Author Topic: Dada Black Sheep: Have You Any Pull?  (Read 12963 times)

Cainad (dec.)

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Re: Dada Black Sheep: Have You Any Pull?
« Reply #15 on: May 27, 2009, 04:10:18 pm »
This was a great read; it synced up perfectly with the caffeine hitting my bloodstream.

And the rest of the thread is good reading, too.

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Re: Dada Black Sheep: Have You Any Pull?
« Reply #16 on: May 27, 2009, 04:12:01 pm »
I'd say myself that no movement is dead, but commercialism puts them to sleep for awhile.  The difference between authentic and commercial experience, in my own eyes, is the difference between living the ideal and living the image.  Take the occasional resurgence of hippies.  You STILL see hippies around, some folks, by default, just ACT that way, or enjoy living in an easygoing, casual and caring manner that extends to homemade clothes, hair, and sandals.  Some folks just fall in love with the image, throw themselves into that image, and never quite get the ideal down.  When enough people throw themselves at the image enough, the comericalism flares up again until it looses its luster to the image - concerened, and they go elsewhere.  (William Gibson mentioned this sort of cycle in Neuromancer with the "Panther Modern" group, and how it mimiced older subculture ideals.)  
We've seen it happen with punk, goth, emo, scene, and countless other flash - in the pan aesthtics.
We're seeing it happen with steampunk, but I've still found some real fun with folks wo are sincere about their interest in it.

Great rant though, really captures allot of good thoughts about the workings of subcultures, sold vs. made experiences, and how the nonsense plays in.  
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Cain

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Re: Dada Black Sheep: Have You Any Pull?
« Reply #17 on: May 27, 2009, 04:17:37 pm »
I think I can go with that, with a few exceptions, e.g. Carroll/Burroughs/Joyce et al, who use semantics and language in extremely non-traditional ways for a specific intended effect.

In what sense though?  I would have to disagree with Joyce - the level of multiple meanings and associations interwoven into his works (also the fact he wrote books) suggests exactly the sort of ambiguity I would consider belonging to the holistic side of things.  Burroughs too, since when while you consider something like Naked Lunch as non-linear, there are segments which alone do make sense, just not necessarily as part of a larger whole.

Of course, I came up with this classification off the top of my head, so take from that what you will.
"The thoughts of all men arise from the darkness. If you are the movement of your soul, and the cause of that movement precedes you, then how could you ever call your thoughts your own? How could you be anything other than a slave to the darkness that comes before? Only the Logos allows one to mitigate that slavery. Only knowing the sources of thought and action allows us to own our thoughts and our actions, to throw off the yoke of circumstance."
- R. Scott Bakker, The Darkness That Comes Before

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Re: Dada Black Sheep: Have You Any Pull?
« Reply #18 on: May 27, 2009, 04:28:47 pm »
My connection with this is through my experience as a musician.  Especially when Cram talks about the authentic experience.  All of my most fulfilling experiences, as a musician, have been the many, many performances with the improv group I used to be a member of.  Each rehearsal, each concert, each performance was individual and tapped into something that would never be tapped into again.  To an outsider, it probably did seem like a mash of sounds, noises, and notes.  But each piece was responding to another piece in a very fluid way.  It was like there was this conveyer belt of notes and rhythms above us and we were each dipping into it, and then sharing the bounty. 

It was random, yet, not.  I like the distinctions Cain made and they make sense to me.  If my band had operated as everyone just playing what they wanted, irrespective of what another person was playing, I think that would've made us semantic nonsense.  I can, however, recognize how this can be different to the observer.  Because the observer isn't in the thick of it.  They aren't within the experience and don't access the same energies and emotions and thought processes.  They can't appreciate why the banjo is playing the way it is playing.  It seems like random, maniacal strums when it is really a response to what is coming from the theremin. 

And I don't think commercialism can ever totally squash that spirit.  It may be that the artist needs to find new ways to rise above the plastic and the bling noise.  But maybe that's not a bad challenge to have. 
Cynicism is a blank check for failure.

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Re: Dada Black Sheep: Have You Any Pull?
« Reply #19 on: May 27, 2009, 04:29:03 pm »
I think I can go with that, with a few exceptions, e.g. Carroll/Burroughs/Joyce et al, who use semantics and language in extremely non-traditional ways for a specific intended effect.

In what sense though?  I would have to disagree with Joyce - the level of multiple meanings and associations interwoven into his works (also the fact he wrote books) suggests exactly the sort of ambiguity I would consider belonging to the holistic side of things.  Burroughs too, since when while you consider something like Naked Lunch as non-linear, there are segments which alone do make sense, just not necessarily as part of a larger whole.

