SOCIETY OF CONTROL: IS THERE NO ALTERNATIVE?

By Abbi Torrance MA Fine Art 2011

CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION 1 NO MAN IS AN ISLAND 2 CAPITALIST REALISM 3 AESTHETIC REVOLUTION AND ITS OUTCOMES CONCLUSION BIBLIOGRAPHY

p2 p4 p10 p17 p22 p24

INTRODUCTION Mark Fisher (2009) and Francis Fukuyama (1992) despite having opposing political ideologies have both warned us of the approach of Nietzsche’s ‘last man’1. This last man is a despicable, derisive man who has lost his will, he is complacent, unemotional and takes no risks. He is weak and ill, takes drugs to feel good, everyone is the same and only concerned about their health. He thinks he is happy. Herbert
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It is time for man to fix his goal. It is time for man to plant the seed of his highest hope. His soil is still rich enough for it. But that soil will one day be poor and exhausted, and no lofty tree will any longer be able to grow there. Alas! there comes the time when man will no longer launch the arrow of his longing beyond man -- and the string of his bow will have unlearned to whiz! I tell you: one must still have chaos in oneself, to give birth to a dancing star. I tell you: you have still chaos in yourselves. Alas! There comes the time when man will no longer give birth to any star. Alas! There comes the time of the most despicable man, who can no longer despise himself. ßLo! I show you the Last Man. "What is love? What is creation? What is longing? What is a star?" -- so asks the Last Man, and blinks. The earth has become small, and on it hops the Last Man, who makes everything small. His species is ineradicable as the flea; the Last Man lives longest. "We have discovered happiness" -- say the Last Men, and they blink. They have left the regions where it is hard to live; for they need warmth. One still loves one's neighbor and rubs against him; for one needs warmth. Turning ill and being distrustful, they consider sinful: they walk warily. He is a fool who still stumbles over stones or men! A little poison now and then: that makes for pleasant dreams. And much poison at the end for a pleasant death. One still works, for work is a pastime. But one is careful lest the pastime should hurt one. One no longer becomes poor or rich; both are too burdensome. Who still wants to rule? Who still wants to obey? Both are too burdensome. No shepherd, and one herd! Everyone wants the same; everyone is the same: he who feels differently goes voluntarily into the madhouse. "Formerly all the world was insane," -- say the subtlest of them, and they blink. They are clever and know all that has happened: so there is no end to their derision. People still quarrel, but are soon reconciled -- otherwise it upsets their stomachs.

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Melvin Goodall “It Says Here” (2010) Photographic print They have their little pleasures for the day. a token of technical progress. and they blink." -. 1991. need to reassert their individuality against technologies that oppress man and nature. He said ‘A comfortable. (Marcuse. reasonable. and actively oppose the waste. He stated: ‘advanced industrial society created false needs. 1964. smooth. We are slave to our ‘masters’ because of our desire for ever more material objects. This onedimensional thinking he said is the uncritical and conformist acceptance of existing norms of structure and behaviour. a ‘one-dimensional man’. "We have discovered happiness. and their little pleasures for the night. democratic unfreedom prevails in advanced industrial civilization. and contemporary modes of thought’ (Kellner.Marcuse (1964) has described a similar man. but they have a regard for health. destruction and exploitation that occurs within advanced industrial society. (Nietzsche 1891) 3 . He suggests Westerners.say the Last Men. p1). which integrates individuals into the existing system of production and consumption via mass media. industrial management. p xii). advertising.’ (Marcuse. 1960).

