August 2003
volume 1, issue 2


The State Is No Dream, Not Even In My Kisses

Now this would mean that the average private information provider controls privacy intensive businesses and companies by providing them their information, which would not be such of an absurd statement if the law didn’t protect the falsely provided. The request then is that truthful private information need be obtained with true consent so that citizens can be worthy of power. Additionally this would mean that communities would be defined by shared experiences, not shared communication; that communication would not be considered an experience. It would also conclude that businesses, companies and state bureaucracy databases make their information archives accessible to the public and to each other. The demand is to not protect whatever is constructed privacy, but to demand for accessive transparency.

To contrast the worker’s secure indifference to their daily 8 hours of labor in public, an arrangement is needed that voluntarily closes the individual in their own room. That is the metaphor for a coffin; in disconnected fits of illusions to what is perceived as a freely chosen act and vice versa, for privacy welcomes us at the door.

Hannah Arendt argues that the public realm is the space where everything that appears

Can be seen and heard by everybody and has the widest possible publicity.For us, appearance- something that is being seen and heard by others as well as by ourselves- constitutes reality. Compared with the reality which comes from being seen and heard, even the greatest forces of intimate life- the passion of the heart, the thoughts of the mind, the delight of the senses- lead an uncertain, shadowy kind of existence unless and until they are transformed, deprivatized and deindividualized, as it were, into a shape to fit them for public appearance. The presence of others who see what we see and hear what we hear assures us of the reality of the world and of ourselves.

- Hannah Arendt- The Human Condition, Chicago, University Press, 1958

The public is a fusion of appearances and shared affirmation, here understood as a space of constructive security or reality. This understanding is in opposition to the more common notion of perceiving private space as a form for rest or retreat from the threats and constant demands of the outside. Arendt precisely defines personal space as vulnerable to the immense threat of metaphysical insecurity or meta-reality as opposed to the comfort of common perception that is the security of reality.

In terms of aesthetic application, it concludes that any work of art that once enters a private space usually houses, cannot be named a work of art any more. Also, the professional term curator is inaccurate and describes nothing but artist labor being installed within ready-mades. Though they seem random, both arguments conclude the other.

I would like to mention the inconsistent distinctions between public and private collection. Despite its name, a public collection is usually still owned by someone who already fulfills the definition of a private person; even if they are many people who constitute that person. Yet despite its possible dark ownership past, the public collection guarantees public access. Sometimes public collections allow you to borrow works of art from the public collection so you can bring it home and enjoy it in privacy. The umbrella of the promise to return the object to the public seems to be enough for the object or the collection to not be mistaken as a sudden obstacle of privacy- even though one may be invited to do so through personal taste.

Not so generous is the private collection- as one might suspect, the private collection is committed to its ownership and limited availability. Furthermore, one can discuss the another cold-war cliché, that a public collection is often subsidized from the government and may historically represent the very acute state’s categories of ideology whereas the private collection, as an alternative history-archive, is free in its selection to the monarch that is the collector, who certainly needs either capital or a compulsive disorder as the means of its production.

Since we are familiar with a public and private differentiation concerning collections I wonder why we do not apply the very same differentiation towards the work of art itself. If there is public art, which already seems to be a kind of Seinfeldian cleverness that is located on, in and around impossible places of public pedestrian traffic, there is private art that is very much not located there where public art is.

Private art is in art-history, though it is not exactly a common term. Nor is private artist a common job description. If it was used historically, it is used as a sloppy reference to the execution of the work: namely commissioned. It is not used in reference to the location where the commissioned work is contextualized nor is it used to convey to private ownership.

It does not refer to the site-specificity of the architecture of the condominium where a Serra-print finds itself publicized to the dinner-date or to the various mothers in laws. And it is still not considered public, since we still believe in making the decision on controlling who enters and who welcomes the public into the very private, and who lavishly considers the personal sphere the private.

If I call my condominium an open house for a x amount of time, e.g. one afternoon, the Serra-print on the wall can be considered a public work of art, so we experience the very definition of private with personal choice rather than with more than one.

1 | 2 | 3 | back<