endless wanderers in a conquered land. victors in a field of rubble and ruins. images of our selves on the screens. the victory is replayed daily, a continuous vision of our life as we live it in perfection. this is society: a video screen in the window playing back the images of mall hall wanderers, hoping to entice them with them selves. what is for sale here? what is it that you see in the window? the consumer is invited to consume his self. this is what we are left with, in a barren land after the nuclear war is won – starvation or cannibalism. a vast expanse or a sucking of our thumbs. this is how the world ends: hungry consumers, bloated with the empty sugary treats of entire societies picked clean, turn to consume them selves. a fusion, an implosion, a continual inclusion, a black hole of language, of hunger, of self.
this is what i want to ask all of you with camcorders and tripods recording your self eating on picnic tables: when will you watch the video? like the dumb stare of realization when you recognized your self in that mall television screen. like catching your self in the mirror. now what? an empty plate… fork in our left hand, knife in our right poised and ready we sit down to stare straight ahead to the camera and video images of our self. stupid animals stop stunned shocked and stare. frozen by our reflection. now the transfomation is complete. now we are the statues. now we are the shadows. catatonic viewers of a life once lived. when will you watch the video? when will you be so hungry with nothing left to eat? a great salesman makes you think you are ripping him off. when we fool death by replaying life, it is death that we become.
so now what? that’s pretty neat how you can stare at your self in a mirror but now what? are you going to examine your self forever? are you ever going to quit sucking your thumb?
now what? a room full of mirrors. a sky with moving stars that reflect back to us electrromagnetic signals we sent. we can wander and be watched.
i don’t take the interstate anymore. i don’t carry a camera. sometimes, i’ll admit, i look at the map. up along the coast there are lots of shops where women with scarves buy each other’s relics of them selves. men wear knit shirts and tow boats or listen to classic rock in their convertibles. there are parks with trails and downtowns with fudge and ice cream. it is all a movie screen, a giant theme.
but this is what i suggest… that we take on a physical offensive. that not only will we be satisfied not to read in between the lines. but satisfied not to read. that we cut through it all by treating it physically. but how can we see without reading. how can we look at words as patterns rather than symbols. how can we stop the chain reaction forced on us constantly through advertisement. by abandoning meaning. by refusing the strings of power with which media giants increase their glutonny. by a physical interpretation of the medium. by feeling braile without knowing its meaning. by removing brand names and authors and product images. by an open mind of perception of images. by treating the message as the medium – as its physical counterpart. someone scaled the sears tower the other day. this was an attack on its meaning, function and purpose. that is, it was approached with a fresh mind which saw it for what it was – a physical structure. and of course the guy that climbed it was instantly consumed by the media. and he was ready.. he already had his advertising sponsors paying him. his agent told him when to say that he would be doing no more interviews without being paid. he was immediately arrested charge with trespassing. the attack was turned into a media frenzy before it even began. he was immediately consumed as a symbol. the physical attack was turned into a media frenzy by giving it meaning.
“appearances, they, are immortal, invulnerable to the nihilism of meaning or of non-meaning itself…. This is where seduction begins.” (Baudrillard Simulacra and Simulation 164)
this is what we must demand, the right to a physical life without strings. this is how we must act and create. scale the symbols. a barrage of non-meaning. a tactile encounter. creation through discovery, journey, climbing and touching. a braille that we can not read but that we can touch. carry a chainsaw and a torch. cut down the billboards. this is the end of politics, the collapse of its self-consumptive and self-fulfilling promises and meanings. when children play in the fountains because they see it physically, not symbolically. the collpase of the dollar comes when we see it as a piece of paper. beyond belief, we do not even hear the empty threats, we can not even see our own fear, stunned in a mirror. i will swim in the blue. i will suck in the air and breathe it out. i will go forward beyond your petty symbols. i will go forward beyond tricks and mirrors. i will go forward beyond the limts of my self. i will go forward beyond…