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The Temporary Autonomous Zone, Ontological Anarchism, Poetic Terrorism

by Hakim Bey

Hakim Bey's incendiary rants, appearing as "The Broadsheets of Ontological Anarchism" and "The Communiques of the AOA" have been widely published in zines and anthologies. Autonomedia has gathered these and other essays from 1986-1990 into "T.A.Z. The Temporary Autonomous Zone, Ontological Anarchism, Poetic Terrorism" The title essay, "The Temporary Autonomous Zone" is the most fascinating inclusion. In it, Bey explores the possibilities for global networking (especially, but not restricted to, electronic networks) in the creation of free and temporary anarchist enclaves. These free-arising nomadic "tribes" could gather, organize, celebrate, fight the power, etc. and then, disappear (before the State crashes the party), only to pop up someplace else. He makes a distinction here between the "Net" which is the interlinked system of communication and transfer, and the "Web," which is the sort of "hyper-net" made by individuals and groups in "the interstices and broken sections of the Net." Being a "power" net user myself (a web weaver?), I felt much of my daily experience was being described here. This is not only a utopian possibility, this is swiftly becoming a reality. For those wanting to read a fictional account of pirate enclaves in the datasphere, I highly recommend Bruce Sterling's "Islands in the Net." This book was obviously an influence on Bey's ideas.

(G. Branwyn)



The Temporary Autonomous Zone,
Ontological Anarchism,
Poetic Terrorism
P.O. Box 568
Williamsburgh Station
Brooklyn, NY 11211-0568
1990, 141 pgs., pb, $6


Here is the TEXT POPUP for T.A.Z. ( Book):

A great deal of avant-garde Art is saturated with Deadly Orgone Rays (DOR). Ontological Anarchy aims to build aesthetic cloud-busters (OR-guns) to disperse this miasma of cerebral sadomasochism which now passes for slick, hip, new, fashionable. Self-mutilating "performance" artists strike us as banal and stupid -- their art makes everyone MORE unhappy. What kind of two-bit conniving horseshit...what kind of coackroach-brained Art creeps cooked up this apocalypse stew?

To embrace disorder both as wellspring of style and voluptuous storehouse, a fundamental of our alien and occult civilization, our conspiratorial esthetic, our lunatic espionage -- this is the action (let's face it) either of an artist of some sort, or of a ten- or thirteen-year-old.

Don't just survive while waiting for someone's revolution to clear your head, don't sign up for the armies of anorexia or bulimia -- act as if you were already free, calculate the odds, step out, remember the Code Duello -- smoke pot/eat chicken/drink tea. Every man his own vine and fig tree ("Circle Seven Koran," Noble Drew Ali) -- carry your Moorish passport with pride, don't get caught in the crossfire, keep your back covered -- but take the risk, dance before you calcify.

Strike for Indolence & Spiritual Beauty

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Gareth Branwyn -

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