Kkultural Bolshevism? The kkoagulaa manifestooo in Bulgarian

In a wonderful display of the spirit in which we carry out our humble endeavours here at kkoagulaa towers, Boris, our friend from Bulgaria has done us the kindness of translating thee kkoagulaa manifestooo (alpha test) to Bulgarian, and an interesting discussion has started over at his blog.

For those who don’t read Bulgarian, we give you a convenient google translation, for what it’s worth.

I want to bring some bits of Boris’ intro and subsequent discussion so we can give our own thoughts, and perhaps bring some more discussion as we polish some new work, and bring the next iteration of the Manifesto bearing in mind the thoughts expressed.

Here goes. First, from the intro. I have tried to recover as much meaning as I could from the jumble that was left from the google translator-bot:

Manifesto “kkoagulaa” (alpha test)

02/06/2009 – kriegor

I decided to translate and publish this document alive mostly because I like that line of reasoning and objectives, voice and says there is implied a similar attitude towards culture. Here defend freedom and art works by a living “… so Nice. To understand it in purely pragmatic plan, a culture based on present state of copyright arising from hiperteksta, the free exchange of information and ideological opposition to the free and non-free software. I encourage people who have not heard of the Copyleft approach and the licenses to be familiar with Creative Common s and the GNU General Public License; when it comes to free art, free (except for all that might mean in practical and ethical level) here is the same as in “free”. Without these basic principles, the writing is unclear, “impossible” and even crazy. From a legal point of view, there is no new ideas, in Bulgaria this approach is validated by the time of the project, which has its own manifesto: “Open Culture Bulgaria”; therefore, more important is to seek and philosophical reasons to think that respect (eg in terms of hermenevtika, artistic evolution and philosophy of life).

Once the manifesto has greater scope than just a legal problem you need to know that this is a form of thinking (and philosophical), which legitimized not only the right attitude, but the whole aesthetic. Understanding of philosophical texts in the plan is needed spiritual (for) freedom, or at least reject the structural, pozitivistki, behavioral, and other psychologially reductionist approaches. On this issue and will publish my next essay.

And another thing: some might think this is just an ad for kkoagulaa, designed to get attention (and money?) Why it is not so clear from the text.

The translation of the declaration was made on 22.05.2009 by Boris Radev and Ralitsa Todorova, however, does not mean it can not tolerate change. If anyone has a proposal for better translation to make it to publish the relevant passage in the comments.

Please be critical because, as evidenced by its title, this is the spirit and advocate.

A refinement and it is not manifest in the traditional sense, with the strict nature programming, but in the words of its author: not so much a statement expressions as conversation assumption proposal.

We are extremely grateful to ahve this motivation to give the kkoagulaa manifesto a complete overhaul. Soon to come is Thee kkoagulaa Manifestoooo (Beta), along with the examples our kind translator suggested we shoud give.

And the comments, largely from an individual calling hirself :


Reichsprotektor Says:

02/06/2009 at 11:29

Pretty naive to manifest in my PERSONAL tai rear its objectives such as “Zeitgeist” and the like, not like it and that movement of otazhdestvyava “free art” with (as you said) disgusting name “kkoagulaa” is like PATENT? People from the – superior intellect and spirituality will know that small capitalism against which this article declares shall not preclude the Creator and one has to start thinking before you “cut and added to reappoint himself

The problem of free beauty and art (as described in the manifest) begins where thinking begins.

It is very close to the human mind to say that whoever would have the right to sell its ownership, no matter toothbrush or bear is free to do so.

And he who wants to issue their creations with the free license is free to do so.

Ultimately, copyright is only on paper;)

Movies, music, games and programs should not be used without a license and software purchased and pictures can be plagiarized and if placed on the internet no one pursues you;)

All movement is air pressure.

* Note: This comment comes from a man who uses Linux and free software daily familiar with GNU / GPL, Copyleft, FSF and related organizations and understands the difference between Satanism and black metal:)


kriegor Says: kriegor Says:

02/06/2009 в 13:04 02/06/2009 at 13:04

Thanks to Martin for this light to form-critical comments.

