[ from the XL terrestrials' forthcoming de-manifesto: The Revolution Will Not Be Virtualized! ]
In Bela Tarr’s 2000 film Werckmeister Harmonies, an unlikely circus caravan comes to town with a mysterious cargo. The carny types push and bark their hidden prize and the town lines up to get a glimpse of the unknown. Rumors and suspicions spread like a subterranean fungus, and when one finally enters the dark container revealing inside an enormous carcass of a whale, the oddity is a trigger (like an artificial or fake entheogen). Not to further entrance the citizens with the unanswerable and maddening void, but to wed them to it. Alas, to become one with the rotting and mysterious museum, which is only reanimated when it’s pushed around to the next city which has already forgotten the show (read: war) from last year.
Having recently traversed a few too many Arts + Technology festivals in the last months, we are clearly in a kind of art bubble hangover, experiencing a definite crisis in the realms of utility and meaning, the human senses and emotions and relationships.
Most recently the Transmediale, one of Europe’s premiere gatherings of new media adepts, without a doubt succeeded in ringing some of the stars of future art… and not cynically, perhaps some of the most politically+technologically+socially engaged. But if anything they have unwittingly brought to the fore a painful awareness that the future is not just not yet here, but that it will be thoroughly gentrified by the time we get there, and that these what-will-be strolls would instantly collapse upon themselves were they not propped up by a logical panic and a cultivated (industry) escapism to go beyond the entrapments, that din of the industrial muzak that plays in this ever-descending department store/bargain-basement elevator.
Which is the system sucker which churns out the mediocre obsolescence complex and consequently the inadequate catalogue of latest products + objectives + half-inferred routes for better + other tomorrows? The entranced circus-goers, the glass case sellers or the whale himself ? Perhaps they all conspire together: Nothing is wrong here! Nevermind us! We are here behind the curtain, preparing an extraordinary show of actions. Come again tomorrow!