World Premier March 21, 2018 Roulette, NYC

A multimedia performance including 1 musician, 1 dancer, 1 single channel video, 1 souvenir shop

This is a project about iconoclasm in the digital age. The title, ‘Iconoclashgiftsfeld’ draws from Bruno Latour’s exhibition essay ‘What is Iconoclash or Is there a world beyond the image wars’. Iconoclash deviates from the traditional definition of Iconoclasm, in which the hand which holds the hammer is not necessarily aware that his/her gesture is constructive or destructive. He labels this Type D iconoclasts, who are innocent vandals such as real estate companies or architects who alter the landscape with the belief that they are ameliorating it. Latour also lists 4 other types of Iconoclasm. Type A is dedicated to the orthodoxy of the term whereby these iconoclasts are against all images as pictorial representation because they prevent spiritual access.(e.g.The protestant reformers of the 16th century and the Taliban) Type B are against static, definite images and destroy or alter current or previous ones to be replaced with new ones.(e.g., the Futurists and appropriation artists )Type C are only in opposition of images of their adversaries and use the image to upset their opposition.(e.g.Daesh or removal of the confederate statues) I analyse how  social relationships mediated by mass media as described by the Situationists has gone rampant after the collapse of communism bringing us to the period of ultra-capitalism.

In media hysteria  people’s relationships and vision of the world have become completely dependent upon mass media losing all critical perspective. Individuals become susceptible to fascism if not participate in it; A situation described by many theorists such as: Baudrillard, McLuhan, Debord and Flusser and contemporaries  Zizek and Chomsky. The work is not so much about the idolization of pictures, but our addiction to the surface and physicality of images. The inundation of non-stop images 24-7 is coupled with the rise of the need to obliterate the image as an exchange of altering the narrative.

The world becomes image-like, a context of scenes and situations. This reversal of the function of images may be called “idolatry,” and we currently see how this comes about: omnipresent technical images have begun magically to restructure “reality” into an image-like scenario. What is involved here is a kind of oblivion. Man forgets that he produces images in order to find his way in the world; he now tries to find his way in images. He no longer deciphers his own images, but lives in their function. Imagination has become hallucination.[1] (Flusser, 1983)

But what happens with our collective memory after the hammer goes down? The object is erased, but our memories are intact. The disappearance of the image actually points even moreso to its previous existence revivifying that murdered picture in the mental world, or not for the iconoclashgiftsfelders. In the age of unreason and ultracapitalism, the solution is an easy fix. The event, of course, ends with the souvenir shop.   Because only through tokens of newer images diffused amongst the populace that former images begin to fade. This is, of course, a parody of a frightful situation of the over-consumer mediatized gaze.

[1] Flusser,Vilm. Towards a Philosophy of Photography.London : Reaktion Books Ltd. 1983.