Rob Van Kranenburg on Sat, 24 Nov 2001 23:45:32 +0100 (CET)

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

<nettime> and again

And again: Innere Emigration.

What has always struck me as bitterly ironic, deeply tragic and utterly
unproductive about Barthesı project to split the very idea of sign was the
fact that he was able to write that down, whereas Iım only willing to
think about this is a serious way, if this project could be made
operational in and through singing, the painting of butterflies, the
trajectories of football or any other kind of dancing. This has not been
the case and through the pathetic attempt to stay within the boundaries of
the signifier - you are reading now - scooping a way down through layers
and layers of metaphor and metonomy - layer and metaphor having become
synonomous by now - the very idea of behind has come to dominate the 20th
century and if we are not careful - and we never are because there is no
'we' however much smoothly I call upon us here - that same idea of behind
will continue to dominate operations of control of what make meanings to
such an extent that there is indeed no longer any place which we can
occupy any longer that is not contested, that does not hold promises of
danger, promises of death, but is a given.

A handout.

Let us face this. All the places that we occupy now are handouts,
leftovers: given. Shall I clarify us then as intellectuals? Dare I? A
Gramscian analysis of our current mental landscape would indeed now
identify a locus for intellectuals as a stratum, as a political force in
itself. It would find, however, no physical place which could be made to
house this intellectual stratum.

I suggest we move. We move out of this entire terrain that for all its
very depending on processess that operate only and only through and on a
shared experience of reality, claims through and by its discursive
practices that this reality has become fictional and is no longer bound
and grounded in the real.

I suggest we move. We move for without a sense of space there is no sense
of progress. Oh, much more than this. Trapped with in a discourse that
operates through metaphor - through - what is behind all this? - what is
the theory behind this praxis (as if this were not a false dichotomy) - we
operate in our discursive practices - without any sense of loss. Without
any pain of loosing the very notion that work should have a goal, and
without it there is no progress and without progress there is no sense of
place and more importantly even no sense of now. No sense of this
particular now. Not the now of its perpetual nowness as in newness. No,
now. Now as in : decisive, or not.

I suggest we move. We move because it is time for us to reclaim a
sensibility of the mind in the reformation of intellectuals as a specific
code of behaviour: a sense of belonging in a story in a space in a place.
In a place that I occupy. That you contest. That we can debate. I shall
not always speak in sober meanings.

On the corner of 7th Avenue and 49 street: a video plays on giant split
screens circling the otherwise nondescript office-building. People walk
pass each other on the videoscreen and in the streets underneath. It is on
the opposite side of the street on another nondescript office-building
that in the reflection of these sequences - on the other side of
projection - that these walking bodies blur into a comforting
simultaneity; comforting as they seem to merge and re-appear in shapes and
forms and sounds that defy our dichotomic analytic repertoire; comforting
also in the frightening prospect that this parallel universe is reflected
into nondescript office- buildings all the time, continuously, regardless
of our visual capturing, regardless of our making meaning, regardless of
our eyes straining in the afternoon sun.

I suggest we move. Move into ourselves for a while - retreat, as it is now
our very presence, our very being in this very discourse that legitimizes
the ruining of.

Rob van Kranenburg, Felenne, November 16, 2001.

#  distributed via <nettime>: no commercial use without permission
#  <nettime> is a moderated mailing list for net criticism,
#  collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
#  more info: and "info nettime-l" in the msg body
#  archive: contact: