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INTRODUCTION

This page, the cover and the following pages are not “Art” but
essay, science, discourse. “More Art” is not, by any means, the way
to “detox” ourselves from the “daily overexposure to Art”(DOTA).
Because the toxin is not “bad art” but “Art” itself.
If anyone (poor naïve dude!) would be tempted to suggest “An�-
Art” or Dadaism to fight DOTA, no, sorry: It would not work. Our
Wild Capitalis�c Society will absorb and co-opt any “an�-art” item
which is worth it and rapidly transform it into a prized merchandise,
into “High Art.”
Was the instance of Duchamp not enough to prove it?

“Art is habit,” and it is hard to believe you guys would be able to cope
with life if anyone would ex�rpate from you all those sick habits.
But, your sick habits have turned into worse, into a pathological
addic�on that has grown too fat and suffocates your capacity of
thinking (if you ever actually possessed that gi�).
At this point, your only hope is the “total insula�on from all art”
(TIFAA). At least, temporarily.

We know of the effects of DOTA upon the individual: Apathy,


boredom, inclina�on to violence… chronic stupidity. But, we s�ll
don´t know what are the precise effects of TIFAA upon the brain
of the human being. This is so because such a radical “Art Detox”
treatment never happened before.

We reached the �me to definitely test the cure to its ul�mate


consequences.
The country which will assume the risk to endure “ART DETOX 2010”
will be Italy. The ins�gator, the cultural-shaker, who will captain the
ship will be Vi�ore Baroni. We don´t know what “Art Detox” will
bring. Some fear that nothing good will come from it.
Fellow ar�sts out there, be afraid, be very afraid!

John Mountain
December 2009

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Le�er To Baroni (over “Art Detox”)
Dear Vi�ore,

“Art Detox,” you say.

Well, as I men�oned in some previous ar�cle, a regular ci�zen of any


big western city is exposed to a con�nuous “art-experience” for free.
Free TV (fic�on-movies, news reports, publicity, documentaries, talk-
shows…), free radio (free music), free Internet (free informa�on/
communica�on), publicity-billboards on the streets and roads…
Yes, all this men�oned here is, indisputably, Contemporary Art,
Contemporary Culture. Yes, besides all this, we s�ll can use a public
library (also for free) and get exposed to contemporary literature.
Or we can go to an art-museum or to a commercial art-gallery.
The stuff we will encounter there is, as well, indisputably “art.” It
might be “bad art” or “good art,” but this “detail” is not actually too
important now.

The crucial point to me is that, never before in human history, an


average ci�zen has been exposed to such a high degree of art in a
daily basis. This encloses the exposure to art from previous cultures
and époques, which knowledge was never before so exhaus�ve.
Yes, and add to the previously men�oned “art-experiences”
the music in the elevators of the buildings, the music used as
background during the news reports, the culinary experiences at
fancy restaurants, a�ending a theatre play, going to the cinema…
everything. This means that what used to be an occasional ritual
(significant excep�on) has become a permanent ritual (the absence
of this ritual has become what is excep�onal). I mean “a permanent
ritual” or a “bunch of rituals” that overlap themselves con�nuously
in our daily life. In fact, the few intervals of insula�on from “art”
have become “precious” moments of peace and relax to our
neurons. We achieve these moments of “no-art” when we trek into
nature, when we sleep at night, when we turn off the TV-set and sit
at home in silence… The tragedy is that our daily life has become a
non-stop “aesthe�c-experience.”

Hence, a certain clogging of our senses was bound to happen.


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It is a similar phenomenon to the over-exposure to informa�on
produced by Internet, TV, radio & printed press (altogether).

So, even if “Art Detox” was ini�ally meant for cleaning our
neuronal system from “bad art,” I think we should consider it to
clean ourselves from the “general art overexposure” (GAO).

