Skip to content


Illusion-some points for production

by marit Shalem

download as pdf
“Illusion becomes real - Capitalism at its finest”
Gordon Gekko in ‘Wall Street’ 1987

A commercial gives us a promise, a new aura to the daily object. We know it’s an illusion, but so what? Anything triggering our fantasy is wonderful. According to Walter Benjamin, a reproduceable work of art has shifted its base from the rituallistic to the political. Noticing that the political is strongly influenced by commercial interests, we can conclude that an object appearing in a commercial can nearly become an object of art itself. But it hasn’t really happened yet, or has it?
The momentum of creation was gone while turning on the conveyor belt. The object has lost it’s aura while the one appearing on a billboard is a mere seduction. But wait: There is another kind of momentum taking place- a synthetic phonk in a collective subconscious. Deep into the cells of the object, a message is transmitted.

Nostalgia and Sentimentalism are main ingredients of Hollywood products. A muscleman with a tear rolling down his cheek, takes his place behind the set, pulling the emotional strings of the actors and the viewers simultaneously. But we are smart, we don’t need to be moved by others. We can do our own thinking. Knowing that Hollywood might sneak up on us from unexpected corners, we arm ourselves with a good portion of Cynicism.
A jar of night cream can become an object of art, that was introduced with conceptualism. A pair of surgically plastified bosoms can also be turned into a work of art, but this time from within the minds of the broad public - a masterpiece for the people. The kind of justice market economy does for the people.

The fascination by public in general with figures who dare to be bad, seems to compensate a tedious daily routine. People drag themselves into units of work, investing energy in a production system in which they don’t necesseraly see any purpose. Both the Bob and the Rough characters need each other to maintain a life of occasional luxury goods and kicks.

Doing bad things can be seen as a true necessity for reflection, a search for new domains while scratching under a superficial facade. Distruction as Production. The bad boy and naughty girl are not only needed by the aesthetic regime of the arts, but are also celebrated in the marketplace. In this way they become products. The market knows there’s an urge for that thrill of danger and does well packaging it, or rather, its outbursts, into commodities. Whether production is liberating - it is difficult to say. Of course, it depends on what is being produced and how. What’s liberating is the process, the transformation of the source into something new. The product itself needs to get its own life, somewhere in Catallaxy space, the space of chaos in which goods and capital circulate.

Liberation comes about by taking liberty. That is, by using the set of rules and codes of action in a re-order, thereby illuminating the way it could work. Using trigger points, instead of planning an overall change, is actually much more efficient. Like a method of Reflexology.