Beehives as a Sustainable Business Model

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36-frontbee2Very few people realize how closely related science is to art, and how interdependent both are with the forms of energy that a society employs. Albert Einstein came close to saying such in precisely these terms, so that, if we listen, we can hear the larger idea. "(O)ne of the strongest motives that lead men to art and science is escape from everyday life with its painful crudity and hopeless dreariness, from the fetters of one's own ever-shifting desires. A finely tempered nature longs to escape from the personal life into the world of objective perception and thought."

This sense of energy as a means of velocity, if not so much to escape as to transcend, lies hidden 'between the lines' of all that I have presented in these pages. This forms the foundation of why our choice of energy now is so crucial. Choose wisely, listening to the resonance of renewable options, and transcendent potential opens for us. Choose poorly, submitting to our rulers' insistence that 'base-load' choices come from on high--meaning that only nukes will do, and centuries of doom, if we're 'lucky,' will be our fate.

Some of the most interesting--at least for the nerdy boys and the nerdy girls among us--thinking over the past half century or so has concerned the way that, in considering options of this sort, art and science stand in a dialectical relationship to society, energy, politics, and so on. In this view, part of the tension and much of the conflict in the present moment inheres in resisting possibilities for new forms of organizing among ourselves and relating to the natural world from which we spring.

Many artists who are also scientists, and philosophers of science speak of such intersections. This 'cutting edge' thinking can appear 'metaphysical and, to the likes of this author, a little weird, even as it maintains a certain pull in seeking to unify what 'modern' thinking has split asunder. On the other hand, strictly technical and academic philosophy also addresses these reunifications that, as we have seen, also impact policy and grassroots attempts to incorporate multiple viewpoints and bases of knowledge.

We might listen to one of these aesthetic technicians. If we can let the down-to-earth potential that exists in this thinking percolate inside of ourselves, the chance for a deepening of our understanding of both energy and human choice exists.

"Manuel De Landa... .a philosopher, media artist, programmer and software designer. ...(and)one of the representatives of the 'new materialism'. ...(in his)latest book, A New Philosophy of Society: Assemblage Theory and Social Complexity, starts from the level of individual, personal relations and continues gradually all the way to the level of nation state and beyond. All phenomena are defined as emerging from dynamic systems which are in constant flux. Through defining the contemporary world as an entity of extreme complexity... . (t)his new approach... should instead assert the autonomous nature of social entities, taking Gilles Deleuze's theory of assemblages for its main framework. The components in the assemblages are defined by their material dimension and territorializing and deterritorializing axis. They are historically contingent, heterogeneous and self-subsistent, giving the possibility to take one assemblage and insert it into another without destroying its identity. The main characteristics of the relationship between an assemblage and its components are complexity and non-linearity."

I recognize that this is more than a mouthful. It is a mind full. But he is saying here, I'm fairly sure, that complexity and interconnection are the job of people to delve, and that every community's attempts in this regard must have an equitable chance to develop, both in place and in relation to other autonomous communities. This interactive frenzy of human prospects, inevitably complex, creates the likelihood that complete transformation and renewal can manifest.

minds-machines-36Such thinking shows up repeatedly if one mines the waves of nuance and the nibbles of change that intersperse with Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake on the Internet. In his "Shifting the Paradigm of the Philosophy of Science: the Philosophy of Information and a New Renaissance," Gordana Dodig-Crnkovic writes that, "Contrary to Physics, Computing/Informatics is very much human-centered. It brings a potential for a new Renaissance, where Science and Humanities, Arts and Engineering can reach a new synthesis, so very much needed in our intellectually split culture."

No matter how one tries to parse such attempts to view the unity that in fact exists in nature, by focusing on the boundaries of intersection between art and science, the process is inescapably ethical in its implications. The transformational potency of such ideation in large part may stem from this elevation, from the muck of much postmodernist thought, of ethics, with its insistence on matters of justice in our mutual relations.

Again, many thinkers at the 'tip of the spear' of social change follow along these lines. A recent recipient of the prestigious Starr Visiting Fellowship at Oxford announced, in fact, that he, during the upcoming term, "will work on a new book on ethics and art. His aim is to analyze the nature of ethics and art, their boundaries and their interconnections, from the deeper, more fundamental perspective: that of value."

A dandy little article in the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy that deal with 'Environmentalism and Ethics' makes this point about 'value,' which so annoys the proponents of nuclear energy and like manifestations of plutocracy, who insist only on the 'facts' that they manipulate, and for which they are the sole gatekeepers. This may clarify further the nature of some of the thinking that has appeared in this column of late.

