Re: [-empyre-] clarifying noiseless challenge]

On Mon, 2006-11-06 at 19:31 -0300, sergio basbaum wrote:

> Thank you for your comments. However, I must say that when I write
> that "mechanical" is also "technological", I have never -- never --
> written that "mechanical" is the same as "electronical" or "digital".
> So, I feel like words I never said are being put in my mouth - if I
> can use this low-tech, body-tech, oral metaphor. (perhaps I should say
> they are being 'pasted' in my mouth?)

Sorry.  I went back and read your original post and I guess I
misunderstood your meaning.  No mouth-pasting was intended.

> In fact, that's precisely one important point that is beeing examined
> in the current debate, the confrontation of the impact of technology
> (mechanical) on culture as Benjamin  described it in the 1930's, and
> the impact of technology (digital) on culture as we are all
> experiencing in contemporary cyberdreaming societies.

I recently found another Benjamin essay from the same era called "The
Author as Producer".  The essay unfortunately has far too much
cheer-leading for soviet "girl meets tractor" art for my taste but he
makes some very good points along the way.  The gist of his main argument
is that the mode of production is just as politically crucial as the
message or content.  As an example he says that newspapers are more
democratic (and hence "correct") than novels.  He uses the term
"politically correct" for art which exhibits both "literary" and
"political" correctness.  Unfortunately, this term was much abused and
maligned in the backlash against identity politics (in the US anyway).
He's coming from a more soviet point of view so it seems a bit dogmatic
but it seems to be a useful starting point for an ethics of tech-art.  I
also wonder if this is the same thinking that's informing a lot of more
socially and environmentally conscious behavior today.


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