Michael Angelo Tata, PhD
mtata at ipublishingllc.com
Thu Apr 9 08:38:36 EST 2009
Hi, all! Here are some responses to people who have made me think deeper about the current strands of our intricate braid: everything from issues of gifting vis-à-vis responsibility and reciprocity to concrete concerns for community- and world-building in the wake of gross individuality. Specifically:
Thanks, Davin for the generous Appadurai quote. These ideas clearly belong in our discussion, especially concepts like “globalization from below” and, my favorite, “the global everyday.” This latter idea is a pragmatic masterstroke, as it begs the question of what it means to inhabit this abstract system of relations we term “globalization.” As you point out, the problem of global capital is its irresponsibility and the alienation it inspires: I mean, it’s not like we can fly to the slums of Naples to see which fingers Donatella Versace has put to work embroidering and bedazzling our designer t-shirts. Appadurai is a lovely corrective, inspiring a poetics of the everyday for the citizen of the world. In fact, I would encourage all of us to do what you have done all along and reflect openly and vividly on our current habitation of this late capitalist geodesic. As for recent pop culture, I think M.I.A. does an excllent job of probing the question of a global everyday on her Kala album.
Cinzia, your invocation of the Derridean concept of a Contretemps is intriguing, and I would love to hear more. At the outset, it causes my consciousness to turn to Derrida’s idea about dissemination as the giving of that which can never come back to me: a squandering of the nom-de-père, a letting loose of the phallic function even more radical than occurs with respect to Judge Schreber’s psychosis. How do you connect contretemps with potlatch, all those Trobriand Islanders smashing plates and burning whale oil candles in a spectacle of unreciprocatable generosity? Also, since Derrida claims that, eccentrically, the gift sets the economic circle in motion (while it somehow also effractively breaks it apart), I wonder how you connect this account of an economic engine with contretemps, dissemination, waste and excess: the obscene underside of the gift, the squalor and effulgence we seek to manage and mask through economics and ethics. PS—Love your vid! Are you trapped inside the gift? Perhaps you are the gift.
Hi, Jeff! Can you please define Fiat Currency for me? I do not know precisely what this term means, but my curiosity is piqued. I also agree with your remarks about America’s hybrid capitalism, since you are right: things like Unemployment Insurance, Social Security or a government-sponsored corporate bailout plans are proof that our capital and the “ism” we attach to it so religiously are not pure. But is any economy pure? Does Castro come the closest to a pure economics with his vision of Communism? Perhaps purity is overrated.
Back to Davin: for Derrida, it is unforgivable not to know how to give. In essence, there is an impulse to reveal, de-conceal, share which seems to hearken back to a primordial generosity which gives us Being and Time themselves as primary phenomena. We must know how to give, how to receive, and how to forget. On a side note, Bridezillas are a wonderful example of giving having become taking: the TV show Bridezillas is a feminist nightmare come to life. I would urge you to see it if you have not already; I think it’s on the Oxygen network. In fact, the theme song to the show might become part of the soundtrack Joseph suggested for our forum. Why does the Bridezilla phenomenon surprise you, though? Isn’t it the logic of the commodity viral, aiming to commodify everything this mystifying function touches? My question would be: under globalization, what has escaped commodification? What has retained its genuineness and innocence in our de-sublimated society of the spectacle?
Howdy, Nick! Love the article. It’s so wonderful and relevant that it features a gambling image; for theorists of the gift, gambling serves as representation of the excessiveness of the gift, its tendency to give beyond all decency or morality (much in the way that jouissance gives too much pleasure). “Gambling” also appears to be an important trope within our discussion of recent Wall Street antics. As for testosterone or testosterone receptivity, the jury is apparently out, but all I can think of are those studies of the gay hypothalamus and the uterine environment.
As for bringing things back to the notion of “Crescere” you introduced at the start of all our fun, I would bring it back ‘round to its twin, “Armus,” or artifice, since it seems that what gets created in so many of our instances and examples is something artificial: a general equivalent dictating value, a system of relations governing what can be given, what must be given, and what can be taken, a social network feeling the impetus to invest its resources in interest-driven vehicles and its intelligence and creativity in an écriture whose narratives and poems store meaning as capital. I create with my arm, I create my artifice as arm or prosthesis, I arm myself with creativity.
Michael Angelo Tata, PhD 347.776.1931-USA
> Date: Wed, 1 Apr 2009 08:51:42 -0700
> From: editor at intertheory.org
> To: empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
> Subject: [-empyre-] April 2009 on –empyre-
> April 2009 on –empyre-
> “Creativity and Postmodern Finance, or the Artifice of the 21st Century Global Financial Implosion”
> Plan on escaping the travails of finance and capital? Sure you do. We are all creative in our orientation toward the artifice of capital. The decision to survive requires employment of the arts of finance and capitalization, regardless of one's subjectivity or preoccupation.
> 'Creativity,' from the Latin, 'crescere,' means 'I come to be,' 'I increase,' 'I grow and expand,' etc. To be sure, some are endowed in one way or another with more or less of something, creativity notwithstanding. And for certain, some are more creative than others. Out of all this, what ‘comes to be’ as humanity employs the arts of capital in the 21st century? What does our creation obtain?
> As of late, the human world is preoccupied with artisans of capital and finance, and with good reason. Humanity is fearful that its future, we might say, is being foreclosed upon by the uncontrollable forces of their trade. Many cultural theorists feel that capital is an artifice. Capital is but our creation, they say. So perhaps we need only recreate capital, and its terms, to adjust for its errors, to render an ever better society. Others say capital is the problem in itself. What have we caused to be, to be increased, or expanded upon, that has led us to this spirited place?
> How does our art, our artifice, from the Latin ‘armus’…art being that which comes from our arm or shoulder…contribute to the problems or solutions of the global meltdown? Who are the artisans? And who is the audience that goads them onward?
> Our guests:
> Michael Angelo Tata is the author of Andy Warhol: Sublime Superficiality (forthcoming in 2009).
> Laurence Rickels is professor of German and comparative literature at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His books include The Devil Notebooks (2008), Nazi Psychoanalysis (2002) and The Vampire Lectures (1999).
> Joseph Tabbi is professor of contemporary literature and technology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is the author of Cognitive Fictions (2002) and Postmodern Sublime: Technology and American Writing from Mailer to Cyberpunk (1995). He also edits the Electronic Book Review.
> Jeff Pierce is an independent equity trader based in Canada. He is also the editor of Zentrader.ca
> Davin Heckman is Assistant Professor of English at Siena Heights University in Adrian, Michigan. He is the author of A Small World: Smart Houses and the Dream of the Perfect Day (2008).
> Nicholas Ruiz III is a moderator of –empyre-. He is the author of America in Absentia (2008) and The Metaphysics of Capital (2006). He is also the editor of Kritikos.
> Nicholas Ruiz III, Ph.D Editor, Kritikos http://intertheory.org
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
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