Manager-in-Chief

By Paul McLean

How did Barack Obama win re-election? The philosopher Jean-Claude Milner recently proposed the notion of the “stabilising class”: not the old ruling class, but all who are committed to the stability and continuity of the existing social, economic and political order – the class of those who, even when they call for a change, do so to ensure that nothing really will change. The key to electoral success in today’s developed states is winning over this class.  - Slavoj Žižek, “Why Obama is more than Bush with a human face”

 

Liberals, by voting for Barack Obama, betrayed the core values they use to define themselves—the rule of law, the safeguarding of civil liberties, the protection of unions, the preservation of social welfare programs, environmental accords, financial regulation, a defiance of unjust war and torture, and the abolition of drone wars. – Chris Hedges, “The Presidential Election Exposed, Again, the Death of the Liberal Class”

 

It seemed that out of the battle I escaped

Down some profound dull tunnel, long since scooped

Through granites which Titanic wars had groined.

Yet also there encumbered sleepers groaned,

Too fast in thought or death to be bestirred.

Then, as I probed them, one sprang up, and stared

With piteous recognition in fixed eyes,

Lifting distressful hands as if to bless.

- Wilfred Owens, “Strange Meeting”

 

Tom, you know you surprise me. If anything in this life is certain - if history has taught us anything - it’s that you can kill anyone.  – Michael Corleone, The Godfather Part II

 

War - Nations do have to go to war sometimes, but that Iraq thing was pretty bad, to put it mildly. Somebody should have been, I dunno – FIRED for bad performance. Aren’t you the party of good corporate managers or something? This topic could get 10,000 words on its own. Let’s just leave it at: You guys suck at running wars. -  Eric Garland, “Letter to a future Republican strategist regarding white people”

 

In the 2012 election, we have a winner. Management won.

 

Slavoj Žižek is almost right to cite Milner in his analysis. He would have been more correct to point to Peter Drucker, whom George W. Bush awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2002. Drucker wrote the book on Management, literally. The culture of management won the culture war this time. No one seems to have noticed management was a combatant. So, no one seems able to figure out the margin of victory, or explain the results, and consequences.

 

Chris Hedges is right, too, about what the election was not about, but should have been. Hedges, too, is almost right to slam the liberal class for its passivity with respect to Obama’s “betrayal” of liberal “core values” in his first term. He would have been more correct to consider the values (or lack thereof) of the management class, because that is the key to electoral victory in the United States currently, not the performance of the “Other” voter classes that the professional political punditry claim pushed Obama’s campaign over the electoral finish line ahead of Romney.

 

Really, the non-drama of 2012 is how boring, banal and mediocre political realities are in the United States. From a management perspective, the Obama victory is the safer bet.

 

My theory is that the outcome of the election is in fact a story about behavior and demography, but not the story we’re being told via corporate monopoly media, or by the “alternative” media. Voters who swung the election to Obama chose him, because they realized the Republican candidate was a corporate raider whose fortune derived from purging middle-management and labor, outsourcing jobs or destroying them, wiping out pensions, “streamlining” benefits and the social safety net, increasing cost burdens on all but management and owner classes, and prioritizing the owner’s or corporation’s or organization’s bottom line over all else.

 

Romney is dedicated to making everything from the Olympics to America run more like a business. The problem the voters discovered by reading between the lines or watching Obama’s attack ads is that Romney’s business was Bain Capital.

 

Plus, Romney is a 1%-loving, 47%-hating superrich asshole.

 

 

Maybe this would be fine, if it weren’t for reality, or, rather, the dimensional realities America and the world are facing at the moment. Romney demonstrated a profound failure in his comprehension of international affairs, during his candidacy. The world is, from a management perspective, a very risky and complex place.

 

Europe is volatile. The Mideast is at war, and the United States is directly and/or indirectly involved in the conflict(s) there. Global warming is, well, outpacing the dire predictions of science. Aside from these considerable considerations, the narratives that were created to manage mass perception about them are fraying in unexpected ways. Call it the Ouroboros Syndrome.

