2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024 2025
2026 2027 2028 2029 2030 2031 2032 2033 2034 2035 2036 2037 2038 2039
007. Minority Resort

The First World War is known not to be as devastating as the Second World War which in turn fully employed aircraft warfare. Casualties in the former war were mostly counted among soldiers and civic targets were limited to particular geographical areas mostly located at the borders. In the former Italian border, the most East one is recalled and remembered as the place where Austrian stormtroopers in 1917 successfully infiltrated with what is known to be the Battle of Caporetto, a massive breakthrough, which was barely contained by the Italian a most discontented army at the river Piave. The latter event has been highly commemorated, particularly during the fascist regime of the following decades with many a patriotic anecdotes and sons, only carriers for more unnecessary heroism leading to the Second World War. There are however less talk of events which impacts are still present today, events which national and continental history have selected out, appendixes that are barely addressed and yet still bare its strong mark. One such event was the Strafexpedition, the Austrian attempt to break though a year earlier in the more central highlands of Lavarone, Folgaria and Asiago, the biggest complex of highlands in the Southern Alpine region, a complex which has been always isolated due to its morphology, sliced in a triangle by the Adige River and the Brenta River. Ever since the decaying of the Roman empire these highlands have been a refugees place for different groups of defeated "barbarians" attempting to settle south. Included in the Venice Republic for hundreds of years these highlands were given full autonomy, and their people, mostly woodmen and shepherds, came to constitute the minority group known today as "Cimbri".

The events that followed the French Revolution and Napoleon's seizing of most of Europe has placed these highlands in a period of miserable disgrace. Throughout the 19th century, under the Austrian imperialism, the land was turned into pasture for cows, some of its people turned into coal making and some other resorted to smuggling tobacco as a mean to survive. The liberation of the Veneto region from Austria in 1868 and it adjunction to the new Italian state was much of a liberation however after only a generation a drastic italicization was taking place, the Cimbrian language and identity was threatened.

At the time of the Belle Époque the newly born Italian empire was now starting to be more confident and built a railroad connecting these mountaineers to the lowland but in reality connecting the lowland with the high mountains were many dozen fortifications were built and many ammunitions and armies moved to the location. Likewise the Austrian did the same on their side of the highlands. At the starting of the war in 1915 it only took each side 2 weeks of bombardments to make these well engineered forts completely unusable. The war became a war of trenches, the town were completely destroyed and its people had to be evacuated.

History is very much concerned with these events yet here we find a struggle that still last to these days. Ever since the war, despite the "italicized" reconstruction of the Cimbrian highlands and the imposition of even more "Italian" fascist monuments (which force construction killed many a local), ever since the 1920s the entire population has lived in a complete state of diaspora, fathers leaving the family to seek fortune in for instance Australia but never returned, other attempting to make a few lire by recovering war relict and selling the iron but risking to be mutilated by unexploded bombs.

Since the 1970s the local population has certainly revived of an economic boom brought forward by tourism. Most family have their "bottega" (shop) or some relative who earns his money as a ski teacher. Looking carefully though, there is still much violence among the young generation, the level of alcoholism is quite high and this cannot get better now that global warming is bringing far less snow and thus considerably less tourists, not to mention the rainy summers and the economic crisis setting in. The highland has to soon rediscover a mean of self sufficiency and local autonomy before the situation precipitates. How can this happen though if they do not even have a sort of identity of understanding of who they are?

In short, the Cimbrian population, is one of these minorities in Europe and for this respect in the world, which the official history has never really considered (Italian authorities would rather send aids to the more official Eritrea). With their culture being totally wiped out with the Italian unification and nationalistic ambitions, are we know really serious in once again imposing them a foreign design plan to rescue their war heritage and under a Europification context? Most picks of these much bombarded highlands already bare indelible signs of the war with destroyed forts and different monuments that cannot but remind and commemorate the idioticity of human beings and its sovereigns. What else is left to be done but give these very people a platform to recuperate their identity? These very picks were once utilized by the local population to perform certain rituals which the Italian church, setting in more and more from the 16th century, considered too pagan and lastly either converted to Christian ones ("la rogazione" etc) or completely abolished. We thus propose to redesign these rituals and redesign temporary platforms to host anything that might enhance the local to recuperate their lost identity (e.g. Jospeh Beyus shamanic act or also some sort of Celtic rituals in modern key).

The temporarity of this platform building and performing, is a way to regain new meaning to places that are still under-shadowed by the war event, they are meant as cathartic forms of regeneration disconnected from any bellic allusion. The platform, if necessary will be constructed adopting the rough architecture of the pre-fascist reconstruction. As pointed out by Agostino Dal Pozzo, an 18th century intellectual from the era and also the one who discover the Bostel, an ancient settlement, the Cimbri have always considered the highlands as more of a temporary place. Deferring from all the other alpine neighbours like the Tyroleans, they have never got any sophisticate but have always maintained a level of roughness. In this respect, a construction of prototype-like platforms for the younger community of locals to manifest their ego is most suitable.

008. The Obsolete Art of Disney Rhetoric

In his essay on Rhetoric, Aristotle seems to base a certain assumption on human natural inclination towards truth. Much of his later argument provides an analysis of rhetoric as a mean to bring forward a truth based on the above mentioned assumption. The world "persuasion" is often adopted in this context; how is for instance the orator going to persuade his or her listeners about a certain truth, this given the orator's aids (various types of evidences but also his character) and his aims (whether political, forensic or ceremonial)? A very early recommendation, almost rendered by Aristotle as implicit and obvious, is the orator's adherence to facts and the repression of any irrational feelings that could easily affect the listener, such as pity or anger. The use of syllogism as a way to provide a complete truth, seems also a logical argumentation to provide the orator with an unquestionable truth: "if this one is so then this second one is so because it cannot be otherwise". Further in his books on "The Art of Rhetoric", Aristotle moves on describing the various types of cases to be considered when addressing both the audience and the subject of the oration. For the latter he goes as far as providing definitions and distinctions for each of the possible elements which may comprise the subject of the oration. In these definitions and distinctions Aristotle is quite categorical, leaving no space for ambiguous exceptions. The reader thus finds him or herself soon furnished with a broad spectrum of prejudices which he or she may apply when preparing an oration. Firstly, he or she has to give an impression of goodness, then he or she, depending on the age, may use a certain set of examples which is more or less appropriate to a young or old orator. Moreover, the Aristotle instructed reader can now adopt all sorts of tricks to, for instance, heighten the honour of a not so honourable person, yet Aristotle himself dedicates ample parts of his books to morally instruct the reader on good and evil.

"The Art of Rhetoric" can be in this sense seen as a Book of Magic, instructables that can be potentially adopted for black magic, or is Aristotle right in saying that anyhow the good and right will at last prevail over the bad and wrong? Is this really a natural human inclination? At present, we may be able to view Aristotle's User Manual on Rhetoric as a Le Corbusier's Manual for young architects, a very logical instruction on how to intervene on for instance a urban landscape or even worst, a Vladimir Propp's like manual for Disney's screen writers aiming to persuade a particular group of young audience, like for example the new wealthy class of oversized Chinese kids as targeted in recent years with animation productions such as Disney's Mulan, Dreamworks' Kung Fu Panda and Pixars' Up. Under such comparisons, and knowing the devastating outcomes of such modernist and technology driven approaches, in which way are we to view such logical instructions?

Platonically speaking, Aristotle did diligently his scientific work of breaking up the 101 parts constituting a chariot and describe each and every function; the reader is now able to detect and judge an oration yet is he or she able to give a proper oration after such a reading? In other words, would he or she, like a computer program be able to execute his or her art of rhetoric ("if this is one so and that one is so then do so else do nothing")? The context in which "The Art of Rhetoric" was written has drastically changed. Despite any human natural inclination towards truth, as Aristotle states, many questionable truths are today artificially sustained and further truths are scavenged within, this without the possibility of unplugging the institutional and media driven machines that artificially feed them. How are we then to go about in providing instructions to the new offspring of orators? Is the art of persuasion really the skill to look for or are we rather to provide them with insights to detonate the already socially pervasive persuasion by means of, for instance, authenticity (e.g. Studio Ghibli's animation production prior being bought by Disney)? Given that a potential orator may be already furnished from the start with means of persuasion (talk shows are in the background of our childhood), how are we to think the art of rhetoric in today's context?

As a Aristotle seems to imply, the orator needs to clearly execute a list of procedures, yet, as these procedures have now largely expanded onto a massive library, a freezer of goods that no human brain can store, modern orators may either resort to the old method of only keeping that which can be humanly memorized and orally transmitted or they might as well accept to extend their orations with a technical auxiliary. Such an extension though may at last bring forward the danger of substituting the actual orator. What about then asking the advice of the oracle?

Three days prior this oration, the professor asked a student warming up his pasta in the kitchen, to prepare this oration based on Aristotle's books on rhetoric. The student, who by then was preparing for a seminar on Nietzsche, promptly switched his mind-set to face the upcoming task of a public oration. He was not so much worry with the actual text but rather with the task per se. That night the student went to bed with this question in mind: "What should I prepare and how will I address my young audience knowing that my professor is also there and knowing my rather hazardous way of making statements?" The student did not know that the answers to his questions where all laying in the Aristotelian readings ahead of him. He just went to bed with such problems in the back of his head (at present he has other problems to think of but those requires far more time to solve).

In the upcomingness of the event, his mind, the oracle he regularly pays homage to, provided him with a revelation; among his usual dreams there was one with the very professor, they were together in a small gym and she was asking him to enact the Aristotle's text at which words the student seats on the ground and starts rolling the wheel of a small skateboard. For each turn a catastrophe was happening somewhere in the planet at which the professor told him to be less pathetic and the student started to idiotically stroll around with the skateboard chained on his neck.

The above mentioned narration may not be, according to Aristotle, most suited for a prime man like the one talking. It might also be of no need for the audience to get further into answering the issues above mentioned, namely concerned with the actuality of rhetoric in a media governed scenario. As a matter of fact, the above described dream had probably more to do with Nietzsche than Aristotle, and can easily be explained by telling the audience that the student was in a small dance room doing Chinese gymnastic prior the occurrence in the kitchen.

Yet here one could raise a new question concerning the decision making, the structure and the style an orator is to adopt, in particular when he or she is not aiming to persuade the audience upon a decision but rather stimulate the audience to reflect, as we can believe it is the role of a humanist. Given then the myriad of possibilities that a contemporary orator has to prepare, style and structure his oration, can we also think of a multi-styled and multi-structural output which in itself is not highly conclusive and do not provide any drastic final assumptions but rather allows the audience itself to be active interpreters of the matter?

009. PolArtity

The author of this short essay do not mean to follow too far the steps of one of the “social species” narrated by Honoré de Balzac in his ambitious depiction of the social human of 19th century France, namely the Polish character he portrayed in La Cousine Bette, Wenceslas Steinbock, who abandons his artistic genius becoming a mere art critic, ceasing his art operandi to seat in cafés and just talk about art. Somewhere in his stories, Hermann Hesse also identifies first music and then over-philosophication as a symptom of decadence. Aware of this, we may proceed...

This attitude may as well be that of Michelangelo Buonarroti, who, in his very sober life did not at once cease his art operandi, a very demanding one which often saw him confronted with sculptures and frescoes, yet preferably sculptures. Buonarroti was, however, also a poet and did in fact go down to a certain critic mostly concerning the art of paintings. Several scholars like Svetlana Alpers, quotes his reactionary critic against paintings as being basically not an art for real men to be made and consumed, but rather for domestic housewives. These scholars, might make use of such quotation to create a certain indignation and move on with a comparison of Southern versus Northern art as it is the case of the above mentioned American historian (ironically also a claimed artist as much as an art critic). This without acknowledging a key factor, namely that the art of oil painting was just coming “to the picture” as a Northern invention, an invention that allowed less of a vigorous impetuous from the side of the artist, if we compare it for instance with the vigour required for the quickly drying colors of a fresco such as that of the Sistine Chapel. In this respect, Buonarotti’s critic can be seen as a legitimate reaction as much as that of an artist seeing the threat of the advent of a new artistic medium, banalizing, to a certain respect, the impetuousness of his work.

In several of his scattered notes compiled in his Zibaldone di Pensieri, the Italian Romantic poet, Giacomo Leopardi makes a critical distinction between the Southern character being most opt to fight in time of war and to relax in time of peace even abusing it, and the Northern character as one who has to constantly come up with events in order to fill a lack of inner life. The same goes a century later for D. H. Lawrence when, considering Verga’s Realist novels, he writes in his Handbook that in the sun (in this case of Sicily) man are objective and in the snow subjective. This later statement seems rather misleading when we are to consider Alpers’ distinction between Italian art being narrative and requiring reading and interpretation, and Dutch art being descriptive and requiring only seeing. Where is then this Northern objectivity and realism to come from? Possibly from the new light provided in Northern households with the introduction of glass windows characteristic of the 17th century. This is quite emblematically shown in one of the most representative Dutch paintings, that of Johannes Vermeer depicting a maid pouring milk in front of a window or that of a pianist or an astrologer also standing in front of this new source of light. The introduction of this artificial light then becomes the equivalent of a camera flash, lighting an instant as characterized more by Caravaggio’s paintings.

Here, we shall take a small detour in mentioning another component that art historians seem to take in little consideration, namely the fact that within the polarities they create, there are other strong polarities. The Southern art was in fact also characterized by a South and a North, the former focusing more on drawing and the later focusing more on color. Michelangelo again here was quite amazed by the work of the Venetian school yet of such work he criticized the lack of drawing (e.g. Tiziano Vecelli) which later was proclaimed by the French Academy in Rome to be superior to painting because more conceptual and less emotional. Now, despite the fact that Caravaggio operated in his troublesome life in Rome, he was nonetheless born in the Celtic Bergamo, far below the Alps, a flat and in this respect dutch-like place characterized by long periods of fogs and to some extend gloominess.

We could here base more observations in the objectivity that the exposure to light brings to the art work by also moving further with examples such as that of another Southern/Northern ambiguous figure like that of Albrecht Dürer. In one of his most renown watercolours for instance, the Southern German artist depicts a young hare. What is most peculiar in this realist, thus descriptive sketch is the fact that the hare is depicted out of context, as on the sterile white table of a laboratory where the artist, like a scientist examines him and observes him. Again a still life which could be also explained by mentioning the new possibility offered by new artistic media (oil paintings) and the new environment (a studio with windows) as it is the case of the many still lifes of dead birds and animals following a century later in Holland. A more striking example of which is the work promoted by Constantijn Huygens in the New World, still life sketches revealing the unseenable, what the microscope brings to the picture.

From this extreme hand in which the paint becomes a quasi-scientific depiction of what the new light conditions can allow to see and what the new techniques allows to represent (one should not forget to mention the use of the camera obscura which favoured these descriptive conditions), we can now draw a comparison back with the Italian art of the 15th century. As Alpers describes in her book “The Art of Describing”, there is here certainly not an image of reality. The American historian defines it as a narrative mode but we may as well define it as an image of a vision, a vision that only a Southern light can provide as the Umbrian light and sweet atmosphere which comes to our eyes and direct itself into our minds when viewing Fra’ Angelico fresco of “Gesú Bendato”, a fresco painted in a small chamber of a monastery, an artificially imposed gloominess, re-enlighted by such a painting. The consumer in this respect is a different one from the bourgeois like consumer of Dutch art from two centuries later. It is likely to be a monk who can use such a freso as a mechanism to heighten his spirit.

In this respect Michael Baxandall’s book on Fifteenth Century Italian painters can be seen as revealing a rather blaspheme aspect of such a spiritually driven art production. It seems to turn the argument in proclaiming that these Italian painters were in fact painting for money, justifying changes in the making of these paintings as economical ones where the client from the beginning looks at the quality of the material and later will look more into the skill and personality of the artist. In the introduction of his book he also brings forward the case of Fra’ Angelico, demystifying such a soul for the amount of gold he was earning. It would be interesting here to then see the motif behind every artistic intention. Was Fra’ Angelico painting for money as Baxandall seem to imply? Standing in front of one of the angelic priest’s paintings, seeing all his dedication, this is barely hard to believe. Has historian like Baxandall have stood contemplating any of Fra’ Angelico works for real? Or has he mostly consumed the art he speculates about through documents and representations of representations? The gold background of Fra’ Angelico paintings is in fact not only a guarantee for quality but also a guarantee for skill which the historian postpones to a latter development. By looking attentively at the golden layers in one of Fra’ Angelico’s paintings we will be able to observe highly detailed etching which might as well surpasses the work and skill of an artist painting a landscape as a background.

Without then drawing from the biography of the artist alone (it was not for nothing that Fra' Angelico was called "The Angelic"), without speculation we may, in this respect, let the work of art talk by itself accompanied exclusively by the voice of whom can get inspired by it, rather than the voice of whom can turn it into an analytical and speculative object of interest. It is a known fact that the Venetian artist Jacopo Tintoretto painted the entire Scuola di San Marco (fortunately spared by Napoleon’s troops who just forgot to plunder it) asking for no fees. The driven factor was certainly not money, as a rather iconoclastic and populistic protestant attitude might suggest. The moralizing Catholic attitude might, on the other hand, elevating him by claiming that he painted all the Scuola because his family had been spared by the black plague. Can’t we just admit the fact that he painted because he wanted to paint, because his strong nature pushed him to do so given also the fact that he was always the first to, at an opening for a commission, present not the drawing but already a piece of the final work already in place? It is certainly a fact though that the economical wellness of the Venetian Republic (at that time actually decreasing with the opening of trades across the Atlantic) was certainly one of the necessary factors which allowed artists to proliferate (in the case of Rome however these artists were mostly never locals as it is the case of New York today but not of Stockholm).

Generally, such a demystification of the South seems to be a common trend in the historification of the North. Another Venetian, Antonio Vivaldi, also another devoted priest, but in this case a composer, was also rather accused of his softness for money, this based on his correspondence. Vivaldi was latter to die in Wien, rather unknown and poor with his native Venice Republic now ultimately coming to an end. In this sense a stable economy, seems a precondition particularly for such a musician working with expensive arrangements (although his solo and less known pieces are majestic). In the restricted view of the author, history and particularly that of art and culture is a far more complex realm and a more systematic coverage of it would have to be applied when making spatial as well as temporal comparisons. One thing is clear however, and that is that the introduction of a new medium bares implicitly the potential in which it can be naturally applied. We can then see dutch painting as the natural outcome of oil painting with its implicit characteristic (long to dry and mixable), applicable to a light canvas, in a studio with a certain artificial light caused by for instance the use of a newly introduced type of lamp and the introduction of a certain new type of window.

The latter is obviously only one factor in determining the kind of art characteristic of an age. We can then move forward making assumption such as the inner characteristic of a group of artist belonging to a certain climate and yet even here it is hard to make distinction. Nikolai Gogol himself, in his story “The Portrait”, makes again such a distinction of this poor Northern artist comparing him to a plant which, once brought to the daylight of the South (in his story referring to Russian artists going to Rome) blossoms. But yet again, what about the mannerist painter Jacopo Pontormo? Although a rather pale blond and thus Nordic looking character (possibly of Longobard descendance), this Florence based painter was most subjective and introvert. Aside from living in an attic where the accessing stair was retreatable and where he could completely be left in a rather emancipated isolation, Pontormo also kept a diary where he accounted on his gloomy everyday life, listing what he ate and how bad he felt in certain occasions. How miserable and yet this misery was latter accounted to be just another theory circulating at that time, stating that the cultivation of melancholy in an artist’s soul was beneficial to his art (are we to believe this?).

Here again Alpers, as well as other historians hastening for a quick comparison, fails to account to the fact that art in the 16th century came to some sort of introspective stand, where art, like a Narcissus, could watch itself on a mirror, the same mirror we can detect in Pontormo’s faces, a clear portrait of his melancholic being. It is through mannerism in fact that a phase of art could be described more as a passage rather than a drastic distinction and turning point. Under an evolutionary perspective which Alpers seems to avoid, the art of Renaissance painting can be seen as starting from the spiritual and narrative vignettes as that of Giotto to then move in more identifiable visions, into the painter himself slowly getting aware of his surrounding. It is a process of awakening from a dream like state to a state of full awareness this despite the ambiguous polarities needed for the argumentation of an art theory. Narcissus reflecting himself on a turbid pond is first absorbed in a contemplation beyond himself, then slowly becomes aware of himself and later recognize the environment around him by shifting his sight from his reflected persona to the background, which he learns to put to sharp focus (is this looping? there is a strange resemblance between the beginning and the end). This is yet another possible interpretation of a more or less universal art movement. One of many however and in this respect, the format of an essay with a particular format can be rather limiting, although it well brings to light a certain aspect of a phenomenon. The premises however can be always criticized but this is probably what the interpretation of history is about, a pool where no fixed views can be superimposed, only reflections. An historian may as well bring this or that proof revealing an aspect of a phenomenon, such as Baxandall’s explanation of 15th century Italian painting as strongly affected and determined by the actual mecenati and in which the artist did not have the freedom as for instance the romantic painter. Even here however, the historian seems to bring only to a worst light the paintings of the time, not specifying for instance the actual impact of such constraints. The classic artist is in fact dependent on constraints. As Raymond Queneau wrote a century ago, the classic artist is far freer than the post romantic artist who has no such constraints. The classic poet as well as the artist, like the Italian painters of the 15th century, was to for instance force to draw within a set of rather rigid geometric structure, using only a set of figures. It is in this limitness, made even tougher with the economical limitness, that the genius is revealed. In this sense, a Dutch art could be interpreted as an art made in a freer setting which, through protestantism, even freed itself of the religious tradition. The Dutch artist of the 17th century could be seen as an artist looking himself around for something to paint now that that “Southern” tradition had been abolished. He looks around a see an empty or crowded landscape, some dead birds... probably being a bit bored or probably recuperating from reality itself the bases for a new tradition. This attitude can be noticed also in Venice, a city rather rebellious of any church authority, where, similarly, artists like Canaletto, freed themselves of the less oppressive tradition, depicted their open views of the city.

Classic art is also a complete form of art providing from the beginning not an art commodities to be placed in whatever household of whatever bourgeoisie. Classic art comes with an architecture, it compensates it and extends it. It is an organism or better a mechanism to set us mentally and thus spiritually in motion while mere descriptive art is only a glossy surface of a nature the bourgeoisie has been distantiated from in the even more gloomy existence of his much more artificiliazed city dwelling. It is thus a substitute to a natural lack while Italian and religious art is a supplement to a divine nature, particularly in the solar context of a church or whatever temple, already beautifully located in a landscape that is already idyllic and do not necessitate a beautiful representation of another idyllic landscape. The comparison of this Anglo-American researcher trying to build a poetic of their "visual culture" against such a "spiritual tradition" cannot stand. As they now control the stage and establish their canons, outsiders might as well break off from their media based hegemony in view of what they actually seem to lack, the conditions for a spiritual drive.

