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Re: <eyebeam><blast> lent

       Many thanks to Eve for her poetry and her response to my
meditations on the flesh. Vale carne, lent has begun (though I had
chicken for dinner.)

         I just got back from a talk by Luc Courchesne, the Montreal
artist.  While his work is not net art per se, I thought his all too
remarks on "identity" and "home" at the end were provocative. He
jokingly compared himself to Martha Stewart and Oscar Wilde--who
apparently also wrote on home decoration.  He said that we are
"reformulating identity as a culture" and that as systems become more
complex, we may well be dwarfed by them, surrendering something of
ourselves or losing parts of our identity in the process. (This part
reminded me of my own ideas about the formation of collective
embodiments on the net and elsewhere and my "why do we like to lose
control?" question.)  "Home", Luc says, has become dysfunctional (my
word) in that it is now longer a way of organizing the relations of a
family or group with itself and with the community. Instead, people in
houses are prey to isolation, since the house is no longer the site of
communal life. Like Luc, I know social isolates who spend a great deal
of time with the media. (Before the media, isolates like my uncles might
read or invent engines--whatever it took to hook up human endeavor.) 
What would replace the house as "home" in  Luc's vision was vague, but I
got a picture of a networked, cell-phone connected, etc. mobile
receiving center. 

        I told him that the more drift I experience, the more I travel
and commute, the more virtual my daily life becomes, the more
significance "home" as a locality and field of smells, touches,tastes
and sounds gains. Similarly, as socio-economic entities take on a global
scale,  local differences (how sweet your coke is, your diasporic
rhythms and music, your language) become all the more precious.  In
fact, globals may envy you and attempt to use your unique qualities to
decorate their commodities.  I have an essay called "Home: Smell, Taste,
Posture, Gleam" (in press in an anthology edited by Hamid Naficy on
"Home" at Routledge) in which address these issues. I also reflect on
what it is to grow up without a "home," as I and many children who live
with mobile parents did and do. I think "home" can gain hyperbolic
importance for the networked and plugged-in and will remain a locus of
desire for the forseeable future.

       Thanks again for the welcoming response. Jordan suggested I talk
about "identity," so I will post that on Friday.

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