ana on Sat, 26 Feb 2000 10:18:32 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> theory and *as seen on TV* experience


I am sending a parts of the text related to the Hyper and Hypo effects
of the theory, on paradoxical consequence of the hyper-dimensioning in
theory in one hypo-crisy (Geert wrote "theory has no ethics" in the
discussion on the Delight_me list).

This part is completely written in stories, and is related to the theory
"as seen on TV" or media imput in theory. But here I put the part from
the "other side", of "hypo" cultures, that seems can only write
fairytales, but not the theory. From one side augly, from the other


(from the Introduction)

Since the arrival on the "promised West", from Eastern Europe, I was
trying to re-evaluate the overlapp of the "worlds", everyone knows are
different timed.

To relate those "worlds", theory mostly uses valorisation terms, even in
media theory, although it claims a dismissal of history. So, it
distinguishes them in terms of higher and lower culture, or in terms of
hyper (denoting a position of over, above, high), and hypo (denoting a
position of under, below, low).

Seems like the difference is in dimensionality. It looks like on one
side there is more or them, on the other some of them are missing. And
that dimension can precisely explain why one area decelerates in
history. While it seems the West speeds up, East still enjoys time
loops and delays. Isn't it really indicative that in the XX century
Balkan wars happened twice, at own start and again on the end?

But those worlds are connected through the media, they are not some
parralel realities, so at least somewhere they are "coordinated", as
media contents.

When one dimension is missing, the one is imagined. That effect I knew
already when I started to write on Therelands, media produced images of
unexisting places There, that are very often in "lower" cultures.

But, on the other hand, when there are more dimensions than is needed,
seems that Virilio's paradox of hyperactivity that becomes hyperpasivity
is obvious. What is dissapearing is precisely a place for the action, or
its content, and world becomes, what we used to call, too theoretical.
Seems the difference between East and West is tending to reach the
difference between action-full shaking societies and action-less stabile
ones. But has the dismiss of action, for stability, some bad effects, I

When action starts to belong to the "lower' area, there is a disbalance,
that first makes theory too powerfull, and at the same time action
worthless. And, it happened, as far as I can see, in some theories.

The first theory I had opportunity to listen after my arrival on the
West, was a theory of Sexual enjoyment of war1, explained by an American
theorist. While on one side I knew there is a media reason of wars,
which was obvious in 10 years of second Balkan wars, and it is precisely
the "missing content' one, I was deeply concerned for ethical element of
the theory. And of course, there was a relation of the media and theory,
in which theory performed a safer position of experience "as seen on
TV".  And that media unethicity simply entered the field of theory.

In that hyper-hypo overlapp, that affects relation of theory and action,
seems the measure is lost, and disappeared in a hypocrisy. Theory has no
ethical or aesthetical dimension itself.  And not telling it never
recognised their conjunction in ecology. And indeed, both normative
philosophies are missing for a long time in the area of thought.

Now, if would "action" re-examine the theory, if the pure practice would
re-check it, it would simply ask not what but who, wrote it. And from
that point, it would seem theories are today written by cynics,
frustrated people, sharlatans and mysantrops, none would like to see
around (Here I recall the advice of one friend of mine, who told me,
before I went to examine theory and West at the same time 'Don't become
a theorist that everyone would like to invite on the symposia, but none
on the home-party.')

We can speak on patology of theory. And indeed that main question of
measure, does critic first become a mysantrop, or opposite? Or does
historian first become necrophilic, or again, it is opposite?

(from the Perceptoral dimensions and imaginations)


'Presence is only a presence on the distance and this distance is
absolute, that is, irreducible.' (Maurice Blanchot)

Distance is dimension of here and there, where we are, and were we are
not. It is a measure of our body standpoint. Distance imagination is
imagination of the impossible journey. And it is precisely the
imagination of isolomans tied to the place, sattled ones.

