[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: <eyebeam><blast> Other

I am not responding specifically to any post, but there are a few things
that I think need to be kept in mind.

1.  who is this "other" if not the person who is not me?

2.  Is the difference between the national and intranational others not
a  social construction of the West? Do these others see themselves as
self  identified "other"s? the word subaltern comes to mind in western
theory- from Gramsci but used specifically within the discourse of Post
Colonial  Studies, in India.  Again, how many of the street poor in
India self  identify as subaltern.  do they watch and say: Oh here comes
another  subaltern? I dont think so- they say here comes Raita or
whatever. There  is always an interplay of sameness and difference.

 This function has to do with the interconnection of naming and
identity.  Within the understanding of naming and identity there is an
investigation of the words of the other- in this case the one with the
power.  If it is possible others learn the language at the same time
that we are unlearning our own preconc'd notions of who we want to talk

3. there are some tricky problems socially and ethically for certain
when we are discussing dominant language difficulties encountered within
the web of the web.  It is always a two edged discourse- not only an
exclusionary one.  

4.  something here reminds me of the arguments about monolingualism. 
Are we interested in hearing what the putitive other has to say? What
are we willing to displace within our selves to hear? What is the
function of the specular, here? 

5.  what is the access to the mechanical/technical means of

6.  Just as the technological advancement keeps me from seeing as much
as I like on the screen, the dumping of 486's in non technological
countries allows access to the world web in ways which appropriate the
technology and not the ideology which produced them necessarily.
(Perhaps Antonio Benitez Rojo, in the Repeating Island is correct--
science and "that certain kind of way" which includes ancient rituals,
exist side by side and not in exclusion within a binary opposition) but,
some folks need food more than the internet.  Others can use the net for
their own purposes- whether to do art or call attention to those who
need food.  But it is important not to set the hungry up as victims only
so that they can be rescued.

Last night I got a call from Haiti to confirm that the satellite space
was going to be available for communication, with me outside The phone
system in Haiti reminds me of France in the 70's.  An international
philanthropy is wiring parts of the Caribbean and Guatemala, where now
Maya are using computers for day keeping and religious practice.  They
are able to keep their spirituality alive by the production of texts,
not necessarily art.  Maya are in diaspora all over the Americas and the
production of these texts in Quiche, Mam etc, using Western alphabet
transliteration has enabled the production of books on all aspects of
their culture which allow families who dont live within communities in
Guatemala and Mexico to share their stories, narratives and other
histories.  With regard to computer-generated texts for spiritual
practice (to train sacerdotes, day keepers in the maya religious
practice) one example comes to mind in Zunil Guatemala.  Roberto Poz
Perez is more avant guarde - for want of  a better word- than the
Sorbonne educated folk that I work iwth in Haiti who see the net as a
bogey- I think mostly because they dont understand what it is useful for
in Haitian terms. (Roberto saw immediately how a computer and printer
could defy his pencil reproduction of texts for teaching- even tho he
was not convinced that he wanted the computer itself.)  Haitians, who
reside in Haiti, do visit here and see what can be done.  The seed is
planted as it was with Pere Jan Iv who ran the only Kreyol language
newspaper in PauP for years- a radical journal in any ones eyes. He got
on line a couple of years ago and tied in with world news, a small thing
for us, but not for Haitians who were in a text block because of the
Duvaliers.  Texts are now sent all over the world in Kreyol,not only
French. Sometimes they are translated and sent out again- and I canread 
them in Fr or Eng. 

  Folks do need to see a reason for having the access and a vision of
what it can do. But like everything, it is not for all of us. This does
not mitigate the ethical borders around the question, just places an
uncertainty around every expression- because there are always
alternatives to what we see.  This first reading is within my (our) own
eyes.  On the second "reading" we can begin to hear others even if we do
not understand them.  

Another aside about Franz Fanon, a shrink from Martinique who was
consumed by the algerianresistence.  He saw through his eyes too- the
woman in the veil as the carrier of the weapons- a heroine, etc.  Yet,
Assia Djebar another thoughtful and poetic writer of the Algerian
resistence (Fantasia Algerian Cavalcade) wrote that what did it do for
these women? It placed them in the highest jeopardy.  once again the
double edged discourse of liberation.

thats a bit rangy, but hopefully worth it. Judith

a critical forum for artistic practice in the network
texts are the property of individual authors
to unsubscribe, send email to eyebeam@list.thing.net
with the following single line in the message body:
unsubscribe eyebeam-list
information and archive at http://www.eyebeam.org
Eyebeam Atelier/X Art Foundation http://www.blast.org