Lately, there has been much discussing on whether art should deal with current issues or it would be better off not tackling them at all. Albeit unintentionally, the Venice Biennale proved that there is a shared concern with the present sociopolitical situation, with which many works engage. Desearch Repartment have no doubt about it: addressing racial discrimination, politics, mindfulness, capitalism, human rights, migration and more in a satirical and subversive way, this social-media-savvy self-proclaimed ‘critical think tank offering a multitude of institutions and services for all exceptional citizens’ faces us with the caustic truth we’re accepting everyday and leave us with a bitter smirk on our faces.
Caterina Berardi: Let’s start from your motto ‘think fast, die less’.
Desearch Repartment: Our motto, hashtag, and inspirational life sentence! if you are fast on your feet, you may salvage the last shreds of your humanity, but it is nearly impossible for our minds to keep pace with the speed of light… I mean capital. With our institutions, workshops, and strategies, individuals will enhance their flexible thinking which is the key to ensuring prosperity, not to mention survival.
CB: You use an extensive new lexicon to articulate your work: Neo-Lived Realism, Institute of Durational Futures, YAGA. Can you tell us about the core subjects of your practice?
DR: One of the core themes that inspires us every day is the new creative practice of interpreting human rights, through crowdsourcing, the CIA torture architects, post-truth alternative facts, or new data collection technologies.
Desearch Repartment has merged the Marina Abramovic Institute and Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp, and ultimately intends to unite all art institutions and prisons, as the Institute for Durational Futures! The IDF will be a permanent community of citizens performing for their lives.
Everyone has a life sentence and the continuous practice of YAGA will help them find it. YAGA is a new ancient spiritual exercise program that affirms that the answers to all problems lie inside you. First you must discover your body-mind connection: the neck. YAGA creates flexibility, especially in the neck area, so we can say yes to everything. When your body is scanned you may notice some areas of tension or stress, maybe some pain? Areas of tension are where Free Radicals congregate. Saying yes with a flexible neck creates Whi flow and makes it is possible to bend reality around your mind.
Through the various levels of YAGA, from Ground Zero to level 2001+, our Shock-Awes will awaken, we’ll free the inner artist, and we will discover Torture Compassion, a solution to the problem of world suffering through private, individual enactment of self-torture which exonerates us from unconscious guilt and responsibility. With continued YAGA practice you’ll regain balance in your body, so you’ll maintain your position and tensions will be neutralized and integrated back into the system.
We also believe that problem-creating (not problem-solving) is the way to stay current in the fast-paced Neo-Lived Realist world; similar to the disrupt concept in startup culture.
We want to be pioneers in addressing the problems that plague us the most, and today’s world leaders know that in the durational futures we have to create the problems we don’t even know we have: Environmental AIDS, energy sourcing of the nuclear family, self-fracking, neoracial industrial complex, social migration practices, feminization of the selfie, wealth quality, the refugee ISIS… this goes on and on.
CB: You find salvation from the present unstable conditions in a new order of the world led by artists (ESSENTIALHAPPINESSPOSSIBILITY)… As deeply political artists, how do you intend to trigger change?
DR: Desearch Repartment aren’t artists, it’s interesting that we are always mistaken for them! We are a critical think tank offering a multitude of institutions and services for all exceptional citizens. In recent years we’ve come to understand that the best artists are actually politicians — so we’ve come full circle on this concept.
They say, “Be the change you want to see in the world” and we’ve taken this to an institutional level, establishing inspirational mergers between the state, the arts, data and profit to create a community of people everywhere performing for their lives.
CB: Besides your role models – revealed painter George Bush and the ever surprising Donald Trump – what are your main influences?
DR: The redistribution of human rights, neoliberalism, creative modes of torture, the Yes Men, you know, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld (not to be mistaken with the other artist duo).
