when nothing is in its place, lies disorder
where in the desired place there is nothing, lies order.
(brecht qtd. in baudrillard. simulacra and simulation 155)
what is beyond a.c.? what is beyond l.a.? what is beyond our ability to design? (forgive me, for i am twenty-five and just now catching up to the modern era.) what is beyond our body? what is beyond death? is not our life a life after death? is not what we inhabit beyond the physical? it was not a coincidence that l.a. was the last city for the west to inhabit. (new york, chicago, i am clinging to the last reality of modernism. the reality not yet achieved. the difference between design and reality.) l.a. is a reality designed. an oasis in the desert that i have never been to; which i never need to go to because now i live beyond l.a. right here in my own perfect reality. a series of utopias connected. what is beyond utopia? what is this life i live now? is this a new question? or have we been in the same predicament since we realized we could alter reality. take shelter from the rain? build shelter from the rain. the apocalypse is past. armageddon happened. we are in the new millennium. a new heaven and earth. one that we can pass our hand through. walk through walls. what can i claim as my own? what can i claim as real? what is beyond my control? how much longer? (and there are children starving within a few blocks) there are thousands of choices… every one is my design. every one is your design. and these designs are what manifest…. an uneven division. the ascension was only for a few. utopia is not for everyone. utopia excludes. only a few go to heaven. what is beyond god? now we are god… an unconscious god – hardly. we are semiconscious gods. surrounded by our gluttony. unable to realize the consequences of our most minute decision. we are blind gods equipped with a mirror. we live a life beyond death. we never meant to attain…
this is how the west was won. by parcelling it out. by division. by grids and maps and deeds. by ownership. subjection through objectification. modernism was a breech. the realization of our own present. the realization of our own desire. the ascension to self-consciousness attained. utopia achieved. the west conquered. la is the last city. if you can call la a city. la is a mirage. a city of angels and twinkling lights viewed from above. la is beyond compression, beyond urban, beyond ascension. the last city fading. la is the link between city and non-city. between urban place and non-place urban realm. between history and eternity. between reality and design. la is beyond utopia. la is disappearance. we cling to reality. we hold on to it as we know it is slipping. it is already gone. rome, venice, barcelona, paris, new york, chicago… these are the cities of the past. they exist only as caricatures of themselves. they continually relive a reality they once had. they are historical revisionist. they are preservationist. they have mayors that like wrought iron fences. disneyfication isn’t the evil here. disnefication is inevitable. disneyfication is the direct result of reality lost. of our absolute control. the only reality we have now is reality preserved. canned reality. as matt martin suggested last night, reality is a commodity. something to be marketed, bought and sold. something which we attempt to preserve in order to preserve a reality. even if it is not our own; we somehow feel that by preserving the innocent tribe in a bubble we have preserved a reality. we preserve naivety and innocence. we preserve factories and the L and the canals and the skyscrapers and nature. we preserve difference. we preserve the void. and now that we have cut the cord. we float free without bodies. we circulate without cities. we inhabit non-space. we exist in a realm beyond belief. there are still people inhabiting earth, the excluded wandering the realm of exclusion, and i can walk amongst them if i so choose. and this choice means i can never be real.
“if it is nihilistic to be obsessed by the mode of disappearance, and no longer by the mode of production, then i am a nihilist.” (baudrillard, simulacra and simulation, 162)