Never Skip The Intro, Stay There!

Never skip the intro, stay there!

The first title (2011-2014) was a slightly changed quote by Steve Jobs: “Why join the navy when I can be a pirate?”. In 2013, the whole text was published in a now extinct blog after the premiere of the lecture-performance THIRD WAY | KOLMAS TIE in order to announce the launching of the project UNIVERSITY | YLIOPISTO. The provisional title chosen was “Yhteiskieli | Lingua Franca”. The current title was introduced in 2015, along with some major changes to the structure of the text. All the hyperlinks were removed.

I.e.: the annulment of every sterile interrogations concerning Art — “originality” being the most important (and irritating) of them all! Hence, my work is about the dialectical destruction of millennial binomials [1] and other false “issues”: form vs content, process vs result, good vs evil. It proposes, instead, a romanticized tripartition of the “Real”: utopian, yet concrete; insistently announced, never attainable… My work is an everlasting bande-annonce [2]. It is about being eternally in-progress, that is, not finishing whatever I have started, so it doesn’t matter where the process started and/or when it’s gonna end. That means this text, actually this list, is permanently under construction [3] and constantly being changed. My work is about making lists. Furthermore, my work is about having ideas, and never care if they will ever be achievable materialized. The process is already a result. The project is always better than its concretion. Because there is no film, only the making of (of that same film!). My work is about adding accurate prefixes to the word “realism”, endlessly: New-Realism, Proto-Realism, Sub-Realism, Hyper-Realism, Avant-Realism, Meta-Realism, Über-Realism, A-Realism, Alter-Realism, Infra-Realism, Inter-Realism, Intra-Realism, Re-re-re-Realism [aka Stutterer Realism] [4]. My work is about documents, archives, categorizations, labels, taxonomies, plug-ins & plug-outs, inside-the-boxes & outside-the-boxes. My work is more ontological than anthological, which means it cares less about History, and more about his’story: the best story to be told is the one related to the project itself. My work is about meta-discursivity: the scientific method turning into an art’s dogma. My work is about being a fan [5], loving things, hating things, praising things, following/unfollowing things, such as: reality shows, german techno, rural terrorism, blank pages, IKEA ethics & aesthetics, Spanish delicatessens, Portuguese schlagerism, extreme makeovers, teen-emo-culture, finlandized political science, happy hardcore, non-artistic artists, notebooks, trash-tastic philosophy, megalo-physics, progressive folklore, power ballads, Scandinavian weirdism, Oprah-look-a-likes & Big-Brother-wannabes, cook books & cook looks, blood-based food recipes [6], mashup culture, science fiction, national anthems, emotional geography, informational architecture, quantum psychology, dinner parties, rave parties, birthday parties, Eurovision Song Contest parties, (euro)visionary conspiracy theories, Jeux Sans Frontières parties, Jeux Sans Frontières-like game boards, opening ceremonies, dinner parties, rave parties, birthday parties, eurotrash parties & political parties, i.e., the 1990s’ Stuckism [7] corrupted by 2000’s Idiotism™. My work draws a line between creation and revelation. But since that line produces another binnomial, my work is also about erasing the line between creation and revelation. My work is about the creation of one (or more) -isms for each new project. Idiotism™ [8] is also known as RogerThat!’ism  [9] [in Portuguese: “rogerices/rogerisms”]. My work is about considering Laziness™ [10] the new Avant-Garde (2012), but also Meaningless™ (2013), Lame™ (2014), Pretentiousness™ (2015), Second Hand Embarrassment™ (2016), and Boredom™ (2017). My work is about choosing a new Avant-Garde-Pantone™ every year — Fascion Dasein. About elevating Art to the level of Gastronomy (the opposite has already been done) [11]. My work is about F for Faking[12] and about F for Fooding. Sometimes, it is about T for True’ing. My work is about telling the truth, even if by means of coercion. My work is about surveillance systems, invasion of privacy, Bentham-Orwellian philosophy, dictatorial curatorship, art manifestos, self-imposed obstructions, alter-egos and altercations [13]. My work is about reaching art without using the means of art itself. My work is about social communication, social networks and social policies, but in a sociopathic kind of manner. My work is not poetic, it is journalistic[14]. I follow the “Code of Ethics for Journalists” strictly and blindly. Because my work is about formulating the right questions: What? Who? When? Where? How? Why? Without expecting any answer whatsoever. My work is about trickery and fraud, appropriations and confiscations, reinterpretations and re-enactements, readymades and other artistic prêt-à-porter’s, so it steals directly from the oeuvres of Abramovic, Acconci, Adorno, Barthes, Baudrillard, Beckett, Benjamin, Beuys, Danto, De Duve, Debord, Derrida, Duchamp, Emin, Foster, Foucault, Giddens, Godard, Hegel, Heidegger, Hsieh, Huxley, Huyghe, Jakobson, Kaurismäki, Kosuth, LeWitt, Matta-Clark, McCarthy, McLuhan, Melville, Nauman, Orwell, Pessoa, Rancière, Readings, Sade, Schwitters, Sekula, Shelley, Sierra, Singer, Sloterdijk, Smithson, Trier, van Sant, Vila-Matas, Virilio, Wagner, Warhol, Wells,  Žižek [the order is alphabetical]. Along with Hirschhorn, my work usually states: “The best is not necessarily good [15]”. So far, all the best things I’ve ever been in touch with are actually not good. My favourite artist, however, is Mark Dion, not because of the things he does, not even because of the things he says, surely