RE: [-empyre-] pedagogy and curating
The issues you're describing are, at least for me, inordinately complex.
Solzhenitsyn talks about the role of bearing-witness - that this is the
primary task of the writer/artist. His bearing also led to Slavophilism in
the long run, but the point is well taken.
There is a definite issue of instability here, as well as effectuality.
This is not the Vietnam era, with porous media, even given Alternet etc.
The media in the US is now part of the state apparatus, determinative,
harboring subjectivity within it. Functionality - the ability for protest
to _mean_ beyond itself - seems highly problematic at this point.
My own work has been anti-Bush since the "election" years ago. It gets
disseminated and reproduced, online and off. Its effect is null. Those who
agree with it might send me approving email; those who disagree, the
opposite. But the sort of totalitarian apparatus in place - or, rather,
totalizing apparatus - has its roots elsewhere, in the religious right, in
fundamentalist conservatism, in old class, race, and religious hatreds,
and it is this that the government listens to, dialogs with. For me, it is
a question of the political economy of language. Candles in windows
provide comfort to the extent that a community self-communes, presents
itself to itself, but within the US at this point, there is a tendency to
fall in line behind the "president" who has "made his decision." This
seems as basic as Kim il Sung's "juche idea" years ago, that brought his
nation to the brink of catastrophe.
I worry about the next elections - that Bush & company might just declare
a national emergency, "postponing the vote" or some such. The danger goes
far beyond this war; Bush is the commander-in-chief with a professional
army at his disposal. Without the draft, resistance remains symbolic at
best; our lives feel comparatively safe in panoptic Amerikka, even with
9/11 - which killed less than have died in Afghanistan - and continuous
colorful security alerts.
And this symbolic is lost among other symbols - too many personal stories
of soldiers going off to fight for God and Glory, of sacrificing families,
of amazing technologies, and our own weapons of mass destruction, like
MOAB or other satellite-guided bombs. The news has become more monolithic
than ever, more spectacle than ever - the newscasters tend to ape Pentagon
military descriptions as if they were their own. The resistance has been
almost forgotten in the past few days, as the "nation" "gears up" for war.
As far as "UNSTABLE GROUND," yes, but not in the hyperrealist/post-Baud.
sense - but in the sense of material foundations which are so insecure,
that a production of fundamentalisms can be the only result. The introjec-
tion of totality results in portability, in survival according to the
Viktor Frankl model - you might through Alfred Speer in here as well.
As we know from recent geophysical models, unstable ground also has its
harmonics; the best we can hope for is a network of networks of nodes,
much like the Internet in fact, a network of harmonics. But this seems
like wishful thinking.
On another day, one might consider the very role of technology and the Net
in the midst of all of this - and the fear and fundamentalisms that arise,
world-wide, as a result. Think of techne as a form of breathing - outward
developments and distributions, inward recoupings and cathexes making use
of the same developments, turning the godless, in other words, against
itself. The problem isn't that god is dead; the problem is that God is
very much alive.
Trace projects http://trace.ntu.ac.uk/writers/sondheim/index.htm
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