ENTKUNSTUNG II Preface

Discernment, good sense, and sanity are essential issues to have in consideration in a world saturated with information coming from words and images. This attitude is necessary in order to assimilate what is given to us and what we should return to our milieu. Nevertheless, it is also true that this milieu is constantly contradicting us and is telling the story of a society that persists in erasing the boundaries between the public and private spheres of life, between what generates the feeling of security and uncertainty, and between what is to be considered as good or evil.

The efforts of the artistic practice and thinking for summoning reflection and discussion—coming from the desire to change the actual state of affairs reigning and to break the vicious cycle of immobility and stupor— are struggling to stay afloat within the drowning forces that come to represent the contemporary world, and that are being strengthened by the digital regime that rules today.

The reality created by technology implied the possibility of free access and transfer of knowledge and equal opportunities in a still polarised world between the metropolis and the periphery. This notion may seem to be old and obsolete, however, it is important to recognise that it was conditioned and delimited by colonisation and decolonisation narratives coming from hegemonic actors, the ones that also fostered homogenisation processes never seen before in history. Creating a scenario where all the indicators, values, and paradigms have become entirely relative, within a still polarised and fragmented society.

According to Eric Sadin, the appearance of a new human condition called “Anthrobology”, advanced by smartphones and digital devices of this kind, allows increasing individuality exponentially. It also gives rise to the creation of what are apparent bonds in humanity, where the boundaries between the public and the private spheres are almost non-existent, and where the body and self-reflection are transgressed and corrupted by superficiality.

The relation between the banal and the evil was addressed in one of Hannah Arendt’s greatest works, and Zygmunt Bauman, coming back to the topic, suggested that “evil, as we know, has its best friend in banality, while banality takes the routine for ultimate wisdom.” Nowadays, perhaps we no longer have the same spaces for protests and radical instances in comparison with the emancipatory spirit of former generations. However, this is the main reason for us to be here—being aware of this moment in history—because we believe in something, in a struggle. Therefore, it is necessary to actively assume a position to eradicate the superficiality and loss of ideals. We have to be able, thus, to reverse the current technological conditions and to foster a change that could allow us to become a SOCIETY again.

—CAROLINA MARTÍNEZ SÁNCHEZ

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