I Will Not Give Up

18 Mar

Everything tells me to, my intellect [if I have one], consciousness, my feelings and emotions even my Montreal fluffy affect department [oh, no not that one - it tells me to be always more than one, holy fuck as I didn’t have enough of one me?] all of them tells me to, tells me give up and to comply to the general order. I should follow tendencies of correct behavior and resign, invest properly and agree to be part of markets, to strategies of survival, measurement and compatibility. But I can’t give up. I can’t and write out of despair. I’m maker of dance and choreography and I’m in tears.

I will not and cannot support consciousness but must fight it to bitterest of bitter ends. “Give up and swallow the little suffering that it implies”, but no I cannot, I rather live with the increased pain whatever getting out of consciousness will cost me. To be alive is not alright, I must fight the desire to consider that life is okay. Consciousness and life, a good, and okay life, that is what I need to fight. I fight, wave my arms wildly to become existence and non-life.

Certainly, I exist in markets, I perform strategies and negotiate diplomatically yet just because I do, do I necessarily need to subordinate myself to these. Even if I will come out vanquished my job is to refuse, not refuse as a protest against anything, no this is a refusal to myself and the petty desires I can already have have and enjoy.

I’m not in favor emancipation, I’m against it, because emancipation is already from something, my refusal is worse I must emancipate myself from emancipation as a form of struggle, an aimless struggle towards an annihilation of myself as myself. Emancipation is connected with gratification, the struggle I need to engage in must not offer any from of gratification, no affordance and certainly no opportunities for investment. Anything that I can conclude works is not enough, only that that doesn’t work is acceptable and worth further investigation. Whatever works is always already inscribed and possible [spti on Woody Allen]. It is not enough to set up problems for myself or the world. To problems I can have there are already more or less relevant solutions. What I must do is to force myself to invent problems to which there are absolutely no solutions. I must not solve problems, I must resolve myself in favor of new problems. I already have the answers, I know what is wrong, but neither to identify what is wrong nor accept my answers is sufficient. I must keep watch, keep awake. I must take all threats seriously, but must not give in, don’t be seduced by them, identify with their surprising yet conventional monstrosity, I must not resign in front of false sense of guilt and justice they invite. I must refute my desires to protest, my hopes for some revolt, as they confirm my idealist light leftist subjectivity and already responds to an already producible future, already some kind of prescriptive capacity, to forms of emancipation. Fuck that, it is only the simple formation of a projectable future. I must stop myself, cut my own limbs that bring me towards hope. I must annihilate my petty belief in the future and with a complete lack of expectation engage in future, future as absolute non-differentiated becoming, future not as the actualization of tendencies already in existence but in avenir a break with any form of perspective. The future is already engaged in perspective, in formation, whereas avenir is future understood as horizon, future as indivisible and continuous alien. I don’t care if such an aimless struggle or keeping watch implies an argument vis-à-vis a great outdoors, immanence or plain of consistency. This is not a matter of analysis in favor of a philosophically consistent subject, no we are and must by necessity be against such a subject, both the philosophical and the consistency part, avenir is rather and also precisely their contingent destruction or putrefaction.

It might appear childish and idealistic but there is no artistic practice that we can respect that does not understand avenir as its in-one-identity of the last instance. Liberty’s rigor is way more difficult than liberty itself. I will not give up, never. It is my promise, my only promise. I will never, never give up.

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.

 

Zombie Art

16 Mar

Somebody who is out there to cross limits knows that limits sometimes kicks back. Fuck yeah, if one anyway are out there to make up proverbs why not go all the way to the depth, no super depth, the goddamn abyss of kitsch. Proverbs, aha, don’t work out very well if they are reasonable or well balanced, they don’t make it all the way if they don’t result in a mixture between awkward silence and a double a high five [but like how ultra uncool are you if you high five in the first place, whatever.] Proverbs that isn’t painfully pathetic is like qualitative porn made for conscious middle class people. Exactly, high quality porn isn’t porn. Forget about it. Yet, it’s quite comical to reflect on the endless row of failed attempts to produce quality porn or even more gigglish erotic film and get this with high quality narratives. Didn’t even that Danish guy try his luck… who said he was even close to a good film maker. Like totally what did he do even half reasonably, “Breaking The Waves” is proverb pathetic, to admit that one likes “The Idiots” – that’s him or… – isn’t that like, with a timbre of curiosity in the voice asking “Did you read gender trouble?”.  That one with Nicole Kidman and some sort of cowboy “Dogville” – perhaps not it’s like second rate institutional critique, and from there on – “Anti Christ” is like a Haneke script [and that’s already 50/50 super warning] directed by Peter what’s his name “Lord Of The Rings”, and “Melancholia” I always considered that a remake, however a quite good one, of Sophia Coppola’s “Marie Antoinette” which of course was way much more exiting – yeah, Kirsten Dunst, a fucked up marriage, male cowards and it all ends in an apocalypse.

Stop, thinking that Lars von Trier is any good, radical, exclusive, cool, innovative, he is not, you only want to think so cuz you think others think he is, innovative and cool whatever. One wants to like what others like not to have to produce arguments of ones own, it feels good to go for the established, especially the a little bit special established like Lars. You know that having a liking for von Trier is approximately as dangerous as to have issues with McDonald’s or to be positive to ecology in general.

You just want to be like everybody else, but a little but special. To use proverbs [look who’s talking] in some or other way is a form of auto-saturation of identity, not really ironic, but still in a sort of Zizekian way of speaking: They know what they are doing and they are doing it. But perhaps that’s just simple self-reflexivity and that as we know is obviously the pent house level of angst-ridden identity paranoia.