GAO is causing our senses to get dull. We don´t listen to music


because of the non-stop concert around us which is being played
“24/7” (24 hours per day/7 days per week). But, more importantly,
this overexposure is producing dullness in our brain. Too much
watching TV, too much publicity, too much of “entertainment” is
preven�ng ourselves from thinking. The present-�me situa�on
was an�cipated, fi�y years ago, by Guy Debord in the book “The
Society of Spectacle.” But, media-technology has improved a lot
in these decades and now the situa�on described by Debord has
been radicalized.
I wonder what sort of chemical (or non chemical) substance or
treatment could become an effec�ve “Art Detox.” It seems that
the only op�on would be to take a few days (weeks?) vaca�on to a
deserted island. While we remain in our ci�es, the exposure to art
will con�nue to be permanent.
In fact, not only the consump�on of art, but making art in the
present-�me situa�on should be considered as obnoxious. Hence,
the ar�sts have become “obnoxious people” who contribute
relentlessly to fill up our daily life with more and more obnoxious
“art.” And the reason why they make “art” is not merely economic,
but of arrogance, selfishness & vanity.
That “Art Detox” might actually become an ar�s�c ritual is just scary.
It might become the final “overdose” of art that would cause our
brains to explode. Or maybe our brains won´t explode but merely
rot inside, so we´ll become “vegetal,” “zombies…” you name it.
We will see what happens along this “2010” in Italy. I´m worried.
I´m really worried.
Yours faithfully,
John Mountain
December 2009

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“ART DETOX”
And
SOME SCIENTIFIC FACTS ON OUR LYMPHATIC SYSTEM

Lymph is the inters��al fluid found between the cells of the human
body. It enters the lymph vessels by filtra�on through pores in the
walls of capillaries. The lymph then travels to at least one lymph
node before emptying ul�mately into the right or the le� sub-
clavian vein, where it mixes back with blood.
Lymph has a composi�on comparable to that of blood plasma, but it
may differ slightly depending on the �ssue served (drained). Lymph
contains white blood cells. In par�cular, the lymph that leaves a
lymph node is richer in lymphocytes. Likewise, the lymph formed
in the diges�ve system called chyle is rich in triglycerides (fat), and
looks milky white.
Lymph is a clear liquid that is actually blood plasma without the
blood cells. Its job is to bathe the cells with water and nutrients.

The tonsils are areas of lymphoid �ssue on either side of the throat.
An infec�on of the tonsils is called tonsilli�s. Most commonly, the
term “tonsils” refers to the pala�ne tonsils that can be seen in the
back of the throat.
Like other organs of the lympha�c system, the tonsils act as part of
the immune system to help protect against infec�on. In par�cular,
they are believed to be involved in helping fight off pharyngeal and
upper respiratory tract infec�ons. Sadly, many of us had the tonsils
ex�rpated when we were kids.

Hippocrates was one of the first persons to men�on the lympha�c


system in the fi�h century BC. In his work “On Joints,” he briefly
men�oned the lymph nodes in one sentence. Rufus of Ephesus,
a Roman physician, iden�fied the axillary, inguinal and mesenteric
lymph nodes as well as the thymus during the first to second century
AD.

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The first men�on of lympha�c vessels was in the 3rd century BC by
Herophilus, a Greek anatomist living in Alexandria, who incorrectly
concluded that the “absorp�ve veins of the lympha�cs”, by which
he meant the lacteals (lymph vessels of the intes�nes), drained into
the hepa�c portal veins, and thus into the liver. Findings of Ruphus
and Herophilus were further propagated by the Greek physician
Galen, who described the lacteals and mesenteric lymph nodes
which he observed in his dissec�on of apes and pigs in the second
century A.D.
Un�l the seventeenth century, ideas of Galen were most prevalent.
Accordingly, it was believed that the blood was produced by the
liver from chyle contaminated with ailments by the intes�ne and
stomach, to which various spirits were added by other organs,
and that this blood was consumed by all the organs of the body.
This theory required that the blood be consumed and produced
many �mes over. His ideas had remained unchallenged un�l the
seventeenth century, and even then were defended by some
physicians.

The Lympha�c System in vertebrates is a network of conduits that


carry a clear fluid called lymph. It also includes the lymphoid �ssue
through which the lymph travels. Lymphoid �ssue is found in many
organs, par�cularly the lymph nodes, and in the lymphoid follicles
associated with the diges�ve system such as the tonsils. The system
also includes all the structures dedicated to the circula�on and
produc�on of lymphocytes, which includes the spleen, thymus,
bone marrow and the lymphoid �ssue associated with the diges�ve
system. The lympha�c system as we know it today was first described
independently by Olaus Rudbeck and Thomas Bartholin.