 

How else to explain, for example, the irony of the surveillance state taking out Generals Petraeus and possibly Allen, two of the globe’s most powerful military potentates? It’s doubtful that a straight answer explaining this scandal will emerge. Too much, potentially, is riding on the indelicate, sensational situation. For one thing, the infrastructure for warrantless electronic privacy infiltration by government agents seems to be accidentally spotlighted. Protocols established to crush international terrorist networks were evidently employed by the FBI to bring down the head of the CIA, one of America’s most decorated and celebrated soldiers (Petraeus), and the country’s top officer, who was in line to be appointed leader of NATO’s forces (Allen). FUBAR.

 

The scenario appears to be unfolding without script or direction. Keeping a lid on the story is impossible. Such improvisational phenomena worry managers, generally. At some point, management stops and damage control starts. Mistakes tend to be more dramatic when the actors are in damage control mode. Think Watergate.

 

More and more, the managed pots are boiling over. The mass demonstrations in Europe and elsewhere continue to grow in size and effect, whether the New York Times – think of them as the media manager - ignores them or not. In Greece, Spain, Italy, France, etc., the proverbial pot’s lid is off, the contents emptied and the cooks are banging the pots in the streets.

 

Hurricane Sandy was not containable as a story. New York City Mayor Bloomberg never really got a memetic handle on it. He runs the world’s biggest news organization, but even so, he couldn’t stop the viral video of Sandy victims railing against the Mayor for doing what he always does – foregrounding the interests of Manhattan’s elites over the rest of the demos.

 

A related aside: The management epicenter of the so-called free market, Goldman Sachs, never lost power, during the storm. It’s difficult to estimate the hate index for Goldman Sachs. This episode didn’t lower it.  

 

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie set aside partisanship and acknowledged the President’s helpful role in managing relief efforts, at a critical stage of the election campaign. Rupert Murdoch of News Corp and other powerful figures on the right attacked Christie for doing so. Did this factor in the election outcome? Who knows, but the story was off-message, at least from a Republican point of view.

 

The daily revelations of financial and business sector wrongdoing resist any soft peddling spin. Conflagrations like the ones in Syria, Libya and now Gaza evade any gestures at minimizing their significance through media channels. And so on.

 

 

One way to interpret the status quo: reality is not manageable, over time. By accepting this proposition we open up an existential can of worms. If the world is unmanageable, power must be reframed. Control is imperiled. Command is revoked.

 

Hierarchies are a precursor to managerial effectiveness. Management as a social form is a relatively recent invention. Command and control complexes, like the old military model, are the pre-management old school, and they are strong to a point. However, when such complexes reach their limits, they prove brittle and break. Management, as a field, is attempting to embrace “creativity” and fluidity in a kind of reformation movement, to move further away from command and control and into a new age of applicability.

 

The problem is that “management” and “hierarchies” are abstract. People are real. Management specialists like Drucker are traffickers in double abstractions, or compound abstractions. People are made up of composite realities. Take a look at some of Peter Drucker’s assumptions about management, from his book Management Challenges for the 21st Century:

 

1.    Management is Business Management.

2.    There is – or there must be – ONE right organization structure.

3.    There is – or there must be – ONE right way to manage people.

 

Management, to put it succinctly cannot imagine unmanageability, anytime. Management’s function is reducible to business, only. If the world will not conform to reduction, to manageability, as a business enterprise, it must be made to. Ultimately, whatever form the impossibly reduced world assumes, there can only be, there must only be ONE right organization structure for it, and ONE right way to manage the people who belong to it.

 

Not only is this a recipe for madness, it is a recipe for evil. War is one such evil. Enforced poverty and time-based slavery are two more such evils. Management, in short, is not fit to govern in reality. If people are too weak to resist the current power of management, it seems the world itself is taking on the task.

