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Syndicate: East and Was

Con/FRONT! radio-active ideology junk

[second hand truths about east and west]

by Ana Peraica, in collaboration with Geert Lovink

The place where the Empire first could be noticed was in the rubbish
containers, as expanding a privacy point of the Emperor's new clothes
tale; a public place that becomes the one of embaressment. Capitalism
seemed to be all about junk - colorful, seductive, dangerous and
conspirative at the same time; junk that is hard to resist (and there is
where the whole
resistence of the socialist system failed; not even the "candy store
effect", but a trash inventorium of delight]. 

The ecological movements of the eighties have been networking West and
East (and all other directions), implanting radical versions of junk
catastrophes into the popular awareness, making the world aware of the
globality of the side-effects of
after-usage. Junk of the world was inter-changed in a silent manner, as
a parallel happening to polite exchanges, although; rubbish went first
in a dimplomatic mission. 

Archaeology of the twentieth century is an archeology of
un-disintegrated waste, trashyards are taking more space underground
than all graveyards. That archeology deals not with the dead, but with
what was made to survive death. And is that only plastic, or there are
different seeds bunkerised deep in the ground? Archeology of rubbish
replaces naivety of
ecology, it is critical [it identifies and locates specifically]. 

In the paleolith of the West/East question Western tourists mindlessly
polluted the sea with a variety of sun-creams, bins and plastic bottles,
At the same time Eastern European cheap and bad designed products were
floating towards the West, Western tourists couldn't survive without
importing their own rubbish, and Eastern illegal migrants couldn't
survive without
their own. 

What happened next was the introduction of the rubbish economy. Eastern
Europe began storing nuclear and chemical waste for dumping prizes. The
region turned into a huge trash bin of bad used and outdated machinery.
In exchange Eastern Europe sent "human rubbish" (gangsters, drugs
trafficers, weapon traders, prostitues) into the West. It was a "money
for old rope" marketing for both sides. 

Before the rise of that economy of waste, leaving garbage in a
neighbours' yard was a normal thing to do. Later on this became an act
of conspiracy. Everyone against everyone. Getting rid of waste and
protecting oneself from it, had become one of the main issues of the
underdeveloped world. Smelly and ugly waste become perfumed,
representable, but dangerous. 

Rubbish in the East, before 1989 was identical. Most of it related to
the union of agricultural and factory worker's heaven of exchange.
Organic junk was collected and sent to villages for fertilization, while
the technological was sent to cities for recycling or reinventing. There
were only few products, few designs. The content of trash bins was not
interesting at all. Rubbish was therefore belonging to local area
networks, with mere pragmatic usage. The purpose of a garbage was known. 

A first symptom of the change of the large scale economic system could
be traced in rubbish that started to differentiate. With it
collectionarism appeared, a new semiotics of reading the urban
environments. Eastern Europe became a museum for Western junk; emptied
bins that German tourists threw in the sea, boxes of American ciggaretes
were to be found
everywhere on the streets. 

Due to the isolomania syndrome [of being on the border of the bizzare
rubbish exchange, and getting only its side-syndromes], messages were
decoded. And the message was simple; the more colourful, more expensive
a package, the more it is going to be thrown anyway, that is - the more
developed world. The design of the rubbish became important, as it is in
the West. 

With the diversity of it, leaving rubbish in the neighbours' yard became
a public political statement. Since then, rubbish is hidden in black
bags, as a conspiracy, soft and sustainable for ages of
non-disintegration to come, as a survival Pandora's box. 

The first symptom of the new rubbish stratification could be seen not
only in its colours, but also in it's quantity, that suddenly decreased.
Rubbish containers and disintegration places started to show bizarre
symptoms of social stratification, becoming a rare place for social
interactions; certain parts of society were communicating by it, and in
extreme cases;
about it. 

People started arriving on the rubbish dumps. That was the official fall
of the idea of social justice. For the first time in Eastern Europe,
junkees appeared on the streets. The junk yard was becoming a perverse
social place, and with it the whole idea of social equality. 

A Catholic sentence of blaming and controlling says "according to your
actions I am able to know you". Deeply being rooted in the capitalist
notion of the "sinner", "public" or "consumer", [as idiots incapable and
not invited on any exchange, that needs to be lead and informed, on the
contrary to the "social" term of atheism], this sentence can be
translated as; "according to your garbage I will know who you are". And
it entered into the East, it infected [primitive?] atheistic societies. 

In the neo-phase, archeology of rubbish indicates a fusion with the new
global economy; trash becomes global and predictable, finally
discovering the hidden message of all colourful and designed trash
imported. The world has identical garbage now, and designers of it are
known: Coca Cola, Nescafe, Dash, Palmolive... Garbage has names, that a
public, a sinner, or consumer lost, as it lost a society. Society is on
the dump today. 

There is hardly any local garbage any more, except they have been a
global problem for a long time. Global brand names, once an object of
desire, revealed their "real" nature of secondary commodities. 

Aside global rubbish economy phenomena, we may speak as well of other
levels of thinking about garbage - the semantic and political as well
ontological, All powers (interpetative, executive and hypothetical or
desired), all produce their own trash. And here the archeology of
rubbish is called to raise a new question of the passivity of the
public, and secrecy of

The ontology of anything is a tactic of conspiracy, ontology notes the
existence [or hides the one] that is most radical politicality. Ontology
of rubbish recognises topics of the used and the no-more-used
(abandoned), The latter is withdrawn in the second sort of existence; on
waiting to be recycled, reinvented, or reused. If it can not be so, if
it can not be controlled; that kind of a rubbish is only an abandoned

Forgotten rubbish, or the one pushed into the back of the conscience
decides more on accidental happenings. That kind of garbage; withdrawn
from the attention, becomes on the contrary to it's positioning - a
compressed surprise, beyond calculation of any economy, or prediction of
any politics. But it would finally decide on both. 

That happens even when the concept finishes on the rubbish dump, when an
ideology appears as a junk of history. A trashcan of ideas was finally
more active in recycling, especially with ecological movements of the
eighties, that at the same time started to indicate a fall of the
over-theoretical rubbish of socialist ideology. 

But what is an intrisic relation of the rubbish and communism? 

It seems, socialism turned out to be only a badly designed version.
Maybe it would never have fallen if the human need to glorify their own
excrement wouldn't produce a wish to colour and paint them. 

Communism; it is a place without rubbish, an ideal place of cycling and
networking, in which all have some relation to something else. It is an
utopia of humankind without excrement; in which the focus on rubbish is
social, not productive.
There is a social rubbish, denied and used in the eyes of Marxism, that
would gain it's value in a promised system. Therefore, in socialism;
rubbish becomes expensive. And expensive is barely reachable, as today
is the whole concept of communism. 

For those still dealing with it, not to recognise the historical rubbish
means to leave it to the accidents of its rebirth in an uncontrolled and
unpredictable version. 

Long live the rubbish of the Empire! The next fight will be underground. 

(C-front, Plovdiv, 2000)
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