In relation to layers of illusion and what we call reality we tend to cross each other out and look for an illusion from our armoury of collective ideas. Certain periods for example of architecture are eventually curated and decimated leaving only certain examples behind. Some cities will leave more or less depending on what they feel is appropriate and graffiti can have the same kind of logic although it is somewhat less complex than architecture. In saying that though it is a good example of the layering of illusions in urban settings. Western powers will cross out Indigenous culture as they have in the past and continue to do so now. We all feel that the media is a place of mindless entertainment and in a lot of ways it is but it is part of that system of dominance and cultural cross out.
There are movies and books that address a myriad of concerns but what I am mainly getting at is popular culture. Popular culture can’t be radical culture although it may touch on radical ideas. If popular culture and dominant cultural cosmologies were truly beneficial they would need to be radical in the most extreme sense. Why aren’t radical voices in the mainstream? The answer seems obvious if we think of our role as passive participants in the society we live in yet also in a sense collectively delayed by our own ignorance of the geo-political trajectories that are outside of our control. The way the media and collective storytelling goes we are in sense actors in a larger story that is constantly told through many different channels.
There are radical voices that are accessible and scattered through the collective consciousness of every society yet they will not find themselves in the mainstream fully. The fact that they are allowed to exist doesn’t mean that there is any tolerance, it is just that they are collectively disempowered and are not spoken aloud/allowed into the larger consciousness because the bigger voice of junkyard money-driven distraction is the most important and carries the collective storyline we are allowed to follow. When I paint on a certain wall with graffiti I cross out their collective illusion and eventually, my own illusion will be crossed out and the process cycles until the actors run out of energy on whichever side.
As in the example of architecture, there is only a certain period of time available within a lifetime or generation. Documentation, application and any marks left will fade depending on the technology, value or understanding of various activities, there are no guarantees. Whatever dominant powers will worthy or smaller powers archive the most radical of voices will remain the undercurrent pushing against the tide. The powers that be know the bigger tide is too strong for those smaller voices yet the pendulum will eventually swing in the other direction as noted by some 19th Century philosophers.
If you look at someone like Danny Lim, he is an agitator and has been beaten by police a number of times in full public view. He is swimming against the tide in his own way, imagine if he was even more provocative in relation to police brutality and society cross out. A few weeks ago there was a protest against police killing indigenous youth and the police showed up in full force almost outnumbering the protesters. When we go with the larger tide of social stories even if it seems fun and a moment of mindless abandon we are simply making the tide that much stronger against radical voices. I am not calling for cancelling culture but just making the point that we should be delving into the radical conscience so the push against the system gets stronger.