What we shall contrast is the contemporary attempt of identifying as "art commodity" also spiritual undertakings as historian like Baxandall's attempts, by, for instance, not mentioning that all the gilded expenses of a painting was for the interior of a church which was very humble from the outside. This setting at large was a metaphor of the Christian soul in the early stage, humble and poor yet overlooking the splendid solar landscape outside, and very bright in the darkness within, as the reflection of love coming from the heart and to be processed through the brain, something that the Northern Puritan cannot seem to accept. As the Church transformed into an institution, the later decoration of such interior took this humbleness away (still well perceivable in Franciscan convents like Assisi), just like institutional seems the product of these new monks, scholars of the convent of academia. In this respect the new polarities can be rather based on art commodity versus spiritual enterprise, particularly in the view of institutional work versus work conceived in more humble an precarious conditions.

In this sense, the lack of "descriptiveness" of the more spiritually driven type of art which is labelled as "narrattive", is misguiding. As Tarkovski has shown as with the picture of Andrei Rublov, the Russian equivalent of Fra' Angelico, this descriptiveness is implicit. By looking at an icon by Rublov, Tarkovski was able to recreate the whole context, a master work of historical realism surpassing any explicit description of that time. In this respect the so called "narrative" art is as well "descriptive" but implicitly, giving the viewer a more active role in imagining, while a complete "description" can leave little ground for such kind of active imagination from the part of the viewer, as it is often the case in contemporary fiction.

But here also we cannot discuss the 17th century without really naming and knowing all that has revolutionized that age such as the discoveries and inventions and their impact. We have mentioned the use of the camera obscura as mean to make art more descriptive, working as a modern camera in fact, but the historian could also mention the Northern diffusion of the press which in a way removed the necessity for pictorial art to be narrative. How are we then to approach such a constellation interlacing with other historical constellation as some sort of always changing and rotating mechanism? Are we to follow a particular trajectory as suggested us by the academic upbringing or are we to keep wondering without ever coming to a definite conclusion, as guides pointing occasionally at this or that star as much as the artificial lights lighten in the horizon below?

The imposition of a system seems here a rather straightforward answer to it. One could think of a Raymond Lull like combinatorial wheel system where several such historical comparisons could be created. There we might also be able to find how these polarities not only have ambiguous inner polarities contradicting themselves, as shown partly by this essay, but that such polarities even swap over time and what was true of one pole is now true of the other as, for instance, the use of film in post-war Italy as being rather objective and realistic than becoming quite imaginative while up North, with for instance the Dogma movement, realism was resurrected and later brought back to bla bla. and the movie Gomorrah resurrecting Italian neo-realism bla bla. Academics and historians could in fact play such game in recovering and resignifying history (as well as the present and the future) or just let themselves be stimulated by the accidentality of time and see what that, quite randomly brings them... too nice of a game, the current constraints of the academic patrons however wants a certain evidence and in a certain format... a good limitation?

010. The False Dilemma of Historical Truth

Some sixty years after the "Napoleonic" invasion of Russia, Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy published "War and Peace", a broad account of many interlaced instances of aristocratic life occurring prior, during and after that traumatic historical event. In this epic, the Russian author manages to alternate historical facts together with the fiction play of each of the several characters which the novel presents. To a certain extent, this broad range of characters can be seen as a representative palette which Tolstoy skillfully adopts to depict the formal Russian society; we then read about the philanthropist and idealist Count Pyotr Kirillovich, the pious Prince Maria, her stubborn father but also, and more rarely we read shorter descriptions about characters that are more directly involved with the actual conflict. Through Count Pyotr’s imprisonment, the reader is offered an account of a French and a Russian soldier and through Prince Andrei’s direct participation to the conflict, we have an account of high rank generals of each front, not to mention the actual heroes, the Tsar Alexander I and Napoleon himself. Despite for painting them rather differently, the former as a coward not interfering in military decisions and the latter as a first hand general stirring his army, Tolstoy makes several interruptions in his historical accounts to share his view on history. In these several interruptions which escalate more frequently towards the end of the novel, the author expresses almost redundantly his opinion and that is that it was not the Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte who invaded Russia but Napoleon only happened to be placed as a representative of an inevitable force which wanted the West invasion of the East. Tolstoy's opinion is further validated by the following counter invasion from the East to the West that made the actual Tsar Alexander I the hero, despite his non-heroic and non-military constitution. The novel seems thus written by the author to almost prove his view of history as rather a clash of forces in which the characters and heroes are only accidental. In this respect Tolstoy was debating with all sorts of official forms of history which were proliferating at that time, namely the historical debate which arose a generation after the Napoleonic conflict in order to determine which character had more or less credit in the course of events.

As the official history keeps on adjusting itself based on one or the other truth, one may in fact start to wonder whether the fictionalized version of such an historical fact is a rather more truthful perspective which provides the remote reader with a broader sense of the characters and atmospheres of that particular time. As Charlie Chaplin later wrote in his autobiography, Sergei Eisenstein’s “Ivan the Terrible” can be seen as a far more truthful account than the "distorted" views that the official history provides on that period.

As Thomas S. Kuhn's has suggested a century later when writing The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, there is in fact a common tendency to specify particular time and personages as the revolutionary genius of a particular discovery. Tolstoy, in this respect had similar claims in providing us with a lesson that such milestones in the history of humanity are rather a complex process which is not sudden but rather, it is a process involving several humans acting upon a force. This theory is further confirmed by, for instance, the rise in power of Benito Mussolini or better to put it, the rise of Fascism itself. Upon hearing about the violent riots that where arising in Milan, where a left oriented magazine was attacked, Mussolini immediately condemned such acts but later became its leader. This brutal force coming from below needed a representative and it is thus questionable to say that it came from the dictator himself or that the dictator wanted to be dictating in the first place. To put it then in Kuhn's words, such an emergence is quite a complex process which historians tends to generalize imposing unquestionable official truths which do not carry any of the nuance which would allow the recipients to have a broader "feeling" on the historical subject.

As history becomes more official and formally divulgated among the social offspring, certain distinctions are inevitably carried on with it. Would have the Second World War being avoided if Adolf Hitler had read Tolstoy rather than misinterpreting Nietzsche? It is clear that in his text “On the Use and Abuse of History for Life”, the German madman (as Foucalt would later categorize him) is, in principle, spurring his people, and more particularly the German youth, to feed on Plutarch and use history as a source of inspiration rather than a source of captivation. It is quite the same dilemma faced by Rodion Raskolnikov, Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s character in Crime and Punishment, who was quite inspired by Napoleon and was quite seeking to accomplish something heroic in his life but yet ended up killing a Jewish moneylender. Nietzsche himself was quite inspired by this Russian novel aside for the very end when Raskolnikov, imprisoned in Siberia, gains his sanity in such an idyllic landscape watching a group of tartars crossing the horizon. Something is there then to disable modern men to become real historical heroes, but what is it? Has this something to do rather more with technology and the way it can amplify the will of a person? Are we to turn our reflections to Arthur Schopenhauer instead? Again the question raised above whether the Second World War could have been all together avoided if Hitler read Tolstoy rather than Nietzsche, can also be questionable under Kuhn’s and Tolstoy’s way of thinking. According to them again Hitler would not be the author of Nazism. Micheal Foucalt himself mentions, in his famous lecture on the “Discourse on Language” that such authorship becomes rather misleading and vague in the realm of facts while it is paradoxically becoming more important in that of fiction. We can then elaborate further on the subject of authorship with a view on the cultural development occurring in France, in the place and time in which Foucalt was active, and we will discover that in fact the author of fiction is becoming rather more preoccupied with facts and additionally he does so by using the constraints and mathematical formula that the French philosopher seemed so much to despise.

If we have then suggested that some production of truth may as well be more reliable when produced by a fiction author such as Tolstoy who did not belong to any discipline but could maintain his autonomous status till the end of his days thanks for his inheritance, how are we to view the trend of fiction authors becoming more concerned with the establishment of a discipline which could provide them with constraints and formulae? The Oulipo for instance, gathering the most renown French speaking writers of the 60s, 70s and 80s can be seen as a cultural movement despising this freedom from artistic tradition and seeking for a re-establishment of a tradition in order to generate new fiction. The experiments conducted by these authors can be viewed as extremizing the potential of content generation where the fiction author becomes more of the normal scientist kind of the 18th and 19th century as described by Kuhn. We might also observe that science itself has adopted in the last century elements which were more pertinent to fiction. In this respect the evolutionary paradigm change envisioned by both Popper and Kuhn can be perceived rather as a swap.

The structure of artistic revolutions is as well a rather complex scenario if we are to juxtapose Kuhn’s findings from the scientific realm onto the artistic one. Art history for instance, also tends to select and nominate the authors of artistic discoveries such as the avant-garde movements. With simple examples we could be able to prove, as Kuhn did by looking at the history of science, that the history of art is only providing a partial truth of far more complicated processes which gave rise to a significant period. The one example on Surrealism can be lightening. According to the official history we could find in André Breton the originator of such current with his manifesto written in 1924. Scattered information and sources will instead reveal how Breton was actually influenced by the metaphysic paintings of Giorgio De Chirico, who again can be doubtfully the author of the Scuola Metafisica. In this respect we can mention that this simplifications are necessary for human to remember a clear element and yet this is again only a selection which cuts out a far more complicated truth which possibly only a broad account depicting the moods and feelings of various representative characters can provide, bringing the reader both with his mind and soul in the “psychological waters” of the period. The telling of the story becomes here a relevant component in the communication of truth. Thus, rather than communicating historical notions which can be manipulated and utilized in populist manners, leading to catastrophic events as it is recurrent in the history of humanity, the easy spread of negative affection can be probably alleviated by the spread of such “fictional” truths. Nietzsche frustration is quite understandable in a time in which education itself is based rather on a divulgation of facts, data which can be elaborated to make up or buy any argument. Media itself may also be seen as transmitting indignation selecting out certain facts with which the mass is particularly obsessed. It is a narrow chain reaction which can only lead to more human conflicts. The feeling of empathy which a rather realist fiction can transmit can be seen as rather the opposite, as a moment of catharsis in the process of prejudice enforcement. Such catharses are the real moment of micro crisis that are able to provide fractures in the establishment of a paradigm, the human force that slowly but progressively emerges. It can be seen as inevitable, for instance, that immigrants will be kicked out from Sweden; Jimmie Åkesson will not be the author but rather a growing force of discontent emerging from the exposure to narrowed facts and the fact that real histories (are we to called them fictions) are not really transmitted between the hosting community and the community of refugees living quite emancipated from one another.

After reading Tolstoy, Hitler might have seen a different person when meeting for instance a Russian émigré. In his mass media formed conception of such a Russian, the fictional yet realistic account provided by the author might have offered him a wider panorama of feelings then simple hater for the revolutionary Bolshevik. Plutarch himself, as Nietzsche invites us to nourish on him, provides us with a narrated account of Roman emperors, Plutarch being a Greek. Here even one might question whether Hitler had ever had the chance to read any of such accounts which do in fact portrait rather daring heroes but in fact we can barely find any of them who do not die rather pitifully, thus not really facing a noble death in the Celtic sense but rather dying with a knife on their back (Lucius Aemilius Paullus being maybe the exception).

Having placed an emphasis on the relevance of truth as produced by the fiction author, we might then come back to the ambiguous question of tradition. In the emergence and anomaly of scientific discoveries, Kuhn seems in the end to welcome such traditions as a necessary element for the production of new discoveries; he calls this resistance. In his “Discourse on Language”, Foucalt seems rather to despise this given traditions, rules which can only be viewed under a negative way in which they limit the author under an imposed set of taboos and restrictions imposed by his or her discipline, probably even meant to protect the discipline established paradigm. Getting back to the example of the Oulipo movement, we here find an absurdity, a whole generations of authors which could proceed without any imposed rule or taboo from any such traditions and yet find themselves lost in such freedom, the “myriad of possibilities”, as James Joyce previously defined. They seek their own limits and constraints; they build their own disciplinary prison, the one that even Nietzsche (who actually nourished from a tradition of ancient classics) so much invites to free us youth from. It is then a paradox to confront the words of such prophet like madmen inviting to liberate ourselves from pre-given traditions (or frameworks as Popper defines them) and then on the other side hear the voice of a hyper sane person like Kuhn (however ambiguous his belonging to any discipline might seem) and realize that the precondition to any discovery is the adherence to a tradition, else the breach to the new cannot be seen. One could in this respect mention that as for the Oulipo, the authors did build their own prison and, in this respect, it is better to live in a self-constructed one rather than become aware to be in a prison that has been imposed by others (as it is the case for instance, among intellectuals today living in countries like China). Said then that a state of freedom for the production of content (whether more or less close to truth) necessitate a certain adherence to some tradition, and said that there might be even a possibility to self-produce such tradition in case it is lacking (risking though to become a madman if this tradition doesn’t get established), we may also mention Karl Popper’s interesting view expressed in “Normal Science and its Dangers”. Here Popper sees a danger in specializations and dogmatization of scientists but admits that the clash that occurs when these specializations (as in Zarathustra’s characters) tries to discuss is most fruitful. We can then admit as Hans-Georg Gadamer specifies in “The Universality of the Hermeneutical Problem”, that new knowledge is the recognition of a difference, but the quest for the new requires a familiar realm for the scientist to proceed ahead in the realm of the unknown. Under these premises one may venture to address then the fact that science could as well be aware of these facts, and rather than inviting multi-disciplinary approaches among specialized scientists, the very scientist could be educated in specialties, generating an inner clash, yet these specializations should be something his own will to knowledge pursue, in other words they should be facilitated but not imposed.

There is another issue however, that arises in our apparent illusion of freedom from any such traditions. The fact is that media apparatuses become less vulnerable to forgetfulness and tradition under the domain of an institution utilizing such media apparatuses, are likely to be more unable to accept a new historical entry. Both Foucalt and Kuhn give accounts of the difficulties for certain pioneers of certain truths like Wilhelm Röntgen and Gregor Mendel, to be accepted due to the rigid paradigm in which the societies in charge to approve such new truth laid, in their comfort zone keeping away any calamity. It is also the remarkable case of Benjamin Franklin accounted in his autobiography. His electronic discoveries were communicated to the European leading scientists and were highly rejected and made ridiculous. Can then the use of media within institutions be a further hinder to the discoveries of further truths and paradigmatic evolution? We are used to think of the contrary and yet it seems that knowledge production no longer appears in public forums but it is rather controlled and maintained by small circles who keep the levels of the channel through which knowledge is governed. The illusion of a participatory knowledge and truth production seems even more a threat. Using a Foucalt-like metaphor we can view now knowledge as a penalty house with transparent glass walls where everyone seems to be able to interact with it but in reality its content is highly moderated as it is the case for Wikipedia, the most popular source of truth. The Nietzschan “On the Use and Abuse of History for Life” may in this respect be revised as “On the Use and Abuse of Media for Life”. Even in Wikipedia we can see the predominance of a certain truth over another and the erasing of ambiguities for clarity sake. In the diatribe that again emerges in the imposition of a certain truth over another, the broader perspective of more loose and less historically strict fictions can be thus more revealing and to some extend less assuring of a simplified version of things. The question remains however whether such discourses have the possibility to be ever divulgated on time as institutions with their media apparatuses are as well in full control of the distribution.

011. The Hidden Author

In defining “What is an author?”, Michel Foucalt seems to impose from the very beginning the fact that the author has disappeared. He does not bother to get into any discussion about it since it was, according to Foucalt, a common conclusion that had been for a considerable time annoverated by literature criticism. He, himself cuts any possible criticism to this assumption, which is at the base of his following arguments, by quoting Becket and a general feeling which is however much criticizable and belongs to a particular 'mood' definable geographically within the more Westernized countries and a particular genre such as that of writing which seems however in a crisis, with the rising of other means of expression such as film, which media had brought about up to that time. Without then looking outside such very limited domain, and without acknowledging this fact but rather partially and only towards the end (there also only mentioning traditional media such as painting), Foucalt goes on writing about the ways in which we are hindered to think about the author (namely because of the way we conceive his work and writing) and later attempts to account the functions of the author. It is not until the end that he dares to spill his poison against the perception we generally have about the author as a genius, forecasting the absolute disappearance of the author, a forecast which made him paradoxically the most referenced author in the social and human sciences, a forecast which has inspired much of this nerve-less tendency (yet what about). As he also does in his “Discourse on language”, Foucalt manages to however bring forward some good observations and namely the decreasing importance of the author in science and the fact that authors may have more or less repercussions as it is the case with Karl Marx and Sigmund Freud. In his rather limited perspective which does not take into account the fundamental reasons why there are claims that the author has disappeared (e.g. maybe considering the fact that anyone can become an "hobby" author and the actual author do not want to mix with such popularization as considered by Walter Benjamin, Friedrich Nietzsche and Theodor Adorno or maybe analyzing actual literature where the suffocation of the author as genius in the shift from an aristocratic to a proletarian world is depicted like in Boris Pasternak “Doctor Zhivago” ) and or anonymous (which, thinking of recent trends in Graffiti Art, actually is a great strategy to become a super celebrity like in Bansky and Blu); these claims are given for granted making the test most irritable. Moreover he does not take in any consideration the fully opposite potential of a super-author as envisioned by, for instance Vannevar Bush in his idea of a cyborg like scientist. Roger Chartier on the contrary provides in The Order of Books, a broader studies of the silent art of reading rather than writing. He does so by providing several observations inspired by his analysis of the Bibliotheque Bleue, as for instance the fact that such a popularized literature is in fact just a revised form of literature which was previously meant to other more eliterian classes and that such a revision has occurred by re-editing the written content into a template more pleasant and visual. Throughout his text Chartier makes a reading of the reading of reading already developed by Michel de Chertau which seems, in this respect, more straightforward and conclusive. Re-elaborating the Jesuit scholar's theory, Chartier brings about the importance of certain shifts in the way we can analyze reading such as an emphasis on how reading was meant prior the seventeenth century being mostly orally acted and latter in a time in which reading occurred in silence. He then goes on problematizing the usual division of classes and other elements which has been commonly adopted to distinguish the various communities of readers. It is only at the end of the introduction which we finally get to understand that the object of his study is actually focusing only on seventeenth century French, drastically narrowing the initial expectations, which, also from the title, might have eluded the reader to think of a far more embracing argumentation. In this respect, the book is an applied work owning much to de Chertau, an author which can, as in Foucalt’s observation, be adopted for further enquires as for instance Lev Manovich consideration of the Social Media templates, a proletarization of more cultivated web based works evolving prior the corporation driven, Social Media phenomenon. Right in this phenomenon we can then reconnect to Foucalt and see that the disappearance of authors of Web based works for instance, has been partially due to this corporation takeover of the Web, making everyone potential authors and imposing ready-made templates. “Real authors” are then the victims of the usual power ambitions and socially imposed structures, which in this respect makes authors very much nomadic and underground contrary to the premises of the book which wants them like sedentary farmers. As such impositions increase, “real authors” live in a diaspora, keep anonymous not to be fagocitated by these systems, becomes cult authors possibly only after their death, and this again informally, the transmission of their operandi being transmitted underground. Was Ezra Pound then more of an author as he tried to disconnect from capitalist driven countries and moving to Fascist Italy? Probably not, as he did not find the support of its leader, yet one might raise the question whether authorship do require a certain “aristocratic” state in order for it to mature.

012. Auerb'Ark

In the opening chapter of his most celebrated work on realism in European literature, Erich Auerbach brings forward a comparison between the Odyssey and the Old Testament. He is himself in a good position to do so, living in Istanbul, being a Jew on a run from Nazi Germany, not only an interesting geographical position then between Greek and Israel, but also a rather interesting psychological blend of personal odyssey and diaspora. In his comparison Auerbach brings forward the example of Ulysse's scar recognized by his old maid at his return. He then explains how the flash back accounting on the boar hunt accident which provoked the scar when Ulysses was young, is related as some kind of omnipresent narration bringing light to every aspect, living nothing unsaid and most of all no ambiguity which can be subject to interpretation.

The Biblical episode of Abraham ordered by God to sacrifice Isaac is instead accounted as a rather decontextualized narration in which much is left mysterious and subject to interpretation. At this point of the chapter, Auerbach seems to grow rather indignant about the vertical and authoritarian imposition of universal history present in the Old Testament. At first sight, this operation, under a psychoanalytic perspective, could be seen as somewhat of a manifestation of the Oedipus complex where the author kills the father, the authority as latter post-modern authors seems to so successfully undertake. Yet, this moment of perceivable indignation it is probably justifiable under the circumstances in which Auerbach himself was living, victim of the Nazi authority and their restricted view of history. As a matter of fact, the Jewish traditional culture would not allow an interpretative argument to prevail over another like in a Nazi authoritarian context, but rather be a way to constantly generate infinite arguments. Soon after, in fact, Auerbach moves forward bringing in a better light the Old Testament and describing some more positive features like the psychology of the elder characters which is not present in the Greek epic and distinguishing the first epic as legendary while the second as historical.

Further on in the book Auerbach brings forward another literature example which is also particularly related to his state as an expat. The example is that of the French author Stendhal, who, like Auerbach, had to live in exile in Italy after a very successful life in the ancient regime and Napoleon army. This biographical emphasis is only brought forward rather late in the text and Auerbach seems to bring the reader to immerse himself into the actual narration of one of Stendhal's novels, Le Rouge at le Noir. He does so by introducing large chunks of the actual novel. This operation can be seen as a method useful for the reader to immerse himself into the actual atmosphere and climax, as later he would account on another French author, Honoré de Balzac who uses realism by providing an immersive detailing of the context. In addition, this reproducing of whole chunks of literature examples can be also seen as a form of sampling. Under this light, Auerbach himself can be seen a Biblical character, a Noah, as if the whole book itself was some sort of Ark undertaking. This is again particularly the case giving the ever changing social and political situation in which Auerbach found himself, just like Stendhal one hundred years before. The Noah Ark metaphor to describe Auerbach’s operation can be further related to his relation of Balzac’s operation, the La Comédie Humaine, yet another attempt to sample all characters of human society. Auerbach himself stresses the fact that Balzac’s main inspiration came from zoology. One may then start to think of realism as a practice of sampling a reality that is threatened to extinction by the social circumstances, as it has been also the case of the neo-realist movement rising out of World War II. 013. Re-clues and Myth Again

In 1518, Chiara Signorini was accused of witchcraft, this after being thrown out of a small land she was renting with her husband from Margherita Pazzani, one of the many lords of the Northern Italian feudal countryside. More specifically, Lady Chiara was accused of having paralyzed the arms and legs of the latter. She was then readmitted to the aforementioned land with the condition of bringing Margherita Pazzani back to normal. In his account of the three trials which in the end will have Chiara Signorini imprisoned in a hospital for life, Carlo Ginzburg brings to the reader's attention, large extracts of the notary's records. He uses them to show how the judges had manipulated through their questioning and torturing, Lady Chiara to finally admit that it was the devil and not the Blessed Virgin she has invoked to take avange on her landowner. This historical method of recovering from archives past evidences can be seen as a re-evaluation of a past which historians might have already settled. It is a re-interpretation of minor historical events, not the trail of a king but of a poor lady trying to regain a piece of land, a similar approach of Ginzburg's previous successful book, The Cheese and the Worms, were it is possible to find a similar character in Menocchio, a miller and low philosopher. However, leaving the inquisition aside, in latter chapters of the book, Clues Myths and the Historical Method, Ginzburg can be seen as a first rate hermeneutic, particularly where he analyzes how biblical motifs has changed in meaning over history, and hermeneutics, classically speaking was in fact the art of interpreting the holy scriptures. In this respect we have Ginzburg analyzing St. Paul dictum, "noli alta sapere" which has been utilized during the Renaissance as a way to restrain intellectuals to get on high knowledge and content themselves with what the Bible and the authority provides them. Ginzburg further shows how this dictum has been later revolutionized by the new sciences starting the 17th century and finally culminating with the "Sapere aude!" of the enlightenment, a daring to know which is also somehow refrained by for instance Immanuel Kant with a following ammunition... dare to know, but obey! In this respect Ginzburg highlights the revolutionary danger implicit in the knowledge of what is pertinent of the high authorities who attempt, on their side, to keep their paradigm under control. He does not, in this respect, take himself a stand whether to prevent the knowledge of the high or whether to refrain it.

