“Since art is dead, it has evidently become extremely easy to disguise cops as artists.” Debord
That avantgardism has long been amortised to the socalled Culture Industry in no way detracts from its efficiency as a disguise for art capitalism’s dark operators: reactionary elements within the field of self-professed “political art” whose role is that of infiltrator, chaos agent, provocateur.
It is ridiculous to define the revolutionary in art by that which has failed at revolution simply to become an accessory of art capitalism. Just as Capitalism isn’t ONE, so too the term “avantgarde” isn’t a rigid designator. There is no fixed order, no slide-rule. If the avantgarde exists, it does so in a dimension that has failed – on the ideological plane – to be foreclosed.
As Wark & others have shown, it is ridiculous to speak of Capitalism – or in a high academic tone of Late Capitalism – as if it were a reification of all temporal relations: as if Capitalism, transcending time itself, were to name every possible relation to a future.
Traversed by its own internal contradictions, Capitalism is nothing if not evolutionary. Yet it deceives by positing the terms of its critique as unchanged & unchanging: historical artefacts of a revolutionary critique confined to Museums of Modern Art & their propaganda fronts.
The paradox of the avantgarde-as-commodity is that it exists in order to profit by discrediting itself. Its agents inhabit the radical fringes, hyping an economy of “pure principles” designed to subvert the evolutionary, the experimental, the possible – & in order to trumpet the reactionary products of this subversion as the true measure of art.
We know who they are.