Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Political constrction of Aboriginal art in Australia

This essay is a snapshot of the political construction of Aboriginality in Australiapost 1967 is based on the shared memory of a people, not in the representation of the body of an individual.

It has been said in may contexts that the personal is political however do these political experiences shape the type of art that is commercial y viable? The mix between politics and Aboriginal culture can take many dangerous forms. There is a long history of animosity and antagonism between Aboriginal people and the various governments and their administration of Aboriginal affairs that exists.

In 2007 the racial discrimination act was withheld in Australia to allow the federal government to perform an “intervention” in order to save Aboriginal communities from themselves. At this same there was a senate enquiry into the visual arts and craft sector which has ultimately led to the establishment of the Australia council for the arts Indigenous commercial code of conduct. Regulating a multimillion dollar industry in the interest of creating a sense of fairness between Aboriginal artists Aboriginal communities and the commercial gallery system in Australia

The political achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in modern Australia are not recognised by many sections of the Australian community especially in relation to business administration and property management. The only defining factor on whether an art that represents a people or not is legitimate is whether it as seen as commercially successful in the eyes of "others".

Between the referendum for aboriginal rights in 1967 and the Prime ministers formal acknowledgment of the injustice of the policies of previous governments towards Aboriginal people in 2008 there existed many challenges from those who sought to change the inequitable conditions that many Aboriginal people found themselves living in. The perception of Aboriginal people in the wider Australian community has been largely negative, without there being a unified aboriginal voice to present an alternative.

An interesting reference in recent history is to compare the public reaction between the two formal apologies that were delivered by the federal parliament in 2007 to the stolen generations of Aboriginal people and to the apology to the forgotten generations in 2009

"This week, Kevin Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull united to deliver moving apologies to the so-called "Forgotten Australians": the hundreds of thousands of people abused in state care, often after being torn from their parents and sent to Australia against their will.

The ceremony recalled a previous moment, when Rudd, soon after winning election, apologised to the Stolen Generation of Aboriginal children.
But there was one big difference between the two occasions: when it came to the Forgotten Australians, there was no-one objecting"

Is there a role for non-Aboriginal people in the construction of Aboriginality as a legal and internationally recognised subject? How do Aboriginal people develop a level of regulating the control over the histories that are produced?

In this essay I will show painting as metaphysical history, and photography as anthropological history. Within the different variations of Aboriginal symbolism Different symbolic structures which are opposed to history and the great binaries that divide any social group.

Art as cultural capital becomes non localisable and the relationship between museums and exhibitions develop the ability to transform each other. ‘Art’ is what is found within institutions and sites of legitimate cultural production based on concentrations of capital and geo-political locations.

It could be said that literally anything could be labelled ‘art’, but whether it will be accepted or recognized as art will be an entirely different matter. If the museum is a discourse of art as object, the audience is a discourse of art as theory.

What makes Aboriginal art such a successful medium and platform for cultural interaction and engagement

the dominant discourse of legitimisation is the commercial art market and auction house - is this imposed by state and private institutions such as schools, art galleries, museums, dealers and buyers?

Real art it seems always exists in the past whereas the art of the present is always debatable. Contemporary art is already grounded in the art of the past, which provides a locality for the intensive practice of art as a spatial extension. Art as an object in itself is no longer necessary; all that is required is the objective standards of quality and quantity.

There is no individual subjectivity within the most commercially succsful sales of Aboriginal art.

When thinking of art as an object the individual does not automatically assume the role of a subject. It is simply the case that the majority of the audience will have control over the majority of subjectivity produced?

The experiences of Aboriginal Australia and its participation with world history, art is not the only possible way of demonstrating the difference between subjectivity produced by Aboriginal art and Aboriginality as experienced by an individual artist. expose dominant power relationships but most importantly, provide examples of the idea that subjectivity is politically constructed by the individuals’ relationship to the objectives of the dominant state apparatus.

Art and academic theory of art have not always nor will they ever be the same thing.

Contemporary arts do not necessarily rely on an object at all. Conceptual art is purely about ideas and the nature of thought itself. It is not the idea implicit in the artwork, which is the ‘cause’ of a specific subjectivity; it is the subjectivity itself which is the ‘cause’ of the idea.

