Temporary Ambivalent Zone.

I got to thinking about the T.A.Z

The notion of the Temporary Autonomous Zone, or T.A.Z for short, was first postulated by Hakim Bey(Peter Lamborn Wilson) although much of the imagery he deployed in its description borrowed liberally from the semi-mythic histories of cults, subcultures and revolutionary communes.

The T.A.Z was or ‘is’, as its ontology insists on a commitment to the present tense, a space in which the contingencies and exigencies of economic and social exchange under Capital might be temporarily suspended. As doctrine it found no shortage of adherents amidst the Autonomen communities of the 80’s and perhaps found its flowering in the Technovals of the post-acid nineties, in Burning Man and the rave scene.

Bey’s models, the pirate camp, the assassin enclave of Aluhmut wherein Hassan I Sabbah had declared, heretically, ‘Paradise attained’, contained within them their own dark shadows. Helter Skelter, Jonestown,Waco: a counter-history of cults gone bad.

Freedom as a bad dream issuing from the Commune.

In the Temporary Autonomous Zone. A coin is flipped, Hegel or Marx(a)? Freedom might take on perverse even nightmarish forms. Wilson’s own paedophilic urges forming regressive desires, a longing for the tent, a false nostalgia for the hastily erected sheets thrown across the dining room furniture of privileged boyhood and Cocteau’s Enfante Térrible.

Freedom within the conditions of Wilson’s T.A.Z might become a Utopian stage for the enactment of predatory desire.

A Laingian (b) super-lab of disfunctionality, delivering en-route some shadow of Bakunin's dark carnival but claiming its price.


(a) “All fixed, fast frozen relations, with their train of ancient and venerable prejudices and opinions, are swept away, all new-formed ones become antiquated before they can ossify. All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned ...”

Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, The Communist Party Manifesto 1848

(b) "Insanity: a perfectly rational adjustment to the insane world." RD. Laing



additional references:

www.freeminds.org (politicaly questionable)
http://www.gearthblog.com/blog/archives/2006/10/source of burning man imagefazeteen.com/spring2000Source of rave imagehttp://www.bible.ca/indexchurches.htm
Source of Jonestown image www.marxists.orgsource of Marx text