I do not know whether the objectives are like traffic Zeitgeist, as I am not the author, but an interpreter. I do not have such large targets, but does not mean that we do not accept some of the tasks. For identification between art free content and kkoagulaa a word can not be done because on the one hand in the face of the project are an example of how one could create (and could, in countless other ways) of other hand, this is a concept that is responsible for certain content, which can be parallel with the creative impulse of life and evolution of Bergson, for example. Whether the sound sucks, boring, stupid or disgusting is phonological problem.

I have no intention to divide the people of higher and a lower intelligence as it is unjustified, but it is apparent that there is a certain misunderstanding of izkustvtoto and creative potential in everyone. This “small capitalism, which belong to the biggest financial giants of the music and film industry (and many other communities) create an attitude in people that produce them, and any other potreblyavat forms of art. What is written here is directed (apparently) to people living with art remained present. He understands that and him, nothing to be angry that reads something familiar. On the other hand, most profound thought is not a condition for beautiful works of art. And if you go beyond lizentsite here thinking about life, the universe, society, culture as constantly happening creative products. And if so (and it might be thought so in existentialism hermenevtika +, say), then only one step remains to understand that we as artists in their own life, destiny and freedom, and picture (art). This is the only way to transtsedirame existence through the things that we do as actors: subektnost our products, by which expression and communication. I do not mind people want money for how to express. I have a mind to expect that others will pay for their zasvideltestvat respect (this practice anyway not ever happen).

What exactly does that do not use certain things in a certain way is a matter which in legal terms is relatively easy to clarify, but not ethical. This is the most important problem (with the aesthetic dimension), which is here.


Reichsprotektor Says: Reichsprotektor Says:

07/06/2009 в 13:10 07/06/2009 at 13:10

This movement, now that I think most – well described as “cultural Bolshevism” very wild words freedoms for all those things and still absolutely nothing in particular, how can one believe, what?

“Natrapva our position that art is something that the man from the crowd and just sit indifferently observed, if art has a role in his life. Vital to reject this thesis. Demonstratively discarded it, and move the next step. “

What is the place of human beings in art? Is obliged to participate in it?

This invocation of the phrase «cultural Bolshevism» by Reichsprotektor is not the first time the idea has come up. Earlier comentator Mr. Trippy brought up how artist would function in a communist society in his comment on our answer to Altermodern, the attempt to transcend post-modernism, or of one curator to increase his international profile. As a hermit who would perish in a collective living situation and who has no drive to be “part of something bigger” or to belong, it’s a tough line of thought to follow through to its natural conclusion. That may be attempted at a later date.

What we have done little to address is the specifics of our take on free culture in its relationship to the marketplace. While we have given away a lot of our work, we also have an announcement coming up announcing our signing with a label. This label will sell music. We’re addressing the state of cultural life as it exists in this moment. The last fourty years has been characterized by a dominance of a star system in music not unlike the Holywood studio strarmaking system of the 20’s-40’s. The paradigm has been that a musician is either a star and obscenely wealthy, or not existing in the real world at all. With technology putting the means to create and record music into the hands of more people than has ever been possible before, music becomes more about ability, vision and artistry than the waning period that fell under the corporate dominance previously mentioned.

This does dovetail with the mis-named «piracy» issue, but if people are only to share the same assembly-line corporate product as is pushed on commercial radio, television and print media, then there really is no point in any of these activities. We’re bombarded by that anti-human, anti-life sewage everywhere we go anyway, so why help spread it further?

This conversation shall be continued, and watch this space for the revamped Manifestooo.


14 Responses

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  3. Sadly, a poor translation by the google-bot.
    As I re-read the Manifestooo and my comments, It is clear that I didn’t explain myself well in the previous statements as well as I believe that there is a vast cultural gap between pre-christian Bulgaria, Orthodox christian Bulgaria, bolshevik Bulgaria and post-bolshevik Bulgaria & I’m guessing here – American historical and cultural background and as such there isn’t a thing as a universal document.