because of he’s being an obsessive-compulsive hermeneutical freak. My work is about being a nerdy child who never grows old. My work is about the politics of humiliation, oblivion, contempt, silencing, censorship, ignorance, sectarianism, discrimination and ostracization. My work is about preventing Bullying™ from being considered a new avant-garde. My work is about the survival of the weakest. My work is obviously about procrastination. My work is only possible in theory. That is, my work is possible. My work is about despising all the misleading confusions between Art and Tourism, but also Sports, Culture (and Cultural Heritage), Aesthetics, Design, Anthropology, Sociology, Museology, Art History, Art Criticism, Curatorship, Handicraft, Childcare, Spirituality, Religion, Therapy, Pedagogy, Engineering, Psychology, Drama, Economy, Gender Studies, Political Propaganda, Merchandising or Advertising. By despising the aforementioned, my work is usually confused with them. My work is not “conceptual”. My work is about conceptualization, that is, my work is conceptual. And undisciplined. And unformatted. And cynical. And altermodernist. And post-relational [16]. My work is about the ethics of participation, that is, about the ethics of the observer: it is pre-Internet, it is pre-truth, it is pre-dramatic. (Playing) along with the ghost of Marcel Duchamp, my work usually states: “The work of art is 100% made by the spectator [17]”. My work is post-traumatic. My work is about finding points in a world’s map where 3 or more countries meet. My work is about cooking, food essentially. That is, my work is about despising all metaphors, especially the literary ones. My work is about creating trademarks, at least one for each Project™; that is, my work is about the building of a Macro-Irony™ operating on the concepts of copyright, intellectual property, piracy, and “freedom”, or Freedom™. My work is about building prisons with no walls. Universitas magistrorum et scholarium. So, “why join the navy when I can be a pirate?” Also, my work is about the creation of titles that are trademarks. Titles™. In my work, the title usually says everything. In my work, the title is usually more important than the project itself. My work is about memory. Better said, my work is about remembering. In other words, my art is about the negation of art itself [along with De Duve[18] and other bored theorists]. My work was born in 1917. Better said, my work is about enunciation. My work is a crime scene, the breeding ground for the creation of ideology. Although, my work is an excuse for something that needs to be done, which has absolutely nothing to do with Art, or art, or whatever. It’s a PRETEXT [19], that is, something that comes before the -text. My work is highly collaborative, but never in a pacific way. My work is about war. A war made from scratch. My work is about corruption, fear, arrogance and opportunism. My work is about everything that should not be done/said. Nevertheless, my work is about being happy. My work is neither “real” nor “politic”; my work is Realpolitik. But it is also about human encounters, little secrets, love letters, home cooking and unexpected daily-life events. My work is about the superiority of the ephemeral. My work is not about intimacy, but it appears that nudity plays a major role in my performances, for one reason only: pure onanist exhibitionism. Better said, my work is about egocentrism, but sometimes also about egoperipheralism. In that sense, my work is ‘auto’, and ‘bio’ and ‘graphical’, but never ‘autobiographical’. My work is truly about the universalization of the particular and the particularization of the universal. Back and forth. My work never accepts; still, my work never denies. It thanks [20]. My work is about assuming Gratitude™ as a new avant-garde. My work is about Third Way™ ethics and aesth(ethics). My work is about Finland [21], the best country in the world. About (the art of) bowing to the East without mooning the West [22]. My work has no specificity, but it is highly specific, and Specification is one of its main subjects. My work is not specialized, but it deals with Specialization, and the Epistemology of the Specialization. My work specializes in such subjects as: Anti-Anti-Pop Culture, Airs du Temps, Autophagy, Viral Culture, Finlandization, Applied Interdisciplinarity, LoFi -Sophy, ‘Making Of’ Aesthetics, ‘Mash Up’ Ethics, End of History [23], Parcs Humains[24], Non-Artistic Pedagogy, Petabyte Age, Non-Human Creativity, Post-Human Medievalism, Proto-Academic Studies, 21st Centuries, among others. My work is about wordgames. My work is mind-specific. My work is about “using your mentality, waking up to reality[25]”. My work is nouveau. And portable. And shareable. And spreadable. My work is about playbacking, lip sync’ing and autotuning. It is about Photo Shopping at Gross’ry Stores. It is about Instagram filters and augmented reality checks. It is about pop eating itself. My work eats itself. It is not material. It is a cloud. It is the extended version of a pop song, never the radio edit. My work is about finding sexiness in being an underdog. Is about cheeziness, and pretentiousness, and boredom. My art is about everything that doesn’t look like Art. My art doesn’t look like “art”. Or Art. Its major inspiration comes from Scooter’s music, Girl Talk’s mashups, Banksy’s terrorism, Brazilian tecnobrega, Japanese synthesized pop stars, anti-fashion brigades, hipster lexicon, and the ultimate televised shameful attempts to be cool. My work makes the “artistic practice” its research field, but always as a dilettante, loving and hating at the same time, facing the dominant culture, challenging perception and convention, demystifying authority. My work doesn’t produce art; instead, it looks at it.

