idź do strony głównej [WRO 03 Globalica]
English

Two Worlds of Fortune: Culture and Dying in the Global Zone

Esther Leslie (United Kingdom)

The title draws on a vignette in TW Adorno and Max Horkheimer 's 1940s study Dialectic of Enlightenment. This book was a high-pitched shriek against a burgeoning culture industry, where every cultural experience is to be ferociously marketed and bought. 

In one section, a vignette termed Two Worlds, Adorno contrasts the differing notions of fortune in America and China, and reveals the ways in which American capitalism exceeds its economic function and invades all textures of subjective life. This paper begins by transposing Adorno 's ideas to a contemporary context, looking at the extension of the commodification of culture in the global system from the US to China, and, more importantly, the pre-emption of experience via the commodity. More recently though, textures and cracks have reasserted themselves on the once homogenous space-time of non-history. 

The process of globalisation has produced its antithesis, a globalised resistance (which might be resistance to globalisation or, more specifically,an attack on commodification itself. This global fightback has established or occupied channels of information, discussion, distribution, commentary and critique. Here is another world of cultural activity epitomised in anti-capitalist activism, and much of which is instinctively or consciously based on avant-gardist theories and practices (e.g.montage, detournement), processes that previously resonated most forcefully at moments of revolutionary upheaval, i.e.the 1920s and 1960s. 

These acts now take place globally the forms and formats have spread worldwide, and new media, friendly and hostile, can rapidly transmit knowledge of each instance. This new wave of practice is manifested both digitally through various types of net-activism and in old-school styles. Both sets of practices might be fruitfully thought of in relation to Walter Benjamin 's concept of the new barbarism a kind of squatting of the enemy 's methods, tools and modes of address.