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<eyebeam><blast> "There is no longer any destiny."


"There is no longer any destiny." (The Heidelberg Lecture)

Good evening.

The distance of a foreign country from the shores of one's native land,
one's customs, comforted by electronic media - television, radio,
telephone, internet - these vast distances traversed - then there are
the newspapers, magazines, email from or towards home - there are
memories, signs in windows, the glance of eyes reflected in the
windscreen of a car, the mirror of oneself carrying on, blue sky and
buildings behind one (mirrors always create the occasion for this). The
desire for a gesture readily understood, a language partic- le taken as
an understandable interrogative. Or the distance one walks from one's
friends, one's lovers, the silent compounded space of the sidewalk or
road. The surface image of the television news program, there's just a
half-hour available, continents away - there's a con- fluence of
signals, for example the fashion of the moment in the midst of a meeting
of diplomats, or background signage just blocks away from a memorable

The projections and introjections involved, the massacre of identities
and inscriptions. The memories of spaces, behaviors, what would pass for
introjections, shadow or smell or restaurant. The hysteric embodi- ments
in operation, projections of one's own body into the familiar spaces now
themselves chosen by others, presented, projected on the television or
radio. The transcendental ego suddenly finding itself submitting to the
liminal or interstitial, the uncanny shuddering of the local country one
is now embedded in, a locale always already tem- porary, a
through-passage, never a refuge or decades-old, always with the feeling
of a compromise.

-- We call this das Das, as opposed to das Ein, the One ("this is the
one, this is where I'm from, I've always loved living in the Black
Forest (Kuroi no Mori)") - and, I would say, not in opposition to the
other or others (altrui), but in terms of the same, the origin or moment
of transcendence (always already a contradiction - nonetheless in
relation to the human. That is the organism, heimich or one might say in
these circumstances, unheimich. --

        For the refugee, the net becomes the uncanny arbiter of
        the universal code. Distance brings forwards as a form of
        constituting; custom and language are limned, reproduci-
        ble. The message _to him or her_ is to everyone; based on
        the home country, it is nonetheless universal itself. It
        is customizable custom, a degree of separation from tour-
        ism, which appeals to those who are elsewhere-affiliated.
        What it promises, skitters or stutters across the world's
        dynamic information. What it gives is _output._

The _songs_ which are part of the hit-parade, chosen through who knows
what filters. The _images_ from the center, or the center's view of the
periphery. The misrecognitions across a distance which becomes in-
creasingly constituted (as well) from media input and output, shaped by
such. Recognitions which are skew. Changes in language, dialect, slang.
The predominance of the federal, of the top-down, of the disas- ter, the
economic report, the human interest story - almost always an anomaly.
The transformation into the quaint, knowledge that outsiders are viewing
as well. And / or the use of native languages, the dis- guise and / or
familiarity of the country, in the accent of the capital. The language
top-down, not dissipative but foregathered culture, not foreclosed, but
_chosen_ vertices in the cultural topography.

-- We call this das Das; we also call this the _they_ in relation to the
multiplicity of connections which are, however ill-defined, always
defined by the moments of others (autrui). They are thus in-relation- to
the nexus of the self, its dialectical or interpenetrating defining
which inverts upon an ego, speaking in which language? --

What is heard but not understood on the street in one's native land, the
muted tones of one's language, sounds, for example - _contours_ of
language (but they're speaking behind walls or too far away or with
street noise intervening, or they're speaking on the television, the
volume's too low, or they're speaking on the radio, the station's coming
from another part of the country, it's too far away, I don't understand
- I don't understand but I _recognize_). Meetings of roofs and walls.
Trellis shadows, pebbles underfoot.

-- We call this the specificity of the habitus, inhabitation which is
always already foregathered as a tissue or nexus, thus a turning towards
beings which, however, are not of the thing (das Ding). We call this as
well the insertion of the apparatus of the mirror, its support structure
(support-surface) painting the self (the canvas without support, tending
towards knotting or the ground, or a deconstruction or self-reflexivity
of structure). --

I see _some of this, these_ in a film. There are others, as if there
were news from other than nowhere. It's always a word. I will have my
local native country associations, glances between me and another on the
street (we have light skins, we're related, we're from the same
continent to be sure, same country, same city, to be sure), there's
always a sense, is there not, of awkwardness, the slightest sense of
shame in this recognition (what do we have in common, we're not the same
skin color, we're not from the same continent, same country, same city,
it couldn't be that, too much of a coincidence).

        When I say hello to you, my next-door neighbor, is there
        not a transmission of an absolute foreignness; when I
        speak to my own family, is there not this gap of misrec-
        ognition, faltering under the guise of universal enlight-

There is no longer any destiny.

-- We call this the language of the west. We called this the language of
the west. Now, we are not so sure. We call this the language of the
movement of peoples. We note the arbitrariness of the refugee, the
correlations of the crossings of borders. We note the news from abroad
which is always constituted by an increasing proliferation of media, of
hackings, of rumors, of vandalisms, of interventions of all sorts. We
note the political and corporate (inseparable) economies of such media,
incorporations, proliferations, interventions.

We note the political economy of the intervention of the other in
relation to the body of the refugee, the tourist, the international
entrepreneur, the visitor, the exile, the expatriate.

We note the _moment of the body_ and the best of intentions.

We note there is no longer any destiny.

Thank you.

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