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Re: <eyebeam><blast> V, for fire

To continue this thread that Carlos launched, I'd like to add my
matchstick or water-bucket on the matter of intellectual practice.
Intellectual practice is this: look and listen, read, reflect, write,
speak. It has diffuse but real effects: the formulation, expression and
reception of ideas can change what is tolerable in a society. When I
said I'd like to hear more about the fire in Roraima state, I didn't
expect the news would do anything about it. I wanted to use the unique
possibility of this communications medium: the chance to hear an
individual's opinion on a situation far away, inaccessible to me, given
the limits of my social relations and knowledge. Not because I wanted to
wring my hands, or cook up the kind of obscene, guilty-conscious
installation that Olu Oguibe describes. For me today, information and
testimony about specific realities is the compelling counterpart to
systems theory - the attempt to conceptualize the globalization of
capital. Specific knowledge keeps that theoretical effort honest, helps
guard against the blinders of ideology. That last is a problem, no
doubt, and the problem's locus is "the media." But I'm not sure that
"Artaud's scream cannot be heard in the net," as Clifford Duffy writes.
All I've ever done with Artaud is read him. The question is how you
read, isn't it? And what you do with what you read? I think a lot of
information is still connected to worldly realities, which are not
created by some apocalyptic "Planetary Whore" but by political-economic
systems with which each specific person maintains relations of tension,
between acquiescence and refusal. My aim is to get a lot of information,
follow some of it to fires, push the limits of my own tense relation
with systemic forces - and look and listen, read, reflect, write, speak.
Coherently if possible.

Brian Holmes

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