KRISTIAN von HORNSLETH
Copyright Futilistic Society Publishing
English translation by Regitze Hess 2005
Futilism is the philosophy of opening doors to the hidden, to the illicit, and to what is beyond the obvious, the rational and apparent meaningful aspects of culture. Futilism is Kristian Hornsleth's thoughts on what we normally turn our backs to, either because we are scared of it or because we simply do not see it.
Kristian Hornsleth is a philosopher, artist and architect – in that order. He is a futilist in the creation of pictures, sculptures and buildings. In my eyes the futilistic manifest are the thinker's words and explanations for the consciousness promoting currents of our day and age. Many people in different jobs, from entertainment to business management, practice a relation to the idea of saying and doing seemingly meaningless and futile things. Some people love to pilot the chaotic space – out there where others become scared, because they cannot orientate themselves.
This book can not be used to illuminate the dark and fix the chaotic. On the contrary it can be of use to the intellectuals, who from a bird's eye perspective, follow the individualizing currents of frustration of our times and want to relate to them in a qualified way and are hungry to put words on them.
Kristian Hornsleth's manifest shifts between blinding clarity and a hazy overload (obscure pressure overload) of words, which take up so much space that they cast shadows. The brave reader who arms himself with concentration, time and patience will experience a new world of subjective thought experiments and analytical abstractions.
Futilism is a clash with boredom, routine, institutions and traditions, because it questions them. I also believe that futilism will gain the attention of scientific philosophers who teach the thoughts of acknowledged thinkers. Kristian Hornsleth has, with this new thinking thought monument, not manifested himself as a scholared philosopher. He on the contrary qualifies in words and deeds as a creative thinker.
Jens Erik Hoverby, philosopher, Copenhagen, 1997
by Kristian von Hornsleth
In my work with art, architecture, film, music and the marketing of these, my interest has revolved around the idea of developing a method of reading and constructively using a particular conception of the meaningless or the futile if you will. This method I have termed "futilism" and this book is a manifestative guide for an (im)possible outline of futilism. With this present preface I will try to clarify some of the underlying ideas that have resulted in this very personal and possibly foolish project.
Another ism? Oh no! Another ism attempting to contest and answer to everything preceding it. The world has gone haywire (crazy) and it is also about time. Just close this book and put it back on the shelf with the other unsellable and unreadable books. At first glance this book unfortunately appears in many ways to be part of the typical word masturbating nonsense that every other art school imposes on poor art lovers.
I will not defend myself against this, but only say that in my attempts at a futilistic reading of this world of randomness (incidence), I have had a great time with inspiring experiences. Thus I hope that the readers of this manifest can benefit from futilism as a thought liberating tool and not alone get stuck in the sporadic threatening idiosyncratic headwind experienced in the actual reading of the texts.
The idea of futilism has hounded me since the late 80s as a cross between a guiding star and a sneaking insanity. One can say what we have here is an artistic productive desperation in a solipsistic encounter with a sneaking obsession, which over time has gradually become an irreversible occupation of my world image. And as only the insane can see it, the writing subject is fanatically obsessed with the idea of communicating what seems to him quite obvious. He communicates through a self-induced concept, which in this case is a concept called futilism.
On the one hand, I feel like a fanatic priest, driven by a weird inner need to relate my discoveries regarding the state of the elements via futilism. On the other hand I feel, in relation to the general poverty of language, that it could be quite impossible to depict a conceptual phenomenon such as futilism in written words. Especially when it comes to the reading of the rich noise of futility between the semantic stars, between the extinct value norms and between the meaning of the powerful letters.
To come closer to my inner discussion of the meaningless and futile matter, which at first hand can appear to be more than complicated to talk about, I have chosen to work in a manifestative form, which over time has precipitated into a number of aphorisms. Short and at times irritating and self-repetitive litanical attempts at approaching a description of futilism – all with the idea that if you shoot in the dark and want to hit everything in a certain way, in order to find the light, you might as well use a sawn-off shotgun when you deal with time as a parameter.
When talking about the pure textural and technical communication of futilism, I have constructed this manifest as one long line of arguments. This is based on the idea that when you hear a great lecture or read a strong essay I believe to have experienced that the listener and reader is gently guided from one point to another and is never left alone from the writers sucking up to the idea of gaining still more worshippers. Hollywood.
Here the line of argumentation seems futilistic and therefore has a futilistic logic of its own. Here we go. And as the text has not been subject to any kind of filtering or disposition in a classical sense, the elements will appear in a form and order serving a futilistic conception. A more classical reading will automatically be regarded as traditional, and would therefore be the same as serving new wine in old bottles of lost value norms. A classical reading of the texts would therefore show an illogical and incoherent order of text fragments. Why a futilistic reading hopefully will present its own inner logic.
As usual, it's all about what system you choose to regard a particular concept. The futilistic line of argumentation in the manifest is the idea of binding together fragments of thought in a complex structure of seemingly futile and uncontrolled leaps in thought, which could be called the hyper-associative element. It is a kind of enzyme for the production of a steady stream of evidences for the application of futilism. It is important that the book also becomes a product of its own subject, a futilistic project. Good luck.
The manifest is conceived as a construction with doors opening directly to the idea of the paradoxical and utopian fields of a totally clean and self-conscious formation of meaning, not to be mistaken with a mere lack of discipline. Every time I have attempted a classical form of construction of the texts, I have found it futile in a classical sense. So, my dear reader, I sincerely believe that the aphorisms in their present form and order have a great chance at projecting images and ideas for the benefit of the brave reader.
