[-empyre-] Liquid Borders?
Reading back through the last few posts. The ?nodal? concept where the
trace of a voice is preserved, an experience recounted, a location
represented provides for a loosening up of what is considered narrative.
Carlos wrote; ?what happens when [the] text pole seems not exist anymore??
I don?t think it can cease and still be present (unless as the trace
which can be spoken of, such as the imagined writings of Aspasia). A lost
text is one that is not read, viewed, or listened to. The interactive
qualities of new media and how they are deployed in settings such as urban
spaces may imply that the text pole has disappeared. But just because the
reader/player/listener is in the story doesn?t mean there is no story. One
example could be this piece of strangeness:
"Texas Gov. Rick Perry unveiled plans on Thursday to place hundreds of
surveillance cameras along the Rio Grande and stream the images to the
Internet so computer users everywhere can help patrol the U.S.-Mexico
border." (From ?Space and Culture? http://www.spaceandculture.org/)
Is the US-Mexico boarder being wired up for narrative access? Will this
become a reality webcam show? The "border" is being beamed into every
internet user?s visual field under the title ?Reality?. We watch the
periphery for any breeches in an attempt to protect our image and
ourselves. What becomes of those (them, the other) who make it over live
on the internet?
As Dene points out the story is not ?told? until the audience permits
itself to accept it (or their power relations do). The audience must be
able to recognise it, or accept its implications in regards to ?gender?
race, culture, religion? and clearly, in the case of boarders, the
political (the boarder itself is a textual topographic feature). Hurston?s
?Their Eyes were Watching God? could have been a lost text instead of
returning 700 000 hits on a Google search today (copious notes, an Oprah
Winfrey teleplay, forums, buy the book and have it delivered to your
door). I read it in an undergrad Eng. Lit. Course here in Sweden. The text
is fed into the greater network of Western texts, it has overflowed its
banks, probably beyond the wildest expectations of Zora Neale. How it
comes to be interpreted varies of course. I once spoke to a respected
North American academic who told me Toni Morrison?s ?Beloved? is taught as
a love story and not a slave narrative in many schools in the United
I have learnt from Katherine Hayles that the new media forms of textuality
provide us with possibilities of reflection upon older forms of
textuality, particularly the book (but not only the book, look at what
digitality has done to sound). How these function as textual artefacts is
made explicit when we change them (remember Tom Phillip's ?The Humument?
in Hayles? ?Writing Machines? or the work of Jerome McGann and his
?Deformance? in ?Radiant Textuality?
http://www.iath.virginia.edu/~jjm2f/old/deform.html ). Maybe watching
human beings run through sage brush and rivers along the Rio Grande chased
by paramilitaries will inspire mass reflection on the older text of the
border itself. This is as Carlos wrote ?a ?perspective on all forms of
textuality?, a model to explore "textual communication that will
accommodate any type of text".
To silence the text is to silence the preserved voice, the communication
and the identity. My great grandmother dreamed of going to art school, but
she was a female so she never made it over the border.
Doctoral Student, Umeå University
Department of Modern Languages/HUMlab
+46 (0)90 786 6584
HUMlab.Umeå University.SE-901 87.Umeå.Sweden
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