 

Government under the rubric of management, is failing, is becoming corrupted, and, at least in democratic states, becoming increasingly unstable, due to the checks and balances systems that comprise democracies. These include peaceful rebellion.

 

Business is increasingly assuming the role of anti-democratic tyrant. The standards and practices of the business world are disintegrating into amorality and unaccountability. During the election season, corporate CEOs ordered their employees, essentially, to vote against an Obama second term. Billionaires spent billions, in a concerted effort to determine the results. Often reports emerged explaining the interests of these “special interests.”  Sometimes reports emerged chronicling the anti-social, anti-democratic behavior of the corporations led or owned by these people. Romney himself suffered this reactive profiling, to the detriment of his campaign. The truth about Bain, and Romney’s role in the company, proved unmanageable.

 

Business, or management, fail to recognize what’s right in front of them. Reality is insisting that management have a sitdown with the real. It is, to apply the title of the Wilfred Owens poem excerpted above, turning out to be a strange meeting. We’ve learned that business likes to rig its games, as with LIBOR, and now the gas markets in the UK. Reality – you could call it nature, or time, or truth, even God – is proving to be more powerful than management. Reality is revealing that management, behind the smiley face of creativity (see Wal*Mart) is still a command and control mechanism. Moreover, the point of business is extraction and exploitation. Further, the lines defining the sectors, as outlined by Drucker (business, government and social), are at least blurred, fundamentally abstract, and essentially unreal.

 

Functioning democracy is realistic. It is incompatible with management. President Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address powerfully connected the loss of life on that gory battlefield to the perpetuation of freedom, and “government of the people, by the people, for the people.” Management would love us to care about business and money the same way, but the truth is most people don’t. They value other things over the bottom line. Management is incompatible with this fact, and in general cannot escape itself, to the people’s detriment.

 

 

Romney said corporations are people. Actual people from all backgrounds know better. But assume for a moment that Romney was right. Then consider the fictional words of the Godfather character Michael Corleone, a different sort of artificial personhood. Then imagine the execution of Hyman Roth as the execution of Goldman Sachs. Is the linkage so farfetched?

 

For this scenario to be plausible, all we have to believe in is history. It helps to have an organization technically capable of executing a plan. The flaw in this imaginary scenario is that we, collectively, playing the Michael Corleone character, would be acting solely in our own business interests.

 

Mike Corleone in the Godfather series was always trying to move the family towards legitimacy. Maybe we can think of legitimacy, at the least, in a loose definition of the law, as realistic.

 

Hedges addresses the destruction of the artificial person matrix, the “myth of America,” in terms of a future, possibly inevitable, rebellion. His is a grim vision, a brutal diagnosis:

 

» 

The corporate state, faced with rebellion from within and without, does not know how to define or control this rising power, from the Arab Spring to the street protests in Greece and Spain to the Occupy movement. Rebellion always mystifies the oppressor. It appears irrational. It does not make sense. The establishment asks: What are their demands? Why do they hate us? What do they want? The oppressor can never hear the answer, for the answer is always the same—we seek to destroy your power. The oppressor, blind to the brutality and injustice meted out to sustain dominance and prosperity, escalates the levels of force employed to protect privilege. The crimes of the oppressor are seen among the elite as the administering of justice—law and order, the war on terror, the natural law of globalization, the right granted by privilege and power to shape and govern the world. The oppressor cannot see the West’s false humanism. The oppressor cannot, as James Baldwin wrote, understand that our “history has no moral justification, and the West has no moral authority.” The oppressor, able to speak only in the language of force and increasingly lashing out like a wounded animal, will be consumed in the inferno.

« 

 

Žižek is more diplomatic, or strategic, process-oriented. He describes a progressive dismantling of the apparatus of the “bourgeois formal democracy” to “reinvent” democracy.

