Friday, February 20, 2009


Unused polemic

Surrealism is well-known to be a movement focusing on moral questions, most easily seen in its insistence on strategic as well as spontaneous refusal, abstentionism, rupture and excommunication visavis conformism and its agents and the demands of the public sphere, but more generally at heart of the very project as this concerns an experimental search for ways of facing the demands raised by the notions of generalised poetry and therefore of a revision of all human relations.

There is something rather unique about surrealist ethics, and that it is that it is rigorous and yet dynamic; because it is uncompromising, poetic, collective and discoursive; meaning that it is as radical as possible based on a dialogic assessment of the possibilities and demands of poetry applied in everyday situation (or I should say poetry and its supporting disciplines love, freedom and imagination). It can be extremely harsh because it puts faith in collective morality, and therefore may sanction individual deviation (Note: sanction primarily by excommunication which is the most relevant and strongest form of sanction available in an anarchic community based on collectivity.) whenever such deviation puts an absolute faith in individual reasoning as opposed to collective, and in the already known opinions and preferences as opposed to the unknown (such as in boneheaded egoism, daliism, mere eccentricism, etc), or in the letter as opposed to the spirit (such as in dogmatism and retrospectivism - pastoureauism, resigning 60 year old manifestoes, or writing a catechism), simply because such individualism and dogmatism is always a breach of solidarity with the unknown and therefore being antipoetic. It is therefore necessarily collective but still individually applicable, but it is always a question of an enquiry into the possibilities of situations via different individuals' individual and often intuitive assessment of the particular possibilities of refusal, departure, creative manifestation in particular situations.

(This is of course all opposed to ethic practice in artistic currents and in the cultural sphere in general which is nothing but careeristic ultrapragmatism (sometimes with a more or less arbitrarily chosen question of engagement for public image purposes), and to both the activist ethics of duty and selfsacrifice under the instrumental agenda, and the ultraradical ethics of for example situationism, mostly just competitively striving for formulating the most radical critique possible in a vein of absoute negation which has no immediate practical implementation at all and therefore leads to intellectual selfrighteousness, ordinary activism or mere inactivity.)

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