Further in the book, the reader finds Ginzburg again digging in "forgotten" texts, this time less ancient, one of which is Giovanni Morelli's view on art works. The latter Italian writer, a physiologist and politician, kept in disguise until the end of his days with a Russian pseudonym, and made quite a break through with his method of analyzing art works through their details (hands, earrings, eyes, ears etc.) rather than through the core subject they represent. In this way, Morelli was able to provide the right authorship to paintings the origins of which were to that time uncertain. The Sherlock Holmes like method, had been criticized as rather mechanical but here Ginzburg proves that it was a fundamental milestone in the development of psychoanalysis. By analyzing certain conversations and personal letters, he is able to prove that Sigmund Freud himself had been deeply affected by Morelli’s art theory, before the latter even started thinking about psychoanalysis which is in fact also a way of analyzing the psychological status of a patient by looking at irrelevant details in his everyday life.

In his relating on the importance of details, Ginzburg dares to go a step further, he literally "sapere aude" by envisioning how these details, hints, clues are at the base of narrative constructions inherited from the times in which humans had to read natural clues in the natural environment, in their proceeding into the unfamiliar world, whether for hunting or orienting themselves in their nomadic and precarious existences. This later analogy can be also then compared against Michel de Cearteau who sees the writer as a sedentary farmer accumulating and imposing his intellectual property. In Ginzburg, the writer, and particularly the one actively searching for clues, is rather a nomadic hunter. The author is then who dares to venture in the unknown and make use of the clues he finds to undertake a journey. It is possibly this journey, this adventure, what the author brings back to us, a journey he could easily reconstruct with all the clues he has crossed through the adventure, as in an art of memory technique, clues that particularly stroke his psyche, a technique which has been recently re-enacted by psycho geographers and neo-realist film makers in the city context.

Under this Ginzburgian way of thinking then, it could be possible to see the present psychological symptoms affecting modern men, as a result of a journey, a narrative, that cannot take place, that is hindered by for instance the lack of clues in a too sterile artificial environment, or that is interrupted by unnatural barriers which suddenly stop the maturation of our narrative being, or more over disturbed by other unrelated narratives that are projected onto us at the time of our journey. The Proppian folktale then, the hero leaving home and so forth, is rather much of a fragmented experience and as this experience gets increasingly fragmented with the progression of technology, a possible narration might then only start from the gathering and archiving of the very clues per se, as adopted by modern writers like George Perec and even artists like Sophie Calle, works where the actual interpretation, divinization of the clues, is brought back to the realm of the spectators, offering them a possibility to become once more hunters in an environment where this form of intuitive primitivism has been otherwise removed.

Viewers of a Sophie Calle’s exhibition, as the one in Rotterdam where she uses the contemporary art museum space to exhibit the entire cosmos of her personal belongings, are then required to interpret such an act of displacement. They might from the beginning just take it as a provocation, or go a bit deeper in seeing it as an aphorism. We may, for the latter case rephrase Ginzburg and his distinction of high and low form of intuition. The art connoisseur might then try to interpret the high significance of such act per se, while the more rudimentary viewer, with yet an innate sense of intuition, instinct and insight, might be so audacious as to bring forward evidences that are actually correspondent to the identity of the artist. Under this perspective we can also review the historical trajectory presented to us by Ginzburg, in which the art of identifying becomes more and more connected to social control, or to better put it surveillance. It then becomes an art with an apparently bad connotation, that of tracking the individuals and thus maintain a state of security for the sake of the bourgeoisie capitalism and their material appropriations.

The Ginzburgian trajectory views a slow, but drastic evolution then from the Biblical figure of Abel, the nomadic shepherd, and that of Cain, the sedentary farmer, the one seeking for material establishment and murdering out of jealousy his aforementioned brother (we here substitute the hunter with the shepherd as a second brother analogy would have been needed between Esau and Jacob). This analogy is here interesting to decipher again the death of such persons attempting such existences of precarious interpretations by a system of control imposed by the sedentary kind to maintain their worldly establishment. In the case of social surveillance then, we might see an enforced type of identification like finger printing, an established method, while in the case of the more nomadic, divinatory and spiritual interpreters we can envision a lighter and less methodic approach of interpretation which has yet, to reconnect to the aforementioned thoughts, been abolished by the former for a stricter control (e.g. straight roads, artificially illuminated forests etc.). In this respect again, the strategy for the “urban” shepherd, the nomadic type, seems once more that of sousvelliance, or counter-surveillance, as visible in some of later trends in less “high” forms of culture, meaning more spontaneous cultural manifestations of the last decades.

014. Colonizing Ethnography

The object of study intended by Beverly Skeggs in her essay, ”Theorising, ethics and representation in feminist ethnography”, is feminist ethnography and more particularly the positioning of feminist ethnography in respect to the other kinds of established ethnographies she starts listing and introducing in the second section of her essay. Skeggs dedicates ample sections to present her own experience at the time in which feminist ethnography was not established. In this respect, readers analyzing her text, might deduce that the long, first persons yet rather humble accounts of her experience as an ethnographer, is the work of a feminist hero, a pioneer bringing yet a new discipline within the multi-disciplinary constellation of gender scholar. Her essay can be then view, or reviewed, under the perspective of a feminist conquistador, setting yet another flag in the new continent opened up with the gender study academic claiming. After such definitions of the different kinds of ethnographies, Skeggs only implies a newly coined brand of ethnography, the feminist ethnography and moves forward in providing a set of considerations (namely the amount of ethnographic data and its volatility) which are however too general to validate feminist ethnography as a field of its own. Among these considerations brought forward again by “her long experience as a feminist ethnographer”, the last part of her essay is dedicated to the moral and ethic issues of working with lower class cases. Again here, Lady Beverly, expresses in writings the implications of getting too close to the subjects she uses in her study and revealing publicly data that might compromise them. In the very last section she attempts instead to defend her essay, already pledged by feminism, by possible critics.

In the introduction of Writing Culture, James Clifford seems instead to be concerned with a different object of study. He is also talking about ethnographic research and he promptly shows the reader his familiarity with all the various currents and historical contexts as well as the main actors. However, what he latter comes to talk about, as well as the examples he provides, seems to be related to a rather traditional kind of ethnography, which sees the ethnographer living among indigenous tribes rather than analyzing a phenomenon belonging to his own cultural domain as in Skegg’s case. Sir James’s essay is however of relevance in indicating the literary qualities of ethnographic writings, resembling, in this respect, a work of fiction. He then goes forward in claiming that, when this fiction-like work is “good” (however this can be assessed), then the ethnographic work becomes like a “true fiction”. The adjective “truth” is obviously problematic and Clifford begins here to reposition ethnographic research in a post-colonial reality in which there is a tendency of providing partial fragments of truths rather than absolute ones. In this respect, he brings forward the example of a recently published book by Richard Price, an established ethnographer who gave only partial insights on an African culture leaving many a gaps among these fragments. Here Clifford indicates the actual quality of such relative way of accounting which allows new possible insights on the subject and further allows the reader himself to be active in interpreting and filling the holes left among each of these generated ethnographic fragments. Due then to all these new settings, to which we can add the advent of “indigenous ethnographer”, Clifford’s introduction can be viewed as a text aiming to reconsider the positioning of ethnographic research in the early nineteen eighties.

015. The Virtuous Window

Anne Friedberg's book The Virtual Window, was written at a time in which the social media industry had not yet taken over the “virtual” scene, imposing their own standard window to frame all productions or at least productions to be communicated and shared. Prior to that, the comparison she made between the classical window of painting and that of media is rather reasonable although incompatible in that she does not take in consideration the fact that the metaphor of ”finestra aperta” was addressed to artists rather than the common people who are now also capable of creating virtual representations, the artistic style of which are highly debatable. Greatest master pieces in the history of cinema, for instance, ”Andrei Rublev” by Andrei Tarkovsky are still based on classic perspective, as the beautiful scene in which two noble observants are standing in front of a lake while suddenly in the background we see a buffoon being brought away by the gendarmes. In this respect Friedberg comparison are rather outdated, bringing on the table all the conventional Western movements, such as Cubism rather than Russian Constructivism and their cutting edge way of changing perspectives (filming below a train or above a chimney). Again what is still striking is the comparison she makes of what is inside a painting and what is inside a computer. The computer itself is not a perspective but rather the vanishing point itself, the artificial light substituting the sun, the vanishing point per antonomasia, which we cannot penetrate.

Throughout her text, Friedberg is very careful and aware of the academic discourse around the subject. She is aware of all the Derrida-like criticism her book might suffer from, and she herself attempts to unpack in advance the use of her virtual window metaphor, before other academic wolves will tear it apart. In this respect she positions herself as seeing a rather continuation through history of the virtual, rather than something newly established with media technology. She then moves forward making her book anyway a legitimate contemporary form, bringing in Friedrich Kittler and Walter Benjamin premonitions of the death of the book as a media. She then attempts to illustrate throughout the chapters of her book, maintaining the idea that it is not a conventional book, but it is rather a set of different perspectives onto the matter, a sort of non-linear form.

In reality, the reader perceives the introduction of this book on media as yet another conventional attempt of academia to bring forward a breaking through argument yet acknowledging the various contributors of the discourse and at last retreat the head in the security of a turtle shell argument. Friedberg is certainly not a visionary but rather a good academic, whose book can be utilized as a way to update oneself to the discourse, a discourse which is however already becoming outdated as the beginning of this text accounts. Possibly, the most fastidious aspect of the book is that it seems rather a claim of being a breakthrough but in reality, Friedberg does not dare to make any revolutionary claims. As she sees this continuum with classical tradition and wants to merge with it, one may find rather contradictory her retreating her head in the turtle shell, presenting a very formal scholarly work. How can one talk about media without media? And, as she finds this continuum, why not argue against Kittler and Benjamin saying that, there is no such thing as media evolution or better dissolution but rather we live (as probably a Baudrillard would say) in a frozen moment of such technical evolution in which all media are in fact possible (book as equally a computer game)?

Following the above argument then, this book could have probably made sense, not from a one media perspective, that of the book, but accompanied by other forms of media more pertinent with the discussion. Friedberg should have herself followed the Brunelleschi experiment and take a mirror in front of the modern forms of the Virtual Frame, maybe just in front of the computer screen and get some inspiration from there rather than just getting inspired on the intellectual level on the possibly re-signification of such metaphors, which in a way are useful to elevate the academic, as in the Chinese saying “if you wanna be a tiger (Friedberg), face the tiger (Brunelleschi)”. Anyhow, a better approach would have been also to look at high level artistic production utilizing modern media, such as the ones at the Media Labs, whose heroic envisionment also ended with social media.

016. Photontology

In the 1960's, the French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu writes Photography, A Middle-brow Art. He utilizes the entire introduction with complex arguments to justify the use of photographic material as a source for sociological research. He there makes a point that it is not photography as such that it is worth investigating but rather the network of relationships it establishes. It is not until reading the first part of the book that the reader can grasp what Bourdieu is up to. At first, the introduction appears to provide the reader only with the academic context in which Bourdieu was dealing with, a presumably traditional and conventional context from which the French sociologist intends to depart with a new paradigm, drawing perhaps partly inspiration from ethnologists, inheriting from anthropology and being here aware of their limitation and set of lays necessary in order to force through an pre-assumed truth.

As mentioned above, it is not until part one of the book, that the middle-brow reader can more specifically understand the operation adopted Bourdieu, his research methodology and the object of study. Here Bourdieu looks at workers who have more or less the hobby of taking pictures. The interviews and the ethnographic research conducted is not at all central but it seems rather a compendium that the French sociologist used to sustain his argument. Rather than to look at the grand maison, he looks at the petit maison, the worker who can barely afford a decent camera and who complains of this fact: “if only I had a better camera”. Yet the worker goes also around it and he is aware that some tweaking of the ready made apparatus will provide him with a decent result. Bourdieu here also introduces the subject workers, but more particularly rural people photograph or decide to have photographed. Those are rather important ceremonies like wedding, where adults are at the center of attention, thus not the kids as it is maybe now. He here underlines the fact that such ritual of photographing, enforces the identity and unity of the rural family which is not to display the photographs anywhere and to anyone but in a drawing room and the more intimate ones, secured in boxes.

At this point, Bourdieu brings forward an interesting distinction again with the grand maison, where there is, on the contrary an ostentatious amount of photographic material, thus not only pertinent to solemn ceremonies but also of outdoor hikes and so forth. This is again due to the economic capabilities of these richer families where, though, the very unity is fragmented by the societal interest of success, bringing the very family apart as narrated by Thomas Mann in the Buddenbrooks and has highlighted by Theodor Adorno in his “Culture Industry” essay, where modern man leaves rather a split between his private life and his profession. In these term, while Bourdieu reflections seems rather enlighting and pertinent, thinking at the dead grandmother's country house, it seems also rather obsolete in a today scenario which again could have been predicted back in the 1960's as done by film-makers like Ermanno Olmi. The identity to be recuperated then through the photographic ritual is no longer that of the family, to whatever entity the family might still exist in a society where the individual can be completely autonomous. It is the individual himself who ought to recuperate, through the photographic ritual, his or her identity.

Moreover, with the advent of digital photography, there is no longer such limitation as type of camera or a wasted film. In a time in which anyone can take high quality and infinite amount of pictures, it becomes more of a question of style and selection. Two third and probably even 99,9999% of photographers are still focusing on the solemn ceremony, on the out of the ordinary (a trip etc.) yet a poetic of the everyday life has also emerged from the petit. A sort of arte povera, amateurs collecting, as small stones on a boulevard, pictures from the every day, like the Polish workers in the 1970s during their after-work. They become masters in the Chinese sense, being able to master their art on an every day basis without any willing of becoming famous but rather as a practice to survive the everyday, as a garden to cultivate in an industrial town without gardens, as a wish of dedicating themselves, putting their love onto something. The mundane and vernacular pictures logged on a social media site like Facebook, would then not suit the intimacy of their work, like these farmers not willing to share the poetry of their fragile and poor and yet natural and solar existences, much aware of the seasoning of the world, the cycle from life to death and to life again.

017. Falling, Failing and Fading in the Method

In War and Peace, Count Leo Tolstoy provides us with an interesting account of the following of high rank officers that the Tsar, Alexander I of Russia had appointed as his Council of War. Thus, while his attacking enemy, the great emperor Napoleon I of France, made decisions by himself, the unpractical Tsar relayed on the words of several young and old Russian officers. Among these officers we read, however, about the presence of a German general, Count von Bennigsen who represented a one wing of the Council. This wing namely insisted to apply a method in the preparing of the upcoming battle. Since the beginning of the French and Russian conflict in Smolensk, across the border with Europe, the more theoretical and methodological wing of the Council was given high credit. However, slowly, as the French foe proceeded successfully into the Russian territory, the wing of more practical officers, those who actually had the experience of the battle field, the smell of the gun powder in their nostrils, prevailed and the foe is finally repelled, this not, however, through a decisive victory (the French did in fact managed to get into Moscow and accidentally sets it on fire). In the decisive battle of Borodino, rather than a victory, the old and most criticized Russian general Mikhail Ilarionovich Kutuzov inflicted to the Napoleonic army a wound, using Tolstoy's expression. As a wounded animal then, this army (mostly consisting of German, Hungarians and Italians) had to flee and was later hunt down by brave guerrilla soldiers, the only instances of true heroes that Tolstoy admits. Only later, the inexperienced Tzar Alexander, like an hunter and the new hero, was after the wounded foe, being able to even counter invade Europe.

This would be a rather simplistic way of seeing such a far more complex historical event which Tolstoy himself tries to problematize by claiming that it was no Napoleon or no Russian general to have decided the sort of the conflict but it was, in fact, an inevitable force going first from West to East and then from East to West. We may then attempt to understand the position of the German theorists of war under such a Tolstoyan way of thinking. Despite the fact that one of the main protagonist of the novel, the aide-de-camp Prince Andrey Nikolayevich Bolkonsky, was sympathizing with this wing, the theorists and any application of methods at war can be seen rather as scorned in Tolstoy writings, who puts in better light the Russian general Kutuzov who somewhat seems aware of his role as being only that to second the flow of events as they come about, this at least according to the account of the aforementioned battle of Borodino, in which the old general keeps receiving several dispatches and only approves them all without any real design nor general understanding in mind. One may here try to further articulate Tolstoy argument. From Tolstoy and his bright, horizontal account, we then understand that the utilization of methods at the time of the conflict is of no use. The generals in charge are rather to improvise, based on the circumstances as the old Russian general does, being at the decisive battle of Borodino, at the gates with Moscow, constantly being asked by his subordinates to make decisions. Decisions he would take, again without the application of any method but rather, once again, seconding the circumstances. And yet, this is only a perspective given for the time at war. Probably the application of methods can be rather useful exercises in the time of peace, yet one can context the fact, here, using another winning Russian metaphor, whether chess players, the players of war at peace, utilize or not a method of whether they are just intuitively good to sort out the decisions as the circumstances come and even further, whether the trained chess-players according to a method are just plain good players. We might anyhow distinguish a certain style in the player but no computer or artificial intelligence can reproduce such a style while it could certainly reproduce a method. Style could be something with a degree of unpredictable freedom of improvisation, a singular human folly that cannot be reproduced.

Right in this folly one can see the application of methods in the humanities. It is a folly for a free humanist not to follow any standard procedure but apply a method that brings to the extreme the outcome of his or her production, constantly maintaining him or her in a state of stability and instability, bringing him or her in and out of his or her world, forcing him or her to re-imagine under various conditions, as the various conditions recreated by a laboratory test, to re-imagine the source of his or her production. It might then become a question of design, the composition of an overall scheme from which to apply a method from which new knowledge can be produced as in a 17th century combinatorial wheel adopted by monks like Raymond Lull for the pursue of knowledge production alone.

Considering the anyhow arbitrary way in which knowledge and cultural production is generated, a method in the humanity could be seen as a way to stand autonomously aside from what seems anyway governed by a bureaucratic system who decides what themes and currents should or should not move on. The method here becomes an important element for the autonomous humanist to keep up his or her production despite the curatorial selection set out from the establishment in power. This is particularly the case for neoliberal politics aware of the danger of autonomous and non-normalized intellectuals or for any establishment willing to maintain its paradigm until a Napoleon will come and awake it.

Methodological approach then, can be seen on one hand as normalizing approach where certain methods are established from top to bottom, in order to consolidate an institutional discipline, while on the other hand, they can be indispensable to consolidate individuals alone. In this respect should fine-tune and second the emergence of a unique method characteristic to each individual. Going back then to the Napoleon example, according to Jacques Ellul, the only real method we could find in him is that of tyrant surviving out of a propaganda of agitation. His campaigns to Egypt first and to Russia latter can be also seen, in Ellulian way of thinking, as a way to divert the attention from a general indignation growing in France under his dictatorship, particularly after all the promises and illusions brought by the revolution. Here again we find an established paradigm, a revolution and, as Machiavelli also put it, a worsening of the situation. Possibly a temporal worsening in which a new paradigm has to be re-established.

Thus speaking, as the sea engulfs itself ready for a storm and a vessel is capsized and tramped by it, the sailor cannot there and then apply any methods but the trained humanist, if he manages to survive and providence brings him all naked to the shore of a foreign island, he, according to whether or not as a mastery of a method, he may be able to be accepted and esteemed at a new court. An argument here can be however rephrase as how can such intellectual (the anecdote was used by Vitruvius in his De Architectura also in relation to the autonomy of the architect from the system of deliveries of commissions), how can such person with quality be autonomous also at such new court. The principle question could then be if there can be intellectual and cultural autonomy without a method of conduct or rather, to better put it, a discipline disconnected from any main discipline, in this respect an autonomous discipline. Here then the argument may shift from the method promoted by established disciplines to the discipline that an individual may constitute to survive autonomously. A distinction is necessary here between autonomy and independence, the latter implicating a separation from a community as in the case of an Henry David Thoreau who isolates himself in a pond away from the technically progressing society which is however to pervasive to spare him (a railroad was constructed right opposite to his Walden Pond). Autonomy instead, as in left-wing Italian terms, means a living within a community yet still autonomously as theorized by Antonio Negri in his years of political prison, paradoxically then, as the state of imprisonment seems anyhow required for intellectuals (better to self-construct the prison than being imprisoned in a common penitentiary though), an autonomy seems only something to aspire for. In this respect we may also bring up Tolstoy very example and his embrace of a discipline, this rather disconnected from his macro-historical literal approaches. Inspired by the sermon of the mountain and Confucius, at a late stage of his life we find a Tolstoy, who has always being skeptical about any philanthropy, we find him embracing something which also later Jacques Ellul would adopt as Christian anarchism, a way of life, a way of being in harmony with the world, possibly the ultimate asceticism, life itself becoming a work of art as the barefoot paintings of Tolstoy made at that time (if not also the pictures) suggested. In this respect again, one may argue that the writing style of a Tolstoy is rather a macro-historical reflection of humanity, a telling a story, a long parable which provides the author himself the hints to an illumination, in Tolstoy case the embrace of an ascetic life and the bonism characterizing the managing of his estate, the first in Russia to provide school for peasants.

