“Art has replaced the police in the universal dispositif of mind control /…/”
Franco “Bifo” Berardi, Precarious Rhapsody
Even if art replaces police, it still has to be guarded by the latter. What is guarded? Like the girl says in the video: “You make yourself art! That’s amazing!” So this body becomes art, but not any art. Body as corpus, corpus as corporation. An asset gliding towards pricelessness.
Probably Jay-Z’s lyrics should be – for any redeeming value – read as an instance of overidentification (with the so-called 1 percent or as Berardi succinctly puts it “the criminal class”). It’s also a sign of how exhausted, standardized this strategy has turned out to be. Nevertheless, Jay-Z recurrently lapses in the ludicrous; in Picasso Baby it is stated: “My Mirandas don’t stand a chance with cops.” What could be worth more, more imperatively protected, than a piece of the American dream, of business expansion from a crack dealer to a CEO?
Outside of such a frame of sharing & caring, of love, of community (Brooklyn!!!, gentrified), there can only be a threat, danger coming from the envy, the ressentiment, the hate of the non-included. Emancipation (of women, Afro-Americans etc.) is thus understood as a victorious “subjection to the circuit of capitalist production”. This is the ugliness, the paranoia, the cynicism of every “let’s-be-positive” ultimatum.
The withdrawal, the non-participation, is something to be nurtured and cherished.1
- And we’re back to protection. [↩]