Spacings and Chronotopes

These non-visual spaces – spacings in the Derridean sense, localities with duration – are materialized within the spectacle as a new order of spacetime, materially constituted as invisibility. They are chronotopes of a far more radical, material character than those first brilliantly diagnosed by Bakhtin for the novelist imaginary. They will, however, remain forever beyond visuality, beyond all phenomenologies. They cannot be sensed, neither seen nor heard. Other analytic methods are necessary to discover how these spacings constitute new orders of Spectacular integration.

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The Integrated Spectacle and the Limits of Deconstruction

Though Derrida never makes the link direct, supplementarity is made necessary by the suppression of pluri-dimentionality and non-linearized temporality, of “mythographic” writing, by linear, alphabetic writing. The “Exergue” to Of Grammatology (1967) announces that the science of writing “shows signs of liberation all over the world, as a result of decisive efforts.” This sense that liberation was close at hand was of course the very timbre of Pensée 68. To this optimism, however, and unlike the confidence of other works to emerge at this historical moment, (including Debord’s Society of the Spectacle, 1967), he adds the following skeptical caution which, “above all,” is the main point of “origin” of his landmark book: “… even if, given the most favorable hypothesis, it did overcome all technical and epistemological obstacles as well as all the theological and metaphysical impediments that have limited it hitherto, such a science of writing runs the risk of never being established as such and with that name…. For essential reasons…” These reasons stem, essentially, from the limits set to the diversity of concepts of writing and of science by “an historico-metaphysical epoch of which we merely glimpse the closure.”[i] This closure is the closure of the episteme which regulates both knowledge production and consumption; it is in principle always predetermined by pre-established meanings for the sign and the relationship between speech and writing, on the one side, and by pre-established audio-visual sensations of the Spectacle on the other, which blind us to alternatives beyond the dual textual/audio-visual closure they effectively police. What can be publicly written/spoken is mediated and regulated by spectacular forms, and what can be publicly seen and heard is mediated and regulated by writing/speech. It is this reciprocity that needs precise elucidations. From our vantage in 2016, it is clear that though technical and epistemological obstacles have been a little diminished by digital communication technologies, (though very rapidly losing ground everyday), the theological and metaphysical impediments, precipitously on the rise since 9-11, have effectively cancelled any libratory impact they have lent to the science of writing, blockading alternatives to mono-dimensional and linearized, regulatory orders of supplementarity, operating effectively in both textual and audio-visual dimensions.

[i] …..

Spacings and Chronotopes

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