lack of reflections (relating to 12/16)

Sterne worries that: “Adorno and Horkheimer’s analysis of mass culture has been much maligned in the past few years as elitist, but a serious reading of their work shows their attention to many of the issues now dominating the analysis of mass culture — the increasing concentration of media ownership and the commodity status of entertainment — as well as their attention to the aesthetic dimensions of mass-cultural agreement.”

Obviously I agree with all of them.  As if there were not enough problems with the internet, the infinitely increasing rate of data (i.e. noise) means that because everyone is not reading the same thing in the same format, there becomes less and less coherence in society. Per Sterne, paraphrased from William Kenney, “it takes both a shared cultural sensibility and a standardized, industrialized record business to get the same recording to the different people in different places so that they could listen alone together.” By this measure even this very blog (despite its obvious brilliance) is a nail in the coffin of civilization.

I am touched by Taussig’s quote of Benjamin that the meaning or feeling in a billboard is not the billboard, but rather, “… not what thje moving red neon says–but the fiery pool reflecting it in the asphalt.”

Our friend Mr Peter Asaro asks, “What are the implications for aesthetics… human perception,… consciousness… poilitics…. that we have to learn to ‘see’ and ‘hear’ through a new technological media?” But, that is the wrong question. The implication comes not from the learning but from the doing.  Once again, when we take media from the physical to the digital, it becomes divorced from its most important cultural meanings, which is the path that leads to apocalypse.


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