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Gragneth

I don't even...

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So we randomly get lecturer series so people can present stuff. However I have read some of the stuff in tomorrow session and it just made my brain crash. Thought it best to share my confusion with others. Does anyone want to work out what this one is about:

14.45-17.30 Wednesday 22nd May 2019

MC232, Millennium City Building

University of Wolverhampton

William Pawlett (University of Wolverhampton) From the formlessness of society to hyper-modern consumer-security zones: a schematic analysis

This paper brings into contact the aberrant social thought of Georges Bataille and Jean Baudrillard with recent work by Giorgio Agamben on bio-politics and Grégoire Chamayou on violence and surveillance. It charts the emergence of hyper-modern security spaces, zones where consumer freedoms merge with security and surveillance. The principles of liberal democracy have done nothing to inhibit the merging of consumer and security spaces, indeed these principles are perhaps a condition of this merging. For Bataille all societies are ultimately formless, consisting only in a system of barriers erected against “sacred horror”: death and decomposition, menstrual blood, sacrificial madness, self-annihilation. Yet, in modernity, barriers are folded and multiple: they do not limit outsides but seek to eliminate them. A surveillance space is defined, following Baudrillard, as the product of the postulation of ‘reality’ by techniques of abstraction and representation generating an integrated, indifferent yet hostile space. I suggest that consumerism and surveillance operate in tandem as modes of internal and external disciplining, that is, as techniques for controlling others or outsiders as well as the control of the self. Consumerism and surveillance have merged almost to the point of being indistinguishable; the freedom to buy is also the unfreedom to be tracked and monitored: at train stations and airports consumer transactions are also security checks overseen by armed police; even at colleges and universities Prevent policies are seamlessly intermeshed with customer relations. As Chamayou contends, surveillance makes possible the complete separation of lethal violence from any possibility of reciprocity or of risk to the aggressor. Can human societies endure in formlessness, or are they being irreversibly deformed into consumer-security spaces?

 

Edited by Gragneth

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It feels like there's a valid topic to discuss in here somewhere, to do with how we're now tracked with everything we do and how purchasing and interaction data about us is used to target further products at us, etc.

Also something about menstrual blood wait what.

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So I went to it. It was odd. He never even got to the part about the whole consumerism and surveillance state stuff. Instead he was explaining books he read and models he was designing. One model was a straight line with two "poles" at each end. One was "The divine" on the Left and the "The profane" on the right. Then he used this model on everything from the internet, to the structure of churches to drone strike tactics. One example would be how a funeral takes our experience of a dead body e.g. the bones, skin and decaying flesh and transforms that through the ritual of the funeral into the divine which is what the protectors of the divine want us to think. Another example was the explanation of how church windows were put up on walls as a form of oppression, because its not comfortable to look up at them... No possible understanding or consideration was made to the fact that if you want a lot of people to be able to see something you can make it big and put it above them. 

Personally I think my mental faculties have been diminished by my own brain out of self defence after experiencing that lecture. 

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Genuinely impressed that you went to that and then reviewed it for us, it sounds incredible.

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