Tuesday, May 6, 2008

(very) late post on jameson

Jameson suggests in “Cognitive Mapping” (from Marxism and the Interpretation of Culture) that within the space of the postmodern era, all voids and gaps are filled. As “the truth of experience no longer coincides with the place in which it occurs” (349) the individual who experiences this new space becomes schizophrenic. (For this schizophrenia, similar to the disorientation of the subject within Virilio's visual crash, the solution for which Jameson searches may also help to prevent or at least soften the visual crash.) Jameson seems to hope that his aesthetic of cognitive mapping will intensify the individual subject's sense of place in the global system and rescue him from his schizophrenia. Manovich's navagable space of new media is then a symptom of the fragmentation and schizophrenia that Jameson speaks of because the navigator must jump from one discrete object to another to move through it.

Jameson's political agenda here may also relate on some level to Deleuze, who insists that “the crisis of the institutions, which is to say, the progressive and dispersed installation of a new system of domination” calls for “new forms of resistance against the societies of control.” (Postscript on the Societies of Control, p. 7) However, Jameson's desire for totality seems reactionary and perhaps a bit conservative because he assumes that, in the postmodern era, the individual may be completely detached from the local and consumed in the global experience, and if so, that this is a bad thing which must be met with a solution. Unlike Haraway, who embraces the evolution toward the cyborg and the pastiche of postmodern experience, Jameson calls for a return to a more traditional local sense of place within the global system, rather than the saturated global sense.

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