ran off into the trees. in response to the spectators behaviour or some internal dynamic. adheres to furniture or bounces around an interior. (Pieces of People 2003). The mass sweeps through a room or garden. The stranger is mortified and transfixed. They are caught again. with a growing sense of recognition. hid and stared back at the spectators. like a startled herd of animals. They are released as doubt creeps in and the hand is lowered. This collective entity interacting with the space. or would scatter in all directions. also forming fluctuating masses of density and instability out in the open.like molecules. created by their adherence to copy each other and a set of common instructions (Flock 2005). or ran for cover. It is seen from a distance drifting around a space or up close invading a room and threatening to envelop spectators. 4 . momentary formations. The 'objects' were temporary. The structures were interwoven within the environment. This behavior holds them together . They move as a mass with collective behaviour. pinned to the spot. They discover that they know each other well.1. Their simple lives become increasingly complex as they make relationships and give names. Flock is an ‘unstable. They escape. collective entities appearing around the grounds at different times. the spectators included. The group. and the action spreads through the group. governed by a strict program. a herd of animals. a swarm of bees. ‘They explore and uncover the interconnections and interrelations as their lives interweave’ (Island 2010). nebulous object’. The performers lurked in the bushes. like a firework. NO MAN IS AN ISLAND Someone points at someone else. washes over chairs and tables. a flock of birds.

Milgram began these experiments in 1961 after Eichmann defended his war crimes saying he was simply following orders when he condemned millions of Jews to death2. Island (2010). The participants were told to continue by the experimenter even if they were worried about the effects of the shocks. He describes and defines a fictive space and situation but the invention confronts us with our reality (artsadmin. the complex structure. Island (2010) In these three performances. 5 .Gary Stevens. Flock (2005) and Pieces of People (2003) the artist Gary Stevens choreographs a flowing rhythm of actions to represent human interaction and behaviour.co. In 2002 the Artist Rod Dickinson reminds us of a much starker example of human behaviour with his re-enactment of Stanley Milgram’s Obedience Experiments. 65% of participants despite becoming upset gave potentially lethal shocks to the students (Milgram 1974). often including a text. He slowly develops works through long practice periods. grows out of the process and becomes rich and compelling. 2 Milgram developed an intimidating imitation shock generator for participants to shock unseen role-playing students if they got answers to questions wrong.uk).

J. there is less conformity (Crisp. He found that the guards became domineering and abusive and the prisoners became passive and depressed. adjusting our own values and beliefs about things to align with our own actions or those of others (Crisp. However he also discovered that if the group is small or one other person gives the right answer. even when the destructive effects of their work become patently clear. he said that only a few people had resisted the situational temptations to yield to power and dominance whilst maintaining any morality and decency (Zimbardo 2007). individuals become capable of making the society that suits them. R. which he had to stop early after 6 days. This re-enactment prompts a reassessment of other classic psychology experiments: Asch’s Conformity Experiments3. Therefore all human action is at least partly predetermined based on the contextual rules under which it occurs.N. But the structure 3 We learn that a third of the time participants will conform to fit in with a group and give the wrong answer even though they know or think its wrong. 5 Zimbardo (2007) demonstrates the powerful role that situation plays in human behaviour. 6 . & Turner. R. 2007 p4).After the experiments Milgram said: Ordinary people. & Turner.N. which is governed by a set of norms or laws. Festtinger’s Cognitive Dissonance Experiments4. (2010) 4 We learn that to reduce dissonance (holding conflicting ideas simultaneously). p6). and they are asked to carry out actions incompatible with fundamental standards of morality. Giddens (1984) in his theory of structuration says that all human action is performed within the context of a pre-existing social structure. we will change our opinions to fit in with a situation or group. (2010). R. Milgram (1974) sums up the era saying that the major lesson learned was it is the situation a man is in that determines how he will act. R. Moreover. not the kind of person he is. simply doing their jobs. can become agents in a terrible destructive process.J. Goffman (1959) stated that societies produce the kinds of individuals they need and in turn. With a group of students role-playing guards and prisoners. and without any particular hostility on their part. relatively few people have the resources needed to resist authority (Milgram. and Zimbardo’s Stanford Prison Experiment5. In thinking about mans situation one needs to consider the whole effect of the society within which he lives. 1974. In fact he said that he couldn’t believe that he had allowed the experiments to go on for so long ‘an evil of inaction’ (Zimbardo.

