Creating a new culture is not just a matter of individuals making “original” discoveries but also, and above all, of disseminating already discovered truths—of socializing them so to speak, and making them the basis of vital action and an element of coordination and intellectual and moral effort.
Antonio Gramsci. Cited in Lippard, Lucy. Overlay. New York: Pantheon, 1983. 1.
And–the map is closed, but the autonomous zone is open. Metaphorically it unfolds within the fractal dimensions invisible to the cartography of Control. And here we should introduce the concept of psychotopology (and -topography) as an alternative “science” to that of the State’s surveying and map-making and “psychic imperialism.” Only psychotopography can draw 1:1 maps of reality because only the human mind provides sufficient complexity to model the real. But a 1:1 map cannot “control” its territory because it is virtually identical with its territory. It can only be used to suggest, in a sense gesture towards, certain features. We are looking for “spaces” (geographic, social, cultural, imaginal) with potential to flower as autonomous zones–and we are looking for times in which these spaces are relatively open, either through neglect on the part of the State or because they have somehow escaped notice by the mapmakers, or for whatever reason. Psychotopology is the art of dowsing for potential TAZs.
Hakim Bey. T.A.Z. The Temporary Autonomous Zone, Ontological Anarchy, Poetic Terrorism. Brooklyn, NY: Autonomedia. 1985.
I am proposing the feminization of society; the use of feminine nature as a positive force to change the world. We can change ourselves with feminine intelligence and awareness, into a basically organic, noncompetitive society that is based on love, rather than reasoning. The result will be a society of balance, peace and contentment. We can evolve rather than revolt, come together, rather than claim independence, and feel rather than think. These are characteristics that are considered feminine; characteristics that men despise in women. But have men really done so well by avoiding the development of these characteristics within themselves?
Already, as I catch a glimpse of the new world, I see feminine wisdom working as a positive force. I refer to the feminine wisdom and awareness which is based on reality, intuition and empirical thinking, rather than logistics and ideologies. The entire youth generation, their idiom and their dreams, are headed in a feminine direction. A more advanced field of communication, such as telepathy, is also a phenomenon which can only be developed in a highly feminine climate. The problem is that feminine tendency in the society has never been given a chance to blossom, whereas masculine tendency overwhelms it.
It’s good to start now, since it’s never too late to start from the start.
Ono, Yoko. “The Femininization of Society.” Sundance Magazine, May 1972.
“Reading,” he says, “is always this: there is a thing that is there, a thing made of writing, a solid, material object, which cannot be changed, and through this thing we measure ourselves against something else that is not present, something else that belongs to the immaterial, invisible world, because it can only be thought, imagined, or because it was once and is no longer, past, lost, unattainable, in the land of the dead….”
“Or that is not present because it does not yet exist, something desired, feared, possible or impossible,” Ludmilla says. “Reading is going toward something that is about to be, and no one yet knows what it will be….”
Calvino, Italo. If On A Winter’s Night A Traveler. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1982. 72.
Right here you have it: Is man in control of nature or is he, as part of it, going along with it? To be perfectly honest with you, let me say I find nature far more interesting than any of man’s controls of nature. This does not imply that I dislike humanity. I think that people are wonderful,
and I think this because there are instances of people changing their minds. (I refer to individuals and to myself.)
Not all of our past, but the parts of it we are taught, lead us to believe that we are in the driver’s seat. With respect to nature. And that if we are not, life is meaningless. Well, the grand thing about the human mind is that it can turn its own tables and see meaninglessness as ultimate meaning. I have therefore made a lecture in the course of which, by various means, meaning is not easy to come by even though lucidity has been my constant will-of-the-wisp. I have permitted myself to do this not out of disdain of you who are present. But out of regard for the way in which I understand nature operates. This view makes us all equals…. Here we are. Let us say Yes to our presence together in Chaos.
Cage, John. Silence: Lectures and Writings. Cambridge, MA: M.I.T. Press, 1967.
But the king said, “Theuth, my master of arts, to one man it is given to create the elements of an art, to another to judge the extent of harm and usefulness it will have for those who are going to employ it. And now, since you are father of written letters, your paternal goodwill has led you to pronounce the very opposite of what is their real power. The fact is that this invention will produce forgetfulness in the souls of those who have learned it because they will not need to exercise their memories, being able to rely on what is written, using the stimulus of external marks that are alien to themselves rather than, from within, their own unaided powers to call things to mind. So it’s not a remedy for memory, but for reminding, that you have discovered. And as for wisdom, you’re equipping your pupils with only a semblance of it, not with truth. Thanks to you and your invention, your pupils will be widely read without benefit of a teacher’s instruction; in consequence, they’ll entertain the delusion that they have wide knowledge, while they are, in fact, for the most part incapable of real judgment. They will also be difficult to get on with since they will be men filled with the conceit of wisdom, not men of wisdom. (274e-275b)
Plato, Phaedrus. in Jacques Derrida. Dissemination. Barbara Johnson, trans. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1981.
People are always saying that the East is the East and the West is the West and you have to keep from mixing them up. When I first began to study Oriental philosophy, I also worried about whether it was mine to study. I don’t worry any more about that. At Darmstadt I was talking about the reason back of pulverisation and fragmentation: for instance, using syllables instead of words in a vocal text, letters instead of syllables. I said, “We take things apart in order that they may become the Buddha. And if that seems too Oriental an idea for you,” I said, “Remember the early Christian Gnostic statement, ‘Split the stick and there is Jesus.’”
Cage, John. A Year from Monday. Middleton, Connecticut: Wesleyan University Press, 1967. 136.
Teaching, too, is no longer transmission of a body of useful information, but’s conversation, alone, together, whether in a place appointed or not in that place, whether with those concerned or those unaware of what is being said. We talk, moving from one idea to another as though we were hunters.
Cage, John. A Year from Monday. Middleton, Connecticut: Wesleyan University Press, 1967. 21.