Posted by: glue | November 6, 2009


Avatar Emergency, Part 4

Avatar within electracy as apparatus is appropriated as the vehicle and site of flash reason, making it possible for citizens to participate in deliberative democracy even in the dromosphere.  Avatar is practical reason against the Internet Accident, meaning that it updates prudence or good judgment.  The challenge facing the temporality of prudence is speed, dimension collapse, in which past-present-future are Now.  The method of heuretics applies McLuhan’s principle of innovation through retrieval of obsolete practices from the archive.  In fact the Western tradition has dreamed of sudden thought or flash reason from the beginning, always associated with images (as opposed to linguistic discourse), and attributed to the mind of God.  God in electracy moves from grammar to the Internet.  Flash reason extracts from the genealogy of sudden thought a logic of imaging, involving a modality of time-space formulated in German philosophy as Moment (Augenblick).   Heidegger shifted the orientation of category from Aristotle’s juridical indictment to poetic epiphany.

The work of inventing flash reason is to adapt the formal operations of traditional


Bride and Bachelors

prudence or practical reason to the aesthetic forms of art.  Good judgment was understood traditionally as the ability to formulate maxims based on past experience, and apply them ad hoc or on the fly in the midst of problematic situations leading to beneficial outcomes for the community.  This kind of wisdom based on the authority of experience is destroyed by the industrial city, creating conditions that Kant euphemized as the sublime.  The dromosphere is sublime, a condition in which individual experience is impoverished and without access to the causality at work in events.  This chapter establishes first the nature of Moment or epiphany as experience of one’s own limits, threshold, mapping the contour of inside-outside through the composition of a figure.  In addition the logic of Moment invented and enhanced by modernist arts is described:  the bachelor machine, exemplified most purely in Marcel Duchamp’s Ready-mades and Bride works.  Avatar is a bachelor machine.

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