The ZITO! Manifesto.

Part of the controversial Rockerfeller Center mural by Diego Rivera that was commissioned and destroyed by the notorious industrialist and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller

Many denounced official state art programs, artists, and art as contributions to the Cold War.

Currently there is also an evil of official state art in the United States and western culture, where it is used to manipulate and control the art community, to influence the masses of the world, nations and Peoples today as it was used during the Cold War. The Central Intelligence Agency has admitted that so much in using many facets of culture and arts for the advancement of foreign policy regardless of what individual artists may think as they were not even informed by the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency of the USA) that their art was appropriated in the interests of National Security.

The “The CIA Review of “The Cultural Cold War” (http://zito.biz/fuckyou/?p=1357)

But additionally nothing is said by those readily willing to criticize the Soviets, ever so often I hear about grants being cut, while some extreme example of a publicity seeking artist makes headline splashes but the fact of the matter is that the United States uses blacklists against artists, art organizations and acts in a manner far removed from a proper “democracy” at the same exact moment it lectures the world.

What is an everyday occurrence is not exactly what is publicly stated by the United States government, but none the less the United States has a rigid intolerant system of official art, an official system of art that does not appropriately support the arts,but which maintains artists as beggars, and art institutions as arms of the state.

An American form of the western system of official art support and censorship in what exists as a very corrupt system of art funding that does not always benefit average artists in a meaningful way.

Under today’s standards Walt Whitman and Pablo Picasso would not be fairly treated, nor perhaps recognized,  as they would not tolerate these American corporate business model requirements. This site and organization does not support official art and the manner the current grant system is administered. As today many artists go for years and decades, perhaps their whole lives without the government support all artists should be entitled to.

In fact artists and art organizations are obstructed, hindered, blacklisted, undermined, attacked and subverted by the very government agencies which are supposed to be supporting them as there is no freedom of the arts under capitalism merely the objectification commodification corruption and bastardization of art, artists, writers, poets, performers all in the name of profits and profit-making in the marginalization of any artists willing to confront the reactionary Behemoth

Behemoth and Leviathan, watercolour by William Blake from his Illustrations of the Book of Job.

 

Job 40:15-24 describes Behemoth, and then the sea-monster Leviathan, to demonstrate to Job the futility of questioning God, who alone has created these beings and who alone can capture them.[2] Both beasts are chaos monsters destroyed by the deity at the time of creation.[3] Leviathan is identified with the primeval sea (Job 3:8;Ps. 74:13), and in apocalyptic literature describing the end-time, as that adversary of the deity before creation will finally be defeated. In the divine speeches in Job, Behemoth and Leviathan are composite and mythical creatures with enormous strength, which humans like Job could not hope to control. But both are reduced to the status of divine pets, with rings through their noses and Leviathan on a leash.[4]

15 Behold now the behemoth that I have made with you; he eats grass like cattle. 16 Behold now his strength is in his loins and his power is in the navel of his belly. 17 His tail hardens like a cedar; the sinews of his thighs are knit together. 18 His limbs are as strong as copper, his bones as a load of iron. 19 His is the first of God’s ways; [only] his Maker can draw His sword [against him]. 20 For the mountains bear food for him, and all the beasts of the field play there. 21 Does he lie under the shadows, in the cover of the reeds and the swamp? 22 Do the shadows cover him as his shadow? Do the willows of the brook surround him? 23 Behold, he plunders the river, and [he] does not harden; he trusts that he will draw the Jordan into his mouth. 24 With His eyes He will take him; with snares He will puncture his nostrils.

“Official art is the name given to a style of painting that flourished in Europe in the second half of the 19th century under the auspices of the established middle classes, the new ruling powers, and the official academies of painting and sculpture that prospered from the 17th to the 19th century.”

“The style and subject matter that dominated European painting in the second half of the 19th century arose from a complex mix of historical and sociological factors. State patronage, Church influence, and the growth of the middle classes all encouraged the painting of pictures with historical, mythological, and allegorical subject matter. Exhibitions to show this work were organized by the Academies or Salons, and, as the mouthpieces of such institutions, the artists involved enjoyed a privileged position in society. The exhibitions were held in buildings such as palaces and museums, and the works ranged in subject from the universal to the municipal. Many private exhibitions were also held in bourgeois homes as a declaration of the owner’s wealth.” (History of Art, http://www.all-art.org/history400.html).