"Deep ecologists claim that argument and debate are not the only means we must use to help people realize their ecological consciousness; we must also use such things as poetry, music and art. This relates back to the point I made at the beginning of the section: deep ecologists do not call for supplementary moral principles concerning the environment, but an entirely new worldview. Whether such a radical shift in the way we think about ourselves and the environment is possible, remains to be seen."

In 'waiting to see' what the future brings us, I would ask that my readers be cognizant of this rootedness in relationship--among science, art, and society, for example. Moreover, we might recall the community grounding, the commitment to democracy, and the wrestling with the seemingly intractable dilemma of capacitating people to create new knowledge in a sociopolitical context of ruling elite certainty.

Balancing this, for the interlocutor here in any event, exciting melange of tangible thought and thoughtful action and deep listening, we encounter a final bit of the underpinnings of today's posting. And that is the realm of myth, of storytelling, of making sense in the way that humans, in community with other cousins, have made sense for forty or fifty thousand years.

Of course, many are the members of the technocratic priesthood who thump their chests and rail about "narrative fallacy," teeth bared in predatory snarls. And observers can listen, as Jimbo nods his head, "Now, now, boys! Yes. We recognize that some stories come into being as a cover up, or as a rationalization for what we've already decided."

And their incisors may drip; we'll hope not with the blood of their most recent kill. And Jimbo will continue: "Not all narration is false. In fact, as such august personages as Joseph Campbell and Carl Jung, among many, many others in the very verifiably reasonable fields of anthropology and ecology, among others, will point out, 'the odds of human survival outside of the context of the capacity to narrate creatively and intelligently likely ranges between absurdity and impossibility.' So take a chill pill and listen to the story boys. Maybe you'll learn something."

INTRODUCTION

36-swarm_the_statethumbFrom way up in a corner of Maine down to the energy killing fields of Colombia, these worker bees manage to make sweet work out of harsh reality. If one listens carefully to the beautiful harmonies of the BeeHive Design Collective, if one examines closely the magnificent struggle for compassion and caring in the brutal context of an empire thrashing about in its death throes, one will either weep or have no choice but to nod ruefully that "inside this chest beats a heart of stone."

I spoke today with Emma, and, again and again, I gasped at the mastery of mystery that this collaborative articulated through her--she insisted that I understand this notion, that she was not presenting an 'individual point of view,' but a bell-clear expression of long considered group molding of understanding, which itself came not from them as bright and talented artists but from the labor of listening to "the people themselves." This preternaturally youthful--I'm guessing--grouping of artistic genius and political wisdom is but ten years old.

If I sound as if I am indulging in more of Jimbo's vaunted 'hero worship,' I can only acknowledge that such might be the case. But anyone looking through these lines, who has listened to my stories unfold, knows that I was "born a critic," from a mother to whom I could have responded, "Well, it takes one to know one."

And much of the anarchist, libertarian, and--as everyone involved with the organization will not only admit but insist that all recognize--privileged pontification of other youngsters, in garb and affect seemingly similar to the 'children of the beehive' has elicited powerful critique from me in the past. But why should one criticize brilliance, courage, and correctness? Only a fetishist would do so. And what I heard today was, indeed, brilliant, courageous, and correct.

Their origins, "Beehive was born 10 years ago out of anti-globalization work--really came out of 'the battle of Seattle' in 1999." Emma was not present then, but many of her cohorts were and "many of them, founders" of this little Yankee jewel, "noticed a lack of strong political graphics in a lot of the movement, especially of images immersed in content."

Again, to the likes of this humble correspondent, this is exciting, this birth of new forms. They gained this capacity, to 'immerse graphic expression in content,' through "an organic evolution of our arts and ideas through learning new ideas and complex ideation" that many of them didn't grow up knowing or go to school to study. "The jargon wasn't easily understood" to them, so they knew that the people whom they wanted to reach would also wonder, 'What the heck is this?'

"We challenged ourselves to create understandable ideas that made huge complexity easily digestible." She emphasized this dialectic. "Own experience of struggling to get it is part of understanding" how to create images that are understandable.

During those early months, "all through 2000, we were making lots of promotional flyers for bio-justice conferences" and similar task-forces looking at the community impact of corporate land use and technology decisions, many of them involving mining and energy. In this unintentional narrowing of focus, they realized something.

