Matze Schmidt on Thu, 7 Jun 2012 10:06:38 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> A number (13) The dOCUMENTA, the hEGEMON

A number (13)


Despite the fact a Critical Art Ensemble tries hard to get in touch 
with people's hearts and minds on the spot[1], despite the fact the 
TRA.FO 'fights' since years for a friendly, clean but un-cleared and 
pro-(street-)people gardening-claim on the bourgeois protestant 
churchyard where jerks, drunk and junkies meet[2], despite the fact 
WochenKlausur[3] had no other (better) 30.000,00 EUR-idea but 
steelwork ... pardon me! streetworkers for those subordinated 
"subaltern", despite the word "Competition is good for business" at 
the Friedrichsplatz but "everyone for themselves" [4], despite the 
fact VW loves to sponsor the Grossveranstaltung and Krauss-Maffei 
Wegmann would adore it, despite the fact some Jakobs of the 
dada13[5] were "based in Berlin" and took part in (if you like) the 
Capital Gentrification Programme there and AND AND AND[6] are 
"commoning" ("Liebe Bewohnerinnen und Bewohner Kassels / Dear 
Inhabitants of Kassel") before or after Detroit or Buenos Aires (?) 
and the local motley Living Without Armament Group fixated on 
Panzer[7] will be able to hand out home-baked Cookie Tanks under 
this umbrella in Europe's first theatre building in history, despite 
the fact of approx. 12 million dependent on state transfer payments 
in the FRG and June-September means no holiday at this point, despite 
all the activist's interconnectivities and the benefit for the town 
(who's town?), despite the hot summer drinks and the Nothern-Hesse 
Hotel Occupy Movement[8] and "Kabul could be Kassel"[9], despite 
some want to be part of it plus the matter that 13 is the number 
after 12 and before 14 and we are suspicious but not superstitious, 
will this be bad luck when it's in the end free riding little 
rat-shops, cheap cheating copycat stores and temporary homes[10] in 
the dirty parts of the postwar and prewar inner "City" without any 
right to the real city after such de-reconstruction, selling 
non-profitcultural glitchè (Klitsche)[11] stuff or fake residencies 
without any subsidies overworking in self-exploitation?

What do we know?

And who is this omnious "we" anyway? Besides this ontological 
questioning: As we know the Hegemon functions similar to a Block 
(Gramsci). The block must not necessarily be a politicial party 
(Gramsci's erminology was camouflage paying attention to the censor) 
but, embedded actor–network relations given, the great _it_ of the 
Hegemon is based on this projection of identity and hallucinates 
itself being able to incorporate any other smaller or weaker block 
or at least to till the field and leave traces ("Beuys Stones", 
»Men Walking to the Sky« in several front gardens of Kassel suburbs) 
and to spur the echos of former and new prosperity. This leading 
walking to the sky is certainly not to be indentified with the 
offspaces's "Off". At the end of the tube there is no Anti-Wall 
Street Party heaven waiting, there is the spirit of a citizen of 
honour waiting: August Bode (not Arnold Bode), the "ingenious 
designer"[12]. The first German tank in the so called World War I, 
the "Kolossal Wagen", was a job for Wegmann & Co.[13] In other 
words, any gap of social interaction in the district out there can 
be filled with bullets of anti-voids. Such anti-void is common in 
this town. Horrors of rememberances may be filled utterly with 
objects of significance.

As the striving for leading the community indicates differences in 
social class structure art takes the lead[15] as mediator between 
the classes like Polaris[16] announces in a re-interpretation of the 
fameous scene of reconciliation[17] in _Metropolis_(Director: Fritz 
Lang). The movie was celebrated by members of the local educated 
class last (Bildungsbuerger) year -- the look and feel of the FRG's 
socio-futuristic message which pleads for a paradox ignorance in 
knowing, that Bildungsbuerger, the middle classes are aware of 
economic inequality only they see just a "gap between rich and 
poor", that's how assets are rephrased into social capital. A real 
couch in terms. In strange concidence with the notorius Agenda 2010, 
which is Germany's austerity programme since 2004, a nearly complete 
copy of _Metropolis_ has been found in Buenos Aires in 2010. TJing 
this fact with the ideology of reconciliation the whole project can 
be considered the rediscovery of class-compromise, a project 
endangered middle classes like most.[18] "Culture for all" 
(Social Democrats) turns out to be the positivist slogan of the 
ruling close to the "Artistic pragmatism" of Artur Žmijewski[19] by 
which the group in the middle between right an left helps itself 
out. "The interest of the state becomes the interest of its 
Biennials (...)."[19] When the state succeeds to bind civil 
society's powers and buttom-up forms it (he or she?) wins in every 
sector. And if the state succeeds to shape and sculpt social 
contradictions into disarmed paradoxes it prevails ... its rhythm 
can take the shape of racist protest: "I can't pay no doctor bill. 
(but Whitey's on the moon)".[20] So d'accord with Rosa Perutz, 
the struggle is about "development of self-organised structures" 
and not "spectacularisation" -- nevertheless critiques on a 
as-such-spectacularisation following the SI guarantees a global but 
German career in the subsidised art-"world".

