Temporary Autonomous Zones
"what we do is secret..." - The Germs
last updated January 15th, 2008 and
is permanently morphing...
(9 Et'znab (Flint) / 6 Muwan (Owl) - 178/260 - 18.104.22.168.18)
coined by Hakim
Poetic Terrorism/Ontological Anarchy
"find a space until they find you..."
"when a group or a phenomena starts getting defined, we all realize that once again, we're only human beings, warts and all.. this is the time to move on, and to create another scene where there are no words to pursue and define the alien within us." - @Om* 2/4/2000
The TAZ is an encampment of guerilla ontologists: strike
and run away.... The TAZ is thus a perfect tactic for an era in which
the State is omnipresent and all-powerful, and yet simultaneously riddled
with cracks and vacancies.
"Not a public scene or true public space but gigantic spaces of circulation, ventilation and ephemeral connection. - "Jean Baudrillard - _Simulations_
Darwinism stresses conflict and competition; that doesn't
square with the evidence. A lot of organisms that survive are in no sense
superior to those that have gone extinct. It's not a question of being "better
than"; it's simply a matter of finding a place where you can be yourself. That's
is about. That's why you can see it as a dance.
It's not going anywhere, it's simply exploring a space of possibilities.
- Brian Goodwin, biologist.
"The compensation for schizophonia [the splitting of musical sounds from their embodied human source through recording and commodification] is precisely in the creative responses.... ranting and raving... leveling and digging and dubbing and rapping. Singing along.... getting into humanising and personalising mechanical processes".
--- Steve Feld - _Music Grooves_
"[A TAZ’s] greatest strength lies in its invisibilty - the State cannot recognize it because History has no definition of it. As soon as the TAZ is named (represented, mediated), It must vanish, it will vanish, leaving behind it an empty husk." - Hakim Bey
track _A Zed & 2 I's (Coldcut Retouch)_ MP3 by Fila Brazilia
"closing of places of entertainment... all cinemas, theaters and other places of entertainment are to be closed immediately until further notice... sports gatherings and all gatherings for purposes of entertainment or amusement, whether outdoor or indoor, which involves large numbers congregating together, are prohibited until further notice. this refers especially to gatherings for purposes of entertainment. people are requested not to crowd together unnecessarily in any circumstances... "
"We were raised on television to believe that we'd
all be millionares, movie gods, rock stars, but we won't. And we're starting
to figure that out."
- Tyler Durden, _Fight Club_ (vhs/ntsc)
"In the time of gathering together, make no arbitrary choice of your associates. There are secret forces at work, leading together those who belong together." ~~~I Ching Wisdom
(important personal distinction: the difference between a "rave" and a "TAZ" is that the former is promoted, charged, and sold. the latter is done for the sake of itself, not promoted at all (in fact kept well hidden), and the focus is on the people who show up, not "the performance" - @Om* 6/29/00)
Another very important stream of commentary has been the techno beat not being part of our Western "performance" idea of music and art. The Western idea is that one person is better than the rest of us and we sit and listen to ego- driven music with its standard, quite rigid classical beat system. We as the audience are alienated, out of the loop, we gaze passively upon the chosen few who perform. We are not part of them. Techno is a whole different trip. At events everyone is there to express, to involve, to enjoy, to love, to be seen, to be accepted, to feel and emote, and to participate actively. A good event is fully participatory. Good DJ's play what the dancers are feeling; they move people in a positive way and bring them to an emotional and energetic climax. The best DJ's dance, too.
Raves are sacred spaces or Temporary Autonomous Zones, according to modern philosopher Hakim Bey. These TAZs are to free ourselves and others of the ideas and mindsets forced upon up by the fucked up corporate entity which passes for culture.
The TAZ is a direct response to and escape from the crap (people we know throwing their attitudes and expectations at us; the mass media brainwashing us into consuming and being good little mindless cogs) that fills up our lives. The TAZ is a space for all of us to move forward emotionally and spiritually by allowing us to be who we really are and who we really can be. No coercion, no bullshit. Specific improvements to reach closer to the ancient idea of the beat:
The beat, the dance, the feelings and energies invoked at raves need to be consciously focused, the techno-pagans say. That is, a person should have some intention or reason to be there and make good on a feeling, a wish, something they want to do for themselves (e.g. to make themselves better, stop smoking, etc.) or another or the earth or what have you. Use the energy you put out in dancing to achieve what you will ("Do What Thou Wilt Shall Be The Whole of the Law; For Love Is The Law, Love Under Will" - Crowley).
