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STUPID UNDERGROUNDS - MANN
Secret - Page 59

resistance, recuperation, and perpetual complicity--it is also, along another frontier, a limit of cultural visibility itself, and serves as a launching stage for the ballistic invention of the sub-ject, one cast beneath the reach of critical illumination. The familiar logic of encoding and decoding out of which so much of the semiotics of the stupid underground is generated itself encodes the primacy of the secret. Indeed, one becomes an "agent"--these days, a virtual synonym for the cultural subject--by one of these two transformations of the factum. One is either employed in the manufacture of cultural signs or presumes to decode their ideological truth; one either encodes the ideolect of the counter-culture or interprets it for the knowledge industries. We have never deviated from the argument that these two modes are interimplicated: the stupid underground, like every presented mode of resistance, functions as secret, encoded cell partly through the decoding and circulation of "information" encoded by the conspiracies it projects; and it is by this very means--and with the help of critical agency itself--that its secret marginality is economically recoded. But we must imagine, in reading the Loompanics catalogue, for instance, that there are former artists and writers who have sent away for and taken seriously these how-to books on disappearance, on false identity, on survival without participation in the main chance; who are fasting to burn off cultural toxins and, even though they will never be entirely "free" of all discourse, have disappeared from "our" screens and hence pose a peculiar threat to critical industry as such. We might even take the stupid underground as a sort of decoy, a particularly blank marker for other sorts of communication and secrecy that are not visible in the least: the stupid underground is a sacrificial goat, offered up to us, pretending to be the real secrecy, while another, deeper refusal explores the smooth space of an exteriority entirely hidden and still entirely within the boundaries of daily life; deep-cover agents who, even as earlier avant-gardes pursued experiments in the form and content of art, engage in what one might call an "experimental economy" in which the very status of discourse and its modes of circulation are reconstructed. The conspiracy is the secret withheld from the observer; so too we conceive the stupid underground not as the site but as the threshold of another secret; we conceive it here in order to project a depth, a sub-stance, a becoming-imperceptible that will ruin us,

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It is on along the sleepy Anacostia River in the District of Columbia, USA.