man·i·fes·to (mān'ə-fěs'tō) n. A public declaration of principles, policies, and intentions.
This document is a work in progress; at present a series of random but related thoughts on the subject of art, music, and creative endeavor in general.
A manifesto implies revolutionary activity – perhaps even subversive activity - as there is no reason to make a public declaration of an intention to continue doing what is established and expected.
The perpetrators of a project or movement should make principles, policies, and intentions clear. This is useful in more than one way. For the perpetrators, it helps to focus and refine the plan of attack. For the audience, it assists in correctly interpreting the outcome.
We therefore declare:
We recognize the importance of self-realization, as manifested in self-expression.
What is involved in this process, at its core, is beyond the realm of rational discussion – and while logical tools such as software may be effectively employed in the process – we are concerned with the doing – the process of creating art, music, dance.
We encourage and applaud participation by all in the creative process.
We honor the true meaning of the term rock and roll – necessarily innovative, open to all as creator or audience, driven and enabled by technology, with a strong thread of DIY attitude, and thus counterculture, anti-establishment, revolutionary.
We repudiate those who call themselves rock and roll while employing the same approaches, tools, technologies, instruments, media and techniques that have been established for decades.
We recognize that rock and roll involves taking risks, breaking with convention.
We believe that the future of rock and roll involves integrating a range of media: sound, image, movement. The technology is available and should be exploited.
For this reason, among others, it is not enough to be a specialist – not enough to be good at one thing. One must be versatile, comfortable in multiple disciplines, working across them and combining them. The future demands renaissance men and women.
We embrace the process and consider the artifact unimportant or irrelevant. We recognize that recorded information (i.e., binary digits) is somewhat like tap water: useful, even essential, but cheap and free-flowing (to many). We consider real value to be in live performance: unique, transient experience.
We challenge those who attempt to pass off a recording as a performance to plug their instruments back in and play. We declare that karaoke is not rock and roll, and that DJs should mix, mash-up, and create something new to be worthy of the title.
We recognize that the time for action is the present; the window of opportunity is closing. We will be young for only a few more years. Resources are finite and not renewable. Our society is in decline. It is unlikely we will be able to do in a few years what we can do now. The end of the world as we know it is approaching.
We acknowledge our influences: the futurist, surrealist, and dada movements, alchemy, cyberpunk and hacker culture, film noir and expressionist cinema, gothic and steampunk authors – but do not seek to imitate.
We seek community, like-minded others, those who value performance and participation and self-expression; we find ourselves at home in the Los Angeles goth/industrial scene, and the often-connected fetish and Black Rock City cultures.
To be continued ...