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

hollywood neo-CONS and their wives

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The plot of the “recall double-cross” takes place in the future anterior: Mr. Universe returns to the past in order, once again, to cancel the revolution of mille neuf soixante huit, (Kennedy’s eternal flame[i] eternally haunts the US political imaginary; even when snuffed by Reagan’s California governorship, like a trick candle, it automatically relights), in order that the neo-liberal totalitarian revolution can continue to deepen its successes. In this performative, fully concrete charade of public alliance making, the structure of spacetime is literally altered. The double-cross need no longer be serial, no longer needs two sets of victims, since, the Spectacle is now an integrated,[ii] ubiquitous force field that spreads as it concentrates, and concentrates as it spreads. The double-cross is internalized in a single object of deceit, by means of a conversion machine that produces series of transitive re-interpolations, as demonstrated by Terminator 1-3. “John” the yet unborn figure of the future revolutionary leader in T1 (1984) and countercultural hacker of the second episode (1991), shades by episode three (2003) into John the counter-terrorist, as the Terminator itself morphs from “enemy” in T1 (sent into the past to kill his mother), to “friend” in T2, in preparation we must assume, for Schwarzenegger’s “recall” race. The Matrix series reinforces the pattern; Mr. Andersen the hacker gives way to Neo the new age savior in the power game of predestination “governed” by the architect-oracle dualism (white male/black woman, mind/body, law/chance) that maintains the racialized economy of the matrix, and rules human subjection through mere iteration disguised as revolution. More on this below. It is a decidedly Lutheran-Buddhist vision that allows for only asocial, libertarian redemption, modeled on the standard martyrdom of the white, master-savior of Rastafarian Zion, apparently incapable, as usual, of saving itself. The result: sociopolitical closure as a zero-sum game. The lesson: the switch of “good” and “bad” in each case took place between films when no one could be watching.

[i] Of importance here is the work of Antfarm’s “Eternal Frame,” the reenactment of Kennedy’s assassination based on the Segruder film. See,

[ii] “Integration” in this article refers to two sources: Guy Debord’s analysis of the spectacle in his Commentary on the Society of the Spectacle, London: Verso, 2002 [reprint of original 1988 publication], pp. 8-11; and Pierre Bourdieu’s “Return to Television,” Acts of Resistance, New York: The New Press, 1998, p. 75, where the interviewer introduces Umberto Eco’s concept of the “integrated intellectual.” See note 15 below.

hollywood neo-CONS and their wives