This Tolstoyan bonism here can be seen as rather contradictory, particularly knowing his depiction of Count Pyotr Kirillovich Bezukov and his philanthropic attempts to build a peasant school in his Ukrainian large estate, adding to the bargain of having to cultivate that of education. But what to teach these peasant then? How to educate them, ex ducis, lead them out of their enslaved conditions? Such condition is anyhow our contemporary enslavement enforced by neoliberalist politics with its philosophy of debt, from which no education can lead us out. This, at least, according to Maurizio Lazzarato, but on top of that, this semi-virtual debt the middle class might have with bank institutions, is the other debt, the debt that humanists intellectuals have with their academic disciplines, a debt that is progressively increasing and enslaving the intellectual himself in his “inducation”. In this respect, the only accountable education may be that of seconding the young intellectual to constitute by himself the methodological toolbox to move out of this enslavement and still be able to operate within the intellectual circle, this time not independently (this is again only idelistic and leading to craziness and emancipation) but autonomously. The same discourse goes for any type of manifestation, whether rational and intellectual or irrational and artistic. In order for culture to renew, there ought to be not the Carmelite type, as Bertolt Brecht put it, reciting Marxist theories (maybe those are also necessary nonetheless), but in a Karl Popper way of thinking (and here we can draw distinctions with Friedrich Nietzsche and also his perceived danger for knowledge saturation and control), one ought to just facilitate the potential intellectual to a state of autonomy.

In this respect, the utilization of a method making use of micro-historical and thus interpretable styles can be then the key to allow a malleable upbringing of a potential intellectual. The problem would then be here again that such loose methods of micro-history, as this very article might demonstrate, can only be difficultly assessed. While the micro-historical method then, could be seen as a potential alternative to more quasi-fanatic approaches relating on disciplinary dogmas, the very non-assesibility of the former, makes it a rather useless enterprise in a time in which knowledge production ought to be constantly approved by the governing authorities.

018. Truth-Drive or Killing the Killing of the Father

In his essay “On Truth and Lie in an Extra-Moral Sense”, Friedrich Nietzsche utilizes the metaphor of a colombarium, a tower of science to which scientific investigators feed from like bees out of an artificial flower, a flower of flowers, being at the same time the field, the flower and the bee hive. In a more contemporary metaphorical way of thinking, this tower can be compared to a refrigerator of specialties, that the bee-investigator, incapable of processing his food autonomously, relays on. It is then an artificially sustained platform, even more so as this structure may entirely collapse and its food go rotten and its bees starve to death, if the refrigerator is unplugged. Nietzsche's “phobia” is further accentuated today when viewing the constructions of truth from the outside, while in the inside, the social enslavement might keep the human investigators dormant and unaware. In this sense, one may also start to reason where, in this refrigerated preservations of truths the center lays, as Jacques Derrida claims criticizing Claude Levi-Strauss and affirming that there is no structure without a center. Michel Foucalt himself would probably agree that it is difficult to discern a center, or at least the author of such artificial construction, this in vogue with a decentralizing trend.

The work of the ants progresses systematically in the erection of a mound facing on one side a strip of forest where the bear population has increased with the prohibition of hunting, and on the other a highway with speeding cars. If on top of these mounds there are spiders like Levi-Strauss making their webs (this also recalling the Nietzschian metaphor on the fragility of such human constructions), Derrida is the cricket going from mound to mound and announcing, with his irritating buzz, the vanity of all this. And yet here again, we might refer to a passage found in Slavoy Zizek's essay “From Symptom to Sinthome”, or in many of the essays discussing the changing of meaning of the Saint Paul's dictum "noli alta sapere" which throughout the Middle ages has hindered intellectual daring out of the social mound, as monkey out the jungle prior their more or less voluntary departure and consequent evolution to humans. In these passages, we find a 17th century acknowledgment of the fact that there is a laying falsity of the truth construction in which these "libertini" lived but on the other hand there is a strong acknowledgement that this base, should not be criticized. It is the case of Blaise Pascal but it is also the case of René Decartes, as presented in Zizek's aforementioned essay. Both French authors invite to embrace one single faith and do not question it as we do not question the preceding into an unknown forest, following one direction rather than being hesitant and reaching no where. It is then an acknowledgement of a necessary determinism to be certain of, which Derrida seems, on the contrary, to criticize with a certain certainty, providing that all structural attempts are facing this uncertainty.

Biblically speaking, as Derrida was himself interested in Judaism and was himself of Jewish origins, we can return to Nietzsche's metaphorical example of this tower of science and find a straight comparison with the Babel tower, a tower which is artificially constructed in a "sapere aude" fashion, in a daring of the "noli alta sapere" in its Medieval connotation. Perhaps are such towers citadels of citadels, skyscrapers of metropolis doomed to fall, despite all the precautions. Ironically, more are the precautions and higher becomes the chances of collapse. Precarious towers instead, seem those which have a better chance to survive. It is necessary then here to bring forward a dichotomy between the tower of establishment, the Babel tower erected with a certain ambition, doomed to fall and generate even more chaos and disorder (i.e. the European Union and any other empire in the macro and micro historical sense), or the more precarious conditions of Noah's ark. The latter can be then compared with Zizek further example on the predictable sinking of the Titanic. The Noah ark is rather a Kon-Tiki vessel, solely built on what is there available to be found, it is a very precarious enterprise, it is in fact a bricolage and in this respect defers from the establishment which Derrida, in his critic to Levi-Strauss, fails to point out. This precarious enterprise is probably due to succeed, unless it gets established. Social establishment is probably at the base of failure of such structural attempts. It is the case of, for instance, August Sander's attempt to exhaustively portrait German society Face of Our Time, the enterprise fails as soon as it gets established and recognized, as some sort of premature reaching of the other coast where attentive observers, like Walter Benjamin with his telescope like glasses, keep monitoring the horizon and anticipate what is to come.

In this respect, connecting to Zjzek's article, Noah's ark, the cultural artifact, is possibly not a construction of truth, but a precarious construction of potentials of truth, which persons like Sander are driven to construct in a symptom that something is going to happen and this truth will be destroyed (or will self-destroyed). It is in fact a symptom of imminent death which drives certain people to compulsively, as Sigmund Freud would put it, repeat themselves in the gathering of such potentials in a state of imminent calamity, which in Sander's case has been the Second War World and the annihilation of the German folk he had tried to photograph and portrait before this event. In this respect, we can see in psychoanalysis another aspect of the construction of truth which is not aimed to discuss the artificial construction of truth sense by Nietzsche and later much criticized and deconstructed by anti-establishment and anti-panopticism Foucalt-like philosophy, but rather construction as a very natural and base symptom to gather up fragments of truth before an imminent collapse of the establishment.

We can here figure a sort of scavenging happening. On one side we have the established and power looking structure, refrigerator-like sky-scrapers piercing the celestial vault yet very much carrying the seed of crisis from within and doomed to fall, and on the other we have the informal, unofficial scavengers, collectors of the first fragments falling off these constructions and making constructions of their own, all that is going to survive out of the former ambition. The tower then becomes a tree doomed to fall, rotten and disappear while the precarious gathering of its potentials are the actual cones, which are also doomed to fall and give a rise to other trees with an inherited resemblance from the mother tree. It is perhaps here the problem that Nietzsche points out, this impossibility of renewal perhaps due to the artificial refrigeration of truth possible today. It is here that a human instinct, possibly that of the death drive, comes into play as some sort of willing to die, not to be interpreted as a willing to disappear, but rather a willing to reborn, which can be then readjusted to the renew-drive. The polemic context can here be reduced to a truth that is hindered from a possibility to renew and all the effects and symptoms, the psychosis deriving from such impossibility. It is then not an “archive fever”, as Derrida would put it, but an archive as a symptom of a fever affecting the surrounding of the archivist.

Narcisus and Goldmund, the dual characters of one of Herman Hesse's books, are excellent examples of this ambiguous construction, on the one hand Narcisus in the institution of the church and on the other Goldmund, a nomad. Perhaps this very dualism laid conflicting in the German writer who finds himself both close to Nietzsche and to Freud (having also moved from Germany to Switzerland in the meantime). By means of example, the once emancipated field of Gender studies, may be seen as having shifted from a marginal state, to an established position allocating to itself an artificial refrigerator to preserve additively the gender truth. In this respect, the Nietzschian metaphor of historical avalanche, can be turned rather into an over-shadowing, a being emancipated from underground and surviving under the constant gravity of so many a fridge towers of claimed truths. Unless one is to be, tactically in one or several of these fridges, one ought to act as a small scale dictator of his own discipline and, as Zizek puts it, like a Caesar, sacrifice himself in order to establish Ceasarism, or like a Feminist sacrificing herself to the establishment of Feminism.

One may ask here again what is this drive towards this residual collection of truth, this precarious construction rising aside and hidden from the more established one. The connection between the drive to this precarious construction of truth and truth can be seized here by again Derrida in his reading of Sigmund Freud enterprise. In “archive Fever”, the French philosopher compares the life long enterprise of Freud to that of an archivist, this probably inspired by the fact that Freud's house was turned at his death into a museum, thus institutionalized. As such, Derrida is keen to demonstrate that the world “archive” comes in fact from the world “house” and more specifically the house of the magistrate who has, in Derrida way of thinking, three tasks. The obvious one of protecting the archive, the less obvious one of issuing the laws that generates it and at last the hermetic function of interpreting it. Derrida sees Freud enterprise symbolized by the very house-museum, as such of this kind. Here as well Derrida does not fail to “unpack” the Freudian operation, the metaphorical construction of the constructing of truth which has found Freud particularly constructive until a crucial shift, commonly identified in ”Beyond the Pleasure Principle” essay. Here the father of psychoanalysis, for the first time, after an admitted first reluctance, announces the death-drive a drive towards deconstruction. To this respect then his constructive enterprise can be compared to that of the Senator Buddenbrook, who, after much ambitious struggle, when the house is constructed, goes on to die. Derrida points out the implicit deconstruction of any archive, any ultimated construction of truth, which in some way may justify why, in certain cultures, perfection is only aspired but never fully accomplished as Japanese temples always having an unfinished column, or Japanese traditional bridges by the construction of a new bridge as soon as the former are accomplished (even here the secret of construction is archived secretly by one family).

However, Derrida is not fully deconstructive and pessimistic about attempts to build and construct. He sees, in parallel with Freud and his compulsive repetition to construct, the implicit one of deconstructing, of killing the creation but he also sees exceptions in which these knowledge archival attempt can survive, namely by archiving within also the causes of its destruction. In this Derrida is very helpful as it is possible then to view critic itself as the ultimate attempt to maintain an establishment doomed to self-destruct. He does not make, however, any distinction between precarious constructions and ambitious constructions which wants control and establishment. He does not make, in his metaphorical way of thinking, he does not make any separation between the archive as a sedentary dwelling where the archivist reside as a Buddenbrook wishing to expand his domain, and the archive as an arch meant to set sails on a precarious trip, as the distinction made above. Herman Hesse makes such distinction, again with the character Narcissus and Goldmund, Narcissus representing rather a drive to preserve, to live in an academic like monastery and Goldmund totally exposed to the world, going straight to death like an Amadeus Mozart constructing his ultimate work, his requiem. Bringing back Derrida's argument one is tempted to think of the archive not only as a sedentary establishment, but also as a more precarious enterprise, a vessel which however cannot leave, probably explaining the origin to madness. While the first enterprise then is meant to destroy itself from within, we may acknowledge a further distinction of the second type of enterprise which finds rather its threats in the unstable surrounding, in its exposure to the world to the ever engulfing sea more in the line with a Greek hero bringing his bounty home rather than a Jew collecting the money of its usury in his very place (this to just again bring forward another metaphorical dichotomy which any Derriderian can easily unpack) making the first enterprise a natural one and the second artificial (is this then only a question of natural exposure?).

We may in this sense also revise the “sapere aude” motif, so ambivalent with its counter motif “nohli alta sapere”, much of a block throughout the higher medieval time. In this respect one can revise what are intellectuals, or better the sensitive humanists, what is that they aspire to dare for. Daring to cross the unknown seas perhaps rather than daring to pursue any sedentary colonization, colonialism then, being also one of such attempts with not only a self deconstructing element, as Derriderian would put it, but also a project with a counter colonialism compensating the offense, as Tolstoy would have more banally and simplistically argue. What is the death-drive then under the perspective of this further, more or less sustained, distinction? In both cases we see a preparation, in the case of the hero attempting to set sail back after his audacious daring at sea, we can identify a preparation to actually leave while for the other a preparation to stay and be immortal. This is then a fundamental distinction that can applied to distinguish constructions of truth based on the underlaying ambition and the means with which such a construction is accomplished whether in a bricolage fashion or in a more reliable engineering fashion, the latter again being a most artificial approach which is doomed to collapse. To conclude this excursion on the construction of truth and its implicit drive to self-destruction, as partially addressed by Freud, Derida and Zizek, we can attempt to briefly bring up the discussion to one of today's hot topic, “autonomism”. A battle against precariousness here is the winning horse for theorists like Maurizio Lazzarato, who has quickly turned popular with his critic on neoliberal politics. In this respect, the logic of this essay arguing for precariousness may seem absurd, yet it is confined to a restricted group of immaterial workers, that of intellectuals having a deeper sense of truth in precarious circumstances, such as a sick Nietzsche in a Turin hostel but also as the very father of Autonomia, Antonio Negri, writing in a prison cell. Deconstruction then, psychoanalyticaly speaking, may be viewed as a killing-of-the-father complex, a killing of the previous establishment while the regeneration of truth can be viewed as a resurrection of a father, a father who has been however living in a precarious conditions and marginally if not persecuted or tragically going against his own death without any assumptions to immortality. It is in fact a recovery of what is disappearing and it is worth to be remembered as the etymology of truth, aletheia suggests. The conventional construction of truth is here only a maintenance of the fridges.

019. Mess Media and the Tactic of Resistance

The shift from the Web 1.0 to the Web 2.0, how can this be interpreted? Is the scientific researcher to utilize the rather obvious term of “paradigm shift”, the same paradigm shift that has characterized the various steps of the scientific revolution with each and every new discovery? Is Social Media to be seen as one of such “discoveries”, a revolution that has taken place within an already established paradigm, that of the Web 1.0 and its user crafted web pages? This paper will debate that this is arguably the case and that the dominating culture industry has, as in other previous examples, hindered the development of media driven cultural languages by turning it more “social”, or, vulgarly speaking, “conversative”, despite the potential offered by new media forms.

In his 1960s autobiography, towards the end, Charlie Chaplin accounts on his creative struggle when the talkies came about, when the cinematic pantomime, to which he was unquestionably the master throughout the 1920s and the beginning of 1930s, got threatened to extinction by the perfecting of audio visual synchronization. Again, reading his autobiography readers perceives a rather reluctant Chaplin, unwilling to embrace such a new technical possibility. In this respect he was "resisting" in his about to be obsolete paradigm, as Thomas Kuhn would put it. Out of this resistance however, we do not perceive from Chaplin any breakthrough, nor any further development in the pantomime like cinema. The talkies, on the contrary, named after their primary focus on conversation rather than on action, became the popular mainstream form of cinema. The development of a cinematic language per se, seems here abrupt. Was pantomime cinema really at its peak? Has it had fully accomplished its evolution with the introduction of audio and chatting which did not required the artistic expertise of highly talented pantomime as Chaplin or Burton, who on the contrary seem to emerge rather naturally from a theatrical genre. Theodor Adorno here seems not to make such distinction between these forms of popular cinema, he did not in fact seem to appreciate Chaplin, placing him certainly within the culture industry production.

It is a fine distinction however to be kept in consideration, a media like cinema shifting from a theatrical art form where the skill of the protagonist is vital, to a more "social" form, where the chatting and talking among the actors become the main consideration in movie making. It seems here that, in this transition, something is lost, namely the full development of a cinematic language. Dropping the Chaplin example, we could instead look at the other abandoned development of the cinematic language where the social aspect was not the main focus. We could look at a Russian Constructivist movie like Dziga Vertov's "Man With The Movie Camera" or at an Italian Neorealist example such as Roberto Rossellini's "Paisá", both silent depiction where the language of cinema finds its development and it is able to capture reality, to impress it on the eyes of the viewer to affect his or her perception and nourish his or her aesthetic sensitivity. This pure visual language that can speak universally and by itself is also later dismissed for a more common human language, the vulgar language of spoken languages or the overdose of catharses expedients as adopted later in the Fellinism movie making, possibly a symptom of the capitalist surplus of 1960s Italy.

It seems here that the audience itself, which in a culture industry paradigm is the one selecting what art form is to survive or not, is the one who do not wish to invest in the learning of these new languages and rather approves the more common and vulgar language they are used to converse with, in every day socialization. Going back to Adorno again, it is a cultural promotion of jazz-like versus a hindering of more classical-like forms of artistic productions. The distinction here being the public that assesses the production, shifting drastically from a cultivated an aristocratic elite to a semi-cultivated mass willing to be entertained for the sake of entertainment, of distraction from a state of social captivation and enslavement, rather than seeking a sort of personal self-formation through the culture they consume.

If on one side then we find a shift between a private to again a public media, we may also detect another, less visible form of media, another "p", the third "p" along the private end public new media cycle. We can detect a form of partisan media, media which do not wish to collaborate with the obvious overtake of the media industry of also the new media ground, the no longer new frontier. The bellic metaphor is not all together wrong considering the evolution of wars, from a skirmish only involving soldiers within a set time and space to a war invading, with the technical progress, the civic realm, thus enlarging the spatial but also temporal sphere and to some extend diluting the violence, from physical to psychological, from a clear enemy to ghosts (or zombies as some more trendier researchers would call them or as, in Slavoj Zizeck's terms, Wim Wenders has depicted in his prophetic “Until the end of the world”). Social media in this respect could be compared, and some analogies may lead to some constructive criticism, they could be compared to battlefields in which, if not the real physical battle is taking place, a psychological fight occurs on a daily bases, not a mass against another mass, not really any solidarity in this respect occurring among the different soldiers of the different regiments but rather, the very user against the mass, exposing to the entire mass at large, ironically a community to which a state of antagonism cannot be avoided, in the very fact that each and every user's willing diverge from one another. If Lev Manovich then redefines Social Media as yet another form of Mass Media, we may go a step further, also considering Jean Baudrillard, and attempt to think of Social Media as both a form of Personal Media and Public Media, an arena in which the personal is made public together with other personals, as an arena of gladiators suddenly placed to confront one another, a “Mess Media” overlooked by several small emperors observing and taking notes from too far to be able to distinguish any particular, only patterns.

The Mess Media thus occur. While still on the edge of the platform, a once free terrain where the fences of the arena had been erected by corporations, at the edge and on the shadow, where they can't be really seen, the partisans operates, disconnected from the messy mass they still behold the once promised terrain, yet no longer exposed they keep up their media practices possibly pursuing the true potential implicit of new media, developing the very language, based on the short and intense experience of the pre Social Media age. These are the Partisan Media practitioners to which, in a Foucaldian manner, research should turn to, a marginality from which the public opinion has drifted away from but in which, it is concrete to believe that the true potential may survive and keep struggling but, at the same time, progressing, and in which a new anomaly and the emergence of a paradigm shift discovery is likely to occur. Thus let's watch out.

To conclude, it is arguable that it is no longer possible to apply the paradigm shift theory to cultural evolution, possibly not even to politic, economic and scientific revolutions either. As the mainstream takes on in a more dominant and fascist-like manner the emergence of any current and prematurely creates a large culture establishment out of it, the paradigm shift theory here can be applied as completely inverted, in a state in which the shift is continuously occurring, or at least the corporative mindset is always boasting for it, leaving no stable platform in which the actual anomalies can be observed and a true revolutionary discovery can be made. There might be, culturally speaking, new discoveries, however again this constant shift of platforms, might in the long run demotivate the cultural producer, to pursue such discovery. In this respect, a contemporary cultural producer is rather to adapt and normalize, as Karl Popper would certainly argue, to the mainstream provided tendencies, fashionable and neutral trends which differs from actual discoveries and do not lead to any consistent maturation. It is only this fulfillment of a cultural maturation which might have an impact, particularly on society. In this respect, one may come to the conclusion that, at least in the official domain of culture, production can be of no profound social impact due to the condition in which the very culture industry, which in this respect can be seen as clustering all media productions, hinders the maturation of an artistic language. Thus, here we bring forward the partisan resistance, abstaining from any direct criticism, which is rather engulfing and has lead to the much sterile and phobic ground of political art, the partisan resistance might in fact be the place where a contemporary cultural language can mature, this by means of resistance onto the base of the platform governing and organizing contemporary human life, still in this case the Web, and refusing any serious involvement with Social networks. The individual, the cultural producer, in his autonomy can therefore constitute the autonomous network for his production, relating to still unexplored cultural forms that new media has to offer and which has been dismissed with the global and mass driven excitement. He or she may not however think of an independent detachment from this arena but, as the autonomous movement as shown, play a double game with all the implications that this might imply.

020. Sweberia: Notes on the Swedish Insurgence

Riding down the commuter train to the southern suburbs of the Swedish capital, a foreign exploring unbeaten paths of the touristic city soon come across a much unspoken divide between the pro capitalistic and the emancipated side where most of the immigrant population reside. Among the quite usual Arabic immigrants, who have so much characterized the exodus to the friendly Sweden, our tourist might start to discern an emerging presence of young black African guys displaying a much American black guy attitude. Despite the fact that their headphones are always on their ears, they are actually quite open to chat. Our foreign visitor is soon confronted with their reality, they come from a small country, Gambia or The Gambia, a tiny strip of land surrounded by the big state of Ghana. Alhagie, the guy, our visitor met in his one hour ride south, soon will tell you all about him with his proper English inherited by centuries of English colonization, being Gambia, with its river connecting the deep of Africa with the ocean, the harbour where slaves where sent to the Americas. After such short background and the display of his proud faith (his name is that of a hero who had defeated the Christian and preserved the practice of Muslim but in the States that very name is used by black pimps and drug dealers). He will soon openly confine you that he has been adopted by an older couple of Gambians (some relatives) by cheating the Swedish state, proofing that he was five years younger than he actually was and thus under age. The same goes for his cousins who he keeps the custom of dating as this seem to be still the praxes in his country.

At this account one might grow a little indignant, particularly considering the way he has been spoiled by the Swedish system, "social" as they call it, with a much in love of his cause Swedish lady who has provided him with brand new clothes and the latest laptop, a Mac Air, something one can barely afford otherwise. In this respect, if not indignant one may grow surprise and curious to see the long run effects of this generosity. Will Lamin, who is ten years behind the average Swedish youth, will he learn how to use his new laptop and eventually bring something back to the system? The answer is that he has no care about wanting to give anything back. At least according to his plan: finish up to use the welfare here, then get the student loan for the university and buy an American Chevrolet to be sent to Gambia so that he can sell it and buy a house to his mother. Thereafter himself reach his sister in Atlanta. But what about Sweden? Are there no intention of giving something back to such a generous country. But here again we come to the problem of the faceless institution. Who is Lamin going to repay? The lady he so much helped him? Maybe she is already pleased of having such masculine figure, after all the feminist set up against his counter part Swedish white man.