He says our preferences. whose actions can be explained by his or her beliefs and thoughts. 8 Social Fields are structured social spaces around disciplines such as the arts. politics. Social capital consists of social relations. which can give a person prestige (Bourdieu. 1977). Fields are relatively autonomous from the wider social space (Grenfell. Some ideas of control from past thinkers still seem relevant today. Symbolic capital is the recognition of other forms of capital. which impose on the individual. where people network through social relations. that money will hold its value. education.or rules are not permanent and external. We live with contradiction and become alert to the existence of paradox. It is an unconscious skill that gives us a sense of how to act in specific situations (Bourdieu. 2007). ready to ‘flood out’ the situation (Goffman. While we enjoy the orderliness of the surface life. in his essay Ideology and Ideological State Apparatus (1970) states that although within capitalist societies. cultural. She then questions whether this means we are over-socialised and made into artefacts beyond our control (Finkelstein. 2007 p2). which shapes our character. M 2008). It is shared by those of similar class but varies across different social groups. Bourdieu distinguishes between economic. 1963). we know there are irruptive tensions beneath the thin surface membrane. Economic capital is the ownership of something that can be sold. Cultural capital is the product of intellectual ability. values and desires 6 Habitus is the set of learned dispositions and taste for social actions that we learn subconsciously from those around us. that people are not murderous and that traffic rules will be obeyed. She says that in order to be successful we have to act in certain ways. social and symbolic capital. 1986). 7 Capital is accumulated labour and includes all material and goods. We must believe that the trains will run on time. science and economy. the individual is regarded as a subject endowed with being a selfconscious responsible agent. To participate in society we cultivate a public persona… much of the training for this dual and divided mentality is delivered through popular culture (Finkelstein. Bourdieu develops this theory with the concepts of Habitus6. Joanne Finkelstein says in The Art of Self Invention: Society rests on assumptions of trust and reciprocity. Capital7 and Social fields8. Louis Althusser. but sustained and modified by human action. 7 . This is not a given but is acquired within the structure of established social practices. At the same time we know that these principles are constantly violated.

A person passed from one enclosed environment to another. Deleuze says. 1995) Deleuze (1990) in his essay Society of Control gives us a detailed analysis of how control in societies has changed under different governing regimes. order in time and organise production. police force and ultimately military intervention are used in response (Althusser 1970).are ‘inculcated’ in us by ideological institutions called Ideological State Apparatus. Felix Guattari in the same essay explains this. the state turns to increasingly physical and severe measures: incarceration. He summarises Foucault’s location of the ‘disciplinary societies’ in the eighteenth and nineteenth Centuries. and the army. only projected afterwards in ideological terms’ (Deleuze. starting with the family. 8 . occasionally the hospital and maybe even prison. The disciplinary societies initiated the organisation of ‘vast spaces of enclosure’. This transition took place over time and in turn. consisting of the police. religious organizations. distribute in space. courts. never ‘specified or rationalised. he says in traditional politics there are big ideological debates in parliament. As threats to the dominant order mount. argues that ideology has no importance. F. with questions of organization reserved for special commissions. Guattari. These questions appear secondary however these problems of organization are the real problems. G. the disciplinary society is now transforming into a ‘society of control’. barracks. which include the family. the media. When individuals or groups pose a threat to the dominant order the state invokes the systems of law and courts to govern individual and collective behaviour. However Gilles Deleuze (1995) in Capitalism: A very special delirium. He also highlights Repressive State Apparatus. These environments of ‘enclosure’ he said aimed to concentrate. each with its own rules. the factory. prisons. These societies succeeded the ‘societies of sovereignty’ which aimed to tax and to rule on death rather than life. government and the education system. He says it is the organisation of power that matters. then school.

