Internationale Virologie Numismatique

8 April 2004 - 15 May 2004
Opening Reception 8 April 2004 8pm

Back Gallery

We Have A Special Plan for this World

“Tick. Tick. Tick. The sound of both bomb and clock, an irony only if one believes a distinction was ever possible. Especially since time and space begin solely when they are measured, and that is where struggle begins, too. Another possible irony.” IVN— excerpt from brochure text

The Internationale Virologie Numismatique (IVN) was established in 1999 by Mathieu Beauséjour, who works collaboratively under this title with artists, writers and musicians. For this exhibition at Mercer Union, Beauséjour will work with Pete Dubé. Together they create texts and artifacts of a ficitious underground artist collective in order to look at historical and contemporary utopian visions. Beauséjour and Dubé have previously collaborated under the this collective, exhibiting in “Les Commansseaux,” Skol, Montreal. Beauséjour has extensively exhibited in Canada and France. He produces conceptually based installations and interventions that deal with notions of money and representations of power. Pete Dubé is a poet and writer who has published the “Vortex Manifesto”, and a novel “Hovering World”, DC Books.

Brochure Text by Internationale Virologie Numismatique

Tick. Tick. Tick.

The sound of both bomb and clock, an irony only if one believes a distinction was ever possible. Especially since time and space begin solely when they are measured, and that is where struggle begins, too. Another possible irony.

Tick. Tick. Tick.

Time, as currently defined at least, marches on in a space increasingly contested. All around us one finds the cutting up of moments of experience into manageable (how’s that for a telling word) segments, each assigned its function. Time to study. Time to go to work. Relax and unwind NOW. Here is the first of the many violences done by culture. And there seems little point to reviewing once again the enormities of violence committed over parcelling out times terrible twin—space—into arbitrary divisions based on national “identity” and business interests.

There seems little reason to do so precisely because we have so many reasons to suspect reality’s infinite constructability. All of our experience and our study, our observation and reflection have suggested as much to us. As our comrades in The Vortex Faction have asserted in their Manifesto, and we concur:

The real is a hypothesis, it is elastic and is constantly in flux—in every respect it calls out for fiction to touch its skin, a kind of erotic boundary.(1)

Elasticity. Touch. The words call to mind both notions of plasticity and a tug-of-war, the creative act and conflict.

Here, too, is a starting point, not so much because the malleability of everything troubles us—actually, we rather like that—but because of who is doing the moulding. And why? Particularly when so much of what is around us wants to seem inevitable, as if the current organization of the world were the result of a natural, organic growth and self-structuring; as if no programme were being served.

But what is really being done is the guaranteeing that there are enough hours in the day to go shopping.

We’ll have no more of it, this reasonable time. No more of this TV-schedule life, this time for making money. This time for spending it. City streets, imagination, lust, all of human life now subordinated to the infernal logics of greed.

Even worse, the promise of a radical hipness is everywhere. There are products that can make us more cool, more rebellious and, of course, therefore, more desirable. There are products for people just like us, too tuned-in to wallow in the hype. This $85.00 tee-shirt will let the whole world know how savvy you are. Especially if you add a little spritz of the perfume of independence.

The end of days really is near. But the good news is that some people—different people—do have another plan for this world.

In the face of the spiraling needs of the machine and the relentless efforts of its manager/mechanics to find perpetually new ways to make us want their tripe (as we all know, the health of the economy is at stake,) we want to create little zones of eternity. Times and spaces free of evaluation, economics and exigencies. Times and spaces freed for creativity. Places where we can respond to the measured world all around us.

And, in view of the final implosion of capitalism’s logic, in which even the resistance is a market, we want to pitch a little dialectics. To show how the machine co-opts and calls forth its ancient enemy at the same time.

Because it does call it forth. If the playing field of imagery is totally free and they want to sell with our iconographies, what might we do? What might we find hot? Their gamble is a risky one because even as it opens up some possibilities for them it opens up a few for us as well. If they court and crush all revolutionary ardour at the same time—what the hell—why can’t we pant over and deflate power simultaneously?
So here’s an invitation, since success is so sexy. We’ve set the proverbial table before our enemies, and our friends. Here is our boardroom, where no decisions need to be made right now, where time stands still, or moves, as you see fit. It’s your time after all. So, let’s take the iconographies of their power and do something else with them. Let’s re-engineer, to borrow one of their words.

Because the final conflict, if you like, could show up anytime—the struggle to retool those old shibboleths: time, money and space.

Tick. Tick. Tick.

(1) The Vortex Faction. Manifesto: A Metafiction. Montreal: Vortex Editions. 2001; p. 14.