The issue is that, probably, Lamin was transplanted here by a system that made such an exchange possible as well as it can make possible another further exchange. Lamin and Gambians are not a tribe that slowly left their land hit by drought and made it north, in a slow progression, fighting their way through, feeling the gradual changes and adapting, going through a sort of natural selection. The issue here is that these selections are artificial, there might also be of course instances of natural selection too, Lamin being the most healthy and handsome and thus most daring to leave, but the process is a bureaucratic one and often the most daring and braves who would venture out on expedition would avoid the stinginess of such artificial procedures... Europe should not close their door... they should just let them come on foot. And yet this is a discourse of flow, a flow which should not attempt to block but in a Taoist terms only try to second. It is in this respect a counter flow which humanity seems to experience at every step of its technical progress. At first, with the improvement of their shipyards, Norther Europeans colonizing exotic destinations and later these exotic destination colonizing back. It seems rather an historical compensation altered by technical innovation now that, for instance, the network of air flights has been established to even these capillaries.

Hopefully there won't be a Sweberia, meaning that Sweden will not realize the impossibility of merging different ethical groups and, as North America did in the 19th century, fond a Liberia back in Africa, a place to return, a sort of messy Israel. These historical interventions are rather artificial and only cause further trouble but then here, again, one can view them as repercussion, where in the case of Israel, Jews have returned to their ancient land, suppressing the in between Palestinian history, and reflecting the torture they have been inflicted by the Nazi Germany (this is rather obvious looking at the walls emancipating the West Bank). Coming back to our micro-historical example of Sweden, Liberia (which also strikingly sound like Siberia), already exist, fragmented in every Swedish city. The racial merging, also considering the North American example and their centuries long multi-ethnic coexistence, the racial merging seems far from possible. All the philanthropic diplomacy of Sweden only hides an incapability of merging with the other on a day to day environment. It is the footprint of their genes who had kept them isolated from century and their Germanic being which according to Tacitus, do not want them to exploit their slaves like a Southern European, keeping them aside, but have them living in similar conditions. This doesn't mean that they are anyway slave, a least explicit form of slavery which possibly confuses person like Lamin, who thinks he has the same rights as a Swed but nonetheless never get an answer after applying for a job at Max (the Mac Donald equivalent of Sweden where most servants are in fact Swedes). The Swedish philanthropic project keeps on at the institutional level, diversity management is introduced but the problem still lays at the bottom, this unnatural divides.

It feels as though no society can ever be perfect. If a strive to solve all the poverty cases is attempted, as soon as the project is about to be accomplished, a new wave of poverty will come from elsewhere. It feels that there has to be a balance between justice and injustice and all these human driven, artificial and philanthropic attempts are only emancipating the injustice somewhere else on an equal scale. It is as well the issue with all the green washing and environmental laws they came with the European unification, they just shifted all the pollution over to China, equally compensating on the same scale, all the pure air of Europe, a Europe that can be seen now as taking a rest, delegating its mandate to another, in an historical cycle which have already scene alternating the West and the East with, for instance, the Chinese Renaissance preceding the European Renaissance of four hundred years, while Europe was leaving its darkest of ages. We might here then bring in Vico cyclical vision of history or might as well review history under a technology point of view, seeing the power moving gradually more to the North as technology, which Norther people necessitates more, improves. In Sweden with its climate and people remoteness, modern digital technology is a blessing. In Southern Europe is just a chaotic unnatural element.

On top of this, is the moral level of the emancipated. Phrasing Plutarch, they are like mercenaries kept idle in front of a conflict which never comes. Plutarch, in this respect, would have suggested the Roman method of keeping their soldiers always busy while waiting for a conflict which takes a long time to occur. The Roman method to keep their soldier moral high in case of such idle periods which might as well result in mutiny, was to have the soldier constantly busy digging trenches, even if unnecessary for the battle itself. Likewise, a more refine society should be aware of this idleness and give up on their extreme and obsessive application of human rights. Immigrant wants to work, Lamin is desperate to work and the fact that he does not have anything to do but receive money to survive alone makes him moody and very much willing to give up the land in which he has moved for any other land. Any patriarchal link is there and then broke at its very emergence. Reusing Plutarch, and looking at the many small gardens constellating the surrounding of the Swedish capital, why not then allocate to each immigrant a piece of land to cultivate, to physically and metaphorically connect to a land, to come to respect it? Isn't this what one is obliged to do in Australia in order to extend the generous visa for the under thirty migrants?

Is there however a way to assess migrant from migrant? One of the anti-discrimination proposal is to utilize the world international rather than migrant. But are all migrants internationals? Are we not rather to asses, avoiding any ambiguous class distinction, are we not to assess their willing? Has Lamin moved to Sweden to, in the end, match the stereotype of the cool “negro”, the Alhagie (which in American slang means in fact gangster) with an expensive black and fat Chevrolet pumping out music or has he come driven by an inward need of a more spiritual achievement. This distinction could be as subtle as distinguishing a pilgrim from a tourist, a nomad from a colonist. If this could be assessable, the emigrant only wishing to exploit as a reversed colonialist and the migrant who only migrate as a bird following the ever changing seasons to which his land is exposed (in this respect the Swedish summer might not last for so long), if this is possible than a new criteria for selection could be established.

It seems natural however that the front line, the avantgarde is replaced with a retroguard, that the warn out Europeans putting themselves so much into production for over a generation, are themselves also willing to let go to their state of control, to allow a natural replacement with new sources. Meeting Lamin some years later in England this has seemed to be in fact the case. He grew tired of the Swedish situation, no job and only the minimum to survive (not to mention the insult and indignation of over captivated locals blaming the immigrant for their crisis, a crisis which is rather within, which ought to take place). As his grandfathers, who served the British army both in the First and Second War World, earning very little, at least in respect to what a white soldier would earn, and always being placed in the front line, Lamin too at last became a soldier, a professional soldier, concluding thus his Odyssey in the very country who started the slave trade right in Gambia.

What a shift however! The young Lamin who used to go down to the big river every morning to fish, and then in the forest to pick mangoes and bananas, never really worrying about food but just desiring, as a young man, desiring something extra from what he seemed to describe as a garden of Eden. Now a soldier, traveling to fight his own "Muslim brothers", surviving of can food but however putting away a decent amount still to buy some acres in the Gambian provinces. One would ask then, was this really necessary? Is this the human way of being now sat totally free by a technology which amplifies the possibilities, allows to cross uncrossable boarders but then also cutting one self out, hindering drastically his or her return. We shall then reconsider migration, the migration of flocks of different folk as also rather a riding the wave of an ocean of possibility opened by the very technological medium, a medium which is often uncensored and to which one applies without a caution, without the guide of a father, an authority one can easily go beyond having always second alternatives, like Lamin being under the Swedish authority and then deciding to go under the British, when originally himself was under a dictatorship, the current Gambian dictator.

The “runaway nigger” has been actually helped through his journey by the very author of this text, a black and white solidarity like that uniquely narrated in Mark Twain “Huckleberry Finn” where the main protagonist run north through the Mississippi river with a black slave. Questions however still remains: Was Lamin's journey away from his fatherland any worth and will ever be able to come back to it? To a certain extend it feels that the stock immigrants try to recreate their fatherland in their host country, an interesting emergence of exotic cultures, a mixture of which one should not really fear to collide. The variopint multi culture which European puritans (is it at last again a duel between the puritans and the iconographers?) can in fact co-exist however socialism as the idyllic socialism, the perfect and almost Christian solidarity which the Swedish state has undergone, might not be possible as one may argue that what really facilitated socialism in the first place was the ethnic homogeneity of the Swedish state in the last half of the 20th century.

One answer to this freely associative text written over months of experiencing and feeling a constant diaspora, or to put it, the unspoken and less cared of diaspora of a Southern European student sent out to North Europe to study during the good days and now stuck into these ends with a rotated iron curtain now obliging him to stay, one further problemitization of the question may lay if, rather than going south of the Swedish capital, the off the stream tourist, or the author himself who mean time have married and divorced a Swedish woman, and even had a beautiful kid (blond to this respect, just to undermine the belief that dark genes are always dominants), the author might explore the North of the city, where all the posh managerial class reside. In the first place it is unlikely that any acquaintances could take place on the commuter train, having all these tycoons fulfilled their semi capitalistic dream and driving some black German car, reviving their Germanicness (or better a disgusting bland of Roman cupidity and German arduousness). It has to be more than accidental than a meeting between our tourist and a member of this class. In this respect one should revive Nikolai Gogol and his character Chichikov going from farmstead to farmstead in the still aristocratic Russian countryside, in a way being like an early Zarathustra portraying the different owners with the expedient of buying from them the souls of their dead peasants. Only in this fashion one could meet the Novyi Russkiy of Sweden, the enriched parvenu.

We could then bring up the character of Staffan a Swed with a German grandfather who found refugee here during the Second World War (an SS officer?). Staffan after a quick career in the military, became the body guard of the Swedish king and somehow, with the total privatization of the state, became main consultant for the Ministry of health care. earning outrageous money per consultant hour to give a direction to the next generation health care. Where did the Swedish quantitative researcher go? Staffan has a stuff behind him, he seems to treat them like his subordinates, and like a general nodding in approval or disapproval. Talking to him, aside from discourses on power which really much fills him with pride, he just wants to get rid of the slow bureaucratic machine set up by the socialist government making health care totally useless with too much paper writing. He does not want to write a note on paper himself... He wants action... from extreme to extreme.

It seems then that there are in fact two extreme polarities which could possibly rise allot of emotional affect. On one side the poor immigrants and on the other the rich tycoons, yet isn't this the cause and effect of one another? Isn't there, at the base of both, a drive or let's call it, a willing to richness, of material possessions? Lamin confirmed that the living situation in his country was perfectly fine, food did not lack, what lacked was the surplus value, the car and stuff he would see through TV and Internet that other people had in other countries. Swedish people, might, in this respect, got out of the too fair socialist regime also to experience private property, owning a private car which up to a few years ago was not really a possibility (we also hear that Ikea owner Ingvar Kamprad, one of the richest man on earth, stoically contented himself of an old Swedish Saab). The fact that now, few months after this essay was started (and perhaps here Slavoj Zizek is right saying that certain artistic manifestations are symptoms of imminent social and political events), young immigrants are rioting in the emancipated suburb setting cars, the symbol of this rush for surplus on fire, it is emblematic. Despite their being juvenile and probably naïve in their ideologies, they represent the real counter opposition to the formal military establishment, the one equally driven by people such as Staffan and the very Lamin going now to join the British army seeking for surplus and power (to a minor degree however although if he gets a chance who knows), bypassing all the boring free education provided to him by Swedish institutions.

The issue is however that these insurgents are torching cars in their own emancipated neighborhood without really targeting their really enemies, these Novyi Russkiy like parvenu, the blessed son of the neoliberal shift, dressing in their black suits and in their black German cars of no far resemblance from Nazi outfits. This comment being equally applicable to the male figure and females placed in power position and much resembling male characters with their short hairs and leather shoes. We could now boil everything down to an instinct to transcend the housewife complex, a rushing to masculinity with no one really wishing to look after the house and the kids who are systematically delegated to society without much of an emotional struggle (is it the Swedish emotional coldness or a total trust in social institutions?). The fact is that the once peaceful society is unconsciously setting all to war and the German sloppiness and good nature has been quickly replaced to a more Roman like shining appearance, as if this isolated Germanic population has at last given up their natural resources, the abundant forest given out for speculation and has now secured an artificial capital which only an army of warriors and mercenaries can defend.

Moreover, it is hard not to create a parallel with the once civilized Sicily, now land of much feudal barbarism. The same Sicily was also colonized by these very Vikings and later by the Arabs. Are we then to think of Sweden as a "Sicily of the north to be", just now that Swedish mafia is becoming such a popular genre? In the most uncivilized ghettos, however, the situation is still under control. The prevailing Arab situation is living harmoniously with the smaller Swedish population, mostly consisting of drunkards and social left-overs, who might be in reality the only one who could legitimately hate this new wave of immigrants but in reality they do not care. The ghetto consists of simple people, the issue however lays with the enforced educations of these people, which is also meant to show them their rights and indirectly betrayed their original cultural identity not promoting multiculturalism itself which can only grow from below and cannot be moderated particularly not by the Swedish authorities. The immigrant then, with little education, grows into a a middle-class conservative even more closed minded then the homogenized Swed. Having little of his rights, he starts undermining the rights of other social minorities such as that of artists also necessitating a social subsidy to survive in a country where originality is not promoted but turned into convention.

021. Local Goods and Global Evils

As America, as probably many other rich countries, might give a nasty image of itself "colonizing" the world with its unhealthy fast foods, mostly addressed to feed the great global diaspora, there is an internationally unspoken trend rising from its heart, namely that of a conscious and environmental trend for nature and body friendly products. Notice, it is not the Danish made deodorant bought at a little bio shop in a hippy neighborhood in Amsterdam, not the deodorant that after just an hour smell worse than the sweat itself. Here we are talking about big supermarket chains, like Whole Food and Trader Joe's, selling products at a very competitive price and very advanced products too, avoiding all the Alzheimeriz actuating aluminum salts and sulfates that the more stubborn or ignorant European consumer keeps utilizing to embellish him or herself. Why not then allow more Mac Donalds on the condition that Whole Foods will come along? Let's speed up the process!

022. Six Memos for This Millennium

In the beginning of the 1980s, right before his death, the Cuban born Italian experimental novelist, Italo Calvino, was summing up a list of six memos, six characteristics to be considered by the emerging cultural producers at the verge of the new millennium. The memos were in fact meant for a lecture at Harvard that was never delivered. Nonetheless, before his death, Calvino was able to expand on five of the six memos with as much as examples drawing from people belonging to his circle like George Perec, collaborating with him on the Oulipo project, using constraints to generate new literature, but also from culture at large. The memos are: lightness, quickness, exactitude, visibility, multiplicity and consistency. This as far as or the next generation of culture producers. Yet, what about the next generation of knowledge producers?

Forty years earlier, the American scientist Vannevar Bush, at the pick of his career and right when the Second World War was coming to an end, also, in a less systematic way, got out with memos for the next generation of scientists. Up to that point, all scientific efforts had been focusing on the invention of technology for mass destruction. Bush was actually at the very head of this, acting as main coordinator of the scientific community heading to research and develop warfare technology, particularly aiming to equal as in the case of the V1 and V2 missiles, and later subdue, as in the case of the atomic bomb, the German and Japanese enemy. At this point of time, 1945, Bush asks himself the question on how should the scientific effort be apply next. He is concerned with a good application of science after decades of "bad" employment. And yet he sees right away an issue, the issue of knowledge overflow and incapability of keeping up with the constant scientific production. In this respect he is far from being Nietzschian, or probably he is, proposing a "super human", an augmented scholar, or better, not to rush, a scientist who should keep in mind the following characteristics, at least in relation to the media he can utilized to conduct his research: philanthropic, compact, augmenting, on-the-move, exploratory and sharable.

The invitation to think philanthropically is rather clear, future technology should be of good use for humans, it should enhance its knowledge and be able to structure is thinking so as to be able to make use of the overall and constantly increasing knowledge. In this respect Bush comes up with the idea of the Memex, an augmented memory device. The device should be compact but more importantly it should allow the augmented human to organically creates trails of knowledge, to easily compare and juxtapose and bring together in a non-indexing fashion, various elements of knowledge to come up with a conclusion on certain topic or to accompany a certain discussion like the resistance to innovation by the English people who did not at first acknowledge the superiority of the Turkish arrow. In Bush ways of describing, knowledge creation becomes like an exploratory act of retrieving and navigating, further enhanced by Steve Mann and other wearable computers pioneers in 1980s in which knowledge is further augmented through a personal system to annotate reality.

It is out of this group of wearable computers pioneers, once media corporations took over, that we find certain of them being quite disgusted with such an overtake, such commercial dictatorship, and others completely devoting themselves to it like Thad Starner, a former wearable computer guy, the technician behind the to be popular Google glass. With Google glass one could definitely see that Bush's memex vision have come true, possibly only in form of a gadget since, by looking at what the glasses can do, they only add additional overflow on reality instead of helping individuals to sort it out, to augment their conscious and subconscious. They are, in other words, another device for fiction and not faction, disconnectors from reality, a reality needing humans' engagement. In other words, or to better phrase it in a McLuhian perspective, the latter development of technology is not augmenting but numbing the user. Within the commercial mantras in which the users are placed, it is certainly not a mean to augment one's understanding of the reality which is enhanced, but rather to place the user in an realm of oblivion of the human senses, or worst, in the opposite extreme, in a state of total hedonistic liberation. Not only sex applies, put also the political soap opera promoted by the new mass media and shooting video-games. The peaceful vision of technological development proposed by Bush, seems then only a dream brought forth by pioneers like Mann, dreamers in their own like.

023. Death of the Swedish "Farbror"

As the grand plan of socialism was taking shape in Scandinavia between the 1960s and 1980s, prior the irruption and corruption of neo-liberal and europifying politics, a certain nostalgia came in to vogue for the idyllic Sweden, the arcadic Sweden that started to be no more. During that period was in fact the grand Million Programme to edify cement like bee hives, great complexes in the outskirt of the capital to bring folk from the country to the city. In a way, the many TV series and films that came out of that era, the leaving of the land in search for opportunity and work in the city, the leaving of large spaces to confine family in the most functional and minimum living unit (in the long run rather diminishing and inhuman), these TV series can be seen in the first place as addressing this public, a generation who has in some way betrayed that landscape but might still have some relation to it, as some kind of Russian to his dacha, visiting their natural roots in the beautiful Swedish summer.

Equally, very popular TV series like “Emil” or films like “My Life As a Dog” which became a big hit world wide, may also signify the death of such a natural living in a society now fully shifting from a rural to a more civilized and service oriented paradigm. In the later movie in particular we see this clear transition, with workers still blowing glass in a small factory being most happy with their lives, in comparison with the sickening depression of the protagonist's mother who has already being sucked in the new paradigm of socialism and wealth fare. What it is most striking in these kind of cinematic representation is thus not only an element of nostalgia, a going back to a world that is no more, what is striking, particularly from the point of view of a foreign viewer, is the definition of characters as represented in one and the other paradigm. While in the countryside setting all characters seem well defined and charismatic, in the socialism hit city setting, the characters are characterless, they have no pathos, no defined persona.

Among the first setting, possibly, the character who emerges the most is that of the “farbror”, this also in more artistically elevated movies like Bergman's “Fanny and Alexander”. Even in the latter movie the “farbror”, literally the uncle does not fail to emerge, particularly through his interaction with the young generation of kids. The “farbror” is the one building them a little house, teaching them how to fart (as seen in Bergman's “Fanny and Alexander”), he is the “luffare” the vagabond coming by the farmstead with many fascinating stories, the joy of the children undergoing the sometime too severe educations of the other more grumpy adults. The”farbror” is then the one character, the deus ex machina, agitating the youngsters as some sort of small revolutionaries against the conformism which tends to prevail among the other adults. While on one side then we see kids playing voluntary (“Pippi Long Stocking”) or involuntary (“Skrollan”) bad tricks to the grownups, spectators might also side with these more solitary figures of open-minded, and still kid-like adult, the “farbror”.

One may argue now, that as in the socialist paradigm, “farbror” could still somewhat survive, in the neo-liberal politics which Sweden has fully and unconditionally embraced, the figure of the “farbror” has been completely extinguished. It is not like in the case of Tarkovski's “Andrei Rublev”, in which the buffoon entertaining a farm household in the beginning of the movie, is being taken away by force from the gendarmes seeking to establish a new conformism. Neo-liberalism and in particularly in Scandinavian countries where socialism has worked as a safe-guard to the nation resources, which are now so drastically being plundered by these later politics as some sort of new inherited forest where exploitation is no longer regulated but alloted (politicians in these ways washing their hands like Pilatuses), neo-liberalism politics, if this is really the evil one ought to address, have now cemented the conformism which socialism had shaped among the people.

Playfulness, and particularly that brought by a figure of a “farbror” who is unconventional and non-conformist, is out of the picture. The unconventional seems in fact, from these very conformist societies, being brought out of the picture and emancipated, the “farbror”, who, to some degree, could correspond to the Foucaldian notion of the Swedish mad-man, is excluded and could possibly be found together with other “farbror” now in a “krog” a pub of a remote suburb drinking himself off or off to Thailand. The “farbror” here seems to be replaced by another figure who instead well survive within the social schemes, that of the priest, such as again depicted by Ingmar Bergman, the ugly conformist, not necessarily an actual priest, but anyone dictating for puritanism, rising constant indignancy and affect on society wishing for the society of blond Swedes to rinse up and become pure once more, yet pure of what? It seems in fact that the only potential, if a farbror will ever come back to the Scandinavian land it should come informally as a poet from another land, as a dark head storyteller coming to play his songs and compose his poetry from afar.... and as the story goes, falling in love with a blond local, to then be kicked out by her relatives, as in ancient dramas and as somewhat invertly depicted by Lars Von Trier in “Dogville”.

024. Re-reading Bifo: a Non-Futurist Manifesto with some hope

In his recent writings the much acclaimed Franco Berardi elucidates, together with the other bunch of Italian post-autonomists, the reason of the Western and more in particular the European crisis. In all cases, the finger is pointed to the financial class, the semio-capitalism, an enemy which, as in the book the “Grapes of Wrath” accounting on a family of Oakies hit by the Great American Depression, an enemy that has not really a face nor any territorial connection. Bifo (this is the pseudonym Berardi gave himself in his years as a young artist in Bologna), is rather clear in addressing the fact that nowadays, decisions are based solely for the sake of a finance which on its turn is driven by mathematics and has nothing to do with human labor and production. Other, less internationally acclaimed Italian philosophers like Umberto Galimberti, would simply point out that it is technology which is in fact structuring, not only our economy but our very lives; society overall cannot but second this trend, a trend that is progressively turning humans more enslaved and schizophrenic.

Bifo's popularity might arise from his visions of freeing humanity, and more particularly the young, no-future generation, from this technical enslavement. The Bifian formula to break loose and free is not all that clear and mainly consists on a long-lasting insurgence which would allow a re-sensibilization of the social body and reconstitution of a general intellect. Bifo stresses throughout his writings, that this can only occur as a long-lasting process, not then a revolution. Reading these enlightening sentences, the reader might asks himself what is Bifo really thinking while writing this as he is not providing any historical examples. It seems however that the Italian thinker draws from a blend of the Mao Zedong's Cultural Revolution and Mahatma Ghandi non-violent disobedience. Can this be the actual formula he proposes in order for the social body to reactivate itself and get out of the technological hegemony?