The recognition of the cynical process of sorting through thousands of fragments to produce precise extractions, in order to - at all - communicate to the reader, is something one has to take like a man. I have consciously introduced a razoring of the tabula in my writing process after finding that it all, as a matter of fact, became stronger every time I succeeded in convincing myself to go ahead with the actual writing, instead of walking around with everything in my head. The cynicism of extraction was implemented in spite of the fact that it all stems from the same simple basic ideas – all extractions only slightly different in the approach to a description of futilism.
As a frustrated student of architecture at the close of the 80s this idea of futilism haunted and inspired me for the first time. At first it just came to me one late evening sitting, working with architecture deeply introvert and speculating about the meaningless and the useless – the noise. I sat there in need of words to describe a particular emotional mechanism for conquering the meaningless space between those value dead and still worshipping necrophile historical forms and figures, by a more or less precisely defined process. I imagined a method by which to read the futile spaces, instead of discarding them – as everybody else - trying to cling on to our gradually worn down value norms.
I discovered that it was important to expand the meaning of the word, meaningless or futile, to not only signalize something negative. The futile element for me was the enormous quantity of noise and signals, which, as a human being, you are forced to sort out if you wish to work as a socio-politically well-functioning person. It could be about anything, any noise whatsoever. But at that moment in time, on that late evening at the drawing board it was mostly about the enormous quantity of potential and unutilized lines, more or less invisible, that danced around those sketched on the paper. The idea grew into ideas of the infinite numbers of unused potential angles between the orthogonal angles, the infinite numbers of thoughts between those thought, the infinite numbers of notes (tones) between the thirteen official ones, the paintings between those painted – and the general noise between the official historical systems of thought. This was one part of the project.
Another aspect and approach to futilism that also occupied my mind at that time was of a less technical, yet more general philosophical nature. It was the whole discussion of the civilization critique, about the understanding of time – nothing less. It was at that time, as it is today, the postmodern philosophers who apparently occupied the scene of worldly understanding, together with the more deconstructing recombination attempts by death rattling modernism.
As a non-ordained I followed and registered a great number of impressions and sensings from these philosophical areas. The discussion of society's general loss of value was ravaging, and I saw inner images of intelligent persons clinging on to his or her little piece of modernistic driftwood in the great black value devouring maelstrom. I didn't understand why one didn't just let go of the sinking modernistic supertanker and become a part of one's own real reality. At that time it did not make sense to me and my young life. How could one be motivated with such gloomy prospects? Therefore I sought out new ways. If the culture pessimism was an life (existence) threatening fact, it had to be taken seriously and turned into something constructive. Then and there I began to imagine that this value norm devouring maelstrom could be read as a roaring river of life with infinite ways and opportunities.
In short I combined the two above experiences. That is to say, on the one hand I had the maelstrom smelting value norms and on the other hand the thoughts of the never ending flow of the now seemingly futile and meaningless information between the official systems of thought, which were liberated as a consequence of the very same value loss. Common for both is the discussion regarding the meaninglessness, the futile element. It was then I began to think about the idea of trying to wear other glasses, and regarding this great non-orientated value swamp as something positive.
I imagined myself entering this swamp or garden, if you like, and reflecting over every single little ripple on every little wave splash or vegetation form. You might consider the very lines of the splash and perhaps combine it with another apparent meaningless thought that you might have had the other day in the supermarket, when you noticed a certain curved shape of a banana, which again set still another thought in motion. You might also have just been watching the news and seen some children in an African war with their hands blown off. Or again a certain feature about your sweetheart or whatever. Under all circumstances you have begun to ask yourself questions about the way your thoughts are generating in your mind, including the so-called hyper-associative side effects.
As time passed it all came down to the idea of creating some sort of construction of a thought pattern based on the seemingly useless, and in this way create a thought pattern in the shelter of the now burnt-out mausoleums of historical meaning.
My thoughts went in the direction of the idea of creating art and everything else in this world based not on the bed of a sinking swamp of burnt out values, but rather on a foundation of the apparently meaningless and futile, a foundation of thought based on the things which the value norms had disclosed on the value loss trips though time.
This foundation, with its point of departure in the futile, in the least appeared more honest. It became still more a question of four steps of procedure:
identifying the thought possibilities of the futile
combining these possibilities in a form of process
getting this combination process to generate relevant art
deciding to name this process futilism
The process was named futilism, and since then I have tried to define, explain, envelop, formulate, describe and agitate for the concept in order to communicate it to others who might possibly be interested. Along the way there have been innumerable recognition problems, which in moments of optimism tell me that these recognition problems are merely helping to clarify futilism, and at the more pessimistic moments make me want to reject the project.
At this point of the discussion most people begin to shake their heads in awkward ways and claim that I merely reinvented postmodernism or redesigned some sort of phenomenological deconstructivism or what is even worse: That I have monopolized a pseudo-recognition (pseudo-cognitive) system copied from children's free, non-prejudicial and naive capacity for imagination. The loneliness in the futilistic project became thus still more evident. It became deeply confusing, on the one hand demoralizing, and on the other hand motivating.