"We saw this pattern over and over again: resource extraction, food, land use--really land theft, all of them were pretty much the same" issues and actors and factors in play. From this process grew their early work on food, farms, mining, bio-engineering, and whether they have moved on or retained such emphasis, "we haven't chosen what to show, so much as we've followed what people want to say."

She insures that I get this. "A very similar story emerged in every place we visited, in making the connection with colonization to get at resources, the displacement of people that happened then, and the theft of land to get access." Here is a note to JustMeans readers. This doesn't look much like 'business better' or sustainable commercial relationships. This looks more like Smedley Butler's view: "I was a gangster for capitalism."

I hazarded a formulation, inasmuch as I've followed these folks since the early part of their decade on the planet, "The paradigm that y'all follow sort of looks something like this to me: Learn/Create/Teach/Evolve, REPEAT. Is that a fair summation?"

36-blackflyyyforwebEmma did a little double take, I think. Maybe she figured an old-timer intellectual wouldn't be able to see straight. "Yeahhh," she nodded, drawing out the drawl, "We call it cross pollinating the grassroots through learning from people, then traveling with pieces to learn more and constantly evolving the story." Thus, their amazing Plan-Colombia and War-on-Drugs monuments to genius grew from the sort of dialogic process that careful readers will have noticed in these pages on many occasions.

I also estimated that Beehive evinced "a powerful sense of how things interconnect with each other in the work products; is that true? Is philosophy something that folks there get into? Philosophy of art?"

Emma thought for a moment, this time to contemplate a corrective. In response to the discussions of philosophy, her reply was a respectful, "not so much." But "We do draw on a wide area of knowledge. Speaking with experts is part of that, but more, and first, we reach out for grassroots and people-to-people understanding. We're not so much about analysis or critical understanding," though they do insist on factual and honest reporting.

"We appeal more to people's hearts and lived experiences through storytelling, so we're not trying so much to have impact through expertise but through affirming humanity." In these ongoing efforts that readers are gaining access to, "we made a very conscious choice not to rely on the academic world but to talk face to face with people affected in their lives.

Thus, "We went to Colombia to do war-on-drugs posters" after learning that this is what the people saw--corruption and perfidy in the name of sanctimony. Of course "plenty of connection with academic ideas" shows up in the work, "but poster content came from the people themselves."

I asked about Community Based Participatory Research, which, if we substitute "Art and Research" for the last noun in CBPR, this work so closely resembles. I heard her head shake. "Some of us do see this work this way, but it's also as simple as human beings making human connections with people who are suffering" because of policies carried out in our name that end up hurting us as well, though not with the same grievous pain and murderous intensity as occur elsewhere around the globe and the hemisphere.

She asked that I make very clear "to your readers, please. We are an all volunteer organization. We're also an anti copyright collective." What this means is that this stupendous outpouring of creativity and beauty and pathos is completely free "for non-profit use; all that we ask is that people send us copies of what is made so we can see how it is living in the world."

IF ARTISTS CAN COLLABORATE, ANYBODY AND EVERYBODY ELSE AMONG US CAN COLLABORATE

I'll hope that everyone, even if he or she is unaware of the idiom, can imagine the difficulty of trying to "herd cats," as in "trying to organize artists is about as easy as herding cats." But I can say with approximately similar certainty that I can state that the first three integers in the expression of pi are '3,' '1,' and '4,' that these kiddos have built something solid and wonderful in the state of Maine that has the cohesiveness and collective solidarity to travel the globe making a positive difference.

The earlier work of Beehive, after which I'll dwell at greater length on their most recent efforts, consisted of six or seven modules, some of which deal with energy, and many of which touch on themes and events that have already shown up in these pages. Each of these former projects is worthy of a book and a film and the consideration of cousins through the centuries to come.

Therefore, this brief telling won't do them justice. But readers can go and look for themselves. This hive mind is one that we all would benefit from developing amongst ourselves, unless we decide to join the 'master blasters' and hope both that today's soldiers will continue to kill on command and that we will somehow, against all logic and the evidence of history and the pleas of our hearts, continue to thrive from plunder.

