EXPERIMENT AS RESISTANCE

“The Pillman radiant wasn’t my first discovery, it wasn’t important, and, strictly speaking, it wasn’t a discovery” / Arkady Strugatsky, Roadside Picnic

Experimenters resist in their zones by not seeking knowledge, but confusion. They know resistance is as futile as any attack. They want to keep speculating, independently of the relevance or the practical use of their investigations. Experiments produce no results, but anti-results. An anti-result is an unstable, evanescent environment which excludes all previous paradigms without defining a new one. Away from “the logic of speculation” itself. Just trying again, failing better. Unconditionally obfuscating. “For LiPuma,” writes Achim Szepanski, “the logic of [financial] speculation is three-dimensional. The first dimension concerns the social ontology within which each instance occupies a place given by the totality. Second, this logic shows that the agents can identify a risk position. The uncertainty is transformed into a risk, and at the same time the worldly sources of risk are identified, which aggregates various risks.”[1] Proper experiments generate further uncertainty, they continuously define one fugacious speculation zone after another preventing the possibility of calculating risk. Experimenters love uncertainty, the incalculable space, the outside. They carefully destroy each of the thee dimensions by engulfing their action zones in a blind blank space: social ontology is excluded, risk cannot be identified, uncertainty occupies all the space. “Rather than a special class of object, art became a special class of information”—writes McKenzie Wark in Alienist IV—“Art is a derivative, a financial instrument. The art object is the repository of the sum total of all information about it. The artwork is merely the receipt for its own resonance as information.”[2] Following its way to dematerialization—from artwork to concept to performance to information— experimental art becomes un-art (unlike the anti-art of the historical avant garde), ungraspability itself, the unreadable map of its own occultation, the programmed impossibility of being turned into information: it’s un-formation, meta-metamorphosis, an entropic orgy hiding in plain sight with the mobile camouflage of the indeterminate fakeness of fakes. Let a thousand weak myths bloom and go immediately extinct! The experimental goes beyond concept, performance or information: It might be the blackness of a black hole resisting its own resonance as information. The resistance to sound, to light, to form… so black we couldn’t even decide—much less calculate—if it’s there there or not, if it will ever be, but still entangled with the world.

 

[1] Achim Szepanski, “The Speculative Capital (3),” Onscenes (4/10/2019)

[2] McKenzie Wark, “Late Holocene Style,” Alienist IV (2018): 14-19

 

GERMÁN SIERRA

 

*Published in ALIENIST V (Resistance & Experiment) (2019)

 

! Alienist 5 cover spread SMALL

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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