    We didn’t have the “holywood” era, we have a by-product of your cultural pains? So I believe that it is up to us to create a backlash to this “manifestation” of culture.

    Under communism there is no art, there is censorship.

    • Thank you so much for helping me out. These tools can sometimes give us a sense of the original text, but their best use is for comic relief.

      You point out an issue that has struck me at many points. This is where theories of the internationalization of culture seem pointless. Unless one just wants to feel comfortable in a limited point of view that accepts the colonization of the rest of the world by the West as a desirable goal. We’re seeing this in American notions of empire building, as well as such art world conceits as “Altermodernism” ( https://kkoagulaa.wordpress.com/2009/03/06/kkoagulaa-vs-altermodern/ )

      While American mass-culture has poisoned many wells, it’s true that we have to bring into consideration the parallel histories and cultures of the world for the manifesto to have any chance of being meaningful beyond its authors narrow experience. It’s all well and good to talk of transcendence, but a different matter altogether to experience it.

      This is why your contribution is vitally important, and we appreciate your taking the time to engage in a dialog with us.

      I’ll paste the comment from Mister Trippy on the Altermodern post to show why the mention of communism sent me down a garden path. Your statement about art and communism resonates with what friends of mine who grew up in Soviet Russia have told me.

      I very actively will my own work to both progress and degenerate, whereas most contemporary London based artists appear incapable of consciously taking their activities to any kind of logical or even illogical conclusion. These artists can only go backwards, they’ve no where else to go. Since artists are a deformed prefiguration of communised and thus disalienated individuals, and only those artists who actively attack their privileged position as specialist non-specialists can be considered in any sense progressive, by denouncing art I am able to demonstrate that I possess a true understanding of it. In a communist society it will be possible if not desirable for everybody to be like me. That said, once we’ve realized our species being, it’s probable that I will no longer wish to be an egotist in the morning, a porn star in the afternoon, and a critical critic at night.

  4. You’re welcome, it was my pleasure.
    Yes, I’ve read the post by “Mister Trippy” prior to writing and saw the communist reference, but I can’t see how he relates it to the current document.
    One more thing in relation to communism, in Marx’ works it is emphasized that quantity turns into quality and is therefore preferable. This destroys art. Machinery is art, clothing industry/design is art? While in a different category as classic art. I’ve written some lengthy pieces on architecture concerning this but after criticism from Boris ( as the only cultured person to act as a critic ) and me not liking them how they turned out I’ve deleted them.
    Consumerism and communism made ” art ” accessible.
    I generally oppose that art should be universal, art was and ought to be elitist.

    I really look up the beta version as to see what have you learnet from all your supporters and opposers and to be able to more clearly understand your ideas.

    • Consumerism and communism made the consumption of ” art ” accessible, but brought to a halt the widespread creation of folk art, and the tradition of individuals playing instrument for pleasure.

      Now, art as a calling would have to be elitist in the sense that worrying about the “universality” of ones work is precisely the process that has watered popular culture down to where it is about as flavorless as is possible. Design, be it clothing, household goods, packaging, advertising can be aesthetically striking, but is to classic art what applied and industrial science is to pure research. I don’t see this as a reason to denigrate either or worry about where the boundaries lie. Concern over that in connection with ones own work is a social conundrum, and therefore more connected with issues regarding carreer and livelihood than how we should process work of varying kinds.

  5. First of all, I would like to point out, that communism never happened, there was kind of totalitarism disguised as socialism, so, any references to the theoretical basics of Marx’s communism and the real socialism are not justifiable. Also, art is possible in everywhere, it doesn’t matter it there is censorship, simply because freedom is characteristic of personality, and that is why there was art as a protest in the socialistic countries.

