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    A Mutant Manifesto
    If we recognize that every society is a petri-dish with a particular set of parameters around which a given culture is organized, then its fair to assume that modifications to the parameters can and do produce entirely different cultures.

    Archigram is a group that's done some of the most inspiring thinking in this direction, collaging conceptual landscapes that suggest possible directions for habitats to fit mans evolutionary moment.

    Amongst the organisms that co-exist in each petri-dish we find the artist- philosopher-scientist (feel free to suggest coinage) - a genetic mutation in the colony mysteriously compelled to hijack the experiment by hacking the parameters and introducing novel feedback relationships.

    Joseph Beuys said:

    "Only on condition of a radical widening of definition will it be possible for art and activities related to art to provide evidence that art is now the only evolutionary-revolutionary dismantle in order to build A SOCIAL ORGANISM AS A WORK OF ART" 1973 (emphasis original)

    As a variation on Beuy's incantation, I will venture to introduce the extraordinarily bombastic point of view that the entire course of evolution on planet earth is one giant experiment in creativity and each being that concerns itself with moving outside the incidental boundaries of convention can be called an artist (for lack of a better word). I suppose this means that the mitochondria are artists too, seeing as they saw fit to join eukareotic cells, an evolutionary measure that eventually gave rise to us.

    A thought experiment for an entirely self-sustaining society of collectively inclined individuals each with his own personal power plant.

    Conventions are merely experimental models that no longer yield new and interesting mutations. And this notion of convention extends from the personal to the global, or even universal. If no new models for thinking or behaving in the world arise, old paradigms wreak havoc by imposing outdated schemes on a changing world. Like trying to stop file sharing with brute force lawsuits and DRM software (which has pretty much proven ineffective thus far) instead of adapting and adjusting to a new behavior. Bureaucratic society as a whole is slow moving beast, but internet society may be its formidable successor.

    one of my favorite projects by architect Winy Mass is this grass covered overpass, which seems to suggest, in contrast to the all is lost back to nature attitude, that it's time, not to smash our technological civilization and go back to the land, but merely to pave over our current industrial wasteland with the very nature we destroyed in its service.

    It so happens that we are, quite literally, entering a period of accelerated technological and biological mutation, a radical shift in the culture that requires a re-evaluation of all prior modes of operation, creating ample opportunity for the mutants of the world. As several Space Collective members have recently pointed out, we have arrived at a very interesting moment in time where, in essence, all bets are off and radical re-thinking is not only a possibility but a survival imperative.

    "Perhaps, if we set about it in the right way, we might be able to produce extraordinary things out of this strange piece of work that a man is"

    > Aldous Huxley

    Considering the sequence of events that, through a continuous process of trial and error, gave rise to our current moment in time, and reading the newspaper today, with its constant updates on the state of humanity, it seems more and more evident that the whole shmear is indeed one giant experiment, and if we recognize ourselves as actors within it, we are fully capable of collapsing the distinction between what is and what could be, leaving us with nothing but incentive to imagine and enact the future.

    Thu, Jan 1, 2009  Permanent link

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    folkert     Sat, Jan 3, 2009  Permanent link
    "each being that concerns itself with moving outside the incidental boundaries of convention can be called an artist"

    Excellent. And I didn't know Mitochondria were that cool.

    Remembered a short text from Leary about rebellious life forms that fits nicely:

    "Calcium ingestion by young amoeba who rejected the unicellular state and developed into mobile-boney forms
    Oxygen sniffing by larval fish who moved to the amphibian state
    Mao ingestion by young amphibians who became fast-moving animals
    Tree climbing by young lemurs who were rejecting the four-footed mammalian state
    Weight rejection by juvenile dinosaurs who moved into the high-flying avian life."

    Found on page 153 in the book embedded below:
    (never mind the strange cover)

    folkert     Sat, Jan 3, 2009  Permanent link
    Some more synapsing — just stumbled upon a great little presentation with Sir Peter Cook of Archigram, "featuring drawings from the 1960’s avant-garde architectural group."

