Something is happening in Rosario

Posted by Gonzalo Aloras on May 06 2013 | Uncategorized

Capítulo de la tesis “From the Development Project to Globalization and Neoliberalism: 26 years of constructing and changing identities in Rosarinos’ discourse” (Virginia Balmaceda: 2010)

In the next paragraphs some perceptions on art, the nation and problems that affect us are presented. They are found in Gonzalo Aloras’ blog ‘Algo vuela’. The following texts were written between 2004 and 2009 and continue offering some of the reflections that characterized the spirit of the first moment of the Trova.

According to the author ‘for the artist it is about performing innocently… that’s what it takes for the artist. For  those who are not an artist, instead, maybe it is about resentment, the need of revenge and bad conscience, the need to judge and to destroy… and to keep destroying!’ The reflection continues in these terms: ‘It is not easy to live like poets, since usually we face passivity, vulgarity, mediocrity, middle terms, indifference, fear and comfort. They dominate us; we tend to be on the death side and without knowing it!’

We are also told that ‘art doesn’t communicate anything. (…) A piece of art, a song, a picture, a film or a book, doesn’t communicate a thing. On the contrary, a strange relation with the audience (the outside) is invented. A unique world of sensations and affections is thus generated, which does not precede the lector or the book’. When thinking about ‘today’s artists’, there is question to be answered: ‘Why do we speak of the artists of the last century (particularly, of those who showed up in the ‘70s) like if they were Greek gods? Because it’s like a giant desert occupies the last 30 years in the hands of the book editorials, the film industry and the record companies. Those who are in charge of promoting new artists have stopped doing it to sell instead hamburgers, phone artifacts or massive consumption products of any other kind. They use not artists, but art comedians. Then artists do not advance, or they do it isolated –in the best case scenario- without anyone knowing about their existence and their creations. This is how we are now (…). They left us without artists for our time. And, because living without art is a mistake, we look for them in the past in the belief that only then there was a time worthy to be lived!’

Moreover, in a note written on 2007 –but published in 2009- the author reminds us that ‘the biggest desire in an artist’s soul is continuity; contrary to what is supposed, it’s not fame, money or popularity. We are talking about the continuity in the inspiration and in the creative forces, same as in the incentive and motivation that can be transmitted to some other artist’. For these reasons ‘some musicians teach, in this way they make sure that they keep working -as an exercise- and being a source of inspiration for other people. Some others have persisted in their productions, where only style shines and goes beyond the individual (even when that means to sacrifice in part being healthy)’. And in this way, ‘slowly, both, style and the wish to continue become the engine of the life of the craft maker’.

Continuing with the reflections ‘on repercussion and fame’ we find: ‘to win a lot of money, to make tours constantly, to have thousands of fans, to play a song in every radio and to be on TV, to show up in magazines and to sell a lot of discs. (Those) are the requirements so that a given audience, the entrepreneurs of the music industry and the specialized journalism take into account a given musician and his/her music. So it is. A machine invented by the Beatles, maybe’. In addition to this, ‘it is worthy to ask if in this new century we are not experiencing the emergence of a new kind of so called ‘stars’, which are loved and listened as well. They are a minority though and tend to some produce some new pop ‘material’’.

In this framework, we also find that ‘a CD constitutes a watch itself. Like a measure of time in one hand (…) and, on the other hand it possesses -while reinventing ‘on the air’- many years of work that can be measured in sensations and feelings traveling beyond space and time’. Besides, songs are written ‘to see what happens, what happens in our bodies and souls…And what it gives us, what changes in us, where it takes us, what shows us, which window it opens, which perfumes come, what kind of forces it gives us… or, on the contrary, to simply forget it and try a new one’. Furthermore, the importance of writing a song is related to its powers to ‘avoid a suicide (or cause it), it can help to create a couple and a family, it can stop a war and dream a future nation and it can be used to sell some pasta brand name’.

Following the previous ideas something is written ‘in order to resist stupidity, we write because there is nothing else to do and we write to experience joy/pleasure. There is no other reason’. And, in our present times, an alternative ‘exists. It’s a bad era. But no one could ever say that since more than 15 years there is another Argentinean rock; which brings new sensibilities, other gestures, new ideas, policies and ethics that escape to control and to the generalized mass media. Other discs exist, circulate and are listened. With modesty we can say: not everything is an empty repetition in our country; not everything is money and fame. The new beginnings always start quietly and with small audiences’. The particular case of Buenos Aires proves that ‘diversity, complexity, virtue and good music have still place in today’s Buenos Aires’.

