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ART-e-FACT, STRATEGIES OF RESISTANCE issue01: ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION issue02: UTOPIA [you are here] issue03: TECHNOMYTHOLOGIES issue04: GLOCALOGUE
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TRANSMEDIALE.04
PARTNER EVENT
TRANSMEDIALE: FLY UTOPIA!
A conference, exhibition and workspace - opens January 31st in Berlin.


TRAVELOG

The City in the Age of Touristic Reproduction
Boris Groys
The tourist and the city dweller become identical.

Can the art world really do Hollywood better than Hollywood?
Steven Rand
The hypnotism
of technology: where is the end?

Mobile Utopia
Charles Esche
A utopian day-trip through two views of humanity 400 years apart.

FEATURE AND WRITINGS
LOOKING FOR A HUSBAND WITH AN EU PASSPORT BY TANJA OSTOJIC
ONLINE
Light Type Writer
Constantin Luser


THEORY

Utopia with Lara Croft and some other monsters and Aliens
Marina Gržinić
The re-direction of desires, facts & bodies in the global world.

THE EMPIRE AND ITS UTOPIAS
Žarko Paić
How to envision utopia, and not run away from society’s real repression / depression into a ghetto or exile for fantastic outsiders?


ZERZAN VON TARZAN UND TAXIS - FASCISM OF DESIRE OR FASCISM OF OBJECTS
Zoran Roško
The rejection of human will, civilisation, & the search for what we have left.




ART WORK
THEORY

ZERZAN VON TARZAN UND TAXIS - FASCISM OF DESIRE OR FASCISM OF OBJECTS

Being a human being is not such a big deal and it seems that in their depth, humans do not in fact want to be humans. “We literally want to become an inanimate object, that is, we wish to become a thing like all other things,” states Crispin Sartwell. Even though we reluctantly admit to this, the wish in one way or another to become objects is our main utopia and evil, mysticism, naturalism, eroticism, seduction (as a “call to oblivion”), fascism and the most advanced technology converge around this point. People in fact do not wish to have will, to be subjects. Only our social, civilizational pressure forces us to be willing subjects, rational participants, rulers of the world, partakers in difficult and non-conclusive negotiations, but what we actually long for is to be objects so that we can disappear among other objects. Death, oblivion, nature, that-what-is seduce us, claims Sartwell, because they are contrary to our will (creation of values, of a world how it should be and not how it is). This is also evil - surrendering our values, wants, and will itself to oblivion. But this is also the ultimate utopia - a state in which we simply are.

As an escape from that seduction, the entire civilizational utopian project was based on the assumption that humans with their own, inherent forces would realize rule over nature which appeared like an object which provoked resistance, friction, as something obstructing the overall flow of (the best) people’s qualities through which the best in nature and the cosmos is simultaneously crystallized. Many analyses and even more experiences show that this kind of utopian project cannot be realized. And while the majority of today’s theoreticians are confused, bitter, without hope or even paralysed, because they no longer know where to look for utopian potential, American anarcho-primitivist John Zerzan is interesting in this respect above all for his radical switch. According to him, the only - and therefore, desperate - utopian solution which humans can even conceive today is anticivilizational, and this implies, on principle, the ultimate surrender in the belief of human qualities, into them as the subject, and consequently, to the turning towards the utopian potential of the object. Is the surrendering to the fascism of things the ultimate confession of fascism/mysticism of our own desires or only a temporary withdrawal from civilizational “humanity” as a consequence to the disappointing effects which it caused?

Zerzan (b. 1943) is a man-forest who goes against the grain not only of postmodernist dogma but of all ideological justifications of culture, art, technology and civilization. The anarcho-primitivist standpoint which he represents, is marked by, to put it simply, the radical critique of contemporary civilization and the simultaneous revalorisation, or rather, praise of so-called primitive life. On the one hand, anarcho-primitivists emphasize the dark side of the contemporary life led by capitalist-technological logic, pointing to the desperation, depression, dispiritedness, emptiness of the contemporary, and especially urban life - they diagnose a pathology of the present-day, but also of civilization as such; on the other hand, they give emphasis to facts, particularly made possible by newer archaeological and anthropological insights which reportedly confirm the possibility that people in the precivilizational era (which in fact covers 99% of the history of humankind) lived healthy, in harmony, non-violently, with egalitarianism, non-alienated, in harmony with nature and other humans and beings.

“The fascination with civilization is fading,” claims Zerzan. Tying in to the idea of the situationist and anarchy movement from ’68, and to the radical understandings of deep ecology, Zerzan therefore is not only an adversary against the state, capitalism and the flawed sides of modern life, but also opposed to civilization as such because he sees the root of our problems in the erroneous veering off course which we made by accepting working on the land and taming animals.