Raves/Events need to invoke specific energies which will help and heal everyone: people who participate, the rave community, even the world and all species.
Sometimes that energy raised is best expressed or channeled through specific "god-forms."
These patterns or archetypes are visualized and invoked in various neo-pagan and wiccan circles as the god Pan, or Venus, orEris, the goddess of Chaos, or .... ? (insert a favorite deity you would like to contact here; or, read _Programming and Meta-Programming the Human Bio-Computer_ by John Lilly on how to make anything or anyone a deity).
Herbs, from sage to tobacco to marihuana are part of the offerings, and also key in raising or meeting with specific energies. Human beings have evidently been tuning into interesting mind spaces with the aid/use of this ancient technology for a very long time.
They should only be used with intention and reverence. There is no room for abuse of substances or "getting wasted" in sacred space. Listen to Africa, especially West African tribal drumming, where the blues, jazz and the Voodoo drums all come from.
- _Experimental Protocal and Meditation_ by Mark Kelsey
When we come together for a ritual such as a Full Moon Rave on a remote beach, we are creating what author Hakim Bey calls a Temporary Autonomous Zone (TAZ). A rave creates a TAZ of relatively short duration, only a few hours, but during that time, we are functioning at the level of Community. In the area that has been appropriated, a separate code of ethics and behavior can be enacted. The Authorities are troubled when it becomes apparent that sections of society don't want or need their policing activities. It is not part of their model of society to have a gathering of several hundred people from diverse backgrounds and classes without the eruption of violence and exploitation. The Authorities are frightened because they are not needed; which means they no longer are in control. Think about the ramifications of this. The strength of a TAZ formed by rave activity is not measured in how many people possess weapons or how well they can out smart or out flank the police, but in how well the group can function as a community, reach consensus during a crisis, and cooperate to insure the safety of each and every member of the group. When we are raving, it is important to remember that if we don't want to have the authorities at our events, then we, EACH AND EVERY ONE OF US, HAVE TO BE THE AUTHORITIES. This does not mean that we should have "raver police forces", that's the old, Dominator way of thinking. What needs to happen is that we have to be just a little bit more AWARE of what goes on around us, and learn to take care of people in our immediate "family" as well as looking out for others outside of our immediate circle of friends. If we want to have parties in remote or underground locations, we need to be able to handle minor emergencies like administering first-aid, CPR and being able to "talk down" someone. This is what building Community is all about. Consensus and Cooperation go hand in hand with Community. Consensus means collective opinion or general agreement, it doesn't mean that you have to have the same beliefs as your group. What it means is that you are willing to support the general direction that the Community is going in or, if you feel strongly about something, that you take responsibility for getting your point across. With Communities that work by consensus, the whole group cannot move forward unless EVERYONE agrees or at least agrees to allow movement, (i.e. steps out of the way). This is not the same as attempting to change an agreed upon decision once it has been decided, but it can include forming a contingency plan if you feel that the decision is "doomed to failure". The former is sabotage, the latter is supportive. The majority opinion of the group also has a duty not to "bull-dose" their opinion over the minority.
Remember, one person who firmly holds their ground should be enough to stop what ever the majority decision might be. That is the essence of consensus. Cooperation insures that individuals or sub-groups don't abuse their powers of veto or opinion, this is not an easy thing to achieve in practice and is the major place that consensual governments break down.
"THEY MIGHT STOP THE PARTY, BUT THEY CAN'T STOP THE FUTURE"
- from _Cybertribe Rising_ Geoff White 1993
release _TAZ_ CD by Hakim Bey and Bill Laswell on Axiom (1994)
_Chaos_ (6:04) MP3
from _Critique_ Magazine:
"Well Terence, now I'm wondering what you think the ultimate goal of human evolution is..?"
