From censorship to John Latham and back again…

The oldest of suppressed traditions
In a world dominated by illusion, it comes as no surprise that censorship should be popularly misperceived as a form of social repression. The contradictions which support such an inversion are manifest in every area of daily life; they constitute the apparent “reality” of our “time”. Despite the fact that it has been demonstrated time and again that consciousness is an effect of a closed system of exclusive focus, of censorship, “literate” consensus maintains that censorship and silence are the negation of consciousness. It is clear that Power has a vested interest in maintaining a monopoly on censorship. The “concept of freedom” is an unreachable, collapsing, absolute. All experience becomes equal when exchanged via Capital; with class “privilege” determining how much of this worthless “equality” each person is entitled to.
The negative and its use
Anything can be censored for any reason; start by censoring this text. The censors of the “left”, “right” and “centre”, all do their collective part; despite the fact that they imagine themselves to be motivated by the very beliefs we will ultimately negate.
From originality to ontology: the decline of the text
The possibilities for communal transformation of this world lie in disconnection from imposed notions of progress and democracy. Plagiarism is the “beginning”, the negative point of a culture which finds its justification in the “unique”. Censorship supersedes plagiarism as an “intelligent” negation of “originality” because it suppresses not only (“original”) production, but also reproduction (plagiarism, appropriation &c.) which revalue the “original” and maintain its circulation in “reality”. Censorship is to the present what plagiarism was to history.
The healing power of doubt
Revolutionary propaganda sets itself the task of discrediting all received ideas without offering a single “alternative” thought with which they might be replaced. Kill your desires and live! Erase, destroy and make useless all recorded information. Physically and otherwise attempt to suppress all expression in art, politics, history &c. Resist culture and all other forms of institutional identity. Suppress, by refusing to participate in, interpersonal and mass social relationships. As you see fit, smash the “imagination”, “schizophrenia”, “death”, “sexuality”, “values”, “time” and all other forms of seduction and abstraction. Experimentally break down the frames of reference by which you organise non-valued perceptions into valued entities: i.e. objects, ideas, means of self-perception &c.
An end to social relations
“Self-destruction” is a semantic swindle. The moralism against suicide is reactionary resistance to change. Only total opposition, both theoretical and practical (i.e. silence), is irrecuperable. Anything else must necessarily appear absolutist and contradictory.
And while you’re at it don’t forget to check – – you know it makes (no) sense!


Comment by Zen Master K on 2009-12-07 10:31:37 +0000

Speed kills (boredom), try durophet, you’ll last longer… better than viagra indeed!

Comment by Monty Cantsin on 2009-12-07 10:44:51 +0000

Enough of that old conceptual art stuff! Enough of black beauties! Enough of viagra! Try neoism, you’ll last even longer!

Comment by The Real Tessie on 2009-12-07 10:45:59 +0000

My whole world turned amphetamine blue since I’m living without you! Where are you? You ain’t been back to the Big Blogger Flat all week!

Comment by fi on 2009-12-07 13:49:17 +0000

dexedrine svp

Comment by Christopher Nosnibor on 2009-12-07 14:19:26 +0000

…and 30 years on, academics still find themselves on short-term contracts that may or may not be renewed.
The only difference is that now they don’t bother / have the time to write when they’re not offering any hours…

Comment by The Fake Charles Saatchi on 2009-12-07 17:09:05 +0000

I’ll buy that for a dollar! Discount for the fakery of course!

Comment by Lemmy on 2009-12-07 17:41:11 +0000

Speed is the fuel that motors rock and roll!

Comment by Far Out Frank on 2009-12-07 18:14:05 +0000

Speed kills! Aciid is the drug of life and loving!

Comment by lyndon la rouche on 2009-12-07 18:48:48 +0000

so…counterculture is just an art scam!

Comment by Psychedelic Sid on 2009-12-07 20:31:12 +0000

The more drugs you take the better your art becomes!

Comment by Lord Trumply Bumperton on 2009-12-07 20:57:20 +0000

SKOOBy snacks!!!

Comment by Michael Kearney on 2009-12-07 21:12:17 +0000

Burn them, burn them all!

Comment by Wyndham Lewis Trust on 2009-12-07 21:14:19 +0000

So what’s the point? St M. being the best art college in world? Are you fucking sane?

Comment by Sexy Art Student Awaits Your Pleasure on 2009-12-07 21:43:42 +0000

With fees of 24 grand a year I need a day job but coz I’m a full time post-graduate student I got a night job… If this was the sixties I’d be able to spend more time taking drugs…..

Comment by Jonathan H on 2009-12-07 23:22:46 +0000

If he returned the chewed copy of the book, how come he had it to display and sell – and isn’t the ‘real’ owner the college?

Comment by Old Rope on 2009-12-07 23:35:11 +0000

That’s where I, caught her eye

Comment by JJ Charlesworth on 2009-12-08 08:28:59 +0000

I guess one way of settling it would to be to compare other correspondence coming from St Martins dated around the same time. you’d have to be a bloody good forger to get paper stock, typewriter font, letterhead and so on exactly right…

Comment by mistertrippy on 2009-12-08 09:13:46 +0000

JJ agreed! But this whole back story to the work and its sale is interesting to explore – and just what was the final outcome of the insurance claim on the stolen letter? Perhaps the archivist at Flat Time House could get onto that one….
Jonathan also raises an interesting point, was the piece ever Latham’s to sell in terms of capitalist property law? And I, of course, think the more raising these issues reduces the financial value of the work, the greater its cultural value! But will MOMA want to deal with them?

Comment by The Vegetarian Nicholas Serota on 2009-12-08 16:38:53 +0000

Are you on drugs? You’ll never get on in the art world if you keep saying things like this! Anyone who wants a career in the culture industry has to watch their manners, and not go around upsetting major institutions like MOMA (or The Tate for that matter)…..

Comment by The Fake Sheena Wagstaff on 2009-12-08 16:44:04 +0000

Oh hi Nick, fancying meeting you here, seems like our lives just keep drawing us together and we’ve got so many institutions in common – both of us coming up to the Tate via MOMA Oxford and The Whitechapel!

Comment by The Non-Gagosian Mark Francis on 2009-12-08 16:46:45 +0000

Hey Nick! I’m gonna buy you a book on synchronicity for your birthday coz every time I run into you by accident you’re with my wife! Strange isn’t it!

Comment by The Other Hans Ulrich Obrist on 2009-12-08 16:50:14 +0000

Is this a private conversation or can anybody join in? Nick you’ve worked with a lot of celebrity artists in your time and I’d just like to ask you what it was like for you meeting Andy Warhol?

Comment by The Other Jerome Sans on 2009-12-08 23:07:48 +0000

Et moi, et moi, et moi?

Comment by fi on 2009-12-09 10:15:36 +0000

forgery is where is at man

Comment by fi on 2009-12-09 16:49:36 +0000

i didnt say that. someone is coming in here pretending to be me again. this multiple identity thing has stopped being funny ages ago.

Comment by David baer on 2009-12-15 05:18:51 +0000

Its all about chasing shadows.
By that I mean latching on to this or that latest, most innovative idea that some self styled money making guru has put out in the hope it’ll go viral and make them a lot of money off the backs of all the headless chickens who will follow them blindly down a blind alley. Its a shame but a truism nonetheless that people will follow where someone they see as an expert leads. Even if they lead them to certain disaster, which is what most of the gurus tend to do to their flocks.
The trick is to recognize a shadow when you see it!

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