I Take It All Back

11 Mar

Again… Just kiddin’. No I don’t, not at all or nothing at all. I don’t regret anything of it, my convictions are firm, I take back nothing – practice based art not to mention performance or choreography is the low life of aesthetic production. Oh, and I have an addition, gosh how embarrassing, art that issue delegation and is proud of it – Jezuz, like artists that send somebody else to do the performance, a banker to deliver the lecture, a psychic to predict whatever. It makes me sick just to thinking about it. Acid refluxes, like a lot of them. Oh this is good – when I’m anyways at it, aja – this is so bad it makes not only me but people in my near environment experience acid refluxes [what a lovely word], listen to this – artist’s whose work is about the art economy, and especially disgusting in a self-referential sort of way. Holy emesis. [OMG, I had to take a break, stand up and walk around in a bit to calm down, seriously.]

You know what, art is not around to inform the people about things they are ignorant and stupid enough not to have acknowledge. It’s not part of art’s job description to be didactic about something external to itself, not it’s responsibility to enlighten us about injustices, art markets, ecology, human trafficking or anything else. It’s great if artists, it’s even of utmost importance that we or they participate and organize in respect of injustices of all kinds, that they take sides in presidential elections and talk about sexual liberation in their Golden Globe speech. And obviously, an author of whatever kind is always embedded in his or her work, but that does not make art responsible for anything else than to be art. Art is not in the world to inform us about anything at all, and we need to be careful not to instrumentalize art -more than it already is, especially in 2013. [This blog is not art, it might be stupid, informative, self-promotive, about art economies, preposterous and many other bad things but it is not art, in no respect.]

It’s two different things to engage in critical discourse in respect of modes of production, of processes and ways of working, to study and reflect on critical theory and to create an art that illustrate, exemplify or display critical discourse, theory or facts. Arts first responsibility is to be utterly useless.

Depending on perspective art has occupied itself, even obsessed about it’s critical capacity for either the last forty, twenty or fifteen years. The first blow to art’s independence, and it was certainly nothing negative about it, took place during the late 60s when we understood that art is nothing more than construction and language, when authorship was pronounced dead and post-structuralism proclaimed that language is all we got. It was indeed a golden moment cuz suddenly we could start talking about art, reflect on it and inscribe it in new discursive landscapes, but there’s hell of difference between the tautologies of conceptual art and Barbara Kruger’s up in the face didacticism. Dance, nah wasn’t included – the body was still understood to be somewhat authentic and in the 70s it even got worse, with the proliferation of contact and all kinds of improvisation, not to mention shit like authentic movement.

The second blow came in the early 90s with the introduction of performativity, speech act theory and identity politics. Oh, yes that was the moment when dance and performance ended up being mandatory self-reflexive and critical. And the third blow could be said to show up with the reentry of critical theory in academic discourse (implicit with the fall of the wall and the emergence of global market economy), critical theory being in short a form of critical reflection without ideological attachments. Suddenly everything became an endless rant signed criticality – as we all know a lukewarm strategic rereading of the late Foucault. Yet, as much as it was imperative to go through those states, as much as it was fundamental to acknowledge that also art and aesthetic experience is a hodgepodge of language it doesn’t equate that art’s job is to demonstrate these thoughts, discourses and theories. On the contrary isn’t it then even more important that art, however languaged, claims that there are other or alternative modalities of participation in the world, that art claims its sensible, spiritual and universal intensities, intensities that is always qua itself, or in the capacity of itself – sensible qua sensible, spiritual qua spiritual and universal in capacity of universal.

Art, not even dance or choreography is neither a matter of knowledge. Art is not a matter of facilitating knowledge. Exhibitions, festival programs, schools, blogs are commonly means of facilitating knowledge, about passing established sets of knowledge or information to a third party. Knowledge facilitating is great, it’s utterly necessary, it homogenizes knowledge and makes life easy, reliable and functional. What I’m saying is not that artists should wander through the world as innocent savages, on the contrary technical ability, re-skilling, knowledge about ones work in respect of art history, philosophical orientation you name is fab ass. Neither am I saying that art should not reflect those and other knowledges, but what I do say is that the art must not demonstrate or function linear to these knowledges and most of all must never justify itself vis-á-vis whatever knowledge one might possess, in particular anything Deleuzian.

There is a huge difference between facilitation and production of knowledge. Art’s job is a matter of production of knowledge. Now, the problem is that knowledge can not be produced just like that. We can’t go to the studio, sit down and decide to produce some fresh knowledge. Nope, if we do we are only re-distributing already existing sets of knowledge, find new connections or weird correlations, but it’s not production. No, art is, when it is at is best, exactly this production, the production of knowledge, i.e. if we consider art not only as trivial and perspectival forms representation but as an incision into representation itself, a production, and necessarily an unconditional sensible que sensible production that, in certain senses, has no idea what it produces. It is not even the job of art to justify itself, this is the job of us, we that experience it. The production of knowledge is in other words not in the art, it is in the confrontation as experience that art’s utter uselessness turns into the production of knowledge, a knowledge that moments later transforms into tangible, namable, package knowledge completely and without resistance to language.

Art in the last instance is not a matter of interpretation, localization or settlement, art in the last instance is a matter of perturbed or heretic production.


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