Kafka had already placed himself between the two types of social formation. too poor for debt. markets. ‘molecular engineering’ and ‘genetic manipulations’ as part of it. In disciplinary societies the ‘apparent acquittal’ and in societies of control the ‘limitless postponements’. Man is no longer man enclosed. He describes the technological evolution with the computer being used by the society of control. the school. He says these institutions are finished..We are in crisis regarding the institutes of ‘enclosure’. too numerous for confinement: control will not only have to deal 9 . He gives the metaphor of Kafka’s The Trial. The family. He tells us. The corporation has replaced the factory. hacking and viruses. but man in debt…. One is never finished with anything. with its risks of failure. ‘deformable and transformable’ of a corporation that only has stockholders. ‘Perpetual training’ replaces the school. Burroughs calls ‘control’ the new monster and Foucault sees it as our future. Fixing exchange rates rather than decreasing costs or streamlining products controls markets. which will deliver the school to the corporation. He says corruption has gained a new power the markets are the instruments of social control and form ‘impudent masters’. it is no longer involved in production.’’ and masses have become ‘samples. or ‘banks’. The authorities continually announce reforms such as to schools. industries and hospitals. He says that capitalism has followed in the same direction. data. with its salary according to ability and its encouragement of competition and rivalry.’ In monetary terms we have moved from minted money that has gold as a standard to floating rates of exchange. He further explains that ‘Individuals have become ‘dividuals. this is relegated to the third world. It wants to sell services and buy stocks and shares. It is a free-floating control with ‘pharmaceutical productions’. they are gradually being taken over by societies of control.Capitalism has retained as a constant the extreme poverty of three-quarters of humanity. the army are coded figures.

To justify their conservatism. brutal exploitation. of philistine sentimentalism. it has substituted naked. for exploitation. In one word. CAPITALIST REALISM Mark Fisher (2009) in his book Capitalist Realism: Is there no alternative? paints a dystopic picture of capitalism and our current cultural malaise. Sure. shameless. So instead. The attitude of ironic distance in postmodern capitalism is supposed to immunize us against the seductions of fanaticism. of chivalrous enthusiasm. (Marx in Fisher 2009. they have decided to say that all the rest is horrible. G.with erosions of frontiers but with the explosions within shanty towns or ghettos (Deleuze. 1990. unconscionable freedom – Free Trade. It has resolved personal worth into exchange value. profoundly inegalitarian – where all existence is evaluated in terms of money alone – is presented to us as ideal. p4) This turn from belief to aesthetics. He explores the consequences of the belief that there is no alternative to capitalism. capitalist realism presents itself as a shield protecting us from the perils posed by belief itself. direct. We are supposed to lower our expectations as a small price to pay for being protected from terror and totalitarianism. we may not live in a condition of perfect 10 . p1) 2. From The Communist Manifesto he quotes: [Capital] has drowned the most heavenly ecstasies of religious fervor. and from engagement to spectatorship is held to be one of the virtues of capitalist realism (Fisher 2009). in the icy water of egotistical calculation. Badiou says: a brutal state of affairs. and in place of the numberless indefeasible chartered freedoms. has set up that single. In claiming to have delivered us from the mistaken ideologies of the past. the partisans of the established order cannot really call it ideal or wonderful. veiled by religious and political illusions. they say.

He argues that the failure of the future is constitutive of a postmodern cultural scene. Nietzsche predicted this over saturation ‘of an age with history’ and that it would lead to ‘a dangerous mood of irony in regard to itself’ leading to cynicism and detached ‘spectatorialism’ (Nietzsche 1997. Our democracy is not perfect. Fisher says our current malaise the feeling that there is nothing new. We let millions of Africans die of AIDS. but we don’t make racist nationalist declarations like Milosevic. etc (Badiou in Fisher 2009. p5). But it’s not criminal like Stalinism. Fredric Jameson (1991) claimed that postmodernism was the ‘cultural logic of late capitalism’. We kill Iraqis with our airplanes. p6). He suggests that the widespread mental health epidemic is a symptom of our times and critisises the adhoc drug treatment regimes ‘pushed’ by the pharmaceutical companies in the name of ‘science’. Deleuze and Guattari describe Capital as a ‘motley painting of everything that ever was’. This is Nietzsche’s Last Man. which led Francis Fukuyama (1992) to controversially claim ‘The end of History’.Goodness. lecturers and teachers have been ‘locked into managerial self-surveillance’. and students persuaded into the role of consumers. After the collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1989 capitalism seemed to completely dominate the global space. Fisher states we are impotent in the face of a neoliberal ideological program. as in all capitalist organizations their concern is profits. But we’re lucky that we don’t live in a condition of Evil. p83). who has seen everything but is tired of life. is not new. there is an ‘interpassive’ corporate culture. takes no risks and only seeks comfort and security (Nietzsche 1891). Ben Goldacre (2011) on his blog Bad 11 . but we don’t cut their throats with machetes like they do in Rwanda. not health. But it’s better than the bloody dictatorships. which solicits our involvement and encourages us to join in. which seeks to subordinate all of culture to the imperatives of business. finding in liberal democracy the final form of government and the end of mans ideological struggle. He tells us how in education. However we are not passively duped. a strange hybrid of the ultra-modern and the archaic (Fisher 2009. Capitalism is unjust.

