Adam Zaretsky: ON the pFARM
Adam Zaretsky addresses the fetish for power that has led humanity to pump its intellectual, mental, and physical muscles and dominate other species, earth forces, and each other. His innovative measures to reverse power-mania take the form of cultivating submissiveness. Indeed, Zaretsky craves submissiveness as others crave power. He has formulated a triad of unlikely techniques to replace aggressive power-mongering with docile obedience: organic farming, sado-masochistic sexual practices, and biotech experimentation. The first is a bizarre charade. The second is a performance spectacle. The third is lunatic science.
Prior to industrial agriculture, farm animals provided a fine example of submissiveness. Beasts of burden submit to a yoke, labor in silence, and endure fatigue without complaint. Zaretsky creates opportunities for humans to emulate this ideal at his farm in Woodstock, New York. Members, students, and visitors crawl and pull ploughs, till the earth, sleep in pens, sport chains attached to the rings in their noses, and sit on eggs until they hatch. They are banished to the compost pile if they misbehave. Courses are offered through a ‘submission program’. Zaretsky says they are designed to “inform/deform the present day conceptions of ‘getting back to nature’.”
Although the farm was inactive at the time of this writing, native medicinal plants have been cultivated and marketed to manifest the positive principle of submissiveness. For example, the crops are grown by submitting to natural biodynamic processes instead of the hostile take-over of the land that characterizes industrialized and chemical-saturated agriculture. Furthermore, the tinctures made from the plants are marketed in the streets by members. Besides selling their remedies, they enact strange public rituals wearing leather regalia and pink overalls in celebration of submissiveness. Zaretsky explains that he perform a “cash-intensive minuet” to “confront the seedy side of our ‘free’ market, capital-obtrusive, and thoroughly heisted lives.”
Biotechnology: The red barn on the farm functions as “the Lab’ where secrete experimentation is being conducted to concoct a DNA in which submissive genes prevail over aggressive ones. This requires that subjects willingly donate a bodily fluid sample so that their genomic DNA can be stored in the Cryogenic Storage Library. Zaretsky will sell these valued genes for sequencing and injecting into embryos for the purpose of isolating the gene for submissive behavior. Supporting and conducting molecular bio laboratory research to design a new breed of humans and free the world of the scourge of domination. As Zaretsky explains, “pFARMers deserve to be known as the trustworthy and selfless patriots that we are.”
Sado-Masochism: The search for submissive DNA samples and the desire to promote the advantages of submissive life styles have led Zaretsky into a den of deviant sexuality. The logic is flawless since in each S & M relationship there is one member whose extreme submissiveness is a source of delight and gratification. Zaretsky utilizes “eroticized power relations” to link masochism with “titillating thrills” and “inherent fetishism,” and an “orgasmic way of life.” He then states, “By emphasizing the Goddess/Dominatrix rule over the original Beasts of Burden – men – we may signal a return to the erotic origins of domesticity.”
Gathering genetic samples from desirable organisms is not new. Selective breeding has been practiced since the dawn of agriculture. What is revolutionary is the characteristic that pFARM chooses to favor. Marketing submissiveness as a desirable state of being threatens the fundamental tenets of contemporary civilization. The excess so many people currently enjoy, as well as its damaging consequences, are the result of dominating tactics that characterize in industrial farming, engineering, mining, manufacturing, and constructing. Through his insightful lunacy, Zaretsky links taboo sexuality with environmental and social reform.
How will a vast population of submissives constitute a functioning society? Instead of rule by dominators, Zaretsky places faith in the rule of chaos, a phenomenon noted by scientists whereby chaotic conditions spontaneously self-organize. Furthermore, these chaotic systems often reorganize in new and promising manners.
Zaretsky’s multi-pronged strategies to eradicate “the fat of the land”, therefore, incorporate cloning, transgenics, and genomics, as well as pranks, posturing, and absurdity. A wild proposition emerges from their intersection – the time has come for humans to abandon the presumption of privileged status. Instead of a brave new world, Zaretsky strives to create a timid new world. He concludes, “We are breeding for pleasure in a world of hurt. Our children will be posthuman but not superhuman…And we are proud not to be proud.”