Fluxion Art Journal Issue 4 - page 12-13

issue 4
issue 4
“When the people fear their government, there is tyranny;
when the government fears the people, there is liberty.”
—Thomas Jefferson
You are the answer
—Marshall McLuhan
The concept of TAZ was first
put into practice on a large
Society[The Cacophony Society is
“a randomly gathered network
of free spirits united in the pur-
suit of experiences beyond the
pale of mainstream society.”
in what they called Trips to the Zone,
or Zone Trips. One of their Zone Trips
gave birth to Black Rock City, AKA the
Burning Man Festival
culture jamming outgrowth of the
Dada movement, and the Situation-
ists. One of its central concepts is
the Trip to the Zone, or Zone Trip,
inspired by the Temporary Autono-
mous Zone.
According to self-designated
members of the Society, “you may
already be a member.” The anarchic
nature of the Society means that
membership is left open-ended
and anyone may sponsor an event,
though not every idea pitched
garners attendance by members.
Cacophony events often involve cos-
tumes and pranks in public places
and sometimes going into places
that are generally off limits to the
The “map” is a political abstract grid
The alchemical view of the New World
associated it with materia prima or
hyle, the “state of Nature,” innocence
and all-possibility (“Virgin-ia”), a chaos
or inchoateness which the adept would
transmute into “gold,” that is, into
spiritual perfection as well as material
abundance. But this alchemical vision is
also informed in part by an actual fas-
cination with the inchoate, a sneaking
sympathy for it, a feeling of yearning
for its formless form which took the
symbol of the “Indian” for its focus:
“Man” in the state of nature, uncor-
rupted by “government.” Caliban, the
Wild Man, is lodged like a virus in the
very machine of Occult Imperialism;
the forest/animal/humans are invested
from the very start with the magic
power of the marginal, despised and
The TAZ involves a kind of ferality, a
growth from tameness to wild(er)ness,
a “return” which is also a step forward.
It also demands a “yoga” of chaos, a
project of “higher” orderings (of con-
sciousness or simply of life) which are
approached by “surfing the wave-front
of chaos,” of complex dynamism. The
TAZ is an art of life in continual rising
up, wild but gentle--a seducer not a
rapist, a smuggler rather than a bloody
pirate, a dancer not an eschatologist.
cal tactic will emerge under certain
conditions: Psychological liberation.
That is, we must realize (make real) the
moments and spaces in which freedom
is not only possible but actual.
—Hakim Bey
from the historical development I call “the closure
of the map.” The last bit of Earth unclaimed by any
nation-state was eaten up in 1899. Ours is the first cen-
tury without terra incognita, without a frontier. Nation-
ality is the highest principle of world governance--not
one speck of rock in the South Seas can be left open,
not one remote valley, not even the Moon and planets.
This is the apotheosis of “territorial gangsterism.” Not
the map is closed, but the autonomous zone is open
one square inch of Earth goes unpoliced or untaxed...
in theory. The “map” is a political abstract grid, Within
the fractal complexities of actual geography the map
can see only dimensional grids. Hidden enfolded im-
mensities escape the measuring rod. The map is not
accurate; the map cannot be accurate.
So—Revolution is closed, but insurgency is open. For
the time being we concentrate our force on temporary
“power surges,” avoiding all entanglements with “per-
manent solutions.”
HOW IS IT THAT “the world turned
upside-down” always manages
to Right itself? Why does reaction
always follow revolution, like seasons
in Hell?
Uprising, or the Latin form insurrec-
tion, are words used by historians to
label failed revolutions--movements
which do not match the expected
curve, the consensus-approved tra-
jectory: revolution, reaction, betrayal,
the founding of a stronger and even
more oppressive State--the turning of
the wheel, the return of history again
and again to its highest form: jack-
boot on the face of humanity forever.
By failing to follow this curve, the
up-rising suggests the possibility of
a movement outside and beyond the
Hegelian spiral of that “progress”
which is secretly nothing more than a
vicious circle. Surgo--rise up, surge.
