Historical analysis is strategic, and the stories we tell and the details we point to are tactical. That is why it is so important to go back through the history of human art making, and to observe the practice of art from a different angle.
To some extent, this blog is motivated by the idea of revealing another art history, an alternative art history – dare I say, the other art history. On the other hand, I also intend to investigate nonconventional forms of creative expression for the purposes of developing the political agency inherent in what it means to make art and history
It also seems important to keep with the principle of minimalism, and to use Ockham’s razor in our studies. When your goal is to break new ground or investigate touchy subject matter, it only makes sense to simplify the means. Why complicate what is already nestled within a complex predicament?
With that said:
What are tactical aesthetics?
Tactical aesthetics render visible the politics of aesthetic operations between industries of cultural production. It’s about getting into a headspace, where you begin to see things clearly, where you begin to comprehend the complexity with which visual culture operates.
Art that is tactical is interventionary. It is itself a form of critical analysis, action research and evaluation. It is itself praxis-oriented and involves an alternative way of living. And that is because tactical aesthetics have a purpose: revolution through art.
When I use the word revolution, I am referring to a series of orchestrated pedagogical interventions that open up freedoms, [quite abruptly on the one end and tenderly on the other]. This project is ultimately about freedom of expression, respect for human dignity, and accessibility for all. This to me is what socio-economic justice is all about.
I do not see the war machine or the apparatus of capture as necessary evils. In fact, what people often call a necessary evil, I see as an unnecessary denial of the alternative. Cynicism is often the result of a lack of sustained thought on matters of utmost importance.
Problems in this country are far more dynamic than can be seen by the eye – we have to engage the heart, the sensible, and the psychic, libidinal incentives that influence sensibility.
We have to dream beyond the present lest we end up building our own hell out of this prison.
I see concerted interventions proportional to the social issues they address: human bodies raiding parliaments or breaking military sieges, crossing borders or refusing to move from their homes. To revolt against copacetic exploitation is to take on the difficult role of being an engaged human being.