The other non-violent formula that Bifo evokes is the pursuance of poetry in order to break loose the limiting and financiallydictated dogmas under which the social members have to comply. His idea is again that this kind of poetical insurgence should allow, at last, a paradigm shift to be able to transcend the present phase of cultural stagnation and impoverishment. This seems in fact a relevant step in order to resurrect sensibility among the many Western cognitarians, immaterial workers who cannot deal in fact with a poetry as it slows their ever increasing need for attentiveness, a survival need in their much precarious circumstances. Going back to the European situation so much at heart for Bifo, now that the iron curtain has in fact erected, as one century and a half ago in Italy, an economic divide between North and South, we might say that in fact, the unemployed of the South, the equivalent of a Giovanni Verga or a Luigi Pirandello, might in fact rediscover such a possibility in their current state of unemployment.

One might question however whether such a poetry could rise in a Mantra fashion and in a choir of people singing in solidarity for the same cause. Can poetry be conceived collectively or it is rather a solitary manifestation particularly among the many Southern Europeans whose only duty now is that of a house-wife? Is this insurgent Bifo is mentioning, is it really going to be active and confrontational? In this respect one is tempted to think of Autonomia under other historical perspectives where it was not in fact the group of people but individuals giving rise to, if not independent collectives, autonomous cultures. We could easily think of Henry David Thoreau, the American Transcendentalist, thinker and poet, advancing quite early in his thoughts around a modernity (e.g. the railroad constructed across Walden pond where he was based) and the way it affected humanity and nature in general. We can even go further back and think about the Chinese artist, or the way traditional Chinese art and culture has been cultivated by individuals performing it on a day to day base as a mean to endure the political hegemony. Think about Chinese parks and the collective of more or less old but even young people performing various disciplines, a real rhizome completely uncoordinated and structured by governance and yet a true ground providing the much oppressed Chinese citizens a way to, in a beautiful non-violent fashion, a way to express themselves. Thus, instead of the much uncoordinated actions of the young Westerners, what about learning from the older Easterns as anyway the world power roles seems to be swapping and Westerns society beginning to drastically age (while the life expectancy of the Easterners might be seriously affected, victim of the aggressive industrializations migrating there from the Western countries)? We may look in this case at disciplines, contemporary disciplines and not be naive or new age, importing yoga and tai-chi into our empty parks where only a bunch of drunkards hang out (or groups of aggressive company workers seeking to push out their testosterone with personal trainers). The point is here that, if it is technology oppressing us and the virtual is really the space we live and operate in, and our intellectual faculties have much increase, where then to display and perform and manifest and let out ourselves, our talent the joy and flower of our being, our mastership?

The virtual space of the Internet has certainly been the place. We can say “been” as most unfortunately, it is now no more. Can we imagine a bunch of companies in China taking over the parks and structuring its activities from above, killing the system of self organization that much characterizes it? No, and yet this is what has happened from the very start in the once free platform of the Internet where people where able to frame and constitute and perform and manifest themselves, inventing and mastering a discipline in full autonomy. Now they are just puppets complying to activities directed from them. If we then agree with Bifo that, in order to transcend this state of cultural paralysis, we ought to bring new meanings with new poetry and go beyond the mathematical dogmatism, can we look more deeply at what possibility we have at hand? Lightly reading Bifo's essays with would be keen to think that somehow, new poetry can arise from this mass insurgences, from the solidarity among these groups of youngsters protesting in the streets, subverting. Bifo seems to allude that this collective body is somewhat of a mantra, a body as a whole breathing together, manifesting its discontent, no longer enduring the reality. In other words, he seems to provide a contradictory vision where on one side we have somewhat of a meditative audience tuning to one another, and on the other we have a chaotic multitude skirmishing with the police. We may now sympathize once again more with the policemen, as the Italian film maker and intellectual and poet Pierpaolo Pasolini did in 1968 and take Bifo's idea that any sort of poetry might not in fact arise from a total Luddite break of the endurance... Why really not look at where a potential for new poetry arise.

As Bifo is talking about banks where people store their hopes (materialistic hopes), we can in fact now look at banks where artists (which Bifo calls really the hope for the future other than philosophers), where artists or just other sort of youngsters not so much in to skirmishes, begin to store their meanings utilizing the very technology and dogma and automatism and limitations that Bifo so much criticizes. We refer here about generative art forms, databases as the new poetic of the future. We refer about young individuals who do not refrain (as Bifo again suggests) from technology, from dogmas, from automatisms, but fully embrace it in their everyday life, and somewhat develops means to come out of the enslavement imposed by above frameworks creating and devising their own. It is here a problem of willing and endurance of a mathematical algorithms which scattered youths apply on themselves to generate new poetry, linking a bit back to the cultural experiments of the Oulipo in the 1960s and 1970s (why not to traditional and fully constrained classic poetry), but having at last the medium (or a dialectic of media) to explore new languages breaking the time and space constraints already set by cultural institutions, universities and overall by society. It is here, we can stress, that a real autonomy can be devised, in the creation of self-crafted frameworks, frameworks that can be shared and fascinate one another as it used to be before the Internet was taken over by the new media corporations.

It is a question of courage (and here the other transcendentalist Ralph Waldo Emerson had a point), not the courage of throwing a stone at the police or torching a car and then go back to bourgeois family, not such a juvenile courage, it is a far more compromising and less perceptible courage, the courage of becoming autonomous, meaning, in the Michel De Certeau way of thinking, not independent and adopting strategy to survive as in a natural Jean-Jacques Rousseau scenario, but autonomous apply tactics to survive within some sort of already established framework yet with the primary goal of fulfilling once own framework, cultivating the secret garden as urban guerillia gardeners do, within the big garden. The courage then, lays not to go off as some Christopher McCandless “into the wild” but to sort of device an autonomous framework of existence becoming the real one determining our lives. Once this is established, and a certain set of new meaning is gathered, solidarity will come along. One could see it as some sort of Confucian endurance, yet again, while the Western powers provide bread and circus (TV, alcohol and so forth) to their folk, impoverishing them, the East has often allowed these grounds of self development where solidarity matures organically without much of artificial boasting. It is a place where no politics can infiltrate. This is what we should be afraid of, any sort of politics intruding in our area where we can manifest ourselves. Thus whatever Bifo says about all the crap that neoliberal right wing politics have created (misery, impoverishment and deculturalization), can be true of any regulated country as for example socialist countries. In the latter geniuses like Bifo would certainly not be able to emerge, talent is uprooted from the start as can be discerned from Doctor Zhivago, where, in the shift from aristocracy to communism, he signifies the death of genius in such regulated regime.

A few things come to mind here, at first a thought regarding the uprise of such a poetical sensibility Bifo so much seek to propose as the remedy of a finite and thus hopeless stagnation dictated by technology (or finances as he puts it). The first thing that comes to mind is the fact that such a sensibility might be only able to grow in a rather intimate environment, in a state that is neither too precarious nor secure, possibly at a cross road between right and left, neoliberalism and socialism. What has in fact the over protected and benefit spoiled youth to say if they do not expose themselves to the reality outside their garden of heaven, the social bubble where they grow into. A young man or woman coming from a more socially tragic situation (e.g. from a country victim of neoliberal politics with divorced parents and always told not to get into any art making) might benefit from the many resources laying unused in the many institutions of those social countries. A ground for sensibility upbringing cannot, in other words be planned, it is a ground which only the individual youth can create by being exposed and wounded, and seeking to be healed but then being wounded again. The figure of Thomas Mann's Senator Buddenbrook can in a way represent the European cycle coming to an end. A Senator who has invested his life in commercial enterprises and later realizes the meaningless of his existence once the house has been built (… than it is time to die, as the Turkish saying goes in the novel). Europe as the Senator, has also built its house and this is why there is a crisis, and this why Europe choose the homogeneous shore of the North as a therapy and sight to rethink and seek a meaning, unfortunately into history and philosophy, possibly death.

The figure of the young Buddenbrook, the weak artist is also emblematic. Is it in him that we are to lay the hope for Europe? The issue is that probably this house is such an artificial construct that any though of renewal is just unbearable (wood would have been better than cement)and this is why the house will keep empty and new an more precarious form of autonomous governance will arise, possibly avoiding any establishment and recognition but live in an underground culture which still lacks connection and solidariety at this level. Here we might be more pessimistic as, in fact, the separation of the cognitarians does not allow such a new underground culture to rise, all being caught in their fragmented lives where human to human communication is no longer natural. It is thus, in the end, a problem of cultural communication and networking outside of the boring and conventional and lifeless institutions doing for the sake of doing and ending up in an establishing a main main stream while the low stream gets even lower, so underground that it can no longer germinate (this thinking of Emile Zolá' s “Germinal” quite in context with this uprising discussion).

Another important issue that comes to mind in respect of the framework and the tactics of survival within another bigger framework is that, alas, without realizing it, in the last years, aside from being dictated by a framework of physical infrastructures, we have given up the possibility to mature a framework (this given the technology potential that has been offered to us in the last decades) to have an independent framework to structure our cognitions, our intellect. The violent taken over, and the mass adherence to a commercial framework to regulate our intellect has been sudden. On one side the mass has been lazy to apprehend the new technological language and on the other the capitalist corporations have been prompt to see this and provide “free services” for the “ignorants” who were unable to craft there own technological interface to structure their intellect. Thus now, on top the physical infrastructures we must adapt to, we have virtual ones. Those who have been there from the beginning to craft and experiments their own interfaces have been overshadowed, or at least might still operate but in the shadow, away from the profit thirsty corporations to which a public presence on-line expose them to (although many of them are now the bought out as “guru” of such corporations).

A further reflection arising from Bifo's essay regards again the role of the young poet, a person that classically should be disregarded from any attention. According to Plato dictum in fact, young people should not be taken in considerations by the older ruling class and poets should not be allowed to teach. In this respect, at least as far as for the later, we see a counter tendency, an actual and desperate need for new blood and regeneration, this probably again due to the impossibility to organically renew any established institutions and this also probably caused by the media potency which has elevated the levels of bureaucracy and so forth, making any changes extreme, in that they are either too difficult to make or too easy (in a binary sense either 0 or 1). In this respect the youth is faced with a harsh conservatism of the old ruling class, secured in the insured positions they have created along with the media driven bureaucracy or wild competition. We can point at for instance the case of Universities and particularly Europeans ones, probably at the origin of the crisis. On one hand we have the family of workers who all wished their offspring to bypass their proletarians life and go to university to then earn more money. In this respect many countries in Europe have been left without really anyone wishing to do the humble work but immigrants, this is rather obvious. The less obvious effect is that the level of intellectualization the recent generations have undergone in their academic studies, has caused personal psychological discontent. This discontent, has been caused by not providing these youngsters any actual skill, let them use their hands as Thoreau would simply point out, which his for him the source of happiness (for Plato here is the balance maintenance of the head, the chest and the abdomen corresponding to the intellect, braveness and pleasure). The practice of skills are thus very important to at least overcome crisis that can be merely psychological, as all Europeans now seem to be just even mentally in a state of crisis.

A believe for future and possibility should thus arise from a youth being allowed to develop a practice involving skills and not be hindered by it as all street art seems to be, nor being too facilitated and told what a practice is. Obviously, for a time, the virtual realm has been the place where such rising of new poetics have been accomplished (alas, not to full maturation) but the issue here is that again, as physical reality has been regulated, also virtual reality is now, or at least fewer and more powerful becomes the institutions that are eligible to determine this. Let's think only in terms on how media is delivered in schools, with teachers going for very traditional softwares, the softwares of the convention and thus of the establishment, coming down here also to very crystallized dogma, and all because of conformations and conventionalism. Teaching is thus delivered without leading the students in and out (ex ducis) the processes of things, breaking through the ever more sophisticated and complicated tool boxes delivered by the establishment, understanding, in other words a process that the former try to hide for copyright reasons. It seems an unavoidable process, that of transforming the open minded and full of potential talents of our youth into close-minded, dogmatic beings, bringing them in the Platonic cave rather than taking them further out, those at least that are still in an ambiguous position. In an interview to a Spanish TV channel, Bifo, in fluent but not totally correct Spanish, which at least shows his open-mindedness and readiness to master and speak several a languages, he has identified the real enemy in the conformists, this mostly focusing on finances but now one could also turn to education and see the same issue. Autoditactism can in this respect be seen as dangerous, the developing of one's skills, of a poetry to go over this crisis symptom which inevitably arises from a disproportioned application of our brains in our daily living. Self governance, this for sure a teacher should facilitate, second, like an old and close to natural death Chinese martial art teacher at a park, only there to transmit his passion to a pupil, not seeking anything more (the least money).

As Autonomy seems to then be a good alternative to Anarchism in that it seeks independence from governance but by trying to survive within its framework, it has also, in recent years, become the voice of the Non-futurists. Exactly a century later, when the Italian Futurists where in fact singing the masculine age of technical acceleration and progress, another group of internationally acclaimed Italians, are singing a sudden pessimism. Not Neo-Futurists, nor Pastist, nor Presentists, just and simply Non-Futurists also, as the former, provocateurs of an uprise to come (hopefully nothing like a First World War or an October Revolution), or we could call them counter-provocateurs, in that, at least in Bifo's mind, this process of uprising should be a slow, almost decelerating process.

To conclude, what has been informally suggested in this almost endless and live reprocessing of Bifo's writings, is where this poetry for change should come from and how it should unfold, and what qualities it should have. There are certain points here that has emerged, as the fact that it should be long-lasting, somewhat slow and decelerating (this really putting it on an opposite line than the Futurist poetics of acceleration and destruction), it should not be conventional in a sense that it should not be inherited from any already established form of poetry. Here again, the lines of thoughts might divide but in a way it would be easy to conceive this poetry to be completely destructive and filled of political messages shouting against the establishment, rising hater through affect, or, this is the least beaten path, that such poetry should in a way embrace all the media that has resolved in creating these dogmatic and stagnating finances on the macro level, and establish them in the micro, in that of the very “young poet”, making a bank not of surplus values, but of meanings. In other words, creating a system of “sousvelliance” mimicking the establish one of surveillance of the establishment, undertaking aesthetics which inherit the very level of automatism and only through this being able to recuperate a ground of “autonomy” from which poetry can legitimately reborn, a ground which cannot be established otherwise, in the precarious conditions of financial enslavement pointed out by the “Non-futurists”. In this respect, rather than be the Dostoevsky's Raskolnikov killing the money lander, youth might want to usurer by this time an usurer resignifying the dried up content processed by the later, store it, ferment its fragments, and put it back in circulation. An operation the only the very mimicking of the technology of power can allow.

025. Seconding the Emergence of Technology Driven Asceticism

We are quite used to hear of the fable of the cicada singing throughout the summer while the ants set to work. From this fable we know that at last, with the approaching of the winter, the ant will have a house ready to comfort her while the cicada will be out with no shelter where to protect herself. The moral of this fable is clear: leave any poetry aside and set to work! Further on, when the cicada, freezing to death, knocks at the ant's door, the ant will not open and will tell her off saying: well, you had fun singing throughout the summer while I was working, stay out now and shall this serve you as a lesson! There is a continuation of this story however, a continuation that is never told, a following up moral which wants the very ant experiencing a sense of crisis and lack of meaning within the comfort she has created for herself. “Once the house is constructed it is time to die”, we read this Turkish proverb in Thomas Mann's Buddenbrook.

There is probably not a novel that would represent more than Thomas Mann's novel, the current European situation of crisis. Thomas Buddenbrooks, one of the main characters in which the author might reflect himself, embodies to a high degree the crisis that the European is currently undertaking. The character has spent his life expanding the family business, constructing the house and at last feeling a certain, bitter disappointment. The Senator Buddenbrooks clearly represent the generation of European baby boomers, old and established and with a pension and social security awaiting them and yet deeply in crisis, mostly a spiritual crisis having fully realized their materialistic visions (was this in fact the drive that built Europe).

To counter balance Thomas Buddenbrook we have Hanno, the representer of the baby looser generation, a weak youth willing, possibly, to regain the loss of spirituality, this by turning to art eventually. Hanno can be seen here as a natural resurrection of the cicada who was left out freezing in the winter. This cicada is however seek, possibly lacking on one side inspiration in an environment turned frigid by technology, and on the other lacking a discipline which has to be possibly reinvented out of a technological evolution constantly shifting the potential cultural framework.

Now we read that Mann was greatly influenced by Arthur Schopenhauer's young writing The World as Will and Representation, where the function of art is clearly suggested. Rather than focusing too much on insurgence of the youth and on any clumsy Hegelian philosophy, we might turn instead to Schopenauer and Romantic idealism in general. Here we have the individual and his artistic willing turned weak by the very social institutions, the schooling system as discernible in the growth of Hanno described at the end of Mann's novel. The Schopenauer's hope is thus here to reborn and regain spirituality and subjectivity (which in a way could be seen as a problem-solving solution of the actual crisis) by allowing such artistic willing to emerge among the youth, thus not repressing it as often the right brain oriented institutional education effectively thus.

We shall breed again great musical composers, we shall listen to their compositions, compositions that according to Schopenhauer, and possibly Theodor Adorno, could talk to the world, heal it and eventually put it to sleep from the frantic and self-demolishing trend that the technical progress is accelerating. It is in the very technology that this musical compositions can be devised. Intuitively young people have already done so in the past decades, however still confronting a much reluctant audience, a lazy audience who do not find the time to get sensibilized to this possible new poetic, a last hope of transcending the dogmatic stallment of the continent, avoiding a more violent war-like shift of destruction to allow new construction... a dangerous chain from which only the ascetic suspension of individuals into their artistic willing can be of a saviour.

We shall not think however of these new breed of artistically motivated youth as somewhat of passive monks ready to be driven over by the neighbouring super power. We could see them rather as active explorers, at times in sedentary recollection and at times on the move, investigating the surrounding with their digital equipment, capturing the local reality and nourishing from it, cultivating ever new meanings, keeping engaged, rather than depressing out of the redundant artificial environment. In a way, this spiritual asceticism is their garden, their spiritual baby they see growing, the missing hope. They are somewhat armed monks, escaping from the institutionalized grammar school brought forth by the Northern reformists to replace the monasteries in a very populist fashion. The destituted South should think of dismissing such institutions for precarious forms of autonomous monasteries, where no grammar is imposed but only those who aspire for spiritual elevation turn to, a precarious shelter to pursue a passion which could spread love rather than the hater that the grammars tend to spread. Here the grammar and new dogma would arise more at the personal level, rules of conduct inspiring the aspiring individuals.

In this respect and to conclude, one could unpack another small fable, that of the three pigs constructing their houses repsectively of hay, wood and bricks. The wolf, in this respect, would be the crisis that comes with every paradigm shift (no matter here whether we associate the wolf to the financial elite or whatever else, these people are just representatives of an inevitable shift). The moral of this story goes again that the piggy with the most robust house has in fact survived and is able to rescue the other piggies in his confort and security. Unfortunately, at this stage, the crisis comes from within and the piggies have to let go of such a sealing material security, this time rather focusing on building their inner soul, which this time is based really on a state of precariousness. Possibly then, the middle way, the wooden construction would be preferable.

026. The Art Curator and The Reversed Narcissus

"At last!" the old critic would proclaim "at last the art world has lifted completely its head from the narcissistic pool in which it has been reflecting itself for centuries! At last Art, Narcissus is standing with his head up, no longer numb but completely aware of its surrounding!!". Reflecting on the political turn of contemporary culture in the last decade, one may really, at first glance, claim such a shift, a shift that sees the artist no longer absorbed in his own subjectivity but completely and actively involved in the contemporary reality. After such a claim, two questions come to mind. First, is it really the artist we are talking about now, or the institution manipulated artist, or worst the very figure of the curator who is taking over the vanity and pride of the exhibition world? Second, is it really reality this sort of politicized contemporary art is engaging with or is it rather a mediated reality perceived through the means of mass communication?

Attending a cutting edge Culture Studies conference in an exclusive English university, the German curator is likely to show us the work he has curated on surveillance technology and more particularly on the drones who have successfully targeted and killed a bunch of terrorists in the past months. All the public is likely to grow very indignant of the situation, very indignant about the American military and politicians. Another form of indignation may however arise, and this mostly addressed towards the very curator who is not aware of the misery surrounding the very exclusive university in which he is giving the talk.

The actual artist, aware and intrigued of the real surrounding, might have, in fact exposed himself to the surrounding of the very university in which the exclusive conference is taking place. He might have taking early, explorative walks in the very neighborhoods where the cream of the English white trashness lies, where people really need a curator to curate the state of abandonment of their dwellings, and particularly where young people with some talent should be sproned to pursue their skills and follow their artistic institutions which the very curator could facilitate.

We may thus elect as the model for our curator the figure of the young Pier Paolo Pasolini, immersing himself in the very destituted neighborhood of Rome. We may elect him as the artist aware of his surrounding, as self-depicted in his movie “Decameron” but particularly in the movie “Accattone” in which he engages with non-professional actors from the very neighborhood.

The contemporary curator looking at distant political issues is, in other words, a Narcissus who is still with his head bent on the narcissistic pool (this also thinking of the pride they take on their social media profiles), and is only aware of the surrounding reflected around his very portrait, literally the clouds conceived through mass media, which is the celestial vault oppressing and compressing contemporary humans.

Thus, to lift one's head and look in the real reality around is totally different, and we may now seek for “real” artists who not only do that but react upon it. Such an artist might in fact not avoid subjective issues which are at the base of any artistic undertaking, he might not avoid them as they are not in fashion but might, through such subjective initiation, slowly become aware and make his contemporaneity, filtering and reflecting it through his art. In this sense, the better service the "philantropic" curator can possibly do to society is showing the local artist with whatever artistic willing he or she has created to endure reality. This take over of Political art seems in fact orchestrated by mostly curators with a Eastern European background, coming from a Communist oppressed reality and spreading the rage back onto the West. It is interesting here to notice the reluctance of the eastern European and mostly Russian authors of the 19th century to embrace the Philosophy of the West which in fact has turned into grave consequences (e.g. embracing Hegel rather than Schopenhauer). Is this, in a Tolstoyan view of history, an inevitable wave back? Interestingly also that among these highly politicized “cultural” figures coming from Eastern Europe, we find totally opposite exception which corresponds more to the figure of the ascetic like, among others, the poetic work of Roman Opalka, painting numbers to the end of his life (and beyond).

To conclude, another observation is that paradoxically, the work of art nowadays, with the many media the intuitive and non-conventionally educated artist has at his disposal, do not require the external figure of the curator. The artist himself become the curator of the many expressions he can manifest through the various range of media he can adopt to pursue a concept. The usage of media itself makes him more aware of his practice and undertaking, thus also turning obsolete the figure of the art critic. These can be found in the group of artist turning into research rather than following the dead game of the main stream art. Despite this trend, educations for art curators and all other “political” figures who comes to moderate the communication between the artists and the public, keep proliferating, turning however into a meta discourse where again it is micro and macro politics what is really discussed.

