16 May 2021

Consensual Art—Interlude

Peter Laugesen: And I also think that, you know, connected with potlatch and art and all this stuff: Art is simply a gift. Art should be a gift. Art should be given freely to everyone. Not because they maybe want it, but maybe because they don't want it. That's potlatch. I think we should change the slogan we have here to exactly the opposite: "Fear Everything Expect Nothing".

"Fear Everything Expect Nothing"
in Expect Anything Fear Nothing (2011)
ed. Rasmussen and Jakobsen
p. 281
Living in Los Angeles has convinced me that this only works if people have a reasonable means of escape/abstention. Trapping those who "don't want it" in subway cars or in their own neighborhoods seems to me quite contrary to much Situationist thought. We become the bureaucrats this way, no matter our intentions or class position. The saying "captive audience" comes from a bourgeois idiom; radicals nonetheless ignore at their own peril.

Perhaps if people can escape then it's no longer a potlatch. Fine. Sending them running is warlike enough for me! But they don't all run, not even when you most expect them to, not even in San Diego, Bismarck, or Pocatello, and that is the wisdom of sentiments such as the above.

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