 

Either way, change is on its way. Or, as an enforcer might put it, you can either go the hard way, or the easier way. You’re still going to go.

 

 

The Republican Party didn’t lose the Presidency in 2012, because it is only made up of or focused on the interests of white males. It failed, because the most electorally important white males can’t stand what the Republican Party now stands for.

 

Eric Garland’s letter/blogpost is the best articulation I’ve seen of this reality. I would encourage the reader to review Garland’s text in its entirety. It’s a gem. Suffice to summarize it as a wake-up call to the GOP. The Knowledge Worker (Drucker’s term for new labor) class is rejecting management.

 

After documenting his bonafides, which include having an ancestor on the Mayflower, Garland goes on to list the policy areas in which the Republicans fail to satisfy or exceed his expectations as a voter: science; climate; healthcare; war; deficits and debt; and gay marriage. He provides reasons why. They are poignant and at time hilariously delivered. Garland sums up his analysis with these recommendations:

 

» 

If you want to know exactly where you failed in 2012, and will continue to fail, here it is. Look you assholes, I’m as traditional an American as it gets, and I do not “want free stuff.”  I am a taxpayer, and ALWAYS HAVE BEEN. I got my first job – dragging bags of cow manure, horse feed and fertilizer around a farm store – when I was 12. I started my first company when I was 28. I have followed the vast majority of the rules set out for middle class white males (for good and for ill.) And if it weren’t bad enough that your policy positions are a complete clusterfuck for the reasons I lay out in great detail, you manage to follow up the whole exercise with insulting me, my wife, and my friends of every stripe who didn’t vote for your political party – all of whom are hard-working, taxpaying, job creating, law abiding, great AMERICANS of EVERY COLOR AND CREED.

 

From this white, Mayflower-descended strategic analyst, allow me to offer you the three strategic options you have before you:

 

1. You drastically moderate your platform to harmonize with the policy positions I present above

2. You disband the party and reorganize it to reflect current realities

3. You kick and scream and stamp your feet and call me and my friends names – and submit to several decades of one party rule

« 

 

Garland’s screed is directed at the GOP, but the real tipping point will be when Americans like Garland realize their democracy already is a one-party regime, that the Management Party is in charge. When that happens management will be replaced. I hope this happens sooner than later, for all the poet-warrior’s sakes, and for all us real people, too. 

relevant links: 

2012 Arts of Protest Series Presents:

Public/Poets and Protest/Space: A Discussion with Four Occupy Poets,

                       Tuesday, October 23, Machmer E-23, 6:00pm.

 

Travis Holloway is a Goldwater Fellow in Poetry at NYU and a Ph.D. Candidate in Philosophy at SUNY-Stony Brook. He was a Fulbright Scholar to Germany in 2010-11 for a dissertation entitled “How to Perform a Democracy” and, upon his return to the United States, organizer of the first “Poetry Assembly” at Occupy Wall Street. His primary interests include democracy, poetics, and the relationship between public art and social media. His recent work has appeared in The Nation, Guernica, and Symposium, on C-SPAN, and in the co=authored book, Occupying Wall Street: The Inside Story of an Action that Changed America (OR Books, 2011).

 

Paul McLean is an artist accomplished in new media and traditional fine art, a pioneer in dimensional production and integrated exhibit practice. He has exhibited in one-man and collective shows extensively since 1986, and is currently represented by SLAG Contemporary Gallery in Bushwick (Brooklyn, NYC). His research interests include media philosophy, specifically pertaining to time and systems; individual and collective expression; and the convergence of 4D methodologies among military, political, business and social sectors. McLean holds a B.A. in English with a Fine Art concentration from the University of Notre Dame (South Bend, IN), two Masters degrees from Claremont Graduate University (MFA in Digital Media, Masters of Arts & Cultural Management) and is currently a doctoral candidate at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland. He is a contributing writer for the Brooklyn Rail and other publications and has been blogging since 1999. McLean has been a co-organizer of Occupy with Art since September 2011, and is a founding member of the Occupational Art School Node #1 in Bushwick. He creates moving images for projection, art environments and the web; net.art, web and print graphics; paintings and drawings; poems, commentary fiction and non-fiction.  McLean lives and works in Bushwick.

