interface, of con- tiguity and networks. All our machines are screens. We too are going to be screens, and the interactivity of men has been turned into an interactivity of screens. We are images one to another , the only destiny of an image being the following image on the screen. And images don’t have to be asked for their meaning, but to be explored instantaneously, in an immediate abreaction to meaning, in an immediate implosion of the poles of representation. Exploring an image (or a text-image, for any text on the screen appears as an image) is quite different from reading a text. It is a digital exploration, where the eye moves in a capricious and sporadic way. The interface relation between interlocutors, or the interface relation to knowledge in information processing, is the same: tactile and exploratory. The voice, the computer voice or even the telephone voice, is a tactile one, a functional non-voice. Not really a voice, just as the screen is not really an object of vision any more. The whole paradigm of sensibility has changed. The tactility (see McLuhan) is not the organic sense of touch, it merely signifies the epidemic contiguity of eye and image, and then the vanishing of any aesthetic distance. We are coming closer and closer to the image, our eyes as if dis- seminated in the surface of the screen. And if we fall so easily into this cerebro- visual coma of the television, it is because of this perpetual vacuum of the screen, which we spontaneously fill up with our fantasies. Proximity of images, tactility of images, tactile pornography of images – though physically so close to us, the TV-image is paradoxically light-years away. It stays at a very special distance that can only be defined as insuperable by the body. The distance of the theatrical scene, of the mirror, is superable by the body, it can eventually surmount it, this is why this distance remains human . The distance of the screen is virtual, hyperreal, and therefore insuperable. I t is adapted to this single form, to this single abstract form of communication. Not exactly human any more, but, while using contiguity without con tact, corresponding to an eccentric dimension, to a depolarization of space and a destabilization of the body. There is no topology more beautiful than the Möbius strip to designate the contiguity of the close and the distant, of interior and exterior, of object and subject , of the computer screen and the mental screen of our brain inter- twined with each other in the same spiral. In the same way, information and communication always feed back in a kind of incestuous convolution. They operate in a circular continuity, in a superficial indistinction between subject and object, interior and exterior, question and answer, event and image – a contiguity only to be solved in a loop , simulating the mathematical figure for infinity.
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- Winter '16
- Jeff Hannan
- organic life, Georges Bataille, Bataille