As mentioned I tried rather superficially to understand some of the main characteristics of the different isms circulating through contemporary philosophy. Most of what I came across in my readings I took more to understand as descriptions of conditions and diagnoses, whereas I was to a greater degree shopping for methods and processes by which to tap into the futile's potential energy. I felt that I could not settle for a mere diagnosis, when I was really looking for a cure, the method or the weapon if you like, to sustain the burden of a mendacious construction of meaning. A construction of meaning focused on dying cultural values on artificial respiration. Still I lacked the words to describe this strange feeling in order, in almost a para-scientific manner, to conquer the mental areas which we normally conceive as meaningless and to derive new meanings from this.
Futilism, as mentioned, is a complicated thing to describe precisely. Not only because of reasons of vanity, but also because of what you might call the monotypology of the word. Monotypology causes writing cramps, as the writer is forced to decide just one as opposed to any way other way of describing his idea.
Monotypology: the torturing simplicity of setting down graphics on paper with the freedom of choice as executioner. In this way you sit back alone with the feeling that something could have been written in another way. And no kidding, I have written innumerable editions of the aphorisms in the manifest. This is also partly because I was so cool as not to keep track of my diskettes nor rarely to take a back-up of my precious thoughts. The reason for this focusing on my repetition of the writings of my basic thoughts is because of the double-sided effect you often suffer from when you have to do something over and over again. On one hand an enormous idiosyncrasy takes hold, whilst on the other hand a kind of refining and selection is taking place. Monotypology plays with the premisses of meaninglessness.
Everything is saved and kept. Notes, napkins, countless print-outs with minor almost unidentifiable revisions. Inspiring. Nonsensical nightly writing séances. Frustrating. The present shape of the manifest is chosen and published, and the cost of printing paid for by the author. Tough luck and discipline.
The aphorisms collected over a period of seven years differ in excitement and in the will to communicate. Some are sophomoric, some are of a glass-clinking agitational character, others are introvert with an inclination to hide in a semantic chamber of haze. Some are embarrassingly pedagogical with undertones of scout's honor, and most of them suffer from achiever overload. It is up to the reader's mature decoding.
In my work of an artistic nature it has always been crucial for me that besides the content in the works you can also detect and feel the conditions which surround the actual process of the production of the pieces. It is difficult to detect the physical reality surrounding a written text. It is often more evident when you see a painting which is a product of beautiful materials or produced amidst the utmost destitute poverty. The mental state radiates from between the written lines. My point here is merely to say that nothing has been altered in the original formulations of the aphorisms, which is why they appear to be of an inhomogeneous attitude.
The situation reminds me of when an airline captain wishes his passengers a comfortable trip, whereupon you just have to trust him, while you are storming through the sky at a speed of 1000 km per hour in a titanium tube ten kilometers above the ground. Angst. In this book I am the pilot, and the reader is the hoping traveler, who just has to relinquish his or her precious methods of understanding what is defined as meaningless and futile. In return for the reader's courage this very reader will enjoy an opportunity to work with a totally different and hopefully more honest way of looking at the world and the futile.
Friends and acquaintances of mine have, since the onset of my trip with futilism, advised me not to name the process of futilism with an ism. Many warned me of the role of court jester or Don Quixote figures, who often follow the producers of concepts like futilism. The point being, of these friends, was also to say that the court jester role could kill the potential good original ideas in this apparatus of futilism surrounded by the noise of constructing meaning, sincerity, narcissism and irony. I have nevertheless decided to let the reader find his or her own line of argumentation in the transit halls congenial for the reflection of the manifest. The hall congenial for reflection is conceived as the space between two walls. On the one side there is the wall with the big classical questions served in an overly pedagogically comprehensible will to communicate. The other wall represents the opposite extremely enigmatic introversion of seemingly incomprehensible tripping of images and word combinations. Dwell.
My cure has been opposition and adversity. Now it is all about communication. I humbly dream that some of the ideas will slip into the reader's intellect, carried only by inspiring aha-experiences. Time has allowed me to develop a sharp ability to identify the futilistic signs and aspects of that around us, from art to more normal human activity, whatever that might be. I have politely tormented my immediate surroundings, in an almost Don Quixotian manner, with eternal attempts at fanatically interpreting everything in a futilistic way. I now look at things with greater skepticism and understand that former interpretations were a persistent test of phenomena in relation to futilism. As we are now speaking I am writing an essay collection on applied futilism in discursive confrontation with concrete items. Furthermore another essay collection is under production. This is more of a compilation of texts from various interested people regarding their experiences with futilism.
Time. Yes, time has provided an increasing quantity of evidence for the application of futilism, as well as the contrary. Which is why, I today, in 1997, after five years of working with futilism, find myself more doubtful than ever when it comes to futilism's legitimacy. It is very possibly something like kicking the mental football into your own goal. Especially if you choose to regard the manifest in a classical and value intact perspective. But, dear reader, the reason I have for standing by my decision and bothering my fellow citizens with the project is that I myself have had so many exciting discourses in my own web of thinking as well as interesting discussions with others interested in the ongoing pursuit of a futilistic reading of time.
I am not trying to reduce my work to mere recreational practices of styles and causations concerning the timely chaos trend. On the contrary I am trying to humbly hold onto my stream of recognition and blind alleys. And thus I hope for the brave reader of the futilistic manifest that the number of dead ends will be outnumbered by the recognition of new possibilities of the futile through futilism.
The subject is loaded, the road is long and the goal disintegrates in step with one's understanding of it. It is not exactly the best point of departure for serving up another fucking ism on the present day overbooked market of conceptual thought. So, why at all do it? Hmm. Need for and moral faith in other ways of reaching a relevant and timely picture of hope, in a non-sentimental and at least honest manner. All through a new understanding of noise.
