A little piece of inspiration

Hollywood blockbusters aside, Prometheus was a Greek god, a Titan of forethought, and helper of mankind – he angered Zeus by stealing fire from Mount Olympus for the use of humans. He suffered a terrible punishment for the theft, and Pandora and her dreaded box were unleashed on the world of mortals to teach us a lesson…

To disobey in order to take action is the byword of all creative spirits. The history of human progress amounts to a series of Promethean acts. But autonomy is also attained in the daily workings of individual lives by means of many small Promethean disobediences, at once clever, well thought out, and patiently pursued, so subtle at times as to avoid punishment entirely. All that remains in such a case is an equivocal, diluted form of guilt. I would say that there is good reason to study the dynamics of disobedience, the spark behind all knowledge.

Gaston Bachelard, Fragments of a Poetics of Fire

What is your Promethean act for today?

I have to say that mine, at least the warm-up, is borrowing this great shot from zippythesimshead, at this Flickr photostream

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Posted on May 25, 2013, in Art, Words and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Intervention is an omnipresent if not ubiquitous word in contemporary discourse, but what forms does it take in the age of genetic engineering and real-time media? Is the concept a decoy or distraction in the face of futility? A cover or compensation for hopeless battles and set-ups? Is it simply working to slow down the Inevitable, a notion that in and of itself works as a major obstacle to critical thought and action? Or is it something more serious, more durable, and more dangerous? What is the relation of critique and intervention, theory and practice? And what role does art play in what Bachelard called “creative disobedience,” acts of Prometheanism “so subtle at times as to avoid punishment entirely”? Might art now comprise one of the last forms of political stealth, working in increasingly sophisticated time-based ways? What kinds of thought and action are powerful and compelling interventions today, whether one-off spectacles, sabots, monkey wrenches, sleepers, gummy bears, or Trojan Horses?

  2. Who knew critical theory pays? Until May 31, you can enter to win a writing contest on civil disobedience that offers the winner $5,000.

  3. Well, you read my mind and I entered. ‘Art as Disobedience, or what is an intervention?’

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