[-empyre-] empyre Digest, Vol 111, Issue 5

micha cárdenas mmcarden at usc.edu
Mon Feb 10 10:41:17 EST 2014


I also want to add that, yes, of course my reply was cartesian, using a
digital system, addressing you as an individual and using the word I to
refer to myself. I see decolonization as a long project and its possible
implications for our thinking as a far away horizon, yet one still worth
working towards.

thanks all,

  micha




On Sun, Feb 9, 2014 at 6:35 PM, micha cárdenas <mmcarden at usc.edu> wrote:

> Hi Florian, thanks for your reply.
>
> In your essay "What is Post-Digital", I did see your discussion of the
> postcolonial, which seems to be a very short part of your essay which
> doesn't discuss any of the gendered, racialized violences of colonialism.
> Your discussion of the postcolonial is:
>
> "Postcolonialism does not mean the end of colonialism akin to Hegel's and
> Fukuyama's "end of history", but quite on the contrary its transformation
> into less clearly visible power structures that are still in place, have
> left their mark on languages and cultures, and most importantly still
> govern geopolitics and global production chains. In this sense, the
> post-digital condition is the post-apocalyptic condition after the
> computerization and global digital networking of communication, technical
> infrastructures, markets and geopolitics."
>
> and you conclude the essay with:
>
> "If post-digital cultures are made up of, metaphorically speaking,
> postcolonial practices in a communications world taken over by the
> military-industrial complex of only a handful of global players, then it
> can most simply be described as mental opposition to phenomena like Ray
> Kurzweil's and Google's Singularity University, the Quantified Self
> movement, sensor-controlled "Smart Cities" and similar dystopian techno
> utopias.
>
> Nevertheless, Silicon Valley utopias and post-digital subcultures (whether
> in Detroit, Rotterdam or elsewhere) have more in common than it might seem.
> Both are driven by fictions of agency.8<http://post-digital.projects.cavi.dk/?p=599#fn8>
>  There's a fiction of agency over one's body in the 'digital' Quantified
> Self movement, a fiction of the self-made in the 'post-digital' DIY and
> Maker movements, a fiction of a more intimate working with media in
> 'analog' handmade film labs and mimeograph cooperatives. They stand for two
> options of agency, over-identification with systems or skepticism towards
> them. Each of them is, in their own way, symptomatic of system crisis. It
> is not a crisis of one or the other system but a crisis of the very
> paradigm of "system" and its legacy from cybernetics. It's a legacy which
> (starting with their mere names) neither "digital", nor "post-digital"
> succeed to leave behind."
>
> I still hold that your configuration does not address the gendered and
> racialized forms of difference that underlie the logic of colonialism and
> which find their expression in western conceptions such as individuality
> and objectivity that lead to boolean logic and digital computing. Your
> essay seems to eschew any political possibility for the post-digital in
> your concluding sentence. If I'm misreading it, I would appreciate your
> clarification.
>
> I'm not generalizing about non-western cultures, my apologies if my post
> sounded like that. I mentioned Diana Taylor's book the Archive and the
> Repertoire as one example, where she specifically discusses the Spanish
> conquest of the Aztecs, Mayas and Incas. Let me cite her more thoroughly to
> elaborate more on what I meant and not imply any simple separation that
> might be described as cartesian:
>
> "Although the Aztecs, Mayas and Incas practiced writing before the
> Conquest- either in pictogram form, heiroglyphs, or knotting systems- it
> never replaced the performed utterance... What changed with the Conquest
> was not that writing displaced embodied practice (we need only remember
> that the friars brought their own embodied practices) but the degree of
> legitimization of writing over other epistemic and mnemonic systems.
> Writing now assured that Power, with a capital P, as Rama puts it, could be
> developed and enforced without the input of the great majority of the
> population, the indigenous and marginal populations of the colonial period
> without access to systematic writing."
>
> I haven't read Eglash's work, thanks for recommending it, I'll check it
> out.
>
> cheers,
>
>   micha
>
>
>
>
>
> On Sun, Feb 9, 2014 at 4:49 PM, Florian Cramer <flrncrmr at gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
>>
>> Micha,
>>
>> I'm taking great issue with this summary of my text. It is greatly
>> distorted. If you had read it carefully, you would have seen that it
>> actually refers to postcolonialism.
>>
>> Btw., your categorical split between "digital" and "embodied" knowledge
>> is as Cartesian and Western as I can get. What's even worse, by attributing
>> the latter to non-Western culture, it's producing a highly stereotypical
>> image of Non-Western cultures and systems of knowledge. I recommend to read
>> up, among others, on Ron Eglash's ethnomathematics (or any history of
>> mathematics, for that matter).
>>
>> Florian
>>
>>
>> On Sun, Feb 9, 2014 at 10:03 PM, micha cárdenas <mmcarden at usc.edu> wrote:
>>
>>> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
>>>
