The Dark Star of Art
The Positioning of Art
The historical experience of art split into seven or nine distinguished disciplines, ends now as a perfect simulacrum of itself – the nail in the coffin articulated by Dali, Warhol et al, as in entertainment, design or decoration, industrial object or technological effect being art. So, there's no art any more, it has become the “our own image”, a “selfie” ― no more need for a specialized subject who produces art-ware. From the start of recorded past, artist was economically controlled and had to deal with contents imposed by money mongers (who couldn't really conceive more than that anyway), from religious to revolutionary and now marketable pornography. At the end, there's no one left to control. Everything is under control. Mission accomplished. The Spirit parked at the End of History. Robots come. Artists are gone.
But, how was it before the history, and is it now the same case again: artists become once again druids, shamans, sorcerers, sages, magicians ― this all comes to mind, and why not? The position of artist, a man who is communicating personal experience which is not easily acceptable by the existing civilization, is at, or rather, is pushed beyond the margins of society. If you take a look at what now passes as art, it has all come to perfect technological mimicry of physical / nature ― a fascinating replica of idealized reality, the Plato's ideal love, the mimesis come true. The tools that can deal with this kind of articulation are available in all media outlets ― the image recognition, or lets put it into more fashionable meme ― pattern recognition tools, easily applied by non-creative and overwhelmingly ruling mediocre minds. The art critics too are gone, obsolescent, outsourced to a non-reality of history's end.
The present state of things, in fact, liberates artists from all obligations towards society, nation, class, you name it. This is total separation. It is freedom and levitation. And more than that. Who would have imagined! And it was not initiated, caused, committed by artists. I have very clear conscience about this. No karma. Art is moving to its next reincarnation, or further on ― to nirvana. We'll see how and why soon enough.
I need to say a few words about the avant-garde, the historical or/and contemporary one. This ends avant-garde too. It (they) were the last-ditch effort of art to secure its position in the great family of social / biological life phenomena. But, as in Bible, the Noah Ark had no designated place for this “animal”. Good old Noah wasn't saving any kind of tech in his crate, not to mention art. I say, good riddance.
The avant-garde, tit for tat, always was about either something “new” or “deconstruction” ― of language, image, logic, tradition ― dada, abstract painting, theater of absurd, experimental music, etc. Among the recent and most endurable movements, Signalism is all about the methodical assimilation of latest scientific, media and communication technologies and their transformation into art (the visual potential of Internet actually exploded with visual poetry and text availability). The 21st century avant-garde is practically creating a no-go zone for blokes, with its sophisticated usage of existing tools to an almost (absurdly) alien effect ― a sober and serious approach to the contemporary phenomena versus the “lets go have fun” superficial consumption of diet-pop in all forms of applications.
The art and avant-garde are, this is a fact, now one and same. And this is strictly because the compromised artists finally lost their declared vocation, turning into applied artists, while avant-garde artists did not manage to pull / drag or assimilate them. The latter are the ones who survived. But ― where?
Poverty Rich World
Globalization has created a poverty rich Earth. All the credits go to both the rich and poor ― they have fashioned a cheap world. The rich have stolen, using their infinitely devalued and cunningly redistributed money, the best art objects from the past. However, at this moment, they have no idea how 21st century art looks like, because it is beyond their horizon. There's no money in it. There's no knowledge of it. It doesn't belong to them. There are no art interpretors left. There are only educated sycophants. And 'tis gonna stay like that. Because the knowledge possessed by druids, sages or shamans is a “secret knowledge” for those who have blinded themselves for it.
The Dorian Gray Selfie
I want now to take a look at what we face. To what formal stage has Dorian Gray's picture evolved? All the fear mongering about technology has come true. But, the nature was once too, too great an enemy. What have humans done in the meantime, where have they arrived? Running away from natural elements to ideological and then again a new and tremendously powerful elementary force ― technology. Is there anyone, in this overtly insecure and unpredictable world, who doesn't feel at least uncomfortable about the present and imminent future? The prying eyes, drones, politically correct denunciation, intoxication ― the industry of terror. What is the position of art, how does it maintain the contact with such a world?
It doesn't. The art had analyzed the world and it lays dead before it like an exploded fractal. It is decomposed and phantomized. It is animated, yes, but artist knows it's just a slide show. The frames are disconnected and non-directional. The world's cadaver jerks in bursts, makes empty statements and then jumps again into its own mouth. Who can take seriously any of its statements? The political system devouring, before our eyes, its own constituents. Lie upon lie, denial upon denial. That's intelligent behavior? This is where I'm getting at: Where is the intelligence?
