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Re: Re: <eyebeam><blast> Kant and porn

Carlos Basualdo wrote:

>Well, Chris, to start with it seems that porn is not that big in the
>net as you and Gullit think...

Fair enough. I suppose I was responding as an artist to the business of
image-making: I would say it is a fair bet that pornography is the
largest source of image content on the net...

>1. Do you really think that Debord's concept of the spectacle is narrow
>and can not be use to productively describe the proliferation of
>commercial porn?

On the contrary, I find the Situationists' critique of the spectacular
nature of late capitalism applies to net porn, as it does to the whole
range of screen-based media: whether television, cinema, or computer.
However I don't think it is useful to just dismiss the net porn
phenomenon as "the body turned spectacle, my friend, floating ominously
in an empire of commodities". The metaphor is vivid, I grant you, but
fails to address the other processes at work in the viewing of images of
the body. Erotic imagery on the net is not limited to commercial sites,
nor the products of the sex industry. You may be making the  assumption
that all consumption of such imagery is governed in a top-down fashion
by the commercial sex interests: I think this is far from the case, the
internet is still at the moment a system allowing exchange (of
commodities, information, imagery, whatever) along many different paths,
for many different reasons. Not all of these exchanges would fit within
your expression of the phenomenon of internet porn.

>2. It looks as it's more like you are the one who doesn't really have a
>sense of humour, do you?

So you think it is amusing that governments attempt to control what we
see, seek to regulate the internet in order to intercept our
communications, and classify encryption as a dangerous munition? Maybe
they are doomed to fail, but I think censorship should be resisted. I
live in the United Kingdom, where traditional media such as cinema and
broadcasting are amongst the most heavily censored in Europe. It is
illegal to publish or broadcast pictures of erect penises in this state!
It's not much of a laugh...

>3. Do you really want to suggest that watching the Hustler web site is
>like reading "La philosophie dans le boudoir"?

They are certainly different experiences, but you imply that we should
value one culture over the other. Expression of sexual fantasy takes
many forms, there are many who would condemn both "commercial porn" and
"erotic literature" in the same breath. Diversity should be encouraged:
anyone whose experience of porn is limited to Hustler should try reading
de Sade. Maybe you should vary your net viewing a bit too: there's much
more interesting stuff than Hustler out there...

>Chris, the big problem with pornography, with the kind of pornography
>that Gullit was referring to: commercial porn, is that is all the same.
>A few tricks endlessly repeated. So it gets boring.

You are correct. We could say the same about most fine art painting, or
essays on philosophy. Just because something is boring does not mean it
is unworthy of attention, or discussion. Personally I find the work of
artist Richard Serra excrutiatingly boring, just a few tricks with
steel, yet many eminent art critics have discussed his work at great
length. Perhaps you imply that "high culture" is more valid, more
"authentic" than popular culture?

>And excuse me, but I will always find complexity very stimulating and
>will always get annoyed when somebody's trying to shut it down.

Are you accusing me, or Gullit of trying to shut down complexity? In
both cases I would say your accusation is wide of the mark.

>(Last but not least, I do not really believe that all that is comes from
>the mind).

Prove to me that all does not come from the mind, and maybe I'll believe

Well, it seems we are developing an interesting discussion around these
issues, I look forward to your response.

Chris Byrne

"All that is comes from the mind"

Chris Byrne, Kaleidoscope

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