Wednesday, October 10, 2012

distill, lather, rinse, repeat

'Our' attachment to totalizing forms of cognitive mapping and self-localization (and their remold-ability as we continuously re-evaluate the state of our present) is really played out in the permeation of infographics in various levels of commercial and political networks. The appeal seems to be in the synthesis of data, whose scale is otherwise unrepresentable, and the effectiveness of this form of communication to eliminate noise. The message of the problematic and ergo the solution is clean cut and attainable in so far as it is representable and reproducible. Representation satisfies the anxiety over incoming perceptions of reality, as inflected by our intuitive understanding of what should be in focus. These moments of distillation are thus sites of intuition's collective development in the cultural sphere, but only enacted by the technologically elite.

“the story of how attachment to reproducing the intelligibility of the world nudges affective forces into line with normative realism is also the story of liberal subjectivity's fantasies of individual and collective sovereignty, the public and the private, the past's relation to the future, and the distribution of sensibilities that discipline the imaginary about what the good life is and how proper people act.” (53)

In trying to think through the gap between fetishism as a displacement of relations in order to enable a naturalization of processes and attachment as a means of external holding of one's potentiality for sovereignty and continuity of self, I recognize the biggest distinction in the degree to which fetishism results in alienation from the truer state of being/location of sex organs and attachment is a dressage of relief of suspension that doesn't mask a location/object/person proper because there is none. I wonder why Berlant doesn't bring up the fetish in her discourse and would really like to discuss this more.

How do we deal with an infograph's distillation and what Berlant describes as the political condemnation of the filter. In speaking of Bush she writes, “He wants to transmit not the message but the noise. He wants the public to feel the funk, the live intensities and desires that make messages affectively immediate, seductive and binding” (224). If noise performs attachment through relation to affect then how can we understand our attachment to filters? 


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