Intelligence is the art.
Intelligence is the ability to acquire knowledge. This has been overlooked by society, which is normal, because society is not a source of knowledge, it is a source of ignorance, manipulation, corruption, lies, slavery, physical and psychological oppression, negative selection. Intelligence is evolutionary impediment. Many were attempts to integrate intelligence into society, but we witness it all over again ― zero fucks! In modern nomenclature, just like in the past, art, the intelligence, is disconnected from the chain of command.
The Immortal Hive
When artist insists on truth, he develops a tool which can permeate and puncture the incoming forms / phenomena and by doing so he remains unaffected by them. This automatically excludes the artist from the existing social power distribution grid and modes. And since the human civilization is actually the culmination of life on planet Earth, artist is facing the imminent transcendence into the realm beyond life, since the conditioning of life does not apply to someone who has seen through its promises, its advertising and self promotion and ― failure. Logically and traditionally, it is called ― death. However, the method which characterizes artist's activity is capable of renaming and reconnecting the reference system, so it turns out that, life being the realm of ignorance, death remains the realm of intelligence. Now, think about it. What kind of existence is there in the domain of death / knowledge? Can we go there with our bodies? Since bodies are traditionally (we're used to believe) ― us? What the hell are we supposed to do? Die?
Technology is already advertising infinite possibilities regarding cybernetic and biological prosthetics which can be applied to humans, placing emphasis on “consciousness transfer” to a machine with better calculating and memory management ability. This is a fascinating promise and is well represented in the SF literature so far, the only literature that really matters because it is based on anticipation and not on justification ― and now it seems that the promise is coming true, it is at its first stages of materialization. Who would gamble that in exchange for becoming a bodiless, starving and ostracized ― artist?
The promise of immortal, maintainable and affordable technological body form wins. It exerts the absolute attraction to an ignorant mind. The organic existence evolves into a Borg-like, stringently practical hive society. The human-insect is being born.
The Dark World
The realm of knowledge / art, transcends space / time continuum, it transcends life, and its only connection with the physical world is practically ― the articulation, a system of reference which enables perception of both realms, unlike the empirical method which is incapable of seeing anything beyond its own reflection. The match ball belongs to men of knowledge. They can exist in both parallel realms and remain the only connection between the two, and the only ones aware of such configuration. But, there is more.
The world of dark matter ― world of unconditioned bits of information. The world which cannot be probed and forced into submission. The world which can be only indirectly brought to attention because it is not reactive. And this world constitutes far more of the known Universe than the physical world of matter conditioned to be reactive.
The Lost and Regained Property of Art
As art was assimilated into history it lost its knowledge articulation property. It was not needed by society. Many artists became confused, deprived of articulated speech. This task was assigned to church and later science. In both cases, reference systems were structured in such way to prevent any individual breakthrough through the fog of war created by the parasitic pyramid of power distribution. The individual salvation or liberation had to be sanctioned, “indulged”, by institutional mechanism. This individual endeavor of liberation was projected too to the physical human form, life ― while in truth, life is something that needs not be saved but overcome.
Now that the idea of salvation / liberation is utterly banalized, the “each one his own smiling icon saint” has been attained. How long will this abomination hold? By accepting life as ideal state of existence the knowledge of life itself is being lost.
There is no point in arguing about this, because one needs intelligence to deal with the problem. Intelligent people, among themselves, never argue, they only do the brain-storming. The unintelligent ― they debate, troll, war.
Those artists who have gained the necessary momentum in their exploration of reality, have acquired knowledge which defines them ethically and esthetically. One cannot go against his own knowledge. It is the knowledge that defines personality. Knowledge is personality. What is the other kind of personality, the one of the physical individual ruled by ignorance? There isn't such. Individuality is not personality.
The long exercised and false flag discussion about the free will, as in free will of human being lost in the supreme will of a supposed omnipotent and omniscient being (God) was ultimately debated from the point of ignorance which favored individuality (inevitably arbitrary) ― and was unable to comprehend a different kind of “order” in the Other World. The existing hierarchy of power was projected on the Other World as if it possessed the same property of conditioning. There is no hierarchy nor is there conditioning between the particles / bits of information in the realm of knowledge. That is the crucial difference. There is no controlled distribution of knowledge, like in this copyrighted, post Eden and post Destruction of Babylonian Tower world.
