Friday, September 12, 2008

The Totalization of Shadows, Part V


Blogger Christoffer said...

She is beautiful.

3:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Smart and talented, too.


1:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a curious and somewhat sad exercise in joyless repetition that somehow defeats its own purpose:

OK, the idea is interesting.

But the object must have been some narcissistic wish for recognition: the title "ME" that nevertheless ends in anonymity: we as spectators are numbed into apathy and boredom.

If this is a version of "The Totalization of Shadows", Yusef, it is the Totalization of Shadows in the form of Images, and the obliteration of "ME".

I see this as a desire to become invisible.


3:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wasn't numbed into apathy and boredom. I was quite fascinated by the "variations on a very simple theme." (And along with that fascination came the attempt to understand what sort of conceptualization "variations on a theme" involves. Is there an oscillating wave pattern against an averaging equivalent line of identity?(Why does such a wacky interpretation feel natural?))

What meaning can be assigned to "average appearance?" It must have some meaning, but I can see how giving a great deal of credence to it sets us up for being very,very foolable.

You said "the object must have some narcissistic wish for recognition" and then said, "I see this as a desire to become invisible." That you say both may point to a contradiction in your interpretation.

I think this project (I don't know if you read the explanation behind this video...This woman photographed herself each day for three years,) required humility(she didn't doll herself up for any of the photos...I noticed she is prettier still in the video where she explains her nomination for a webby,) and diligence. If humility and diligence are compatible with narcissism, it is a strong sign I don't understand any of them.

I am still very fond of the early Warhol films,(and the repetitive silk screens) which have "no narrative content." But if you watch them (or look carefully,) you can see all sorts of interesting changes going on. This is really the kind of change, or perception of change, I find worth paying attention to...Nothing flashy or significant, nothing blaring out...It is very close to being invisible (and that's all to the good, IMHO.)


5:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Yusef,

Thanks for your response. You're right, I missed the story behind the video, i.e. that she was trying to win a webby and thus had to come up with something spectacular (or rather un-spectacular = but still creative). As I said the idea is interesting, at least in that context.

You write,

You said "the object must have some narcissistic wish for recognition" and then said, "I see this as a desire to become invisible." That you say both may point to a contradiction in your interpretation.

Yes, it sounds contradictory, but let's try and unravel her "statement" (or gimmick): In its visual, strobe-light (almost harking back to silent movies a century ago), high speed sequence it negates any stability and permanence of sight and personality. It becomes a series of flashes for "recognition" that is continually blurred into anonymity = invisibility of subject.

It also ties in with Deleuze’s "Difference and Repetition" and his concept of the "bare" (simple) repetition which is a mechanical, stereotyped repetition of the same element, while a clothed (complex) repetition is a repetition which has difference hidden within itself.

The video is "bare repetition", isn't it?

Maybe we are just victims of "the hermeneutic temptation" as Zizek writes in his latest book "Violence" which I'm reading now.

Hey, this girl was just trying to win a contest and put some work (and time (three years!))into a project that might do it. Good luck to her, and respect.

The "narrative content" is precisely this: Clothed repetition.


6:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OOps, another implicit contradition:

Her video is "bare repetition".

The narrative is "clothed repetition".

Clarification: The former is theoretical, the latter concrete (she puts on and takes off hats, glasses, scarves etc.)


6:35 PM  

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