To Become Tradition

17 Mar

Certain words in different times appear to be given a more or less inherent negative connotation. It’s like a for no apparent reason seems doomed to the abyss of negative. Not really laughable, like a grunch band on it’s way back, dance from Finland or somebody who proudly announces “I just watched Lars von Trier’s “The Kingdom” expecting a passionate and curious response “Oh wow, can I borrow the DVD box.”, nah just fuckin’ dark and a total lack of understanding. Once captured by the negative it’s hard hard hard work to recover. I’m thinking of sixty-nine for example, no in fact I’m never ever thinking of the classical sexual position, so popular in the 70s and in to the early 80s. Today 69 has gained such a negative connotation, at least in my part of the world and check it out I have a gold freakin’ card with Air France – no I don’t but I haven’t engaged in number sex for like incredibly long time neither. Isn’t it deeply sad – no it isn’t but anyway – that the first, no the original kinky has so completely been taken evacuated from our erotic repertoire. Why wasn’t it like Belgium dance that was expelled instead, I’d be way more happy and I believer the entire world more healthy in general. Just contemplate how much bipolar oral yin yang business the universe would have enjoyed instead of sitting through billions of too long Belgian dance shows, so boring one can’t even fantasize about a missionary when stationary between enthusiastic spectators. Make a case for the sixty-nine, let’s communally bring it out of its negative state of exception.

There are of course hundreds of words and what not that lives in the shadows of negative connotation, words that once were associated with play and double speak but for some reason… you know what I mean. Trap, or why not manipulation are such words. Infection and contamination others, but then don’t we have a rather narrow understanding of trap. But isn’t a map a form of trap? When using a map we can only travel places we are already familiar with or the at least that the map is familiar with they are after all indicated on the map. Or a piano – a total trap, it only allows us to play twelve tones and excludes all other opportunities to make sound. Isn’t it rather embarrassing to think about John Cage and his prepared piano pieces? Great music sure but aren’t they also like Tim Robins in “Shawshank Redemption” trying to make his time in prison somewhat nice and when he finally “escapes” it’s to a chill life on a sunny beach. Why try to make our traps nicer than they are, like pianos with ornamentation or nuclear families trying to be less constipated being a little hippie. Prisons, should be used the other way around, not to make home made tattoos or construct delicate ways of distributing smokes but to produce radically different kinds of life. Isn’t it great to see Tom Robins end up in a much worse prison, a fuckin’ beach where he doesn’t need to be creative at any point of the day. We set up traps for ourselves to change, not a little bit but all the way. Isn’t a concept – understood with a bit of Saturday afternoon precision – and in the Deluezian sense of the word – a kind of trap? Really good traps, or concepts, are nestings so bitchingly irritating that we have to invent new kinds of responses. A high res trap is like having a seriously unknown problem. Deep ass traps are things that we don’t get out of but learn to live with, however not in the psychoanalytical sense of the word but rather in the sense that we change break with life as we know it in favor of different kinds of life compatible with the formation of the trap. Obviously the trap we consider disco is one, so to say, is not of this word. Yep, a trap as unbelievable as a simultaneous orgasm [another of those mandatory whoop whoops of the 70s] 69.

Crisis is an altogether different story. Crisis lives some dubious existence between total doomsday, necessary evil and new beginning, on the one hand completely rhetoric used by the transmitter to produce desired attention and on the other an indication of some asymmetry that can be addressed as much as an inconvenience as a moment of rejuvenation. Recently I read an interview with some superhero self-made CEO who mentioned that his enterprise had excluded all meetings, including stable and long-term structures and now operated only through non-scheduled crisis meetings. “Crisis or not, if there is a crisis announced my people come up with ideas out of the box and bypass benchmarking and double agendas.” [I didn’t read that interview but it sounds good…] An insurance company in the Nordic countries today hire people without offering a job description. They give a cubicle then its up to you to make yourself busy and indispensible. Crisis technology, or whatever labor with a knife to the throat.

What we, humanity or whatever, should fear isn’t crisis, which after all generates desire, what is really to fear is equalization of life into a sort of flat-rate existence producing a numb population. But luckily we don’t need to worry as our present forms of governance have understood to transform crisis into forms of commodity. It is both the up- and down-side to crisis that it “awakes hidden potencies” because as much as these potencies can be used by the “good guys” the bad ones will also use them and probably or most certainly to suck even more value out of people.

