Take the Kyoto Protocol. Destruction of the environment is not only rational; it’s exactly what you’re taught to do in college. If you take an economics or a political science course, you’re taught that humans are supposed to be rational wealth accumulators, each acting as an individual to maximize his own wealth in the market. The market is regarded as democratic because everybody has a vote. Of course, some have more votes than others because your votes depend on the number of dollars you have, but everybody participates and therefore it’s called democratic. Well, suppose that we believe what we are taught. It follows that if there are dollars to be made, you destroy the environment. The reason is elementary. The people who are going to be harmed by this are your grandchildren, and they don’t have any votes in the market. Their interests are worth zero. Anybody that pays attention to their grandchildren’s interests is being irrational, because what you’re supposed to do is maximize your own interests, measured by wealth, right now. Nothing else matters. So destroying the environment and militarizing outer space are rational policies, but within a framework of institutional lunacy. If you accept the institutional lunacy, then the policies are rational.
Noam Chomsky, Interview by Yifat Susskind, August 2001.
there is a struggle to find the political within art, to address notions of civil liberties, and to address economic terrorism, genocidal economics, the politics of fear, and various forms of government sanctioned / sponsored abuse and ‘control’ tactics. or sometimes i think there isn’t, that it is all grist for the mill. the form of rationality chomsky speaks of is king.
(not that there hasn’t been some wonderful contributions by artists to activism. there has.)
identity is a fluid thing – and so is the body and our performance of identity, but not quite in the same way. identity flows to enable, to act according to needs, or it doesn’t it flows to give justification to the performance of identity. and perhaps that becomes the use of the body. confirmation of a coherent (cogent) values system is actively damaging: at worse manifesting as <i support / like this because i’m like this> an unconsidered response to a changing world that seeks direct cause and effect according to a notion of time closely tied to narrative.
watching the trained body shows me how we anchor ourselves – reassure the self – performing identity, but more importantly, how we can use it – examine and step outside of identity.
APEMANTUS “What beast coudst thou be that were not subject to a beast?”
William Shakespeare. Timon of Athens.
apemantus seems to pose this as recognition that man is more acted upon than acting, but it goes further – which fits the pessimism of the character. he seems to be saying that the world is a place where the fittest, & only the fittest & meanest, will prosper. the play drowns his rhetoric in the philosophy posed by timon – that ‘beast’ could not be so ideological and all such assumptions are abstracted fantasy. nature is indifferent to meaning and materialist assumptions are ridiculous faced with nature.
The World and Life are one. Physiological life is of course not “Life”. And neither is psychological life. Life is the world.
Ethics does not treat of the world. Ethics must be a condition of the world, like logic.
Ethics and Aesthetics are one.
Ludwig Wittgenstein, journal entry.
am greatly taken with this space here i like that it is workshop and gallery. a working space, not a blank space. good work too.
i love using these home made paints. especially the red ochre. it’s shown me what it is red ochre truly is. and the paints are so potent i have to save the water i use to clean the brush to use in paper mache.
KING LEAR: And the creature run from the cur? There thou mightst behold the great image of authority: a dog’s obeyed in office.
William Shakespeare. King Lear.
i watched this recently. peter brook’s film of king lear, and i found it to be quite brilliant. the play – the words and their deeper meanings are allowed to happen, never forced or dressed up. it shows how great shakespeare is. what an artist can achieve.
POZZO: (suddenly furious). Have you not done tormenting me with your accursed time! It’s abominable! When! When! One day, is that not enough for you, one day he went dumb, one day I went blind, one day we’ll go deaf, one day we were born, one day we shall die, the same day, the same second, is that not enough for you? (Calmer.) They give birth astride of a grave, the light gleams an instant, then it’s night once more.
Samuel Beckett. Waiting for Godot.
memory is never a good judge of time.
this is part of a bizarre sculpture of a janus figure – at a guess i’d say related to greek or roman theatre. it was in rembrandt’s house – as part of his collection.