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Olchar E. Lindsann - Creative Sociality and the Traditions of Dissent: Toward a Radical Historiography

Olchar E. Lindsann - Creative Sociality and the Traditions of Dissent: Toward a Radical Historiography

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The article by Olchar E. Lindsann deals with modes of repressive historic discourses and strategy of struggling them.
The article by Olchar E. Lindsann deals with modes of repressive historic discourses and strategy of struggling them.

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Categories:Types, Research, History
Published by: "Mycelium" samizdat publishers on Feb 02, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Olchar E. Lindsann
Creative Socialityand the Traditions of Dissent:Toward a Radical Historiography
«Mycelium» samizdat publishers, 2011
If I were to state that I am writing on Art (or even art), and provided that I pre-sent neither a straightforward exposition of technique nor an unadulterated re-port on economic activity in the home-decoration industry, it would be under-stood that I referred to a cultural edifice dealing with a concept of Art inextricablefrom an intellectual or discursive dimension--a notion of Art as being related toThought. What was once called 'High Art', and has since been given the euphe-mism of Fine Art, is a cultural edifice which distinguishes itself from the broaderrange of human aestheticreative activity, and especially from domestic decora-tion ('kitsch') destined for popular consumption, through either the controlled andmanaged scarcity of material objects or through the assumption of formal frame-works and characteristics destined to alienate normative audiences; Art justifiesthis (implicitly hierarchical) distinction and elevation from the general field of pro-duction of social artefacts on the grounds that Fine Art is uniquely self-critical. Inturn, Fine Art's intellectual veneer is what makes it valuable to the avatars ofestablished power, providing them with a hypocritical yet serviceable ethical alibifor the systems they perpetuate.Utopia is thus implicit in the very genetics of any concept of Art entailing thisdistance from the normative (which is, after all, inseparable in practice from theMass Market). Art, and Artists, buy their status as Intellectuals; and the currencythey use is their presumed responsibility toward the Higher Ideals of a culturewhose designers and maintainers do not in fact subscribe to them. High Art canmaintain the ethical legitimacy of its distance from popular culture (the ivorytower, the hermetic vessel, the white gallery walls, the subculture) only if thisdistance, this self-definition, serves to create new techniques of living and ofthinking which can materially and radically re-register society, granting that suchshifts must (by reason of this necessary distance) be transgenerational and indi-rect.Yet around this model of Art as a Utopian Island which carries on the selflesswork of the best of our culture and floats above the petty materialism of our ac-tual society, an infrastructure of closely-entwined institutions has simultaneouslydeveloped--museums, publishing houses, financial support from Nation-States,contests and State-funded biennials, commercial and non-profit galleries, corpo-rate-funded residencies, academic tenure systems, philanthropic and corporateendowments, festivals, auction-houses, etc.--all closely allied to the political andeconomic entities responsible for the maintenance of Capitalist Imperialism.These institutions mark the removal of Art from the mass market, but at thesame time they reinstitute within this sphere of presumed integrity another mar-ket, this one targeted at small elite audiences, well-educated enough to feel atwinge of guilt about the global cost of the lives they live and of the systems forwhich they provide specialized support. This market creates and manages cul-tural Capital in a sociopsychological economy, its function to perpetuateamongst the educated classes the lie that they are living up to their ethical re-sponsibilities as the privileged children of the Western Polis and, by extension,the very symbol of the decadence of the human project.Starting years before any potential student or cultural worker's formal educa-

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