 

A field of knowledge as much as any other semi-stable institution will struggle to the end of times for it’s own maintenance. As much as politics is a means to tame the police, there are obviously politics or modes of governance established in all institutions and those modes are there not in order to change, especially nothing fundamental, but is there to make business as usual. On top of the to do list of all territories and institutionalities is the maintenance of itself as itself, and this is obvious. Say since the French revolution or some fifty years earlier it couldn’t be otherwise. Not only did the state figure out how to teach its citizens what is good for society or the species – responsibility instead of punishment – it also taught institutions of all kinds to be liberal subjects. Dance or anything else will never, contemporary art will never admit it’s possible irrelevance, ridicule, general insignificance and so on, why do we otherwise still have Dixieland jazz, Ricky Garweis, Pina Bausch, house music, Woody Allen, theatre. From any reasonable perspective no of these expressions makes any sense what so ever. Consider the relevance of dance theatre in 2013. Are you nuts? Think for a second about theatre, and you start laughing but remember whilst you are laughing theatre works its ass off to maintain itself and to be relevant to its time. The magical thing is that theatre, or dance for that matter, first of all thinks about itself as contemporary, however using the word not in the sense of something that questions [gosh, I hate when I write that word] conventions and perhaps produce reality, but more in the sense of being alive, like something produced or manufactured not so long ago. A slightly more advanced thought is contemporary, as in the sense of contemporary opera is different than opera made 50 years ago – it might be contemporary to itself but that doesn’t say that it in any respect is contemporary to society itself and it is certainly not producing anything in relation to which society might have to react except superficially, like with an article in Village Voice. Contemporary dance functions in both these ways, and it takes its job to maintain dance as dance very serious.

Yet, dance and everybody involved in dance says yes to change. Dance need to change in order to live a healthy and vivid life, it needs renewable, young and up coming, differentiation you name but then how come our contemporary dance festivals are so keen on showing what we all already know is over. How come when we need renewal and change that every major grant and even worse prize is delivered to choreographers that will never again renew fuckin nothing, except perhaps get a new car. Or for that matter renewed anything in dance in the first place. You get a prize because you are dead, and a sad corpse at that.

Yes, dance and the entire art sector included scream for change but there is one condition nothing can be allowed to disappear. Change in the cultural landscape is always additive, it’s a zero casualties policy that rules the game. And the address to the young choreographer is similar, go ahead and make wkd dance but only as long as it doesn’t in any respect threaten the species.

Sure, markets govern, audience numbers and budget cuts as well but it is possible to say no or even NO. But no, today we – makers and doers not to mention curators, administrators, museum directors, educators, editors, publishers and university people – are very able to make concessions, to swallow more or less anything, to bow for the greater good of the field, expression, department etc. everything else than maintenance doesn’t exist. The species is everything. The idea and insistence that art is some sort of scarcity [which is total nonsense, there is far too much art produced in society today, especially art that thinks about itself as being professional. My advise to most artists would be to stop, right now. Artists are bad listeners.] – in any case the idea and insistence that art is a scarcity in society that needs to be saved and pampered further increased the endless output of mediocre maintenance art. I love the argument, well at least they did something. And btw, how can anybody come up with a sentence like this, which I have heard versions of a thousand times the last months: “I didn’t like the piece so much, but the dances were really good” or “I’m not sure about the piece, but the music was really cool”. Art is not like football, where it might matter if a player in the losing time was amazing. When we judge art, and we do, we judge all of it at the same time and not the parts as parts. It’s the poetry that matter, we don’t celebrate Mallarme for his choice of font. The poems I can’t really take but the font is so, hmmmm Helvetica. A dance is good or bad, independent of the soundtrack, dancers ability, light design [which is always bad] or anything else. We judge the aesthetic experience nothing else. The kind of “but I liked that dark haired dancer” is obviously statements along the line with maintenance. Similarly, an artist age, nationality, class can never be reason enough to soften ones judgments. A seventy-eight year old choreographer must be judged through the same criteria as any other, its condescending to judge a choreographer from Sweden or Peru in any respect differently. Stop it. It is not automatically cute when old people dance around or choreograph. In some or other way, I’m thinking that it is as disgusting to cute the old choreographer as it is to soften once judgments because the young choreographer is severely fuckable. But again, the old choreographer, who is a child of Judson church [can you imagine somebody wrote me this in an e-mail “I am a child of Judson…” what a laugh], or was once dancing with Trisha [you don’t become a good choreographer just because somebody called Bill, Merce or Wim once hired you] is of course also part of the general maintenance. The consequence of all this is that a territory, institution or art form first of all only considers its contemporaneity to itself.

Everything is contemporary sure thang, what we need to scrutinize is how our dance and choreography relates to its contemporary in general or even as a generic, and I mean in respect of all it’s (a works, or the art forms) active parameters. The bad bad example would be something in the direction of a fresh “Othello”. Fuck that! Or, stop making versions of “Rite Of Spring”. Who came up with the idea, such an amazingly stupid idea as a fresh Othello, or a Rite in overalls taking place in a factory where the chosen one is a revolutionary or something great. But seriously how contemporary is dance? As far as I can see it is still deeply and excessively embedded in modes of production that has nothing to do with contemporary modes of life. It’s not enough that a piece is performed by young people, it is not enough to use more or less fresh clicks and cuts ambience as soundtrack. It is not enough to refer to Judson, and it is certainly not enough to use deconstruction as a mode of pursuit, and you don’t become contemporary because you say I don’t know too often. Idiot.

In an essay Agamben proposes that to be contemporary implies to be out of sync, but this out of is not behind as in dance, but is rather to be read as the moment your production is recognized as contemporary by critics, curators, audience, colleagues, the moment when Karl, Carla, Bettina or Guy calls you, sorry you are already passé. They call you because you are recognized as contemporary, for Agamben that’s not enough. We agree with Agamben but his terms are to soft and after all the Italian thinkers loves old things. The point is however straight, the radically contemporary is something that threatens the police, is something that fucks context, history, politics, technique, parts of the whole, gesture and diplomacy. It is contemporary just because it is operates on the edges or “outside” the possible. Consequently, radical contemporaneity isn’t exactly sustainable but hyper volatile. Such a contemporary can obviously be translated into a kind of quickie version of utopia. Like utopia in an elevator, making mad love like for seven floors. Amazing and who cares about duration [try Mariot Marquee on Time Square, really fancy elevators and 45 floors].

