Peter Lamborn Wilson Hakim Bey ; born is an American anarchist author and poet, primarily known for his concept of temporary autonomous zones. He is a controversial figure in anarchist circles due to his pedophilia advocacy. While undertaking a classics major at Columbia University, Wilson met Warren Tartaglia , then introducing Islam to students as the leader of a group called the Noble Moors. Attracted by the philosophy, Wilson was initiated into the group, but later joined a group of breakaway members who founded the Moorish Orthodox Church. Appalled by the social and political climate, Wilson had also decided to leave America, and shortly after the assassination of Martin Luther King , Jr. In the words of Michael Muhammad Knight , "The emerging postcolonial world was crowded with American hippies blowing their trust funds on mystical quests
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Ontological Anarchy In a Nutshell. The Tong. Immediatism vs. An Immediatist Potlatch. Critique of the Listener. Out of nothing we will imagine our values , and by this act of invention we shall live. Hun-Tun, chaos-as-becoming, chaos-as-excess, the generous outpouring of nothing into something.
In effect, chaos is life. All mess, all riot of color, all protoplasmic urgency, all movement —is chaos. From this point of view, Order appears as death, cessation, crystallization, alien silence. No better than Christians in this respect, or so Nietzsche believed—radical only in the depth of their resentment. Of course, illusions can kill. Images of punishment haunt the sleep of Order. Ontological Anarchy proposes that we wake up, and create our own day—even in the shadow of the State, that pustulant giant who sleeps, and whose dreams of Order metastatize as spasms of spectacular violence.
And so the values of Civilization are based on the denial of desire. Capitalism, which claims to produce Order by means of the reproduction of desire, in fact originates in the production of scarcity , and only reproduce itself in unfulfillment, negation, and alienation.
As the Spectacle disintegrates like a malfunctioning VR program it reveals the fleshless bones of the Commodity.
Like those tranced travelers in Irish fairy tales who visit the Otherworld and seem to dine on supernatural delicacies, we wake in a bleary dawn with ashes in our mouths. Individual vs. Group—Self vs. Other—a false dichotomy propagated through the Media of Control, and above all through language. Hermes—the Angel—the medium is the Messenger.
All forms of communicativeness should be angelic—language itself should be angelic—a kind of divine chaos. Instead it is infected with a self-replicating virus, an infinite crystal of separation, the grammar which prevents us from killing Nobodaddy once and for all.
Self and Other complement and complete one another. Values arise from this turbulence, values which are based on abundance rather than scarcity, the gift rather than the commodity, and on the synergistic and mutual enhancement of individual and group;—values which are in every way the opposite of the morality and ethics of Civilization, because they have to do with life rather than death. The Land of the Dead knows that perfect Order from which the organic and animate shrink in horror—which explains why the Civilization of Slippage is more than half in love with easeful death.
From Babylon and Egypt to the 20th Century, the architecture of Power can never quite be distinguished from the tumuli of the necropolis. The crystalline perfections of Civilization and Revolution cease to interest us when we have experienced them both as forms of War, variations on that tired old Babylonian Con, the myth of Scarcity.
Like the bedouin we choose an architecture of skins—and an earth full of places of disappearance. Like the Commune, we choose a liquid space of celebration and risk rather than the icy waste of the Prism or Prison of Work, the economy of Lost Time, the rictus of nostalgia for a synthetic future.
A utopian poetics helps us to know our desires. The mirror of Utopia provides us with a kind of critical theory which no mere practical politics nor systematic philosophy can hope to evolve. The activity of such a group will come to replace Art as we poor PoMo bastards know it.
Art in this sense has always been camouflaged and repressed throughout the whole of High History, but has never entirely vanished from our lives. One favourite example:—the quilting bee —a spontaneous patterning carried out by a non-hierarchic creative collective to produce a unique and useful and beautiful object, typically as a gift for someone connected to the circle.
The task of Immediatist organization can be summed up as the widening of the circle. One runs a certain risk in thus thwarting the vampiric energies of institutions. But risk itself makes up part of the direct experience of pleasure, a fact noted in all insurrectionary moments—all moments of making-up—of intense adventurous enjoyments:—the festal aspect of the Uprising, the insurrectionary nature of the Festival.
Some last no longer than a chance meeting between two kindred spirits who might enlarge each other by their brief and mysterious encounter; others are like holidays, still other like pirate utopias.