Of course, I came up with this classification off the top of my head, so take from that what you will.

I think this all kind of goes back to the original "point for the nonsense".  If it's done well, whether in art or literature, it has a certain aesthetic appeal which makes itself apparent.  "Jabberwocky" being a prime example, you can say it makes no sense, but it does it WELL.  "Naked Lunch", even I heard about by word of mouth because people found it such an interesting read.  

Contrast to Cram's examples of modern art, which have a point that's so obscure, or content that's so nonexistant that people have to be TOLD what it represents, or why they should like it.  (aka: why it's "cool" and they should buy it.)
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Re: Dada Black Sheep: Have You Any Pull?
« Reply #20 on: May 27, 2009, 04:30:27 pm »
Though I still need to read that book, Ourspace.

I am realllly enjoying it. Because I'd just finished reading Kalle Lasn's "Culture Jam" and it made me very profoundly angry.

Lasn wants to detach people from their obsession with brands, but he does so by creating his own "anti-brand" brand.

His rhetoric is primarily reactionary, responding to the evils of culture. His message is "stop being a consumer", but he offers no alternative. It comes off as self-righteous, condescending. He makes many excellent points, but ultimately he assumes the masses cannot choose what is best for themselves. His stated mission is to bring "the factory of images to a sudden, shuddering halt".. something he is incapable of doing because all his rhetoric is centered on subverting or destroying commercialism. In doing so he is hopelessly engaged with it, focused on it, feeding it. He's only a negation, not a new platform for us to jump onto.

And what's worse, he sees Culture Jamming as this tool for revolution, and totally neglects it as a source of fun and entertainment in of itself. I think his movement would be much better if they presented Culture Jamming as a fun way to escape the commercial headspace, not as a serious challenge to commercialism.



edit to add:

to sum it up, one of the reasons I think Ourspace is so good is because it takes a really critical look at Lasn and his army. Harold's critique of Lasn's work hits the nail on the head very squarely for me.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2009, 04:33:13 pm by Cramulus »

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Re: Dada Black Sheep: Have You Any Pull?
« Reply #21 on: May 27, 2009, 04:31:47 pm »
I think I can go with that, with a few exceptions, e.g. Carroll/Burroughs/Joyce et al, who use semantics and language in extremely non-traditional ways for a specific intended effect.

In what sense though?  I would have to disagree with Joyce - the level of multiple meanings and associations interwoven into his works (also the fact he wrote books) suggests exactly the sort of ambiguity I would consider belonging to the holistic side of things.  Burroughs too, since when while you consider something like Naked Lunch as non-linear, there are segments which alone do make sense, just not necessarily as part of a larger whole.

Of course, I came up with this classification off the top of my head, so take from that what you will.

I think I get you -- in those instances, there is still an interplay between coherence and incoherence, or seeming incoherence (Joyce)... Even Carroll's Jabberwocky only used a few nonsense words nestled into the poem, and he also followed the implied grammar closely.

Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
did gyre and gimble in the wabe.
all mimsy were the borogoves
and the mome raths outgrabe.

it was ADJ, and the ADJ NOUN
did VERB and VERB in the NOUN.
all ADJ were the NOUNS
and the ADJ NOUN VERB.


Plus, he then breaks off into a coherent narrative, with only a few NOUNS added for fun.  Imagine this, instead:

whiddle op garlin dyuk banneit
frannet lomagidanazip bokka
shpaninal gradinuva tropschtup.

Not so much.

Point being, yeah.  The holistic nonsense seems to be contextually based.
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Cain

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Re: Dada Black Sheep: Have You Any Pull?
« Reply #22 on: May 27, 2009, 04:35:11 pm »
I think I can go with that, with a few exceptions, e.g. Carroll/Burroughs/Joyce et al, who use semantics and language in extremely non-traditional ways for a specific intended effect.

In what sense though?  I would have to disagree with Joyce - the level of multiple meanings and associations interwoven into his works (also the fact he wrote books) suggests exactly the sort of ambiguity I would consider belonging to the holistic side of things.  Burroughs too, since when while you consider something like Naked Lunch as non-linear, there are segments which alone do make sense, just not necessarily as part of a larger whole.

Of course, I came up with this classification off the top of my head, so take from that what you will.

I think I get you -- in those instances, there is still an interplay between coherence and incoherence, or seeming incoherence (Joyce)... Even Carroll's Jabberwocky only used a few nonsense words nestled into the poem, and he also followed the implied grammar closely.

Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
did gyre and gimble in the wabe.
all mimsy were the borogoves
and the mome raths outgrabe.

it was ADJ, and the ADJ NOUN
did VERB and VERB in the NOUN.
all ADJ were the NOUNS
and the ADJ NOUN VERB.


Plus, he then breaks off into a coherent narrative, with only a few NOUNS added for fun.  Imagine this, instead:

whiddle op garlin dyuk banneit
frannet lomagidanazip bokka
shpaninal gradinuva tropschtup.

Not so much.

Point being, yeah.  The holistic nonsense seems to be contextually based.

Yeah, its part of a larger whole, in which there are both pieces of sense and nonsense.  If you will, nonsense perhaps only really works when contrasted or integrated with sense.  Otherwise it becomes white noise. 
"The thoughts of all men arise from the darkness. If you are the movement of your soul, and the cause of that movement precedes you, then how could you ever call your thoughts your own? How could you be anything other than a slave to the darkness that comes before? Only the Logos allows one to mitigate that slavery. Only knowing the sources of thought and action allows us to own our thoughts and our actions, to throw off the yoke of circumstance."
- R. Scott Bakker, The Darkness That Comes Before

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Re: Dada Black Sheep: Have You Any Pull?
« Reply #23 on: May 27, 2009, 04:37:24 pm »
Or as I like to use the offical term, "lihvbrs".
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Re: Dada Black Sheep: Have You Any Pull?
« Reply #24 on: May 27, 2009, 04:37:57 pm »
Though I still need to read that book, Ourspace.

I am realllly enjoying it. Because I'd just finished reading Kalle Lasn's "Culture Jam" and it made me very profoundly angry.

Lasn wants to detach people from their obsession with brands, but he does so by creating his own "anti-brand" brand.

His rhetoric is primarily reactionary, responding to the evils of culture. His message is "stop being a consumer", but he offers no alternative. It comes off as self-righteous, condescending. He makes many excellent points, but ultimately he assumes the masses cannot choose what is best for themselves. His stated mission is to bring "the factory of images to a sudden, shuddering halt".. something he is incapable of doing because all his rhetoric is centered on subverting or destroying commercialism. In doing so he is hopelessly engaged with it, focused on it, feeding it. He's only a negation, not a new platform for us to jump onto.

And what's worse, he sees Culture Jamming as this tool for revolution, and totally neglects it as a source of fun and entertainment in of itself. I think his movement would be much better if they presented Culture Jamming as a fun way to escape the commercial headspace, not as a serious challenge to commercialism.



edit to add:

to sum it up, one of the reasons I think Ourspace is so good is because it takes a really critical look at Lasn and his army. Harold's critique of Lasn's work hits the nail on the head very squarely for me.

I know Mark Dery (the man who invented the term "culture-jamming") isn't exactly his biggest fan either.

Have you considered re-looking at the Chaos Marxist stuff, by the way?  As I understand it, one of the things Doloras is interested in is trying to build on the Situationist International, using memetic theory (and various pieces of metatheory from Caroll, Hine et all) to try and fine tune their assault against popular culture.
"The thoughts of all men arise from the darkness. If you are the movement of your soul, and the cause of that movement precedes you, then how could you ever call your thoughts your own? How could you be anything other than a slave to the darkness that comes before? Only the Logos allows one to mitigate that slavery. Only knowing the sources of thought and action allows us to own our thoughts and our actions, to throw off the yoke of circumstance."
- R. Scott Bakker, The Darkness That Comes Before

Cramulus

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Re: Dada Black Sheep: Have You Any Pull?
« Reply #25 on: May 27, 2009, 04:48:46 pm »
For some reason I'm reminded of this semantic game I used to play while in altered states...  hard to explain

basically, as you're talking to someone that doesn't know about the game, you go on an unrelated tangent. But you never get to the conclusion of the tangent which is only vaguely related to the original point. Before the "meaning" comes through, you digress onto another unrelated tangent. You answer any questions by following up with metaphorical examples which are also only vaguely related. Your victim will be confused, unable to process the rapid stream of information. The point is to bring him to the point where he understands the rules of the game and can respond in turn.

Target: "So you're saying that nobody was ever buried inside a pyramid? I think that's incorrect."

Game Player: "Well you're partially right. People were buried physically, but the egyptian concept of the spirit is a bit harder to pin down. Remember this came long before Descart conceptualized that mind/body duality. I mean, think of humming birds... there's an image in your head, but that's not a humming bird, right? It's a thought about a humming bird."


basically you use fragments of actual discussions to assemble something less-than-coherent.

The target, trying to make sense of this torrent of vaguely related information, can get overwhelmed while trying to make all the connections.