 

Letta Neely is a Black dyke artist, feminist, and mother. She is originally from Indianapolis, IN where she survived the busing experiments of the 80’s. In the mid 90’s, she lived in New York City where she was a member of the Black Star Express Collective and taught poetry to youth in the five boroughs. She currently resides in Boston with her wife, niece, and daughter. Letta explores the various textures, technologies and intersections of race, sex, sexuality, class, gender, economics and liberation in her daily living.  Hence, her work focuses most intently on the connections and intersections of queerness, blackness, and awareness. 

 

Letta is also teacher, poet, playwright and freelance writer whose books Juba and Here were finalists for the Lambda Literary Awards. In addition, Here was a Triangle Award finalist. She has been New York Fellowship for the Arts recipient (1995), a finalist for both the Massachusetts Cultural Council Poetry Fellowship (2002) and the Astraea Lesbian Writer’s Award (1999).  Ms. Neely is a two time winner of the OutWrite National Poetry Slam (1996, 1998) and in 2001 she was named the Best Local Author by Boston Phoenix readers. Her work has been included in various anthologies, literary journals and magazines such as: Through the Cracks; Sinister Wisdom; Common Lives, Lesbian Lives; Rag Shock; African Voices, Rap Pages, Catch the Fire ,Does Your Mama Know, The World in Us, Best Lesbian Erotica 1999, and, Roll Call—a Generational Anthology of Social and Political Black Literature & Art. Her play Hamartia Blues which was produced by the Theatre Offensive in 2002 has been nominated for two IRNE awards.  A second play, Last Rites, received a staged reading with the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, CA and a world premiere production with The Theater Offensive at the Boston Center for the Arts. In 2011, Neely was awarded a fall residency with the Garderev Center and was a finalist for the Brother Thomas Fellowship. Currently, she is a recipient of the 2012 Winter Creation Fund Award from the National Performance Network and along with The Theater Offensive, a grant recipient from NEFA’s Expeditions program.

 

April Penn is a Boston-area poet who frequents the Cantab Poetry Lounge and has been involved in Occupy Boston protests. She is a member of the Boston Feminists for Liberation and considers herself a poetry blogging fiend with plans to write 365 poems a year for the rest of her life. She originally hails from Hammond, Louisiana and Baltimore, Maryland but loves Boston best of all! She has been published in Amethyst Arsenic, Snake Oil Cure, and Spoonful 


occupationalartschool:

Year 1 of Occupy 

by Paul McLean

[Novadic Transmission][OAS Node 1]

Happy birthday, Occupy Wall Street. 

What a plenty odd phenomenon 

you are. A riddle, insoluble.

Where are you now, Occupy?

Should we ask over & over,

like a Dr. Seuss story? 

Are you over here

Are you over there

Did you disappear

into thin air?

Where are you now, Occupy?

Wall Street was never occupied, except by itself. From its origins in the slave trade to its present slave business, it is itself, and not even that much. When did a street wield such power over men? Never. Not High Street or Main Street. A street is only the substrate for the mass movement of man. By what motivation would the men and women of Wall Street enjoin us of the mass to action? The short answer is they would not. They would and do encourage us to acquiesce to our being consumed, at a profit (for them).

It is a sickness of man that he would lord it over his fellows, doom the other to misery and impoverishment, when all the necessities of life are in plenitude. We, the collective All of Everything live in a moment of disgrace, as intervention by the 1% so-called. If only the elegance of the few were worth all this mess, but no. It’s untrue. The great and powerful among us are mediocre. They are managers, for the most part, which never anything special and the contrivance of these management types is to assign everything the value of currency, of dollars or pounds or euros or whatever. How boring. How tragic. How commonplace. Why be occupied with the patently mediocre, even it is super-rich and powerful? Sure, that’s a guise, a ruse and a trick, but let’s run with it, for the sake of conjecture, as play. 

