Event-Scenes: e080
Date Published: 5/19/1999
Arthur and Marilouise Kroker, Editors

an american activist

Cary Peppermint

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 poisoning.

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 me anywhere.

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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