Anustup Basu, The Human and his Spectacular
Autumn, or, Informatics after Philosophy
Jason B. Jones, The Time of Interpretation:
Psychoanalysis and the Past
Pelagia Goulimari, "Myriad Little Connections":
Minoritarian Movements in the Postmodernism Debate
Robert Payne, Virtually: The Refreshment of
Gillian B. Pierce, Lyotard's Anti-Aesthetics.
A review of Jean-François Lyotard, _Soundproof Room:
Malraux's Anti-Aesthetics_, trans. David Harvey.
Stanford: Stanford UP, 2001.
Stuart Kendall, Poet, Actor, Spectator. A review
of Clayton Eshleman, _Juniper Fuse: Upper Paleolithic
Imagination and the Construction of the Underworld_.
Middleton, CT: Wesleyan UP, 2003.
Michael S. Martin, Aesthetic Primacy, Cultural Identity,
and Human Agency. A review of Emory Elliott et al,
eds., _Aesthetics in a Multicultural Age_. New York:
Oxford UP, 2002.
Andy Weaver, Supporting the Cage. A review of David
W. Bernstein and Christopher Hatch, eds., _Writings
through John Cage's Music, Poetry, and Art_.
Chicago: U of Chicago P, 2001.
David Alvarez, Excursions into Everyday Life. A review
of Ben Highmore, ed., _The Everyday Life Reader_.
London: Routledge, 2002.
Caleb Smith, Solitude and Freedom. A response
to Saul Newman, "Stirner and Foucault: Toward a Post-
Kantian Freedom," _Postmodern Culture_ 13.2 (Jan. 2003)
Saul Newman, Spectres of Freedom in Stirner
and Foucault. A response to Caleb Smith.
Notices (WWW Version Only)
Notes on Contributors
Anustup Basu, The Human and his Spectacular Autumn, or,
Informatics after Philosophy
o Abstract: This essay revisits a few core postulates
of an idealistic modernity of the west that was based
on the voluntarism of the human subject, the rational
workings of the secular state, and a scientific episteme
of power/knowledge that was to absolve a godless,
historical universe of dogma and miracle. But perhaps,
as it has been increasingly apparent, a new form of
sovereign power is making itself immanent in our times.
Instead of a historical agency of the conscientious
human, or an isomorphic relationship between
disciplinary knowledge and power, the global application
of this form of sovereignty is based more on the
temporal and spatial inseparability among moments of
militarization, informatization, and financialization.
As a result, categories and definitions of a classic
liberal political imagination--like fascism for
instance--can no longer be simply attached to human
profiles or human tasks. This new, dogmatic, faith-based
sovereignty of informatics and technology-in-and-of-
itself is diffuse and micro-punctual in its presence,
unlike the world-historical spectacle of the mad Fuhrer.
In the wake of specific molar technologies for producing
social life itself, one has to be attentive to a
transformed situation in which meritorious conversations
between humans are increasingly overwritten by a great
dictatorial monologue of power, by which money alone,
along with its complex corporatist-statist interests,
speaks to itself.
How does one re-think politics and resistance in such a
scenario, where inhuman assemblages and flows of finance
and interests--mega-forces of funding and facilitation--
override communicative presumptions about scientific
truths and pieties of democratic representation? How do
we start thinking in this moment of danger in a manner
that is neither driven by paranoia nor enclosed in an
ivory tower of angelic ironies?--ab
Pelagia Goulimari, "Myriad Little Connections": Minoritarian
Movements in the Postmodernism Debate
o Abstract: The canonical phase of the postmodernism
debate, in the work of Fredric Jameson and others,
bequeathed to us a model of interaction between
minoritarian movements which it is our challenge now to
leave behind: minoritarian movements as non-communicating
fragments in need of unification by a hegemonic force.
In our post-hegemonic world, I return to Deleuze and
Guattari's Anti-Oedipus for a "new" model of interaction:
escaping the false dilemma of fragmentation versus
unification, minoritarian movements are distinct, having
nothing in common, as well as unceasingly interacting in
myriad little encounters.
Jason B. Jones, The Time of Interpretation: Psychoanalysis
and the Past
o Abstract: Though "deferred action" has entered the
theoretical lexicon of the humanities, Lacan's theory of
causality is still poorly understood, as are its
implications for interpretation. This essay argues that
the return to Freud reveals psychoanalysis to be in the
first instance a theory of temporality and history.
Against conventional understandings of psychoanalysis as
a recovery of the past--the view that the "cure" works
because one remembers what "really happened"--Lacan proposes
that interpretation works by depleting the analysand's
putative knowledge of the past. Paradoxically, by draining
the past of meaning, Lacanian analysis binds us to the work
of history. The essay offers a systematic reading of Lacan's
1950s works on technique, connecting these with later
developments to clarify the anti-narrative emphasis in
Robert Payne, Virtually: The Refreshment of Interface Value
o Abstract: This essay examines virtual representation
as a source of anxiety--moral, cultural, and epistemological.
By first analyzing two failed attempts by the U.S. Congress
to apply legislative closure to the admitted epistemological
uncertainty of virtual child pornography, the question of
performativity is raised. The Congressional Acts'
contradictory logic imagined a contagion of harm emanating
from digital material and attacking actual, uninvolved
children, but also a contagion of perpetration to "desensitize"
potentially any viewer. The essay pivots on Margaret Morse's
definition of the virtual as the "present subjunctive mode of
a fictively shared present" and goes on to examine the
equally uncertain performativity attributed to the virtual
relationships between personal webcam subjects and their
viewers. Charges of "virtual prostitution" against some
female webcam subjects recall Congress's moralist fears of
infectious "transmission." As a device of perceived
telepresence and telepistemology, webcam representation is
discussed as the reiteration of interface simulation, where
the continuous, mechanical "refreshment" of this mediating
device itself becomes an object of attention. The necessary
imprecision and epistemological frustration of the virtual
has become a compelling narrative of its own.