Tuesday, 4 December 2007


Re: If the S.I. Intl. was something of a vague ATTACK-phenomenology (dérive) then what would a more aggressive hermeneutics be? (as suggested in the inaugural FACEPLANT blogpost) How does one turn the interpretation of texts and the production of historical knowlege inside out and refract aspects of our social world which one would like to see change?

A more aggressive hermeneutics. I cannot think of Situationist phenomenology other than in the context of the praxis that would be held to inform it - i.e. the kind of living so brilliantly advocated in S.I. - derive consciousness. These would be (and are - I found this out with Jefferson Toal on the "KARL MARX IS ONE BETTER THAN SOUTHWICK" derive of late '06) conditions that actually flip perception of the fabric of social reality (if you think this sounds trite you should try it). A phenomenology of unreality seems then to be project in hand, even if it has to execute anti-phenomenological manuevres. Dialectics with Debord has the thrill and courtesy of rapidly flicking a light switch on and off.

What I think I'm mowing towards with hermeneutics and knives is maybe that the insistence above, and in Debord, ends up sounding like it cares more about what you do than what you think, which it does. Polemic often has the value of caring about its effects on the world. But I no longer care about what you do. It is none of my business. I don't care that it is none of my business, but I still don't care. I'm not here to tell anyone what to do. You can superglue yourself to the roof of a megabus for a week, it's probably a good idea to. Good source, you'd probably think a lot that you might not otherwise. But derive practically means commitment, and I know the intentional flux lines are probably mostly occupied in our collective - and massively displaced - field of practical operations. Which is why I care more - at least in the case of FACEPLANT - about field reports, as it were, than a means of effecting chop-suey on local consciousness, which I think would be a necessary methodological component of conducting that kind of phenomenology.

I think maybe some of the friction in the above can also be evinced in your desire to "see change". This recalls to my mind K's mention of the fury of justice and the poet's desire for it. I mean, so far and short as phenomenology is justified in understanding itself to be dealing with 'prior' questions it is because it wants truth to be visible, and what I see is socially real in way what I think isn't. What if objective change really is invisible?

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