Thursday, 19 February 2009

song for the state

1 comment:

troylloyd said...

static lasso

knuckl'd noose

"because this capitalist society is poisoning itself with a morbid thirst for money. Its members are brought up to worship Having and despise Being.
- because this bureaucratic society is choking itself with officialdom and suppressing any form of spontaneity. Its members can only become creative, individual people through anti-social conduct - because this militaristic society is digging its own grave by a paranoid atomic arms build-up, its members now have nothing to look forward to but certain death by atomic radiation." The PROVOS hatched a series of 'white plans', as solutions to ecological and social problems facing the city, and which simultaneously acted as 'provocations' to the Dutch authorities. Among the more famous of these was the 'White Bicycle Plan'. The PROVOS announced in a leaflet that white bicycles would be left unlocked throughout the city for use by the general population. The prototype of this 'free communal transport' was presented to the press and public on 28th July 1965 near the statue of Lieverdja. The plan proved an enormous success as a 'provocation against capitalist private property' and 'the car monster', but failed as a social experiment. The police, horrified at the implications of communal property being left on the streets, impounded any bicycle that they found left unattended and unlocked. The PROVOS became notorious with the Dutch medical community after Bart Huges - one of the PROVO leaders - drilled a hole into his cranium (skull trepanation). Huges believed that the membranes inside his head could expand as a result of the extra space he had created, thus increasing the volume of blood - and in turn oxygen - that his brain could contain at any given time. The result, Huges claimed, was similar to the expanded consciousness achieved during yoga exercises, or an LSD trip, but in his case the benefits were permanent. Meanwhile, in New York some former cultural workers were about to be reborn as the street fighting Motherfuckers. The Motherfuckers (or 'Up Against The Wall Motherfucker' accompanied by a graphic showing a freak being shaken down by the cops) formed out of the Lower East Side branch of Students For A Democratic Society, but prior to this brief flirtation with New Left politics they had been grouped around the Dada inspired magazine "Black Mask". As the Black Mask collective, their chief public activity had been attacking gallery openings, museum lectures and rock concerts. As the Motherfuckers, and later the Werewolves, their activity was focused on two fronts - breaking up leftist meetings and carrying out a bombing campaign under the slogan of' Armed Love' - against banks and other symbolic targets. (the freak style of agitation) Another sexual extremist working within the mail art network during the seventies was Jerry Dreva (born 1945, Milwaukee, Wisconsin). Dreva is best known for his artist's book "Wanks For The Memories: The Seminal Work/Books of Jerry Dreva". Dreva created these books by masturbating until his semen stained the pages. The completed works were mailed to friends. As a result of these activities, Dreva has been dubbed 'the man who had a thousand orgasms for art' . Dreva is also well known for his manipulation of the mass media. One of his earliest media escapades was "Les Petites Bonbons In Hollywood", created in collaboration with Bob Lambert, Chuck Bitz and others. The Bonbons went to all the right places and thus became a famous rock group without needing to bother about music. The Bonbons received coverage in People, Newsweek, Photographic Record and Record World, on the basis of wearing the right clothes and knowing the right people. Dreva became 'so fascinated with the power of the media to create and define' that he took a job on a Wisconsin paper to 'research the entire phenomenon'. As Dreva explains in a feature in "High Performance 9" (Spring 1980): "Eventually I began to document my own life/art performances (many of them illegal) anonymously on the pages of the newspaper I worked for." So, for example, Dreva would graffiti the outside of a Milwaukee High School - just before its Festival of Arts - with the slogans "Art Only Exists Beyond The Confines Of Accepted Behaviour" and "Death To Romance", and then in his role as a journalist caption a photo-story about the graffiti for the local press. He would then send copies of the story to his contacts in the mail art network. In his "High Performance" feature, Dreva is quite clear about his intentions:".....what I'm trying to do is point to a future when art will no longer exist as a category separate from life." In 1985, Class War launched its "Bash The Rich" campaign. The back-page feature they devoted to promoting the fIrst March in London also informed readers of where the idea had come from: "The idea of bash the rich marches is nothing new. Exactly I00 years ago on April 28th 1885 they were doing exactly the same thing in Chicago... The anarchist Lucy Parsons told people who were on the verge of killing themselves to "take a few rich people with you", let their eyes be opened to what was going on "by the red glare of destruction". Anarchists would hold huge meetings attended by up to 20,000 people... The anarchists led huge marches from the working class ghettos into the rich neighbourhoods. They would gather in thousands outside restaurants or the homes of the wealthy displaying a huge banner on which was written "Behold your future executioners", the terrified rich would summon the police and huge riots would take place. The working class of Chicago were determined to take their struggle into the heart of the enemies territory - so are we, a hundred years later."