This alternative needs to face ‘the hard feelings, the bad conscience, the envy, the need of revenge, the will that things fail, the needs of underestimating, the need of destroying what is pure; in other words, those who hate life, the judges of what is good (that) will be around us forever. And they will be more acknowledged than those who are walking, those who contemplate, the creators and the inventors’. Some questionings emerge: ‘What is an intellectual? Someone who’s is not stupid and is not afraid? Then we will be intellectuals eternally. Why is that it bothers so much that there are people who want to think and call however they want the things they love and believe in? … Those who do what they want?’ With some dose of irony, the author adds: ‘It manifests and reflects the hypocrisy, the lack of ethics and seriousness of an age without new values, without adventures and without humor. Ha, ha, ha!’

Then, it seems like ‘it is false to propose that journalists and critics are frustrated artists. (…) The problem is and it will be always similar: the audience (specially the critics) should become more artists every time to appreciate what is being presented (in some cases). And nothing assures that it will be able -capable and sensitive- (to understand it). Then (we have) the case of the misunderstood artist or critic that seems to be talking about what he doesn’t know’.

Later on, the author appears as someone who ‘lives listening to new music every day, playing instruments, creating some sequence of chords or melodies, writing but specially reading and watching good movies, usually old ones. Old books, old discs, old good movies bring new ideas and fresh air into the desolated, uninformed, obscene, cynical and fake modern present…Technologies? They are useful to keep enjoying the old discs, old books and the old good movies’.

It is the same author who asks ‘how much can you see? How much can you listen to? How much can you feel? …A little bit more?’ More questions are addressed: ‘What do you want? ’and the consequent proposal: ‘Let’s live like artists. (…) walking always on the life’s side, on health’s side (even in sickness and addictions) (let’s) choose always music, nature, movies, books, the most distant love… (let’s) long for diversity to all costs (…) There are two ways: the assassin one and the poet one. What would you choose if you could?)’

Additionally, a reflection on time also appears: ‘What is the aim of your activity? Yesterday (…) some rock band spent a lot of time in a studio looking for the perfect sound of a drum. What is the aim of that activity? It is clear that it does not seek for economic benefits as a priority. It is just a little example within the rock culture’. These ideas are probably related to the next one: ‘What do we do with our time? We are fans. Some of us are ‘Rodrigo’s’ fans… Some of us are ‘Cezanne’s’ fans. At least it is something that makes us love life and destiny. And it makes possible to differentiate us from those who destroy and hate. This is what we are!’ More important, probably these thoughts are related to the following question. ‘What is ‘cool’ for you? I think it is cool to be young in our souls forever, to be strong (…) to not be tempted by comfort and laziness, which are our internal enemies’.

The notions above suggest something deeper: ‘How is your salmon? The salmon goes against the river (…) A revolutionary attitude means acting and thinking like minorities do. Does everybody have a car? I don’t.  Is everybody doing cocaine? I don’t. Is everybody a pacifist? That won’t ever happen. He, he, he. It’s just a game, like the others’. Furthermore, ‘human rights?’, the author asks and also adds: ‘I propose the human right to disinformation, the right of no consumption’.

The previous ideas make us reflect on the need to ‘start rethinking the notion of work that has projected the human kind, at least during the last century… If such a concept has failed, it will be necessary to reinvent it. Obviously, the idea that the supreme goal of every human activity is money brings the human being (and the whole planet) into an abysm that appears uncontrollable and final. Today’s ecological, social and mental problems that deepen day after day maybe find their origin in the notion of work that makes them possible’. The author continues reflecting on this situation and affirms: ‘We need some sort of new education that brings a new way to think of us. The only real problem of our suffering planet is the way in which we think of ourselves. It is not, in one hand, the earth, the sea, the animals; and, on the other hand, us…We are earth, sea and animals. This is the education that we always have needed’.

Moreover, some sort of ‘new capital’ is linked to ‘the new solidarity and creative experiences that have started in this century. We are those who look for, want and defend a new capital: solidarity, diversity, the forests, the rivers, the kids without hunger, the old people not being abandoned, a different music… The tools that help us to create these new capitals are the words shared among people, peace between near and far populations, a smile, the importance of a sunny day, etc. That’s the kind of capital we are looking for and is defended by the young people in 2000. Obviously we are defending it of enemies that are almost unbeatable! But a new century has become and it is our task. Each one of us in his/her own space and territory, day by day. I, the musician; he, the architect; she, the judge; he, the writer; she, the dentist… Our new capital is to be enjoyable in the future! That’s why it is so difficult to show it, to make it appreciate it by today’s people; it’s part of our job too’. All of these reflections lead to a proposal to the audience: ‘Do you see it? It is about some sort of new capital which is not economic and doesn’t profit in the short term. Would you donate some of your time and work in the new generation of ideas? Join us; you just need to long for it. You don’t have to belong to any parties or vote!’

