Monday, March 8, 2010

the king and the fool

the following was posted to a rhizome thread.

the brush up between theory and immediacy, stasis and speed, a place in the mainstream and mining the periphery is interesting as an informational cache. but theories are proving inadequate to the political/social/aesthetic moment--most clearly seen in world politics NOW.

theory is always interesting to me because it makes very conscious statements about what WAS going on a little while ago; like a museum, art theory is reified, an effort to nail down into a static template the surging aliveness of artworks flying out of nothingness faster than the speed of light. creative theory - in its bid to be part of the elite ridgeline that matters - trims, crops, and sets artworks into gated community lawns, far from the messy sites of their extraction. at best, theory is its own art form, an offering in intellectual terms taken to an auction called art history.

theorists used to hope to influence artists, and they may still in a peripheral way, but postmodernism has, i think, dissolved into a new time of looking inductively for emergent energies beneath the theoretical floor. attempts by theorists of every stripe are met by refusal from potential backers.

the theorist wants to be a ruler king, artists of interest are closer to the fool who dances sideways to evade the ruler. artistfools know that timing (not importance) is the master; spontaneity, ephemerality, giving up control to see what might arise regardless of "an artist's place in history," seems to be the only fertile ground. all the theories about art, including its economic structures, feel like history. instead of history, we want ?

some friends say that everything now is about climate change, the feeling verges on desperate, action is what counts, no more theorizing. what is "art"?