But before we hook up with Agamben dance has to start relating to contemporary outside it’s own domain, to contemporary in respect of media, technology, discourse, information dissemination, fashion, image production the lot. No, I’m not arguing for an art that is dressed up in Margiela for H&M, or that we should make choreography to dubstep, not at all, but what I do insist on is to know why we don’t, or why we do the choices we do in respect of contemporary society, modes of being human and life in general. Then of course anybody that’s smart don’t end up in dance or choreography, they are clever enough to go music, cinema, internet or anything. Our sweet field of dance and I believe art in general – except poetry of course – is an enormous nest of half losers that don’t know better, me included – and that’s why we operate like we do – through maintenance.

The contemporary I’m addressing here is strategic, political, ethical, reasoned, negotiated and reflected, and that’s a first step. This is totally context, critical, discursive and articulated sans any form of intuition. After that superheroes, starts our real problem and that is how to make the art we make out of sync with itself and it’s time. How to produce an art that is more or worse than in or of its time, an art that operates outside the discursive, that fucks identity and produces new kinds of circumstances for what an identity can be [processes of individuation], that, and I mean it – however created within and through reason, discourse and it’s time – that, is namely an art that is totally and utterly irresponsible, that is violent [in the sense of being a rupture], that doesn’t give a shit and has no reason to exist or do what it does except because because. A radically contemporary art can and must never ever be ethical, subservient, not even political and certainly not relational. A radically contemporary art is by necessity non-relational. It has no friends and it is certainly not friendly, it’s pathetic as a proverb, and it knows that for those out there to cross limits, limits fight the fuck back, and it sucks it up, all of it, it fears nothing least of all it’s own death, its own annihilation. Or a radically contemporary knows it is already dead, radically contemporary art has no subjectivity, it’s abysmal, it is a communality of pure rage, covered in blood, it is a zombie, and I’m in love with her.

 

 

Make It Contemporary

15 Mar

The time of movement is now. It is not an accident, it is not a temporary fashion. The time of movement is now, as it never was before. Yes sire. It is now and soon, very soon it’s gonna be a known fact. It was already stated yesterday. What? Aha, once more time. A society has the art it deserves. So check it out, the last hundred years has experienced a consistent transformation of general modes of production from a period where commodity production was key, voila what you made money on was commodities – gold, tobacco, wood, steal, fish and the lot – to deep industrial production where the manufacturing of goods were centerfold – automotive industry had it’s heyday, tons of workers went to the factory to produce wonderful things mass reproduced, from sausages to sofa sets, weapons and Hollywood movies [the studio system]. But also goods were bypassed now in favor of service, here we go exchange value suddenly got complexified when major parts of our economies were invested in services from hair cuts to psychic readings, from fast food to internet shopping, and then… experience took the lead and today major parts of our money is directed to knowledge, subjectivity, transformation and potentiality production. Industries are today selling us soft values that implies only the possible transformation of the subject engaged. From hard to soft, from concrete to abstract, and with those transformations also modes of production have changed significantly. Who today, in the Western world [yes, I know… ] works in a factory, nobody – we all work in small entities with way more complex job descriptions than the good old worker. And obviously, as engaged in the labor market we also sell completely other skills, from the factory workers hard skills [from muscle power, to welding or operating a sewing machine] to soft skills like charm, problems solving, a smiling face, age or some general form of performative abilities. Add to that, what brings in the bacon is not the ability to produce many of a few products (stable and efficient production methods), but a few of many (super dynamic competence). In short from stability and repetition to dynamism and movement. From the collective of identical workers that however repressed and sucked, because of their interchangeability had zero problems with unionization, to the individualized employee, still repressed and sucked but because what he or she sells is his or her identity, charm, smiling face etc. will never ever unionize. In fact to consider the possibility of an uprising in our contemporary Western society is total nuts. The crises needed for any serious and on individual levels non-strategic unionization or political movement to grow strong must be so deep that it will resemble a goddamn apocalypse. Fuck no, I’m not vouching for any form or neoliberalism – I’m just being realistic. The foundations of classical revolution are just not compatible with our contemporary society. And since any form of self-organization was captured through corporate DIY culture forms of emancipation have also lost any and all is “subversive” capacities. You don’t become less a capitalist because you buy organic, local or free going food. It just feels better, and they know it [even the chicken].

Aha, so if this is the conditions of contemporary society. Bring it on, society has experienced a six fold [I know yesterday it was only four, society is changing rapidly] transformation from industrial production, goods, history, localness, stability and the people, what we have today is a society governed by immaterial production, performance or performtivity, contemporaneity, globality, flexibility and the individual. And just in case add to that a good old fact from discipline to control. Hole in one, exactly a transformation from objects and stuff to movement and performance.

So now if – which is not an if but a fact – also art and cultural landscapes correlate to general modes of production in society it is obvious that its modes of production and distribution, administration, dynamics and you name by necessity must change. The time is now, it not an accident either in the arts – whatever art – what governs its engagement in society is exactly immaterial production, performance or performativity, contemporaneity, globality, flexibility and the individual. The time of movement is now and is here to stay.

Consequently it is not an accident that every second museum today is engaging choreographers to make whatever it is that they make from dances performances on Saturday afternoon, to exhibitions stretching over the conventional three months. It is not an accident that every second artist is adding performativity to name their practices. It’s not an accident that architecture today desperately wants to be performative or even performance architecture. It is no accident that temporary or time based is being thrown around in the art circuits. It is no accident that the museum today is hysterically looking for activational artistic bingabonga. It is no accident that artistic practices today want to emphasize its discursive engagements, it correlates perfect with knowledge oriented society. Anybody who considers that artistic research is a temporary faux pas is an idiot. The art council is a creature produced by the welfare state in correlation with industrial production. Swallow it, artistic research is here to stay, it’s straight up the alley with knowledge society. Chew on that, amigo.

