[-empyre-] -empyre- posting on TechnoPanic, forwarded from Horit Herman Peled

It seems that in post- 9/11 era we roam the ravages of the wistful pastoral global village. We can argue about toponymy. However, emergency laws are increasingly being implemented in order to prolong the ostensible chimera of security by hounding panic out of the good life. Is there a call in the sound of pounding drums, while accessorized digitality, gates, barriers and walls are expanding? Should we ask, first, what is the relationship between the production of art by means of digital technologies and the production of terror by the same means? Should we further interrogate the meaning of "terror"? Is terror exclusively a political act carried out by groups that operate illegally against an economic and political power and engage in violent action against innocent civilians? Or is terror also a reciprocal activity, a reaction against legal and institutional oppression perpetrated by economic and political powers? Digital technology is the quintessence of the latter kind of terror, state terror, as an instrument of surveillance and identification, construction, deconstruction and stripping of human life.

Walter Benjamin had argued that the reproductive capabilities of the photographic technologies severed the grounding of the artwork in both place and time, and reversed its "total function," to be based on politics. This logic applies even more strongly to the virtual, an environment where the means of producing, distributing, and viewing of cultural codes have condensed into a screen to be shared everywhere.
Does this historical-technological phenomenon call for greater responsibility on the part of artists who use this technology for the increasing numbers of people who live what Giorgio Agamben has characterized as "bare life"? Should artists, particularly those placed in the midst of terror, entrench themselves in virtuality, or should they venture into the forbidden zones inhabited by bare life?

Horit Herman Peled horithp@gmail.com


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