Narrative Machines: Modern Myth, Revolution, & Propaganda by James Curcio is a new release of interest.
Many will mark 2015 to 2017 as the transitional moment the nihilistic id came into plain view in American culture and politics. But it is hardly the product of any single movement or idea, and it is hardly unprecedented. Narrative Machines uses a cut-up, pastiche approach to analyze how sub-cultural and fringe ideas permeate the mainstream, especially through the Internet—from Aleksandr Dugin's faux-postmodern Traditionalism to the cult of personality Reality TV show that has taken over every media outlet, from the gnostic horror of Nick Land's Dark Enlightenment to the Calvinism of identity politics, from the millenarian fervor of Transhumanism to the utopian nightmare of Fascism. A retrofuturist aesthetic unites them all, an "occulted theology", allegedly secular recreations of the religious impulse, accidental rewrites of the metaphysics of the past.
Compiling ten years of writing and research with a series of palimpsest artworks, this assemblage was created for the outsider artists and insider theorists, and everyone else that lives at the fringes. For those opposed to a world formed by a single, monolithic myth, and yet still seek a collective dream in the fractured panopticon of the present.
This book will help decode the illusory monoliths of modern myth, using the work of theorists such as Delanda, Bataille, Baudrillard, Gray, Zizek, and Benjamin as a springboard.
A series of illustrations accompany the text, using a mix of collage, bricolage and palimpsest repainting, a style inspired by Adbusters, artists of artifice like Bowie and Warhol, satirists of fascist and pop culture like Laibach and NSK. This cut up, derivative method is explored theoretically within the text. We recognize that in a world where nothing is original, everything is source material for appropriation to new purposes. This aesthetic clearly involve a certain wink in the general direction of 90s Utopian-Dystopian Industrial and alt culture, updated as a dark LSD vision of 2015–17 Internet, a series of love (and hate) notes pieced together of other sources and painstakingly re-created and subsumed. These pieces will appear in a variety of art shows, and a forthcoming full-color collectors edition.