[Latest update, 21.12.2017] Its major inspiration comes from Bartlebyian erratic non-artists, Internet pop stars, cyber-terrorism, Brazilian tecnobrega, Japanese synthesized pop stars, anti-fashion brigades, hipster lexicon, apocalyptical Hollywood byproducts, QUEER (counter)culture, and all the ultimate televised shameful attempts to be cool. And Techno™, obviously! My (he)art beats more than 150 PM. My (he)art is techno, but is not logical. It is self-referential, non-hierarchical, über-modern, post-capitalist, structureless, heterotopic, rhizomatic, taxonomic, low-brow, horizontal and infinite. My work is mathematically timeless. To cut this long story short: I truly believe that my work is the art povera of the future. It is always about my Name, and the infinite possibilities of someone like me “naming” Art after every move, every word, every gaze, every breath I take.

Assigning meaning to the very first ideas, sketches, drafts, introductory information, and elements at stake, my work will always be driven by the post-modernist question par excellence: what is left to say, when everything has already been said?

My work is about my work.

Following a request to synthesize my work in a short artistic statement, this non-text was first published in February 2011. It has being updated every month ever since. It is endless. It will never be finished. It doesn’t actually exist. Just like the thesis where it has been ultimately included.

Send your questions, comments, criticisms, corrections… to: rogerio.costa@aalto.fi

Rogério Nuno Costa

March 2018


[1] Reference to most, if not all, of the projects I have been creating since 2003, which are conceptually built from an anti-dualistic philosophical standpoint, and formally structured in a “trilogical” Hegelian manner: thesis/antithesis/synthesis. For instance, the performance work Going To Your Place (A-Side, B-Side and C-Side, 2003-2006), the curating project The Spectator’s Opportunity (The Curator’s Office, The Curator’s House, The Curator’s School, 2007-2008) and the set of performances created for University’s Year One (Artistic Residency, Realpolitik and Third Way™, 2012-13).

[2] Reference to the concept of Trailer, as described by Nicolas Bourriaud in his Relational Aesthetics: “Having been an event per se (classical painting), then the graphic recording of an event (the work of Jackson Pollock, with photographic documents describing a performance or an action), today’s work of art often assumes the role of a trailer for a forthcoming event, or an event that is put off forever.”

