To Readers Of My Writing Over, Under, Within And From Theodor Adorno’s Minima Moralia: Reflections From Damaged Life (the Puzzle-Picture letter)

Why are working-poor artists increasingly oblivious to maintaining a status quo that oppresses them (despite the outrageous historical developments that have driven us to oligarchy)?  The answer can be gleaned from many observations. While the relationship of culture-controllers and our creative selves is objectively congealing ever more rigidly, perceptions of subjective class-membership are fluctuating more and more. This is abetted by economic development itself. The organic composition of capital demands, as has often been noted, control by professional managers rather than supportive facilitator-enthusiasts and practitioners. The quantification of professionalized processes, however, for the most part independent of experience and education, turns the expert status of the new-styled contemporary artist to a considerable extent into a mere illusion, behind which is concealed the privilege of being appointed.
Membership within an elite sphere of internationally recognized contemporary art importance appears achievable for everyone. One waits only for the cooptation. Eligibility consists in affinity, ranging from the libidinous cathexis of all wheeling and dealing, to sound technocratic, professional sensibilities, to freshly-cured realpolitik. They are experts only of control. That anyone can do such, has not led to its end, but only that everyone may be called upon to do such. Preference is given to those who conform most exactingly. While the chosen ones certainly remain a vanishing minority perpetuating envy, desire and concentrated market value, the structural possibility suffices to successfully preserve the appearance of an equal chance under the system.
In general, subjective class-membership in culture today presents a mobility, which causes the fixity of economic social order to be forgotten: what is rigid is also what can be moved about. Even the powerlessness of the working-poor contemporary artist, to calculate out his or her economic destiny, contributes to such a consoling mobility. What decides on the fall is not lack of proficiency, but an opaque hierarchical web, in which nobody, not even at the very top, can feel safe: the egalitarianism of the condition of being threatened. The most extreme injustice turns into the deceptive image of justice, the disqualification of human beings into their equality. Those of us who understand this hierarchy for what it is and opt out of it are confronted with some grimly joking questions:  Where is the artist-proletariat I am a part of and why aren’t they rejecting this bullshit en masse?