But what does dance do about it, nothing or something. Come on dance folks, get the grip our time is now and we better goddamn seize the opportunity [we don’t need to do it through means of neoliberal conformism, we can chose methods]. The argument that dance always has been part of the artistic landscape and that dance has been in the museum for bunches of years is certainly true but it is BS because the modalities through which it is part is magnificently different. Let’s not sell out movement to visual artists, curators, CEO’s, architects and other incompetent fatalities of the field, let’s claim the territory even and especially if it forever will change what dance, choreography and movement implies and is. The time of movement is now.

And look at this, the theatre, what is that if not a construction based on experience understood as, or through industrial production (the dance company), goods (the dance production), history (classics), localness (the city theatre), stability (repertoire) and the people (the audience). The theatre is a factory that packages experience, performativity and movement in ways that is past tense. Leave it, and leave it now.

Our job is not to make dance pieces and fasten movement into repeatable repertoire pieces, no our job is to set movement free and make it one with it’s time, with contemporary modes of production, organization, distribution, labeling etc. And most of all to make dance and choreography correlate to contemporary modes of being human, with contemporary modes of life.

The time of movement is now.

Something Is Very Very Wrong

14 Mar

Listen up, I say this only once. Performativity is not a good thing! Mediocre art will not get anything better because of some added performativity. Your work is genuinely second rate artistic rubbish with or without performativity. Pas de tout, it’s garbage what you do and only curators worth contempt and despise will pick up your filth.

What about this, nowadays curators don’t have meetings anymore, sure studio visits and all kind of meetings but they have something new, they gather up, in order to prepare the upcoming exhibition or whatever it is, in a workshop. Isn’t it laughable, I start giggling just thinking about thinking about it, wow. First time in years curators are funny. “Yep, you know we’ll have a workshop.” What the fuck’s that supposed to mean, is the workshop their contribution to creativity, just a new name for brainstorming [which obviously is approximately as uncool as Myspace or Perez Hilton], ahaaa is it an adjustment toward contemporary knowledge production, Oh My God. Perhaps it is, a kind curatorial research [a very healthy addition to artistic ditto. Holy Juzuz]. Or, eheee, I think I understand… workshop is the curatorial turn toward, the P word, performativity. Nowadays curating is not a matter of goods [objects], service [relational aesthetics] or experience economy [socially engaged art], no no no it all comes down to performativity, and it’s very good. No, it’s not what is good with performativity. This is a disaster.

In fact to consider performativity as some kind of quality or condition of a work of art, is like dissing a piece of music for not having and for not being sonic. But Christ, we have all agreed on 4.33. Anybody, including a bowling-hall, that addresses performativity as some thing, as a quality or a condition is a person that must think that Marcel Duchamp is a DIY shop owned by the same company that runs Duene Reade. Everything in the world, even really small things, middle sized dogs, chairs, factories and jealousy, are affected, charged, motored etc. through some or other performativity. For some thing to be able to participate in the world, in reality, in anything at all it must exists within a relation with some capacity of performativity. Or, stuff that doesn’t have or is not in relation with some form of performativity you know just puff is evacuated from reality. It doesn’t exist. Performativity implies an object’s [however unstable, whatever like a memory or a little bit of smoke], subject’s [even just a kid of a guy from Florence] or a movement’s [a dance movement as much as a political movements] establishment of relations with reality, with say the symbolic order. Performativity in other words signifies the capacity of naming or being named.

Look at this, the moment when you add performative to your art practice what you do is to justify it. No, you are not bringing it out of anything, a performance is still a goddamn object, your horrid fuckin’ dress code parade with queer bling elements is still an object, after all you got paid for it, after all you brought along some idiot to document the act, event or whatever you call it in a crispy nice way and a camera that makes click sounds. Your socially engaged practice is still an object, it was after all part of and in the catalogue of the biennale this that or so and so. It is not more or less an object than a painting, installation, piece of music, a text or whatever, it is just differently an object. No, what that added title really does is to justify your schtuff as perfectly inscribed, formatted, housetrained, well-meaning, politically and socially healthy exactly because you state or emphasize it’s ability to established relations or already be inscribed in nets of relationality. Performative art is an art, however it’s messy, trashy, sticky, body fluids, dressed down and make up, that has given up all aspirations, and is instead endlessly complacent with our current economical, social etc. models of governance, it even licks its ass and with pleasure.

What is rather as stake right now and in the future is to invent methods, tactics, models, auto-terrorisms, heresies that cancels out, exorcise, dismiss, destruct, fuck up and, yes, completely goddamn annihilates some things performativity, like all the way. That, exactly disengage itself from relations whatsoever. And this is ha-ha-hard work, seriously h-h-h-hard, because indeed evly-thing, even stuff from Japan, has or is inscribed in nets of performative capacitation. Performativity is inherent in whatever it is we have around us, even memories, faith, the smell of sex, lipstick and the weather forecast. What we need to do, is to get out a motherfuckin axe and cut those relations. It is at this moment, when art frees itself from performativity [however just for an instant and yes it’s also potential vis-á-vis performance, dance and music, even [although it feels disgusting to have to admit it] to live art and performance collectives active in Berlin [nah, maybe not them], that something else, something radically different can kick in, and this radically different is obviously not sympathetic, but seriously violent. It is not furry and chill, it is directly hostile, a goddamn warmachine.