    As for the Bulgarian history — nowadays, Bulgaria has no artistic identity, because it lacks its modern period, because it had no state between 1500 — 1800 (early modernity) as this period was when the national consiouseness and national cultural products were formed across Europe. From there on, till now Bulgaria has striven to copy and replicate foreign culture and consiouseness. And yes, we did’t have the Hollywood era, then, but we replicate Western (American) style now. By no means we (Bulgarians) are different than western culture, as we were aways part of it (and aways replicated it to a too great extent).

    choronzon333, your concern with culture, and its transcendence, there is noting confusing, as traditional aestetical, artistical, culturological, philosophical constructs are only legitime for the west, and the way it functions, and in west here I mean the culture which originated from or adopted the Egyptian, Hellenistic and Roman culture, as well as Christianity. As far as we limit all cultural notions within this boundaries, and reconsider them beyond, I the manifesto is legitime in its claims, and its spirit, and needs nothing but factual (not ideal, conceptual) reconsideration.

    One more thing — even if one decides to reject the notions of the manifesto (as a manifest of post-modernity), trying to bring back modernity in the terms of national counciousness, national states or something similar, (the one exception is Israel) he is bound to fail, because modernity has ended, and it would be as pointless, as the efforts ancient culture has put to preserve itself in the face of Christianity were with no effect.

  6. So, there wasn’t communism anywhere? In China, Cuba, Russia and other states!? Who is the superior authority over the implementation of Marx’ communist theory ?
    Communism can’t be implied anywhere, it just doesn’t work.
    Traditional art is not possible everywhere and it requires a large number of conditions in order for it to be prolific.

    I shall be bold to disagree with your statement about Bulgarian national identity, art and folklore as we are the most culturally preserved nation on the balkan states (maybe losing to the greeks, due to their hellenic complex )
    While I agree, we have borrowed much from the Germans and Imperial Russians, most of the morals were still ours.

    Don’t even start on Israel, you know why.
    We remember Palestine ’08 – ’09.

    Nothing is pointless, as long as there is one person supporting it 😉

    • This is great. Many points to digest, and I’ll start with this one. While I don’t know who could be appointed as the superior authority over the implementation of Marx’ communist theory, I would like to posit that the governments that have called themselves communist thus far have been technocratic states. In the communist bloc we had technocracy in a government structure and in the west we had and continue to have technocracy in a corporate structure. The latter has become more pronounced over the decades and now supersedes government authority and this technocracy of corporate “experts” has hijacked democracy and political and cultural debate.

      What we have in China now is a strange mating of internationalized capitalism and an immense technocratic bureaucracy with plans for future development that depends on the economic health of an America that no longer makes stuff to any degree that matters. Watch as the sands shift and the house crumbles.

      I can’t answer about Bulgarian cultural identity, but I’m now intrigued. I know a great deal of influence migrated from your part of the world to be found in aspects of Norwegian traditional folk music.

      I’d say it’s quite early in our discussions to declare anything pointless.

      • Sorry for the two consecutive posts, but obviously I did not made myself clear enough, and the word “pointless” have brought a bit too much undesired associations. I admit, that it was not a good term to describe the idea; it was merely a emotional response. To make things clear, this is a synthesis of the essay I had an intention to write, and which I would accomplish after the kkoagulaa manifestoo beta.

        What I have in mind is the following: as I previously mentioned, current art streams from classical art, which has been reconsidered through the modern art and the late modernity. So far — so good; but what has happened in the modern humanitarian discourse (philosophical, culturological and politological)? One has to go back and trace the history of modernity; modernity sets itself as a project, in witch throughout reasonable means people should be able to legitimize a fair existence for mankind, in which the subject (people) should be able: 1. to find a secure source of knowledge (basically the meaning behind all of the philosophy after Descartes up until Heidegger) 2. to gain the actuall knowledge about the objects around us 3. postulate rules to organize collective human activity 4. practically perform this activity and achieve a world, states or mode of being which is fair, just, and respectful to people and their personalities. So, modernity reached the state of implementation of what it thought to be these principles and failing in the real socialism and national socialism. But even before the failure of these political projects, in the humanitarian thought it was becoming evident, that they are bound to fail, culminating in the implications of the Heideggerian thesis and the post-Heideggerian thought. So, that is why, it is accepted, that the project of modernity and especially of the utopian Eden-like socialistic, national socialistic, communistic future is a failure, because rationality itself cannot legitimize it. This is where we observe and notice this failure and impossibility of our own plans for a future we want. And it is generally called postmodernity; a period of diagnosis. Of course, all of this said just like that is brief and pretty rough, and is too lengthy to present in details. It is just the premise from which all my previous and further thoughts about art and manifestos and modern art come. This situation, to me personally resembles the way ancient culture has ended; the way feudal society has dissolved and burned; and now modernity passes away and we are left in a period of uncertainty, in which western culture reconsiders the possibilities and de- and re-constructs its heritage, for example through hermeneutics it the humanitarians and through experimentation, in music, and art in general.