The blood does not directly come in contact with the parenchymal
cells and �ssues in the body, but cons�tuents of the blood first exit
the microvascular exchange blood vessels to become inters��al
fluid, which comes into contact with the parenchymal cells of the
body. Lymph is the fluid that is formed when inters��al fluid enters
the ini�al lympha�c vessels of the lympha�c system. The lymph is
then moved along the lympha�c vessel network by either intrinsic
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contrac�ons of the lympha�c vessels or by extrinsic compression of
the lympha�c vessels via external �ssue forces (e.g. the contrac�ons
of skeletal muscles).

The lympha�c system has three interrelated func�ons: It is


responsible for the removal of inters��al fluid from �ssues; it
absorbs and transports fa�y acids and fats as chyle to the circulatory
system; and it transports immune cells to and from the lymph
nodes. The lymph transports an�gen-presen�ng cells (APCs), such
as dendrite cells, to the lymph nodes where an immune response
is s�mulated. The lymph also carries lymphocytes from the efferent
lympha�c exi�ng the lymph nodes.
The study of lympha�c drainage of various organs is important
in diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment of cancer. The lympha�c
system, because of its physical proximity to many �ssues of the
body, is responsible for carrying cancerous cells between the various
parts of the body in a process called metastasis. The intervening
lymph nodes can trap the cancer cells. If they are not successful
in destroying the cancer cells the nodes may become sites of
secondary tumors.
Diseases and other problems of the lympha�c system can cause
swelling and other symptoms. Problems with the system can impair
the body’s ability to fight infec�ons. Yes, “ar�s�c-infec�ons,” too.

Now, look at your face into a looking-glass, you are all swollen.
Christ, it´s disgus�ng! Not only you need a lympha�c drainage
badly, but also you need a “brain-drainage,” to get rid of all those
art-toxins.
You are such a sickening human being who has been over-exposed
to ART-TOXINS. You look bad, and what´s worse: You smell bad. You
smell like an overcooked peas-porridge that went stale. Ugh!

Now, stop was�ng �me, you vacant, and rush to a pharmacy nearby
to get your treatment of “Art Detox.”

John Mountain
December 2009

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A Short Rant about “Art Detox”

In July 2009, the na�onal “Art Hate Week” took place in London´s
Tate Gallery. They were the “Bri�sh Art Resistence.”
Does it sound incongruous to you? Indeed. But, not any less
incongruous than those Dada exhibits, proclaims or manifestos
from many years ago.
Here some of the new proclaims of the “Art Hate Week:”

“ALL ART IS TAINTED”

“NATIONAL ART HATE WEEK will redress the balance and all art will
be opposed and subjected to a sustained HATE.”

They went, in their manifesto, saying that the “Chosen Ar�st Of


Today” is lame, sold to the powerful and a lap-dog of the Status
Quo. While the “True ar�st/agitator Of Today” is “faced with the
hatred and enmity of the powers of repression.”

That happened barely 5 months ago and nobody remembers


anymore what was that fuss about. Well, that if there was actually
any ini�al interest or upheaval over it. Was the whole of it a mere
ar�s�c stratagem? Again?

So, was the “agitator” a�achment so u�erly necessary because the


bare word of “ar�st” has become simply pathe�c?

Yes.
Then, the ar�st is almost feminine, weak. While the agitator, the
poli�cal ac�vist is a macho. The first is banal, decora�ve… fragile.
The second is manly, determined, revolu�onary, tough.
What a cliché. However, there is some undeniable truth in it.
The art which is labeled as “Contemporary,” which is snob, which
is made for an elite and which remains “cryp�c” to the average
ci�zen, that is the most “hated” art. It is hated by the lower-class,
while it is adored by the hipsters. Meanwhile, the middle-class guy
remains indifferent to it or decides that, with an effort, he could

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jump into the trendy club and enjoy the experience.

