The Anarcho-culture

In Anarcho-culture, one lives the free game of all codes which occur in world of networks, thus breaking with all transcendent institutions based on authority and unicity, provoking an uncontrolled heterogenization which cannot be caught by any apparatus. It happens as a perpetual cultural transformation, where “cultural authority” can’t exert any power over its manifestations; pure connectivity that escapes the concepts, the authority, and those who want to impose a form. Don’t expect epiphanies or ontological originalities, heroic avant-gardes or teleologies of emancipation, but a virtual world full of potentialities, where a free game happens among its codes, a free game of the diagonals which cross all the plains, all the disciplines that interweave the heterogeneous multiplicities in a free game of connections. Replications, samplings, paraphrases, strategic connections, heuristic resendings, creative alterities are its modes of acting. The new, the old, none of these things matter any longer: they stayed in the far-away past of historical modernity. Those goals have lost their forces, they became academic, too academic. In the societies of virtual networks, one lives an immanent need: the indiscriminate potentialization of its micrologic (nano) parts. All will be potentialized, provoking an extraordinary indeterminate production of the absolute; control and discontrol happen at the same time, but they will always be assimetrical.

No longer the equation State/Revolution = State, but Empire/Attack = Attack, i. e., global instability and permanent temporal unexpectancy. Then the Anaximandrian apeiron (unlimited) can coexist in the contemporary virtual machination in such a manner that it becomes a pre-conceptual instance of all virtual networks. We're no longer in the age of "post", but of "pre". The theory of non-linear networks and anarcho-culture demand a pre-conceptual instance; pre-formal; pre-philosophic; pre-metaphysical; pre-structural; pre-historical, without which we won't get free of concepts, forms, philosophies, metaphysics, structures and history. This "pre" region is the instance of free intensities, where no arché (principle) can survive or install itself; it has no beginning, no principles, because its nature is pure immanence, pre-subject and pre-object, a virtual philosophic prelude. On the other side, God, ideas, principles, axioms, concepts, foundations, causes, egos, political states are beings originated from a millenary metaphysics based on the arché, where the beginning is a principle, foundation of a system that is intended to be installed. They are coagulating and centralizing points of monopolizing power long introjected and fixated in our minds (fixed ideas). When do we definitely free ourselves of the platonic and aristotelic heritage? Pre-philosophy conceives another landscape, whose nature is made of an anarchical immanence by excellence. A landscape without gravitational points of centralizing power, with multiplied speeds connected in dynamic networks, whose points are not points, but other dynamic networks, constituting an inexact pre-metaphysical topos whereby the intensities flow, heterogeneously recreating themselves.

Hence anarcho-culture, where networks constitute life, frees itself from monopolizing points of power, but also from the hylemorphic vision of the philosophical past, where form always formatted matter. No concept can explain it, no form can retain it. One can affirm its nature is informal and pre-structural: pure performance, because the replications and samplings of intensities and codes refrain its crystallization into concepts, forms or egos. Identity suffers an attack, it becomes another thing. Pierre Menard, author of Borges’ Don Quixote, and Sherrie Levine’s photos illustrate the attack to authorship and demonstrate the paradoxical transformation suffered by the work replicated by them. No work will ever be the same after replicated (Cultural-Clone). The continuous replication of the other and itself (Cultural Auto-Poesis + Cultural Alterity) destroy the original one, in order to transform it into a multiplicity free of the arché. In anarcho-culturalism, all cultural production is there to be replicated, altered, lacerated, slashed and contaminated; everyone will be able to make “art”, everyone will be able to make music, you just need to “destroy them” (replication, sampling); the goal of anarcho-culturalism is the making and experimentation of the absolute OTHER. In the universe of alterity both time and space become non-linear and non-homogenous: pre-time, pre-space. There is no more a unity of space, a spatial substance or a spatial form. In pre-space, where the arché was withdrawn as a constituent element, there remains only anarcho-space, whose inexact dimensions connect infinitely to each other; extension, gone virtual, liquefies the geometrizing solidity, creating a strange link between time and space, or what could be called catatonic time (anarcho-virtual-time). It is the time of non-linear networks, in a strict connection to time and virtual space. Neither sequential or simultaneous continuity, nor limitating atomized instants, but strategic stops (temporal epokhe), where time passes with nothing passing, with a zapping of discontinuous fluxes, and in this case there is a temporal leap, where time doesn’t pass, exceeding all speeds.