It’s actually not correct to say Wall Street was unoccupied by Occupy Wall Street. Our occupation of Wall Street, as such, was dimensional. The convergence of people, and with us our ideas, dreams, outrage, love and hope, switched the focus or at least blurred it for a time. For the “Time Is Money” sub-humans, we attached to that protocol a small measure of discomfort, which they perceived generally as disease. This actuality ought to indicate the fragility of the psychosis that envelops the financial sector, which is now the political sector and the social. Wall Street’s view of itself is tenuous, at best. Most in the know claim it, “Wall Street” per se, meaning the “stock market,” doesn’t even exist at Wall Street, anymore. This is in a number of aspects a verifiable statement. Wall Street isn’t a street anymore, anyway. It is a global managed cycle of consumption. Of Everything. 24/7/365. Timeless, which is to say, “All the time.” 

Consuming in the “global community” and the “free market” cannot, in the management view, be interrupted.* While both quoted terms in the previous sentence are outrageous lies, as we have witnessed perpetually, the mandate they represent for management society, the infinite artificial person syndicate must be fueled by everything. People are fuel. Nature is fuel. Perception and belief are fuels. God is fuel. Everything conceivable by man is fuel. Thus they have manufactured a market that encompasses everything on earth and every imaginary man can conceive of beyond the planet’s bounds. The market includes space, heaven and wonder in its fraudulent balance sheet. The secret of the derivatives market is its enslavement of all we know to its foibles, its notions, its whims, and the whims of those gangsters who manipulate it, many of whom are among the world’s wealthiest individuals today. 

The Everything Market is like the cancer that has fully consumed the body of its host. All systems begin to break down. Action to resist the illness becomes impossible, or at least seemingly so. Even self-destructive addiction becomes a secondary consideration, when the cancer reaches its final phase. The Everything Market, which Occupy Wall Street assembled to combat, peacefully for the most part, is the sort of disease that does not relent in its surge to dominate its victim. It does not stop short at the level of sustainable parasitism. It continues to metasticize until the body of the host is killed, continuing its sick growth to the end. 

So the Everything Market is mindless, as such, an enemy without conscience or an aim. It is death disguised. The mask of the market is the fat face or beautiful vision of unimaginable wealth, power and reproduction, if not sex or sexiness (although people must tend to project attractiveness or lust upon it). The market is insatiable. 

Humans can be incapable of satiation. Society, or societies that are concerned with survival, promote antipathy against mindless excess, except in the odd, highly regulated instances of ceremonial release. Such expressive forms are not uniform, by any means. Still, we as a race have ample proof of the dangers of unchecked anything, or “anything goes.” The social is plentiful in its supply of prohibitions against excess as modus operandi. 

To make examples of “successful” evasion of those prohibition the excuse to justify a catastrophe like the Everything Market is to behave as an addict does, who cannot stop his all-directionally destructive progression toward doom. To make such justifications of the wholesale devastation of humanity and our world the mantras of society is a crime against humanity and world, and nothing less. 

Which is why the 1% must proclaim God to be on their side. For this purpose, they have re-purposed God, the Creator, to suit their diseased, mad demands. No, this narrative is not a new one. The difference now is the scale of destruction possible through such blasphemies. Whether one God is true or not is no longer the point, in the monetized universe of the Everything Marketeer. It is whether a god can be invented to serve the short-term needs of the market and its propellents. 

War and heroism being commoditized, in the artificial imaginary of derivatives, the abstraction of all value, the mobilization of any means necessary to sustain the insane gambit, the only enemy is Loss, and that can be and is hedged. So, that’s that, except for the abominable consequences that such an inhumane program ensures. Casualties and cowardice are rationalized as systemic outcomes. This is the banality of evil. The prime EM players seek to defray and deflect any direct accountability for themselves, in the scheme. They seek to make everyone guilty, or at least not innocent. Is there any sin worse?

