ART BABEL

A project constructed for the TAZ group exhibition at MOCA North Miami, curated by Richard Haden and Cristy Almaida. The mission of ART BABEL: With the help of museum visitors, construct a tower tall enough to reach the ceiling of the museum, because the ceiling is heaven and we are challenging god.
What is “Art Babel”

Excerpts From: The Book of Art Babel

What is “Art Babel”

We begin at my facetious habit of punmenship and placing “Art” at the beginning of titles. Many of my projects, which are of no importance to anyone, parody the way fine art seems to deliberately exist in it’s own parallel dimension, apart from the rest of human experience. I didn’t go to school. I went to Art School, for example. And from there I re-imagine other socially significant institutions under the same tautological joke/misfire/humor. Art school, art hospital. Art {Police. Art Army, Art Museum, Art Speak, Artist Talk, Art Person, Artist, Art-ish. In this piece, The immediate Pun of Art Babel, without any real intention, is Art Basel. A tiresome art dystopia of hype and estranged voices drowning each other out. It’s not hard to make a conceptual statement between the story of Babel and the ever growing series of fairs in Miami, where people come from all parts of the first world, speaking all languages—for art. Art is either a universal language, like a solution for the construction of utopias, or,

 

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–Maybe I don’t know who I am, what I want, and as such, I don’t know how to surround myself with a community of people. When I look at them, all I see is my own emptiness, In this ghostly state of being, I do my best to live along side the humans by writing in detail of memories, and dreams. Far away places, and maybe they are nowhere. In an honest, realistic sense, this exhibition really allows me to dream, and mostly I think I’ve been dreaming about getting to know other people. A year and a half went by and the art community still appears like shadows to me, total strangers. Mysteries on two legs. Everyone is nice enough, but without dreams one has nothing to say. Language, poetry, the struggle to remember what we love, the struggle to recognize what we see. There is a way to love being alive, there is a way out of this place, it is upwards, and inwards of all places.

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It is a question that could either provoke a series of flashbacks of dreams and pleasant valleys, loved one’s, whatever the hell, or perhaps just leave on with the idle blankness that their life has become. And if you are the latter, one of the people who has forgotten who they are, or why they bother rising from bed like a bridal ghost each morning, then I am here—I have not forgotten. At least not yet. What do I most desire? Something like a world of dreams, something malleable, wondrous I want to build a tower, I want to substitute the collective fantasy of this banal, soul destroying consumer world. Yet my dream is to build a new one, my own utopia. This description actually only serves to glaze over the finer details of who I am. And I can detect in myself how these thoughts occur in cycles, like gears turning. I want to build a fantasy world, I want to build my imaginary dream, I want a tower to explore, I want the cosmic light—And these mantras resemble the utterances of an automaton, a machine without its ghost. I don’t know why I want to build a tower, I don’t know why I want a magical paradise. And these fair goers, spread flatly across the earth in tents, in pretty dresses and polished suits, plastic skin, these are damned people. With voices that don’t travel even when they manage to think. But Art Babel is not about Art Basel, it’s not about any of the shitty tourists and entitled yuppies I’ve met in Miami, and it’s even not about how funny it is to ascribe “Art” to any and all structures as a pseudo-meaningful pre-fix. We may say that Art Babel explores a failure to communicate, particularly on the level of poetics. For instance, as Hakim Bey has asked people to do, look in the mirror, and ask yourself, what are my greatest desires?

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I need guitar strings. I need a cape. This leads us to something important, that is, the necessity of delusion. I am Don Quixote, I am the Little Prince, I am a wolf of the steppes, I hang my dreams like doorways along the halls of the magic theatre. In a post rational world, one is not wrong to pretend any title or dawn any costume. If you wake up one day and are bored, then dress for the occasion. It occurred to me that when we manage to listen to ourselves think, many of our thoughts—or mine at least—are narcissistic fantasies. Who are we but fantasies of separation. Consider the project to be the residue of a passive nihilist’s psychological retreat into numbness.

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You could spend every moment of the day asking, how do I feel right now, how do I feel, where is my remote discomfort, am I hungry tired, or am I simply bothered that I don’t feel complete elation like I did after the first cup off coffee?

 

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I feel like a gap in the world, a pot hole in people’s lives, Late to wake, late to slumber, but always dreaming, the idiot drivers honk at. The Library of Art Babel Founded in the year of our Butt-hurt lord, 2015, when it was ripped from a concrete wall of a gallery’s storage space.

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Another important aspect of Art Babel is it’s self mocking critique of social practice and relational aesthetics, which are purported to evoke temporary autonomous zones. How many times have you seen the social art project where the public is free to paint whatever bullshit they think is pretty on the same canvas or mural wall? The collective voice of people is novel, but usually produces tasteless shit—which is about is good as shit can taste—because the masses are tasteless and uneducated. They don’t know how to work together because they are more preoccupied with individual goals, something highly symptomatic of a capitalistic society. It takes the commanding voice of a single vision, a single figure, to lead. The dreams and actions of citizens may rise from the chaos and illusions of life as a pretend game of monopoly. Like ants following chemical trails into a brighter tomorrow. Each day given to humanity, and humanity given in return. Imagine, my friends, a life that builds towards something. Of course, not all social practice relates to inviting multiple people into a conventionally solitary creative practice. But “art” in pursuit of a social utopia is funny in it’s own particular way, mostly because the only world that “art” sets out to rectify or change is the “art” world.