Imagine beeing a PHD-student or post-graduate from Greece payed by 
some XY-Archive or some ABC-mediale in Berlin (literally ) dealing 
with a theory of money ... what an academistical joke. But yet and 
anyhow the "partaking"-argument Haben und Brauchen champions in 
the capital is in fact begging but demonstrates ideas of a 
re-socialisation in contrary to the existing agenda of the 
administrations and shows an internalised state pateranlism: "(...) 
the art market alone does not provide a sufficient economic basis 
for the future life of contemporary art in Berlin. (...) the city 
must join in taking responsibility for that arena's [Berlin's art, 
whatever that is] economic requisites."[21] Shall this happen in 
every city for every social field? And who defines this art on what 
basis of criteria? Remember Hans Heinz Holz's demand for criteria in 
the documenta 5 catalogue. Is the relationship of aesthetical 
overproduction and overpopulation understood? Are self-organised 
structures better than the spectacle and if so why? Where does the 
money for such responsibility come from?
One can find the call for "financial stimulus" in Frankfurt/Main, 
Hamburg, Goettingen, Kassel etc. To word a word: A crisis finds its 
victims who oppose sacrifices. "A ban on speculation" would mean to 
halt normal capitalism in terms of private poperty, back to an old 
false social compromise and the handshake of postwar-times, times of 
prosperity and the beginning of the German classless society. These 
organised want regulation and needs reflection getting »art-fare«.

Body & Brains: Bakers shall never exploit bakers

Cities like Berlin and Prague are full of these prosper tingings. 
Berlin "has got 70.000 artists, am I the one who becomes the 
70thsd-and-1?" As facebook became almost the modern-modern marketing 
medium-tool for the self in the Post-Fordism of the global(ised) 
cities vulnerables must "like" the mini-businesses of their "friends" 
on penalty of social ruin. Talks about "abuse, corruption and 
exploitation in the (...) world" -- the "art world"[22] -- also ethics 
like "artists should not exploit artists" deny a plain truth of the 
Body & Brains as commodity but pursues apparently a New Deal for 
cultural workers. To have and to need under current conditions is 
to be and to produce against the needs. We appreciate this cry for 
non-alienated work and living conditions but the criticial standpoint 
of Haben und Brauchen accepts the make-up of marketing. It has to, as 
long as even the smallest petit bourgeois grounds are not lost. And 
they accept the NLP of corporative "Surfing Systems"[23] for small 
profit and subsistence and competence in concurrence and tempered 
competition. Renting a space (white cube, gallery, playground) and 
selling time is the consequence of the gulf in the cultural sector 
in concrete terms. To work with this chasm supports the category of 
culture itself and therefore the order. Is it only state driven 
performances acquire another asset namely the critical art freed 
from hard/real/true subsistence (artisanism), free (and neo-fine) 
from that reason? Fuck Fucking Good Art. The ethics of subsidy not 
only abnegates the existing border line market on the edge of art 
markets and funds, it can not negate its own funding and must 
suppress the sourcing of its sources in a blockout. All earnings for 
academies, departments, associations and clubs originate firstly from 
funds in the end funded by surplus (unpaid) work in the profit making 
sectors. This is where the debating of topics of the beauty and 
ugliness of money (discourses) requires a socket for the "operating 
system" (compare footnote 23).

