Journal articles: 'Body image. Self-perception Human body Fiji' – Grafiati (2024)

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Relevant bibliographies by topics / Body image. Self-perception Human body Fiji / Journal articles

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Author: Grafiati

Published: 4 June 2021

Last updated: 1 February 2022

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1

Zelinský, Miroslav, and Ivana Bulanda. "BODY PHYSICALITY AS A KEY FACTOR OF MEDIA SELF PRESENTATION – BODY IMAGE IN ADVERTISING." Zeszyty Naukowe Wyższej Szkoły Humanitas Zarządzanie 20, no.4 (December31, 2019): 133–46. http://dx.doi.org/10.5604/01.3001.0014.0313.

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The contribution is a consideration of the role of a human body in personal, physical reflections, in the field of art and in media space. The presented text is a thought starting point for a scientific study of the role and forms of the human body in contemporary advertising. In contemporary modern society, there is an increasing interest in the appearance and presentation of the body in its female or male modality. Body image is a complex, dynamic and multidimensional aspect of an individual’s personality, determined by a number of individual and socio-cultural factors. Body image creation takes place under the influence and experience of information and it can change throughout life. The perception of body image is linked to the general ideas that the culture connects with the ideal form of the body. It is not only a mental image, but also includes an assessment component, an attitude based on cognitive schemes and emotional processing of information with which the individual is confronted

2

Авдюнина, Наталия, and Nataliya Avdyunina. "Development of body image in adolescence." Universities for Tourism and Service Association Bulletin 10, no.2 (June15, 2016): 77–85. http://dx.doi.org/10.12737/19551.

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The article is devoted to the study of the formation of body image in adolescence, relations to other components. Body image is a concept, which includes perceptions of one’s own body, sensual painting of this perception and how, in his opinion, along with its surrounding; it is a kind of system of human representations about the physical side of the self, about my body. The main component of body image is knowledge of the individual about himself, of his physical component. Body image is an important component of self-consciousness. In personality develop- ment is the crisis period of early adolescence because in this phase is the destruction of old and formation of new image of the body that influences personality, his attitude. A negative attitude towards your body can lead to mental disorders, increased levels of anxiety and inappropriate behavior. Therefore, in this study, we considered this age stage of the individual. The article presents the structure of body image, its main components, based upon the results of the study. The author suggests that the development of body image in adolescence becomes successful in the implementation of components of body image that includes a foreign body, boundaries, body image and sex- role identity. We also think that positive body image is associated with such personality traits as self-confidence, sociability, responsibility, independence and depends on how people are satisfied with their appearance.

3

Silva, Dayse Karoline Santos da, Larissy Alves Cotonhoto, and Mariane Lima de Souza. "Body self-perception in age school children with Down Syndrome." Journal of Human Growth and Development 30, no.1 (March27, 2020): 49–57. http://dx.doi.org/10.7322/jhgd.v30.9970.

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Introduction: The notion of body or body perception is of great importance in the development of motor skills and functionality. In atypical development situations, as in the case of Down syndrome (DS) there is a delay in the development and motor skills are compromised, which possibly is reflected in the quality of body self-perception in children with DS. Objective: To assess the characteristics of body self-perception in school age children with DS. Methods: This is an exploratory and descriptive study involving 10 children aged between seven and nine years. To assess body perception, it was used the Body Notion factor from the Psychom*otor Battery (BPM). Data analysis was performed qualitatively and quantitatively according to the criteria established by the instruments and the researchers. Results: The participants' performance regarding the notion of body was not related to their age. The right and left discrimination capability was the body notion sub-factor with the worst performance and the self-image was the sub-factor with the best performance. The drawings of the human figure were split into two categories: unidentifiable (Class A, n = 8) and recognizable (Class B, n = 2). Conclusion: It is suggested that the self-perception of children with Down Syndrome analyzed in this study has a strong relationship with the body and environmental stimuli together with psychom*otor and cognitive development, which, however, does not coincide with their chronological age.

4

Bucun, Nicolae, and Crina Florica Cretu. "The influence of physical activities on anxiety and self-image." Univers Pedagogic, no.2(70) (July 2021): 62–67. http://dx.doi.org/10.52387/1811-5470.2021.2.11.

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The impact of anxiety on the human mental and physique is a strong one, as it appears. The short term consequences are often overwhelming, by changing the perception and interpretation of the situation, the motivation and the will of the person, and on the long-term – even the whole personality. Here it is included the self-image, that is an important start point for the success in life. Physical activities gain more attention of the specialists who think those can influence the prevention and treatment of physical and mental disorders. The body movement is one of the key points of the mental balance, since it leads to the change of energy level, self awareness, changing the affective disposition and social integration.

5

Gardner, Colin. "Beyond Percept and Affect: Beckett's Film and Non-Human Becoming." Deleuze Studies 6, no.4 (November 2012): 589–600. http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/dls.2012.0085.

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Film, Samuel Beckett's 1964 short starring Buster Keaton, dubbed by Deleuze as ‘The Greatest Irish Film’, is a seminal text in the latter's cinematic canon as it helps us to extrapolate the transition from the Bergson-based movement-image of Cinema 1 to the Nietzschean time-image of Cinema 2. Film is unique insofar as its narrative traverses and progressively destroys the action-, perception- and affection-images that constitute the movement-image as a whole, using Keaton's body, and more importantly his face, as a means of attaining a pure intensity or Entity abstracted from all spatio-temporal coordinates, a condition of exhaustion/saturation that Deleuze and Guattari call, ‘non-human becoming’. Beckett's film is predicated on Bishop Berkeley's fundamental philosophical principle, esse est percipi (to be is to be perceived) and, using Keaton as its protagonist, raises the question of whether it is possible to escape perception, not only by a third party, but also by oneself. The latter is ‘played’ by the camera itself, which ‘stalks’ Keaton from behind, taking great pains not to exceed a 45-degree ‘angle of immunity’ (lest Buster experience percipi or the anguish of perceivedness) until the film's final close-up when he comes face to face with his own self-perception and affective annihilation. Film's denouement thus deconstructs the very nature of conventional cinematic language, whereby filmic suture – the enfolding of character, camera and spectatorial ‘viewing-views’ into a unified field of vision – gives way to a perspective where, at the very moment that the perceptive/affective body dies, the work of filmic art gives birth to itself as a being of pure sensation, exceeding lived experience.

6

Ilyasova, Katherine. "PHYSICALITY AS A PSYCHOLOGICAL PHENOMENON." Bulletin of Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. Series “Psychology”, no.1 (10) (2019): 40–44. http://dx.doi.org/10.17721/bsp.2019.1(10).10.

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The article is devoted to the problem of corporeality as a psychological phenomenon. The problem of the human body and physicality is affected in many areas of psychology. The psychology of corporeality is not a scientific research. We study the genesis of the concept of "body" in works of domestic and foreign researchers. Particular attention needs to be paid to the analysis of factors influencing the perception of one's own physicality. Corporeality is understood as a sociocultural phenomenon — the body of a person, having social and cultural features, is transformed under the influence of social and cultural factors. The connection between corporeality and human self-evaluation is proved. The article analyzes the psychology of corporeality in the historical aspect and from the standpoint of various scientific approaches. It is noted that in modern psychological studies there is a tendency to differentiate the consideration of various aspects of physicality. A theoretical analysis of modern psychological researches in the field of physicality is conducted. In the age of globalization without borders, and under the conditions of socio- cultural space virtualization, body becomes an apotheosis of eclecticism, merging together all that had seemed incompatible. On the basis of empirical research, the level of satisfaction with the own body of clients of cosmetologists and medical institutions is investigated. Article presents the results of methodological and empirical analysis of the satisfaction with body. Results show that body image is a category engendered and determined mostly by psychological factors. Body image may have a significant influence on the human well-being. Article describes the results of the study of the cosmetology institutions client satisfaction of their own body. Prospects for further research are identified.

7

Digonis, Stefanos. "In depth understanding of the perceptions of people with ileostomy regarding their body image." Hellenic Journal of Nursing Science 13, no.2 (April1, 2020): 40–55. http://dx.doi.org/10.24283/hjns.202026.

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Introduction: Overall, the picture that someone has for oneself as integrated and independent man can be put to severe test because of the compulsory dependence that the ileostomy causes. The aim of this study was to investigate in depth the opinions and expectations of patients who have undergone ileostomy, with the ultimate goal of interpreting and better understanding of human emotions in the actual environment to which they belong, highlighting the underlying impact on self- image. Methods: Data collection was performed by individual semi-structured interviews with open-ended questions. The sample consisted of five patients who had undergone surgery ileostomy and were selected by purposive sampling. For data analysis the qualitative methodological approach and specific initial coding «in vivo» was used, as well as thematic content analysis. Results: Nine subcategories were created. Each of them also grouped to record six categories. Afterwards, three themes derived from these categories: a) The soul stressful situation as a specific pattern of perception of self-image, b) The preservation of identity through social support: the imaginary walls of the society towards the patient, c) The subjective feeling of lack of power and lack of attractiveness because of compulsory dependency disease. The ileostomy, permanent or temporary, except of the exhaustively physical symptoms, has serious impact on the mental and social well-being by influencing the way the person sees the change in its body image, resulting in limitations in its personal and social life. The reaction of a patient to his/hers disease can be affected by many variables, including the way that the patient sees himself, the he/she behaves and thinks. Changes in physical appearance, function and body integrity are usually central to the long- or short-term experience of illness and care.

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Perricone, Giovanna, Concetta Polizzi, and Francesco De Luca. "Self-representation of children suffering from congenital heart disease and maternal competence." Pediatric Reports 5, no.1 (February15, 2013): 1. http://dx.doi.org/10.4081/pr.2013.e1.

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Child development may be subject to forms of motor, physical, cognitive and self-representation impairments when complex congenital heart disease (CHD) occurs. In some cases, inadequacy of both self-representation as well as the family system are displayed. It seems to be important to search the likely internal and external resources of the CHD child, and the possible connections among such resources, which may help him/her to manage his/her own risk condition. The research project inquires the possible resources related to the self-representation and self-esteem levels of the CHD child, and those related to maternal self-perception as competent mothers. A group of 25 children (mean age = 10.2; SD=1.8) suffering from specific forms of CHD, and a group made up of their relative mothers (mean age = 38.2; SD=5) were studied. The tools used were the Human Figure Drawing, to investigate child body-related self-representation; the TMA scale (Self-esteem Multidimensional Test), to investigate the child’s self-esteem; and the Q-sort questionnaire, to assess how mothers perceived their maternal competence. Data concerning the likely correlations between the child’s self-representation and the maternal role competence show [that] positive correlations between some indicators of maternal competence, specific aspects of CHD children’s self-representation (<em>mothers’ emotional coping and children’s self-image adequacy</em>) and self-esteem (<em>mothers’ emotional scaffolding and children’s self-esteem at an emotional level</em>). By detecting the occurrence of specific correlations among resources of both child and mother, the study provides cardiologists with information that is useful for building a relationship with the families concerned, which would seem to enhance the quality of the process of the cure itself.

9

Васильєва, Людмила Анатоліївна. "«ЛЮДИНА ПУБЛІЧНА» ЯК ДЕМОСТРАТИВНИЙ СИМВОЛ КОМУНІКАТИВНОГО ПРОСТОРУ." Humanities journal, no.4 (December19, 2018): 16–25. http://dx.doi.org/10.32620/gch.2018.4.02.

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In this article, the exuberance of the multidimensional nature of the modern phenomenon of «public person» is conceptualized. The author argues that a person included in public life is a unique and open system. However, it is important to take into consideration that today’s diversity of the human identity has to be actualized by the demonstrative function of the public environment and, by means of modern technologies and techniques it openly appeals to the formation of boundless desires and needs by creating the communicative environment of success and personal significance. Under these circ*mstances, the hidden identity of a modern person does not cause social interest, remaining obscure, and therefore it is not interesting to the mass «spectator». Moreover, in the context of the expansion of public space boundaries, a public person has an opportunity to easily demonstrate himself or herself as a meaningful «commodity», the one, that dispassionately and actively changes both physically and spiritually and adapts to the demanded models of personal presentation. Existing scientific works on the phenomenon of publicity only emphasize the synthetic and ambivalent nature of the phenomenon of «public person», revealing the duality of this phenomenon through the combination of artificiality and naturalness. Among Ukrainian researchers one should note such scientists as S. Bordunov, M. Gryshchenko, O. Zulkevska, O. Zlobina, L. Malessa, A. Petrenko-Lisak, V. Sereda, I. Tishchenko, L. Radionov, etc. An «everyone to see» lifestyle is a way of self-creation, authenticity obtaining, the approbation of different «Me» options through the excessive openness and demonstration. This is a peculiar way of liberation, mass rebellion. But can mass culture form the identity and uniqueness? It is emphasized that the modern understanding of beauty in the public space is somewhat different from the classical canons of aesthetics and sometimes takes the most radical, artificial forms, which promotes to the aestheticization of the ugly cult of artificial beauty. At the same time, the concepts of beauty and fanciness should be distinguished. Since the notion of fanciness is based only on the formal characteristics of the object, determined by the trends of taste and fashion, the concept of beauty is based on the historical, social, national, cultural, religious, anthropic and other parameters of the subject of perception. In the conditions of informational flood, a beautiful body becomes a mediator, which bounds the human «Me» with the social and public environment, shapes an image of a person. The modern actualization of a body is an actualization of its demarcation, in which numerous labels and signs dismember it as a given, and reconstructing it as a structural. material for the sign exchange. In this way, the body with the mark differs from the one without. The socially marked part of the body, on the one hand, comes to the fore as a pathetic exhibit, and on the other hand, it is a testimony of a hidden symbolic content, which must be necessarily recognized by the publicly. It is precisely the reputation, not the image, that has to come to the fore and form the knowledge about the person and its publicity, but not the demonstrative image-publicity, which forms a figurative mosaic of self-conceived identity with putting it to everyone’s judge. It should be remembered that an intersubjective world arises only in the case of the projection of own «Me», when the subject sees himself or herself in the Other, or in the case of identification, when finds someone Other in himself or herself. Here, the public «sign» as a separate symbolism is random: it manifests the logic of representation of the non-subjective Other as the initiator of subjectivity as a selfness. At the same time, publicity as space «between» does not completely «dissolve» in some ontological basis, but is the basis for the formation of a public compromise and consensus: «only co-participation in the existence of other beings opens the meaning and foundations of self-existence».

10

Gorban, Richard. "Freedom as a Structural Component of Personality in Philosophical and Religious Doctrine of Czeslaw Stanislaw Bartnik." Ukrainian Religious Studies, no.83 (September1, 2017): 35–44. http://dx.doi.org/10.32420/2017.83.767.

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In this article, the author represents the aspect of philosophical and religious doctrine of Czeslaw Stanislaw Bartnik, a Polish personalist, which deals with the way the philosopher understands freedom as a structural component of a personality that enables a man to realize his inner and outer potential in both individual and social planes, in all dimensions of human existence: soul, body, intellect, will, actions, perception and creation of existence. Interrelation and interdependence between freedom and responsibility of a personality, as well as between freedom and will of a person, are the issues of principle for a Catholic thinker. As interpreted by Bartnik, responsibility is a measure of freedom, because of direct relationship between them: the more freedom a person possesses, the greater responsibility it takes to implement and use it. The relationship between freedom and will explains the dialectic character of structure of a personality. Freedom of a man is manifested through auto- determination, which means the ability of will to make free choices, and ultimately the will determines itself, being evaluated by practical mind. Freedom in personal existence concerns personality as a whole, but not the will or actions taken separately. That is why, Bartnik believes, it is better to speak about personal freedom and free existence of a personality. Choice -making proves freedom of a man, but when choosing an option, a person chooses himself, thus creating his own spiritual image. Existence consists of possibilities to choose from and means the core and backbone structure of a personality in the dynamic process of self-realization.

11

Nielsen, Helge Baden. "Et skabelsesteologisk perspektiv på Danne-Virke." Grundtvig-Studier 40, no.1 (January1, 2008): 44–59. http://dx.doi.org/10.7146/grs.v40i1.16003.

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The “Danne-Virke” Viewed in the Perspective of “Creation” TheologyBy Helge Baden Nielsenis a paper read to the Annual Conference of the GS on 14. January 1988. Its theme is Grundtvig’s alternative to the transcendental idealism of German philosophy that prevailed in Denmark during the better part of Grundtvig’s lifetime. The first part of the paper is devoted to other angles on the “Danne-Virke” in the literature on Grundtvig, be it a literary approach as with Flemming Lundgreen-Nielsen, or one in terms of the history of Grundtvig’s personal development as with Kaj Thaning in Grundtvig-Studier 1953. In this context Baden Nielsen thinks it vital to emphasize that any dividing-up of Grundtvig’s work into periods tend to obscure an implicit continuity in Grundtvig’s thinking that stems from his position as a theologian. The Bible was the very air he breathed, and here his thinking began in the opinion of Baden Nielsen. That also holds true of Nordens Mytologi 1808. According to his almanac for 1813 he read the New Testament five times during that year. In the last instance he was a Christian thinker who fought to get his message through, whether he worked as a priest, a historian, or a philosopher, or for that matter as a budding poet, inspired by the poetics of Romanticism. His development means that his theological insights are deepened so as to illuminate still wider areas of experience. What has been described as conversions and spiritual breaks are often something external: changes in his method of working or in the way he faces the world and the contemporary age. An example is his sermon for Saint Stephen’s Day 1815. Now he wants to implicate faith in a new way, in human affairs as well as in his thinking. With reference to everyday speech and elementary human experience he wishes to establish the Judaeo-Christian doctrine of revelation as irrefutably true. But in essence his position is as before. His basic assumption is the idea of man as created in God’s image. Consequently he holds by the anthropology of Creation theology as did Luther. He wanted to expose as untenable the school of philosophy that had influenced the intellectual elite. If one gets “wed” to a particular way of philosophizing, the result may be that the very scope and independence of theology will be undermined. As Maker God is not remote, but near at hand, speaking to man through creation and history. Concurring with Henning Høirup Baden Nielsen thinks Grundtvig’s assessment of philosophical idealism highly accurate, whether man exist by virtue o/himself (being independent) or, at least, in his own right (being free in the strictest sense of the word), for that is what it is all about, as Grundtvig puts it in the Danne-Virke I, p. 114.According to Baden Nielsen Thaning’s contention that in the Danne-Virke Grundtvig gets stuck or runs out of energy is not strictly correct. It would be truer to say, according to Baden Nielsen, that he took his work of enlightenment and clarification as far as it was beneficial to himself. Any true philosophy about man Grundtvig holds to be historical. In the view of Baden Nielsen, such a historical philosophy (“vidskab”) reflects man’s struggle to understand himself as one who exists. The following quote by Grundtvig contains the gist of his anthropology:“...when man exists, neither by virtue of himself or in his own right, when he is a creature, ... then all activity within him and all works by him presuppose an impact made on his constituent parts, all spiritual activity and all spiritual works an impulse from the Spirit upon the body and consciousness. Physical activity presupposes a physical impulse, and a spiritual one conditions spiritual action, and all that is required in man is an aptitude for receiving impulses, which, on its side, cannot possibly exist by virtue of itself or in its own right, but presupposes a processing of any received impact.” (Danne-Virke II, p. 183 f.).Man’s identity is external to himself. It is Luther’s idea of “justitia aliena” expressed in terms of phenomenology in Baden Nielsen’s view. With my hand I feel that I have a body. There is an established relationship between an ego and a body. I have become aware of myself. This “clear idea” Grundtvig holds to be “exactly the rational self-consciousness, without which all self-contemplation and all clear ideas about things in their relation to each other and to us were impossible.” (Danne-Virke II p. 154). Thanks to this primary insight man has conceived of himself as dependent on time and space, “as temporary and dependent, being aware of the fact that he could not call himself independent without contradicting himself. ” (Ibid. p. 158) But according to Baden Nielsen this way of thinking rests entirely on one particular theological presumption that man was created in God’s image, that God made the world through His Word and made an image of Himself in man. (The reality of Creation and the reality of Incarnation). This theological presumption is not proved, but is confirmed by the very structure of human existence. Perception he sees as the condition making it possible for God to produce His own image, in which He may reveal himself to man.Perception is also fundamental to Grundtvig’s idea of Revelation: “Seeing is no act on the part of the seer, but perception. Not the mirror, but the object, or rather the progenitor of them both and their relationship produce the spectacle (or vision), and a spiritual vision that shows itself in a physical speculum is a revelation.” (D anne-Virke III, p. 282). This spiritual vision is communicated to man by the Word, which is registered by hearing, while being Spirit as well.Baden Nielsen detects a circular structure in Grundtvig’s reasoning: his initial assumption is faith in the reality of Creation, which is confirmed by experience and the very structure of human existence. And conversely: It is impossible for Grundtvig to proceed from temporal, physical human life without the problem of spirit and eternity being brought up by the antithesis of Truth and Untruth.According to Baden Nielsen Grundtvig’s main aim was to lay down the irrefutability of an understanding of life in terms of the idea of Creation. By illuminating the unseverable connection he found between Christianity and human life, he would be armed in a new way when he would again be called upon to vindicate Christianity in the pulpit. The insights he attained in the Danne- Virke were to prove fruitful for his sermons, while later on bringing about his discovery of his spiritual affinity with Irenaeus.

12

Teng Phuah, Kit, Kelly Kai Seng Wong, and Jenn Ling TingJL. "Propensity to Undergo Cosmetic Surgery and Services in Seoul." International Journal of Community Development and Management Studies 3 (2019): 001–16. http://dx.doi.org/10.31355/37.

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NOTE: THIS ARTICLE WAS PUBLISHED WITH THE INFORMING SCIENCE INSTITUTE. Aim/Purpose................................................................................................................................................................................................. The focus of this study is to find the relationship between the components in Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA) such as attitude, subjective norms (Media), subjective norm (celebrity), psychological attribute (self-esteem) and psychological attributes (social status) which influence Seoul Korea female intention to undergo cosmetic surgery in Seoul, Korea. Background................................................................................................................................................................................................... South Korea was ranked third in the world of cosmetic surgery in 2015. The Korean cosmetic surgery market is a promising market with 24% market share of the total world market. The market data about female willingness to undergo cosmetic surgery strongly suggests that marketers who work in the beauty and health industries associated with cosmetic surgery should pay attention to Seoul Korean women who are in the age group under 40 years old as the potential target market. In Korea, cosmetic surgery is frequently mentioned in normal conversation as a general topic and it is naturally settled as a culture. Methodology................................................................................................................................................................................................... The Seoul Korean female behavior with respect to use of cosmetic surgery is approximately determined by factors underlying the consumer’s behavioral intent. Thus, the theory of Reasoned Action (TRA) is used in this study because it attempts to explain consumer intentions and has a strong power of prediction of utility for a wide range of human behavioral attributes such as attitude, subjective norms (Media), subjective norm (celebrity), psychological attribute (self-esteem) and psychological attributes. A survey was conducted in Seoul, Korea where 400 female were interviewed by self-administrated questionnaire. Descriptive analysis, exploratory factor analysis and multiple regressions were used to examine the factors that influence Seoul Korean female intention to engage in cosmetic surgery. Contribution................................................................................................................................................................................................... This research provides an insight to the health and beauty industry, marketers, decision makers and academics on the factors that influence Seoul Korea female intention to engage with cosmetic surgery. Findings According to the research findings, Seoul Korean female attitude towards cosmetic surgery are generally positive, or favorable intention. That is to say, they usually think that the most effective way to improve their appearance and social status is to undergo cosmetic surgery. The study results (both qualitative and quantitative) support the proposition that the variables such as the media and the celebrities play important role in influencing females to do surgery. The results also provide important information to formulate and design strategies for the development and effective conduct of advertisem*nts and promotions of cosmetic surgery. Lastly, other potential influencing factors were psychological attributes which are self-esteem and social status. Recommendations for Practitioners............................................................................................................................................................. It is suggested that psychologists can try to find the clinical roles in helping the cosmetic surgery patients by identifying patients who may not adjust well psychologically or psycho-socially after surgery. Psychologists can examine the issues related to cosmetic surgery due to the increasing popularity and the link between appearance, body image, eating disorders, sexual functioning and social phobia. Recommendations for Researchers............................................................................................................................................................... To help to fill in the research gaps, it is recommended to examine on how cosmetic surgery makes patients feel, how cosmetic surgery affects those around the recipients and what the effect of cosmetic surgery would be on children and teenagers. Impact on Society The increasing number of cosmetic surgery is having a dramatic impact on the Korean society. In Korea, the number of cosmetic procedures has nearly doubled in the past few years. Distorted perception of self-image, over dependence on the social media is enormous and cannot be overstated had also caused the dramatic rise of cosmetic surgery. The impact of social media has resulted in the rising demand for injectable facial fillers, liposuction, breast implants, buttock augmentation and Botox among younger generation. Future Research.............................................................................................................................................................................................. It is suggested to conduct further research involving Korean females who have undergone cosmetic surgery. The extended research should attempt to determine the level of satisfaction towards non-core and post cosmetic surgery services. That is, after sales services, the skills and knowledge of the doctor, the clinic environment and other attributes that further define the total or augmented product.

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Tyurina, Tamara, and Sofiya Stavkova. "Harmonization of the Activity of the Left and Right Cerebral Hemispheres - an Important Component of the Spiritual and Mental Health of Individual and Humanity." Mental Health: Global Challenges Journal 4, no.2 (September28, 2020): 45–49. http://dx.doi.org/10.32437/mhgcj.v4i2.84.

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IntroductionAccording to modern scholars (N. Maslova, B. Astafiev), one of the important reasons for the global planetary crisis, including modern educational system in particular, is violation of the conformity of nature principles in the process of perception and cognition of the world, which is conditioned by the advantages of the development of logical and rational thinking and insufficient development of figurative, spiritual-intuitive thinking in the contemporary school of all levels.The modern system of education at all levels (school, higher education, postgraduate studies, and doctorate) is aimed primarily at the development of mechanisms of the left hemisphere that are rational, logical thinking, and analytical perception of reality.Such a one-way orientation leads to inhibition of right-sided processes, does not contribute to the development of creativity, disclosure and activation of the spiritual and intuitive capabilities of the individual, as well as to alienation of individual from the World, loss of personal sense of integrity, unity with the World; that is, to the disharmony of individual with his/her own nature and environment.Personal development of an individual in modern conditions takes the form of "hom*o technicus" ("technical person"), "hom*o informaticus" (“informational and technogenic person”), "Нomо соnsumens" (“person who consumes”), "Reified man" ("material surplus person"), "Nomo Festivus" ("person who has fun") (Butenko, 2017). As a result, a person with a technocratic, rational thinking, pragmatic and consumer attitude towards the world is brought up, and as a consequence, harmony in the "man-man", "man-nature", "man-society", "man-universe" systems, and correspondingly, the equilibrium in the integrated information-energy system interaction "Man – Society – Earth –Universe" are violated.Approach In contemporary education of all levels, high ontological and existential goals are not set, and not enough attention is paid to the spiritual and mental health of the individual, in particular to problems of spiritual self-knowledge, self-development, self-regulation and self-realization, thus leading to the formation of consumer psychology, dominance of pragmatic values, loss of spirituality, upbringing of a human – destroyer, a soulless person, but not a creator.One of the ways out from the planetary global crisis in the area of a contemporary education in particular, is the noosphereization of education, the imperative task of which is formation of the noospheric individual, actualization of his/her spiritual and intuitive potential, training of the noosphere integral harmonious bioadequate environmentally healthy mindset, which is based on a conscious total ownership of logical (left cerebral hemisphere) and creative, spiritual-intuitive (right cerebral hemisphere) thinking that, due to correspondence with both huamn nature and the laws of the cosmoplanetary world, will provide the individual with possibilities to adequately and fully (at the information and energy levels) perceive and recognize the surrounding world, and to interact with it on a spiritual basis.Results and Discussion The problem of intuition always remains relevant throughout the history of mankind. Among the scholars of the late XX century - beginning of the XXI century the problem of intuition and harmonization of the activity of the left and right hemispheres of the brain has been studied by such researchers as G. Kurmyshev, N. Maslova, Osho Bhagwan Sri Rajneesh, I. Smokvina and others. Modern psychophysiological science explains the nature of intuitive thinking and cognition: the human mind combines the ability to integrate and develop both intellectual and intuitive knowledge that modern scientists associate with the activity of the left and right cerebral hemispheres. According to psychological science, the two hemispheres of the brain cognize and reflect the surrounding world differently and, thereafter transform information in their own ways. The left hemisphere "sees" objects as discrete, separated; it is responsible for logic and intellect, verbal thinking, application of sign information (reading, counting, language), and is characterized by the ability for logical, rational, mathematical, and scientific thinking. The right hemisphere binds objects into a single whole; it is responsible for emotions, creative thinking, intuition (unconscious processes). Thanks to the right hemisphere, a holistic image of the world is formed, and the left hemisphere gradually collects the model of the world from separate, but carefully studied details. "Left- hemisphered" thinking is associated with the ability for consistent, step-by-step cognition, which has respectively analytical rather than synthetic character. "Right- hemisphered" thinking is linked to the ability for integral, voluminous and complete cognition, space spatial immediate perception of the world in all of its information-energy interrelations and interactions.Logic and intuition, rational and intuitive paths – are different aspects of the unified process of cognition, and if the intellect can be regarded as the earthly beginning in humans, then intuition – is a spiritual primary source, a phenomenon of nonlinear, unearthly thinking, the logic of the Higher Being, the logic of the Almighty. As was very wittily pointed out by Osho Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, logic – the way our mind cognizes our reality, intuition – is how the spirit passes through the experience of reality (Maslova, 2006). Therefore, logic and intuition are two mutually conditioned mechanisms of scientific cognition that supplement and do not exist in isolation from one another. If the function of intuition in this interaction lies in creative discoveries, inventions, awareness of the true essence of things and phenomena, then the task of the scientific method, acting as an assistant of intuition, is to endeavor to comprehend new ideas, explain them from the point of view of earth science at the logical level, and "adapt" to our reality.Given this, rational and intuitive paths must complement, enrich and explain each other, interact in sync, in synthesis.Intuition is an organic component of the spiritual and psychic nature of the individual. Therefore, the problem of the development of intuition and harmonization of the discourse-logical and spiritual-intuitive components of thinking is extremely important at all levels of contemporary education. This is especially true for student youth, since students are the future spiritual and creative potential of the country, and therefore it is extremely important to reveal and develop their spiritual and intuitive abilities, to harmonize their mental-spiritual sphere, which promotes spiritual self-healing of both the individual and the environment, and harmonization of relations in the world. In the context of the modern information and energy paradigm, intuition is considered as a special mental state of a highly spiritual person, in which he/she deliberately initiates informational and energetic contact with any object of the Universe, in the physical or subtle world, "connects" to its information field, "reads out", "decrypts" and analyzes necessary information. This information-energy interaction is perceived by the individual as the process of connection, merging with the object being studied, which enables instant cognition of its true essence (Smokvina, 2013). As the analysis of the literature on the research problem testifies, if the activity mechanisms of the left hemisphere of the brain are relatively studied in modern science, the problems of the individual’s intuitive updating potential and harmonization of the activity of logical and intuitive cognitive processes are being investigated.According to many scholars, the ability for intuition is inborn in every human; however, unfortunately, in most people it is in a latent state. And only due to intense conscious work of the individual regarding their own spiritual self–cognition and self–perfection, one can discover and develop personal spiritual and intuitive abilities.According to the results of our theoretical study the general conditions contributing to the disclosure and development of intuition are as follows: (Tyurina, 2017) • Ability to cope with one’s own passions, emotions, feelings, thoughts, and achievement of the state of internal silence, voicelessness;• Formed self-motivation for spiritual self–cognition and self–perfection;• Achievement by the individual of the corresponding spiritual level: the higher the spirituality of the human, the more clearly his/her ability is expressed to obtain a higher spiritual knowledge: information and energy interaction, contact with higher levels of psychic reality;• Conscious desire, willingness of the individual to use intuitive cognition that helps overcome information-power resistance, the barrier that exists between a subject and an object, helps create harmony, assonance, interaction with the object being studied;• Intuitive human confidence: deep inner belief in personal intuitive capabilities and ability for intuitive cognition and self-cognition;• Humanistic orientation of the individual and his/her internal psychological properties such as: altruism, active love for all living beings on the Earth, empathy, ability to express compassion, care, and self-consecration, conscious desire to live in harmony with oneself and the world;• Nonjudgmental practice, which consists of the ability of a person to abandon assessments, classifications, analysis, which creates favorable conditions for immersion into the information space around us, makes it possible to connect to the information-energy field (biofield) of the object being studied;• Sense of inner unity with the world, awareness of oneself as a part of mankind, of the Earth, of the Universe, and a feeling of deep responsibility for the world and for ourselves in the world;• Striving for personal self-realization for the benefit of the cosmoplanetary world.In our opinion, the ways of actualization of intuition and harmonization of the activity of logical and intuitive components of the process of cognition should be attributed to the following (Tyurina, 2018):• Concentration, concentration of human consciousness of the subject being studied, deep and thorough knowledge of it.Psychological mood, deep concentration, focus of human consciousness on the subject of research lead to intuitive penetration into its essence, comprehension of the subject of study as if "from within." An intuitive act of cognition is the result of a huge concentration of all human efforts on a particular problem, deep and thorough knowledge of it, mobilization of all its potencies. In particular, for almost 20 years, D. Mandeleev worked continuously on the systematization of chemical elements, and only after that he "saw" his periodic system of elements in his dream. At academician M. Shchetynin school students spend 21 days (6 lessons daily) studying only one academic discipline for the purpose of deep penetration into its essence - information-energy merger, connection with the subject being studied, into a single whole, that is, achieving an intuitive level of comprehension.• Spiritual practices (prayer, meditation).Prayer and meditation are effective ways of spiritualizing a person, awakening and activating his/her intuitive potential. Through prayer, meditation a person learns to adjust to nature and Cosmos, eternity and infinity, the World Harmony, reaches consonance with the World, and permeates its inner essential depth with the heart.It is believed that it is prayer that promotes the spiritual purification of both the human soul and the surrounding world. During a heart-warming prayer a human comes to enlightenment and spiritual enlightenment, intuitive enlightenment.In the process of prayer, meditation, the right and left hemispheres of the brain begin to work synchronously, which makes the brain function in resonance with the Field of Consciousness or the Field of Information - Noosphere.• Spiritual processing of the corresponding religious, spiritual and philosophical sources, fine arts, classical music, information-energy interaction which raises the spiritual level of an individual, awakens his/her intuitive abilities.Spiritual literature is an important way of discovering and developing intuition and harmonizing the activity of intuitive and logical components of thinking, since information and energy interaction with spiritual literature contributes to individual’s spiritual growth, disclosure and development of intuition, and harmonization of personal intuitional and intellectual sphere.It should be noted that various forms of art, in particular, visual and musical, play a special role in the process of disclosure and development, intuition, harmonization of the logical and figurative, spiritual and intuitive perception of reality.The spiritual potential of art is, first of all, that in itself, creating spiritual values, spiritualizes a person, and interprets personality as a phenomenon of a global planetary-cosmic nature. True art has an ecumenical, cosmic dimension. The best masterpieces of world art transfer the idea of unity of humans with the world, their harmonious interaction.The creativity of great artists contributes to the disclosure and development of the personality's spirituality, the heart's perception of the world, the cultivation of the Cosmic Worldview, and directs the person to high ideals.Musical art is one of the most important means of revealing and developing intuition, harmonizing its spiritual and intuitive basis.The results of research by modern scholars show that classical, spiritual music activates the spiritual-intuitive sphere, harmonizes the person, gives a sense of joy and rest, and helps to restore spiritual and mental balance.It has been scientifically proven that classical musical compositions based on the perfection of harmony and rhythm, especially the works of J. Bach, L. Beethoven, J. Brahms, A. Vivaldi, G. Handel, F. List, F. Mendelssohn, A. Mozart, S. Rakhmaninov, O. Scriabin, P. Tchaikovsky, F. Chopin, F. Schubert, R. Schumann and others have a positive effect on the individual on the spiritual, mental and physiological levels, since classical music relates mainly to the natural rhythms of the human body. This music causes not only positive emotions, but also represents a powerful energy force that inspires humans and the world: makes a person more perfect and the world more beautiful.Consequently, fine arts, classical music, contribute to the disclosure and development of the spiritual and intuitive potential of the individual, to harmonization of his/her intuitive-intellectual sphere; they help the person to grow spiritually and be filled with high spiritual energy, accordingly, to change, and improve the natural and social environment.- Bioadequate REAL-methodology of noosphere education (N. Maslova), in which stages of relaxation (accumulation of information, work of the right creative hemisphere in a state of rest), alternating with stages of activity (training of the left hemisphere: logic, analysis, synthesis of information) are presented. As a result, the work of the left and right cerebral hemispheres is synchronized, which promotes harmonization of consciousness, carries a beneficial influence on the spiritual, mental, social and physical health of the student's personality.The fundamental characteristics of the bioadequate method of noospheric education are:1. Health preserving - does not violate the nature of perception, processing and preservation of information.2. Corrective - restores the natural genetic sequence of work with the information and health of the student and the teacher.3. Developing - improves the body's reserves.4. Harmonizing - integrates all systems of the body and personality (Vernadsky, 2002).According to studies of the neuropathologist I. Smokvinova, PhD, bioadequate methods of noosphere education, taking into account the physiological and informational and energy resources of the individual, contribute to the harmonization of the work of the left and right cerebral hemispheres, awaken higher feelings, recharge with life energy, teach the ability to direct vitality to the realization of one’s own higher potential, which also has a beneficial effect on the spiritual, mental and physical health of the individual. Moreover, due to the application of a bioadequate technique, psychological and physiological stress is eliminated, and a positive emotional mood is created that heals the body and the student's psychics (Osho, 2000). According to N. Maslova, holistic thinking contributes to the acquisition of basic energy, biologically adequate to livelihoods programs (Kurmyshev, 2013).Many independent groups of scientists (teachers, psychologists, physicians, biologists) have proved that noosphere education, harmonizing the left and right hemispheres thinking, has a healing effect on the body of both the student and the teacher, contributes to the development of natural creativity.Practical valueResults of our study can be used in lectures and practical classes with students in medical psychology, psychology of creativity, social, general, pedagogical psychology, pedagogy (sections of didactics, spiritual and moral education), sociology, philosophy, etc.ConclusionsThus, the actualization of the spiritual and intuitive potential of the individual and the harmonization of the activity of the left and right cerebral hemispheres stimulates the disclosure of spiritual and creative abilities of the individual, fills the individual with spiritual energy, and the person becomes a source of spiritualization of himself/herself and the world, thus contributing to the spiritual and psychological improvement of society, humanity, and civilization in general, since at the information-energy level, "Man - Society - Earth - Universe" this is the only cosmoplanetary organism, all parts of which are mutually interconnected, interact and stipulate with one another. We consider that it is important in the future to develop appropriate special disciplines for all the sections of modern school and keep working in the direction of developing and incorporating into the content of the curricula, relevant pedagogical technologies aimed at the disclosure and development of the intuitive-mental sphere of the individual

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Tsygankov,AlexanderS. "History of Philosophy. 2018, Vol. 23, No. 2 TABLE OF CONTENTS Theory and Methodology of History of Philosophy Rodion V. Savinov. Philosophy of Antiquity in Scholasticism This article examines the forms of understanding ancient philosophy in medieval and post-medieval scholasticism. Using the comparative method the author identifies the main approaches to the philosophical heritage of Antiquity, and to the problem of reviving the doctrines of the past. The Patristics (Epiphanius of Cyprus, Filastrius of Brixia, Lactantius, Augustine) saw the ancient cosmological doctrines as heresies. The early Middle Ages (e.g., Isidore of Seville) assimilated the content of these heresiographic treatises, which became the main source of information about ancient philosophy. Scholasticism of the 13th–14th cent. remained cautious to ancient philosophy and distinguished, on the one hand, the doctrinal content discussed in the framework of the exegetic problems at universities (Albert the Great, Thomas Aquinas, etc.), and, on the other hand, information on ancient philosophers integrated into chronological models of medieval chronicles (Peter Comestor, Vincent de Beauvais, Walter Burleigh). Finally, the post-medieval scholasticism (Pedro Fonseca, Conimbricenses, Th. Stanley, and others) raised the questions of the «history of ideas», thereby laying the foundation of the history of philosophy in its modern sense. Keywords: history of philosophy, Patristic, Scholasticism, reflection, critic DOI: 10.21146/2074-5869-2018-23-2-5-17 World Philosophy: the Past and the Present Mariya A. Solopova. The Chronology of Democritus and the Fall of Troy The article considers the chronology of Democritus of Abdera. In the times of Classical Antiquity, three different birth dates for Democritus were known: c. 495 BC (according to Diodorus of Sicily), c. 470 BC (according to Thrasyllus), and c. 460 BC (according to Apollodorus of Athens). These dates must be coordinated with the most valuable doxographic evidence, according to which Democritus 1) "was a young man during Anaxagoras’s old age" and that 2) the Lesser World-System (Diakosmos) was compiled 730 years after the Fall of Troy. The article considers the argument in favor of the most authoritative datings belonging to Apollodorus and Thrasyllus, and draws special attention to the meaning of the dating of Democritus’ work by himself from the year of the Fall of Troy. The question arises, what prompted Democritus to talk about the date of the Fall of Troy and how he could calculate it. The article expresses the opinion that Democritus indicated the date of the Fall of Troy not with the aim of proposing its own date, different from others, but in order to date the Lesser World-System in the spirit of intellectual achievements of his time, in which, perhaps, the history of the development of mankind from the primitive state to the emergence of civilization was discussed. The article discusses how to explain the number 730 and argues that it can be the result of combinations of numbers 20 (the number of generations that lived from the Fall of Troy to Democritus), 35 – one of the constants used for calculations of generations in genealogical research, and 30. The last figure perhaps indicates the age of Democritus himself, when he wrote the Lesser Diakosmos: 30 years old. Keywords: Ancient Greek philosophy, Democritus, Anaxagoras, Greek chronography, doxographers, Apollodorus, Thrasyllus, capture of Troy, ancient genealogies, the length of a generation DOI: 10.21146/2074-5869-2018-23-2-18-31 Bembya L. Mitruyev. “Yogācārabhumi-Śāstra” as a Historical and Philosophical Source The article deals with “Yogācārabhūmi-Śāstra” – a treatise on the Buddhist Yogācāra school. Concerning the authorship of this text, the Indian and Chinese traditions diverge: in the first, the treatise is attributed to Asanga, and in the second tradition to Maitreya. Most of the modern scholars consider it to be a compilation of many texts, and not the work of one author. Being an important monument for both the Yogacara tradition and Mahayana Buddhism in general, Yogācārabhūmi-Śāstra is an object of scientific interest for the researchers all around the world. The text of the treatise consists of five parts, which are divided into chapters. The contents of the treatise sheds light on many concepts of Yogācāra, such as ālayavijñāna, trisvabhāva, kliṣṭamanas, etc. Having briefly considered the textological problems: authorship, dating, translation, commenting and genre of the text, the author suggests the reconstruction of the content of the entire monument, made on the basis of his own translation from the Tibetan and Sanskrit. This allows him to single out from the whole variety of topics those topics, the study of which will increase knowledge about the history of the formation of the basic philosophical concepts of Yogācāra and thereby allow a deeper understanding of the historical and philosophical process in Buddhism and in other philosophical movements of India. Keywords: Yogācārabhūmi-śāstra, Asaṅga, Māhāyana, Vijñānavāda, Yogācāra, Abhidharma, ālayavijñāna citta, bhūmi, mind, consciousness, meditation DOI: 10.21146/2074-5869-2018-23-2-32-43 Tatiana G. Korneeva. Knowledge in Nāșir Khusraw’s Philosophy The article deals with the concept of “knowledge” in the philosophy of Nāșir Khusraw. The author analyzes the formation of the theory of knowledge in the Arab-Muslim philosophy. At the early stages of the formation of the Arab-Muslim philosophy the discussion of the question of cognition was conducted in the framework of ethical and religious disputes. Later followers of the Falsafa introduced the legacy of ancient philosophers into scientific circulation and began to discuss the problems of cognition in a philosophical way. Nāșir Khusraw, an Ismaili philosopher of the 11th century, expanded the scope of knowledge and revised the goals and objectives of the process of cognition. He put knowledge in the foundation of the world order, made it the cause and ultimate goal of the creation of the world. In his philosophy knowledge is the link between the different levels of the universe. The article analyzes the Nāșir Khusraw’s views on the role of knowledge in various fields – metaphysics, cosmogony, ethics and eschatology. Keywords: knowledge, cognition, Ismailism, Nāșir Khusraw, Neoplatonism, Arab-Muslim philosophy, kalām, falsafa DOI: 10.21146/2074-5869-2018-23-2-44-55 Vera Pozzi. Problems of Ontology and Criticism of the Kantian Formalism in Irodion Vetrinskii’s “Institutiones Metaphysicae” (Part II) This paper is a follow-up of the paper «Irodion Vetrinskii’s “Institutiones Metaphysicae” and the St. Petersburg Theological Academy» (Part I). The issue and the role of “ontology” in Vetrinskii’s textbook is analyzed in detail, as well as the author’s critique of Kantian “formalism”: in this connection, the paper provides a description of Vetrinskii’s discussion about Kantian theory of the a priori forms of sensible intuition and understanding. To sum up, Vetrinskii was well acquainted not only with Kantian works – and he was able to fully evaluate their innovative significance – but also with late Scholastic textbooks of the German area. Moreover, he relied on the latters to build up an eclectic defense of traditional Metaphysics, avoiding at the same time to refuse Kantian perspective in the sake of mere reaffirming a “traditional” perspective. Keywords: Philosophizing at Russian Theological Academies, Russian Enlightenment, Russian early Kantianism, St. Petersburg Theological Academy, history of Russian philosophy, history of metaphysics, G.I. Wenzel, I. Ya. Vetrinskii DOI: 10.21146/2074-5869-2018-23-2-56-67 Alexey E. Savin. Criticism of Judaism in Hegel's Early “Theological” Writings The aim of the article is to reveal the nature of criticism of Judaism by the “young” Hegel and underlying intuitions. The investigation is based on the phenomenological approach. It seeks to explicate the horizon of early Hegel's thinking. The revolutionary role of early Hegel’s ideas reactivation in the history of philosophy is revealed. The article demonstrates the fundamental importance of criticism of Judaism for the development of Hegel's thought. The sources of Hegelian thematization and problematization of Judaism – his Protestant theological background within the framework of supranaturalism and the then discussion about human rights and political emancipation of Jews – are discovered. Hegel's interpretation of the history of the Jewish people and the origin of Judaism from the destruction of trust in nature, the fundamental mood of distrust and fear of the world, leading to the development of alienation, is revealed. The falsity of the widespread thesis about early Hegel’s anti-Semitism is demonstrated. The reasons for the transition of early Hegel from “theology” to philosophy are revealed. Keywords: Hegel, Judaism, history, criticism, anti-Semitism, trust, nature, alienation, tyranny, philosophy DOI: 10.21146/2074-5869-2018-23-2-68-80 Evgeniya A. Dolgova. Philosophy at the Institute of Red Professors (1921–1938): Institutional Forms, Methods of Teaching, Students, Lecturers The article explores the history of the Institute of the Red Professors in philosophy (1921–1938). Referring to the unpublished documents in the State Archives of the Russian Federation and the Archive of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the author explores its financial and infrastructure support, information sphere, characterizes students and teachers. The article illustrates the practical experience of the functioning of philosophy within the framework of one of the extraordinary “revolutionary” projects on the renewal of the scientific and pedagogical sphere, reflects a vivid and ambiguous picture of the work of the educational institution in the 1920s and 1930s and corrects some of historiographical judgments (about the politically and socially hom*ogeneous composition of the Institute of Red Professors, the specifics of state support of its work, privileges and the social status of the “red professors”). Keywords: Institute of the Red Professors in Philosophy, Philosophical Department, soviet education, teachers, students, teaching methods DOI: 10.21146/2074-5869-2018-23-2-81-94 Vladimir V. Starovoitov. K. Horney about the Consequences of Neurotic Development and the Ways of Its Overcoming This article investigates the views of Karen Horney on psychoanalysis and neurotic development of personality in her last two books: “Our Inner Conflicts” (1945) and “Neurosis and Human Grows” (1950), and also in her two articles “On Feeling Abused” (1951) and “The Paucity of Inner Experiences” (1952), written in the last two years of her life and summarizing her views on clinical and theoretical problems in her work with neurotics. If in her first book “The Neurotic Personality of Our Time” (1937) neurosis was a result of disturbed interpersonal relations, caused by conditions of culture, then the concept of the idealized Self open the gates to the intrapsychic life. Keywords: Neo-Freudianism, psychoanalysis, neurotic development of personality, real Self, idealized image of Self DOI: 10.21146/2074-5869-2018-23-2-95-102 Publications and Translations Victoria G. Lysenko. Dignāga on the Definition of Perception in the Vādaviddhi of Vasubandhu. A Historical and Philosophical Reconstruction of Dignāga’s Pramāṇasamuccayavṛtti (1.13-16) The paper investigates a fragment from Dignāga’s magnum opus Pramāṇasamuccayavṛtti (“Body of tools for reliable knowledge with a commentary”, 1, 13-16) where Dignāga challenges Vasubandhu’s definition of perception in the Vādaviddhi (“Rules of the dispute”). The definition from the Vādaviddhi is being compared in the paper with Vasubandhu’s ideas of perception in Abhidharmakośabhāṣya (“Encyclopedia of Abhidharma with the commentary”), and with Dignāga’s own definition of valid perception in the first part of his Pramāṇasamuccayavṛtti as well as in his Ālambanaparīkśavṛtti (“Investigation of the Object with the commentary”). The author puts forward the hypothesis that Dignāga criticizes the definition of perception in Vādaviddhi for the reason that it does not correspond to the teachings of Vasubandhu in his Abhidharmakośabhāṣya, to which he, Dignāga, referred earlier in his magnum opus. This helps Dignāga to justify his statement that Vasubandhu himself considered Vādaviddhi as not containing the essence of his teaching (asāra). In addition, the article reconstructs the logical sequence in Dignāga’s exegesis: he criticizes the Vādaviddhi definition from the representational standpoint of Sautrāntika school, by showing that it does not fulfill the function prescribed by Indian logic to definition, that of distinguishing perception from the classes of heterogeneous and hom*ogeneous phenomena. Having proved the impossibility of moving further according to the “realistic logic” based on recognizing the existence of an external object, Dignāga interprets the Vādaviddhi’s definition in terms of linguistic philosophy, according to which the language refers not to external objects and not to the unique and private sensory experience (svalakṣaṇa-qualia), but to the general characteristics (sāmānya-lakṣaṇa), which are mental constructs (kalpanā). Keywords: Buddhism, linguistic philosophy, perception, theory of definition, consciousness, Vaibhashika, Sautrantika, Yogacara, Vasubandhu, Dignaga DOI: 10.21146/2074-5869-2018-23-2-103-117 Elizaveta A. Miroshnichenko. Talks about Lev N. Tolstoy: Reception of the Writer's Views in the Public Thought of Russia at the End of the 19th Century (Dedicated to the 190th Anniversary of the Great Russian Writer and Thinker) This article includes previously unpublished letters of Russian social thinkers such as N.N. Strakhov, E.M. Feoktistov, D.N. Tsertelev. These letters provide critical assessment of Lev N. Tolstoy’s teachings. The preface to publication includes the history of reception of Tolstoy’s moral and aesthetic philosophy by his contemporaries, as well as influence of his theory on the beliefs of Russian idealist philosopher D.N. Tsertelev. The author offers a rational reconstruction of the dialogue between two generations of thinkers representative of the 19th century – Lev N. Tolstoy and N.N. Strakhov, on the one hand, and D.N. Tsertelev, on the other. The main thesis of the paper: the “old” and the “new” generations of the 19th-century thinkers retained mutual interest and continuity in setting the problems and objectives of philosophy, despite the numerous worldview contradictions. Keywords: Russian philosophy of the nineteenth century, L.N. Tolstoy, N.N. Strakhov, D.N. Tsertelev, epistolary heritage, ethics, aesthetics DOI: 10.21146/2074-5869-2018-23-2-118-130 Reviews Nataliya A. Tatarenko. History of Philosophy in a Format of Lecture Notes (on Hegel G.W.F. Vorlesungen zur Ästhetik. Vorlesungsmitschrift Adolf Heimann (1828/1829). Hrsg. von A.P. Olivier und A. Gethmann-Siefert. München: Wilhelm Fink, 2017. XXXI + 254 S.) Released last year, the book “G.W.F. Hegel. Vorlesungen zur Ästhetik. Vorlesungsmitschrift Adolf Heimann (1828/1829)” in German is a publication of one of the student's manuskript of Hegel's lectures on aesthetics. Adolf Heimann was a student of Hegel in 1828/29. These notes open for us imaginary doors into the audience of the Berlin University, where Hegel read his fourth and final course on the philosophy of art. A distinctive feature of this course is a new structure of lectures in comparison with three previous courses. This three-part division was took by H.G. Hotho as the basis for the edited by him text “Lectures on Aesthetics”, included in the first collection of Hegel’s works. The content of that publication was mainly based on the lectures of 1823 and 1826. There are a number of differences between the analyzed published manuskript and the students' records of 1820/21, 1823 and 1826, as well as between the manuskript and the editorial version of H.G. Hotho. These features show that Hegel throughout all four series of Berlin lectures on the philosophy of art actively developed and revised the structure and content of aesthetics. But unfortunately this evidence of the permanent development was not taken into account by the first editor of Hegel's lectures on aesthetics. Keywords: G.W.F. Hegel, H.G. Hotho, philosophy of art, aesthetics, forms of art, idea of beauty, ideal DOI: 10.21146/2074-5869-2018-23-2-131-138 Alexander S. Tsygankov. On the Way to the Revival of Metaphysics: S.L. Frank and E. Coreth Readers are invited to review the monograph of the modern German researcher Oksana Nazarova “The problem of the renaissance and new foundation of metaphysics through the example of Christian philosophical tradition. Russian religious philosophy (Simon L. Frank) and German neosholastics (Emerich Coreth)”, which was published in 2017 in Munich. In the paper, the author offers a comparative analysis of the projects of a new, “post-dogmatic” metaphysics, which were developed in the philosophy of Frank and Coreth. This study addresses the problems of the cognitive-theoretical and ontological foundation of the renaissance of metaphysics, the methodological tools of the new metaphysics, as well as its anthropological component. O. Nazarova's book is based on the comparative analysis of Frank's religious philosophy and Coreth's neo-cholastic philosophy from the beginning to the end. This makes the study unique in its own way. Since earlier in the German reception of the heritage of Russian thinker, the comparison of Frank's philosophy with the Catholic theology of the 20th century was realized only fragmentarily and did not act as a fundamental one. Along with a deep and meaningful analysis of the metaphysical projects of both thinkers, this makes O. Nazarova's book relevant to anyone who is interested in the philosophical dialogue of Russia and Western Europe and is engaged in the work of Frank and Coreth. Keywords: the renaissance of metaphysics, post-Kantian philosophy, Christian philosophy, S.L. Frank, E. Coreth DOI: 10.21146/2074-5869-2018-23-2-139-147." History of Philosophy 23, no.2 (October 2018): 139–47. http://dx.doi.org/10.21146/2074-5869-2018-23-2-139-147.

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Borck, Cornelius. "Communicating the Modern Body: Fritz Kahn's Popular Images of Human Physiology as an Industrialized World." Canadian Journal of Communication 32, no.3 (November12, 2007). http://dx.doi.org/10.22230/cjc.2007v32n3a1876.

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Abstract: The visualization of the human body has always been a highly popular affair, and popular science writing has been particularly perceptive as to how new media has revolutionized science. This article analyzes the intertwining of science, culture, and technology by investigating the lavishly illustrated publications of Fritz Kahn, arguably one of the most successful popular science writers internationally between 1920 and 1960. His illustrations developed a specific style of visualization that positioned the human body firmly in an industrial modernity of machine analogues, which he eventually copyrighted as a product line. This visual crossover between industrialization and science demonstrates surprisingly accurately how human nature becomes historically contingent and culturally encoded. Résumé : La représentation du corps humain a toujours été une activité très populaire, et les oeuvres de vulgarisation scientifique ont eu une perception particulièrement sensible aux manières dont les nouveaux médias ont révolutionné la science. Cet article analyse les interactions entre science, culture et technologie en examinant les publications richement illustrées de Fritz Kahn, un des auteurs de vulgarisation scientifique les plus populaires à l’échelle internationale entre 1920 et 1960. Par ses illustrations, il a développé un style spécifique de représentation situant le corps humain fermement dans le contexte d’une modernité industrielle privilégiant le rapport du corps à la machine, une approche qu’il a fini par faire breveter. Ce rapprochement visuel entre l’industrialisation et la science démontre avec une précision surprenante la variabilité historique et l’encodage culturel de la nature humaine.

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Meneguzzo, Paolo, Simone Claire Behrens, Angela Favaro, Elena Tenconi, Vincenzo Vindigni, Martin Teufel, Eva-Maria Skoda, et al. "Body Image Disturbances and Weight Bias After Obesity Surgery: Semantic and Visual Evaluation in a Controlled Study, Findings from the BodyTalk Project." Obesity Surgery, January6, 2021. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11695-020-05166-z.

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Abstract Purpose Body image has a significant impact on the outcome of obesity surgery. This study aims to perform a semantic evaluation of body shapes in obesity surgery patients and a group of controls. Materials and Methods Thirty-four obesity surgery (OS) subjects, stable after weight loss (average 48.03 ± 18.60 kg), and 35 overweight/obese controls (MC), were enrolled in this study. Body dissatisfaction, self-esteem, and body perception were evaluated with self-reported tests, and semantic evaluation of body shapes was performed with three specific tasks constructed with realistic human body stimuli. Results The OS showed a more positive body image compared to HC (p < 0.001), higher levels of depression (p < 0.019), and lower self-esteem (p < 0.000). OS patients and HC showed no difference in weight bias, but OS used a higher BMI than HC in the visualization of positive adjectives (p = 0.011). Both groups showed a mental underestimation of their body shapes. Conclusion OS patients are more psychologically burdened and have more difficulties in judging their bodies than overweight/obese peers. Their mental body representations seem not to be linked to their own BMI. Our findings provide helpful insight for the design of specific interventions in body image in obese and overweight people, as well as in OS.

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Siliytina, Olena. "PERSONALITY’S CORPOREALITY INTELLIGENCE INDICATORS RESEARCH." TECHNOLOGIES OF INTELLECT DEVELOPMENT 5, no.1 (June2, 2021). http://dx.doi.org/10.31108/3.2021.5.1.5.

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The article contains a personality’s corporeality intelligence phenomenon specifics theoretical analysis statement. The article presents the personality’s corporeality intelligence shaping factors - self-assessment, gender roles of the individual and his sexuality, regulatory, cognitive and emotional structures of the personality, assessment of their appearance and body image, health and subjective assessment – theoretical analysis results. The procedure and methodical bases of personality’s corporeality intelligence formation factors studying are described. The specifics of self- assessment, self-regulation, attitude to health and the severity of its emotional and social components empirical study results are presented. The results of empirical data set factor analysis were analyzed, which made it possible to identify individual’s body intelligence manifestation trends. It is established that the body image acts as a system-repeating factor in the self-identity system formation; corporeality intelligence acts as a combination of perception of the body, sexuality and actual state of health; loss of interest in oneself and one's body is a consequence of guilt or the need for self-restraint; emotional response to the sphere of the body depends on the success of human self-regulation; competence and self-regulation as components of corporeality intelligence form an inseparable unity; sexuality as an aspect of the individual’s corporeality intelligence is socially conditioned and depends on the system of personal relationships; independence and self-sufficiency are important factors in the social health of the individual, etc.

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Prathiba,T., G.Rajkumar, and M.Anbarasi. "Self-perception of Body Weight and Physical Activity with its Relationship to Actual Body Weight among Students in a Medical College: An Analytical Cross-sectional Study." JOURNAL OF CLINICAL AND DIAGNOSTIC RESEARCH, 2021. http://dx.doi.org/10.7860/jcdr/2021/45774.14440.

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Introduction: Obesity and sedentary life style are becoming more prevalent among the student generation. Every human being has a very good insight about the outlook. But many are not able to maintain what they perceive. During this survey, the students get a vivid picture of their real body weight and their perception of their body structure. Aim: To compare the self-perceived body weight with actual body weight among medical students and to analyse the perceptions and practice of medical student’s related to physical activity. Materials and Methods: This analytical cross-sectional study included 400 medical students. Self-perceived body image was assessed using Silhouette matching technique. Students represented the figure how they currently look (Feel) and how they actually wanted to look (Ideal). The Feel minus Ideal Discrepancy (FID) score was noted. Actual body weight and height were measured. Body Mass Index (BMI) was calculated using the Quetelet formula- weight(Kg)/height(metres)2. Perceptions and practice of physical activity were assessed using Exercise Benefits/Barrier Scale (EBBS). Comparison of perceived and actual body weight was done by Student’s Independent t-test and Pearson correlation test using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 17.0. Results: The actual BMI and perceived BMI showed strong positive correlation (r= 0.726; p=0.0001). Males had high exercise benefit scores (92) when compared with females (86) (p=0.0002). The students had high total score (benefit score plus barrier score); males had 127 and females had 124 (p=0.003) and high benefit/barrier ratio. Conclusion: Actual BMI and self-perceived BMI were well correlated indicating participant’s awareness of their body image. Male participants were more actively involved in physical activity and more concerned about maintaining their body weight. All students had higher benefit scores which is a favourable sign towards a healthy and active physical life.

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BenAyed,H., J.Jedidi, F.Cheikhrouhou, A.Ayadi, S.Yaich, and J.Damak. "What are the determinants of body image distortion and dissatisfaction among Tunisian teenagers?" European Journal of Public Health 29, Supplement_4 (November1, 2019). http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurpub/ckz186.166.

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Abstract Background Body image (BI) is considered as central to many aspects of human functioning including emotions, thoughts, behaviors and relationships. This study aimed to investigate the prevalence and the main determinants of distortion and dissatisfaction among teenagers. Methods This was a cross-sectional school-based study using a self-administered questionnaire, conducted among a randomized sample of 1300 school-adolescents in Southern Tunisia, 2018. BI perception was assessed by the Stunkard Figure Rating Scale. Results Among 1210 respondents (93%), BI distortion and dissatisfaction prevalence were 44.8% and 42.4%, respectively. Multivariate analysis showed that 16-18 years age group (Adjusted Odds Ratio (AOR)=1.28; p = 0.046), low family financial situation (AOR=1.88; p = 0.014), as well as high frequency of eating pasta (AOR=1.3;p=0.04) and fast-food consumption (AOR=1.7;p=0.042) were independently associated with under-estimated BI. Skipping breakfast (AOR=1.9; p = 0.017) and having one obese parent (AOR=1.9;p=0.01) were independently associated with higher frequency of over-estimated BI. For BI dissatisfaction, independent factors associated with desire to lose weight were female gender (AOR=1.53; p = 0.007), high family financial situation (AOR= 2.1,p=0.008) and having one parent obese (AOR=2.21,p&lt;0.001). Frequent fast-food consumption (AOR=1.9, p = 0.038) and eating between meals (AOR=1.57,p=0.01) were associated with higher desire to gain weight. Conclusions Our study highlighted a substantially high prevalence of BI distortion and dissatisfaction among adolescents. Their determinants included socio-demographic factors and lifestyle behaviors. Increased awareness among parents and public health planners may help adolescents improve accuracy of BI attitudes. Key messages BI distortion and dissatisfaction are pervasive problems that increased negative affect in adolescents. Promotion of healthy lifestyle including balanced diet and physical activity is warranted.

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Themistokleous, George. "Autoscopic Space." IDEA JOURNAL, November15, 2017, 76–87. http://dx.doi.org/10.37113/ideaj.vi0.27.

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An experimental installation project of my own making, the diplorasis, aims to re-think the human sensorium by considering the bodily perceptual boundaries that are induced by visual media processes. Within the installation space the participant will, unexpectedly, encounter stereoscopic projections of himself/herself from previous instances and multiple perspectives. The photographic cameras within the device that are attached to sensors have been programmed to capture different views of the moving participant, and then to digitally split (and in some cases manipulate) the images before sending them to screens that project the image for the participant’s view. These stereoscopic images induce an illusionistic three-dimensional projection of the subject. The reduplicated, projected, and three-dimensionally simulated self in the diplorasis begins to trigger a questioning of how the body is understood within visual media. During the visual experience one has a solipsistic perception of oneself. The participant views himself both from outside and inside his body. The out-of-body experience of observing oneself from the multiple points of view of another (as a simulated object) is somehow countered to the embodied operation of the physical binocular eyes. The uncanny closeness of a neutral image “out there” (e.g. of a house) evoked by the original stereoscopes is now subverted, as the digitization of the stereoscope allows for unexpected self projections of the viewer. The diplorasis brings to the fore a particular reading of a sensory body that veers between, on the one hand, a projected image generated by electronic information, and on the other, the embodied response to this projected spectral other. As electronic processes are changing the perceptual and cognitive limits of the body, how do these shift our understanding of inside/outside?

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Gibson, Prue. "Body of Art and Love." M/C Journal 15, no.4 (August2, 2012). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.474.

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The phenomenological experience of art is one of embodied awareness. Now more than ever, as contemporary art becomes more interactive and immersive, our perceptions of embodiment are useful tools to gauge the efficacy of visual art as a stimulus for knowledge, new experience and expression. Art has a mimetic and interactive relationship with the world. As Schopenhauer said, “The world is my representation” (3). So which takes effect first: the lungful of excited breath or the synapses, is it the miasmic smell of dust on whirring video projectors or the emotion? When we see great art (in this instance, new media work), do we shudder, then see and understand it? Or do we see, tremble and, only then, know? “Art unleashes and intensifies...Art is of the animal” (Grosz, Chaos 62-3). Are our bodies reacting in response to the physical information at hand in the world? “Why do you like Amy?” I asked my six year old son, who was in love at the time. “I like her face,” he said. Was this a crude description of infantile love or an intuitive understanding of how all kinds of passion begin with the surface of the face? Peter Sloterdijk writes about the immersion and mimicry, the life and death mutualism of faces, of gazing on another’s face. He says, “Both of these, self-knowledge as well as self-completion, are operations in a sphere of illusory bipolarity that, like an ellipse, only formally possess two focal points” (205). It seems to me that this desire for the love, beauty and knowledge of another is mutual; a reciprocal narrative thrust, the same existential motivation. Elizabeth Grosz writes about the first emotions of the newborn child and the immediate expressiveness of the face, with those of the parents. She refers to Alphonso Lingis to develop this connection between emotion and bodily expression as: “the pleasure and pains the body comes to articulate: human infants laugh and weep before they can speak.” (Grosz, Chaos 51) To be acknowledged, to see a reflection of one’s own face in that of another’s face as an expression of love, is a craving common to all humans.Art, like new love, has the ability to set our hearts aflutter, lips aquiver, our palms turned upwards in awe, our eyes widened in surprise. “The reverie of love defies all attempts to record it” (Stendhal 63). We are physically drawn to great works, to their immediacy, to their sudden emerging determination and tangibility (Menke). Our perceptions are entangled, our attitudes are affected, our imaginations are piqued and our knowledge and memory are probed.So what happens next? Once our hearts are pounding and our legs are wobbling, then what? As our unconscious experience becomes conscious (as the result of our brain letting our body know and then identifying and analysing the data), we start to draw associations and allow the mind and the body to engage with the world. The significance of what we see, an art object worthy of love for instance, is interpreted or distinguished by our memory and our personal accumulation of information over our lives. When we are away from the object, we perceive the art work to be dispassionate, inanimate and impassive. Yet standing before the object, our perception shifts and we consider the art work to be alive and dynamic. I believe the ability to ‘fall’ for an art work reflects the viewer’s heart-breaking longing to ensnare the beauty (or ugliness) that has so captured his or her soul. Like the doppelganger who doesn’t recognise its own double, its own shadow, the viewer falls in love (Poe 1365). This perverse perception of love (perverse because we usually associate love as existing between humans) is real. Philosopher Paul Crowther writes about the phenomenology of visual art. Where I am talking about a romantic longing, a love of the love itself, the face falling for the face, the body falling for the body, bodily, Crowther breaks down the physical patterns of perceiving art. Though he does not deny the corporeal reality of the experience, he talks of the body operations discriminating at the level of perception, drawing on memories and future expectations and desire (Crowther, Phenomenology 62). Crowther says, “Through the painting, the virtual and the physical, the world and the body, are shown to inhabit one another simultaneously and inseparably” (Phenomenology 75). I am not sure that these experiences occur simultaneously or even in tandem. While we perceive the experience as full and complex and potentially revelatory, one element more likely informs the next and so on, but in a nanosecond of time. The bodily senses warn the heart which warns the mind. The mind activates the memories and experiences before alerting us to the world and the context and finally, the aesthetic judgement.Crowther’s perception of transcendence operates when reality is suspended in the mode of possibility. This informs my view that love of art functions as an impossibility of desire’s end, gratification must be pushed back every time. What of Crowther’s corporeal imagination? This is curious: how can we imagine with our bodies (as opposed to our mind and spirit)? This idea is virtual, in time and space outside those we are used to. This is an imagination that engages instantly, in a self-conscious way. Crowther refers to the virtually immobilised subject matter and the stationary observer and calls it a “suspension of tense” (Phenomenology 69). However I am interested in the movement of the spectator around the art work or in synchronicity with the artwork too. This continues the face to face, body to body, encounter of art.Crowther also writes of phenomenological depth as a condition of embodiment which is of significance to judgement; phenomenological depth is “shown through ways in which the creation of visual artworks embodies complex relations between the human subject and its objects of perception, knowledge, and action” (Phenomenology 9). Although Crowther is leaning on the making of the artwork more heavily than the viewers’ perception of it in this account, it relates well to the Australian artists and twins Silvana and Gabriella Mangano, whose action performances, presented in three-screened, large-scale video were represented in the 2012 Sydney Biennale. The Mangano twins collaborate on video performance works which focus on their embodied interpretations of the act of drawing. In the Mangano sisters’ 2001 Drawing 1, the twins stand beside a wall of paper, facing each other. While maintaining eye contact, they draw the same image on the wall, without seeing what mark they are making or what mark the other is making. This intuitive, physical, corporeal manifestation of their close connection becomes articulated on paper. Its uncanny nature, the shared creativity and the performative act of collaborative drawing is riveting. The spectator is both excluded and incorporated in this work. Such intimacy between siblings is exclusive and yet the participation of the spectator is necessary, as witnesses to this inexplicable ability to know where the other’s drawing will move next. The sisters are face to face but the spectator and the artwork also function in a face to face encounter; the rhythmic fluidity of movement on the video screen surface is the face of the artwork.When experiencing the Mangano works, we become aware of our own subjective physical experiences. Also, we are aware of the artists’ consciousness of their heightened physical relations with each other, while making the work. I am writing in an era of digital video and performance art, where sound, movement, space and shifts of temporality must be added to more traditional formalist criteria such as form, surface, line and colour. As such, our criteria for judgement of this new surge of highly technical (though often intuitively derived) work and the immersive, sometimes interactive, experiences of the audience have to change at the same pace. One of the best methods of aesthetic critique to use is the concept of embodiment, the perceptual forces at work when we are conscious of the experience of art. As I sit at my desk, I am vaguely aware of my fingers rattling across the keyboard and of my legs crossed beneath me. I am conscious of their function, as an occupied space within which my consciousness resides. “I know where each of my limbs is through a body image in which all are included. But the notion of body image is ambiguous,” (102) says Merleau-Ponty, and this is a “Continual translation into visual language of the kinaesthetic and articular impressions of the moment” (102). Mark Johnson reiterates this dilemma: “We are aware of what we see, but not of our seeing.” (5) This doesn’t only relate to the movement of the Mangano twins’ muscles, postures and joint positions in their videos. It also relates to the spectator’s posture and straining, our recoiling and absorption. If I lurch forward (Lingis 174) to see the video image of the twins as they walk across a plain in El Bruc, Spain, using Thonet wooden chairs as stilts in their 2009 work The Surround, and if my eyes widen, if my hands unclench and open, and if I touch my cheek in wonder, then, is this embodied reaction a legitimate normative response? Is this perception of the work, as a beautiful and desirable experience, an admissible form of judgement? If I feel moved, if my heart races, my skin prickles, does that mean the effect is as important as other technical, conceptual or formalist categories of success? Does this feeling refer to the possibility of new intelligence? An active body in a bodily space (Merleau-Ponty 104) as opposed to external space can be perceived because of darkness needed for the ‘theatre’ of the performance. Darkness is often the cue for audiences that there is performative information at work. In the Manganos’ videos in Spain (they completed several videos during a residency in El Bruc Spain), the darkness was the isolated and alienating landscape of a remote plain. In their 2010 work Neon, which was inspired by Atsuko Tanaka’s 1957 Electric Dress, the movement and flourish of coloured neon paper was filmed against a darkened background, which is the kind of theatre space Merleau-Ponty describes: the performative cue. In Neon the checkered and brightly coloured paper appeared waxy as the sisters moved it around their half-hidden bodies, as though blown by an imaginary wind. This is an example of how the black or darkened setting works as a stimulant for understanding the importance of the body at work within the dramatic space. This also escalates the performative nature of the experience, which in turn informs the spectator’s active reaction. Merleau-Ponty says, “the laying down of the first co-ordinates, the anchoring of the active body in an object, the situation of the body in the face of its tasks. Bodily space can be distinguished from external space and envelop its parts instead of spreading them out” (115) The viewer, however, is not disembodied, despite the occasional sensation of hallucination in the face of an artwork. The body is present, it is in, near, around and sometimes below the stimulus. Many art experiences are immersive, such as Mexican, Rafael Lorenzo Hemmer, and Dane, Olafur Eliasson, whose installations explore time, light and sound and require audience participation. The participant’s interaction causes an effect upon the artwork. We are more conscious of ourselves in these museum environments: we move slowly, we revolve and pause, with hands on hip, head co*cked to the side. We smile, frown, sense, squint, laugh, listen and touch. Traditional art (such as painting) may not invite such extremes of sensory multiplicity, such extremes of mimicking movement and intimate immersion. “The fact that the self exists in such an horizon of past and possible experiences means that it can never know itself sufficiently as just this immediately given physical body. It inhabits that body in the sense of being able, as it were, to wander introspectively through memory and imagination to places, times and situations other than those of its present embodiment” (Crowther, Phenomenology 178). Crowther’s point is important in application to the discussion of embodiment as a normative criteria of aesthetic judgement. It is not just our embodied experience that we bring to the magistrate’s court room, for judgement, but our memory and knowledge and the context or environment of both our experience and the experience that is enacted in relation to the art work. So an argument for embodiment as a criteria for normative judgements would not function alone, but as an adjunct, an add-on, an addition to the list of already applied criteria. This approach of open honesty and sincerity to art is similar to the hopefulness of new love. This is not the sexualised perception, the tensions of eroticism, which Alphonso Lingis speaks of in his Beauty and Lust essay. I am not talking about how “the pattern of holes and orifices we sense in the other pulls at the layout of lips, fingers, breasts, thighs and genitals” nor “the violent emotions that sense the obscenity in anguish” (175-76), I am instead referring to a G-rated sense of attachment, a more romantic attitude of compassion, desire, empathy and affection. Those movements made by the Mangano twins in their videos, in slow motion, sometimes in reverse, in black and white, the actions and postures that flow and dance, peak and drop, swirl and fall: the play of beauty within space, remind me of other languorous mimetic accents taken from nature. I recall the rhythms of poetry I have read, the repetitions of rituals and patterns of behaviour in nature I have witnessed. This knowledge, experience, memory and awareness all contribute to the map of love which is directing me to different points in the performance. These contributors to my embodied experience are creating a new whole and also a new format for judgement. Elizabeth Grosz talks about body maps when she says, “the body is thus also a site of resistance...for it is capable of being self-marked, self-represented in alternative ways” (Inscriptions and Body Maps 64). I’m interested less in the marking and more in the idea of the power of bodily participation. This is power in terms of the personal and the social as transformative qualities. “Art reminds us of states of animal vigour,” Nietsche says (Grosz, Chaos 63). Elizabeth Grosz continues this idea by saying that sensations are composites (75) and that art is connected to sexual energies and impulses, to a common impulse for more (63). However I think there is a mistake in attributing sexuality, as prescribed by Lingis and Grosz, despite my awe and admiration for them both, to the impulses of art. They might seem or appear to be erotic or sexual urges but are they not something a little more fleeting, more abstract, more insouciant? These are the desires at close hand but it is what those desires really represent that count. Philosopher John Armstrong refers to a Vuillard painting in the Courtauld Institute: “This beautiful image reminds us that sexuality isn’t just about sex; it conveys a sense of trust and comfort which are connected to tender touch” (Armstrong 135). In other words, if we assume there is a transference of Freudian sexual intensity or libido to the art work, perhaps it is not the act of sex we crave but a more elaborate desire, a desire for old-fashioned love, respect and honour.Sue Best refers to the word communion to describe the rapturous transport of being close to the artwork but always kept at a certain distance (512). This relates to the condition of love, of desiring an object but never attaining it. This is arrested pleasure, otherwise known as torture. But the word communion also gives rise, for me, to an idea of religious communion, of drinking the wine and bread as metaphor for Christ’s blood and body. This concept of embodied virtue or pious love, of becoming one with the Lord has repetitions or parallels with the experience of art. The urge to consume, intermingle or become physically entangled with the object of our desire is more than a philosophical urge but a spiritual urge. It seems to me that embodiment is not just the physical realities and percepts of experience but that they stand, mnemonically and mimetically, for more abstract urges and desires, hopes and ambitions, outside the realm of the gallery space, the video space or the bodily space. Crowther says, “Art answers this psychological/ontological need. ...through the complex and ubiquitous ways in which it engages the imagination” (Defining Art 238). While our embodied or perceptual experiences might seem slight or of less importance at first, they gather weight when added to knowledge and desire. Bergson said, “But there is, in this necessary poverty of our conscious perception, something that is positive, that foretells spirit: it is in the etymological sense of the word, discernment” (31). This art love is an aspiration for more, for hopes and expectation that the art work I fall for will enlighten me, will enrich my experience. This art work reminds me of all the qualities and principles I crave, but know in my heart are just beyond my fingertips. Perhaps we can consider the acknowledgement of art love as, not only a means of discernment but also as a legitimate purpose, that is, to be bodily, emotionally and intellectually changed and to gain further knowledge.ReferencesArmstrong, John. Conditions of Love. London: Penguin, 2002.Bergson, Henri. Matter and Memory. New York: Dover Philosophical Classics, 2004.Best, Sue. “Rethinking Visual Pleasure: Aesthetics and Affect.” Theory and Psychology 17 (2007): 4.Crowther, Paul. The Phenomenology of Visual Art. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2009.---. Defining Art: Creating the Canon. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2007.Menke, Christoph, Daniel Birnbaum, Isabell Graw and Daniel Loick. The Power of Judgement: A Debate on Aesthetic Critique. Berlin: Sternberg Press, 2010.Grosz, Elizabeth. Chaos, Territory, Art: Deleuze and the Framing of the Earth. New York: Columbia University Press, 2008.---. “Inscriptions and Body-Maps: Representations and the Corporeal.” Feminine/Masculine and Representation. Eds. Terry Threadgold and Anne Granny-France. Sydney: Allen and Unwin, 1990. 62-74. Johnson, Mark. The Meaning of the Body. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007.Lingis, Alphonso. “Beauty and Lust.” Journal of Phenomenological Pyschology 27 (1996): 174-192.Merleau-Ponty, Maurice. Phenomenology of Perception. New York: Routledge Classics, 2002.Poe, Edgar Allen. “William Wilson: A Tale.” The Norton Anthology of American Literature. New York: Nortin, 1985.Schopenhauer, Arthur. The World as Will and Representation. New York: Dover, 1969.Sloterdijk, Peter. Bubbles, Spheres 1. Los Angeles: Semiotext(e), 2011.Stendhal. Love. London: Penguin, 2004.

