Hard questions emerge for us all, since the threat of Putin’s militaristic Eurasianism rears its ugly head on the world stage. I’m compelled to ask myself what I can do and what my worldview is today? What is to be done, today? How can an individual take on the history of the world and make meaningful and useful communications? What defines and distinguishes our values from those of the dictators and fascists, the fundamentalists and genocidal maniacs?
Suddenly, we’re refocused on Russian history, Vladimir Putin, NATO and, depending which way to decide to look on a map, the rest of the world. That’s a lot of study and depends in part on the ability to think objectively, putting yourself in other people’s shoes, it also depends on the time you have and the access you have to good information. Be that as it may, this is my part of the war effort, to shout loud: support your independent artists, build a new alternative to the hideous far-right fantasy of Putin and it’s western New Right allies: Artlandasia.
Independent artists, to include some independently minded artists who may not be strictly independent proper, are powerful cultural entities and help define what it is about human culture we love and what we view with revulsion. Simply put, there’s plenty of evidence for artist led and artist supported collectives to run a country, such is the broad definition of the artist in 2022. By running a country, I mean both the practical day-to-day operations of the industrial and technological infrastructure already in place, and that good ole’ entertainment demanded by contemporary culture.
Besides their extra explicit artistic skills, musicians, for example, may have a good understanding of negotiations, fair-contracts and working together in a team, listening and thinking fast on their feet. This is the kind of mindset and skill set we need to defeat an oligarchic dictatorship, brave skilled individuals able to work in different groups, listen and then harmonize. Indeed, varied experience and credentials and evidence are helpful in determining who plays which roles in this proposed new humanistic society of artists. Leaving Bono aside for a moment, I’d seriously support somebody like Sting as a candidate for president of Artlandasia, if such a public facing leader were required. Who would you suggest?
If we include all writers and literature, we Artlandaisians already have the founders of that other, non-Artlandasian space. From Thoth to Plato, from Confucius to John Adams, we the artists can lay claim to their innovation of language, their impact and influence, yet re-directed toward an open-society of self-owning ones, Artlandasians, distinguished from some Unipolar Empire of divine guided mad kings and mad generals. No, we stand united by a literal harmony, our voices make music, we worship synergy, pitch, tone, rhythm, with desire for beauty, truth, meaning, understanding. Inclusion, multicultural synergy, the innovative and progressive forces of world history reunited through art. For example, Jazz and Blues traditions (rhythm, melody, innovation, sincerity), speakeasy traditions (poetry, history, philosophy, literature) hip-hop traditions (turntablism, graffiti, breakdancing and rap) and on and on. Something for everybody, the ability to read the room.
We acknowledge and celebrate the eastern influence on our western traditions, we pull down our vanity and conceit to meet with the other, excited and hungry to learn and listen and co-create. To explore the wonders of life, language, love, nature, outerspace, inner-space and the human condition. Together, why not all together? Artlandasia is all-around-the-world, and proposes a globalism defined by Buckminster Fuller: around-the-world-connected, around the world trading, around-the-world-sharing. Equally distributed resources and responsibilities. A new global ART alliance.
Computer programming and coding is an artform, another fact Artlandasia can exploit to further its cause. be creative with it. Artlandasia encourages open-source universal programming languages such as Python, to be taught and practiced top-to-bottom within the socio-cultural sphere. To borrow a term from Douglas Rushkoff: program or be programmed. Artists have a tendency to be disciplined and many are already prepared to learn a new non-alphabetic language, for instance.
Many musicians are familiar with the need to adopt and change plans, to update and learn new skills to survive. Both the digitization and exploitation of their artform and marketplace over the last 20 years, plus the global pandemic lockdown has strengthened our grasp of economics, technology and the minds of the people. The general heart of the matter. Global internet and communications infrastructure are our friend, the backbone upon which Artlandasian can fairly function for all-around-the-world technology.
Artists, not generals, have the means to impact public opinion by way of writing, design, and programming. Artists are the leading edge of the culture war and have empathy, compassion and sympathy essential to a fair and trustable alternative to violence and bullying. Please consider supporting independent artists who you’d like to see more deeply embedded in society and politics, in decision making and representation of your personal and national identity. Fuck war, let’s art.