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T.E. - Yes, it could be a new religion. A re­ ligion always starts in the cat­ I am always surprised when I meet acombs. Remember what Alain France. We have gone bankrupt Vivien's report on sects says to several times, followed by extraor­ people fascinated by money. They the Christians… "Do not forget dinary successes. We already know do not realise that money gives very little. Of course, on a daily ba­ that two thousand years ago, you how to start again with just a few sis, it removes a lot of hassle... like were a sect in the catacombs of euros in our pockets and how to Rome." Why not create a new re­ live simply. Money does not bring paying bills. Realities with which I am perfectly acquainted because ligion right here and now? The either happiness or health. Nor is I have found myself unable to pay best buzz - you have to admit - is it an act of love… but it is a fabu­ Christ on the cross. And it's been lous means to an end. I will always on numerous occasions. But, con­ going on for 20 centuries. A guy remember what a top management trary to popular belief, it doesn't who gets crucified, with 12 other banker said to me one day. I think bring anything extraordinary. guys around him at the beginning. it was Charles de Croisset, CEO of That's why my relationship to money is very German Protestant Excuse me, but as a viral contami­ Crédit Commercial de France, be­ - very "Rhine Capitalist". nation … (laughs) Yes, there could fore it was bought by HSBC: "You be a religion of chaos. Of course, at will always succeed in life because the beginning there are three ver­ you have a total disregard for mon­ L.C. - If money is just a means to an end for you, what is the end? What is sions of chaos: Alchemical chaos, ey". For me, money is the sinews your Great Work? scientific chaos and chaos in the of war, because I am a warrior. sociological sense. Scientific cha­ Money is a fundamental resource os is very interesting. The theo­ in warfare. Apart from that, if you T.E. - In an alchemical sense, the ry of chaos raises questions about have a car crash, the emergency Great Work is to achieve immor­ medical services give you the same tality. It's Fulcanelli whose disciple our pride when everything seems completely disorderly and in­ treatment whether you are driv­ found him in Seville aged 112. comprehensible. This makes us ing a Ford Cortina or a Rolls Royce. And that's why arrogance is pun­ L.C. - And the Abode of Chaos … is it say that these models are chaotic but in reality there is an underly­ ished. a new religion?

ing "intelligent" model. But, we don't have the capacity to evolve equally. That said, when we make an effort, we can. And that's how all the major theories appeared in the random fuzziness of the last two decades, using super-calcula­ tors that helped us to determine the murky zones. L.C. - Which takes me to the definition of Chaos in the illustrated Petit Larousse that you often quote: "Where there seems to a confusion of elements, there is in fact just a confusion of the human spirit". T.E. - Yes it's the confusion of hu­ man beings continually seeking sophisticated models. L.C. - Another important aspect of your work seems to be topography of places. There is the Abode, the Bunker, the containers, the dis­ semination of the containers and of the bunkers… T.E. - Yes, this is close to Hakim Bey's logic of temporary auton­ omous zones and disappearance states. The Bunker, you have to read Paul Virilio and his book Bunker Archeologie… to do with enclosed spaces. I am always look­ ing for private atmospheres. Do you remember the last days of

Hitler in The Fall. Almost the en­ tire film takes place in a bun­ ker. The bunker is a truly organic closed space in which everything is reflected. It has an extraordi­ nary dimension. The container, is the weapon of mass destruction. In 1956 a refit­ ted oil tanker carried fifty-eight shipping containers from Newark to Houston. The rise in the num­ ber of containers in the world since then corresponds to the growth in world trade. The weap­ on of mass destruction today… it's that a container between Shanghai and Le Havre costs 500 dollars to transport 50 tons. 500 dollars, 50 tons, absolute standardisation of the container based on ISO 668 standards. It must be able to resist a fall of seven metres without the slightest problem…. it can be piled 11 containers high. When you look at the statistics, it's incredi­ ble. And China produces between 8 and 9 hundred new containers every day. I say PRODUCES! And a new standard container produced by the Chinese costs 2200 to 2300 dollars, which is incredible consid­ ering the cost of steel by weight. The price I pay for containers to­ day is below the price I would get for the equivalent amount of steel from a scrap metal dealer. It's pure accounting sorcery when they pro­

duce balance sheets without ad­ justing the figures to account for raw material costs. I would get 3000 to 4000 dollars from a breaker! What is extraordinary about containers is their univer­ sality… equally useful to the army as to medical services for exam­ ples. A truly universal object. L.C. - In your work there are frequent references to war and to the warrior. In another text, you mention a state of permanent war… T.E. - Yes but that's also in con­ nection with certain philoso­ phers including Baudrillard and Virilio. There's a whole current of thought about a state of permanent war. War is an inherent part of our biology. Metastasis starts as soon as you stop fighting with your body. For me, war is in­ dicative of strong life. There are no suicides in countries that are at war. When I was in Beirut in 1984, I saw people living with all the hassles imagin­ able that war gener­ ates… but they don't suffer from existential questions. There are no

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more anti-depressants. In effect, suicide looks like a 'solution' for the rich… particularly in Northern Europe and Scandinavia. Everything is linked to war. The war against yourself. When you're an artist, you fight against inan­ imate form. War… it's when you write. It's also fighting against fucking nuisances. Everything is always in a state of war. It's a state of vigilance. Ad what's more, it has a certain sense: Since the be­ ginning of time, men have fought for territories, both material and im­

material. Just last night I said to Jo (at 3 or 4 in the morning) that the guys who teach that we can do "peace­ ful business" in the major univer­ sities make me laugh. War is not omnipresent in business, but as soon as it becomes international business, it's very present indeed. That is what Clausewitz said: the economy is the natural extension, the continuity of war. Everything is war, and today more than ever with the lawyers. These are horrible wars. We spend our whole time dealing with

them… day and night. It's a con­ stant battle You can't get a good night's sleep without being inter­ rupted by some problem. It can ar­ rive by fax, by bailiff's order, by some guy who starts a class ac­ tion on the other side of the plan­ et… by any imaginable means. So war comes in ritualised forms. But I also believe that war keeps us on our toes… vigilant. In the first place, you have to struggle against your own foolishness, against your own nonchalance. Even if you don't suffer the events, you are still in a state of war against them. Suffer war …or make war, that's what it boils down to… L.C. - And you were telling me earlier about the link between analogical technology and war? T.E. - The next war will in­ volve the I-Bomb: in oth­ er words, total paralysis of all semi-conductor sys­ tems, i.e. roughly 99% of our universe. The only sur­ viving instruments will be oil lamps and all the old primary analogue systems that do not contain conduc­ tors or semiconductors.

L.C. How does the I-Bomb function? We already have nuclear bombs capable of blocking all IT systems. T.E. - The I-Bomb creates an elec­ tric shock… produces a phase dif­ ferential. The good old principle of the electrode between the an­ ode and the cathode which means that the shockwave will destroy all computer circuitry. The only things left working will be appli­ ances from the pre-computer era. We are currently spending a for­ tune buying up certain old an­ alogical equipment. I am proud to have one of the last entire­ ly analogical electricity gener­ ators that is in perfect working order. All the modern models are equipped with digital circuit boards. Today, practically all cars use some form of digital technol­ ogy? Uninterruptible power sup­ plies - normally used to save lives and regulate currents - are full of computer technology. Before, when a UPS started to whine, it was bypassed, we plugged it into the mains and it worked. This is no longer the case because there is an application mapping that says "stop, danger, switch every­


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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