Brave New World
Brave New World is the title I have given to the newest piece of art I have produced. Typically, I imagine, one would read it as a reference to the novel of the same name written by Aldous Huxley in 1931. That would only partially be true. I must admit that I have not actually read the book, but have become familiar with its themes through the writings of one William S Lind, Director for the Center for Cultural Conservatism for the Free Congress Foundation and also one of the individuals primarily responsible for developing the generational approach to war-fighting, specifically 4th Generation Warfare.
To be brief, 4GW isn't necessarily a completely new method of fighting wars. In fact, it more closely resembles the kind of warfare fought in pre-modern times where combatants align themselves by descriptors other than the State. These can be family related, religion, community, friends etc. Modern terrorism displays aspects of this, but is not necessarily representative. Other examples of 4th Generation fighters would be historical figures such as Jesus Christ, Martin Luther King Jr., and Ghandi. Why were they 4th Generation? Because of their ability to briefly unify many disparate groups into coherent wholes to not only challenge the power of the State, but to overcome it. In their cases they achieved this through primarily non-violent means, though violence was inflicted against them. They are, perhaps, some of the more successful practitioners of 4GW.
What this has to do with my work is in the content of the piece. Right away one is able to make out two large, human figures set in a bleak landscape. One is a white male in tactical police gear, the other a statue of the Biblical Eve. Both figures are blurred, masking their faces. In the center, and in clear focus, we see one of the towers of the World Trade Center burning with the impact of the second plane having taken place only moments ago. Surrounding the towers is a sea of destruction being rained down from above by a blurred halo of American war machines. So what does it mean?
It is essentially an allegory on the consequences of the use of force by State actors in this 4th Generation of Warfare. The primary mistake made in invading Iraq was the invasion itself. The numerous projected aims of the invasion, WMD's, support for terrorism, connections to 9/11 and regime change, were rendered impossible by our very presence. In essence, we unleashed a wave of violence to drown the memory of 9/11 in blood. Our blood, their blood, it didn't matter. The cumulative effect of all this bloodshed is that we have inflicted a pain on ourselves greater than that of 9/11. By strictly numerical means the death toll of American soldiers exceeds that of the 9/11 victims. We have shot ourselves directly in the foot. Why? The pursuit of the Brave New World.
Our Brave New World requires us to conform to the vision of our ruling elites, to have faith in our historical mythology that is the nation state. The male as super masculine, dressed to the nines in clothing and equipment geared specifically for war fighting. Yet this is no soldier. This is a police officer. Who is his enemy? Our common sense tells us that it is those who break the law. His outward appearance says that we are his enemy. His dress commands both respect and fear. Our domestic police forces increasingly identify more readily with the mind sets of soldiers than they do with civilian keepers of the peace. So here we have a representative of the hyper-masculine, pre-modern conception of the gender we refer to as male. The conception preferred by those who seek to establish our Brave New World.
On the flip-side we see the marble statue of Eve. A glimpse of the perfect woman, as men of power intended her to look. Naked, white and ultimately an object whom we are supposed to admire from a distance. She attempts to cover her nakedness, ever the demure woman of fantasy. No means yes. She is meant to be looked at, she wants you to look at her, this is what she was created for. Legend would have it that is what God himself intended as the fate of all women. A look back in our own relatively recent history would confirm this, from the standpoint of our white, Christian, male patriarchs. Again, the leaders of the ongoing Brave New World have created a conception of gender they have deemed to be total and absolute. Individuals breaking from their vision are simply not be tolerated.
This piece is a representation of the internal and external methods by which the forces of the Brave New World struggle for dominance, but which will ultimately constitute the ground work for their demise. Men and women simply are not monoliths. We are human beings.