As I suggest above half a dozen earlier narrative representations are part of their archive.
36-g8_thumbnail_large *Resist-the-G8

Hidden high on a balcony, two characters are shown unveiling a debauchery of epic proportion and significance. With the curtains pulled back we witness the decadence of the closed door G8 gathering. The political leaders of the world's eight most industrialized countries are huddled up beneath a chandelier wreathed in surveillance technology and machine guns. The blind fiends have convened to feast on a cake the shape of the Earth. You'll notice an entire quarter of the spread is headed into the jaws of the greediest delegate! Ignored by the self-absorbed dinner party, a host of animal representatives from around the world has mounted a thunderous protest that rattles the window panes of the hall.

In the foreground, two creatures of special significance in Japanese folklore have managed to elude security and stand poised to crash the party. On the left a cicada, an insect symbolic of rebirth and resurgence, is beginning to draw its sword. On the right is a shape shifting raccoon dog called a tanuki, master of tricks and disguises, who is said to possess the unique ability to morph itself or its scrotum into any object. (No kidding! Check out THIS WEBPAGE for further awe and giggles). For this special occasion it's a cherry pie to smack squarely in the face of the power-hungry...

*Meso-America Resiste: A graphical narrative interface with lived reality from the perspectives of communities experiencing the devastation and predation in the name of markets.

"This graphic, still in process, is the third in our trilogy about corporate globalization in the western hemisphere. Plan Puebla Panamá is a massive infrastructure development plan that aims to pave the way for the Free Trade Area of the Americas in Mesoamérica."

*Biotechnology Graphics Campaign; The next time one hears of 'green miracles' in agriculture, this should be an immediate response.

"These two posters were the first of the Beehive's graphic work, created in the Spring of 2000, as outreach posters for the 4th Biodevastation conference in Boston, a gathering of the grassroots against the BIO industry Annual Meeting. For more information about this yearly event, visit this site."

pc *Plan Colombia Graphics Campaign: Our 'friends' at the top in Colombia sit atop a trove built on murder and corruption, all in the service of imperial demands.

"This graphic ... about the issue of colonialism in the Andean Region of South America ... .w(as) collaboratively sewn together into a quilt of images, that are organized into a circuit of progressions and contrasts that inform and engage the viewer throughout their journey of the graphic.

The long history of colonialism in the Americas, currently manifested in the Andean Region as 'Plan Colombia', is a strong metaphor of the multi-faceted destructive influences of U.S. foreign policy and corporate monoculture (and) expose(s) the lie of the drug war as a smokescreen for multinational corporation's interests in extraction of the rich biodiversity and natural resources of the Amazon and her peoples. It is an anti-war poster that speaks in the mythology of our times… the cancerous monomyth of corporate globalization, and its antibodies of grassroots resistance.

(T)his graphic (also) illustrates this story in three "layers" ... . to give an illustrated explanation of not just the nightmare, but to also give weight to the inspiring stories of hope, courage and struggle of those that are directly experiencing it."

* Free Trade Area of the Americas Graphic Campaign: This exemplifies the 'gut-U.S.-labor-now' plan, and the attendant 'rape-the-rest-of-the-hemisphere' afterward gig.

"The Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA)… never heard of it? Well, that’s not surprising, as it has been negotiated in private since the 1994 Summit of the Americas. Like the infamous North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the heavy contested, and now collapsed FTAA ...excluding Cuba, ... attempt(ed) to create ONE huge, integrated web of “open markets.” This graphic representation of the FTAA illustrates the consequences of this plan, and exposes its threat to the well-being of all forms of life throughout the Americas."

*Latin American Solidarity: Solidarity, not shopping, is the only hope for the cousins of the globe; this story is one illustration of the potential of linking hands in struggle.

"This graphic was created in collaboration with the networks of Latin American Solidarity Coalition ... .headed up by School of the Americas Watch, based in DC. Here's a little story about these anti-copyright graphics taking on a life of their own... While on our journey of doing investigations for the Mesoamerica Resiste project, we discovered that a reproduction of this graphic was created by HIJOS, of Guatemala, an art-therapy organization for the children and families of disappeared persons. The mural replaced one created by the local right-wing party- after the elections HIJOS whitewashed the propaganda and put a beautiful mural in its place."

Starting where we all live, in the Western Hemisphere, without any of the theory or history, except what they've learned by demonstrating that the people know best the needs of their own communities, Beehive worker bees have manifested both beauty and power. These masterpieces, though 'done,' continue to evolve, because that is the nature of actual art--to show people the way that we live and demonstrate the possibilities of growth and empowerment.

