Monday, April 28, 2008

O Naturale

In the near future, the experts say we're going to have to return to an economic model based on local suppliers. Rising fuel prices and the end of cheap overseas labor will force us to grow our own food and make our own shoes, the way they did in the Middle Ages. Abstractly, this has been a fetish of the hipper bourgeoisie for some years. Organic local produce, local artisanal honey, stretch pants made in downtown LA, etc. What's going to happen when this is no longer a pricier option, but the only option? Will it be a Bobo's dream come true, or some sort of weird New Feudalism?

The existing landscape is marked by irreverence brought on by a couple hundred years of mass production and the spread of globalism. Perhaps these things have kept us from seeing the broken washing machine in our own backyards. As a culture we've gotten a little farsighted; the immediate surroundings are out of focus as we order our groceries on the internet and send emails from our cellphones. On the other hand, the internet has given way to a new mode of communication that fosters the sort of independent spirit necessary for vertically integrated local production.

Fascism taught us the danger of obsessive-compulsive control. The hippies taught us the danger of loosey-goosey, orgiastic free association. What are we going to do now? Choose our battles wisely. Feel it out. Some of the detritus of the soon-to-be past will make excellent fertilizer for the homegrown vegetables of the future, some of it will kill you.

1 comment:

total cool dude said...

this is great!
the questions you pose are pertinant and well-taken.
im intrigued by the notion that the local/organic food fetish could become...errr....trailer-trashified. it's actually kind of already happened with the glut of soy-trash-junk foods, which were once exclusively the province of berkenstock clad granola-heads, but you can now find in corner stores and shit. (the conspiracy-addled side of my brain could launch into a rant about the US military-industrial complex and the increased acceptability/trendiness of soy products...but thats not really pertinant right now...).
and of course, whole foods and the industrial-organic movement is endemic of all this as well.

i would be wary of the direction things go towards the end of the second paragraph, and particularly in the closing paragraph. the tone gets perhaps a little severe, but more importantly, there's no need to present answers to the questions you bring up - it's much better to leave things inconclusive and open to audience interpretation. this is an art show after all, not an essay. i'd end by posing more questions and then letting the art itself do the rest of the speaking.
will some core 'essence' of this 'natural' movement be diluted or even violated by the infiltration of late-capitalist ideology? or will it be strengthened by increased support and funding? or is there any *essence*, so to speak, at all, any abstract vital humanistic life force - or does only the flow of information and the exchange of capital ultimately concern us as humans? how does the effect us as creative...uh... art-generating beings? i want more ambivalence!