    Futuristic designs from the past

    rene     Sun, Jan 11, 2009  Permanent link
    Amongst the organisms that co-exist in each petri-dish we find the artist- philosopher-scientist (feel free to suggest coinage)

    I've been thinking about this and came to the conclusion that the kind of futurism we pursue on SC comes close to your hyphenated definition. Therefor the term Futurist pretty much fits the practitioners who have historically adopted that name. These days it seems that there are many more of us to whom the above job description applies, which is a big improvement over the days of Timothy Leary who, no matter how much he proclaimed himself a futurist, was never able to live down his reputation as a drug guru. But then again, Brian Eno will always be perceived as a musician, William Gibson as a scifi writer and Vernor Vinge as an academic, no matter that their futurism is a direct result of their multi-faceted sensibilities.
    braille     Fri, Feb 27, 2009  Permanent link
    "entirely different cultures" as in species as in non-mateable with the mother culture?
    I find the whole concept of the socious or whatever you call it as an organism to be really interesting due to the genetic metaphors. Does it make sense to treat societal norms, memes etc. as part of some semi-unified genome? I mean, it's obviously complete with a lot of incomprehensible junk, and for some reason the transcription apparatus seems to come over and latch onto something every once in a while out of nowhere as it were, and something old becomes The Thing for a second, and might even get commoditized/translated in the form of proteins. I think we're perfectly free to mess about and create slightly different transcripts or conformations of "real things" to our heart's content, but as to whether this creates anything Entirely New, I don't feel as sure.
    Also, the Art as fundamentally something new and unexpected and rupturing and all that business reminds me of what people say about The Virtual when they're French. Or Anglo but seriously frenchy. Mckenzie Wark has this great book/html piece called A Hacker Manifesto that tries to distill a coherent identity out of this Virtualizing, Fucking Shit Up To Make It Work Better, Always-Out-Of-Bounds ness... And it all sounds delicious, but what happens when those little virtualities and pushed places get turned into the Next Big Thing and sold? Even the bittorrent guy is working for the content industry... Of course those are intellectual products with a very specific computer bent, and not at all emblematic of the new social formy systems we need, but it seems like Art in the Museum or Gallery doesn't have quite enough Resonance to really get a feedback loop of novel systemic activity going, and you have to hijack a preexisting one to get any kind of large scale mutant-effecty things. (see improv everywhere??)
    nice writings.

    editt: linkl 
    aeonbeat     Fri, Feb 27, 2009  Permanent link
    "each being that concerns itself with moving outside the incidental boundaries of convention can be called an artist"


    free will must be a choice and thus synchronicity emerges - the choice to actually choose or not

    i imagine it as a cycle graph with its vertices evolving as a fractal in perspective

    i guess i need your help on this
    meganmay     Thu, Apr 23, 2009  Permanent link
    Braille - - - - - - - first, I love improv everywhere. second, I've been thinking more about what you call society as a transcription apparatus and have been trying to determine how the economic activities that seem to devour any form of dissent function to feed the larger scheme of human activity. For now I just wanted to post a ridiculously relevant quote from the Marshall McLuhan video that Wildcat posted a while back:

    "the contemporary artist is always seeking new patterns, new pattern recognition which is his task for heavens sake. The great need, the absolute indispensability of the artists is that he alone in his encounter with the present can give the pattern recognition, he alone has the sensory awareness necessary to tell us what our world it made of. He's more important than the scientist. The scientists are going to wake up to this shortly and be resorting en masse to the artists studio"

    In this sense artistic activities are exercises in pattern recognition that generate perspectives on the the previously unrecognizable present.

    A great example of "mutanty-effects thingys" resulting from artistic activities are the students riots in Paris which were inspired by the Situationist International, whose own interventions took the form of writing and fairly obscure wanderings through the city dubbed Derives. We could say that perhaps the Situationists were the genotype, and the riots the phenotype?

    Also, I agree with what you say about Art in museum, a void in space entirely without context that seems kind of like a good idea but is usually just used as wall space, and I think the internet helps to take the A out of art, particularly in its rejection of monetary reward ie escape from the connotation of art as relating to art market.