Dec 3 2010

fantasies of corporeal fusion

with the unrelenting, near autonomic advance of ambient awareness technologies spurring McLuhanite perceptual extensions into radical and remote zones of experience, where the conventional borders of immanence (i.e. our very subjectivities) are—not transcended—but fused in elaborate, inchoate concatenations, it is unsurprising that fantasies or nightmares of a corporeal complement are now emergent.

in dash shaw’s bodyworld (buy), invasive alien flora induce states of vicarious interbody telepathy, first in a drug-addled botanist, then in the larger populace of boney borough.

generally fucked up shit ensues.

Social scientists have a name for this sort of incessant online contact. They call it “ambient awareness.” It is, they say, very much like being physically near someone and picking up on his mood through the little things he does — body language, sighs, stray comments — out of the corner of your eye.

the collision and perpetual deluge of bits of intersecting subjective detritus, adrift on the sea of an all-pervasive social microweb, could be rendered as a nightmarish alien conspiracy, teleologically bound to a violent dystopic culmination… 

…a sort of horrific exponential proliferation and amplification of Sartre’s ontologically menacing ‘gaze of the Other;’ an insidious panoptical infection…. 

… l’enfer, c’est les autres, the self becomes inferno.


the self becomes les autres: les autres c’est l’enfer

saam farahmand’s (xx-islands, part of the weekend never dies, etc) video for Klaxons - ‘twin flames’ is an orgiastic reverie of melded bodies, distinctly more attuned to the pleasures of radical intersubjectivity than bodyworld, but no less grotesque in its depiction, no less sensitive to its trauma.

the divergences are perhaps a matter of emphasis, both grappling with the sensation of boundaries violated by unremitting flocks of encroaching amputee subjectivities, both not eschewing the delirium and depravity resultant of the de-individuation of the self.

from status updates to twitpics to video chat to microblogs to streaming media on mobile devices to cloud computing to geolocation services (in short, the inescapable immersive media landscape), the contemporary consciousness is steadily assaulted in its unity, its singularity, its finitude, its immanence, its spatiality and temporality. it is confounded, but it can be sure that this stage of its evolution is in its prematurity, if not infancy: whatever its fallout, the anxieties and exhilarations of ambient awareness are just beginning.