It was interesting to find this talk on the process of creating art in a world where no privacy is possible. How the awareness one is always being watched may alter the nature and process of creation is something I’ve been thinking about for a while. I still haven’t drawn any profound and definitive conclusions, but I do appreciate getting the story from someone who has gotten her hands dirty in the guts of the Beast. I think it’s worth including the full youtuber description:
Do You Think That’s Funny?
Art Practice under the Regime of Anti-Terror Legislation
This lecture shall give a first person account of how circumstances have dramatically changed for actionist art practice over the last 15 years. I will use examples from my own art practice to show the impossibility to engange in digital and real-life actionism as they are considered criminal under anti-terrorist laws.
In the past, whenever we decided to start a new project, we always thought about possible legal implications in advance. Usually these would be easy to ignore as these implications used to result in small fines for public disturbance, copyright infringement, and your average threatening lawyer’s letter. By now, anti-terrorist laws disable us to think freely about projects and issues that touch state authority and terrorism, because thinking terror already consitutes a crime. Hence we changed our strategy and went into the underground with “illegal art”, we have decided to publish such projects anonymously and internally we call them our “Secret Projects”. We can never be connected to what we artistically do in the underground. But I will present the changing social habitat and legal circumstances affecting the production process for artists by showcasing some of our key UBERMORGEN projects and revealing as little as possible about our “Secret Projects”. In my talk I need to call to attention the many cases of self-censorship that every user on the net takes part in, the immensly negative effects of this lemming-like behavior and the reflection of this downward spiral in the revolting newspeak that has taken over the mass media and the lovely commercial social networks. Because what we are experiencing right now by means of a soft transformation, is a totalitarian take-over while the majority of the artists are focused on career, money and reputation instead of resistance, subversion and reflection.
Event: 30th Chaos Communication Congress [30c3] by the Chaos Computer Club [CCC]
Location: Congress Centrum Hamburg (CCH); Am Dammtor; Marseiller Straße; 20355 Hamburg; Germany
Begin: Fri, 12/27/2013 11:30:00 +01:00
This ties in tangentially with a piece I wrote for Modern Mythology, in which I think out loud about chaos, control and the seraphic surveillance eyes around us:
Human Demonology: Your Creative Impulse
Life emerges from arrangements of matter and chemistry through a process that can’t be traced from the properties of the physical component parts it inhabits. A similar phenomenon is the kind of artist who changes culture and how a society sees itself. This artist emerges from a complex of education, organization, rule enforcement and millions of points of sensory input. What is thrown at an individual for the sake of socialization is a set of base materials that may to some extent be woven into the body of this artist’s work, but the living quality of expression arises as a new state that could not be calculated or predicted as a combination of this input. This impulse for creation and mutating the consciousness of humanity is like another layer of the chaos that expresses itself in the property that animates and mutates matter. This is a force so unstoppable that every jurisdictional, organizational and mode of indoctrination and application of force is ultimately put in place to keep it at bay. Alpha humans of every age in positions that can decide the fate of nations, whether they got there through action or accident, have a compulsive need to have things arranged as they want them and to envelop humanity in cryogenic deep freeze when they succeed in imposing their ideal.
With a certain density of human population on a planet, only so much freedom is possible. In fact, most people in recorded history have lived under terrible oppression. It is a part of modern western mythology that growing freedom is destiny, but it is taken or scammed away so easily, that one might wonder if human tendency is in the opposite direction. Most things can be controlled in society and in a majority of individuals with little directive energy once set in motion, but the creative impulse can’t ever be completely eradicated, and it doesn’t take a huge endeavour to upset the whole arrangement. If this impulse is channelled less through culture and custom it comes out in twisted forms, commonly the SNAFU principle.
Seventh Trip, or Netzach (the SNAFU Principle)
“The most thoroughly and relentlessly Damned, banned, excluded, condemned, forbidden, ostracized, ignore, suppressed, repressed, robbed, brutalized and defamed of all Damned Things is the individual human being. The social engineers, statistician, psychologist, sociologists, market researchers, landlords, bureaucrats, captains of industry, bankers, governors, commissars, kings and presidents are perpetually forcing this Damned Thing into carefully prepared blueprints and perpetually irritated that the Damned Thing will not fit into the slot assigned it. The theologians call it a sinner and try to reform it. The governor calls it a criminal and tries to punish it. the psychologist calls it a neurotic and tries to cure it. Still, the Damned Thing will not fit into their slots. – Never Whistle While You’re Pissing by Hagbard Celine