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A forthcoming Art Strike Biennial has been announced to take place in Alytus (Lithuania) in 2009. Among other things this Biennial will act as a focus for opposition to Linz and Vilnius becoming European Capitals of Culture in 2009. In 2011 a second Art Strike Biennial will take place to oppose the gentrification of Tallin and Turku.

The Art Strike Biennial was initially called by Redas Dirzys and other activists from Eastern Europe. The Transient Art Strike Biennial Supreme Council of One (London) will participate in the Art Strike Biennial by refusing to produce new work, choosing instead to plagiarise and recycle pre-existing Art Strike materials, as well as encouraging other forms of cultural cannibalism. Simultaneously our experiments in time travel have enabled us to colonise Elizabethan London where we are busy (de)composing the entire works of Shakespeare, Bacon, Middleton, &c.

1. Aims

To undermine the hegemonic role of art in bourgeois ideology and oppose the innumerable property developers who ride on its coat tails. We will replace 'serious culture' with pranks, fun, parties, and above all sexual experimentation (or other forms of sensuous activity for those too young for these particular activities).

Art as a category must be distinguished from music, painting, writing &c. Current usage of the term art treats it as a sub-category of these disciplines, one which differentiates between parts of them on the basis of 'perceived values.' Thus the music of John Cage is considered art, while that of Steve Peregrine Took is not. Therefore, when we use the term art, we're invoking a distinction between different musics, paintings, works of fiction &c., one which ranks the items to be found within these categories into a hierarchy.

We aim to suppress art and artists and instead involve the entire art world in the development of new sexual perversions: these will include The Curve, The Edgar Broughton Shuffle, The Gorilla Stomp and The Mickey Finn (having thought up some new terms for perversions we simply need others to complete our mission by inventing acts these might signify).

It should go without saying the artist is in many ways a deformed prefiguration of the communised (in)dividual. For Marx, once we had mature communism, we could become hunters in the morning, fishermen in the afternoon, and critical critics at night. As feral vegetarians, we prefer to be egotists in the morning, porn stars in the afternoon, and critical critics at night. We reject alienated roles, instead we aim to realise all the facets (physical, emotional, intellectual) of being human in a polymorphous perversity that will turn the whole world on (to acid drenched multiple orgasms).

Both aesthetic theory and Marx draw heavily on German idealist philosophy, so it isn't surprising that there are parallels between them. But artists still produce commodities to be sold in the market place, which is why they and their activities remain alienated and deformed. The job of progressive artists is to destroy their privileged role as specialised non-specialists, and the Art Strike Biennial is one way of drawing them towards a place where they can live out the death of art (and the endless small deaths of orgasmic human communion).

2. Reason(s)

We reject instrumental reason. Reason separated from emotion is a form of alienation. That said, full blown and outright romantic rejections of reason are every bit as silly as deifying the rational. What's actually required is the selective employment of analytical and/or correlative thinking as is appropriate to a specific situation.

Moving on, 'serious culture' is fucking boring and outside a few international centres (London, New York) art acts as a form of imperialism. 'International' art carries the ideology of the market to territories without a developed trade in cultural trifles. A few artists from these subjugated zones might be incorporated into the rigidly centralised anti-world of art; but London remains the hierarchical market centre in Europe, and thus the hub around which all hype about visual culture is spun.

3. Tactics

Writing manifestoes to discredit good, compromise the leaders, shake faith and spread contempt. We will use base (wo)men, disorganise the authorities, sow discord, incite revolt, ridicule traditions, dislocate supplies, encourage the playing of lascivious music (Barry White, Blowfly, The Pork Dukes etc.), spread lechery, lay out money, and above all demonstrate that we have better jokes than the art establishment (even if most of them are plagiarised from Rudy Ray More).

We invite all artists to participate in the construction of a Capital of Culture Destruction Machine (based on both Willhelm Reich's orgone research and Nikola Tesla's perpetual motion theories). Above all else the Capital of Culture Destruction Machine will demonstrate that pornography is superior to art, causing 'serious culture' to wither and leading to Alytus in southern Lithuania becoming a world centre of sexual energy (and thus far more attractive to anyone who isn't frigid or terminally repressed than Vilnius or Linz). This will be the return at a higher level of the 1960s freak dream of 'rock 'n' roll, dope and fucking in the streets'. Our programme for the realisation of sexual ecstasy runs as follows: a) free love; b) more shagging; c) even more fucking.

4. Organisation

To avoid the dangers of bureaucratisation, Transient Art Strike Action Committees should contain no more than one member, this will make our groups completely transparent. Such forms of (dis)organisation will demonstrate our total opposition to the so called 'organization of the artist'. The latter conceit is an ideological racket (dreamt up by reactionaries such as Frank Gehry) to ensure that they and their pay masters remain completely unaccountable when imposing unwanted cultural institutions on cities they have ear-marked for gentrification (under the completely false guise of economic regeneration, since this is something better understood as property development/speculation). Unlike the post-democratic practices of Gehry and his cohorts, Transient Art Strike Action Committees will demonstrate their communist nature by undergoing schizophrenic splits; the unwanted part(s) of the personality being expelled for failings such as not achieving their erotic potential and mystical cretinism.

5. Follow Up

Our one hundred year programme necessities we appear and disappear on an annual basis. Therefore all Transient Art Strike Action Committees are instantly revocable, and they will be all the more powerful for being without badge, title or official right. By 3009 (and possibly much earlier) we will be liberated from art. What we are actually striving towards is the destruction of capitalist social relations and the privileged role of the artist within them, so that the real creative energies of (wo)mankind can be released. In a truly free society art would be an irrelevance and all cultural hierarchies will be abolished. UP WITH SEXUAL EXPERIMENTATION AND FORWARD TO MIND BLOWING ORGASMS!

Stewart Home, Transient Art Strike Biennial Supreme Council of One (London). 18 October 2008.

Art Strike

Curation and Violence at the ICA

London Art Tripping (psychogeography of 50 years of bohemianism)

Andre Stitt (live art and shamanism)

How To Improve The World (Hayward show of Arts Council Collection)


Stewart HomeStewart HomeStewart Home

I love fine art T-shirt modelled by man in rubber mask
This text was composed for The Manifesto Marathon at the Serpentine Gallery, London, 18-19 October 2008. However, rather than delivering it there, I put it on this page so that I can fill my 20 minute slot at the Serpentine shin-dig with a repetitive chanting of the url you are currently visiting.