The boy just raised his head from the ground and proclaimed: Come here, look what I found…
The thoughts are still far from their (im)possible conclusions. I now have nevertheless chosen to launch them, without knowing where they will take me.
It is to this point I have reached, use it if you can.
THE FUTILISTIC MANIFEST
Kristian von Hornsleth
Futilism is a method of deciphering new meaning from that which we otherwise consider futile.
The futile is a condition. Futilism is a process allowing one to be constructively inspired by the futile.
Futilism is constructed of the word "futile" and the suffix "ism". The futile is the meaningless and the ism is a certain procedural regard of the futile. In the discussion of futilism, the meaningless is a name for the abandoned wasteland left by the loss of value norms. A wasteland we call futile space. The ism is a method for regarding this futile space. Futilism is a method of looking at and being inspired by futile space.
Over time, futilism has extended and spread itself away from its etymological roots, though without slipping away from it completely.
Many of the ideas encompassing futilism are of course well known in their own right, but what I imagine is that one could gather these ideas as a wild bundle of different evidences of the state of culture under a single concept.
Futilism is a metaphysical framework.
Futilism is an instrument for generating frameworks of thought that also can form the basis for the production of art.
Futilism serves as a navigator in the search for an honest point of departure for an artistic process true to its time.
Futilism is not about finding meaning in meaninglessness, but rather about inventing meaning on the basis of a specific perception of the futile, especially when this view is regarded as point of departure for an unprejudiced field of inspiration of a neutral semantic character.
Our current space is what I call futile space. In English, the word futile means aimlessness, meaningless or lacking content. Futile space is the place where the elements' original structures of meaning are normally considered aimless and lacking content. The subsequent coupling of a specific method of reading the futile space, gives rise to the particular ism, I have called futilism. My point being is that the word futile is not the same as futilism. So whatever you do: Do not start out by thinking of futilism as being futile. It is merely a way of regarding the futile in a new light. Don't be scared, be a futilist...
Futilism is the name for a process and a method, by which one can produce art and therefore also can produce anything else. Futilism can be used as an art generator, if you refuse to allow yourself to be bowled over by the fact that our world image may appear fragmented and tormented by the loss of value norms and general meaninglessness. The concept of futilism works with the idea that all-encompassing meaninglessness is merely only meaningless in appearance. In reality it is this seeming meaninglessness embodies the kernel to a freedom of until now unheard of dimensions.
Parallel with the experience of artistic production a need arose to formulate a general concept for a variety of feelings that seem to surround the projects around the artistic process as seen in a contemporary light. Futilism has been invented for this reason.
Futilism seeks the recognition of the idea that beauty is not synonymous with entirety, but rather is a phenomenon that arises when gazing in-between all of the world-weary, safe and granted solutions.
Futilism signals that it is about a particular method for the investigation of particular aspects of meaninglessness, which many initially choose to misunderstand. Futilism is in no way a matter of producing old-fashioned meaninglessness in itself. As great art it is not. Rather it is a question of an attempt at creating meaning based of a particular way of viewing the elements, the elements we are educated to consider aimless. Be it seemingly useless shapes, sounds and smells, that daily confront one as a child of man.
An initial explanation of futilism is often according to experience, met with a string of great misunderstandings, which is why it is important to establish the following: futilism is not about a fascination with meaninglessness merely in order to generate more absurdity or more meaninglessness. Rather futilism is about taking a positive view of the elements in what presently may seem to be meaningless. Hence it is matter of allowing yourself to be inspired to a way of thinking and artistic process, which might perhaps define some further recognition of what the times have to offer.
In addition to addressing ecological, military, democratic and economic questions the world over, futilism is just as much about people's individual states of being in their personal everyday life. There are three words important to the initial understanding of futilism: loss of value norms, noise and fecund meaninglessness. Up front it can seem like three quite negative words in an absurd juxtaposition. And so they are if read in a traditional manner. But then comes one of the fundamental notions: many people refuse to allow themselves to be toppled by a world that no longer appears solid-cast.
Many people view their day and age as a fragmented era which feels quite meaningless, confusing and overwhelming. And thus it is: instead of entrenching themselves in the stayed and familiar, but now wasted and false values of security of superiority, racism and fanatic religious beliefs, there are those who choose to take a positive view of the opportunities underlying the seemingly noisy times.
It is necessary to reiterate the ideas about the premisses for futilism in order in part to become familiar with and in part to penetrate the enormous concrete wall of ingrown ways we have been brought up to perceive the meaningless. This concrete wall is known as a hurdle in other futilistic texts, the hurdle and negativity.
Futilism is about generating meaning on the basis of new premisses. It consists of a different view of the cacophonic noise of meaninglessness, which you may instead choose to perceive as positive with its unending quantities of possible optimistic thoughts. We just have to learn how to look for them. For example, you could operate with the concept of noise.
Futilism is an ethic for another way of creating significance in the wake of a revolving loss of value norms. The loss of value norms is read in futilism as liberation from value norms. The maelstrom of values is read as a bubbling wellspring of possibilities. Liberation from value norms may seem overwhelming and thus futile. It can seem cacophonic and chaotic, almost like noise.
Value norms have, in the nature of things, always determined what is valuable and what is meaningless, and as these conventions are vanishing into thin air or are being redefined, orienting oneself can be quite difficult, as you don't really know what is what. At first it all can seem quite overwhelming, noisy and meaningless.
The clear-cut does not contrast with that which lacks contrast, noise. Silence is the only contrast to the lack of contrast.
