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The Not A Corporation

Over the years, many artists have assumed the pose of a Corporation. The Residents invented a corporation they worked for, and then orchestrated a rebellion against their corporate masters. Public Image Limited, of course, wore the Corporation mask. Sigue Sigue Sputnik not only took the corporate pose to the point of inserting ads between tracks on their first album, but also invented a firm of bodyguards that accompanied them. Paul Pope invented a fictional publisher for himself so that he wouldn’t look like yet another self-publisher, and Grant Morrison became GMword in 2002.

Makes life a little more entertaining, dunnit?

Today I am interested in… Well, it’s not quite the flipside. But wouldn’t it be funny if someone started having their every Proclamation taken to the public by a coven of PR mystics? I’m amused by the notion of an international cell or cult carrying the Word to the heathens. The artist is never seen, except in depictions, somewhere between sacred art and Communist posters. You could set up a table at a convention that just had a framed portrait, and acolytes.

There’s a certain sick appeal in that, that should probably disturb me more than it does.

(And then you could have a Crusade.)


(Originally written 29 May 2005)

Published in brainjuice


  1. J. Blair J. Blair

    Um, I think Scientology beat you to it.

  2. RMC RMC

    Is this the Secret Origin of the Holy Slut Army? Chris Morris has a secular approach to publicity which correlates to this; he never allows a photo to be published that isn’t in character or at least spoofed in some way.

  3. All these proclamations of you being Internet Jesus finally driving you power mad in the wee hours?

  4. Pete Lovejoy Pete Lovejoy

    I might have to try that sometime. Need to actually produce some art of some kind, first of course.

    Or actually, It might even be better if there was no actual product at all.

    I must consider this.

    To The Bourbonmobile!

  5. rawsocket rawsocket

    The group Neue Slowenische Kunst (NSK) and their band Laibach might be a good contrast to corporate art. Invididual artists are never identified with them and all artworks are identified only as emerging from the collective.

  6. You have to wonder: if a group with a really, horribly objectionable message — we’ll say al-Qaeda — decided to hire a PR firm to carry out all of their public relations work, would the pull of money win out over the objectionable nature of the message?

  7. Matt Matt

    I’m in. I’m so in. Time to go pass the word to the filthy masses. Fetch me the Chair Leg Of Truth.

  8. Crap, this makes me think of The Chronoliths by Robert Charles Wilson. Monuments from an
    unknown future conquer arrive in the past and the youth movement that arises from it.

  9. gilbert da silva gilbert da silva

    isn’t this just what jt leroy is/did? just a collection of writers under a pseudonym that sends out actors to read in his stead?

    still… it’s a great idea.

  10. John John

    First, you need a “compound.” It is essential. It cannot be stressed more highly.

  11. I found your site on technorati and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you down the road!

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