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The artist "Wootha" is not anymore

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Oct 1st, 2020
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  1. I decided to leave the art industry. I explained why in the text below.
  2.  
  3. I released to the public domain 40 of my favorite images in print size resolution.
  4. They can be found here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/wfvdnxkqj2juhk2/Stephane%20%28Wootha%29%20Richard%20-%20Public%20Domain%20Works.zip?dl=0
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  6. I'm not sure how long I'll keep this link opened, so don't wait to download them if they are of interest. As they are public domain licensed, do whatever you want with them.
  7. Alternate link: https://ufile.io/aw6vvj8x (30 days)
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  9. Feel free to communicate about this on your website and network if you feel too.
  10.  
  11. Much love,
  12. Stéphane
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  14. ###
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  16. For years you may have known me through a fictional entity called "Wootha". Today I have decided to destroy this entity. In this text, I will explain to you what motivated this decision.
  17.  
  18. Some major contingent events in our lives are like rhythms that, punctuating our lives accent after accent, remind us of our existence's essence. I recently lived one of these events, which I'm not going to explain further, but triggered this decision.
  19.  
  20. For many years, I have observed that existence is punctuated by events that have the potential force to divert our life courses from their linear trajectory.
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  22. I say "potential force" because for it to be realized, it must be accompanied by an effort of will, which, if it is applied with intuition, without fear, makes it possible to operate the miracle of creative destruction.
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  24. I decided to leave the art industry. I believed - or attempted to believe - that through entertainment, we could raise awareness of the ecocide's reality and perhaps help bring about systemic change through mass-narratives.
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  26. But I think today that the problem is precisely linked to a phenomenon of scale. Any desire to produce emotions, truths, thoughts, stories, art, desires, whose finality is mass broadcasting is part of the problem.
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  28. By this act, I therefore deliberately destroy years spent building a career in concept art, to free my creative energy from the restraints in which it was embedded and thus mobilize it in other forms.
  29.  
  30. 25 years ago, I first consciously experienced the phenomenon of creative destruction.
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  32. I was 19, and after one of these events, I decided to go alone, without money, on Spain's roads, with only sculpting tools and a few clothes. This initiatory journey took me towards discovering what simplicity and renunciation contain in creative and regenerative power. Everything I am today is, to some degree, a consequence of this journey. Just like this journey was a consequence of many other decisions I took before.
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  34. Since then, though, whenever in my life I feel the urgent need for a change of trajectory, I go through a creative destruction process.
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  36. I have decided to be radical in the face of what I believe is the most perilous situation humanity has ever known in at least twelve millennia and the Younger Dryas end.
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  38. It seems to me that the ecosystem crisis we are experiencing, this terrible tierracide (a word invented by Glenn Albrecht to name the conscious murder of the Earth), can only be stopped by a profound change in our current civilizational paradigm.
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  40. I believe this change can only come about through creative destruction.
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  42. We spend our lives accumulating goods, experiences, memories, and recognition and convincing ourselves that we possess them, to nourish our sense of identity. We identify ourselves with all these possessions and believe that we are a sum that must constantly grow in order not to fall apart.
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  44. Like the belief in infinite growth in a finite world that nourishes our social order, we believe that we can continue to amass all these possessions until our death, the final event of a long linear trajectory that ends in ultimate dispossession. For a finite mind, the ontological perception of a linear scale amounts to thinking of death as nothingness instead as the end of a cycle: in a society which asserts that the universe is finite, the linear trajectory can only lead to the confines of nothingness.
  45.  
  46. This moribund representation of the world nourishes an insatiable desire for accumulation that invisibilizes the mind's infinite creative power.
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  48. We are collectively anchored in that very imaginary linear trajectory that will one day end into nothingness. It feeds both our compulsion for accumulation, which results in frenzied extractivism and our morbid tendency to strive for the destruction of the earth, both in our apocalyptic narratives and in our production modes.
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  50. Yet never more than today in human history as we know it, have we had more need of this infinite creative power of the mind. So many different futures are imaginable and desirable, and yet, we limit ourselves to considering a very small number as possible, relegating all others to the realms of utopia or entertainment.
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  52. If human responsibility for global warming is not unanimous, the tierracide - that is to say the premeditated, organized, rationalized, and systematized murder of the earth - resonates in our daily lives wherever we are on the planet.
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  54. Many people are tempted to take an extremely pessimistic view of the situation, or on the contrary, to deny it. Some believe that we can still "change the system" or that we need to bring life to other planets to preserve it. But if we take a step back, the difference between all these proposals is tiny compared to the infinite creative power of the human mind. It lies in the small delta of the perpetiation of the existing system that the philosopher F. Lordon calls the angle α: the acceptable difference between the injunction to conformity useful to the system and the individual's singular desires. The more we advance on the linear trajectory that humanity has taken since the industrial revolution, the more the angle α tends towards nullity, the more we anticipate injunctions and confuse them with our own desires. We, concept artists, only are "artists" by the name thrown at our ego, as a reward for our blind servility, just like we throw a peanut at a caged chimpanzee when he creates a new variant of the same grimace.
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  56. However, among the infinity of desirable and magnificent futures, in which humanity would change its current trajectory towards truly different possibilities, we seem able to imagine only those which fit in the angle α: they are encapsulated in the form of stories we call "fictions", locked inside the reassuring membrane of the "entertainment" realm, within which the desire for imaginary can flourish without risking to question the established social order which is responsible for the tierracide.
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  58. This social order, wherever we call capitalism, neo-liberalism, modernity, anthropocene or some other name, has become both its own cause and its own consequence. At all times, the α angle ensures that our creativity is channeled towards the linearity of the world's trajectory, and that no event is coming to generate some creative destruction that could result in uncertainty and disorder. On the contrary, when creativity expresses itself within this angle, it becomes its opposite: destructive creativity. By strengthening the norms and injunctions that perpetuates a tierracidal social order, it participates in the atomization of society, eliminating uncertainty, returning to order, and simplifying the living: it is the reign of Thanatos over Eros, of the death drive and the desire for nothingness.
  59.  
  60. Because that is what it is: the struggle for entropy.
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  62. The universe goes from order to disorder, from simple to complex, from rational to irrational, from predictable to uncertainty.
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  64. Chaos is life's inseparable ally.
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  66. Our collective creative power can do more than the destructive creativity that resides within the α angle. We can bring to humanity imaginaries of a vast multitude of possible, desirable, and magnificent futures if we come out collectively.
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  68. To apply this philosophy to myself, I will once again indulge in the magic of creative destruction. "Wootha" is dead, but I'm still alive and well. I do not know how this creative force that inhabits me, just like each of us, will manifest. I believe it will take a very different form, rooted in local communities, the present actions, and a lot of friendship and solidarity.
  69.  
  70. Thank you.
  71.  
  72. Stéphane Richard.
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