velocidadcrítica magazine, nº 40, October 2002. Monterrey (Mexico)
What does art do in the world? It does not arrive directly to the "big world" to begin with, but to a close environment (I could almost say affective), to a habitat. It grows half way between what is assumed and what is intended, between purpose and deposit. Afterwards, by means of a selection process, it can spread to other fields.
In the same way some authors do, I imagine art beings behaving -inhabiting- as living creatures: both existing with their own conservation as the final goal, trying to continue on working as long as it's possible. A living creature is sensitive, and therefore aesthetic (aísthesis: sensation). Artwork, in spite of being congenitally artificial, of being a device, does not survive as it is only by permanence, but by being open and allowing new exchanges. Not in vain the artistic event is an act of creation caused by another act of creation. And so on.
In order to consider an event as art, we need it to be inside a context that allows that sense. Formerly, art existed without distinction from other activities that evolved in this part of the world, until they became different one from another. As a fragile species, if we take art out from discourses that support it, it wipes out and turns into something else. Therefore, artistic event depends on the places where it happens or bursts in, the media through which is transmited or infected, the people it lives with. It depends on, it feeds from their tissues, is a parasite. It is a presence aimed to be installed in the little fractures of instability, of sickness (in-firmus: not firm, the body without strength or health). Of course, no art has ever occupied main or prominent places, those territories are the land of power. But such places have been covered by art, which adapts itself to the gaps and searchs for corners. As inhabitant of a carrier, both share weakness or strenght. Symbiosis as survival strategy.
The activities that society considers art, just like contagious deseases, favour their confinement -but never their elimination- in monographic halls where they can be attended, creating a world for their own on the edge of the active and healthy world. When we lock in the stigmatized, we reassert our symbolic conviction about social order, allowing only certain doses of heterodoxy, of insanity, of art, of AIDS. Let's not fool ourselves, "marginal" art, "non-conformist" art and "anti-establishment" are a species' adaptation impulses. The parasite-carrier can suffer changes, admit them, and even promote them: vaccines contain antigen, either diminished or dead. If we imagine the death of the carrier, we must also imagine the death of the parasite.
What is left in each artistic event, is to look for its vitality degree (aísthesis, aesthetics) and its attenuation or death degree in order to become vaccine (anaisthesía, anesthesic). In our own image, living is to die slowly and death is consummation of life.
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