Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A sifting through of society's trash

Ulmer connects his argument in the section on sacrifice (pg 41-42)to Georges Bataille and his thoughts with regards to sacrifice and forms of unrequitted expenditure. His choice of Bataille as reference for this section implies that his idea of car crashes is: "ostentation squander" (<--Bataille word choice in "Gift of Rivalry: Potlach") and hence insightful when discerning the values of the entity (the US) that engages in it. Before moving on to its application to emonuments I want to take a closer look at Bataille's idea and Ulmer's notion of sacrifice. Below is a brief summary of their thoughts explicitly present in the article and informed by Bataille's article "Gift of Rivalry: Potlach" and his short text The Eye

Sacrifice (the continuity of life through the witnessing of death and still being) - as a way of understading society
Sacrifice as performance - ritual - rhythm - which invokes then the sense of pattern
Sacrifice as related to practices of production/consumption and unproductive expenditure
Sacrifice as having no end beyond itself
Sacrifice as ostentatious squander - an act afforded solely through one's ability to do so.

Sacrifice as a symptom related to a larger site of schematics. A symptom that may be reduced to its part of a social cycle that is: give and receive - man to man / man to society / society to man. A power shifting through life and death - a vengeful consumption of individual life at the expense of a society's witnessing - which is needed to acknowldege and reify its own existence. But more so a wasteful consumption of life simply because a society has the goods(individuals) to consume. A behaviour based on a sort of capitalistic circadian rhythmic impulsivity (which implies a lack of uncorrupt conscious reason) which can be directly linked to ownership.

The power to ingest/invest which thereby concludes in ownership, which in turn offers the power to destroy/expel/make abject. ie: i buy a flag..I can burn a flag / I ingest food which will eventually become abject <-- This idea as applied to society. An emonument - bearing witness, calling attention to this. A sifting through of a society's trash as means to discern its values and then laying claim to and projecting such to the mass in lightspeed.

1 comment:

Cynthia Haynes said...

Nicole...very powerful post. The thought of holding up a mirror to society in the form of emonuments to/on abjection is certainly going to be difficult (in many ways, but especially emotionally). I agree that we should, however, and in lightspeed (which says NO to the kind of hand-wringing that Paul Virilio displays in his objection to speeding things up...and YES to hitting warpspeed when it comes to all things that would improve the world).