Okidok, where are we? Even though performativity takes off with “How To Do Things With Words” (a series of lectures delivered 1955, published 1962) and touches down ten years later with Derrida, it is only with Butler that shit hits the fan and performativity gains celebrity factor. If we degrade ourselves for a moment to psychoanalytic lingua [spit on Woody Allen] we could consider that Austin’s and Derrida’s texts function as a symptoms of a truth to come, as kinds of dark precursors of a future that has now gone super-size-me. Is it a coincidence that Austin’s book is published the same year as Judson Church brings dance out of the closet… Is it chance that Derrida delivered his lecture “Signature, Event, Context” in August 1971, the very same months that Nixon abolishes the gold standard and makes the world markets floating… What those guys did was unknowingly to predict a neoliberalism based on performativity. Since Butler made us aware off our coreless subjects and iteration, performativity has transformed from being something marginal to be the centerfold of our economical and social reality. Performativity is that stuff that our society is made of.

I’ve said it before, but it’s elementary, the world we live in today – even and especially if we live in remote parts far far away from economical and power hubs – is in its entirety performative. A quick sketch would tell us something like this, over the last fifty years the world has experienced a four fold transformation, okay hold on, from: industrial production, distribution and circulation of goods, localness and a society that acknowledges history (and with that asymmetries of knowledge), to a reality organized around: immaterial production, performance (include in this knowledge, experience and subjectivity production slash economies), globality (and I don’t just mean around the world, but all the way internet porn, World Of Warcraft, financialization, Richard Branson, FB and derivatives) and acknowledges only the contemporary, i.e. a ubiquitous simultaneity where every moment is every moment and all the time. In that world, ladies and gentlemen, the whole she-fuckin’-bang has turned performative – todo, tous, rubbet. So like how damn subversive is your performativity now, what is it productive of now, baby. Essactly, it’s totally over, you just became more of the same. And if you think stating the performative nature of the subject, the body or anything else, it’s all too late, because you know what, business already did that for us, and we just need to get the picture that corporate interest lick its lips the more curious forms of performativity we invent, it loves to incorporate it in next years collection. Phab.

Performative architecture, like fuckin help me! What’s that supposed to mean, buildings that looks like sheds, inflatable tents that can be offered as temporary shelter after natural disasters, why not a t-shirt with the Mies van der Rohe pavilion printed on the chest [less if more…], or why not just a t-shirt, it is after all a kind of building, construction and formation of space. All goddamn architecture is performative, it does something whereas it want to or not, and a lot. Same thing with performative art. Paintings, the moment the museum opens and before too, performs for us, it shows itself to tourists dressed in Bermuda shorts, to art students, to couples that makes out – those poor painting perform for us. Close the museum now, give the painting vacaction. We have to acknowledge that performativ is not when something becomes socially measurable, when and artistic practice, work or whatever becomes inscribed in some form of efficiency or contributes with something, especially, something unexpected. Unexpectedness has seriously little to do with performative of not. What in the first place is unexpectedness, it’s exactly already in the imaginary, unexpected is not enough. It’s just unexpected, but still within that which can be expected. Unexpected is still possible, what we are looking for – and only an art that annihilates it’s performative capacitation can close up to this scission – what we are looking for, is an art that is not possible, but instead enters the domain of potentiality, a domain that we can’t even imagine imagining. Only an art that renounces it’s performativity, only an art that rejects any form of relation can circumvent efficiency, policy, strategy, meaning production, prescription, markets, and become the carrier of spiritual truth [which obviously is not spiritualist or something to do with yoga].

By the way, an art, today, that is implemented in a context as an example, must necessarily be abandoned. Art is about creating the real as the real not propose alternatives, respond to asymmetries, be critical, smart or glamorous.

In the mean time however, artist and their work is responsible to consider not whether or not it is performative, but how, in respect of what circumstances, vis-á-vis what politics, ethics etc. it’s performativity is operating. But even so, stop performativity hysteria now, cancel all art that includes participation, abolish all socially engaged practices, stop any art that is efficient, productive, that build bridges, that pities human beings, that is in any respect exited about ecology, and make an art that is totally and utterly useless, that is, and shuns for just a moment any kind of performativity, and because it does, by necessity will force the viewer, spectator, implicated, reader or listener – not into some tacky partage du sensible – but into a problem, a serious problem – namely to invent, and by necessity, entirely new kinds of performativity, modes that might just change the world itself and entirely.

And Now To Something Entirely Different

13 Mar

Architects are people afraid of disorder and mess. Architecture is a way of taming or subjugating space. We tend to address space, even the most rudimentary, as form of stability from which something can take off, open up or engage. Space in this sense becomes reactive and hence consolidating vis-á-vis territory, identity, life – a space of possibilities. But what about formation of spaces that implicit their own decay, corruption, collapse or undermining, i.e. a space that actively produce instability, especially produce indeterminate instability. Instead of a stability to take off from these are spaces to fall through, sink into, to be devoured by. It is in those moments of falling through that space becomes active, where spaces become productive of “whatever” or said differently that they produce or become productive through necessity, just one instance from ex nihilo.

 

Modernity with its narratives around a liberal individualized subject, “classical” capitalism, concept of property etc. tends or tended to consider space in respect of occupancy, from the nation to “occupy movements”. Some thing occupies what is not yet completed and spaces are filled through strategies that adhere to a certain, desired, completed and authorized subjectivity. In other words space understood through legislation, measurability and power. The occupy movement, that desperately desired approval from dominant discourse, in this respect was of course doomed from the start. Instead of occupation could one address space through a different metaphor, mold. Mold and fungi approach space differently, they move into spaces that are already full. Fungus doesn’t move in, nothing needs to be emptied out or evacuated, fungus fucks occupy it superimposes. However, for this superimposition to be effective it needs to address space through different forms, or at least experiment with different forms of subjectivity. It’s not like mold kind of shares space, like double room with two single beds. No no, mold is to space as we know it like superimposed incompatible phenomena. This superimposition is one possible capacity for undermining and corruption of space.

Decay is a building material. Corruption is spatial practice. Like, animals that live underground and dig canals they are great architects, the more they build or dig the more they corrupt the ground. Until one moment , when spaces fall in on themselves.

