DOES THE WORLD STILL EXIST?
Of course, everybody without a broadband connection is excluded from the actual event <www.donau-uni.ac.at/cis
> (see details below) -but I guess that doesn't prevent (them or us) discussing in a parallel universe.
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Trevor Batten" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> To: A Friend
> Sent: Monday, September 11, 2006 7:32 PM
> Subject: "DOES THE WEST STILL EXIST?
>>> Are There Boundaries of West, East and Far-East in
>>> the World of Images Now?"
>> If the people of Mindanao aren't in the west fighting against
>> -or westerners are not queuing up to get cheap jobs in Asia
>> -then presumably the boundaries are still rather large.
My Friend Answered:
> Hi Trevor,
> Of course the West still exist, ask the American president...
> But "on the ground", in the "electronical and digital world" and the
> which I suppose that lectures you refere to are about,
> the East and the West are coming closer. I hope so.
> Communication of all kinds are of course good.
> In the big and on the personal level.
Perhaps -but I'm afraid that this sounds to me a little like the (now
proven to be hollow) arguments supporting the invasion of Iraq
As far as I can see, the problem lies in the assumption of such basic
things as: "Communication of all kinds are of course good. In the big
and on the personal level".
On what basis do you believe this?
Communication between people and "terrorists" is forbidden.
Communication between people and birds with bird flu is dangerous. My
(ex-)partner blames my negative attitude for her current depression.
So, clearly, not all communication is good.
Then there is the "direction" of the "communication": Two directional
"communication" can be constructive -but I guess -as some relationships
show, even that can sometimes be a spiral to hell..... On the other
hand, "one-sided communication" is a characteristic of Fascism.... and
much of modern (mass) communication -from education to advertising, via
political propaganda, is indeed "one-sided". Although of course limited
feedback is sometimes permitted (Consumer Complaints, Letters to the
Editor and a Vote once every few years)....
Thirdly, there is the question of the relationship between what
is "communicated" and the effect this message has for the lives of
those who are affected by the message:
Which brings us to the next part of your statement: '"on the ground",
in the "electronical and digital world" and the Internet which I
suppose that lectures you refere to are about, the East and the West
are coming closer.'.
To which I'm forced to ask -but are the east and the west really coming closer (and is this a good thing)?
Unfortunately, it seems to me that if "the East and the West" (which on
a globe are two ridiculous concepts anyhow) are indeed coming closer
-then in fact, this is not in the form of a healthy dialogue -but in
the destruction of one by the other.
This is perhaps best illustrated by very fundamental assumptions with
regard to the lectures themselves -something which is also part of the
mechanism which makes such lectures so dangerous. Namely the apparent
assumption that the illusory intellectual world reflected by the
Internet is the "real" world -while the actual lives of so many
"physical" people around the world are merely the subject of further
speculation and marketing (career building for intellectuals).
> If we in the West could see things from the East point of view
> of course things perhaps could go right on this planet.
This may well be true -but surely, this only underlines even more the
dangers of only being exposed to one-sided "mediated" thinking.
Can one really claim that such lectures actually provide the "west"
with an "eastern" point of view -or is it more so that in actual
practice, via the educational system -the view of the west is imposed
upon the "east" -while the "west" continues to reinforce its own false
image of the process, so that any correction becomes increasingly more
:: Lecture / Debate Topics ::
September 5, 2006 19:30-22:00
"DOES THE WEST STILL EXIST? Are There Boundaries of West, East and Far-East in the World of Images Now?"
Lectures and debate with Sarat MAHARAJ and Machiko KUSAHARA
Hollywood, computer games, net and media art, micromovies, new devices*
images are undergoing a new internationalization never known before,
and are increasingly being charged as a vehicle of ideologies and
worldview. Seemingly bygone clashes between image opponents and image
believers are reanimated in contemporary media to include all areas of
art, science, politics and economy - now on a global scale. Can we
still speak of images of the west today? Do we witness the arousal of a
global visual language enriched universally by the various cultures, or
are we at the brink of an 'image war', representing extremes between
the old and new economic powers and their visual culture?
Manila, September 2006