Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Retro-Romantic Manifesto

It becomes more apparent in our eyes that the world has lost its way. The texture of life has lost its verisimilitude; the nature of being has been isolated from its lustre. The arts of discourse are long since gone - grammar has no faithful, logic left bereft, and rhetoric a lost relic. The constant pursuit of the new has accelerated into an exponentially unsustainable intensity, destined to fail, with disastrous consequences. As such we produce a set of standards as with those who have preceded us. Yet we are not neo-, taking disjointed elements of the old and remaking them new, we are retro-; returning to the past and it’s benefits, while retaining our outlook and passion for the future.

I. We must hold highest the value of betterment; the act of observing, critiquing, evaluating, and improving. This must always start on a personal level, and self replicate through community to national and international level.

II. We must abandon the culture of apathy, and cultivate a culture of creative non-violent resistance to oppression, both corporate and affiliated governmental counterparts. The hegemony only wields powers given to it by the people to whom it belongs. Long have we been kept in comfort and given them free reign to take what rights they will. And they have been greedy.

III. We must maintain our world-wide community, but it is only a virtual one. We must foster the smaller community in reality, a place where everyone is intimately known, and when one falls down the others reach to pull them back up.

These 3 standards cannot gradually be applied, they must be an awakening driven by necessity. Until such a necessity arises, it is our duty as artists to prepare the way. To do this, we have our own set of principles.

1. We must disregard our obsession with the remix, the synergy, the hybrid, the fusion. Their time is past. The new cultural elements must be once again removed from each other and left to develop into unique flavours, distilled and developed. The cultural “vacuum” must be established between these forms.

2. We must stop treating our audience as the guinea pig, the cinema as the lab, and the film as our experiment. Experiments must be done in secret, underground, attracting only those who are passionate about furthering the craft. Once these experiments are refined, adjusted, and integrated into the aesthetic, only then should they be shown to the audience.

3. Ideas and action must be reunited. No more should the popular be vacant, and the intelligent elitist. Knowledge is power, and knowledge comes from thought. Return the power of thinking to the viewer and you return them their dignity.

4. Art for art’s sake is as a whisper in the wind.

5. The archetypal story must be revived. We are bereft of morality; the very idea of it has been vilified and downtrodden. Morality is not religion, nor should it be treated with the same contempt. Contained within the archetypal story is the seed of morality, which can be planted and left to grow of its own accord.

6. Profit must cease to be only the goal of the popular. The true and the valorous must also seek profit, and in doing so seek to self-replicate. As we endeavour to acclaim the morality vilified by the profitable, so should profit be commendable to the moral.

7. A good sense of the absurd must always remain. As kings and dukes had jester’s to remind them of their mortality, so should we remind ourselves of our job. As artists, our job is to inform, to explore, and to educate – but also, above all, artists should seek beauty, truth, and love passed to others through an enjoyable medium.

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