We get it: New York City is hyper-gentrified.
This is nowhere more apparent then in the former tenement enclave turned punk paradise becomes yuppie central. There are many locals still in the Lower East Side holding it down, but for each one there is a story of eviction, exclusion, and despair. Gentrification’s effects on the people of the LES is not just financial, it is also psychological and emotional, cutting into the roots of human self-worth and senses of self and finally shifting culture across spheres, levels, and forms of community. What is the role of art in all of this? How can art be made when the ability to make anything at all has been so significantly replaced by hegemonic commerciality?
Constructive Critique of Information as such:
Institutions and many social arts projects collect data in hopes of arguing for their own cultural value and designing their operating procedures. By and large, metrics are used to prove functional worth of programs and systems; data about populations and demographic portraits of individuals are perceived as viable (scientific, if not democratic) ways of making decisions for groups of human beings. PPL takes on the idea of justifying value and worth via a process of subjective information-gathering but we use the second definition of “metrics:” the use or study of poetic metre, those rhythms which stresses and structures to turn thought and language into art. Thus, our results are poetic, subjective, both unvaluable and invaluable, a Prophecy rather than a Grant or Program.
We Know We Make No Sense
- In contrast with our “ironic” tone and absurdist appropriation of institutional framing language, we note that an actual study with the mission outlined in our “About” section might be able to produce results that could be considered "useful" or “valuable” in some circles.
- However, being performance artists, we instead focus on processes and practices, not on productivity/production/results.
- Our objective is to gather marooned ideas, beliefs, energies, experiences, not in order to functionally use them, but rather to center them temporarily and site-specifically, as right/rite and ritual.
- The resultant Prophecy may make no sense at all, but non-sense is exactly that which resists “sensible” “progress.”