A utopian poetics helps us to know our desires.
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The mirror of Utopia provides us with a kind of critical theory which no mere practical politics nor systematic philosophy can hope to evolve. The activity of such a group will come to replace Art as we poor PoMo bastards know it. Art in this sense has always been camouflaged and repressed throughout the whole of High History, but has never entirely vanished from our lives. One favourite example:—the quilting bee —a spontaneous patterning carried out by a non-hierarchic creative collective to produce a unique and useful and beautiful object, typically as a gift for someone connected to the circle.
The task of Immediatist organization can be summed up as the widening of the circle. One runs a certain risk in thus thwarting the vampiric energies of institutions. But risk itself makes up part of the direct experience of pleasure, a fact noted in all insurrectionary moments—all moments of making-up—of intense adventurous enjoyments:—the festal aspect of the Uprising, the insurrectionary nature of the Festival. Some last no longer than a chance meeting between two kindred spirits who might enlarge each other by their brief and mysterious encounter; others are like holidays, still other like pirate utopias.
None seems to last very long—but so what? Religions and States boasts of their permanence —which, we know, is just jive…; what they mean is death. Power, after all, is for us —not some fucking vanguard party. In the present series of texts originally presented as Radio Sermonettes on an FM station in New York, and published under that title by the anarchist Libertarian Book Club , the focus shifts to the idea of a praxis of re-appearance , and thus to the problem of organization.
An attempt at a theory of the aesthetics of the group—rather than a sociology or politique —has been expressed here as a game for free spirits, rather than as a blueprint for an institution. The group as medium, or as mechanism of alienation, has been replaced by the Immediatist group, devoted to the overcoming of separation.
This book might be called a thought-experiment on festal sodality —it has no higher ambitions. It wants no disciples—it would prefer to be burned—immolation not emulation! It loves to talk, but only because talk is a kind of celebration rather than a kind of work. All experience is mediated—by the mechanisms of sense perception, mentation, language, etc. However, mediation takes place by degrees. Some experiences smell, taste, sexual pleasure, etc.
Urban Dictionary: immediatism
For art, the intervention of Capital always signals a further degree of mediation. By now, however, amidst the ruins of Post-Modernism, it has finally begun to stink. Ironic frivolity finally becomes disgusting.
The Purge Society is the same as the Binge Society. Irony may have become boring, but self-mutilation was never more than an abyss. Down with frivolity—Down with sobriety. Which way to the Egress? Art will go on , in somewhat the same sense that breathing, eating, or fucking will go on. And we sometimes worry even about the extent to which our very involvement in such arts as writing, painting, or music implicates us in a nasty abstraction, a removal from immediate experience.
We miss the directness of play our original kick in doing art in the first place ; we miss smell, taste, touch, the feel of bodies in motion. Computers, video, radio, printing presses, synthesizers, fax machines, tape recorders, photocopiers—these things make good toys, but terrible addictions. We want to control our media, not be Controlled by them.
And we should like to remember a certain psychic martial art which stresses the realization that the body itself is the least mediated of all media. We feel free to do so because we intend to practice Immediatism in secret , in order to avoid any contamination of mediation. Immediatism is not a movement in the sense of an aesthetic program.
It depends on situation, not style or content, message or School. All spectators must also be performers. The best games will make little or no use of obvious forms of mediation such as photography, recording, printing, etc. An obvious matrix for Immediatism is the party.
Thus a good meal could be an Immediatist art project, especially if everyone present cooked as well as ate. At linked-verse parties a faulty couplet would entail the penalty of a glass of wine. Moreover, Immediatism is not condemned to powerlessness of the world, simply because it avoids the publicity of the marketplace. A Tong can perhaps be defined as a mutual benefit society for people with a common interest which is illegal or dangerously marginal—hence, the necessary secrecy.
Another universal purpose for such societies was of course conviviality, especially banqueting—but even this apparently innocuous pastime can acquire insurrectionary implications. In the various French revolutions, for example, dining clubs frequently took on the role of radical organizations when all other forms of public meeting were banned. Among other things, the Tong should be a work of art. The strict traditional rule of secrecy also needs modification. Nowadays anything which evades the idiot gaze of publicity is already virtually secret.
Most modern people seem unable to believe in the reality of something they never see on television—therefore to escape being televisualized is already to be quasi-invisible. The idea of throwing a party to, say, make a quilt or sing madrigals together, seems hopelessly outdated. There are some people who do not need fifteen second on the Evening News to validate their existence. Not everyone needs to know everything! Some will call this an elitist attitude, but it is not—at least not in the C.
Wright Mills sense of the word: that is, a small group which exercises power over non-insiders for its own aggrandizement. Immediatism does not concern itself with power-relations;—It desires neither to be ruled nor to rule. The contemporary Tong therefore finds no pleasure in the degeneration of institutions into conspiracies. It wants power for its own purposes of mutuality.
For all these purposes the secret society promises to provide a useful framework of protective clandestinity—a cloak of invisibility that will have to be dropped only in the event of some final snowdown with the Babylon of Mediation…. The marxists R.
ISBN 13: 9781873176429
However there is no real innocence here—only our profound ignorance of the ways in which Capitalism itself is organized to prevent all genuine conviviality. To struggle to come together every Monday night or whatever , in the teeth of the gale of busyness, or family, or invitations to stupid parties—that struggle is already Immediatism itself.
An actual project will arise almost spontaneously out of this successful slap-in-the-face of the social norm of alienated boredom. This is not a petty matter! This is a question of failure or triumph! The Spectacle—or whatever has replaced it since —is above all empty. It wants your creativity much more even than you want it yourself.
Ah, the metaphysical shenanigans of objects! Yes indeedy.
To do drugs? And of course the chances are good that your Immediatist group is engaged in something illegal—since almost everything enjoyable is in fact illegal.
Babylon hates it when anyone actually enjoys life, rather than merely spends money in a vain attempt to buy the illusion of enjoyment. Dissipation, gluttony, bulimic overconsumption—these are not only legal but mandatory. True pleasure in this society is more dangerous than bank robbery.