For those reasons, of space-time, civilisation invented medias. Mediated
knowledges produce distorted maps, according to own spatio-temporal
logics. Thereland is therefore, a measure of the lostage of the depth of
the world that is in a way distorted by the media. It is precisely an
overlapp of maps of "media journey" and the impossible, body one. So, it
is entering to a 'missing dimension' as unknown area, of imagining. It
is a deep horizon of social imagination.

We all have our Therelands, formed by mass media, enforced with the
gravitation force of the politics of mobility.

One we entitled Bennetonland, and we paid attention to it in one project
we done for the Italy. It is about the country that derived from both
Raffaela Carra's RAI 1 show and illegal marketing of our parents there.
Most of us went through shocks in the first contact with the country we
could see during nice weather from our most fared away islands. We
though that, as all arriving from that country, and all that can be seen
in studio shows, is full of colour, and there is no gray, brown, or dark
blue at all. We thought roads are pink, threes are red, and houses are

The other story I is a tragic fact about diving of numerous Albanians
that tried to reach Italy, in front of the harbour of Bari. After
seeinga commercial in which Italian cat drinks from a silver plate, they
just tried to imagine the way Italians are going to treat them, in the
land of amazing hospitality.

As Wim Nijenhuis notes 'It now becomes possible for isolated individuals
and communities to conceive of dreams as reality.' Way of forming
Therelands is indeed related to isolation, and first stories we know
from populations suffering from isolomania. (4 footnote;  isolomania
-mania of isolated people (mostly related to those living on islands),
tocollect everything that arrives from the desired outer world.
Collections of isolomans are useless, and objects stay in completely
different meaning, sometimes completely misunderstood in their function,
as for example... turned upside down. Through those objects they try to
interrelate to the other world, and build up it's meaning they

And that is paradigmatic story about children from the Croatian island
Susak. They are forced to watch TV as there is no other content on the
small island, and the wind is sometimes too hard to go to the continent.

Most of them had never even been there, and the only picture of the
outer world is broadcasted by national TV. In their eyes, they told me,
all media characters exist on the continent at the same time, cowboys,
Batman, astronauts, Mickey Mouse, Bill Clinton. They are all there, so
close but unreachable.

Thereland is a flat utopia, whose promise stays not in future, but only
in unreachable there. It is so close by the media, but unfortunately,
unreachable to the body. That is a nature of all broadcasts, even
electronic ones. They can be treated, as well, as edges of existence
and non-existence, as spatial metafictions4. They are both topical and
topological, with critical usage of topology using to describe basically
self. From that point existence of Therelands is "ecological", in
self-criticism through the imagining of the difference.


Therelands are dissapearing, so the faith there are others in different
space, in th global solypsism. Therelands had their aesthetical and
ethical point, the land of there was always much more beautiful, and it
was cared about it.

(from the Missing measures)


With the dismissal of Therelands, and nivelation of the planet in terms
of it's 'missing dimension' being imagined through the media, belief of
even existence of others was dismissed.

>From the point of happenings on the planet, it seems, terminal citizen
doesn't border about reality of augly scenes on his\her TV or display.
Simply it is a terminal content, that is still need, as Adilkno  noted,
to establish our crutial Death measure of the life, even in the instant
Eternity model.

Argument from this can not go from the theory position, it is very
simple check point of how many people are disturbed with war and
catastrophe scenes on TV, and how many of them do really only 'zapp'
over the content as a war movie. At one point, those scenes are augly,
at the other it is completely unethical to treat them as a content and
daily news. But world lost those two measures. With them it lost the

There is another story I want to re-call for explaining a difference of
the termal citizen and disappearance of Therelands, as imagining others.

At the end of the war in Croatia, American soap-opera *Samta Barbara*
was broadcasted on Croatian TV. Public of it was really large, as it was
a time that peoplehad to stay either at shelters or at home. During one
whole summer tragedy of two main and inloved characters, Eden and
Cruise, that were endlessly missing eachother, was extending. And
suddenly in newspapers it appeared that an old woman, who was enough of
that sadness went to pay a church ceremony, to help them to be together.
At the same time whole world was broadcasting hell from the same area.


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