description MEANS reconstruction: this, today, IS the problem, and the promise, of the digital.
that means that no process of description is innocent. it means that every process of description is a form of reconstruction. and, that means that everything IS interpretation. it also means that ‘everything’ is a matter of ‘translation’. it means that the worlds any of inhabit are constituted in the space, and time, between interpretation and misinterpretation. which means that there is never a perfect answer to anything. there is only ever ‘negotiation.’
in debord’s terms, the spectacle seeks to make negotiation impossible by substituting for it, ‘integration’. sameness. identity, and yes, the entire problematic of ‘identity politics.’
identity politics has been co-opted over the last two decades by conservative forces that have forced it in the direction of nationalist politics. in the direction of sameness. we are all suppose to conform to the equation – I = I.
yet, most of us know that is a form of fascism. that is the rhetoric of the far right. it’s anti-difference, in all its forms = xenophobia. but the world is constituted by difference. we are all ‘others’ relative to each other, no matter how close we might be.
which means – that ‘unity’ is only possible through a love and respect of and for, difference. for our, all of our, differences.
a poetic statement of that might be, as gertude stein put it: we must begin again, and begin again and again and again. and, then she equated with the love of difference with repetition…. that’s politically profound. in my opinion.
so, to describe means to reconstruct. that is the essence of difference. and to ‘integrate’ means, fundamentally, to preserve difference.