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[Nettime-ro] WTC Disaster
Sebastian Bertalan on Tue, 23 Oct 2001 20:01:02 +0200 (CEST)

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[Nettime-ro] WTC Disaster

In history, aggressive cultures have survived and spread; biological
evolution continues on cultural level. This change started a few thousand
years ago. Many cultures were simply erased and a few strong and aggressive
ones took their place, geographically speaking. This process goes on. But
since the scale amplifies (for more than 2000 years now) the initial
(evolutionary) function perverted and reached a point in which it threatens
the "victor" culture(s) themselves. This is the most general context.
All say that this is not a war of cultures, maybe meant sincerely. Of course
this is necessary for keeping coolness. But it is in fact a short-term
tactic. We certainly do have a struggle between cultures, although not a
declared war; it is a struggle for power and control. It was repeated again
and again after september 11 that we must not allow 'our values' to be
changed, that we must defend 'our values'. _Our_ values are part of _our_
culture. It is a struggle of cultures: we want the whole world to adopt our
values (human rights, democracy, neo-liberalism, etc - we are convinced that
our values are the best).
Referring to Art, look at the world-wide Art scene: Art is entirely
controlled by western culture. An exception seems to be African Art;
paradoxly the economically weakest continent kept its own character best and
in spite of its political and economic weakness is very present. Anyway,
maybe this is not a paradoxon.

The WTC disaster will not impact directly on Art. Except singular instances
Art - tendencies of Art - does not react directly to whatever events or
catastrophies do happen. Art is sensible to changes in large context. The
WTC Disaster is of course a landmark in the very actual context, but it is
not a trigger. It is often compared to Pearl Harbor (World War 2) or the
sinking of the "Lutetia" (World War 1). Although a comparison of these acts
of war to the WTC disaster (also declared as an act of war) is problematic,
they seem to have in common that they tag outstanding, easy-to-remind marks
of processes and series of large-scale events which did and do affect
significantly intellectual culture and Art.
The "Lutetia" and Pearl Harbor did not impact on Art, but certainly well did
what came after and "changed the world".
New intellectual substance can be expected. This means of course a benefit
for the Art market, but that is not really interesting. As Maurizio Cattelan
wrote: It might be the beginning of something.

sebastian bertalan
          {AT}         .de

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