Posted by: glue | October 7, 2009

Part Two: Mythography

Avatar Emergency outline continued:

Avatar, within a database prosthesis and oracle interface, supports an Internet public sphere.

Inventing Salome

Inventing Salome

Individuals have always made decisions at the speed of light, at blink speed, in situations of emergency or crisis.  Habitus expressed through stereotypes (individuals) and myths (collectivities) guides decision-making even in modern literate democratic states.  Image metaphysics, through the practice of flash reason, brings this blink dimension into a medium and expression, opening it to ontology, and hence to revision and education.  The point emphasized within apparatus theory is that these cultural operations are invented.  The primary mythology organizing American public and foreign policy is the Frontier.  Our most recent, and probably not the last, cowboy president was George W. Bush.

Electracy dates from the rise of the industrial city, beginning in the nineteenth century.  The new recording technologies invented in the modern city, most of them institutionalized in forms and modes created by Entertainment, functioned to help citizens adapt to industrialization.  The closing of the historical frontier near the end of the nineteenth century motivated the creation of the Frontier myth.  The names and dates of this invention are well documented.  The purpose of this chapter is to extract from this history (in the account by Richard Slotkin) not only an analysis of this myth as a world-view guiding policy formation as well as Entertainment forms, but also a poetics that may be generalized as a means to revise the Frontier or even to author a new mythology more adequate to the global conditions of electracy.  Within this general poetics the creation of several character types is reviewed:  the cowboy (becoming hard-boiled detective), Salome (becoming femme fatale).  A counter-mythology of the (European) artist hero is reviewed as well, representing an “acephallic” stance in the cityscape capable of thinking with the seductions of surface special effects, alternative to the nostalgia for rationality and individualism that still inform the common sense of American national identity.

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