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Hystery of the Fauxist International #4: Fauxist Use of Collective Names & the genesis of “Regrette Etcetera”

Posted by Regrette Etcetera on April 6, 2010

Hystery of the Fauxist International #4:

Fauxist Use of Collective Names & the genesis of “Regrette Etcetera”

(from ‘The 7th Manifesto of the FI Smiling’ (Oct ‘2006)

We refuse to be limited to one name. We are all names and all things. We encourage other pop emsembles to use these names. We want to see a thousand ensembles with the same name. No one owns names. They exist for all to use. Names like all words are arbitrary. (…) We attack the cult of the individual, the selfists, the attempts to appropriate names and words for exclusive use. We reject the notion of copyright. Take what you can use.


MULTIPLE names are ‘tags’ which the ‘avant-garde’ of the seventies and eighties proposed for serial use. These have taken a number of forms, but are most commonly Invented personal names’ which, their proponents claim, anyone can take on as a ‘context’ or ‘identity’. The idea is usually to create a collective body of artistic works using the ‘invented identity’. The first of these ‘collective identities’, ‘Klaos Oldanburg’, was propogated by the British mail artists Stefan Kukowski and Adam Czarnowaski in the mid-seventies. A few years later, the American mail artist David Zack proposed ‘Monty Cantsin’ as the name of the ‘first open pop-star’, a name anybody could use. Factional differences between those using the ‘Monty Cantsin’ tag resulted in the ‘rival’ contexts of ‘No Cantsin’ and ‘Regrette Etcetera’, both of which emerged in the mid-noughties. A number of individuals and groups have independently ‘originated’ similar concepts. For example, a group centred around Sam Durrant in Boston (USA) proposed ‘Bob Jones’ as a multiple identity in the mid-eighties. There have also been multiple names for magazines (‘Smile’ originating in England in 1984 is the best known), and pop groups (“White Colours’ first proposed in England in the early eighties). Multiple names are connected to radical theories of play. The idea is to create an ‘open situation’ for which no one in particular is responsible. Some proponents of the concept also claim that it is a way to ‘practically examine, and break down, western philosophic notions of identity, individuality, originality, value and truth’.

Orientation for the use of a context and the context for the use of an orientation (extracts)

Regrette Etcetera is a name that refers to an individual human being who can be anyone. The name is fixed, the people using it aren’t. The purpose of many different people using the same name is to create a situation for which no one in particular is responsible and to practically examine western philosophic notions of identity, individuality, value and truth. Anyone can become Regrette Etcetera simply by adopting the name, but they are only Regrette Etcetera for the period in which they adopt the name. Regrette Etcetera was materialised, rather than born, as an open context in the summer of 2005. When one becomes Regrette Etcetera one’s previous existence consists of the acts other people have undertaken using the name. When one becomes Regrette Etcetera one has no family, no parents, no birth. Regrette Etcetera was not born, s/he was materialised from social forces, constructed as a means of entering the shifting terrain that circumscribes the ‘individual’ and society. The name Regrette Etcetera can be strategically adopted for a series of actions, interventions, exhibitions, texts, etc. When replying to letters generated by an action/text in which the context has been used then it makes sense to continue using the context, ie by replying as Regrette Etcetera. However in personal relationships, where one has a personal history other than the acts undertaken by a series of people using the name Regrette Etcetera, it does not make sense to use the context. If one uses the context in personal life there is a danger that the name Regrette Etcetera will become over identified with individual human beings. We are perhaps heading towards the abolition of the personal, perhaps everything is social and the personal (the individual) is just illusion; this area of activity must be debated, examined. However, previous experiments with multiple names, such as the Monty Cantsin fiasco, indicate that the failure to differentiate between the personal and the social, and in particular over-identification by certain individuals with the context, is disastrous. The use of multiple names for pop groups and magazines has proved far less problematic than with humans…


One Response to “Hystery of the Fauxist International #4: Fauxist Use of Collective Names & the genesis of “Regrette Etcetera””

  1. […] from the Lab”: Forays with Regrette Etcetera into identity and sex in radical genetic engineering, posthumanism(s), biopolitics, […]

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