Page 215

of size of the network into which it is introduced. As with Moore's Law, the exponential acceleration goes way beyond any kind of con­ stant speed. Today, information is T.E. - Information is the axiom of freedom. All wars are above all in­ undermining empires. It's the bar­ barians against the empire, hence formation wars. Since the begin­ ning of time, information is coded. the culture of the other which is Information is the primary mate­ coming. rial of warfare, the "lethal weap­ L.C. - Without giving in to cheap conon". With Internet and Metcalfe's spiracy theories, do you think that Law, the value of information the elites want to subjugate and domgrows proportional to the square inate… the powers, organisations and authorities that feel threatened by information?

 Page 424

Tarnac - Histoire d'une tragédie The Story of a Tragedy

Y van Colonna

L.C. - Every lobby is by definition a conspiracy…

T.E. - Exactly! The three of us here today, we are already "conspir­ ing". I don't remember which rad­ ical left-winger said that a group of three already constituted dis­ sidence. Naturally, and informa­ tion is the supreme art. War is already happening when the infor­ mation is taken. He who holds the information has already won the war. Today, information is a ter­ rible war. Us, on the other hand, we have been studying how to seg­ T.E. - Absolutely! ment, rank and intersect infor­ L.C. - … to instigate a soft consensus… mation for twenty-five years. We analyse and dissect information. Every octet of data has a value. T.E. - Exactly!

P age 425

Anonymous anonyme

 " Tribulation" Totem d'acier

Steel totem

M ur des prophéties (détail)

The Wall of predictions

L.C. - …to keep people under control… T.E. - Indisputably. I believe that the conspiracy theory is almost true. But it is proteiform.

L.C. - Indeed, in that area... what are the principal activities of Serveur Group? Apart from Artprice, it remains fairly mysterious…

In short, it the organisation of in­ formation. Our business over the last twenty-five years has been fo­ cused on creating the successor to the encyclopaedia. A database is nothing more than a methodolog­ ical and deliberate organisation of an information tree. I am studying and I try at the same time to teach an interesting rule. When one feeds and inputs an opaque market with available in­ formation, this market experienc­ es exponential growth. Like the art market in which we have be­ come the global leader: As soon as we impacted this market, the vol­ ume of information literally ex­ ploded which then, in turn, ignited the economic market. Information is a necessity for the development of any market. Outside a capital­ ist schema, information is a neces­ sity which allows the development of exchanges between individuals. The absence of information gen­ erates fear... is in itself a fact that

creates anxiety... and this anxiety prevents the arbiters of the eco­ nomic or social game from becom­ ing apparent. L.C. - To be even more concrete, can you tell us a little more about the role that Artprice has played? From a market that functioned until very recently without any real reference points... to today… T.E. - The art market is the old­ est market in the world. Man ex­ changed artworks even before he issued money. I created Artprice after analysing the history of art which can be summarised in three phases. First iconography, the man / god image. i.e. not really a mar­ ket in the economic sense of the word. Then, between the XII and the XVII century, orders commis­ sioned by royalty, aristocrats and the Church. Lastly, as of the XVII century, the artist becomes a lib­ erated autonomous being and can

produce more or less what he likes. But one quickly realises that the information was in the hands of a very small number of peo­ ple. That's what I said one day to Catherine Tasca, the Minister for Culture… "Until then, the art mar­ ket belonged to its insiders and to its victims. These were the only two profiles of art market players. Artprice therefore decided to ac­ quire hundreds of publishing col­ lections in order to standardize the market and provide informa­ tion to anyone who wants it. This means the art market can today also grow exponentially, because we have access to the real val­ ue of artworks and to their back­ grounds, and we can be certain which artists and which works we are talking about. And it's always the same thing, as in the case of the digital econ­ omy which develops with confi­ dence. Information is what creates

424 425

confidence...information allows new people to join in the game ... economic game, social game … Whatever the game! L.C. - You have also created algorithms based on chaos…

looks like being a year of very sig­ nificant chaos. L.C. - For the uninitiated, can you explain what drives the index up?

Hakim Bey spoke of subversive agents of chaos. There is an expo­ nential growth curve. The Western T.E. - Via news agency stories, which are at the root of 90% of the world is facing so many break­ downs of its established foun­ world's press, we became inter­ dations that we are seeing an ested in the nature of the "news" acceleration of the appearance of and in the possibility of ranking fracture lines. It is measurable in it. Then, using econometric tools, econometrics with all the distor­ we defined data that allows us to tion that can arise between in­ establish a chaos index based on, formation and reality, and our among other things, the prices of capacity to disseminate informa­ certain commodities, of certain tion. Moreover, the States that declarations and of certain geo­ wanted to control information are political problems. In total, near­ today finding themselves canni­ ly 900 parameters constitute and modify this chaos index. It started balised by Internet. At the end of at 100 on 18 October, 2001. As we the day, they themselves become speak (December 2007), our Chaos issuers to protect against the costs Index stands at 3100. And I believe of information that is supposed to be counter-information, but which it will reach 5000 in 2008. 2008 itself aggravates the primary in­

formation. In short... invest mil­ lions in the Chaos Index in 2008.... and you will be a happy winner! . L.C. - Without re-opening the conversation about the objectives or your long-term vision, what do you expect from this propagation of chaos? T.E. - I am convinced that the Western World is worn out and that we will build a better world on its ruins. I see this particular­ ly when I travel to Islamic or Asian societies. The West has passed into a post-colonial phase. Compared to what we do nowadays, colonial­ ism almost looked like some kind of humanism. The Americans, whether you like it or not, unfor­ tunately share the same defects. I do not approve of Arabic society, and notably Islam societies, but when we arrive in the Near and Middle-East countries explaining that we are going to export democ­ racy to them, because we repre­

sent democracy and modernity, it is perfectly understandable that they ask us by what right we make such affirmations. For the first time progress no longer spells hap­ piness. Whereas that was the case for our parents. We are truly fac­ ing fracture lines that only mu­ tants will survive. L.C. - On the one hand there is a humanist vision. On the other, an elitist vision expressed as "only mutants will survive" Where do they intersect? As I understand it, if only the mutants survive, the masses will be abandoned to their destiny. Which does not really correspond to a humanist vision, nor a Christian vision, although also present… T.E. - When I say "only the mu­ tants", we train the others to be mutants. It would not be right to say that we are mutants but that the others don't have the capaci­ ty to become mutants... that they


Opus IX: Abode of Chaos / La Demeure du Chaos 1999-2013  

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 /...

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