March 18, 2008

Theoretical Conversations XII

Filed under: legacies,writing — jrice @ 7:36 pm

Always, thoughts about legacies. The spaces of influence. You grow up in a space, and nostalgia drives its influence. You visit a space, and tourism drives its influence. When you move to a new space, the first thought should be: who was here first? Who preceded me? There is a theoretical graffiti we read. It’s written in our impressions or willingness to be impressed (the legacy is impressionable). Missouri. St. Louis. William Burroughs. Marshall McLuhan. It’s simple to locate iconic figures or moments and attribute yourself (as new resident) to this legacy. A school of thought. A way of thinking. Osmosis theory. Interpellation is not always being called to (“Hey you”) but being called. I understand Detroit that way.

And I like that gesture. The call. Everything calls. It’s as if I take Latour’s social (assemble, assemble, what we need are more attachments, not less) and attribute it to every name, place, figure, street, shop, and so on that I encounter. This is mind-breaking thinking. It can drive you crazy. Think about Lost fans reading every gesture, word, still as if it were a chain of meanings extending outward forever. They are fans. I am a resident of meaning. Is there a difference? There should be.

Pharmakon/pharmakon. Not exactly. I don’t read the associations as riffs or puns (or as only riffs or puns), but histories, cultural phenomenon, false starts, details, links, speculations, moments, events. That’s the writing I treasure most. Writing as tag. Every call is a tag on a tag on a tag. The rhetoric of folksonomy is at work.

So? A new chain of posts on legacies rather than liner notes? Maybe. We must keep the blog busy. It is a machine producing threads.

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