None seems to last very long—but so what? Religions and States boasts of their permanence —which, we know, is just jive…; what they mean is death. Power, after all, is for us —not some fucking vanguard party. In the present series of texts originally presented as Radio Sermonettes on an FM station in New York, and published under that title by the anarchist Libertarian Book Club , the focus shifts to the idea of a praxis of re-appearance , and thus to the problem of organization.
An attempt at a theory of the aesthetics of the group—rather than a sociology or politique —has been expressed here as a game for free spirits, rather than as a blueprint for an institution. The group as medium, or as mechanism of alienation, has been replaced by the Immediatist group, devoted to the overcoming of separation.
This book might be called a thought-experiment on festal sodality —it has no higher ambitions. It wants no disciples—it would prefer to be burned—immolation not emulation! It loves to talk, but only because talk is a kind of celebration rather than a kind of work. All experience is mediated—by the mechanisms of sense perception, mentation, language, etc.
However, mediation takes place by degrees. Some experiences smell, taste, sexual pleasure, etc. For art, the intervention of Capital always signals a further degree of mediation. By now, however, amidst the ruins of Post-Modernism, it has finally begun to stink.
Ironic frivolity finally becomes disgusting. The Purge Society is the same as the Binge Society. Irony may have become boring, but self-mutilation was never more than an abyss. Down with frivolity—Down with sobriety.
Which way to the Egress? Art will go on , in somewhat the same sense that breathing, eating, or fucking will go on. And we sometimes worry even about the extent to which our very involvement in such arts as writing, painting, or music implicates us in a nasty abstraction, a removal from immediate experience. We miss the directness of play our original kick in doing art in the first place ; we miss smell, taste, touch, the feel of bodies in motion.
Computers, video, radio, printing presses, synthesizers, fax machines, tape recorders, photocopiers—these things make good toys, but terrible addictions. We want to control our media, not be Controlled by them. And we should like to remember a certain psychic martial art which stresses the realization that the body itself is the least mediated of all media. We feel free to do so because we intend to practice Immediatism in secret , in order to avoid any contamination of mediation.
Immediatism is not a movement in the sense of an aesthetic program. It depends on situation, not style or content, message or School. All spectators must also be performers. The best games will make little or no use of obvious forms of mediation such as photography, recording, printing, etc.
An obvious matrix for Immediatism is the party. Thus a good meal could be an Immediatist art project, especially if everyone present cooked as well as ate. At linked-verse parties a faulty couplet would entail the penalty of a glass of wine.
Moreover, Immediatism is not condemned to powerlessness of the world, simply because it avoids the publicity of the marketplace. A Tong can perhaps be defined as a mutual benefit society for people with a common interest which is illegal or dangerously marginal—hence, the necessary secrecy.
Another universal purpose for such societies was of course conviviality, especially banqueting—but even this apparently innocuous pastime can acquire insurrectionary implications. In the various French revolutions, for example, dining clubs frequently took on the role of radical organizations when all other forms of public meeting were banned. Among other things, the Tong should be a work of art.
The strict traditional rule of secrecy also needs modification. Nowadays anything which evades the idiot gaze of publicity is already virtually secret. Most modern people seem unable to believe in the reality of something they never see on television—therefore to escape being televisualized is already to be quasi-invisible.
The idea of throwing a party to, say, make a quilt or sing madrigals together, seems hopelessly outdated. There are some people who do not need fifteen second on the Evening News to validate their existence. Not everyone needs to know everything! Some will call this an elitist attitude, but it is not—at least not in the C.
Wright Mills sense of the word: that is, a small group which exercises power over non-insiders for its own aggrandizement. Immediatism does not concern itself with power-relations;—It desires neither to be ruled nor to rule. The contemporary Tong therefore finds no pleasure in the degeneration of institutions into conspiracies.
It wants power for its own purposes of mutuality. For all these purposes the secret society promises to provide a useful framework of protective clandestinity—a cloak of invisibility that will have to be dropped only in the event of some final snowdown with the Babylon of Mediation…. The marxists R. However there is no real innocence here—only our profound ignorance of the ways in which Capitalism itself is organized to prevent all genuine conviviality. To struggle to come together every Monday night or whatever , in the teeth of the gale of busyness, or family, or invitations to stupid parties—that struggle is already Immediatism itself.
An actual project will arise almost spontaneously out of this successful slap-in-the-face of the social norm of alienated boredom. This is not a petty matter! This is a question of failure or triumph!
The Spectacle—or whatever has replaced it since —is above all empty. It wants your creativity much more even than you want it yourself. Ah, the metaphysical shenanigans of objects!
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Peter Lamborn Wilson