Science exposes the inconsistent practices of science. Even Fukuyama (2002) has now posed the question in relation to the rise in Middle Eastern fundamentalism. ‘Has history started again?’ Fisher joins the growing number of thinkers. The painter Kaye Donachie considers failed utopian dreams using found footage of rebellious and revolutionary groups to create narratives that investigate group dynamics and power structures. Fisher suggests we need to consider questions like ‘what a post-capitalism might be’. She explored the spaces and relationships of the Blue Rider artists and the Lenbachhaus Museum and suggests a form of patriarchal freemasonry behind these groups. with austerity measures crippling the masses to support the capitalist system. albeit with a new understanding of the failures of the past. He talks of the growing unrest in the Middle East as an opposition to capitalism and liberal democracy and says that History has started again. utilized and evaluated. and ‘how we can get there’. ghosting that of modernism. including Zizek (2009) and Badiou (2010) calling for a rethinking of the grand narratives of modernism. which reminds us that while art is regarded as an enlightened occupation. These works showed spaces that reveal hidden or coercive power structures. In one painting Donachie depicts Kandinsky and Klee in a Masonic double handshake. Fisher (2011) on his current blog talks about the recent compromising of the neoliberal program but also the intensification of capitalist Realism. Her series Enlightenment curated in the show At the beginning was a scandal at the Lenbachhaus Museum in Munich bridged ideas of how the museum can show its historically important but as Ranciere would say ‘sleeping’ works and also broaden ideas of how the museum might today be perceived. Donachie presents Freemasonry as an elitist discourse. its most celebrated practitioners often rise to prominence through influential networks 12 .

He suggests that we need a genuinely new Left shaped by those desires and suggests that the green movement is a good starting point or way out as capitalism will continue to rapidly use up the worlds diminishing resources: Nothing contradicts capitalism’s constitutive imperative towards growth more than the concept of rationing goods and recourses. He likens our current situation to a generation of parents who have allowed 13 . Fisher claims ‘the Left will only succeed if it can reclaim modernity from a neoliberal Right that has lost control of it. p80) He also claims there is a libidinal as well as practical case to be made for this new restraint.and connections (Suchin. including cyberspace. 2002). This entails understanding how the current possibilites for agency are controlled by the machinery of Deleuze and Foucault’s Control Society. Yet it is becoming uncomfortably clear that consumer self-regulation and the market will not by themselves avert environmental catastrophe (Fisher 2009. the media landscape. He also says that neoliberalism’s dominance cannot satisfy the desires that it has captured. Kaye Donachie (2002) Enlightenment installation of six small canvasses. psychic pathologies and pharmacology’.

Closed Circuit interrogates the historical form of the presidential speech and government press briefing. The children become more and more demanding and whiney. Using detailed research he has re-enacted events that represent various mechanisms of social control (roddickinson.net). The script is 14 . showing that ‘unlimited licence leads to misery and disaffection’ (Fisher 2009. Rod Dickenson in collaboration with Steve Rushton (2010) Closed Circuit (Who. p80). What. Two actors deliver a simulated press briefing. When. Why and How # 2).their children to do and have what they want without strict boundaries. Where. The Artist Rod Dickinson explores ideas of control and mediation and focuses on the way our behaviour is moderated by feedback systems.