CB: Jokes apart, irony is one of many tools in your arsenal. Censorship is, of course, always looming in a time where basic human rights – such as the freedom of expression – are often denied. Besides the advantage of subtleness, what other perks do you see in using a comic tone when it comes to getting the message through?
DR: Satire is the party drug of the masses. When people are laughing and enjoying themselves they are on their way to understanding how to find their true happiness. The ESSENTIALHAPPINESSPOSSIBILITY is just that, it’s possible and essential to be happy! While the world is busy laughing and smiling that’s when they are ready to absorb the real truth. With EHP people have the freedom to access self-transformation to improve their performance and the production of their own validated image. Seeing the newly lived reality of Neo-Lived Realism affirms our existence and gives us the power of double vision! And that’s where real change happens. When it’s difficult to differentiate between satire and reality we see opportunity for bringing our minds back to a neutral place. Then when reality upsets people we laugh and say “it’s just a joke!”
CB: Have you had troubles due to the political nature of your art?
DR: Yes, so many troubles. We are finding it harder and harder to commodify the political changes we see happening around us, as they are almost impossible to understand, let alone reduce to easy formulas…. Luckily soon the IDF will solve this problem. Political prisoner-artists will be celebrated for their captivating durational life performances. And gradually all their data and metadata will be captured in DNA storage units, honoring their work as the highest pinnacle of political art, the historical kind, that only exists as an archive.
And this is why the Neo-Social Art Agency has now introduced the Pre-art Archive. Selfies in art exhibitions are a recent phenomenon; banned in some museums, while others encourage visitors to document themselves within their institutions. Celebrities too have participated, like when Beyonce and Jay-Z were photographed taking selfies in the Louvre with the Mona Lisa. As the self and art and museum become interconnected via social media, this is in turn captured by internet browsers and caches, monitored by ISPs, the NSA, and, if you’re lucky, ultimately being saved as metadata by the exabyte in the NSA’s massive Data Center in Utah.
Incorporating trigger words as hashtags and facial recognition into art experiences alerts the NSA to collect a visitor’s or artist’s data. This data is then graciously collected and archived as metadata, increasing the artwork’s value and marketability. Museum/artist metadata is the material of tomorrow’s art and fodder for the avant-garde of tomorrow’s art market. A collaborator of the NSA and museums, Desearch Repartment is creating the unique opportunity to invest in future art, or pre-art, before it is discovered. And introduce the world to the more humane process of DNA archiving—while relieving the museum and art galleries of obsolete material like paper, hard drives, objects and people.
#terror, #thebomb, #killingit, #attack, #enriched, #cyber, #virus #blm
CB: Our time of visual saturation has testified a shift in the production, use and re-use of imagery. We borrow, alter and rework with unprecedented freedom, knowing that the final result will be shared via the internet with the multitude of strangers that compose our following. What is your approach to popular imagery? I’m thinking of your wonderfully tight, shiny and colourful performing onesies…
DR: All your face are belong to us! We are the black hole swirling between url and irl. Our Neo-Lived Realist camouflage has so many important symbols (logos, flags) and faces, powerful people we look up to, and what better way to honor them than by wearing them as our skin? As people document us and upload pics to social media, maybe some of their social capital and connections will reflect well on us when facial recognition spots them!
Considering the short attention spans of our audience and most people today, our aesthetics must keep durational distraction in mind. With so many petitions and headlines to fill our forcefeeds – and infinite pics to upload, tag, share and comment on (and now add filters, stickers and masks to) we can brand and rebrand ourselves to distraction! Of course this is another kind of durational performance practice in which, if we are lucky, we’ll be paid for with social and cultural capital.
CB: Your work also often tackles – if not dismantles – icons and, thereby, power.
DR: Then you must misunderstand the purpose of DR. We intend to caress power and nurture it, and restore power to those who use it most!
