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Re: <nettime> Copyleft Porn Praxis and Subversion over Sabotage,
lotu5 on Wed, 13 Feb 2008 08:58:34 +0100 (CET)


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Re: <nettime> Copyleft Porn Praxis and Subversion over Sabotage,


onto wrote:
> beautiful thoughts, lotu5. thank you.

thanks onto.

> 
> one or two comments:
> 
> 1. "post-ideological society" you mentioned somewhere. What about
> Zizek's critique of that term in "The sublime object of ideology." its
> not that we're post-ideological, but that ideology takes place at the
> level of action, and not at the level of ideas anymore. this in fact
> might be more insidious.

What I had in mind is this quote from Enjoy Your Symptom: "when we are 
bombarded by claims that in our post-ideological cynical era nobody 
believes in the proclaimed ideals, when we encounter a person who claims 
he is cured of any beliefs, accepting social reality the way it really 
is, one should always encounter such claims with the question: OK, but 
where is your hamster- the fetish which enables you to (pretend to) 
accept reality 'the way it is'?"

In that way, I am referring to the commonly accepted notion that we are 
beyond ideology, the lack of interest in say, discussion about feminism 
or capitalism in so much of the population. I am not claiming that we 
are actually free of ideology, but that there is a vacuum of ideology in 
popular culture and in much of society in the United States, which is 
often contrasted with the "get real" notions of competition, pleasure 
and consumption presented in the media. Miami is probably one of the 
clearest examples of this, for me, where the entire city is so heavily 
defined by the ideological battle of communism versus capitalism, but 
the city itself is so awash in music videos and the desire to be like 
the people in them that any discussion of ideology is absent from most 
people's lives. Going home for winter break strongly reminded me of this.


> 2. "heterotopic times" - do you mean
> this in foucaults sense of heterotopias
> (http://foucault.info/documents/heteroTopia/foucault.heteroTopia.en.ht
> ml) or in the sense of hetero-normative "Hetero-topias"? if you mean
> the former, than i think its interesting to read it in relation to
> McKenzie wark's discussion of Utopias/Dystopias--Heterotopias--Atopias
> in "Gamer theory." Its in the Vice City chapter. Perhaps
> 'heterotopias' are already obsolete in this time of atopic (digital)
> realities. If i can download the joy of copyleft-anticapitalist orgasm
> anywhere, anytime, then this space of freedom is not nowhere (utopic),
> or in other spaces (heterotopic) but everywhere (atopic). Is this
> internal subversion of atopia by queer copyleft collectivities such as
> SIS a way of 're-fusing' the 'game' of algorithmic sex, of playing it
> against the prefigured game of pay-per-play-per-day-per-subjectivite?

When I use the word heterotopic, I mean it in a strictly toplogical 
sense of "many places". The ecological use of the word means "Occurring 
in a number of different habitats." I use the term to counter the 
argument of those who say that Autonomous spaces are insufficient as an 
anti-capitalist strategy because they are utopian in themselves, but 
they do not affect the world outside of themselves or the "status quo". 
In response, I am claiming that there isn't one world or status quo, but 
that the contemporary world is an assemblage, a network of assemblages 
interacting at various levels, already separate, or "compartmentalized" 
as Fanon says. In this way, I would argue that digital realities are 
just another space, defined by a very specific set of technologies and 
used by a specific set of people. But Foucault's idea of Heterotopias as 
"other spaces" is useful, in that it assumes the idea of heterogenous 
space.


> 3. what is the relation between the "representation" of new
> genders/queer practices/non-capitalist class relations/other modes
> of desire and subjectivity and the "production" of such things? Is
> SIS a representing activity or a producing activity? Is it producing
> for SIS collective, but representing for those who spectate it?

My initial response is that it is more representing for those in the 
collective but producing for the viewer. If we consider the lack of 
availability of good queer porn, and consider that a viewer may have 
never seen a transgender person in a positive sexual way, then the act 
of viewing queer porn, if it awakens desire in that person, it can be 
seen as producing. Still, because the act of producing porn may awaken 
the performers to new modalities of desire themselves, it can definitely 
be seen as producing and representing. Its a good, difficult question...


> Whats the relation between viewer and producer, ie, the gaze, the
> spectacle, the screen? Lacan writes on the Gaze, as well as Sarte,
> Foucault, et al. Am i watching anti-capitalism in its creation? or
> am i watching it in its ephemeral existence repeated online in an
> algorithm? what does it mean to add a new sign to the code of digital
> representation? especially a sign that rejects the normal assigning of
> value-to-sign? in other words, can you speak for more than your-selves
> when you speak of such a radical project? is the example enough for us
> 'non-porn-practioners' to understand, join in, become-different?

I think, as I said in my email, that a large part of the anti-capitalist 
effect of SiS is in the process of sharing, in the interaction between 
performer, viewer and image and the feedback from viewer to performer. 
Still there are lots of good questions here to think about!


> 4. The tension between the universalizing drive of capitalism
> to code every new object as commodity and the particularizing
> drive of noncapitalism to efface every attempt to become a
> universalizable object can be seen as dialectical, agonistic,
> incommensurable, subversive, complementary, parasitic and more.
> Does 'inoperability' capture this relation well?

I think that the drive to be inoperable does encompass what you describe 
here, the drive to be outside of commodification, but we know that 
resistance today is commodified ten minutes later, so the question 
becomes how to be so inoperable as to be uncommodifiable or how to 
exploit that commodification?


> IS this relation
> digital or analog? Current inoperable fields of desire can become
> future markets, we know. IS this a threat to be pre-positioned
> against so that inoperability acts as a shield to deflect the drive
> of imminent commodification (ie, inoperability as sublimation)?
> or does inoperability (in this case, of the body) consume
> the desire to commodify itself in its own code (as copyleft,
> nongenderconforming) before it gets taken by another (ie.,
> inoperability as auto-interpellation, as subjectivation in the face of
> an event, in fidelity to it)? Does this relation repeat, indefinitely?

Yes, in a way copyleft licensing can be seen as a way to use the system 
of copyright to forsee the commodification of content and set the terms 
for its reuse from the beginning, and surely copyleft is seen as a way 
to make some content inoperable for corporations who are not willing to 
share their own work.

thanks! I think you should answer some of these questions...

amor back at ya,

   lotu5




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