>>> Thanks for an interesting discussion topic this month!
>>>
>>> I agree with your assessment that this limited configuration of the
>>> post-digital is already divorced from any real politics of difference or
>>> antagonism and so yes it is similar to relational aesthetics. In contrast,
>>> my own formulation of the post digital, which I presented at the
>>> Transmediale phd symposium in 2012 is centered in queer and trans women of
>>> color's political and aesthetic practices. The horizon for the post-digital
>>> isn't hipsters, reddit and google, as in Florian Cramer's essay "What is
>>> post-digital?", it is a reconsideration of thought and communication
>>> outside of the bounds of western conceptions of knowledge and rationality.
>>>
>>> You can read an essay version of what I presented at the #BWPWAP
>>> transmediale symposium here, where I list a few examples of aesthetic works
>>> that may be understood as post-digital:
>>>
>>>
>>> http://median.newmediacaucus.org/caa-conference-edition-2013/local-autonomy-networks-post-digital-networks-post-corporate-communications/
>>>
>>> (a short version is in the 2013 edition of APRJA:
>>> http://www.aprja.net/?page_id=46)
>>>
>>> and a video of me giving this as a keynote at the Dark Side of the
>>> Digital conference is here:
>>>
>>> http://transreal.org/talks-and-interviews/
>>>
>>> The writers for the post-digital research issue of APRJA articulate
>>> conceptions of politics that completely fail to address the importance of
>>> moving on from western systems of knowledge that are embodied in the
>>> digital, which is unsurprising considering their own apparent subject
>>> positions. For example, in The Archive and the Repertoire, Diana Taylor has
>>> written extensively on the ways that colonial regimes insisted on writing
>>> as the only legitimate form of knowledge as a way to disempower colonized
>>> subjects, and digital systems of storage reproduce that hierarchy by
>>> eschewing embodied and emotional knowledge that is not reproducible through
>>> digital media.
>>>
>>> thank you,
>>>
>>>   micha
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> On Sun, Feb 9, 2014 at 1:44 PM, Michael Dieter <M.J.Dieter at uva.nl>wrote:
>>>
>>>> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
>>>> Something else I want to ask about.
>>>>
>>>> This is the definition that the Post-Digital Research group settled on
>>>> for their publication:
>>>>
>>>> "Post-digital, once understood as a critical reflection of "digital"
>>>> aesthetic immaterialism, now describes the messy and paradoxical
>>>> condition of art and media after digital technology revolutions.
>>>> "Post-digital" neither recognizes the distinction between "old" and
>>>> "new" media, nor ideological affirmation of the one or the other. It
>>>> merges "old" and "new", often applying network cultural
>>>> experimentation to analog technologies which it re-investigates and
>>>> re-uses. It tends to focus on the experiential rather than the
>>>> conceptual. It looks for DIY agency outside totalitarian innovation
>>>> ideology, and for networking off big data capitalism. At the same
>>>> time, it already has become commercialized."
>>>>
>>>> I'm curious about the emphasis here on the experiential, rather than
>>>> the conceptual. Why emphasize one over the other in this way? What
>>>> works or practices did the group have in mind? In a weird way, this
>>>> description actually reminds me of something like relational
>>>> aesthetics.
>>>>
>>>> --
>>>> Michael Dieter
>>>> Lecturer
>>>> Media Studies
>>>> The University of Amsterdam
>>>> Turfdraagsterpad 9
>>>> 1012 XT Amsterdam
>>>> http://home.medewerker.uva.nl/m.j.dieter/
>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>> empyre forum
>>>> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
>>>> http://www.subtle.net/empyre
>>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> --
>>> micha cárdenas
>>>
>>> http://michacardenas.org
>>> http://twitter.com/michacardenas
>>> http://femmedisturbance.tumblr.com
>>>
>>> International Trans Women of Color Network Gathering
>>> June 19, 2014, Detroit, Allied Media Conference
>>>
>>> https://twitter.com/twocamc
>>> http://international-twoc-gathering.tumblr.com/
>>> https://www.facebook.com/international.twoc.gathering
>>>
>>>
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> empyre forum
>>> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
>>> http://www.subtle.net/empyre
>>>
>>
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> empyre forum
>> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
>> http://www.subtle.net/empyre
>>
>>
>
>
> --
> micha cárdenas
>
> http://michacardenas.org
> http://twitter.com/michacardenas
> http://femmedisturbance.tumblr.com
>
> International Trans Women of Color Network Gathering
> June 19, 2014, Detroit, Allied Media Conference
>
> https://twitter.com/twocamc
> http://international-twoc-gathering.tumblr.com/
> https://www.facebook.com/international.twoc.gathering
>
>


-- 
micha cárdenas

http://michacardenas.org
http://twitter.com/michacardenas
http://femmedisturbance.tumblr.com

International Trans Women of Color Network Gathering
June 19, 2014, Detroit, Allied Media Conference

https://twitter.com/twocamc
http://international-twoc-gathering.tumblr.com/
https://www.facebook.com/international.twoc.gathering
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