The Copyright Plug
The copyright, as in SONY owning the music of Jimi Hendrix for instance, is the global end of culture and art. Because, it is not really SONY who creates art.
The same plug was pulled in Marxist theory, which claimed that the product of labor should belong to workers, but the problem of alienation was systemic redistribution of wealth and it had to be resolved by inter class revolutionary struggle. The truth is, Marx didn't see that the only work there is was done by the ideas, and people were only used as fuel or food to accomplish the well being and survival of ideas, which have, like an alien force, enslaved humanity since time immemorial. Thus the “enemy” was misnamed, as if there really were two classes of people, the worker and the capitalist, while in truth they are both slaves to the same idea. Soilent Green really is people ― that is another good insight from the SF literature! Too bad political and social philosophers are unable to see through this. But artists can.
Still, who gives a damn about the artists, who are no better than social parasites and whose work is up for SONY to possess it and realize profit? Artists don't have the social and political structure necessary to ensure monopoly on their work. It is not known in history that intelligent people ever created a mechanism of oppression, like state. It was always the gangs of idle, worthless people who did that, who organized and armed themselves, proclaimed themselves “Aryans” and “nobles” and imposed their will, exterminating all those who would disobey. The art here had no tool to change the world. Neither did Marxist revolutionary ideology.
But, art had found a way out!
Tunnel Out-a Dungeon
Even though the solution has been present in written form for several millenniums, and continuously updated, it appeared to be too weird and unacceptable by the ordinary people. Transcending human form is opposed by the mighty ideas of family, social position and accomplishment, it is monotonous and monochromatic compared to the lively promise of happy family and socializing ecstasy.
If one is to become a monk in order to be free, what the hell!
Artists like monks, do have some credit and license for being weirdos, but can never exert too much influence. So they are somewhere in between, standing and living at no-ones land. They can see the other side, but when they relate their experience to the normal people, it has to be watered and wrapped in form of fantasy and allegory and does not directly affect the inexperienced. Because knowledge, unlike delusion, does not have the property to affect, that is a huge problem. Otherwise, knowledge would unquestionably and instantly win over the inferior delusions which constitute the world. This is the burden men of knowledge have to carry. And they must continue their way, often alone, without company, leaving everybody else behind.
Here I will cut short ― the transcendence happens only to personality. It is the personality, the focus of attention that moves from the realm of life to the realm of death, from ignorance to knowledge. Bodies have nothing to do with personality transcendence. Physical deterioration and death are there for all. But identification is not mandatory.
In truth, personality is always there in the realm of knowledge, the method of attaining personality is the method of shutting down senses (classical meditation). Movement of personality is fictional. It is how we present, project ourselves in our minds, but reality is ― the dispersal of delusion must take place. And it can only be done by understanding.
On how to attain this, how to discipline ourselves, books have been written, and there were great teachers at all times. It rarely took form of art or artists, because of the historical adoption and re-designation of sages into religious or philosophical figures, and the specialization of artistic language. But now artists can not avoid seeing their task as much more than it was believed it should be. Now, when artists are on their own, they have to increase their formal motivation or ― perish. No more larpurlartism, it is not enough! Doing art for enjoyment ― not enough! Consuming art for enjoyment ― not enough!
The Cosmic Network
Artist has to combine his skill with philosophy ― the articulation of experience in language is mandatory, it will create sensible system of reference, a network which enables personality to move efficiently and to interface with other artists / men of knowledge, to support each other and to eventually act in this world with much more impact. Through knowledge, not through projected groups, parties, syndicates or sects. Artist must sensibly understand what he is doing.
The “personality” is not individuality ― personality is the (dark) force spread evenly through the Cosmos. The force being knowledge, because what it does it does by knowing how. As the mind-eyes of an artist open, he becomes part of this, to knowledgeable men, now visible realm. He enters the world of dark matter, where freedom rules, actions are freely conceived, not enforced by protocols. This is the only kind of interaction possible in the Dark Universe. The sharing of knowledge / force, the equal distribution of all for all, the misnamed, slandered and fearful “entropy” as sharing (not unevenly exchanging as in this copyrighted, monopolized and profit / extortion based world) ― an explosion as in Big Bang, the end of physical suffering and entering the Nirvana.
Original publication: „The Dark Star of Art“, Slobodan Škerović Poems and Essays, July 25, 2014.
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