Life After Lockdown – Jeremy Gluck – Beyond Nonceptualism

Jeremy Gluck is a Canadian musician and conceptual artist who holds an MArt at The University of Wales. Based in Swansea, he is also a founding member of the English surf rock band, The Barracudas,’ formed in 1978.

“For many of us in lockdown limbo, finally life was deconstructing and parts of our lives falling away. And, by extension, locked in with our wired selves on overtime, parts of our bodies were falling away, too. Into the sweet void, the mind loosed to its adventures uninhibited, concepts clustering, adhering, amalgamating-mutating.

During lockdown I innovated what I call “no-production”, the apotheosis of my “concepts clustering”, and the point at which all laws of art have broken down.

Beyond my theoretical flights of the imagination, in practice – literally and figuratively – the laws of the arts are breaking down due to the Covid-19 crisis, with the arts critically undermined and under threat. This is lumping true to Chaos Theory, where we find “…complexity, bifurcation and chaos in natural and man-made lumped an distributed systems”.

If anything, concepts clustering is a form of lumping, the imposition of mind ordering the chaos – using it – in a sort of liberated, profligate no-production. This is what happens when the one is subtracted from the zero. This is quantum creativity, then. Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj once said, I have eaten up the world and I need not think of it anymore. In the same way, via lockdown, no-production and concepts clustering has eaten up art and need not think of it anymore.

After lockdown, concepts – ideas – are no longer differentiated. There is no idea x here and idea y there that equals idea z. When there is no differentiation of ideas there are no…ideas at all. An idea can only exist in contrast or opposition, or in cooperation, with another idea. If there is only one idea how does one know it is an idea? So profligate lumping of ideas into a homogenous mass creates the conditions for a Big Bang void explosion. Anagrams of the word idea include “die a”. Kill the first letter of the alphabet and the alphabet dies. This is the antidote to the language virus. The alphabet dies, spelling dies, words die, thought dies, nothing lives except lumpen concepts beyond tethering.

How will we experience art now?

For me, it is that, finally, we will experience art as ourselves. I wrote about this a few years ago, as “I-specific” art, and lockdown has made it happen. I am the site. I am the work. Doing is not the thing, being is the thing. “The eyes of others our prisons; their thoughts our cages,” said Virginia Woolf, and to me this is at the heart of a post-lockdown, post-digital, post-art world we create. Art liberated from the eyes and thoughts of ourselves and others.”

Welcome to the Lockdown- 0 – 1 Binary Performance

is a binary performance created collaboratively during lockdown in response to delivering a digital version of planned, postponed Bath Arts Fringe / SHIFT performances by digital/binary means; created with live coder Northwoods (Charlie Kramer). Translations of texts concerning healing as art and digital emptiness into binary code generatively converted into audiovisual output.

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