Beneath the beach, seamless paving stones

‘Beneath the beach, seamless paving stones’, at Rhizome Parking Garage, as part of The Wrong Biennale for New Digital Art 2019/20

“Beneath the beach, seamless paving stones” is an oblique reference to the Situationists’ enigmatic graffiti “beneath the paving stones, the beach.” 

The originary phrase suggests that Utopia can be formed from the pre-existing state laying just under our feet. Through the act of revolt, taking up the street, both physically in the act of throwing the paving stones towards oppressors in riot, and metaphorically dismantling the given structure(s) would reveal the materials for and the possibility of enacting a better future. 

Our current era, (on/n the other hand) of post-truth, neoliberal, mass data politics, (or techno-military-industrial-hypercapitalism (not ot mention “white supremacist capitalist patriarchy”) our oppression appears like a beach, it is appealing and filled with entertainment and distraction, it mimics freedom, and seems so expansive; in turn the oppression is met with shrugs of indifference. Coupled with/to this, the apathy of the subject is placed within a history that acts like the ouroboros – constantly feeding on its self as it regenerates. It is the “end of history” and all we have to guide is is our hauntology. Radicalism(s) of Human & Civil Rights movements of the last century seem to have been replaced with digital activism, surveys/polls, and memes, more and more acts of revolt hold the exist completely within the bounds of the oppressor’s structures (and we all know that “the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house”). The surveyor and respondent are now one in the same, we are more and more becoming achievement-subjects, the self-oppressed. 

The ability to disrupt and start anew seems less and less achievable, or even imaginable, the seams are being removed every day. Smoothness and sameness infect every inch of life. (It is important to note here that the seams in concrete are ‘expansion joints’ they are used to separate slabs of concrete from other parts of the structure and thus allow independent movement between adjoining structural members, minimizing critical cracking. This is to suggest that seamlessness also introduces an instability, a weakness, a greater likelihood of defect and structural collapse.) 

The rhizome offers a radicalizing pathway, an alternative, a possible source of disruption, and allows for an avenue of re-organizational practices, modes of thinking and acting. The many portals and pathways in the multi-connected rhizome, as well as the dissemination of thoughts and knowledge, have the potential to disintegrate and devour the entrenched ideologies of the imposed structure from below/within.

Stanislav Lobachevskiy, Portal I, 2019

Stanislav Lobachevskiy, Portal I, 2019

Stanislav Lobachevskiy, Portal I, 2019

Stanislav Lobachevskiy, Portal I, 2019

Stanislav Lobachevskiy, Portal I, 2019

Vladimir Omutov, Untitled, 2018

Vladimir Omutov, Untitled, 2018

Vladimir Omutov, Untitled, 2018

Vladimir Omutov, Untitled, 2018

Vladimir Omutov, Untitled, 2018

Vanya Venmer, Believe In Me (V) (You Will Live), 2019

Vanya Venmer, Believe In Me (V) (You Will Live), 2019

Vanya Venmer, Believe In Me (V) (You Will Live), 2019

Vanya Venmer, Believe In Me (V) (You Will Live), 2019

Arthur Golyakov, Untitled (Corpus blue), 2019

Arthur Golyakov, Untitled (Corpus blue), 2019

Arthur Golyakov, Untitled (Corpus blue), 2019

Arthur Golyakov, Untitled (Corpus blue), 2019

Arthur Golyakov, United (Corpus orange), 2019

Arthur Golyakov, United (Corpus orange), 2019