At which stage does an individual take control over the possible choices of subjective positions? The placing of the object in a gallery or a museum will create an associated idea that ‘ other people think this is art’. The majority of people will always desire the desires of others.

Indirectly, politics and art have several shared components; economic protection, aesthetic conservatism and harnessing of the social engineering forces which have shaped the history of Australian artists as well as Australian Aboriginals.

Aboriginal artists are no different to Australian Artists. In much the same way early Australian artists sought their own Australian identity unique but not separate from the trends and fashions of European and American art, Aboriginal artists are today in a similar position of constructing their own identity.

The emergence and continuing production of Aboriginal Art is a turning point in the cultural production of subjectivity in Australia.

The internationalisation of Aboriginal art is synonymous with the capitalization of Aboriginal art. The production of art is essential to the production of subjectivity. Within the context of history and photography the subjective positioning of Aboriginality is going through continual change. The production of the subject through text and the production of the subject through images will offer examples about the process of how subjects are created through the production of art.

Within Australian political history Aboriginal people had been denied involvement in the production of their own political voice until 1967. Aboriginal art flourished in the period after 1967 partly because of the success of Albert Namatjira but also because of the changing social conditions that were sweeping the world, reaching remote stations in Australia such as Papunya and Hermansburg. A perceptual shift occurred between Aboriginal Australians and the state apparatus. Art that has been produced from this period onwards has indicated how this process has been experienced.

The idea of the Australian Aboriginal history which has existed within itself but which also has a place within the realm of world history.

Art is not necessarily a visual space but can be a sensory experience that gives an individual an understanding of the world as experienced by others. This space is not reducible to the canvas but is more of an event, where many separate factors are needed to uniquely identify objects and subjects within a particular cultural context.

“Writing has nothing to do with signifying, but with land surveying and map making, even of countries yet to come”


In modern world history, war has played a larger role than art in producing objects and ideas that have facilitated cultural thought and expression. Many modern conveniences are the by-products of military planning and defense force budgets. Throughout history, the invention and introduction of more powerful weapons have shaped the politics of the nation state and geographic maps of the world.

Art is perhaps recognized as the power of ideas.

Hitlers claims that many of the modern artists of the time were ‘degenerate’ artists are an example of a fascist aesthetic influencing cultural production.

In many ways, the war artist has occupied a similar position to that of the contemporary Aboriginal artist. The war artist produces art objects for the purpose of constructing and identifying with a specific subjects’ nationalism.

Many political notions of Aboriginality expressed through contemporary art directly challenge the Australian mythological relationship to the land.

“In Fascism, as Benjamin has demonstrated, the political remains as a site for determinate judgement, by analogy with the determinate judgements of the beautiful which may be made about art. The political is conceived in terms of criteria which are claimed to be drawn from art (the ugly should be eliminated).”

The line between a weapon and a tool can be determined by its extension into the real world; hammers knives, and ropes have been building blocks as well as repressive tools in the shaping of cultural expression. Like the surgeon’s knife, which cuts as it heals; our modern society has grown out of military strategy as much as human endeavour.

The subjectivity produced by Aboriginal art is not a war machine in military terminology, but an abstract machine producing flows of symbols and images outside of state based thought. It makes connections and produces flows that state based thought systems do not recognize.

Dominant practices of Technique, style, and artistic forms of expression are philosophies of the state. Visual arts practice is a performative space where ideas are projected and deflected. The artwork and the associated time period, which the artist expresses, is an abstract interpretation of the present.

The use of photography for social documentation affected another essential factor in the production of artworks – patronage. Portraits were now attainable by the working class, affecting the artists’ privileged role documenting aristocracy. Whether artists were conscious of it or not, the use and abuse of history is evident in all styles of modernist and contemporary art. Perhaps this is why the political philosophy of art centres on the problem of legitimacy.

It would seem most people are comfortable accepting paintings rather than photographs as art. The history of painting has a broader subjective positioning available in terms of the production of cultural capital. Painting is more obtuse than photography whose subjective positioning is more precise and accurate. Photography is an internalising narrative. The eyes of the photographer are suggested to be in a similar positioning to that of the spectator.

