It’s getting harder to glamorise exclusion

Douglad Coupland, BOHEMIA = UTOPIA?:

…Blank collar means this – and listen carefully because this is the rest of your life – if you don’t possess an actual skill (surgery, baking, plumbing) then prepare to cobble together a financial living doing a mishmash of random semi-skilled things: massaging, lawn-mowing, and babysitting the children of people who actually do possess skills, or who own the means of production, or the copper mine, or who are beautiful and charismatic. And here’s the clincher: The only thing that is going to make any of this tolerable is that you have uninterrupted high-quality access to smoking hot Wi-Fi. Almost any state of being is okay in the twenty-first century as long as you can remain connected to this thing that turns you into something that is more than merely human…

…You can’t really go to the bohemian part of town because it’s gone now. The underground is now up in the Cloud, with its corporeal creators down on Earth trying to enter the grid as little as possible while, at the same time, they’re as deeply addicted to the Internet as is anyone else whose brain has been neurally structured by its interfaces and patterns…

…And it’s getting harder to glamorize exclusion, to romanticize the periphery, to idealize a “bohemian” way of life that is often simply the resulting end state of genetics, brain pathologies, obsolesced skills, unharmonized immigration regulations, failed social safety nets, an art market that isn’t really sure what it is any more…

First published in TEXTE ZUR KUNSTE Issue No. 97 / March 2015 “Bohemia”

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Jamie Atherton

Jamie Atherton is an artist living and working in London.

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