[iDC] Art

saul ostrow sostrow at gate.cia.edu
Sat Dec 10 10:29:22 EST 2005

In the closing days of star trek - the final frontier was the struggle 
between the hive mind of interstellar corporatism as personified by the 
Borg, and the  federation's collective values based on diverse and 
multiplicitous, social contracts between individual collectives sharing 
common though often conflicting goals (this goal being survival) which 
were in the main driven by cultural differences  -- the borg are 
nomadic, yet every member is plugged in, connected to an integrated 
whole, this connectedness is their culture  - the borg   advances 
itself  by absorbing others - " you will be absorbed --resistance is 
futile"-the borg was only interested in absorbing and reprogramming 
hardware -  --  they never absorbed culture, this existed  in each 
member of the corporate body only as a repressed memory -- in this 
scenario culture is  not considered a technology (rhetorically I ask ) 
why do I bring this up -- well in part, seemingly,, forms a context and 
a moral for these three points of Brian's :

> What you ultimately realize (and some people may be able to get there 
> much faster than I did) is that there are now a host of specific 
> mechanisms leading to the recreation of a genuine ruling class - I 
> mean, people who are so rich that they just aren't like you and me 
> anymore, and further, they have the capacity to direct the way the 
> society evolves. That kind of statement has been basically taboo for a 
> generation.
The Borg
>  The eruption of tactical media 6 or 7 years ago was important, 
> because it showed that the image and symbol manipulating classes - 
> which have become kind of important, not so marginal as they used to 
> be - could actually do something political, and get out of that 
> postmodern paralysis that had been the previous chapter of cultural 
> history. But now I think there are a lot more complex things to take 
> on. Artists (or anyone else, for that matter) should not let their 
> ambitions get restricted to things that become fads.
the absorption
>  I think that it is very important to defend the kind of artistic 
> inquiry that those artists are doing, and also the kind of 
> sociological and critical inquiry that I am doing. Because the art 
> space is maybe not big enough, not direct enough, not important enough 
> for these complex questions about society - but if we can't create the 
> space to develop such questions in what seems to be our home base, 
> where else are they going to get developed?
  to resist is to already acknowledge the inevitable -- consequently, 
the real issue seemingly is either one of defend and as everyone knows 
the best defense is a good offense -- but this requires strategy and 
tactics and a concerted effort -

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