 

Consider the tension between perspective and horizon. Obviously we are discontent with the primacy of perspective and think argue that this domination has been exponentially strengthened from day to day since the end of the 18th century. Perspective is necessarily reductive, discursive, directional and functional through affordance and investment, perspective is by proxy economical, territorial, reflexive and trivial. Horizon, and we don’t just mean the 360 degrees, but horizon rather as a non-territorialized identity that withdraws from measurability and direction, and hence from economy. Perspective can be understood in respect of openness, negotiation and divisibility, horizon doesn’t go there, it’s open, it’s unconditional and is ready to be conquered, consumed, annihilated.

Perspective, coincides with occupancy, in the sense that perspectives can be traced to one yet composed etymology and they are laid out next to each other, on top of, underneath, side by side etc. Perspective is like photoshop, layout. Perspectives in themselves are not necessarily strong but relations they form are strong and consistent. Said differently perspective is measurable whereas horizon is a matter of intensity.

In the western world more or less since 250 years, considering the birth of the modern subject etc, we treat rhythm as a spatial capacity – not least through elaborate musical notations or through music software – rhythm has become architectural and perspectival. Can we dare say composers are people that fear sound and therefore tame music in their compositions? Rhythm should be understood as horizon and through intensity, not as weak entities connected through strong and consistent relations. On the contrary rhythm should be understood as strong entities with weak and fuzzy connections.

You know, gossiping with Deleuze – and thinking here that structures are great, strategy is bad (we will come back to why) and tactics are underrated and the shit [e.g. in relation to economy or artistic practices] – location, position, statement, definitions is so last Friday, it’s all a matter of staying in the middle – and middle here is of course not a location but a dynamic – and changing speed. What Deleuze, or for that matter gossip, is talking about or emphasize is neither the speed or changing parts, but a matter of transforming what or how both change and speed is. Rhythm, when understood as or over horizon and intensity, is something that can change change and speed, and always in the middle, as in fill circle.

 

Reflection proposes light and extension, the possibility of measuring and of divisible continuity. Reflection further proposes three dimensional space, a space that emphasize both three and dimensional, in other words the recognizable, reflectable, the measurable, i.e. consistent. Consequently reflection, light and extension or say distance, implies the emergence of economy.

Now reflection or economy is obviously not bad things but produce certain kinds of life, certain kinds of consciousness. Talking to Flusser, reflection and implicitly economy causally realize life in respect of survival and reproduction. Reflection in the first instance will never bring us anywhere, especially not somewhere else. More over reflection obviously shows up in company with imagination, which you know is like – if the world was a tomato imagination would be the green shit that one just want to get cut off. Or like if imagination was a person hearing it’s name would result in an eye roll. Totally.

Imagination is always already house-clean, proper and tidy. Oh, and reflection is already spooning with policy.

Let’s flipside it all, especially in respect of contemporary artistic practices. Now, if we know what reflection produces what about the other side. If there is no reflection, thus no light and no distance, hence no dimensions and nor economy, neither for survival or a sexuality organized around reproduction. We could and should develop on this but basically this means the formation of life that is instead devouring and orgasmic. In respect of non-reflection the world is endlessly small and big at the same time, without the possibility of representation nor repetition such a world must understand time completely differently and can only have it all each time, as each time is unique and unilateral, the result being a desire to incorporate the other, to devour, and since this world has cancelled out differentiation communication is not information based but can only be affective, sensuous, orgasmic. The non-reflective equals orgasmic.

Now, its obviously not enough to close our eyes or hang out in a dark space, as if photographers would be orgasmic when developing images… No, there is no voluntary path to non-reflective life or production, and this is the great paradox in order to “reach” a stage of non-reflectivity we need to use imagination and reflection, indeed exactly to get out precisley imagination and reflection.

 

Recently I realized that I’ve never been able to show up. I don’t mean that I was constantly late or had some issue with navigation and ended up in the wrong place. That would have been quite cool, more like I wasn’t able not to reflect and hence project on to the future something already possible, not to in advance justify or judge. “Great, you’re…” – that’s me – “a guy that approaches the world with caution and respect, a reflected and” – here it comes – “good person”. All this in opposition to naiveté, ignorance and innocence, deception and darkness of the opposite, but is there a third option that doesn’t sign up to either reason or some hippie esoteric mumbo jumbo? Is there something between – of course between here is a spatial address, so fuck that, but is there a different option, neither constipated conceptual artist that covers his tracks so meticulously there’s zero sex, and happy-coincidence hope-for-the-best that probably doesn’t poop at all. To show up, describes this third exit point, approach or perhaps closure, not definition nor openness. To show up is really not easy, really not.

Godard [Not again. Another think-worthy little sentence that makes the arguments untouchable], said probably more than once, “not a just image, just an image”. Which indeed depicts the same enigma or dilemma: not a justified, measurable or moral image, but just an image, an images that shows up, without anticipation, expectation, telos etc. The quest however is, and it is at least twofold, how to avoid not to moralize “just”, or how to not make showing up strategic, that is economical or a matter of affordance and investment?

Godard’s words and add to that Deleuze’s two books on cinema are obviously situated, the result of a particular political imagination that in many respects are fundamentally different to our current predicament. Showing up is not a matter of liberating ourselves from something; it’s not a pedagogy but perhaps rather a matter of circumventing imagination, in favor of a different process… No, in fact, in favor of a different kind of production, that is not creative or attached to imagination, i.e. to possibility, but to potentiality or, better, truth procedure.

 

Identity politics and the whole package of performativity – with which I have engaged thoroughly over the last too many year – at the end of the day comes out as highly romantic. Sure, Butler and the rest were amazingly important but perhaps we should check out the expiring date on thought, not only on milk. When this stuff was put together our societies were differently composed. I’d say very differently, and the following twenty years has been an avalanche affirming both identity as politics and performativity, bring to that the whole narration on precariousness, immaterial labor, socially engaged art etc.

