[iDC] Bey vs. Baudrillard, are either "Doing Theory"?

tobias c. van Veen tobias at techno.ca
Wed Mar 14 16:08:08 EDT 2007

Charles Esche wrote:

> Here his apparent  resigned, cynical indifference to the fate of the world
> and its  inhabitants permitted a use of his writeings that is largely
> unforgivable.


> His writings have given permission,certainly in the art
> world, for a similar cynicism and acceptance of the status quo as
> long as it works for one's personal benefit.

+yes, you are quite right, these kinds of statements are "unforgiveable" --
to equate the effects of a work with the work itself is the first mistake of
the one-eyed man in the land of the blind & to repeat, unforgiveable -- for
nothing has been given, first and foremost, to the gift of the work.[1] For
similar reasons we should dismiss Nietzsche? And so on. Others have better
writ Baudrillard's depth on this list than I have, so I will not repeat, but
I would suggest that there is a certain, oh, IRONY to all those so
negatively dismissing Baudrillard -- that's where the negativity is at, with
all these so-easy critiques. Alas, the pot, the kettle, its simulated colour
of the void.

In any case, statements above are also, according to the one source I can
cite, factually and historically incorrect. As for Baudrillard & the art
world and how he, according to Sylvere Lotringer, turned his back on the
whole boondoggle and also had absolutely nothing to do with ART FORUM (np.
his statement: "there can be no art of the simulacra"), read the following:

"Doing Theory," _French Theory in America_, ed. Sylvere Lotringer,
Semiotext(e), 2001.

Hopefully some research can now supplement this interesting play of
(meaningless? doxic toxic?) opinions -- the kind Baudrillard would have so
justifiably smirked at. Let the prankster/s play--!

Also a side note on Bey vs. Baudrillard: the later Bey is perhaps much more
of a conservative than Baudrillard. PLW now rejects most technologies and
has revised the TAZ to a pre-technological festival for initiates only
(nonpublic, secretive, the Tectrum Theatrum) -- see his article:

³Tectum Theatrum,² The Fifth Estate 38:2 (361) Summer 2003

Here, Bey advances Immediatism at the level of absolutism -- ³Every music
recording is the tombstone of a live performance² (31) ­ and proposes the
³Tectum Theatrum² or ³Secret Theater,² ³quite conventional and old-fashioned
in form² that would remain strictly ³within the confines of Œmedia-free¹
art² (dance, ritual, performance, ³live² music). Thus ³Tectum Theatrum might
be called luddite art.²

Is there a relation between Bey and Baudrillard via a certain Luddism? Or
yearning toward? Perhaps. And many differences too. A more interesting
discussion could happen here than debating Baudrillard's apparent "real" or
"exchange" value, inside our outside of academia.


[1] Need I write that if one writes of unforgiveness toward the other's gift
then one should dodge a certain knife-edged critique on the return.

tobias c. van Veen -----------++++
http://www.quadrantcrossing.org --
McGill Communication & Philosophy

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