jen Hui Bon Hoa on 3 Aug 2000 14:33:19 -0000

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[Nettime-bold] 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 

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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