Posted by: glue | February 15, 2009

Elec-Trace-y

“Electracy” is a portmanteau of “electricity” and “trace,” the latter introducing Jacques Derrida’s theory of (arche)writing into the naming of the digital apparatus.  Flash Reason — deliberative reason for the dromosphere — as a rhetoric of image metaphysics, revises our relationship with time space.  Policy formation in politics, and prudence in ethics, require an understanding of electrate time.  What shape is time in Now?  “Trace” is Derrida’s name for this temporality.

Tracing

Tracing

The formation of an image in a cathode ray tube (the electron beam scanning the rows of dots): The “interlaced” pattern scans every other row of pixels, The phosphor dots grouped RGB, odd then even, left to right.  This operation of the CRT screen figures how the world picture is constituted in historical culture:  “trace” is the electron beam scanning between arche and telos, origin and gathered end, in continuous movement, shuttling across the historical field.  Trace scans the history of Being; “Origin” and “End” are effects of this movement, which underlies and binds any particular understanding of time-space (as circle, line, or broken line, for example).

Plait-O

Plait-O

Trace has been described as a weaving, plaiting, interlacing of metaphysical strands, as a figure of writing.  What is being woven?  The strands are:  the empirical subject (the living person), the transcendental subject (of language), the writing support, time (temporality).  A keyword is contamination.  Here we find an intersection with our category “Disaster.” A pattern is plaited interlacing the contamination of groundwater at Cabot-Koppers Superfund site, with the philosophical demonstration of the necessity of contamination of metaphysical categories.

W/Hole

W/Hole

What is differAnce, again?  It is the opening that makes playing possible.  Trace is the movement of the play:  it is a certain modality of relation.  What this movement of play supports is nothing less than the history of truth, as an emergent effect of literacy, in its metamorphoses from one epoch to the next from its beginnings (origin) in Classical Greece (invention of alphabetic apparatus) to the present shift into electracy.

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