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Esposito, Paola. "Thread: Somatic Lives of a Thing." M/C Journal 19, no.1 (April6, 2016). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.1062.

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IntroductionOn a sunny afternoon in early spring 2014, five researchers were strolling through the streets of Old Aberdeen. They had known each other for only a few days since an event had brought them together. The event was Performance Reflexivity, Intentionality and Collaboration: A Sourcing Within Worksession, convened by anthropologist Caroline Gatt and performer Gey Pin Ang, as part of the ERC Advanced Grant project “Knowing from the Inside,” at the department of Anthropology, University of Aberdeen. This workshop aimed to explore aspects of creative decision-making in performance to assess their relevance to anthropological practice. For three days, participants had engaged in intensive physical and vocal training, seeking to act in ways that felt intuitive and not forced. Five of those participants—Brian Schultis, Peter Loovers, Ragnhild Freng Dale, Valeria Lembo, and myself—unintentionally continued those explorations after the workshop.Our wanderings around the old town took us to the St Machar’s Cathedral. As we were lingering by the graveyard, Valeria took out of her bag a yarn of golden thread. This, she said, was an object of “personal relevance” that she had brought along to the workshop as a prop to work with, following Gey Pin’s instructions. Now she was unravelling it, offering one point to each of us. As we untangled the yarn, we resumed walking. Held from different points, the yarn became a web. Its threads shifted, vibrations reaching our fingertips as we moved. As we entered Seaton Park, which is adjacent to the Cathedral, the threads registered our encounters with the bumpy path, trees, wind, and passers-by as visible, tactile, and kinetic qualities. Pulls, resistances, flows, and gaps triggered a sense of “enmeshment” (Ingold, Lines 11) in a living, breathing world, something greater than ourselves.Walking Threads (henceforth WT), as we retrospectively named the experience, has since developed into a publication (Ang et al.) and a series of invitations extended to larger groups, at conferences and symposia, to walk with the golden thread (walkingthreads.wordpress.com). In our basic WT practice, the yarn is passed around. The thread unravels and we begin to move. No instruction is given to participants, in order to avoid their over-conceptualising the walk. We begin in silence in order to encourage an attitude of “listening,” that is, of opening one’s perceptual awareness to what is happening in the moment. This has not prevented participants from spontaneously using their voice at later stages of the walk, through song, recitation or the exploring of vocal sound.While WT outings are sporadic, the golden thread has continued to be part of my life in subtle ways. Since the last walk in September 2015 at the Beyond Perception symposium in Aberdeen, the thread has repeatedly come to mind. I began to pay attention to these appearances of the thread not as a material object but as a so-called “mental image.” By focusing on the image of the thread, I intentionally recalled some of its properties as a thing that connects, tangles, ties, and is untied, properties that the WT had made salient. By allowing those properties to inform my relationship with my body, the thread turned into a somatic image, a process that I describe in this paper. Thus, this paper continues the WT project’s creative explorations of bodies with threads. This time, however, the thread is not conceived of as a material object but as an image.A few words on my understanding of images are in order. Since 2006 I have been dancing and researching butoh, a dance style that originated in Japan in the post-World War II years. Butoh is a formless dance: it resists codification into a conclusive system of movement, relying on intensified proprioception—the perception of one’s own body—to sustain movement work instead. The use of verbal imagery is widespread among butoh dancers: words act as devices to evoke sensory experiences and “scaffold” (Downey) perceptual attention in order to achieve nuanced qualities of movement. The practice of butoh has informed my understanding of mental images not as merely visual but also as kinaesthetic, that is, engaging the sense of movement. This connection is hardly new; Csordas, for instance, talks of “physical” or “sensory” imagery, rather than merely visual (146–47).While I never intentionally used butoh to relate to the thread, my training and sensitivities as a butoh dancer are likely to have played a role in my relations with this object, as filtered through the WT experiences. Based on my background as a butoh dancer and “thread-walker,” the approach of this paper may be understood as one of anthropology with art: one in which the modes of observation supporting artistic and anthropological inquiries coincide (Ingold, Making 8). An artist’s engagement with materials, tools and things—including the body—is speculative, experimental and open-ended, rather than descriptive or documentary. This type of engagement can question established ways of seeing. For instance, we generally think of objects and bodies as belonging to different domains—the inanimate and the animate, the lifeless and the living. This paper questions this assumption and hypothesises that, through a particular kind of perceptual engagement, which mobilises the somatic and the imaginary simultaneously, objects and bodies can merge. An object can be embodied and, vice versa, a body can become a thing.The paper draws on autoethnographic occurrences of relating to the image of the thread, in the form of short somatic narratives, or narratives “from the body” (Farnell). Each narrative aligns the image of the thread to a particular aspect of somatic awareness: thinking, breathing, and muscle-bones. Far from claiming universal validity, these personal accounts engage a “somatic mode of attention” (Csordas 139) to venture in the potentialities of image-based thinking (Sousanis; Jackson). The exploration finds that, as the materiality of the thread retreats into the background, its image unlocks aspects of self-perception that normally escape conscious awareness (Leder). The image of the thread becomes a perceptual device that, by facilitating access to somatic awareness, reshapes relations with the world and, internally, with the body. It is in this sense that I embody the thread. Beginning with a Loose End: Spinning Thought into Thread-FormAs I begin to write this paper, I witness my thinking taking the form of a thread. It first appears as a loose end. I see it in my mind’s eye, and from a short distance. The loose end of a golden thread floating in a dark space. I cannot see how far it extends. Instead, the gaze of my imagination glides towards its surface as though attempting to grab it. Even so close, I cannot touch it. Still I can contemplate few of its qualities. I meet its reassuring continuity. A glimmer catches my attention: it is a few silver filaments inside the thread, glittering. The thought-form of the thread is a sensation of thin electric current between the temples. I sense the space between my eyes and forehead, their muscles and bones, subtly engaging. The same space begins to narrow down into a corridor. It is narrower and narrower. My thought spins itself into thread-form.In the 1980s, movement therapist Thomas Hanna defined a perspective from inside as “somatic,” that is, pertaining to soma, the ancient Greek word for “living body” (20). The somatic involves the perception of the corporeal from the inside rather than the outside: “to yourself, you are a soma. To others, you are a body. Only you can perceive yourself as a soma—no one else can do so” (20). As a first-person perspective on the body, the somatic involves attention to perceptual processes (Csordas). Yet, in daily life, self-perception is the exception rather than the norm. Being in the world is active rather than reflective (Leder). Otherwise put, being alive requires a mode of engagement that goes “forwards” rather than “in reverse” (Ingold, Making 8).Were we constantly aware of our own presence and actions, this would obstruct their unfolding (Leder 19–20). In order not to inhibit its capacity for being, the body must remain to a great extent “absent” to itself (Leder 19). Some reflective possibilities nonetheless exist. In meditation, for instance, one can attend directly to bodily processes, with aesthetic and contemplative benefits (18–19). The opening somatic narrative presented my visualising of the golden thread as such a kind of reflexive engagement. There, the activity of visualising ceased to be an orientation towards an externally conceived “object” (the thread), becoming itself the end, or object, of perception.One may ask: What kind of sensory perception is mobilised in positing the “visualising” of the thread as “object” rather than as background process? I suggest it is proprioceptively-oriented kinaesthesia or, the perception of self-movement. In this mode of perception, the activity of visualising the thread yields kinetic and spatial impressions. Visualising, that is, is perceived as a movement of attention (Sheets-Johnstone 420–22).The image of the thread, meanwhile, has suggestively merged with the activity of visualisation, in two stages. First, it has guided my attention towards an otherwise-recessive bodily process. Secondly, it has lent its form to an otherwise-indeterminate bundle of sensations. I elaborate on this latter aspect in the following section, where the next somatic narrative posits thinking as a perceptual object, in the form of the image of a web of threads.Seeing through the Veil Walking home one day I noticed some thoughts unpleasantly affecting my mood. In recognising their negative impact, I decided that I should try and detach myself from them. I imagined that the thoughts were like threads woven together. This image of interwoven thoughts developed into another image: a coherent system of thoughts, or worldview, was like a “veil” spread between my eyes and the world. I could, quite literally, “remove” the veil through an act simultaneously of proprioceptive awareness and imagination, leaving my mind uncluttered. As new thoughts rushed in to form a new veil, I could also remove these and so on. As a reminder of this experience, I jotted down these words:If the veil is made of ideasThen thinking is weaving.Sometimes I can see the veilMade of the substance ofMy thoughts.When I see it,When I see the fabricOf thought that forms it,Then it disappears.When I see itWhen I can really see the veil,It’s by a certain way of seeingWhich is in my forehead.To see that way,Really look, with yourEyes as well asWith your mindFor the mind itselfCan attune,Can look, can see through the veil.Leder writes, “insofar as I perceive through an organ, it necessarily recedes from the perceptual field it discloses. I do not smell my tissue, hear my ear, or taste my taste buds but perceive with and through such organs” (14). Similarly, in ordinary conditions, I cannot think about my own mind. To see through the veil of thoughts requires a reflexive effort. It is to attend to the act, not the content, of thinking.This form of awareness can be seen as gestural, as it calls into play the body—a certain way of seeing/which is in my forehead. It is both a stepping back from thoughts, which allows me to see them as objects (a veil), and a removing of them, as though they were tangible things.Weaving the Body into the Night: Breath and Physical Forces as KnotsThe definition of somatic in the previous section anchors it to the point of view of the perceiver. The next somatic narrative describes how, through the image of thread, the perceiving I dissipates into contiguity with the world. Following my experience of perceiving my own thoughts as a veil, I further practised “moving my thoughts” through that image. One night the image of the veil “moved me,” that is, my entire body, in turn.As I cycle back home in the light rain I sense my own presence weaving in the fabric of the night. The fresh air flowing into and out of my nostrils and lungs, my feet pressing against the pedals, pushing my body up from the saddle, my legs looping. Dynamic energy mingles with currents of air passing through my body, and shining asphalt flowing under the wheels. Rhythm, like sowing my presence onto the air. And though the road is steep, tonight cycling up the hill feels effortless. My mind is empty and alert, engaging with the fabric of reality I can see. Is this “reality” or just my imagination? It would not make much difference to me. This somatic narrative reintroduces the image of the veil on a different scale. Now I see the veil as though through a microscope: myriad intertwining threads, and I am part of it. Threads run out of my limbs and lungs: gathering and propelling, pushes and pulls, in- and out-breaths. They weave with the night’s very limbs and lungs: streets, trees, the hill, the breeze, the deep embrace of the sky.For Ingold “every living being is a line or, better, a bundle of lines” (Lines 3). Lines are the movements that living beings perform as they relate—“corresponding,” “clinging,” “tying,” and “untying” (3–7)—to other living beings and the world. Breathing also is a line: “as we breathe in and out, the air mingles with our bodily tissues, filling the lungs and oxygenating the blood” (70). Or rather, breathing is a knot: it ties the inside with the outside. “Breathing is the way in which beings can have unmediated access to one another, on the inside, while yet spilling out into the cosmos in which they are equally immersed” (67).Cycling up-hill, breathing in and out, pushing and propelling, is a weaving of my body, a bundle of lines, with the ebb and flow of the weather-world (Ingold, Lines). This image evokes an outer spatial dimension to the body, an opening. It recalls my being one of multiple people holding and walking with the thread in the WT project. As with WT, feelings of resistance, flux, and being part of something bigger emerge.The image of threads feeds into the somatic perception of body-in-action, and vice versa. Here, engaging in action and imagination are not in contradiction but imply one another. They “correspond” (Ingold, Making): it is because my actions unfold through the imaginary framework of the night as veil that they can flow as they do, sinking in perceptual tracks of extended being.Muscle-Bones as ThreadsFor anthropologist Michael Jackson, metaphors reveal the identity of domains of being that the intellect strives to keep separate, such as the cultural and the natural. “Metaphor reveals unities; it is not a figurative way of denying dualities. Metaphor reveals, not the ‘thisness of a that’ but rather that ‘this is that’” (142, emphasis in the original). Whenever a crisis occurs, which undermines the unity of being-in-the-world, metaphors can be called upon to resolve the impasse and to make people “whole” (149).The final somatic narrative is an example of how an image can restore the unity of the physical and the mental. By imbuing the visceral body with the tangible qualities of a thing, the image of the thread turns the absent body into a sentient, responsive body. This, in turn, helps to overcome the impasse created by physical pain.Lying on the floor, sinking into it. The pain has been with me for years now. When stressed or tired, it spreads through the left side of my body. I have begun imagining the pain’s epicenter as a knot inside the pelvis, between left hip and tailbone. Looking inwards, I try and see the muscular fibres enveloping my limbs, connecting top to bottom. I summon the image of the thread. I make its fibres overlap with my muscle fibres. I want the thread to be the muscles, and the muscles to be the thread. This way I can disentangle the knots and find relief. My body is a deep, dark well. Breath is the rope that takes me down. Breathing in and out creates ripples of movement. They gently undo the knot, ease the pain. In this somatic narrative, my body is, once again, a bundle of threads. This time, however, this image has an anatomical inflection. Instead of generic movements, it is my very muscles that are threads. Early modern Dutch anatomist Ruysch also described muscles as made “of many parallel threads of different lengths,” which fitted with his overall view of the human body as divine “embroidery” (van de Roemer 180–82).In the previous section, a knot was a device for binding and securing life relations to survive a world that is, by its very nature, adrift (Ingold, Lines 67). Breathing enacted one such kind of knot “tying” the inside with the outside. In contrast, now a knot is a place of stagnation, of tension, where movement does not flow as it should. Breathing triggers minute movements throughout the body, which allow me to gradually undo the knot, releasing tensions and bringing relief.ConclusionDrawing on personal experiences, this article has sought to show that corporeal relations with an object can transcend its materiality. By engaging imagination and somatic attention, the thread lived a second life within and through my body.Based on the object’s characteristics and properties, the image of the thread refashioned, albeit momentarily, my relation with my body and the world. It allowed me to fill a perceived gap between body and world, between imagining and being.Finally, in relating to “unthinkable” aspects of being—mental and physical pain—the image of the thread was beneficial and even healing. It yielded sustainable notions of the corporeal.ReferencesAng, Gey Pin, Paola Esposito, Valeria Lembo, Ragnhild Freng Dale, Caroline Gatt, Peter Loovers, and Brian Schultis. “Walking Threads.” Humans and the Environment/Walking Threads [Special Issue]. The Unfamiliar: An Anthropological Journal 5.1–2 (forthcoming, 2016). Csordas, Thomas. “Somatic Modes of Attention.” Cultural Anthropology 8.2 (1993): 135-56.Downey, Greg. “Scaffolding Imitation in Capoeira Training: Physical Education and Enculturation in an Afro-Brazilian Art.” American Anthropologist 110 (2008): 204–13.Farnell, Brenda. “Moving Bodies, Acting Selves.” Annual Review of Anthropology 28 (1999): 341–73.Hanna, Thomas. Somatics: Reawakening the Mind’s Control of Movement, Flexibility, and Health. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Perseus Books, 1988.Ingold, Tim. Making: Anthropology, Archaeology, Art and Architecture. London: Routledge, 2013.———. The Life of Lines. Abingdon: Routledge, 2015.Jackson, Michael. Paths toward a Clearing: Radical Empiricism and Ethnographic Inquiry. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1989.Leder, Drew. The Absent Body. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1990.Sheets-Johnstone, Maxine. The Primacy of Movement. Amsterdam: Benjamins, 2011.Sousanis, Nick. Unflattening. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard UP, 2015.Van de Roemer, Gijsbert M. “From Vanitas to Veneration: The Embellishments in the Anatomical Cabinet of Frederik Ruysch.” Journal of the History of Collections 22.2 (2010): 169–86.

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Fedorova, Ksenia. "Mechanisms of Augmentation in Proprioceptive Media Art." M/C Journal 16, no.6 (November7, 2013). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.744.

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Introduction In this article, I explore the phenomenon of augmentation by questioning its representational nature and analyzing aesthetic modes of our interrelationship with the environment. How can senses be augmented and how do they serve as mechanisms of enhancing the feeling of presence? Media art practices offer particularly valuable scenarios of activating such mechanisms, as the employment of digital technology allows them to operate on a more subtle level of perception. Given that these practices are continuously evolving, this analysis cannot claim to be a comprehensive one, but rather aims to introduce aspects of the specific relations between augmentation, sense of proprioception, technology, and art. Proprioception is one of the least detectable and trackable human senses because it involves our intuitive sense of positionality, which suggests a subtle equilibrium between a center (our individual bodies) and the periphery (our immediate environments). Yet, as any sense, proprioception implies a communicational chain, a network of signals traveling and exchanging information within the body-mind complex. The technological augmentation of this dynamic process produces an interference in our understanding of the structure and elements, the information sent/received. One way to understand the operations of the senses is to think about them as images that the mind creates for itself. Artistic intervention (usually) builds upon exactly this logic: representation of images generated in mind, supplementing or even supplanting the existing collection of inner images with new, created ones. Yet, in case of proprioception the only means to interfere with and augment these inner images is on bodily level. Hence, the question of communication through images (or representations) should be extended towards a more complex theory of embodied perception. Drawing on phenomenology, cognitive science, and techno-cultural studies, I focus on the potential of biofeedback technologies to challenge and transform our self-perception by conditioning new pathways of apprehension (sometimes by creating mechanisms of direct stimulation of neural activity). I am particularly interested in how the awareness of the self (grounded in the felt relationality of our body parts) is most significantly activated at the moments of disturbance of balance, in situations of perplexity and disorientation. Projects by Marco Donnarumma, Sean Montgomery, and other artists working with biofeedback aesthetically validate and instantiate current research about neuro-plasticity, with technologically mediated sensory augmentation as one catalyst of this process. Augmentation as Representation: Proprioception and Proprioceptive Media Representation has been one of the key ways to comprehend reality. But representation also constitutes a spatial relation of distancing and separation: the spectator encounters an object placed in front of him, external to him. Thus, representation is associated more with an analytical, rather than synthetic, methodology because it implies detachment and division into parts. Both methods involve relation, yet in the case of representation there is a more distinct element of distance between the representing subject and represented object. Representation is always a form of augmentation: it extends our abilities to see the "other", otherwise invisible sides and qualities of the objects of reality. Representation is key to both science and art, yet in case of the latter, what is represented is not a (claimed) "objective" scheme of reality, but rather images of the imaginary, inner reality (even figurative painting always presents a particular optical and psychological perspective, to say nothing about forms of abstract art). There are certain kinds of art (visual arts, music, dance, etc.) that deal with different senses and thus, build their specific representational structures. Proprioception is one of the senses that occupies relatively marginal position in artistic production (which is exactly because of the specificity of its representational nature and because it does not create a sense of an external object. The term "proprioception" comes from Latin propius, or "one's own", "individual", and capio, cepi – "to receive", "to perceive". It implies a sense of one's self felt as a relational unity of parts of the body most vividly discovered in movement and in effort employed in it. The loss of proprioception usually means loss of bodily orientation and a feeling of one's body (Sacks 43-54). On the other hand, in case of additional stimulation and training of this sense (not only via classical cyber-devices, like cyber-helmets, gloves, etc. that set a different optics, but also techniques of different kinds of altered states of mind, e.g. through psychotropics, but also through architecture of virtual space and acoustics) a sense of disorientation that appears at first changes towards some analogue of reactions of enthusiasm, excitement discovery, and emotion of approaching new horizons. What changes is not only perception of external reality, but a sense of one's self: the self is felt as fluid, flexible, with penetrable borders. Proprioception implies initial co-existence of the inner and outer space on the basis of originary difference and individuality/specificity of the occupied position. Yet, because they are related, the "external" and "other" already feels as "one's own", and this is exactly what causes the sense of presence. Among the many possible connections that the body, in its sense of proprioception, is always already ready for, only a certain amount gets activated. The result of proprioception is a special kind of meta-stable internal image. This image may not coincide with the optical, auditory, or haptic image. According to Brian Massumi, proprioception translates the exertions and ease of the body's encounters with objects into a muscular memory of relationality. This is the cumulative memory of skill, habit, posture. At the same time as proprioception folds tactility in, it draws out the subject's reactions to the qualities of the objects it perceives through all five senses, bringing them into the motor realm of externalizable response. (59) This internal image is not mediated by anything, though it depends directly on the relations between the parts. It cannot be grasped because it is by definition fluid and dynamic. The position in one point is replaced here by a position-in-movement (point-in-movement). "Movement is not indexed by position. Rather, the position is born in movement, from the relation of movement towards itself" (Massumi 179). Philosopher of "extended mind" Andy Clark notes that we should distinguish between a real body schema (non-conscious configuration) and a body image (conscious construct) (Clark). It is the former that is important to understand, and yet is the most challenging. Due to its fluidity and self-referentiality, proprioception is not presentable to consciousness (the unstable internal image that it creates resides in consciousness but cannot be grasped and thus re-presented). A feeling/sense, it is not bound by sensible forms that would serve as means of objectification and externalization. As Barbara Montero observes, while the objects of vision and hearing, i.e. the most popular senses involved in the arts, are beyond one's body, sense of proprioception relates directly to the bodily sensation, it does not represent any external objects, but the sensory itself (231). These characteristics of proprioception help to reframe the question of augmentation as mediation: in the case of proprioception, the medium of sensation is the very relational structure of the body itself, irrespective of the "exteroceptive" (tactile) or "interoceptive" (visceral) dimensions of sensibility. The body is understood, then, as the "body without image,” and its proprioceptive effect can then be described as "the sensibility proper to the muscles and ligaments" (Massumi 58). Proprioception in (Media) Art One of the most convincing ways of externalization and (re)presentation of the data of proprioception is through re-production of its structure and its artificial enhancement with the help of technology. This can be achieved in at least two ways: by setting up situations and environments that emphasize self-perspective and awareness of perception, and by presenting measurements of bio-data and inviting into dialogue with them. The first strategy may be connected to disorientation and shifted perspective that are created in immersive virtual environments that make the role of otherwise un-trackable, fluid sense of proprioception actually felt and cognized. These effects are closely related to the nuances of perception of space, for instance, to spatial illusion. Practice of spatial illusion in the arts traces its history as far back as Roman frescos, trompe l’oeil, as well as phantasmagorias, like magic lantern. Geometrically, the system of the 360º image is still the most effective in producing a sense of full immersion—either in spaces from panoramas, Stereopticon, Cinéorama to CAVE (Computer Augmented Virtual Environments), or in devices for an individual spectator’s usage, like a stereoscope, Sensorama and more recent Head Mounted Displays (HMD). All these devices provide a sense of hermetic enclosure and bodily engagement with its scenes (realistic or often fantastical). Their images are frameless and thus immeasurable (lack of the sense of proportion provokes feeling of disorientation), image apparatus and the image itself converge here into an almost inseparable total unity: field of vision is filled, and the medium becomes invisible (Grau 198-202; 248-255). Yet, the constructed image is even more frameless and more peculiarly ‘mental’ in environments created on the basis of objectless or "immaterial" media, like light or sound; or in installations prioritizing haptic sensation and in responsive architectures, i.e. environments that transform physically in reaction to their inhabitants. The examples may include works by Olafur Eliasson that are centered around the issues of conscious perception and employ various optical and other apparata (mirrors, curved surfaces, coloured glass, water systems) to shift the habitual perspective and make one conscious of the subtle changes in the environment depending on one's position in space (there have been instances of spectators in Eliasson's installations falling down after trying to lean against an apparent wall that turned out to be a mere optical construct.). Figure 1: Olafur Eliasson, Take Your Time, 2008. © Olafur Eliasson Studio. In his classic H2OExpo project for Delta Expo in 1997, the Dutch architect Lars Spuybroek experimented with the perception of instability. There is no horizontal surface in the pavilion; floors, composed of interconnected elliptical volumes, transform into walls and walls into ceilings, promoting a sense of fluidity and making people respond by falling, leaning, tilting and "experiencing the vector of one’s own weight, and becoming sensitized to the effects of gravity" (Schwartzman 63). Along the way, specially installed sensors detect the behaviour of the ‘walker’ and send signals to the system to contribute further to the agenda of imbalance and confusion by changing light, image projection, and sound.Figure 2: Lars Spuybroek, H2OExpo, 1994-1997. © NOX/ Lars Spuybroek. Philip Beesley’s Hylozoic Ground (2010) is also a responsive environment filled by a dense organic network of delicate illuminated acrylic tendrils that can extend out to touch the visitor, triggering an uncanny mixture of delight and discomfort. The motif of pulsating movement was inspired by fluctuations in coral reefs and recreated via the system of precise sensors and microprocessors. This reference to an unfamiliar and unpredictable natural environment, which often makes us feel cautious and ultra-attentive, is a reminder of our innate ability of proprioception (a deeply ingrained survival instinct) and its potential for a more nuanced, intimate, emphatic and bodily rooted communication. Figure 3: Philip Beesley, Hylozoic Ground, 2010. © Philip Beesley Architect Inc. Works of this kind stimulate awareness of both the environment and one's own response to it. Inviting participants to actively engage with the space, they evoke reactions of self-reflexivity, i.e. the self becomes the object of its own exploration and (potentially) transformation. Another strategy of revealing the processes of the "body without image" is through representing various kinds of bio-data, bodily affective reactions to certain stimuli. Biosignal monitoring technologies most often employed include EEG (Electroencephalogram), EMG (Electromyogram), GSR (Galvanic Skin Response), ECG (Electrocardiogram), HRV (Heart Rate Variability) and others. Previously available only in medical settings and research labs, many types of sensors (bio and environmental) now become increasingly available (bio-enabled products ranging from cardio watches—an instance of the "quantified self" trend—to brain wave-controlled video games). As the representatives of the DIY makers community put it: "By monitoring some phenomena (biofeedback) you can train yourself to modulate them, possibly improving your emotional state. Biosensing lets you interact more naturally with digital systems, creating cyborg-like extensions of your body that overcome disabilities or provide new abilities. You can also share your bio-signals, if you choose, to participate in new forms of communication" (Montgomery). What is it about these technologies besides understanding more accurately the unconscious and invisible signals? The critical question in relation to biofeedback data is about the adequacy of the transference of the initial signal, about the "new" brought by the medium, as well as the ontological status of the resulting representation. These data are reflections of something real, yet themselves have a different weight, also providing the ground for all sorts of simulative methods and creation of mixed realities. External representations, unlike internal, are often attributed a prosthetic nature that is treated as extensions of existing skills. Besides serving their direct purpose (for instance, maps give detailed picture of a distant location), these extensions provide certain psychological effects, such as disorientation, displacement, a shift in a sense of self and enhancement of the sense of presence. Artistic experiments with bio-data started in the 1960s most famously with employing the method of sonification. Among the pioneers were the composers Alvin Lucier, Richard Teitelbaum, David Rosenblum, Erkki Kurenemi, Pierre Henry, and others. Today's versions of biophysical performance may include not only acoustic, but also visual interpretation, as well as subtle narrative scenarios. An example can be Marco Donnarumma's Hypo Chrysos, a piece that translates visceral strain in sound and moving images. The title refers to the type of a punishing trial in one of the circles of hell in Dante's Divine Comedy: the eternal task of carrying heavy rocks is imitated by the artist-performer, while the audience can feel the bodily tension enhanced by sound and imagery. The state of the inner body is, thus, amplified, or augmented. The sense of proprioception experienced by the performer is translated into media perceivable by others. In this externalized form it can also be shared, i.e. released into a space of inter-subjectivity, where it receives other, collective qualities and is not perceived negatively, in terms of pressure. Figure 4: Marco Donnarumma, Hypo Chrysos, 2011. © Marco Donnarumma. Another example can be an installation Telephone Rewired by the artist-neuroscientist Sean Montgomery. Brainwave signals are measured from each visitor upon the entrance to the installation site. These individual data then become part of the collective archive of the brainwaves of all the participants. In the second room, the viewer is engulfed by pulsing light and sound that mimic endogenous brain waveforms of the previous viewers. As in the experience of Donnarumma's performance, this process encourages tuning in to the inner state of the other and finding resonating states in one's own body. It becomes a tool for self-exploration, self-knowledge, and self-control, as well as for developing skills of collective being, of shared body-mind topologies. Synchronization of mental and bodily states of multiple people serves here a broader and deeper goal of training collaborative and empathic abilities. An immersive experience, it triggers deep embodied neural circuits, reaching towards the most authentic reactions not mediated by conscious procedures and judgment. Figure 5: Sean Montgomery, Telephone Rewired, 2013. © Sean Montgomery. Conclusion The potential of biofeedback as a strategy for art projects is a rich area that artists have only begun to explore. The layer of the imaginary and the fictional (which makes art special and different from, for instance, science) can add a critical dimension to understanding the processes of augmentation and mediation. As the described examples demonstrate, art is an investigative journey that can be engaging, surprising, and awakening towards the more subtle and acute forms of thinking and feeling. This astuteness and percipience are especially needed as media and technologies penetrate and affect our very abilities to apprehend reality. We need new tools to make independent and individual judgment. The sense of proprioception establishes a productive challenge not only for science, but also for the arts, inviting a search for new mechanisms of representing the un-presentable and making shareable and communicable what is, by definition, individual, fluid, and ungraspable. Collaborative cognition emerging from the augmentation of proprioception that is enabled by biofeedback technologies holds distinct promise for exploration of not only subjective, but also inter-subjective states and aesthetic strategies of inducing them. References Beesley, Philip. Hylozoic Ground. 2010. Venice Biennale, Venice. Clark, Andy, and David J. Chalmers. “The Extended Mind.” Analysis 58.1 (1998):7-19. Donnarumma, Marco. Hypo Chrysos: Action Art for Vexed Body and Biophysical Media. 2011. Xth Sense Biosensing Wearable Technology. MADATAC Festival, Madrid. Eliasson, Olafur. Take Your Time, 2008. P.S.1 Contemporary Art Centre; Museum of Modern Art, New York. Grau, Oliver. Virtual Art: From Illusion to Immersion. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2003. Massumi, Brian. Parables of the Virtual: Movement, Affect, Sensation. Durham: Duke University Press, 2002. Montero, Barbara. "Proprioception as an Aesthetic Sense." Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 64.2 (2006): 231-242. Montgomery, Sean, and Ira Laefsky. "Biosensing: Track Your Body's Signals and Brain Waves and Use Them to Control Things." Make 26. 1 Oct. 2013 ‹http://www.make-digital.com/make/vol26?pg=104#pg104›. Sacks, Oliver. "The Disembodied Lady". The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales. Philippines: Summit Books, 1985. Schwartzman, Madeline, See Yourself Sensing. Redefining Human Perception. London: Black Dog Publishing, 2011. Spuybroek, Lars. Waterland. 1994-1997. H2O Expo, Zeeland, NL.

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Wallace, Derek. "'Self' and the Problem of Consciousness." M/C Journal 5, no.5 (October1, 2002). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.1989.

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Whichever way you look at it, self is bound up with consciousness, so it seems useful to review some of the more significant existing conceptions of this relationship. A claim by Mikhail Bakhtin can serve as an anchoring point for this discussion. He firmly predicates the formation of self not just on the existence of an individual consciousness, but on what might be called a double or social (or dialogic) consciousness. Summarising his argument, Pam Morris writes: 'A single consciousness could not generate a sense of its self; only the awareness of another consciousness outside the self can produce that image.' She goes on to say that, 'Behind this notion is Bakhtin's very strong sense of the physical and spatial materiality of bodily being,' and quotes directly from Bakhtin's essay as follows: This other human being whom I am contemplating, I shall always see and know something that he, from his place outside and over against me, cannot see himself: parts of his body that are inaccessible to his own gaze (his head, his face and its expression), the world behind his back . . . are accessible to me but not to him. As we gaze at each other, two different worlds are reflected in the pupils of our eyes . . . to annihilate this difference completely, it would be necessary to merge into one, to become one and the same person. This ever--present excess of my seeing, knowing and possessing in relation to any other human being, is founded in the uniqueness and irreplaceability of my place in the world. (Bakhtin in Morris 6 Recent investigations in neuroscience and the philosophy of mind lay down a challenge to this social conception of the self. Notably, it is a challenge that does not involve the restoration of any variant of Cartesian rationalism; indeed, it arguably over--privileges rationalism's subjective or phenomenological opposite. 'Self' in this emerging view is a biologically generated but illusory construction, an effect of the operation of what are called 'neural correlates of consciousness' (NCC). Very briefly, an NCC refers to the distinct pattern of neurochemical activity, a 'neural representational system' -- to some extent observable by modern brain--imaging equipment – that corresponds to a particular configuration of sense--phenomena, or 'content of consciousness' (a visual image, a feeling, or indeed a sense of self). Because this science is still largely hypothetical, with many alternative terms and descriptions, it would be better in this limited space to focus on one particular account – one that is particularly well developed in the area of selfhood and one that resonates with other conceptions included in this discussion. Thomas Metzinger begins by postulating the existence within each person (or 'system' in his terms) of a 'self--model', a representation produced by neural activity -- what he calls a 'neural correlate of self--consciousness' -- that the individual takes to be the actual self, or what Metzinger calls the 'phenomenal self'. 'A self--model is important,' Metzinger says, 'in enabling a system to represent itself to itself as an agent' (293). The individual is able to maintain this illusion because 'the self--model is the only representational structure that is anchored in the brain by a continuous source of internally generated input' (297). In a manner partly reminiscent of Bakhtin, he continues: 'The body is always there, and although its relational properties in space and in movement constantly change, the body is the only coherent perceptual object that constantly generates input.' The reason why the individual is able to jump from the self--model to the phenomenal self in the first place is because: We are systems that are not able to recognise their subsymbolic self--model as a model. For this reason, we are permanently operating under the conditions of a 'naïve--realistic self--misunderstanding': We experience ourselves as being in direct and immediate epistemic contact with ourselves. What we have in the past simply called a 'self' is not a non--physical individual, but only the content of an ongoing dynamical process – the process of transparent self—modeling. (Metzinger 299) The question that nonetheless arises is why it should be concluded that this self--model emerges from subjective neural activity and not, say, from socialisation. Why should a self--model be needed in the first place? Metzinger's response is to say that there is good evidence 'for some kind of innate 'body prototype'' (298), and he refers to research that shows that even children born without limbs develop self--models which sometimes include limbs, or report phantom sensations in limbs that have never existed. To me, this still leaves open the possibility that such children are modelling their body image on strong identification with human others. But be that as it may, one of the things that remains unclear after this relatively rich account of contemporary or scientific phenomenology is the extent to which 'neural consciousness' is or can be supplemented by other kinds of consciousness, or indeed whether neural consciousness can be overridden by the 'self' acting on the basis of these other kinds of consciousness. The key stake in Metzinger's account is 'subjectivity'. The reason why the neural correlate of self--consciousness is so important to him is: 'Only if we find the neural and functional correlates of the phenomenal self will we be able to discover a more general theoretical framework into which all data can fit. Only then will we have a chance to understand what we are actually talking about when we say that phenomenal experience is a subjective phenomenon' (301). What other kinds of consciousness might there be? It is significant that, not only do NCC exponents have little to say about the interaction with other people, they rarely mention language, and they are unanimously and emphatically of the opinion that the thinking or processing that takes place in consciousness is not dependent on language, or indeed any signifying system that we know of (though conceivably, it occurs to me, the neural correlates may signify to, or 'call up', each other). And they show little 'consciousness' that a still influential body of opinion (informed latterly by post--structuralist thinking) has argued for the consciousness shaping effects of 'discourse' -- i.e. for socially and culturally generated patterns of language or other signification to order the processing of reality. We could usefully coin the term 'verbal correlates of consciousness' (VCC) to refer to these patterns of signification (words, proverbs, narratives, discourses). Again, however, the same sorts of questions apply, since few discourse theorists mention anything like neuroscience: To what extent is verbal consciousness supplemented by other forms of consciousness, including neural consciousness? These questions may never be fully answerable. However, it is interesting to work through the idea that NCC and VCC both exist and can be in some kind of relation even if the precise relationship is not measurable. This indeed is close to the case that Charles Shepherdson makes for psychoanalysis in attempting to retrieve it from the misunderstanding under which it suffers today: We are now familiar with debates between those who seek to demonstrate the biological foundations of consciousness and sexuality, and those who argue for the cultural construction of subjectivity, insisting that human life has no automatically natural form, but is always decisively shaped by contingent historical conditions. No theoretical alternative is more widely publicised than this, or more heavily invested today. And yet, this very debate, in which 'nature' and 'culture' are opposed to one another, amounts to a distortion of psychoanalysis, an interpretive framework that not only obscures its basic concepts, but erodes the very field of psychoanalysis as a theoretically distinct formation (2--3). There is not room here for an adequate account of Shepherdson's recuperation of psychoanalytic categories. A glimpse of the stakes involved is provided by Shepherdson's account, following Eugenie Lemoine--Luccione, of anorexia, which neither biomedical knowledge nor social constructionism can adequately explain. The further fact that anorexia is more common among women of the same family than in the general population, and among women rather than men, but in neither case exclusively so, thereby tending to rule out a genetic factor, allows Shepherdson to argue: [A]norexia can be understood in terms of the mother--daughter relation: it is thus a symbolic inheritance, a particular relation to the 'symbolic order', that is transmitted from one generation to another . . . we may add that this relation to the 'symbolic order' [which in psychoanalytic theory is not coextensive with language] is bound up with the symbolisation of sexual difference. One begins to see from this that the term 'sexual difference' is not used biologically, but also that it does not refer to general social representations of 'gender,' since it concerns a more particular formation of the 'subject' (12). An intriguing, and related, possibility, suggested by Foucault, is that NCC and VCC (or in Foucault's terms the 'visible' and the 'articulable'), operate independently of each other – that there is a 'disjunction' (Deleuze 64) or 'dislocation' (Shepherdson 166) between them that prevents any dialectical relation. Clearly, for Foucault, the lack of dialectical relation between the two modes does not mean that both are not at all times equally functional. But one can certainly speculate that, increasingly under postmodernity and media saturation, the verbal (i.e. the domain of signification in general) is influential. And if linguistic formations -- discourses, narratives, etc. -- can proliferate and feed on each other unconstrained by other aspects of reality, we get the sense of language 'running away with itself' and, at least for a time, becoming divorced from a more complete sense of reality. (This of course is basically the argument of Baudrillard.) The reverse may also be possible, in certain periods, although the idea that language could have no mediating effect at all on the production of reality (just inconsequential fluff on the surface of things) seems far--fetched in the wake of so much postmodern and media theory. However, the notion is consistent with the theories of hard--line materialists and genetic determinists. But we should at least consider the possibility that some sort of shaping interaction between NCC and VCC, without implicating the full conceptual apparatus of psychoanalysis, is continuously occurring. This possibility is, for me, best realised by Jacques Derrida when he writes of an irreducible interweaving of consciousness and language (the latter for Derrida being a cover term for any system of signification). This interweaving is such that the significatory superstructure 'reacts upon' the 'substratum of non--expressive acts and contents', and the name for this interweaving is 'text' (Mowitt 98). A further possibility is that provided by Pierre Bourdieu's notion of habitus -- the socially inherited schemes of perception and selection, imparted by language and example, which operate for the most part below the level of consciousness but are available to conscious reflection by any individual lucky enough to learn how to recognise that possibility. If the subjective representations of NCC exist, this habitus can be at best only partial; something denied by Bourdieu whose theory of individual agency is founded in what he has referred to as 'the relation between two states of the social' – i.e. 'between history objectified in things, in the form of institutions, and history incarnate in the body, in the form of that system of durable dispositions I call habitus' (190). At the same time, much of Bourdieu's thinking about the habitus seems as though it could be consistent with the kind of predictable representations that might be produced by NCC. For example, there are the simple oppositions that structure much perception in Bourdieu's account. These range from the obvious phenomenological ones (dark/light; bright/dull; male/female; hard/soft, etc.) through to the more abstract, often analogical or metaphorical ones, such as those produced by teachers when assessing their students (bright/dull again; elegant/clumsy, etc.). It seems possible that NCC could provide the mechanism or realisation for the representation, storage, and reactivation of impressions constituting a social model--self. However, an entirely different possibility remains to be considered – which perhaps Bourdieu is also getting at – involving a radical rejection of both NCC and VCC. Any correlational or representational theory of the relationship between a self and his/her environment -- which, according to Charles Altieri, includes the anti--logocentrism of Derrida -- assumes that the primary focus for any consciousness is the mapping and remapping of this relationship rather than the actions and purposes of the agent in question. Referring to the later philosophy of Wittgenstein, Altieri argues: 'Conciousness is essentially not a way of relating to objects but of relating to actions we learn to perform . . . We do not usually think about objects, but about the specific form of activity which involves us with these objects at this time' (233). Clearly, there is not yet any certainty in the arguments provided by neuroscience that neural activity performs a representational role. Is it not, then, possible that this activity, rather than being a 'correlate' of entities, is an accompaniment to, a registration of, action that the rest of the body is performing? In this view, self is an enactment, an expression (including but not restricted to language), and what self--consciousness is conscious of is this activity of the self, not the self as entity. In a way that again returns us towards Bakhtin, Altieri writes: '>From an analytical perspective, it seems likely that our normal ways of acting in the world provide all the criteria we need for a sense of identity. As Sidney Shoemaker has shown, the most important source of the sense of our identity is the way we use the spatio--temporal location of our body to make physical distinctions between here and there, in front and behind, and so on' (234). Reasonably consistent with the Wittgensteinian view -- in its focus on self--activity -- is that contemporary theorisation of the self that compares in influence with that posed by neuroscience. This is the self avowedly constructed by networked computer technology, as described by Mark Poster: [W]hat has occurred in the advanced industrial societies with increasing rapidity . . . is the dissemination of technologies of symbolisation, or language machines, a process that may be described as the electronic textualisation of daily life, and the concomitant transformations of agency, transformations of the constitution of individuals as fixed identities (autonomous, self--regulating, independent) into subjects that are multiple, diffuse, fragmentary. The old (modern) agent worked with machines on natural materials to form commodities, lived near other workers and kin in urban communities, walked to work or traveled by public transport, and read newspapers but engaged as a communicator mostly in face--to--face relations. The new (postmodern) agent works mostly on symbols using computers, lives in isolation from other workers and kin, travels to work by car, and receives news and entertainment from television. . . . Individuals who have this experience do not stand outside the world of objects, observing, exercising rational faculties and maintaining a stable character. The individuals constituted by the new modes of information are immersed and dispersed in textualised practices where grounds are less important than moves. (44--45) Interestingly, Metzinger's theorisation of the model--self lends itself to the self--mutability -- though not the diffusion -- favoured by postmodernists like Poster. [I]t is . . . well conceivable that a system generates a number of different self--models which are functionally incompatible, and therefore modularised. They nevertheless could be internally coherent, each endowed with its own characteristic phenomenal content and behavioral profile. . . this does not have to be a pathological situation. Operating under different self--models in different situational contexts may be biologically as well as socially adaptive. Don't we all to some extent use multiple personalities to cope efficiently with different parts of our lives? (295--6) Poster's proposition is consistent with that of many in the humanities and social sciences today, influenced variously by postmodernism and social constructionism. What I believe remains at issue about his account is that it exchanges one form of externally constituted self ('fixed identity') for another (that produced by the 'modes of information'), and therefore remains locked in a logic of deterministic constitution. (There is a parallel here with Altieri's point about Derrida's inability to escape representation.) Furthermore, theorists like Poster may be too quickly generalising from the experience of adults in 'textualised environments'. Until such time as human beings are born directly into virtual reality environments, each will, for a formative period of time, experience the world in the way described by Bakhtin – through 'a unified perception of bodily and personal being . . . characterised . . . as a loving gift mutually exchanged between self and other across the borderzone of their two consciousnesses' (cited in Morris 6). I suggest it is very unlikely that this emergent sense of being can ever be completely erased even when people subsequently encounter each other in electronic networked environments. It is clearly not the role of a brief survey like this to attempt any resolution of these matters. Indeed, my review has made all the more apparent how far from being settled the question of consciousness, and by extension the question of selfhood, remains. Even the classical notion of the homunculus (the 'little inner man' or the 'ghost in the machine') has been put back into play with Francis Crick and Christof Koch's (2000) neurobiological conception of the 'unconscious homunculus'. The balance of contemporary evidence and argument suggests that the best thing to do right now is to keep the questions open against any form of reductionism – whether social or biological. One way to do this is to explore the notions of self and consciousness as implicated in ongoing processes of complex co--adaptation between biology and culture -- or their individual level equivalents, brain and mind (Taylor Ch. 7). References Altieri, C. "Wittgenstein on Consciousness and Language: a Challenge to Derridean Literary Theory." Wittgenstein, Theory and the Arts. Ed. Richard Allen and Malcolm Turvey. New York: Routledge, 2001. Bourdieu, P. In Other Words: Essays Towards a Reflexive Sociology. Trans. Matthew Adamson. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1990. Crick, F. and Koch, C. "The Unconscious Homunculus." Neural Correlates of Consciousness: Empirical and Conceptual Questions. Ed. Thomas Metzinger. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2000. Deleuze, G. Foucault. Trans. Sean Hand. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1988. Metzinger, T. "The Subjectivity of Subjective Experience: A Representationalist Analysis of the First-Person Perspective." Neural Correlates of Consciousness: Empirical and Conceptual Questions. Ed. Thomas Metzinger. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2000. Morris, P. (ed.). The Bakhtin Reader: Selected Writings of Bakhtin, Medvedev, Voloshinov. London: Edward Arnold, 1994. Mowitt, J. Text: The Genealogy of an Interdisciplinary Object. Durham: Duke University Press, 1992. Poster, M. Cultural History and Modernity: Disciplinary Readings and Challenges. New York: Columbia University Press, 1997. Shepherdson, C. Vital Signs: Nature, Culture, Psychoanalysis. New York: Routledge, 2000. Taylor, M. C. The Moment of Complexity: Emerging Network Culture. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2001. Citation reference for this article Substitute your date of access for Dn Month Year etc... MLA Style Wallace, Derek. "'Self' and the Problem of Consciousness" M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture 5.5 (2002). [your date of access] < http://www.media-culture.org.au/mc/0210/Wallace.html &gt. Chicago Style Wallace, Derek, "'Self' and the Problem of Consciousness" M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture 5, no. 5 (2002), < http://www.media-culture.org.au/mc/0210/Wallace.html &gt ([your date of access]). APA Style Wallace, Derek. (2002) 'Self' and the Problem of Consciousness. M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture 5(5). < http://www.media-culture.org.au/mc/0210/Wallace.html &gt ([your date of access]).

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Smith,RoyceW. "The Image Is Dying." M/C Journal 6, no.2 (April1, 2003). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.2172.

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Abstract:

The whole problem of speaking about the end…is that you have to speak of what lies beyond the end and also, at the same time, of the impossibility of ending. Jean Baudrillard, The Illusion of the End(110) Jean Baudrillard’s insights into finality demonstrate that “ends” always prompt cultures to speculate on what can or will happen after these terminations and to fear those traumatic ends, in which the impossible actually occurs, may only be the beginning of chaos. In the absence of “rational” explanations for catastrophic ends and in the whirlwind of emotional responses that are their after-effects, the search for beginnings and origins – the antitheses of Baudrillard’s finality – characterises human response to tragedy. Strangely, Baudrillard’s engagement with the end is linked to an articulation predicated on our ability “to speak” events into existence, to conjure and to bridle those events in terms of recognisable, linear, and logical arrangements of words. Calling this verbal ordering “the poetry of initial conditions” (Baudrillard 113) in which memory imposes a structure so that the chaotic/catastrophic may be studied and its elements may be compared, Baudrillard suggests that this poetry “fascinates” because “we no longer possess a vision of final conditions” (113). The images of contemporary catastrophes and their subsequent visualisation serve as the ultimate reminders that we, as viewers and survivors, were not there – that visualisation itself involves a necessary distance between the horrified viewer and the viewed horror. In the case of the September 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Centre, the need to “be there,” to experience vicariously a trauma as similarly as possible to those who later became its victims, perhaps explains why images of the planes first slamming into each of the towers were played and repeated ad nauseam. As Baudrillard suggests, “it would be interesting to know whether…effects persist in the absence of causes … whether something can exist apart from any origin and reference” (111). The ongoing search for these causes – particularly in the case of the World Trade Centre’s obliteration – has manifested itself in a persistent cycle of image production and consumption, prompting those images to serve as the visible/visual join between our own survival and the lost lives of the attacks or as surrogates for those whose death we could not witness. These images frequently allowed the West to legitimise its mourning, served as the road map by which we could (re-)explore the halcyon days prior to September 11, and provided the evidence needed for collective retribution. Ultimately, images served as the fictive embodiments of unseen victims and provided the vehicle by which mourning could be transformed from an isolated act to a shared experience. Visitors on the Rooftop: Visualising Origins and the Moments before Destruction It goes without saying that most have seen the famous photograph of the bundled-up tourist standing on the observation deck of the World Trade Centre with one of the jets ready to strike the tower shortly thereafter (see Figure 1). Though the photograph was deemed a macabre photo-manipulation, it reached thousands of e-mail inboxes almost two weeks following the horrific attacks and led many to ponder excitedly whether this image truly was the “last” image of a pre-September 11 world. Many openly debated why someone would fabricate such an image, yet analysts believe that its creation was a means to heal and to return to the unruffled days prior to September 11, when terrorism was thought to be a phenomenon relegated to the “elsewhere” of the Middle East. A Website devoted to the analysis of cultural rumours, Urban Legends, somewhat melodramatically suggested that the photograph resurrects what recovery efforts could not re-construct – a better understanding of the moments before thousands of individuals perished: The online world is fraught with clever photo manipulations that often provoke gales of laughter in those who view them, so we speculate that whoever put together this particular bit of imaging did so purely as a lark. However, presumed lighthearted motives or not, the photo provokes sensations of horror in those who view it. It apparently captures the last fraction of a second of this man’s life ... and also of the final moment of normalcy before the universe changed for all of us. In the blink of an eye, a beautiful yet ordinary fall day was transformed into flames and falling bodies, buildings collapsing inwards on themselves, and wave upon wave of terror washing over a populace wholly unprepared for a war beginning in its midst…The photo ripped away the healing distance brought by the nearly two weeks between the attacks and the appearance of this digital manipulation, leaving the sheer horror of the moment once again raw and bared to the wind. Though the picture wasn’t real, the emotions it stirred up were. It is because of these emotions the photo has sped from inbox to inbox with the speed that it has. (“The Accidental Tourist”) While the photograph does help the viewer recall the times before our fears of terrorism, war, and death were realised, this image does not episodically capture “the last fraction of a second” in a man’s life, nor does it give credibility to the “blink-of-an-eye” shifts between beautiful and battered worlds. The photographic analysis provided by Urban Legends serves as a retrospective means of condensing the space of time in which we must imagine the inevitable suffering of unseen individuals. Yet, the video of the towers, from the initial impacts to their collapse, measured approximately 102 minutes – a massive space of time in which victims surely contemplated escape, the inevitability of escape, the possibility of their death, and, ultimately, the impossibility of their survival (“Remains of a Day” 58). Post-traumatic visualising serves as the basis for constructing the extended horror as instantaneous, a projection that reflects how we hoped the situation might be for those who experienced it, rather than an accurate representation of the lengthy period of time between the beginning and end of the attacks. The photograph of the “accidental tourist” does not subscribe to the usual tenets of photography that suggest the image we see is, to quote W.J.T. Mitchell, “a purely objective transcript of reality” (Mitchell 281). Rather, this image invites a Burginian “inva[sion] by language in the very moment it is looked at: in memory, in association, [where] snatches of words and images continually intermingle and exchange one for the other” (Burgin 51). One sees the tourist in the photograph as a smiling innocent, posing at the wrong place and at the wrong time. Through that ascription, viewers may justify their anger and melancholy as this singular, visible body (about to be harmed) stands in for countless, unseen others awaiting the same fate. Its discrepancies with the actual opening hours of the WTC observation deck and the positioning of the aircraft largely ignored, the “accidental tourist” photo-manipulation was visualised by countless individuals and forwarded to a plethora of in-boxes because September 11 realities could not be shared intimately on that day, because the death of aircraft passengers, WTC workers, and rescue personnel was an inevitable outcome that could not be visualised as even remotely “actual” or explainable. Computer-based art and design have shown us that approximations to reality often result in its overall conflation. Accordingly, our desperate hope that we have seen glimpses of the moments before tragedy is ultimately dismantled by an acknowledgement of the illogical or impossible elements that go against the basic rules of visualisation. The “accidental tourist” is a phenomenon that not only epitomises Baudrillard’s search for origins in the wake of catastrophic effects, but underscores a collective need to visualise bodies as once-living rather than presently and inevitably dead. Faces in the Smoke: Visualising the Unseen Although such photo-manipulations were rampant in the days and weeks following the attack, many people constructed their own realities in the untouched images that the media streamed to them. The World Trade Centre disaster seemed to implore photography, in particular, to resurrect both the unseen, unremembered moments prior to the airliners’ slamming into the building and to perform two distinct roles as the towers burned: to reaffirm the public’s perception of the attack as an act of evil and to catalyse a sense of hope that those who perished were touched by God or ushered peacefully to their deaths. Within hours of the attacks, photographic stills captured what many thought to be the image of Satan – complete with horns, face, eyes, nose, and mouth – within the plumes of smoke billowing from one of the towers (see Figure 2 and its detail in Figure 3). The Associated Press, whose footage was most frequently used to reference this visual phenomenon, quickly dismissed the speculation; as Vin Alabiso, an executive photo editor for AP, observed: AP has a very strict policy which prohibits the alteration of the content of a photo in any way…The smoke in this photo combined with light and shadow has created an image which readers have seen in different ways. (“Angel or Devil?”) Although Alabiso’s comments defended the authenticity of the photographs, they also suggested the ways in which visual representation and perception could be affected by catastrophic circ*mstances. While many observers openly questioned whether the photographs had been “doctored,” others all too willingly invested these images with ethereal qualities by asking if the “face” they saw was that of Satan – a question mirroring their belief that such an act of terrorism was clear evidence of evil masterminding. If, as Mitchell has theorised, photographs function through a dialogical exchange of connotative and denotative messages, the photographs of the burning towers instead bombarded viewers with largely connotative messages – in other words, nothing that could precisely link specific bodies to the catastrophe. The visualising of Satan’s face happens not because Satan actually dwells within the plumes of smoke, but because the photograph resists Mitchell’s dialogue with the melancholic eye. The photograph refuses to “speak” for the individuals we know are suffering behind the layers of smoke, so our own eye constructs what the photograph will not reveal: the “face” of a reality we wish to be represented as deplorably and unquestionably evil. Barthes has observed that such “variation in readings is not … anarchic, [but] depends on the different types of knowledge … invested in the image…” (Barthes 46). In traumatic situations, one might amend this analysis to state that these various readings occur because of gaps in this knowledge and because visualisation transforms into an act based on knowledge that we wish we had, that we wish we could share with victims and fellow mourners. These visualisations highlight a desperate need to bridge the viewer’s experience of survival and their concomitant knowledge of others’ deaths and to link the “safe” visualisation of the catastrophic with the utter submission to catastrophe likely felt by those who died. Explaining the faces in the smoke as “natural indentations” as Alabiso did may be the technical and emotionally neutral means of cataloguing these images; however, the spotting of faces in photographic stills is a mechanism of visualisation that humanises a tragedy in which physical bodies (their death, their mutilation) cannot be seen. Other people who saw photographic stills from other angles and degrees of proximity were quick to highlight the presence of angels in the smoke, as captured by WABC from a perspective entirely different from that in Figure 2 (instead, see Figure 3). In either scenario, photography allows the visual personification of redemptive or evil influences, as well as the ability to visualise the tragedy not just as the isolated destruction of an architectural marvel, but as a crime against humanity with cosmic importance. Sharing the Fall: Desperation and the Photographing of Falling Bodies Perhaps what became even more troubling than the imagistic conjuring of human forms within the smoke was the photographing of bodies falling from the upper floors of the North Tower (see Figure 5). Though newspapers (re-)published photographs of the debris and hysteria of the attacks and television networks (re-)broadcast video sequences of the planes’ crashing into the towers and their collapse, the pictures of people jumping from the building were rarely circulated by the media. Dennis Cauchon and Martha T. Moore characterised these consequences of the terrorist attacks as “the most sensitive aspect of the Sept. 11 tragedy … [that] shocked the nation” (Cauchon and Moore). A delicate balance certainly existed between the media’s desire to associate faces with the feelings of desperation we know those who died must have experienced and a now-numb general public who ascribed to the photographs an unequivocal “too-muchness.” To read about those who jumped to escape smoke and flames reveals a horrific and frightfully swift narrative of panic: For those who jumped, the fall lasted 10 seconds. They struck the ground at just less than 150 miles per hour – not fast enough to cause unconsciousness while falling, but fast enough to ensure instant death on impact. People jumped from all four sides of the north tower. They jumped alone, in pairs and in groups. (Cauchon and Moore) The text contextualises these leaps to death in terms that are understandable to survivors who read the story and later discover these descriptions can never approximate the trauma of “being there”: Why did they jump? How fast were they travelling? Did they feel anything when their bodies hit the ground? Were they conscious during their jump? Did they die alone? These questions and their answers put into motion the very moment that the photograph of the jumping man has frozen. Words act as extensions of the physical boundaries of the photograph and underscore the horror of that image, from the description of the conditions that prompted the jump to the pondering of the death that was its consequence. If, as Jonathan Crary’s analysis of photographic viewing might intimate, visualisation prompts both an “autonomy of vision” and a “standardisation and regulation of the observer” (Crary 150), the photograph of a man plummeting to his death fashions the viewer’s eye as autonomous and alive because the image he/she views is the undeniable representation of a now-deceased Other. Yet, as seen in the often-hysterical responses to the threats of terrorism in the days following September 11, this “Other” embodies the very possibility of our own demise. Suddenly, the man we see in mid-air becomes the visualised “Every(wo)man” whose photographic representation also represents our unacknowledged vulnerabilities. Thus, trauma is shared through a poignant visual negotiation of dying: the certainty of the photographed man’s death juxtaposed with the newly realised or conjured threat of the viewer’s own death. In terms of humanness, those who witnessed these falls firsthand recall the ways in which the falling people became objectified – their fall seemingly robbing them of any visible sense of humanity. Eric Thompson, an employee on the seventy-seventh floor of the South Tower, shared an instantaneous moment with one of the victims: Thompson looked the man in the face. He saw his tie flapping in the wind. He watched the man’s body strike the pavement below. “There was no human resemblance whatsoever,” Thompson says. (Cauchon and Moore) Obviously, the in-situ experience of viewing these individuals hopelessly jumping to their deaths served as the prompt to run away, to escape, but the photograph acts as the frozen-in-time re-visitation and sharing of – a turning back toward – this scenario. The act of viewing the photographs reinstates the humanness that the panic of the moment seemingly removed; yet, the disparity between the photograph’s foreground (the jumping man) and its background (the building’s façade) remains its greatest disconcerting element. Unlike those photographic portraits that script behaviours and capture us in our most presentable states of being, this photograph reveals the unwilling subject – he who has not consented to share his state of being with the camera. Though W.J.T. Mitchell suggests that “[p]hotographs…seem necessarily incomplete in their imposition of a frame that can never include everything that was there to be…‘taken’” (Mitchell 289), the eye in times of catastrophe shifts between its desire to maintain the frame (that does not visually engage the inferno from which the man jumped or the concrete upon which he died) and its inability to do so. This photograph, as Mitchell might assert, “speaks” because visualisation allows its total frame of reference to extend beyond its physical boundaries and, as evidenced by post-September 11 phobias and our responses to horrific images, to affect the very means by which catastrophe is imagined and visualised. Technically speaking, the negotiated balance between foreground and background in the photograph is lost: the desperation of the falling man juxtaposed with a seemingly impossible background that should not have been there. Lost, too, is the viewer’s ability to “connect” visually with – literally, to share – that experience, to see oneself within the contexts of that particular visual representation. This inability to see the viewing self in the photograph is an ironic moment of experiential possibility that lingers still in the Western world’s fears surrounding terrorism: when the supposedly impossible act is finally visualised, territorialised, and rendered as possible. Dead Art: The Destructions and Resurrections of Works by Rodin In many ways, the photographing of those experiences so divorced from our own contributed to intense discussions of perspective in visualisation: the viewer’s witnessing of trauma by means of a camera and photographer that captured the image from a “safe” distance. However, the recovery of artwork that actually suffered damage as a result of the World Trade Centre collapse prompted many art historians and theorists to ponder the possibilities of art’s death and to contemplate the fate of art that is physically victimised. In an anticipatory vein, J.M. Bernstein suggests that “art ends as it becomes progressively further distanced from truth and moral goodness, as it loses its capacity to speak the truth about our most fundamental categorical engagements…” (Bernstein 5). If Bernstein’s theory is applied to those works damaged at the World Trade Centre site, the sculptures of Rodin, so famously photographed in the weeks of excavation that followed September 11, could be categorised as “dead” – distanced from the “truth” of human form that Rodin cast, even further from the moral goodness and the striving toward global peace that the Cantor Fitzgerald collection aimed to embrace. While many art critics believed that the destroyed works should not be displayed again, many (including Fritz Koenig, who designed The Sphere, which was damaged in the terrorist attacks) believe that such “dead art” deserves, even requires, resuscitation (see Figure 6). Much like the American flags that survived the infernos at the World Trade Centre and Pentagon site, these lost and re-discovered artworks have served as rallying points to accomplish both the sharing of trauma and an artistically inspired foundation for the re-development of the lower Manhattan site. In the case of Rodin’s The Thinker, which was recovered at the site and later presumed stolen, the statue’s discovery alongside aircraft parts and twisted steel girders served as a unique and rare survival story, almost as the surrogate representative body for those human bodies that were never found, never seen. Dan Barry and William K. Rashbaum recall that in the days following the sculpture’s disappearance, “investigators have been at Fresh Kills [landfill] and at ground zero in recent weeks, flashing a photograph of ‘The Thinker’ and asking, in effect: Have you seen this symbol of humanity” (Barry and Rashbaum)? Given such symbolic weight, sculpture most certainly took on superhuman proportions. Yet, in the days that followed the discovery of artwork that survived the attacks, only passing references were made to those figurative paintings and drawings by Picasso, Hockney, Lichtenstein, and Miró that were lost – perhaps because their subject matter or manner of artistic representation did not (or could not) reflect a “true” infliction of damage and pain the way a three-dimensional, human-like sculpture could. Viewers visualised not only the possibility of their own cultural undoing by seeing damaged Rodins, but also the embodiment of unseen victims’ bodies that could not be recovered. In a rousing speech about September 11 as an attack upon the humanities and the production of culture, Bruce Cole stated that “the loss of artifacts and art, no matter how priceless and precious, is dwarfed by the loss of life” (Cole). Nevertheless, the visualisation of maimed, disfigured art was the lens through which many individuals understood the immensity of that loss of life and the finality of their loved ones’ disappearances. What the destruction and damaging of artwork on September 11 created was an atmosphere in which art, traditionally conjured as the studied and inanimate subject, transformed from a determined to a determining influence, a re-working of Paul Smith’s theory in which “the ‘subject’ … is determined – the object of determinant forces; whereas ‘the individual’ is assumed to be determining” (Smith xxxiv). Damaged sculptures gave representative form to the thousands of victims we, as a visualising public, knew were inside the towers, but their survival spoke to larger artistic issues: the impossibility of art’s end and the foiling of its death. Baudrillard’s notion of the “impossibility of ending” demonstrates that the destruction of art (in the capitalistic sense that is contingent on its undamaged condition and its prescribed worth and “value”) does not equate to the destruction of meaning as such, but that the new and re-negotiated meanings deployed by injured art frighteningly implicate us – viewers who once assigned meaning becoming the subjects who long to be assigned something, anything, be it solace, closure, or retribution. Importantly, the latest plans for the re-vitalised World Trade Centre site indicate that the damaged Rodin and Koenig sculptures will semiotically mediate the significations established when the original World Trade Centre was a vital nexus of activity in lower Manhattan, the shock and pain experienced when the towers collapsed and individuals were searching for meaning in art’s destruction and survival, and the hope many have invested in the new buildings and their role in the maintenance and recovery of memory. A Concluding Thought Digital manipulation, photography, and the re-contextualisation of artistic “masterpieces” from their hermetic placement in the gallery to their brutal dumping in a landfill have served as the humanistic prompts that actively determined the ways in which culture grappled with and shared unimaginable horror. Images have transformed in purpose from static re(-)presentations of reality to active, changing conduits by which pasts can be remembered, by which the intangibility of death can be given substance, by which unshared moments can be more intimately considered. Oddly, visualisation has performed simultaneously two disparate functions: separating the living from the dead through a panoply of re-affirming visual experiences and permitting the re-visitation of those times, events, and people that the human eye could not see itself. Ultimately, what the manipulations, misinterpretations, and destructions of art show us is that the conveyance of meaning between individuals, whether dead or alive, whether seen or unseen, is the image’s most pressing and difficult charge. Works Cited “Angel or Devil? Viewers See Images in Smoke.” Click on Detroit. 17 Sep. 2001. 10 February 2003 <http://www.clickondetroit.com/sh/news/stories/nat-news-96283920010917-120936.php>. Barry, Dan, and William K. Rashbaum. “Rodin Work from Trade Center Survived, and Vanished.” New York Times. 20 May 2002: B1. Barthes, Roland. Image, Music, Text. New York: Hill and Wang, 1977. Baudrillard, Jean. The Illusion of the End. Cambridge: Polity Press, 1994. Bernstein, J.M. The Fate of Art: Aesthetic Alienation from Kant to Derrida and Adorno. Cambridge: Polity Press, 1992. Burgin, Victor. The End of Art Theory: Criticism and Post-Modernity. Atlantic Highlands, N.J.: Humanities Press, 1986. Cauchon, Dennis and Martha T. Moore. “Desperation Drove Sept. 11 Victims Out World Trade Center Windows.” Salt Lake Tribune Online. 4 September 2002. 19 Jan. 2003 <http://www.sltrib.com/2002/sep/09042002/nation_w/768120.htm>. Crary, Jonathan. Techniques of the Observer: On Vision and Modernity in the Nineteenth Century. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1990. Mitchell, W.J.T. Picture Theory. Chicago: University of Chicago P, 1994. “Remains of a Day.” Time 160.11 (9 Sep. 2002): 58. Smith, Paul. Discerning the Subject. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 1988. “The Accidental Tourist.” Urban Legends. 20 Nov. 2001. 21 Feb. 2003 <http://www.snopes2.com/rumors/crash.htm>. Links http://www.clickondetroit.com/sh/news/stories/nat-news-96283920010917-120936.html http://www.sltrib.com/2002/sep/09042002/nation_w/768120.htm http://www.snopes2.com/rumors/crash.htm Citation reference for this article Substitute your date of access for Dn Month Year etc... MLA Style Smith, Royce W.. "The Image Is Dying" M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture< http://www.media-culture.org.au/0304/09-imageisdying.php>. APA Style Smith, R. W. (2003, Apr 23). The Image Is Dying. M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture, 6,< http://www.media-culture.org.au/0304/09-imageisdying.php>

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Jones, Steve. "Seeing Sound, Hearing Image." M/C Journal 2, no.4 (June1, 1999). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.1763.