Both the Dadaists and the Bri�sh Art Resistence a�acked the
Bourgeois-Art, the elite-art. They didn´t a�ack the popular-art,
the folk-art. That would have resulted dangerous. If you insult
the bourgeois, they will walk away in anger. But, if you insult the
populace, you´ll end up under their boots. This is, too, a simple
ma�er of mathema�cs. The elite is always a minority, while the
base is always broad. This is as right as rain. So, if you wanna get
anybody angry, you be�er choose the smaller sector.
I´m not saying that the wealthy are not dangerous. They are,
indeed. However, they are too busy dealing with important ma�ers
to waste away with such insignificancies. What sort of “important
ma�ers?” Well, vaca�oning in luxury hideaways, a�ending par�es,
ea�ng in fancy restaurants, partying… a�ending their “socializing.”
Yes, the “Good Life” is absolutely “�me consuming.”
Besides, if you are an ac�vist, there is always the chance to get
trendy to the eyes of the wealthy. It happened to the Black
Panthers in New York: Suddenly, they were so cool. So, yes: There
is an occasional traffic between the bourgeois and the (supposed)
revolu�onary ac�vists.

Alright, now let´s talk about this “Art Detox.”


They say:

“Do you feel oppressed by too many art invites and projects?
Tired of being burdened and clogged by bad art toxins?”

Why that of “Bad Art?” Is that an a�empt to be more moderate and


choose a smaller niche from the vast spectrum of “Contemporary
Art?” We will not hate the art of the bourgeois, only their “bad art.”
Sounds convenient.
“Too many art invites and projects?” Whew, those intellectuals are
enduring a harsh stalk. I feel sorry for them, I really do. (giggle)
Oh, well, look at them suffer. But, wait a minute, what they
suffer from is BOREDOM. And that cons�tutes a refined form of
psychological torture. Yes, it does.

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What I say is that they (or “we”) are not clogged by “bad art toxins”
but clogged by DOTA (“daily overexposure to Art”). They have too
many TV-channels to choose from, they party too much, they get
too much art for free (apart from the art they pay for). This has
pilot to a state of apathy, of sadness. And as I men�oned in the
introduc�on text, this leads to ultraviolence.

Yes, I diagnose that we are being “over-brutalized” by a “permanent


ar�s�c show” (PAS) that the Wild capitalis�c Society offers 24 hours
a day & 7 days a week. As that old jingle sung: “The city never sleeps,
Ciii-tyyy-Bank!”

I´m tempted to recommend you -as a rapid remedy- to sit on a chair,


to place a paper bag covering your head and to keep your feet into
a basin of hot water. This should provide a certain insula�on from
that hos�le (actually, “too friendly”) ar�s�c environment. But, a�er
a few minutes, you´ll get sick of it, too.
The scenario which is con�nuously being suggested as “unavoidable”
is that of the novel “Fight Club”(circa 1996) by Chuck Palahniuk or
that, pre�y much equivalent, of the dystopia novels by JG Ballard.
We could link “Fight Club” to “A Clockwork Orange” (circa 1962) by
Anthony Burgess.
While we might get a defini�ve “art-detoxifica�on” in 2012 (if
the Mayas were right about the defini�ve apocalypse and human
culture will be washed off from the face of Earth), we should face
the following three years with op�mism (or big doses of cynicism).
We must fight DOTA (“daily overexposure to art”), by shielding
ourselves from PAS (“permanent ar�s�c show”). TIFAA (“total
insula�on from all art”) should be a prescrip�on stage in the
defini�ve procedure of “Art Detox.”

“2010” will be the �me. Italy will be the place. And “Art Detox” will
be the event. Shall God be merciful of us all.

John Mountain
December 2009

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INDEX

Introduc�on ……………………………….Page 3
Prehistoric .............………………………………4

Le�er To Baroni ..........………………………….5

Art Senses .............……………………………….7

Detox-Kit ……………………….............…………8

Lympha�c System .........……………………….9

Nuke Blasts ...........……………………………..12

Sex-Detox ..............................................13

Wasteland .............................................14

Extra Dot ...............................................15

Text Road ..............................................16

Dora Text ..............................................17

Garfunkel ..............................................18

A Short Rant .........................................19

Italy ...................................................... 22

Index .....................................................23

Credits...................................................24

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CREDITS
All Texts and Images © John Mountain 2009
PDF assembled by Darlene Altschul 2009

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