Paul Chan: "Art is the field that makes things not work"

Here's how artist/publisher Paul Chan thinks about art's power:
[H]uman beings create bioelectricity. Our pulses inside our bodies have a small charge to them. In fact, all living organisms generate some bioelectricity. The starkest example is the fish that glow in the dark in the water, or electric eels. Human beings don’t have that much electricity, but we generate some. But apparently, there are some people in the world who generate so much electricity that they interfere with the working order of electronic devices like mobile phones or laptops. 
A couple of years ago, a British scientific journal did a study on these people and found that the phenomenon was real—that some people when they are agitated generate enough electricity that there is a magnetic field around them. This magnetic field interferes with the working order or your laptop or your iPad. 
So it gave credence to the idea that sometimes when we’re agitated or nervous, and machines break down or your mobile phone doesn’t work, it may not be the device. It actually maybe you. I find this to be an incredibly potent metaphor for what I imagine art is. That in many ways, art is that person, the field that makes things not work, that disrupts the order of things. 
So in a way, I am more attracted to and more sensitive to the image of art as something that is so powerless that it makes other things and people lose power too.
Also, in case you missed it, here's my interview with Chan on Badlands Unlimited, his experimental publishing venture.

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