Futilism is a postulate underpinned by poetic and phenomenologically laden aphorisms.
Futilism is about not falling back, in our day and age, on mythologies like religion, men of political power with scare scenarios or rectilinear and order obsessed concepts of symmetry, just because we don't have as much faith as we once had. The space that we seemingly now occupy can be termed as futile space.
When new values are established on the basis of a real worldview, values norms are created. The development carries on with the value norms eventually being worn down through the loss of value norms, so on and so forth.
As a consequence of the prevailing secret that the loss of value norms is about more than just the fact that presidents of our day have smoked pot, and that all intelligent people are a bit worried about techno-holism, is the apparent need for moralizing. It is regressive to moralize over that things aren't cohesive like in the good old days. It is progressive to be a futilist and to speak of fostering the incomprehensible opportunities at the very essence of the irrational, noise, the meaningless, the futile. Therefore futilism.
Futilism is an opportunity that has reached maturity through evolution.
Dashed dreams of totality and crumbling moral values breed meaninglessness, disorder and noise. Noise is normally perceived as something negative. Futilism does not see the meaninglessness born of this as something negative, but as a field of flowering and yet untested opportunities.
It is extremely important to point out that there is absolutely no mention of the worship or cultivation of meaningless in itself, there is too much of that already. Rather what we have here is a questioning of the perception of what we have been brought up to regard as meaningless. The futilist seems to regard the meaningless as something only seemingly meaningless.
Futilism is first and foremost about intellectual, existential and abstract questions and not about immediate things such as whether it is futile to love our children and the non-existent Danish summer.
Futilism works towards preventing our confusing and therewith emotional time from falling into the hands of a one-sided awe of power supported by empty promises of security and pseudo-holism.
Futilism includes the odd tones (blue notes) played along side of the thirteen officially recognized.
Futilism ensures that the basis for mental and physical formation is liberated as a part of a positive reading of the futile, the work subsequently being refined in its own precise and lucid form, just like in the good old days, only now on an honest foundation.
The futilist regards the loss of value norms, the burnt-out mythological transit hall, absent codes of ethics, as the freedom to think and act, at least, on an honest foundation.
Futilism does not in any way reject the dictatorial trademarks of cultural history, let this be the thesis. The antithesis is to insert these trademarks as beautiful ruins into the potential of the futile space, and to create a synthesis based on this.
There are innumerable questions that arise when postulating a concept such as futilism. For instance the question of why now there seem to be more shattered dreams regarding a greater universal whole than there were just fifty or one hundred years ago. Or the question of what the human thought process and spontaneous ideas actually cover, and what is obscured in the noise behind the many billions of thoughts and impressions, which we have to filter through on a daily basis just in order to function. It is questions such as these that constitute the basis for futilism.
The loss of values norms is considered by most as a state, where values are lost – so far so good. And the place where these values are lost is for many people an unpleasant, meaningless place – a futile place. Futilism reacts to this condition by regarding this futile place as a place for opportunity of great moral responsibility in connection.
Futilism is not futile, but works with the understanding of the nature and possibilities of meaninglessness.
The process of futilism builds on the idea of not letting the loss of values norms be the cause of depression. On the contrary futilism seeks to see this rock bottom low in terms of values, which many believe that mankind has yet to reach, as a kind of long-awaited signal for an unprejudiced investigation of meaningless space. Thus it is about doing something, which is possibly utopian, for the sake of expanding the definition of a seemingly negative word like the futile.
Noise is the state after art's own drowning of itself in its own decomposition. Noise is considered by futilism to be the great presence of possible thoughts, where you shop for a source of inspiration, taking it home in order to further cultivate it in your own hyper-associative super-subjectivity. There has arisen a need to formulate a unifying concept for many of the feelings which seem to surround my projects in the artistic process as a reflection of time. Futilism was invented to fulfill this need. (extra sentence not in Danish version)
The confusing thing about the term futilism is that upon first encounter it signals something depressing and veering towards helplessness. However another confusing aspect of the word futilism is that you are forced to discuss perspectives of comprehension, in the hope of recognizing its meaning. From one perspective, which can be termed the pre-value terminal perspective, the elements are seen from a world lamenting the loss of value norms. Here things are treated as if the value norms are still intact, thus the idea of reading the futile in any other way seems absurd. The other and post-value terminal perspective offers a view of a world where the loss of burnt-out value norms is welcomed. Here there is recognition of the irrevocability of the loss of value norms, and you sense new opportunities via futilism.
Futilism chooses not to see the futile space left behind by the loss of value norms as a depressing decline of the west, but rather as a rich landscape of unutilized opportunities and constellations of thinking obscured by the noise in-between the now burnt-out monuments of meaning.
Futilism is about a poetic approximation of a condition, where by residing in less mythologically burdened areas of one's consciousness, you can be inspired to create ideas and forms free from any restraints. Freely understood as such that they are primary and inspired by one's very own sensory apparatus and not by surrounding outside systems
Many people feel that the world has gone haywire, and that things around us aren't what they once were. This is especially prevalent among the older people who are insecure with present day life and express this by saying – back in the good old days – there was a different sense of order in a society based on God, king and country. Some are likely to feel that our loss of values has been at a rate inversely proportional to that of progress, while others may well be of the opinion that new values have arisen. The field has a large spread, and by far the most are likely to agree that entirety as such has disappeared and that a worldview can at times seem overwhelming, noisy, and chaotic and has left what one can term as a loss of value norms in its wake. One may thus be prone to be of the opinion that the systems we are dictated by in our day to day life are undergoing violent change for the worse or for the better and once again in keeping with progress.
