What is Hollywood, you ask, dear children? A quorum of whores babbling endlessly on about fucking while the bordello is razed for a penny arcade -- Paul Bern

Friday, June 24, 2011


Ok , amigos. Here are some helpful and practical aesthetic counsels from the Yoda of his generation (with my helpful parenthetical explanations)

9. The only maxim of contemporary art is not to be imperial. This also means: it does not have to be democratic, if democracy implies conformity with the imperial idea of political liberty. (OK, this means Socialist Realism is back, thank God!; also you can also enjoy Jew Suss and the Triumph of the Will (in the comfort of your home, of course.)
10. Non-imperial art is necessarily abstract art, in this sense : it abstracts itself from all particularity, and formalizes this gesture of abstraction. (Good news for Windham Hill, screensavers, and Ambient Black Metal.)
11. The abstraction of non-imperial art is not concerned with any particular public or audience. Non-imperial art is related to a kind of aristocratic-proletarian ethic : Alone, it does what it says, without distinguishing between kinds of people. (Don't worry about starving to death. Some of my ideas can be quite nourishing.)
12. Non-imperial art must be as rigorous as a mathematical demonstration, as surprising as an ambush in the night, and as elevated as a star. (Don't rock the drunken boat, Arthur Rimbaud, or we will all drown...)
13. Today art can only be made from the starting point of that which, as far as Empire is concerned, doesn't exist. Through its abstraction, art renders this inexistence visible. This is what governs the formal principle of every art : the effort to render visible to everyone that which for Empire (and so by extension for everyone, though from a different point of view), doesn't exist. (So, let me check with Empire for a list of approved objects, which is everything imaged, then I make art about the inexistent. But then must it go on the list of approved objects? And then I get confused. Heisenberg? Any light on this?)
14. Since it is sure of its ability to control the entire domain of the visible and the audible via the laws governing commercial circulation and democratic communication, Empire no longer censures anything. All art, and all thought, is ruined when we accept this permission to consume, to communicate and to enjoy. We should become the pitiless censors of ourselves. (OK, what the Imam is saying is that my thought is ruined by thinking it -- because I can only think things that the Empire has pre-thought for me. But if I do my own censoring, I am free.) 
15. It is better to do nothing than to contribute to the invention of formal ways of rendering visible that which Empire already recognizes as existent. (So, relax, and don't worry about the Empire. There is nothing you can do. Except keep buying my books. These aren't the droids you're looking for.)

Seems easy enough, right? Not just another crazy pied piper of Hamelin Adorno Bullshit Aesthetics wishlist! 
In other news, Badiou orders all babies to be hygienically disposed of along with their brackish bathwater.

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