027. Memoirs, a More Effective and Less Affective Historical Truth

The invasions of Russia promoted by first Napoleon Bonaparte and later by Adolf Hitler, have both seen Europeans of different nations (this aside from the general view that conceives exclusively French and Germans as the actual invading armies), engaged in such ambitious operations. The outcome has always been the same, the Western invading armies has always retreated after an almost victorious advance, encircled in a way, not so much by the actual Russian army but by the fierceful winter in the heart of "mother Russia". In both circumstances we have literary memoirs that have come to us. The first and most emblematic one, belonging to the Napoleonic invasion, is that of Leo Tolstoy, whom, in "War and Peace" "infiltrates" one of the Russian aristocrats in the retreat of the French emperor's army. The Russian character, Count Pyotr Bezukhov, expands the empathy of the reader towards both a French lieutenant and another Russian soldier of poor origins who was forced to be a soldier. The reader is literally set into both characters' "military boots" and cannot but feel a human compassion for the two fighting parts, both, as Tolstoy repeatedly claims, only puppets of inevitable forces.

A second memoir, this time belonging to Hitler's Operation Barbarossa, wants an Italian mountain Sargent Mario Rigoni Stern, to account on his own experience of the retreat. Aside from being astonished of the correctness of such soldiers in both defending, attacking but mostly allowing the Russian enemies to pick their wounded companions, soon the reader starts feeling, throughout the account of the retreat, a great compassion for the Russian folk, the much propaganda hated Bolsheviks. In one episode the Italian Sargent even ends up sharing a meal in a “isba” with two other Russian soldiers, this, in the middle of the last and decisive fights to get off the encirclement.In both cases, a great feature of literature based on real experiences is show, namely that of replacing the prejudices which keep growing in the hearts of humans consuming mass media, with pure human compassion. If the compassion is then addressed mostly towards humble and innocent characters, Tolstoy gives us also another great lesson, which wants also the powerful characters, the Napoleons and the Hitlers to be also carrier of, again, an inevitable historical happening which they cannot but second. In this respect we may ask what is the source of this dangerous movements and consider whether, in fact, as McLuhan claims they relate to the insertion of new forms of mass media technology in society and how art alone can alleviate their impact.

028. The Italian Former Best of Youth

The updated Augustinian dictum “Love Capitalism and you will be a Capitalist” has for sure revealed itself correct, at least for the now old generation of Italians belonging to the last half of the 20th century. The American dream has in fact fed them since their birth, right after a terrible war which has in a way contributed to desaturate a whole country, a country seeking to get reconstructed not only infrastructuraly but mostly socially and this again under the America model.That very generation, the following up of the “meglio gioventú” as poet and film director Pier Paolo Pasolini would have called them, really in fact despising them for their arrogance, has grow with the idea of fulfilling the dream projected onto them by American like media. A private profession to earn shovels of money, investing not so much in a cultural einveronment, like a architect designed house, but more on a status symbol. The last decades of neo-liberal politics seconded by prime minister and capitalist tycoon Silvio Berlusconi has in fact seen the dream come true. Out of the blue, all mediocer Fiats and Alfas and Lancias has been replaced by German or even American or American looking German comes. The dream has in fact really come true as soon as the very Fiat, has bought out the now obsolete American car industry, this at the time in which, in McLuhans early prognosis, the decisive shift from the mechanical to the electronic age should have occurred.

Has the last Italian generation, in other words, betrayed the new generation, leaving them with an obsolete heritage, that of the mechanical age, this only to fulfill their materialistic and in some sense, feticistic dream? This question is open for an answer now that the new generation Italian can no longer hope to earn exubarant amount of money and not even a decent enough steady salary. For them, the money that their fathers and certainly also their mothers, have invested for private transport, would have for sure helped them if they would have been invested in public transport and social project in general. Or are we to think that the Italian genius, not inclined to homogenization as their Northern counterpart, are we to think that in fact the mechanical and the hardware is still an option? Well, as most of Italian industry is declining with the new generation being sent to university instead of to the factory and with all the new rivals in the world economy (China and their slave market in particular), there are some examples of successful mechanic or better hardware based company like the pedagogic microprocessor (and microprocessor seems to be an Italian invention) Arduino. Keeping up and understanding the nature of Italian culture their old heritage and their new heritage imported by the large population of immigrants, is at the base to relaunch an economy, but mostly a general moral on its knees, this as the miracle economy is waking up to a rush reality. As the populist comedian and politician Beppe Grillo would say, or as a Aereosmith rock songs would keep repeating: Italians, “dream on”!

029. cAcca'Damn'ya

Doctor Zhivago writing the last pages of his journal in the small winter cabin, surrounded by a most tranquil Russian winter, yet in the mist of the Russian revolution, represents the ultimate death of the Russian talent actuated by an ambitious political project. The "macro politic kills micro poetics" formula, can be here applied to another project of unification.... after the United States (with maybe Henry Thoureau as the equivalent of Doctor Zhivago's author Boris Pasternak) and the United Russia, another ambitious unification has taken place, involuntary cutting at the root the germination of talents in its own continent, namely that of the United Europe.

How is talent and genius suffocated here? To look more closely at another smaller example, before venturing into this broad one, we could refer to the newly United Italy at the end of the 19th century. This political unification too, brought forth by most philanthropic figures like Giuseppe Garibaldi, has brought forward a last lament from the destitute South of Italy and mostly from Sicily. Luigi Pirandello but more particularly Giovanni Verga, has vividly rendered such a brutal shift of their island from an harsh situation to a even harsher in that it provided some hope to the Sicilian people that was soon turned down as also later rendered by Lucchino Visconti's in the movie "La Terra Trema" (this also to link to Nicoló Macchiavelli saying that in fact revolutions only worsen the state of things).

Currently also, as the South seems always to be the most hit by such attempts of political unions, many are the Southern poetical figures emerging from there. They seem to rise and soon disappear however having no support from their own countries but mostly stroke by another problem, that of the Union itself. If in the Renaissance we had the mecenate supporting talents, as the possible mecenates now become much poorer, the socialistic model of state support is taken place. The lucky talent gets accepted in a school for talents and will later have to report about his work and "artistic intention" to a committee which will evaluate whether or not to support him. The process has become so bureaucratic that, inevitably, the talent himself has become a bureaucrat and a concrete possibility for him is that of bureaucratize his work.

Franco Berardi, one of this Southern figures emerging out of the European Union's crisis, identifies in gross lines this problem of dogmatic stagnation. He identifies it again with Europe at large but sees in poetry, in the re-signification of language from its academic, political correctness, the only way out of the crisis. Thus, as the entire European youth gets over-educated in a most rational and scientific manner, the potential "talent" himself, the one who could transfigure this complex, is also instructed to comply, this mostly because there would be otherwise no other ways to assess him from the supporting institutions acting from above (the one that generally suck the most part of the funds). How to maintain one's talent in such a state? The most trendy alternative seems that of getting upset and turn talent into criticism, turning a potential nightingale into a most cawing crow. The other only alternative left is that of pure intellectual survival, not far from that of a Thoreau and a Zhivago, refuging themselves in their winter cabin and compiling their last, poetically enlightening pages before the ultimate blow approaches them... at last their message has survived beyond the enforced attempt of civilization and can still inspire new talents for the new political unions to come (the United World?).

030. From Red Necks to Flouruscent Foreheads

The amazing odyssey of the “easy riders” going coast to coast across America on their big bikes, tragically ends with the farmer, more commonly known as the red-neck shooting the hell down of these free spirit. This voyage of freedom then tragically ends again, rehearsing the most ancient of biblical tragedies, the sedentary farmer, the Cain, growing jealous of the freer and more spiritually devoted Abel, resolving to kill him most brutally. The homicide occurred in the most Southern peninsula of the States where the tropical sun is commonly known to burn the necks of the white colonists bent down to hack their fields. From this come the derisive term red-neck.

Where can we find the source of such brutality if not in a sort of inherited sedentarism? Is sedentarism then to be considered at the origins of human brutalities? It can certainly be said that the Northern civilization have been more brutal, a brutality amplified both from their sedentarism and from the technologies they have increasingly more adopted, the northern they settled, in order to endure the lack of a solar nature. As these Bruts now, having achieved a complete artificial replacement of the solar nature, got "civilized" and as their technology is now instead altering the once peaceful Southern shores of the world, some dark spots still remains.

The modern white, bent now on a computational device, rather than on a field, now keeps his neck completely white, only possibly tanning his forehead with florescent radiations. The approach is however the same; no matter if physically on a field, or virtually on a computer, the florescent forehead is down for work, down for settlement and the brutal occurrence, the homicide of the free spirit wandering by these virtual fields is still likely to occur. If the latter is in fact to enter these fields with his unique and invaluable heritage of meanings, there is no question that the florescent forehead will brutally kill him.

As immaterial cultivation now deals with knowledge production, the continuous train of homicides seem to occurr at a very early instance, right at the time of the socially imposed education, right from the very educators raping the virgin souls of any free spirit and initiating them to sedentary work. Those who, however, free themselves from it, will anyway be condemned to wander and sing, instead of the beauty a Boccadoro would encounter, the violence of Narcissuses who are no longer suspended in asceticism, like contemplative monks in their monasteries, but have become completely the opposite, the main source of social production, universities.

031. From the Death of Theory and the Rise of the Media Shepherd

There is something implicit in media practices, the practitioner becomes inevitably aware of his surrounding, he is able to stop it and re-examine it, he is in fact able to stretch the digitally documented time and space and inevitably make a through analyses of it. In other words, media practitioners and particularly those who report through new media devices about their surrounding are, without really knowing it, the most relevant researchers of our time. On the other hand, the socially financed researcher who would see these media practitioners as just “artists”, are in fact, without knowing, the real artist, this referring to the negative connotation of Narcissuses which the traditional romantic painters have transmitted to even these contemporary practices.

While media practitioners are far from being recognized as the humanists of our time, writing a new humanity with the media languages they develop, the official humanity stagnates in a typographical mannerism, going constantly back to what feminists would rightly define as the marriage with "white dead men". In other words, the "official humanities" has officially become the history of humanities and no progress can be made but a constant deconstruction and reconstruction of inorganic matters which have now for long lost their relevance and has since a long time migrated in other niches. While naturally, the media practitioners of our time would take their place, they keep on transmitting their "canonical tradition", a tradition which can only survive via the artificial establishment they have created.

Is there a border line between this stagnating form of knowledge production maintained by the establishment and the knowledge production generated by "hunters" like those populists standing on the opposite side of academia, those who have already brought allot of mass destruction with their socially agitating theories (e.g. implicitly Karl Marx and more explicitly Adolf Hitler)? Biblically, this in between would certainly be represented by the shepherd, whether a Cain opposed by Abel, or the more successful version of it, Jacob opposed by the brutal hunter Esau. The shepherd of our time, is possibly the media practitioner with portable devices, bringing his beloved sheep, the various parts of his practice on meta journeys, seeking for greener grass and seeking to constantly revive with new meanings his contained herd which, in fact, cannot but become more numerous with the encounter with new surroundings and the encounter with each other.

This shepherd-like media practitioner is in fact balancing between a state of autonomy and a state of dependence from the very "green grass" he seeks in the environment. He does not transgress the environment and think to just turn it upside down. He assimilates in fact, he dwells with it for some time but then moves on to other pastures as soon as his sensitivity tells him that such grass is no longer fresh and is in fact fermenting, hallucinating him. He moves on also, in this respect, feeling the eternal revenge of the jealous academics, the Philistines-like monks of the establishment, always ready to get rid of him as soon as he exposes himself with his knowledge production, threatening the inarguable principles they keep on dictating.

Aside for Abel and Jacob, we might now shift our attention away from these biblical examples of shepherds and rather look into a more polytheist example such as that we can find in the Odyssey, the example of the Cyclops. If on one side then we have the tragic Abel dying innocently, and on the other Jacob stealing with his ingenuity his bigger brother inheritance, the last example wants a shepherd, the Cyclops to be merciless and a quasi-god himself.

What is most striking about this last form of shepherd is not only his authority, but also the organization within the cave. One could affirm in this respect that the word Encyclopedia might not only refer to the Cyclops for its “cyclopic” dimensions but also for the Cyclopes very organizational skills within what it could seem like a Platonic cave where he not only carefully organize his cheese productions but also separates the different kinds of sheep from young to middle age to older etc. This is possibly the effect on the sedentirization of the shepherd figure, from having no place and dying innocently like Abel, to having only a tent and surviving out of his ingenuity like Jacob and finally to have a whole cave for storing but then becoming himself cheated by others' people ingenuity like the Cyclops. Among this three different kinds of being a shepherd, the media practitioner, the new modern shepherd, should probably be able to identify himself and possibly try to keep the middle solution at hand, that of the semi-sedentary and semi-nomadic shepherd like Jacob.

It is interesting however to notice the implicit characteristics of the media practitioners, also drawn into archiving and organizing meticulously the product of his immaterial labour, his digital operandi representing himself and his social surrounding as well as the cyclops' cave could be a valuable source for a media archaeologist to understand the cyclops and the very island where he operates, being both his dwelling and his “testament” or, in fact, his burial mound. As there wouldn't be a better site to represent the Cyclops than his very cave then, we cannot forget that media practitioners are not born cyclops but use their ingenuity to become such.

By constantly documenting himself and his surrounding, the media practitioner obtain the comprehensive understanding, the over viewing map, the absolute point of view that the Cyclops, with his high positioned eye has. The media practitioners is more similar then to Ulysses however, not only for his ingenuity but also for the fact that he does not confine himself to a patriarchal island but roam the world with a cave that in fact is not a material establishment but rather an immaterial projection, a spiritual kingdom which can only set itself to rest in an quasi unreachable Ithaca (or promised land to rephrase this biblically) that he might be able to reach only when old.

Parallel to this discussion, digging further into the actual contrasts between the media practitioners and the cyclops, we could in fact state that, as an Ulysses, the media practitioner is in fact a reversed Cyclops, only occurring to end up, by the hands of providence, in the establishment of the Cyclops of which he makes his acquaintance, placing his life at risk. Such Cyclopes' island for today's media practitioners could be in fact academia and the Cyclopes it selects as absolute truth, a common truth made universal for better control. These Academic Cyclopes, the great authors are meant to preserve the establishment, training the sheep to pasture on their terrain and producing the cheeses, the academic publications, to store within such caves. While Ulysses then builds a valuable human narrative, an immortal one despite the precariety of his existence, the establishment's objective seems to be rather that of preserving itself, like these cheese which are likely never to be eaten but forcedly until sickness to every one who get trapped in the cave and decide to play the sheep eating from its own milk rather than an original Ulysses.

To conclude then we could see the very media practitioner as the modern shepherd taking his media practices around in search for greener grass and feeding them with one or the other based on the type of grass. Such a shepherd also produces his dairy products, just like the Cyclops, but these are kept and consumed to allow him to keep moving. The “media-shepherd” then, as we may at last call him, prioritizes the freshness of the grass his sheep eats to the establishment he might be able to put up based on his production although there is a constant tendency to draw him to civilize and become in fact a merchant. To this, we could add that he is certainly willing to share and exchange his products but within specific types of “markets”, nothing for supermarkets then, but more farmer-like markets or wherever he might end up trading informally his production. He then keeps wandering half way between the civilized word below that he so much despises and the one above which he contemplates but do not dare to reach, putting at risks his sheep.

032. Generating, Regenerating or Degenerating? DeReGenerating!

So it seems that all work given from above puts the humanity below to a state of deep misery. We shall make an important distinction between what is this above. With the above we might be able to identify a class of governors who more or less are driven by an ambition of power. Such an ambition is spread on the populace, the humanity below, who in turn seems to have no other choice but to comply. There might be however the case in which, among the common folk who has "morally" accepted their "social destiny", a prophet might arise. Such prophet might have a mystic period in which he understands that a certain work, the work to elevate oneself to another above then, an ambition that comes from within and has nothing to do with power but is merely a spiritual one, such a work is actually joyful.

What gives the prophet the connotation of a "disgrace carrier" comes really from his will to communicate such joyfulness. The rest of the populace is in fact now too rooted in the mind set of the power evil organism. The more our prophet prophecies, the more his once pure message of love might turn into a message of hater. Has anyone lost the ears to understand? The issue might be of a different matter. The comforts provided by the power organism has altered completely the natural state to the point that it is impossible for a human to give them up. The governing class themselves only second a beast that has become indomitable and keeps evolving now by itself, technology. As many has claimed to think of technology as the extension of humans we shall now think of humans as the extension of technology.

While technology has in fact taken over, provided now of its own intelligence, the algorithmic processing, we can see the function of the prophet in a technology governed reality, as the one who tries to invert the function, turning contemporary technology in again a human extension. The issue here is very crucial for the destiny of humanity itself. As technology becomes an independent creature, humans only function seems to be that of giving each other credits to get a ride on it and for different purposes, always renegotiating how these technically accelerated rides should occur and eventually deregulating all norms and devaluing those credits, particularly when such a technological beast not only takes over the physical faculties but also the mental faculty of a humanity turned obsolete.

The above is a typical scenario hindering the new generation to generate itself and the old generation to allow any regeneration. A certain degeneration seems in fact at the base of an age in which a technology humans have for centuries utilized as an extension, has turned in itsown creature. In such a scenario, as the whole of humanity might at last let go to such governance, a prophet might be able to prophesied a way to reappropriate oneself of one's humanity and this by attempting to govern the governor, to dominate the beast as one of these beasts the primitive man had to learn to deal with and eventually subdue and milk. In order to accomplish this, the human capacity ought to enlarged and traditional conformist mentalities ought to cease to leave space to a new human able to regenerate itself in the age of physically and mentally dictating technology.

Here again certain spontaneous sacrifices might be needed to actuate such a process of gaining control over a new landscape, an effort that cannot start collectively but rather should be activated individually in each human. The individual human capacity ought to expand enough to be around and not within the technical apparatus currently substituting him. It is a very actuable process only hindered by a certain social conformism and moral or from a "revolutionary" force that still seek a human actor to accuse. It is at this very stage that inspired humans, prophets, shall acts like kamikaze to awake with fresh wind all such a conformism turning humanity into a petrified and technically alimented plant. The significance of a hero is here very high, however not the usual kamikaze hero exploding himself in the sleepy crowd but an hero throwing on such a crowd a conceptual bomb, such as a lifelong martyrdom.

In this respect we shall consider however the more silent and individualistic revolution that is slowly taking place, not then the sudden crowd reacting upon the regime, which has maby more rooted humanity to accept their technical destiny, but rather a pure evolution of the soul to be able to comply with the technical apparatus. As fire was utilized to scare and protect the first humanity from the animal beasts, the fire of the soul is in fact what a humanity lost in the technical landscape is left with. Only with such a fire single humans will be able to scare the beast and lead himself out of the overwhelming chaos to possibly develop a new technology based on such a fire, a spiritual technology.

033. A Fatherless New Media Testament

"Honor your father and honor your mother" is one of the foremost predicaments of the Old Testament. "Get ready to abandon your father and mother to follow your intuition" seems instead to say the New Testament. It is a rather strong dualism which might let many dueling over whether remaining within the old tradition or, if they find the inspiration and courage, explore the potential of the new. It was not a matter of inspiration and courage that led many avantgardes forward, in certain cases, as we are now going to venture into looking, it is really the circumstance which allows the "pioneering" of a new potential, a new language and the full exploration of a tradition to come. It is here the case of Russia right after the October revolution in the 1920s. The old tradition, so much connected to the previous establishment had to emigrate, else it was wiped out. In this state of tabula rasa, a new creative power took place, a power fully exploring the potential of the new technology then, cameras and other devices which for decades, and mostly in Europe, have been linked to the enslavement of old art forms.

In a Futuristic fashion then, one can see the positive effects in culture on "rinsing out"older forms, this, alas, through violence. We cannot but admit that works like "Battleship Potemkin" and "Man with a Movie Camera", thanks for this cleansing of old traditions, are in the forefront of exploring the actual potential language of the media which were new at that time. One may argue here that the whole issue of "remediation", where old forms takes a new value in new forms is just in fact a matter of laziness of an audience that does not wish to update itself to a new language, a more technical yet fascinating one. It is in this case emblematic to point out that, while old forms are preserved by an old and passive establishment who is in fact in power, the new forms, the New Testaments, only take more and more place as rather the work of active practitioners who ought to sacrifice themselves through their practice in order to bring forward the new language implicit of a new media (can we think this of Jesus Christ?).

The issue remains however the following: is the old tradition necessary for the emergence of the second? The answer is yes but not as academics would expect it. On the contrary, and also thinking about Dziga Vertov's (the author of "Man with a Movie Camera") irritation to theater and literature, on the contrary, old traditions and canons are only necessary to provoke the irritation of the young minds; as was also the case of the Russian Itinerants, and urge of getting out of the fiction of mainly utilizing new media as an extension of the old. In this respect, every new media paradigm occurs and one may in fact come to think that the fathers of older media forms are obsolete. However now we come into a new paradigm, an era, that of the digital which for many can be considered new but in reality may be considered only as an era in which all other eras and media forms become possible. Digital media provides in fact possibility for all other older media forms and in this respect the New Testament can be conceived as a patch of Old ones which keeps coming back... in this respect the active practitioner exploring digital media can be fatherless, have one father or just have a multitude of fathers, whether natural or acquired. Then now it is the case of Jesus with zero to one, to many Fathers, carrying many a crosses up a hill from many a different sides, or carrying only one as tradition would suggest him, or carrying none, or just rehearsing it all together. Notice here also that at least for the ancients, a father was to be honored only if he would transmit his practice to his offspring. In this respect the offspring of the digital age is asked to master many a taxonomies. Learn the craft of their fathers while mastering the ever increasing capacity of the digital medium which is nothing but a more efficient way to organize and share such a craft, like a hub of many a dialectics. At this end, the most interesting phenomena might only remain the reverberation left out of all these dialectical clashes, what is ultimately worth to recollect in the little intervals of tranquility emerging from such an apparently chaotic mist.

034. The Naked King of Sweden

If Napoleon Bonaparte used to think of Sweden only to be feared when lead by a crazy king, the now civilization-repressed folk of Sweden has endorsed yet another kind of royalty, that of the philanthropic king. This philanthropy is of a higher degree, the handsome race of Sweden taking in the ugliest and most wounded race of around the globe as a young an healthy teenager would, at a certain point look after a wounded and ugly dog found on the street. Lars Von Trier, the Danish film maker, has already portrayed to us, among other artistic minds, the result of such a philanthropy such as in the movie “Dogville”. The philanthropic Nicole Kidman suddenly becoming raped and abused by the very poor people she has been trying to help.