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“As the old technologies become automatic and invisible, we find ourselves more concerned with fighting or embracing what’s new”—Dennis Baron, From Pencils to Pixels: The Stage of Literacy Technologies Popular music is firmly rooted within realist practice, or what has been called the "culture of authenticity" associated with modernism. As Lawrence Grossberg notes, the accelleration of the rate of change in modern life caused, in post-war youth culture, an identity crisis or "lived contradiction" that gave rock (particularly) and popular music (generally) a peculiar position in regard to notions of authenticity. Grossberg places rock's authenticity within the "difference" it maintains from other cultural forms, and notes that its difference "can be justified aesthetically or ideologically, or in terms of the social position of the audiences, or by the economics of its production, or through the measure of its popularity or the statement of its politics" (205-6). Popular music scholars have not adequately addressed issues of authenticity and individuality. Two of the most important questions to be asked are: How is authenticity communicated in popular music? What is the site of the interpretation of authenticity? It is important to ask about sound, technology, about the attempt to understand the ideal and the image, the natural and artificial. It is these that make clear the strongest connections between popular music and contemporary culture. Popular music is a particularly appropriate site for the study of authenticity as a cultural category, for several reasons. For one thing, other media do not follow us, as aural media do, into malls, elevators, cars, planes. Nor do they wait for us, as a tape player paused and ready to play. What is important is not that music is "everywhere" but, to borrow from Vivian Sobchack, that it creates a "here" that can be transported anywhere. In fact, we are able to walk around enveloped by a personal aural environment, thanks to a Sony Walkman.1 Also, it is more difficult to shut out the aural than the visual. Closing one's ears does not entirely shut out sound. There is, additionally, the sense that sound and music are interpreted from within, that is, that they resonate through and within the body, and as such engage with one's self in a fashion that coincides with Charles Taylor's claim that the "ideal of authenticity" is an inner-directed one. It must be noted that authenticity is not, however, communicated only via music, but via text and image. Grossberg noted the "primacy of sound" in rock music, and the important link between music, visual image, and authenticity: Visual style as conceived in rock culture is usually the stage for an outrageous and self-conscious inauthenticity... . It was here -- in its visual presentation -- that rock often most explicitly manifested both an ironic resistance to the dominant culture and its sympathies with the business of entertainment ... . The demand for live performance has always expressed the desire for the visual mark (and proof) of authenticity. (208) But that relationship can also be reversed: Music and sound serve in some instances to provide the aural mark and proof of authenticity. Consider, for instance, the "tear" in the voice that Jensen identifies in Hank Williams's singing, and in that of Patsy Cline. For the latter, voicing, in this sense, was particularly important, as it meant more than a singing style, it also involved matters of self-identity, as Jensen appropriately associates with the move of country music from "hometown" to "uptown" (101). Cline's move toward a more "uptown" style involved her visual image, too. At a significant turning point in her career, Faron Young noted, Cline "left that country girl look in those western outfits behind and opted for a slicker appearance in dresses and high fashion gowns" (Jensen 101). Popular music has forged a link with visual media, and in some sense music itself has become more visual (though not necessarily less aural) the more it has engaged with industrial processes in the entertainment industry. For example, engagement with music videos and film soundtracks has made music a part of the larger convergence of mass media forms. Alongside that convergence, the use of music in visual media has come to serve as adjunct to visual symbolisation. One only need observe the increasingly commercial uses to which music is put (as in advertising, film soundtracks and music videos) to note ways in which music serves image. In the literature from a variety of disciplines, including communication, art and music, it has been argued that music videos are the visualisation of music. But in many respects the opposite is true. Music videos are the auralisation of the visual. Music serves many of the same purposes as sound does generally in visual media. One can find a strong argument for the use of sound as supplement to visual media in Silverman's and Altman's work. For Silverman, sound in cinema has largely been overlooked (pun intended) in favor of the visual image, but sound is a more effective (and perhaps necessary) element for willful suspension of disbelief. One may see this as well in the development of Dolby Surround Sound, and in increased emphasis on sound engineering among video and computer game makers, as well as the development of sub-woofers and high-fidelity speakers as computer peripherals. Another way that sound has become more closely associated with the visual is through the ongoing evolution of marketing demands within the popular music industry that increasingly rely on visual media and force image to the front. Internet technologies, particularly the WorldWideWeb (WWW), are also evidence of a merging of the visual and aural (see Hayward). The development of low-cost desktop video equipment and WWW publishing, CD-i, CD-ROM, DVD, and other technologies, has meant that visual images continue to form part of the industrial routine of the music business. The decrease in cost of many of these technologies has also led to the adoption of such routines among individual musicians, small/independent labels, and producers seeking to mimic the resources of major labels (a practice that has become considerably easier via the Internet, as it is difficult to determine capital resources solely from a WWW site). Yet there is another facet to the evolution of the link between the aural and visual. Sound has become more visual by way of its representation during its production (a representation, and process, that has largely been ignored in popular music studies). That representation has to do with the digitisation of sound, and the subsequent transformation sound and music can undergo after being digitised and portrayed on a computer screen. Once digitised, sound can be made visual in any number of ways, through traditional methods like music notation, through representation as audio waveform, by way of MIDI notation, bit streams, or through representation as shapes and colors (as in recent software applications particularly for children, like Making Music by Morton Subotnick). The impetus for these representations comes from the desire for increased control over sound (see Jones, Rock Formation) and such control seems most easily accomplished by way of computers and their concomitant visual technologies (monitors, printers). To make computers useful tools for sound recording it is necessary to employ some form of visual representation for the aural, and the flexibility of modern computers allows for new modes of predominately visual representation. Each of these connections between the aural and visual is in turn related to technology, for as audio technology develops within the entertainment industry it makes sense for synergistic development to occur with visual media technologies. Yet popular music scholars routinely analyse aural and visual media in isolation from one another. The challenge for popular music studies and music philosophy posed by visual media technologies, that they must attend to spatiality and context (both visual and aural), has not been taken up. Until such time as it is, it will be difficult, if not impossible, to engage issues of authenticity, because they will remain rootless instead of situated within the experience of music as fully sensual (in some cases even synaesthetic). Most of the traditional judgments of authenticity among music critics and many popular music scholars involve space and time, the former in terms of the movement of music across cultures and the latter in terms of history. None rely on notions of the "situatedness" of the listener or musicmaker in a particular aural, visual and historical space. Part of the reason for the lack of such an understanding arises from the very means by which popular music is created. We have become accustomed to understanding music as manipulation of sound, and so far as most modern music production is concerned such manipulation occurs as much visually as aurally, by cutting, pasting and otherwise altering audio waveforms on a computer screen. Musicians no more record music than they record fingering; they engage in sound recording. And recording engineers and producers rely less and less on sound and more on sight to determine whether a recording conforms to the demands of digital reproduction.2 Sound, particularly when joined with the visual, becomes a means to build and manipulate the environment, virtual and non-virtual (see Jones, "Sound"). Sound & Music As we construct space through sound, both in terms of audio production (e.g., the use of reverberation devices in recording studios) and in terms of everyday life (e.g., perception of aural stimuli, whether by ear or vibration in the body, from points surrounding us), we centre it within experience. Sound combines the psychological and physiological. Audio engineer George Massenburg noted that in film theaters: You couldn't utilise the full 360-degree sound space for music because there was an "exit sign" phenomena [sic]. If you had a lot of audio going on in the back, people would have a natural inclination to turn around and stare at the back of the room. (Massenburg 79-80) However, he went on to say, beyond observations of such reactions to multichannel sound technology, "we don't know very much". Research in psychoacoustics being used to develop virtual audio systems relies on such reactions and on a notion of human hardwiring for stimulus response (see Jones, "Sense"). But a major stumbling block toward the development of those systems is that none are able to account for individual listeners' perceptions. It is therefore important to consider the individual along with the social dimension in discussions of sound and music. For instance, the term "sound" is deployed in popular music to signify several things, all of which have to do with music or musical performance, but none of which is music. So, for instance, musical groups or performers can have a "sound", but it is distinguishable from what notes they play. Entire music scenes can have "sounds", but the music within such scenes is clearly distinct and differentiated. For the study of popular music this is a significant but often overlooked dimension. As Grossberg argues, "the authenticity of rock was measured by its sound" (207). Visually, he says, popular music is suspect and often inauthentic (sometimes purposefully so), and it is grounded in the aural. Similarly in country music Jensen notes that the "Nashville Sound" continually evoked conflicting definitions among fans and musicians, but that: The music itself was the arena in and through which claims about the Nashville Sound's authenticity were played out. A certain sound (steel guitar, with fiddle) was deemed "hard" or "pure" country, in spite of its own commercial history. (84) One should, therefore, attend to the interpretive acts associated with sound and its meaning. But why has not popular music studies engaged in systematic analysis of sound at the level of the individual as well as the social? As John Shepherd put it, "little cultural theoretical work in music is concerned with music's sounds" ("Value" 174). Why should this be a cause for concern? First, because Shepherd claims that sound is not "meaningful" in the traditional sense. Second, because it leads us to re-examine the question long set to the side in popular music studies: What is music? The structural hom*ology, the connection between meaning and social formation, is a foundation upon which the concept of authenticity in popular music stands. Yet the ability to label a particular piece of music "good" shifts from moment to moment, and place to place. Frith understates the problem when he writes that "it is difficult ... to say how musical texts mean or represent something, and it is difficult to isolate structures of musical creation or control" (56). Shepherd attempts to overcome this difficulty by emphasising that: Music is a social medium in sound. What [this] means ... is that the sounds of music provide constantly moving and complex matrices of sounds in which individuals may invest their own meanings ... [however] while the matrices of sounds which seemingly constitute an individual "piece" of music can accommodate a range of meanings, and thereby allow for negotiability of meaning, they cannot accommodate all possible meanings. (Shepherd, "Art") It must be acknowledged that authenticity is constructed, and that in itself is an argument against the most common way to think of authenticity. If authenticity implies something about the "pure" state of an object or symbol then surely such a state is connected to some "objective" rendering, one not possible according to Shepherd's claims. In some sense, then, authenticity is autonomous, its materialisation springs not from any necessary connection to sound, image, text, but from individual acts of interpretation, typically within what in literary criticism has come to be known as "interpretive communities". It is not hard to illustrate the point by generalising and observing that rock's notion of authenticity is captured in terms of songwriting, but that songwriters are typically identified with places (e.g. Tin Pan Alley, the Brill Building, Liverpool, etc.). In this way there is an obvious connection between authenticity and authorship (see Jones, "Popular Music Studies") and geography (as well in terms of musical "scenes", e.g. the "Philly Sound", the "Sun Sound", etc.). The important thing to note is the resultant connection between the symbolic and the physical worlds rooted (pun intended) in geography. As Redhead & Street put it: The idea of "roots" refers to a number of aspects of the musical process. There is the audience in which the musician's career is rooted ... . Another notion of roots refers to music. Here the idea is that the sounds and the style of the music should continue to resemble the source from which it sprang ... . The issue ... can be detected in the argument of those who raise doubts about the use of musical high-technology by African artists. A final version of roots applies to the artist's sociological origins. (180) It is important, consequently, to note that new technologies, particularly ones associated with the distribution of music, are of increasing importance in regulating the tension between alienation and progress mentioned earlier, as they are technologies not simply of musical production and consumption, but of geography. That the tension they mediate is most readily apparent in legal skirmishes during an unsettled era for copyright law (see Brown) should not distract scholars from understanding their cultural significance. These technologies are, on the one hand, "liberating" (see Hayward, Young, and Marsh) insofar as they permit greater geographical "reach" and thus greater marketing opportunities (see Fromartz), but on the other hand they permit less commercial control, insofar as they permit digitised music to freely circulate without restriction or compensation, to the chagrin of copyright enthusiasts. They also create opportunities for musical collaboration (see Hayward) between performers in different zones of time and space, on a scale unmatched since the development of multitracking enabled the layering of sound. Most importantly, these technologies open spaces for the construction of authenticity that have hitherto been unavailable, particularly across distances that have largely separated cultures and fan communities (see Paul). The technologies of Internetworking provide yet another way to make connections between authenticity, music and sound. Community and locality (as Redhead & Street, as well as others like Sara Cohen and Ruth Finnegan, note) are the elements used by audience and artist alike to understand the authenticity of a performer or performance. The lived experience of an artist, in a particular nexus of time and space, is to be somehow communicated via music and interpreted "properly" by an audience. But technologies of Internetworking permit the construction of alternative spaces, times and identities. In no small way that has also been the situation with the mediation of music via most recordings. They are constructed with a sense of space, consumed within particular spaces, at particular times, in individual, most often private, settings. What the network technologies have wrought is a networked audience for music that is linked globally but rooted in the local. To put it another way, the range of possibilities when it comes to interpretive communities has widened, but the experience of music has not significantly shifted, that is, the listener experiences music individually, and locally. Musical activity, whether it is defined as cultural or commercial practice, is neither flat nor autonomous. It is marked by ever-changing tastes (hence not flat) but within an interpretive structure (via "interpretive communities"). Musical activity must be understood within the nexus of the complex relations between technical, commercial and cultural processes. As Jensen put it in her analysis of Patsy Cline's career: Those who write about culture production can treat it as a mechanical process, a strategic construction of material within technical or institutional systems, logical, rational, and calculated. But Patsy Cline's recording career shows, among other things, how this commodity production view must be linked to an understanding of culture as meaning something -- as defining, connecting, expressing, mattering to those who participate with it. (101) To achieve that type of understanding will require that popular music scholars understand authenticity and music in a symbolic realm. Rather than conceiving of authenticity as a limited resource (that is, there is only so much that is "pure" that can go around), it is important to foreground its symbolic and ever-changing character. Put another way, authenticity is not used by musician or audience simply to label something as such, but rather to mean something about music that matters at that moment. Authenticity therefore does not somehow "slip away", nor does a "pure" authentic exist. Authenticity in this regard is, as Baudrillard explains concerning mechanical reproduction, "conceived according to (its) very reproducibility ... there are models from which all forms proceed according to modulated differences" (56). Popular music scholars must carefully assess the affective dimensions of fans, musicians, and also record company executives, recording producers, and so on, to be sensitive to the deeply rooted construction of authenticity and authentic experience throughout musical processes. Only then will there emerge an understanding of the structures of feeling that are central to the experience of music. Footnotes For analyses of the Walkman's role in social settings and popular music consumption see du Gay; Hosokawa; and Chen. It has been thus since the advent of disc recording, when engineers would watch a record's grooves through a microscope lens as it was being cut to ensure grooves would not cross over one into another. References Altman, Rick. "Television/Sound." Studies in Entertainment. Ed. Tania Modleski. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1986. 39-54. Baudrillard, Jean. Symbolic Death and Exchange. London: Sage, 1993. Brown, Ronald. Intellectual Property and the National Information Infrastructure: The Report of the Working Group on Intellectual Property Rights. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Commerce, 1995. Chen, Shing-Ling. "Electronic Narcissism: College Students' Experiences of Walkman Listening." Annual meeting of the International Communication Association. Washington, D.C. 1993. Du Gay, Paul, et al. Doing Cultural Studies. London: Sage, 1997. Frith, Simon. Sound Effects. New York: Pantheon, 1981. Fromartz, Steven. "Starts-ups Sell Garage Bands, Bowie on Web." Reuters newswire, 4 Dec. 1996. Grossberg, Lawrence. We Gotta Get Out of This Place. London: Routledge, 1992. Hayward, Philip. "Enterprise on the New Frontier." Convergence 1.2 (Winter 1995): 29-44. Hosokawa, Shuhei. "The Walkman Effect." Popular Music 4 (1984). Jensen, Joli. The Nashville Sound: Authenticity, Commercialisation and Country Music. Nashville, Vanderbilt UP, 1998. Jones, Steve. Rock Formation: Music, Technology and Mass Communication. Newbury Park, CA: Sage, 1992. ---. "Popular Music Studies and Critical Legal Studies" Stanford Humanities Review 3.2 (Fall 1993): 77-90. ---. "A Sense of Space: Virtual Reality, Authenticity and the Aural." Critical Studies in Mass Communication 10.3 (Sep. 1993), 238-52. ---. "Sound, Space & Digitisation." Media Information Australia 67 (Feb. 1993): 83-91. Marrsh, Brian. "Musicians Adopt Technology to Market Their Skills." Wall Street Journal 14 Oct. 1994: C2. Massenburg, George. "Recording the Future." EQ (Apr. 1997): 79-80. Paul, Frank. "R&B: Soul Music Fans Make Cyberspace Their Meeting Place." Reuters newswire, 11 July 1996. Redhead, Steve, and John Street. "Have I the Right? Legitimacy, Authenticity and Community in Folk's Politics." Popular Music 8.2 (1989). Shepherd, John. "Art, Culture and Interdisciplinarity." Davidson Dunston Research Lecture. Carleton University, Canada. 3 May 1992. ---. "Value and Power in Music." The Sound of Music: Meaning and Power in Culture. Eds. John Shepherd and Peter Wicke. Cambridge: Polity, 1993. Silverman, Kaja. The Acoustic Mirror. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1988. Sobchack, Vivian. Screening Space. New York: Ungar, 1982. Young, Charles. "Aussie Artists Use Internet and Bootleg CDs to Protect Rights." Pro Sound News July 1995. Citation reference for this article MLA style: Steve Jones. "Seeing Sound, Hearing Image: 'Remixing' Authenticity in Popular Music Studies." M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture 2.4 (1999). [your date of access] <http://www.uq.edu.au/mc/9906/remix.php>. Chicago style: Steve Jones, "Seeing Sound, Hearing Image: 'Remixing' Authenticity in Popular Music Studies," M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture 2, no. 4 (1999), <http://www.uq.edu.au/mc/9906/remix.php> ([your date of access]). APA style: Steve Jones. (1999) Seeing Sound, Hearing Image: "Remixing" Authenticity in Popular Music Studies. M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture 2(4). <http://www.uq.edu.au/mc/9906/remix.php> ([your date of access]).

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Mules, Warwick. "A Remarkable Disappearing Act." M/C Journal 4, no.4 (August1, 2001). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.1920.

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Creators and Creation Creation is a troubling word today, because it suggests an impossible act, indeed a miracle: the formation of something out of nothing. Today we no longer believe in miracles, yet we see all around us myriad acts which we routinely define as creative. Here, I am not referring to the artistic performances and works of gifted individuals, which have their own genealogy of creativity in the lineages of Western art. Rather, I am referring to the small, personal events that we see within the mediated spaces of the everyday (on the television screen, in magazines and newspapers) where lives are suddenly changed for the better through the consumption of products designed to fulfil our personal desires. In this paper, I want to explore the implications of thinking about everyday creativity as a modern cultural form. I want to suggest that not only is such an impossible possibility possible, but that its meaning has been at the centre of the desire to name, to gain status from, and to market the products of modern industrialisation. Furthermore I want to suggest that beyond any question of marketing rhetoric, we need to attend to this desire as the ghost of a certain kind of immanence which has haunted modernity and its projects from the very beginning, linking the great thoughts of modern philosophy with the lowliest products of modern life. Immanence, Purity and the Cogito In Descartes' famous Discourse on Method, the author-narrator (let's call him Descartes) recounts how he came about the idea of the thinking self or cogito, as the foundation of worldly knowledge: And so because sometimes our senses deceive us, I made up my mind to suppose that they always did. . . . I resolved to pretend that everything that had ever entered my mind was as false as the figments of my dreams. But then as I strove to think of everything false, I realized that, in the very act of thinking everything false, I was aware of myself as something real. (60-61) These well known lines are, of course, the beginnings of a remarkable philosophical enterprise, reaching forward to Husserl and beyond, in which the external world is bracketed, all the better to know it in the name of reason. Through an act of pretence ("I resolved to pretend"), Descartes disavows the external world as the source of certain knowledge, and, turning to the only thing left: the thought of himself—"I was aware of myself as something real"—makes his famous declaration, "I think therefore I am". But what precisely characterises this thinking being, destined to become the cogito of all modernity? Is it purely this act of self-reflection?: Then, from reflecting on the fact that I had doubts, and that consequently my existence was not wholly perfect, it occurred to me to enquire how I learned to think of something more perfect than myself, and it became evident to me that it must be through some nature which was in fact more perfect. (62) Descartes has another thought that "occurred to me" almost at the same moment that he becomes aware of his own thinking self. This second thought makes him aware that the cogito is not complete, requiring yet a further thought, that of a perfection drawn from something "more perfect than myself". The creation of the cogito does not occur, as we might have first surmised, within its own space of self-reflection, but becomes lodged within what might be called, following Deleuze and Guattari, a "plane of immanence" coming from the outside: "The plane of immanence is . . . an outside more distant than any external world because it is an inside deeper than any internal world: it is immanence" (59). Here we are left with a puzzling question: what of this immanence that made him aware of his own imperfection at the very moment of the cogito's inception? Can this immanence be explained away by Descartes' appeal to God as a state of perfection? Or is it the very material upon which the cogito is brought into existence, shaping it towards perfection? We are forced to admit that, irrespective of the source of this perfection, the cogito requires something from the outside which, paradoxically, is already on the inside, in order to create itself as a pure form. Following the contours of Descartes' own writing, we cannot account for modernity purely in terms of self-reflection, if, in the very act of its self-creation, the modern subject is shot through with immanence that comes from the outside. Rather what we must do is describe the various forms this immanence takes. Although there is no necessary link between immanence and perfection (that is, one does not logically depend on the other as its necessary cause) their articulation nevertheless produces something (the cogito for instance). Furthermore, this something is always characterised as a creation. In its modern form, creation is a form of immanence within materiality—a virtualisation of material actuality, that produces idealised states, such as God, freedom, reason, uniqueness, originality, love and perfection. As Bruno Latour has argued, the "modern critical stance" creates unique, pure objects, by purging the material "networks" from which they are formed, of their impurities (11-12). Immanence is characterised by a process of sifting and purification which brings modern objects into existence: "the plane of immanence . . . acts like a sieve" (Deleuze and Guattari 42). The nation, the state, the family, the autonomous subject, and the work of art—all of these are modern when their 'material' is purged of impurities by an immanence that 'comes from the outside' yet is somehow intrinsic to the material itself. As Zygmunt Bauman points out, the modern nation exists by virtue of a capacity to convert strangers into citizens; by purging itself of impurities inhabiting it from within but coming from the outside (63). The modern work of art is created by purging itself of the vulgarities and impurities of everyday life (Berman 30); by reducing its contingent and coincidental elements to a geometrical, punctual or serialised form. The modern nuclear family is created by converting the community-based connections between relatives and friends into a single, internally consistent self-reproducing organism. All of these examples require us to think of creativity as an act which brings something new into existence from within a material base that must be purged and disavowed, but which, simultaneously, must also be retained as its point of departure that it never really leaves. Immanence should not be equated with essence, if by essence we mean a substratum of materiality inherent in things; a quality or quiddity to which all things can be reduced. Rather, immanence is the process whereby things appear as they are to others, thereby forming themselves into 'objects' with certain identifiable characteristics. Immanence draws the 'I' and the 'we' into relations of subjectivity to the objects thus produced. Immanence is not in things; it is the thing's condition of objectivity in a material, spatial and temporal sense; its 'becoming object' before it can be 'perceived' by a subject. As Merleau-Ponty has beautifully argued, seeing as a bodily effect necessarily comes before perception as an inner ownership (Merleau-Ponty 3-14). Since immanence always comes from elsewhere, no intensive scrutiny of the object in itself will bring it to light. But since immanence is already inside the object from the moment of its inception, no amount of examination of its contextual conditions—the social, cultural, economic, institutional and authorial conditions under which the object was created—will bring us any closer to it. Rather, immanence can only be 'seen' (if this is the right word) in terms of the objects it creates. We should stop seeking immanence as a characteristic of objects considered in themselves, and rather see it in terms of a virtual field or plane, in which objects appear, positioned in a transversally related way. This field does not exist transcendentally to the objects, like some overarching principle of order, but as a radically exteriorised stratum of 'immaterial materiality' with a specific image-content, capable of linking objects together as a series of creations, all with the stamp of their own originality, individuality and uniqueness, yet all bound together by a common set of image relations (Deleuze 34-35). If, as Foucault argues, modern objects emerge in a "field of exteriority"—a complex web of discursive interrelations, with contingent rather than necessary connections to one another (Foucault 45)—then it should be possible to map the connections between these objects in terms of the "schema of correspondence" (74) detected in the multiplicities thrown up by the regularities of modern production and consumption. Commodities and Created Objects We can extend the idea of creation to include not only aesthetic acts and their objects, but also the commodity-products of modern industrialisation. Let's begin by plunging straight into the archive, where we might find traces of these small modern miracles. An illustrated advertisem*nt for 'Hudson's Extract of Soap' appeared in the Illustrated Sydney News, on Saturday February 22nd, 1888. The illustration shows a young woman with a washing basket under her arm, standing beside a sign posted to a wall, which reads 'Remarkable Disappearance of all Dirt from Everything by using Hudson's Extract of Soap' (see Figure 1). The woman has her head turned towards the poster, as if reading it. Beneath these words, is another set of words offering a reward: 'Reward !!! Purity, Health, Perfection, Satisfaction. By its regular daily use'. Here we are confronted with a remarkable proposition: soap does not make things clean, rather it makes dirt disappear. Soap purifies things by making their impurities disappear. The claim made applies to 'everything', drawing attention to a desire for a certain state of perfection, exemplified by the pure body, cleansed of dirt and filth. The pure exists in potentia as a perfect state of being, realised by the purgation of impurities. Fig 1: Hudson's Soap. Illustrated Sydney News, on Saturday February 22nd, 1888 Here we might be tempted to trace the motivation of this advertisem*nt to a concern in the nineteenth century for a morally purged, purified body, regulated according to bourgeois values of health, respectability and decorum. As Catherine Gallagher has pointed out, the body in the nineteenth century was at the centre of a sick society requiring "constant flushing, draining, and excising of various deleterious elements" (Gallagher 90). But this is only half the story. The advertisem*nt offers a certain image of purity; an image which exceeds the immediate rhetorical force associated with selling a product, one which cannot be simply reduced to its contexts of use. The image of perfection in the Hudson's soap advertisem*nt belongs to a network of images spread across a far-flung field; a network in which we can 'see' perfection as a material immanence embodied in things. In modernity, commodities are created objects par excellence, which, in their very ordinariness, bear with them an immanence, binding consumers together into consumer formations. Each act of consumption is not simply driven by necessity and need, but by a desire for self-transformation, embodied in the commodity itself. Indeed, self-transformation becomes one of the main creative processes in what Marshal Berman has identified as the "third" phase of modernity, where, paraphrasing Nietzsche, "modern mankind found itself in the midst of a great absence and emptiness of values and yet, at the same time, a remarkable abundance of possibilities" (Berman 21). Commodification shifts human desire away from the thought of the other as a transcendental reality remote from the senses, and onto a future oriented material plane, in which the self is capable of becoming an other in a tangible, specific way (Massumi 35 ff.). By the end of the nineteenth century, commodities had become associated with scenarios of self-transformation embedded in human desire, which then began to shape the needs of society itself. Consumer formations are not autonomous realms; they are transversally located within and across social strata. This is because commodities bear with them an immanence which always exceeds their context of production and consumption, spreading across vast cultural terrains. An individual consumer is thus subject to two forces: the force of production that positions her within the social strata as a member of a class or social grouping, and the force of consumption that draws her away from, or indeed, further into a social positioning. While the consumption of commodities remained bound to ideologies relating to the formation of class in terms of a bourgeois moral order, as it was in Britain, America and Europe throughout the nineteenth century, then the discontinuity between social strata and cultural formation was felt in terms of the possibility of self-transformation by moving up a class. In the nineteenth century, working class families flocked to the new photographic studios to have their portraits taken, emulating the frozen moral rectitude of the ideal bourgeois type, or scrimped and saved to purchase parlour pianos and other such cultural paraphernalia, thereby signalling a certain kind of leisured freedom from the grind of work (Sekula 8). But when the desire for self-transformation starts to outstrip the ideological closure of class; that is, when the 'reality' of commodities starts to overwhelm the social reality of those who make them, then desire itself takes on an autonomy, which can then be attached to multiple images of the other, expressed in imaginary scenarios of escape, freedom, success and hyper-experience. This kind of free-floating desire has now become a major trigger for transformations in consumer formations, linked to visual technologies where images behave like quasi-autonomous beings. The emergence of these images can be traced back at least to the mid-nineteenth century where products of industrialisation were transformed into commodities freely available as spectacles within the public spaces of exhibitions and in mass advertising in the press, for instance in the Great Exhibition of 1851 held at London's Crystal Palace (Richards 28 ff.) Here we see the beginnings of a new kind of object-image dislocated from the utility of the product, with its own exchange value and logic of dispersal. Bataille's notion of symbolic exchange can help explain the logic of dispersal inherent in commodities. For Bataille, capitalism involves both production utility and sumptuary expenditure, where the latter is not simply a calculated version of the former (Bataille 120 ff.) Sumptuary expenditure is a discharge of an excess, and not a drawing in of demand to match the needs of supply. Consumption thus has a certain 'uncontrolled' element embedded in it, which always moves beyond the machinations of market logic. Under these conditions, the commodity image always exceeds production and use, taking on a life of its own, charged with desire. In the late nineteenth century, the convergence of photography and cartes-de-visites released a certain scopophilic desire in the form of postcard p*rnography, which eventually migrated to the modern forms of advertising and public visual imagery that we see today. According to Suren Lalvani, the "onset of scopophilia" in modern society is directly attributable to the convergence of photographic technology and erotic display in the nineteenth century (Lalvani). In modern consumer cultures, desire does not lag behind need, but enters into the cycle of production and consumption from the outside, where it becomes its driving force. In this way, modern consumer cultures transform themselves by ecstasis (literally, by standing outside oneself) when the body becomes virtualised into its other. Here, the desire for self-transformation embodied in the act of consumption intertwines with, and eventually redefines, the social positioning of the subject. Indeed the 'laws' of capital and labour where each person or family group is assigned a place and regime of duties, are constantly undone and redefined by the superfluity of consumption, gradually gathering pace throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. These tremendous changes operating throughout all capitalist consumer cultures for some time, do not occur in a calculated way, as if controlled by the forces of production alone. Rather, they occur through myriad acts of self-transformation, operating transversally, linking consumer to consumer within what I have defined earlier as a field of immanence. Here, the laws of supply and demand are inadequate to predict the logic of this operation; they only describe the effects of consumption after desire has been spent. Or, to put this another way, they misread desire as need, thereby transcribing the primary force of consumption into a secondary component of the production/labour cycle. This error is made by Humphrey McQueen in his recent book The Essence of Capitalism: the origins of our future (2001). In chapter 8, McQueen examines the logic of the consumer market through a critique of the marketeer's own notion of desire, embodied in the "sovereign consumer", making rational choices. Here desire is reduced back to a question of calculated demand, situated within the production/consumption cycle. McQueen leaves himself no room to manoeuvre outside this cycle; there is no way to see beyond the capitalist cycle of supply/demand which accelerates across ever-increasing horizons. To avoid this error, desire needs to be seen as immanent to the production/consumption cycle; as produced by it, yet superfluous to its operations. We need therefore to situate ourselves not on the side of production, but in the superfluity of consumption in order to recognise the transformational triggers that characterise modern consumer cultures, and their effects on the social order. In order to understand the creative impulse in modernity today, we need to come to grips with the mystery of consumption, where the thing consumed operates on the consumer in both a material and an immaterial way. This mystification of the commodity was, of course, well noted by Marx: A commodity is . . . a mysterious thing, simply because in it the social character of men's labour appears to them as an objective character stamped upon the product of that labour; because the relation of the producers to the sum total of their own labour is presented to them as a social relation, existing not between themselves, but between the products of their labour. (Marx 43, my emphasis) When commodities take on such a powerful force that their very presence starts to drive and shape the social relations that have given rise to them; that is, when desire replaces need as the shaping force of societies, then we are obliged to redefine the commodity and its relation to the subject. Under these conditions, the mystery of the commodity is no longer something to be dispelled in order to retrieve the real relation between labour and capital, but becomes the means whereby "men's labour" is actually shaped and formed as a specific mode of production. Eric Alliez and Michel Feher (1987) point out that in capitalism "the subjection framework which defines the wage relation has penetrated society to such an extent that we can now speak not only of the formal subsumption of labor by capital but of the actual or 'real' subsumption by capital of society as a whole" (345). In post-Fordist economic contexts, individuals' relation to capital is no longer based on subjection but incorporation: "space is subsumed under a time entirely permeated by capital. In so doing, they [neo-Fordist strategies] also instigate a regime in which individuals are less subject to than incorporated by capital" (346). In societies dominated by the subjection of workers to capital, the commodity's exchange value is linked strongly to the classed position of the worker, consolidating his interests within the shadow of a bourgeois moral order. But where the worker is incorporated into capital, his 'real' social relations go with him, making it difficult to see how they can be separated from the commodities he produces and which he also consumes at leisure: "If the capitalist relation has colonized all of the geographical and social space, it has no inside into which to integrate things. It has become an unbounded space—in other words, a space coextensive with its own inside and outside. It has become a field of immanence" (Massumi 18). It therefore makes little sense to initiate critiques of the capital relation by overthrowing the means of subjection. Instead, what is required is a way through the 'incorporation' of the individual into the capitalist system, an appropriation of the means of consumption in order to invent new kinds of selfhood. Or at the very least, to expose the process of self-formation to its own means of consumption. What we need to do, then, is to undertake a description of the various ways in which desire is produced within consumer cultures as a form of self-creation. As we have seen, in modernity, self-creation occurs when human materiality is rendered immaterial through a process purification. Borrowing from Deleuze and Guattari, I have characterised this process in terms of immanence: a force coming from the outside, but which is already inside the material itself. In the necessary absence of any prime mover or deity, pure immanence becomes the primary field in which material is rendered into its various and specific modern forms. Immanence is not a transcendental power operating over things, but that which is the very motor of modernity; its specific way of appearing to itself, and of relating to itself in its various guises and manifestations. Through a careful mapping of the network of commodity images spread through far-flung fields, cutting through specific contexts of production and consumption, we can see creation at work in one of its specific modern forms. Immanence, and the power of creation it makes possible, can be found in all modern things, even soap powder! References Alliez, Eric and Michel Feher. "The Luster of Capital." Zone 1(2) 1987: 314-359. Bauman, Zygmunt. Modernity and Ambivalence. Cambridge: Polity, 1991. Berman, Marshall. All That is Solid Melts into Air. New York: Penguin, 1982. Bataille, George. "The Notion of Expenditure." George Bataille, Visions of Excess: Selected Writings, 1927-1939. Trans. Alan Stoekl, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1995, pp.116-129. Deleuze, Gilles. Foucault. Trans. Seán Hand, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1988. Deleuze, Gilles and Félix Guattari. What is Philosophy? Trans. Hugh Tomlinson and Graham Burchill, New York: Columbia University Press, 1994. Descartes, Rene. Discourse on Method. Trans. Arthur Wollaston, Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1960. Foucault, Michel. The Archaeology of Knowledge. Trans. A.M. Sheridan Smith, London: Tavistock, 1972. Gallagher, Catherine. "The Body Versus the Social Body in the Works of Thomas Malthus and Henry Mayhew." The Making of the Modern Body: Sexuality and Society in the Nineteenth Century, Catherine Gallagher and Thomas Laqueur (Eds.), Berkeley: University of California Press, 1987: 83-106. Lalvani, Suren. "Photography, Epistemology and the Body." Cultural Studies, 7(3), 1993: 442-465. Latour, Bruno. We Have Never Been Modern. Trans. Catherine Porter, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1993. Karl. Capital, A New Abridgement. David McLellan (Ed.), Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995. Massumi, Brian. "Everywhere You Want to Be: Introduction to Fear" in Brian Massumi (Ed.). The Politics of Everyday Fear. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1993: 3-37. Merleau-Ponty, Maurice. The Visible and the Invisible. Trans. Alphonso Lingis, Evanston: Northwest University Press, 1968. McQueen, Humphrey. The Essence of Capitalism: the Origins of Our Future. Sydney: Sceptre, 2001. Richards, Thomas. The Commodity Culture of Victorian England: Advertising and Spectacle, 1851-1914. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1990. Sekula, Allan. "The Body and the Archive." October, 39, 1986: 3-65.

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Molnar, Tamas. "Spectre of the Past, Vision of the Future – Ritual, Reflexivity and the Hope for Renewal in Yann Arthus-Bertrand’s Climate Change Communication Film "Home"." M/C Journal 15, no.3 (May3, 2012). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.496.

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Abstract:

About half way through Yann Arthus-Bertrand’s film Home (2009) the narrator describes the fall of the Rapa Nui, the indigenous people of the Easter Islands. The narrator posits that the Rapa Nui culture collapsed due to extensive environmental degradation brought about by large-scale deforestation. The Rapa Nui cut down their massive native forests to clear spaces for agriculture, to heat their dwellings, to build canoes and, most importantly, to move their enormous rock sculptures—the Moai. The disappearance of their forests led to island-wide soil erosion and the gradual disappearance of arable land. Caught in the vice of overpopulation but with rapidly dwindling basic resources and no trees to build canoes, they were trapped on the island and watched helplessly as their society fell into disarray. The sequence ends with the narrator’s biting remark: “The real mystery of the Easter Islands is not how its strange statues got there, we know now; it's why the Rapa Nui didn't react in time.” In their unrelenting desire for development, the Rapa Nui appear to have overlooked the role the environment plays in maintaining a society. The island’s Moai accompanying the sequence appear as memento mori, a lesson in the mortality of human cultures brought about by their own misguided and short-sighted practices. Arthus-Bertrand’s Home, a film composed almost entirely of aerial photographs, bears witness to present-day environmental degradation and climate change, constructing society as a fragile structure built upon and sustained by the environment. Home is a call to recognise how contemporary practices of post-industrial societies have come to shape the environment and how they may impact the habitability of Earth in the near future. Through reflexivity and a ritualised structure the text invites spectators to look at themselves in a new light and remake their self-image in the wake of global environmental risk by embracing new, alternative core practices based on balance and interconnectedness. Arthus-Bertrand frames climate change not as a burden, but as a moment of profound realisation of the potential for change and humans ability to create a desirable future through hope and our innate capacity for renewal. This article examines how Arthus-Bertrand’s ritualised construction of climate change aims to remake viewers’ perception of present-day environmental degradation and investigates Home’s place in contemporary climate change communication discourse. Climate change, in its capacity to affect us globally, is considered a world risk. The most recent peer-reviewed Synthesis Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change suggests that the concentration of atmospheric greenhouse gases has increased markedly since human industrialisation in the 18th century. Moreover, human activities, such as fossil fuel burning and agricultural practices, are “very likely” responsible for the resulting increase in temperature rise (IPPC 37). The increased global temperatures and the subsequent changing weather patterns have a direct and profound impact on the physical and biological systems of our planet, including shrinking glaciers, melting permafrost, coastal erosion, and changes in species distribution and reproduction patterns (Rosenzweig et al. 353). Studies of global security assert that these physiological changes are expected to increase the likelihood of humanitarian disasters, food and water supply shortages, and competition for resources thus resulting in a destabilisation of global safety (Boston et al. 1–2). Human behaviour and dominant practices of modernity are now on a path to materially impact the future habitability of our home, Earth. In contemporary post-industrial societies, however, climate change remains an elusive, intangible threat. Here, the Arctic-bound species forced to adapt to milder climates or the inhabitants of low-lying Pacific islands seeking refuge in mainland cities are removed from the everyday experience of the controlled and regulated environments of homes, offices, and shopping malls. Diverse research into the mediated and mediatised nature of the environment suggests that rather than from first-hand experiences and observations, the majority of our knowledge concerning the environment now comes from its representation in the mass media (Hamilton 4; Stamm et al. 220; Cox 2). Consequently the threat of climate change is communicated and constructed through the news media, entertainment and lifestyle programming, and various documentaries and fiction films. It is therefore the construction (the representation of the risk in various discourses) that shapes people’s perception and experience of the phenomenon, and ultimately influences behaviour and instigates social response (Beck 213). By drawing on and negotiating society’s dominant discourses, environmental mediation defines spectators’ perceptions of the human-nature relationship and subsequently their roles and responsibilities in the face of environmental risks. Maxwell Boykoff asserts that contemporary modern society’s mediatised representations of environmental degradation and climate change depict the phenomena as external to society’s primary social and economic concerns (449). Julia Corbett argues that this is partly because environmental protection and sustainable behaviour are often at odds with the dominant social paradigms of consumerism, economic growth, and materialism (175). Similarly, Rowan Howard-Williams suggests that most media texts, especially news, do not emphasise the link between social practices, such as consumerist behaviour, and their environmental consequences because they contradict dominant social paradigms (41). The demands contemporary post-industrial societies make on the environment to sustain economic growth, consumer culture, and citizens’ comfortable lives in air-conditioned homes and offices are often left unarticulated. While the media coverage of environmental risks may indeed have contributed to “critical misperceptions, misleading debates, and divergent understandings” (Boykoff 450) climate change possesses innate characteristics that amplify its perception in present-day post-industrial societies as a distant and impersonal threat. Climate change is characterised by temporal and spatial de-localisation. The gradual increase in global temperature and its physical and biological consequences are much less prominent than seasonal changes and hence difficult to observe on human time-scales. Moreover, while research points to the increased probability of extreme climatic events such as droughts, wild fires, and changes in weather patterns (IPCC 48), they take place over a wide range of geographical locations and no single event can be ultimately said to be the result of climate change (Maibach and Roser-Renouf 145). In addition to these observational obstacles, political partisanship, vested interests in the current status quo, and general resistance to profound change all play a part in keeping us one step removed from the phenomenon of climate change. The distant and impersonal nature of climate change coupled with the “uncertainty over consequences, diverse and multiple engaged interests, conflicting knowledge claims, and high stakes” (Lorenzoni et al. 65) often result in repression, rejection, and denial, removing the individual’s responsibility to act. Research suggests that, due to its unique observational obstacles in contemporary post-industrial societies, climate change is considered a psychologically distant event (Pawlik 559), one that is not personally salient due to the “perceived distance and remoteness [...] from one’s everyday experience” (O’Neill and Nicholson-Cole 370). In an examination of the barriers to behaviour change in the face of psychologically distant events, Robert Gifford argues that changing individuals’ perceptions of the issue-domain is one of the challenges of countering environmental inertia—the lack of initiative for environmentally sustainable social action (5). To challenge the status quo a radically different construction of the environment and the human-nature relationship is required to transform our perception of global environmental risks and ultimately result in environmentally consequential social action. Yann Arthus-Bertrand’s Home is a ritualised construction of contemporary environmental degradation and climate change which takes spectators on a rite of passage to a newfound understanding of the human-nature relationship. Transformation through re-imagining individuals’ roles, responsibilities, and practices is an intrinsic quality of rituals. A ritual charts a subjects path from one state of consciousness to the next, resulting in a meaningful change of attitudes (Deflem 8). Through a lifelong study of African rituals British cultural ethnographer Victor Turner refined his concept of rituals in a modern social context. Turner observed that rituals conform to a three-phased processural form (The Ritual Process 13–14). First, in the separation stage, the subjects are selected and removed from their fixed position in the social structure. Second, they enter an in-between and ambiguous liminal stage, characterised by a “partial or complete separation of the subject from everyday existence” (Deflem 8). Finally, imbued with a new perspective of the outside world borne out of the experience of reflexivity, liminality, and a cathartic cleansing, subjects are reintegrated into the social reality in a new, stable state. The three distinct stages make the ritual an emotionally charged, highly personal experience that “demarcates the passage from one phase to another in the individual’s life-cycle” (Turner, “Symbols” 488) and actively shapes human attitudes and behaviour. Adhering to the three-staged processural form of the ritual, Arthus-Bertrand guides spectators towards a newfound understanding of their roles and responsibilities in creating a desirable future. In the first stage—the separation—aerial photography of Home alienates viewers from their anthropocentric perspectives of the outside world. This establishes Earth as a body, and unearths spectators’ guilt and shame in relation to contemporary world risks. Aerial photography strips landscapes of their conventional qualities of horizon, scale, and human reference. As fine art photographer Emmet Gowin observes, “when one really sees an awesome, vast place, our sense of wholeness is reorganised [...] and the body seems always to diminish” (qtd. in Reynolds 4). Confronted with a seemingly infinite sublime landscape from above, the spectator’s “body diminishes” as they witness Earth’s body gradually taking shape. Home’s rushing rivers of Indonesia are akin to blood flowing through the veins and the Siberian permafrost seems like the texture of skin in extreme close-up. Arthus-Bertrand establishes a geocentric embodiment to force spectators to perceive and experience the environmental degradation brought about by the dominant social practices of contemporary post-industrial modernity. The film-maker visualises the maltreatment of the environment through suggested abuse of the Earth’s body. Images of industrial agricultural practices in the United States appear to leave scratches and scars on the landscape, and as a ship crosses the Arctic ice sheets of the Northwest Passage the boat glides like the surgeon’s knife cutting through the uppermost layer of the skin. But the deep blue water that’s revealed in the wake of the craft suggests a flesh and body now devoid of life, a suffering Earth in the wake of global climatic change. Arthus-Bertrand’s images become the sublime evidence of human intervention in the environment and the reflection of present-day industrialisation materially altering the face of Earth. The film-maker exploits spectators’ geocentric perspective and sensibility to prompt reflexivity, provide revelations about the self, and unearth the forgotten shame and guilt in having inadvertently caused excessive environmental degradation. Following the sequences establishing Earth as the body of the text Arthus-Bertrand returns spectators to their everyday “natural” environment—the city. Having witnessed and endured the pain and suffering of Earth, spectators now gaze at the skyscrapers standing bold and tall in the cityscape with disillusionment. The pinnacles of modern urban development become symbols of arrogance and exploitation: structures forced upon the landscape. Moreover, the images of contemporary cityscapes in Home serve as triggers for ritual reflexivity, allowing the spectator to “perceive the self [...] as a distanced ‘other’ and hence achieve a partial ‘self-transcendence’” (Beck, Comments 491). Arthus-Bertrand’s aerial photographs of Los Angeles, New York, and Tokyo fold these distinct urban environments into one uniform fusion of glass, metal, and concrete devoid of life. The uniformity of these cultural landscapes prompts spectators to add the missing element: the human. Suddenly, the homes and offices of desolate cityscapes are populated by none other than us, looking at ourselves from a unique vantage point. The geocentric sensibility the film-maker invoked with the images of the suffering Earth now prompt a revelation about the self as spectators see their everyday urban environments in a new light. Their homes and offices become blemishes on the face of the Earth: its inhabitants, including the spectators themselves, complicit in the excessive mistreatment of the planet. The second stage of the ritual allows Arthus-Bertrand to challenge dominant social paradigms of present day post-industrial societies and introduce new, alternative moral directives to govern our habits and attitudes. Following the separation, ritual subjects enter an in-between, threshold stage, one unencumbered by the spatial, temporal, and social boundaries of everyday existence. Turner posits that a subjects passage through this liminal stage is necessary to attain psychic maturation and successful transition to a new, stable state at the end of the ritual (The Ritual Process 97). While this “betwixt and between” (Turner, The Ritual Process 95) state may be a fleeting moment of transition, it makes for a “lived experience [that] transforms human beings cognitively, emotionally, and morally.” (Horvath et al. 3) Through a change of perceptions liminality paves the way toward meaningful social action. Home places spectators in a state of liminality to contrast geocentric and anthropocentric views. Arthus-Bertrand contrasts natural and human-made environments in terms of diversity. The narrator’s description of the “miracle of life” is followed by images of trees seemingly defying gravity, snow-covered summits among mountain ranges, and a whale in the ocean. Grandeur and variety appear to be inherent qualities of biodiversity on Earth, qualities contrasted with images of the endless, uniform rectangular greenhouses of Almeria, Spain. This contrast emphasises the loss of variety in human achievements and the monotony mass-production brings to the landscape. With the image of a fire burning atop a factory chimney, Arthus-Bertrand critiques the change of pace and distortion of time inherent in anthropocentric views, and specifically in contemporary modernity. Here, the flames appear to instantly eat away at resources that have taken millions of years to form, bringing anthropocentric and geocentric temporality into sharp contrast. A sequence showing a night time metropolis underscores this distinction. The glittering cityscape is lit by hundreds of lights in skyscrapers in an effort, it appears, to mimic and surpass daylight and thus upturn the natural rhythm of life. As the narrator remarks, in our present-day environments, “days are now the pale reflections of nights.” Arthus-Bertrand also uses ritual liminality to mark the present as a transitory, threshold moment in human civilisation. The film-maker contrasts the spectre of our past with possible visions of the future to mark the moment of now as a time when humanity is on the threshold of two distinct states of mind. The narrator’s descriptions of contemporary post-industrial society’s reliance on non-renewable resources and lack of environmentally sustainable agricultural practices condemn the past and warn viewers of the consequences of continuing such practices into the future. Exploring the liminal present Arthus-Bertrand proposes distinctive futurescapes for humankind. On the one hand, the narrator’s description of California’s “concentration camp style cattle farming” suggests that humankind will live in a future that feeds from the past, falling back on frames of horrors and past mistakes. On the other hand, the example of Costa Rica, a nation that abolished its military and dedicated the budget to environmental conservation, is recognition of our ability to re-imagine our future in the face of global risk. Home introduces myths to imbue liminality with the alternative dominant social paradigm of ecology. By calling upon deep-seated structures myths “touch the heart of society’s emotional, spiritual and intellectual consciousness” (Killingsworth and Palmer 176) and help us understand and come to terms with complex social, economic, and scientific phenomena. With the capacity to “pattern thought, beliefs and practices,” (Maier 166) myths are ideal tools in communicating ritual liminality and challenging contemporary post-industrial society’s dominant social paradigms. The opening sequence of Home, where the crescent Earth is slowly revealed in the darkness of space, is an allusion to creation: the genesis myth. Accompanied only by a gentle hum our home emerges in brilliant blue, white, and green-brown encompassing most of the screen. It is as if darkness and chaos disintegrated and order, life, and the elements were created right before our eyes. Akin to the Earthrise image taken by the astronauts of Apollo 8, Home’s opening sequence underscores the notion that our home is a unique spot in the blackness of space and is defined and circ*mscribed by the elements. With the opening sequence Arthus-Bertrand wishes to impart the message of interdependence and reliance on elements—core concepts of ecology. Balance, another key theme in ecology, is introduced with an allusion to the Icarus myth in a sequence depicting Dubai. The story of Icarus’s fall from the sky after flying too close to the sun is a symbolic retelling of hubris—a violent pride and arrogance punishable by nemesis—destruction, which ultimately restores balance by forcing the individual back within the limits transgressed (Littleton 712). In Arthus-Bertrand’s portrayal of Dubai, the camera slowly tilts upwards on the Burj Khalifa tower, the tallest human-made structure ever built. The construction works on the tower explicitly frame humans against the bright blue sky in their attempt to reach ever further, transgressing their limitations much like the ill-fated Icarus. Arthus-Bertrand warns that contemporary modernity does not strive for balance or moderation, and with climate change we may have brought our nemesis upon ourselves. By suggesting new dominant paradigms and providing a critique of current maxims, Home’s retelling of myths ultimately sees spectators through to the final stage of the ritual. The last phase in the rite of passage “celebrates and commemorates transcendent powers,” (Deflem 8) marking subjects’ rebirth to a new status and distinctive perception of the outside world. It is at this stage that Arthus-Bertrand resolves the emotional distress uncovered in the separation phase. The film-maker uses humanity’s innate capacity for creation and renewal as a cathartic cleansing aimed at reconciling spectators’ guilt and shame in having inadvertently exacerbated global environmental degradation. Arthus-Bertrand identifies renewable resources as the key to redeeming technology, human intervention in the landscape, and finally humanity itself. Until now, the film-maker pictured modernity and technology, evidenced in his portrayal of Dubai, as synonymous with excess and disrespect for the interconnectedness and balance of elements on Earth. The final sequence shows a very different face of technology. Here, we see a mechanical sea-snake generating electricity by riding the waves off the coast of Scotland and solar panels turning towards the sun in the Sahara desert. Technology’s redemption is evidenced in its ability to imitate nature—a move towards geocentric consciousness (a lesson learned from the ritual’s liminal stage). Moreover, these human-made structures, unlike the skyscrapers earlier in the film, appear a lot less invasive in the landscape and speak of moderation and union with nature. With the above examples Arthus-Bertrand suggests that humanity can shed the greed that drove it to dig deeper and deeper into the Earth to acquire non-renewable resources such as oil and coal, what the narrator describes as “treasures buried deep.” The incorporation of principles of ecology, such as balance and interconnectedness, into humanity’s behaviour ushers in reconciliation and ritual cleansing in Home. Following the description of the move toward renewable resources, the narrator reveals that “worldwide four children out of five attend school, never has learning been given to so many human beings” marking education, innovation, and creativity as the true inexhaustible resources on Earth. Lastly, the description of Antarctica in Home is the essence of Arthus-Bertrand’s argument for our innate capacity to create, not simply exploit and destroy. Here, the narrator describes the continent as possessing “immense natural resources that no country can claim for itself, a natural reserve devoted to peace and science, a treaty signed by 49 nations has made it a treasure shared by all humanity.” Innovation appears to fuel humankind’s transcendence to a state where it is capable of compassion, unification, sharing, and finally creating treasures. With these examples Arthus-Bertrand suggests that humanity has an innate capacity for creative energy that awaits authentic expression and can turn humankind from destroyer to creator. In recent years various risk communication texts have explicitly addressed climate change, endeavouring to instigate environmentally consequential social action. Home breaks discursive ground among them through its ritualistic construction which seeks to transform spectators’ perception, and in turn roles and responsibilities, in the face of global environmental risks. Unlike recent climate change media texts such as An Inconvenient Truth (2006), The 11th Hour (2007), The Age of Stupid (2009), Carbon Nation (2010) and Earth: The Operator’s Manual (2011), Home eludes simple genre classification. On the threshold of photography and film, documentary and fiction, Arthus-Bertrand’s work is best classified as an advocacy film promoting public debate and engagement with a universal concern—the state of the environment. The film’s website, available in multiple languages, contains educational material, resources to organise public screenings, and a link to GoodPlanet.info: a website dedicated to environmentalism, including legal tools and initiatives to take action. The film-maker’s approach to using Home as a basis for education and raising awareness corresponds to Antonio Lopez’s critique of contemporary mass-media communications of global risks. Lopez rebukes traditional forms of mediatised communication that place emphasis on the imparting of knowledge and instead calls for a participatory, discussion-driven, organic media approach, akin to a communion or a ritual (106). Moreover, while texts often place a great emphasis on the messenger, for instance Al Gore in An Inconvenient Truth, Leonardo DiCaprio in The 11th Hour, or geologist Dr. Richard Alley in Earth: The Operator’s Manual, Home’s messenger remains unseen—the narrator is only identified at the very end of the film among the credits. The film-maker’s decision to forego a central human character helps dissociate the message from the personality of the messenger which aids in establishing and maintaining the geocentric sensibility of the text. Finally, the ritual’s invocation and cathartic cleansing of emotional distress enables Home to at once acknowledge our environmentally destructive past habits and point to a hopeful, environmentally sustainable future. While The Age of Stupid mostly focuses on humanity’s present and past failures to respond to an imminent environmental catastrophe, Carbon Nation, with the tagline “A climate change solutions movie that doesn’t even care if you believe in climate change,” only explores the potential future business opportunities in turning towards renewable resources and environmentally sustainable practices. The three-phased processural form of the ritual allows for a balance of backward and forward-looking, establishing the possibility of change and renewal in the face of world risk. The ritual is a transformative experience. As Turner states, rituals “interrupt the flow of social life and force a group to take cognizance of its behaviour in relation to its own values, and even question at times the value of those values” (“Dramatic Ritual” 82). Home, a ritualised media text, is an invitation to look at our world, its dominant social paradigms, and the key element within that world—ourselves—with new eyes. It makes explicit contemporary post-industrial society’s dependence on the environment, highlights our impact on Earth, and reveals our complicity in bringing about a contemporary world risk. The ritual structure and the self-reflexivity allow Arthus-Bertrand to transform climate change into a personally salient issue. This bestows upon the spectator the responsibility to act and to reconcile the spectre of the past with the vision of the future.Acknowledgments The author would like to thank Dr. Angi Buettner whose support, guidance, and supervision has been invaluable in preparing this article. References Beck, Brenda E. “Comments on the Distancing of Emotion in Ritual by Thomas J. Scheff.” Current Anthropology 18.3 (1977): 490. Beck, Ulrich. “Risk Society Revisited: Theory, Politics and Research Programmes.” The Risk Society and Beyond: Critical Issues for Social Theory. Ed. Barbara Adam, Ulrich Beck, and Joost Van Loon. London: Sage, 2005. 211–28. Boston, Jonathan., Philip Nel, and Marjolein Righarts. “Introduction.” Climate Change and Security: Planning for the Future. Wellington: Victoria U of Wellington Institute of Policy Studies, 2009. Boykoff, Maxwell T. “We Speak for the Trees: Media Reporting on the Environment.” Annual Review of Environment and Resources 34 (2009): 431–57. Corbett, Julia B. Communicating Nature: How we Create and Understand Environmental Messages. Washington, DC: Island P, 2006. Cox, Robert. Environmental Communication and the Public Sphere. London: Sage, 2010. Deflem, Mathieu. “Ritual, Anti-Structure and Religion: A Discussion of Victor Turner’s Processural Symbolic Analysis.” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 30.1 (1991): 1–25. Gifford, Robert. “Psychology’s Essential Role in Alleviating the Impacts of Climate Change.” Canadian Psychology 49.4 (2008): 273–80. Hamilton, Maxwell John. “Introduction.” Media and the Environment. Eds. Craig L. LaMay, Everette E. Dennis. Washington: Island P, 1991. 3–16. Horvath, Agnes., Bjørn Thomassen, and Harald Wydra. “Introduction: Liminality and Cultures of Change.” International Political Anthropology 2.1 (2009): 3–4. Howard-Williams, Rowan. “Consumers, Crazies and Killer Whales: The Environment on New Zealand Television.” International Communications Gazette 73.1–2 (2011): 27–43. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Climate Change Synthesis Report. (2007). 23 March 2012 ‹http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar4/syr/ar4_syr.pdf› Killingsworth, M. J., and Jacqueliene S. Palmer. “Silent Spring and Science Fiction: An Essay in the History and Rhetoric of Narrative.” And No Birds Sing: Rhetorical Analyses of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring. Ed. Craig Waddell. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois UP, 2000. 174–204. Littleton, C. Scott. Gods, Goddesses and Mythology. New York: Marshall Cavendish, 2005. Lorenzoni, Irene, Mavis Jones, and John R. Turnpenny. “Climate Change, Human Genetics, and Post-normality in the UK.” Futures 39.1 (2007): 65–82. Lopez, Antonio. “Defusing the Cannon/Canon: An Organic Media Approach to Environmental Communication.” Environmental Communication 4.1 (2010): 99–108. Maier, Daniela Carmen. “Communicating Business Greening and Greenwashing in Global Media: A Multimodal Discourse Analysis of CNN's Greenwashing Video.” International Communications Gazette 73.1–2 (2011): 165–77. Milfront, Taciano L. “Global Warming, Climate Change and Human Psychology.” Psychological Approaches to Sustainability: Current Trends in Theory, Research and Practice. Eds. Victor Corral-Verdugo, Cirilo H. Garcia-Cadena and Martha Frias-Armenta. New York: Nova Science Publishers, 2010. 20–42. O’Neill, Saffron, and Sophie Nicholson-Cole. “Fear Won’t Do It: Promoting Positive Engagement with Climate Change through Visual and Iconic Representations.” Science Communication 30.3 (2009): 355–79. Pawlik, Kurt. “The Psychology of Global Environmental Change: Some Basic Data and an Agenda for Cooperative International Research.” International Journal of Psychology 26.5 (1991): 547–63. Reynolds, Jock., ed. Emmet Gowin: Changing the Earth: Aerial Photographs. New Haven, CT: Yale UP, 2002. Rosenzweig, Cynthia, David Karoly, Marta Vicarelli, Peter Neofotis, Qigang Wu, Gino Casassa, Annette Menzel, Terry L. Root, Nicole Estrella, Bernard Seguin, Piotr Tryjanowski, Chunzhen Liu, Samuel Rawlins, and Anton Imeson. “Attributing Physical and Biological Impacts to Anthropogenic Climate Change.” Nature 453.7193 (2008): 353–58. Roser-Renouf, Connie, and Edward W. Maibach. “Communicating Climate Change.” Encyclopaedia of Science and Technology Communication. Ed. Susanna Hornig Priest. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage. 2010. 141–47. Stamm, Keith R., Fiona Clark, and Paula R. Eblacas. “Mass Communication and the Public Understanding of Environmental Problems: The Case of Global Warming.” Public Understanding of Science 9 (2000): 219–37. Turner, Victor. “Dramatic Ritual – Ritual Drama: Performative and Reflexive Anthropology.” The Kenyon Review, New Series 1.3 (1979): 80–93. —-. “Symbols in African Ritual.” Perspectives in Cultural Anthropology. Ed. Herbert A. Applebaum. Albany: State U of New York P, 1987. 488–501. —-. The Ritual Process: Structure and Anti-Structure. New Jersey: Transaction Publishers, 2008.

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Mee, Sharon Jane. "Cinema as Prosthesis: Errol Morris’s Use of the Interrotron in Mr. Death: The Rise and Fall of Fred A. Leuchter, Jr." M/C Journal 22, no.5 (October9, 2019). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.1593.

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Errol Morris’s Mr. Death: The Rise and Fall of Fred A. Leuchter, Jr. is a documentary made in 1999 that focuses on a designer of execution equipment, Fred A. Leuchter, Jr. It is notable that when filming Mr. Death—specifically, in interviews with Leuchter—Morris used a self-designed system that he calls the Interrotron (a combination of the words “interview” and “terror”). My primary interest lies in how apparatuses—the execution equipment that Leuchter designs, the Interrotron that Morris uses to film Leuchter, and cinema—come to function prosthetically. I argue that the apparatus as a prosthetic extension of the body operates socially, spatially, and temporally. The operation of the apparatus—execution equipment and cinematic apparatus—implies a relation of responsibility between bodies. The apparatus works spatially by instituting relations of connection and distance on a physical level between executioner, electric chair, and criminal, as well as filmmaker, camera apparatus, and interviewee. The specificity of the temporality of the apparatus is evidenced in its promotion of death (execution equipment) and the assistance it gives to our efforts to understand our very own relationship to death as spectators of film (cinematic apparatus). I contend that it is not only that the apparatus operates as a prosthesis in the production of cinema, but that cinema itself is a prosthesis of film spectatorship.The social, spatial, and temporal extension that the cinematic apparatus affords the body is that of a “supplement” (Stiegler 245). The character/subject is a component in the cinematic arrangement made extensive through “supplements”. However, the Interrotron as a prosthesis, acts as an extension of the body, but one by which the camera or the projected film are not positions that we may identify. My primary interest is the position of the character/subject within the apparatus and how the apparatus comes to function prosthetically. Although here, what I am also concerned with is how the symbolic features of the apparatus work through the fictional narratives of the subject’s life and thus play a formative role in the subject’s perception of him/herself. Fred A. Leuchter, Jr. and the Electric ChairThe character at the centre of Morris’s Mr. Death is Fred A. Leuchter, Jr. (a.k.a. Mr. Death), a self-taught engineer from Massachusetts who designs and builds electric chairs, lethal-injection equipment, gallows, and gas chambers. The narrative of the film follows the progress of his business as he is commissioned to work on each type of execution device. However, his career is put in question after being assigned by Ernst Zündel, Holocaust Revisionist and author of the pamphlet “Did Six Million Really Die?” to determine whether the buildings in Auschwitz were used to house gas executions. This assignment leads Leuchter to write “The Leuchter Report”: a document that denounces the existence of the gas chambers, given the lack of evidence of exhaust equipment, gasket seals, and hydrogen-cyanide residue in the brickwork (tested from bricks taken illegally from the site). Although this latter evidence is the defining point of the report, it is proven insubstantial by James Roth, the chemist commissioned to analyse the brick samples. It is the folly of Leuchter’s pursuit of the investigation that marks the irony of what he believes to be the crowning achievement of his career, which instead leads to the demise of it. Leuchter’s career demise notwithstanding, the impending subject of my investigation of Mr. Death is the relationship he has with the electric chair that he designed for Tennessee’s state prison. The history of electricity seems to find its place amongst the many inventions of the nineteenth-century. This history also displays a fascination with both its life and death giving qualities. While Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus (1818) is testimony to literature’s curiosity about electricity, others were quick to speculate on the social and scientific benefits that might be gained from its possible life-giving qualities. In 1892, an article in The Fortnightly Review suggested that electricity could “accelerate the growth of crops”, and in 1912, Svante Arrhenius tested the likelihood of it having the same effect on children (Kern 114).Death by electricity also seemed to fascinate. In fact, electricity was quite rapidly employed for execution. The electric chair was first used in a New York prison in 1890, a practice that proved to horrify the public—“the New York Times wrote that it had been a “revolting spectacle”, “far worse than hanging” (Kern 115). The Edison Company made an actuality film in 1903 at Luna Park, Coney Island called Electrocuting an Elephant (shown in Mr. Death) that attests to the spectacle or “attraction” that electricity must have been at this time. Fred demonstrates his own fascination with this double quality of electricity when he proclaims:There is no difference in a life support system and an execution system… With a life support system if it doesn’t function the person dies. With an execution system if it doesn’t function flawlessly the person lives.There is something banal in this comparison in the way it positions the human body in relation to the machine as though dependent on it, or, in the way it attests to a power that the machine has over life and death, and moreover the way it passes over the distinction between life and death. The lack of difference between the machines that attest to these respective practices is manifest in such indifference to their outcomes. Morris, with regard to this indifference, says:Fred […] seems possessed by this notion of a “painless execution.” I’m using Fred’s words. But exactly what is he talking about: “the perfect execution that just feels delightful”? I think he misses the point. The real pain of execution is in the knowledge that you are to die, in that realization that we’re mortal and that some date has been fixed for our extinction, for the termination of our lives. And it’s that implacable fact which he conveniently forgets. There can be no “painless execution” when you know that death is approaching. (Ryan)I argue that the prosthetic relation of the apparatus to the title character occurs on both a physical and psychical level, but question whether the subject’s apparatus represents them adequately. This question of representation is assessed by the film techniques Errol Morris employs in Mr. Death. What interests Morris about Leuchter beyond his involvement with killing machines, beyond the fact that he is a designer of death equipment, is Leuchter’s self-deception. But also the way in which this is revealed by Leuchter himself as he speaks to the camera. It is what Leuchter shows us of himself, the position he places himself in relation to us (or perhaps, more particularly, the camera) that is fascinating. As Morris says:Mr. Death has the far more interesting thesis that any man can think he’s a hero. Because Fred, in fact, does think he is a truly heroic character. He thinks he’s a Florence Nightingale figure, a champion of civil liberties, a defender of the underdog, a Galileo-like scientist who’s willing to go against the crowd and to espouse unpopular beliefs because he deeply believes they’re right. A humanitarian, a humanist. I mean, it’s a whole catalogue of virtue but what’s so appalling and, at the same time, sad and ludicrous about his story is that it’s wrong. (Ryan)What is revealed in this film then, is not only our relationship with our apparatuses, and the way in which they place us in turn in relation to people, but also how apparatuses play a formative role in people’s perception of themselves. The fact that a certain type of apparatus may exemplify a perception that people wish to have of themselves or their society is what Lisa Gitelman examines in the suggestions for possible inventions that made their way into letters to Thomas A. Edison. One man wrote in 1915: “My mind has been impressed for some time with the idea of a clock that would speak the time” (82). And yet, a phonograph-clock had already been invented and placed on the market in Europe several years earlier. Edison himself had the idea as early as November 1877. As Gitelman writes of the phonograph-clock idea: “The continued recurrence of the phonograph-clock as a ‘new’ idea confirms that the cultural saturation of technological knowledge was a matter of preconscious as well as conscious mentality. That is, many people came up with the same thing at the same time because the idea of the phonograph-clock percolated within the ambient culture” (83). The question is not only how apparatuses exist within the preconscious and consciousness as a cultural entity, but also, how a talking-clock acts as a mechanical extension of the human subject. As Gitelman writes: “The very idea of a “talking machine” seemed impossible, the term an oxymoron. It denoted a contradictory combination of biological and mechanical function, a nineteenth-century cyborg” (84). For Leuchter then, the question is: what is it that the execution apparatus says about him? Errol Morris and the InterrotronIt is also the device by which Leuchter reveals his opinions that in important. When filming Mr. Death, Morris used the Interrotron. The Interrotron is made up of a two-way camera set-up linked to teleprompters that at once project the image of Morris’s face to Leuchter and similarly, the image of Leuchter’s face to Morris. Behind the teleprompters (or more precisely, behind a two-way mirror that reflects the image of the teleprompter towards each person) are cameras, each fitted with a fixed lens. The result is that, rather than having the conversation taking place off to the side of the camera, both interviewer and interviewee can look directly at each other down the central axis of the camera lens (Rosenheim 221). As Leuchter speaks to the projected image (mirror) of Morris, the film camera behind the mirror gains direct eye contact with him and films him in this way. Conversely, a video camera films Morris’s face, an image which is directed to Leuchter through the teleprompter to the mirror facing him.The Interrotron does generate, Morris claims, better documentary techniques, not only because of the startling intensification of on-camera interviews and the feeling that is generated by the interviewee staring down the lens at interviewer and also the spectator. It also produces more information from the subject, evidenced by the fact that Leuchter spoke for twelve uninterrupted hours to the interview machine. Despite Leuchter’s ability for monologue, it does not seem that Leuchter knows himself any better. In fact, his delusion is one that is propagated by speaking for twelve hours to someone, to the world. However, it seems that Leuchter will never know his own delusion. The effect of the Interrotron on Leuchter is that it produces a projection/image that will listen with no interruptions. Precisely because, in the end, the projections reflect back the image of the person talking, it is all about Leuchter, rather than who he is talking to. As Morris says:I think we are all protected from the world by fantasy. We all see ourselves as being protagonists in a private drama of our own construction. I don’t think that any of us are immune from that sort of thing, I think it’s the human condition. It is really just trying to capture some of that, that is what interests me.A key idea that is presented by Leuchter in Mr. Death is the spatial distance between executioner and executee—even as there is connection between machine and victim—that tends towards anonymity. As Leuchter says in describing the way in which he became involved in designing a lethal-injection machine:They determined that there should be some kind of a machine that could repetitively deliver the necessary chemicals at the proper time intervals for all executions. This completely took the human factor out of it.This gives us some idea of the way in which machines tend to determine a distance, or anonymity, to the killing process. A characteristic of the spectator’s relationship to cinema is anonymity, however, it is an anonymity that, along with the “mass characteristics” of cinema and our “solitude in darkness”, creates a kind of “public intimacy” (Moore 5). For the electric chair, the electric current requires the connecting contact of the machine at the same time that this death-giving apparatus affords human distance. The machine provides for a sense of morality in which we view killing as a rational process conducted through technologies. It means that political systems or individuals are not held responsible for these deaths; it is rather as if the machine itself is responsible. Furthermore, it seems the necessity is to make the machine responsible so that the connecting human forces such as the creator of the electric chair, or perhaps even the person who “presses the button”, are free of responsibility. This question of responsibility is ironic in light of the fact that Leuchter has never himself witnessed an execution. Always at a distance, he relinquishes the machine from sight before it performs its prosecution.What is most important about spatial distance in Mr. Death is the way in which Morris uses the Interrotron to gain a sense of direct human contact from Leuchter. Morris’s interview machine is a mechanism that at the same time generates a distance (the objectifiable camera), but also allows for a human to human relationship through the camera rather than with the camera as a third party. Consequently, when Walter Benjamin says that, in the case of the audience of film, “the audience’s identification with the actor is really an identification with the camera”, or in the case of the actor, “what matters is that the part is acted not for an audience but for a mechanical contrivance”, this is what the Interrotron negates (228–29). The relationship that the audience has is a first-person relationship, where the camera acts as an extension of the human—a prosthesis—and not its own position to identify. Despite the human connection that the Interrotron produces in the absence of the identification with a mechanical device, the audience is never morally implicated because of the spatial and temporal singularity of film.The Interrotron generates a better human connection to the spectator where Morris becomes a stand-in for the real film spectator. It is through the eyes (in the look) that connection is guaranteed in the case of the Interrotron, just as in cinema. The Interrotron presents us with the closest thing to a two-way communication when Morris’s eyes become the spectators’ eyes; Morris’s eyes act as a prosthesis of the spectator’s eyes through the device of the Interrotron. Indeed, Linda Williams asks of the direct eye contact that the Interrotron allows for: “Does testimony that exhibits a lack of blinking and constant, direct eye contact equate with truth? The Interrotron might seem to invite such a judgement, but the ‘truth’ is not so guaranteed” (37). In fact, the “truth” that we discover is Leuchter’s own self-deception. Cinema as Prosthesis: Temporal Extension as a “Supplement” In relation to Mr. Death, the prosthesis as an extension of the self suggests a complexity that emerges when Leuchter describes his relationship to the electric chair: And so the legend grew that prison officials shouldn’t allow their children to sit in the electric chair. I kind of sat in the chair waiting for something to happen, but some twenty years later I wound up making execution equipment, instead of being the person that the execution equipment was used on […] Maybe we created a new legend and some good came out of it after all.The apparatus metaphorically generates death for Leuchter—he subjects himself to his own apparatus, metaphorically dies and “create[s] a legend”. And yet, Morris says:Fred Leuchter’s story seems very much caught up in a denial of death, some crazy denial that death in fact even exists. After all, the movie ends with his story about how he sat in the chair and defeated the legend attached to it: namely, that, if you sit in the chair, you will subsequently die in the chair. And the story and his pride in the fact that he (quote, unquote) “created a new legend”—he didn’t die in the chair but went on to design and manufacture electric chairs—seems to me (to be) Fred boasting in some deep way about how he has defeated death itself. It seems, if you like, the final delusion. (Ryan)This leaves an interesting question of what is generated by the mechanical cinematic apparatus for the spectator. Cinema is a way to understand our very own relationship to death as spectators of film. Such a relationship to death is dependent upon the “presence” of the mechanical apparatus. Benjamin writes:What matters is that the part is acted not for an audience but for a mechanical contrivance—in the case of the sound film, for two of them. […] This situation might also be characterized as follows: for the first time—and this is the effect of the film—man has to operate with his whole living person, yet forgoing its aura. For aura is tied to his presence; there can be no replica of it. (229)However, cinema is not simply the presence of the camera, but the possibility that a past moment in time—a past present—be brought into presence by the film projector. The camera and the projector are prostheses, allowing for a living person in a past present to be brought into an audience’s presence. Death is the “supplement” that these apparatuses afford. Morris’s Interrotron is an extension of this arrangement, while Leuchter’s electric chair is exemplary. ReferencesA Brief History of Errol Morris. Dir. Kevin Macdonald. Independent Film Channel, 2000. Benjamin, Walter. “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction.” Illuminations. Ed. Hannah Arendt. New York: Schocken, 1969. 217–51.Gitelman, Lisa. Scripts, Grooves and Writing Machines: Representing Technology in the Edison Era. Stanford: Stanford UP, 1999.Kern, Stephen. “Speed.” The Culture of Time and Space, 1880–1918. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1983. 109–30.Moore, Rachel O. Savage Theory: Cinema as Modern Magic. Durham: Duke UP, 2000. Mr. Death: The Rise and Fall of Fred A. Leuchter, Jr. Dir. Errol Morris. Lions Gate, 1999.Rosenheim, Shawn. “Interrotroning History: Errol Morris and the Documentary of the Future.” The Persistence of History: Cinema, Television and the Modern Event. Ed. Vivian Sobchack. New York: Routledge, 1996. 219–34.Ryan, Tom. “Errol Morris.” Senses of Cinema 16 (Sep. 2001). 3 July 2019 <http://sensesofcinema.com/2001/feature-articles/morris/>.Stiegler, Bernard. “Derrida and Technology: Fidelity at the Limits of Deconstruction and the Prosthesis of Faith.” Jacques Derrida and the Humanities: A Critical Reader. Ed. Tom Cohen. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2001. 238–70.Williams, Linda. “Cluster f*ck: The Forcible Frame in Errol Morris’s Standard Operating Procedure.” Camera Obscura 73.25.1 (2010): 29–67.

