessary.” His view was to always make the consumer want something new, rather than create poor products that would need replacing. Depression is reactionary. Depression is anger turned inwards, instead of outwards at a system that is either exploiting or casting us aside. Depression is perfectly reasonable given the other available options. A natural sense of pure joy is also perfectly reasonable. I can imagine, utilizing certain advancements in pharmacology, a kind of planned obsolescence of emotions. Your anger no longer serving you, throw it away, it is time for a new kind of anger. It is time for a new kind of anger. A moral outrage with the skill of viral marketing and the precision of Zen. It is always time.



3.
You find yourself standing in front of a door. Inside, on the other side of the door, is everything, and outside, where you currently stand, is nothing. It is a common predicament, one you have faced many times before, and like so many times before, you wonder if opening the door, going inside, actually means anything: if it has content, will give or remove energy, could be said to be taking a stand. So many things in life are empty gestures, but opening a door is never entirely empty. It is always something a bit more or less. What exactly might it mean to open this door. You know you cannot rely on past experiences to guide you, that at the precise moment of every new decision past experiences mean nothing. It is within the heart of the most tepid and timeless clichés, why always search for the undeniable.



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May 26, 2010

A tsunami

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A tsunami of conflicting paradoxes.



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May 25, 2010

The work

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The work is full of bad faith, hypocrisy and not being consequent. It is also full of a struggle with bad faith, hypocrisy and not being consequent.



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May 24, 2010

I often wonder

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I often wonder if people speak about me behind my back. Upon further consideration I feel that, for the most part, they do not. I of course also wonder what they say about me.



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You're only seventeen

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You're only seventeen but you need a hit
a real chart-topper not this Myspace shit
you've got the beat, the hook and your mad sick flow
then when you're nineteen there's nowhere left to go



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May 22, 2010

Meeting of Failures and its 1950 manifesto

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From Serge Berna, host of the Meeting of Failures and author of its 1950 manifesto:


They portray us as DUDS, and that is what we are.

We are nothing, we mean it, NOTHING AT ALL, and we intend to be of NO USE.

“Respectable people” harp on: ”WORK! BUCK UP! SUCCEED!” SUCCEED IN GETTING WHERE? IN DOING WHAT? IN WHAT CONDITION?

Our motto: IN ORDER TO ARRIVE, ABOVE ALL, DO NOT LEAVE.

All you, INCAPABLE, USELESS, IDLE, RAGGEDY BARFLIES!

Come and acknowledge one another and assert yourselves at the

GRAND MEETING OF FAILURES

to be held at the House of Learned Societies

8 Rue Serpente, Paris 5

15 March 1950. 8:15 p.m.

The following will discuss “The Merits of Impotence”:

Serge BERNA: left-wing syphilitic

Maurice-Paul COMTE: individual

Jacques PATRY: former Dominican

A free buffet will be served along with Madeleine AUERBACH.

Evening dress required!






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May 20, 2010

To resist the way that PR is subsuming all forms of art writing

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Clouds uses other people's money to make books. We are not trying to make money off our books, instead making them so they exist and can be in the world, as they are wished to be rather than being what the market requires of them. We practice what the artist wants in the development of art books, and we try to resist the way that PR is subsuming all forms of art writing. What is post-PR writing and publishing in an information economy? We are interested to find out what this means, and what might be possible, at least, at first, by talking about it to others.

- Gwynneth Porter, Clouds Publishing, Auckland, NZ



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May 16, 2010

Historically, artists have not...

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Historically, artists have not necessarily been the most astute political commentators. Perhaps the mental agility required for making art and the mental agility required for useful political analysis are fundamentally at odds.



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How is it possible...

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How is it possible, how is it ethical, to feel such joy in a world constantly spiralling downwards into greater and greater catastrophe, greater and more excruciating comedy.



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May 8, 2010

Geographic Fatalism

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Geographic fatalism: the idea that whether you are born in the first world or in the third world determines how your life is going to be.



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May 7, 2010

Art Careers

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There comes a point in every artist’s career when, after having achieved a certain (not less than considerable) degree of success, the only way to move forward (from a purely careerist perspective) is to die.



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May 3, 2010

The most effective lie

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The most effective lie is always the one closest to the truth. The closer the better. A dream is not true but is never a lie.

[Unfinished.]



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What should I do...

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What should I do with my violence?



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