— Counter-Currents —

Announcing the Passage Prize Contest for Art

[1]709 words

“I am concerned with the subjection of life and the suffocation of vitality. I hope to show you that things don’t need to be this way, and that you don’t need to limit yourself to small things.” — Bronze Age Mindset

Do you miss art? Are you tired of finding ugliness and virtue-signaling where beauty should be? Do you think there is a natural purpose to art, and that it is something other than being “inclusive” and getting praise from others?

Do you see the world around you going in the wrong direction, and want to do something about it beyond just pointing out how bad things have gotten?

A man going by the name of Lomez [2], who readers may recognize from Dissident Right Twitter [3], has organized a new art contest which should be of interest to Counter-Currents readers and contributors. This project is known as the Passage Prize, in reference to Ernst Jünger’s concept of the “forest passage [4],” a way for dissidents to escape the control of tyrants. A quote chosen for the website explains that the forest passage is the source of creativity, which can lead to “the overthrow, even . . . of titans.” Surely we can all think of titans of our age who deserve to be overthrown.

The theme chosen for this contest is “exit from the longhouse.” Bronze Age Pervert wrote in Bronze Age Mindset of a form of primitive civilization in which there is no individuality, not even individual homes: The people are crammed together into enormous longhouses, and they think just as they live. Despite superficially greater privacy and independence in the modern age, the same stifling collective still attempts to assert itself everywhere.


You can buy Kerry Bolton’s Artists of the Right here [8].

Lomez has also referred to the oppressive presence of “yeast life [9]” in our culture. Bronze Age Mindset refers to “two kinds of life. . . . Higher life . . . has to do with differentiation and structure. Yeast is an ‘amorphous blob’ that expands, whereas a higher organism has different parts with different functions . . .”

These represent conflicting human mindsets. No differentiation means no quality; when we say that something is of high quality, we mean that it is different from something else. Yeast can have no concept of quality, seeking only to increase in quantity. Higher life sacrifices the capacity for endless expansion in order to achieve something of higher quality. Yeast feels limited in its expansion by higher life, and higher life feels degraded by yeast.

We can see this in the arts and entertainment. Ugliness and stupidity dominate; better to be stupid than to go over anyone’s head. Better to be ugly than to create beauty, stand out, and risk inspiring envy. Better to lower standards so that anyone can be an artist — so that art, like yeast, can increase in quantity. What we are fed today may be pleasing to the lowest common denominator, or even to decadent elites who affect similar sensibilities, but it is grating and dispiriting to anyone with spirit left. We should not have to live this way.

In an attempt to revolt against the modern yeast and imagine a new world in line with our creative spirit, the Passage Prize is accepting four categories of work: poetry, visual art, fiction, and non-fiction. Poetry will be judged by the well-known neoreactionary writer Curtis Yarvin, better known as Mencius Moldbug [10], and fiction will be judged by the talented fiction writer Zero HP Lovecraft [11], who you may also know from dissident Twitter [12]. The judge for visual art will be painter and printmaker Giovanni Pennacchietti [13], known as @giantgio [14] on Twitter. The judge for non-fiction is yet to be determined.

Visual art can take any form which can be printed and should take up three pages; successful submissions will be published in an upcoming book. Poetry submissions can consist of “single poems, or up to 3 poems totaling no more than 10 pages, single spaced, 12 point font.” Non-fiction can take the form of true stories or essays, but should “avoid the usual fare of political/philosophical/social commentary that is so prominent elsewhere.” Fiction or non-fiction submissions should total no more than 10,000 words.

Contest winners stand to win up to $2,000, which will be paid out in cryptocurrency. All submissions must be previously unpublished. Further guidelines can be found on the website [15], which is where all submissions must be made. You must aim for something higher than homogeneous stupidity. You must submit!

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