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Re: <nettime> experimental politics of the state
Brian Holmes on Tue, 28 Oct 2003 15:50:23 +0100 (CET)


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Re: <nettime> experimental politics of the state


Ryan Griffis quoted a New Hampshire woman on the libertarian Free 
State project:

>I don't like to go places that don't let me have my gun," said Ms. 
>Casey, 33 ..."I want to be a billionaire in my lifetime " she added, 
>"and I don't want to live among people who think that's bad."

In a strange way this does pertain to what I said in the text on the 
Tate. NSK created their State in Time while the redrawing of national 
borders provided the excuse for practically every gun in the former 
Yugoslavia to be fired, at every other one. Today in the Western 
nations it's legitimate to work up huge armies to invade countries 
which have lots of oil, despite what the majority thinks is right. 
The Tate Modern, which in principle is supposed to be about art and 
reflexivity, is funded by the same corporations that push the nations 
to use their armies. In the United States, the voting machines are 
private property and there are people for whom society doesn't exist. 
The times are really wierd. At the end of the day in London, after a 
pretty searching seminar, two artists named Cornfeld & Cross came up 
to tell the story of how they spent loads of public-and-private money 
(handing out fifty quid notes in the end as bribes for the 
homestretch) to convince a businessman who owned a whole hangar of 
airplanes to use a red RAF jet fighter to draw an anarchist symbol in 
the sky with smoke. They kept saying they were on the left and how 
they felt slightly guilty about this project and how beautiful and 
seductive the plane was and how wierd that everybody on the ground 
crew looked the other way and one guy spent two hours adjusting two 
bolts. The film doesn't show the circle A, it shows you a view from 
the camera mounted under the wing (the left wing) and they think the 
film shows how beautiful and liberating and peaceful it is to fly. 
Art could easily become useless, irrelevant, when the planes fly. 
Wherever you live, the state could easily be taken over by, well, 
basically, fascists. I think one thing to do is to try and imagine 
something different and put the imaginary into tension with the real. 
Because the tension itself, the fact that you go on talking with 
people you totally disagree with, that you bring out the issues 
rather than the gun, is a way to work in this moment. Different, 
totally different than the libertarian experiment. It's a matter of 
building an idea and a feeling of society, creating a state of desire 
and exopectation, a project, a will to change. But that's just my 
idea.

best, Brian

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