How then to carry out a future, counter-civilizational revolution? As the situationists used to say, “slowly at first, and then suddenly, all at once,” states Zerzan - the conditions need to be prepared in order to suddenly cross over to the pre-civilizational way of life, to suddenly leave civilization and screw everything that we need to tear down. We need to, says Zerzan, renew the idea of the power of the negative; we need to be ready to demolish, to destroy that which destroys us. There is no place for tolerance and coexistence of the most varied of options here. And as far as violence goes, it will be unavoidable to some degree. Zerzan is no longer “convinced that civilization has a particularly sturdy footing, so that even its collapse should not be particularly violent”.

What is most interesting here with regards to Zerzan is that the principle impossibility of (civilized) human characteristics to realize “humane” effects is acknowledged here. That which is most humane in a human cannot be reached by that which is most humane in it. Left to their own devices, to the development of their own strength, humans in principle do not succeed in achieving that which they would like to/need to achieve. Humans as media - in which they “come into their own”, with their multiple identities - are in essence corrupted, of bad quality, bad: “human” as a specific desired experience simply cannot be realized in humans as a media. That kind of goal can only be achieved by a detour, through something else, through something inhuman - humans themselves cannot be the carrier media for becoming a human. The catastrophe of postmodernism is comprised in the non-comprehension that it is precisely the symbolic order (which is supposedly the scope of the human world) not only does not encompass humans in their entirety, but that this seemingly most humane (its only “real” one) “substratum” is always doomed to failure, cataclysm or catatonia, to a life which is “simply impossible”. Because it is our pure humanity which makes us inhuman.

Therefore, according to Zerzan, utopian potentials are no longer carried by the subject, but by the object. Humans can still only hope that the object itself (outside and within) can bring harmony, peace and happiness. Indeed, there are many indicators that say humans no longer believe with their own traits (even techno-utopians cannot conceive future humans without their fusion with robots or artificial intelligence, that is, with inhuman partners), they no longer have faith in their own freedom, individuality, in their desire, pleasure and dreams, because their “freedom” only changes the repertoire of horrors but does not abolish them. While many other, hypercynical authors do not believe humans nor anything else, Zerzan believes in the inherent characteristics of the object, or more precisely in the “natural” (pre-symbolic) life. Only the characteristics of an object can organize our life in such a way that we do not spatter them, and only life in natural “totalitarianism”, in subordination to the power of the object can truly create a humane life. Only the fascism of objects can bring a subjective freedom - a psychotic disappearance into the Object is our last utopia. Simply said, the subject is an ingenious invention but it causes short circuits, and the collapse of the whole system in which it appears. Here, according to Zerzan, there is no help. We will either disappear or will cross over to the “enemy” side and live happily in natural “fascism”.

Life in the Symbolic Matrix inevitably leads to the awareness that all understandings of human dignity (freedom, humanity, uniqueness) are deceptive, that there is no spontaneous existing humanity, that there is no direct link between humans and that what they are, that they come to themselves like some TV-transmission, from the outside and from afar, mediated by the symbolic structure. Here humans are necessarily exposed as by their nature as virtual beings, just like their knowledge virtualises all phenomena. The only form of life which in that kind of world allows for (egotistically) a “desired” experience is hedonistic cynicism: it is not important how my experience came about, where it is headed and whether it serves anything, as long as it is pleasant. In this Matrix the human-zombie consents to the “fascism” of pleasure (however much they are, as Crispin Sartwell states, banal) and to the fiction of existence which is not their concern as long as it is pleasant.

If the notion of Catch-22 always holds true for humans - that they exist only up to where nothing is required of them - then the basic question for humans is: are not all (natural, symbolic, spiritual) Matrices in which they live actually artificial, foreign constructions in which existence has been taken away and the only thing remaining is the “choice” of specific experiences which will be validated at the expense of others, not because they are closer to their “essence”, “nature”, or “vision”, but simply because they are less inferior than others. Humans cannot believe with their own desires nor their own ideals for they can never know to where their realizations will take them - because desire is not something that is transparent and theirs, rather, it is an image which persecutes them and obsesses them and that they do not know why. In this regard, it is not even important what or who the human is, but with what experiences they are willing to drug themselves and which “fascism” they will choose. If they wish to find the “middle road” humans should then give up on utopias (which are in fact firstly an expression of the “fascism” of their desires) and begin to negotiate with the “evil” within themselves about the possibility of motiveless, haphazard, everyday, unpretentious goodness. In this kind of goodness there is nothing seductive, and that is why it is a true u-topos and not a utopia.




CONTENTS







ART WORK
Homeless  Ideas
VIEW
FILM
Private Utopia
(excerpted detail)
Ivana Keser
PERSONAL

Utopia Project: Sleeping
Kata Mijatović

"my wife" drawing 2003
Sislej Xhafa

Private utopia
Ivana Keser


TOPIC AREAS
SYSTEMS

SYSTEMS
 
TRANS.MISSION
 
PERSONAL
 
MECHANIZED
 
MICRO-UTOPIAS
 

CONTENTS


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