By Justin Clemens
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Additional info for Avoiding the subject : media, culture and the object
46 Lévy’s vision of a digital “republic of minds” may be worrying enough, but when combined with claims that the Internet enables “the transition from collective intelligence to intelligent community,”47 we can only wonder what other kinds of objects Lévy has been relying on to churn out so many books on such topics, with such naïve optimism. But despite these all-too frequent lapses into liberal teleology, Lévy is correct on at least three accounts. ”50 Relations with Concrete Others 6. ” From Andy Warhol’s wish to become a motorbike, to Baudrillard’s fatal strategies and objective seductions, to Stelarc’s attempts to “become dry, hard, and hollow,” people are both consciously and unconsciously reassessing the constitutive role objects play in their so-called subjectivities.
Like those landowners in the American South, who could never quite shake off the unpleasant recognition and proximity of their slaves (that is, their property), we laugh uncomfortably at puppets and scarecrows and other mimics of self-posited subjectivity. 18 But once again, we see evidence of humans responding to this call. Take for instance, this court transcription from day 131 of the Australian government’s Royal Commission’s inquiry into the collapse of insurance company HIH. ” Williams: “I don’t recall specifically.
9 Such cultural symptoms are themselves signs of the unease we feel in sharing “our” world with those uncanny objects which elicit both fascination and repulsion. 2. ”11 Such a third space would incorporate the attempt of humans to inhabit an erotic ecology increasingly populated by libidinized objects: objects magically transformed by a DNA-altering injection of exchange-value during the 19th century. ” As Rilke so eloquently put it, “relations of men and things have created confusion in the latter,” suggesting a non-human confusion of roles in things that had once been either useful or sacralized, but never both.