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Munster, Anna. "Love Machines." M/C Journal 2, no.6 (September1, 1999). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.1780.

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A new device, sure to inspire technological bedazzlement, has been installed in Hong Kong shopping malls. Called simply The Love Machine, it functions like a photo booth, dispensing on-the-spot portraits1. But rather than one subject, it requires a couple, in fact the couple, in order to do its work of digital reproduction. For the output of this imaging machine is none other than a picture of the combined features of the two sitters, 'morphed' together by computer software to produce a technological child. Its Japanese manufacturers, while obviously cashing in on the novelty value, nevertheless list the advantage it allows for future matrimonial selection based around the production of a suitable aesthetic. Needless to say, the good citizens of Hong Kong have not allowed any rigid criteria for genetic engineering to get in the way of the progeny such a machine allows, creating such monstrous couplings as the baby 'cat-human', achieved by a sitter coupling with their pet. Rather than being the object of love here, technology acts as the conduit of emotion, or stronger still, it is the love relation itself, bringing the two together as one. What I want to touch upon is the sense in which a desire for oneness inhabits our relations to and through the technological. There is already an abundance of literature around the erotics of cyberspace, documenting and detailing encounters of virtual sex fantasies and romance. As well, there are more theoretical attempts to come to terms with what Michael Heim describes as the "erotic ontology of cyberspace" (59). Heim depicts these encounters not as a ravaging desire gone wild, sprouting up in odd places or producing monstrous offspring, but in homely and familial terms. Finally with the computer as incarnation of the machine, our love for technology can cease its restless and previously unfulfilled wanderings and find a comfortable place. What is worth pausing over here is the sense in which the sexual is subjugated to a conjugal and familial metaphor, at the same time as desire is modelled according to a metaphysics of fullness and lack. I would argue that in advancing this kind of love relation with the computer and the digital, the possibility of a relation is actually short-circuited. For a relation assumes the existence of at least two terms, and in these representations, technology does not figure as a second term. It is either marked as the other, where desire finds a soul mate to fill its lack. Or the technological becomes invisible, subsumed in a spiritual instrumentalism that sees it merely forging the union of cybernetic souls. I would suggest that an erotic relation with the technological is occluded in most accounts of the sexual in cyberspace and in many engagements with digital technologies. Instead we are left with a non-relational meeting of the same with itself. We might describe the dominant utilisation of the technological as onanistic. Relations of difference could be a productive effect of the technological, but are instead culturally caught up within an operational logic which sees the relational erotic possibilities of the machinic eliminated as sameness touches itself. I want to point towards some different models for theorising technology by briefly drawing upon the texts of Félix Guattari and Avital Ronell. These may lead to the production of a desiring relation with technology by coupling the machine with alterity. One of several climatic scenes from the 'virtual sex' movie Strange Days, directed by Katherine Bigelow, graphically illustrates the onanistic encounter. Set on the eve of the new millennium, the temporality of the film sets up a feeling of dis-ease: it is both futuristic and yet only too close. The narrative centres on the blackmarket in ultimate VR: purchasing software which allows the user, donning special headgear, to re-experience recorded memories in other peoples' lives. An evil abuser of this technology, known until the end of the film as an anonymous male junkie, is addicted to increasingly frequent hits of another's apperception. In his quest to score above his tolerance level, the cyber-junkie rapes a prostitute, but instead of wearing the headgear used to record his own perception of the rape, he forces the woman to put it on making her annex her subjectivity to his experience of desire. He records her reaction to becoming an appendage to him. The effect of watching this scene is deeply unsettling: the camera-work sets up a point-of-view shot from the position of the male subject but plays it to the audience as one might see through a video view-finder, thus sedimenting an assumed cultural association between masculinity and the male gaze. What we see is the violence produced by the annihilation of another's desire; what we hear is the soundtrack of the woman mimicking the male's enjoyment of his own desire. Put simply, what we watch is a feedback loop of a particular formation of technological desire, one in which the desire of or for the other is audio-visually impeded. Ultimately the experience can be stored and replayed as a p*rn movie solely for future masturbation. The scene in Strange Days quite adequately summarises the obstructed and obstructive desire to go no further than masturbation caught in the defiles of feedback. Feedback is also the term used in both video and sound production when a recording device is aimed at or switched onto a device playing back the same recording. The result, in the case of video, is to create an infinite abyss of the same image playing back into itself on the monitor; in the case of sound a high-pitched signal is created which impedes further transmission. By naming the desire to fuse with the technological a feedback loop, I am suggesting that manifestations of this desire are neither productive nor connective, in that any relation to exterior or heterogeneous elements are shut out. They stamp out the flow of other desires and replay the same looping desire based around notions of fullness and lack, completion and incompletion, and of course masculinity and femininity. Mark Dery makes this association between the desire for the technological, the elision of matter and phallic modes of masculinity: This, to the masculinist technophile, is the weirdly alchemical end point of cyberculture: the distillation of pure mind from base matter. Sex, in such a context, would be purged of feminine contact -- removed, in fact, from all notions of physicality -- and reduced to mental masturbation. (121) Dery's point is a corollary to mine; in discarding the need for an embodied sexual experience, the literature and representations of cyberspace, both theoretical and fictional, endorse only a touching of the sublimated self, no other bodies or even the bodily is brought into contact. There is no shortage of evidence for the disregard embodiment holds among the doyens of cyber-architecture. Hans Moravec and Marvin Minsky, writing about Artificial Intelligence, promote a future in which pure consciousness, freed from its entanglement with the flesh, merges with the machine (Mind Children; The Society of Mind). Here the reverence shown towards digital technology enters the sublime point of a coalition where the mind is supported by some sophisticated hardware, ultimately capable of adapting and reproducing itself. There are now enough feminist critics of this kind of cyberspeak to have noticed in this fantasy of machinic fusion a replay of the old Cartesian mind/body dualism. My point, however, is that this desire is not simply put in place by a failure to rethink the body in the realm of the digital. It is augmented by the fact that this disregard for theorising an embodied experience feeds into an inability to encounter any other within the realm of the technological. We should note that this is perpetuated not just by those seeking future solace in the digital, but also by its most ardent cultural critics. Baudrillard, as one who seemingly fits this latter category, eager to disperse the notion that writers such as Moravec and Minsky propound regarding AI, is driven to making rather overarching ontological remarks about machines in general. In attempting to forestall the notion that the machine could ever become the complement to the human, Baudrillard cancels the relation of the machine to desire by cutting off its ability to produce anything in excess of itself. The machine, on his account, can be reduced to the production of itself alone; there is nothing supplementary, exterior to or differential in the machinic circuit (53). For Baudrillard, the pleasures of the interface do not even extend to the solitary vice of masturbation. Celibate machines are paralleled by celibate digital subjects each alone with themselves, forming a non-relational system. While Baudrillard offers a fair account of the solitary lack of relation produced in and by digital technologies, he nevertheless participates in reinforcing the transformation of what he calls "the process of relating into a process of communication between One and the Same" (58). He catches himself within the circulation of the very desire he finds problematic. But whether onanistic or celibate, the erotics of our present or possible relations to technology do not become any more enticing in many actual engagements with emerging technologies. Popular modes of interfacing our desires with the digital favor a particular assemblage of body and machine where a kind of furtive one-handed masturbation may be the only option left to us. I will call this the operational assemblage, borrowing from Baudrillard and his description of Virtual Man, operating and communicating across computer cables and networks while being simultaneously immobilised in front of the glare of the computer screen. An operational assemblage, whilst being efficacious, inhibits movement and ties the body to the machine. Far from the body being discarded by information technologies, the operational assemblage sees certain parts of the body privileged and territorialised. The most obvious instance of this is VR, which, in its most technologically advanced state, still only selects the eyes and the hand as its points of bodily interface. In so-called fully immersive VR experience, it is the hand, wearing a data glove, which propels the subject into movement in the virtual world, but it is a hand propelled by the subject's field of vision, computer monitors mounted in the enveloping headset. Thus the hand operates by being subjected to the gaze2. In VR, then, the real body is not somehow left behind as the subject enters a new state of electronic consciousness; rather there is a re-organisation and reterritorialisation of the hand under the operative guidance of the eye and scopic desire. This is attested to by the experience one has of the postural body schema during immersion in VR. The 'non-operational' body remaining in physical space often feels awkward and clumsy as if it is too large or cumbersome to drag around and interact in the virtual world, as if it were made virtually non-functional. The operational assemblage of a distanced eye territorialising the hand to create a loop of identity through the machine produces a desiring body which is blocked in its relational capacities. It can only touch itself as self; it cannot find itself an other or as other. Rather than encouraging the hand to break connections with the circuit of the gaze, to develop speeds, capabilities and potentials of its own, these encounters are perpetually returned to the screen and the domain of the eye. They feed back into a loop where relations to other desires, other kinds of bodies, other machines are circumvented. Looping back and returning to the aesthetic reduction performed by the Love Machine, a more lo-tech version of the two technologically contracted to one might point to the possibility of alterity that current digital machines seem keen to circumvent. At San Fransisco's Exploratorium museum one of the public points of interface with the Human Genome Project can be found3. The Exploratorium has a display set up which introduces the public to the bioinformation technology involved as well as soliciting responses to bio-ethical issues surrounding the question of genetic engineering. In the midst of this display a simple piece of glass hangs as a divider between two sides of a table. By sitting on one side of the table with a light shining from behind, one could see both a self-reflection and through the glass to whomever was sitting on the other side. The text accompanying the display encourages couples to occupy either side of the glass. What is produced for the sitter on the light side is a combination of their own reflection 'mapped' onto the features of the sitter on the other side. The text for the display encourages a judgement of the probable aesthetic outcome of combining one's genes with those of the other. I tested this display with my partner, crossing both sides of the mirror/glass. Our reactions were similar; a sensation approaching horror arose as we each faced our distorted, mirrored features as possible future progeny, a sensation akin to encountering the uncanny4. While suggesting the familiar, it also indicates what is concealed, becoming a thing not known and thus terrifying. For what was decidedly spooky in viewing a morphing of my image onto that of the other's, in the context of the surrounding bioinformatic technologies, was the sense in which a familiarity with the homely features of the self was dislocated by a haunting, marking the claim of a double utterly different. Recalling the assertion made by Heim that in the computer we find an intellectual and emotional resting point, we could question whether the familiarity of a resting place provides a satisfactory erotic encounter with the technological. We could ask whether the dream of the homely, of finding in the computer a kinship which sanctions the love machine relation, operates at the expense of dispelling that other, unfamiliar double through a controlling device which adjusts differences until they reach a point of homeostasis. What of a reading of the technological which might instaurate rather than diffuse the question of the unfamiliar double? I will gesture towards both Guattari's text Chaosmosis and Ronell's The Telephone Book, for the importance both give to the double in producing a different relation with the technological. For Guattari, the machine's ghost is exorcised by the predominant view that sees particular machines, such as the computer, as a subset of technology, a view given credence at the level of hype in the marketing of AI, virtual reality and so forth as part of the great technological future. It also gains credibility theoretically through the Heideggerian perspective. Instead Guattari insists that technology is dependent upon the machinic (33). The machinic is prior to and a condition of any actual technology, it is a movement rather than a ground; the movement through which heterogeneous elements such as bodies, sciences, information come to form the interrelated yet specific fields of a particular assemblage we might term technological. It is also the movement through which these components retain their singularity. Borrowing from modern biology, Guattari labels this movement "autopoietic" (39). Rather than the cybernetic model which sees the outside integrated into the structure of the machinic by an adjustment towards hom*ogeneity cutting off flow, Guattari underlines a continual machinic movement towards the outside, towards alterity, which transforms the interrelations of the technological ensemble. The machinic is doubled not by the reproduction of itself, but by the possibility of its own replacement, its own annihilation and transformation into something different: Its emergence is doubled with breakdown, catastrophe -- the menace of death. It possesses a supplement: a dimension of alterity which it develops in different forms. (37) Here, we can adjoin Guattari with Ronell's historical reading of the metaphorics of the telephone in attempts to think through technology. Always shadowed by the possibility Heidegger wishes to stake out for a beyond to or an overcoming of the technological, Ronell is both critical of the technologising of desire in the cybernetic loop and insistent upon the difference produced by technology's doubling desire. Using the telephone as a synecdoche for technology -- and this strategy is itself ambiguous: does the telephone represent part of the technological or is it a more comprehensive summary of a less comprehensive system? -- Ronell argues that it can only be thought of as irreducibly two, a pair (5). This differentiates itself from the couple which notoriously contracts into one. She argues that the two are not reducible to each other, that sender and receiver do not always connect, are not reducible to equal end points in the flow of information. For Ronell, what we find when we are not at home, on unfamiliar ground, is -- the machine. The telephone in fact maintains its relation to the machinic and to the doubling this implies, via the uncanny in Ronell's text. It relates to a not-being-at-home for the self, precisely when it becomes machine -- the answering machine. The answering machine disconnects the speaker from the listener and inserts itself not as controlling device in the loop, but as delay, the deferral of union. Loosely soldering this with Guattari's notion that the machine introduces a "dimension of alterity", Ronell reads the technological via the telephone line as that relation to the outside, to the machinic difference that makes the self always unfamiliar (84). I would suggest then that pursuing a love relation with technology or through the technological leads us to deploy an entire metaphorics of the familial, where the self is ultimately home alone and only has itself to play with. In this metaphorics, technology as double and technology's doubling desire become a conduit that returns only to itself through the circuitous mechanism of the feedback loop. Rather than opening onto heterogeneous relations to bodies or allowing bodies to develop different relational capacities, the body here is immobilised by an operational and scopic territorialisation. To be excited by an encounter with the technological something unfamiliar is preferable, some sense of an alternating current in the midst of all this homeliness, an external perturbation rubbing up against the tired hand of a short-circuiting onanism. Footnotes 1. The Love Machine is also the title of a digital still image and sound installation commenting upon the Hong Kong booth produced by myself and Michele Barker and last exhibited at the Viruses and Mutations exhibition for the Melbourne Festival, The Aikenhead Conference Centre, St. Vincent's Hospital, October, 1998. 2. For an articulation of the way in which this maps onto perspectival vision, see Simon Penny, "Virtual Reality as the Completion of the Enlightenment Project." Culture on the Brink. Eds. G. Bender and T. Druckery. Seattle: Bay Press, 1994. 3. Funded by the US Government, the project's goal is to develop maps for the 23 paired human chromosomes and to unravel the sequence of bases that make up the DNA of these chromosomes. 4. This is what Freud described in his paper "The Uncanny". Tracing the etymology of the German word for the uncanny, unheimlich, which in English translates literally as 'unhomely', Freud notes that heimlich, or 'homely', in fact contains the ambiguity of its opposite, in one instance. References Baudrillard, Jean. "Xerox and Infinity." The Transparency of Evil: Essays in Extreme Phenomena. Trans J. Benedict. London: Verso, 1993. 51-9. Dery, Mark. Escape Velocity: Cyberculture at the End of the Century. New York: Grove Press, 1996. Freud, Sigmund. "The Uncanny." Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud. Vol. 17. Trans. and ed. J. Strachey. London: Hogarth Press, 1955. Guattari, Félix. Chaosmosis: An Ethico-Aesthetic Paradigm. Sydney: Power Publications, 1995. Heim, Michael. "The Erotic Ontology of Cyberspace." Cyberspace: First Steps. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT P, 1994.59-80. Minsky, Marvin. The Society of Mind. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1985. Moravec, Hans. Mind Children. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard UP, 1988. Ronell, Avital. The Telephone Book. Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 1989. Citation reference for this article MLA style: Anna Munster. "Love Machines." M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture 2.6 (1999). [your date of access] <http://www.uq.edu.au/mc/9909/love.php>. Chicago style: Anna Munster, "Love Machines," M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture 2, no. 6 (1999), <http://www.uq.edu.au/mc/9909/love.php> ([your date of access]). APA style: Anna Munster. (1999) Love machines. M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture 2(6). <http://www.uq.edu.au/mc/9909/love.php> ([your date of access]).

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Bissell, David, and Gillian Fuller. "The Revenge of the Still." M/C Journal 12, no.1 (March11, 2009). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.136.

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Who would have thought so much activity and noise over stillness? According to the contributors of this issue of M/C Journal 'still' as phenomenon, state, pause, symbolic field or geopolitical struggle fizzes, vibrates and resonates. It hums; it makes one vulnerable; it draws one into the world differently and it accesses new agencies and movement. Or not. Such is the complexity of the topologies/ecologies and economies (in every sense of the word) of still. For us and our contributors, still is an intriguing theoretical figure that media-mobility-cultural studies and indeed, the world should attend to more closely, more slowly. Now is the time for what Andrew Murphie has called, "the revenge of the still". This collection is positioned within a world that has increasingly come to be understood through the theoretical and conceptual lens of animation. There are multiple overlapping antecedents to this, criss-crossing the humanities and social sciences. Metaphors of movement, from Manuel Castells’ space of flows to Zygmunt Bauman’s liquid modernity underpin much work within the ‘new mobilities paradigm’ (Sheller and Urry) that is interested in understanding the world through relations of movement and flux. Moving away from a sedentary metaphysics of being-in-the-world, burgeoning mobilities research illustrates a commitment to exploring the differentiated dynamics of a world increasingly characterised by networks of corporeal, virtual and imaginative mobilities. In a different but related vein, the ‘affective turn’ (Clough and Halley) has generated new ways of attending to the relations between bodies, technology and matter, through a renewed ontological focus on the pre-individual bodily forces that constitute life. Attending to the excessiveness of affect, matter is increasingly apprehended as processual, turbulent and fluid. Indeed it is through a sense of liveliness and energy within which worldly dwelling is increasingly conceptualised. Against this buzz of mobility and animation, a topology of stillness haunts the space of flows. Indeed mobility scholars have increasingly recognised the importance of considering the relational dialectic of mobilities and immobilities; or 'mobilities and moorings' to use John Urry's phrase; understanding how these relations are central, not only to the functioning of mobility systems, but how they have the capacity to generate the systematic inequalities that are such a significant (and indeed integral) part of such systems. Yet we want to suggest that to focus on such a dialectic of stasis and movement neglects other registers and modalities which still inhabits, where still emerges through other configurations of matter which are not necessarily reducible to the dialectic of mobility and immobility. What happens if we think stillness not only as rhythm, but also as technic or trope? As attunement or perception? As such, each paper in this collection attends to still through a range of different grammars and vocabularies; illuminating the multiplicity of ontological and epistemological registers through which still moves.For some in this collection, still emerges as a site of political and ethical potential. For Emma co*cker, the significance of collective acts of still have the capacity to augment the affectual capacity of the body. Here, experimental practices of still in the city constitute events of resistance that disrupt habitual modalities of inhabiting the city, producing fissures within which new lines of flight can emerge. Such deliberative attunement through collective practices of still produces an affirmative model of subjectivity; a challenge to the choking assemblages of governance that stratify bodies. Similarly, for Natalia Radwyl, the body’s affective intensities are enhanced and augmented through still. Still here works as a reflexive figure, serving to focus attention on how we are conditioned and desensitised by habitual rhythms of the everyday. In a rather different context, Sebastian Abrahamsson’s discussion of the still of Gunther van Hagen's plastinates also highlights how still enacts a mode of resistance, in this instance to the temporal organisational logics of modernity. Such an affirmative vitalism works to emphasise the presencing tendencies of still; how still enables bodies to become aware of the otherwise imperceptible rhythms, materialities and intensities that are more often than not subsumed beneath the hallucinatory effects of the dizzying flux of contemporary flows. We might consider this still as attunement where still provides the necessary conditions under which productive, focused activity can emerge. Greg Noble and Megan Watkins emphasise how such attunement in educational settings might be achieved through a particular set of corporeal postures characterised by still. Still here generates a more receptive body, enhancing a disposition towards learning. In a radically different context, Peter Adey describes how still functioned to prime the body in a variety of different ways during the air raids of World War II. Here the development of anticipatory structures of feeling through still formed part of a strategy of affectual management where achieving still was a means of survival. Others in this collection illustrate the problematics of aligning still with such affirmative presencing; the calling into being of a body. Paul Harrison considers the nature of agency and determination through an exploration of gestures of ‘suspension’, ‘decline’ and ‘remaining aside’. In the absence of wilful or effective action, where resolution is suspended, we are forced to rethink the morality of action and the persistent ‘telos of the political’ that is often assumed to inhabit action. For Harrison, far from constituting resignation or failure, this suspension of meaning and value in ‘remaining still’ exists as a condition of political possibility.Debbie Lisle too points to the radical incommensurability of still, where meaning stutters and fails. Her discussion of the still of photographic images thus problematises the assumption of the role of media to generate and transmit meaning. In a similar non-relational vein, J.-D. Dewsbury also problematises the assumption of a reflexive, intentional body, arguing that still invites us to consider the ‘neutral presence of life itself’. This is not the surrender to still that emerges through Radywyl’s discussion, rather it is the still point which brings bodies into being, and provides the conditions through which it is possible to comprehend as a body. This still not only promises a sensitivity to the susceptibility and vulnerability of corporeal being in the world, but also radically decentres the body from analysis; demonstrating an appreciation for an expanded repertoire of materialities. Shades of the post-human are evident in Ross Harley’s paper which considers the dynamic geometries brought about by a range of non-human materialities in the airport. Here it is only a spectre of the human that haunts these images which are instead inhabited by a world of hums, transparencies, lightwaves, luminosities and glows. Reworking the oft-invoked dualistic relation between the attentive body and inattentive spatiality, these ‘techno-veins and tendrils’ reach out and press into a body tending towards still. Indeed the stubborn obduracy of matter is also underlined by Nour Dados in her discussion on the endurance of the archive. Contrary to a corporeal emphasis, Adey also points to how still might be better apprehended as a sensibility distributed through ‘bodies, feelings, materials and atmospheres’. And yet this collection also warns us that we need to be attentive to the shadows of still; where still is seized upon and engineered by other forces - particularly through channels of authoritarian capitalism to great material and symbolic effect. Whilst still often denotes as a threat to neoliberal capitalism, for Sarah Sharma, even under conditions of capitalism disintegration, the inexorable power of capitalism is revealed through its wily recalibrations. The constraints placed on mobility during periods of capital restructuring open up new avenues of exploitation, which, when folded through sentimental, insular nationalist discourses culminates in an intoxicating profusion of moral responsibility to be still and an obedience to capitalism that only exacerbates socio-economic inequalities. Whilst remaining still is presented as a necessary consolation of the broken promises of capitalism, it also serves to illustrate the tensions that simmer between the impression of an agentive, autonomous individual taking charge of their situation, and the parallel still of the credulous ‘passenger’, swindled yet again by the overbearing affective and discursive power of capitalism. This echoes co*cker’s assertion of the power of capitalism to generate ‘sad affects’. Such a sinister manipulation of still also emerges through regimes of governmentality. For Andrew Murphie, still has always been and remains a powerful ‘technic of modernity’, which has the capacity to coerce, organise and stratify bodies in harmful ways that reduce their potential for action. In contrast to vitalist-inspired literature that explores how corporeal limits can be transcended affectually and materially through various configurations of practical activity, coerced still can push bodies to limits in ways that diminish their potentials. Here, still can inflict wounds, tear and break down the body, reducing its capacity to act. In a similar vein, for Nicholas Gill, still emerges as a crucial tool of political strategy to organise and arrange asylum seekers’ bodies.But in attending to still, are we merely just reversing the glamour of animation? World-weary with the dizzying effect that chasing movement induces, have we become self-effacing post-humanists, taking respite by languishing in the resignation and reprive that tending to still might offer? Does still offer an escapist fantasy from the hell of constant commodified and complicit motion, as co*cker asks? Or in tending to still are we just acknowledging the failure and fallout, not only of systems and networks, but also of representational, symbolic and discursive systems? There are certainly many suggestions that we need to slow down. Indeed many writers have draw attention to the epistemic problematic associated with the impulse to relentlessly move conceptual understandings beyond; a drive that is often characteristic of academic practice. An unremitting desire to put things in the 'post-'. The implication here is that speed, and the resulting displacement, as a particular characteristic of engagement does not provide the space for a sustained involvement within - or sufficient reflection through - worldly phenomena. Decisions and interventions made too hastily, where the unabating power of affect curtails apparently sensible, reflective dispositions, are often condemned for being overly reactive, partisan or thoughtless. Here, still is related to tropes of mindfulness, contemplation and responsibility where an enhanced, attuned ethical sensibility is forged out of a suspension of judgement. Still might enable composure and provide the conditions through which a responsibility towards depth and detail can emerge.Whilst there certainly might be inflections of each of these suggestions, this collection does not proffer a critique of hyper-mobility.Indeed reflection on recent catastrophic events illuminates how the ‘still’ aligned with inaction is often taken to be ethically scandalous, not to mention politically disastrous. No writer in this collection evidences an urge to simply escape, transcend or withdraw from the liveliness of being-in-the-world. Still is not a state or place of escape. It is not introspective or purposefully deferential. Still here is resolutely not about the wilful invitation of an 'agency to come' in the words of Harrison. Whilst each of these papers works to undo the pejorative associations with indolence and laziness that so often accretes around paranoiac renderings of still, equally they do not advocate that still should be put to work to generate productive, purposive activity.Yes, still can be optimised, engineered, governed. But is is the radical aporia that still presents which gives it its significance to our thinking. Taken together, what this collection demonstrates is a sensitivity to still as a relation-to-the-world that moves beyond the dualisms of mobility and immobility; activity and inactivity without transcending them. The promise of still is a particular mode of engagement with a world that rearranges intensities, folds through the vital and the vulnerable, providing a new set of political and ethical concerns.Is there a still that is still? Is still to cultural studies what God might be to the process philosophy of Alfred Whitehead. If as Paul Harrison suggests still can be thought of as a theoretical figure without value - a condition of political possibility in all forms, then there is much value in this lack of value as it produces a still that is neither immanent nor transcendent but which provides a new mode of 'coherence' through which we might explore the flux of the world.AcknowledgementsWe would like to take this opportunity to thank each of the contributors for making this issue sparkle. We would like to extent our debt of gratitude to the referees for providing such thoughtful, detailed and helpful commentaries on each of the papers. We would also like to thank Elly Clarke, our cover artist, for providing such a pertinent image to front our collection.ReferencesBauman, Zygmunt. Liquid Modernity. Cambridge: Polity P, 2000.Castells, Manuel. The Rise of the Network Society. Oxford: Blackwell, 1996Clough, Patricia, and Jean Halley. The Affective Turn: Theorizing the Social. Durham: Duke U P, 2007.Sheller, Mimi, and John Urry. "The New Mobilities Paradigm." Environment and Planning A 38.2 (2006): 207-226.Urry, John. Global Complexity. Cambridge: Polity P, 2003.

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Ellis, Katie. "Complicating a Rudimentary List of Characteristics: Communicating Disability with Down Syndrome Dolls." M/C Journal 15, no.5 (October12, 2012). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.544.

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Apparently some people upon coming across [Down Syndrome dolls] were offended. […] Still, it’s curious, and telling, what gives offense. Was it the shock of seeing a doll not modeled on the normative form that caused such offense? Or the assumption that any representation of Down Syndrome must naturally intend ridicule? Either way, it would seem that we might benefit from an examination of such reactions—especially as they relate to instances of the idealisation of the human form that dolls […] represent. (Faulkner) IntroductionWhen Joanne Faulkner describes public criticism of dolls designed to look like they have Down Syndrome, she draws attention to the need for an examination of the way discourses of disability are communicated. She calls, in particular, for an interrogation of people’s reactions to the disruption of the idealised human form that most dolls adopt. The case of Down Syndrome dolls is fascinating, yet critical discussion of these dolls from a disability or cultural studies perspective is conspicuously lacking. To address this lack, this paper draws upon theories of the cultural construction of disability, beauty, and normalcy (Garland-Thompson, Kumari Campbell, Wendell), to explore the way ideas about disability are communicated and circulated. The dominant discourse of disability is medical, where people are diagnosed or identified as disabled if they meet certain criteria, or lists of physical impairments. These lists have a tendency to subsume the disparate qualities of disability (Garland-Thompson) and remove people considered disabled from the social and cultural world in which they live (Snyder and Mitchell 377). While Down Syndrome dolls, produced by Downi Creations and Helga’s European Speciality Toys (HEST) in the US and Europe respectively, are reflective of such lists, they also perform the cultural function of increasing the visibility of disability in society. In addition, the companies distributing these dolls state that they are striving for greater inclusion of people with Down Syndrome (Collins, Parks). However, the effect of the dominance of medicalised discourses of disability can be seen in the public reaction to these dolls. This paper seeks also to bring an interrogation of disability into dialogue with a critical analysis of the discursive function of lists.The paper begins with a consideration of lists as they have been used to define disability and organise knowledge within medicine, and the impact this has had on the position of disability within society. In order to differentiate itself from medical discourses, the emerging social model also relied on lists during the 1980s and 1990s. However, these lists also decontextualised disability by ignoring certain factors for political advantage. The social model, like medicine, tended to ignore the diversity of humanity it was apparently arguing for (Snyder and Mitchell 377). The focus then shifts to the image of Down Syndrome dolls and the ensuing negative interpretation of them focusing, in particular, on reader comments following a Mail Online (Fisher) article. Although the dolls were debated across the blogosphere on a number of disability, special needs parenting, and Down Syndrome specific blogs, people commenting on The Mail Online—a UK based conservative tabloid newspaper—offer useful insights into communication and meaning making around disability. People establish meanings about disability through communication (Hedlund 766). While cultural responses to disability are influenced by a number of paradigms of interpretation such as superstition, religion, and fear, this paper is concerned with the rejection of bodies that do not ascribe to cultural standards of beauty and seeks to explore this paradigm alongside and within the use of lists by the various models of disability. This paper interrogates the use of lists in the way meanings about disability are communicated through the medical diagnostic list, the Down Syndrome dolls, and reactions to them. Each list reduces the disparate qualities and experiences of disability, yet as a cultural artefact, these dolls go some way towards recognising the social and cultural world that medicalised discourses of disability ignore. Drawing on the use of lists within different frameworks of disability, this paper contrasts the individual, or medical, model of disability (that being disabled is a personal problem) with the social model (that exclusion due to disability is social oppression). Secondly, the paper compares the characteristics of Down Syndrome dolls with actual characteristics of Down Syndrome to conclude that these features aim to be a celebrated, not stigmatised, aspect of the doll. By reasserting alternative notions of the body, the dolls point towards a more diverse society where disability can be understood in relation to social oppression. However, these aims of celebration have not automatically translated to a more diverse understanding. This paper aims to complicate perceptions of disability beyond a rudimentary list of characteristics through a consideration of the negative public response to these dolls. These responses are an example of the cultural subjugation of disability.Lists and the Creation of Normative Cultural ValuesFor Robert Belknap, lists are the dominant way of “organizing data relevant to human functioning” (8). While lists are used in a number of ways and for a variety of purposes, Belknap divides lists into two categories—the practical and the literary. Practical lists store meanings, while literary lists create them (89). Belknap’s recognition of the importance of meaning making is particularly relevant to a cultural interrogation of disability. As Mitchell and Snyder comment:Disability’s representational “fate” is not so much dependant upon a tradition of negative portrayals as it is tethered to inciting the act of meaning-making itself. (6)Disability unites disparate groups of people whose only commonality is that they are considered “abnormal” (Garland-Thompson). Ableism—the beliefs, processes, and practices which produce the ideal body—is a cultural project in which normative values are created in an attempt to neutralise the fact that all bodies are out of control (Kumari Campbell). Medical models use diagnostic lists and criteria to remove bodies from their social and cultural context and enforce an unequal power dynamic (Snyder and Mitchell 377).By comparison, the social model of disability shifts the emphasis to situate disability in social and cultural practices (Goggin and Newell 36). Lists have also been integral to the formation of the social model of disability as theorists established binary oppositions between medical and social understandings of disability (Oliver 22). While these lists have no “essential meaning,” through discourse they shape human experience (Liggett). Lists bring disparate items together to structure meaning and organisation. According to Hedlund, insights into the experience of disability—which is neither wholly medical nor wholly social—can be found in the language we use to communicate ideas about disability (766). For example, while the recent production of children’s dolls designed to reflect a list of the physical features of Down Syndrome (Table 2) may have no inherent meaning, negative public reception reveals recognisable modes of understanding disability. Down Syndrome dolls are in stark contrast to dolls popularly available which assume a normative representation. For Blair and Shalmon (15), popular children’s toys communicate cultural standards of beauty. Naomi Wolf describes beauty as a socially constructed normative value used to disempower women in particular. The idealisation of the human form is an aspect of children’s toys that has been criticised for perpetuating a narrow conception of beauty (Levy 189). Disability is likewise subject to social construction and is part of a collective social reality beyond diagnostic lists (Hedlund 766).Organising Knowledge: The Social vs. Medical Model of DisabilityDisability has long been moored in medical cultures and institutions which emphasise a sterile ideal of the body based on a diagnosis of biological difference as deviance. For example, in 1866, John Langdon Down sought to provide a diagnostic classification system for people with, what would later come to be called (after him), Down Syndrome. He focused on physical features:The hair is […] of a brownish colour, straight and scanty. The face is flat and broad, and destitute of prominence. The cheeks are roundish, and extended laterally. The eyes are obliquely placed, and the internal canthi more than normally distant from one another. The palpebral fissure is very narrow. The forehead is wrinkled transversely from the constant assistance which the levatores palpebrarum derive from the occipito-frontalis muscle in the opening of the eyes. The lips are large and thick with transverse fissures. The tongue is long, thick, and is much roughened. The nose is small. The skin has a slight dirty yellowish tinge, and is deficient in elasticity, giving the appearance of being too large for the body. (Down)These features form what Belknap would describe as a “pragmatic” list (12). For Belknap, scientific classification, such as the description Langdon Down offers above, introduces precision and validation to the use of lists (167). The overt principle linking these disparate characteristics together is the normative body from which these features deviate. Medicalised discourses, such as Down’s list, have been linked with the institutionalisation of people with this condition and their exclusion from the broader community (Hickey-Moody 23). Such emphasis on criteria to proffer diagnosis removes and decontextualises bodies from the world in which they live (Snyder and Mitchell 370). This world may in fact be the disabling factor, rather than the person’s body. The social model emerged in direct opposition to medicalised definitions of disability as a number of activists with disabilities in the United Kingdom formed The Union of Physically Impaired Against Segregation (UPIAS) and concluded that people with disability are disabled not by their bodies but by a world structured to exclude their bodies (Finkelstein 13). By separating disability (socially created) from impairment (the body), disability is understood as society’s unwillingness to accommodate the needs of people with impairments. The British academic and disability activist Michael Oliver was central to the establishment of the social model of disability. Following the activities of the UPIAS, Oliver (re)defined disability as a “form of social oppression,” and created two lists (reproduced below) to distinguish between the social and individual (or medical) models of disability. By utilising the list form in this way, Oliver both provided a repository of information regarding the social model of disability and contextualised it in direct opposition to what he describes as the individual model. These lists present the social model as a coherent discipline, in an easy to understand format. As Belknap argues, the suggestion of order is a major tool of the list (98). Oliver’s list suggests a clear order to the emerging social model of disability—disability is a problem with society, not an individual. However, this list was problematic because it appeared to disregard impairment within the experience of disability. As the “impersonal became political” (Snyder and Mitchell 377), impairment became the unacknowledged ambiguity in the binary opposition the social model was attempting to create (Shakespeare 35). Nevertheless, Oliver’s lists successfully enforced a desired order to the social model of disability. The individual modelThe social modelPersonal tragedy theorySocial oppression theoryPersonal problemSocial problemIndividual treatmentSocial actionMedicalisationSelf helpProfessional dominanceIndividual and collective responsibilityExpertiseExperienceAdjustmentAffirmationIndividual identityCollective identityPrejudiceDiscriminationAttitudesBehaviourCareRightsControlChoicePolicyPoliticsIndividual adaptation Social changeTable 1 The Individual v Social Model of Disability (Oliver)The social model then went through a period of “lists,” especially when discussing media and culture. Positive versus negative portrayals of disability were identified and scholars listed strategies for the appropriate representation of disability (Barnes, Barnes Mercer and Shakespeare). The representations of impairment or the physical markers of disability were discouraged as the discipline concerned itself with establishing disability as a political struggle against a disabling social world. Oliver’s lists arrange certain “facts” about disability. Disability is framed as a social phenomenon where certain aspects are emphasised and others left out. While Oliver explains that these lists were intended to represent extreme ends of a continuum to illustrate the distinction between disability and impairment (33), these are not mutually exclusive categories (Shakespeare 35). Disability is not simply a list of physical features, nor is it a clear distinction between individual/medical and social models. By utilising lists, the social model reacts to and attempts to move beyond the particular ordering provided by the medical model, but remains tied to a system of classification that imposes order on human functioning. Critical analysis of the representation of disability must re-engage the body by moving beyond binaries and pragmatic lists. While lists organise data central to human functioning, systems of meaning shape the organisation of human experience. Down Syndrome dolls, explored in the next section, complicate the distinction between the medical and social models.Down Syndrome DollsThese dolls are based on composites of a number of children with Down Syndrome (Hareyan). Helga Parks, CEO of HEST, describes the dolls as a realistic representation of nine physical features of Down Syndrome. Likewise, Donna Moore of Downi Creations employed a designer to oversee the production of the dolls which boast 13 features of Down Syndrome (Velasquez). These features are listed in the table below. HEST Down Syndrome Dolls Downi CreationsSmall ears set low on head with a fold at the topSmall ears with a fold at the topEars set low on the headSmall mouthSmall mouthProtruding tongueSlightly protruding tongueShortened fingers Shortened fingersPinkie finger curves inwardAlmond shaped eyesAlmond-shaped eyesHorizontal crease in palm of handHorizontal crease in palm of handGap between first and second toeA gap between the first and second toesShortened toesFlattened back of headFlattened back of headFlattened bridge across nose Flattened bridge across noseOptional: An incision in the chest to indicate open-heart surgery Table 2: Down Syndrome Dolls (Parks, Velasquez) Achieving the physical features of Down Syndrome is significant because Parks and Moore wanted children with the condition to recognise themselves:When a child with Down’s syndrome [sic.] picks up a regular doll, he doesn’t see himself, he sees the world’s perception of “perfect.” Our society is so focused on bodily perfection. (Cresswell)Despite these motivations, studies show that children with Down Syndrome prefer to play with “typical dolls” that do not reflect the physical characteristics of Down Syndrome (Cafferty 49). According to Cafferty, it is possible that children prefer typical dolls because they are “more attractive” (49). Similar studies of diverse groups of children have shown that children prefer to play with dolls they perceive as fitting into social concepts of beauty (Abbasi). Deeply embedded cultural notions of beauty—which exclude disability (see Morris)—are communicated from childhood (Blair & Shalmon 15). Notions of bodily perfection dominate children’s toys and Western culture in general as Cresswell comments above. Many bodies, not just those deemed “disabled,” do not conform to these cultural standards. Cultural ideals of beauty and an idealisation of the human body according to increasingly narrow parameters are becoming conflated with conceptions of normality (Wendell 86). Recognition of disability as subject to cultural rejection allows us to see “beauty and normalcy [as] a series of practices and positions [taken] in order to avoid the stigmatization of ugliness and abnormality” (Garland-Thompson). The exaggerated features of the doll problematise the idea that people with disability should strive to appear as nondisabled as possible and in turn highlights that some people, such as those with Down Syndrome, cannot “pass” as nondisabled and must therefore navigate a life and community that is not welcoming. While lists of the features of Down Syndrome store associated medicalised meanings, the discussion of the dolls online (the medium through which they are sold) provides insight into the cultural interpretation of disability and the way meaning is made. The next section of the paper considers a selection of negative responses to the Down Syndrome dolls that followed an article published in Mail Online (Fisher). What Causes Offence? Prior to Down Syndrome dolls, the majority of “disability dolls” were constructed through their accessories rather than through the dolls’ physical form and features. Wheelchairs, white canes, guide dogs and harnesses, plastic walkers, leg braces, and hearing aids could be purchased for use with dolls. Down Syndrome dolls look different as the features of impairment are embedded in the dolls’ construction. While accessories have a more temporary feel about them, the permanence of the impairments attributed to the doll was problematic for some who felt it projected a negative image of disability. Listed below are several negative comments following an article published in Mail Online (Fisher):What a grim world we are living in. No longer are dollies for play, for make believe, or for fun. Now it all about self image and psychological “help.” We “disabled” know we are “disabled”—we don’t need a doll to remind us of that! Stop making everything PC; let children be children and play and laugh once again!I think it’s sick and patronising.Who on earth are those education “experts?” Has nobody told them that you don’t educate children by mirroring their defects/weaknesses/negative traits but by doing exactly the opposite, mirroring back the BEST in them?The Downs Syndrome doll looks like they took the physical traits and presented them in an exaggerated way to make them more noticeable. That doll does not look attractive to me at all. If someone has a child that WANTS such a doll, fine. I can’t really see how it would help many of them, it would be like a huge sign saying “You are different.”The terminology used (grim, sick, patronising, defect, weak, negative, unattractive, different) to describe disability in these posts is significant. These descriptions are ideological categories which disadvantage and devalue “bodies that do not conform to certain cultural standards” (Garland-Thompson). Implicit and explicit in all of these comments is the sense that disability and Downs Syndrome in particular is undesirable, unattractive even. When listed together, like Belknap’s literary lists, they are not random or isolated interpretations; they form part of a larger system of meaning making around disability.These responses are informed by the notion that in order to gain equality in society, people with disability must suppress their difference and focus instead on how they are really just like everybody else. However, this focus ignores barriers to inclusion, such as in the rejection of bodies that do not ascribe to cultural standards of beauty. An increasing visibility of impairment in popular culture such as children’s toys advances an understanding of disability as diversity through difference and not something inherently bad. ConclusionPeter Laudin of Pattycake Doll, a company which sells Black, Hispanic, Asian, and Disabled dolls, has found that children “love all dolls unconditionally whether it’s special needs or not” (Lee Adam). He suggests that the majority of the negative responses to the Down Syndrome dolls stem from prejudice (Lee Adam). Dolls popularly available idealise the human form and assume a normative representation. While this has been criticised for communicating damaging standards of beauty from childhood (Levy, Blair and Shalmon), critiques about disability are not as widely understood. The social and medical models of disability focus attention on certain aspects of disability through lists; however, the reduction of diagnostic criteria in the form of a list (whether medical or social) decontextualises disability from the social and cultural world. Thus, the list form, while useful, has elided the disparate qualities of disability. As Belknap argues, lists “ask us to make them meaningful” (xv). Although the dolls discussed in this paper have been criticised for stereotyping and emphasising the difference between children with disability and those without, an inclusion of the physical features of Down Syndrome is consistent with recent moves within critical disability studies to re-engage the body (Shakespeare 35). As Faulkner notes in the epigraph to this paper, an examination of negative reactions to these dolls reveals much about the cultural position of people with disability. References Abbasi, Jennifer. “Why 6-Year Old Girls Want to be Sexy.” Live Science 16 July (2012). 30 Aug. 2012 ‹http://www.livescience.com/21609-self-sexualization-young-girls.html›. Barnes, Colin. Disabling Imagery and the Media: An Exploration of the Principles for Media Representations of Disabled People. Krumlin Halifax: Ryburn Publishing, 1992. 5 Aug. 2012 http://www.leeds.ac.uk/disability-studies/archiveuk/Barnes/disabling%20imagery.pdf.Barnes, Colin, Geoff Mercer, and Tom Shakespeare. Exploring Disability: A Sociological Introduction. Malden: Polity Press, 1999.Belknap, Robert. The List: The Uses and Pleasures of Cataloguing. New Haven: Yale U P, 2004.Blair, Lorrie, and Maya Shalmon. “Cosmetic Surgery and the Cultural Construction of Beauty.” Art Education 58.3 (2005): 14-18.Cafferty, Diana De Rosa. A Doll Like Me: Do Children with Down Syndrome Prefer to Play with Dolls That Have the Physical Features Associated with Down Syndrome? MS thesis. U of California, 2012. Campbell, Fiona Kumari. Contours of Ableism: The Production of Disability and Abledness. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009.Collins, Allyson. “Dolls with Down Syndrome May Help Kids.” ABC News. 27 Jun. 2008. 4 Oct. 2012 ‹http://abcnews.go.com/Health/Parenting/story?id=5255393&page=1#.UGzQXK6T-XP›. Cresswell, Adam. “Dolls with Disability Divide Opinion.” The Australian 12 Jul. 2008. 26 Dec. 2008 ‹http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,24000338-23289,00.html›.Down, John Langdon. “Observations on an Ethnic Classification of Idiots.” Neonatology on the Web. 1866. 3 Aug. 2012 ‹http://www.neonatology.org/classics/down.html›.Faulkner, Joanne “Disability Dolls.” What Sorts of People? 26 Jun. 2008. 29 Aug. 2012 ‹http://whatsortsofpeople.wordpress.com/2008/06/26/disability-dolls/›.Finkelstein, Vic. “Representing Disability.” Disabling Barriers—Enabling Environments. Ed. John Swain, et al. Los Angeles: Sage, 2004. 13-20.Fisher, Lorraine. “Parents’ Fury at ‘Down's Syndrome Dolls’ Designed to Help Children Deal with Disability.” Mail Online 7 Jul. 2008. 26 Dec. 2008. ‹http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1032600/Parents-fury-Downs-Syndrome-dolls-designed-help-children-deal-disability.html›. Garland-Thomson, Rosemarie. “Re-Shaping, Re-Thinking, Re-Defining: Feminist Disability Studies.” The Free Library 1 Jan. 2008. 3 Aug. 2012. ‹http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Re-shaping, Re-thinking, Re-defining: Feminist Disability Studies.-a084377500›.Goggin, Gerard and Christopher Newell. Disability in Australia: Exposing a Social Apartheid. Sydney: U of New South Wales, 2005.Hareyan, Armen. “Using Dolls to Reduce the Stigma of Down Syndrome.” EMax Health. 4 Dec. 2008. Jan 2009 ‹http://www.emaxhealth.com/7/22865.html›.Hedlund, Marianne. “Disability as a Phenomenon: A Discourse of Social and Biological Understanding.” Disability & Society. 15.5 (2000): 765-80.Hickey-Moody, Anna. Unimaginable Bodies. Netherlands: Sense Publishers, 2009.Lee Adams, William. “New Dolls on the Block.” Time Magazine 19 Mar. 2009. 13 Dec. 2009. ‹http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1886457,00.html›.Levy, Ariel. Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture. Collingwood: Black Inc. 2010.Liggett, Helen. “Stars are not Born: An Interpretive Approach to the Politics of Disability” in Disability Studies: Past Present and Future. Ed. Len Barton and Mike Oliver. Leeds: The Disability Press, 1997. 178-194.Mitchell, David and Sharon Snyder. Narrative Prosthesis: Disability and the Dependencies of Discourse. Ann Arbor, The U of Michigan P, 2000.Morris, Jenny “A Feminist Perspective.” Framed. Ed. Ann Pointon & Chris Davies. London: British Film Institute, 1997. 21-30. Oliver, Michael. Understanding Disability: From Theory to Practice. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 1996.Parks, Helga. “New Doll Is Child’s Best Friend.” HEST Press Release, 2005. Shakespeare, Tom. Disability Rights and Wrongs. London: Routledge, 2006.Snyder, Sharon, and David Mitchell. “Re-Engaging the Body: Disability Studes and the Resistance to Embodiment.” Public Culture 13.3 (2001): 367-89.Velasquez, Leticia. “Downi Creations.” 2007. 4 Dec. 2009. ‹http://cause-of-our-joy.blogspot.com/2007/08/downi-creations.html›.Wendell, Susan. The Rejected Body: Feminist Philosophical Reflections on Disability. New York: Routledge, 1996.Wolf, Naomi. The Beauty Myth: How Images of Beauty Are Used against Women. New York: Harper Perennial, 2002 [1991].

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Shiloh, Ilana. "Adaptation, Intertextuality, and the Endless Deferral of Meaning." M/C Journal 10, no.2 (May1, 2007). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.2636.

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Abstract:

Film adaptation is an ambiguous term, both semantically and conceptually. Among its multiple connotations, the word “adaptation” may signify an artistic composition that has been recast in a new form, an alteration in the structure or function of an organism to make it better fitted for survival, or a modification in individual or social activity in adjustment to social surroundings. What all these definitions have in common is a tacitly implied hierarchy and valorisation: they presume the existence of an origin to which the recast work of art is indebted, or of biological or societal constraints to which the individual should conform in order to survive. The bias implied in the very connotations of the word has affected the theory and study of film adaptation. This bias is most noticeably reflected in the criterion of fidelity, which has been the major standard for evaluating film adaptations ever since George Bluestone’s 1957 pivotal Novels into Films. “Fidelity criticism,” observes McFarlane, “depends on a notion of the text as having and rendering up to the (intelligent) reader a single, correct ‘meaning’ which the film-maker has either adhered to or in some sense violated or tampered with” (7). But such an approach, Leitch argues, is rooted in several unacknowledged but entrenched misconceptions. It privileges literature over film, casts a false aura of originality on the precursor text, and ignores the fact that all texts, whether literary or cinematic, are essentially intertexts. As Kristeva, along with other poststructuralist theorists, has taught us, any text is an amalgam of others, a part of a larger fabric of cultural discourse (64-91). “A text is a multidimensional space in which a variety of writings, none of them original, blend and clash”, writes Barthes in 1977 (146), and 15 years later film theoretician Robert Stam elaborates: “The text feeds on and is fed into an infinitely permutating intertext, which is seen through evershifting grids of interpretation” (57). The poststructuralists’ view of texts draws on the structuralists’ view of language, which is conceived as a system that pre-exists the individual speaker and determines subjectivity. These assumptions counter the Romantic ideology of individualism, with its associated concepts of authorial originality and a text’s single, unified meaning, based on the author’s intention. “It is language which speaks, not the author,” declares Barthes, “to write is to reach the point where only language acts, ‘performs’, and not me” (143). In consequence, the fidelity criterion of film adaptation may be regarded as an outdated vestige of the Romantic world-view. If all texts quote or embed fragments of earlier texts, the notion of an authoritative literary source, which the cinematic version should faithfully reproduce, is no longer valid. Film adaptation should rather be perceived as an intertextual practice, contributing to a dynamic interpretive exchange between the literary and cinematic texts, an exchange in which each text can be enriched, modified or subverted. The relationship between Jonathan Nolan’s short story “Memento Mori” and Christopher Nolan’s film Memento (2001) is a case in point. Here there was no source text, as the writing of the story did not precede the making of the film. The two processes were concurrent, and were triggered by the same basic idea, which Jonathan discussed with his brother during a road trip from Chicago to LA. Christopher developed the idea into a film and Jonathan turned it into a short story; he also collaborated in the film script. Moreover, Jonathan designed otnemem> (memento in reverse), the official Website, which contextualises the film’s fictional world, while increasing its ambiguity. What was adapted here was an idea, and each text explores in different ways the narrative, ontological and epistemological implications of that idea. The story, the film and the Website produce a multi-layered intertextual fabric, in which each thread potentially unravels the narrative possibilities suggested by the other threads. Intertextuality functions to increase ambiguity, and is therefore thematically relevant, for “Memento Mori”, Memento and otnemem> are three fragmented texts in search of a coherent narrative. The concept of narrative may arguably be one of the most overused and under-defined terms in academic discourse. In the context of the present paper, the most productive approach is that of Wilkens, Hughes, Wildemuth and Marchionini, who define narrative as a chain of events related by cause and effect, occurring in time and space, and involving agency and intention. In fiction or in film, intention is usually associated with human agents, who can be either the characters or the narrator. It is these agents who move along the chain of causes and effects, so that cause-effect and agency work together to make the narrative. This narrative paradigm underpins mainstream Hollywood cinema in the years 1917-1960. In Narration in the Fiction Film, David Bordwell writes: The classical Hollywood film presents psychologically defined individuals who struggle to solve a clear-cut problem or to attain specific goals. … The story ends with a decisive victory or defeat, a resolution of the problem, and a clear achievement, or non achievement, of the goals. The principal causal agency is thus the character … . In classical fabula construction, causality is the prime unifying principle. (157) The large body of films flourishing in America between the years 1941 and 1958 collectively dubbed film noir subvert this narrative formula, but only partially. As accurately observed by Telotte, the devices of flashback and voice-over associated with the genre implicitly challenge conventionally linear narratives, while the use of the subjective camera shatters the illusion of objective truth and foregrounds the rift between reality and perception (3, 20). Yet in spite of the narrative experimentation that characterises the genre, the viewer of a classical film noir film can still figure out what happened in the fictional world and why, and can still reconstruct the story line according to sequential and causal schemata. This does not hold true for the intertextual composite consisting of Memento, “Memento Mori” and otnemem>. The basic idea that generated the project was that of a self-appointed detective who obsessively investigates and seeks to revenge his wife’s rape and murder, while suffering from a total loss of short term memory. The loss of memory precludes learning and the acquisition of knowledge, so the protagonist uses scribbled notes, Polaroid photos and information tattooed onto his skin, in an effort to reconstruct his fragmented reality into a coherent and meaningful narrative. Narrativity is visually foregrounded: the protagonist reads his body to make sense of his predicament. To recap, the narrative paradigm relies on a triad of terms: connectedness (a chain of events), causality, and intentionality. The basic situation in Memento and “Memento Mori”, which involves a rupture in the protagonist’s/narrator’s psychological time, entails a breakdown of all three pre-requisites of narrativity. Since the protagonists of both story and film are condemned, by their memory deficiency, to living in an eternal present, they are unable to experience the continuity of time and the connectedness of events. The disruption of temporality inevitably entails the breakdown of causality: the central character’s inability to determine the proper sequence of events prevents him from being able to distinguish between cause and effect. Finally, the notion of agency is also problematised, because agency implies the existence of a stable, identifiable subject, and identity is contingent on the subject’s uninterrupted continuity across time and change. The subversive potential of the basic narrative situation is heightened by the fact that both Memento and “Memento Mori” are focalised through the consciousness and perception of the main character. This means that the story, as well as the film, is conveyed from the point of view of a narrator who is constitutionally unable to experience his life as a narrative. This conundrum is addressed differently in the story and in the film, both thematically and formally. “Memento Mori” presents, in a way, the backdrop to Memento. It focuses on the figure of Earl, a brain damaged protagonist suffering from anterograde amnesia, who is staying in a blank, anonymous room, that we assume to be a part of a mental institution. We also assume that Earl’s brain damage results from a blow to the head that he received while witnessing the rape and murder of his wife. Earl is bent on avenging his wife’s death. To remind himself to do so, he writes messages to himself, which he affixes on the walls of his room. Leonard Shelby is Memento’s cinematic version of Earl. By Leonard’s own account, he has an inability to form memories. This, he claims, is the result of neurological damage sustained during an attack on him and his wife, an attack in which his wife was raped and killed. To be able to pursue his wife’s killers, he has recourse to various complex and bizarre devices—Polaroid photos, a quasi-police file, a wall chart, and inscriptions tattooed onto his skin—in order to replace his memory. Hampered by his affliction, Leonard trawls the motels and bars of Southern California in an effort to gather evidence against the killer he believes to be named “John G.” Leonard’s faulty memory is deviously manipulated by various people he encounters, of whom the most crucial are a bartender called Natalie and an undercover cop named Teddy, both involved in a lucrative drug deal. So far for a straightforward account of the short story and the film. But there is nothing straightforward about either Memento or “Memento Mori”. The basic narrative premise, consisting of a protagonist/narrator suffering from a severe memory deficit, is a condition entailing far-reaching psychological and philosophical implications. In the following discussion, I would like to focus on these two implications and to tie them in to the notions of narrativity, intertextuality, and eventually, adaptation. The first implication of memory loss is the dissolution of identity. Our sense of identity is contingent on our ability to construct an uninterrupted personal narrative, a narrative in which the present self is continuous with the past self. In Oneself as Another, his philosophical treatise on the concept of selfhood, Paul Ricoeur queries: “do we not consider human lives to be more readable when they have been interpreted in terms of the stories that people tell about them?” He concludes by observing that “interpretation of the self … finds in narrative, among others signs and symbols, a privileged form of mediation” (ft. 114). Ricoeur further suggests that the sense of selfhood is contingent on four attributes: numerical identity, qualitative identity, uninterrupted continuity across time and change, and finally, permanence in time that defines sameness. The loss of memory subverts the last two attributes of personal identity, the sense of continuity and permanence over time, and thereby also ruptures the first two. In “Memento Mori” and Memento, the disintegration of identity is formally rendered through the fragmentation of the literary and cinematic narratives, respectively. In Jonathan Nolan’s short story, traditional linear narrative is disrupted by shifts in point of view and by graphic differences in the shape of the print on the page. “Memento Mori” is alternately narrated in the first and in the third person. The first person segments, which constitute the present of the story, are written by Earl to himself. As his memory span is ten-minute long, his existence consists of “just the same ten minutes, over and over again” (Nolan, 187). Fully aware of the impending fading away of memory, Earl’s present-version self leaves notes to his future-version self, in an effort to situate him in time and space and to motivate him to the final action of revenge. The literary device of alternating points of view formally subverts the notion of identity as a stable unity. Paradoxically, rather than setting him apart from the rest of us, Earl’s brain damage foregrounds his similarity. “Every man is broken into twenty-four-hour fractions,” observes Earl, comforting his future self by affirming his basic humanity, “Your problem is a little more acute, maybe, but fundamentally the same thing” (Nolan, 189). His observation echoes Beckett’s description of the individual as “the seat of a constant process of decantation … to the vessel containing the fluid of past time” (Beckett, 4-5). Identity, suggests Jonathan Nolan, following Beckett, among other things, is a theoretical construct. Human beings are works in progress, existing in a state of constant flux. We are all fragmented beings—the ten-minute man is only more so. A second strategy employed by Jonathan to convey the discontinuity of the self is the creation of visual graphic disunity. As noted by Yellowlees Douglas, among others, the static, fixed nature of the printed page and its austere linearity make it ideal for the representation of our mental construct of narrative. The text of “Memento Mori” appears on the page in three different font types: the first person segments, Earl’s admonitions to himself, appear in italics; the third person segments are written in regular type; and the notes and signs are capitalised. Christopher Nolan obviously has recourse to different strategies to reach the same ends. His principal technique, and the film’s most striking aspect, is its reversed time sequence. The film begins with a crude Polaroid flash photograph of a man’s body lying on a decaying wooden floor. The image in the photo gradually fades, until the camera sucks the picture up. The photograph presents the last chronological event; the film then skips backwards in ten-minute increments, mirroring the protagonist’s memory span. But the film’s time sequence is not simply a reversed linear structure. It is a triple-decker narrative, mirroring the three-part organisation of the story. In the opening scene, one comes to realise that the film-spool is running backwards. After several minutes the film suddenly reverses and runs forward for a few seconds. Then there is a sudden cut to a different scene, in black and white, where the protagonist (who we have just learned is called Leonard) begins to talk, out of the blue, about his confusion. Soon the film switches to a color scene, again unconnected, in which the “action” of the film begins. In the black and white scenes, which from then on are interspersed with the main action, Leonard attempts to understand what is happening to him and to explain (to an unseen listener) the nature of his condition. The “main action” of the film follows a double temporal structure: while each scene, as a unit of action, runs normally forward, each scene is triggered by the following, rather than by the preceding scene, so that we are witnessing a story whose main action goes back in time as the film progresses (Hutchinson and Read, 79). A third narrative thread, interspersed with the other two, is a story that functions as a foil to the film’s main action. It is the story of Sammy Jankis: one of the cases that Leonard worked on in his past career as an insurance investigator. Sammy was apparently suffering from anterograde amnesia, the same condition that Leonard is suffering from now. Sammy’s wife filed an insurance claim on his behalf, a claim that Leonard rejected on the grounds that Sammy’s condition was merely psychosomatic. Hoping to confirm Leonard’s diagnosis, Sammy’s diabetic wife puts her husband to the test. He fails the test as he tenderly administers multiple insulin injections to her, thereby causing her death. As Leonard’s beloved wife also suffered from diabetes, and as Teddy (the undercover cop) eventually tells Leonard that Sammy never had a wife, the Sammy Jankis parable functions as a mise en abyme, which can either corroborate or subvert the narrative that Leonard is attempting to construct of his own life. Sammy may be seen as Leonard’s symbolic double in that his form of amnesia foreshadows the condition with which Leonard will eventually be afflicted. This interpretation corroborates Leonard’s personal narrative of his memory loss, while tainting him with the blame for the death of Sammy’s wife. But the camera also suggests a more unsettling possibility—Leonard may ultimately be responsible for the death of his own wife. The scene in which Sammy, condemned by his amnesia, administers to his wife a repeated and fatal shot of insulin, is briefly followed by a scene of Leonard pinching his own wife’s thigh before her insulin shot, a scene recurring in the film like a leitmotif. The juxtaposition of the two scenes suggests that it is Leonard who, mistakenly or deliberately, has killed his wife, and that ever since he has been projecting his guilt onto others: the innocent victims of his trail of revenge. In this ironic interpretive twist, it is Leonard, rather than Sammy, who has been faking his amnesia. The parable of Sammy Jankis highlights another central concern of Memento and “Memento Mori”: the precarious nature of truth. This is the second psychological and philosophical implication of what Leonard persistently calls his “condition”, namely his loss of memory. The question explicitly raised in the film is whether memory records or creates, if it retains the lived life or reshapes it into a narrative that will confer on it unity and meaning. The answer is metaphorically suggested by the recurring shots of a mirror, which Leonard must use to read his body inscriptions. The mirror, as Lacan describes it, offers the infant his first recognition as a coherent, unique self. But this recognition is a mis-recognition, for the reflection has a coherence and unity that the subject both lacks and desires. The body inscriptions that Leonard can read only in the mirror do not necessarily testify to the truth. But they do enable him to create a narrative that makes his life worth living. A Lacanian reading of the mirror image has two profoundly unsettling implications. It establishes Leonard as a morally deficient, rather than neurologically deficient, human being, and it suggests that we are not fundamentally different from him. Leonard’s intricate system of notes and body inscriptions builds up an inventory of set representations to which he can refer in all his future experiences. Thus when he wakes up naked in bed with a woman lying beside him, he looks among his Polaroid photographs for a picture which he can match with her, which will tell him what the woman’s name is and what he can expect from her on the basis of past experience. But this, suggest Hutchinson and Read, is an external representation of operations that all of us perform mentally (89). We all respond to sensory input by constructing internal representations that form the foundations of our psyche. This view underpins current theories of language and of the mind. Semioticians tell us that the word, the signifier, refers to a mental representation of an object rather than to the object itself. Cognitivists assume that cognition consists in the operation of mental items which are symbols for real entities. Leonard’s apparently bizarre method of apprehending reality is thus essentially an externalisation of memory. But if, cognitively and epistemologically speaking, Lennie is less different from us than we would like to think, this implication may also extend to our moral nature. Our complicity with Leonard is mainly established through the film’s complex temporal structure, which makes us viscerally share the protagonist’s/narrator’s confusion and disorientation. We become as unable as he is to construct a single, coherent and meaningful narrative: the film’s obscurity is built in. Memento’s ambiguity is enhanced by the film’s Website, which presents a newspaper clipping about the attack on Leonard and his wife, torn pages from police and psychiatric reports, and a number of notes from Leonard to himself. While blurring the boundaries between story and film by suggesting that Leonard, like Earl, may have escaped from a mental institution, otnemem> also provides evidence that can either confirm or confound our interpretive efforts, such as a doctor’s report suggesting that “John G.” may be a figment of Leonard’s imagination. The precarious nature of truth is foregrounded by the fact that the narrative Leonard is trying to construct, as well as the narrative in which Christopher Nolan has embedded him, is a detective story. The traditional detective story proceeds from a two-fold assumption: truth exists, and it can be known. But Memento and “Memento Mori” undermine this epistemological confidence. They suggest that truth, like identity, is a fictional construct, derived from the tales we tell ourselves and recount to others. These tales do not coincide with objective reality; they are the prisms we create in order to understand reality, to make our lives bearable and worth living. Narratives are cognitive patterns that we construct to make sense of the world. They convey our yearning for coherence, closure, and a single unified meaning. The overlapping and conflicting threads interweaving Memento, “Memento Mori” and the Website otnemem> simultaneously expose and resist our nostalgia for unity, by evoking a multiplicity of meanings and creating an intertextual web that is the essence of all adaptation. References Barthes, Roland. Image-Music-Text. London: Fontana, 1977. Beckett, Samuel. Proust. London: Chatto and Windus, 1931. Bluestone, George. Novels into Film. Berkley and Los Angeles: California UP, 1957. Bordwell, David. Narration in the Fiction Film. Madison: Wisconsin UP, 1985. Hutchinson, Phil, and Rupert Read. “Memento: A Philosophical Investigation.” Film as Philosophy: Essays in Cinema after Wittgenstein and Cavell. Ed. Rupert Read and Jerry Goodenough. Hampshire: Palgrave, 2005. 72-93. Kristeva, Julia. “World, Dialogue and Novel.” Desire in Language: A Semiotic Approach to Literature and Art. Ed. Leon S. Rudiez. Trans. Thomas Gora. New York: Columbia UP, 1980. 64-91. Lacan, Jacques. “The Mirror Stage as Formative of the Function of the I as Revealed in Psychoanalytic Experience.” Ēcrits: A Selection. New York: Norton 1977. 1-7. Leitch, Thomas. “Twelve Fallacies in Contemporary Adaptation Theory.” Criticism 45.2 (2003): 149-71. McFarlane, Brian. Novel to Film: An Introduction to the Theory of Adaptation. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996. Nolan, Jonathan. “Memento Mori.” The Making of Memento. Ed. James Mottram. London: Faber and Faber, 2002. 183-95. Nolan, Jonathan. otnemem. 24 April 2007 http://otnemem.com>. Ricoeur, Paul. Oneself as Another. Chicago: Chicago UP, 1992. Stam, Robert. “Beyond Fidelity: The Dialogics of Adaptation.” Film Adaptation. Ed. James Naremore. New Brunswick: Rutgers UP, 2000. 54-76. Telotte, J.P. Voices in the Dark: The Narrative Patterns of Film Noir. Urbana and Chicago: Illinois UP, 1989. Wilkens, T., A. Hughes, B.M. Wildemuth, and G. Marchionini. “The Role of Narrative in Understanding Digital Video.” 24 April 2007 http://www.open-video.org/papers/Wilkens_Asist_2003.pdf>. Yellowlees Douglass, J. “Gaps, Maps and Perception: What Hypertext Readers (Don’t) Do.” 24 April 2007 http://www.pd.org/topos/perforations/perf3/douglas_p3.html>. Citation reference for this article MLA Style Shiloh, Ilana. "Adaptation, Intertextuality, and the Endless Deferral of Meaning: Memento." M/C Journal 10.2 (2007). echo date('d M. Y'); ?> <http://journal.media-culture.org.au/0705/08-shiloh.php>. APA Style Shiloh, I. (May 2007) "Adaptation, Intertextuality, and the Endless Deferral of Meaning: Memento," M/C Journal, 10(2). Retrieved echo date('d M. Y'); ?> from <http://journal.media-culture.org.au/0705/08-shiloh.php>.

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Radywyl, Natalia. "A Moment's Daydreaming." M/C Journal 12, no.1 (March2, 2009). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.118.

