Sometime in the last few weeks, I started assessing cultural objects and figures according to this metric: “gets it” / “doesn’t get it”. There’s also, maybe, yes, I think, now that I’m writing this, a third, in-between state: “almost gets it,” which is really where I’m at, as I’ve yet to define my “it”; it’s still something I intuit, something I can only point to in my mind semi-verbal. Like a trigger, I go: Eckhaus Latta: “gets it”; Marco Roso: “gets it”; William Gibson: “gets it”.
Tavi Gevinson: gets it.
Azealia Banks: gets it.
Keith Haring: got it.
Kanye West: gets it.
Semiotext(e), a publisher celebrated at the Whitney Biennial this year, definitely gets it. They may even define it. Their new box set, Schizo-Culture: The Event, The Book, certainly gets me closest to it—to an understanding of the reality I live in, which the Semiotext(e) collective (Sylvère Lotringer et al.) diagnosed in 1975 at a conference, and in 1978 in a publication, and in 2014 in this box set that reflects on both happenings, as “Schizo-Culture”. Schizophrenia, here, refers only abstractly to the clinical definition; it is more metaphor, posited to suggest, as William Burroughs writes in the '78 text, “to the fact that the culture is divided up into all sorts of classes and groups, etc., and that some of the old lines are breaking down. And that this is a healthy sign.”
It’s like when Kanye said (to Seth Meyers, who didn’t get it), “Everything in the world is exactly the same.” Or when Richard Foreman wrote (in the '78 Schizo-Culture pamphlet), “ALL THEMES AND MEANING MUST BE PRESENT AT ALL MOMENTS.” It’s like everything Azealia Banks tweets, including everything she deletes (“Deep thots.....”); like Deleuze and Guattari's concept of the rhizome (first introduced at the '75 Schizo-Culture conference); like the echoing lines in John Giorno’s 13-page poem “Grasping at Emptiness” (again, from Schizo-Culture):
and I know
you’re a reflection
of my mind
and I know you’re a reflection of my mind
and I know you’re a reflection of my mind, and I know you’re a reflection of my mind.
Get it? Don't get it? Don't worry about it. Everything is exactly the same.