Futilism can be a way of making use of contemporary opportunities, without being burdened with the bad conscious of applauding that which you know is a dying cause.
An example of applied futilism is the use of futile space instead of space laden with classical meaning as a point of departure. A prime scare scenario is that of the poor souls whose point of departure lies in the square when composing a floor plan for a building or painting a modernistic necrophile painting. The subdivision of the square is based on a myriad of myths and kabalistic tales of divine sections, mirrorings, axes, etc. The arbiters of good taste applaud their own image. Here a futilistic intervention would take a different approach. Futilism would seek to read the precious square as a part of its own contextual noise. The square has been one of the great value norms with an exclusive truth value. The square is also a good picture of a typical phenomenon, which after the latest loss of value norms has degraded over time into a polygon no more or no less significant than all other non-orthogonal polygons. Just admit it. The clerical, civil and mythological power structures have with their symbols and other hocus-pocus, throughout time, cultivated their plotted positions of power as a guarantee for a tolerable and well-functioning society. The square has thus as such lost terrain in terms of symbolic power, according to the revaluation or loss of value norms. And that means trouble. If we no longer believe in the square to the same degree as we did before, where are we then? We are in a kind of futile, meaningless realm, where the rules no longer apply in the same way.
It can be claimed that futilism is merely a kind of generational problem.
The Futilistic Society was formed as a forum for the exchange of interpretations of the fecund noise of culture.
Futilism can be an instrument for the dramatization of non-differentiation (uniformity).
Futilism is the notion that via the recognition of the absolute meaninglessness of life in a positive sense, a complete perception and lawless freedom of thought can be attained.
Futilism harbors the potential for a platform free from contradiction, where cursed straightjackets of myth and cultural history's pack of lies must admit to being burnt-out and powerless.
Futilists lament the retrospective necrophilia of culture and choose to fight with an open brow, even if that so means death, until such an artificial-respiration of a security seeking culture is turned from seeking solace in a false nostalgia-trip, to opening itself towards an uncertain confidence in the unrestrained noise of non-holistic systems.
Futilism suffocates the all-encompassing boredom and expands the understanding of the great meaninglessness to also include the freedom of sensation by allowing itself to be artistically inspired by it. Futilism suffocates the all-encompassing boredom and expands the understanding of the great meaninglessness to also include the freedom of sensation by allowing itself to be artistically inspired by it. Futilism suffocates the all-encompassing boredom and expands the understanding of the great meaninglessness to also include the freedom of sensation by allowing itself to be artistically inspired by it. Futilism suffocates the all-encompassing boredom and expands the understanding of the great meaninglessness to also include the freedom of sensation by allowing itself to be artistically inspired by
Futilism's self-dissolution is inevitable in that it advises the subject to also read between the lines and between the stars.
Oh, how boring it can be to start every sentence with a word like futilism, but the fear of misunderstanding often forces a lighthearted sense of reality and unrestrained joy of life towards a pseudo-militant and aggressive state of randy agitation.
Futilism has possibly always existed under more or less adequate descriptions, and thus possibly merely old wine in new plastic bottles. The fact of the matter is however: In this age of meta-stability with the loss of value norms, there has been a hunger for banal fanatical UFO-religiosity and callous idiotic powerful leaders with cheap and pointless revenge as their primary goal. For this reason futilism suggests that the door, which presently seems to be open to the great and sensitive incomprehension, should be left open for the free passage of thought, before lowest common denominator of neo-fascism slams the door shut and swallows the key.
A monument full of fear is that of a swastika for fun or a willful construction of a Gothic cathedral in this day and age, a serious painting wanting to look like Cimbue's, or a white shirt on a young man whose hair is slicked back with serious intent.
Futilism is about being inspired by the illogical songs that are immanent to current neutron-bomb logic.
Futilism does not build on any kind of new problem or challenge. The loss of value norms has always flourished as a phenomenon to be afraid of in the minds of those playing a part in historic consciousness. Futilism must inspire to take advantage of the initiative that man must invariably resort to, after mental total war has raged and left behind the children of mankind in a kind of entropic desert, where seemingly everything seems to have the same color and materiality. It is this initiative and optimism that both generates and fascinates me. Mankind is unshakeable. The shit hit the fan a long time ago. My thesis has been propelled by a distaste of the prevailing trend of how we in our times generate meaning.
It is not a question of denying history or it mythological monumental traces. It is a matter of downplaying its significance to a level relevant to the times. If you create a futilistic space between two phenomena especially laden with mythologically, for example the image of a child with a bleeding arm stump on cable TV and a dictionary lying on a table of a cozy stripped-clean family den, it would be naïve and contrary to the very intentions of futilism to claim that you are able to abstract from the socio-political aspects of these elements. This opens the way for just one of many questions regarding the delimitation of an (im)possible definition of futilism.
That alone of inventing a term such as futilism, instead of waiting for renegades to baptize my own idea of theexploration of the futile landscape is a futilistic intervention in itself.
Futilism is a response to an atmosphere of idleness and overproduction of brainpower in a socio-political system, which acknowledges itself to death because it is physically unable to keep up with the pace.
Futilism may well be stillborn, and its legitimacy may perhaps only be due to its actual existence.
It is a highly personal project, which experience has come to show also possesses a general applicability, and can therefore be utilized by others interested, for the purpose of reflection and perhaps to derive new aspects of the futile, which we are otherwise taught to dismiss.