The idea that an artwork has a particular value because it cannot be replaced is very flexible in post-modern painting and photography. The experiences in the artists’ life, which led them to paint this particular image at this particular time, plot the subjectivity of the artist in a way that can never be repeated. The artwork itself can very easily be reproduced. It is the individuality of the artist that legitimises a particular artwork.

How is post-modern art a type of cultural criticism? Post modernism can be described as a revision of modernism. A re thinking of the grand narratives and utopian promises of social history as expressed through art in the 20th century. That Aboriginal art is being recognized as a fine art has only properly happened within the last 25 years – apparently after modernism had ended. Aboriginal art has therefore played a role in defining postmodernism in Australia.

The geographic demarcation that is optically defined by the Greenwich meridian is the first example of a striation of the earth through the universal imposition of longitude and latitude. By 1788 all distances on the globe were measured from Greenwich meridian.

The reterritorialisation of geographic regions caused a significant part of the displacement and confusion Aboriginal people felt as they continued to live in their traditional cultural milieu. Unbeknown to the Aborigines the landscape had metaphysically changed forever. Previously the language spoken by the members of the tribe defined Pre-colonial tribal and geographic regions. The individual belonging to a particular regionally defined territoriality and subjectivity.

Aboriginal Australians were continually imposed upon by the dominant striated perspective of modernism until their haptic nomadic way of life was replaced by the building blocks of capitalist society - fences, cages, chains, and guns. Aboriginal people were reterritorialised and divided from their kinship groups to live on missions and stations. They became the unrecognised domestic help and farm hands – unpaid disrespected and continually driven away from any valuable or even usable space which would allow them to continue uninterrupted their ancestral cultural practices.

Imposing new codes of language and social relations on Aboriginal people was not questioned because the capitalist processes that were used to effect the processes were not brought into question themselves.

“Technology is a process of machinic relations, an abstract machine of language operating within a specific regime of signs. Capitalist technology is retrospectively projected to be come coextensive with the fields of nature history and society.”

Phillip Goodchilde

Capitalism is a perfect example of history operating as a counter memory. An object or desire is invested with cultural capital based upon its quantifiable or qualifyable elements.

Deleuze and Guattari note the work of Pierre Clastres whose work dealing with pre state societies they feel to be underrated. They note nomad societies are not pre state societies, but groups who ward off the formation of the state at every possibility. It is not that Aboriginal Australia lacked a national identity but that they refuse such a totalitarian concept.

The existence of a purely national art is a concept that is irrelevant to most contemporary artists. Ian McClean differentiates between the picturesque and the sublime in landscape representation – picturesque refers to an inhabited and cultivated landscape. Because the picturesque created a synthesis of nature and culture, it was the ideal aesthetic for representing the redemptive scene sought by colonization.

Aboriginal art is anti picturesque representation.

A question worth asking at this stage is ‘how is it possible to include Aboriginal art and Australian art in the same cultural context when they can be seen to be telling different versions of the same story? How is it possible for non-Aboriginal artists to portray Aboriginality outside of a collaborative context?

There is no simple dualism between Aboriginal and Australian art that is used to categorize a particular work. How is it possible to break down the perceived separation between Aboriginal and Australian art into descriptive aesthetic terms. In this way art history is like a cultural psychoanalysis.

Aboriginal societies aesthetics operated in a system that used art as a type of graphism, pictorially using images and symbols to demonstrate perceptions and ideas (quantities). Whereas western art aesthetics could be thought more as a progressive statistical aggregate of qualities.

Terms and labels are temporal; they are like codes shared between a sender and a receiver. How an audience receives an artwork can be influenced by varied factors. An artwork’s interpretation may change several times during the artwork’s existence, conversely some artworks are deliberately created to be re interpreted, and some that will be perpetually re-interpreted (re-territorialised).

‘Cultural capital’ is the ability to read and understand cultural codes; but this ability and hence cultural capital is not distributed equally amongst social classes. A work of art has interest and meaning only for those who posses cultural capital and can read the codes into which it is encoded … Identity is largely a ‘social imaginary’, which divides various cultural groups into ‘imagined communities’ by bonding them together in literary and visual narration’s located in territory, history, and memory.

I would like to borrow ideas from Pierre Bourdieu’s writings on the notion of cultural and relate the production of cultural capital with art production. Art is not always metaphor; art renders visible the forces of chaos continually surrounding us, and in which we live in. Art can produce maps, guides, and warnings to possible future abstract relations.

