DVD 5 Dolla (The Creator)Posted: June 22, 2011
What if it’s all fake? What if the days we’re living in now are a bootleg version of the real thing – a pirated copy of authentic existence? Baudrillard’s fantasy: the sun a hacked-together facsimile, the oceans an optical trick with mirrors, projectors and ink. The DVD cover of it would show recent disaster scenes melting into each other – tornadoes in midwestern America, political upheaval in North Africa and the Mideast, a tsunami and nuclear meltdown in Japan, drought in Africa, and poverty everywhere. It would sit in piles on bed sheets along with other new release DVDs on Junction Boulevard in Queens or in the discreet handbags of middle-aged Chinese women going around restaurants in Chinatown trying to hawk the latest.
I’m reminded of a piece by artist, filmmaker and my main man Daragh Reeves – a small format photograph of a blurry city in silhouette, blackened by an extinguished sun. Above it in the darkening sky is his handwriting:
Without Sun The World Is A Bomb
Without Your Land, Your Are Sand
Rooks Fly In to Taste Bones
While in L.A.
Someone Makes A Call And The Sun Goes Down
In a familiar tableaux, cops run up on these women peddling bootlegs of the real, forcing them to pack up and scatter. On the concrete, they fulfill the high end logic of those that signaled an end to originality and authenticity in the 70s and 80s: Sherry Levine, Warhol, Barbara Krueger, Rosalind Krauss, Frederic Jameson, and all those others. But that’s for the photography era, the mechanical reproduction age. We’re past that, on to thinking about what the world wide web of information really is: a limitless, nearly lawless landscape of footnotes to everything in the world. Instantaneous, where the sun doesn’t drop – it’s on call, some version of it.
But how will this world be explained in 2000 years? How will religion make this rhyme? At one point writing must have been seen as the most extreme kind of technology. Ultimately it was used to explain the forces of nature and the logic of men and women. It was then that written language ceased to be a technology and became nature itself. I’ll leave it up to Ghostface Killah to put it into eloquently raw terms in a conversational skit preceding the song “Black Jesus” from his Ironman album (1996). A wise, older brother figure lectures his young disciple:
Older Brother: Everything in the universe, God, that’s created the universe, God, exists within you. You see what I’m sayin’? And that’s the mind that you can’t see. Don’t you know if a man could take and flip himself inside out, God, he’d fall out and he’d die if he see the shit that goes on inside.
Young Disciple: So you mean to tell me I’m made up of all this right here?
Older Brother: You’re the creator of all this.
Young Disciple: Right.
Older Brother: Cause all these things must happen. It must take place. See people go back in the day, God, and say yeah well one man, one woman, Adam and Eve…there ain’t no such thing, God, everything you see always has been and always will what? Be. Regardless of whom or why, it’s got to be.