Futilism has many faces and many temperaments. More than anything else it is a matter of a feeling.
First off there is no such thing as an actual futilistic idiom, and secondly it is impossible and pointless to distinguish between different idioms that might constitute the futilistic endeavor. It would only be to satiate the art vulture's hunger for identity badges (labels / name tags).
Futilism speaks of an overwhelming happiness. Of hurling oneself out into the noise where the one fragment associates itself over into the next in an urge to direct thought to the place where self-contradiction rages in the landscape where all phenomena tumble about in a senseless orgy of sensuousness.
The contradictory is an important part of the futilistic endeavor. Many so-called abstract paintings, such as those, for example, perpetrated by de Koonig or Kirkeby, seem to be surrounded by a stench of holism. It is as if the mundane walks hand in hand with the aesthetic in an effort to describe self-sufficiency (self-centeredness), not even surpassed by Ron I. Hubbard. These artists' works are always occupied by elements, which in addition to describing a naïve dream of universal truth, also exist for the sake of a mutual dialog in jovial concordance to the tune of everything is so damned great. This can of course be due to a self-assurance with the era in which the works have come about. The fashionable artists of the times had inasmuch a positive intention with life, because on an utterly banal level one could, as Jorn said, wish: to paint the hell out of things with damned strong colors. This sentence later formed the basis for a collective, misunderstood and blithering idioacray, which has been the driving force behind thousands of decorative artists. What I am trying to forward here is my aversion to the semi-cool (slightly flabby) and luke-warm sense of entirety, which is one of the major barriers against an understanding of futilism. It is important for doubt and incomprehensibility to be present in an eternally implacable fashion. We are not speaking here of the empty yin and yang fantasies of the 60s, nor of a twisted William Blake notion of evil as a necessary counterbalance to good, but of a focusing on the positive qualities of non-differentiation (uniformity).
Futilism reveals art's innermost visions through the cultivation of indifference and meaninglessness and thereby liberates the potential of the futile, which has otherwise lived an overlooked and uncertain existence between the overrated mausoleums of meaning.
Don't be scared, make your own story, be a futilist…
Futilism is to found in all people as a matter of choice.
It is not a question of seizing on panic, because people absolutely have to have systems for navigating the world's inner depths. It is a matter of maintaining a live and direct transmission of the loud noise generated by the loss of value norms. It is matter of not resorting to the fabrication of mystical religions and mythologies in order to simulate an understanding. It is matter of keeping in touch with one's own confusion and learning to see it as a generator instead of as a maculator.
Whereas traditionally it has been the church which has tackled contemplations regarding meaningless, we are now in a time which is much more complex and overwhelming. If we could just acknowledge the futile on a constructive and applicable level, life would possibly be much more tolerable.
We as mankind are born imperialists both in physical and spiritual terms. The meaningless is up until now an almost unmapped area of mental geography. Futilism seeks to investigate the possibilities herein.
Comprehensibility is totally aimless in the perspective of pre-terminal value and thus causing us to breed a pathetic instinctive necessity regarding our own insignificant lives.
There are to be absolutely no rules.
A comprehensive whole as such does not exist, and the world is still a matter of chance. Accidental music is what is now archetypical, and so what. The traditional metaphysics of symmetry, divine nonsense and mythic lies have finally thrashed itself into museum relics for school children and history buffs.
Don't be scared, make your own video, be a futilist…
It isn't nice to look on passively at an entire culture in denial, as it rots in it own pile of shit. In these times, in order to love oneself, it is necessary to have a constructive insight into other methods of deciphering the aimless.
Christian Dior, Kristian Hornsleth and Alvin Toffler see things differently.
Futilism is an attempt at (razoring the tabula) a tabula rasa in an effort to avoid scoring cheap mythological shots through automatic veneration.
The incomprehensibility of the consequences of the human sublimination calls for an art which appeals to the senses, in that way being able to project an inner comprehensibility as a function of the outer incomprehensibility.
By now one and all must have accepted the fact that there is no longer anything which can be forced into a philosophical comprehensive view, thus now making our idea of an understanding of the world all too complex. Futilism offers itself as a guide.
It is not a time for contemplation. Contemplation is an inherent part of the futilistic instinct.
Remember (Think of) Steiner in Dolce Vita.
Futilism is possibly also about an instinctive necessitating of oneself, a self-implementation, a self-invention of the meaning with life, a self-production as a consequence of the general overproduction of intellectualists.
Following general acknowledgement that the loss of value norms has left its irreversible tracks, common curiosity will lead to a rummaging through the mental junkyard (discarded mental landscape) of discarded values in a search for new sorts of answers. Just think of how much there is just waiting to be discovered by adventurous souls. Think of how much exists between the two socio-politically correct mentalities that suddenly seem to follow each other inside your head.
Futilism is incapable of promising neo-religious Roll-Royce peace on earth, but can help provide refuge for thevulnerable and ambiguous, as if it were a genetic bank for potential free thought based on an open platform, whatever that might be.
