calin dan on Fri, 6 Feb 1998 01:20:51 +0100 (MET)

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

<nettime> warwaves

Warwaves. The common perception of war is Homeric, in the sense that even
the most cruel and damaging facts are perceived afterwards as symbolic -
therefore meaningful. In that way, the field view of the survivors who
remember events and the distant view of post facto commentors do not differ
very much: every body admits the negative features or war, nobody accepts a
lust for this trade, but an implicit narrative sensuality unifies
War is assimilated culturally only as a retrospective succession of
details. That makes its acceptance so easy and also the responsibility 4
this acceptance so vague.
Archaic societies, or those societies that I labeled as old and a-moral,
learned how 2 deal with war lust in a ritualistic manner, from random
clashes (Yanomam) to programmed tribal wars (Maring) to sacrifice oriented
conflicts (the Aztec empire).
This relation with war extinguished slowly in the Mediterranean basin from
the advent of the chariot (mid 4th millennium BC) till the invention of the
hoplite phalanx (7th century BC), when destruction of the enemy in pitched
battles became a more general rule of warfare. And still, while tactical
aspects remained a red thread in the perception of wars as delivered via
written reports, something unreal like a fairy tale atmosphere surrounding
the events came out of those first hand documents.
=46rom Xenophon and Caesar to Clausewitz and Montgomery war is presented and
even analyzed as a game with internal rules and external motivations, but
with an autonomy that situates it closer to art than to politics (the "Art
of War"), and to abstract research than to practical issues.
Human brain needs 2 be fed with narratives, and converting structural
violence in story telling is maintaining the species on the level of
arguable conflict.

Calin Dan
Akademie Schloss "Solitude"
Studio 22
Solitude 3
D-70197 Stuttgart
T: + 49 711 69 930 122
=46: + 49 711 69 930 150
ONLY Receive mail: calin @

#  distributed via nettime-l : no commercial use without permission
#  <nettime> is a closed moderated mailinglist for net criticism,
#  collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
#  more info: and "info nettime" in the msg body
#  URL:  contact: