By Justin Clemens
What can Roger Rabbit let us know concerning the moment Gulf conflict? What can a girl married to the Berlin Wall let us know approximately posthumanism and inter-subjectivity? What can DJ Shadow let us know concerning the finish of background? What can our neighborhood bus path let us know concerning the fortification of the West? What can fact television let us know concerning the challenge of up to date neighborhood? And what can unauthorized photographs of Osama Bin encumbered let us know approximately new equipment of well known propaganda? those are just a number of the thought-provoking questions raised in warding off the topic, which highlights the feedback-loops among philosophy, expertise, and politics in cutting-edge mediascape.
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Extra resources for Avoiding the Subject: Media, Culture and the Object
But we need not look too far for alternative ways of interacting with “the environment” as something more than background for human action. 60 The same could be said for the stockbrokers on Wall Street, devoutly yelling their esoteric prayers to the almighty dollar. Indeed, as we write this, scientists at Lausanne’s Federal Institute of Technology – inspired by biology and genomics, as much as computer engineering – have built The Biowall: a six square-metre concave wall and processing unit resembling a living organism.
5 It could be argued, then, that DJ Shadow’s majestic recompositions are thus more faithfully postmodernist, in that they no longer play the linear game of pushing the envelope, or painfully straddling the bleeding edge. Entroducing illuminates the structure of the contemporary moment in its stagnant restlessness. Déjà entendu. Postmodernity changes things again: there are no longer any ontological distinctions between matter, form, thought, etc. – there are just multiple processes, of no definite or particular value in themselves, and with no definite origin or direction.
Brian Massumi feels compelled to describe this status quo as “an entropic 33 Chapter 1: The Aesthetic Object 34 trashbin of outworn modes that refuse to die,”14 positing a will-to-accumulate within cultural garbage: the refusal of refuse, itself. Indeed, it would be an incredible challenge for a future sociologist or music critic to distinguish between, say, the Human League (as a quintessential 1980s New Romantic band), and Zoot Woman (a note-perfect pastiche of this genre, playing today). For while we have been through many cycles, evolutions and revolutions in the two decades separating these two bands – as well as several layers of irony and post-irony – any perceptible cultural “progress” is wiped clean by deadpan mimesis and appropriation.
Avoiding the Subject: Media, Culture and the Object by Justin Clemens