Insurgo--rise up, raise oneself up.
A bootstrap operation. A goodbye
to that wretched parody of the
karmic round, historical revolution-
ary futility. The slogan “Revolution!”
has mutated from tocsin to toxin, a
malign pseudo-Gnostic fate-trap, a
nightmare where no matter how we
struggle we never escape that evil
Aeon, that incubus the State, one
State after another, every “heaven”
ruled by yet one more evil angel.
If History IS “Time,” as it claims to
be, then the uprising is a moment
that springs up and out of Time,
violates the “law” of History. If the
State IS History, as it claims to be,
then the insurrection is the forbid-
den moment, an unforgivable denial
of the dialectic--shimmying up the
pole and out of the smokehole, a
shaman’s maneuver carried out at an
“impossible angle” to the universe.
History says the Revolution attains
“permanence,” or at least duration,
while the uprising is “temporary.” In
this sense an uprising is like a “peak
experience” as opposed to the stan-
dard of “ordinary” consciousness and
experience. Like festivals, uprisings
cannot happen every day--otherwise
they would not be “nonordinary.” But
such moments of intensity give shape
and meaning to the entirety of a life.
The shaman returns--you can’t stay
up on the roof forever-- but things
have changed, shifts and integrations
have occurred--a difference is made.
You will argue that this is a counsel of
despair. What of the anarchist dream,
the Stateless state, the Commune,
the autonomous zone with duration,
a free society, a free culture? Are we
to abandon that hope in return for
some existentialist acte gratuit? The
point is not to change consciousness
but to change the world.
I accept this as a fair criticism. I’d
make two rejoinders nevertheless;
first, revolution has never yet resulted
in achieving this dream. The vision
comes to life in the moment of
uprising--but as soon as “the Revolu-
tion” triumphs and the State returns,
the dream and the ideal are already
re not touting
TAZ as an
lusive end in itself,
acing all other forms
rganization, tactics,
goals. We recommend
cause it can provide
quality of enhance-
t associated with the
ising without necessarily
ing to violence and
tyrdom. The TAZ is like
prising which does not
age directly with the
e, a guerilla operation
ch liberates an area (of
, of time, of imagina-
) and then dissolves
lf to re-form elsewhere/
when, before the State
crush it. Because the
e is concerned primar-
ith Simulation rather
substance, the TAZ
“occupy” these areas
destinely and carry on
estal purposes for quite
ile in relative peace.
aps certain small
s have lasted whole
imes because they
t unnoticed, like hillbilly
laves--because they
er intersected with the
ctacle, never appeared
ide that real life which
visible to the agents of
Pearl Andrews
was right: the dinner arty
is alr ady “the seed
of th new society
aking shape
withi th hell of the old”
The sixtie -style tribal
gath ring,” the forest con-
clave of eco-saboteurs, the
idyllic B ltane
of th o-pagans,
an rchist confer nces,
gay f ery circl s...Harlem
rent parti s of th twe ti s,
nightclubs, banquets,
old-time libertarian picnics
—we should realize that all
thes are already
“liberated zones” of a sort,
or at least potential TAZs.
Whether open only to a
few friends, like a dinner
party, or to thousands f
celebr ts, like B -In,
the party is always “open”
because it is not “ordered”;
it may be planned, but
unless it “
happ s” it’s a failur .
The element of pontan ity
is crucial.
T e ess ce of the par y:
a group of humans
synergize their fforts
to realiz mutual desires,
w ther f r good food
and cheer, dance,
conversation, the arts of
life; perhaps even for
e otic pleasur , or to creat
communal artwork,
r to attain the v ry ransport
of bliss-- in short, a
“union of eg ists”
(as S ir er put it) in its sim-
plest form--or else,
in Kropotkin’s te ms,
a basic biological dr ve
to “mutual aid.”
issue 4
section 1
1,2-3,4-5,6-7,8-9,10-11 14-15,16-17,18-19,20-21,22-23,24-25,26-27,28-29,30-31,32-33,...236
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