As many authors have spent novels analyzing, we are not alone in constructing ourselves. In his essay "Postscripts on Societal Control," Deleuze aptly states "control is not a closed system." In this world of ever-growing commodities and technological advances, it is becoming increasingly apparent how invasive control is; scientists are quickly approaching ways to biochemically engineer humans, and Michel Foucault has made famous his arguments regarding the panoptical idea that society is controlled by feeling the presence of constant surveillance, whether it be from a god or a government. But what happens when control is so slippery that we are no longer granted the creative, artistic freedom we were taught made us individuals? When even our supposedly god-given right for personal expression is limited by power structures that are often sightless, tasteless, and utterly senseless, one can't help but question if we have any rights that aren't bound to the restrictions unknowingly set for us.
[...] If there is any way to win the battle for integrity and expression, than the most important realization is that, to once again rely on the eloquence of Deleuze, conception of a control mechanism ( ) is not necessarily one of science fiction.” (312) It is up to the artists of today's manipulative society to recognize that those ideas of controlling both mind and body, and the governments behind them, are surely real and desperately hoping we will pass them off as mere invention, and nothing worthy of batting an eye towards. [...]
[...] And that relationship was exploited in some of the exhibits.” (Saunders 260) It was as if America was claiming that even its artists felt so free and empowered by their country and its culture, that even splattered paint was an honorable expression, and rigid lines and the stifling confines of realist painting was not. Regardless of how the artist felt, or knew how he was being portrayed, the American government capitalized on a person being able to produce something. The CIA realized that that “something” was art, and could be manipulated to look like democracy had a vital part in manufacturing American expression. [...]
[...] As Francis Stoner Saunders shows in her book The Cultural Cold War, abstract expressionism was the new black, or more literally, new art.” In 1946, critics began hailing artists such as Pollock as “independent, self-reliant, a true expression of national will, spirit and character.” (254) Pollock was born in rural Wyoming on a sheep farm, and grew up exploring his artistic endeavors in the great land of the free, in a country accepting and open to new artists and anything “vigorous, energetic, free-wheeling, big.” (Saunders 255) At least, that was what those in power wanted to project, and with artists such as Pollock to service as a real-life spokesman for the freedom and nurturing environment of America, it made it hard to propose a different national identity other than the one already prescribed. [...]
[...] Despite the hunger artist's unmoving belief that his art must be created and fulfilled, even at the cost of his health, the public has no time, or money to shell out, for this old fad. The story caustically ends with the artist's death: might fast as much as he could, and he did so; but nothing could save him now, people just passed him (254) With this story, Kafka dramatically shows the inextricable link between art and capitalism, and the demise, and literally starvation, of any artist who does not oblige to structure their art around the current societal demands. [...]
[...] According to Saunders, this type of manipulation of art and controlling what the public can or cannot see is termed psychological warfare, also known as struggle for the minds and wills of men.” (148) Saunders even divulges that President Truman signed the secret doctrine that allowed the birth of the Psychological Strategy Board, which was devoted to devising ways to control the American population without seeming like it was being controlled, and art and the creation of culture was certainly an insipid way to sway society into buying into the brands of artists the American government was funding and creating. [...]
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