We’ve also just happened to solve most of the world’s problems simultaneously. If the world, like the CensorSHIP boat, destabilizes one’s equilibrium, the DR’s strategies and tools are there to help us thrive in the instability, and keep us all on our toes. Drowning in dizzying post-truth reality winnings, the yaga position of Indefinite Attention ensures we are alert and neutral, ready and passive!
CB: Social media entailed a radical change in the transmission and fruition of information, especially in terms of immediacy and bias. What part do they play in your practice?
Social media is extremely important to the practice of desearch. That’s why we’ve launched our own social media state. There are just so many choices when it comes to communicating – FB, gmail, youtube, blogger! But we’re now offering a more simple solution. Get your state and social media all in one.
Desearch Repartment has found the solution to #alt-2017™: with a trump of the will we birthed a new nation-state on the Internet, the State of Exceptional Webnation, or #SOE. This immaterial and borderless online nation is an alternative to utopia, and everyone is invited to apply for citizenship.
Navigating the site means engaging in all our favourite online activities that bring us together as a community: selfies, quizzes, memes, chatting, and watching videos, not to mention gaining friends and earning status, all while keeping up with the impressive algorithms. Users will only communicate through emojis and try to gain power and status through excessive of the site, as they work their way to becoming nanobots, clones, holograms, DNA archives, or a simulated reality – perfect versions of themselves, and perfect slaves to the system!
In the most extreme makeover ever SOE Webnation revamps the art world and the prison industrial complex by merging these institutions as the Institute for Durational Futures, or the IDF. Through online instruction in YAGA (DR’s contemporary spiritual embodiment practice that takes from yoga, performance art, and self-torture) prospective citizens will execute immaterial labour and cultivate their durational compassion, making them ideal followers, captive nation-builders and metadata artworks unto themselves at Desearch Repartment’s creative prison, the IDF.
As America’s most famous painter George W. Bush proclaimed, “You’re either with us or you’re against us” and with Donald Trump’s global mobius fence we can be both at the same time! Trump’s victory has brought Neo-Lived Realism to the foreground ever reminding us that the world in fact has finally folded in on itself.
CB: You deal a lot with the ‘commodification of human relations’, a trend – attributing commercial value to non-commodities – that seems to be ever-growing. Where do you see this going?
DR: Commodification is often given such negative connotations. But we see it as beneficial to personal growth! People everywhere commodify themselves, and we believe this could be streamlined through the SOE and the IDF. When the relations between subject and object, performer and audience, surveiller and surveillee, prisoner and guard are all conflated we can all be equal. The problem up till now is fungibility. With SOE all data matters and our conversion into DNA archives will bring about tolerance. Your data is your labour and when it’s all been collected all people will be free to pursue durational self-actualization and their creative life sentences at the IDF, while their data works for them.
CB: What did you concentrate on during your residency at arebyte?
DR: Holding an audience captive while we executed a boat party.
CB: What’s next?
DR: We’re doing a residency in North Korea where we will get the opportunity to fall into comas and get some much needed rest.
Desearch Repartment came out of a political shift in the early 2000s that coincided with the invention of relational aesthetics and the birth of the Internet. When the walls fell on 9/11 identity politics also fell away, opening up a new sense of cultural, political, and social relativity where artistic colonization could flourish. Through the combined genesis of social media and social practices, the commodification of human relations became a stepping stone on which DR built its foundation, laying the groundwork for the Institute for Durational Futures and the ESSENTIALHAPPINESSPOSSIBILITY.
Recent activities: UK iParty for Human Rights aboard the CensorSHIP yacht party, the State of Exceptional Webnation, Motivate – Stop Torturing Your Selfie, Innovate – Creative Prison Solutions, and Captivate – Art Fairs for Life workshops; conventions in Geneva, Cologne, Cleveland, and London; the Ein Rand/One Border: Defining Community through Neo-Lived Realism conference and Neo-Lived Realism and the City: New Artistic Strategies of the DR bus tour; and curation of the forthcoming Guantanamo Art Fair in Cuba.