Terence McKenna: "Oh, a good party..."
from _The Resonance Project_ Magazine #3 (1993):
"Yeah, I think they're very aware of media culture and they're very anti media culture. For instance, in the clubs in London there's no stage, there is no cult of celebrity. The dancers are the show, the performers are pushed into the corners or locked in a box on a different level. And the whole macho rock-n-roll groupie destruction-derby psychology is not welcome in these scenes. People are a lot cooler. To somebody as cynical as I am a lot of it seems Polyannish. Songs about saving the wetlands and stuff like that. But on the other hand it's real and it's the right message. The right message is not the skinhead message or the "become a yuppie stockbroker" message. The real message is ecology, community, and feeling. And they've got it right. Now they have to get through the gauntlet of evil record companies, the communications media..."
The three young men in Za Frûmi don't just make records. They also take part in the fullest embodiment of J.R.R. Tolkien's fantasy world: live, improvised role-play. During the summer, they join hundreds of Swedes, ranging from teens to grandparents, who march deep into their country's vast woods in order to hold Middle-earth gatherings. "We have great, deep forests, which are really sort of trollish," explains Donald Persson, the band's didgeridoo player. "The climate helps to get into the mood."
Costumed Tolkien gatherings are popular throughout Northern Europe and the former Soviet Union - thousands of Middle-earthers have reenacted episodes from _The Silmarillion_ in the forests outside Moscow, while the repressive government of Kazakstan is now detaining "Tolkienists" alongside hippies, anarchists, and punks. Tolkien gatherings are serious affairs: One elvish feast that Persson attended took months to prepare. The central meal included honeyed bread, mulled wine, roasted boar, blueberry pie, and Psilocybe mushrooms. People shot arrows, danced, and bathed naked in the streams, taking care to remain in character at all times. This meant that participants not only removed all references to the modern world (smokers switched to pipes) but abandoned Swedish for their own version of Quenya.
The boys from Za Frûmi enjoy these elvish fetes, but they really get off on playing orcs. "I like the orcs' cultural way of life," says Persson. "They are crude and primitive but still in some ways more advanced than us." Sometimes dozens of orcs congregate in smaller, more esoteric gatherings, garbed in elaborate costumes featuring latex, prosthetics, and Orientalist armor. In addition to mounting raids and practicing their vocabulary words, the orcs sometimes stage shamanistic rituals around the fire. "Sometimes it's very difficult to remember it's not really happening," says Persson. "It's not dangerous in any sense. People would not actually start killing one another. But you can get so deeply in character that you forget yourself."
- Erik Davis - _The Fellowship Of The Ring_ in _Wired_ 9.10 - October 2001
DEEP ANARCHY: The view that "the State" has no real existence; states can be abolished only by changing beliefs and behavior. [Max More, Extropian 1989]
From a different solar system
many many galaxies away
We are the force of another creation
A new musical revelation
Destroy our nations
Now renegades are the people
with their own philosophies
They change the course of history
Everyday people like you and me
- _Renegades Of Funk_ MP3 by Afrika Bambaataa & The Soul Sonic Force (covered by Rage Against The Machine)
ska punk track _The Crowd_ MP3 by Operation Ivy off of _Energy_ 12" on Lookout! (1988)
wrenched into the world, deanaesthetized
blurry images fit their way through halfway opened eyes
awakened by alarm fifteen minutes of hygiene
twenty minutes of eating thirty seconds to the door
I looked outside I looked into the eyes
of the impersonal mob I've seen a thousand times before
feelings under cover like books on a shelf
if we're scared of one another
must be scared of our selves
more than just another crowd
we need a gathering instead
drink drink in the badland
liquid bread for the poor
another member of the crowd goes down
to drown at the liquor store
choose your escape in the heartland
of product and demand when you feel like a wasp in the swarm
you gotta get away anyway that you can
"The crowd is open so long as its growth is not impeded; it is closed when its growth is limited… The stagnating crowd lives for its discharge… the process here starts not with equality but with density… In the rhythmic crowd… density and equality coincide from the beginning. Everything here depends on movement."
The rhythmic, or throbbing crowd is characterised by a specific state of communal excitement: "the means of achieving this state was first of all the rhythm of their feet, repeating and multiplied," not moving, but gathering intensity at one place and creating frenzy.
- Elias Canetti - _Crowds & Power_