36-cost-coal Their newest campaign concerns coal, especially here in the U.S., especially in the Southeast mountains. Emma noted several times that she and her cohorts had recently returned from the Appalachia Rising event that my earlier BREDL piece had presented to folks here. Emma spoke in some detail about the newest Beehive 'honey,' highlighting its depiction of environmental rapine and community crisis as a result of profit and an arrogance of power.

"The 'True Cost of Coal' shows these ideas. The Coal poster more so than any others makes this clear. Vandanakna Shiva is just one outside thinker in maximum solidarity with Beehive points of view. This Indian stalwart's recent volume, Soil Not Oil, dealing with food and climate issues, coincides with our poster," says Emma, "even though everybody involved found out about each other pretty much by accident, after both the book and the coal campaing came out simultaneously."

While the Beehive "doesn't advocate back to the land or anything like that as a program," Emma says, "we have to see that the real solution has to revolve around land based peoples and livelihoods;" in this view, "not only are fossil fuels extractive and filthy with carbon, it ruins land, which is the only way to heal the planet."

She speaks with the science-backed voice of deep ecology and Gaia theorists who are winning prizes and gaining recognition in all quarters. "We can only have a sustainable society based on the real capacity of our land, and it has to be cyclical not linear," echoing theorist after theorist who criticizes the SOP model of moving into the 21st century.

I ask her about the miners, noting that my grandfather tried his hand at the coal face, and that much of my early work was among UMWA communities. She reassured me that 'throwing the miners to the wolves' was the last thing that they would ever call for. "We're really resonant with the responses that we've gotten with coal mining communities." She mentions with strong feeling the importance of labor history. "People for 200 years have been fighting for justice in the fields and in society. Before we had OSHA, the miners won the battle for MHSA, victories from coal carried the whole labor movement."

She is getting emotional. "And we understand now, it was not just labor. Privileges and position in society are directly connected to dead miners," and of course she could be speaking to JustMeans, continuing, "because they created industrial and economic might on which American advances were based."

Emma almost got a little angry at this point. "The most insidious thing about the story is the pitting of miners against environmentalist, by companies that practice mountain top removal and screw both." She illustrates this point by referring to widely available data. "The Office of Surface Mining shows that as production has risen, jobs have declined, across the board."

36-cost-coal2 And environmental impacts have worsened. "Environment vs. jobs is not accurate, but those working for a different energy future have to work with Appalachian communities where people who value community have only mining jjobs to turn to." Otherwise the divide-and-conquer tactics will work. "Our work has to be in conjunction with labor. At Appalachia Rising, our message was clean and safe jobs to areas where coal is diminishing."

And this is a message that the Beehive is putting on the road for the next month or so. They want to listen. They intend to honor community leadership. They see the art, science, and society interrelationship in a dynamic, powerful way in which social justice leads and can yield environmental justice and sustainable business, and sustainable lives for cousins everywhere.

Finally, I inquire, "Y'all aren't saying nukes are a good idea?"
And again, she raises her voice just a little. "Not at all! False solutions are offered by leaders suggesting nukes, natural gas hydrogen-cracking plants, and" so on; these are all frying pan to fire approaches.

"Where energy goes is key; replacing coal with corn is idiotic, for example, because we'd have to plant the continent in corn," or starve. Whatever the solutions may be, we will not pick another damaging method, since that merely displaces the damage.

"The real question is how we create energy systems that are environmentally just, that don't mandate sacrifice zones." She sounds like Dr. Arjun Makhijani. "Energy as a concept inherently involves recycling, only exchange and recycling makes sense, so the concept of 'waste' is only something that we've thought up recently, and this makes for a 'death cycle.'"

We need to listen to this young woman. "We literally take and ruin a mountain to make piles of cheap plastic crap. Nature-to-crap, It's a very linear cycle." And it's no longer, even in the short term, "sustainable business."

CONCLUSIONS

36-grange-eatingThough facile on the surface, the notion may nonetheless make a deeper and intuitive sense that the social tendency that offers the most joyous hilarity is likely to be the best option for citizens to embrace. I cannot say from actual experience, but I have enough confidence to bet that a Beehive party would boogie the beans off of just about any other party on earth. These kids give tangible life to Jackson Browne's lines, "In their hearts, they turned to each other's hearts for refuge, in the troubled years that came, before the deluge."

However, if we'll view what Beehive workers have jointly manifested, and if we'll listen to our hearts openly as we open our eyes wide really to see what unfolds in front of our faces, we still can avoid the often-foretold 'deluge' of the dirge. But time is short. We need to pay attention.