Freud, Darwin, and Marx and interestingly, these among many other prominent philosophers of the state referenced the Australian Aboriginal to reinforce their notions of primitivism. These early 20th century giants among philosophers of the state shared a unique fascination with primitivism and the desires and lifestyles of those unfortunate enough to be labelled tribal or from stateless societies.

Art does not provide us with a universal truth; there is no universal context. All thought is localizable to a particular space, time, and combination of the two. State philosophy is a belief that knowledge can be gained from reason. A belief that a transcendent (metaphoric or subliminal) device will act as a point of Subjectification allowing an individual to “know” concepts, read images, and combines the two as ideas.

How much they are learned and appreciated by others is a matter of value. If we say that quality is the effect of quantity over time, we could say that accumulations of particular knowledge would grow in environments conducive to particular growth. The qualities of the image are not necessarily aesthetic. Qualities are the properties that define an essential aspect of the image.

I would like to propose that in any case, Aboriginal art is more effective than the English language in expressing notions of Aboriginality. Within the context of the English language, 26 phonetic symbols can be re-territorialised into quantum theory, or the complete works of Shakespeare.

Why is it problematic to understand that the graphism of Aboriginal art (dots and rark) is referring to knowledge and history that is as complex and significant?

Photography is perhaps the shared visual perspective where the aesthetic differences between Aboriginal and western art are flattened out. With the proper consultation, non- indigenous people have access to representations of Aboriginality free of repressive subjectivities.

Traditional photography is characterized as being distinctly landscape or portraiture. The photographer’s mechanical eye could reproduce images that were pure constructs most often re creations of famous events. Ironically in some cases, what many people remember as historical events were actually dramatic recreations staged for the camera.

In contemporary photography, it is standard for the photographer to allow his subjects to choose how they wish to be portrayed. The subject selects the background or objects they wish to be associated with in the image, as well as the subject having the final say of which images are exhibited.

This freedom of subjective positioning has not always been the case. In a post-modern reading of the point of Subjectification and the vanishing point, they can be seen to rigidly express a fixed subjectivity. During renaissance painting, they were often merged with the face of Christ being the point of Subjectification through which everything else in the painting was subordinated.

Today it would be used more as a stylistic device, but in Renaissance art the vanishing point and the point of Subjectification were often merged. The point being to suggest a direct line between the viewer (subject) Christ (artwork) and god (transcendental signifier). The point of Subjectification can also be alluded to metaphorically by the positioning of lines of sight. Apart from this some artists have suggested the crucifix like quality of hanging artworks on the wall. The portrait providing the vertical and the landscape the horizontal for the Greenwich meridian like plotting of Christian subjectivity.

A great many Artists living in Australia deal with ideas of belonging and not fitting into the dominant modes of cultural expression in Australia. There are similarities between the experience of migrants and the experience of Aboriginal people in that they both existed outside the heterogeneous dominant philosophy of the state. I would describe these as post modern experiences as they produce new ideas of Australian identity while at the same time while at the same time rejecting traditional assumptions about art and cultural identity.

There is no universal context (yet) to measure the quality of one art object and compare it to any other existing artwork, which does not rely on the history if the intermediary (subject) being involved.

Deleuze and Guttari in the smooth and the striated, example the difference between the smooth and the striated as the difference between the haptic and the optic. Put simply these terms refers to the distance between the subject and the perceived object. The close range perspective is that of the haptic. Haptic can refer to the tactile but also to the tracings where your vision is so close to the perceived object it fills the entire space of vision. No grounding, no vanishing point, no edges or surroundings.

I have previously set up a dualism between Aboriginal art (smooth space/haptic) and what I have referred to as striated, metric or linear art (striated/optic). The opposite of the haptic is the optic. Optic space is best described as linear perspective or panorama, it always contains the universal limit of the vanishing point. Haptic is the space of the near seer’s, optic is the perspective of the far seer’s.

In Aboriginal art a symbol may be open to several interpretations. Concentric circles provide a good example; they could refer to growth rings in the tree or the growth rings in the sand as the seed grows into a tree. It may refer to a water hole or the flow of water over time. Smooth space art deals with movements over time, the graphs of events rather than signs and unitary signifiers.