Game player: "That was basically the topic of Magritte's art. That we can never really know the real thing, we can only know representations of it. And in doing so we lose track of the human soul, which doesn't exist in such either/or terms. So for the Egyptians to bury their dead, they first had to understand the context of death: intangible representation and lack thereof."

when played well, this is hilarious. It's amazing how much your tone of voice influences the perception of what you're saying. Everything has to come out in a torrent of exasperated words, never giving the target time to process any of the nuances, just to feel the broad shape of what you're saying.

I've rarely laughed so hard as when one of my targets turned it around on me.

"Wait," he said, "you're basically saying that the universe is eons old, but has a definite mass. That doesn't line up."

"How do you mean," I asked.

"Well an eon has an exact atomic weight, if you think about it in physical terms."

"I don't understand," I asked, then as it dawned on me that he had finally gotten it, and engaged my rational mind in nonsense, I began laughing so hard I fell over.

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Re: Dada Black Sheep: Have You Any Pull?
« Reply #26 on: May 27, 2009, 04:54:38 pm »
Back in college, my friends and I used to call it "riffing": we'd start saying almost plasuible things that were only tangentially related to the original point, and then someone would bounce off of that, and so on.
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Re: Dada Black Sheep: Have You Any Pull?
« Reply #27 on: May 27, 2009, 04:57:11 pm »
I know Mark Dery (the man who invented the term "culture-jamming") isn't exactly his biggest fan either.

You're thinking of our pal Mark Hosler, of Negativland. You'll remember him as a guest teacher for that Pranks class a few of us took at MaybeLogic. (I met Mark at the H.O.P.E. convention last year, and he shared my low opinion of that class)

"[Hosler] tends to resist the label for his group's film and music collages of copyrighted material. "I don't want to be a member of any 'culture jamming club', he said, referring to what he sees as Adbusters' degradation of the strategy to yet another countercultural trend.

Quote
Have you considered re-looking at the Chaos Marxist stuff, by the way?  As I understand it, one of the things Doloras is interested in is trying to build on the Situationist International, using memetic theory (and various pieces of metatheory from Caroll, Hine et all) to try and fine tune their assault against popular culture.

actually haven't read too much of it. I'll have to take another peek...

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Re: Dada Black Sheep: Have You Any Pull?
« Reply #28 on: May 27, 2009, 05:05:18 pm »
I know Mark Dery (the man who invented the term "culture-jamming") isn't exactly his biggest fan either.

You're thinking of our pal Mark Hosler, of Negativland. You'll remember him as a guest teacher for that Pranks class a few of us took at MaybeLogic. (I met Mark at the H.O.P.E. convention last year, and he shared my low opinion of that class)

"[Hosler] tends to resist the label for his group's film and music collages of copyrighted material. "I don't want to be a member of any 'culture jamming club', he said, referring to what he sees as Adbusters' degradation of the strategy to yet another countercultural trend.

Quote
Have you considered re-looking at the Chaos Marxist stuff, by the way?  As I understand it, one of the things Doloras is interested in is trying to build on the Situationist International, using memetic theory (and various pieces of metatheory from Caroll, Hine et all) to try and fine tune their assault against popular culture.

actually haven't read too much of it. I'll have to take another peek...

No, I do remember Mark Hosler not being entirely impressed with him either (to put it mildly), but Dery also said “they’ve commodified the notion of anti-consumption — a delicious irony that seems entirely lost on them”, which is probably one of the milder criticisms put forward by him of Lasn.

Also here he goes into his problems with them much more in depth http://votedna.blogspot.com/2008/07/ship-of-fools.html
"The thoughts of all men arise from the darkness. If you are the movement of your soul, and the cause of that movement precedes you, then how could you ever call your thoughts your own? How could you be anything other than a slave to the darkness that comes before? Only the Logos allows one to mitigate that slavery. Only knowing the sources of thought and action allows us to own our thoughts and our actions, to throw off the yoke of circumstance."
- R. Scott Bakker, The Darkness That Comes Before

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Re: Dada Black Sheep: Have You Any Pull?
« Reply #29 on: May 27, 2009, 05:06:35 pm »
So, "I was culture jamming before it was cool"?
LMNO
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The Spider Project.

Buy the Chao te Ching, or be doomed forever.

http://www.stonybrook.edu/sb/marburger/index.shtml

"Get offa me, you freaks!  This is not North Korea.  No.  This is America, and I expect to be PAID for that sort of nonsense.  In advance.  No credit...Cash on the barrelhead or GTFO.  I swear to God, there's nothing more annoying than commie perverts who don't understand the intrinsic value of the free market system."