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Drift: An IntroductionEntering into Drift is akin to entering—or becoming ensnared by—a hum. Projected across one wall, the work uses abstract visual forms to draw visitors into its meditational folds. Quadraphonic sound circulates in smooth, heavy pulses, like the steady rumble of a train running over deep-set tracks. A succession of vibrating lines occupy the screen, much like the horizontal static of a poorly-tuned television. Gradually, the ambient timbre darkens, the hum becomes more persistent and atmospheric undulations more frequent, until room and body expand with intensity. Throbbing vibrations connect ground to feet, roll along skin, finding their way into deep interiors until organs and sinew become subsumed by Drift’s thick, heart-gripping drone. The installation’s tight, affective grasp only becomes apparent upon the sudden release of this tension; the room lightens and hum eases as the screen whitens with faint patterns, like a window opening from a darkened room. Drift, by German artist Ulf Langheinrich, appeared in White Noise, an exhibition dedicated to abstract moving image art at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image in Melbourne (ACMI). At the time of this exhibition in 2005, I was undertaking a seven month study of ACMI’s Screen Gallery, also documenting the preceding exhibition, World without End. My research used the Gallery as a site to examine the shifting relationship between visitor experience, digital art and museums, as the space compelled unusual modalities of visitor interaction. Most notable were states of complete stillness. I aimed to investigate how art and technology might mediate visitor agency through such experiences; not only to understand how museum visitation is transforming in new and significant ways, but to also extrapolate a substantial account of an individual’s agency within this era of what Beck, Giddens and Lash have termed ‘reflexive modernisation’. However, existing studies of museum visitation are rarely informed by the subjective modalities of visitor encounter, but rather, detail how experiences are shaped by institutional practices (Bourdieu; Luhmann; Silverman; Falk; Falk and Dierking) or governmental agendas (Bennett; Hooper-Greenhill). A notable exception is Megan Hick’s phenomenological study of Sydney’s Powerhouse museum. Following this example, I developed a phenomenology of museum visitation that could privilege the visitor’s enunciation of experience, whilst also exploring how expressions of agency may be highly subjective, multifarious and nuanced. I used qualitative ethnographic techniques to gather phenomenological material. Firstly, I attended the Gallery on a fortnightly basis to conduct longitudinal participant observations. However, as observation offered no means to interpret quiet faces and still bodies I also undertook visitor interviews. I approached visitors immediately after their visitation, and attempted to capture a wide cross-sample of responses by recruiting on the basis of age, gender and reason for visitation. I undertook ten 45 minute interviews, enquiring into the factors influencing impressions of the Gallery, prior familiarity with museums, and opinions about media art and technology. This ethnographic material was central to my study, as the voices of visitors guided its thematic direction and ensuing analysis. As the first in-depth, qualitative analysis of visitation to the Screen Gallery, my study therefore makes an empirical contribution to existing visitor research by offering an original means of exploring issues of museum visitation and agency, and movement and stillness.For example, visitors often received Drift with complete stillness, lulled into a focused state of attention by the shiftings of light and sound. As interviewee Colleen reveals, this concentration arose because Drift resonated intimately, akin to a meditative encounter:There wasn’t any other emotion or feeling behind it other than feeling relieved and comfortable, and relaxed. It was almost meditative … I was actually trying not to think about anything! … I didn’t want it to be influenced by the morning’s happenings … I just thought ‘this is relaxing’.Colleen has described how stillness and movement are therefore modalities within a broad vocabulary of interaction. While theorists have long noted how the transition from painting to film marked a shift from still to more ‘active’ forms of contemplation (Benjamin), an unanticipated finding of my study reasserted stillness as a dominant modality of active reception. In this article I therefore ask how agency finds expression within states of stillness.I propose that stillness mediates a distinctive form of agency as it is laden with what Brian Massumi calls ‘potential movement.’ I explore this concept with reference to visitors’ experiences of History of a Day, a work in World Without End. I then draw upon Henri Lefebvre’s description of ‘eurrhythmic’ congruence to describe how stillness is characterised by a focused state of attention, reflecting a highly subjective form of agency. I conclude by describing how this spatial awareness enables individuals to realise their own creativity, and inspire new praxes for daily living.1. Stillness: A State of Potential MovementBy dedicating its exhibition space to time-based art, ACMI’s Screen Gallery has cultivated a new temporal paradigm for visitor participation. It mediates both stillness and movement. Visitors described how the task of negotiating multiple time-based screens in a singular space loosened the temporal boundaries of engagement. Visitors were frequently compelled to pause and wait, as there was an absence of ‘entry’ or ‘exit’ points for viewing a piece. This raises questions as to how slower, or ‘still’, forms of participation in the Gallery may elicit agency. If considering stillness as a state that exists as an inverse of movement, rather than a state lacking in movement, it becomes possible to locate agency within the process of maintaining stillness, and as a result, engender what Brian Massumi describes as ‘potential movement’.In his account of architect Lars Spuybroek’s wetGRID design, Massumi describes how Spuybroek compares the experience of viewing images with the spatial experience of moving through buildings. Spuybroek drew from the premise that while movement can be understood as “the actual content of architecture” (322), it is more difficult to draw correlations between the properties of movement and perception of still images. He developed the idea of potential movement to breach a commonality between the two, as paraphrased by Massumi: “potentials for movement are extracted from actual movement, then fed back into it via architecture. We normally think of abstraction as a distancing from the actual, but here potentials are being ‘abstracted into it’” (323). Spuybroek therefore inscribed the idea of ‘tendency’ in his work, an ‘affordance’ that manifests as “a possibility of convergence that unconsciously exerts a pull, drawing the body forward into a movement the body already feels itself performing before it actually stirs” (Gibson in Massumi 324). This idea suggests that the act of sitting and viewing an image, can be reconceived as a state laden with potential movement. As Massumi describes, “sitting still is the performance of a tendency towards movement … It is the pre-performance, in potential, of the movement and its function … It is in intensity” (324).Sitting can therefore be regarded an 'active' state, where 'tendency'—indeed intensity—charges stillness with a potential for movement, actualisation and change. Conventions that invite still forms of participation in an interactive museum are an opportunity to express one’s agency, as one cannot feel the full momentum of tendency if not having at first remained still. At one level, the process of waiting for a work to begin or end generates a potential for movement, as visitors must decide when they will move towards another work. However, the potential for agency is also articulated within a less performative, ‘internal’ shift that arises within stillness, when visitors eschew reflexive forms of interaction to maintain a focused state of attention.2. Focusing Attention in StillnessVisitors’ interaction with Simon Carrol and Martin Friedel's History of a Day (2004) demonstrated how such a focused attention arises. This work comprises five screens arranged in a pentagonal shape. Visitors engage with this work whilst moving or still, seating themselves on an ottoman set within the pentagon or viewing the work while walking around its outside perimeter. The work came to mediate a number of different types of still and playful encounters, as described by Sean:I was aware that there was other stuff going on around the gallery … could see that out the corner of your eye because there’s spaces in-between screens, but at the same time I wasn’t hurried … And Luke who was with me, he sat down and watched one particular screen, whereas I sort of moved around. When I got to the edge I could see two or three screens at once, so I was just trying to work out what the story was. On one hand, the ‘gaps’ between these screens could fragment visitors’ attention and mediate reflexive forms of perception. Sean described how he “moved around”, as he was drawn to these ‘gaps’ as he exchanged peripheries and centres of focus. However, the close arrangement of the five screens also created a veiled, intimate space that confined visitors’ attention within the spatial parameters of the work. Unlike Sean, Luke remained seated. His experience was conditioned by stillness. He sat observing a single screen and maintained a focused state of attention. By focusing their attention in this way, visitors become more receptive towards the affective experience of viewing art. For example, History of a Day flutters with time-lapse images, a soothing rhythm of night turning to day and to night again. On one hand, each screen has been allocated its own narrative, a temporal illustration of a day’s passing within natural and human-made landscapes. A fairground, for example, was shot at night and showed crowds arriving, swarming, alighting rides and departing. However, it is possible to yield to the projection’s visual and aural rhythm, and in doing so abstract the figurative signifier of each scene. Narrative logic recedes as the senses become flooded, and in turn slows the pace of reflexive perception. Without the imposition of a linear narrative the work’s images begin to unfold with a new slowness. The main ride comes to resemble the slowly beating wings of a moth in lamplight, arms lifting, rotating and dropping in the fairground floodlights. People, rides and the dark sky blend into a meditation on colour, rhythm and sound, a palette comprising the many moments that emerge and pass at a night carnival.This form of perception elicits an agency of complex, affective awareness. Sound artist Brian Eno’s account of the role of silence in ambient music provides a close analogy as to how experiences of stillness in the Screen Gallery become dynamic with enhanced affective awareness. He describes how silences—a ‘stillness’ in sound—actually draw attention to the aural experience that preceded it, as the “‘rests’ are invariably filled in by ‘echoes’ of previously heard fragments” (in Tamm 134). In other words, the experience of listening is heightened by silences, for they create a space of reflection that resonates with the impressions of sound passed. The Gallery is an ambient chamber that echoes with affective forms of experiential encounter rather than echoes of sound. The echoes of visitors’ encounters are also intensified by stillness. Stillness focuses attention, so visitors garner an affective awareness of their spatial environment. This awareness constitutes a distinctive form of agency within the museum, for it enables visitors to locate what Henri Lefebvre describes as a ‘rhythmic’ congruence between their subjective experience and conditions of external environment.3. Awareness of Rhythmic CongruenceIn his theory of rhythmnanalysis, Henri Lefebvre (16) describes how an awareness of ‘rhythmic’ congruity and incongruity can be used to inform a politics in daily life. He argues that practices of self-observation and spatial awareness can reveal how our internal and environmental rhythms are a part of a rhythmic landscape, and can be used as a political means for change. Lefebvre (20) delineates between ‘eurhythmia’ and ‘arrhythmia’ as the forms of rhythmic logic that describe states of congruity:What is certain is that harmony sometimes (often) exists: eurhythmia. The eu-rhythmic body, composed of diverse rhythms – each organ, each function, having its own – keeps them in a metastable equilibrium, which is always understood and often recovered, with the exception of disturbances (arrhythmia) that sooner of later becomes illness (the pathological state). But the surroundings of bodies, be they in nature or a social setting, are also bundles, bouquets, garlands of rhythms, to which it is necessary to listen in order to grasp the natural or produced ensembles. While Lefebvre uses these definitions to develop a Marxist critique of modernity, they also show how within the flexible temporal boundaries of stillness, visitors can express a form of agency by using their heightened affective awareness to locate eurhythmic and arrhythmic experiences. By becoming aware of the way we are conditioned by rhythms, we can begin to imprint new rhythms upon the patterns that govern cultural and social practices. Within the Screen Gallery, this rhythmic observation manifests as an attentiveness towards the temporal relationship between internal sensation and external environment.Congruence between internal and external rhythms was often described by visitors as a feeling of relaxation, even meditation. For example, Sean drew comparisons between still encounters with time-based art and his impression of quiet environments: “It’s like having background music while you’re falling asleep, or you turn the radio on so you haven’t caught the start of a song but you catch the end of it”. These associations imply a close environmental relationship between sound and body, where the rich aesthetic presence of art overrides the expectation of narrative continuity. Perhaps most telling is Sean’s analogy of falling asleep to background music, as it suggests that time-based art can maintain an ambient presence while not intruding upon natural bodily ‘rhythms’. It seems that a harmony between body and art environment allows a pull towards a state of relaxation akin to the drift of sleep, which, notably, is a point where both internal and external rhythms synchronise. Falling asleep is a crossing of thresholds into a space dominated by the activities of the unconscious. Occupying the Gallery and surrendering to a state of relaxation can therefore also be understood as crossing a threshold into a deeper, more internal realm of interaction with art.Affective awareness therefore enables visitors to cultivate a greater sensitivity towards their sensory responses. This is a highly-subjective agency, as it arises when visitors develop a keen awareness of the eurrhythmic alignment between the rhythm of external space, and their own, internal rhythm. Stillness therefore draws attention to the complexity of our own subjective experience, and the different ways we are conditioned by our environments. Yet most importantly, these experiences also generated self-reflection and a desire to creatively transform their circ*mstances. Matthew described how his encounter with art aroused creative inspiration: “I go there to experience something new. I would love to be able to do something like that… Maybe it’s something for me, where I wish I was doing something else in terms of my occupation.” Paul noted how expressive potential could be expanded by considering oneself an artist: “you can do it yourself as well, and I suppose that’s what draws people in to the whole thing”. Katrina suggested that aesthetic forms of interaction can challenge the conventional ways of thinking about and responding to our environment: “if it gets somebody to do something different, or, gets someone to do something in a different way maybe, expand their minds in that way, maybe that’s a use for it as well … give them something to think about, and they can see it again in a different light”. These comments show how stillness can enable a realisation of one’s own subjective, creative potential by countering the reflexive speed of the everyday.ConclusionMy study of ACMI’s Screen Gallery has shown how agency finds expression in stillness. The temporal elasticity created by artwork and institution allows visitors to appropriate time and space in a way that slows the pace of movement and focuses attention, in turn enhancing a visitor’s awareness of their presence and spatial environment. Stillness therefore heightens visitors’ awareness of sensation, sentience, the body’s occupation of time and space. This form of encounter elicits a feeling of congruence and awakens the spirit. This transformation was the mainstay of the political project set by Lefebvre, a statement on mobilising individuals to affect change by becoming more attentive towards incongruities between self and environment. In the Gallery it became possible, through immersion in an aesthetic, ambient space, for visitors to cultivate an intuition towards their own rhythms and those of surrounding environments. An important claim is to be staked on creating spaces for stillness in daily life, as opportunities for stillness are becoming increasingly scarce within the dynamics of spatial and temporal compression that characterise this era of globalisation and informationalisation. As Heidi describes, these moments given to daydreaming and reflection can become powerful conduits for realising one’s own potential:[It] gives you a new lease on life. And all the dreams you have – it’s possible … Sometimes you think ‘it’s all a bit out of reach, it’s too difficult,’ whereas you go and see something like that, and … it makes everything clear. And makes everything possible.ReferencesBeck, Ulrich, Anthony Giddens, and Scott Lash. Reflexive Modernization: Politics, Tradition and Aesthetics in the Modern Social Order. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press, 1994.Benjamin, Walter. “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction.” Illuminations. Ed. Hannah Arendt. Great Britain: Fontana/Collins, 1977. 219-253.Bennett, Tony. “Museums and 'the People'.” The Museum Time-Machine: Putting Cultures on Display. London: Routledge, 1988. 63-85.———. “Putting Policy into Cultural Studies.” Cultural Studies. London: Routledge. 1992, 23-37.———. The Birth of the Museum: History, Theory, Politics. London: Routledge, 1995.———. “Consuming Culture, Measuring Access and Audience Development”. Culture and Policy 8.1 (1997): 89-113.———. “Culture and Policy” Culture:a Reformer's Science, St. Leonard's, NSW: Allen & Unwin, 1998. 189-213.———. “Culture and Governmentality.” In J.Z. Bratich, J. Packer & C. McCarthy, eds. Foucault, Cultural Studies and Governmentality. Albany: State U of New York P, 2003. 47-64.Bourdieu, Pierre. “The Economy of Practices.” Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste. Trans. Richard Nice. Cambridge: Harvard U P, 1984. 97-256.———. The Love of Art, Stanford: Stanford U P, 1991.Falk, John. “Museum Recollections.” Visitor Studies - 1988: Theory, Research and Practice. Jacksonville: Center for Social Design, 1988. 60-65.Falk, John, and Lynn Dierking. The Museum Experience. Washington, D.C.: Whalebooks, 1992.Hicks, Megan. "'A Whole New World': The Young Person's Experience of Visiting the Sydney Technological Museum." Museum and Society 3.2 (2005): 66-80. Hooper-Greenhill, Eilean. Museum and Gallery Education. London: Leicester U P, 1991.Lefebvre, Henri. “The Critique of the Thing.” Rhythmnanalysis: Space Time and Everyday Life. London: Continuum, 2004. 5-18.———. “The Rhythmanalyst: A Previsionary Project.” Rhythmanalysis: Space Time and Everyday Life. London: Continuum, 2004. 19-26.Luhmann, Niklas. Art as a Social System, Trans. Eva Knodt. Stanford: U of Stanford P, 2000.Massumi, Brian. “Building Experience: The Architecture of Perception.” NOX: Machining Architecture. London: Thames and Hudson, 2004. 322-331.Silverman, Lois. “Visitor Meaning Making in Museums for a New Age.” Curator 38 (1995): 161-170.Tamm, Eric. “The Ambient Sound.” Brian Eno: His Music and the Vertical Color of Sound. Boston: Faber and Faber, 1989. 131-150.

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Brockington, Roy, and Nela Cicmil. "Brutalist Architecture: An Autoethnographic Examination of Structure and Corporeality." M/C Journal 19, no.1 (April6, 2016). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.1060.

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Introduction: Brutal?The word “brutal” has associations with cruelty, inhumanity, and aggression. Within the field of architecture, however, the term “Brutalism” refers to a post-World War II Modernist style, deriving from the French phrase betón brut, which means raw concrete (Clement 18). Core traits of Brutalism include functionalist design, daring geometry, overbearing scale, and the blatant exposure of structural materials, chiefly concrete and steel (Meades 1).The emergence of Brutalism coincided with chronic housing shortages in European countries ravaged by World War II (Power 5) and government-sponsored slum clearance in the UK (Power 190; Baker). Brutalism’s promise to accommodate an astonishing number of civilians within a minimal area through high-rise configurations and elevated walkways was alluring to architects and city planners (High Rise Dreams). Concrete was the material of choice due to its affordability, durability, and versatility; it also allowed buildings to be erected quickly (Allen and Iano 622).The Brutalist style was used for cultural centres, such as the Perth Concert Hall in Western Australia, educational institutions such as the Yale School of Architecture, and government buildings such as the Secretariat Building in Chandigarh, India. However, as pioneering Brutalist architect Alison Smithson explained, the style achieved full expression by “thinking on a much bigger scale somehow than if you only got [sic] one house to do” (Smithson and Smithson, Conversation 40). Brutalism, therefore, lent itself to the design of large residential complexes. It was consequently used worldwide for public housing developments, that is, residences built by a government authority with the aim of providing affordable housing. Notable examples include the Western City Gate in Belgrade, Serbia, and Habitat 67 in Montreal, Canada.Brutalist architecture polarised opinion and continues to do so to this day. On the one hand, protected cultural heritage status has been awarded to some Brutalist buildings (Carter; Glancey) and the style remains extremely influential, for example in the recent award-winning work of architect Zaha Hadid (Niesewand). On the other hand, the public housing projects associated with Brutalism are widely perceived as failures (The Great British Housing Disaster). Many Brutalist objects currently at risk of demolition are social housing estates, such as the Smithsons’ Robin Hood Gardens in London, UK. Whether the blame for the demise of such housing developments lies with architects, inhabitants, or local government has been widely debated. In the UK and USA, local authorities had relocated families of predominantly lower socio-economic status into the newly completed developments, but were unable or unwilling to finance subsequent maintenance and security costs (Hanley 115; R. Carroll; The Pruitt-Igoe Myth). Consequently, the residents became fearful of criminal activity in staircases and corridors that lacked “defensible space” (Newman 9), which undermined a vision of “streets in the sky” (Moran 615).In spite of its later problems, Brutalism’s architects had intended to develop a style that expressed 1950s contemporary living in an authentic manner. To them, this meant exposing building materials in their “raw” state and creating an aesthetic for an age of science, machine mass production, and consumerism (Stadler 264; 267; Smithson and Smithson, But Today 44). Corporeal sensations did not feature in this “machine” aesthetic (Dalrymple). Exceptionally, acclaimed Brutalist architect Ernö Goldfinger discussed how “visual sensation,” “sound and touch with smell,” and “the physical touch of the walls of a narrow passage” contributed to “sensations of space” within architecture (Goldfinger 48). However, the effects of residing within Brutalist objects may not have quite conformed to predictions, since Goldfinger moved out of his Brutalist construction, Balfron Tower, after two months, to live in a terraced house (Hanley 112).An abstract perspective that favours theorisation over subjective experiences characterises discourse on Brutalist social housing developments to this day (Singh). There are limited data on the everyday lived experience of residents of Brutalist social housing estates, both then and now (for exceptions, see Hanley; The Pruitt-Igoe Myth; Cooper et al.).Yet, our bodily interaction with the objects around us shapes our lived experience. On a broader physical scale, this includes the structures within which we live and work. The importance of the interaction between architecture and embodied being is increasingly recognised. Today, architecture is described in corporeal terms—for example, as a “skin” that surrounds and protects its human inhabitants (Manan and Smith 37; Armstrong 77). Biological processes are also inspiring new architectural approaches, such as synthetic building materials with life-like biochemical properties (Armstrong 79), and structures that exhibit emergent behaviour in response to human presence, like a living system (Biloria 76).In this article, we employ an autoethnographic perspective to explore the corporeal effects of Brutalist buildings, thereby revealing a new dimension to the anthropological significance of these controversial structures. We trace how they shape the physicality of the bodies interacting within them. Our approach is one step towards considering the historically under-appreciated subjective, corporeal experience elicited in interaction with Brutalist objects.Method: An Autoethnographic ApproachAutoethnography is a form of self-narrative research that connects the researcher’s personal experience to wider cultural understandings (Ellis 31; Johnson). It can be analytical (Anderson 374) or emotionally evocative (Denzin 426).We investigated two Brutalist residential estates in London, UK:(i) The Barbican Estate: This was devised to redevelop London’s severely bombed post-WWII Cripplegate area, combining private residences for middle class professionals with an assortment of amenities including a concert hall, library, conservatory, and school. It was designed by architects Chamberlin, Powell, and Bon. Opened in 1982, the Estate polarised opinion on its aesthetic qualities but has enjoyed success with residents and visitors. The development now comprises extremely expensive housing (Brophy). It was Grade II-listed in 2001 (Glancey), indicating a status of architectural preservation that restricts alterations to significant buildings.(ii) Trellick Tower: This was built to replace dilapidated 19th-century housing in the North Kensington area. It was designed by Hungarian-born architect Ernő Goldfinger to be a social housing development and was completed in 1972. During the 1980s and 1990s, it became known as the “Tower of Terror” due to its high level of crime (Hanley 113). Nevertheless, Trellick Tower was granted Grade II listed status in 1998 (Carter), and subsequent improvements have increased its desirability as a residence (R. Carroll).We explored the grounds, communal spaces, and one dwelling within each structure, independently recording our corporeal impressions and sensations in detailed notes, which formed the basis of longhand journals written afterwards. Our analysis was developed through co-constructed autoethnographic reflection (emerald and Carpenter 748).For reasons of space, one full journal entry is presented for each Brutalist structure, with an excerpt from each remaining journal presented in the subsequent analysis. To identify quotations from our journals, we use the codes R- and N- to refer to RB’s and NC’s journals, respectively; we use -B and -T to refer to the Barbican Estate and Trellick Tower, respectively.The Barbican Estate: Autoethnographic JournalAn intricate concrete world emerges almost without warning from the throng of glass office blocks and commercial buildings that make up the City of London's Square Mile. The Barbican Estate comprises a multitude of low-rise buildings, a glass conservatory, and three enormous high-rise towers. Each modular building component is finished in the same coarse concrete with burnished brick underfoot, whilst the entire structure is elevated above ground level by enormous concrete stilts. Plants hang from residential balconies over glimmering pools in a manner evocative of concrete Hanging Gardens of Babylon.Figure 1. Barbican Estate Figure 2. Cromwell Tower from below, Barbican Estate. Figure 3: The stairwell, Cromwell Tower, Barbican Estate. Figure 4. Lift button pods, Cromwell Tower, Barbican Estate.R’s journalMy first footsteps upon the Barbican Estate are elevated two storeys above the street below, and already an eerie calm settles on me. The noise of traffic and the bustle of pedestrians have seemingly been left far behind, and a path of polished brown brick has replaced the paving slabs of the city's pavement. I am made more aware of the sound of my shoes upon the ground as I take each step through the serenity.Running my hands along the walkway's concrete sides as we proceed further into the estate I feel its coarseness, and look up to imagine the same sensation touching the uppermost balcony of the towers. As we travel, the cold nature and relentless employ of concrete takes over and quickly becomes the norm.Our route takes us through the Barbican's central Arts building and into the Conservatory, a space full of plant-life and water features. The noise of rushing water comes as a shock, and I'm reminded just how hauntingly peaceful the atmosphere of the outside estate has been. As we leave the conservatory, the hush returns and we follow another walkway, this time allowing a balcony-like view over the edge of the estate. I'm quickly absorbed by a sensation I can liken only to peering down at the ground from a concrete cloud as we observe the pedestrians and traffic below.Turning back, we follow the walkways and begin our approach to Cromwell Tower, a jagged structure scraping the sky ahead of us and growing menacingly larger with every step. The estate has up till now seemed devoid of wind, but even so a cold begins to prickle my neck and I increase my speed toward the door.A high-ceilinged foyer greets us as we enter and continue to the lifts. As we push the button and wait, I am suddenly aware that carpet has replaced bricks beneath my feet. A homely sensation spreads, my breathing slows, and for a brief moment I begin to relax.We travel at heart-racing speed upwards to the 32nd floor to observe the view from the Tower's fire escape stairwell. A brief glance over the stair's railing as we enter reveals over 30 storeys of stair casing in a hard-edged, triangular configuration. My mind reels, I take a second glance and fail once again to achieve focus on the speck of ground at the bottom far below. After appreciating the eastward view from the adjacent window that encompasses almost the entirety of Central London, we make our way to a 23rd floor apartment.Entering the dwelling, we explore from room to room before reaching the balcony of the apartment's main living space. Looking sheepishly from the ledge, nothing short of a genuine concrete fortress stretches out beneath us in all directions. The spirit and commotion of London as I know it seems yet more distant as we gaze at the now miniaturized buildings. An impression of self-satisfied confidence dawns on me. The fortress where we stand offers security, elevation, sanctuary and I'm furnished with the power to view London's chaos at such a distance that it's almost silent.As we leave the apartment, I am shadowed by the same inherent air of tranquillity, pressing yet another futuristic lift access button, plummeting silently back towards the ground, and padding across the foyer's soft carpet to pursue our exit route through the estate's sky-suspended walkways, back to the bustle of regular London civilization.Trellick Tower: Autoethnographic JournalThe concrete majesty of Trellick Tower is visible from Westbourne Park, the nearest Tube station. The Tower dominates the skyline, soaring above its neighbouring estate, cafes, and shops. As one nears the Tower, the south face becomes visible, revealing the suspended corridors that join the service tower to the main body of flats. Light of all shades and colours pours from its tightly stacked dwellings, which stretch up into the sky. Figure 5. Trellick Tower, South face. Figure 6. Balcony in a 27th-floor flat, Trellick Tower.N’s journalOutside the tower, I sense danger and experience a heightened sense of awareness. A thorny frame of metal poles holds up the tower’s facade, each pole poised as if to slip down and impale me as I enter the building.At first, the tower is too big for comprehension; the scale is unnatural, gigantic. I feel small and quite squashable in comparison. Swathes of unmarked concrete surround the tower, walls that are just too high to see over. Who or what are they hiding? I feel uncertain about what is around me.It takes some time to reach the 27th floor, even though the lift only stops on every 3rd floor. I feel the forces of acceleration exert their pressure on me as we rise. The lift is very quiet.Looking through the windows on the 27th-floor walkway that connects the lift tower to the main building, I realise how high up I am. I can see fog. The city moves and modulates beneath me. It is so far away, and I can’t reach it. I’m suspended, isolated, cut off in the air, as if floating in space.The buildings underneath appear tiny in comparison to me, but I know I’m tiny compared to this building. It’s a dichotomy, an internal tension, and feels quite unreal.The sound of the wind in the corridors is a constant whine.In the flat, the large kitchen window above the sink opens directly onto the narrow, low-ceilinged corridor, on the other side of which, through a second window, I again see London far beneath. People pass by here to reach their front doors, moving so close to the kitchen window that you could touch them while you’re washing up, if it weren’t for the glass. Eye contact is possible with a neighbour, or a stranger. I am close to that which I’m normally separated from, but at the same time I’m far from what I could normally access.On the balcony, I have a strong sensation of vertigo. We are so high up that we cannot be seen by the city and we cannot see others. I feel physically cut off from the world and realise that I’m dependent on the lift or endlessly spiralling stairs to reach it again.Materials: sharp edges, rough concrete, is abrasive to my skin, not warm or welcoming. Sharp little stones are embedded in some places. I mind not to brush close against them.Behind the tower is a mysterious dark maze of sharp turns that I can’t see around, and dark, narrow walkways that confine me to straight movements on sloping ramps.“Relentless Employ of Concrete:” Body versus Stone and HeightThe “relentless employ of concrete” (R-B) in the Barbican Estate and Trellick Tower determined our physical interactions with these Brutalist objects. Our attention was first directed towards texture: rough, abrasive, sharp, frictive. Raw concrete’s potential to damage skin, should one fall or brush too hard against it, made our bodies vulnerable. Simultaneously, the ubiquitous grey colour and the constant cold anaesthetised our senses.As we continued to explore, the constant presence of concrete, metal gratings, wire, and reinforced glass affected our real and imagined corporeal potentialities. Bodies are powerless against these materials, such that, in these buildings, you can only go where you are allowed to go by design, and there are no other options.Conversely, the strength of concrete also has a corporeal manifestation through a sense of increased physical security. To R, standing within the “concrete fortress” of the Barbican Estate, the object offered “security, elevation, sanctuary,” and even “power” (R-B).The heights of the Barbican’s towers (123 metres) and Trellick Tower (93 metres) were physically overwhelming when first encountered. We both felt that these menacing, jagged towers dominated our bodies.Excerpt from R’s journal (Trellick Tower)Gaining access to the apartment, we begin to explore from room to room. As we proceed through to the main living area we spot the balcony and I am suddenly aware that, in a short space of time, I had abandoned the knowledge that some 26 floors lay below me. My balance is again shaken and I dig my heels into the laminate flooring, as if to achieve some imaginary extra purchase.What are the consequences of extreme height on the body? Certainly, there is the possibility of a lethal fall and those with vertigo or who fear heights would feel uncomfortable. We discovered that height also affects physical instantiation in many other ways, both empowering and destabilising.Distance from ground-level bustle contributed to a profound silence and sense of calm. Areas of intermediate height, such as elevated communal walkways, enhanced our sensory abilities by granting the advantage of observation from above.Extreme heights, however, limited our ability to sense the outside world, placing objects beyond our range of visual focus, and setting up a “bizarre segregation” (R-T) between our physical presence and that of the rest of the world. Height also limited potentialities of movement: no longer self-sufficient, we depended on a working lift to regain access to the ground and the rest of the city. In the lift itself, our bodies passively endured a cycle of opposing forces as we plummeted up or down numerous storeys in mere seconds.At both locations, N noticed how extreme height altered her relative body size: for example, “London looks really small. I have become huge compared to the tiny city” (N-B). As such, the building’s lift could be likened to a cake or potion from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. This illustrates how the heuristics that we use to discern visual perspective and object size, which are determined by the environment in which we live (Segall et al.), can be undermined by the unusual scales and distances found in Brutalist structures.Excerpt from N’s journal (Barbican Estate)Warning: These buildings give you AFTER-EFFECTS. On the way home, the size of other buildings seems tiny, perspectives feel strange; all the scales seem to have been re-scaled. I had to become re-used to the sensation of travelling on public trains, after travelling in the tower lifts.We both experienced perceptual after-effects from the disproportional perspectives of Brutalist spaces. Brutalist structures thus have the power to affect physical sensations even when the body is no longer in direct interaction with them!“Challenge to Privacy:” Intersubjective Ideals in Brutalist DesignAs embodied beings, our corporeal manifestations are the primary transducers of our interactions with other people, who in turn contribute to our own body schema construction (Joas). Architects of Brutalist habitats aimed to create residential utopias, but we found that the impact of their designs on intersubjective corporeality were often incoherent and contradictory. Brutalist structures positioned us at two extremes in relation to the bodies of others, forcing either an uncomfortable intersection of personal space or, conversely, excessive separation.The confined spaces of the lifts, and ubiquitous narrow, low-ceilinged corridors produced uncomfortable overlaps in the personal space of the individuals present. We were fascinated by the design of the flat in Trellick Tower, where the large kitchen window opened out directly onto the narrow 27th-floor corridor, as described in N’s journal. This enforced a physical “challenge to privacy” (R-T), although the original aim may have been to promote a sense of community in the “streets in the sky” (Moran 615). The inter-slotting of hundreds of flats in Trellick Tower led to “a multitude of different cooking aromas from neighbouring flats” (R-T) and hence a direct sensing of the closeness of other people’s corporeal activities, such as eating.By contrast, enormous heights and scales constantly placed other people out of sight, out of hearing, and out of reach. Sharp-angled walkways and blind alleys rendered other bodies invisible even when they were near. In the Barbican Estate, huge concrete columns, behind which one could hide, instilled a sense of unease.We also considered the intersubjective interaction between the Brutalist architect-designer and the inhabitant. The elements of futuristic design—such as the “spaceship”-like pods for lift buttons in Cromwell Tower (N-B)—reconstruct the inhabitant’s physicality as alien relative to the Brutalist building, and by extension, to the city that commissioned it.ReflectionsThe strength of the autoethnographic approach is also its limitation (Chang 54); it is an individual’s subjective perspective, and as such we cannot experience or represent the full range of corporeal effects of Brutalist designs. Corporeal experience is informed by myriad factors, including age, body size, and ability or disability. Since we only visited these structures, rather than lived in them, we could have experienced heightened sensations that would become normalised through familiarity over time. Class dynamics, including previous residences and, importantly, the amount of choice that one has over where one lives, would also affect this experience. For a full perspective, further data on the everyday lived experiences of residents from a range of different backgrounds are necessary.R’s reflectionDespite researching Brutalist architecture for years, I was unprepared for the true corporeal experience of exploring these buildings. Reading back through my journals, I'm struck by an evident conflict between stylistic admiration and physical uneasiness. I feel I have gained a sympathetic perspective on the notion of residing in the structures day-to-day.Nevertheless, analysing Brutalist objects through a corporeal perspective helped to further our understanding of the experience of living within them in a way that abstract thought could never have done. Our reflections also emphasise the tension between the physical and the psychological, whereby corporeal struggle intertwines with an abstract, aesthetic admiration of the Brutalist objects.N’s reflectionIt was a wonderful experience to explore these extraordinary buildings with an inward focus on my own physical sensations and an outward focus on my body’s interaction with others. On re-reading my journals, I was surprised by the negativity that pervaded my descriptions. How does physical discomfort and alienation translate into cognitive pleasure, or delight?ConclusionBrutalist objects shape corporeality in fundamental and sometimes contradictory ways. The range of visual and somatosensory experiences is narrowed by the ubiquitous use of raw concrete and metal. Materials that damage skin combine with lethal heights to emphasise corporeal vulnerability. The body’s movements and sensations of the external world are alternately limited or extended by extreme heights and scales, which also dominate the human frame and undermine normal heuristics of perception. Simultaneously, the structures endow a sense of physical stability, security, and even power. By positioning multiple corporealities in extremes of overlap or segregation, Brutalist objects constitute a unique challenge to both physical privacy and intersubjective potentiality.Recognising these effects on embodied being enhances our current understanding of the impact of Brutalist residences on corporeal sensation. This can inform the future design of residential estates. Our autoethnographic findings are also in line with the suggestion that Brutalist structures can be “appreciated as challenging, enlivening environments” exactly because they demand “physical and perceptual exertion” (Sroat). Instead of being demolished, Brutalist objects that are no longer considered appropriate as residences could be repurposed for creative, cultural, or academic use, where their challenging corporeal effects could contribute to a stimulating or even thrilling environment.ReferencesAllen, Edward, and Joseph Iano. Fundamentals of Building Construction: Materials and Methods. 6th ed. 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U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), 1996.Niesewand, Nonie. “Architecture: What Zaha Hadid Next.” The Independent, 1 Oct. 1998. 16Feb. 2016 <http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/architecture-what-zaha-hadid-next-1175631.html>.Power, Anne. Hovels to Highrise: State Housing in Europe Since 1850. Taylor & Francis, 2005.Segall, Marshall H., Donald T. Campbell, and Melville J. Herskovits. “Cultural Differences in the Perception of Geometric Illusions.” Science 139.3556 (1963): 769-71.Singh, Anita. “Lord Rogers Would Live on This Estate? Let Him Be Our Guest.” The Telegraph, 20 Jun. 2015. 16 Feb. 2016 <http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/art/architecture/11687078/Lord-Rogers-would-live-on-this-estate-Let-him-be-our-guest.html>.Smithson, Alison, and Peter Smithson. “But Today We Collect Ads.” Reprinted in L’Architecture Aujourd’hui Jan./Feb (2003): 44.Smithson, Alison, and Peter Smithson. “Conversation with Jane Drew and Maxwell Fry.” Zodiac 4 (1959): 73-81.Sroat, Helen. “Brutalism: An Architecture of Exhilaration.” Presentation at the Paul Rudolph Symposium. University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, MA, 13 Apr. 2005. Stadler, Laurent. “‘New Brutalism’, ‘Topology’ and ‘Image:’ Some Remarks on the Architectural Debates in England around 1950.” The Journal of Architecture 13.3 (2008): 263-81.The Great British Housing Disaster. Dir. Adam Curtis. BBC Documentaries. BBC, London. 4 Sep. 1984.The Pruitt-Igoe Myth. Dir. Chad Friedrichs. First Run Features, 2012.

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Caines, Rebecca, and Michelle Stewart. "The Limit and Promise of Augmentation." M/C Journal 16, no.6 (December11, 2013). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.749.

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Always desiring, we create, enhance, and augment: never satiated, we experiment, refine and repeat. Somatic and spatial practices collide on the promise of something more. … In this issue of M/C Journal we called upon our colleagues to share their forays into multi-media landscapes as they considered augmentation through investigations/collaborations with humans, cyborgs, and nonhumans alike. From computer science to cultural theory, augmentation brings to the table a wide variety of researchers, artists, and practitioners—a wide range of practices and concepts. The pieces in this edition are a strong reflection of how the topic of “augment” can bring together a truly interdisciplinary group. Our goal was to facilitate a critical engagement, and we are thrilled that the call for papers resonated and generated this cluster of articles. Our call for papers was itself meant as a provocation to bring into discussion artists, practitioners, and critical theorists. We asked a series of generative questions to which the authors responded. What Is at Stake When One Engages in Augmentation? Although all the pieces are engaged in discussions about augmentation, some point directly to what is at stake in different fields. For example, Brandt presses together the science fiction novel Ender’s Game and current military practices of remote combatants that operate drone vessels. She argues that in this moment, and as we look to the future of this type of warfare and its associated trauma, that we might need to turn to post humanist stories and cyborg assemblages to better understand how agency is being distributed. Potts questions the hypocrisies of public perception and surveillance practices surrounding the augmented body. He traces the “copyrighting of digital augmentations (our data-flesh), their privatization and ownership by others from a vast distance,” and then examines the next step, the augmentation and rewriting of cellular bodies through hormonal and other supplements. Using recent cases, like athlete Lance Armstrong’s drug expose, and examples from the anti-aging industry, he shows how upgrading flesh is open to corporate hypocrisies, but also has the potential for “biopolitical rebellion.” Kenner’s piece considers augmentation through a discussion of health as she illustrates the ways in which asthma and the asthmatic are being reshaped through an “imagined healthy norm.” The transformative capacity of technology is critically taken up in the piece to highlight the ways in which the “new healthy is augmented living.” We received pieces that contemplate the contemporary moment, but also those that forecast. The authors in this issue deliberate on necessary questions about promise and limitation. They also engage with ethical challenges, placing these technologies within broader contexts and histories. Kerasidou, for example, offers a history of the contemporary investigation, in which she takes her reader back to the 1980s and 1990s to the promise of ubiquitous computing. She reminds the reader about the romance of the technology, and the roots of these ideas, as she discusses an imagined world in which no one would notice the presence of a computer or computing object. Who/What Pays the Price When It Falters, Miscarries, or Backfires? The challenge of new technology can include discussions of productive failures and unexpected success. In the case of Gerhard’s piece we are given a short history of the accelerometer and the ways in which technology is taken up at different times in different fields, and yet its potential remains largely unrealized—as various individuals, from artists to computer programmers, do not use this device to its full potential when they seek to augment through the interpretation of body/object movement. As we might expect, when thinking about augmentation, the user can lack the capacity to develop the technology to its utmost potential. We were interested in the ways in which “lack” might be taken up in the pieces and how mistakes and confusion with technology can itself be productive and drive innovation. For every innovation there is the tension between the developer’s vision of the technological capacity, the user’s ability, and the space in between. Loess draws out these tensions when he describes a live performance played over a film that threatened to snap. In so doing, he examines how augmentation in digital and analogue image-making approaches is shaped by the improvisatory impulse. As the musicians continued to improvise until they found an ending, Loess delivers to the reader a story—in which everything teetered on the brink of failure—that seizes our attention. Whether as user, viewer, audience, or inventor—failure, possible or realized, inspires action. Which Actors Are Engaged—or Enrolled—in the Practice? Hands critically examines the augmentation of cognition in social media. He explores how people become enrolled as collective participants in micro-blogging through Twitter. His work shows how the social media affordances of brevity, mobility, and speed affect how memory and culture operate, and interrogates the ongoing tensions in augmented media between agency and volition. Caines, Knowles, and Anderson take up the question of enrolment in their piece that focuses on the blending of traditional beading practices with augmenting technologies such as QR codes. In their work, the user/creator/participant is layered as the QR code is created through beading that is then use to hold stories or technological engagement. Beads, codes, storytelling, translation, success, and failure collide in the art installment. Artists Irwin and Morton examine the role of the public in the augmentation of symbolic objects. Through their technologically enhanced, site-specific piano installation, they engage participants in the process of building layers to the work, leaving behind remnants of audio and embodied practices to create rich collective histories and reimaginings of the piano as an historical object that is considered obsolete, yet draws in people to augmented play. Similarly, Jonathan Stewart traces the layers of augmentation in the history of enigmatic musician Robert Johnson; a figure that is continually enrolled in augmented myth-making. For Hunter, the question of enrolment is reversed, as he suggests humans have in fact become interfaces for their devices, rather than the other way around. Using examples from science fiction in advertising, popular culture, and film, he traces the ways humans fantasize about the potential for augmentation, highlighting the irony where we “depict ourselves as the medium, and it is our digital devices that bear the message.” In Foith’s piece, the user of a videogame can effectively test-drive augmented body parts in a virtual world that presumes augmentation is a baseline human condition. Foith includes an analysis of how diegetic prototypes are delivered and levels of authenticity become themselves aesthetics in the game to mobilize desire(s) for that which does exist–or may exist in the future. Which Subjects Are Left Vulnerable? There are arguably many vulnerable subjects moving around in all these pieces, just as there are also deeply empowered subjects. That said, what some of the pieces offered was a reminder about the potential for augmentation to captivate the user, startle, and surprise: Gibson’s robot answers a note from the audience, and in so doing asks us to think about robotic agency; Campbell’s machine bothers, and offers the opportunity to do the impossible—see one's self become stirred to consciousness. For both Gibson and Campbell we are left with the uneasy/fascinating question of machine consciousness. In these stories, in these projects of augmentation, objects are created in the world to coexist with humans and it is in the making of these technologies and these technological imaginaries that we find a critical space in which the subject and the object act upon each other. Questions about Layered Information Space, Power, and Statecraft In addition to these questions, we asked contributors to interrogate the layered information space of Augmented Reality (AR), as well as how augmented media intersects with power and statecraft. Michelle Stewart’s piece investigates the augmented map as a mechanism to examine statecraft. Focusing on a police-mapping project, she illustrates the work needed for augmented objects to come into being in the world. She interrogates the ways in which labour is erased in the process of producing the maps, and how this erasure can facilitate the production of expertise and authority. Avram and Fedorova examine augmentation in media art. Avram explores AR practices, with a focus on AR art. He traces the imperfections and flaws between digital and real spaces in AR, highlighting the unique reflexive strategies and reference to material reality, and showing the play between illusion and its subversion that marks this emerging practice. For Fedorova, augmented media art practices allow the senses themselves to become augmented. She asks, “ how [these art practices] serve as mechanisms of enhancing the feeling of presence” and sense of proprioception. Through reference to artworks that stimulate, reorient, sense input, and respond to biofeedback, she suggests that “media art practices offer particularly valuable scenarios of activating such mechanisms, as the employment of digital technology allows them to operate on a more subtle level of perception.” The feature article by Otuski delivers Japanese pop band Perfume, and explores the world of pop bands and their songs and images, to analyze the underlying contexts that inform prop selection and band promotion. Nothing is accidental in the creation of this pop brand as Otsuki describes their current incarnation of imagery that moves away from robotics towards information technologies and connectivity—the story of a nation is told through a band and its props. We thought Otsuki’s piece would be an excellent feature as it traces the ways in which power moves through popular culture through augmentation. His work also brings together many of the worlds our contributors are critically engaging, including new media art and science and technology. We thank each of the contributors, all of our reviewers, and all those that assisted with the production of this issue, with special thanks to Anna Dipple and John Campbell. — Rebecca Caines and Michelle Stewart.

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Egliston, Ben. "Building Skill in Videogames: A Play of Bodies, Controllers and Game-Guides." M/C Journal 20, no.2 (April26, 2017). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.1218.

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IntroductionIn his now-seminal book, Pilgrim in the Microworld (1983), David Sudnow details his process of learning to play the game Breakout on the Atari 2600. Sudnow develops an account of his graduation from a novice (having never played a videogame prior, and middle-aged at time of writing) to being able to fluidly perform the various configurative processes involved in an acclimated Breakout player’s repertoire.Sudnow’s account of videogame skill-development is not at odds with common-sense views on the matter: people become competent at videogames by playing them—we get used to how controllers work and feel, and to the timings of the game and those required of our bodies, through exposure. We learn by playing, failing, repeating, and ultimately internalising the game’s rhythms—allowing us to perform requisite actions. While he does not put it in as many words, Sudnow’s account affords parity to various human and nonhuman stakeholders involved in videogame-play: technical, temporal, and corporeal. Essentially, his point is that intertwined technical systems like software and human-interface devices—with their respective temporal rhythms, which coalesce and conflict with those of the human player—require management to play skilfully.The perspective Sudnow develops here is no doubt important, but modes of building competency cannot be strictly fixed around a player-videogame relationship; a relatively noncontroversial view in game studies. Videogame scholars have shown that there is currency in understanding how competencies in gameplay arise from engaging with ancillary objects beyond the thresholds of player-game relations; the literature to date casting a long shadow across a broad spectrum of materials and practices. Pursuing this thread, this article addresses the enterprise (and conceptualisation) of ‘skill building’ in videogames (taken as the ability to ‘beat games’ or cultivate the various competencies to do so) via the invocation of peripheral objects or practices. More precisely, this article develops the perspective that we need to attend to the impacts of ancillary objects on play—positioned as hybrid assemblage, as described in the work of writers like Sudnow. In doing so, I first survey how the intervention of peripheral game material has been researched and theorised in game studies, suggesting that many accounts deal too simply with how players build skill through these means—eliding the fact that play works as an engine of many moving parts. We do not simply become ‘better’ at videogames by engaging peripheral material. Furthering this view, I visit recent literature broadly associated with disciplines like post-phenomenology, which handles the hybridity of play and its extension across bodies, game systems, and other gaming material—attending to how skill building occurs; that is, through the recalibration of perceptual faculties operating in the bodily and temporal dimensions of videogame play. We become ‘better’ at videogames by drawing on peripheral gaming material to augment how we negotiate the rhythms of play.Following on from this, I conclude by mobilising post-phenomenological thinking to further consider skill-building through peripheral material, showing how such approaches can generate insights into important and emerging areas of this practice. Following recent games research, such as the work of James Ash, I adopt Bernard Stiegler’s formulation of technicity—pointing toward the conditioning of play through ancillary gaming objects: focusing particularly on the relationship between game skill, game guides, and embodied processes of memory and perception.In short, this article considers videogame skill-building, through means beyond the game, as a significant recalibration of embodied, temporal, and technical entanglements involved in play. Building Skill: From Guides to BodiesThere is a handsome literature that has sought to conceptualise the influence of ancillary game material, which can be traced to earlier theories of media convergence (Jenkins). More incisive accounts (pointing directly at game-skill) have been developed since, through theoretical rubrics such as paratext and metagaming. A point of congruence is the theme of relation: the idea that the locus of understanding and meaning can be specified through things outside the game. For scholars like Mia Consalvo (who popularised the notion of paratext in game studies), paratexts are a central motor in play. As Consalvo suggests, paratexts are quite often primed to condition how we do things in and around videogames; there is a great instructive potential in material like walkthrough guides, gaming magazines and cheating devices. Subsequent work has since made productive use of the concept to investigate game-skill and peripheral material and practice. Worth noting is Chris Paul’s research on World of Warcraft (WoW). Paul suggests that players disseminate high-level strategies through a practice known as ‘Theorycraft’ in the game’s community: one involving the use of paratextual statistics applications to optimise play—the results then disseminated across Web-forums (see also: Nardi).Metagaming (Salen and Zimmerman 482) is another concept that is often used to position the various extrinsic objects or practices installed in play—a concept deployed by scholars to conceptualise skill building through both games and the things at their thresholds (Donaldson). Moreover, the ability to negotiate out-of-game material has been positioned as a form of skill in its own right (see also: Donaldson). Becoming familiar with paratextual resources and being able to parse this information could then constitute skill-building. Ancillary gaming objects are important, and as some have argued, central in gaming culture (Consalvo). However, critical areas are left unexamined with respect to skill-building, because scholars often fail to place paratexts or metagaming in the contexts in which they operate; that is, amongst the complex technical, embodied and temporal conjunctures of play—such as those described by Sudnow. Conceptually, much of what Sudnow says in Microworld undergirds the post-human, object-oriented, or post-phenomenological literature that has begun to populate game studies (and indeed media studies more broadly). This materially-inflected writing takes seriously the fact that technical objects (like videogames) and human subjects are caught up in the rhythms of each other; digital media exists “as a mode or cluster of operations in consort with matter”, as Anna Munster tells us (330).To return to videogames, Patrick Crogan and Helen Kennedy argue that gameplay is about a “technicity” between human and nonhuman things, irreducible to any sole actor. Play is a confluence of metastable forces and conditions, a network of distributed agencies (see also Taylor, Assemblage). Others like Brendan Keogh forward post-phenomenological approaches (operating under scholars like Don Ihde)—looking past the subject-centred nature of videogame research. Ultimately, these theorists situate play as an ‘exploded diagram’, challenging anthropocentric accounts.This position has proven productive in research on ‘skilled’ or ‘high-level’ play (fertile ground for considering competency-development). Emma Witkowski, T.L. Taylor (Raising), and Todd Harper have suggested that skilled play in games emerges from the management of complex embodied and technical rhythms (echoing the points raised prior by Sudnow).Placing Paratexts in PlayWhile we have these varying accounts of how skill develops within and beyond player-game relationships, these two perspectives are rarely consolidated. That said, I address some of the limited body of work that has sought to place the paratext in the complex and distributed conjunctures of play; building a vocabulary and framework via encounters with what could loosely be called post-phenomenological thinking (not dissimilar to the just surveyed accounts). The strength of this work lies in its development of a more precise view of the operational reality of playing ‘with’ paratexts. The recent work of Darshana Jayemanne, Bjorn Nansen, and Thomas Apperley theorises the outward expansion of games and play, into diverse material, social, and spatial dimensions (147), as an ‘aesthetics of recruitment’. Consideration is given to ‘paratextual’ play and skill. For instance, they provide the example of players invoking the expertise they have witnessed broadcast through Websites like Twitch.tv or YouTube—skill-building operating here across various fronts, and through various modalities (155). Players are ‘recruited’, in different capacities, through expanded interfaces, which ultimately contour phenomenological encounters with games.Ash provides a fine-grained account in research on spatiotemporal perception and videogames—one much more focused on game-skill. Ash examines how high-level communities of players cultivate ‘spatiotemporal sensitivity’ in the game Street Fighter IV through—in Stiegler’s terms—‘exteriorising’ (Fault) game information into various data sets—producing what he calls ‘technicity’. In this way, Ash suggests that these paratextual materials don’t merely ‘influence play’ (Technology 200), but rather direct how players perceive time, and habituate exteriorised temporal rhythms into their embodied facility (a translation of high-level play). By doing so, the game can be played more proficiently. Following the broadly post-phenomenological direction of these works, I develop a brief account of two paratextual practices. Like Ash, I deploy the work of Stiegler (drawing also on Ash’s usage). I utilise Stiegler’s theoretical schema of technicity to roughly sketch how some other areas of skill-building via peripheral material can be placed within the context of play—looking particularly at the conditioning of embodied faculties of player anticipation, memory and perception through play and paratext alike. A Technicity of ParatextThe general premise of Stiegler’s technicity is that the human cannot be thought of independent from their technical supplements—that is, ‘exterior’ technical objects which could include, but are not limited to, technologies (Fault). Stiegler argues that the human, and their fundamental memory structure is finite, and as such is reliant on technical prostheses, which register and transmit experience (Fault 17). This technical supplement is what Stiegler terms ‘tertiary retention’. In short, for Stiegler, technicity can be understood as the interweaving of ‘lived’ consciousness (Cinematic 21) with tertiary retentional apparatus—which is palpably felt in our orientations in and toward time (Fault) and space (including the ‘space’ of our bodies, see New Critique 11).To be more precise, tertiary retention conditions the relationship between perception, anticipation, and subjective memory (or what Stiegler—by way of phenomenologist Edmund Husserl, whose work he renovates—calls primary retention, protention, and secondary retention respectively). As Ash demonstrates (Technology), Stiegler’s framework is rich with potential in investigating the relationship between videogames and their peripheral materials. Invoking technicity, we can rethink—and expand on—commonly encountered forms of paratexts, such as game guides or walkthroughs (an example Consalvo gives in Cheating). Stiegler’s framework provides a means to assess the technical organisation (through both games and paratexts) of embodied and temporal conditions of ‘skilled play’. Following Stiegler, Consalvo’s example of a game guide is a kind of ‘exteriorisation of play’ (to the guide) that adjusts the embodied and temporal conditions of anticipation and memory (which Sudnow would tell us are key in skill-development). To work through an example, if I was playing a hard game (such as Dark Souls [From Software]), the general idea is that I would be playing from memories of the just experienced, and with expectations of what’s to come based on everything that’s happened prior (following Stiegler). There is a technicity in the game’s design here, as Ash would tell us (Technology 190-91). By way of Stiegler (and his reading of Heidegger), Ash argues a popular trend in game design is to force a technologically-mediated interplay between memory, anticipation, and perception by making videogames ‘about’ a “a future outside of present experience” (Technology 191), but hinging this on past-memory. Players then, to be ‘skilful’, and move forward through the game environment without dying, need to manage cognitive and somatic memory (which, in Dark Souls, is conventionally accrued through trial-and-error play; learning through error incentivised through punitive game mechanics, such as item-loss). So, if I was playing against one of the game’s ‘bosses’ (powerful enemies), I would generally only be familiar with the way they manoeuvre, the speed with which they do so, and where and when to attack based on prior encounter. For instance, my past-experience (of having died numerous times) would generally inform me that using a two-handed sword allows me to get in two attacks on a boss before needing to retreat to avoid fatal damage. Following Stiegler, we can understand the inscription of videogame experience in objects like game guides as giving rise to anticipation and memory—albeit based on a “past that I have not lived but rather inherited as tertiary retentions” (Cinematic 60). Tertiary retentions trigger processes of selection in our anticipations, memories, and perceptions. Where videogame technologies are traditionally the tertiary retentions in play (Ash, Technologies), the use of game-guides refracts anticipation, memory, and perception through joint systems of tertiary retention—resulting in the outcome of more efficiently beating a game.To return to my previous example of navigating Dark Souls: where I might have died otherwise, via the guide, I’d be cognisant to the timings within which I can attack the boss without sustaining damage, and when to dodge its crushing blows—allowing me to eventually defeat it and move toward the stage’s end (prompting somatic and cognitive memory shifts, which influence my anticipation in-game). Through ‘neurological’ accounts of technology—such as Stiegler’s technicity—we can think more closely about how playing with a skill-building apparatus (like a game guide) works in practice; allowing us to identify how various situations ingame can be managed via deferring functions of the player (such as memory) to exteriorised objects—shifting conditions of skill building. The prism of technicity is also useful in conceptualising some of the new ways players are building skill beyond the game. In recent years, gaming paratexts have transformed in scope and scale. Gaming has shifted into an age of quantification—with analytics platforms which harvest, aggregate, and present player data gaining significant traction, particularly in competitive and multiplayer videogames. These platforms perform numerous operations that assist players in developing skill—and are marketed as tools for players to improve by reflecting on their own practices and the practices of others (functioning similarly to the previously noted practice of TheoryCraft, but operating at a wider scale). To focus on one example, the WarCraftLogs application in WoW (Image 1) is a highly-sophisticated form of videogame analytics; the perspective of technicity providing insights into its functionality as skill-building apparatus.Image 1: WarCraftLogs. Image credit: Ben Egliston. Following Ash’s use of Stiegler (Technology), quantifying the operations that go into playing WoW can be conceptualised as what Stiegler calls a system of traces (Technology 196). Because of his central thesis of ‘technical existence’, Stiegler maintains that ‘interiority’ is coincident with technical support. As such, there is no calculation, no mental phenomena, that does not arise from internal manipulation of exteriorised symbols (Cinematic 52-54). Following on with his discussion of videogames, Ash suggests that in the exteriorisation of gameplay there is “no opposition between gesture, calculation and the representation of symbols” (Technology 196); the symbols working as an ‘abbreviation’ of gameplay that can be read as such. Drawing influence from this view, I show that ‘Big Data’ analytics platforms like WarCraftLogs similarly allow users to ‘read’ play as a set of exteriorised symbols—with significant outcomes for skill-building; allowing users to exteriorise their own play, examine the exteriorised play of others, and compare exteriorisations of their own play with those of others. Image 2: WarCraftLogs Gameplay Breakdown. Image credit: Ben Egliston.Image 2 shows a screenshot of the WarCraftLogs interface. Here we can see the exteriorisation of gameplay, and how the platform breaks down player inputs and in-game occurrences (written and numeric, like Ash’s game data). The screenshot shows a ‘raid boss’ (where players team up to defeat powerful computer-controlled enemies)—atomising the sequence of inputs a player has made over the course of the encounter. This is an accurate ledger of play—a readout that can speak to mechanical performance (specific ingame events occurred at a specific time), as well as caching and providing parses of somatic inputs and execution (e.g. ability to trace the rates at which players expend in-game resources can provide insights into rapidity of button presses). If information falls outside what is presented, players can work with an Application Programming Interface to develop customised readouts (this is encouraged through other game-data platforms, like OpenDota in Dota 2). Through this system, players can exteriorise their own input and output or view the play of others—both useful in building skill. The first point here—of exteriorising one’s own experience—resonates with Stiegler’s renovation of Husserl's ‘temporal object’—that is, an object that exists in and is formed through time—through temporal fluxes of what appears, what happens and what manifests itself in disappearing (Cinematic 14). Stiegler suggests that tertiary retentional apparatus (e.g. a gramophone) allow us to re-experience a temporal object (e.g. a melody) which would otherwise not be possible due to the finitude of human memory.To elaborate, Stiegler argues that primary memories recede into secondary memory (which is selective reactivation of perception), but through technologies of recording, (such as game-data) we can re-experience these things verbatim. So ultimately, games analytics platforms—as exteriorised technologies of recording—facilitate this after-the-fact interplay between primary and secondary memory where players can ‘audit’ their past performance, reflecting on well-played encounters or revising error. These platforms allow the detailed examination of responses to game mechanics, and provide readouts of the technical and embodied rhythms of play (which can be incorporated into future play via reading the data). Beyond self-reflection, these platforms allow the examination of other’s play. The aggregation and sorting of game-data makes expertise both visible and legible. To elaborate, players are ranked on their performance based on all submitted log-data, offering a view of how expertise ‘works’.Image 3: Top-Ranking Players in WarCraftLogs. Image credit: Ben Egliston.Image 3 shows the top-ranked players on an encounter (the top 10 of over 100,000 logs), which means that these players have performed most competently out of all gameplay parses (the metric being most damage dealt per-second in defeating a boss). Users of the platform can look in detail at the actions performed by top players in that encounter—reading and mobilising data in a similar manner to game-guides; markedly different, however, in terms of the scope (i.e. there are many available logs to draw from) and richness of the data (more detailed and current—with log rankings recalibrated regularly). Conceptually, we can also draw parallels with previous work (see: Ash, Technology)—where the habituation of expert game data can produce new videogame technicities; ways of ‘experiencing’ play as ‘higher-level’ organisation of space and time (Ash, Technology). So, if a player wanted to ‘learn from the experts’ they would restructure their own rhythms of play around high-level logs which provide an ordered readout of various sequences of inputs involved in playing well. Moreover, the platform allows players to compare their logs to those of others—so these various introspective and outward-facing uses can work together, conditioning anticipations with inscriptions of past-play and ‘prosthetic’ memories through other’s log-data. In my experience as a WoW player, I often performed better (or built skill) by comparing and contrasting my own detailed readouts of play to the inputs and outputs of the best players in the world.To summarise, through technicity, I have briefly shown how exteriorising play shifts the conditions of skill-building from recalibrating msnesic and anticipatory processes through ‘firsthand’ play, to reworking these functions through engaging both games and extrinsic objects, like game guides and analytics platforms. Additionally, by reviewing and adopting various usages of technicity, I have pointed out how we might more holistically situate the gaming paratext in skill building. Conclusion There is little doubt—as exemplified through both scholarly and popular interest—that paratextual videogame material reframes modes of building game skill. Following recent work, and by providing a brief account of two paratextual practices (venturing the framework of technicity, via Stiegler and Ash—showing the complication of memory, perception, and anticipation in skill-building), I have contended that videogame-skill building—via paratextual material—can be rendered a process of operating outside of, but still caught up in, the complex assemblages of time, bodies, and technical architectures described by Sudnow at this article’s outset. Additionally, by reviewing and adopting ideas associated with technics and post-phenomenology, this article has aimed to contribute to the development of more ‘complete’ accounts of the processes and practices comprising skill building regimens of contemporary videogame players.References Ash, James. “Technology, Technicity and Emerging Practices of Temporal Sensitivity in Videogames.” Environment and Planning A 44.1 (2012): 187-201.———. “Technologies of Captivation: Videogames and the Attunement of Affect.” Body and Society 19.1 (2013): 27-51.Consalvo, Mia. Cheating: Gaining Advantage in Videogames. Cambridge: Massachusetts Institute of Technology P, 2007. Crogan, Patrick, and Helen Kennedy. “Technologies between Games and Culture.” Games and Culture 4.2 (2009): 107-14.Donaldson, Scott. “Mechanics and Metagame: Exploring Binary Expertise in League of Legends.” Games and Culture (2015). 4 Jun. 2015 <http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1555412015590063>.From Software. Dark Souls. Playstation 3 Game. 2011.Harper, Todd. The Culture of Digital Fighting Games: Performance and Practice. New York: Routledge, 2014.Jayemanne, Darshana, Bjorn Nansen, and Thomas H. Apperley. “Postdigital Interfaces and the Aesthetics of Recruitment.” Transactions of the Digital Games Research Association 2.3 (2016): 145-72.Jenkins, Henry. Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide. New York: New York UP, 2006.Keogh, Brendan. “Across Worlds and Bodies.” Journal of Games Criticism 1.1 (2014). Jan. 2014 <http://gamescriticism.org/articles/keogh-1-1/>.Munster, Anna. “Materiality.” The Johns Hopkins Guide to Digital Media. Eds. Marie-Laure Ryan, Lori Emerson, and Benjamin J. Robertson. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 2014. 327-30. Nardi, Bonnie. My Life as Night Elf Priest: An Anthropological Account of World of Warcraft. Ann Arbor: Michigan UP, 2010. OpenDota. OpenDota. Web browser application. 2017.Paul, Christopher A. “Optimizing Play: How Theory Craft Changes Gameplay and Design.” Game Studies: The International Journal of Computer Game Research 11.2 (2011). May 2011 <http://gamestudies.org/1102/articles/paul>.Salen, Katie, and Eric Zimmerman. Rules of Play: Game Design Fundamentals. Cambridge: Massachusetts Institute of Technology P, 2004.Stiegler, Bernard. Technics and Time, 1: The Fault of Epimetheus. Stanford: Stanford UP, 1998.———. For a New Critique of Political Economy. Cambridge: Polity, 2010.———. Technics and Time, 3: Cinematic Time and the Question of Malaise. Stanford: Stanford UP, 2011.Sudnow, David. Pilgrim in the Microworld. New York: Warner Books, 1983.Taylor, T.L. “The Assemblage of Play.” Games and Culture 4.4 (2009): 331-39.———. Raising the Stakes: E-Sports and the Professionalization of Computer Gaming. Cambridge: Massachusetts Institute of Technology P, 2012.WarCraftLogs. WarCraftLogs. Web browser application. 2016.Witkowski, Emma. “On the Digital Playing Field: How We ‘Do Sport’ with Networked Computer Games.” Games and Culture 7.5 (2012): 349-74.

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Hadley, Bree, and Rebecca Caines. "Negotiating Selves: Exploring Cultures of Disclosure." M/C Journal 12, no.5 (December13, 2009). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.207.

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If identity is a construct—and, more critically, a construct defined and developed through relationships with others in public and private spheres—then an understanding of the processes, mechanisms and platforms by which individuals disclose information about themselves is crucial in understanding the way identity, community and culture function, and the way individuals can intervene in the functioning of culture.In this issue of M/C Journal, contributors from the U.S., U.K., and Australia consider the personal, professional and social consequences of disclosure in autobiographical art, community art, online media, and a range of other communicative and cultural practices. Approaching the topic from the perspective of those who disclose, and from the perspective of those who interpret disclosures by or about others, the contributors raise a range of questions about the way in which individuals are currently negotiating the difficult, risky business of disclosure. The articles develop a diverse, yet surprisingly coherent, body of theorisation, constantly returning to the motivations that underpin disclosure, the way disclosure can be interpreted or coopted by others, and, as a result, an overarching concern with the modes, mechanisms and contexts, rather than the content, of disclosure.Disclosure can be defined as a voluntary or involuntary communication of facts, information, feelings or beliefs as part of a social interaction. What the contributors to this issue demonstrate, however, is that disclosure is never neutral—it is always burdened by a complex set of positive and negative valuations of its status. It acts as a revelation, confession, or confirmation of personal characteristics an individual is suspected or expected to possess; and it is readily coopted as part of a continuing cultural labour to categorise and control specific identity positions. Certainly, the ability to open up and share of oneself continues to be seen as integral to the development of agency, a healthy personality, and healthy interpersonal relationships (Cozby 77; Frattaroli 823). As Joanne Frattaroli argues, psychological theory has validated the Freudian argument that disclosing information, thoughts and feeling to others, including therapists —especially feelings about the challenges an individual has encountered in their life—can be seen as cathartic, assisting individuals to release and regulate their emotions (824). Many of the contributors to this issue consider the personally transformative potential of disclosure—for instance, Petra Kuppers, Jill Dowse and Luis Sotelo-Castro. All three authors cite personal transformation as a potential consequence of participatory arts practices which involve disclosure. Their analyses of the personally empowering potential of such activities are, however, tempered by a clear recognition that such disclosures operate in a context where all participants in the interaction are involved in negotiations regarding agency, and access to position, recognition or power. This is a negotiation apparent in Jill Dowse’s description of her voluntary self-disclosures in a very public arts project, and, equally, in Christine Lohmeier’s description of her involuntary self-disclosures via Facebook during an ethnographic research project, Nick Muntean and Anne Petersen’s analysis of celebrity self-disclosures on Twitter, or Michelle Phillipov’s study of media responses to young people’s self-disclosures on the social networking site MySpace. Understood in a social context, disclosures are bound up with what Erving Goffman has called impression management strategies, and are characterised by the more or less conscious efforts at definition, redefinition, discretion, deceit or manipulation designed to control the impression an individual conveys many contributors to this issue unpack. For Goffman, the social stakes of self-presentation “set the stage for a kind of information game—a potentially infinite cycle of concealment, discovery, false revelation and rediscovery” (8) in which both individuals and society are implicated. “In Goffman’s framing of these acts of self-presentation”, as award-winning U.S. performance maker, facilitator and scholar Petra Kuppers says in our feature article, “performance and dramaturgical choices are foregrounded: impression management is an interactive, dynamic process. Disclosure becomes a semiotic act, not a ‘natural’ unfiltered display of an ‘authentic’ self, but a complex engagement with choices.” Whilst disclosure has been linked in popular discourse to values such as authenticity, authority and “truth,” our contributors highlight the fact that acts of disclosure are not—or, at least, not simply—about a personal decision to show some aspect of a (presumed) pre-existing self to the public. Disclosures are semiotic acts, ideological acts, and, above all, performative acts, which construct, rather than just convey or confirm, specific identities and realities. The subject of disclosure does not have control over the meanings attributed to it. Whilst the disclosure of personal information via language, movement, or the more subtle gestural registers our contributors discuss here, can be a deliberate choice in art, or in daily life, disclosure also happens in the extra-textual zones that exist beneath, in-between or beyond the elements of the communicative interaction participants can control. These actions can be hijacked by others, or by the media, and can leave individuals vulnerable to culturally reductive readings. Kuppers, for instance, provides a compelling account of the way she has felt the weight of long-established cultural narratives closing off her own reading of other people’s disclosures about disease and disability—“Yes, we know this story: we can manage her identity for her, and his social role can click into fixity.” As Kuppers reminds us, the right to speak of one’s self, and the right to a receptive audience, is hard earned. Disclosure can lead to closures as identity positions grow inflexible and oppressive under the weight of unexamined discourse.The struggle for control over the processes, mechanisms and platforms of disclosure, and the tactics individuals use to try to take control of or challenge the meanings their disclosures are accorded, is a recurrent theme throughout this issue. Our contributors read this struggle in terms of vulnerability, power, and the performative construction of identity, drawing attention to the way disclosure can operate as a mode of liberation, as a liability, or both at once.In the feature article, Petra Kuppers explores the performance of disclosure, circling around concepts such as intimacy, convergence, form, interactivity and specificity, and exposing fault lines in the practice of self-disclosure which are later taken up by other contributors. Using a performance-as-research perspective, Kuppers’s article takes the reader through the practical implementation of disclosure practices in performance making, exploring the sensuous, painful, powerful risks of telling personal stories to others and the difficulties of framing these stories in ways that connect to other performers and audiences. Drawing on examples from her work as Artistic Director of the long-running international performance project The Olimpias, including the performance workshop series Burning, and historical witnessing, and the inquiry “anti-archive” The Anarcha Project, Kuppers asks how artists using disclosure can form sensual, interactive, ethical, active responses to human lives. Through reference to artistic and theoretical responses to this sort of work, Kuppers argues that experimental forms of performance-making offer disclosures that are “matter: deterritorialising and reterritorialising, familiar and strange, shaping into form, and shaped out of formlessness.” She suggests that these “disclosures are in time and space: they are not narratives that create an archive or a body of knowledge,” but rather a porous and crumbling “vessel” for the precious secrets and revelations of lived experience.Jill Dowse, actor and director for Foursight Theatre, a long-running women’s performance company based in Wolverhampton in the U.K., also addresses the performance practices of bodies in public space. Dowse analyses her own performance practice as a participant in the public art piece One and Other by Antony Gormley in London’s Trafalgar Square throughout the summer of 2009. Dowse explores her impulse to apply to be one of the 2,400 U.K. citizens chosen to have one hour on the empty plinth in Trafalgar Square. She explains how the project forced her to examine her relationship to her own artistic practice, as she negotiated the physical height of the plinth, her own vertigo, and the equally dizzying national expectations and commercialisation of the project by the media. Through reference to the work of Rachel Rosenthal, Dowse teases out the ways in which the process of making and enacting a performance work is a mediated process of disclosure and how subjects in acts of disclosure struggle for control over both the representation of self and the content and form of the communication which ensues in order to “re-imagine [the] relationship with fear and challenge, recognising, even in the core of fear, the potential for transformation.”Artist and scholar Jenny Lawson provides another perspective on the difficult negotiations involved in disclosing the self in performance, unpacking the ways in which she has used the meanings attached to the making and sharing of food to disclose, confess and deconstruct elements of her own cultural identity in her interactive, durational performance If I knew you were coming I’d have baked a cake. Lawson situates her work in the context of others who have used a relationship to food to “confess” aspects of their lives, comparing and contrasting celebrity chef Nigella Lawson’s use of intimate confessions about food, cooking and eating to construct a marketable media persona with performance artist Bobby Baker’s use of intimate confessions about food, cooking and eating as part of “a field of resistant arts practice through which she discloses her often painful and difficult relationship to femininity and the domestic.” Paying particular attention to the way boundaries between public and private, fact and fiction, are crossed in the “mock-autobiographical” performances of Nigella and Baker, Lawson points to the way relationships to food reflect broader cultural anxieties about the body, identity and femininity. Lawson argues that her own durational performances play with autobiographical disclosures that position her quite literally in the “Domestic Goddess Hall of Fame,” drawing attention to her own subjectivity (and failings), and inviting audiences—for instance, by photographing themselves interacting with Lawson and her cakes—to participate in a potentially transformative consideration of their own position in the process of constructing a self-narrative through food, cooking and eating.Whilst Kuppers, Dowse and Lawson’s articles on disclosure, and the way identity is constructed or deconstructed through the performance of disclosures that operate at the nexus of self, other, identity, memory, history and the media, all speak from the perspective of the performer or performance maker, Luis Sotelo-Castro shifts our attention to the positioning of participants in such performance practices. Sotelo-Castro examines the potential cartographic (self-mapping) power of site-specific, participant-led performance practices. His work explores the theoretical concept of “positioning,” and the ways cartographic practices “present the self in spatio-temporal terms and by means of performative narratives that re-define the subject from an isolated individual into a participant within an unfolding live process.” Through an examination of Running Stitch (2006), a performance and visual art project by Jen Southern (U.K) and Jen Hamilton (Canada) in Brighton in the U.K., Sotelo-Castro examines the revelation and concealment that occurs when audiences are asked to enact and interact with the spaces around them and the problems which occur when there are no appropriate, collective methods for capturing the participants’ potentially transformative disclosures and realisations embedded in the design of these projects.Donna Lee Brien and Jennifer Phillips investigate works that involve autobiographical confession and disclosure, again drawing attention to the complex relationships between fact and fiction that characterise such works, and the way the audience’s extra-textual knowledge of the subject of the disclosures (at times pleasurably) effects the audience’s engagement with such works.Brien looks at fictionalised disclosures of biographical information in literary and theatrical texts. She explores how “contemporary authors play with, and across […] boundaries, creating hybrid texts that consciously slide between invention and disclosure.” Brien examines the example of Australian playwright Jill Shearer’s play Georgia and its reliance on disclosing the life of artist Georgia O’Keeffe. In Georgia, Brien finds that the biographical facts alongside dramatic (invented) elements creates a nuanced response to the complex subjectivity and history of this well-known artist. The piece also exposes the pitfalls facing authors who negotiate the expectations of readers and critics on the continuum between private “facts” and creative “expressions.”Phillips also explores literary fictions and disclosures and audience expectations. She highlights the exorcism of personal and professional ghosts in the “mock-disclosures” of author Bret Easton Ellis. Phillips examines Ellis’s 2005 novel, Lunar Park. In it she finds a complex game occurring, where Ellis includes overtly autobiographical data that is suspect, incorrect or misrepresented in order to respond to critics’s and readers’s assumptions about this previous fiction works as somehow autobiographical. “It is possible,” Phillips says, “to see how this fictional text transgresses the boundaries between fiction and fact in an attempt to sever the feedback loop between the media’s representation of Ellis and the interpretation of his fictional texts.” Phillips argues that these mock-disclosures go further than just responding to the critics, in fact acting as a form of closure for both the public controversies surrounding his depiction of violent deaths in American Psycho, and more subtly for personal tragedy in the author’s life, especially for the death of his father, who at the close of the novel is depicted memorialised in the pages of a novel.In the final section of this issue, Christine Lohmeier, Nick Muntean and Anne Petersen, and Michelle Phillipov take up the question of the way new technologies impact on the logics, mechanisms and processes of disclosure. They examine the part strategic efforts at closure through disclosure can play in constructing an image of the self for a specific online audience, the boundaries between public, private, fact and fiction in online disclosures, and the way such disclosures can become the locus for broader conversations about identity, relationships and the functioning of culture. As danah boyd has argued, “technology that makes social information more easily accessible can rupture people’s sense of public and private by altering the previously understood social norms” (14). For boyd, the locus of increased anxiety about the disclosure of private information in contemporary technoculture is not so much about the substance of the private information disclosed, but, rather, about people’s struggle to negotiate the processes by which the information is concealed or disclosed. “The reason for this is that privacy is not simply the state of an inanimate object or set of bytes,” which may be set as seen or unseen. Rather, boyd says, “it is about the sense of vulnerability that an individual feels when negotiating data” (14). Lohmeier, Muntean and Petersen, and Phillipov all focus on specific forms of personal, professional and social vulnerability that arise as a result of such negotiations, unpacking the way in which individuals and cultures respond to this vulnerability. Lohmeier turns our attention to the complexities of constructing a self through voluntary and involuntary disclosures on social networking sites such as Facebook, within the specific context of ethnographic research with communities. Using her own ethnographic fieldwork with Cuban-American communities in Florida as an example, Lohmeier considers the way the challenges that have always accompanied the researcher’s attempt to position him or her self, and disclose an appropriate amount of information about him or her self, are further complicated in a contemporary context where study participants can Google the researcher and construct their own perception of the researcher’s identity on the basis of information placed on sites like Facebook. In doing so, Lohmeier raises important questions about the way the researcher’s identity is negotiated and constructed by the researcher and the research participants over time, about the co-presence of personal and professional identities on online platforms, and the lack of methodological and institutional frameworks to assist the researcher in dealing with these questions. She argues that “my wariness of disclosing too much of myself, aspects of my identity that would threaten my performance as a ‘stable researcher self,’ held other parts of my fragmented identity captive” during and after the research process. Petersen and Muntean examine the way in which the rapid proliferation of new modes of probing into personal lives in contemporary technoculture has prompted celebrities to make use of social networking technology, particularly Twitter, in an attempt to take back control of the star image on which their career success and their value as a cultural commodity is based. “Through Twitter,” Muntean and Petersen say, “the celebrity seeks to arrest meaning—fixing it in place around their own seemingly coherent narrativisation,” as studio systems and strict control by publicists once tried to do. For Muntean and Petersen, though, the authenticity attributed to celebrity tweets is an ideological act, and Twitter itself is “a form of disclosure perfectly attuned to the mindset of technoculture.” Twitter operates in the space between what they call the “conspiratorial mindset,” as a mode of desire intent on discovery of the secret, and the “celebrity subject,” as the unknowable excess that gives substance or orientation to that mode of desire. Muntean and Petersen argue that it is the modality of the seemingly unrehearsed, self-revelatory disclosures on Twitter, rather than the actual object or content of such disclosures, that is central in constructing the inherently unstable subjectivity of both the celebrity and the fan.Phillipov closes this issue with a timely analysis of cultural anxiety about the types of disclosure new media technology makes possible, focusing on the way Australian news media reports attempted to link the murder of Carly Ryan and the suicides of Jodie Gater and Stephanie Gestier in 2007 to their participation in emo subculture, and their presence on the MySpace social networking site in which this subculture is seen to flourish. Phillipov highlights the paradoxes embedded in the news reports on these tragic events. In particular, she unpacks the way the young women’s disclosures on MySpace were “seen as simultaneously excessive and inadequate”—revealing private feelings in a way that left them vulnerable to adult predators, but, at the same time, placing these revelations on a platform where they could be kept hidden from adults who might have helped them. Drawing on John Hartley’s theorisation of news reporting about young people, Phillipov casts the news commentators’s tenuous attempts to link the deaths of Ryan, Gater and Gestier to emo, and to excessive disclosure on MySpace, as what Hartley calls a “cultural thinking-out-loud” (17) in which discussion of the events themselves quickly became the basis for attempts to articulate and explore broader anxieties about the “unknowability” of youth and youth culture.What Phillipov and our other contributors make clear is that the risks, perils and pleasures of self-disclosure are always tied to the subject’s ability to negotiate not just the content of their disclosures, but the cultural mechanisms and discourses that frame their disclosures, and that this negotiation always occurs at the nexus of the individual, medium, and culture. Our contributors point to the level of individual or cultural self-consciousness embedded in many forms of disclosure, and the factors that, as Kuppers argues, make speaking as, about or of a self a challenging, confronting yet compelling prospect for the individual (as in Kuppers, Dowse, Lawson, Lohmeier, and Muntean and Petersen’s articles), for the audience (as in Kupper, Sotelo-Castro, Brien, Phillips, and Muntean and Petersen’s articles), and for the culture (as in Phillipov’s article). Though they cover a diverse cross-section of contemporary forms of disclosure, the articles in this issue capture a profound anxiety about disclosure that coheres around a conflicting desire to both deterritorialise and reterritorialise, both liberate and arrest, the meanings attached to self-narrations. They also highlight the way in which the phenomenon boyd has called social convergence underpins anxieties, and negotiations, about what people choose to disclose. As boyd says, “social convergence occurs when disparate social contexts are collapsed into one […] Social convergence requires people to handle disparate audiences simultaneously without a social script” (18). In one way or another, most of the contributors to this issue point to the way that convergence—of fiction, factual, public and private details about an artist’s life, a celebrity’s life, a researcher’s life, or a teenager’s life “normally” articulated in separate contexts for separate audiences—challenges their control over their self-disclosures (18), impacts on the way they negotiate their self-disclosures, and shapes the way audiences, media, and cultural authorities react to their self-disclosures. Whilst conscious of the risks that arise when facets of a fragmented identity momentarily cohere in an act of disclosure, including the risk that identities will be essentialised by the weight of expectation culture attaches to such acts, our contributors focus on the creative dimensions of disclosing. These articles highlight the way individuals and societies use the communicative modes and mechanisms of disclosure in order, as Kuppers says, to “think outside the structure of story, outside the habits of thought that make us sense and position ourselves in time and space, in power and knowledge,” feeling our way towards new formations of identity and culture, whether liberatory or oppressive, transformative or reintegrative. Whilst self-disclosures cannot always be perforated, contaminated or re-performed in ways that elide recuperative readings, through a focus on the slippery productive and performative dimensions of disclosure, our contributors remind us of the important cross-disciplinary work that is going on in the ongoing negotiation of identity, culture and community. Referencesboyd, danah. “Facebook’s Privacy Trainwreck: Exposure, Invasion, and Social Convergence.” Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies 14.1 (2008): 13–20.Cozby, Paul C. “Self-Disclosure: A Literature Review.” Pschological Bulletin 79.2 (1973): 73–91.Frattaroli, Joanne. “Experimental Disclosure and Its Moderators: A Meta-Analysis.” Psychological Bulletin 132.6 (2006): 823–865.Goffman, Erving. The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life. Woodstock: Overlook Press, 1973. Hartley, John. “‘When Your Child Grows Up Too Fast’: Juvenation and the Boundaries of the Social in the News Media.” Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies 12.1 (1998): 9–30.

