share freely and not consume pas sively. Something that can and must be freely debated, with out ever being understood by the agents of alienation, something that has no commercial value, and yet is precious, something occult and yet perfectly integrated into our daily lives." For fifteen years now I have been working on states of "disappear ance", on the logic of temporary autonomous zones, as formulat ed by Hakim Bey, among others. And I thought "here is something interesting". Bearing in mind that we are at the beginning of the 21st century…something magnificent and tragic at the same time. My other role as chairman of Serveur Group and Artprice allowed me to understand that the frontiers are cut-and-dried even in the field of contemporary art and that we need to get into the cracks, these dividing lines, these buffer states. And that's what Lukas repre
sents… mutation, in the strongest sense of the word. Little by little we settled into a working relation ship with a healthy dose of mutual reserve. Our relations are complex. As I have said on my blog, it would take a thousand years to describe Lukas. Last night we were talking about the Ronin (the master-less sam urai or "drifting persons"). The Ronin takes a solitary path which implies a mutually consented break between two parties - the master on the one hand and the student on the other, who moves away to seek an ascetic path. I think all three of us are Ronins. Even if we all want family life, a circle of friends and a clan, there is something of the Ronin in all of us. L.Z. - It's interesting that Thierry mentions the Hakim Bey text. I haven't looked at it for ages, and it certainly does reflect the spirit of
the Abode of Chaos. At the begin ning I came here pretty much un prepared, groping in the dark so to speak, without knowing what to expect. I didn't want my work or attitude to come across as that of an upstart who thinks he knows everything there is to know. Things happened gradually. First of all, we learned to understand each other. Then, almost simulta neously we both started to see the Abode as a kind of laboratory, a place where we could experiment without fear, advancing serenely without trepidation. For example, our two most important perfor mances were "tested" here. They'd been a long time in the conceptu al pipeline before we actually per formed them. T.E. - In effect, all this is the out come of a struggle which began in the 1980s and which has two paths: one exogenous, the oth er endogenous. The exogenous
path is that of a struggle from out side, against the State and against the system. Next to that is a more subtle internal struggle, a sort of 5th column. It is this endogenous path that we have favoured at the Abode. As a conceptual act, the Abode was born on 9 December 1999; but it was the fruit of 25 years of continual struggle and ex perience: exile, imprisonment, war, conflicts, ruins, empires. In short, everything we have con ceived and created. And the Abode became an embodiment, particu larly after September 11. We have a very geopolitical vi sion of the world. It's a little McLuhanesque, but in a "glocal" version, i.e. both global and local at the same time. To paraphrase Reiser, I believe we are living a marvellous century. It is indeed a truly incredible era. And tonight I am happy, because I believe we are at the gates of chaos. I am waiting, like an excited child, for the news
that the oil price has hit $100 a barrel. I know that the "old world" is faltering. Our Western civilisa tion is breaking up because it's too sanitized. Lukas has done a per formance entitled Only the best adapted will survive. It's exact ly that. The Abode, it's a curious system that is itself at the heart of the State system. That's what a Préfet (regional or departmental governor) said to me one day: "You are a State within a State". We also believe in "Old Europe", in a kind of perpetual Kantian peace which contrasts with a Clausewitzian America. I believe that the econo my is a natural extension of war, but that we can also find a kind of perpetual peace through a Kantian perspective. And I also think that art makes everything possible. But we must immerse ourselves in the history of art. Rediscover the pow er of art? I was talking earlier to day with an exhibition organiser. People have quite simply forgotten
that art is the ultimate power, far greater than political power. It's a power that replaces temporal pow er …located somewhere between the temporal and the spiritual. And the Abode, at the end of the day, is a liturgy. It does not have the reserve or delicacy to position itself in a conventional field. The Abode is "off the map". It's almost a new religion, in the sense of "rev elation", in the sense of "act" and of "clergy". And at the same time, it's a war machine, a machine bor rowed from the dada movement: Propaganda.
cultural and intellectual accidents … or triggers?
T.E. - Punk… precisely … its obvi ous. As I said earlier, our struggle began in the 1980s when we al ready started to question our po sition in society. Should we be inside or outside the system to fight against it? It was also travel ling around the world and having "accidents" of life. One such "acci dent of life" that I tested was that of complete "effacement", by de ciding, during the 80s, to join the regime of incapable adults, under which I experienced the supreme L.C. - Going back to the genesis of the non-existence of having no civil Abode. Lukas and I have known each status whatsoever, as provided for other for nearly ten years now and we by French law. This law, particu know each others' personal histories larly the guardianship aspect, pro and the paths that have led us both vides a sort of legion of honour for to our current thoughts and ideas. An psychotics. The withdrawal of my important historical event for us ap- civil status was important for me, pears to have been the Punk movehaving no other existence than ment: In your case, what were the that provided for by the Nagano Convention which recognises (or
not) the incapacities of the coun try you come from. On another occasion there was a pseudo-alternative yelling in front of us when we were doing a per formance, but I think that sub version, entryism and war are the supreme arts. It's a religion that cannot be practised just by being boisterous in front of a riot control vehicle. So, on entering the world of madness… At the same time, I had experienced this madness in 1985 when I joined the freema sons, et idem when I was judged by a masonic tribunal. Extraordinary fact: they hadn't formed the tri bunal since the end of the Second Word War when they passed sen tence on collaborators. Could an incapable adult under the guard ianship regime be a freemason? Bearing in mind that in essence a freemason is a free man in a free lodge (as long as he has cor rect morals and republican values [translator's note: republican in
the French sense, which includes P ages 418/419 Parutions dans la presse freedom from religion])… Does be Advertisements in the press ing mad equate with having good Page 419 morals? The Masonic tribunal, af Badges ter an exceptional deliberation, de clared that I was "condemned" to the "dry path". This "dry path" was superb. It sentenced me to wan dering… my eyes burned by the light. The "dry path" is nothing short of illumination, contrary to the damp path, which is a slow and penetrating path. It was a blessing which allowed me - amongst other things - to progress towards a ma terial embodiment like the Abode of Chaos. The Abode of Chaos is only the extremity of a period of constant struggle in all fields. And then there was the discovery of Internet. We began in 1985… we were the first in France. We were the first Internet Service Provider in 1987, before Calvacom which ar rived at the end of 87 / beginning of 88. Because for us Internet was a metaphor for the divine, if not
Published on Mar 13, 2013
thierry Ehrmann: we put all our passion and folly into preparing this French-English Collector, the book of the decade: 504 pages / 4.5 kg /...