The temporal epokhe (suspension) happens when time replicates itself, appearing as absent time, hence becoming spatial; the faster the temporal replication, more spatial it will seem. A very illustrative example of this situation of temporal suspension appears in Richard Serra’s One-Ton Prop (House of Cards), where four lead plates are propped against each other in such a way that they keep vertical just because of the reciprocate tension between them. This tension was called prop. The great novelty of this sculpture is that it no more inhabits only space, but also time. It only exists while its parts keep leaning against one another, but time is not felt as passing, but as in abeyance. This work makes a mixture between space and time and displays a new space-time dimension. Another example of space-time-prop are the digital computer screens as manipulated by Doug Engelbart’s invention, which remains in a state of temporal suspension, waiting for the user’s interaction to make a leap to another orbit. The interaction pressuposes a temporal epokhe, because without it we would be trapped in a continuous flow; we would be slaves to the temporal linear-analogical automatism, for there has never been anything libertarian in the analogical media; we’d be slaves to chronic time. Remember the revolutions (temporal epokhe), when, against the oppressive time, clocks were shattered. Suspension and leap are the two faces of catatonic time. Suspension is the strategic moment of decisions, volitions and desires. It can last all the time or an unperceivable fraction. On the other side, the leap happens in the temporal flow that brings in itself the possibility of suspension at any time, causing a transformation in the nature of time and of whatever happens in it, producing an indetermination with respect to the temporal direction. They are becomings, yet the leap can also be clonic, causing multiple interconnected temporal directions. In the digital world, they can happen through multiple linkages between the orbits, or through multiple superimposable windows developed by Alan Kay. The time-space-temporal connection (catatonic time), and the free anarché intensities inaugurate a new form of experimentation and cultural liberation. Mass media, on the contrary, as producers of “mass culture”, imposed a linear form temporality to the masses, enslaving them through a continuous and unrestrained flux of disempowering signs, making a devaluation of the Public and the Culture. Linear time was responsible for the generalized massification of the modern public and a meta-narrative vision of history.

A complex and anarchic mentality imposes itself to contemporary culture: anarcho-culture. It happens when the cultural authority can no longer exert its power over cultural manifestations or its producers; when the products are no longer marketed; when the products’ value does not depend on the sacralization or the property, but on its capacity to potentialize the agents whom it connects with; when the cultural producer liberates himself from his ego, from his name, from the innocuous pretension to enter history, and then, by deterritorializing himself, he can take part of a more complex scheme, where the sense created by the author is replaced by strategies of multiple senses in co-authorship with its interagents; when the cultural product stops being linear and analogic, and becomes a ubiquitous system of interactive complexity emphasizing its immersive and biocultural aspects, therefore turning into a machine of cultural transformation; when there is no more a proper world of the arts, sciences or any other discipline, but the free game of diagonals that cross all the plains, all the disciplines and that interweave the heterogeneous multiplicities in a free game of connections. Anarcho-culturalism is the culture of the state of nature of digital networks (cyber-nature/digital culture). It is pre-state, pre-contract, pre-rights, pre-duties. New tribes, new communities, new travellers inhabit there, but also new strategies that destabilize the world of the arché. There’s no longer an audience to be reached (Target Public), but communities, collectives and networks which become more and more immune to marketing campaigns and strategies of advertising. From the passive public, manipulated mass, “mass of maneuver”, by which the analogic media took away its energy, we passed, through cyber-nature, to intercommunicating communities; to the intelligent collectives; to the strategic networks, to anarchic and transforming war machines (Cultural Virulence).

Ricardo Barreto