Andy Warhol, The Factory, and the Hipster Class
Andy Warhol is sick of the basic bitches. He wants to create his own simulation to challenge the snobby art collectors who have decided he isn’t talented enough to get into their salons. He’s going to start his own Factory to exploit his workers under their own consent. He’ll demonstrate the irony firsthand, and create a live human stage that exists outside of traditional class structures in order to create a new class of citizen: The Hipster.
Civilizations rise and fall. Warhol interacted with art collectors and street artists all the same. He brought them into his circus to do his philosophical bidding. His social engineering was his critique. His art = the citizens of The Factory who brought his simulation to life. The hipsters were his ants, and he understood this all too well. Except for Valerie Solonas, that is. Valerie just wanted to get accepted into The Factory. Yet after being mocked and ridiculed by the ants in Andy’s thunderdome, she boldly shot Warhol to create a new work of art. It was very meta.
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Civilizations exist outside the dichotomies of the 99 and one percent. They’re created when workers and founders of the exiled bohemian aristocracy get together to bitch and complain about themselves. They devise their own currencies of cool and with-it to rule systems of marginal thought. A Brave New Cool comes in to replace the old one after someone pisses off someone else backstage. Entire wars are waged on cover art, and inside jokes become fodder for counter-operatives to romanticize at their board meetings.
Valerie Solonas attempted to take the place of Andy Warhol, and Her Factory was The SCUM Manifesto. The SCUM Manifesto was a radical extremist book about cutting up men. The thing is, it’s likely that Valerie rejected some hardcore feminists for being annoying af. Thus Valerie became the new Andy, and the new Valerie created her own SCUM Manifesto, probably naming it something equally obscure. This is how revolutions are started. This is how the West was won. Hipster underworlds are microcosms of civilization at large, and it takes a pretentious and committed isolation to understand this.
You will always be a Valerie to somebody and an Andy to someone else. There is no escaping these archetypes if you are a part of The Hipster Class. It’s just a rite of passage when you choose to interact in these scenes. You’re grandfathered into the drama. You’re stuck in The Factory. You’re part of the experiment. You’re a lolcow. You’re a scenester. You’re a wannabe. You’re alive.
The Artist on Stage is usually a Valerie who aspires to become the new Andy. Subversive factionalism runs rampant because outsiders and misfits are considered too elite (pejorative) to rule the disaffected rabble. Snobs on trust funds inject heroin into their veins to get in with the street kids who built the latest Factory with their inside jokes. “You’re so derivative,” the hipsters mocked Valerie. How many new Factories were formed by the factory-rejects? A new factory we shall build in the ashes of this decay. We’ll call it Rome or Babylon or perhaps Apple. Why not Google? The Sex Pistols. Temporary Autonomous Zone #32453462. America!
So the Artist on Stage wants to make a deranged point that nobody really cares about, and the Warhol in The Factory isn’t interested in giving space to one of his own cheap knock-offs. It’s sad but it’s true. The Andy isn’t letting The Valerie into The Factory tonight. Why would he? I mean, whose style would you like to buy today? My name is Andy and I am a worker.
Scene two. Reason is dead! Logic is bullshit! The Hipster Class can’t be mapped by reason or logic, as the aesthetic in-fighting is too obscure to make waves in the world of mainstream actors and their banal rationalism. These private civilizations exist as underground railroads of sorts; safe spaces for new exiles to operate their businesses outside of traditional political models. Not left or right but cool. Yet the economics of the civilizations and their destruction/creation remain the same. One thing replaces another and the zeitgeist is forever improved/optimized/subverted/declined/choose your own adventure.
There’s an unfortunate end to this story. Not everyone can grow up to become Andy Warhol or Valerie Solonas. Sometimes you’re just the junkie that Valerie rejected from her extreme feminist club. Or even worse, an ex-friend of Warhol who posed for free in a porno. Yet you are still both an Andy and a Valerie, no matter where you stand in this decadent hierarchy. This is what you get for being a part of The Hipster Class. You’ll be forgotten tomorrow, but tonight you’ll be the greatest exhibit the world has probably never heard of.
[Originally posted in a rougher state here @ Splice Today]
Categories: Culture Wars/Current Controversies