within this he looks at the impact of telecommunications on our society. (adamdix. The press briefing is linked to the feedback circuitry of Television. coveting. mixed with our current technological aspirations. He says: It is this embodiment of a contradiction that presents itself within our understanding of today’s communication technology. The script focuses on how similar declarations have been used by different governments with different ideologies to declare and maintain states of crisis and emergency. Dickinson says ‘The visual and theatrical syntax of the political briefing alongside the repetition of rhetoric reproduces the logic that governs public life and media in general’ (roddickinson. The press statement produced for TV thus works as a carefully constructed feedback mechanism. He examines past futuristic predictions of the 21st century and dreams of a technological utopia.composed of fragments of press statements and speeches delivered since the Cold War. fanaticism. Adam Dix is another artist who confronts and explores control in our society. In doing so I have found other areas that are representative of galvanising people into a group response. which then shapes political and social reality. that project a sense of ritual. how we relate or comprehend technology on a humanistic level.net).…. The paradox of a need to communicate while remaining physically isolated by the very object of connectivity has led my investigation into describing behavioural responses with regard to communication. He is particularly interested in behaviours of mass compliance and the contradictions of our relationship with technology.com) 15 . the conflict between the unification and physical detachment of a person’s engagement with it. disseminated by TV. sect and in extremes.

Satellite State (2009) Foucault (1984) re-presents us with Kant’s (1784) essay What is Enlightenment? He suggests that to be enlightened we need a ‘way out’ of immaturity which he states is a certain state of our will which makes us accept someone else's authority to lead us in areas where the use of reason is called for. In critiquing the present I think we should consider George Agambens’ essay What is 16 . Foucault (1984) re evaluated this question and suggests that the ‘way out’ is to subject the present to critique.Adam Dix. when a doctor decides for us what our diet is to be. Kant gives three examples: when a book takes the place of our understanding. when a spiritual director takes the place of our conscience. a possible way out of the present.

He explains that this ‘dys-chrony’ does not mean the contemporary is a person who lives in another time. Contemporariness is.. then. which explain in some way. precisely because they do not manage to see it. are those who neither perfectly coincide with it nor adjust themselves to its demands. 3.are not contemporaries. Those who coincide too well with the epoch. He has made a reflection on contemporariness. it grounds the autonomy of art to the hope of ‘changing life’. how art can contribute to the ‘what is the alternative’ discourse.the Contemporary? (2009). Ranciere suggests we reformulate this to: ‘there exists a specific sensory experience – the aesthetic – that holds the promise of both a new world of Art and a new life for individuals and the community’ (Ranciere 2002. a singular relationship with one's own time. 2009. a nostalgic. More precisely. p133). who truly belong to their time. Schiller stated that ‘Man is only completely human when he plays’ and he assured us this paradox is capable of ‘bearing the whole edifice of the art of the beautiful and of the still more difficult art of living’ (Schiller in Ranciere 2002. Ranciere says this is the question of the politics of aesthetics or the aesthetic regime of art. at the same time keeps a distance from it. p133). or the singular relation one may have to one's own time. p41). To understand the politics of aesthetics he says we need to understand the link 17 . they are not able to firmly hold their gaze on it (Agamben... He states that those who are truly contemporary. THE AESTHETIC REVOLUTION AND ITS OUTCOMES Ranciere (2002) discusses complex ideas in his essay The Aesthetic Revolution and its Outcomes. it is that relationship with time that adheres to it through a disjunction and an anachronism. which adheres to it and.

