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Filtered for Purity
Feb 06, 1998 :: Michael Sippey

"Like TV fans with a satellite dish, who imagine that they create their own entertainment out of an infinity of channels, the members of the audience feel as if they have intervened in the spectacle of the artist's performance, but they have not; they have played by the artist's rules, where such putative intangibles as chance, risk, and violence were fixed from the start. The only true intervention would be for someone to step out of the crowd and shout, 'No, no, I am now the artist, you must do what I tell you to do, you must play by my fame, which is...' Then the rest of the crowd, and the original artist, would be faced with a real choice, a choice containing all the intangibles of epistemology, aesthetics, politics, social life. It would be as if one of the fans who traditionally jumps from the stands during a World Series game then joined the contest, and got everyone playing a new game; as if a mad scientist with a crate of Aladdin's lamps set up a table at Macy's and by her very presence destroyed the value of every other available commodity -- but, as with the intervention of the audience member claiming to be the artist, such things have never actually happened."

-- Greil Marcus, Lipstick Traces: A Secret History of the Twentieth Century, page 100



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