Performativity today is approximately as original as the welfare state in the 60’s an 70’s. And don’t we need a movement against, which isn’t possible of course… that could emancipate us from the shackles of performativity? One could just wonder what the equivalent to Woodstock would be today? For sure not Occupy Wall Street and certainly not the Berlin Biennale, and I mean the very idea of festival or even event is obviously totally out of the question.

The problem with embodiment or it’s negative is that it takes for given a human consciousness, it’s highly, both anthropo- and logo-centric. The problem is not the body (at least not in a negative sense). Consciousness, a human generalized consciousness, and the superiority of consciousness to anything else, that is the problem. The semiotization of the subject and the body through performativity, we have to acknowledge, coincides with a general movement towards the financialization of the world and the entry point to this process is semiotics, the finacialization of meaning. At some moment performativity carried the capacity of emancipation but today, in a world configured totally differently, it’s become economy, it’s become business, and I mean big business.

I remember an MTV gala many years ago where Robbie Williams says something like: “I want to thank MTV for my four sports cars, three villas, two yachts and my supermodel girlfriends.” Funny obviously, but a decade later it sounds rather lame, what he of course should thank is his performativity and the authorization of it by another performativity, MTV. This is obvious, your most precious property today has nothing to do with material things, cars, villas or babes, no your most precious is your subjectivity, and the participation in the world of your subject is through performativity.

The interesting problem to engage in today is not embodiment, not at all. Perhaps paraphrasing Graham Harman: The interesting problem today is not the relation between mind and mind, or between body and mind, or mind and body. No, the real problem is the relation between bodies and bodies. And this is of course not only human bodies, or human bodies to other objects but also, and foremost, the relationships between objects and objects, bodies and bodies. The first task, and it is a difficult one, how to think these relations without us, without or circumventing consciousness. So, a deep no to embodiment and yes to the body, no to the body as vied from consciousness and yes to the body understood as an object. Moreover an object that has it’s own consciousness, a consciousness that doesn’t care or not about whatever consciousness we have or don’t.

 

A Dance Phantastic, That Shine Shine Shine

12 Mar

Dance suffers. Yes, dance suffers tremendously from a decease that is really quite difficult to recover from. It’s not like hysteria, which is like covering ones own’s tracks in order to not have to face the fact or something. This is worse. This is like the doctors and nurses, everybody is like pretending you are not sick, you are perfectly well and super fine. But we are not. We so are not even close to acceptably alright. Dancers, choreographers, dance makers in general, even performers from time to time have this creepy feeling, a suspicion that there is a conspiracy going on. Like, when I was a kid and my parents suddenly started to speak English, but this is worse – not only cuz most people speak reasonable English nowadya, no it’s much worse. This conspiracy is slow and is often inserted into the maker or doer already during the first amateur classes. Do you know why ventilation is so intensified in dance schools? It’s not the sweat smelling, fungi, macrobiotic fart-fest that’s the real deal, no those ventilation systems are fitted with extra ordinary devises that slowly poison all of us. All of us, slowly but consistently.

We can’t be sure about who started it all, if it was FBI, August Bournonville, Deborah Jowitt, Karl Regensburger, a British choreographer called Wayne, or perhaps the French. There’s definitely something going on with the French. One never knows but they sure have Rancière on their side. It might be that it’s all those residency venues, or perhaps artistic research – Göhö – or what about social choreography, they are certainly involved perhaps they have some agreement with performative architecture or performative in general. It is my guess that performative is knee deep involved. But in fact its been going on for ages, really.

What I’m talking about is a decease called neutralism. No no, not naturism that’s only Xavier Le Roy’s personal ghost. Don’t worry thas’s not contagious. This is neutralism, or Neutralism, and we suffer deep and intensely. I wonder why is our art form, so freaking neutralized. It’s like all, or close to all, dance performances are from Sweden and Switzerland, completely average. Like the only good thing that Sweden has or had is an eminent social welfare system. Think about that an entire art from whose only radical feature is a great social welfare system.

But seriously when did you last encounter a dance performance that wasn’t absolutely conventional, more predictable than Carlos Santana, grey, sympathetic and just about an hour, with two to seven people on stage executing something fully and completely agreeable. We suffer from Neutralism, and they want us to stay sick – festival directs, dance school directors, people called Barbara all of them. I find it phabtastic how all those performances that could be done by people straight out of school almost exclusively is evaluated by people that are from seven thousand years old and counting. The people that judge, contemplate and don’t program your pieces have no idea what dubstep is, and if they do they think it’s still hot, they don’t know the difference between Cheap Monday and Wood Wood and they still think identity politics is currency. You know what, they might just ask you if you have seen The Wire.

We are of course not alone, but damn if other art forms favor a slightly different generational distribution. In visual art there are curators, all the way up that’s so young they don’t even shave their legs. Moreover the presence of freelance curators, something that is largely absent in dance and performance produces a necessity of orientation, productive competition for good or bad. As we all know the fact that the administrative director is also chief curator is a freakin’ disaster, as it means that the status quo and next years funding with never be jeopardized. Never. And in the rare cases that freelance curators are invited, or a team is established, why is it the most grey people in the history of mankind that’s engaged, the most safe and polite people ever, the very centerfold of nice and neutralism. How many times do I have to hear, “you know, we have to curate a healthy mixture between local and international work” – no you don’t! You don’t need anything at all, you have a job and that’s to be artistic director, curator, make the fuckin’ program. Not to be a neutralist that serve more neutralism and stick to protocol. Every time you make concessions, every time you swallow policy documents from local funders, every time you agree to present something from your EU network because you don’t pay for it, you sell your soul to, no not to Satan, he wouldn’t want you anyway. You sell your soul to Italian politics that how bad you are. Stand the fuck up, your job is not to save your own ass, and you certainly are not responsible for mine or any of my colleague’s, we can mind our own business and will not miss your theatre or festival the day it doesn’t happen anymore. You know, we’ve managed fairly well for all these years without your help, so if your venue is remodeled into a Wholefoods, some office or just bulldozed away, we’ll be fine anyway. And don’t come around with democracy arguments, you as much as I know that creative processes should be strictly elitist and btw how far does your democracy reach. Art council democracy, EU funding democracy, neutralism democracy, kickstarter democracy.