aestheticisation is the alternative to politics. p135). Secondly. p141). for the subject of the ‘aesthetic experience’ there is a dismissal of autonomy. They said ‘mythology must become philosophy to make common people reasonable and philosophy must become mythology to make philosophers sensible’ (Ranciere 2002. Art and life can exchange their properties. not the work of art.’ He says there is interplay of three major possibilities.between autonomy and heteronomy. He calls this the ‘original scene of aesthetics’ (Ranciere 2002. Politics vanishes in the dead mechanisms of the state in relationship to the living power of thought of the community. Thirdly the object of the experience is ‘aesthetic’ in as much as it is not only art. which gives it a new life framing it within history. Ranciere goes on to say art is a matter of living in a shared world. that ‘art is art to the extent that it is something else than art. Life becoming art – Framing the life of art: Here Ranciere talks of the museum and how this institution renders visible the ‘life of art’ by historicizing it. p138). hence one of heterogeneity. Ultimately he says. The task of poetry (aesthetic education) is to make ideas sensible by turning them into images. ‘Art can become life. but this art has a temporality as a new life needs a new art.Programme of German Idealism’. ‘They exhibit a time-space of art as so many moments of the incarnation of thought’ (Ranciere 2002. Life can become art.’ Art becoming life – Constituting the new collective world: He says the ‘aesthetic selfeducation of humanity’ will frame a new collective ethos’ (Ranciere 2002. p137). He describes the contradiction in aesthetics. Firstly the autonomy set up by art is by a mode of experience. The museum also 18 . Holderlin and Schelling first proposed this as the ‘Oldest System. creating an equivalent of ancient mythology. The politics of aesthetics can succeed where the aesthetics of politics failed. Hegel.

assuming they are critiquing commodification. which he says is art because it ‘figures the distance between that collective life and the way it can express itself’ (Ranciere 2002. When the artist does what he wants it becomes mere trademark. He gives Hegel’s example of a Greek statue. He describes the history of aesthetics as a clash of: ‘a new life needs a new art. the new life does not need art’ (Ranciere 2002. that’s what makes the art successful. the border becomes blurred. that when art ceases to be non-art it is no longer art either. He suggests that we should break away from this area of ‘aetheticised life’ and draw a new border that shouldn’t be crossed. This idea of the ‘end of art’. It lives as long as it’s something else than art . Art is living as long as it expresses an idea unclear to itself. such as when art exhibitions duplicate commercial videos and objects of consumption. this success means the end of art.a way of life and a belief. p142). He says when art is no more than art it vanishes. Past works may fall asleep and cease to be artworks or they can take on a new life in a new framing. When the content of thought shows itself and when nothing resists it. Art and life exchanging properties: The temporality of art also leads to the boundaries of art being permeable. is. Ranciere warns us that the danger is that everything becomes artistic.precipitated the ‘end of art’. He says the Greek statue is the work of an artist who is expressing an idea that he is both aware of and unaware of at the same time. What matters most is the limit of the artist. where nothing escapes art. of his idea and his people. which framed new visibilities of art which led to new art practices of art. He concludes: ‘there is a metapolitics of aesthetics which frames the possibilities of 19 . p141). In the same way common objects can cross over the boundaries of art.

Since the 60’s Art has gone through a structural change alongside the sciences. [the work] focuses on 20 . He says the mass media has increasingly aestheticised the distribution and publication of information as Commercial global pressure has led to news being packaged in entertaining formats. Playing with different modes of documentary and narrative. often shown in journalistic formats.net). and looks for forgotten histories. He says thus shifting the production of truth from the domain of the news media to that of Art. Art theorist and critic Alfredo Cramerotti (2009) in his book Aesthetic Journalism: How to inform without informing. Aesthetic art promises a political accomplishment that it cannot satisfy.art. cross-referencing to become increasingly interdisciplinary. traces the shift in the production of truth from the domain of the news media to that of art and aestheticism. he ‘explores the spatial and pictoral conditions of history and memory. The artist Uriel Orlow. Art has also come to represent knowledge production that resides outside of established expert domains (Cramerotti 2009). and thrives on that ambiguity’ (Ranciere 2002. focusing (urielorlow. p151). questions the great narratives of history. amongst other activities. Caught in the outbreak of the Six-Day War between Israel and Egypt. which they reprocess using aesthetic strategies.0) (2010) takes as a starting point the failed passage of fourteen international cargo ships through the Suez Canal on 5 June 1967. Jordan and Syria. While stranded. the political allegiances of the multi-national crews were dissolved and gave way to a form of communal survival and the establishment of a social system. on blind spots of representation and forms of haunting’ The Short and the Long of it (v 1. the ships were only able to leave the canal in 1975 when it re-opened. with the separation between information and opinion becoming blurred. At the same time the Art world is increasingly using investigative work methods to produce material and knowledge. This involved the organisation of their own olympic games.