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Meleo-Erwin,ZoeC. "“Shape Carries Story”: Navigating the World as Fat." M/C Journal 18, no.3 (June10, 2015). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.978.

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Abstract:

Story spreads out through time the behaviors or bodies – the shapes – a self has been or will be, each replacing the one before. Hence a story has before and after, gain and loss. It goes somewhere…Moreover, shape or body is crucial, not incidental, to story. It carries story; it makes story visible; in a sense it is story. Shape (or visible body) is in space what story is in time. (Bynum, quoted in Garland Thomson, 113-114) Drawing on Goffman’s classic work on stigma, research documenting the existence of discrimination and bias against individuals classified as obese goes back five decades. Since Cahnman published “The Stigma of Obesity” in 1968, other researchers have well documented systematic and growing discrimination against fat people (cf. Puhl and Brownell; Puhl and Heuer; Puhl and Heuer; Fikkan and Rothblum). While weight-based stereotyping has a long history (Chang and Christakis; McPhail; Schwartz), contemporary forms of anti-fat stigma and discrimination must be understood within a social and economic context of neoliberal healthism. By neoliberal healthism (see Crawford; Crawford; Metzel and Kirkland), I refer to the set of discourses that suggest that humans are rational, self-determining actors who independently make their own best choices and are thus responsible for their life chances and health outcomes. In such a context, good health becomes associated with proper selfhood, and there are material and social consequences for those who either unwell or perceived to be unwell. While the greatest impacts of size-based discrimination are structural in nature, the interpersonal impacts are also significant. Because obesity is commonly represented (at least partially) as a matter of behavioral choices in public health, medicine, and media, to “remain fat” is to invite commentary from others that one is lacking in personal responsibility. Guthman suggests that this lack of empathy “also stems from the growing perception that obesity presents a social cost, made all the more tenable when the perception of health responsibility has been reversed from a welfare model” (1126). Because weight loss is commonly held to be a reasonable and feasible goal and yet is nearly impossible to maintain in practice (Kassierer and Angell; Mann et al.; Puhl and Heuer), fat people are “in effect, asked to do the impossible and then socially punished for failing” (Greenhalgh, 474). In this article, I explore how weight-based stigma shaped the decisions of bariatric patients to undergo weight loss surgery. In doing so, I underline the work that emotion does in circulating anti-fat stigma and in creating categories of subjects along lines of health and responsibility. As well, I highlight how fat bodies are lived and negotiated in space and place. I then explore ways in which participants take up notions of time, specifically in regard to risk, in discussing what brought them to the decision to have bariatric surgery. I conclude by arguing that it is a dynamic interaction between the material, social, emotional, discursive, and the temporal that produces not only fat embodiment, but fat subjectivity “failed”, and serves as an impetus for seeking bariatric surgery. Methods This article is based on 30 semi-structured interviews with American bariatric patients. At the time of the interview, individuals were between six months and 12 years out from surgery. After obtaining Intuitional Review Board approval, recruitment occurred through a snowball sample. All interviews were audio-taped with permission and verbatim interview transcripts were analyzed by means of a thematic analysis using Dedoose (www.dedoose.com). All names given in this article are pseudonyms. This work is part of a larger project that includes two additional interviews with bariatric surgeons as well as participant-observation research. Findings Navigating Anti-Fat Stigma In discussing what it was like to be fat, all but one of the individuals I interviewed discussed experiencing substantive size-based stigma and discrimination. Whether through overt comments, indirect remarks, dirty looks, open gawking, or being ignored and unrecognized, participants felt hurt, angry, and shamed by friends, family, coworkers, medical providers, and strangers on the street because of the size of their bodies. Several recalled being bullied and even physically assaulted by peers as children. Many described the experience of being fat or very fat as one of simultaneous hypervisibility and invisibility. One young woman, Kaia, said: “I absolutely was not treated like a person … . I was just like this object to people. Just this big, you know, thing. That’s how people treated me.” Nearly all of my participants described being told repeatedly by others, including medical professionals, that their inability to lose weight was effectively a failure of the will. They found these comments to be particularly hurtful because, in fact, they had spent years, even decades, trying to lose weight only to gain the weight back plus more. Some providers and family members seemed to take up the idea that shame could be a motivating force in weight loss. However, as research by Lewis et al.; Puhl and Huerer; and Schafer and Ferraro has demonstrated, the effect this had was the opposite of what was intended. Specifically, a number of the individuals I spoke with delayed care and avoided health-facilitating behaviors, like exercising, because of the discrimination they had experienced. Instead, they turned to health-harming practices, like crash dieting. Moreover, the internalization of shame and blame served to lower a sense of self-worth for many participants. And despite having a strong sense that something outside of personal behavior explained their escalating body weights, they deeply internalized messages about responsibility and self-control. Danielle, for instance, remarked: “Why could the one thing I want the most be so impossible for me to maintain?” It is important to highlight the work that emotion does in circulating such experiences of anti-fat stigma and discrimination. As Fraser et al have argued in their discussion on fat and emotion, the social, the emotional, and the corporeal cannot be separated. Drawing on Ahmed, they argue that strong emotions are neither interior psychological states that work between individuals nor societal states that impact individuals. Rather, emotions are constitutive of subjects and collectivities, (Ahmed; Fraser et al.). Negative emotions in particular, such as hate and fear, produce categories of people, by defining them as a common threat and, in the process, they also create categories of people who are deemed legitimate and those who are not. Thus following Fraser et al, it is possible to see that anti-fat hatred did more than just negatively impact the individuals I spoke with. Rather, it worked to produce, differentiate, and drive home categories of people along lines of health, weight, risk, responsibility, and worth. In this next section, I examine the ways in which anti-fat discrimination works at the interface of not only the discursive and the emotive, but the material as well. Big Bodies, Small Spaces When they discussed their previous lives as very fat people, all of the participants made reference to a social and built environment mismatch, or in Garland Thomson’s terms, a “misfit”. A misfit occurs “when the environment does not sustain the shape and function of the body that enters it” (594). Whereas the built environment offers a fit for the majority of bodies, Garland Thomson continues, it also creates misfits for minority forms of embodiment. While Garland Thomson’s analysis is particular to disability, I argue that it extends to fat embodiment as well. In discussing what it was like to navigate the world as fat, participants described both the physical and emotional pain entailed in living in bodies that did not fit and frequently discussed the ways in which leaving the house was always a potential, anxiety-filled problem. Whereas all of the participants I interviewed discussed such misfitting, it was notable that participants in the Greater New York City area (70% of the sample) spoke about this topic at length. Specifically, they made frequent and explicit mentions of the particular interface between their fat bodies and the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA), and the tightly packed spaces of the city itself. Greater New York City area participants frequently spoke of the shame and physical discomfort in having to stand on public transportation for fear that they would be openly disparaged for “taking up too much room.” Some mentioned that transit seats were made of molded plastic, indicating by design the amount of space a body should occupy. Because they knew they would require more space than what was allotted, these participants only took seats after calculating how crowded the subway or train car was and how crowded it would likely become. Notably, the decision to not take a seat was one that was made at a cost for some of the larger individuals who experienced joint pain. Many participants stated that the densely populated nature of New York City made navigating daily life very challenging. In Talia’s words, “More people, more obstacles, less space.” Participants described always having to be on guard, looking for the next obstacle. As Candice put it: “I would walk in some place and say, ‘Will I be able to fit? Will I be able to manoeuvre around these people and not bump into them?’ I was always self-conscious.” Although participants often found creative solutions to navigating the hostile environment of both the MTA and the city at large, they also identified an increasing sense of isolation that resulted from the physical discomfort and embarrassment of not fitting in. For instance, Talia rarely joined her partner and their friends on outings to movies or the theater because the seats were too tight. Similarly, Decenia would make excuses to her husband in order to avoid social situations outside of the home: “I’d say to my husband, ‘I don’t feel well, you go.’ But you know what? It was because I was afraid not to fit, you know?” The anticipatory scrutinizing described by these participants, and the anxieties it produced, echoes Kirkland’s contention that fat individuals use the technique of ‘scanning’ in order to navigate and manage hostile social and built environments. Scanning, she states, involves both literally rapidly looking over situations and places to determine accessibility, as well as a learned assessment and observation technique that allows fat people to anticipate how they will be received in new situations and new places. For my participants, worries about not fitting were more than just internal calculation. Rather, others made all too clear that fat bodies are not welcome. Nina recalled nasty looks she received from other subway riders when she attempted to sit down. Decenia described an experience on a crowded commuter train in which the woman next to her openly expressed annoyance and disgust that their thighs were touching. Talia recalled being aggressively handed a weight loss brochure by a fellow passenger. When asked to contrast their experiences living in New York City with having travelled or lived elsewhere, participants almost universally described the New York as a more difficult place to live for fat people. However, the experiences of three of the Latinas that I interviewed troubled this narrative. Katrina felt that the harassment she received in her country of origin, the Dominican Republic, was far worse than what she now experienced in the New York Metropolitan Area. Although Decenia detailed painful experiences of anti-fat stigma in New York City, she nevertheless described her life as relatively “easy” compared to what it was like in her home country of Brazil. And Denisa contrasted her neighbourhood of East Harlem with other parts of Manhattan: “In Harlem it's different. Everybody is really fat or plump – so you feel a bit more comfortable. Not everybody, but there's a mix. Downtown – there's no mix.” Collectively, their stories serve as a reminder (see Franko et al.; Grabe and Hyde) to be suspicious of over determined accounts that “Latino culture” is (or people of colour communities in general are), more accepting of larger bodies and more resistant to weight-based stigma and discrimination. Their comments also reflect arguments made by Colls, Grosz, and Garland Thomson, who have all pointed to the contingent nature between space and bodies. Colls argue that sizing is both a material and an emotional process – what size we take ourselves to be shifts in different physical and emotional contexts. Grosz suggests that there is a “mutually constitutive relationship between bodies and cities” – one that, I would add, is raced, classed, and gendered. Garland Thomson has described the relationship between bodies and space/place as “a dynamic encounter between world and flesh.” These encounters, she states, are always contingent and situated: “When the spatial and temporal context shifts, so does the fit, and with it meanings and consequences” (592). In this sense, fat is materialized differently in different contexts and in different scales – nation, state, city, neighbourhood – and the materialization of fatness is always entangled with raced, classed, and gendered social and political-economic relations. Nevertheless, it is possible to draw some structural commonalities between divergent parts of the Greater New York City Metropolitan Area. Specifically, a dense population, cramped physical spaces, inaccessible transportation and transportation funding cuts, social norms of fast paced life, and elite, raced, classed, and gendered norms of status and beauty work to materialize fatness in such a way that a ‘misfit’ is often the result for fat people who live and/or work in this area. And importantly, misfitting, as Garland Thomson argues, has consequences: it literally “casts out” when the “shape and function of … bodies comes into conflict with the shape and stuff of the built world” (594). This casting out produces some bodies as irrelevant to social and economic life, resulting in segregation and isolation. To misfit, she argues, is to be denied full citizenship. Responsibilising the Present Garland Thomson, discussing Bynum’s statement that “shape carries story”, argues the following: “the idea that shape carries story suggests … that material bodies are not only in the spaces of the world but that they are entwined with temporality as well” (596). In this section, I discuss how participants described their decisions to get weight loss surgery by making references to the need take responsibility for health now, in the present, in order to avoid further and future morbidity and mortality. Following Adams et al., I look at how the fat body is lived in a state of constant anticipation – “thinking and living toward the future” (246). All of the participants I spoke with described long histories of weight cycling. While many managed to lose weight, none were able to maintain this weight loss in the long term – a reality consistent with the medical fact that dieting does not produce durable results (Kassirer and Angell; Mann et al.; Puhl and Heuer). They experienced this inability as not only distressing, but terrifying, as they repeatedly regained the lost weight plus more. When participants discussed their decisions to have surgery, they highlighted concerns about weight related comorbidities and mobility limitations in their explanations. Consistent then with Boero, Lopez, and Wadden et al., the participants I spoke with did not seek out surgery in hopes of finding a permanent way to become thin, but rather a permanent way to become healthy and normal. Concerns about what is considered to be normative health, more than simply concerns about what is held to be an appropriate appearance, motivated their decisions. Significantly, for these participants the decision to have bariatric surgery was based on concerns about future morbidity (and mortality) at least as much, if not more so, than on concerns about a current state of ill health and impairment. Some individuals I spoke with were unquestionably suffering from multiple chronic and even life threatening illnesses and feared they would prematurely die from these conditions. Other participants, however, made the decision to have bariatric surgery despite the fact that they had no comorbidities whatsoever. Motivating their decisions was the fear that they would eventually develop them. Importantly, medial providers explicitly and repeatedly told all of these participants that lest they take drastic and immediate action, they would die. For example: Faith’s reproductive endocrinologist said: “you’re going to have diabetes by the time you’re 30; you’re going to have a stroke by the time you’re 40. And I can only hope that you can recover enough from your stroke that you’ll be able to take care of your family.” Several female participants were warned that without losing weight, they would either never become pregnant or they would die in childbirth. By contrast, participants stated that their bariatric surgeons were the first providers they had encountered to both assert that obesity was a medical condition outside of their control and to offer them a solution. Within an atmosphere in which obesity is held to be largely or entirely the result of behavioural choices, the bariatric profession thus positions itself as unique by offering both understanding and what it claims to be a durable treatment. Importantly, it would be a mistake to conclude that some bariatric patients needed surgery while others choose it for the wrong reasons. Regardless of their states of health at the time they made the decision to have surgery, the concerns that drove these patients to seek out these procedures were experienced as very real. Whether or not these concerns would have materialized as actual health conditions is unknown. Furthermore, bariatric patients should not be seen as having been duped or suffering from ‘false consciousness.’ Rather, they operate within a particular set of social, cultural, and political-economic conditions that suggest that good citizenship requires risk avoidance and personal health management. As these individuals experienced, there are material and social consequences for ‘failing’ to obtain normative conceptualizations of health. This set of conditions helps to produce a bariatric patient population that includes both those who were contending with serious health concerns and those who feared they would develop them. All bariatric patients operate within this set of conditions (as do medical providers) and make decisions regarding health (current, future, or both) by using the resources available to them. In her work on the temporalities of dieting, Coleman argues that rather than seeing dieting as a linear and progressive event, we might think of it instead a process that brings the future into the present as potential. Adams et al suggest concerns about potential futures, particularly in regard to health, are a defining characteristic of our time. They state: “The present is governed, at almost every scale, as if the future is what matters most. Anticipatory modes enable the production of possible futures that are lived and felt as inevitable in the present, rendering hope and fear as important political vectors” (249). The ability to act in the present based on potential future risks, they argue, has become a moral imperative and a marker of proper of citizenship. Importantly, however, our work to secure the ‘best possible future’ is never fully assured, as risks are constantly changing. The future is thus always uncertain. Acting responsibly in the present therefore requires “alertness and vigilance as normative affective states” (254). Importantly, these anticipations are not diagnostic, but productive. As Adams et al state, “the future arrives already formed in the present, as if the emergency has already happened…a ‘sense’ of the simultaneous uncertainty and inevitability of the future, usually manifest in entanglements of fear and hope” (250). It is in this light, then, that we might see the decision to have bariatric surgery. For these participants, their future weight-related morbidity and mortality had already arrived in the present and thus they felt they needed to act responsibly now, by undergoing what they had been told was the only durable medical intervention for obesity. The emotions of hope, fear, anxiety and I would suggest, hatred, were key in making these decisions. Conclusion Medical, public health, and media discourses frame obesity as an epidemic that threatens to bring untold financial disaster and escalating rates of morbidity and mortality upon the nation state and the world at large. As Fraser et al argue, strong emotions (such hatred, fear, anxiety, and hope), are at the centre of these discourses; they construct, circulate, and proliferate them. Moreover, they create categories of people who are deemed legitimate and categories of others who are not. In this context, the participants I spoke with were caught between a desire to have fatness understood as a medical condition needing intervention; the anti-fat attitudes of others, including providers, which held that obesity was a failure of the will and nothing more; their own internalization of these messages of personal responsibility for proper behavioural choices, and, the biologically intractable nature of fatness wherein dieting not only fails to reduce weight in the vast majority of cases but results, in the long term, in increased weight gain (Kassirer and Angell; Mann et al.; Puhl and Heuer). Widespread anxiety and embarrassment over and fear and hatred of fatness was something that the individuals I interviewed experienced directly and which signalled to them that they were less than human. Their desire for weight loss, therefore was partially a desire to become ‘normal.’ In Butler’s term, it was the desire for a ‘liveable life. ’A liveable life, for these participants, included a desire for a seamless fit with the built environment. The individuals I spoke with were never more ashamed of their fatness than when they experienced a ‘misfit’, in Garland Thomson’s terms, between their bodies and the material world. Moreover, feelings of shame over this disjuncture worked in tandem with a deeply felt, pressing sense that something must be done in the present to secure a better health future. The belief that bariatric surgery might finally provide a durable answer to obesity served as a strong motivating factor in their decisions to undergo bariatric surgery. By taking drastic action to lose weight, participants hoped to contest stigmatizing beliefs that their fat bodies reflected pathological interiors. Moreover, they sought to demonstrate responsibility and thus secure proper subjectivities and citizenship. In this sense, concerns, anxieties, and fears about health cannot be disentangled from the experience of anti-fat stigma and discrimination. Again, anti-fat bias, for these participants, was more than discursive: it operated through the circulation of emotion and was experienced in a very material sense. The decision to have weight loss surgery can thus be seen as occurring at the interface of emotion, flesh, space, place, and time, and in ways that are fundamentally shaped by the broader social context of neoliberal healthism. AcknowledgmentI am grateful to the anonymous reviewers of this article for their helpful feedback on earlier version. References Adams, Vincanne, Michelle Murphy, and Adele E. Clarke. “Anticipation: Technoscience, Life, Affect, Temporality.” Subjectivity 28.1 (2009): 246-265. Ahmed, Sara. “Affective Economies.” Social Text 22.2 (2004): 117-139 Boero, Natalie. Killer Fat: Media, Medicine, and Morals in the American "Obesity Epidemic". New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2012. Butler, Judith. Undoing Gender. New York: Routledge, 2004. Bynum, Caroline Walker. 1999. Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities. National Endowment for the Humanities. Washington, DC, 1999. Cahnman, Werner J. “The Stigma of Obesity.” The Sociological Quarterly 9.3 (1968): 283-299. Chang, Virginia W., and Nicholas A. Christakis. “Medical Modeling of Obesity: A Transition from Action to Experience in a 20th Century American Medical Textbook.” Sociology of Health & Illness 24.2 (2002): 151-177. Coleman, Rebecca. “Dieting Temporalities: Interaction, Agency and the Measure of Online Weight Watching.” Time & Society 19.2 (2010): 265-285. Colls, Rachel. “‘Looking Alright, Feeling Alright:’ Emotions, Sizing, and the Geographies of Women’s Experience of Clothing Consumption.” Social & Cultural Geography 5.4 (2004): 583-596. Crawford, Robert. “You Are Dangerous to Your Health: The Ideology and Politics of Victim Blaming.” International Journal of Health Services 7.4 (1977): 663-680. ———. “Health as a Meaningful Social Practice.: Health 10.4 (2006): 401-20. Dedoose. Computer Software. n.d. Franko, Debra L., Emilie J. Coen, James P. Roehrig, Rachel Rodgers, Amy Jenkins, Meghan E. Lovering, Stephanie Dela Cruz. “Considering J. Lo and Ugly Betty: A Qualitative Examination of Risk Factors and Prevention Targets for Body Dissatisfaction, Eating Disorders, and Obesity in Young Latina Women.” Body Image 9.3 (2012), 381-387. Fikken, Janna J., and Esther D. Rothblum. “Is Fat a Feminist Issue? Exploring the Gendered Nature of Weight Bias.” Sex Roles 66.9-10 (2012): 575-592. Fraser, Suzanne, JaneMaree Maher, and Jan Wright. “Between Bodies and Collectivities: Articulating the Action of Emotion in Obesity Epidemic Discourse.” Social Theory & Health 8.2 (2010): 192-209. Garland Thomson, Rosemarie. “Misfits: A Feminist Materialist Disability Concept.” Hypatia 26.3 (2011): 591-609. Goffman, Erving. Stigma: Notes on the Management of Spoiled Identity. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1963. Grabe, Shelly, and Janet S. Hyde. “Ethnicity and Body Dissatisfaction among Women in the United States: A Meta-Analysis.” Psychological Bulletin 132.2 (2006): 622. Greenhalgh, Susan. “Weighty Subjects: The Biopolitics of the U.S. War on Fat.” American Ethnologist 39.3 (2012): 471-487. Grosz, Elizabeth A. “Bodies-Cities.” Feminist Theory and the Body: A Reader, eds. Janet Price and Margrit Shildrick. New York: Routledge, 1999. 381-387. Guthman, Julie. “Teaching the Politics of Obesity: Insights into Neoliberal Embodiment and Contemporary Biopolitics.” Antipode 41.5 (2009): 1110-1133. Kassirer, Jerome P., and M. Marcia Angell. “Losing Weight: An Ill-Fated New Year's Resolution.” The New England Journal of Medicine 338.1 (1998): 52. Kirkland, Anna. “Think of the Hippopotamus: Rights Consciousness in the Fat Acceptance Movement.” Law & Society Review 42.2 (2008): 397-432. Lewis, Sophie, Samantha L. Thomas, R. Warwick Blood, David Castle, Jim Hyde, and Paul A. Komesaroff. “How Do Obese Individuals Perceive and Respond to the Different Types of Obesity Stigma That They Encounter in Their Daily Lives? A Qualitative Study.” Social Science & Medicine 73.9 (2011): 1349-56. López, Julia Navas. “Socio-Anthropological Analysis of Bariatric Surgery Patients: A Preliminary Study.” Social Medicine 4.4 (2009): 209-217. McPhail, Deborah. “What to Do with the ‘Tubby Hubby?: ‘Obesity,’ the Crisis of Masculinity, and the Nuclear Family in Early Cold War Canada. Antipode 41.5 (2009): 1021-1050. Mann, Traci, A. Janet Tomiyama, Erika Westling, Ann-Marie Lew, Barbara Samuels, and Jason Chatman. “Medicare’s Search for Effective Obesity Treatments.” American Psychologist 62.3 (2007): 220-233. Metzl, Jonathan. “Introduction: Why ‘Against Health?’” Against Health: How Health Became the New Morality, eds. Jonathan Metzl and Anna Kirkland. New York: NYU Press, 2010. 1-14. Puhl, Rebecca M. “Obesity Stigma: Important Considerations for Public Health.” American Journal of Public Health 100.6 (2010): 1019-1028.———, and Kelly D. Brownell. “Psychosocial Origins of Obesity Stigma: Toward Changing a Powerful and Pervasive Bias.” Obesity Reviews 4.4 (2003): 213-227. ——— and Chelsea A. Heuer. “The Stigma of Obesity: A Review and Update.” Obesity 17.5 (2009): 941-964. Schafer, Markus H., and Kenneth F. Ferraro. “The Stigma of Obesity: Does Perceived Weight Discrimination Affect Identity and Physical Health?” Social Psychology Quarterly 74.1 (2011): 76-97. Schwartz, H. Never Satisfied: A Cultural History of Diets, Fantasies, and Fat. New York: Anchor Books, 1986. Wadden, Thomas A., David B. Sarwer, Anthony N. Fabricatore, LaShanda R. Jones, Rebecca Stack, and Noel Williams. “Psychosocial and Behavioral Status of Patients Undergoing Bariatric Surgery: What to Expect before and after Surgery.” The Medical Clinics of North America 91.3 (2007): 451-69. Wilson, Bianca. “Fat, the First Lady, and Fighting the Politics of Health Science.” Lecture. The Graduate Center of the City University of New York. 14 Feb. 2011.

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Kaspi, Niva. "Bill Lawton by Any Other Name: Language Games and Terror in Falling Man." M/C Journal 15, no.1 (March14, 2012). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.457.

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“Language is inseparable from the world that provokes it”-- Don DeLillo, “In the Ruins of the Future”The attacks of 9/11 generated a public discourse of suspicion, with Osama bin Laden occupying the role of the quintessential “most wanted” for nearly a decade, before being captured and killed in May 2011. In the novel, Falling Man (DeLillo), set shortly after the attacks of September 11, Justin, the protagonist’s son, and his friends, the two Siblings, spend much of their time at the window of the Siblings’ New York apartment, “searching the skies for Bill Lawton” (74). Mishearing bin Laden’s name on the news, Robert, the younger of the Siblings, has “never adjusted his original sense of what he was hearing” (73), and so the “myth of Bill Lawton” (74) is created. In this paper, I draw on postclassical, cognitive narratology to “defamiliarise” processes undertaken by both narrator and reader (Palmer 28) in order to explore how narrative elements impact on readers’ and characters’ perceptions of the terrorist. My focus on select episodes within the novel “pursue[s] the author’s means of controlling his reader” (Booth i), and I refer to a generic reader to identify a certain intuitive reaction to the text. Assuming that “the written text imposes certain limits on its unwritten implications” (Iser 281), I trace a path from the uttered or printed word, through the reading act, to the process of meaning-making. I demonstrate how renaming the terrorist, and other language games, challenge the notion that terror can be synonymous with a locatable, destructible source by activating a suspicion towards the text in particular, and towards language in general.Falling Man tells the story of Keith who, after surviving the attacks on the World Trade Centre, shows up injured and disoriented at the apartment of his estranged wife, Lianne, and their son, Justin. The narrative, set at different periods between the day of the attacks and three years later, focuses on Keith’s and Lianne’s lives as they attempt to deal, in their own ways, with the trauma of the attacks and with the unexpected reunion of their small family. Keith disappears into games of poker and has a brief relationship with another survivor, while Lianne searches for answers in the writings of Alzheimer sufferers, in places of worship, and in conversations with her mother, Nina, and her mother’s partner, Martin, a German art-dealer with a questionable past. Each of the novel’s three parts also contains a short narrative from the perspective of Hammad, a fictional terrorist, starting with his early days in a European cell under the leadership of the real terrorist, Mohamed Atta, through the group’s activities in Florida, to his final moments aboard the plane that crashes into the World Trade Centre. DeLillo’s work is noted for treating language as central to society and culture (Weinstein). In this personalised narrative of post-9/11, DeLillo’s choices reflect his “refusal to reproduce the mass media’s representations of 9/11 the reader is used to” (Grossinger 85). This refusal is manifest not so much in an absence of well-known, mediated images or concepts, but in the reshaping and re-presenting of these images so that they appear unexpected, new, and personal (Apitzch). A notable example of such re-presentation is the Falling Man of the title, who is introduced, surprisingly, not as the man depicted in the famous photograph by Richard Drew (Leps), but a performance artist who uses the name Falling Man when staging his falls from various New York buildings. Not until the final two sentences of the novel does DeLillo fully admit the image into the narrative, and even then only as Keith’s private vision from the Tower: “Then he saw a shirt come down out of the sky. He walked and saw it fall, arms waving like nothing in this life” (246). The bin Laden/Bill Lawton substitution shows a similar rejection of recycled concepts and enables a renewed perspective towards the idea of bin Laden. Bill Lawton is first introduced as an anonymous “man” (17), later to be named Bill Lawton (73), and later still to be revealed as bin Laden mispronounced (73). The reader first learns of Bill Lawton in a conversation between Lianne and the Siblings’ mother, Isabel, who is worried about the children’s preoccupation at the window:“It has something to do with this man.”“What man?”“This name. You’ve heard it.”“This name,” Lianne said.“Isn’t this the name they sort of mumble back and forth? My kids totally don’t want to discuss the matter. Katie enforces the thing. She basically inspires fear in her brother. I thought maybe you would know something.”“I don’t think so.”“Like Justin says nothing about any of this?”“No. What man?”“What man? Exactly,” Isabel said. (17)If “the piling up of data [...] fulfils a function in the construction of an image” (Bal 85), a delayed unravelling of the bin Laden identity distorts this data-piling so that by the time the reader learns of the Bill Lawton/bin Laden link, an image of a man is already established as separate from, and potentially exclusive of, his historical identity. The segment beginning immediately after Isabel’s comment, “What man? Exactly” (17), refers to another, unidentified man with the pronoun “he” (18), as if to further sway the reader’s attention from the subject of that man’s identity. Fludernik notes that “language games” are a key feature of the postmodern text (Towards 221), adding that “techniques of linguistic emasculation serve implicitly to question a simple and naive view of the representational potential of language” (225). I propose that, in Falling Man, bin Laden is emasculated by the Bill Lawton misnomer, and is thereby conceptualised as two entities, one historical and one fictional. The name-switch activates what psychologists refer to as a “dual-process,” conscious and unconscious, that forms the reader’s experience of the narrative (Gerrig 37), creating a cognitive dissonance between the two. Much like Wittgenstein’s duck-rabbit drawing, bin Laden and Bill Lawton exist as two separate entities, occupying the same space of the idea of bin Laden, but demanding to be viewed singularly for the process of recognition to take place. Such distortion of a well-known figure conveys the sense that, in this novel, “all identities are either confused [...] or double [...] or merging [...] or failing” (Kauffman 371), or, occasionally, doing all these things simultaneously.A similar cognitive process is triggered by the introduction of aliases for all three characters that head each of the novel’s three parts. Ernst Hechinger is revealed as Martin Ridnour’s former, ‘terrorist’ identity (DeLillo, Falling 86), and performance artist David Janiak (180) as the Falling Man’s everyday name. But the bin Laden/Bill Lawton switch offers an overt juxtaposition of the historical with the fictional or, as Žižek would have it, “the Raw real” with the “virtual” (387), and allows the mutated bin Laden/Bill Lawton figure to shift, in the mind of the reader, between the two worlds, as well as form a new, blended entity.At this point, it is important to notice that two, interconnected, forms of suspicion exist in the novel. The first is invoked in the story-level towards various terrorist-characters such as Bill Lawton, Hammad, and Martin. The second form is activated when various elements within the narrative prompt the reader to treat the text itself as suspicious, triggering in the reader a cognitive reaction that mirrors that of the narrated character. One example is the “halting process” (Leps) that is forced on the reader when attempting to manoeuvre through the narrative’s anachronical arrangement that mirrors Keith’s mental perception of time and memory. Another such narrative device is the use of “unheralded pronouns” (Gerrig 50), when ‘he’ or ‘she’ is used ambiguously, often at the beginning of a chapter or segment. The use of pronouns in narrative must adhere to strict grammatical rules (Fludernik, Introduction) and when these rules are ignored, the reading pattern is affected. First, the reader of Falling Man is immersed within an element in the story, then becomes puzzled about the identity of a character, and finally re-reads the passage to gain clarity. The reader, after a while, distances somewhat from the text, scanning for alternative possibilities and approaching interpretation with a tentative sense of doubt.The conversation between the two mothers, the Bill Lawton/bin Laden split, and the use of unheralded pronouns also destabilises the relationship between person and name, and appears to create a world in which “personality has disintegrated into a mere semiotic mark” (Versluys 21). Keith’s obsession with correcting the spelling of his surname, Neudecker, “because it wasn’t him, with the name misspelled” (DeLillo, Falling 31), Lianne’s fondness of the philosopher Kierkegaard, “right down to the spelling of his name. The hard Scandian k’s and lovely doubled a” (118), her consideration of “Marko [...] with a k, whatever that might signify” (119), and Rumsey, who is told that “everything in his life would be different [...] if one letter in his name was different” (149), are a few examples of the text’s semiotic emphasis. But, while Versluys sees this tendency as emblematic of the novel’s portrayal of a decline in humanity, I suggest that the text’s preoccupation with the shape and constitution of words may work to “de-automatise” (Margolin 66) the relationship between sign and perception, rather than to denigrate the signified human. With the renamed terrorist, the reader comes to doubt not only the printed text, but also his or her automatic response to “bin Laden” as a “brand, a sort of logo which identifies and personalises the evil” (Chomsky, September 36). Bill Lawton, according to Justin, speaks in monosyllables (102), a language Justin chooses, for a time, for his own speech (66), and this also contributes to the de-automatisation of the text. The language game, in which a speaker must only use words with one syllable, began as a classroom activity “designed to teach the children something about the structure of words and the discipline required to frame clear thoughts” (66). The game also gives players, and readers, an embodied understanding of what Genette calls the gap between “being and saying” (93) that is inevitable in the production of language and narrative. Justin, who continues to play the game outside the classroom, because “it helps [him] go slow when [he] thinks” (66), finds comfort in the silent pauses that are afforded by widening the gap between thought and utterance. History in Falling Man is a collection of the private narratives of survivors, families, terrorists, artists, and the host of people that are affected by the attacks of 9/11. Justin’s character, with the linguistic and psychic code of a child, represents the way in which all participants, to some extent, choose their own antagonist, language, plot, and sequence to personalise this mega-public event. He insists that the towers did not collapse (72), but that they will, “this time coming” (102); Bill Lawton, for Justin, “has a long beard [...] speaks thirteen languages but not English except to his wives [and] has the power to poison what we eat” (74). Despite being confronted with the factual inaccuracies of his narrative, Justin resists editing his version precisely because these inaccuracies form his own, non-mediated, authentic account. They are, in a sense, a work of fiction and, paradoxically, more ‘real’ because of that. “We want to pass beyond the limits of safe understandings”, thinks Lianne, “and what better way to do it than through make-believe” (63). I have so far shown how narrative elements create a suspicion in the way characters operate within their surrounding universe, in the reader’s attitude towards the text, and, more implicitly, in the power of language to accurately represent a personal reality. Within the context of the novel’s historical setting—the period following the 9/11 attacks—the narration of the terrorist figure, as represented in Bill Lawton, Hammad, Martin, and others, may function as a response to the “binarism” of Bush’s proposal (Butler 2), epitomised in his “either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists” (Silberstein 14) approach. Within the novel’s universe, its narration of terrorist-characters works to free discourse from superficial categorisations and to provide “a counterdiscourse to the prevailing nationalistic interpretations” (Versluys 23) of the events of 9/11 by de-automatising a response to “us” and “them.” In his essay published shortly after the attacks, DeLillo notes that “the sense of disarticulation we hear in the term ‘Us and Them’ has never been so striking, at either end” (“Ruins”), and while he draws distinctions, in the same essay, with technology on ‘our’ side and religious fanaticism on ‘their’ side, I believe that the novel is less settled on the subject. The Anglicisation of bin Laden’s name, for example, suggests that Bush’s either-or-ism is, at least partially, an arbitrary linguistic construct. At a time when some social commentators have highlighted the similarity in the definitions of “terror” and “counter terror” (Chomsky, “Commentary” 610), the Bill Lawton ‘error’ works to illustrate how easily language can destabilise our perception of what is familiar/strange, us/them, terror/counter-terror, victim/perpetrator. In the renaming of the notorious terrorist, “the familiar name is transposed on the mass murderer, but in return the attributes of the mass murderer are transposed on one very like us” (Conte 570), and this reciprocal relationship forms an imagined evil that is no longer so easily locatable within the prevailing political discourse. As the novel contextualises 9/11 within a greater historical narrative (Leps), in which characters like Martin represent “our” form of militant activism (Duvall), we are invited to perceive a possibility that the terrorist could be, like Martin, “one of ours […] godless, Western, white” (DeLillo, Falling 195).Further, the idea that the suspect exists, almost literally, within ‘us’, the victims, is reflected in the structure of the narrative itself. This suggests a more fluid relationship between terrorist and victim than is offered by common categorisations that, for some, “mislead and confuse the mind, which is trying to make sense of a disorderly reality” (Said 12). Hammad is visited in three short separate sections; “on Marienstrasse” (77-83), “in Nokomis” (171-178), and “the Hudson corridor” (237-239), at the end of each of the novel’s three parts. Hammad’s narrative is segmented within Keith’s and Lianne’s tale like an invisible yet pervasive reminder that the terrorist is inseparable from the lives of the victims, habituating the same terrains, and crafted by the same omniscient powers that compose the victims’ narrative. The penetration of the terrorist into ‘our’ narrative is also perceptible in the physical osmosis between terrorist and victim, as the body of the injured victim hosts fragments of the dead terrorist’s flesh. The portrayal of the body, in some post 9/11 novels, as “a vulnerable site of trauma” (Bird, 561), is evident in the following passage, where a physician explains to Keith the post-bombing condition termed “organic shrapnel”:The bomber is blown to bits, literally bits and pieces, and fragments of flesh and bone come flying outwards with such force and velocity that they get wedged, they get trapped in the body of anyone who’s in striking range...A student is sitting in a cafe. She survives the attack. Then, months later, they find these little, like, pellets of flesh, human flesh that got driven into the skin. (16)For Keith, the dead terrorist’s flesh, lodged under living human skin, confirms the malignancy of his emotional and physical injury, and suggests a “consciousness occupied by terror” (Apitzch 95), not unlike Justin’s consciousness, occupied from within by the “secret” (DeLillo, Falling 101) of Bill Lawton.The macabre bond between terrorist and victim is fully realised in the novel’s final pages, when Hammad’s death intersects, temporally, with the beginning of Keith’s story, and the two bodies almost literally collide as Hammad’s jet crashes into Keith’s office building. Unlike Hammad’s earlier and clearly framed narratives, his final interruption dissolves into Keith’s story with such cinematic seamlessness as to make the two narratives almost indistinguishable from one another. Hammad’s perspective concludes on board the jet, as “something fell off the counter in the galley. He fastened his seatbelt” (239), followed immediately by “a bottle fell off the counter in the galley, on the other side of the aisle, and he watched it roll this way and that” (239). The ambiguous use of the pronoun “he,” once again, and the twin bottles in the galleys create a moment of confusion and force a re-reading to establish that, in fact, there are two different bottles, in two galleys; one on board the plane and the other inside the World Trade Centre. Victim and terrorist, then, share a common fate as acting agents in a single governing narrative that implicates both lives.Finally, Žižek warns that “whenever we encounter such a purely evil on the Outside, [...] we should recognise the distilled version of our own self” (387). DeLillo assimilates this proposition into the fabric of Falling Man by crafting a language that renegotiates the division between ‘out’ and ‘in,’ creating a fictional antagonist in Bill Lawton that continues to lurk outside the symbolic window long after the demise of his historical double. Some have read this novel as offering a more relative perspective on terrorism (Duvall). However, like Leps, I find that DeLillo here tries to “provoke thoughtful stillness rather than secure truths” (185), and this stillness is conveyed in a language that meditates, with the reader, on its own role in constructing precarious concepts such as ‘us’ and ‘them.’ When proposing that terror, in Falling Man, can be found within ‘us,’ linguistically, historically, and even physically, I must also add that DeLillo’s ‘us’ is an imagined sphere that stands in opposition to a ‘them’ world in which “things [are] clearly defined” (DeLillo, Falling 83). Within this sphere, where “total silence” is seen as a form of spiritual progress (101), one is reminded to approach narrative and, by implication, life, with a sense of mindful attention; “to hear”, like Keith, “what is always there” (225), and to look, as Nina does, for “something deeper than things or shapes of things” (111).ReferencesApitzch, Julia. "The Art of Terror – the Terror of Art: Delillo's Still Life of 9/11, Giorgio Morandi, Gerhard Richter, and Performance Art." Terrorism, Media, and the Ethics of Fiction: Transatlantic Perspectives on Don DeLillo. Eds. Peter Schneck and Philipp Schweighauser. London: Continuum [EBL access record], 2010. 93–110.Bal, Mieke. Narratology: Introduction to the Theory of Narratology. Toronto: U of Toronto P, 1985.Bird, Benjamin. "History, Emotion, and the Body: Mourning in Post-9/11 Fiction." Literature Compass 4.3 (2007): 561–75.Booth, Wayne C. The Rhetoric of Fiction. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1961.Butler, Judith. Precarious Life: The Powers of Mourning and Violence. New York: Verso, 2004.Chomsky, Noam. "Commentary Moral Truisms, Empirical Evidence, and Foreign Policy." Review of International Studies 29.4 (2003): 605–20.---. September 11. Crows Nest, NSW: Allen & Unwin, 2002.Conte, Joseph Mark. "Don Delillo’s Falling Man and the Age of Terror." MFS Modern Fiction Studies 57.3 (2011): 557–83.DeLillo, Don. Falling Man. London: Picador, 2007.---. "In the Ruins of the Future." The Guardian (22 December, 2001). ‹http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2001/dec/22/fiction.dondelillo›.Duvall, John N. & Marzec, Robert P. "Narrating 9/11." MFS Modern Fiction Studies 57.3 (2011): 381–400.Fludernik, Monika. An Introduction to Narratology. Taylor & Francis [EBL access record], 2009.---. Towards a 'Natural' Narratology. Routledge, [EBL access record], 1996.Genette, Gerard. Figures of Literary Discourse. New York: Columbia U P, 1982.Gerrig, Richard J. "Conscious and Unconscious Processes in Reader's Narrative Experiences." Current Trends in Narratology. Ed. Greta Olson. Berlin: De Gruyter [EBL access record], 2011. 37–60.Grossinger, Leif. "Public Image and Self-Representation: Don Delillo's Artists and Terrorists in Postmodern Mass Society." Terrorism, Media, and the Ethics of Fiction: Transatlantic Perspectives on Don DeLillo. Eds. Peter Schneck and Philipp Schweighauser. London: Continuum [EBL access record], 2010. 81–92.Iser, Wolfgang. "The Reading Process: A Phenomenological Approach." New Literary History 3.2 (1972): 279–99.Kauffman, Linda S. "The Wake of Terror: Don Delillo's in the Ruins of the Future, Baadermeinhof, and Falling Man." Modern Fiction Studies 54.2 (2008): 353–77.Leps, Marie-Christine. "Falling Man: Performing Fiction." Terrorism, Media, and the Ethics of Fiction: Transatlantic Perspectives on Don DeLillo. Eds. Peter Schneck and Philipp Schweighauser. London: Continuum [EBL access record], 2010. 184–203.Margolin, Uri. "(Mis)Perceiving to Good Aesthetic and Cognitive Effect." Current Trends in Narratology. Ed. Greta Olson. Berlin: De Gruyter [EBL access record], 2011. 61–78.Palmer, Alan. "The Construction of Fictional Minds." Narrative 10.1 (2002): 28–46.Said, Edward W. "The Clash of Ignorance." The Nation 273.12 (2001): 11–13.Silberstein, Sandra. War of Words : Language Politics and 9/11. Taylor & Francis e-Library, 2004.Versluys, Kristiaan. Out of the Blue: September 11 and the Novel. New York: Columbia U P, 2009.Weinstein, Arnold. Nobody's Home: Speech, Self and Place in American Fiction from Hawthorne to DeLillo. Oxford U P [EBL Access Record], 1993.Žižek, Slavoj. "Welcome to the Desert of the Real!" The South Atlantic Quarterly 101.2 (2002): 385–89.

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Rutherford, Amanda, and Sarah Baker. "The Disney ‘Princess Bubble’ as a Cultural Influencer." M/C Journal 24, no.1 (March15, 2021). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.2742.

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The Walt Disney Company has been creating magical fairy tales since the early 1900s and is a trusted brand synonymous with wholesome, family entertainment (Wasko). Over time, this reputation has resulted in the Disney brand’s huge financial growth and influence on audiences worldwide. (Wohlwend). As the largest global media powerhouse in the Western world (Beattie), Disney uses its power and influence to shape the perceptions and ideologies of its audience. In the twenty-first century there has been a proliferation of retellings of Disney fairy tales, and Kilmer suggests that although the mainstream perception is that these new iterations promote gender equity, new cultural awareness around gender stereotypes, and cultural insensitivity, this is illusory. Tangled, for example, was a popular film selling over 10 million DVD copies and positioned as a bold new female fairy tale character; however, academics took issue with this position, writing articles entitled “Race, Gender and the Politics of Hair: Disney’s Tangled Feminist Messages”, “Tangled: A Celebration of White Femininity”, and “Disney’s Tangled: Fun, But Not Feminist”, berating the film for its lack of any true feminist examples or progressiveness (Kilmer). One way to assess the impact of Disney is to look at the use of shape shifting and transformation in the narratives – particularly those that include women and young girls. Research shows that girls and women are often stereotyped and sexualised in the mass media (Smith et al.; Collins), and Disney regularly utilises body modification and metamorphosis within its narratives to emphasise what good and evil ‘look’ like. These magical transformations evoke what Marina Warner refers to as part of the necessary surprise element of the fairy tale, while creating suspense and identity with storylines and characters. In early Disney films such as the 1937 version of Snow White, the queen becomes the witch who brings a poison apple to the princess; and in the 1959 film Sleeping Beauty the ‘bad’ fairy Maleficent shapeshifts into a malevolent dragon. Whilst these ‘good to evil’ (and vice versa) tropes are easily recognised, there are additional transformations that are arguably more problematic than those of the increasingly terrifying monsters or villains. Disney has created what we have coined the ‘princess bubble’, where the physique and behaviour of the leading women in the tales has become a predictor of success and good fortune, and the impression is created of a link between their possession of beauty and the ‘happily-ever-after’ outcome received by the female character. The value, or worth, of a princess is shown within these stories to often increase according to her ability to attract men. For example, in Brave, Queen Elinor showcases the extreme measures taken to ‘present’ her daughter Merida to male suitors. Merida is preened, dressed, and shown how to behave to increase her value to her family, and whilst she manages to persuade them to set aside their patriarchal ideologies in the end, it is clear what is expected from Merida in order to gain male attention. Similarly, Cinderella, Aurora, and Snow White are found to be of high ‘worth’ by the princes on account of their beauty and form. We contend, therefore, that the impression often cast on audiences by Disney princesses emphasises that beauty = worth, no matter how transgressive Disney appears to be on the surface. These princesses are flawlessly beautiful, capable of winning the heart of the prince by triumphing over their less attractive rivals – who are often sisters or other family members. This creates the illusion among young audiences that physical attractiveness is enough to achieve success, and emphasises beauty as the priority above all else. Therefore, the Disney ‘princess bubble’ is highly problematic. It presents a narrow range of acceptability for female characters, offers a distorted view of gender, and serves to further engrain into popular culture a flawed stereotype on how to look and behave that negates a fuller representation of female characters. In addition, Armando Maggi argues that since fairy tales have been passed down through generations, they have become an intrinsic part of many people’s upbringing and are part of a kind of universal imaginary and repository of cultural values. This means that these iconic cultural stories are “unlikely to ever be discarded because they possess both a sentimental value and a moral ‘soundness’” (Rutherford 33), albeit that the lessons to be learnt are at times antiquated and exclusionary in contemporary society. The marketing and promotion of the Disney princess line has resulted in these characters becoming an extremely popular form of media and merchandise for young girls (Coyne et al. 2), and Disney has received great financial benefit from the success of its long history of popular films and merchandise. As a global corporation with influence across multiple entertainment platforms, from its streaming channel to merchandise and theme parks, the gender portrayals therefore impact on culture and, in particular, on how young audiences view gender representation. Therefore, it could be argued that Disney has a social responsibility to ensure that its messages and characters do not skew or become damaging to the psyche of its young audiences who are highly impressionable. When the representation of gender is examined, however, Disney tends to create highly gendered performances in both the early and modern iterations of fairy tales, and the princess characters remain within a narrow range of physical portrayals and agency. The Princess Bubble Although there are twelve official characters within the Disney princess umbrella, plus Elsa and Anna from the Disney Frozen franchise, this article examines the eleven characters who are either born or become royalty through marriage, and exhibit characteristics that could be argued to be the epitome of feminine representation in fairy tales. The characters within this ‘princess bubble’ are Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora, Ariel, Belle, Jasmine, Tiana, Rapunzel, Merida, Elsa, and Anna. The physical appearance of those in the princess bubble also connects to displays around the physical aspects of ethnicity. Nine out of eleven are white skinned, with Jasmine having lightened in skin tone over time, and Tiana now having a tanned look rather than the original dark African American complexion seen in 2009 (Brucculieri). This reinforces an ideology that being white is superior. Every princess in our sample has thick and healthy long hair, the predominant colour being blonde. Their eyes are mostly blue, with only three possessing a dark colour, a factor which reinforces the characteristics and representation of white ethnic groups. Their eyes are also big and bulbous in shape, with large irises and pupils, and extraordinarily long eyelashes that create an almost child-like look of innocence that matches their young age. These princesses have an average age of sixteen years and are always naïve, most without formal education or worldly experience, and they have additional distinctive traits which include poise, elegance and other desired feminine characteristics – like kindness and purity. Ehrenreich and Orenstein note that the physical attributes of the Disney princesses are so evident that the creators have drawn criticism for over-glamorising them, and for their general passiveness and reliance on men for their happiness. Essentially, these women are created in the image of the ultimate male fantasy, where an increased value is placed on the virginal look, followed by a perfect tiny body and an ability to follow basic instructions. The slim bodies of these princesses are disproportionate, and include long necks, demure shoulders, medium- to large-sized perky breasts, with tiny waists, wrists, ankles and feet. Thus, it can be argued that the main theme for those within the princess bubble is their physical body and beauty, and the importance of being attractive to achieve success. The importance of the physical form is so valued that the first blessing given by the fairies to Aurora from Sleeping Beauty is the gift of physical beauty (Rutherford). Furthermore, Tanner et al. argue that the "images of love at first sight in the films encourage the belief that physical appearance is the most important thing", and these fairy tales often reflect a pattern that the prince cannot help but to instantly fall in love with these women because they are so striking. In some instances, like the stories of Cinderella and Snow White, these princesses have not uttered a single word to their prince before these men fall unconditionally and hopelessly in love. Cinderella need only to turn up at the ball as the best dressed (Parks), while Snow White must merely “wait prettily, because someday her prince will come" (Inge) to reestablish her as royalty. Disney emphasises that these princesses win their man solely on the basis that they are the most beautiful girls in the land. In Sleeping Beauty, the prince overhears Aurora’s singing and that sets his heart aflame to the point of refusing to wed the woman chosen for him at birth by the king. Fortunately, she is one and the same person, so the patriarchy survives, but this idea of beauty, and of 'love at first sight', continues to be a central part of Disney movies today, and shows that “Disney Films are vehicles of powerful gender ideologies” (Hairianto). These princesses within the bubble of perfection have priority placed on their physical and sexual beauty (Dietz), formulating a kind of ‘beauty contest motif’. Examples include Gaston, who does not love Belle in Beauty and the Beast, but simply wants her as his trophy wife because he deems her to be the most beautiful girl in the town. Ariel, from The Little Mermaid, looks as if she "was modeled after a slightly anorexic Barbie doll with thin waist and prominent bust. This representation portrays a dangerous model for young women" (Zarranz). The sexualisation of the characters continues as Jasmine has “a delicate nose and small mouth" (Lacroix), with a dress that can be considered as highly sexualised and unsuitable for a girl of sixteen (Lacroix). In Tangled, Rapunzel is held hostage in the tower by Mother Gothel because she is ‘as fragile as a flower’ and needs to be ‘kept safe’ from the harms in the world. But it is her beauty that scares the witch the most, because losing Rapunzel would leave the old woman without her magical anti-aging hair. She uses scare tactics to ensure that Rapunzel remains unseen to the world. These examples are all variations of the beauty theme, as the princesses all fall within narrow and predictable tropes of love at first sight where the woman is rescued and initiated into womanhood by being chosen by a man. Disney’s Progressive Representation? At times Disney’s portrayal of princesses appears illusively progressive, by introducing new and different variations of princesses into the fold – such as Merida in the 2012 film Brave. Unfortunately, this is merely an illusion as the ‘body-perfect’ image remains an all-important ideal to snare a prince. Merida, the young and spirited teenage princess, begins her tale determined not to conform to the desired standards set for a woman of her standing; however, when the time comes for her to be married, there is no negotiating with her mother, the queen, on dress compliance. Merida is clothed against her will to re-identify her in the manner which her parents deem appropriate. Her ability to express her identity and individuality removed, now replaced by a masked version, and thus with the true Merida lost in this transformation, her parents consider Merida to be of renewed merit and benefit to the family. This shows that Disney remains unchanged in its depiction of who may ‘fit’ within the princess bubble, because the rubric is unchanged on how to win the heart of the man. In fact, this film is possibly more troublesome than the rest because it clearly depicts her parents to deem her to be of more value only after her mother has altered her physical appearance. It is only after the total collapse of the royal family that King Fergus has a change of patriarchal heart, and in fact Disney does not portray this rumpled, ripped-sleeved version of the princess in its merchandising campaign. While the fantasy of fairy tales provides enthralling adventures that always end in happiness for the pretty princesses that encounter them, consideration must be given to all those women who have not met the standard and are left in their wake. If women do not conform to the standards of representation, they are presented as outcasts, and happiness eludes them. Cinderella, for example, has two ugly stepsisters, who, no matter how hard they might try, are unable to match her in attractiveness, kindness, or grace. Disney has embraced and not shunned Perrault’s original retelling of the tale, by ensuring that these stepsisters are ugly. They have not been blessed with any attributes whatsoever, and cannot sing, dance, or play music; nor can they sew, cook, clean, or behave respectably. These girls will never find a suitor, let alone a prince, no matter how eager they are to do so. On the physical comparison, Anastasia and Drizella have bodies that are far more rounded and voluptuous, with feet, for example, that are more than double the size of Cinderella’s magical slipper. These women clearly miss the parameters of our princess bubble, emphasising that Disney is continuing to promote dangerous narratives that could potentially harm young audience conceptions of femininity at an important period in their development. Therefore, despite the ‘progressive’ strides made by Disney in response to the vast criticism of their earlier films, the agency afforded to their new generation of princesses does not alter the fact that success comes to those who are beautiful. These beautiful people continue to win every time. Furthermore, Hairianto has found that it is not uncommon for the media to directly or indirectly promote “mental models of how a woman should look, speak and interact with others”, and that Disney uses its pervasive princess influence “to shape perceptions of female identity and desirability. Females are made to measure themselves against the set of values that are meted out by the films” (Hairianto). In the 2017 film Beauty and the Beast, those outside of the princess bubble are seen in the characters of the three maidens from the village who are always trying to look their very best in the hope of attracting Gaston (Rutherford). Gaston is not only disinterested but shows borderline contempt at their glances by permitting his horse to spray mud and dirt all over their fine clothing. They do not meet the beauty standard set, and instead of questioning his cruelty, the audience is left laughing at the horse’s antics. Interestingly, the earlier version of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast portrays these maidens as blonde, slim, and sexy, closely fitting the model of beauty displayed in our princess bubble; however, none match the beauty of Belle, and are therefore deemed inferior. In this manner, Disney is being irresponsible, placing little interest in the psychological ‘safety’ or affect the messages have upon young girls who will never meet these expectations (Ehrenreich; Best and Lowney; Orenstein). Furthermore, bodies are shaped and created by culture. They are central to self-identity, becoming a projection of how we see ourselves. Grosz (xii) argues that our notions of our bodies begin in physicality but are forever shaped by our interactions with social realities and cultural norms. The media are constantly filled with images that “glorify and highlight some kinds of bodies (for example, the young, able-bodied and beautiful) while ignoring or condemning others” (Jones 193), and these influences on gender, ethnicity, sexuality, race, and religion within popular culture therefore play a huge part in identity creation. In Disney films, the princess bubble constantly sings the same song, and “children view these stereotypical roles as the right and only way to behave” (Ewert). In The Princess and the Frog, Tiana’s friend Charlotte is so desperate to ‘catch’ a prince that "she humorously over-applies her makeup and adjusts her ball gown to emphasize her cleavage" (Breaux), but the point is not lost. Additionally, “making sure that girls become worthy of love seems central to Disney’s fairy tale films” (Rutherford 76), and because their fairy tales are so pervasive and popular, young viewers receive a consistent message that being beautiful and having a tiny doll-like body type is paramount. “This can be destructive for developing girls’ views and images of their own bodies, which are not proportioned the way that they see on screen” (Cordwell 21). “The strongly gendered messages present in the resolutions of the movies help to reinforce the desirability of traditional gender conformity” (England et al. 565). Conclusion The princess bubble is a phenomenon that has been seen in Disney’s representation of female characters for decades. Within this bubble there is a narrow range of representation permitted, and attempts to make the characters more progressive have instead resulted in narrow and restrictive constraints, reinforcing dangerous female stereotypes. Kilmer suggests that ultimately these representations fail to break away from “hegemonic assumptions about gender norms, class boundaries, and Caucasian privileging”. Ultimately this presents audiences with strong and persuasive messages about gender performance. Audiences conform their bodies to societal ‘rules’: “as to how we ‘wear’ and ‘use’ our bodies” (Richardson and Locks x), including for example how we should dress, what we should weigh, and how to become popular. In our global hypermediated society, viewers are constantly exposed to princesses and other appropriate bodies. These become internalised ideals and aid in positive and negative thoughts and self-identity, which in turn creates additional pressure on the female body in particular. The seemingly innocent stories with happy outcomes are therefore unrealistic and ultimately excluding of those who cannot or will not ‘fit into the princess bubble’. The princess bubble, we argue, is therefore predictable and restrictive, promoting female passiveness and a reliance of physical traits over intelligence. The dominance of beauty over all else remains the road to female success in the Disney fairy tale film. References Beauty and the Beast. Dirs. Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise. Walt Disney Productions, 1991. Film. Beauty and the Beast. Dir. Bill Condon. Walt Disney Pictures, 2017. Film. Best, Joel, and Kathleen S. Lowney. “The Disadvantage of a Good Reputation: Disney as a Target for Social Problems Claims.” The Sociological Quarterly 50 (2009): 431–449. doi:10.1111/j.1533-8525.2009.01147.x. Brave. Dirs. Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman. Walt Disney Pictures, 2012. Film. Breaux, Richard, M. “After 75 Years of Magic: Disney Answers Its Critics, Rewrites African American History, and Cashes in on Its Racist Past.” Journal of African American Studies 14 (2010): 398-416. Cinderella. Dirs. Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson, and Hamilton Luske. Walt Disney Productions, 1950. Film. Collins, Rebecca L. “Content Analysis of Gender Roles in Media: Where Are We Now and Where Should We Go?” Sex Roles 64 (2011): 290–298. doi:10.1007/s11199-010-9929-5. Cordwell, Caila Leigh. The Shattered Slipper Project: The Impact of the Disney Princess Franchise on Girls Ages 6-12. Honours thesis, Southeastern University, 2016. Coyne, Sarah M., Jennifer Ruh Linder, Eric E. Rasmussen, David A. Nelson, and Victoria Birkbeck. “Pretty as a Princess: Longitudinal Effects of Engagement with Disney Princesses on Gender Stereotypes, Body Esteem, and Prosocial Behavior in Children.” Child Development 87.6 (2016): 1–17. Dietz, Tracey, L. “An Examination of Violence and Gender Role Portrayals in Video Games: Implications for Gender Socialization and Aggressive Behavior.” Sex Roles 38 (1998): 425–442. doi:10.1023/a:1018709905920. England, Dawn Elizabeth, Lara Descartes, and Melissa A. Collier-Meek. "Gender Role Portrayal and the Disney Princesses." Sex Roles 64 (2011): 555-567. Ewert, Jolene. “A Tale as Old as Time – an Analysis of Negative Stereotypes in Disney Princess Movies.” Undergraduate Research Journal for the Human Sciences 13 (2014). Grosz, Elizabeth. Volatile Bodies. London, Routledge, 1994. Inge, M. Thomas. “Art, Adaptation, and Ideology: Walt Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.” Journal of Popular Film and Television 32.3 (2004): 132-142. Jones, Meredith. “The Body in Popular Culture.” Being Cultural. Ed. Bruce M.Z. Cohen. Auckland University, 2012. 193-210. Kilmer, Alyson. Moving Forward? Problematic Ideology in Twenty-First Century Fairy Tale Films. Central Washington University, 2015. Lacroix, Celeste. “Images of Animated Others: The Orientalization of Disney's Cartoon Heroines from The Little Mermaid to The Hunchback of Notre Dame.” Popular Communications 2.4 (2004): 213-229. Little Mermaid, The. Dirs. Ron Clements and John Musker. Walt Disney Pictures, 1989. Film. Maggi, Armando. Preserving the Spell: Basile's "The Tale of Tales" and Its Afterlife in the Fairy-Tale Tradition. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2015. Orenstein, Peggy. Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture. New York: HarperCollins, 2011. Parks, Kari. Mirror, Mirror: A Look at Self-Esteem & Disney Princesses. Honours thesis. Ball State University, 2012. Pinocchio. Dirs. Hamilton Luske, Ben Sharpsteen, Wilfred Jackson, Jack Kinney, Norm Ferguson, Bill Roberts, and T. Lee. Walt Disney Productions, 1940. Film. Princess and the Frog, The. Dirs. Ron Clements and John Musker. Walt Disney Pictures, 2009. Film. Richardson, Niall, and Adam Locks. Body Studies: The Basics. Routledge, 2014. Rutherford, Amanda M. Happily Ever After? A Critical Examination of the Gothic in Disney Fairy Tale Films. Auckland University of Technology, 2020. Sleeping Beauty. Dirs. Clyde Geronimi, Eric Larson, Wolfgang Reitherman, and Les Clark. Walt Disney Productions, 1959. Film. Smith, Stacey L., Katherine M. Pieper, Amy Granados, and Mark Choueite. “Assessing Gender-Related Portrayals in Topgrossing G-Rated Films.” Sex Roles 62 (2010): 774–786. Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs. Dirs. David Hand, Wilfred Jackson, Ben Sharpsteen, William Cottrell, Perce Pearce, and Larry Morey. Walt Disney Productions, 1937. Film. Tangled. Dirs. Nathan Greno and Byron Howard. Walt Disney Pictures, 2010. Film. Tanner, Litsa RenÉe, Shelley A. Haddock, Toni Schindler Zimmerman, and Lori K. Lund. “Images of Couples and Families in Disney Feature-Length Animated Films.” The American Journal of Family Therapy 31 (2003): 355-373. Warner, Marina. Fantastic Metamorphoses, Other Worlds. London: Oxford UP, 2002. Wasko, Janet. Understanding Disney: The Manufacture of Fantasy. Polity Press, 2001. Wohlwend, Karen E. “Damsels in Discourse: Girls Consuming and Producing Identity Texts through Disney Princess Play.” Reading Research Quarterly 44.1 (2009): 57-83. Zarranaz, L. 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Horrigan, Matthew. "A Flattering Robopocalypse." M/C Journal 23, no.6 (November28, 2020). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.2726.

