How to Destroy Cultural Machine? Print
Written by Darius Pocevičius   
Tuesday, 09 December 2008 17:38

What we can do in the shadow of overwhelming hegemonic culture?      

1. Not to collaborate with the official cultural institutions.  All the cultural institutions (national or public, academic or avant-garde – all of them are set in authority and strictly regulates all the process of cultural production. The institutions are rising the demands for competence, morality, political reliability from individuals and so kills free creation processes. Culture should be deinstitutionalized, the process of cultural creation  - autonomous, without institutional “support”.   


2. Not to establish official organizations and not to pertain to already established ones. As Michel Foucault stated once, the individual is mould not by psychology, personal taste or habits, but by contemporary cultural discourse. Individual becomes understandable and inoffensive as soon others “decipher” him according to the mentioned discourses and put him into the right place of social system.  The individual is decoded, all the discursive skins are pealed out from him, he is identified from socio-cultural position and finally becomes naked and week. So one should become absolutely unidentified, i.e. “intransparent” - unreadable, unconceivable, and inappreciable. One shouldn’t become neither “artist”, nor “intellectual”, nor “philosopher”, nor “avant-gardist”, nor “right-winger”, nor “beetroot”. This is the condition to preserve ability to manoeuvre inside the steady and inert system. So, the answer to the question “Who you are? Whom belong you for?” I would give an answer: “I’m shlebon”.


      3. Not to prostitute. There is no any antagonism between official and unofficial culture now remaining. Absolute majority of the cultural producers are double or triple agents simultaneously serving for several bosses – to the market, state and to their own ego. The creators of “serious culture” – artists, writers, stage and film directors, and critics – all they since long time ago are prostituting themselves to the state or the capital. So called representants of counterculture instead of rebelling, denunciating and opposing are just establishing new kinds of official culture. Not to prostitute means to fight against the collaboration, not to seek for fame or salary, and – that is important – in advance of execution whatever cultural project one should detect what for the political force the project is intended to serve for. 

. To create oral culture for action. All the contemporary culture is textocentrist and whatever cultural iniciative represents itself in the form of text. Culture finally is established as a text among other texts. Teks exists as it own echo, and textual culture – as ever self increasing junk. Political will and artistic word are embodied only as printed matter – that proves tribal status of civilization and impotent level of its degradation. The words spawn as rats. It born in cafes, universities, and in the stands, and then it is multiplicated in the printing houses and computer nets. So is created the s.c. diversity of the discourses which getting more and more terrorizing every day. We should use oral culture instead of the textual, and direct action instead of textual artistic expression. There is only the way to turn texts into action – direct democracy, which uses scandalous and forbidden cultural attacks. Then the word will become a body. 

5. To become independent creator of culture. To become independent doesn’t mean to detach from society and to lock oneself into the ivory tower and then to contemplate self-reflection in the mirror of global culture. We should turn away from hermetic and asocial “art for art’s sake”, because it is nothing else but total disjuncture from the entire world. Borderline between art and society, between culture and politics is historically conditioned and superficial. It is such just to satisfy the demands of the market, artistic wish to strive the career and the ambitions of the critics. Cultural production does not differ from other kinds of human activities and is organic part of the whole society. Therefore the creator should be social, but not dependent from society and not slaving to it. Sovereign human is independent creator par-excelence, solitary wolf who shows its tusks to the herd of society and is able every moment to bite through the throat of whatever sick sheep.

      6. To create counterculture. „Serious culture“ is nothing else but the tool of the state and the capital to enslave our minds and souls. To destroy the machine of production of hegemonic culture means to destroy the serious culture. While destroying serious culture we are creating the counterculture, which tends to clean up all the subordinate structures of the hegemony and will open the way for the new physical and lingual relationships between humans. Counterculture (or resistance to the dominant hegemonic culture) – is first of all the resistance to the cultural authority. If you want to get power – you should attack political and cultural units, you’ll be accepted eventually by the system and will become part of the system. If you wish to free yourself from permanent manipulation with your mind – arise for total and uncompromised attack against the units of “serious culture”. That is the only way remained.   So far I am not a fan of typical theoretical conference i would prefer to show a film about the first steps in the activities to destroy „serious culture|“ in Lithuania.

DARIUS POCEVIČIUS is a writer and leftist activist residing in Vilnius. Mostly famous because of his radical critique on established forms of contemporary Lithuanian literature, culture and academic structures. He is editing websites “anarchija.lt” , “tekstai.lt”,  column for counterculture at national cultural weekly “Šiaurės Atėnai”. He is also on editorial board of the new appearing left-libertarian magazine “Juodraštis” and organizer of numerous resistant activities in contemporary neo-liberal capitalist Lithuanian society. Supposedly he is one of “cultural terrorists” who under the collective pseudonym Castor & Pollux was writing scandalous overviews of national culture.