it is about questioning that information' (Cramerotti 2009 p29). He also reminds us that image is only a snapshot and can never be the whole picture. prisons. Walter Benjamin (1936) also talks about the journalist and the storyteller. nursing homes and ships. This gives us the ability to return somewhere and link past and present. They have their own systems separate from the main. which destabilises mechanisms of truth. how to know and to dream at one and the same time'. He says documentary must be fictionalised.uk) Orlow (2010) likens these forgotten histories to heterotopias. which has occurred in tandem with the rise of 21 . Finkelstein says that art ‘produces a fantasy world that far exceeds reality while also making reality easier to see’ (Finkelstein 2007 p15). the playing of sources. Cramerotti suggests we 'employ fiction as a subversive but meaningful and effective agent of reality' (Cramerotti 2009 p22). a space where things can be brought together to create a new space. He describes the Aesthetic Revolution as a blurring of facts and fiction.org. …We must think of how to inform with a light touch. he bemoans the demise of the storyteller. how to yield pleasure while maintaining a political grasp. to suggest new possibilities. but engages with politics of truth. He talks about the journalist and the storyteller and says don’t work on a blurred line between them but enter the two camps. He suggests fiction might be a more powerful way to display fact. Orlow makes his Art as heterotopia. He also highlights ‘that art is not about delivering information. which is a space inside but outside our society.this event hidden in the shadow of official histories. Sally O’Reilly (p9) says ‘Creativity and information are no longer distinct. such as hospitals. He suggests we think of history as events in space rather than in a linear time. (gasworks.

CONCLUSION It seems there is no question that we live in a society of pervasive control. Benjamin says half the art of story telling is to keep the story free of explanation as one re-tells it. p5).the novel and the journalist. p1). With this demise he says we have lost ‘the ability to exchange experiences’ (Benjamin 1936. ‘the gift of listening is lost and the community of listeners disappears’ (Benjamin 1936. the founder of Le Figaro. does not expend itself and lives on. Zizek suggests we try communism 22 . human psychology. characterized the nature of information which Benjamin says has even put the novel in crisis. especially in the city. control that goes far beyond the realms of most individuals knowledge. “To my readers. affected by Social structure and conventions.” he used to say. He says ‘Boredom is the dream bird that hatches the egg of experience’ but because of our busy lives. and the consequence is no ‘councel’ for others or ourselves. the value of experience has fallen. Ideologies. The story however. Information only lives in the moment its new. Power structures and global Capitalism. I am persuaded that there is an alternative to an ever-increasing society of control: Fisher suggests a new left with green credentials. The storyteller tells his story from experience and makes it the experience of the listener. This control is Burroughs multi-layered ‘monster’. ‘Villemessant. it has to explain itself to that moment. and is therefore ‘shot through’ with explanation. “an attic fire in the Latin Quarter is more important than a revolution in Madrid” (Villemessant in Benjamin 1936. p4).

like a diseased eyeball in which disturbing flashes of light are perceived or like those baroque sunbursts in which rays from another world suddenly break into this one.better to say the alternate world. Kant said ‘educate yourself’. we are reminded that Utopia exists and that other systems. from time to time. are still possible (Jameson 2009. Ranciere describes how the ‘play’ of art can be an ambiguity that encourages ‘a new life’. Ford (2008) suggests we poke our heads out the fractures of the system and take a look. Then. p612). Foucault said ‘critique the present’. perhaps.com [internet] Available from: 23 . Strike through the gaps and create ‘autopoesis’. Frederic Jameson suggests: It would be best. BIBLIOGRAPHY Adamdix. Benjamin suggests we hold on to the art of storytelling with the authentic experience and ‘counsel’ it brings with it.as one contiguous with ours but without any connections or access to it.again with a new understanding of what it could be. to think of an alternate world . other spaces. our alternate world .

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