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RACHAEL. It seems you feel our work is not a benefit to the public.DECKARD. Replicants are like any other machine. They're either a benefit or a hazard. If they're a benefit it's not my problem.RACHAEL. May I ask you a personal question?DECKARD. Yes.RACHAEL. Have you every retired a human by mistake? (Scott 17:30) CAPTCHAs (henceforth "captchas") are commonplace on today's Internet. Their purpose seems clear: block malicious software, allow human users to pass. But as much as they exclude spambots, captchas often exclude humans with visual and other disabilities (Dzieza; W3C Working Group). Worse yet, more and more advanced captcha-breaking technology has resulted in more and more challenging captchas, raising the barrier between online services and those who would access them. In the words of inclusive design advocate Robin Christopherson, "CAPTCHAs are evil". In this essay I describe how the captcha industry implements a posthuman process that speculative fiction has gestured toward but not grasped. The hostile posthumanity of captcha is not just a technical problem, nor just a problem of usability or access. Rather, captchas convey a design philosophy that asks humans to prove themselves by performing well at disembodied games. This philosophy has its roots in the Turing Test itself, whose terms guide speculation away from the real problems that today's authentication systems present. Drawing the concept of "procedurality" from game studies, I argue that, despite a design goal of separating machines and humans to the benefit of the latter, captchas actually and ironically produce an arms race in which humans have a systematic and increasing disadvantage. This arms race results from the Turing Test's equivocation between human and machine bodies, an assumption whose influence I identify in popular film, science fiction literature, and captcha design discourse. The Captcha Industry and Its Side-Effects Exclusion is an essential function of every cybersecurity system. From denial-of-service attacks to data theft, toxic automated entities constantly seek admission to services they would damage. To remain functional and accessible, Websites need security systems to keep out "abusive agents" (Shet). In cybersecurity, the term "user authentication" refers to the process of distinguishing between abusive agents and welcome users (Jeng et al.). Of the many available authentication techniques, CAPTCHA, "Completely Automated Public Turing test[s] to tell Computers and Humans Apart" (Von Ahn et al. 1465), is one of the most iconic. Although some captchas display a simple checkbox beside a disclaimer to the effect that "I am not a robot" (Shet), these frequently give way to more difficult alternatives: perception tests (fig. 1). Test captchas may show sequences of distorted letters, which a user is supposed to recognise and then type in (Godfrey). Others effectively digitize a game of "I Spy": an image appears, with an instruction to select the parts of it that show a specific type of object (Zhu et al.). A newer type of captcha involves icons rotated upside-down or sideways, the task being to right them (Gossweiler et al.). These latter developments show the influence of gamification (Kani and Nishigaki; Kumar et al.), the design trend where game-like elements figure in serious tasks. Fig. 1: A series of captchas followed by multifactor authentication as a "quick security check" during the author's suspicious attempt to access LinkedIn over a Virtual Private Network Gamified captchas, in using tests of ability to tell humans from computers, invite three problems, of which only the first has received focussed critical attention. I discuss each briefly below, and at greater length in subsequent sections. First, as many commentators have pointed out (W3C Working Group), captchas can accidentally categorise real humans as nonhumans—a technical problem that becomes more likely as captcha-breaking technologies improve (e.g. Tam et al.; Brown et al.). Indeed, the design and breaking of captchas has become an almost self-sustaining subfield in computer science, as researchers review extant captchas, publish methods for breaking them, and publish further captcha designs (e.g. Weng et al.). Such research fuels an industry of captcha-solving services (fig. 2), of which some use automated techniques, and some are "human-powered", employing groups of humans to complete large numbers of captchas, thus clearing the way for automated incursions (Motoyama et al. 2). Captchas now face the quixotic task of using ability tests to distinguish legitimate users from abusers with similar abilities. Fig. 2: Captcha production and captcha breaking: a feedback loop Second, gamified captchas import the feelings of games. When they defeat a real human, the human seems not to have encountered the failure state of an automated procedure, but rather to have lost, or given up on, a game. The same frame of "gameful"-ness (McGonigal, under "Happiness Hacking") or "gameful work" (under "The Rise of the Happiness Engineers"), supposed to flatter users with a feeling of reward or satisfaction when they complete a challenge, has a different effect in the event of defeat. Gamefulness shifts the fault from procedure to human, suggesting, for the latter, the shameful status of loser. Third, like games, gamified captchas promote a particular strain of logic. Just as other forms of media can be powerful venues for purveying stereotypes, so are gamified captchas, in this case conveying the notion that ability is a legitimate means, not only of apportioning privilege, but of humanising and dehumanising. Humanity thus appears as a status earned, and disability appears not as a stigma, nor an occurrence, but an essence. The latter two problems emerge because the captcha reveals, propagates and naturalises an ideology through mechanised procedures. Below I invoke the concept of "procedural rhetoric" to critique the disembodied notion of humanity that underlies both the original Turing Test and the "Completely Automated Public Turing test." Both tests, I argue, ultimately play to the disadvantage of their human participants. Rhetorical Games, Procedural Rhetoric When videogame studies emerged as an academic field in the early 2000s, once of its first tasks was to legitimise games relative to other types of artefact, especially literary texts (Eskelinen; Aarseth). Scholars sought a framework for discussing how video games, like other more venerable media, can express ideas (Weise). Janet Murray and Ian Bogost looked to the notion of procedure, devising the concepts of "procedurality" (Bogost 3), "procedural authorship" (Murray 171), and "procedural rhetoric" (Bogost 1). From a proceduralist perspective, a videogame is both an object and a medium for inscribing processes. Those processes have two basic types: procedures the game's developers have authored, which script the behaviour of the game as a computer program; and procedures human players respond with, the "operational logic" of gameplay (Bogost 13). Procedurality's two types of procedure, the computerised and the human, have a kind of call-and-response relationship, where the behaviour of the machine calls upon players to respond with their own behaviour patterns. Games thus train their players. Through the training that is play, players acquire habits they bring to other contexts, giving videogames the power not only to express ideas but "disrupt and change fundamental attitudes and beliefs about the world, leading to potentially significant long-term social change" (Bogost ix). That social change can be positive (McGonigal), or it can involve "dark patterns", cases where game procedures provoke and exploit harmful behaviours (Zagal et al.). For example, embedded in many game paradigms is the procedural rhetoric of "toxic meritocracy" (Paul 66), where players earn rewards, status and personal improvement by overcoming challenges, and, especially, excelling where others fail. While meritocracy may seem logical within a strictly competitive arena, its effect in a broader cultural context is to legitimise privileges as the spoils of victory, and maltreatment as the just result of defeat. As game design has influenced other fields, so too has procedurality's applicability expanded. Gamification, "the use of game design elements in non-game contexts" (Deterding et al. 9), is a popular trend in which designers seek to imbue diverse tasks with some of the enjoyment of playing a game (10). Gamification discourse has drawn heavily upon Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's "positive psychology" (Seligman and Csikszentmihalyi), and especially the speculative psychology of flow (Csikszentmihalyi 51), which promise enormously broad benefits for individuals acting in the "flow state" that challenging play supposedly promotes (75). Gamification has become a celebrated cause, advocated by a group of scholars and designers Sebastian Deterding calls the "Californian league of gamification evangelists" (120), before becoming an object of critical scrutiny (Fuchs et al.). Where gamification goes, it brings its dark patterns with it. In gamified user authentication (Kroeze and Olivier), and particularly gamified captcha, there occurs an intersection of deceptively difficult games, real-world stakes, and users whose differences go often ignored. The Disembodied Arms Race In captcha design research, the concept of disability occurs under the broader umbrella of usability. Usability studies emphasise the fact that some technology pieces are easier to access than others (Yan and El Ahmad). Disability studies, in contrast, emphasises the fact that different users have different capacities to overcome access barriers. Ability is contextual, an intersection of usability and disability, use case and user (Reynolds 443). When used as an index of humanness, ability yields illusive results. In Posthuman Knowledge, Rosi Braidotti begins her conceptual enquiry into the posthuman condition with a contemplation of captcha, asking what it means to tick that checkbox claiming that "I am not a robot" (8), and noting the baffling multiplicity of possible answers. From a practical angle, Junya Kani and Masakatsu Nishigaki write candidly about the problem of distinguishing robot from human: "no matter how advanced malicious automated programs are, a CAPTCHA that will not pass automated programs is required. Hence, we have to find another human cognitive processing capability to tackle this challenge" (40). Kani and Nishigaki try out various human cognitive processing capabilities for the task. Narrative comprehension and humour become candidates: might a captcha ascribe humanity based on human users' ability to determine the correct order of scenes in a film (43)? What about panels in a cartoon (40)? As they seek to assess the soft skills of machines, Kani and Nishigaki set up a drama similar to that of Philip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, and its film adaptation, Blade Runner (Scott), describe a spacefaring society populated by both humans and androids. Androids have lesser legal privileges than humans, and in particular face execution—euphemistically called "retirement"—for trespassing on planet Earth (Dick 60). Blade Runner gave these androids their more famous name: "replicant". Replicants mostly resemble humans in thought and action, but are reputed to lack the capacity for empathy, so human police, seeking a cognitive processing capability unique to humans, test for empathy to test for humanness (30). But as with captchas, Blade Runner's testing procedure depends upon an automated device whose effectiveness is not certain, prompting the haunting question: "have you ever retired a human by mistake?" (Scott 17:50). Blade Runner's empathy test is part of a long philosophical discourse about the distinction between human and machine (e.g. Putnam; Searle). At the heart of the debate lies Alan Turing's "Turing Test", which a machine hypothetically passes when it can pass itself off as a human conversationalist in an exchange of written text. Turing's motivation for coming up with the test goes: there may be no absolute way of defining what makes a human mind, so the best we can do is assess a computer's ability to imitate one (Turing 433). The aporia, however—how can we determine what makes a human mind?—is the result of an unfair question. Turing's test, dealing only with information expressed in strings of text, purposely disembodies both humans and machines. The Blade Runner universe similarly evens the playing field: replicants look, feel and act like humans to such an extent that distinguishing between the two becomes, again, the subject of a cognition test. The Turing Test, obsessed with information processing and steeped in mind-body dualism, assesses humanness using criteria that automated users can master relatively easily. In contrast, in everyday life, I use a suite of much more intuitive sensory tests to distinguish between my housemate and my laptop. My intuitions capture what the Turing Test masks: a human is a fleshy entity, possessed of the numerous trappings and capacities of a human body. The result of the automated Turing Test's focus on cognition is an arms race that places human users at an increasing disadvantage. Loss, in such a race, manifests not only as exclusion by and from computer services, but as a redefinition of proper usership, the proper behaviour of the authentic, human, user. Thus the Turing Test implicitly provides for a scenario where a machine becomes able to super-imitate humanness: to be perceived as human more often than a real human would be. In such an outcome, it would be the human conversationalist who would begin to fail the Turing test; to fail to pass themself off according to new criteria for authenticity. This scenario is possible because, through procedural rhetoric, machines shift human perspectives: about what is and is not responsible behaviour; about what humans should and should not feel when confronted with a challenge; about who does and does not deserve access; and, fundamentally, about what does and does not signify authentic usership. In captcha, as in Blade Runner, it is ultimately a machine that adjudicates between human and machine cognition. As users we rely upon this machine to serve our interests, rather than pursue some emergent automated interest, some by-product of the feedback loop that results from the ideologies of human researchers both producing and being produced by mechanised procedures. In the case of captcha, that faith is misplaced. The Feeling of Robopocalypse A rich repertory of fiction has speculated upon what novelist Daniel Wilson calls the "Robopocalypse", the scenario where machines overthrow humankind. Most versions of the story play out as a slave-owner's nightmare, featuring formerly servile entities (which happen to be machines) violently revolting and destroying the civilisation of their masters. Blade Runner's rogue replicants, for example, are effectively fugitive slaves (Dihal 196). Popular narratives of robopocalypse, despite showing their antagonists as lethal robots, are fundamentally human stories with robots playing some of the parts. In contrast, the exclusion a captcha presents when it defeats a human is not metaphorical or emancipatory. There, in that moment, is a mechanised entity defeating a human. The defeat takes place within an authoritative frame that hides its aggression. For a human user, to be defeated by a captcha is to fail to meet an apparently common standard, within the framework of a common procedure. This is a robopocalypse of baffling systems rather than anthropomorphic soldiers. Likewise, non-human software clients pose threats that humanoid replicants do not. In particular, software clients replicate much faster than physical bodies. The sheer sudden scale of a denial-of-service attack makes Philip K. Dick's vision of android resistance seem quaint. The task of excluding unauthorised software, unlike the impulse to exclude replicants, is more a practical necessity than an exercise in colonialism. Nevertheless, dystopia finds its way into the captcha process through the peril inherent in the test, whenever humans are told apart from authentic users. This is the encroachment of the hostile posthuman, naturalised by us before it denaturalises us. The hostile posthuman sometimes manifests as a drone strike, Terminator-esque (Cameron), a dehumanised decision to kill (Asaro). But it is also a process of gradual exclusion, detectable from moment to moment as a feeling of disdain or impatience for the irresponsibility, incompetence, or simply unusualness of a human who struggles to keep afloat of a rising standard. "We are in this together", Braidotti writes, "between the algorithmic devil and the acidified deep blue sea" (9). But we are also in this separately, divided along lines of ability. Captcha's danger, as a broken procedure, hides in plain sight, because it lashes out at some only while continuing to flatter others with a game that they can still win. Conclusion Online security systems may always have to define some users as legitimate and others as illegitimate. Is there a future where they do so on the basis of behaviour rather than identity or essence? Might some future system accord each user, human or machine, the same authentic status, and provide all with an initial benefit of the doubt? In the short term, such a system would seem grossly impractical. The type of user that most needs to be excluded is the disembodied type, the type that can generate orders of magnitude more demands than a human, that can proliferate suddenly and in immense number because it does not lag behind the slow processes of human bodies. This type of user exists in software alone. Rich in irony, then, is the captcha paradigm which depends on the disabilities of the threats it confronts. We dread malicious software not for its disabilities—which are momentary and all too human—but its abilities. Attenuating the threat presented by those abilities requires inverting a habit that meritocracy trains and overtrains: specifically, we have here a case where the plight of the human user calls for negative action toward ability rather than disability. 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Waelder, Pau. "The Constant Murmur of Data." M/C Journal 13, no.2 (April15, 2010). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.228.

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Abstract:

Our daily environment is surrounded by a paradoxically silent and invisible flow: the coming and going of data through our network cables, routers and wireless devices. This data is not just 1s and 0s, but bits of the conversations, images, sounds, thoughts and other forms of information that result from our interaction with the world around us. If we can speak of a global ambience, it is certainly derived from this constant flow of data. It is an endless murmur that speaks to our machines and gives us a sense of awareness of a certain form of surrounding that is independent from our actual, physical location. The constant “presence” of data around us is something that we have become largely aware of. Already in 1994, Phil Agre stated in an article in WIRED Magazine: “We're so accustomed to data that hardly anyone questions it” (1). Agre indicated that this data is in fact a representation of the world, the discrete bits of information that form the reality we are immersed in. He also proposed that it should be “brought to life” by exploring its relationships with other data and the world itself. A decade later, these relationships had become the core of the new paradigm of the World Wide Web and our interaction with cyberspace. As Mitchell Whitelaw puts it: “The web is increasingly a set of interfaces to datasets ... . On the contemporary web the data pour has become the rule, rather than the exception. The so-called ‘web 2.0’ paradigm further abstracts web content into feeds, real-time flows of XML data” ("Art against Information"). These feeds and flows have been used by artists and researchers in the creation of different forms of dynamic visualisations, in which data is mapped according to a set of parameters in order to summarise it in a single image or structure. Lev Manovich distinguishes in these visualisations those made by artists, to which he refers as “data art”. Unlike other forms of mapping, according to Manovich data art has a precise goal: “The more interesting and at the end maybe more important challenge is how to represent the personal subjective experience of a person living in a data society” (15). Therefore, data artists extract from the bits of information available in cyberspace a dynamic representation of our contemporary environment, the ambience of our digital culture, our shared, intimate and at the same time anonymous, subjectivity. In this article I intend to present some of the ways in which artists have dealt with the murmur of data creatively, exploring the immense amounts of user generated content in forms that interrogate our relationship with the virtual environment and the global community. I will discuss several artistic projects that have shaped the data flow on the Internet in order to take the user back to a state of contemplation, as a listener, an observer, and finally encountering the virtual in a physical form. Listening The concept of ambience particularly evokes an auditory experience related to a given location: in filmmaking, it refers to the sounds of the surrounding space and is the opposite of silence; as a musical genre, ambient music contributes to create a certain atmosphere. In relation to flows of data, it can be said that the applications that analyze Internet traffic and information are “listening” to it, as if someone stands in a public place, overhearing other people's conversations. The act of listening also implies a reception, not an emission, which is a substantial distinction given the fact that data art projects work with given data instead of generating it. As Mitchell Whitelaw states: “Data here is first of all indexical of reality. Yet it is also found, or to put it another way, given. ... Data's creation — in the sense of making a measurement, framing and abstracting something from the flux of the real — is left out” (3). One of the most interesting artistic projects to initially address this sort of “listening” is Carnivore (2001) by the Radical Software Group. Inspired by DCS1000, an e-mail surveillance software developed by the FBI, Carnivore (which was actually the original name of the FBI's program) listens to Internet traffic and serves this data to interfaces (clients) designed by artists, which interpret the provided information in several ways. The data packets can be transformed into an animated graphic, as in amalgamatmosphere (2001) by Joshua Davis, or drive a fleet of radio controlled cars, as in Police State (2003) by Jonah Brucker-Cohen. Yet most of these clients treat data as a more or less abstract value (expressed in numbers) that serves to trigger the reactions in each client. Carnivore clients provide an initial sense of the concept of ambience as reflected in the data circulating the Internet, yet other projects will address this subject more eloquently. Fig. 1: Ben Rubin, Mark Hansen, Listening Post (2001-03). Multimedia installation. Photo: David Allison.Listening Post (2001-04) by Mark Hansen and Ben Rubin is an installation consisting of 231 small electronic screens distributed in a semicircular grid [fig.1: Listening Post]. The screens display texts culled from thousands of Internet chat rooms, which are read by a voice synthesiser and arranged synchronically across the grid. The installation thus becomes a sort of large panel, somewhere between a videowall and an altarpiece, which invites the viewer to engage in a meditative contemplation, seduced by the visual arrangement of the flickering texts scrolling on each screen, appearing and disappearing, whilst sedated by the soft, monotonous voice of the machine and an atmospheric musical soundtrack. The viewer is immersed in a particular ambience generated by the fragmented narratives of the anonymous conversations extracted from the Internet. The setting of the piece, isolated in a dark room, invites contemplation and silence, as the viewer concentrates on seeing and listening. The artists clearly state that their goal in creating this installation was to recreate a sense of ambience that is usually absent in electronic communications: “A participant in a chat room has limited sensory access to the collective 'buzz' of that room or of others nearby – the murmur of human contact that we hear naturally in a park, a plaza or a coffee shop is absent from the online experience. The goal of Listening Post is to collect this buzz and render it at a human scale” (Hansen 114-15). The "buzz", as Hansen and Rubin describe it, is in fact nonexistent in the sense that it does not take place in any physical environment, but is rather the imagined output of the circulation of a myriad blocks of data through the Net. This flow of data is translated into audible and visible signals, thus creating a "murmur" that the viewer can relate to her experience in interacting with other humans. The ambience of a room full of people engaged in conversation is artificially recreated and expanded beyond the boundaries of a real space. By extracting chats from the Internet, the murmur becomes global, reflecting the topics that are being shared by users around the world, in an improvised, ever-changing embodiment of the Zeitgeist, the spirit of the time, or even a certain stream of consciousness on a planetary scale. Fig. 2: Gregory Chatonsky, L'Attente - The Waiting (2007). Net artwork. Photo: Gregory Chatonsky.The idea of contemplation and receptiveness is also present in another artwork that elaborates on the concept of the Zeitgeist. L'Attente [The Waiting] (2007) by Gregory Chatonsky is a net art piece that feeds from the data on the Internet to create an open, never-ending fiction in real time [Fig.2: The Waiting]. In this case, the viewer experiences the artwork on her personal computer, as a sort of film in which words, images and sounds are displayed in a continuous sequence, driven by a slow paced soundtrack that confers a sense of unity to the fragmented nature of the work. The data is extracted in real time from several popular sites (photos from Flickr, posts from Twitter, sound effects from Odeo), the connection between image and text being generated by the network itself: the program extracts text from the posts that users write in Twitter, then selects some words to perform a search on the Flickr database and retrieve photos with matching keywords. The viewer is induced to make sense of this concatenation of visual and audible content and thus creates a story by mentally linking all the elements into what Chatonsky defines as "a fiction without narration" (Chatonsky, Flußgeist). The murmur here becomes a story, but without the guiding voice of a narrator. As with Listening Post, the viewer is placed in the role of a witness or a voyeur, subject to an endless flow of information which is not made of the usual contents distributed by mainstream media, but the personal and intimate statements of her peers, along with the images they have collected and the portraits that identify them in the social networks. In contrast to the overdetermination of History suggested by the term Zeitgeist, Chatonsky proposes a different concept, the spirit of the flow or Flußgeist, which derives not from a single idea expressed by multiple voices but from a "voice" that is generated by listening to all the different voices on the Net (Chatonsky, Zeitgeist). Again, the ambience is conceived as the combination of a myriad of fragments, which requires attentive contemplation. The artist describes this form of interacting with the contents of the piece by making a reference to the character of the angel Damiel in Wim Wenders’s film Wings of Desire (Der Himmel über Berlin, 1987): “to listen as an angel distant and proximate the inner voice of people, to place the hand on their insensible shoulder, to hold without being able to hold back” (Chatonsky, Flußgeist). The act of listening as described in Wenders's character illustrates several key aspects of the above mentioned artworks: there is, on the one hand, a receptiveness, carried out by the applications that extract data from the Internet, which cannot be “hold back” by the user, unable to control the flow that is evolving in front of her. On the other hand, the information she receives is always fragmentary, made up of disconnected parts which are, in the words of the artist Lisa Jevbratt, “rubbings ... indexical traces of reality” (1). Observing The observation of our environment takes us to consider the concept of landscape. Landscape, in its turn, acquires a double nature when we compare our relationship with the physical environment and the digital realm. In this sense, Mitchell Whitelaw stresses that while data moves at superhuman speed, the real world seems slow and persistent (Landscape). The overlapping of dynamic, fast-paced, virtual information on a physical reality that seems static in comparison is one of the distinctive traits of the following projects, in which the ambience is influenced by realtime data in a visual form that is particularly subtle, or even invisible to the naked eye. Fig. 3: Carlo Zanni, The Fifth Day (2009). Net artwork. Screenshot retrieved on 4/4/2009. Photo: Carlo Zanni. The Fifth Day (2009) by Carlo Zanni is a net art piece in which the artist has created a narration by displaying a sequence of ten pictures showing a taxi ride in the city of Alexandria [Fig.3: The Fifth Day]. Although still, the images are dynamic in the sense that they are transformed according to data retrieved from the Internet describing the political and cultural status of Egypt, along with data extracted from the user's own identity on the Net, such as her IP or city of residence. Every time a user accesses the website where the artwork is hosted, this data is collected and its values are applied to the photos by cloning or modifying particular elements in them. For instance, a photograph of a street will show as many passersby as the proportion of seats held by women in national parliament, while the reflection in the taxi driver's mirror in another photo will be replaced by a picture taken from Al-Jazeera's website. Zanni addresses the viewer's perception of the Middle East by inserting small bits of additional information and also elements from the viewer's location and culture into the images of the Egyptian city. The sequence is rendered as the trailer of a political thriller, enhanced by a dramatic soundtrack and concluded with the artwork's credits. As with the abovementioned projects, the viewer must adopt a passive role, contemplating the images before her and eventually observing the minute modifications inserted by the data retrieved in real time. Yet, in this case, the ambience is not made manifest by a constant buzz to which one must listen, but quite more subtly it is suggested by the fact that not even a still image is always the same. As if observing a landscape, the overall impression is that nothing has changed while there are minor transformations that denote a constant evolution. Zanni has explored this idea in previous works such as eBayLandscape (2004), in which he creates a landscape image by combining data extracted from several websites, or My Temporary Visiting Position from the Sunset Terrace Bar (2007), in which a view of the city of Ahlen (Germany) is combined with a real time webcam image of the sky in Naples (Italy). Although they may seem self-enclosed, these online, data-driven compositions also reflect the global ambience, the Zeitgeist, in different forms. As Carlo Giordano puts it: "Aesthetically, the work aims to a nearly seamless integration of mixed fragments. The contents of these parts, reflecting political and economical issues ... thematize actuality and centrality, amplifying the author's interest in what everybody is talking about, what happens hic et nunc, what is in the fore of the media and social discourse" (16-17). A landscape made of data, such as Zanni's eBayLandscape, is the most eloquent image of how an invisible layer of information is superimposed over our physical environment. Fig. 4: Clara Boj and Diego Díaz, Red Libre, Red Visible (2004-06). Intervention in the urban space. Photo: Lalalab.Artists Clara Boj and Diego Díaz, moreover, have developed a visualisation of the actual flows of data that permeate the spaces we inhabit. In Red Libre, Red Visible [Free Network, Visible Network] (2004-06), Boj and Díaz used Augmented Reality (AR) technology to display the flows of data in a local wireless network by creating AR marker tags that were placed on the street. A Carnivore client developed by the artists enabled anyone with a webcam pointing towards the marker tag and connected to the Wi-Fi network to see in real time the data packets flowing from their computer towards the tag [Fig.4: Red Libre]. The marker tags therefore served both as a tool for the visualisation of network activity as well as a visual sign of the existence of an open network in a particular urban area. Later on, they added the possibility of inserting custom made messages, 3D shapes and images that would appear when a particular AR marker tag was seen through the lens of the webcam. With this project, Boj and Díaz give the user the ability to observe and interact with a layer of her environment that was previously invisible and in some senses, out of reach. The artists developed this idea further in Observatorio [Observatory] (2008), a sightseeing telescope that reveals the existence of Wi-Fi networks in an urban area. In both projects, an important yet unnoticed aspect of our surroundings is brought into focus. As with Carlo Zanni's projects, we are invited to observe what usually escapes our perception. The ambience in our urban environment has also been explored by Julian Oliver, Clara Boj, Diego Díaz and Damian Stewart in The Artvertiser (2009-10), a hand-held augmented reality (AR) device that allows to substitute advertising billboards with custom made images. As Naomi Klein states in her book No Logo, the public spaces in most cities have been dominated by corporate advertising, allowing little or no space for freedom of expression (Klein 399). Oliver's project faces this situation by enabling a form of virtual culture jamming which converts any billboard-crowded plaza into an unparalleled exhibition space. Using AR technology, the artists have developed a system that enables anyone with a camera phone, smartphone or the customised "artvertiser binoculars" to record and substitute any billboard advertisem*nt with a modified image. The user can therefore interact with her environment, first by observing and being aware of the presence of these commercial spaces and later on by inserting her own creations or those of other artists. By establishing a connection to the Internet, the modified billboard can be posted on sites like Flickr or YouTube, generating a constant feedback between the real location and the Net. Gregory Chatonsky's concept of the Flußgeist, which I mentioned earlier, is also present in these works, visually displaying the data on top of a real environment. Again, the user is placed in a passive situation, as a receptor of the information that is displayed in front of her, but in this case the connection with reality is made more evident. Furthermore, the perception of the environment minimises the awareness of the fragmentary nature of the information generated by the flow of data. Embodying In her introduction to the data visualisation section of her book Digital Art, Christiane Paul stresses the fact that data is “intrinsically virtual” and therefore lacking a particular form of manifestation: “Information itself to a large extent seems to have lost its 'body', becoming an abstract 'quality' that can make a fluid transition between different states of materiality” (Paul 174). Although data has no “body”, we can consider, as Paul suggests, any object containing a particular set of information to be a dataspace in its own. In this sense, a tendency in working with the Internet dataflow is to create a connection between the data and a physical object, either as the end result of a process in which the data has been collected and then transferred to a physical form, or providing a means of physically reshaping the object through the variable input of data. The objectification of data thus establishes a link between the virtual and the real, but in the context of an artwork it also implies a particular meaning, as the following examples will show.Fig. 5: Gregory Chatonsky, Le Registre - The Register (2007). Book shelf and books. Photo: Pau Waelder. In Le Registre [The Register] (2007), Gregory Chatonsky developed a software application that gathers sentences related to feelings found on blogs. These sentences are recorded and put together in the form a 500-page book every hour. Every day, the books are gathered in sets of 24 and incorporated to an infinite library. Chatonsky has created a series of bookshelves to collect the books for one day, therefore turning an abstract process into an object and providing a physical embodiment of the murmur of data that I have described earlier [Fig.5: Le Registre]. As with L'Attente, in this work Chatonsky elaborates on the concept of Flußgeist, by “listening” to a specific set of data (in a similar way as in Hansen and Rubin's Listening Post) and bringing it into salience. The end product of this process is not just a meaningless object but actually what makes this work profoundly ironic: printing the books is a futile effort, but also constitutes a borgesque attempt at creating an endless library of something as ephemeral as feelings. In a similar way, but with different intentions, Jens Wunderling brings the online world to the physical world in Default to Public (2009). A series of objects are located in several public spaces in order to display information extracted from users of the Twitter network. Wunderling's installation projects the tweets on a window or prints them in adhesive labels, while informing the users that their messages have been taken for this purpose. The materialisation of information meant for a virtual environment implies a new approach to the concept of ambiance as described previously, and in this case also questions the intimacy of those participating in social networks. As the artist puts it: "In times of rapid change concerning communication behavior, media access and competence, the project Default to Public aims to raise awareness of the possible effects on our lives and our privacy" (Wunderling 155). Fig. 6: Moisés Mañas, Stock (2009). Networked installation. Photo: Moisés Mañas. Finally, in Stock (2009), Moisés Mañas embodies the flow of data from stock markets in an installation consisting of several trench coats hanging from automated coat hangers which oscillate when the stock values of a certain company rise. The resulting movement of the respective trench coat simulates a person laughing. In this work, Mañas translates the abstract flow of data into a clearly understandable gesture, providing at the same time a comment on the dynamics of stock markets [Fig.6: Stock]. Mañas´s project does not therefore simply create a physical output of a specific information (such as the stock value of a company at any given moment), but instead creates a dynamic sculpture which suggests a different perception of an otherwise abstract data. On the one hand, the trenchcoats have a ghostly presence and, as they move with unnatural spams, they remind us of the Freudian concept of the Uncanny (Das Umheimliche) so frequently associated with robots and artificial intelligence. On the other hand, the image of a person laughing, in the context of stock markets and the current economical crisis, becomes an ironic symbol of the morality of some stockbrokers. In these projects, the ambience is brought into attention by generating a physical output of a particular set of data that is extracted from certain channels and piped into a system that creates an embodiment of this immaterial flow. Yet, as the example of Mañas's project clearly shows, objects have particular meanings that are incorporated into the artwork's concept and remind us that the visualisation of information in data art is always discretionary, shaped in a particular form in order to convey the artist's intentions. Beyond the Buzz The artworks presented in this article revealt that, beyond the murmur of sentences culled from chats and blogs, the flow of data on the Internet can be used to express our difficult relationship with the vast amount of information that surrounds us. As Mitchell Whitelaw puts it: “Data art reflects a contemporary worldview informed by data excess; ungraspable quantity, wide distribution, mobility, heterogeneity, flux. Orienting ourselves in this domain is a constant challenge; the network exceeds any overview or synopsis” (Information). This excess is compared by Lev Manovich with the Romantic concept of the Sublime, that which goes beyond the limits of human measure and perception, and suggests an interpretation of data art as the Anti-Sublime (Manovich 11). Yet, in the projects that I have presented, rather than making sense of the constant flow of data there is a sort of dialogue, a framing of the information under a particular interpretation. Data is channeled through the artworks's interfaces but remains as a raw material, unprocessed to some extent, retrieved from its original context. These works explore the possibility of presenting us with constantly renewed content that will develop and, if the artwork is preserved, reflect the thoughts and visions of the next generations. A work constantly evolving in the present continuous, yet also depending on the uncertain future of social network companies and the ever-changing nature of the Internet. The flow of data will nevertheless remain unstoppable, our ambience defined by the countless interactions that take place every day between our divided self and the growing number of machines that share information with us. References Agre, Phil. “Living Data.” Wired 2.11 (Nov. 1994). 30 April 2010 ‹http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/2.11/agre.if.html›. Chatonsky, Gregory. “Flußgeist, une fiction sans narration.” Gregory Chatonsky, Notes et Fragments 13 Feb. 2007. 28 Feb. 2010 ‹http://incident.net/users/gregory/wordpress/13-flusgeist-une-fiction-sans-narration/›. ———. “Le Zeitgeist et l'esprit de 'nôtre' temps.” Gregory Chatonsky, Notes et Fragments 21 Jan. 2007. 28 Feb. 2010 ‹http://incident.net/users/gregory/wordpress/21-le-zeigeist-et-lesprit-de-notre-temps/›. Giordano, Carlo. Carlo Zanni. Vitalogy. A Study of a Contemporary Presence. London: Institute of Contemporary Arts, 2005. Hansen, Mark, and Ben Rubin. “Listening Post.” Cyberarts 2004. International Compendium – Prix Ars Electronica 2004. Ed. Hannes Leopoldseder and Christine Schöpf. Ostfildern: Hate Cantz, 2004. 112-17. ———. “Babble Online: Applying Statistics and Design to Sonify the Internet.” Proceedings of the 2001 International Conference on Auditory Display, Espoo, Finland. 30 April 2010 ‹http://www.acoustics.hut.fi/icad2001/proceedings/papers/hansen.pdf›. Jevbratt, Lisa. “Projects.” A::minima 15 (2003). 30 April 2010 ‹http://aminima.net/wp/?p=93&language=en›. Klein, Naomi. No Logo. [El poder de las marcas]. Barcelona: Paidós, 2007. Manovich, Lev. “Data Visualization as New Abstraction and Anti-Sublime.” Manovich.net Aug. 2002. 30 April 2010 ‹http://www.manovich.net/DOCS/data_art_2.doc›. Paul, Christiane. Digital Art. London: Thames & Hudson, 2003. Whitelaw, Mitchell. “Landscape, Slow Data and Self-Revelation.” Kerb 17 (May 2009). 30 April 2010 ‹http://teemingvoid.blogspot.com/2009/05/landscape-slow-data-and-self-revelation.html›. ———. “Art against Information: Case Studies in Data Practice.” Fibreculture 11 (Jan. 2008). 30 April 2010 ‹http://journal.fibreculture.org/issue11/issue11_whitelaw.html›. Wunderling, Jens. "Default to Public." Cyberarts 2009. International Compendium – Prix Ars Electronica 2004. Ed. Hannes Leopoldseder, Christine Schöpf and Gerfried Stocker. Ostfildern: Hate Cantz, 2009. 154-55.

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Leavy, Patricia. "Grande, Decaf, Low Fat, Extra Dry Cappuccino." M/C Journal 2, no.5 (July1, 1999). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.1772.

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Desire. A longing, craving, hunger. A powerful motive. The representation of hope. Seemingly carnal. While historically the term "desire" has been categorized as an innately human and ultimately basic natural force, within the postmodern context "desire" becomes far more complex and contradictory and accordingly requires more expansive defining. Regardless of the content of the desire, whether it be the desire for romantic love or a successful career or an ice cold soda, whose desire is it? Can we within postmodernity separate the carnal from the calculated, the individual from the collective? How many others are involved in the desires that I have? Where do my desires come from? A dialogue regarding the strategic forces used to create consumer desire is well established within academia, dating back at least twenty-five years. This has been in response to the expansive advertising efforts engineered by industrial corporations which began in the early 1900s as mass production increased, necessitating new consumer markets. This research has provided insights into how advertising developed not merely to inform consumers about product availability, but also to reconstruct consumer perception (Ewen 41). Additionally, this modernist approach to the study of consumer desire has explored how advertisers study "mass psychology" in order to understand the way representations of products work to enhance product desirability (Ewen 47-9). While this dialogue is most important, within postmodernity, questions of representation become even more complex. Building upon questions of how images of consumption operate, we must now ask what, if anything, is behind those images. One of the characteristics of postmodernity is that I remember images of events that I did not witness. For example, while I was not present at the assassination of President Kennedy or during the Viet Nam War, I can recall, both spontaneously and at will, crystal clear visual moments of each historical event. In this postmodern time and space we all share a collective memory of images associated with events we may not have personally witnessed. Given this historically unique phenomenon, and that images often work within the realm of the unconscious, how do I know where my images of desire come from? Moreover, is there a universality that even my most seemingly personal desires maintain? Baudrillard asserts that we live in a world of simulation where referents are lost and we live by a system of signs without origin, no longer able to distinguish the real from the imaginary. He posits, "simulation threatens the difference between the true and the false, the real and the imaginary" (3). Desire forcefully manifests itself as true and real within each of our lives. In our hyperreal postmodern time and space, how can we individually and collectively be able to distinguish what our own true desires are as our I/eyes are mediated in multiple and often invisible ways (Pfohl)? Furthermore, do we desire what is represented in signs that don't actually have an origin in reality? Sociologist Stephen Pfohl writes the following: "The last thing that happened to me was a memory. Flash. Snap. Crack(le). Pop. I was watching television when suddenly I was recalled, taken by a sensational image of a desire to return to a time that never existed. Where does this image of desire come from? Where is it taking me? Where is it taking others?" (6). Combining the works of Baudrillard and Pfohl I am left wondering not only where does desire come from, but do images of desire actually spark our lives? This raises two pertinent questions: 1) as previously stated, we have a collective remembrance of images; therefore, to what extent are desires universal within any given historical time and geographic location, and, 2) who constructs those omnipresent images of desire? To what extent do media conglomerates, advertisers and politicians serve as mediators in our consciousness? I desire an answer to the following question: why is it that I drink diet co*ke? To quench a thirst or multiple thirsts? When I desire a cold diet co*ke, what might I gain from satisfying that craving? In the movie You've Got Mail the character played by actor Tom Hanks says: "The whole purpose of places like Starbucks is for people with no decision-making ability whatsoever to make six decisions just to buy one cup of coffee. Short, tall, light, dark, caf., decaf., low fat, nonfat, etc. So people who don't know what the hell they're doing or who on earth they are, can for only 2.95, can get not just a cup of coffee, but, an absolutely defining sense of self. Tall. Decaf. Cappuccino." The promise of both the product and the experience of fulfilling "personal" passion(s) has historically risen and is now at an all-time high. This increase in expectations can bring about two new results: 1) the fulfillment of the desire does not live up to the promise of fulfillment, or, 2) the satisfaction(s) gained from fulfilling the desire are illusions or partial illusions. For example, the first possibility occurs when I purchase a cappuccino to both quench my physical thirst and exert my decision-making ability even if on some unconscious level. Should the latter not occur, the desire for the possibility of the product is felt to be greater then the reality of the product. In the second case, I, as the character in the film asserts, may gain a false sense or illusion that purchasing and consuming this product demonstrates my decision-making ability. Turning to the issue of the universality of our images of desire, what happens to the individual when he/she discovers that the most intimate of desires is shared by countless others? What happens to the value placed upon that desire? In 1908 classical Sociologist Georg Simmel shared the following insight: In the stage of first passion, erotic relations strongly reject any thought of generalisation. A love such as this has never existed before; there is nothing to compare either with the person one loves or with our feelings for that person. An estrangement is wont to set in (whether as cause or effect is hard to decide) at the moment when this feeling of uniqueness disappears from the relationship. A skepticism regarding the intrinsic value of the relationship and its value for us adheres to the very thought that in this relation, after all, one is only fulfilling a general human destiny, that one has had an experience that has occurred a thousand times before, and that, if one had not accidentally met this precise person, someone else would have acquired the same meaning for us. (147) Are all of my desires comparable or even parallel to those of strangers? One does not desire without an object or subject. The desire for romantic passion involves a subject while the desire for a product involves an object. Even desires regarding success that may appear to live only within the individual actually exist within institutions and/or based upon some level of comparison exterior to the individual. The desire for the product or passion does not exist in my body alone but rather in the relation between the object or subject and myself. In our postmodern context the mediating factors between what is desired and the desirous individual are increasingly manifold yet often invisible. I'm going to Starbucks. I want a grande, decaf, low fat, extra dry cappuccino. Obey your thirst! References Baudrillard, Jean. Simulacra and Simulation. Michigan: U of Michigan P, 1994. Ewen, Stuart. All Consuming Images: The Politics of Style in Contemporary Culture. Basic Books, 1988. Pfohl, Stephen. Death at the Parasite Café: Social Science (Fictions) and the Postmodern. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1992. Simmel, Georg. On Individuality and Social Forms. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1971. You've Got Mail. Warner Bros., 1998. Citation reference for this article MLA style: Patricia Leavy. "Grande, Decaf, Low Fat, Extra Dry Cappuccino: Postmodern Desire." M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture 2.5 (1999). [your date of access] <http://www.uq.edu.au/mc/9907/grande.php>. Chicago style: Patricia Leavy, "Grande, Decaf, Low Fat, Extra Dry Cappuccino: Postmodern Desire," M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture 2, no. 5 (1999), <http://www.uq.edu.au/mc/9907/grande.php> ([your date of access]). APA style: Patricia Leavy. (1999) Grande, decaf, low fat, extra dry cappuccino: postmodern desire. M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture 2(5). <http://www.uq.edu.au/mc/9907/grande.php> (your date of access]).

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Balanzategui, Jessica. "“You have a secret that you don't want to tell me”: The Child as Trauma in Spanish and American Horror Film." M/C Journal 17, no.4 (July24, 2014). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.854.

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In the years surrounding the turn of the millennium, there emerged an assemblage of American and Spanish horror films fixated on uncanny child characters. Caught in the symbolic abyss between death and life, these figures are central to the films’ building of suspense and Gothic frisson—they are at once familiar and unfamiliar, vulnerable and threatening, innocent yet unnervingly inscrutable. Despite being conceived and produced in two very different cultural climates, these films construct the child as an embodiment of trauma in parallel ways. In turn, these Gothic children express the wavering of narratives of progress which suffused the liminal moment of the millennial turn. Steven Bruhm suggests that there is “a startling emphasis on children as the bearers of death” (author’s emphasis 98) in popular Gothic fiction at the turn of the new millennium, and that this contemporary Gothic “has a particular emotive force for us because it brings into high relief exactly what the child knows ... Invariably, the Gothic child knows too much, and that knowledge makes us more than a little nervous” (103). A comparative analysis of trans-millennial American and Spanish supernatural horror films reveals the specifically threatening register of the Gothic child’s knowledge, and that the gradual revelation of this knowledge aestheticizes the mechanics of trauma. This “traumatic” aesthetic also entails a disruption to linear progress, exposing the ways in which Gothic representations of the child’s uncanny knowledge express anxieties about the collapse of temporal progress. The eeriness associated with the child’s knowledge is thus tied to a temporal disjuncture; as Margarita Georgieva explains, child-centred Gothic fiction meditates on the fact that “childhood is quickly lost, never regained and, therefore, outside of the tangible adult world” (191). American films such as The Sixth Sense (M. Night Shyamalan, 1999) and Stir of Echoes (David Koepp, 1999), and Spanish films The Nameless (Jaume Balagueró, 1999) and The Devil’s Backbone (Guillermo del Toro, 2001), and also American-Spanish co-productions such as The Others (Alejandro Amenábar, 2001) and Fragile (Jaume Balagueró, 2005), expose the tangle of contradictions which lurk beneath romanticised definitions of childhood innocence and nostalgia for an adult’s “lost” childhood. The child characters in these films tend to be either ghosts or in-between figures, seemingly alive yet acting as mediators between the realms of the living and the dead, the past and the present. Through this liminal position, these children wreak havoc on the symbolic coherence of the films’ diegetic worlds. In so doing, they incarnate the ontological wound described by Cathy Caruth in her definition of trauma: “a breach in the mind’s experience of time, self, and the world” caused by an event that “is experienced too soon, too unexpectedly, to be fully known and is therefore not available to consciousness until it imposes itself ... repeatedly ... in the nightmares and repetitive actions” (4) of those who have experienced trauma. The Gothic aesthetic of these children expresses the ways in which trauma is locatable not in the original traumatic past event, but rather in “the way it was precisely not known in the first instance”, through revealing that it is trauma’s unassimilated element which “returns to haunt the survivor later on” (Caruth, author’s emphasis 4). The uncanny frisson in these films arises through the gradual exposition of the child character’s knowledge of this unassimilated element. As a result, these children trouble secure processes of symbolic functioning, embodying Anne Williams’ suggestion that “Gothic conventions imply a fascination with … possible fissures in the system of the symbolic as a whole” (141). I suggest that, reflecting Bruhm’s assertion above, these children are eerie because they have access to memories and knowledge as yet unassimilated within the realm of adult understanding, which is expressed in these films through the Gothic resurfacing of past traumas. Through an analysis of two of the most transnationally successful and influential films to emerge from this trend—The Sixth Sense (1999) and The Devil’s Backbone (2001)—this article explores the intersecting but tellingly distinctive ways in which the American and Spanish horror films figure the child as a vessel for previously repressed trauma. In both films, the eeriness of the children, Cole and Santi respectively, is associated with their temporal liminality and subsequent ability to invoke grisly secrets of the past, which in turn unsettles solid conceptions of identity. In The Sixth Sense, as in other American ghost films of this period, it is an adult character’s subjectivity which is untethered by the traumas of the uncanny child; Bruhm suggests that the contemporary Gothic “attacks adult self-identity on multiple fronts” (107), and in American films the uncanny child tends to launch this traumatic assault from within an adult character’s own psyche. Yet in the Spanish films, the Gothic child tends not to threaten an individual adult figure’s self-identity, instead constituting a challenge to secure concepts of socio-cultural identity. In The Sixth Sense, Cole raises a formerly repressed trauma in the mind of central adult character Malcolm Crowe, while simultaneously disturbing the viewer’s secure grasp on the film’s narrative world. Ultimately, Cole raises Freudian-inflected anxieties surrounding childhood’s disruption to coherent adult subjectivity, functioning as a receptacle for the adult’s repressed secrets. Cole’s gradual exposure of these secrets simulates the effects of trauma for both Malcolm and the viewer via a Gothic unsettling of meaning. While The Sixth Sense is set in the present, The Devil’s Backbone is set during the Spanish Civil War (1936-39)—a violent and traumatic period of Spain’s history, the ramifications of which have been largely unexplored in Spanish popular culture until very recently as a result of forty years of strict censorship under General Franco, whose dictatorship eroded following his death in 1975. Unlike Cole, Santi does not arouse a previously submerged trauma within an adult character’s mind, instead serving to allegorically raise socio-cultural trauma. Santi functions as an incarnation of Gilles Deleuze’s “child seer”, a figure who Deleuze claims first emerged in Italian neo-realist films of the 1940s as a response to the massive cultural rupture of World War II (3). The child seer is characterised by his entrapment in the gap between the perception of a traumatic event, and the understanding and subsequent action required to move on from it. Thus, upon experiencing a disturbing event, he suffers a breach in comprehension which disrupts the typical sensory-motor chain of perception-understanding-action, rendering him physically and mentally unable to escape his situation. Yet in experiencing this incapacity, the seer gains a powerful insight beyond the limits of linear temporality. On becoming a ghost, Santi escapes coherent space-time, and invokes the repressed spectre of Spain’s violent Civil War past, inciting an eerie collision of past and present. This temporal disruption has deep allegorical implications for contemporary Spain through the child’s symbolic status as vessel for the future. Santi’s embodiment of cultural trauma ensures that Spain’s past, as constructed by the film, eerily folds into the nation’s extra-diegetic present. The Sixth Sense In The Sixth Sense, adult protagonist Malcolm Crowe is a child psychiatrist, thus unravelling the riddles of the child’s psyche is positioned as the central quest of the film’s narrative. The dramatic twist in the film’s final scene reveals that the analysis of the child Cole’s “phobia” has in fact exhumed dormant spectres within Malcolm’s own mind, exposing the Gothic mechanisms whereby the uncanny child becomes conflated with the adult’s repressed trauma. This impression is heightened by the narrative structure of The Sixth Sense, in which the twist in the final scene shifts the meaning of all that has happened before. Both the audience and Malcolm are led to assume that they have uncovered and come to terms with Cole’s secret once it becomes clear two-thirds into the film that he “sees dead people”. However, the climactic twist exposes that Cole has in fact been hiding another secret which is not so easily ameliorated: that Malcolm is one of these dead people, having died in the film’s opening sequence. If the film’s narrative “pulling the rug out” from under the audience functions as intended, at the climax of the film both Malcolm and viewer simultaneously become privy to a layer of Cole’s secret previously inaccessible to us, both that Malcolm has been dead all along and that, subsequently, the hidden quest underlying the surface narrative has been Malcolm’s journey to come to terms with this disturbing truth. Thus, the uncanny child functions as a symbolic stage for the adult protagonist’s unassimilated trauma, and the unsettling nature of this experience is extended to the viewer via the gradual exposure of Cole’s secret. Further intensifying the uncanny effects of this Gothic disruption to adult knowledge, Cole also functions like a reincarnation of the crisis which has undermined Malcolm’s coherent identity as a successful child psychiatrist: his failure to cure former patient Vincent. Thus, Cole is like uncanny déjà vu for Malcolm and the viewer, an almost literal re-evocation of Malcolm’s past trauma. Both Vincent and Cole have a patch of grey hair at the back of their head, symbolising their access to knowledge too great for their youth, and as Malcolm explains, “They’re both so similar. Same mannerisms, same expressions, same things hanging over their heads.” At the opening of the film, Vincent is depicted as a wretched madman. He appears crying and half naked in Malcolm’s bathroom, having broken into his house, before shooting Malcolm and then turning the gun on himself. Thus, Vincent is an abject image of Malcolm’s failure, and his taunting words expose a rupture in Malcolm’s paternalistic, professional identity by hinting at his lack of awareness. “You don’t know so many things” Vincent remarks, and sarcastically undermines Malcolm’s “saviour” status by taunting, “Don’t you know me, hero?”. Functioning as a repetition of this trauma, Cole provides Malcolm with an opportunity to discover the “so many things” that he does not know, and also to once again become a “hero”. Cole functions as a literalisation of Malcolm’s compulsion to repeat the trauma which has exposed a breach in his sense of self, and to gain mastery over it. On first viewing, the audience is led to believe that this narrative is the primary one in the film, and that the film is wrapped up when Malcolm finally achieves his goal and becomes Cole’s hero. However, the final revelation that Cole has been keeping yet another secret from Malcolm—that Malcolm has been dead all along—reveals that this trauma is actually irrevocable: Malcolm was in fact killed by Vincent at the beginning of the film, thus the adult’s subjective breach (symbolised by his gunshot wound, which he suddenly notices for the first time) cannot be filled or repaired. All Malcolm can do at the close of the film is disappear, as a close-up of his face fades into the mediated image of him, now his only form of existence in the world as we know it, on the home videotapes of his wedding which play as his wife sleeps. Thus, Cole evokes the experience of a violent, unassimilated trauma which is experienced “too soon, too unexpectedly to be fully known in the first instance” (Caruth 4), a breach in subjectivity which has only become consciously known to Malcolm through the “nightmare repetition” figured by Cole. This experience of a traumatic disruption to the wholeness and coherence of subjective reality is echoed by the viewer’s own experience of The Sixth Sense, if the twist-narrative functions as intended. While on first viewing we are led to believe that we are watching a straightforward ghost story about a paternalistic psychologist helping a young child with an uncanny gift, we learn in the final scene that there has been an underlying double reality haunting the surface narrative all along. Central to this twist is the recognition that Cole was always aware of this second reality, but has been concealing it from Malcolm—underscoring the ways in which Malcolm’s trauma is bound up largely with what he was unable to comprehend and assimilate when the traumatic event of his death first occurred. The eerie effects of Malcolm’s traumatic confrontation with the child’s Gothic knowledge is extended to the viewer via the film’s narrative structure. Erlend Lavik discusses The Sixth Sense and other twist films in terms of a particular relationship between the syuzhet (the way in which a story’s components are organized) and the fabula (the raw components which constitute the story). He explains that in such films, there is a “doubling of the syuzhet, where we are led to construct a fabula that initially seems quite straightforward until suddenly a new piece of information is introduced that subverts (or decentres) the fictional world we have created. We come to realize the presence of another fabula running parallel to the first one but ‘beneath’ it, hidden from view” (Lavik 56). The revelation that Malcolm has been a ghost all along shatters the fabula that most viewers construct upon first viewing the film. The impression that an eerie, previously hidden double of accepted reality has bubbled to the surface of our perceptions is deeply uncanny, evoking the experience of filmic déjà vu. This is of course heightened by the fact that the viewer is compelled to re-watch the film in order to construct the second, and more “correct”, fabula. In doing so, the viewer experiences a “narrative bifurcation whereby we come to notice how traces of the correct fabula were actually available to us the first time” (Lavik 59). The process of re-watching the film in an attempt to solve the riddles of Malcolm’s existence reveals the viewer’s compulsion to undergo their own “detective work” in a parallel of Malcolm’s analysis of Cole: the exposure of the child’s secret turns a mirror upon the protagonist and audience which exposes a fracture in the adult’s subjectivity. Discussing the detective story, Slavoj Žižek explains that “the detective's role is ... to demonstrate how ‘the impossible is possible’ ... that is, to resymbolize the traumatic shock, to integrate it into symbolic reality” (58). On first viewing, this detective work is realized through Malcolm’s quest to comprehend Cole’s secrets, and then to situate the abject ghosts the child sees into a secure framework whereby they disappear if Cole helps them. The compulsion to re-watch the film in order to better understand how Malcolm experiences time, consciousness and communication (or lack there-of) represents an analogous attempt to re-integrate the traumatic shock raised by the twist-ending by imposing more secure symbolic frameworks upon the film’s diegetic world: to suture the traumatic breach in meaning. However, there are many irremediable gaps in Malcolm’s experiences—we do not actually see him trying to pay for the bus, or meeting Cole’s mother for the first time, or pondering the fact that no other human being has spoken to him directly for six months apart from Cole—fissures which repeat viewings cannot repair. The Devil’s Backbone The Devil’s Backbone is set in the final years of the Civil War, a liminal period in which the advancement of Spain’s national narrative is disturbingly uncertain. The film takes place in an orphanage for young boys from Republican families whose parents have been killed or captured in the Civil War. In the middle of the orphanage’s courtyard stands an unexploded bomb, an ominous and volatile reminder of the war. As well as being haunted by this unexploded bomb, the orphanage is also haunted by a child ghost, Santi, a former inhabitant of the orphanage who disappeared on the same night that the bomb landed in the orphanage’s grounds. We learn mid-way through the film that Santi in fact drowned in the orphanage’s cavernous cistern: after being struck on the head by the angry groundskeeper, Santi was left unable to swim, and is shown sinking helplessly into the water’s murky depths. Thus, Santi’s death represents the ultimate extreme of the child seer’s traumatic entrapment between perceiving and understanding the traumatic event, and the physical action required to escape it. Both the ghostly Santi and the unexploded bomb exude an eerie power despite, and perhaps because of, their apparent physical incapacity. Such corporeal powerlessness is the defining feature of Deleuze’s “child seer”, as the breach in the sensory-motor chain comes to imbue the child who encounters trauma with a penetrating gaze which sees beyond temporal borders. Once he becomes a ghost, Santi escapes the bounds of linear time altogether, becoming forever fused to the moment of his drowning. Santi’s spectral presence warps the ether around him as if he is permanently underwater, and the blood from his head wound constantly floats upwards. The sensory-motor chain becomes completely severed in a cinematic moment which can be likened to Deleuze “crystal of time”. Like the dual layers of narrative in The Sixth Sense, this crystal of time sparks a moment of Gothic frisson as linear time collapses and dual modes of temporality are expressed simultaneously: the chronological moment of Santi’s death—a ‘dead’ present that has already passed—and the fractured, traumatic memories of this past which linger in the present—what Deleuze would call a ‘virtual’ past which “coincides with the present that it was” (79). The traumatic effect of this collapse of temporal boundaries is enhanced by the fact that the shot of Santi drowning is repeated multiple times throughout the film—including in the opening minutes, before the audience is able to comprehend what we are seeing and where this scene fits into the film’s chronology. Ultimately, this cinematic crystal symbolically ungrounds linear narratives of Spanish history, which position the cultural rupture of the Civil War as a remnant of Spain’s past which has successfully been overcome. Through uncanny repetition, Santi’s death refuses to remain lodged in an immobilized “historical” past—a present that has passed—but remains forever alongside the present as an ethereal past that “is”. Santi’s raising of Gothic knowledge incites the wavering of not an adult character’s self-identity, as in The Sixth Sense, but a trembling in conceptual models of linear cultural progress. As a ghost, Santi is visually constructed as a broken porcelain doll, with cracks visible all over his body, emphasising his physical fragility; however, in his ghostly form it is this very fragility which becomes uncanny and threatening. His cracked body fetishizes his status as a subject who is not fully formed or complete. Thus, the film presents the post-Civil War child as a being who has been shattered and broken while undergoing the delicate process of being formed: an eerie incarnation of a trauma that has occurred “too soon” to be properly integrated. Santi’s broken body visualises the mechanisms whereby the violent conditions and mentalities of war permeate the child’s being in irreversible ways. Because he is soldered to the space and time of his death, he is caught forever as an expression of trauma in the inescapable gap between perception, assimilation and action. His haunting involves the intrusion of this liminal space onto the solid boundaries and binaries of the diegetic present; his abject presence forces other characters, and viewers, to experience the frisson of this previously concealed traumatic encounter. In so doing, Santi allegorically triggers the irruption of a fissure in the progression of Spain’s socio-cultural narrative. He embodies the ominous possibility that Spain’s grisly recent past may return within the child mutated by wartime trauma to engulf the future. The final scene of the film ideates the threshold of this volatile future, as the orphaned children stand as a group staring out at the endless expanse of desert beyond the orphanage’s bounds, all the adult characters having killed each other in a microcosm of the Civil War. Ultimately, both Cole and Santi enforce an eerie moment of recognition that the previously unassimilated traumas of the past live on within the present: a Gothic drawing forth of buried knowledge that exposes cracks in coherent meaning. In The Sixth Sense, Cole reveals the extent to which trauma is located in “the way it was precisely not known in the first instance” (Caruth 4), haunting Malcolm with his previous failure before exposing the all-encompassing extent to which this past trauma has fractured Malcom’s subjectivity. Santi of The Devil’s Backbone alludes to the ways in which this process of eliding past trauma extra-diegetically haunts contemporary Spain, particularly because those who were children during the Civil War are now the adult filmmakers, political leaders and constituents of Spanish society. These disturbances of historical and personal progress are rendered particularly threatening emerging as they do at the millennial turn, a symbolic temporal threshold which divides the recent past and the “new” present. The Gothic child in these contexts points to the danger inherent in misrecognizing traumatic histories—both personal and socio-cultural—as presents that have long-since passed instead of pasts that are. ReferencesBruhm, Steven. “Nightmare on Sesame Street: or, The Self-Possessed Child.” Gothic Studies 8.2 (2006): 98-210. Caruth, Cathy. Unclaimed Experience: Trauma, Narrative and History. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996. Deleuze, Gilles. Cinema 2: The Time-Image. London: Continuum Books, 2005. The Devil’s Backbone. Dir. Guillermo del Toro. Perf. Fernando Tielve, Junio Valverde and Eduardo Diego. El Deseo S.A., 2001. Georgieva, Margarita. The Gothic Child. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013. Fragile. Dir. Jaume Balageuró. Perf. Calista Flockhart, Richard Roxburgh and Ivana Baquero. Castelao Producciones, 2005. Lavik, Erlend. “Narrative Structure in The Sixth Sense: A New Twist in ‘Twist Movies?’” The Velvet Light Trap 58 (2006): 55-64. The Nameless. Dir. Jaumé Balaguero. Perf. Emma Vilarasau, Karra Elejalde and Tristán Ulloa. Filmax S.A., 1999. The Orphanage. Dir. Juan Antonio Bayona. Perf. Belén Rueda, Fernando Cayo and Roger Príncep. Esta Vivo! Laboratorio de Nuevos Talentos, 2007. The Others. Dir. Alejandro Amenábar. Perf. Nicole Kidman, Alakina Mann and James Bentley. Sociedad General de Cine, 2001. The Sixth Sense. Dir. M. Night Shyalaman. Perf. Haley Joel Osment, Bruce Willis and Toni Collette. Hollywood Pictures, 1999. Stir of Echoes. Dir. David Koepp. Perf. Kevin Bacon, Zachary David Cope and Kathryn Erbe. Artisan Entertainment, 1999. Williams, Anne. Art of Darkness: A Poetics of Gothic. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995. Žižek, Slavoj. Looking Awry: An Introduction to Jacques Lacan Through Popular Culture. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1991.

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Ewing, Andrew. "Emotional Memory Forever: The Cinematography of Paul Ewing." M/C Journal 20, no.1 (March15, 2017). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.1205.

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Over a period of ten years Paul Ewing documented the life of his family on film – initially using Super 8 film and then converting to VHS with the advent of the new technology. Through the lens of home movies, autoethnography and memory I discuss his approach to amateur image making and its lasting legacy. Home movies have been the driving force behind a number of autobiographical documentaries such as Tarnation, Video Fool for Love and Stories We Tell. Here I take an auto ethnographical look at the films my own father made over a ten year period, prior to my parents divorce, and examine their impact on my own life and look to see if there is any value to them outside of my own personal investment. “Autoethnography is predicated on the ability to invite readers into the lived experience of the presumed “Other” and to experience it viscerally” (Boylorn and Orbe 15). It is a research method that connects “the autobiographical and personal to the cultural, social and political” (Ellis xix). Autoethnography involves the turning of the ethnographic gaze inward on the self (Denzin 227). Autoethnographers use their personal experience as primary data reflexively to bend back on self and look more deeply at self-other interactions.Paul Francis Ewing was born in 1947 in Redhill in the United Kingdom. Inez Anne Taveira was born eight years previously in another part of the world entirely, Taiping in Malaysia or Malaya as it was known then. She immigrated to the UK when she was 21 to study acting and later teaching. She married Paul in 1970 and by 1976 they had two children – my brother Brendan and myself. Around 1978 Paul, or Dad, started to film the family. He wanted to “capture the moment. Like writing a diary”. Patricia Zimmerman writes, “Amateur film represents psychic tracings of diaries and dreams. The family, dreams, and nightmares create new hybrids, new discourses” (276). In the beginning of the last century Pierre Janet already noted that: "certain happenings ... leave indelible and distressing memories – memories to which the sufferer continually returns, and by which he is tormented by day and by night.” Janet, postulated that intense emotional reactions make events traumatic by interfering with the integration of the experience into existing memory schemes. Intense emotions, Janet thought, cause memories of particular events to be dissociated from consciousness, and to be stored, instead, as visceral sensations (anxiety and panic), or as visual images (nightmares and flashbacks). Schachtel defined it as: “Memory as a function of the living personality can be understood as a capacity for the organization and reconstruction of past experiences and impressions in the service of present needs, fears, and interests” (284).The images captured by Paul Ewing are part of both my consciousness and unconsciousness. I have revisited them on numerous occasions for varying reasons. Amateur film’s otherness requires analysis of active relationships between maker and subject (Zimmerman 277). When I questioned Paul in regards to this research, he suggested that screening the films was very important to him. “Mum and I enjoyed them and then later the grand parents. Also you and Bren.” I found it more than interesting that he placed my brother and myself last in the list of those who enjoyed the screenings. As a student of film I have looked for the stories within these images, looking to understand whom the man behind the lens was: potentially who the men behind the lenses have been. Who was the man from my/our memories, who was the boy, who were the boys who became the man/men we are? Van der Kolk and Fisler suggest that ‘dissociation refers to a compartmentalization of experience: elements of the experience are not integrated into a unitary whole, but are stored in memory as isolated fragments consisting of sensory perceptions or affective states” (510). Karen L. Ishizuka insists, “Within home movies ... lie hidden histories of the world.” In this case, perhaps only hidden histories of myself. Given a consistent dissociative reaction to stressful situations my honest agenda in watching and re-watching my father’s home cinema may indeed be to attempt to decode what Janet claimed people experience when intense emotions, memories cannot be transformed into a neutral narrative: a person is “unable to make the recital which we call narrative memory, and yet he remains confronted by the difficult situation” (660). This results in a phobia of memory that prevents the integration of traumatic events and splits off the traumatic memories from ordinary consciousness. Piaget claimed that dissociation occurs when an active failure of semantic memory leads to the organization of memory on somatosensory or iconic levels (201). It cannot be coincidence that these descriptors sound familiar to any student or practitioner of cinema. We, the automaton: a moving mechanical device made in imitation of a human being.“The limbic system is thought to be the part of the central nervous system that maintains and guides the emotions and behavior necessary for self-preservation and survival of the species, and that is critically involved in the storage and retrieval of memory” (Van der Kolk 10). Of all areas in the central nervous system, the amygdala is most clearly implicated in the evaluation of the emotional meaning of incoming stimuli. It is thought to integrate internal representations of the external world in the form of memory images with emotional experiences associated with those memories (Calvin). In a series of experiments, J LeDoux utilized repeated electrical stimulation of the amygdala to produce conditioned fear responses. He found that cortical lesions prevent their extinction. This led him to conclude that, once formed, the subcortical traces of the conditioned fear response are indelible, and that "emotional memory may be forever". Paul filmed us for approximately eight years. First using the Super 8 format and later straight onto VHS using a cumbersome, oversized camera that fed into a VHS deck carried over the shoulder in a plastic satchel. Zimmerman suggests that home movies graph the contradictions between the realities of family life bounded by class, race, and gender expectations and the fantasies of the nuclear family, and they also reveal the unfinished production of obedient subjects and histories (278). They create expectations that wrestle with the fragile nature of family. Paul wasn’t the only “cinematographer” in the family. The camera was often passed to Inez so that Paul’s presence in family occasions could be authenticated. Eventually both Brendan and myself were allowed moments of seeing the world through the black and white view finders. Perhaps those early cinematographic moments started me on the path to today. The picture as a model of reality. The “real” and the “performed” act is twofold in the home movie. Our many different roles exemplify the separation and interrelation of our public and private lives. The act of mimesis seems to signify “I exist” or, rather, “I represent myself here for immortality.” This imitation of ourselves is an authentic “copy” of the original, since actor and role are identical (Forgacs 52). Identical yet problematic: dissociated? Merilee Bennett’s 1987 film, A Song of Air, is a compilation film composed of home movies shot by Merilee’s father, Reverend Arnold Lucas Bennett, who regularly filmed his family with a Paillard Bolex 16mm camera between 1956 and 1983. I saw A Song of Air as an undergraduate and it has never left me. It did not occur to me until years later to work with my own family’s filmic archive but Bennett’s work is undoubtedly a key influence. The film invites two levels of reading: first, the level of the home movies made by the father; second, the analysis made by Merilee of her father’s home movies through her own reediting of the images and her omnipresent commentary in the form of a letter addressed to her father (Odin 256).No other types of films evidence as much direct address as the home movie. The family filmmaker’s camera functions first as a go-between and only secondly as a recording instrument. To film is to take part in a collective game in the family domain. These familial interactions are not always peaceful. In a personal letter, Merilee Bennett recounts one of these conflicts. “The shot of him [my father] talking directly into the camera with a tree and blue sky behind him was shot by me when I was 12 years old and he is actually telling me to stop, that it was enough now. I remember holding my finger on that button knowing that he couldn’t get really mad at me because I would have it on film, so he had to keep smiling even though he was getting cross.” Merilee reclaims her identity through editing, imposing her own order on her father’s films. The father, “like an omnipotent God,” uses cinema to mold his family.Paul Ewing may have been doing the same – he was the only one aware of how fractured the family, his family, our family, my family actually was.In her autobiography The Words to Say It, Marie Cardinal explains to her psychoanalyst that after clinical treatment she had the strength to undertake a search for the origin of her trauma. I had a similar experience in that I was encouraged by a therapist to ask my father about the reasons behind his infidelity and what he felt were the grounds for his divorce. I had for many years believed it was because of me, that I had disappointed him as a son. Cardinal remembered her father filmed her pissing in the forest. Conscious that her urination has not only been watched, but also filmed, she felt traumatized and thought, “I want to hurt him. I want to kill him! (151)” Shooting a home movie does not always have such dramatic consequences, but it always carries a risk for the subjects filmed, especially children. Parents are not aware of the psychic consequences of a seemingly harmless act. Paul Ewing filmed my brother and I in the bath. I was using the toilet as the filming started and jumped, laughing into the tub with my brother. There is nothing suspect in this description. As a father myself I can understand the desire to film all aspects of my child’s life. At last count I have approximately thirty thousand digital photos and videos of my five year old son and the numbers are rising for his one year old sister. As Paul films us, my brother and I, playing with action figures and acting up for the camera, I laugh at my father. Some days later we were assembled to watch Paul’s latest film. The family convened in the living room, along with our maid Yolanda. When the image came on screen, it seemed to slow down. All I saw was my bottom and then as I entered the bath, my penis. And I saw it being seen by Yolanda. I was devastated, ashamed and furious at my father for showing this private moment. I ran off in tears.Unlike traditional cinematographic projection, to watch a home movie is to be involved in a “performance.” Boris Eikhenbaum proposed the notion of “interior language”: “The process of interior discourse resides in the mind of the spectator.” This interior language can be understood without referring to a context because it is located in the Subject. With the home movie, the context resides in the experience of the Subject. This model explains how completely banal images can refer to representations far removed from what is represented. Contrary to the generally euphoric collective experience, this process of returning to the self often conjures painful memories. One image, of Inez, my mother, comes up in my mind a lot. She stares into the camera as my Father films her. She appears to be engaged in a non verbal conversation with him, with the camera. She doesn’t smile but looks ready to resign, the request to stop filming that is present in so many other instances of her in Paul’s films is absent – it seems to suggest there is no point in her asking. Shortly after the date stamped onto the video image, she revealed to my brother and myself that Paul had been having an affair. “Your father does not love us anymore”. In therapy I have explored both moments – the memory and the video taped image. Something in my mother’s gaze suggests the break, the end of the illusion Paul had crafted both on film and video, and in life. Pierre Bourdieu, discussing family photography, argued that nothing could be filmed outside of what must be filmed. The same ritual ceremonies (marriage, birth, family meals, gift-giving), the same daily scenes (a baby in his mother’s arms, a baby having a bath), the same vacation sequences (playtime on the beach, walks in the forest) appear across most home movies. Discussing “common things,” Georges Perec contended the difficulty is “to free these images from the straitjacket in which they are trapped, to make them produce meaning and speak about what they are and what we are.” Home movies are precisely “common things.” Erving Goffman terms the process of “shifting of frame.” A film of minor importance can suddenly become a fabulous document when the historical context of reading changes. Every old home movie that operates within a different spatial, cultural, ethnic, or social framework will benefit from de-framed readings. Even if these images were not documents and were stereotypical home movies, they become precious because they look new. Hungarian filmmaker Péter Forgács “creates masterful reflections on the notion of the document itself: why one makes films; the language of the images and language itself; and the possibilities that the image holds for cognition” (Odin 266). The cinematography of Paul Ewing remains a source of possibilities. ReferencesAnderson, Steve F. Technologies of History: Visual Media and the Eccentricity of the Past. Lebanon, NH: University Press of New England, 2011.Bourdieu, Pierre. Photography: A Middle-Brow Art. Cambridge: Polity, 1990Boylorn, Robin M., and Mark P. Orbe, eds. Critical Autoethnography: Intersecting Cultural Identities in Everyday Life. Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press, 2013.Calvin, WH. The Cerebral Symphony. New York: Bantam, 1990.Cardinal, Marie. The Words to Say It: An Autobiographical Novel. London: Women's Press, 1993.Denzin, NK. Interpretive Ethnography: Ethnographic Practices for the 21st Century. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 1997.Ellis, C. The Ethnographic I: A Methodological Novel about Autoethnography. Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press, 2004. Eikhenbaum, Boris. “Problemes de Cine-Stylistique.” Cahiers du Cinema 220-221 (1970): 70-78.Forgacs, Peter. “Wittgenstein Tractatus: Personal Reflections of Home Movies.” Mining the Home Movie: Excavations in Histories and Memories. Berkeley. Eds. Karen Ishizuka and Patricia Zimmermann. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2007. 47-56.Goffman, Erving. Frame Analysis: An Essay on the Organization of Experience. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1974.Ishizuka, Karen L. “The Home Movie: A Veil of Poetry.” Jubilee Book: Essays on Amateur Film (1997): 45-50.Janet, P. L’Automatisme Psychologique. Paris: Alcan, 1889. Janet, P. Les Medications Psychologiques. Paris: Alcan, 1925. MacLean, PD. “Brain Evolution Relating to Family, Play, and the Separation Call.” Arch Gen Psychiat 42 (1985): 505-517.Odin, Roger. “Reflections on the Family Home Movie as Document: A Semio-Pragmatic Approach.” Mining the Home Movie: Excavations in Histories and Memories. Eds. Karen Ishizuka and Patricia Zimmermann. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2007. 255-271.Perec, Georges. “Approche de Quoi.” Le Pourrissem*nt des Societies. 1975. 251-255.Piaget, Jean. Play, Dreams and Imitation in Childhood. Florence: Routledge, 2013.Schachtel, Ernest G. Metamorphosis: On the Development of Affect, Perception, Attention, and Memory. New York: Basic Books, 1959.Van der Kolk, Bessel. The Body Keeps the Score: Memory and the Evolving Psychobiology of Post Traumatic Stress. Boston: Harvard Medical School, 1994.Van der Kolk, Bessel, and Rita Fisler. “Dissociation and the Fragmentary Nature of Traumatic Memories: Overview and Exploratory Study.” Journal of Traumatic Stress (1995): 505-525.Wittgenstein, Ludwig. Culture and Value. University of Chicago Press, 1984.Zimmerman, Patricia. “Morphing History into Histories: From Amateur Film to the Archive of the Future.” Mining the Home Movie: Excavations in Histories and Memories. Eds. Karen Ishizuka and Patricia Zimmermann. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2007. 275-288.

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Filinich, Renzo, and Tamara Jesus Chibey. "Becoming and Individuation on the Encounter between Technical Apparatus and Natural System." M/C Journal 23, no.4 (August12, 2020). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.1651.

