The Punk-Fanzine “Search & Destroy”, named after a song by Iggy & the Stooges, articulated not only a barbaric method used by the US military during the Vietnam war, but involuntarily also an epistemological concept. According to Popper’s Logic of Research, fallibility remains the key criterion of a discursive status that can be honored as scientific or academic. But in contradistinction to logical or mathematical sentences, artistic utterances cannot be falsified, proven wrong, they’re not fallible – they can only be destroyed by something else being louder, lighter, funnier or just more present: according to the logic of competition, especially the competition for attention.
“Search & Destroy” later renamed itself as “ReSearch”, Research as the Re-Search, as second look, would be the opposite of the destruction of the found object, evidence, the competing object etc. What is the structure of that second look? There exist two modes of 20th century cultural production that were based on that second look: the ready made and the psychedelic object. The psychedelic object is an object that gets a second meaning from the paranoid or psychotic perception of a viewer under the influence of drugs or being able to simulate that influence, motivated by certain qualities of that object.
A Ready made is a decontextualized object, tranferred into another symbolic room, the White Cube. To which degree do these artistic strategies resemble scientific strategies of the lab, the experiment? And how much are they able to put under scientific scrutiny the very crucial objects of our society, the objecthood of which seems to be bewitched and under magic spells: the commodity. Is the laughter at the sight of the commodity, experienced by so many “LSD-Astronauts” (Philip K. Dick) an example of a certain type of finding, of artistic research, an early incident of a more general artistic strategy of the second look? Or would art then again only produce narratives, sentimental narratives even – stories of “crying commodities”, hidden in minimalist objects?