Tuesday, August 20, 2013

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
The gaze of the digital panopticon covers the planet like concrete covering suburbia and like flowers growing up through concrete, alternate views and strange oppositional creativity inevitably seeps through. It's something that's bound to infect even those who waste the potential of their human lives for employment in the surveillance machine. Recent revelations brought to the world courtesy Edward Snowden and Glenn Greenwald told us that the greatest monument to surveillance and societal control ever built has been in place for a decade and it's more ever present and ubiquitous than anyone could ever have conceived. Much protest and resistance ensued following the uncovering of PRISM and Xkeyscore and even more defensiveness, character assassination and hand-wringing poured forth from paid propagandists of the surveillance/military/prison/drug war industrial complex. But there are humans involved, and humans get bored. It is not in our nature to sit and watch day in and day out unless in the grip of terrible neuroses. Or born of of human/demon union.
“But now the giants who are born from the (union of) the spirits and the flesh shall be called evil spirits upon the earth, because their dwelling shall be upon the earth and inside the earth. Evil spirits have come out of their bodies. Because from the day that they were created from the holy ones they became the Watchers; their first origin is the spiritual foundation. They will become evil upon the earth and shall be called evil spirits. The dwelling of the spiritual beings of heaven is heaven; but the dwelling of the spirits of the earth, which are born upon the earth, is in the earth. The spirits of the giants oppress each other, they will corrupt, fall, be excited, and fall upon the earth, and cause sorrow. They eat no food, nor become thirsty, nor find obstacles. And these spirits shall rise up against the children of the people and against the women, because they have proceeded forth (from them). – 1 Enoch 15
It is the tendency for non-demonoid people to use anything that transmits as an opportunity to perform and the ability of humans to find ways to weave art into any medium that will carry it, even if the audience is only made up of NSA droids who spend their day along with ceiling cat to watch you masturbate. Twitter users jokingly address anonymous NSA agents, but one can not send an email or farcebook message without an awareness on some level that the government will collect and store it and any entity in the power structure will suck it up and use it to monitor, to sell, to track and to analyse every detail. But there a people tending the machine, and riding the current flowing through their memetic makeup is the Damned Thing. The edifice is riddled with it.
Recently over here, there was a case where it was suspected that the people who monitor security screens were taking unnecessary toilet breaks and gossiping when they should be watching us. So it was decided that the only sensible thing to do was to put a security camera in the monitor room. [Laughs] This is answering the question that Juvenal asked so succinctly all those years ago: Who watches the watchmen? The answer is more watchmen! And yet more watchmen watch them... - Alan Moore Salon Interview 
Watchers watching watchers watching watchers - turtles (or Nephilim all the way down)...  The greatest danger to this omnipresent network of control, with its thousands of busy bees working and sifting and weaving its gossamer threads into every virtual and physical place on earth, is not leakers, activists or terrorists. It is the characteristic of humans engaged in pointless and evil jobs to unconsciously fuck up the cold, disloyal edifice that employs them.I have just started to ponder the thought, so I have no conclusions at this point, but will generations of artists act and create differently than the generations past that had the luxury of being alone in their process. Will the gaze of the ever-present observer alter the nature of the artist? The incoming and interactive aspects of pervasive digitalia have been noted as distractions many times, but what might come of even the unconscious notion that the entire process of creating work on these machines being watched? The boss is always looking over the shoulder and nothing happens unobserved inside the panopticon. As genuine art creation is co-opted for the service of its enemy if it reaches the potential to influence the world, perhaps art can co-opt the tendency for snafu inherent in any human created system.

The notion of art for art's sake was a truly revolutionary idea from which sprang the great movements from impressionism to the harmonic adventures of Schoenberg. Now with a developing permanent upper class that doesn't see value in having their names attached to art, there's a danger of a return to an older pattern, but without the cultural underpinning of that earlier epoch. There have been several generations of counter culture that have gone from genesis to blooming to mass-market co-option and there's some ambivalence in regard to the role of art and society. This could be a point of impasse before a new explosion of expression the nature of which we couldn't even begin to predict by looking at the component parts lying bereft of life around us. Circumstances of the entire human world aren't tenable for long on its current trajectory. Artists are pushed to the margins of capitalism already, and I see the situation as a canary in the coal mine. Something is coming. Whatever it is, big A and small a art is to play a more important role than ever.

As I grew up the future loomed large in both positive and negative ways. Our current epoch is a present with little connection to past or future. This present is thrown at us at an increasingly accelerated pace, from many forms of media and social media updates. In the endeavour to make business everything and everything business, the future as something to dream about and work towards has been exchanged for a mediated present that for all its sound and fury is poor in spirit and imagination. One would expect the same percentage of people looking outside established paths as ever, but that doesn't seem to be happening. I've long thought that the key is that de-coupling from the dominant culture to build something entirely new on a personal level. We may be at the tail-end of something that started with the bohemians of the 19th century. Artists and musicians worked at the pleasure of nobility and the wealthy up until then. Folk art and music was practised by everyone, which is quite a different thing from even the enthusiasts and professionals operating in that realm over the last few generations. Segmentation and specialization of skills and professions leads to a dependency on technocratic and business entities for services and jobs and increasingly, those realms that culture previously had. If something produced outside this structure is not a spectacle end merchantable, few people know about it and the possibility of it being part of the great human dialogue diminishes. What remains is a feedback loop of paltriness.


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