Futilism can serve as a kind of paramedic in the conception of form and thoughts that reason with the current socio-cultural state. Not getting caught up in a spell of nostalgic whimpering, that will result in depressing kitsch all the same. Here it is a matter of the noise of meaninglessness and its potential. The noise contains infinite quantities of information, which we perceive to be meaningless and therefore noise. A good illustration of this discussion is that of the right or orthogonal angle and the non-orthogonal angle. You could, for example, say that throughout time there has been a prevailing notion that the orthogonal was what was true or correct. There are millions of non-orthogonal angles amidst the noise. These angles have never been cultivated in the same manner as the orthogonal. Orthogonal angles are still considered to be the most practical for mankind, but once in a while one would like to suppose that we didn't have to hysterically clamor onto the orthogonal angle, but instead retrieve other forms of angles and seemingly useless thoughts from the vast noise and imbue them with meaning.
To deny a satisfaction with the loss of value norms' blanket bombardment of human belief in a better world sets off a reaction against that which nowadays is impossible to contrast. Contrast does not mean what it used to mean. Parliaments converge towards anti-polarization and act accordingly in the direction of an unobtrusive technical apparatus of officialdom.
The media are like tired and thoroughly corroded bulwarks against the emptiness of narrow-mindedness. Futilism can come to the rescue of futilism. Futilism can render the distress with the bulwarks no longer necessary, in that they can be enfolded in time on futilistic premisses.
The official contrasts will be missed by the many nostalgics through their denial of the potential of noise.
The search for meaning like peckish divine bitches in the contrastlessness itself is not a viable option. It must be discovered it on the basis of a neo-neutral view of the contrastlessness itself, a futilistic view. A journey must be made back and forth in time through the land in-between the bloody highways of historical writing, an investigation into the actually once so badly perceived noise.
Many are probably of the opinion that art has possibly played out its role as a confessional, psychotherapy, cultural indicator and political provocateur. Many others are certain to lament the apparent loss of moral values and still believe that art is supposed to be something specific and express something about existence. Who cares reactions can also be positive.
It is still a simple idea. Why not show how vulnerable freedom can be managed in the wake of the loss of value norms. Why not show how it is possible to look ahead and see the great loud noise in the loss of value norms, as if it were a fecund landscape, where the individual can actually feel a sense of independence.
For the first time in history art can, rightly so, act as an ice-breaker, in contrast to the thousands of years of constantly being short of breath, chasing development, commenting and curtseying it, after the religions and systems of power have set the official course.
It takes a lot to construct and communicate a phenomenon like futilism, in that first of all the concept offers an endless quantity of answers for every single initiative. Secondly it is in the nature of noise that it can not be defined as an unequivocal entity.
One of the ideas inherent to futilism is the immersion into the noise and the collection of evidences transverse of all of the traditional ways of perceiving things. The architect can perhaps look at all of the non-orthogonal angles that never figure in the foreground of the official world, but are possibly just as beautiful as the historically correct orthogonal angles. Composers might perhaps cultivate tones that lie between the usual harmonies striving to be harmonious. Artists can penetrate the elements with their normal brushstrokes and code them with entirely different seemingly useless information and perhaps end up producing entirely new things that would never have come into being through a traditional approach. Computer scientists might find inspiration in the noise between the zero and one, in their binary codes, giving rise to other interesting combinations that would otherwise initially be dismissed as meaningless noise.
The intention is for futilism to show that there are enormous quantities of useful things and thoughts in that which we are otherwise taught to see as futile and meaningless. In terms of film it could be said that there are endless possibilities to be found in the film clipped away, which our so-called solid cast ideas do not tolerate. We are taught to think in historically defined systems of perception and ingrained methods of communication, all of which carry the official stamp of approval as such. There are many who no longer believe in these systems. God, king and country, symmetry, parades, moral, order, symbols, holism and alike. Instead of fearing a confusing time and seeking refuge with extremists, futilism offers a way of viewing our present day and age as a particularly fecund era with infinite potential. Futilism views the current thaw as a renaissance far exceeding the last.
The futilist can for example be the composer who registers a skyscraper over the course of an entire night, assigning each window a tone on the musical scale. Each time a window is illuminated or darkened a note is recorded. The resulting piece of music will undoubtedly seem both meaningless and like noise to many. He chooses to perceive this meaningless noise of tones as being seemingly meaningless. He uses the registered compilation of notes as the point of departure for the composition of his own work. The idea is not to draw inspiration from an historically given point of departure, but to set one's own ground rules, in this way harmonizing with the reigning socio-cultural circumstances.
Futilism can also be about the artist, who paints a picture of his/her children, involving a series of hyper-associative elements from his/her own internal and external noise. The artist makes use of these seemingly futile elements in order to provoke a reaction through the detonation of them in his/her project. The complex of juxtapositions becomes a form of matrix, through which the picture can be refined and defined as a work, now on a more honest foundation.
Persons who do not allow themselves to engage in a dialog with the futilistic idea will, more often than not, see the futilistic endeavor as being of an inconsequent idiom, that only speaks of so-called abstract forms in a sort 70s spirit with a suffocating fantasy-fantasy. First off there isn't any decided form of futilistic idiom and secondly it is impossible and unnecessary to differentiate between various idioms, which are part of the futilistic endeavor. There can't be a particular idiom to futilism, in that futilism is to a greater degree an attitude in a given artwork or corporate structure.
Futilistic blitz recognition in five easy steps:
1. Acknowledge that many of the world's historically defined socio-cultural values now appear futile and without any inner cohesion, the reason why the entirety can be viewed as futile and meaningless noise.
2. Read meaningless noise as being seemingly meaningless.
3. Explore what is seemingly meaningless.
4. Acknowledge that you are unable to find meaning, but you yourself invent meaning.
5. Acknowledge that the values now in the world are meaningful.
Don't be scared, be a futilist…
Kristian von Hornsleth 1997