Social movements are important and many should be supported. Social movement, is the opposite of trap, manipulation and hierarchical, it’s something that you can not have doubts about, can not question and the more self-organized they appear the better. Jezuz, but what is more complicated is that social movement further has been decided to be good on structural as well as strategic, organizational and expressive levels. This is slightly problematic because social movements are social movement independently what their politics purport. It’s not only half leftists, community building, peace loving etc social movement that exactly that social movements. There is right now an ultra conservative social movement against gay partnership going strong in France, and there is, or was a sort of queer leftist social movement in Sweden against any kind of couple based authorized partnership. In a certain way they propose the same just over utterly different social and political machineries.

But the problem is not this or that social movement but social movement in the first case. Basically, the problem is that social movements don’t take crisis seriously enough. Social movements are like a sweet spanking on the butt, a confirmation that we are engaging in experimental sex. Social movements are Redbull for people with identity issues, feel-good zero risk confirming a good deed.

Freely recalling Zizek, people, or we engage in social movements in order not to take the situation at hand for what it really is; totally fucked up. Social movement is like popular ecology, about not having to deal with the fact that the apocalypse is arriving no matter what.

So far it’s bad but what is worse is that social movements are used by contemporary economy and governance, whatever affiliations and style, as a kind of smokescreen for what is really going on. More over, social movement designate recognizable forms of organization, what is needed today is new forms or organization that can not be classified as anything at all until the day they take over administration all together. Social movements inherently desire authorization, recognition through dominant discourse, and as long as “we” stay in dominant discourse, as long as we remain in an established grammar, nothing more than “a little bit” this or that will change.

What we need today is not more socially, especially not in art, but instead stuff that isn’t social at all, as it is in the confrontation with a radically non-social that new forms of grammars can emerge, and those new forms of grammar can and must produce new forms of life. What we need isn’t more social movements, that allow us to use our individual abilities and feel empowered and in charge of our own destinies through our own personalities, what we need is not more social movements that through harmless conviviality and decomplexification make the individual feel in touch with his or her emotional inside, what we need is not more social movements [where did that sexy terms NGO vanish, probably to Australia or perhaps Canada, Montreal still have NGO’s] that does the jobs our governments should do, and we certainly don’t need more social movements for social movement professional to make more money. What we need is traps, really bad ones that makes life as we know it unlivable. Social movements, exactly because they are social and movements [which is not the same as dance movements even though they might be related].  What we need is traps that bring us so deep into the darkness, to corruption and undermining, into heresy and foul play that any known strategies for both social and movement goes up in smoke. Exactly why need to against social movements, both the social and the movement part.

Look at this, neoliberalism is not a dark age, not a time of doubt or pessimism, it’s not an era of information shortage, spiritualism and which burnings. It might want us to think so but in fact neoliberalism is all lights on, it’s hyper transparent, everything visible, on the table. The trouble is not too little light, but too much, because when transparency rules the winner is the guy with the thickest wallet, especially considering that our present political imagination is completely and absolutely void of ideology. We will not find away out of this through a continued search for light, not even it’s sources, no if we want a way out or if we want a radical change it will be found in the darkness. Let’s not fool ourselves that optimism can be found in a fight against darkness, instead is can be found in darkness and through engagements with darkness on the terms of darkness – remember darkness, the pitch black implies the annihilation of perspective. It is in the dark – both actually and metaphorically [obviously in 2013 we execute 69 with the lamp off, capich] – i.e. we use darkness as a kind of productive trap – that we can bread new forms of optimism, an optimism that isn’t an alternative, that isn’t a for the greater good optimism but an optimism we have no name for.

Our problem is not whether imagination is this or that, nor if our present predicament is a crisis of imagination. The real problem is that the enemy and the sponsor of the emancipation is one and the same, or in other words that the very formation of imagination has been corporatized and if capitalism is based on endless expansion it will indeed be very happy the more and weirder we use it’s imagination. Capitalism knows how to harvest, and makes no difference between good or bad ideas – but it know an efficient idea. The power of imagination is today a force that has become obedient and something utterly useful. Creativity is something every individual, worker, parent, child and artist is obliged to utilize in order to produce further efficiency. Imagination and creativity have become well behaving commodities or strategic instruments in the centre of financialization. Yet, there is no other tool to use to get out of, or fight the world we today participate in maintaining and producing.

