15. crash


new beginning – destruction of power structures – new sense of togetherness – joyful reboot

15. crash

Crash announces the end of an era and the joyful flight of re-assembling a new sense of belonging. In ourselves as well as in our togetherness and our views on the world. In the image we see two buildings under attack from a small airplane with a human head. Milions of birds are escaping from the top of the towers to regroup in the open sky. The towers in their uprightness seem in danger of coming down, but the swarms have already escaped the buildings and are forming ingenious garlands in the sky. The Crash of the buildings indicates the end of an ideological era, and the regrouping of the swarms means that the people are rethinking their sense of being together: in their flight patterns they are formulating another kind of community and solidarity.

Crash is the mirror card of Path, and stands simultaneously for the full realization of the Path – through the construction of institutes, monuments and the bureaucratic apparati that accompany them – and its necessary destruction to make place for a new community. Hope through its history has successively attached to a whole lot of different ideological, spiritual and political Paths. And every time, after the initial years of mutual benefice, intuitions have turned into institutions, the practice of knowledge has succumbed to power architecture. In Crash these power institutions are ready to be brought down. The Institute in this understanding has become synonymous with capital power struggles, with normative regulations of the community, and with an unsavory attachment to a global economy that creates and sustains inequality, poor labor conditions and a sanctimonious elitist attitude towards knowledge and its distribution.

After the individual has tried to make sense of his/her life choices in Bound and Bare,the resulting insights now become translated onto a societal level and all these individuals, having freed themselves from dessicated ideals and thoughts, have started to eat the institute from the inside. Rendering its walls porous and as vulnerable as the individual’s body has revealed itself to be.

In Crash the outer signs of societal wealth, codified knowledge and culture, and political power are brought down to the ground, back to their basics. It is time for a change of the guards, or even better, for the disappearance of the guards altogether. The promise of Crash is a community-to-come that regulates its togetherness on the basis of a self-critical ethics of redistribution and glocal logics. If we look back to the previous card Alien, we can surmise that the Towers represent an architectural defence against an alien power flying in to destroy them. But like the human plane this Alien is no more than a projection of the shortcomings of the power house itself onto the outside(r). Instead of accepting their own vulnerability the Power Institutes have directed all their greed, aggression and violent drives onto an outside scapegoat, one often situated on the other side of the world, but sometimes also embodied by fellow-citizens following a different Path: coming from another culture, racial descent, historical affinity or sex.
And it is precisely this forgetting of their own vulnerability, of the precariousness of the social body, that has returned like a boomerang to destroy the symbols of the Empire. Only through destruction can the community again come to an understanding of itself, and of its values. Only through the re-acceptance of its flaws can it come to a down-to-earth reconstitution of its institutes.

In a reading Crash announces or points out a radical break-down of an ideological framework or power structure that supports you. This can be a job, or a power position you take up in society, or a self-image that is built on publicly recognized accomplishments. In Crash this kind of self-esteem is brought down to the ground. The card questions our ‘sense of belonging’, of being part of the event unfolding: how do I engage in life? What does this engagement produce in the community? How do I relate to the information that is swirling around? How do I add (or not) to the unfolding of a particular historical context? Crash also announces the celebration of getting rid of old attachments, and opening up to a possible new reading of societal life and its potential.

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