        And here comes the kkoagulaa manifestoo: it has all the characteristics of a postmodern text; it states itself as a living document, it denies an ending to itself, it has the potential to dissolve the meta-narratives of the past, and reconstruct them in a non reductionist way, but in a way it which they are thought as different entities of a whole (greater than its parts); the art of kkoagulaa bears such characteristics, as it goes beyond common boundaries and does not strive to define, declare, judge. The manifestos of the past strive to define; (which means to restrict) the meaning of art in a too narrow scope, as simultaiously art has existed through radically different forms at roughly the same time; for example the futurism and art noveau. The futurist manifesto and the surrealist manifesto are restrictive, elitist, closed. My opinion is that there is no rational way to defend one form of art as more appropriate, more real or true, as there is no way to defend one essence over another (existentialism), because each one bears its uniqueness and because of that endless interpretation. The manifesto has enormous potential to include and enrich the meaning of art and its products, as a part of one, which is being itself.

  7. Yes, there was no communism in these states, as their respective societies never reached the developed communistic society, as the socialism fell while they were on their way of reaching it (as they claimed), while in fact these were totalitarian countries about which the term “real socialism” is used, opposed to the original idea of Marx and Engels, from which they strayed, although it was never admitted by the ruling authorities. So, in fact, in the 80’s, we saw the downfall of these totalitarian countries, not of Marx’s and Engles’s ideals. So, art would be possible in a communistic society, it was possible in the real socialism, it is possible everywhere, because it is a human state, not that much dependent on authority (although it is related to it, and sometimes restricted by it).
    And by this I do not claim, that communism is possible, nor I am defending it; just wanted to make things clear.

    Now, you have to define what is tradition in order to speak about “traditional art” because the dimensions of a tradition are too far fetched. For example, there is a totalitarian tradition, national tradition (folklore) tradition of subcultures, of religions. And of course, traditional art is a thing, that I believe has to be developed and preserved (especially original, national folklore), it does not function as a primary expression for contempoprary artists, who generally work in the lines of classical and modern understanding of art. So, the whole manifesto and all problems in art in the past century are problems of modern art, not that much of the traditional.

    I cannot see in what specific forms of cultural existence Bulgaria is in any way authentic, autonomous, states its identity, and tries to develop and offer its original modes of existence to the world, or even to its own children.

    And about the use of “pointless” in my previous post — the struggle to bring back the modern ideals and rationality is what is bound to fail in the current state of the western culture. It this way it is pointless; and of course, I do not deny the meaning any act can have for an individual being.

  8. choronzon333, thank you for your interest.
    May I ask of your nationality?

    I could care less about Marx’ drug induced theories, If they were even half-advanced they would calculate the human factor in which there are always people in power.
    It has been and it will be. The theory has to start from here, like “Who and why should be in power, what kind of power should he have ”
    You mention that National Socialism and communism fail, and here you are wrong again. National Socialism has never failed, it was destroyed by an outside force. The Roman Empire and USSR were destroyed by decadence of their own corrupt system. Not National Socialism.

    Why can’t you see National Socialism as the third way that humanity is supposed to prosper? Instead of just capitalism and communism?

    Bulgarian folklore IS art and it is unique to us, aren’t you aware of the kaba-bagpipe? Only the Scots have a similar instrument but it is constructed with different materials and produces a different sound. The only thing we lack is the classic period in visual arts.

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