The difference between haptic and optic is the difference between the optic linear perspective’s subordination to the vanishing point, and the haptic, which is subordinated to its proximity to the real or the actual. This is the fundamental difference, which these two artistic perspectives express.

Aboriginal art does not necessarily challenge capitalist technology. In a post-modern way, it criticizes without destroying. Deluze and Guattari claim that with 20/20 hindsight capitalist technology has become Retroactively projected to be co-extensive with the fields of nature history and society. Therefore, it is possible to escape the dichotomy of Aboriginal art and non-Aboriginal art in favour of opening out onto a new economic plane of immanence.

Aboriginal art denies the codes that capitalist technology uses to over code all flows of exchange production and recording and thus presents a perspective which is closer to the lived real experiences of individuals and the society they are situated in.

“Art therefore has a role analogous to psychoanalysis: It aims to bring the social unconscious into consciousness by making the recipient feel the implicit presuppositions that are at work in various social situations.”

Phillip Goodechild

There is representation from within an Aboriginal discourse, and representation of the Aboriginal discourse. Through representation, Abstract and ideological ideas are given concrete form. Representation from different perspectives can be used to demonstrate and affect other perspectives.

Capitalism deterritorialises Aboriginality by subverting the traditional roles that would limit and control social relations and productions (e.g. kinship, language, and geography). Capitalism reduces all social relations to universal equivalence. Capitalist technology itself has falsely been thought of as a natural process – the “progression” from tribal to despotic to capitalist society.

If technology is a process of machinic relations, Aboriginal Art is an abstract machine component, in the economic production of art, in the sense that it is a process of the deterritorialisation of pre capitalist Aboriginal Australia. This was achieved by means of the imposition of a new symbolic order, Aboriginality is therefore reterritorialised within present day capitalist society.
Everyone desires the desires of others. The individual is the desire of others. There is no individual.

“The problem is that the self isn’t real. The self is a necessary illusion that allows us to function in time, to create law, morality, art and the rest of civilization. But it was never meant to save us from death, or imbue our lives with meaning and purpose. The self is the root of selfishness, and selfishness is what makes us unhappy. Too much concentration on ourselves makes us anxious, because the self cannot support the weight. That is the difference between the self and the soul.”

David Samuels

“Why return to the primitives, when it is a question of our own life? The fact is that the notion of segmentarity was constructed by ethnologists to account for so called primitive societies, which have no fixed, central state apparatus and no global power mechanisms or specialized political institutions.”

Deleuze and Guattari

Desire is social rather than familial. Desire is learnt through experiences within the external world. The world makes our mind up for us. Desire is the underlying motivational force in the individual, within the experiences in their early childhood and in their family life.

Desire explains how the individuals relationship to their Mother, Father and authority figures is played out in micro scale, within the family unit and childhood. And the how these experiences can then express themselves in the macro scale of the behaviour of the individual within the authoritarian institutions of the socius; school, office, army, factory, hospital, prison. The mechanosphere. A medical, scientific, sexual, socio, technological, chemical, militarial, industrial, capitalistic machinic arrangement. The world before our eyes and senses is the external collective consciousness that our subconscious connects into.

How does desire progress from the familial to the social?

The focus on the self by both the individual and their society is primarily concerned with sub - individual body parts and their supra - individual connection because these processes are a qualitative and quantifiable figurative object that can be used by paranoid institutional agencies to measure individuals and regulate their desire.

The production of desire is a question of why do we do what we do, what are the drives, motivations and forces behind all of our everyday actions. There is no such thing as fate. Consciousness is the product of unconsciousness. Speech is the product of memory. Language is the product of history.

Multiplicity, creation and desire are the principal elements of the social unconsciousness for D & G.

Desire is a primary force rather than a secondary goal. Pleasure and happiness is a by-product, desire is immediate and more profound than pleasure. Desire is co-extensive with the individual and the collective social energy. Desire is a will to power the external world by de-intensifying the internal self.
Desire is a material it is not imaginary. Desire is indifferent to personal identity or linguistic expression. Desire is pure multiplicity independent of any unity. Desire is immanent to a plane that it does not pre-exist.

