[-empyre-] Kathirveechu Kathihal (Radiation Stories)

Timothy Conway Murray tcm1 at cornell.edu
Mon Nov 27 03:44:44 AEDT 2017

Thanks, Rahul and Andrea, for describing such compelling medial reflections on contaminations.  I posted earlier on the “Wired Ruins” issue of CTHEORY Multimedia that Arthur & Marilouise Kroker and I edited on ethnic paranoia.  Your postings also bring to mind a prior issue we did on “Tech Flesh: The Promise and Perils of the Human Genome Project.”  The net.art pieces in that issue commented on the confusing infections of capital into body by the rising genome industry.  One of the pieces, “Machine Organs,” by Norie Neumark and Maria Maranda (Norie was active in last month’s –empyre- discussion) went a step further to figure the contamination of the body by “information” itself.  While speaking of ‘machine organs’ metaphorically, Rahul’s work transforms the metaphorical into the symbolic as the rare earth materials sustaining digital culture contaminate the body as well as the machine.  Neumark and Miranda also maintain, in their writing on “Machine Organs” that information, as the symbolic, has the added effect of contaminating cultural representation by effacing difference: “Information culture's promise of pure exchangabilty masks its paradigm of sameness. This degradation of information theory is a cultural move parallel to the way psychoanalysis was reduced to ego psychology, thus eliminating the frightening, messy, noisy unconscious. With its trajectory across races, species and places, information crosses out differences. Excising excess as it goes. We are learning to know the body as if outside culture and history. And we are being habituated to understand corporeality only in the narrowest of biological discourses. Now there is (only) DNA to inform you of who you are and then to re/form you.”   Whether in performance, documentary, or net.art, medial interventions can give rise to the very messiness at the core of the projects featured by Neumark & Miranda, Andrea and Rahul.  Best,  Tim

Timothy Murray
Director, Cornell Council for the Arts and Curator, CCA Biennial
Curator, Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art 
http://goldsen.library.cornell.edu <http://goldsen.library.cornell.edu/>
Professor of Comparative Literature and English
114 West Sibley Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, New York 14853
2017-18 International Sea-Sky Scholar, School of Architecture and Fine Art, Dalian University of Technology, China

On 11/26/17, 9:36 AM, "empyre-bounces at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au on behalf of Rahul Mukherjee" <empyre-bounces at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au on behalf of rm954 at cornell.edu> wrote:

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