Re: [-empyre-] Re: commodification [Whispering in the Dark]
Christina McPhee, James and the rest of empyre,
overcoming the anomie and drift conditions of modernity
I wonder if overcoming a phsychological sense is actually so possible.
Or if overcoming anomie and drift are worthwhile political aims. Or if
to overcome anomie is just a neurotic response to anomie.. that maybe
its healthier to come to terms with it instead.
Perhaps anomie and drift are conditions that just are... we can address
conditions that create anomie and drift...
Reading Allan Sekula's Fish Story might represent an alternative
narrative, but the key word is represent. The majority of human
experience is on the concrete plane, when one puts down Fish Stories,
we may immediately stumble upon encounter anomie.
But either way, I don't see anomie an issue.
But surely now new media works in a way such that images start to live
counter, contra, lie in wait for truth.
That may be true. But What are we going to do with the realization of
the contradiction? Realizing something is really less then half the
story. There can be constant realization... as such a plethora of
detournemants, of anti-bush websites. Anti-cheney flash videos. A class
of action known as "billboard liberation." All great... but.....
articulation becomes 'meaningful' relative to context, to the sense
of place, to the issue outside the hermetically sealed world of image
Yes. But also what meaningful articulation doesn't always become
meaningful because of either its context or what it is articulating.
And of course, one groups meaningful articulation is another's jabber.
And concretely, an issue becomes meaningful because it fits within the
hermetically sealed world of image propagation... Rumsfeld's reality is
meaningful to the extent that the camera AND ALSO social maintainance
(an relatively smooth and uninterupted supplying of food, water and
oil) allows him to propose his policies. The narrative is the
table-dressing on top of it all, a "reallity" that anyone who looks
sees is false, and yet remains because the US Military is still in Iraq
and cameras still interview and broadcast Rumsfeld.
And now we talk about him. And he becomes special.
Now back to commodified discourse and detournment or meaningful
critique in art-work. All good... accept there is an abundant market
and conversation about this. Supporting this abundant flowering is a
the equation detournement=political or meaningful website=political
Or am I wrong. Is the equation actually just detournament=cool or
And If I am not wrong, is then their a verdant economy missing on
behalf of the concept of "political change?" What does political (or
social change) mean. What does it look like? How is that expressed?
Read Yael Grauer's essay, an Open Letter to Kalle Lassen- a great and
succinct complex investigation of the whole notion of the
representation of dissent and detournement.
Critical process, of which the FBI is apparently oblivious, involves
recontextualization of a gesture, like Steve's experiments, into
another realm, so that an otherwise hidden problematic can open up to
view, can be given place: in Critical Art Ensemble/Steve Kurtz's
instance, the whole problem of genetically modified food production.
Surely this is par excellence a "meaningful articulation". Surely
this is a re(coup)eration, seizing, of the real.
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