 

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I’ve been rearranging these blocks and semi arching beams for two days, just trying to decide which arrangement is the most beautiful, but I think its time I get out the wood glue. It’s time the changes end, the semantics of holes in lumber. –I could have the shelf fold upwards into place from the back or the front of the chair, but I can’t choose. I miss my mom.

 

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-Endlessly

I believe there must be a way out from this hellish place.

There is a passage, an expanse of blue light Into nothingness all around us Help me

 

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So I’m probably going. In art gallery’s, in rooms, heaven is called the ceiling. In Spanish heaven is called “el cielo” If we make it to the ceiling then we can get to heaven. I told Alan Waffles my art is worth three thousand dollars. I’m so poor. My mom is so poor. I don’t know how to help her. I’m watching Billy Madison and slowly remembering how to love again.

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Dear Light at the center of all things The center of all things The center of all things The center of all things The center of all things Next Page All the way. Carve through the fixtures of this holy white sky I will be the scythe that tears through the light

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I should make a differential gear and use it to build a windmill turbine contraption. If you were an animal, I would scratch you. SIX, SEVEN Get-To-Heaven

 

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I am different from Hakim Bey, at least from my cursory understanding of his work, in regards to my attitude towards technology. He defines technology as a crock of shit, to paraphrase. Conversely, I think it’s swell. But our opposing views stem from slightly skewed values. Hakim Bey values happiness, that solitary and often swept-under-the-rug life altering part of us. And being that technology can lead to its own kind unhappy loneliness, Wilson dismisses it. But I don’t care for happiness. In fact, the comforts and happinesses that Wilson values over new technology are the same comforts that new technology caters to.

This statement may seem like a blatant contradiction, but that is my point: Hakim Bey doesn’t actually understand his own desires. Commercialized technology can stupefy and distract masses of people into complacent lives. Hence, one could conceive of an ant-like fascist utopia where technology is not wasted on monetary gain and competitive branding, where people do not choose individual comforts and false, transient joy, and instead suffer for a unified vision. The vision to discover, learn, and explore the universe.

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Thoreau would look at Peter Lamborn Wilson and wonder when the old man would finally be dead and gone. Thoreau did not care for the obsolete ideas of the past, and in hindsight also dismissed himself, something that also occurs with more self awareness among the futurists in the early 20th century. People who hope for a better world are in a sense asking for historical death, for themselves and everything around them. Regardless, Wilson’s intellectual contraption of ideas are only built upon the rationalization of his disturbed pathology toward living in a society that permits him to touch little boys. He looks himself in the mirror, and asks, what do you truly desire? And he, like any other pseudo-liberal, follows the will to power. We assume to our own benefit, that our desires are universal, and that they are justified by their existence alone. But no one needs to be happy. In fact, many of us need to suffer.

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I am the evil King Dowell Rod, and upon my tower I shall build a windmill, so that god’s mighty wind might serve to power our unholy city rather than blow it into the rubble of obscure history. Tomorrow I shall build 50 more arches for my city, and cut 100 more dowels to size. Nimrod, 2200 BC – 2000 BC The Hunter of Men’s Souls. The people followed the great plan he had orchestrated. A magical fascist wanted to go where all the dead people go, but did not want to die. He was the first king to wear a crown to signify his greatness. He once said that Courage is Happiness. Courage is a tower too high for god to flood Join or Die It was made very quickly and took a very long time. I look into the mirror and I have so much To say that I am damned Faith splinters, like words, and you may bleed And God is a found object What to do with Cedar I didn’t come here to drown in a glaciers corpse I came here to save you. The angels are not coming I am here to save you from shallow yuppies, flopping like half evolved fish on lines of pavement, egg’s yolk steamed by a wet sun.

 

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What do I think right now. I dreamt I was in Toronto, helping Miles wax his invisible car. I kept stepping in puddles. I couldn’t wash the car without seeing it, and Miles explained that he could see it by hearing the sound waves bouncing from the surface, he made wild hand gestures and noises to depict an auditory landscape.

What is the TAZ? I write from a far away place. Internal and remote. I am tethered, floating into the caverns of space. I surrender For the greater good. The self is a city The mind is a keep, the imagination is utopia I have often come to this moment in my dreams.

Remember the Flood

Remember the flood. I pity people who do not understand one another. To loosely appropriate an Einstein quote in circulation:

A fish who was a bird in a past life begins destiny by climbing a tree. The people around, they see a fish trying to climb a tree, and so they hate him for it. And then he stops breathing and died—because the fish is an asthmatic.

Follow me in Real Life.
Add Me into a dream sequence.
Become a gap in the world, a pot hole in people’s lives,
Late to wake, late to slumber, but always dreaming,
The idiot drivers honk at, If I am not your friend
then I am the water

If I am not the ship than I am the flood