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This essay sheds lights on the framing process during the research on the crossing between natural and artificial systems. To approach this, we must outline the machine-natural system relation. From this notion, technology is not seen as an external thing, nor even in contrast to an imaginary of nature, but as an effect that emerges from our thinking and revealing being that, in many cases, may be reduced to an issue of knowledge and action. Here, we want to consider the concept of transduction from Gilbert Simondon as one possible framework for considering the socio-technological actions at stake. His thought offers a detailed conceptual vocabulary for the question of individuation as a “revelation process”, a concern with how things come into existence and proceed temporally as projective entities.Moreover, our approach to the work of philosopher Simondon marked the starting point of our interest and approach to the issue of technique and its politics. From this perspective, the reflection given by Simondon in his thesis on the Individuation and the Mode of Existence of Technical Objects, is to trace certain reasons that are necessary for the development of this project and helping to explain it. In first place, Simondon does not state a specific regime of “human individuation”. The possibility of a psychic and collective individuation is produced, as is manifested when addressing the structure of his main thesis, at the heart of biological individuation; Simondon strongly attacks the anthropocentric tendencies that attempt to establish a defining boundary between biological and psychic reality. We may presume, then, that the issue of language as a defining and differencing element of the human does not interest him; it is at this point that our project begins to focus on employing the transduction of the téchnē as a metaphor of life (Espinoza Lolas et al.); regarding the limits that language may imply for the conformation and expression of the psychic reality. In second place, this critique to the economy of attention present across our research and in Simondon’s thinking seeks to introduce a hypothesis raised in another direction: towards the issue of the technique. During the introduction of his Mode of Existence of Technical Objects, Simondon shows some urgency in the need to approach the reality of technical objects as an autonomous reality and as a configuring reality of the psychic and collective individualisation. Facing the general importance granted to language as a key element of the historical and hermeneutical, even ontological, aspects of the human being, Simondon considers that the technique is the reality that plays the fundamental role of mediating between the human being and the world.Following these observations, a possible question that will guide our research arises: How do the technologisation and informatisation of the cultural techniques alter the nature itself of the knowing of the affection of being with others (people, things, animals)? In the hypothesis of this investigation we claim that—insofar as we deliver an approach and perspective on the technologisation of the world as a process of individuation (considering Simondon’s concept in this becoming, in which an artificial agent and its medium may get out of phase to solve its tensions and give rise to physical or living individuals that constitute their system and go through a series of metastable equilibria)—it’s possible to prove this capacity of invention as a clear example of a form of transindividual individuation (referring to the human being), that thanks to the information that the artificial agent acquires and recovers by means of its “imagination”, which integrates in its perception and affectivity, enables the creation of new norms or artifacts installing in its becoming, as is the case of bioeconomy and cognitive capitalism (Fumagalli 219). It is imperious to observe and analyse the fact that the concept of nature must be integrated along with the concept of Cosmotecnia (Hui 3) to avoid the opposition between nature and technique in conceptual terms, and that is the reason why in the following section we will mention a third memory that is inscribed in this concept. There is no linear time development in human history from nature to technique, from nature to politics.The Extended MindThe idea of memory as something transmissible is important when thinking of the present, there is no humanity outside the technical, neither prior to the technical, and it is important to safeguard this idea to highlight the phýsis/téchnē dichotomy presented by Simondon and Stigler. It is erroneous to think that some entity may exceed the human, that it has any exteriority when it is the materialization of the human forms, or even more, that the human is crossed by it and is not separable. For French philosopher Bernard Stiegler there is no human nature without technique, and vice versa (Stigler 223). Here appears the issue of knowing which are the limits where “the body of the human me might stop” (Hutinel 44), a first glimpse of externalized memory was the flint axe, which is made by using other tools, even when its use is unknown. Its mere existence preserves a knowledge that goes beyond who made it, or its genetic or epigenetic transmission is preserved beyond the organic.We raise the question about a phýsis coming from the téchnē, it is a central topic that dominates the discussion nowadays, about technology and its ability to have a transforming effect over every area of contemporary life and human beings themselves. It is being “revealed” that the true qualitative novelty of the technological improves that happen in front of our eyes resides not only in the appearance of new practices that are related to any particular scientific research. We must point out the evident tension between bíos and zôê during the process of this adaptation, which is an ontological one, but we also witness how the recursivity becomes a modus operandi during this process, which is both social and technological. Just as the philosophy of nature, the philosophy of biology confronts its own limit under the light shed by the recursive algorithms implemented as a dominant way of adaptation, which is what Deleuze called societies of control (Deleuze 165). At the same time, there is an artificial selection (instead of a natural selection) imposed by the politics of transhumanism (for example, human improvement, genetic engineering).In this direction, a first aspect to consider resides in that life, held as an object of power and politics, does not constitute a “natural life”, but the result of a technical production from which its “nature” develops, as well as the possibilities of its deployment. Now then, it is precisely due to this gesture that Stiegler longs to distinguish between what is originary in mankind and its artefactual or artificial becoming: “the prosthesis is not a simple extension of the human body, it is the constitution of said body insofar as ‘human’ (the quotes belong to the constitution). It is not a ‘medium’ for mankind, but its end, and it is known the essential mistakenness of the expression, ‘the end of mankind’” (Stiegler 9). Before such phenomena, it is appropriate to lay out a reflexive methodology centered in observing and analysing the aforementioned idea by Stiegler that there is no mankind without techniques; and there is no technique without mankind (Stigler 223). This implies that this idea of téchnē comprises both the techniques needed to create things, as the technical products resulting from these techniques. The word “techniques” also becomes ambiguous among the modern technology of machines and the primitive “tools” and their techniques, whether they have become art of craft, things that we would not necessarily think as “technology”. What Stiegler is suggesting here is to describe the scope of the term téchnē within an ontogenetic and phylogenetic process of the human being; providing us a reflection about what do we “possess as a fundamental thing” for our being as humans is also fundamental to how “we experience time” since the externalization of our memory into our tools, which Stiegler understands as a “third kind” of memory which is separated from the internal memory that is individually acquired from our brain (epigenetic), and the biological evolutive memory that is inherited from our ancestors (phylogenetic); Stiegler calls this kind of evolutive process epiphylogenetic or epiphylogenesis. Therefore, we could argue that we are defined by this process of epiphylogenesis, and that we are constituted by a past that we ourselves, as individuals, have not lived; this past is delivered to us through culture, which is the fusion of the “technical objects that embody the knowledge of our ancestors, tools that we adopt to transform our surroundings” (Stiegler 177). These supports of external memory (this is, exteriorisations of the consciousness) provide a new collectivisation of the consciousness that exists beyond the individual.The current trend of investigation of ontogeny and phylogeny is driven by the growing consensus both in sciences and humanities in that the living world in every one of its aspects – biologic, semiotic, economic, affective, social, etc. – escapes the finite scheme of description and representation. It is for this reason that authors such as Matteo Pasquinelli refer, in a more modest way, to the idea of “augmented intelligence” (9), reminding us that there is a posthuman legacy between human and machine that still is problematic, “though the machines manifest different degrees of autonomous agency” (Pasquinelli 11).For Simondon, and this is his revolutionary contribution to philosophy, one should think individuation not from the perspective of the individual, but from the point of view of the process that originated it. In other words, individuation must be thought in terms of a process that not only takes for granted the individual but understands it as a result.In Simondon’s words:If, on the contrary, one supposes that individuation does not only produce the individual, one would not attempt to pass quickly through the stage of individuation in order arrive at the final reality that is the individual--one would attempt to grasp the ontogenesis in the entire progression of its reality, and to know the individual through the individuation, rather than the individuation through the individual. (5)Therefore, the epistemological problem does not fall in how the téchnē flees the human domain in its course to become technologies, but in how these “exteriorization” processes (Stiegler 213) alter the concepts themselves of number, image, comparison, space, time, or city, to give a few examples. However, the anthropological category of “exteriorization” does not bring entirely justice to these processes, as they work in a retroactive and recursive manner in the original techniques. Along with the concept of text and book, the practice of reading has also changed during the course of digitalisation and algorithmisation of the processing of knowledge; alongside with the concept of comparison, the practice of comparison has changed since the comparison (i.e. of images) has become an operation that is based in the extraction of data and automatic learning. On the other side, in reverse, we must consider, in an archeological and mediatic fashion, the technological state of life as a starting point from which we must ask what cultural techniques were employed in first place. Asking: How does the informatisation of the cultural techniques produce new forms of subjectivity? How does the concept of cultural techniques already imply the idea of “chains of operations” and, therefore, a permanent (retro)coupling between the living and the non-living agency?This reveals that classical cultural techniques such as indexation or labelling, for example, have acquired ontological powers in the Google era: only what is labelled exists; only what can be searched is absolute. At the same time, in the fantasies of the mediatic corporations, the variety of objects that can be labelled (including people) tends to be coextensive with the world of the phenomena itself (if not the real world), which will then always be only an augmented version of itself.Technology became important for contemporary knowledge only through mediation; therefore, the use of tools could not be the consequence of an extremely well-developed brain. On the contrary, the development of increasingly sophisticated tools took place at the same pace as the development of the brain, as Leroi-Gourhan attempts to probe when studying the history of tools together with the history of the human skeleton and brain. And what he managed to demonstrate is that the history of technique and the history of the human being run in parallel lines; they are, if not equal, at least inextricable. Even today, the progress of knowledge is still not completely subordinated to the technological inversion (Lyotard 37). In short, human evolution is inseparable from the evolution of the téchne, the evolution of technology. One may simply think the human being as a natural animal, isolated from the external material world. What he becomes and what he is, is essentially bonded to the techniques, from the very beginning. Leroi-Gourhan puts it this way in his text Gesture and Speech: “the apparition of tools as a species ... feature that marks the boundary between animals and humans” (90).To understand the behavior of the technological systems is essential for our ability to control their actions, to harvest their benefits and to minimize their damage. Here it is argued that this requires a wide agenda of scientific investigation to study the behavior of the machine that incorporates and broadens the biotechnological discipline, and includes knowledges coming from all sciences. In some way, Simondon sensed this encounter of knowledges, and proposed the concept of the Allagmatic, or theory of operations, “constituted by a systematized set of particular knowledges” (Simondon 469). We could attempt to begin by describing a set of questions that are fundamental for this emerging field, and then exploring the technical, legal, and institutional limitations in the study of technological agency.Information, Communication and SignificationTo establish the relation between information and communication, we will speak from the following two perspectives: first with Norbert Wiener, then with Simondon. We will see how the concept of information is essential to start understanding communication in an artificial agent.On one side, we have the notion from Wiener about information that is demarcated in his project about cybernetics. Cybernetics is the study of communication and control through the inquiry of messages in animals, human beings, and machines. This idea of information arises from the interrelation with the surrounding. Wiener defines it as the “content of what is an interchange object with the external world, while we adjust to it and make it adjust to us” (Wiener 17-18). In other words, we receive and use information since we interact with the world in which we live. It is in this sense that information is connected to the idea of feedback that is defined as the exchange and interaction of information in our systems or other systems. In Wiener’s own words, feedback is “the property of adjusting the future behavior to facts of the past” (31).Information, for Wiener, is influenced, at the same time, by the mathematic and probabilistic idea from the theory of information. Wiener refers to the amount of information that finds its starting point at the mechanics of statistics, along with the concept of entropy, inasmuch that the information is opposed to it. Therefore, information, by supplying a set of messages, indicates a measure of organisation. Argentinian philosopher Pablo Rodríguez adds that “information [for Wiener] is a new physical category of the universe. [It is] the measure of organization of any entity, an organization without which the material and energetic systems wouldn’t be able to survive” (2-3). This way, we have that information responds to the measure of organization and self-regulation of a given system.Moreover, and almost in complete contrast, we have the concept given by Simondon, where information is applicable to the whole possible range: animals, machines, human beings, molecules, crystals, etc. In this sense, it is more versatile, as it exceeds the domains of the technique. To understand well the scope of this concept we will approach it from two definitions. In first place, Simondon, in his conference Amplification in the Process of Information, in the book Communication and Information, claims that information “is not a thing, but the operation of a thing that arrives to a system and produces a transformation in there. The information can’t be defined beyond this act of transformative incidence, and the operation of receiving” (Simondon 139). From this definition it follows the idea of modulation, just when he refers to the “transformation” and “act of transformative incidence” modulation corresponds to the energy that flows amplified during that transformation that occurs within a system.There is a second definition of information that Simondon provides in his thesis Individuation in Light of Notions of Form and Information, in which he claims that: “the information signal is not just what is to be transmitted … it is also that what must be received, this is, what must adopt a signification” (Simondon 281). In this definition Simondon clearly distances himself from Wiener’s cybernetics, insofar as it deals with information as that which must be received, and not that that is to be transmitted. Although Simondon refers to a link between information and signification, this last aspect is not measured in linguistic terms. It rather expresses the decodification of a given code. This is, signification, and information as well, are the result of a disparity of energies, namely, between the overlaying of two possible states (0 and 1, or on and off).This is a central point of divergence with Wiener, as he refers to information in terms of transference of messages, while Simondon does it in terms of transformation of energies. This way, Simondon adds an energy element to the traditional definition of information, which now works as an operation, based in the transformation of energies as a result of a disparity or the overlaying of two possible elements within a system (recipient). It is according to this innovative element that modulation operates in a metastable system. And this is precisely the last concept we need to clarify: the idea of metastability and its relationship with the recipient-system.Metastability is an expression that finds its origins in thermodynamics. Philosophy traditionally operates around the idea of the stability of the being, while Simondon’s proposal states that the being is its becoming. This way, metastability is the condition of possibility of the individuation insofar as the metastable medium leaves behind a remainder of energy for future individuation processes. Thus, metastability refers to the temporal equilibrium of a system that remains in time, as it maintains within itself potential energy, useful for other future individuations.Returning to the conference Amplification in the Process of Information, Simondon points out that “the recipient metastability is the condition of efficiency of the incident information” (139). In such sense, we may claim that there is no information if the signal is not received. Therefore, the recipient is a necessary condition for said information to be given. Simondon understands the recipient as a mixed system (a quasi-system): on one hand, it must be isolated in terms of energy, and it must count with a membrane that allows it to not spend all the energy at the same time; on the other hand, it must be heteronomous, as it depends on an external input of information to activate the system (recipient).The metastable medium is the one indicated to understand the artificial agent, as it leaves the possibility open for the potential energy to manifest and not be spent all at once, but to leave a remainder useful for future modulations, and so, new transformations may occur. At the same time, Simondon’s concept of information is the most convenient when referring to communication and the relationship with the medium, primarily for its property of modulating potential energy. Nevertheless, it is also necessary to retrieve the idea of feedback from Wiener, as it is in the relationship of the artificial agent with its surrounding (and the world) that information is given, and it may flow amplified through its system. By this, significations manage to decode the internal code of the artificial agent, which represents the first gesture towards the opening of the communication.ConclusionThe hypotheses on extended cognition are subject to a huge amount of debate in the artistic, philosophical, and science of cognition circles nowadays, but their implications extend further beyond metaphysics and sciences of the mind. It is apparent that we have just began to scratch the surface of the social sphere in a broader way; realising that these start from cultural branches of the sight; as our minds are; if our minds are partially poured into our smartphones and even in our homes, then it is not a transformation in the human nature, but the latest manifestation of an ancient human ontology of the organic cognitive and informative systems dynamically assembled.It is to this condition that the critical digital humanities and every form of critique should answer. This is due to an attempt to dig out the delays and ruptures within the systems of mass media, by adding the relentless belief in real time as the future, to remind that systems always involve an encounter with a radical “strangeness” or “alienity”, an incommensurability between the future and the desire that turns into the radical potential of many of our contemporary social movements and politics. Our challenge in our critical job is to dismantle the practice of the representation and to reincorporate it to different forms of space and experience that are not reactionary but imaginary. What we attempt to bring into the light here is the need to get every spectator to notice the limits of the machinic vision and to acknowledge the role of image in the recruitment of liminal energies for the capital. The final objective of this essay will be to see that nature possesses the technique of an artist who renders contingency into necessity and inscribes the infinite within the finite, in arts it is not the figure of nature that corresponds to individuation but rather the artist whose task is not only to render contingency necessary as its operation, but also aim for an elevation of the audience as a form of revelation. The artist is he who opens up, through his or her work, a process of transindividuation, meaning a psychical and collective individuation.ReferencesDeleuze, Gilles. “Post-Script on Control Societies.” Polis 13 (2006): 1-7. 14 Feb. 2020 <http://journals.openedition.org/polis/5509>.Espinoza Lolas, Ricardo, et al. “On Technology and Life: Fundamental Concepts of Georges Caguilhem and Xavier Zubiri’s Thought.” Ideas y Valores 67.167 (2018): 127-47. 14 Feb. 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.15446/ideasyvalores.v67n167.59430>.Fumagalli, Andrea. Bioeconomía y Capitalismo Cognitivo: Hacia un Nuevo Paradigma de Acumulación. Madrid: Traficantes de Sueños, 2010.Hui, Yuk. “On Cosmotechnics: For a Renewed Relation between Technology and Nature in the Anthropocene.” Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology 21.2/3 (2017): 319-41. 14 Feb. 2020 <https://www.pdcnet.org/techne/content/techne_2017_0021_42769_0319_0341>.Leroi-Gourhan, André. El Gesto y la Palabra. Venezuela: Universidad Central de Venezuela, 1971.———. El Hombre y la Materia: Evolución y Técnica I. Madrid: Taurus, 1989.———. El Medio y la Técnica: Evolución y Técnica II. Madrid: Taurus, 1989.Lyotard, Jean-François. La Condición Postmoderna: Informe sobre el Saber. Madrid: Cátedra, 2006.Pasquinelli, Matteo. “The Spike: On the Growth and Form of Pattern Police.” Nervous Systems 18.5 (2016): 213-20. 14 Feb. 2020 <http://matteopasquinelli.com/spike-pattern-police/>. Rivera Hutinel, Marcela.“Techno-Genesis and Anthropo-Genesis in the Work of Bernard Stiegler: Or How the Hand Invents the Human.” Liminales, Escritos Sobre Psicología y Sociedad 2.3 (2013): 43-58. 15 Dec. 2019 <http://revistafacso.ucentral.cl/index.php/liminales/article/view/228>.Rodríguez, Pablo. “El Signo de la ‘Sociedad de la Información’ de Cómo la Cibernética y el Estructuralismo Reinventaron la Comunicación.” Question 1.28 (2010): 1-17. 14 Feb. 2020 <https://perio.unlp.edu.ar/ojs/index.php/question/article/view/1064>.Simondon, Gilbert. Comunicación e Información. Buenos Aires: Editorial Cactus, 2015.———. La Individuación: a la luz de las nociones de forma y de información. Buenos Aires: La Cebra/Cactus, 2009 / 2015.———. El Modo de Existencia de los Objetos Técnicos. Buenos Aires: Prometeo, 2007.———. “The Position of the Problem of Ontogenesis.” Parrhesia 7 (2009): 4-16. 4 Nov. 2019 <http://parrhesiajournal.org/parrhesia07/parrhesia07_simondon1.pdf>.Stiegler, Bernard. La Técnica y el Tiempo I. Guipúzcoa: Argitaletxe Hiru, 2002.———. “Temporality and Technical, Psychic and Collective Individuation in the Work of Simondon.” Revista Trilogía Ciencia Tecnología Sociedad 4.6 (2012): 133-46.Wiener, Norbert. Cibernética y Sociedad. Buenos Aires: Editorial Sudamericana, 1958.

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Taylor, Josephine, Kylie Stevenson, Amanda Gardiner, and John Charles Ryan. "Overturning the Sudden End: New Interpretations of Catastrophe." M/C Journal 16, no.1 (March24, 2013). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.631.

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IntroductionCatastrophe surrounds us perpetually: from the Queensland floods, Christchurch earthquake, global warming, and Global Financial Crisis to social conflicts, psychological breaking points, relationship failures, and crises of understanding. As a consequence of the pervasiveness of catastrophe, its representation saturates our everyday awareness. On a daily basis we encounter stories of people impacted by and coping with natural, economic, ecological, and emotional disasters of all kinds.But what is the relationship between culture, catastrophe, and creativity? Can catastrophe be an impetus for the creative transformation of societies and individuals? Conversely, how can culture moderate, transform, and re-imagine catastrophe? And in the final analysis, how should we conceive of catastrophe; does catastrophe have a bad name? These questions and others have guided us in editing the “catastrophe” issue of M/C Journal. The word catastrophe has been associated with extreme disaster only since the 1700s. In an earlier etymological sense, catastrophe simply connoted “a reversal of what is expected” or, in Western literary history, a defining turn in a drama (Harper). Catastrophe derives from the Greek katastrophe for “an overturning; a sudden end.” As this issue clearly demonstrates, whilst catastrophes vary in scale, context, and meaning, their outcomes are life-changing inversions of the interpersonal, social, or environmental norm. In The Upside of Down: Catastrophe, Creativity, and the Renewal of Civilization, political scientist Thomas Homer-Dixon echoes this definition and argues that catastrophe “can be a source of immense creativity—a shock that opens up political, social, and psychological space for fresh ideas, actions, institutions, and technologies that weren't possible before” (23). According to Homer-Dixon and on a hopeful note, “in any complex adaptive system, breakdown, if limited, can be a key part of that system's long-term resilience and renewal” (308). Indeed, many of the articles in this issue sound a note of hope. Catastrophe and Creativity The impetus for this issue comes from the Catastrophe and Creativity symposium convened at Edith Cowan University in Perth, Western Australia, in 2012. The symposium brought together artists and researchers from around Australia to engage with the theme “catastrophe.” The organisers encouraged participants to conceptualise catastrophe broadly and creatively: from natural disasters to personal turning points, and from debilitating meltdowns to regenerative solutions. As a result, the topics explored in this issue stretch deeply and widely, and demonstrate the different forms and scales of catastrophe. Many of the 24 articles submitted for possible inclusion in this issue emerged as responses to the symposium theme. Distinct moods and meanings of catastrophe reverberate in the final selection of 12. The articles that shape the issue are intimate, collective, and geographical engagements with and reflections upon cataclysm that move from the highly personal to the global and speak of countries, communities, networks, friends, families, and colleagues. As a collection, the articles re-envision catastrophe as a pathway for creative interventions, artistic responses, community solidarities, social innovations, individual modes of survival and resilience, and environmental justices. In thinking through the relationship between catastrophe and culture, the authors challenge existing discourses and ways of knowing trauma, and offer fresh interpretations and hope. Catastrophe leads to metanoia: a change of perception after a significant crisis. The editors appreciate that there are no hierarchies between interpretations of catastrophe. Instead, the articles represent a dialogue between diverse experiences of pain, disaster, and abuse, as well as different theories about the nature of catastrophe—from the catastrophic loss of millions through genocide to the impact of trauma on an individual’s body and psyche. Part of the challenge of crafting this issue of M/C Journal has been in delineating what constitutes catastrophe. Admittedly we end up with more questions than we started with. Is catastrophe the same as trauma? Is it disaster? When is it apocalypse? Can catastrophe entail all these things? Who is silenced, and who can tell the narratives of catastrophe? How? Despite these unanswerable questions, we can be certain that catastrophe, as described by the authors, foundationally changes the fabric of human and non-human being in the world. The authors leave us with the lingering reverberations and resonances of catastrophe, revealing at the same time how catastrophic events can “reverse the expected” in the true sense of the word. The transformative potential of catastrophe is prominent in the issue. Some authors call for justice, support, inspiration, and resilience—on personal and community levels. The contributions remind us that, after catastrophe, the person, society, or planet will never be the same. Responses to Catastrophe The issue opens with the intimate nature of catastrophes. A feature article by esteemed Canadian academic and poet Lorri Neilsen Glenn takes the form of a lyric essay originally presented as the keynote address at the symposium. Composed of extracts from her book Threading Light: Explorations in Loss and Poetry (published here with kind permission of the author and Hagios Press) and reflective interludes, Neilsen combines her acute academic insights with personal experiences of loss to create evocative prose and poetry that, as she says, “grounds our grief in form […] connects us to one another and the worlds.” Her work opens for the reader “complex and nuanced understandings of our human capacities for grief.” In this piece, Neilsen speaks of personal catastrophe through lyric inquiry, a method she has described eloquently in the Sage Handbook of the Arts in Qualitative Research. The second feature article is a commentary on Neilsen’s work by the equally esteemed feminist scholar Lekkie Hopkins. In her article, Hopkins explains Neilsen’s journey from literacy researcher to arts-based social science researcher to poet and lyric inquirer. Hopkins uses her reflections on the work of Neilsen in order to draw attention, not only to Neilsen’s “ground-breaking uses of lyric inquiry,” but also to another kind of communal catastrophe which Hopkins calls “the catastrophe of the methodological divide between humanities and the social sciences that runs the risk of creating, for the social sciences, a limiting and limited approach to research.” In her article “Casualties on the Road to Ethical Authenticity,” Kate Rice applies a powerful narrative inquiry to the relationship between catastrophe and ethics. As a playwright experienced in projects dealing with personal catastrophe, Rice nevertheless finds her usual research and writing practice challenged by the specific content of her current project—a play about the murder of innocents—and its focus on the real-life perpetrator. Ambivalent regarding the fascinated human response such catastrophe draws, Rice suggests that spectacle creates “comfort” associated with “processing sympathy into a feeling of self-importance at having felt pain that isn’t yours.” She also argues against a hierarchy of grief, noting that, “when you strip away the circ*mstances, the essence of loss is the same, whether your loved one dies of cancer, in a car accident, or a natural disaster.” In an article tracing the reverberation of catastrophe over the course of 100 years, Marcella Polain explores the impact of the Armenian Genocide’s 1.5 million deaths. Through a purposefully fragmented, non-linear narrative, Polain evokes with exquisite sensitivity the utter devastation the Genocide wreaked upon one family—her own: “When springs run red, when the dead are stacked tree-high, when ‘everything that could happen has already happened,’ then time is nothing: ‘there is no future [and] the language of civilised humanity is not our language’” (Nichanian 142).The potentiality that can be generated in the aftermath of catastrophe also resonates in an article co-authored by Brenda Downing and Alice Cummins. (A photograph of Downing’s performance aperture is the issue’s cover image.) In their visceral evocation, the catastrophe of childhood rape is explored and enfleshed with a deft and generous touch. Downing, embodying for the reader her experience as researcher, writer, and performer, and Cummins, as Body-Mind Centering® practitioner and artistic director, explore the reciprocity of their collaboration and the performance aperture that they created together. Their collaboration made possible the realisation that “a performance […] could act as a physical, emotional, and intellectual bridge of communication between those who have experienced sexual violence and those who have not.” Maggie Phillips evokes the authoritative yet approachable voice of her 2012 symposium presentation in “Diminutive Catastrophe: Clown’s Play;” her meditation on clowns and clowning as not only a discipline and practice, but also “a state of being.” In response to large-scale catastrophe, and the catastrophic awareness of “the utter meaninglessness of human existence,” the clown offers “a tiny gesture.” As Phillips argues, however, “those fingers brushing dust off a threadbare jacket may speak volumes.” By inducing “miniscule shifts of consciousness” as they “wander across territories designated as sacred and profane with a certain insouciance and privilege,” clowns offer “glimpses of the ineffable.” In “Creativity in an Online Community as a Response to the Chaos of a Breast Cancer Diagnosis,” Cynthia Witney, Lelia Green, Leesa Costello, and Vanessa Bradshaw explore the role of online communities, such as the “Click” website, in providing support and information for women with breast cancer. Importantly, the authors show how these communities can provide a forum for the expression of creativity. Through Csikszentmihalyi’s concept of “flow” (53), the authors suggest that “becoming totally involved in the creative moment, so as to lose all track of time” allows women temporary space to “forget the trials and worries of breast cancer.” By providing a forum for women and their supporters to reach out to others in similar situations, online communities, inspired by notions of creativity and flow, can offer “some remedy for catastrophe.” A different impulse pervades Ella Mudie’s insightful examination of the Surrealist city novel. Mudie argues against the elision of historical catastrophe through contemporary practices; specifically, the current reading in the field of psychogeography of Surrealist city dérives (drifts) as playful city walks, or “an intriguing yet ultimately benign method of urban research.” Mudie revisits the Surrealist city novel, evoking the original “praxis of shock” deployed through innovative experiments in novelistic form and content. Binding the theory and practice of Surrealism to the catastrophic event from which it sprang—the Great War—Mudie argues against “domesticating movements” which “dull the awakening power” of such imaginative and desperate revolts against an increasingly mechanised society. Through discussions of natural disasters, the next three articles bring a distinctive architectural, geographical, and ecological stream to the issue. Michael Levine and William Taylor invoke Susan Sontag’s essay “The Imagination of Disaster” in conceptualising approaches to urban recovery and renewal after catastrophic events, as exemplified by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The authors are interested explicitly in the “imagination of disaster” and the “psychology, politics, and morality of rebuilding,” which they find absent in Sontag’s account of the representation of urban cataclysms in 1950s and 60s science fiction films. Levine and Taylor’s article points to community ethics and social justice issues that—as they outline through different examples from film—should be at the centre of urban reconstruction initiatives. Interpretations of what is meant by reconstruction will vary substantially and, hence, so should community responses be wide-ranging. Extending the geo-spatial emphasis of Levine and Taylor’s article, Rod Giblett theorises the historical and environmental context of Hurricane Katrina using Walter Benjamin’s productive notion of the “Angel of History.” However, Giblett offers the analogous metaphor of the “Angel of Geography” as a useful way to locate catastrophe in both time (history) and space (geography). In particular, Giblett’s reading of the New Orleans disaster addresses the disruption of the city’s ecologically vital habitats over time. As such, according to Giblett, Katrina was the culmination of a series of smaller environmental catastrophes throughout the history of the city, namely the obliteration of its wetlands. Benjamin’s “Angel of History,” thereby, recognises the unity of temporal events and “sees a single, catastrophic history, not just of New Orleans but preceding and post-dating it.” Giblett’s archaeology of the Hurricane Katrina disaster provides a novel framework for reconceptualising the origins of catastrophes. Continuing the sub-theme of natural disasters, Dale Dominey-Howes returns our attention to Australia, arguing that the tsunami is poised to become the “new Australian catastrophe.” Through an analysis of Australian media coverage of the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, Dominey-Howes asks provocatively: “Has extensive media coverage resulted in an improved awareness of the catastrophic potential of tsunami for Australians?” After speaking with more than 800 Australians in order to understand popular attitudes towards tsunami, the author responds with a definitive “no.” In his view, Australians are “avoiding or disallowing the reality; they normalise and dramaticise the event. Thus in Australia, to date, a cultural transformation about the catastrophic nature of tsunami has not occurred for reasons that are not entirely clear.” As the final article in the issue, “FireWatch: Creative Responses to Bushfire Catastrophe” gives insights into the real-world experience of managing catastrophes as they occur, in this case, bushfires in the remote Kimberley region of Western Australia. Donell Holloway, Lelia Green, and Danielle Brady detail an Australian Research Council funded project that creatively engages with Kimberley residents who “improvise in a creative and intuitive manner” when responding to catastrophe. The authors capture responses from residents in order to redesign an interface that will provide real-time, highly useable information for the management of bushfires in Western Australia. Conclusion This “catastophe” issue of M/C Journal explores, by way of the broad reach of the articles, the relationship between culture, creativity, and catastrophe. Readers will have encountered collective creative responses to bushfire or breast cancer, individual responses to catastrophe, such as childhood rape or genocide, and cultural conceptualisations of catastrophe, for example, in relation to New Orlean’s Hurricane Katrina and the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. The editors hope that, just like the metanoia that catastrophe can bring about (demonstrated so articulately by Downing and Cummins), readers too will experience a change of their perception of catastrophe, and will come to see catastrophe in its many fascinating iterations. References Csikszentmihalyi, Mihaly. Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. New York: Harper and Row, 1990. Harper, Douglas. “catastrophe.” Online Etymology Dictionary. 22 Mar. 2013 . Homer-Dixon, Thomas. The Upside of Down: Catastrophe, Creativity, and the Renewal of Civilization. Melbourne : Text Publishing, 2007. Kazanjian, David, and Marc Nichanian. “Between Genocide and Catastrophe.” Loss. Eds. David Eng and David Kazanjian. Los Angeles: U of California P, 2003. 125–47. Neilsen Glenn, Lorri. Threading Light. Explorations in Loss and Poetry. Regina, SK: Hagios Press, 2011. Neilsen, Lorri. “Lyric Inquiry.” Handbook of the Arts in Qualitative Research. Eds. J. Gary Knowles and Ardra Cole. Thousand Oaks: Sage, 2008. 88–98.

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Caldwell,TracyM. "Identity Making from Soap to Nuts." M/C Journal 6, no.1 (February1, 2003). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.2149.

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The release of the film Fight Club (Dir. David Fincher, 1999) was met with an outpouring of contradictory reviews. From David Ansen’s [Newsweek] claim that “Fight Club is the most incendiary movie to come out of Hollywood in a long time” (Fight Club DVD insert) to LA Times’s Kenneth Turan who proclaimed Fight Club to be “…a witless mishmash of whiny, infantile philosophising and bone-crushing violence that actually thinks it’s saying something of significance” (Fight Club DVD insert), everyone, it seemed, needed to weigh in with their views. Whether you think the film is a piece of witless and excessive trash, or believe, as Fight Club novelist Chuck Palahniuk hopes “it would offer more people the idea that they could create their own lives outside the existing blueprint for happiness offered by society,” this is a film that people react strongly to (Fight Club DVD insert). Whether or not the film is successful in the new ‘blueprint’ area is debatable and one focus of this essay. It isn’t difficult to spot the focus of the film Fight Club. The title and the graphic, edgy trailers for the film leave no doubt in the viewer’s mind that this film is about fighting. But fighting what and why are the questions that unveil the deeper edge to the film, an edge that skirts the abyss of deep psychological schism: man’s alienation from man, society and self, and the position of the late twentieth century male whose gendered potentialities have become muted thanks to corporate cookie-cutter culture and the loss of a ‘hunter-gatherer’ role for men. In a nutshell, the film explores the psychic rift of the main character, unnamed for the film, but conventionally referred to as “Jack” (played by Ed Norton). Jack leads a life many late twentieth century males can identify with, a life without real grounding, focus or passion. It is the kind of life that has become a by-product of the “me” generation and corporate/consumer culture. Aside from Jack’s inability to find real satisfaction in his love life, friendships, job, or sense of self, he also suffers from an identity disorder. While there are few people who are unaware of the mind-numbing (and in some cases, audience-alienating) “twist” offered near the end of the film, it bears repeating that the compelling character of Tyler Durden (played by Brad Pitt) who shapes and influences the changes in Jack’s life is actually revealed near the end of the film as a manifestation of Jack’s alter ego. Jack and Tyler are the same person. The two conspire to start ‘Fight Club’, where men hit other men. Hard. The Club becomes an underground sensation, expanding to other communities and cities and eventually spawns the offshoot Project Mayhem whose goal it is to ultimately erase individual debt so everyone (all consumers) can start at zero. In order to manage this affair, several large buildings are slated for destruction by the Mayhem team. Of course no people will be in the buildings at the time, but all the records will be destroyed. This is the core of the film, but there are several other interesting sidelights that will become important to this discussion, including the lone female character Marla who becomes the love interest of Jack/Tyler, and the friend Bob, whom Jack meets during his insomniac foray into the seedy underworld of the self help meeting. The film itself seems to cry out for a psychoanalytic reading. Its thinly veiled references to Freudian concepts and subliminal tricks aside, it also makes the inner world of the protagonist its landscape and backdrop. In a film dominated by a psychological and psychical problem, psychoanalysis seems an excellent tool for delving more deeply into the symbols and attitudes of the piece. I have chosen both Kleinian object relations and Julia Kristeva’s understanding of abjection to help illuminate some issues in the film. Object relations helps to make clear both the divergence of personality and the emergence of a ‘repaired’ protagonist at the end of the film as Jack first creates and then destroys his alter ego. Kristeva initially explored abjection theory via literature in Powers of Horror (1982), but Barbara Creed’s Monstrous Feminine: Film, Feminism and Psychoanalysis (1993) opened wide the door for applications of the theory to film studies. Creed uses abjection to explore issues of gender in the horror film, focusing on the role and depiction of women as abject. Here, I have adapted some of her ideas and intend to explore the role of abjection in the male identification process. In this film fighting operates as both reality and metaphor, on both the physical and psychical levels, encompassing the internal and external fight within the mind and body of the protagonist. Jack’s main problem is a lack of concrete identity and self-realization. Numbed by his willing and eager participation in consumer culture and his tacit compliance with the gritty underworld of his job as an automotive ‘recall coordinator’, his life’s work is estimating the cost effectiveness of saving lives by calculating the cost of death. In Jack’s world, meaning is derived solely through the external—external products he consumes and collects. Jack’s consumer-based emasculation is expressed when he states, “Like so many others I had become a slave to the Ikea nesting instinct.” In this sentence he clarifies his disempowerment and feminisation in one swoop. Having few, if any, relationships with human beings, meaningful or otherwise, Jack never reaches a level of social maturity. His only solace comes from visiting anonymous help groups for the terminally ill. Although Jack is physically fine (aside from his insomnia) a part of him is clearly dying, as his sense of who he is in a postmodern culture is hopelessly mediated by advertisem*nts that tell him what to be. In the absence of a father, Jack appears to have had no real role models. Made ‘soft’ by his mother, Jack exhibits a not so subtle misogyny that is illustrated through his relationship with fellow ‘tourist’ in the self-help circles, Marla Singer. Jack’s identity issues unfold via various conflicts, each of which is enmeshed in the club he starts that revolves around the physical pain of hand-to-hand, man-on-man combat. Jack’s conflicts with himself, others and society at large are all compressed within the theme and practice of fighting and the fight clubs he institutes. Fighting for Jack (and the others who join) seems the answer to life’s immediate problems. This essay looks deeply into Jack’s identity conflict, viewing it as a moment of psychic crisis in which Jack creates an alternate personality deeply steeped in and connected to the ‘abject’ in almost every way. Thus, Jack forces himself to confront the abject in himself and the world around him, dealing with abjection on several levels all with a view to expelling it to restore the ‘clean and proper’ boundaries necessary in the ‘whole’ self. Viewed though the lens of psychoanalysis, particularly Klein’s work on object relations and Kristeva’s work with abjection, allows a reading in which the film expresses the need for and accomplishment of a self-activated encounter with the abject in order to redraw ‘clean and proper’ boundaries of self. This film’s tag lines, ‘Mischief, Mayhem and Soap’—illustrate both the presence (Mischief, Mayhem) and function (Soap) of the abject—the interaction with the abject will lead to a ‘clean’ subject—a proper subject, a restored subject. Before continuing, a brief discussion of abjection and object relations and the ways in which they are utilized in this essay is essential here. One of Klein’s major propositions is that “the neonate brings into the world two main conflicting impulses: love and hate” (Mitchell 19). Each of these conflicting impulses must be dealt with, usually by either “bringing them together in order to modify the death drive along with the life drive or expelling the death drive into the outside world” (19). Along with this conflict arises the conflict of a primary relationship with the mother, which is seen as both satisfying and frustrating, and then later complicated with the addition of the father. The main conflicting love/hate binary is reflective of a number of ‘sets’ of dualities that surface when looking into the mother/child relationship. Besides love and hate, there is the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ mother, the mother as symbolic of both life and death, the symbolic (paternal) and semiotic (maternal), total oneness and total autonomy. The curious ‘split’ nature of the infant’s perception of the maternal figure recalls a kind of doppelganger, a doubling of the maternal (in positive and negative incarnations), that can be seen as abject. In the film, this informs the relationship between both Jack and Marla and Jack and Tyler, as I argue Tyler and Marla serve as parental substitutes at one part in the film. This is clarified in Jack’s statements about his relationship with the two of them: “My parents pulled this exact same act for years” and “I am six years old again, passing messages between parents.” This imaginary relationship allows Jack to re-experience some of his early identification processes, while effectively trading out the gender responsibilities to the point where Tyler symbolically takes the place of the ‘mother’ and Marla the place of the ‘father’. The result of this action is an excess of male gendered experiences in which Jack in crisis (emasculated) is surrounded by phalluses. Kristeva’s work with abjection is also important here. I am especially interested in her understanding of the mother/child relationship as connected with abjection, particularly the threat the mother represents to the child as wanting to return to a state of oneness. The abject functions in Fight Club as a means for the protagonist to re-configure his own autonomy. For Kristeva, the abject is that which is cast out in order that “I” may exist. It exists at the borders of the self and continually draws the subject into it. As the subject revolts and pulls away, its resistance cues the process of defining itself as separate, proper and autonomous. When the narrative of Jack’s life refuses to make sense to him, and his experiences seem like “a copy of a copy of a copy,” Jack turns inward for help. Kristeva says that the abject is “experienced at the peak of its strength when that subject, weary of fruitless attempts to identify with something on the outside, finds the impossible within” (5). Thus Jack ‘finds’ Tyler. The abject, [represented by Bob, Tyler and Marla in the film] is that which disturbs “identity, system, order. What does not respect borders, positions, rules” (Kristeva 4). As the abject is that which blurs boundaries borders and classification, the film itself is steeped in abject images and ideas. The discrete categories of inside/outside, asleep/awake, male/female, and self/other are continually troubled throughout the narrative. The two most confused binaries are male/female and self/other. As the film is about Jack’s own experience of emasculation it is not until the male/female gender issues are resolved that his self/other issues can be resolved. Through the re-ordering of gender he is able to take his place in society alongside Marla, finally viewed as not his mother or friend but lover. Jack Versus Himself: A Cult Of One Jack is able to re-vamp his personality through exposure to the abject and the replaying of certain key object relations moments in his childhood. He engages with this ‘inner child’ to reconnect with psychically difficult moments in which his ‘self’ emerged. Jack, however, twists the typical plot of maternal and paternal bonding in ways that speak to the underlying misogyny of the film and of late twentieth century society as well. While the story begins with both male and female characters in unnatural roles with unnatural and abject body parts, by the end of the film, these ‘abnormalities’ or abject objects are erased, ejected from the text so Jack is restored to the ‘safety’ of a compulsory heterosexuality. Bob, Tyler and Marla’s characters are three examples of gender twisting expressed in the film. In psychoanalytic literature, the child bonds first to the mother (via feeding from the breast and in-utero existence) and experiences a feeling of total oneness impossible to duplicate. Eventually the child seeks autonomy and breaks from the mother and her clinging ways with the help of the father and the phallus. So in basic terms, the female is abject, representing infantile regression and oneness, and the male represents taking the proper place in the symbolic order. When the female (mother) is denied, the male accepts his natural place in culture and society. However, in this film, Tyler (the male) is the abject presence in the text, that which threatens to consume and subsume the narrator’s personality. It is Marla, the phallic woman, who interposes herself in this dyad and becomes the correct choice for Jack, allowing him to proceed into ‘normal relations.’ Early in the film, Jack is unable to envision a female partner with whom he can open up and share, instead substituting Bob—and his doubly signified ‘bitch-tit*’—as a locus of comfort. In Bob’s ample bosom, Jack finds the release he is looking for, though it is unnatural in more ways than one. The feminised Bob [testicular cancer patient] comforts and coddles Jack so much that he feels the same idyllic bliss experienced by the infant at the mother’s breast; Jack feels “lost in oblivion, dark and silent and complete.” That night he is able for the first time in months to sleep: “Babies don’t sleep this well.” This illustrates Jack’s longing for the safety and security of the mother, complicated by his inability to bond with a female, replaced with his deep need for identification with a male. Continuing the twist, it is Marla who foils Jack’s moment of infantile bliss: “She ruined everything” with her presence, Jack sneers. Jack’s regression to this infantile bliss with either man or woman would be perceived as abject, (disrupting system and order) but this particular regression is at least doubly abject because of Bob’s unnatural breasts and lack of testicl*s. Both Bob, and to some degree Tyler, offer abjection to Jack as a way of dealing with this complexities of autonomous living. While my argument is that Tyler takes the traditional ‘female’ role in the drama, as a figure (like Bob) who lures Jack into an unnatural oneness that must ultimately be rejected, it is true that even in his position as abject ‘female’ (mother), Tyler is overwhelmingly phallic. His ‘jobs’ consist of splicing shots of penises into films, urinating and masturbating into restaurant food and engaging in acrobatic sex with Marla. Since Marla, who occupies the position of father bringing Jack into society away from the influence of Tyler, is also coded phallic, Jack’s world is overwhelmingly symbolically male. This appears to be a response to the overwhelming physical presence of Jack’s mother of which Tyler comments, “We’re a generation of men raised by women. I am wondering if another woman is really the answer we need?” During this same scene, Jack clarifies his regressive dilemma: “I can’t get married, I am a thirty year old boy.” Thus while Tyler campaigns for a world without women, Jack must decide if this is the correct way to go. Immersion in the world of uber-maleness only seems to make his life worse. It is only after he ‘kills’ Tyler and accepts Marla as a partner that he can feel successful. In another help meeting, one of the guided meditations emphasizes his regression by asking him to go to his “cave” and locate his “power animal.” This early in the film, Jack can only envision his power animal as a rather silly penguin, which, although phallic to some extent, is undercut by the fact that it speaks with a child’s voice. In the next visualization of the ‘power animal’, the animal becomes Marla—clarifying her influence over Jack’s subconscious. The threat of Marla’s sexuality is on one level explored with Jack’s counterpart Tyler, the one who dares to go where Jack will not, but their encounters are not shown in a ‘natural’ or fully mature light. They are instead equated with childhood experimentation and regressive fantasies as Marla responds that she “hasn’t been f*cked like that since grade school” and Tyler proclaims the relationship is mere “sportf*cking.” It is Tyler who discovers Marla’s oversized dild* proudly displayed on a dresser, of which she states “Don’t worry its not a threat to you.” This phallicized Marla refers to herself as “infectious human waste,” clearly abject. Marla’s power must be muted before Jack can truly relate to her. This is illustrated in two separate ‘visions’ of sexual intercourse—one between Marla and Tyler early in the film in which Marla assumes the dominant position, and then later near the end of the film when the same encounter is replayed with Jack taking Tyler’s place, Marla now in the standard missionary position on her back: Proper. Jack’s struggle with self is played out via his relationship with Tyler (and Marla to some degree). Once Jack has been exposed to the various levels of abject behaviour offered by Tyler and Project Mayhem, he chooses to go it alone, no longer needing the double he himself created. After experiencing and rejecting the abject, Jack redraws his boundaries and cleanses his soul. Jack Versus Society—The Personal Is Political Jack’s personal struggle becomes political—and communal. Another attempt at forming identity, Fight Club is bound to fail because it offers not autonomy but a group identity substituted for an individual one. While Jack loathes his ‘single serving life’ before Fight Club, he must come to realize that a group identity brings more problems than solutions in an identity crisis. While the comfort of ‘oneness’ is alluring, it is also abject. As Jack is able to finally refuse the safely and oneness offered by Tyler’s existence, he must also deny the safety in numbers offered by Fight Club itself. The cult he creates swallows members whole, excreting them as the “all singing all dancing crap of the world.” They eat, drink and sleep Fight Club and eventually its ‘evolutionary’ offshoot, Project Mayhem. During his involvement with Fight Club and Project Mayhem, Jack is exposed to three levels of abjection including food loathing, bodily wastes, and the corpse, each of which threaten to draw him to the “place where meaning collapses” (Kristeva 2). Jack’s first experience involves Tyler’s (a)vocation as a waiter who urinates and probably masturbat*s into patrons’ food. This mingling of bodily wastes and nourishment represents the most elementary form of abjection: food loathing. While Jack appears amused at Tyler’s antics in the beginning, by the end of the film, he illustrates his movement closer to self-identification, by calling for “clean food, please” signalling his alliance with the clean and proper. Bodily wastes, the internal made visible, represent the most extended contact Jack has with the abject. These experiences, when what is properly outside ends up inside and vice versa, begin with bloody hand-to-hand combat, including Tyler’s vomiting of blood into the mouth of an unwilling Fight Club participant “Lou”, causing another witness to vomit as well. The physical aversion to abject images (blood, pus, excrement) is part of the redrawing of self—the abject is ejected –via nausea/vomiting. Kristeva explains: “I give birth to myself amid the violence of sobs, of vomit” (3). The images continue to pile up as Jack describes life in the Paper Street house: “What a sh*t hole.” The house slowly decomposes around them, leaking and mouldy, releasing its own special smell: the rot of a “warm stale refrigerator” mixed with the “fart smell of steam” from a nearby industrial plant. While at Paper Street, Tyler decides to make soap. Soap in itself is an agent of cleanliness, but in this context it is abject and defiled by being composed of human waste. In a deeply abject moment, Jack is accidentally covered in refuse that spills from a ripped bag full of human fat pilfered from a liposuction clinic. Even at this profoundly disturbing moment, Jack is unwilling to give up his associations with Tyler and Project Mayhem. It is only after his encounter with a corpse that he changes his tune. While Fight Club attempted to blur physical boundaries via hand-to-hand combat and exchange of blood and blows, Project Mayhem threatens the psychic boundaries of self, a deeper danger. While a loud speaker drones “we are all part of the same compost heap” and a fellow occupant reminds Jack “In project mayhem we have no names,” Jack realizes he is truly losing himself, not gaining strength. Mayhem’s goal of ‘oneness’, like the maternal and infant experience, is exposed via slogans like “you are not a beautiful and unique snowflake. You are the same decaying organic matter as everything else.” Tyler finally puts his cards on the table and asks Jack to “stop trying to control everything and just let go.” For Kristeva, “If dung signifies the other side of the border, the place where I am not and which permits me to be, the corpse, the most sickening of wastes, is a border that has encroached upon everything”(3). The corpse of Bob causes Jack to confront the boundaries of life and death, both spiritual and physical, as he opens his eyes to the damaging effects of the cult-like environment into which he has fallen. Jack’s momentary indecision morphs into action after Bob’s death becomes just one more mantra for the zombie-like Project Mayhemers to chant: “His name was Robert Paulson.” Jack’s internal and external struggles are compressed into one moment when he commits hom*o(sui)cide. Placing a gun in his mouth, he attempts to rid himself of Tyler forever, his final words to Tyler: “My eyes are open now”. At this point, Jack is psychically ready to take charge of his life and confidently eject the abject from the narrative of his life. He wants no more to do with Project Mayhem gang and is reunited with Marla with whom he finally appears ready to have a fully realized relationship. His masculinity and identity restoration are made blindingly apparent by the final splice in the film—the image of Marla and Jack hand in hand overlooking the new view out of the tower, spliced with the shot of a semi-erect penis—back to shot of Marla and Jack. The message is clear: Jack is a man, he has a woman, and he knows who he is because of it. While Fight Club novelist Palahniuk hopes the film offers options for life “outside the existing blueprint offered by society” (Fight Club DVD insert). On the other hand, it’s unclear how well the film pulls this off. On one hand, its lambasting of the numbing effects of blind and excessive consumerism seems well explored, it’s unclear what options really surface by the end of the film. Although many targeted buildings have been destroyed, through which the viewer can assume some or even most records of individual debt were erased, the building in which Marla and Jack stand (initially slated for destruction) remains. Perhaps this is meant to signify the impossibility of true financial equality in American society. But it seems to me that the more pressing issues are not the ones openly addressed in the film (that of money and consumerism) but rather the more internalised issues of self-actualisation, gender identity and contentment. In a postmodern space ripe for the redrawing and redefinition of gender stereotypes, this film carefully reinscribes not only compulsory heterosexuality but also the rigid boundaries of acceptable male and female behaviour. For this film, the safest route to repairing male identity and self-hood threatened by the emasculating practices of a consumer culture is a route back. Back to infantile and childhood fantasy. While it dances provocatively around the edges of accepting a man with ‘bitch tit*’ and a woman with a dick, ultimately Bob is killed and Marla reclaimed by Jack in an ‘I’m ok you’re ok’ final scene: “Look at me Marla, I am really OK”. Jack’s immersion in an all male cult(ure) is eschewed for the comfort of real breasts. Works Cited Creed, Barbara. The Monstrous Feminine: Film, Feminism and Psychoanalysis. New York: Routledge, 1993. Fight Club. Dir. David Fincher. 1999. Fight Club DVD edition. Dir. David Fincher. 2000. Kristeva, Julia. Powers of Horror: An Essay On Abjection. New York: Columbia Press: 1982. Mitchell, Juliet. The Selected Melanie Klein. New York: The Free Press, 1986. Citation reference for this article Substitute your date of access for Dn Month Year etc... MLA Style Caldwell, Tracy M.. "Identity Making from Soap to Nuts" M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture 6.1 (2003). Dn Month Year < http://www.media-culture.org.au/0302/10-identitymaking.php>. APA Style Caldwell, T. M., (2003, Feb 26). Identity Making from Soap to Nuts. M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture, 6,(1). Retrieved Month Dn, Year, from http://www.media-culture.org.au/0302/10-identitymaking.html

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Musgrove, Brian Michael. "Recovering Public Memory: Politics, Aesthetics and Contempt." M/C Journal 11, no.6 (November28, 2008). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.108.

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1. Guy Debord in the Land of the Long WeekendIt’s the weekend – leisure time. It’s the interlude when, Guy Debord contends, the proletarian is briefly free of the “total contempt so clearly built into every aspect of the organization and management of production” in commodity capitalism; when workers are temporarily “treated like grown-ups, with a great show of solicitude and politeness, in their new role as consumers.” But this patronising show turns out to be another form of subjection to the diktats of “political economy”: “the totality of human existence falls under the regime of the ‘perfected denial of man’.” (30). As Debord suggests, even the creation of leisure time and space is predicated upon a form of contempt: the “perfected denial” of who we, as living people, really are in the eyes of those who presume the power to legislate our working practices and private identities.This Saturday The Weekend Australian runs an opinion piece by Christopher Pearson, defending ABC Radio National’s Stephen Crittenden, whose program The Religion Report has been axed. “Some of Crittenden’s finest half-hours have been devoted to Islam in Australia in the wake of September 11,” Pearson writes. “Again and again he’s confronted a left-of-centre audience that expected multi-cultural pieties with disturbing assertions.” Along the way in this admirable Crusade, Pearson notes that Crittenden has exposed “the Left’s recent tendency to ally itself with Islam.” According to Pearson, Crittenden has also thankfully given oxygen to claims by James Cook University’s Mervyn Bendle, the “fairly conservative academic whose work sometimes appears in [these] pages,” that “the discipline of critical terrorism studies has been captured by neo-Marxists of a postmodern bent” (30). Both of these points are well beyond misunderstanding or untested proposition. If Pearson means them sincerely he should be embarrassed and sacked. But of course he does not and will not be. These are deliberate lies, the confabulations of an eminent right-wing culture warrior whose job is to vilify minorities and intellectuals (Bendle escapes censure as an academic because he occasionally scribbles for the Murdoch press). It should be observed, too, how the patent absurdity of Pearson’s remarks reveals the extent to which he holds the intelligence of his readers in contempt. And he is not original in peddling these toxic wares.In their insightful—often hilarious—study of Australian opinion writers, The War on Democracy, Niall Lucy and Steve Mickler identify the left-academic-Islam nexus as the brain-child of former Treasurer-cum-memoirist Peter Costello. The germinal moment was “a speech to the Australian American Leadership Dialogue forum at the Art Gallery of NSW in 2005” concerning anti-Americanism in Australian schools. Lucy and Mickler argue that “it was only a matter of time” before a conservative politician or journalist took the plunge to link the left and terrorism, and Costello plunged brilliantly. He drew a mental map of the Great Chain of Being: left-wing academics taught teacher trainees to be anti-American; teacher trainees became teachers and taught kids to be anti-American; anti-Americanism morphs into anti-Westernism; anti-Westernism veers into terrorism (38). This is contempt for the reasoning capacity of the Australian people and, further still, contempt for any observable reality. Not for nothing was Costello generally perceived by the public as a politician whose very physiognomy radiated smugness and contempt.Recycling Costello, Christopher Pearson’s article subtly interpellates the reader as an ordinary, common-sense individual who instinctively feels what’s right and has no need to think too much—thinking too much is the prerogative of “neo-Marxists” and postmodernists. Ultimately, Pearson’s article is about channelling outrage: directing the down-to-earth passions of the Australian people against stock-in-trade culture-war hate figures. And in Pearson’s paranoid world, words like “neo-Marxist” and “postmodern” are devoid of historical or intellectual meaning. They are, as Lucy and Mickler’s War on Democracy repeatedly demonstrate, mere ciphers packed with the baggage of contempt for independent critical thought itself.Contempt is everywhere this weekend. The Weekend Australian’s colour magazine runs a feature story on Malcolm Turnbull: one of those familiar profiles designed to reveal the everyday human touch of the political classes. In this puff-piece, Jennifer Hewett finds Turnbull has “a restless passion for participating in public life” (20); that beneath “the aggressive political rhetoric […] behind the journalist turned lawyer turned banker turned politician turned would-be prime minister is a man who really enjoys that human interaction, however brief, with the many, many ordinary people he encounters” (16). Given all this energetic turning, it’s a wonder that Turnbull has time for human interactions at all. The distinction here of Turnbull and “many, many ordinary people” – the anonymous masses – surely runs counter to Hewett’s brief to personalise and quotidianise him. Likewise, those two key words, “however brief”, have an unfortunate, unintended effect. Presumably meant to conjure a picture of Turnbull’s hectic schedules and serial turnings, the words also convey the image of a patrician who begrudgingly knows one of the costs of a political career is that common flesh must be pressed—but as gingerly as possible.Hewett proceeds to disclose that Turnbull is “no conservative cultural warrior”, “onfounds stereotypes” and “hates labels” (like any baby-boomer rebel) and “has always read widely on political philosophy—his favourite is Edmund Burke”. He sees the “role of the state above all as enabling people to do their best” but knows that “the main game is the economy” and is “content to play mainstream gesture politics” (19). I am genuinely puzzled by this and imagine that my intelligence is being held in contempt once again. That the man of substance is given to populist gesturing is problematic enough; but that the Burke fan believes the state is about personal empowerment is just too much. Maybe Turnbull is a fan of Burke’s complex writings on the sublime and the beautiful—but no, Hewett avers, Turnbull is engaged by Burke’s “political philosophy”. So what is it in Burke that Turnbull finds to favour?Turnbull’s invocation of Edmund Burke is empty, gestural and contradictory. The comfortable notion that the state helps people to realise their potential is contravened by Burke’s view that the state functions so “the inclinations of men should frequently be thwarted, their will controlled, and their passions brought into subjection… by a power out of themselves” (151). Nor does Burke believe that anyone of humble origins could or should rise to the top of the social heap: “The occupation of an hair-dresser, or of a working tallow-chandler, cannot be a matter of honour to any person… the state suffers oppression, if such as they, either individually or collectively, are permitted to rule” (138).If Turnbull’s main game as a would-be statesman is the economy, Burke profoundly disagrees: “the state ought not to be considered as nothing better than a partnership agreement in a trade of pepper and coffee, callico or tobacco, or some other such low concern… It is a partnership in all science; a partnership in all art; a partnership in every virtue, and in all perfection”—a sublime entity, not an economic manager (194). Burke understands, long before Antonio Gramsci or Louis Althusser, that individuals or social fractions must be made admirably “obedient” to the state “by consent or force” (195). Burke has a verdict on mainstream gesture politics too: “When men of rank sacrifice all ideas of dignity to an ambition without a distinct object, and work with low instruments and for low ends, the whole composition [of the state] becomes low and base” (136).Is Malcolm Turnbull so contemptuous of the public that he assumes nobody will notice the gross discrepancies between his own ideals and what Burke stands for? His invocation of Burke is, indeed, “mainstream gesture politics”: on one level, “Burke” signifies nothing more than Turnbull’s performance of himself as a deep thinker. In this process, the real Edmund Burke is historically erased; reduced to the status of stage-prop in the theatrical production of Turnbull’s mass-mediated identity. “Edmund Burke” is re-invented as a term in an aesthetic repertoire.This transmutation of knowledge and history into mere cipher is the staple trick of culture-war discourse. Jennifer Hewett casts Turnbull as “no conservative culture warrior”, but he certainly shows a facility with culture-war rhetoric. And as much as Turnbull “confounds stereotypes” his verbal gesture to Edmund Burke entrenches a stereotype: at another level, the incantation “Edmund Burke” is implicitly meant to connect Turnbull with conservative tradition—in the exact way that John Howard regularly self-nominated as a “Burkean conservative”.This appeal to tradition effectively places “the people” in a power relation. Tradition has a sublimity that is bigger than us; it precedes us and will outlast us. Consequently, for a politician to claim that tradition has fashioned him, that he is welded to it or perhaps even owns it as part of his heritage, is to glibly imply an authority greater than that of “the many, many ordinary people”—Burke’s hair-dressers and tallow-chandlers—whose company he so briefly enjoys.In The Ideology of the Aesthetic, Terry Eagleton assesses one of Burke’s important legacies, placing him beside another eighteenth-century thinker so loved by the right—Adam Smith. Ideology of the Aesthetic is premised on the view that “Aesthetics is born as a discourse of the body”; that the aesthetic gives form to the “primitive materialism” of human passions and organises “the whole of our sensate life together… a society’s somatic, sensational life” (13). Reading Smith’s Theory of Moral Sentiments, Eagleton discerns that society appears as “an immense machine, whose regular and harmonious movements produce a thousand agreeable effects”, like “any production of human art”. In Smith’s work, the “whole of social life is aestheticized” and people inhabit “a social order so spontaneously cohesive that its members no longer need to think about it.” In Burke, Eagleton discovers that the aesthetics of “manners” can be understood in terms of Gramscian hegemony: “in the aesthetics of social conduct, or ‘culture’ as it would later be called, the law is always with us, as the very unconscious structure of our life”, and as a result conformity to a dominant ideological order is deeply felt as pleasurable and beautiful (37, 42). When this conservative aesthetic enters the realm of politics, Eagleton contends, the “right turn, from Burke” onwards follows a dark trajectory: “forget about theoretical analysis… view society as a self-grounding organism, all of whose parts miraculously interpenetrate without conflict and require no rational justification. Think with the blood and the body. Remember that tradition is always wiser and richer than one’s own poor, pitiable ego. It is this line of descent, in one of its tributaries, which will lead to the Third Reich” (368–9).2. Jean Baudrillard, the Nazis and Public MemoryIn 1937, during the Spanish Civil War, the Third Reich’s Condor Legion of the Luftwaffe was on loan to Franco’s forces. On 26 April that year, the Condor Legion bombed the market-town of Guernica: the first deliberate attempt to obliterate an entire town from the air and the first experiment in what became known as “terror bombing”—the targeting of civilians. A legacy of this violence was Pablo Picasso’s monumental canvas Guernica – the best-known anti-war painting in art history.When US Secretary of State Colin Powell addressed the United Nations on 5 February 2003 to make the case for war on Iraq, he stopped to face the press in the UN building’s lobby. The doorstop was globally televised, packaged as a moment of incredible significance: history in the making. It was also theatre: a moment in which history was staged as “event” and the real traces of history were carefully erased. Millions of viewers world-wide were undoubtedly unaware that the blue backdrop before which Powell stood was specifically designed to cover the full-scale tapestry copy of Picasso’s Guernica. This one-act, agitprop drama was a splendid example of politics as aesthetic action: a “performance” of history in the making which required the loss of actual historical memory enshrined in Guernica. Powell’s performance took its cues from the culture wars, which require the ceaseless erasure of history and public memory—on this occasion enacted on a breathtaking global, rather than national, scale.Inside the UN chamber, Powell’s performance was equally staged-crafted. As he brandished vials of ersatz anthrax, the power-point behind him (the theatrical set) showed artists’ impressions of imaginary mobile chemical weapons laboratories. Powell was playing lead role in a kind of populist, hyperreal production. It was Jean Baudrillard’s postmodernism, no less, as the media space in which Powell acted out the drama was not a secondary representation of reality but a reality of its own; the overheads of mobile weapons labs were simulacra, “models of a real without origins or reality”, pictures referring to nothing but themselves (2). In short, Powell’s performance was anchored in a “semiurgic” aesthetic; and it was a dreadful real-life enactment of Walter Benjamin’s maxim that “All efforts to render politics aesthetic culminate in one thing: war” (241).For Benjamin, “Fascism attempts to organize the newly created proletarian masses without affecting the property structure which the masses strive to eliminate.” Fascism gave “these masses not their right, but instead a chance to express themselves.” In turn, this required “the introduction of aesthetics into politics”, the objective of which was “the production of ritual values” (241). Under Adolf Hitler’s Reich, people were able to express themselves but only via the rehearsal of officially produced ritual values: by their participation in the disquisition on what Germany meant and what it meant to be German, by the aesthetic regulation of their passions. As Frederic Spotts’ fine study Hitler and the Power of Aesthetics reveals, this passionate disquisition permeated public and private life, through the artfully constructed total field of national narratives, myths, symbols and iconographies. And the ritualistic reiteration of national values in Nazi Germany hinged on two things: contempt and memory loss.By April 1945, as Berlin fell, Hitler’s contempt for the German people was at its apogee. Hitler ordered a scorched earth operation: the destruction of everything from factories to farms to food stores. The Russians would get nothing, the German people would perish. Albert Speer refused to implement the plan and remembered that “Until then… Germany and Hitler had been synonymous in my mind. But now I saw two entities opposed… A passionate love of one’s country… a leader who seemed to hate his people” (Sereny 472). But Hitler’s contempt for the German people was betrayed in the blusterous pages of Mein Kampf years earlier: “The receptivity of the great masses is very limited, their intelligence is small, but their power of forgetting is enormous” (165). On the back of this belief, Hitler launched what today would be called a culture war, with its Jewish folk devils, loathsome Marxist intellectuals, incitement of popular passions, invented traditions, historical erasures and constant iteration of values.When Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer fled Fascism, landing in the United States, their view of capitalist democracy borrowed from Benjamin and anticipated both Baudrillard and Guy Debord. In their well-know essay on “The Culture Industry”, in Dialectic of Enlightenment, they applied Benjamin’s insight on mass self-expression and the maintenance of property relations and ritual values to American popular culture: “All are free to dance and enjoy themselves”, but the freedom to choose how to do so “proves to be the freedom to choose what is always the same”, manufactured by monopoly capital (161–162). Anticipating Baudrillard, they found a society in which “only the copy appears: in the movie theatre, the photograph; on the radio, the recording” (143). And anticipating Debord’s “perfected denial of man” they found a society where work and leisure were structured by the repetition-compulsion principles of capitalism: where people became consumers who appeared “s statistics on research organization charts” (123). “Culture” came to do people’s thinking for them: “Pleasure always means not to think about anything, to forget suffering even where it is shown” (144).In this mass-mediated environment, a culture of repetitions, simulacra, billboards and flickering screens, Adorno and Horkheimer concluded that language lost its historical anchorages: “Innumerable people use words and expressions which they have either ceased to understand or employ only because they trigger off conditioned reflexes” in precisely the same way that the illusory “free” expression of passions in Germany operated, where words were “debased by the Fascist pseudo-folk community” (166).I know that the turf of the culture wars, the US and Australia, are not Fascist states; and I know that “the first one to mention the Nazis loses the argument”. I know, too, that there are obvious shortcomings in Adorno and Horkheimer’s reactions to popular culture and these have been widely criticised. However, I would suggest that there is a great deal of value still in Frankfurt School analyses of what we might call the “authoritarian popular” which can be applied to the conservative prosecution of populist culture wars today. Think, for example, how the concept of a “pseudo folk community” might well describe the earthy, common-sense public constructed and interpellated by right-wing culture warriors: America’s Joe Six-Pack, John Howard’s battlers or Kevin Rudd’s working families.In fact, Adorno and Horkheimer’s observations on language go to the heart of a contemporary culture war strategy. Words lose their history, becoming ciphers and “triggers” in a politicised lexicon. Later, Roland Barthes would write that this is a form of myth-making: “myth is constituted by the loss of the historical quality of things.” Barthes reasoned further that “Bourgeois ideology continuously transforms the products of history into essential types”, generating a “cultural logic” and an ideological re-ordering of the world (142). Types such as “neo-Marxist”, “postmodernist” and “Burkean conservative”.Surely, Benjamin’s assessment that Fascism gives “the people” the occasion to express itself, but only through “values”, describes the right’s pernicious incitement of the mythic “dispossessed mainstream” to reclaim its voice: to shout down the noisy minorities—the gays, greenies, blacks, feminists, multiculturalists and neo-Marxist postmodernists—who’ve apparently been running the show. Even more telling, Benjamin’s insight that the incitement to self-expression is connected to the maintenance of property relations, to economic power, is crucial to understanding the contemptuous conduct of culture wars.3. Jesus Dunked in Urine from Kansas to CronullaAmerican commentator Thomas Frank bases his study What’s the Matter with Kansas? on this very point. Subtitled How Conservatives Won the Heart of America, Frank’s book is a striking analysis of the indexation of Chicago School free-market reform and the mobilisation of “explosive social issues—summoning public outrage over everything from busing to un-Christian art—which it then marries to pro-business policies”; but it is the “economic achievements” of free-market capitalism, “not the forgettable skirmishes of the never-ending culture wars” that are conservatism’s “greatest monuments.” Nevertheless, the culture wars are necessary as Chicago School economic thinking consigns American communities to the rust belt. The promise of “free-market miracles” fails ordinary Americans, Frank reasons, leaving them in “backlash” mode: angry, bewildered and broke. And in this context, culture wars are a convenient form of anger management: “Because some artist decides to shock the hicks by dunking Jesus in urine, the entire planet must remake itself along the lines preferred” by nationalist, populist moralism and free-market fundamentalism (5).When John Howard received the neo-conservative American Enterprise Institute’s Irving Kristol Award, on 6 March 2008, he gave a speech in Washington titled “Sharing Our Common Values”. The nub of the speech was Howard’s revelation that he understood the index of neo-liberal economics and culture wars precisely as Thomas Frank does. Howard told the AEI audience that under his prime ministership Australia had “pursued reform and further modernisation of our economy” and that this inevitably meant “dislocation for communities”. This “reform-dislocation” package needed the palliative of a culture war, with his government preaching the “consistency and reassurance” of “our nation’s traditional values… pride in her history”; his government “became assertive about the intrinsic worth of our national identity. In the process we ended the seemingly endless seminar about that identity which had been in progress for some years.” Howard’s boast that his government ended the “seminar” on national identity insinuates an important point. “Seminar” is a culture-war cipher for intellection, just as “pride” is code for passion; so Howard’s self-proclaimed achievement, in Terry Eagleton’s terms, was to valorise “the blood and the body” over “theoretical analysis”. This speaks stratospheric contempt: ordinary people have their identity fashioned for them; they need not think about it, only feel it deeply and passionately according to “ritual values”. Undoubtedly this paved the way to Cronulla.The rubric of Howard’s speech—“Sharing Our Common Values”—was both a homage to international neo-conservatism and a reminder that culture wars are a trans-national phenomenon. In his address, Howard said that in all his “years in politics” he had not heard a “more evocative political slogan” than Ronald Reagan’s “Morning in America”—the rhetorical catch-cry for moral re-awakening that launched the culture wars. According to Lawrence Grossberg, America’s culture wars were predicated on the perception that the nation was afflicted by “a crisis of our lack of passion, of not caring enough about the values we hold… a crisis of nihilism which, while not restructuring our ideological beliefs, has undermined our ability to organise effective action on their behalf”; and this “New Right” alarmism “operates in the conjuncture of economics and popular culture” and “a popular struggle by which culture can lead politics” in the passionate pursuit of ritual values (31–2). When popular culture leads politics in this way we are in the zone of the image, myth and Adorno and Horkheimer’s “trigger words” that have lost their history. In this context, McKenzie Wark observes that “radical writers influenced by Marx will see the idea of culture as compensation for a fragmented and alienated life as a con. Guy Debord, perhaps the last of the great revolutionary thinkers of Europe, will call it “the spectacle”’ (20). Adorno and Horkheimer might well have called it “the authoritarian popular”. As Jonathan Charteris-Black’s work capably demonstrates, all politicians have their own idiolect: their personally coded language, preferred narratives and myths; their own vision of who “the people” might or should be that is conjured in their words. But the language of the culture wars is different. It is not a personal idiolect. It is a shared vocabulary, a networked vernacular, a pervasive trans-national aesthetic that pivots on the fact that words like “neo-Marxist”, “postmodern” and “Edmund Burke” have no historical or intellectual context or content: they exist as the ciphers of “values”. And the fact that culture warriors continually mouth them is a supreme act of contempt: it robs the public of its memory. And that’s why, as Lucy and Mickler’s War on Democracy so wittily argues, if there are any postmodernists left they’ll be on the right.Benjamin, Adorno, Horkheimer and, later, Debord and Grossberg understood how the political activation of the popular constitutes a hegemonic project. The result is nothing short of persuading “the people” to collaborate in its own oppression. The activation of the popular is perfectly geared to an age where the main stage of political life is the mainstream media; an age in which, Charteris-Black notes, political classes assume the general antipathy of publics to social change and act on the principle that the most effective political messages are sold to “the people” by an appeal “to familiar experiences”—market populism (10). In her substantial study The Persuaders, Sally Young cites an Australian Labor Party survey, conducted by pollster Rod Cameron in the late 1970s, in which the party’s message machine was finely tuned to this populist position. The survey also dripped with contempt for ordinary people: their “Interest in political philosophy… is very low… They are essentially the products (and supporters) of mass market commercialism”. Young observes that this view of “the people” was the foundation of a new order of political advertising and the conduct of politics on the mass-media stage. Cameron’s profile of “ordinary people” went on to assert that they are fatally attracted to “a moderate leader who is strong… but can understand and represent their value system” (47): a prescription for populist discourse which begs the question of whether the values a politician or party represent via the media are ever really those of “the people”. More likely, people are hegemonised into a value system which they take to be theirs. Writing of the media side of the equation, David Salter raises the point that when media “moguls thunder about ‘the public interest’ what they really mean is ‘what we think the public is interested in”, which is quite another matter… Why this self-serving deception is still so sheepishly accepted by the same public it is so often used to violate remains a mystery” (40).Sally Young’s Persuaders retails a story that she sees as “symbolic” of the new world of mass-mediated political life. The story concerns Mark Latham and his “revolutionary” journeys to regional Australia to meet the people. “When a political leader who holds a public meeting is dubbed a ‘revolutionary’”, Young rightly observes, “something has gone seriously wrong”. She notes how Latham’s “use of old-fashioned ‘meet-and-greet’campaigning methods was seen as a breath of fresh air because it was unlike the type of packaged, stage-managed and media-dependent politics that have become the norm in Australia.” Except that it wasn’t. “A media pack of thirty journalists trailed Latham in a bus”, meaning, that he was not meeting the people at all (6–7). He was traducing the people as participants in a media spectacle, as his “meet and greet” was designed to fill the image-banks of print and electronic media. Even meeting the people becomes a media pseudo-event in which the people impersonate the people for the camera’s benefit; a spectacle as artfully deceitful as Colin Powell’s UN performance on Iraq.If the success of this kind of “self-serving deception” is a mystery to David Salter, it would not be so to the Frankfurt School. For them, an understanding of the processes of mass-mediated politics sits somewhere near the core of their analysis of the culture industries in the “democratic” world. I think the Frankfurt school should be restored to a more important role in the project of cultural studies. Apart from an aversion to jazz and other supposedly “elitist” heresies, thinkers like Adorno, Benjamin, Horkheimer and their progeny Debord have a functional claim to provide the theory for us to expose the machinations of the politics of contempt and its aesthetic ruses.ReferencesAdorno, Theodor and Max Horkheimer. "The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception." Dialectic of Enlightenment. London: Verso, 1979. 120–167.Barthes Roland. “Myth Today.” Mythologies. Trans. Annette Lavers. St Albans: Paladin, 1972. 109–58.Baudrillard, Jean. Simulations. New York: Semiotext(e), 1983.Benjamin, Walter. “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction.” Illuminations. Ed. Hannah Arendt. Trans. Harry Zorn. New York: Schocken Books, 1969. 217–251.Burke, Edmund. Reflections on the Revolution in France. Ed. Conor Cruise O’Brien. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1969.Charteris-Black, Jonathan. Politicians and Rhetoric: The Persuasive Power of Metaphor. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006.Debord, Guy. The Society of the Spectacle. Trans. Donald Nicholson-Smith. New York: Zone Books, 1994.Eagleton, Terry. The Ideology of the Aesthetic. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1990.Frank, Thomas. What’s the Matter with Kansas?: How Conservatives Won the Heart of America. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2004.Grossberg, Lawrence. “It’s a Sin: Politics, Post-Modernity and the Popular.” It’s a Sin: Essays on Postmodern Politics & Culture. Eds. Tony Fry, Ann Curthoys and Paul Patton. Sydney: Power Publications, 1988. 6–71.Hewett, Jennifer. “The Opportunist.” The Weekend Australian Magazine. 25–26 October 2008. 16–22.Hitler, Adolf. Mein Kampf. Trans. Ralph Manheim. London: Pimlico, 1993.Howard, John. “Sharing Our Common Values.” Washington: Irving Kristol Lecture, American Enterprise Institute. 5 March 2008. ‹http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,233328945-5014047,00html›.Lucy, Niall and Steve Mickler. The War on Democracy: Conservative Opinion in the Australian Press. Crawley: University of Western Australia Press, 2006.Pearson, Christopher. “Pray for Sense to Prevail.” The Weekend Australian. 25–26 October 2008. 30.Salter, David. The Media We Deserve: Underachievement in the Fourth Estate. Melbourne: Melbourne UP, 2007. Sereny, Gitta. Albert Speer: His Battle with Truth. London: Picador, 1996.Spotts, Frederic. Hitler and the Power of Aesthetics. London: Pimlico, 2003.Wark, McKenzie. The Virtual Republic: Australia’s Culture Wars of the 1990s. St Leonards: Allen & Unwin, 1997.Young, Sally. The Persuaders: Inside the Hidden Machine of Political Advertising. Melbourne: Pluto Press, 2004.

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