Folks should notice that neither I nor Beehive nor BREDL nor Dr. M. nor SCRC nor the Western North Carolina Renewable Energy Initiative nor any of the other progressive, potent, passionate voices of community, democracy, and justice--in matters of energy and everything else, social justice, economic justice, justice, not "just Us"--contend that all of the answers are readily available. And, since the banksters and the nukesters and their politico pals do contend that they have the answers, we ought to give up, right?

And that's where a sense about planning and organizing comes into play. Eventually, communities in congress will, as in the recent marches on Washington, truly "rise up" in resistance to criminal, self-serving, corrupt systems. Given that this prediction may be true, all those in the middle ought to consider, "Whose side am I on here?"

Here's a clue: even if the top dogs win, we all lose. Not only will we have better parties and more love if we follow the honey bees in their flights of creative ecstasy, we'll also have communities and cities and citizenship that can heal the planet and sustain our children. Or we can sign up for good hospice coverage, because the Depleted Uranium and the Plutonium and the Plutocratic plunder will squeeze the life out of everything else.

Anyone who doesn't believe me need only watch: or turn this ship around, thanks all the same.

AFTERWORD

My father worked on space rockets. The artistry that appears in the fueling systems that he helped to design is so intricate, and appallingly beautiful, that the photos of the job sites where he worked still captivate me, on the thirty seventh viewing or whatever.

No one whom I've interviewed, I'm fairly confident, would say, "Oh, to heck with space, let's focus on what's happening here." What they'd say instead is that the only way to avoid 'killing the goose that laid the golden egg,' which is after all the consumers, the workers, the communities that have allowed for the surplus that circles the globe and heads off to the stars, is to make sure that we focus here on earth in ways that honor where the wealth of the world comes from.

Another way of looking at this is that carnage of a kind unseen by human eyes will transpire otherwise. But nobody is threatening anything. I'm not. None of the activists and fighters are either. But anybody with a brain and an understanding of hunger and history knows that this imperial approach cannot continue as it is. It may win, at the cost of humankind; in contrast, we can redemocratize, reempower, refocus on the communities and organizations that have made this upturn in human life possible, before the empire runs it to earth.

36-einstein We can turn to Einstein again, a socialist, a wise font of human kindness. Maybe we can open our hearts along with our ears.

"He who joyfully marches to music rank and file, has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice. This disgrace to civilization should be done away with at once. Heroism at command, how violently I hate all this, how despicable and ignoble war is; I would rather be torn to shreds than be a part of so base an action. It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder."

The man who dreamed of the unification on which nuclear energy depends rejected it and the imperial mindset that underlay it. Yet he had little choice but to proceed in such a fashion, or so he thought then. We have a choice. We can stretch our minds, if we like, to listen to the strategic visions that a Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy writer proffers, for example, speaking about events in the wild European Summer of 1968, a time when radical change seemed unavoidable.

"The realization that 'we were no longer productive,' and that direct opposition within the system of communication and exchange only reproduces the mechanisms of the system itself (led to a strange conclusion). Strategically... capital can only be defeated by introducing something inexchangeable into the symbolic order, that is, something having the irreversible function of natural death, which the symbolic order excludes and renders invisible. The system, he points out, simulates natural death with fascinating images of violent death and catastrophe, where death is the result of artificial processes and 'accidents.'

But, as Baudrillard remarks: 'Only the death-function cannot be programmed and localized,' and by this he means death as the simple and irreversible finality of life. Therefore he calls for the development of “fatal strategies” to make the system suffer reversal and collapse. Because these strategies must be carried out within the symbolic order, they are matters of rhetoric and art, or a hybrid of both. They also function as gifts or sacrifices, for which the system has no counter-move or equivalence. Baudrillard finds a prime example of this strategy with graffiti artists who experiment with symbolic markings and codes in order to suggest communication while blocking it."

"You say you want a revolution?" intoned John Lennon. This philosopher and others are suggesting that part of the answer lies, not in violent uprising, but in strategic art collectivity of one sort and another. I don't know, but the Beehive Design Collective sure seems to be on to something.

Goethe can leave us with something pithier, something more redolent of the horror of the imperial annihilation that once again is threatening to sweep the globe, this time, possibly, quite clean of our kind. Old Johann Wolfgang early on saw the connections, and mutually independent importance of the outpourings of beauty and the contraptions of technology. He said, simply, "There is no patriotic art and no patriotic science."

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