Tuesday, November 27, 2007

This book just induces a random mixture of ideas in me... friction? ^^;;;

anyway, I also enjoyed the "practical" and "poetic" structure of the book. As Matt and Anne both pointed out to a certain extent, I was interested in how Tsing uses her entire book --its structure as well as its content to show how friction shapes the ever-developing glocal culture today. Whereas Appadurai tries to explain the new 'global culture' with his series of -scapes, it seems that Tsing uses her book to show how these scapes rub together and form new cultures
(technology, media, economics, ethnicity, etc). Her book physically, artistically and theoretically shows and explains her own metanarrative of how this world is changing and developing its vast, emerging glocal culture. Difference --different languages, art forms, national and regional ethnic cultures, capitalistisms, technologies--rub off each other following certain universals and oftentimes falling into gaps, thus creating a whole narrative such as Tsing's book.

I thought Tsing's book serves as a sort of analogy for her overall message, containing a mixture of theoretical passages and poems, breaking the rules, speaking to the reader at times, using images, using lists of words at the beginning and end of the book, individuals' stories and concrete events --these all tie together with somewhat of a beginning, middle, and end. These different forms of narrative come together to form her story, which presents an overall metanarrative of the world--basically, cultures are being created and destroyed depending on friction between frontiers and boundaries. I feel myself at this point agreeing with Matt's idea of Tsing presenting a "descriptive theory" rather than an explicit one just because compared to some other readings, Tsing's conclusions seem broader and more loose, especially because she started the book with a list at #123 and ended it with #608 suggesting there is no beginning or end in sight and we are just continuing to develop and evolve...

anyway I dont know if that made any sense but so I am wondering what Tsing would have to say to the idea of justice and the future that we discussed in the Rafael piece. What kind of extrapolations or predictions can we make about the future and about justice (coming or not) with her ideas of friction?

Also, I dont want to write too much, but I was really intrigued by the section on p49 about "body odor as ethnicity." how does this example relate to her theories about friction and how can we use it to predict how ethnic ties and differences will change in the future?

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