The univrse, Home of the arletariats
Manseok Kim Art critic

Is there a home to an artist? Can an artist have own hometown? Before this question is dealt with in earnest, we must work out the answer to another question that the first one brings about: can an artist’s artistic actions have meaning and dwell in reality? Some might claim that an artist’s actions can be embodied in reality with meaning or form, but it is felt that they cannot settle in an abode, but must keep travelling around the world owing to a certain energy, seeking their home, In addition, it needs to be recalled that today’s world drives them to be unable to find such a home, and only allows them to have a temporary home in a database (an SNS, as represented by Facebook). Such a phenomenon does not occur only in a certain country but is taking place all over the world. The homes of artists are being destroyed, and thus they are being cornered into being immigrants. In other words, they have to lead a nomadic life as a refugee.

The situation in which artists do not stay in one place but travel and flow around the world also cannot be simply judged from a superficial point of view because it shows two different trends: that artists unavoidably travel and flow by social pressure, and that they choose their way of travelling and flowing to dispel their home. These two trends are different in terms of spontaneity but have a common point in that they no longer have a home or hometown from a modern point of view. The home that is a star in our soul has already been lost, and artists are thus only allowed to perform their works, encountering diverse lives while leading their own lives as they travel and flow around in the world. In other words, the ways in which artists survive are bound to follow the tide of the seas and the circulation of the atmosphere influenced from the universe. They are produced, moved, and transformed by all temperatures and racial customs of the world like nomads.

This means that artists are not vested in the logic of a certain country or place. Even if they are, it is just temporarily and is not decided of permanent. Artists cannot be vested in a certain place. After they pay a temporary visit to a place, they are simply bound to move to another place with a new view. Sometimes, an encounter between artists in a particular place sees a clash from their different styles and customs. Such an encounter causes an artist’s work to be dislocated from its original direction. Of course, artists who adhere to a certain place must be less valued than nomadic artists. If they transcendentally pursue a home or hometown, it is thought that they too place themselves into the flow of the universe.

Such beings may be called arletariats (‘art’ + ’proletariat’). Proletariats in the past had to travel outside castles, seeking labor to make a living, and were cornered into a rebellion in a stark social environment. They went through their lives engraving history in their bodies (“The Many-headed Hydra: The Hidden History of the Revolutionary Atlantic” by Peter Linebaugh and Marcus Buford Rediker). Their position is overlapped with that of artists in terms of ontology. This is the background in which the term arletariant was made. In other words, in the neo-liberalism era, artists are requested to be called an arletariat, and their artistic acts are accepted as a rebellion. Artists travel around the world, challenging racial prejudice and discrimination like being unintentionally involved in a fight in a bar at a harbor and spreading their spirit with their works. Every place they reach becomes an airport or a terminal.

We also need to remember that arletariats do not use a single language but a mixed language for their artistic work. Here, the use of language mixed with multiple languages does not imply the distinction between a mother tongue and a foreign language, but means that their difference is meaningless. A mother tongue no longer represents a home or hometown, and a foreign language cannot represent a strange land. A purebred language can no longer exist in the world. Today, artists use languages mixed and blended with multiple languages. A certain language cannot be a rule or rule over another. However, the problem is that an artist tends to stand between languages, and it leads them to be a stammerer or to talk about pointless stories. Thus, they choose to make a new language by assembling different languages. For this, they discompose existing languages and combine different ones. Naturally, this language has no home or hometown, but itself becomes a home, though temporary, because it will keep changing.

Although arletariats use an assembled language, it is not impossible to interpret it. Some parts of the language return to reality at a point. And what is important in the use of such language is that it resists monopolistic, dominant linguistic comprehension. This is a natural phenomenon, given that an assembled language is combined from different languages, and its assemblage is not a completion but is on the path to continue going somewhere. That is, an assembled language belongs to the language of arletariats, a language that is being created. When an arletarat creates a language, they are not alone but with others, allowing them to be joined to the creation of their language. When a different language settles in the existing language of an arletariat, they naturally feel pain by the clash between languages.

And the cries of arletariats cannot be defined as tragic. It is very close to the way of love in which people decompose their existing rule and accept a different one through pain. If it is not love, a new one cannot be settled among old ones. In the world where senseless abominations proliferate, the artistic acts of arletariats based on love are a way to band them together when they are cut off from each other. Since areltariats still do not give up love, we may have a reason to live on this planet. The travelling and flow of arletariats who absorb the energy of the universe may be a symptom of the pains the earth system contains or a resistance against the exploitation of the world. However, if they carefully spread love in a step by manner, regardless of race and nationality, it will be blessing to us all. And yet there are many obstacles to this.

Here, we need to turn to the travelling and flow of proletariats, which is a part of the compound word arletariat. We must not overlook the immigration and flow of diverse races to a country that is a base of exploitation are ahead of the history of arletariats, and hidden and dropped out of their history. If the immigration and flow of people follow the logic of capitalism, and the arts enjoy the results that were made with its surplus, it can be said that arletariats may be produced by adopting the travelling and flow way of proletariats. From this point of view, it is necessary to extract a connection between arletariats and proletariats to put them together.

Speaking in an exaggeration, art and labor can be identified in experiences, and thus art might be imagined as not being separate from life but being identical with it. Even if it is aroused by capital, all travelling and flow of artists are still enveloped with the energy of the universe. If the orderly operation of the universe is power to give birth to proletariats and arletariats, it will lead our lives not death but to a natural and happy life. If Jung Yun-sun, an arletariat, goes through the border of countries and races, and strangers may naturally live together in a home without hating each other, it would a great blessing. Jung Yun-sun simply suggests us to think about this impossible possibility. I hope she will go on a trip soon.