nettime's hypocrite on Mon, 28 Apr 2003 13:42:23 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> hypocritical theory [3x]

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   Re: <nettime> hypocritical theory                                               
     "Kimberly Dickerson" <>                                       

   Re: nettime-l-digest V1 #1139                                                   
     J-D marston <>                                                  

   Re: <nettime> hypocritical theory                                               
     Doug Henwood <>                                               


Date: Thu, 24 Apr 2003 16:17:46 +0100
From: "Kimberly Dickerson" <>
Subject: Re: <nettime> hypocritical theory

But will it necessarily die, or instead take on the form of theory for it's own sake (means with no end)?  The exscinding of any pretense of utility from the particular investitures of theoreticians into their NeopetsŪ?  'Pataphysics anyone?

>From Shattuck's Superliminal Note:

4. For 'Pataphysics, all things are equal.
The pataphysician not only accepts no final scientific explanation of the universe, he also rejects all values, moral, esthetic, and otherwise. The principle of universal equivalence and the conversion of opposites reduces the world in its pataphysical reality to particular cases only. All the more reason, indeed, that the pataphysician should enjoy "working," and in the most diverse ways, should respond to all the normal (and "abnormal") appetites of the flesh and the spirit, should sometimes behave with considerateness toward his neighbor and even fulfil a "responsible" role in society. 'Pataphysics preaches no rebellion and no acquiescence, no new morality nor immorality, no political reform nor reaction and certainly no promise of happiness nor unhappiness. What would be the use, all things being equal?    
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Date: Thu, 24 Apr 2003 11:38:04 CDT
From: J-D marston <>
Subject: Re: nettime-l-digest V1 #1139

> Date: Thu, 24 Apr 2003 00:39:02 -0400
> From: "McKenzie Wark" <>
> Subject: <nettime> hypocritical theory
> Critical theory becomes hypocritical theory when it fails to examine its
> own conditions of production and reception. For theory to be critical, it
> must turn its talents, first and last, on itself.

Pop will eat itself, again and again and again. While the right wing eats
everyone else. Ononism is only satisfying to a point.

> When critical theory becomes institutionalized, it necessrarily becomes
> hypocritical theory. It is a condition of the installation of theory in
> bourgeois institutions that *not* turn itself upon those institutions,
> which have become its conditions of production.
> Thus, critical theory falis in the moment it 'succeeds' as an
> institutional discourse. Or in other words, once you can get an endowed
> chair at Harvard in it, it has ceased to exist.

Yea, tell that to Cornel West and he'll slap your pale ass for being so

> The story below is ample documentation of the death throes of theory as a
> critical discourse. Of course, once on institutional life support, it
> refuses to actually die. It becomes the spectacle of its own death,
> for itself.

Wait, are you the first or was someone else the first? Modernism is dead
and now theory is dead. Someday you'll be dead, I'll be dead. But everyone
already knows that. My point being, first too lighten such banal
proclamations, and to point the light you've claimed dim to dead on the
places you hoped it would point. Furthermore, to say, dont you find it
hilarious that you, theoretically, would be the one to claim,
theoretically, that theory is dead, when, theoretically, you have the most
theoretical things to say on this list? Now that can only mean one thing,
theory is not dead, it just finally has a sense of humor. I hope.



Date: Thu, 24 Apr 2003 14:41:24 -0400
From: Doug Henwood <>
Subject: Re: <nettime> hypocritical theory

McKenzie Wark wrote:

>Thus, critical theory falis in the moment it 'succeeds' as an
>institutional discourse. Or in other words, once you can get an endowed
>chair at Harvard in it, it has ceased to exist.

Not to get all ad hominem, but what are you doing then? You're quite 
a politically well-connected celebrity intellectual in Australia, I 
hear, and now you're teaching at NYU. Have you turned the critical 
eye on yourself, or are you confessing to being a hypocritical 
theorist too?

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