It seems in fact that, other than a king dressing up a transparent dress, being convinced of its beauty and latter being ridiculed by everyone, Sweden, a small king in the European aristocracy, is dressing up itself of a philanthropic dress, endorsing the ugliest of dress, which somewhat contrast to their vane beauty to a high degree, making an incredible “fashionable effect”. But for how long, one may ask, for how long is this fashion show with Sweden in the for front going to last. As the immigrant population is kept rather like accompanying dogs (not even leashed) than clothes to wear, what is coming up next? Will the dog set free from the emancipated doghouse is confine to? Will it finally get on the Swedish princess or is the feeble Swedish male going to overcome its vanity and take a step back from all this hopeless philanthropic pursue?

Will there ever be integration between the beauty and the beast? Are we really so Disney naive to think it possible or are we rather to learn from history, to learn the price of integration, namely a hardcore conflict which contemporary politics are only postponing and or diluting into an awful form of psychological conflict? This is an open question which cannot but grow bigger as the beauty finds the dog she has so much trained as her own passionless puppies are getting on her legs to release their hormones.

035. Pinocchio the Anti-christ and Lucignolo the Pro-Christ

One of the greatest propaganda fiction of all time can be considered Pinocchio. In poor Tuscany and poor Italy, right after the unification, not only kids but parents where starving to make a sufficient living. The moral of Pinocchio is really that one ought to "work in order to eat" but what kind of "work" is the fiction really trying to promote among its young listeners? Well, leaving aside the much simplified Disney version of the story, we can certainly see that work alone is not sufficient in the Italian province under a dramatic transition. The honest work of the craftsman such as Geppetto, is no longer possible. Notice here the close allegory of Geppetto with that of Joseph, Jesus' terrestrial father. Both Jesus and Pinocchio are miraculously born, and both Joseph and Geppetto are humble craftsman, however, while the Bible my invite such an humble offspring, we could now start perceiving the whole "Adventures of Pinocchio" book as an anti-christian book, a book which, aside from the humble and Christian facade it puts up, is the promoter of a morality which is keen to obedience towards the very Pharisees, the dogmatic priests of the temple of the establishment which Jesus' message so much abhor. Via Pinocchio, children are told to give up their childhood and join the philistine society, in a rather Confucian way then, work for the worldly establishment with the moral that if they don't they will starve to death. Pinocchio is told to obey to the system and in particular to that of the school, of a teacher who makes him read and almost pray aloud their "credo" to the new social system to come.

While then many version of Pinocchio praises the imaginative elements of the story, the story per se, at the time it came, must have certainly affected many a child mind to give up not their evilness, but right their very innocence, the innocence the Jesus so much praised, saying that the paradise belong to children. "The Adventure of Pinocchio" is thus and overall a invitation to give up that innocence, which is the key of salvation, and rather join the evil mechanism of power, those that have so much often collapsed and will keep on collapsing. Pinocchio's teacher seems then the evil rather than Lucignolo, Pinocchio evil's friend whose name much sounds like Lucifer. And truly, it is the Paese dei Balocchi, an imaginative world which will save the new generation from experiencing yet another collapse, it is the fantastic world, the Paese dei Balocchi which they are able to create within them which will keep them angels as angels are Joseph and Geppetto, an “angelness” which really comes from keeping their hand busy working and creating, being practitioners of their own inner passions and not repressing it and thus turning into evil monsters. In the real teacher then we could see both the humble and nomadic Jesus himself who might in fact be just the result of a man who grew up in a society which did not allow him to keep up the creative profession of his father, or just a teacher who would facilitate rather than repress creative work.

036. Kon tik tak tiki Drafting Away from the Wild Civilization

If on one hand we have a general predominance of Kafka-like characters, stuck in the bureaucratic castles, completely hopeless in their scientific pursues directed behind their desk, on the other we have a little but great hope coming for instance by characters such as Thor Heyerdahl, the Norwegian man who, prior the Second World War had the intuition that they were in fact Peruvian who colonized Polynesian islands and not Asians this while experiencing Polynesia, being actually there. Having faced right after the Second World War, the Kafka-like, hopeless experience of academia, ironically of the most progressive United States, and having being refused by all academic circles, he sets off to demonstrate his theory through practice, now conducting an almost "suicidal" experiment, trying himself with a crew of few revived vikings to let the stream take them from Peru to one of the Polynesian islands.

The experiment, successful, is remarkable. It shows not that a theory predominates over another, it just shows that also another theory is possible or that, in reality theory is just a state of mind to which we can connect whatever proof to prove it right as many as we can claim to prove it wrong. The issue here is the hopelessness and the meaningless of all the fighting staged in intellectual environments to make one theory predominant over another. It equals the wars of clans over other clans conducted by one or few generals who have been socially made in charge of this fictional battles. Theory is relative and nothing else, what is not relative however is the conducting of an experiment to prove one theory plausible among others. Thor has proved it, risking his own life as well Rem Koolhaas has proved his, both abandoning the official intellectual environment, academia and placing their intellect to practice, the latter as an architect.

As Thor might in fact evoke in us the revived image of a viking, we shall not diminish the importance of this irrational revivals, that connects certain individuals to follow "intuitively" a certain path. Intuition, or simply, in Taoist terms, the “going with the flow” like Thor following the natural stream of the Ocean or Koolhaas that of the market, is at the key of reviving humanity. We might point at the much of the now-a-days stagnation of civilized societies over to an educational regime going in principle against the flow of their time, not seconding but hindering, attempting to build digs that will anyway fall rather than seconding the actual natural tendency of such a current which would, to conclude, eliminate any Kafka feeling of hopelessness. As for those few who attempts in solitude to navigate such flows, their job is not either way easy having to maneuver around these digs yet eventually setting free to a fantasy which like a bird allows them to oversee humanity like a large river now dissolving into several small streams of a delta about to dissolve in an ocean where integrity and rivers and currents have to e made up. We shall thus in fact regard the Enlightenment as the real Medieval, not bringing light but obscurity, as a betray of our precarious yet generous nature for a comfortable yet miserable artificial living. The apple of knowledge has been picked and the counter examples of those utilizing their intuition as their pre-enlightenment ancestors can be thus seen as a remonstrations of how much further one can go without the artificial apparatus (modern academia included)... where a passion can drive, following the already existing drives, is certainly multiplied. Yet one should distinguish between the examples giving above of a Thor getting out of Academia to follow the natural stream and a Koolhaas getting out of academia to follow the artificial stream, the former providing, via his example a certain hope to reconnect to an idyllic nature while the latter desperately taking humans much afar from it.

Trying now not to make any black and white judgments, the question is whether one can simultaneously explore all the three flows, that pushing towards a seconding of nature, the non-flow of the official environment and that of the technical progress... Or simply we should ask the level of disobedience that we shall enact or simply we shall think about complying like monkeys within the loose clans, and just pay homage to these societies in the various forests while contemplating our departure, this time not back to an old nature using traditional material like Thor, nor using the artificial for social advantages like Kulhaas, but swapping the tool and purposes to build a technical draft, an ark made out of a technical being to finally leave the artificial jungle (that really boasted by Koolhaas with his radical urbanism), crossing a desert of solitude (the digital pixels?) and reach new faraway lands with our new fire, a technology burning from within rather than outward. In this respect, only inner passion alone will low enough wind to cross the ocean of sand we ought to cross we are constructions and with the meanings we consider ringing with us.

037. The Reversed Castle

A fascinating story that of the Northern Italian, not Marco Polo, but the Jesuit Matteo Ricci sent to Christianized the last emperor of the Ming dynasty and 17th century China overall. Only slowly and after many years where he rose the emperor's curiosity by displaying his knowledge, the Italian Jesuit, defined by a contemporary Chinese poet a phoenix, only after decades he was allowed into the castle, the prohibited city, as a Kafka character that at last is closed to pursue his goal of reaching his master but in fact never thus. Other than the story which wants the knowledgeable Jesuit to be at last allowed to be buried in China, the biggest privileged for a dead foreigner who would have normally be sent home to be buried, we shall instead look at his rather unusual non-western strategy of knowledge infiltration.

The most interesting aspect of Matteo Ricci's strategy to divulge Christianity, facing an empire that equaled that of the West, was that of learning their language, their culture and similarities, finding at last a great similarity between Christianity and Confucianism, at that time threatened by Buddhism. We have here then the example of an establishment which the missioner tries to affect not via the traditional means of for instance critic and so forth, but by coming himself an establishment, by emulating the production taken place within the Forbidden City, to which, like a Kafka character, he has no access nor hope to influence. His strategy is at last successful and for the first time the emperor is to place the two hemispheres of the world provided by Ricci (or “Li Madou” as he was named) on each side of his throne, making only physically China the empire in between and initiating its awareness towards other civilizations.

Now it seems that, after the Forbidden city of Aristocracy have been finally penetrated and taken over by the people, it seems that many a forbidden cities are rising within and around human societies. Meaning that several aristocratic platforms tends to be created and are created however without being named aristocracies. They tend to reflect the same level of hierarchy and the same level of intrigues of a court, whether Eastern or Western with the various nuances. One could say that in fact the new Western implicit aristocracy, for instance the European one, much reflects the older Chinese, an aristocratic establishment not based on war but very much dominates by eunuchs intellectuals, as somewhat the gayish and lesbianish intellectuals dominating the European political scene.

As the European aristocracy rises however, it is not really the intellectual who is left to direct it, but more technical people whose religion is really a production aimed to stabilize if not to boast the finance of the continent. Everyone seems to have to commit to it, this by necessity, by being indebted with the financial elite, not too directly however, but again through the facade of the establishment. In this process the intellectual looses much of his weight and his establishment, that has for long become a form of old aristocracy with professors being like counts and so forth, academia is also forced to comply to the new regime, this with much resistance.

Knowledge production is thus forced to show off its products which however has little of nothing in common with the real productions occurring in the actual Forbidden Cities beholding the power. It is somewhat of detached and fake Forbidden city with little of no affect on the actual Forbidden cities, a merge of political power together with the new military power of finance. If we have to learn from Matteo Ricci's example, the knowledge producer than should pick up the semblances of the actual forbidden city mimicking its production, becoming in itself a little establishment, not of academic publications but of publications that reflect the new regime of things, publications which utilizes a bit of the same content and media form than these adopted within the forbidden city of the new hierarchs who are progressively dismantling all social infrastructures. In other words then, not resisting, or fighting back, but make use of their stronger energy to provide a new sort of regulation, human but above all spiritual, which would oppose the too worldly focus of the current governing society.

Nonetheless it seems that if the "land surveyor", the technical expert who behold with his mapping technology the real understanding of the surrounding, once this land surveyor manage in fact, contrary to Kafka last novel, to enter one of the forbidden cities, the castle where such a mapping is instead carried out not by land, but via a mediated and sedentary technology such as that of the magnifying glass, if the kafkian land surveyor in fact manages to enter, this at a time of the crisis of such a castle, once is credibility is falling apart, then as he presents his method and such a method gets underestimated by the arrogance of those whom, from their apparently high position, can look out, then something most interesting occurs: the land surveyor utilizes the same technology of mapping he has adopted out in nature, to map inside such a castle, thus creating a balanced representation of both the natural and the artificial environment, a representation that is, to conclude, the key to provoke a reconsideration of the materialistic strategies adopted y the governing powers.

038. Scavengers for Temporary Freedom and Constructors for Eternal Slavery

A now rather unknown movie from 1969, at the closure of the Italian golden area known as Neo-Realism, is "I Recuperanti" (The Scaveangers). The movie, originally conceived for the Italian national TV, rose as a collaboration of two less internationally known neo-realist authors, Ermanno Olmi, the movie maker, and Mario Rigoni Stern, the book writer and war veteran. The authors, leaving like ascetics, yet side by side in the Asiago highland, the theater of one of the most ferocious battles in the former boarder between Italy and Austria, are rather unusual in this respect, leaving more like Tolstoys, away from the charm and opportunities which Milan, but more particularly the further Rome, might have offered. The authors, taking advantage of the economic miracle which Northern Italy was experiencing at that time, manage to accomplish something most poetical, they manage to rescue a just passed and about to be forgotten aspect of the history of the highland.

Thus, rather than thinking of a pompous movie in which the main subject is the war and than the war again with its big generals, they concentrate on the inhabitants of the highland of Asiago, who, ever since the end of the first world conflict, but also before, with the Austrian occupation when many locals worked as tobacco smugglers, they manage to show a one "art" these locals had developed in order to make a living and avoid immigrating to first America and then Australia. Olmi and Stern narrate here the story of a most amiable young soldier coming back from the Russian front (as Stern himself did), and really wishing to find work and at last, when most discouraged, meeting an hilarious old man, an expert scavenger who starts showing him the dangerous art of scavenging bombs.

What is interesting here is not the formidable and much talked of combination of narrative elements and descriptive ones, in which the viewer is as well instructed with such a rudimentary art coming from an experience dictated by a necessity to survive of which Olmi, who originally made a living making documentaries of industries, is a master. What is most relevant here are the implicit messages we find in the movie. One aspect in particular provides the movie a very "contemporary" profile, that of the "impact of modernity" and how the locals has to constantly struggle and adapt to it.

In the first place, "The Scavengers" depicts an highland brutally transformed by what Marshal McLuhan would properly define a media insertion. The bellic media, in this respect, has brutally inserted himself in all the once beautiful lime mountains which the rain has been carving for thousands of years. The landscape is upside down as well as the few villages the Alpine soldier encounters walking up to his highland. The people too have changed, dancing America music (which might have shocked our Alpino) and re-marrying at an old age with a young woman (as the Alpino' father who married a girl of the same age as his son). Thus we see both the insertion of not only the technology brought by the German invaders but also that brought by the liberators, the Americans.

Given all these catastrophic premises and having no work, our Alpino and a group of other unemployed locals, resume their own, natural activity of wood cutting and sawing, an initiative that is soon to be brutally blocked by the police, which, in its own right, can be considered also a result of a technology utilized for the sake of control, who uses a telegraph to first sue and then fine the initiator of the activity. What is less under control is the above highland, the highland where the first conflict took place, an highland where a crazy old drunk who lives under the stars and has no job, makes allot more money than anyone else recovering with a metal stick and much intuition old bombs to latter detonate them and sell their “precious” metal.

What we see here is the only possibility offered to the young soldier to make a living, that of "treasure-hunting" with a high level of risk and yet with a guide who has being doing this for decades and he might look mentally hill but is in fact very healthy for his age. The young man introduces technology to the old man, a metal detector he bought with all the money received as a compensation for his years in the military. This technology is a metal-detector to find bigger treasures, a metal detector which the young man perfects (almost like Olmi himself perfecting his own film cameras). Many a treasures are in fact found with always the great, genuine enthusiasm of the old man. However, after an accident where another scavenger dies, right when he could make allot of money, the young man abandon the "company" he had set up with the old man and decides to go for a safe job and thus provide his girlfriend the safety to get marry.

The tragedy here reaches a very interesting turn. The most keen viewer, who had through the movie expected either one of the men or both to die in an explosion, experience a even more dramatic tragedy which reflects the history of being modern as also addressed in Olmi's first exordium "Il Posto". Here the old man cannot transmit such a fine art of survival to the young man he chose as his disciple, an issue which might affect most of modern professions. The young man in fact becomes at one point more of the father of the old man by introducing the metal-detector, a sort of substitute to the natural and well experienced nose and intuition of the old man. The biggest tragedy is however the giving up of freedom, of being able to be under the stars and in the hands of providence, of keeping up a work dictated by survival skills, and joining the social flock, becoming a carpenter, setting up the cement bricks of a social establishment addressed towards a capitalism that is soon to speculate and ruin more catastrophically the highland once beautiful landscape.

The young soldier used once for fascist purposes, in a violent war of quick resolutions, becomes, after having experienced a short possibility of freedom, he becomes the soldier of another regime, the capitalist regime which, even though more subtly, is there to exploit his own land, constructing houses after houses of cement for tourists, thus implicitly constructing, other than fortifications to expand, forts for invaders to stay and slowly consume the soldier and other locals' nature and this all for the sake of a security which only capitalism can offer and for which men, like those of these highlands, are ready to give up anything, their freedom and nature included. This until the beast of war will reappear in the highland, destroying all such babelic construction and providing still some temporary possibility for the most keen locals to find genial ways to survive, yet another form of scavenging.

It seems however that, as a result of this quick "cementification" boasting the previous generation, the current blossom of the new generation has been doomed to leave, again unable to fully develop their art to survive, or anyway distracted by all the new opportunities that the computer media has brought about. As a result of this more subtle state of war who has dispersed the local youth, the art to survive both morally and intellectually has possibly become that of recreating, by the very medium that has separated the youth from their mother land, to recreate digitally a familiar domain, a substitute for this land, not to disperse. One may ask here if a source of income can be found in such a virtual domain or the process has reversed, no longer wanting locals to get things from their native land out to be sold, but brining what is out in their virtual domain to recreate such a substituting point of reference, a promised land which becomes metaphysical.

039. The Return to Eden

Rather than the much popular “Lord of The Ring” with its amazing special effects which leaves kids immersed in a smoke of magic, “Lord of the Flies”, a far less entertaining movie, may have something to teach to both kids and adults. The movie is highly symbolical, showing a group of kids surviving a plane crash and ending in a virgin island, alone but with an half dying adult, the captain of the plane. What occurs in the movie has nothing to account to the magic effects which modern cinema can offer. It rather and roughly depicts the return to the lost paradise, the “Garden of Eden”.

There it is, the human race at last brought back to paradise in its most innocent constitution, that of innocent boys. Why is that also these innocent boys in such idyllic environment turn out killing one another? This can be the deepest tragedy of being human, the impossibility of remaining innocent and quiet but the eternal conflict that a good and sage willing has to soon confront.

Such a group of kids landing in such island are, by no doubts, a representation of any human society with all its different, inevitable characters, the good nature, the artist and poetic kinds who are soon betrayed and latter taken over and killed by the Cain kind, the Esaú kind, the Saul kind willing to overcome over and over their brothers Abel, Jacob and David, who progressively however learn how to survive and at last overcome their evil brothers.

It is not the case of the movie however, revealing the true nature of man, a dualistic nature opting to, on one side use their genius and cooperation to survive and on the other build a universe dictated by populism and fanaticism, making up monsters , evil legends and more particularly a state of fear and terror such as the state of terror more or less voluntary humans today, after the last witnesses of the World Wars are dying, are recreating, in an eternal chain which the current philanthropic trends cannot but make more pathetic.

040. The Empirical Empires

Gaius Octavius Augustus, the great first Roman Emperor who reached the far northern end of his empire, would have never guessed that the desolated peninsula ahead of him, the Cimbrorum peninsula unworthy of his attention, was to one day equal and surpass by far his Peninsula Italica. The Emperor would have never guessed that this very wild and miserable folk, first by stealing and then by selling steal to the revival of the Roman empire, the fascist Europe, he would have never guessed that right this very folk would become the new dominator of the continent through a new form of imperialism dictated by philanthropy.

This sudden swap of roles which might occur in different paradigms, a swap exchanges the roles of the West and the East, but in our case that of the South with the North, has by no doubts affected the more Easternized West. While the South then becomes increasingly barbarian, the actual barbarians become the model of civilization, a civilization that is certainly derived by economic prosperity and other circumstances which well befit the new media paradigm of these days such as the artificial lighting going hand in hand with the cold and gloomy weather of the North.

As this realization is taking place, the new empire is now obviously also becoming if not the dictator, the inspirator and (financial) promoter of a new kind of humanism. What are we then to expect from the construction of this humanism that is to shape the upcoming era? At first sight one could observe that it is decentralized, that it attempts to deconstruct any form of construction and that it focuses on minorities. This new humanism is then based on a critique of the old humanism, accusing it to be hegemonic and stepping over minor realities, however, the paradox is here great and a most hypocritical in that these very minorities elected to inspire the new trend in the humanity, has only legitimized their powerful and equally hegemonic take over; the unofficial minorities, those that are human centered being completely cut out.

Such a new empire made out of deconstructed empire, like the empire of a Nazi country who, having no history, deconstruct and reconstruct in its own domain the great pyramidal monuments of past human empires, such a new empire may only be surrounded by partisans of the human centered humanities, partisans not seeking for a one flag to homogenize them all under the same empire, but partisans developing their own centers with the awareness that they are only autonomous nodes under no organism, but themselves fully grown intellectual creatures with all the necessary organs enhanced by their media practices, their partisan weapons and the proof of their survival, one of many empirical empires.

041. The Non-extremism Neo-extremism

Navigating the streets of old Europe, it is hard not to come to terms with a the new radical reality emerging from the urban offspring: “DEATH TO RASCISM!”, “NO TO FASCISM! ” are just a few of the imperative mottoes screaming in the eyes of a traveler. The contrast is far more evident when such mottoes are usually brutally applied via stickers and graffiti on the historic architecture which might in fact have taken place not only because of a will of “power”, as the urban offspring seems to claim, but also as a will of love. In this respect, the fascist mottoes applied around southern Europe with the rise of Fascism, that very propaganda is by no means dissimilar from the much in vogue Anti-Fascist propaganda germinating so clamorously and populistically in the European urban centers.

If we content ourselves with a simple assumption, that this new form of extremism accusing old forms of extremism, is taking place in cities and it is generated by the local youth, we can easily discern the new mentality of the upcoming generation defeating the nihilism of modern life with a new form of extremism not too far from the extremist antidotes utilized by previous European generations. As the latter extremism, also this form of extremism is most self-destructive bringing the whole of the social fabric to an unbearable absurdity created by the upper hand of ideologies over scientifically conscious decisions.

At the base of the problem then we seem to have again the meaningless of the young minds in a technology dominated world. The problem seems again that of not being able to acknowledge at a social level, “technology” as strictly correlated to the human destiny, as much as nature and more in particular God, was to the pre-technological man. In order for the young mind to overcome this “nihilist complex”, it should be clear by now that he or she ought to turn technological, he or she ought to fully embed within him or herself, pure and unmediated technological behaviours which would allow him or her to operate with a new universe of meanings within our new technical reality.

Education, in this respect, should be aimed to facilitate the maturing minds to master the tools which would allow them to make sense and contribute “humanly” to the technological surroundings. All attempts to maintain and sustain environments, particularly at the educational level, that are not technology considered, should be not allowed to take the upper hand, as they only contribute, more or less directly, to the general unemployment of the young minds and a consequent embracement of extremist forms of “fashionable” ideologies. It would be too utopic to hope for every young mind to be facilitated in his or her maturation of a technological extension which would allow him or her to think consciously and independently in relation to a technology governed reality. It would be enough to disregard the sustainment or at least the predominance of old mentalities which only contribute to a general feeling of unemployment.