[-empyre-] split screens
swht at clear.net.nz
Tue Jul 31 10:01:45 EST 2012
I've enjoyed this month, but I would like to reject utterly the
implication in Johannes's question, that something "went wrong in
western traditions" ("What went wrong in western traditions?" 27/07/12),
and also the negativity that has characterised some of the posts
throughout this month. For example: ..."so perhaps screens are not
everywhere. There is hope." (Simon Biggs, 30/7/12)
For the first issue, that there is something wrong with western
traditions - which ones? - wanting to sustain the illusion rather than
pierce it or enjoy the complementary halves of a fore-screen and a
behind-the-scenes look at... wait a moment, isn't this the same west
which puts out behind-the-scenes featurettes as promotional material?
selling these to networks cheap to encourage audiences to fork out for
the next blockbuster at the cinema?
Behind-the-scenes has developed its own industry, multiplying genres and
compounding or laminating illusion and reality.
My experience of Brecht - also mentioned "Brecht would be pleased" in
Johannes's post - is a Verfremdung from the staid complacency of generic
classical theatre, things moving in an off-kilter way made even funnier,
farcier (and faster) for the return of the backstage repressed and its
plays of scale, toy-cars for example where a real car won't fit.
If the Platonic dialectic of real/copy persists it is (as I said
earlier) as an ultimately unsustainable resource fuelling the
problematisations of academic art.
The second issue elides ubiquity with iniquity. The ubiquity of
screenism might be iniquitous if it were totalisable, if we could show
experience to be mediated to a dangerous degree - but dangerous for
whom? And quo bono? (Bono?) This stance of saying escape from excess
(screens, decadent western habits, consumerism, gadgetism, etc.) is
needful is a stance because it invokes danger as pure titivation.
Of course in skating quickly off into moral judgement we drop the baby,
who, I guess, is us: thus doth technoculture make phenomenologists of us
all. But more than this. This baby is also our responsibility - ethical
- to hold and dandle lest we lose sight of our limits, which must needs
be entertained - but not to death. Since isn't the screen at the limits
of our projections? Aren't our projections precisely what it shows?
Rather, what they show, since the multiplication of screens is real, if
not the real.
My feeling is that much like an earlier issue considered here on this
listserv, the netopticon, there is the crack to be worked: the fear is
not the Heideggerian totalitarianism or totalisation of the tech, but
that we fail to consider its atomic or molecular level, where
revolutionary subjectivation processes are enabled. Or can be.
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