 

Recently, I sat through some sort of performance where a bunch of curators exposed their perspectives on whatever to the public. At some point a voice over asked the curators, as if was some sort tribunal, what they would die for, implicitly if they would die for art. Now, the whole situation is obviously rather embarrassing, and obviously to die for art is in the first instance quite extra uncool, but you know what, these curators what they answered was that they would die for family, for their families. One after the other, no I wouldn’t die for art, I would die for family, to save my family. Can you believer this, for family – to state that in front of an audience… like seriously, in some sort of spectacle. Would you do that? It’s theatre for godssake. Die for something cool you neutralist policy sucking shit head, die for something heroic, something like a firefighter would die for, die for something ridiculous like poverty or ecology, peace on earth anything, but no “I would die for family” – can you imagine, those are the sort of people that promote you for a residency, those are the people that propose that your new peace will be shown on a Tuesday in the small space, those art the people that sit in the board or panel deciding if you will be the chosen one for the EU funded network. Those people, those people, no wonder our art form is suffering from neutralism.

And you, you – maker or doer, don’t think you are any better. Stop making performances that are just about an hour, stop making work with two friends your age and fit for fight for a ten by ten space, stop making dance shows where you go into states and flap around like some fuckin fish, stop making pieces without makeup, stop making pieces without costume changes, stop making piece with anything grey or black in the costumes, stop making performances without too much set design and props, stop making shows that make any sense at all, stop making nice press photos, stop that fuckin dramaturge [fire him], stop making performances thinking about the budget, stop making performances that you rehearse for three months, stop making performances in Essen, stop making performances where somebody sings a song, stop making performances with somebody playing synth a bit bad, stop making anything at all that’s not totally fuckin psychotic, stop making performances that don’t have a lot of zombies, stop making performances that don’t make you afraid of yourself, stop making anything on the premise that you are a perfectionist [you are just so full of yourself], stop anything that has to do with ecology, stop working for William Forsythe or even in the same city, stop making pieces for the audience, for any kind of satisfaction, stop it right now.

The real problem however, with neutralism, is generational and it’s all about aura. Yep, the folks that curate, program, decide, organize, critique, make books, inhabit the main venue, they all have grey aura. They might think they are witty and nice but no they are just grey. They like careers, nuclear families, evolution, they consume porn with a bit of guilt, they match their clothes and have a goatee, they don’t buy fashion over internet and argues against instamatic. And they like that kind of dance, exactly that kind of dance – well made, structurally orderly, recognizable, dramaturgical, consistent, clear, that one knows what it is about, stuff that can be understood as one and so on. So no wonder they program Rosas for the seventh hundred time, no wonder they still present something Austrian, no wonder they adore work made in Brussels, no wonder they still go to New York in January.

Our real problem, exactly, is that those people cannot, it’s in their blood, it’s on the edge of genetic. They cannot feel it, can’t dig it, they don’t have the sensitivity, they feel physically bad when they encounter the work of young choreographers that don’t suffer from Neutralism, makers that have resisted the poisonous evil. Yeah, this is goddamn scientific. Individuals born after 1985 they have a different aura, theirs is no more grey, it’s indigo. Yes, indigo. They new aura is indigo and check this out it’s not just a color, but an entirely new mindset. Indigo people are not good at all but whatever they are they operate differently, they’re too smart to bother about career [I get one when I need it], they all grew up in composed families, they multitask and are thoroughly digital, they are deeply post-ideological, post-television, don’t even care to remember who Jonny Rotten was, they are all p.i.p. generation (post internet porn), don’t bother with definition especially not concerning artistic work. The awesome indigo kid is somebody who decides to work long term as a carpenter but still tours with the band, have a tattoo studio with two friends and work as a cameraman mostly for music videos. Indigo is over emancipation of any kind, they are so not into being special, they live in Brooklyn [and I have a crush on one of them], they are hyper conscious about fashion but too cool to show it. The indigo is consciously not conscious at all, it’s down dressing and remixed. The indigo person is somebody who is so not allergic but is very careful about diet, gluten, dairy and is definitely vegetarian. The indigo personality is somebody who is convinced that addiction is a choice, and she is so right. That’s the mindset of artistic production today, it’s like fucked up different, and we have job – to let if goddamn flourish. We need to chase the grey people out of the temple of dance, do it once and for all and get rid of all of them. If we don’t, if we don’t and with emphasis dance and choreography will never free itself from the Neutralism. It will never free itself from it’s historical ballast and join the contemporary, and will forever be haunted by spirals, somebody called David, season programs, production value, and will never change the world. Fuck they grey, bring in the indigo. Once and for all, and abandon Deborah one more time, and Judson Church and everything 60s. Allow all those new colors in, new forms of obscenity, nothing special, self-indulgence, even long boards, silly webpages, non reflected passionate dance, that is as much a Youtube clip as it’s a dance show, a hang out, a kind of zombie being together where friending is as important as the light changes, that are lateralized to the extent that the make up and glitter is equally important as the dance material or some whatever activity. And don’t you dare consider that they don’t know what they are, they do and far more elaborately than you could ever imagine. Indigo people make what they do because they know what they want, they don’t need a dramaturge (certainly not one from Belgium), this is what it should look like, it’s not a mistake it’s the future, and it’s amazing.

Let in those chatty performances, that speak blurry and use a language that sounds old school but isn’t. Make it happen, those performances that allow themselves to use editing that appear totally ridiculous but itsn’t, that don’t bother to learn the material properly, that don’t give a damn about high res, and does things for their own sake, let them happen these dance shows that are phantastic and absolutely incomprehensible, sentimental and giggle a holographic bubbles and glitter and shine shine shine.

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