[iDC] Periodizing cinematic production

Michael Bauwens michelsub2003 at yahoo.com
Fri Sep 4 10:43:59 UTC 2009

Hi Brian and all,

here a 'positive' spin on the internet mode of consciousness, or at least a potentially positive development of its emergence:

The “Great Cosmic Mash-up” as an answer to postmodernist fragmentation
Michel Bauwens
26th February 2006

Michel Bauwens:

I discovered an interesting website  yesterday, The Age of Embodiment,
a forum for commentary on what Karl Shroeder, a science fiction author
must praised by Cory Doctorow, but which I haven’t read yet, sees “as a
massive cultural change that’s sweeping towards us: the end of the
Modern/Postmodern age, and the beginning of a new era.”

It kept me awake and then had some kind of dream, and when I woke
up, I suddenly was making connections between what is happening in
technology, namely mash-ups, and what is happening to ourselves. My
conclusion: mash-ups are really a constructive answer to the
postmodernist issue of the fragmentation of our selves.
Please follow this reasoning for a moment:

Postmodernism was all about deconstructing oppressive mental
structures that we inherited from modernity. Amongst other things the
Cartesian subject/object split and the alienating effects of Kantian’s
impossibility of knowing true reality; it was a necessary destructive
passage, a cleaning out process, but it didn’t, as its names “post”-
indicate, construct anything. So in my view, if modernity was about
constructing the individual (along subject/object divisions), and
postmodernity about deconstructing this, then this new era, which I’ld
like to call the era of participation, is about constructing
relationality or participation. We are not going back to the premodern
wholistic era and feelings, but just as modernity was about rigorously
individualising everything, eventually reaching the current dead-end of
hyper-individualism, we are now just as rigorously ‘relationising’
everything. If in premodernity we thought, we are parts of a whole that
is one and above us, and in modernity we thought we are separate and
unified individuals, a world onto ourselves, and in postmodernity saw
ourselves fragmenting, and pretty much lamented this, then this is the
mash-up era. We now know that all this fragments can be reconstructed
with the zillions of fragment of the others, into zillions of
commonalities, into temporary wholes that are so many new creative
projects, but all united in a ever-moving Commons that is open to all
of us..
So the fragmentation of postmodernity is a given for us now, but we are
no longer lamenting, we are discovering the technologies
(infrastructural, collaborative-software-ish, political, but above all
the mental and epistemological) that allow us to use this fragmentation
to create the Great Cosmic Mash-Up. That is the historical task of the
emerging Peer to Peer Era.

In my manuscript, I have a chapter where I’m trying to map out ‘the new articulation between the
individual and the collective’, and the different historical and
philosophical sources we could use for this, and I mention the
contemporary re-appropriation of native American spirituality and other
participatory metaphysics, the forgotten traditional of cosmobiological
leftism (drawing to the hegelian-boehmian sources of the young Marx and
a long line of Renaissance thinkers that were eclipsed by the
Enlightenment, described by Loren Goldner), Goethean traditions of
participatory knowing, monitored by Steve Talbott at the Nature
Institute, Gebserian aperspectivism,  and I’m pretty sure there are other strands we could use.


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