jen Hui Bon Hoa on 31 Jul 2000 15:37:00 -0000

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Re: <nettime> con.troll writes:
> We are dissolved.  

well yes.  this is not new. 

Now there is an aestheticised experience of historicity available in the
technological centre of the dominant order: a safe, tightly framed
experience of flux that we see/experience alone.  Unable to peer through
the screen to see the wires and pipes that must form the infrastructure,
we collapse back onto ourselves and think "my... how like this I am, how
like an image..." we shiver at the insight: absent any vision of the
infrastructure or framework for thinking in oppositional terms, we can
only deal with this insight by abandoning ourselves to it, imitating its
modalities: perhaps we engage in acts of worship to this electroflux,
making little electro-selves that we float out into this new aether like
candles on paper boats that we watch dissolve before our eyes. Little
machines that show how we have processed what we have read, how we
understand that we are simply performing interstices, how this performance
lets us produce new needs and and new desires.  We imagine that a space of
freedom is to be found in this production of models that recapitulate the
profile developed by advertisers because we stand at a slight remove and
rehearse the logic of the order.  so it does not emcompass us.  See, we
repeat it.  then we push the copies out into electrospace and maybe watch
the website counter to see the number of hits and thrill at the image of
ourselves being consumed. Maybe this is what hesiod meant. 

in the end it is all about the self, the individual and the flux, the
dance that we trace through the flux, alone. 

Capitalism wouldn’t have it any other way. 

We do what we are supposed to, but misrecognise it. 

Perhaps we are have always in a sense been dissolved. What has changed is
that the horizons against which we imagine what is possible have
collapsed.  Unable to deal with this—to describe it, to think it, to start
to build from the field of debris--we are sent packing by the
pseudo-politics of the academy to a space of collapsed horizons that
leaves us only the dominant order to shape our horizons, and narcissism to
fill our attention.  We confuse repetition and critique. 

I consume.  I recycle.  But I don’t mean it.  I am an Artist.  My shopping
is subversive. 

is your worldview informed by the accidental thatecherism of academic doxa
in the wake of deconstruction?  Suspicion of any political argument, any
social category, because they are "totalising" and we all know that
totalising and totalitarian share a first syllable? writes:
>spread my hopes thin
>>Craig Brozefsky "<> wrote:
>>"jen Hui Bon Hoa" "<> writes:
>spare my scars again
>> My question: Is the formula really ‘patent or be patented’?
>> Could your work really be copyrighted by someone else? Perhaps this
>> is why ted byfield copyrights his texts (is that right, ted?). This
>> is why I would consider copyrighting my own production.
>this is why we should/would consider consuming ourselves again, all my
>publications are savory
>stitch up my smiles again
>close down my sales again
>we are rising so
>we are alarming
>on screen 
>we see
>the terrorific pleasures of our own consumption
>kno(c)ontroling the konversations
>all channels open
>laid down bare wires and life lines
>calling out reaching empires of [kno]
>your enemies
>(is that alright?)

Beyond the pseudo-soundgarden poetry, there is a conflation of opposition
and commodification. 

I write:
I do not want my work to be
>> appropriated by and for causes to which I am personally in
>> ideological opposition.

star.power reads:
> all the bodyminds gathered here agree to be in limited opposition to 
> undersigned idealouge


Limited opposition because all opposition is appropriated as it circulates
in commodity form?  Then opposition is a content — there being no clear
distinction form/content, you would think that oppositional content would
inflect form.  But maybe not.  For personal reasons, political reasons, it
matters to me that what I produce involves some level of critical
engagement with the social order under which I find myself.  It is
frustrating that consumption and/or appropriation, partly as a function of
commodification, partly as a function of their persistence across time and
the fact that this persistence opens them to multiple contextualisations,
mostly as a function of the range of social or interpretive practices
shaped by this order and its primary mechanisms of cultural reproduction
tends to wear this critical engagement away. It is not clear to me that
irony and capitulation are the answer. 

I believe that political action is possible and that an alternative to
this social order is desirable. I think that the dominant context that
shapes the possibilities of political action is the implosion of the
marxist imaginary. Effectively, this collapse provides a historical
experience of a particular type of oppositional politics, and a void that
can be occupied by a new type of oppositional politics. I believe that
such a politics is desirable, and that it should be instituted around the
notion of autonomy, around the normative idea of direct democracy.  I
therefore think that grappling with questions of politics and political
strategy are worthwhile.  - I do not see how these questions necessarily
blur into fantasies of control.  But perhaps you do.  I would perhaps be
interested in seeing how you worked out this linkage, this rationale for
hiding in the private space of irony, if you have worked it out. 

there are an infinite number of ways to rationalise checking out.  The
dance of commodities and the devices that frame them advance these reasons
continually.  It is more difficult to resist them than it is to give in
and then hide behind a world-weariness, a boredom, with the vague hint of
"I am more radical than you" as a rhetoric of legitimation. 

Want the logic again? 

Appropriation of oppositional work by the dominant order silences the
oppositionality of the work. there is what marcuse called repressive
tolerance, which has been rediscovered and renamed repeatedly by theorists
in different domains (museumification and so forth). 

This is what I’m talking about: 
Has not this society, glutted with aetheticism, already integrated former
romanticisms, surrealism, existentialism and even Marxism up to a point?
It has, indeed, through trade, in the form of commodities. That which
yesterday was reviled today becomes cultural consumer-goods, consumption
thus engulfs what was intended to give meaning and direction.’

                   – Lefebvre, _Everyday Life in the Modern World_.


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