Salon art in France in the 1800s exemplified the problems as:

“The increasingly conservative and academic juries were not receptive to the Impressionist painters, whose works were usually rejected, or poorly placed if accepted. The Salon opposed the shift away from traditional painting styles espoused by the Impressionists. In 1863 the Salon jury turned away an unusually high number of the submitted paintings. An uproar resulted, particularly from regular exhibitors who had been rejected. In order to prove that the Salons were democratic, Napoleon III instituted the Salon des Refusés, containing a selection of the works that the Salon had rejected that year. It opened on 17 May 1863, marking the birth of the avant-garde. The Impressionists held their own independent exhibitions in 1874, 1876, 1877, 1879, 1880, 1881, 1882 and 1886.”

Today those impressionist painting are highly valued by a society which only understands what it can profit by in placing price tags on whether artists approve or not of the accompanying signs of dollars Yen Euros or Yuan.

 

Herein

Our emphasis as artists is our respective fields of art, in the production of that art, as poets, writers, painters, videographers, musicians, producers, editors, sound engineers, performers, sculptors, graphic artists, conceptual, spontaneous, abstract that which makes us most significant is our production of our art, in relationship to society.

All too often art is thought of in a short-term tactical sense, where musicians hook up, play in bands, record, painters agonize over which brush and paints to use, finite details related to the art itself, and what it takes to execute that art. Often seemingly the value of art in capitalist society is determined by the financial bottom lines of large investors and an art market that has no real correlation to what good art is but instead what is considered good art. Good as in a market sense where many egos are ridiculously inflated by commercial successes that have no real correlation to the art and people themselves.

Often large-scale art projects are financed in very creative manners, by smaller projects  so that they can be accomplished but there is no real relationship between the two, like a loss leader in a supermarket its price is artificial.

Technology most often created by industry and capital expropriated from the masses working people diametrically opposed to the majority of people in the world, while two-thirds of the world survives on less than $2 a day. “World illiteracy between 1970 and 2005 has been halved (Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Literacy) , In 1964 in Brazil, Paulo Freire was arrested and exiled for teaching the Brazilian peasants to read.  Some industrial countries have functionally illiteracy rates of  40%.

A society has the trend of corrupting artists and art, and that which pushes artists into the fore front of change since they as learned should know what is occurring and have a responsibility to respond to those travesties . We artists are forced to change in order to remain competitive, though the more we compete the farther we are removed from the process of creating. Today most commercial artists have been made wholly dependent where once they were free and independent, having to rely on technical experts to understand many aspects of what has been made part and parcel of their fields of endeavor regarding copyrights, intellectual property laws, grants, contracts, insurance, chemists, electrical designs,  even paint mediums and what they apply paint to.

So no longer is it possible for an artist, to be an artist without taking into account socio-economic facts driving the world closer to sci-fi realities, facing a future of one world of corporatism (Rollerball), controlled in a the void of a hostile mindless technology (Terminator), within a “Matrix” for which is merely a thin veneer of democratic society transforming what is a industrial jungle into pretentious self-serving civilization.

Today many artists have not merely taken it upon themselves to endeavor in the petty bourgeois manner to be artists, but have been forced to be so, so as to maintain the pretense of controlling the production packaging and selling of their work in order to survive and remain viable in this capitalist society. A capitalist society which has dramatically changed from what it once even a mere 36 years ago, or even a mere ten years ago.

At a time when I was much younger and first had the ideas to be a n artist in this same manner, dreaming of escaping the dominance and oppressive reach of large corporations then controlling the music and publishing media industries: but rather than doing this thing new I merely became trapped as other artist in the position of attempting to create at the same time as running their own affairs (a daily almost all-consuming ongoing process). A process within prophetically Charlie Chaplin foresaw and told about in his movie “Modern World” of a society even then  in a  constant state , though he had no crystal ball none the less he was prophetic.

Comparing the corporate world, with family farming, small business, working as a professional, a craftsman. a manual laborer, or just being poor there is no comparison of the disparity from one layer to the next from the top to the bottom where on the perks get greater the higher you get and the burdens and obligations increase the lower you go.

In any case these are pages of my life, my world, my art see them as you will though hopefully the enlightening speak for themselves and need no additional explanation.

In 1948 there were hundreds and maybe thousands of small family owned recording labels, Atlantic Records started as a small Rand B label with many small mom and pop retailer, today the industry is controlled by at most five large multinational conglomerates.

So art to be art, many things beyond and besides art have to be considered.

In many senses we are closer with Flux at least as critics of its excesses and shortcomings, so as such this manifesto is subject to amendment by addendum.

Best Wishes
Andrew Stergiou

HyperSmash.com

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ZITO! Online Journal of creative flux, dialectical, disembodied, abstract poetic expression.