Deleuze and Guttari divide the experience of the socius and the individual into three interconnecting planes of consistency.

Social interconnections “this is where “lack” “scarcity” is created
Society, the world, external, you

tc \l5 “INDIVIDUAL LEVELSelf or ego and all it’s guises (this is where lack is lived)
Me, myself and I, the body.
tc \l5 “self or ego and all it’s guises (this is where lack is lived)

Bodily parts and other fragments
Virus’, language, molecules, matter. Internal

A plane of interconnections at the sub-individual level gives a body consistency enough for the individual to connect with the supra individual level of the external world.

To use a political analogy we would look at the three assemblages above as being federal, state and local government. The three parts intermix to construct the nation state (self) and the individual particular to a specific environment.
Desiring Production - nothing that involves concrete content or substance lacks anything, psychoanalysis bases desire on a perceived lack. Freudianism focus is on the individual level. Marxism focus is on supra – individual. Science Fiction focuses on the sub individual

DELUZE and GUTTARI totally leave out the individual level and work with a single realm of desiring production. Much like the abolition of State government would increase federal and local government through placing responsibility on the individual within the commonwealth to regulate their own desire.

Never trust a triangle. Dualism’s and paradigms are bad enough. The most useful form of desiring production is by accelerating a multiplicity of possibilities that crack open both society and the individuals desire to repress themselves and others.
Freud elaborated a method of restricting, regulating desire within the family unit. The Oedipal complex is a triangular family structure which psychoanalysis reinforces within its interpretation of the subject. The Oedipal triangle is a rivalry and is set up in the family in a way in which one part plays against the two-thirds. Through Jealousy or fear.

The Oedipus complex replays itself in all types of social relations. At work, whether through fraternal office rivalries or the authoritative imperatives of the big boss. Many other examples are possible. The triangulation of desire exists in all types of rivalries. Another embodiment is where one part of the triangle can know the Oedipal structure and play against the other two parts for the greater good of all three. Guilt - law.

Knowledge of Oedipalisation and how to Oedopolize is first learnt in the family and is reproduced during different situations in social life. Take the duality between Psychoanalysis and institutions. An orphan or the child of a single parent has historically suffered the stigma of bastardisation. This reinforces pre existing methods of desiring production rather than breaking them by always reconstituting the subject within the family as being a part of the society of the family that is the dominant cultural code.

The production and reading of cultural code and cultural capital. The impositions of the dominant cultural codes are prostheticaly imposed on the individual during early childhood. Things like nursery rhymes, times tables, playgrounds etc. all introduce the child to cultural codes and the different ways an individual accepts or rejects reading and manipulating them. Coupled with the child’s home life where they are learning the codes of the family unit the child forms ideas about the individual and about the limits to experience and the consequences of different actions and thoughts.

Imposing new codes of languages and social relations on Aboriginal people was not questioned because the capitalist process itself was used to effect these changes and was not brought into question itself. Technology is a process of machinic relations; an abstract machine of language operating within a specific regime of signs will describe art as a process of machinic relations. Capitalist technology is retroactively projected to become co-extensive with the fields of nature, history and society. Known afterwards as retrospective projection.

Capitalist technology is retroactively projected to become co-extensive with the fields of nature, history, and society. Further, explain the re-territorialization of geographic regional languages and social relations that were imposed on Aboriginal people through capitalist technology.

Cultural objects have always work as facilitators of desire. A weapon or tool is a physical extension of an embodied idea. The freeing of the hand was similar to the freeing of the face. The hand ad voice become separate from each other. The free hand allowed symbols to be modified and manipulated. Technologies became the substance of the content matter made by the hand.

The anthropomorphic strata

The voice could make a range of sounds which had a form imposed through the sequencing of sounds. Words became the expressive substance that could represent things.

