Re: [-empyre-] Re: TechnoPanic

Sean Cubitt:
To the extent that there as A contemporary image, it is of course
totalitarian. But there is no single image.

I understand Werner Herzog as drawing attention to the notion of adequacy,
to the problem of a contemporary lack of adequate images. Similarly to Jerzy
Grotowski (e.g. and Andre Gregory, a
dissatisfaction with representation in a mediated world (with Homo Sucker,
as Slavoj Zizek puts it) inspires Werner Herzog's frustration with
illustrative fictions: the antidemocratic populism and expense of staging
fictions, of dissimulation (neo-)colonising the global(ised) simulation, the
threat of complicity with panic culture, becomes critical; there is a
crisis - of (in)adequacy on the part of the image maker.

W.H. Auden wrote somewhere that the reason is a republic, whereas the
imagination is a dictatorship. The Nietzschean strain remains as a sort of
artistic legacy. (Sort of, because it operates 'incorporatively' (Geoff
Waite) on both sides of the equation.) But isn't the individual artist the
response to the accident of the "single image"?

Sean Cubitt:
digital images, perpetually corruptible, [always point] towards the future
they have yet to become

and what terror tools can one invent (if not create) to counter this very
necessity? (When asked what he thought of terrorists, Kurt Vonnegut
responded with, I think they are very brave.)

Sean Cubitt:
The crisis of representation arises when we fetishise representation. As
digital images teach, it is not representation but communication that is at

Can representation really be opposed to communication?Deleuze decried the
"cult of communication" -
is not the operative opposition here that between dialogue and transaction?

Sean Cubitt:
The attempt to seize, as "the image" the necessarily fragmented condition of
the world as if it were an aesthetic and complete Whole is justly in crisis
because it is the adminisrtative ideological solution to the impossibility
of living in a present torn to shreds by the conditions of contemporary

John Ash: "Some evenings / there are no other songs / that so open the
possibility / of summing the whole thing up." (From "Rooflines and
Riverbells" in Ash's volume _Disbelief_; it goes on (even though "it can't
go on like this in tricks and tracks"): "the single voice multiplies" and
"The city's a mist of money")

Disagree: would turn this inside out: isn't it Gilles Deleuze who counters
the Kantian aesthetic tribunal with a single throw of the die? who abjures
against "tricks" and nicely throws the chance of risk - and of adequacy -
between fate and necessity, of "tracks"?

So... it goes! Life is possible; anything else is a failure of imagination.

Simon Taylor

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