LOST in the wilderness of digital culture, not in the funhouse of (post)modernism. Have to go back to the importance of the reader’s need for a framework, a finite space on which they can lay hold.
In 1982, Jauss proposed the term geniessen in his Aesthetic Experience and Literary Hermeneutics to identify aesthetic pleasure. It was a reaction against Adorno’s “aesthetics of negativity,” which he rejected as “aesthetic purism,” as well as against the Barthesian pleasures of the text which, in Jauss’ words, is the “French counterpart to Adorno’s aesthetics in certain aspects” (29).
In 1999, William H. Gass wrote in his In Defense of the Book that readers of books will become increasingly better readers as the internet would be the end to ‘good’ reading. He also regretted the loss of browsing in the sense that you can browse the book shelves in a library and, by serendipity, find what you never would have looked for in the first place.
How do we read objects? Does the reading of objects differ from the reading of texts? My contention here is that objects do not only tell stories but that they are always already part of a process of semiosis that undergoes changes depending on the object’s function and contextual environment. A totem pole is a good example of how living, dynamic culture undergoes such a process of semiosis when it is displayed within the Museum as institution. A totem pole in its native environment is not an everlasting monument but an enactment of the eternal return of the seasons. True, it is a phallic symbol but it is not a static object like a church tower or a minaret as it is erected in order to slowly sink into mother earth and thus to return to where it once came from. As such, it is part of a sexual economy based on the dialectics between the male and the female principle, between the phallus and the earth. The pole in its natural environment performs in other words creation as it metaphorically stages the sexual act of (be)coming.
Releasing the essay Speaking From the Other
Speaking From the Other is an essay that is now available on Apple Books and other stores.Read an excerpt for free here!
About the site
freewheelin.nu is a site where e-lit, installations, digital art, blogs and other texts are linked in a hyperdimensional space of underpasses, highways, rivers, bridges, tunnels that intersect in the art project Plastic Spaces whenever possible.
And there is more. Image music text and technology intertwined in digital art and textual [dis]pleasures - in the erratic vibrancy, evanescence and intangibility of the text/work - that interfaces with the erotic body [electrified].