Visible Blindness

The POT of the ">top e.V."[24] by way of example and to make an 
example is a fake money pot. The persons are running and running an 
impossible space with and against the bigger event. Running in Kassel 
a few days before the "d" offers insights: according to new official 
poster campaign visitors must be blind and need quick response code 
readers to see where the art is. According to an older but secondary 
poster campaign[25] by the municipality local culture is unseeable 
too but everywhere and thus has to be branded, marked, signified in 
alarm colours. Strike is not allowed (German Works Constitution Act 
prohibits political strike anyhow, ... if artists were unionsed). The 
red and white stripes speak. The semiotics of the barrier claim a 
culture zone, the reactionary T.A.Z. In the zone all is possible -- 
culturally. But the zone is no longer particular anymore. We don't 
write about museification of the public. When culture is everywhere 
one doesn't need any museum or barrier, the barrier became an abstract 
sign, the museum became a factory or at least the non-democratic 
refunder of the worker's and service provider's capitals only 
legitimised by ruling networks. The Fridericianum[26], the negative 
museum, is the perfect cast for this fatalistic theory of a 
Without-any-Outside. It is the socket for the OS-Hardware. 
Spectacularisation in the name of a power from above (underneath, 
alongside, "in us"?)[27] masked (?) with self-organised bottom-up 
look-alike structures dares to attack this temple.
This spectacular Hegemon[28] does no longer match Gramsci's notion of 
a position warfare in civil society, it's fluid. As One of the first 
public museums on the continent this building was representing the 
classicistic enlightended Europe (1768/1769), the very model of 
knowledge and literacy of the citoyen and the contrat social -- it 
now can be regarded as an eye and senses catching upgraded machine 
that attracts attention for a new unification, for "a social relation 
among people, mediated (...)"[29] a ...

POT = Point of Tale[30] for the "Ecology of Culture"

DIY everywhere, self-organissation everywhere, spectacles criticizing 
spectacularisation -- the ubiquitous culture unseen but public 
related, the European championship, the political football?[31] The 
mask though, see above and footnote 23 again, is Make-up, an 
integrated persona and personification with nothing behind now 
forced into activism entertaining you like any William. Spectacle 
speaks as money speaks, it says: I am no spetaculum and you are no 
speculator, this is everyday life. Adjust![32]
In her text "Ausser Controlling" (Outside of Controlling) Carmen 
Moersch complains about bureaucratic life-forms. These are not 
absolut as such by now but function like positive interventions or 
Dazwischenkunft (In-Betweenness), as mediator for social 
circumstances designers say.[33] In 2007 at the documenta 12 Moersch 
exposed a post-re-colonial verbal gesture by adressing Kassel 
citzens with: "We are looking forward working with the 
population"[34] After September the culture as secured culture[35] 
telling this tale never came back again personally. The selfmade 
space, any space is an im-possible space in terms of geo targeting a 
prosper township with a 15,5 per cent Poverty Rate only[34 1/2]. 
The "Ecology of Spirit and Culture and the "image pollution", both 
proclaimed by Carolyn Christov-Nakargiev[36], tell distinction, order 
and cleanliness in controlling via aesthetics. Pecunia non olet. 
Still VW is as clearly a German undertaking as the Documenta is. Any 
Europeanism has to be analysed towards a Germanism in Capitalism. For 
a t-shirt: German-centric Policy = d13.

Collapse and Recover!

And if its still masks, is this visage of sustainability diversity 
post-coloniality the unidentified character-mask of this non-concept-
concept[37]and face of the "I don't know"[38]? A non-totalitarian 
approach of pretended indifference rolling back to closed 
(Heiderggerian?) contexts[39]? Who were those of a Kassel factory who 
set a failed workpiece right into the documenta's parcour and had to 
face incorporation of the piece to the list of works like some Henry 
Moore? What's the difference of work and work here?
After Germany's Renaissance from 1948 on the parole was Collapse and 
Recover! At this point a reading of _The Wages of Destruction_[40] 
may help to explain how the Reich actually won the war by collapsing 
the fiend and recovering yourself. Besides the traces of the so called 
Second World War in the city of Kassel (the inner city was bombed and 
destroyed by nearly 100 per cent!) the Documenta rebuilds since ages 
the latter, the self of the Volk (and its Wagen) while -- in Heidegger 
style -- breaking down all breaks with this circuit. Madonna's devil 
horn hand is a victory sign.[41] Or for who may read sociological 

"Das détournement ist laengst detourniert und Bestandteil der Massen-
Hochkultur, deren (politisierte) Produzentinnen, Freigesetzte und 
Lohnarbeitslose, davon traeumen, eine Verbindung herstellen zu 
koennen, zwischen ihrer "Arbeit" am Sozialen -- die sie fuer eine 
Poesie der Gesellschaftsgestaltung halten, ohne mit ihrem 
kuratorischen, in-determiniert distinguierten "I don't know" je die 
Eigentumsverhaeltnisse anzutasten -- und dem ganzen Rest, der fuer 
sie die unerreichbare Wirklichkeit ist, die sie absaugen, innerhalb 
derer sie ausgesaugt werden, zerr-finanziert aus den Fonds der (im 
Sinne des Kapitals) produktiven Sektoren, welche ihnen voellig 
fremd sind und daher um so mehr zur Projektionsflaeche ihrer 
Unerfuelltheiten dienen, die auch deshalb unerfuellt sind, weil die 
Lumpenkreativen spueren aber nicht weg- und wettmachen koennen, was 
die Differenz zwischen ihrem Spiel auf Honorarbasis und der 
wirklichen Umsetzung und Realisierung der spielerisch-produktiven, 
herrenlosen nicht-anarchischen Produktivitaet ausmacht ..."
                                          (HAUPT STADT KULTUR FRONT)