A collective semiotic machine forms as the product of both hand and voice to construct a machined arrangement or a regime of signs. There are always different ways of controlling the flows, of machining them.
A semiotic machine and collective enunciation are examples of abstract machines withdrawn from an event. Not necessarily metaphysical or transcending the event


Capitalism reduces all social relations to universal equivalency (currency, gold). Capitalism itself was a universal equivalent.
Capitalism deterritorialises desire by over coding traditional roles, ideas and laws that limit and control existing social relations and productions. (E.g. kinship roles)

Capitalism deterritorialises the old class structures (religious, traditional, folk) and then reterritorialises them in the form of capital currency and value. Creating signs and semiotic chains reduced to the dominant cultural code of capital.
Capitalism deterritorialises schizophrenic fluxes, scraps of things like body parts machines and factories and constructs assemblages that are then re-territorialzed in a neurotic Oedipal triangle. Triangles leave no positive way of acting on desire and will always end up lost in an internal involution towards itself.


The assemblage and production of language is where the ideas of needs (of food warmth and nourishment) transform into language. Language is constructed in order to fill a lack created by the need for nourishment, warmth filling a void.
Desire will exist in the inability of language to express a need or want. We can never achieve what we desire as desire will be continually replaced, desire will always exist as long as there is a want or need. Desire is a flow, it cannot be blocked or stopped. Desire can be diverted internally through repression or flow externally through expression. We can sometimes choose which external stimuli we respond to and sometimes we cant. Positive desiring production is to be aware of the process, to watch what is happening, to engage with difference rather than negating it. Putting trust in ideological constructions alone can lead one into a false sense of security. A theo-retical (logical?) reliance on text rather than the spoken word will lead to assemblages favoring one aspect of the binary.

There is a proliferation in our language (possibly through the influence of advertising) of endless signifiers where lack is there only use value. The products lack a home, a family, or the home or family lacks a product, directly proportional to the liability the advertising company is legally bound to. Meaning advertising has no effect when they are selling petro-chemicals, alcohol or legal drugs yet to business and government who pay billions of dollars worldwide for advertisements they are priceless.

Some might think of the history of advertising as a tautology because the only way to discern between the two is be actively working in either of these
The reterritorialisation of geographic regions was a significant part of the confusion Aboriginal people faced when trying to continue living in their traditional cultural milieu. Pre-colonial Aboriginal boundaries were limited by the amount of members in the tribe. The persons who spoke a particular language rather than the colonial method of mapping geographic locations signified Territorial limits.

Imposing new codes of languages and social relations on Aboriginal people was not questioned because the capitalist process used to effect these changes was not brought into question itself. Technology is a process of machinic relations an abstract machine of language operating within a specific regime of signs will describe art as a process of machinic relations. Capitalist technology is retrospectively projected to become co-extensive with the fields of nature, history and society.

Aboriginal art deals with subjects that are timeless (compared to western conceptions of “time” and “history”.

The discourse of Aboriginal art and the other flows/discourses it intersects, reflects or generates, (Language, politics, ecology, familial relationships)
“ Art galleries serve the cultivated elite class, and this privilege is legitimized by claiming a distinction between good and vulgar taste, legitimate and illegitimate styles. Aesthetic judgements do not follow some kind of objective autonomous aesthetic logic, they substitute distinctions of taste for class distinctions and thereby fortify the divisions between classes and assert the right of the ruling class to sanction their authority over other classes.

Bourdier uses an economic metaphor to make his point.

“Cultural capital is the ability to read and understand cultural codes; but this ability, and hence cultural capital is not distributed equally amongst social classes”

The working classes have little cultural capital and systematically lose out in the battle for cultural power. When cultural capital is invested in the exercise of taste it yields both a high profit both for those that posses it and a “profit in legitimacy” which is the justification of the ruling class to be the ruling class.
A work of art has interest and meaning only for those who posses cultural capital and can read the codes into which it is encoded.

Also, look at aboriginal art in the sense that it is a smooth space that is reimparted by the striated discourse of western art and science.
The first interpretations of Aboriginal art (from the perspective of the non-Aboriginal) were when it was located with anthropological discourses. Anthropologists and archaeologists “discovered” Aboriginal rock carvings and paintings as well as noting descriptions on the insides of clothing or inside bark huts, artifacts and ceremonial body painting as a type of “primitive art”. These markings were not even regarded as a primitive form of art, signs/symbols, and language.

These early art forms were exhibited in museums as examples of traditional Aboriginality “broken remnants of a dead culture” they served no aesthetic purpose except to educate white people how technologically advanced they were. These reinforced ideas of what is the proper version of society and what is primitive gone forgotten a dark corner in the history of the mind.

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