Featuring the ReTag Participant’s “Retroactive Logo Distribution”
Marisa Olson | Mon Dec 4th, 2006 4:03 a.m.
Again and again and again, capitalism consumes every possible alternative to itself that emerges. This represents a phenomenon that will continue to occur as long as such supposed 'alternatives' continue to be invented. What needs to be made clear to those who seek to challenge capitalism is that capitalism relies on otherness to itself to exist. Because of this, as long a forms representing difference toward capitalism continue to be invented, the voracious drive of what is essentially a consumptive machine will run into infinity.
Retroactive Logo Distribution (ReTag) here goes to the heart of the issue at stake with regard to this matter. It engages from an angle that bypasses the essential and basic assumption provoking the move to invent alternatives in the first place; that capitalism as a problem doesn’t inherently contain a redemptive quality (its own solution). Retroactive Logo Distribution represents just that: nothing less than a disease's answer to itself as a disease. Not to be confused with being 'negative' in the sense of offering no solution, this project functions according to a logic of a negation of negation. The resulting remainder should not be written off as representing 'nothing' but instead this 'nothing' should be understood as a embodiment of the end of capitalism in an action.
The adoption of capitalism's imperial drive to be omnipresent in the world presents the only real alternative to capitalism. If capitalism is to be challenged, the logic made clear in this project, essentially more capitalist than is good for capitalism, will in some form or another have to be adopted and spread like the disease that inspires it.
While federal agencies and the potentially infinite number of other secret and invisible services, that spy on the population of the countries they claim to protect, would perhaps love to conclude that, by featuring this work, we support and condone the actions perpetrated by the actors in it but we are sorry to have to let them (you) down by hereby saying that we absolutely do not. Graffiti, in and of itself, (like any other particular form), as far as we're concerned, is completely banal and as such serves no function that we are interested in supporting. If anything, rather than representing a challenge to capitalism (our intention), graffiti, as a practice in and of itself, serves to do the opposite in that it falsely stands for an action that is subversive, steering a large percentage of the population toward the production of the 'alternatives' we just argued against.
Our interest in Retroactive Logo Distribution is in its underlying logic. As such it represents a much more real threat to capitalism. Featuring this project and others is intended to effect how people understand what already exists in the world; to redirect the energy, currently directed toward the production alternative forms of expression (effectively producing nothing new), toward the production of an actually new thing (the active production of Nothing).