an american activist
during the first 24 hours of the nato bombing of yugoslavia, i was
sick and vomiting in my small bathroom in new york. the diagnosis was food
i am sure there must be gods but, these gods are sleeping and or dead.
i am sure there must be someone to look up to but, these beings are in the
fabric of memory or entombed within the myth of the dead who can no longer hold
physical agency for their actions. now is too much "right here". now is too much
"right now". now is an hyper-extended orgasm of immediacy that turns the body
inward and onto itself. america is the grand perpetuator of such orgasm "right
now". i am an american, thus i have begun to turn inward and disappear. i hate
myself because i am of this country. i hate myself mostly because i cannot find
i cannot attempt to even consider active resistance. my voice was lost
to the mono-tone of capital and exchange long before i was born. i think of the
word god and its hebrew translation into "i am". i think of "i am" as "being"
and "being" as art. i think of the christian idea of the fall of man from
paradise as a metaphor of "being" cast into symbol and or object. i think of
heidegger and the "world is darkening". america is not to blame for this
darkening, only america is the contemporary world renowned professional
sycophant of this darkness.
for an american to speak of activism is an american who still dreams.
i sometimes doubt the sincerity of the american activist. i have always been
highly sensitive to the political and for better or worse i internalize the
political as personal.
i am a symbolic expression of america. i have begun to un-dream.
my un-dreaming manifests itself in attempts at validating my presence
or in confirming my last vestiges of power. while my country distributes global
insincerity by use of violence as a solution for peace, i attempt to locate art.
just as each nato bomb is testament to the vain symbolics of a superpower
uncontested and violently seeking confirmation via the crass binary of war so is
it more and more difficult for me to locate art.
when i think of people dying "real" deaths (as opposed to my symbolic
american death) under nato bombs or any nationalist mythologies, i become
cynical and at my worst consider these "real deaths" as the last sincere acts of
liberation. my message to those who are "survivors" would be: "i am an
un-willing model and soon you will become as me; a living death fixed with
paradoxical precision within a system of so many convoluted referentials each in
their monumental fragmentary contributing toward a well culled exhibit of
capitalist hegemony; a mad juncture where noise is perceived as tone."
[i have been working really hard to make sense of my life and times. i
know my work means something or rather i know i must be meaningful. i have to be
meaningful or else i am nothing and nothing is what is the matter with me and i
am afraid of nothing and when my mom calls and asks what's wrong with me, i
answer (honestly and with a precision which her mind refuses to calculate),
"nothing is wrong with me."]
- from a conversation with christine nadir
Cary Peppermint is a multi-media artist who lives and works in New
York. His current project is a series of interactive performances entitled "Conductor Number Nine".
Christine Nadir is a graduate student in English and Comparative Literature.
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