When reproducing the matter within critique can be distunguished from 
criticising the matter through its representation spectacle-spectacle 
says: Be critical, I will filter. Let's rock.[42]
[4] Stephan Balkenhol. HNA, 9. Mai 2012. Druckausgabe / HNA Newspaper, 
    May 9, 2012. Printed Edition.
[8] Rumors say hotels are booked out in Kassel during summer.
[9] Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev (?).
[11] Rat-Shop.
[18] A beautiful line of conspiracy could even be found in Fritz 
     Rasp's role in the movie: He's reading the Metropolis Courier 13 
     while watching the boss's son.
[19] "Trust your Angst" by Žmijewski is 
     the anti-curator saving the arts as art who believes that simple 
     local non-independet solidarity is a solution to the economic 
     crisis: "If you have a kitchen constructed by you, where soup 
     or simple pasta is cooked thanks to donated food - precisely this 
     is an economical answer." Occupy Amsterdam Does the Revolution 
     Need Revolutionaries, or Does It Need Artists as Well?" in: 
     _What can Art do for Real Politics?_. Camera Austria, 2012. 
     P. 41. The book _Art & Agenda: Political Art and Activism_ is 
     full of such naive "future forms of political discourse".
[20] Gil Scott Heron, who one year before his death boycotted playing 
     Tel Aviv because of Israel's apartheid. However is the boycott 
     of Israeli products that has to be justified as an act against 
     a state in war and the phantasies of changing politics by means 
     of cosumer-power widespread in specific stratums in civil society.
[22] 1st ArtLeaks Working Assembly 2012.
[23] This was the title of a Kassler Kunstverein exhibition in the 
     late 1990ies, the ironic and therefore true handshake of esthetic 
     "operating systems" (art was willingly indentified with this term 
     in those days) with the established and art as unquestioned  
     authorized sector of the emerging new order of a post-coldwar 
     Mid Europe Society. With this strategy the "Art Club World" was 
     only stepping on the pathways of the Neue Mitte -- a mask of 
     under-critical thinking and acting per reinventing that very 
     institutional plot, a 'free' neo-fine arts as a pre-form of 
     patronaged cultural anti-industries which balances the market 
     (in comparison to cultural industries) so well and helps to 
     preserve the cultural state or to be little more precise the 
     State of Culture (which has other tasks than the State of War 
     for instance ... really?).
[25] "Ueberall Kultur (Culture Everywhere)"
[27] "'The model of the Heterotopia as location (topos) in a field 
     or sector which is until now not fully occupied by the power 
     of the democratic state and its commando is paradoxically the 
     core content of the cultural agenda of the state.'
                                              (Michel Foucault ?)"
     From an unpublished script for a programme on aesthetical 
     production and (political) economy.
[29] "Mediated by images". Guy Debord. _The Society of the Spectacle_, 
     theses 3 and 4. See:
[30] Compare top e.V.'s Tagline-Rotator on the project webpage 
     (, it's a database based WordPress Plugin 
     which randomly and content-hybridly selects selected (!) lines. 
[34] Carmen Moersch. "Ausser Controlling. Kuenstlerinnen in der 
     Kunstvermittlung." in: _Kulturvermittlung - zwischen kultureller 
     Bildung und Kulturmarketing -- Eine Profession mit Zukunft_. 
     P. 217. Somewhere else (HNA. Newspaper, 2007?: "Wir freuen uns 
     darauf, mit der Bevoelkerung zusammenzuarbeiten" (Carmen Moersch).
[34 1/2] See "Suche nach regionalen Armutsquoten (Search for regional 
         Poverty Rates)" with the Armutsatlas (Poverty Atlas) 
[35] A secure*d* culture can by no means be understood as _secure_ 
     culture. It is uncertain, sieged by all what's not culture.
[36] Carolyn Christov-Nakargiev in: HNA. Newspaper. "Volkswagen wird 
     Hauptsponsor der documenta 13 (Volkswagen becomes main sponsor 
     of the documenta 13)", 13.04.2012. In 2007 it was Saab.
[37] Christov-Nakargiev, dOCUMENTA 13.
[38] Artur Zmijewski, 7. Berlin Biennale.
[39] The artist makes the art, art makes the artist.
[40] Adam Tooze. _ The Wages of Destruction: The Making and Breaking 
     of the Nazi Economy._

Ali Emas/Matze Schmidt, Kassel June 3, 2012

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