This mentality makes possible to take into account different problems of our era. ‘World Capitalism warns: the enemy is not only external now; it will filter the systems of internal defense (the planes and towers). (…) All minorities are the enemies in modern societies… (…)Anyways, maybe there’s no need of new technologies (…) but other active policies in the world’. Another example: ‘Ecology is almost nothing if it is not mental, social and environmental at the same time. The death of literature, the fear of becoming old, the state superpowers, etc are also dimensions of a global ecological problem’.

In this sense, global warming appears as the result of high speed. The author wonders: ‘What is the task of those that today can create and have a choice? …To slow down in the planet-neighborhood-home-head. To utilize the low speeds. To make others believe in this Earth and this Life’. It happens in a world where ‘there’s no war, there is passivity. We all are men, women, children, houses, plants and animals. And we collaborate in the fabrication of bombs so that they can be used… We collaborate with our lack of resistance. This hurts more than the death of a few. There are some who resist’.

Another text called ‘Chernobyl forever?’ proposes that ‘the biggest world danger (and one of the biggest planetary problems) is still being propagated thanks to the passivity of the big masses and the despotism of a few: the proliferation of the nuclear plants’. The author continues saying that assertions like ‘’They are safe’ or ‘they have only failed once’, translate the dark and fatal way to see life and time. Let’s say NO to the nuclear plants on earth. Energy can also be generated in a sustainable way and, especially, we could use far much less at the world level. We are talking again about mentalities and not economies’.

The paragraphs above suggest ‘today we experience one tragedy: human will, all the actions and values are controlled by one only goal –the economic benefit. To become an artist means to interrupt this repetition and collective suicide’. Besides, ‘today we spend a lot of time with manufactures, screens and phones. Our thoughts and our hearts become more and more abandoned by us. We should try… to turn off, to unplug, to silence, to achieve escaping of the trap of control in a costume of fake modernity and benefits… in time’.

The same kind of problems in Argentina is also approached. ‘Argentina is selling soy to China. And Argentina is dying very quickly because its forests are disappearing (and the life contained in them) to plant more soy. That’s happening now. And everybody’s talking about human rights… imagine when we realize that the only human right we had was to have forests (…) PS: What do you want me to talk about? Of the stupid things that rockers usually talk about? That’s already covered!’ Some other texts propose: ‘It is necessary to have some regulation to recycle garbage in Argentina. (…) This is too old! Not to mention the radio and the TV, for now a total waste’. But, more specifically, we find Buenos Aires and Rosario’s cases. For example, the author wonders: ‘Does the sky have an opinion about us? Or are the atmospheric phenomena reflecting our passivity toward the ecological disasters?’ In the next case we are told that ‘if it’s not done it’s because it’s not wanted. In Rosario urban buses which utilize water to function already exist’.

In this framework, we are also told that ‘something is happening in Paranoid City! Of course, it was necessary to have a city. (…) Even when it is a sad city under a system that is breaking all the relations. A city is somehow a world itself. Then, being in there, we need to know what we can do and how far we can go; how much we can forget. So that, the city can become something else too and can release itself from its own paranoia. Then, slowly and quietly and through the years we testify some sort of learning process. (…) There are many plans and all of them simultaneously are part of a bigger one including them’.

The next reflection is equally important. Thinking about ‘the small things’ the author affirms: ‘Only in a small scale (social, world or personal level) things happen. The big and noisy events are just like fireworks’. These ideas are very important if we have in mind that ‘with our creations we face a deserted, hostile and obscene world. The philosophers call this: to resist. All kind of human stupidity is resisted: on a big scale (governments, corporations, multinational companies, states, political parties, the media, etc) and on a small scale (the vulgarities of our neighbor, etc). By doing something artistic, or at least having an artistic-ATTITUDE in our lives, we can feel that joy that is inherent to creating –and at the same time, resisting. When we can choose we do it on behalf and in front of all those men who can’t choose; those who live like slaves in the tumult and covered violence of this world. When this joy impregnates a creation, it can circulate and affect other bodies, heal them, help them. We can’t do much more than that. Luckily complexity permeates everything and lives in our wonderful new questions. The young people of today do not want any more answers! We want good questions!’

But, ‘how does it feel to create? It is doing something that anyone was expecting; something that escapes to vulgarity and to what is obvious. It is something that escapes to control, something that surprises us. It is not a habit, it is not a repetition and it is some novelty itself. Not showing up to work is a little creation’. Moreover, ‘creation is something that we should try to possess, to make, to achieve’. Finally, the author adds: ‘We need creation! Haven’t you realized that already?’

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