How is it possible to not address this chronic problem outside the domain of the moral? Law has been twisted beyond recognition, subverted at every turn by the management society and its Everything Marketeer. The democracies the Everything Market evolved to destroy, because the slaver cannot abide freedom, is now bought and sold by the market, which controls both government and citizen through debt and threat. The threat of the market is enforced by increasingly militarized and “privatized” police. 

“Privatized” means “owned and operated by corporate syndicates and their prime beneficiaries, some of whom, like Bloomberg, have purchased the high offices of the land. 

It is the moral that can yet apply, because in most every person, except for the most deformed among us, is some conception of it. For the moral is another iteration of love, and almost no person knows no love. So how does the Everything Market attack love? By creating conditions in which the value of human life is systematically abolished. Monetizing human life, and the quality of it, is only one way de-humanization or the demoralizing of humanity is accomplished. Enforced poverty, artificially-induced starvation, endless war, drugs are others, for “others.” It is also an important function of management society to destroy to dissent, which is now nothing more than realistic assessment of the effects of management society and Everything Market on life. 

The suffering often wonder how their tormenters can do their evil business day in and day out, consistently striving to generate their product, which is obliteration of Everything (although obviously this is not how the players prefer to identify themselves). Well, they develop sophisticated entertainments. Peering through the lens of the created abject is an entertainment for those most responsible for the massive man-made suffering present in the world. Their warped vision has displaced the created object, or art. Instead we have Everything Art and a market to consume it, and legions of consumers, critics, marketeers, dealers, manufacturers, workers, and so on to tend that market. No longer is does the artist strive to make a thing timeless, for all. Art is contemporary and immaterial, except in its progressive costs. 

A key feature of such Everything Art, as in the Everything Market, is its indecipherable quality. Only the Great Practitioners can comprehend Everthing(s), either markets or art, or any everything else. The Common Man, Woman or Child is not qualified even to enter such markets, without expert advisors. Of course, we have discovered the Everything Game (see LIBOR) is rigged, and learned that the expert advisors are frauds (see Sothebys). It is therefore no surprise that many view Everything with such cynicism. 

We mustn’t however listen to the cynics. They often, wittingly or not, serve the interests of the Everything Market and Management Society. How? By debilitating the confrontational. It is not enough to critique and spread cynicism, when confronting evil. Evil must be met with force, and completely eradicated. This is ancient wisdom. It holds today. 

It is not markets that are evil. Who hasn’t been to a local market and found the experience life-affirming? It is today a rhetorical question, because many people have no concept of any but the Everything Market and its base and debasing derivatives. The same is true of art. Art is not evil, nor is it sorcery or a con. It is so difficult to remember this, when the perceptual and transactional fields are so thoroughly corrupted. 

But try. 

On the anniversary of the occupation of Liberty Square, try to remember that exchange can be a gift. Try to remember that art is real, it exists, and humans still can make it, for us, for all time, the only object, as a form of sacred play [+].

Also, its good to recall that the Everything Market will pass. The infinite artificial person will die. Really. The Everything Market will crash again, even worse than before, because nothing significant has been done to prevent that happening. The infinite artificial person will “die,” or something like that, which is to say, it never really was alive to begin with. We will all just agree to the demise of infinite artificial personhood. Or else, there will be no more “we,” only “it.”

Maybe you can push the passing of these evil manifestations of our minds a bit, and help kill the artificial person that’s killing, maiming or diseasing your dreams. Whatever. You will or you won’t. Maybe you have other more important things to do, more pressing matters. 

At any rate, something will change, because nothing lasts forever, right? Hopefully, things will be okay for you and the ones and the things you really care about. If they aren’t okay, who is there to blame? 