[3] Reference to the wordpress banner: “Somes sites are permanently under construction; get over it!”.

[4] Ironic reference to the essay The Return of the Real (1996), by Hal Foster, which played a major influence in my earliest works, especially the trilogy Going To Your Place (2003).

[5] Reference to the series of works (Monuments) by Swiss artist Thomas Hirschhorn, a group of precarious street altars dedicated to his favourite philosophers. He presented a lecture as part of the “Image & Text: Writing Off The Page” lecture series through the Visiting Artists Program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2006, where he states the importance of “being a fan”.

[6] Reference to the traditional cuisine of Minho region (North of Portugal), which I have explored, via my culinary alias Chef Rø, in a documentary work titled “Chef Rø de volta ao Minho” (2011).

[7] Reference to the international art movement founded in 1999 by Billy Childish and Charles Thomson to promote figurative painting as opposed to conceptual art.

[8] In Rogerian lexicon, ™ stands for “too much”.

[9] In the US military, it is common to reply to another’s assertion with “Roger that”, meaning: “I agree”. Roger is also the short name for Rogério that my closest friends in Portugal use to call me.

[10] Reference to the project “(Artistic) Residency” (2012), a theatre production based on a concept coined by Spanish novelist Enrique Vila-Matas called the Bartleby Syndrome, d’après Herman Melville’s “Bartleby, The Scrivener”.

[11] Reference to the group of cross-disciplinary projects created by Chef Rø (www.facebook.com/cheff.roo). Gastronomy is not an art. But Art should/could/would be a gastronomy.

[12] Reference to the namesake Orson Well’s movie, the major inspiration behind the project “Espectáculo de Teatro/Theatre Show” (2008), more specifically its video-documentary “T for True”.

[13] Referecence to the three-part curating project “The Spectator’s Opportunity” (2007/08), more specifically to its second phase “The Curator’s House” (2008), a hyper-surveilled ongoing performance that took place in the curator’s house, supervised all day long by an internal video-surveillance system connected to an interactive website.

[14] My academic background is in the Communication Sciences field. I have never been to any Art school.

[15] In “Anschool II”, exhibition by Thomas Hirschhorn at Serralves Museum (Porto, 2005).

[16] D’après Nicolas Bourriaud’s concepts of “altermodern” and “relational aesthetics”.

[17] The accurate quote being “A work of art is completed by the viewer.”

[18] Reference to the essay “Kant After Duchamp” by Thierry de Duve (1996).

[19] “Pretext” in the sense of “an excuse for something”. The wordgame works better in Portuguese: “pretexto” means “excuse”. In my practice as a theatre director, the (dramatic) text is just an excuse for the show to happen, not its raison d’être. It’s a pre-text.

[20] Reference to the book “Life Code: The New Rules for Winning in the Real World” by Dr. Phil (2012), thoroughly quoted in my lecture-performance “Third Way/Kolmas Tie” (2013).

[21] A country turned into a concept, or rather an operation: a lens through which I perceive, in a particular yet utopian way, the world I live in. The lecture-performace “Third Way/Kolmas Tie” (2013) proposes a conceptual loophole through which we can escape the end of times, traveling to a brand new Nordic world where the End (“Fim”, in Portuguese) is lifted to the category of Land (“Lândia”, in Portuguese) — Fim-Lândia being the “End Land”, the ultimate place to be, the Promised Land, the nation where I, as a self-inflicted castaway, have been accepted under the scope of an aesthetic asylum.

[22] “Third Way/Kolmas Tie”’s subtitle being the humorous description of the term “Finlandization” (Suomettuminen) made by Finnish cartoonist Kari Suomalainen.

[23] Reference to the essay “After the End of Art: Contemporary Art and the Pale of History” by Arthur C. Danto (1998).

[24] Reference to the essay “Règles pour le parc humain” (original title in German: “Regeln für den Menschenpark”) by Peter Sloterdijk (2000).

[25] Reference to the lyrics of the song “I’ve got you under my skin” by Frank Sinatra, sang by me (as The Curator) in a karaoke performance during the final gala of the Big Brotherian project “The Curator’s House” (ZDB Gallery, Lisbon, 2008).