A large part of our world has over the last thirty to fifty years transformed from being organiszed around material production, goods and history to be geared through immaterial production, performance and contemporaneity, in such a world imagination and creativity have become centrefold to circulation of value. In our present society your most precious property is not material it’s the imagination your subjectivity generates.

Somewhat cynically any somewhat smart artists are today surfing and capitalizing on the current economical situation, crisis, social decomposition, ecological disaster scenario and what have we. Artists are active in the same landscape as the financial market, Obama’s drones, Facebook, cultural subsidy (either state organized or through nice rich people) and they live the same imagination, an imagination that produces liquid or abstract value, i.e. money. And why wouldn’t artist surf the situation, use it to produce surplus, whatever kind. Everybody knows that any larger size manufacturing company today is making two thirds of its revenue on the stock market, producing cars, leisure equipment or turbines are just a decoy, what matters is the circulation of abstract value and fast. So why would it be different for the artist. You don’t make money on sculptures and painting you make it on circulation of you as abstract value. An art that surfs the present is not a bad art, it can decide to surf with style, or stand around at openings like junior traders cueing up to be the next hot thing in the pit.

And what is the alternative, to be marginal, refuse and withdraw. Don’t think so, that’s so not gonna make a difference, and there is anyway no place to withdraw to, either you are supported by the state or by private economies, but you are never independent. So better surf and to it high, searching for the maverick wave. An art that is not in the middle of deep shit, is not an art we need to bother about. Only in the middle and ready to disco will we change the world, and it will be to the worse. This is important, if we want a change that is not just a little bit this or that but changes the modes thing change, i.e. the circumstances for change on a structural level, what we will necessarily produce is “worse”, because with radical change something will also disappear. This is a change that in itself is destructive, this way of being, this way of being a good person, this way of making decision etc. will change or perhaps not even exist. So, yes do we want change it’s gonna be for the worse, but worst here is synonymous with all together different, it implies the introduction of entirely new problems.

I want to be traditional [one of those kind of forbidden words, what a negative sound it comes with]. Traditional. It is the one and only thing I have ever strived to be. To become fully and completely traditional but with one condition, that it is traditions that I don’t serve but live, that I don’t try to complete but can exist with. In other words traditions against confirmation, against tradition and beauty, against Rancière and subjective, against negotiation, diplomacy, rhetoric and newslettes. I can only tolerate unconditional traditions, that negates any kind of negotiation. Traditions that are completely no more mister nice guy, that submits to the sublime, perhaps using beauty but certainly not relying on that söft stött that make men yell-O.

To become traditional is a means of losing organs. To be fully traditional implies an over-striation to the extent where it tips over into smooth. Tradition is a system so totalitarian it falls over into excessive smoothness. The revolutionary subject is always absolutely traditional, and thus it fails radically to be subject. The non-trivial unconditional tradition is a moment of losing perspective and becoming horizon. Absolute tradition and revolution is like becoming rainbow. Dance strives to lose its organs to vanish into tradition, to be tradition and lose its organs through the endless organization in and of time and space. To dance for real is to become tradition, to lose oneself and subjectivity, to disappear into a smooth wildness, into the dark forest.

The dance that becomes one with itself, that vanish into tradition, and changes consciousness to a non-human capacity is necessarily danced by and through an erotic existence or better an orgasmic existence, an existence that is deeply traditional, totalitarian, auto-revolutionary (and shuns auto-poiesis), that is non-economical and non-capitalist precisely because it, contrary to the liberal subject (engaged in reflexivity, divisibility, maintenance of the species and survival) is totally non-reflexive, indivisible, orgasmic and devouring.

This dance that is non-composed, is non-organized, non-divisible – and has nothing to do with philosophy – it is a dance that is only itself and however it cannot be seen it has and is obsessively organized, divisible and makes philosophy, but this is an organization, divisibility, philosophy that withdraws endless from human consciousness.


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