Well, one can always blame the Economy, if you must blame something (not yourself). Too bad, though: the Economy won’t care about either you or your blame.

#

*That chimera, the Economy must feed, like a shark swimming in the oceans of want and ownership; this is another essay.

occupationalartschool:

Occupy with Art presents CO-OP at b.j. spoke gallery in Huntington, Long Island!

Occupational Art School: OAS Node #1: Whatever It Maybe ∞ [Internal Review]

occupationalartschool:

Page 10 of Jeff Sugg’s portfolio. Click image to download the PDF of Jeff’s portfolio.

Whatever It Maybe ∞
Jeff Sugg at OASN1@BH (August 22, 2012)
By Paul McLean

Jeff Sugg parked his street-painted punk van directly in front of Bat Haus about an hour before his Occupational Art…

[CO-OP]: @b.j. spoke Gallery [BETA][Draft]

[EXCERPT]:

CO-OP is a dimensional art project. CO-OP is first and foremost a small collective show, an exhibit, as such. It is a template or model for occupational art practice, demonstrating one way that Occupy artists can partner with pre-existing arts organizations as an expression of solidarity. among 99% artists and our communities. CO-OP is a conceptual project, in which we will link co-operative food networks and artists within the medium of gift exchange for mutual aid and benefits.

ENOUGH [BASTA][Field Scan, Illustrations & Notes][Draft/BETA]

Pinned Image

[INTRODUCTORY NOTES]: Sometimes when I undertake a dimensional analysis or field scan, the subject expands at a rate that outpaces the initial concept framework, including areas of interest. Now, including areas of Pinterest. The essay [Q.: What kind of “essay” consists of basically 1-1 ratio of image to text? A.: A story in a children’s book; OK, not exactly an essay, as such. A2.: A field manual. OK, not exactly an essay, as such.] below commenced just prior the nine-month anniversary of OWS. Nine months, the time it takes to hatch a lttle human. Before the fact, the project of doing this ENOUGH entry seemed a rather dull and anonymous exercise - I mean, the whole world isn’t watching Occupy, now it would seem - a struggle/mission/task of responding to some essays that impact art and Occupy, making some general assessments about media practice affecting mass perception, focused on the erasure of national and regional history, calling out the top-down art/academic/philosophy/media/press complex’s sublimation or outright repression of Occupy art, and folding it into the “new,” chronicling how artists accomplish the same thing from the bottom-up - binding all of it with autobiography and anecdotes, the subjective… I guess it’s obvious why the essay evolved into an exercise not unlike the barking dog chasing the big truck down the street. What does he do, if he catches it? One way to reboot the effort is to go back into the text at some point and begin to striate narratives in order to clarify the distinctions among them. Another is to post-facto create a logic that serves to illuminate the internal order in the data, which is fine when one exists. Another is to refuse epistemology altogether, in favor of myth, infusing the text with images, to push the work as a unit toward something like illuminated poetics. Spiritual doctrine provisioning a storyboard methodology would have been helpful, as a structural device, but since this particular meta-narrative is forged or animated by the broadest or simplest notion of “spirit,” and eschews ideology, theology or any dogma as such, we are left to the aesthetics of streaming media, with bandwidth that drops frames from time to time, causing considerable user hardship, frustrating the smooth reception that only the big outfits tend to manage well, with their high production values and big bucks. However, since the author posits ENOUGH! more or less as a stub, in the WIKI sense, and the text an additive N+1 (dimensional) one, the problem is not a problem, but an invitation to other authors to contribute. Also, dear reader, please keep in mind, that the composition is not an epistle project, but an exhibition component. At the point of output [likely a big beautiful barn in Huntington, LI] we will have a variety of options besides printed matter for presenting the work. The text could be, for instance, re-formatted by collage technique, multi-channel/layered projection, or cut & composited on transparent acrylic, or might appear only as a sonic iteration, etc…