SHIELDS AGAINST THE ENEMY
CRITERION GALLERY, Hobart
12 May - 11 June 2011
Information pours upon us, instantaneously and continuously. As soon as information is acquired, it is very rapidly replaced by still newer information. Our electrically-configured world has forced us to move from the habit of data classification to the mode of pattern recognition. We can no longer build serially, block-by-block, step-by-step, because instant communication insures that all factors of the environment and of experience co-exist in a state of active interplay. 1
We live in a relationship with the world that is mediated by competitive forces. It is a marriage of lust and violence, woven into a mythic narrative about ourselves in which we figure as hero, saviour and inheritor of a blessed heritage. We are possessed of a most potent salve of self-forgiveness and a scathing tongue of recrimination. We are the adepti at the Church of Lesser Evils.
I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. As a result of the war, corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed. 2
Throughout history we have sublimated our transgressions against the other. In turn, we have accreted in vast storehouses the memory of transgressions committed against us. We hold the potential energy of these forces in check with the feathery weight of our self-restraint.
All gods are homemade, and it is we who pull their strings, and so, give them the power to pull ours. 3
We promote that which we despise and cast down that which we hold dear.
Soon I discovered that this rock thing was true… Jerry Lee Lewis was the devil and Jesus was an architect previous to his career as a prophet. 4
We are the chosen elite, the custodians and overlords of planet Earth. We are the self appointed arbiters of morality and profanity, and we enforce our dictates through elaborate and pervasive systems of technology. We are the architects of poverty, the engineers of exclusion. Billions stand behind us.
We are the enemy, and we are on drugs. 5
1. Marshall McLuhan, The Medium is the Massage (1967, p. 63).
2. Abraham Lincoln in a letter to (Col.) William F. Elkins, Nov. 21, 1864.
3. Aldous Huxley
4. Jesus Built My Hotrod, Ministry, 1991
5. Enemy, Scars on Broadway, 2008