Can't believe it's been almost two weeks

I've been trying to get several articles out the door and to re-tool an article abstract for a special issue (yes, Clay, I'll be submitting it later this week).

Lots of things going through my head, but most of them (ironically) tie up with my thoughts about semiotics and embodiment. Just a short list of some of these thoughts.

  • if theory rises up from embodied particulars (Hayles discusses this in regards to AI and AL projects via three waves of cybernetics), then how do we "bust out" of these blurs of semsation? I know that psychoanalysis and Kantian categories are attempts to stabilize these processes into categories, but I'm suspicious of stable categories for what is supposed to be particular and fleeting.
  • I am struggling with Signature/Event/Context implications. Speech acts like "I pronounce you man and wife" perform that which they describe, and are often used as examples. Still, I'm suspicious because these example seem to be the textual equivalent of a ringer (a professional disguised as an amateur--like when my intramural basketball team recruited Deb Hawhee for her placid and pleasent exterior hiding her Pat Summitt-trained lethal posting, 'bounding, and shooting skills). I like Michael Berube's example of the Stop sign from his essay in Trotsky and Wild Orchids, but it still doesn't get me all the way to more ephemeral communication (the memo, phatic communication, etc.)
  • Collin Brooke has roped me in to Battlestar Galactica (perfectly timed for me to discuss Hayles notion of the posthuman in the graduate seminar I'm teaching). I love the show, and it performs many of the tensions we are reading and discussing in Hayles book (Cylons who are, for all practical purposes, human--as proxy for not only technophobic/technotopic thoughts, but also for fear of the "Other" in terrorism, etc.). My question has to do with the arc of the show. I see the original tensions bleeding into more Space Opera conventions. While the realist film conventions (partial view of spaceships, lens flares, near-silent space, documentary handheld camera shots, a bridge without a giant viewscreen or Captain's Chair, etc.) initially disciplined audience interpretation, the longer these shows stay on the air, the more likely they are to "jump the shark." The material networks that initially tolerate these projects eventually colonize them. The networks of relationships (advertising, semiotic conventions, constituted fans, etc.) persist and are changed, but I wonder how long early story arcs and styles can hold before the centripital forces make the material heterogeneities obvious.
  • Working Blue notes Octavia Butler's passing. Butler's work Dawn was the first book that really made me feel the impact of slavery. That is saying a lot, considering I grew up on the Rez and did my undergraduate honors project on Toni Morrison and signifyin'.

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