Glossary

Contents:

Aura Conceptual Tactility Conflict Narratives
Existential Space Gestural Literacy Icon
Iconic Medium Impulse Impulse Exchange
Information Negative Exchange Relational Space
Spectacular Space

Aura – (Related Article)
Concept used by Walter Benjamin to describe the sensuous aspect of experience or memory. This idea is demonstrated by comparing the involuntary memory, say where eating a particular food suddenly brings back a complete sense of a moment in childhood, with information, which in no way evokes any experiential quality. A newspaper report (information) gives you no sense of what it is like to have experienced an earthquake. For an experience to acquire an aura, it must have to some extent entered the recipient via the unconscious.

Conceptual Tactility – (Related Article)
Increased use of electronic media produces a heightened capacity for remote, dislocated tactile sensation. Examples include 3D modelling, animation, virtual world interaction, ASMR videos. As a creator, one imagines the object that one is acting on and in imagining it, gives it a pseudo-physical presence. Operations performed on this pseudo-real return tactile feelings to the creator without them actually touching anything. Similarly, people encountering the object, animation, ASMR, respond physically to the detail of these artifacts. Conceptual tactility comes with a shift from opinionated and propositional expression and substitutes it with an experiential expressoin. (See also Gestural Literacy)

Conflict Narrative – (Related Article)
With the amplification of impulse in the spontaneous and de-rationalised electric age, and with the amplification of our sensitivity to narrative through excessive contact with stories, films, soaps, talk-shows etc, we are incentivised to tell our own stories and construct our own lives through structured conflict.

Existential Space – (Related Article)
The present moment in which we actually exist and live our lives. Existential Space may be understood as existing amidst Spectacular and Relational Space. Influenced by an incomplete and edited relationship with the images of media and information that governs and organises the nervous system through which we then relate to one another, the Existential Space is the sum of this complexity. In the present state of things, our primary existential relationship is with the spectacle and only secondarily with each other. It is thus the Spectacular validates and the Relational just is.

Gesturual Literacy – (Related Article)
An experience of meaning through either reading or assuming some posture. A form of conceptual tactility insofar as a complex experience is transferred or internally generated by some posture, imagined, witnessed or assumed. Fashon and music magazines are a good example, the stance of models and musicians transmitting certain attitudes to the viewers. This is to some extent a narcisistic mirror – to look at the posture of the model is to assume that emotional posture yourself. (See also Conceptual Tactility)

Icon – (Related Article)
Not to be confused with McLuhan’s notion of an icon, here it is meant as an image of something transmitted by Spectacular Space. The ‘icon’ is not a person or a thing, but the construction of a thing through various media – magazines, TV, radio, fashion, etc. The ‘icon’ is an edited, derelationalised, controlled impression.

Iconic Medium – (Related Article)
The icon as a technology itself – through constant interaction with icons via TV, radio, books etc, our own relational aspect is modified to the extent we relate to ourselves and each other as if icons and images. This effect is the effect of the Iconic Medium.

Impulse – (Related Article)
Work, as a human invention, is the extension of some regulated physical process by which some goal may be achieved – for instance, the striking of flint (process) to get fire (goal). Reason, logic, philosophy (in the strict analytical sense), are the linguistic and symbolic extensions of work – a set of premises (process), for example, that lead to some irrefutable conclusion (goal). It is by this principle that Nature and Reason are not reducible to one another, and thus Bataille writes:

“Man has built up the rational world by his own efforts, but there remains within him an undercurrent of violence. Nature herself is violent and however reasonable we may grow we may be mastered anew by a violence no longer that of nature, but that of a rational being who tries to obey but succumbs to stirrings within himself that he cannot bring to heel.”

‘Impulse’ then is this seizure of rational man by the violent and unfathomable forces of Nature; that, or rather rational man’s constant inclination to slide away from Reason and reunite with the excessive violence of Nature. Today, it is ‘the impulse’ that is understood as ‘freedom’ or as representative of one’s ‘real inner-self’. This is in contrast to behaviour that is ‘polite’, ‘civilised’ or ‘socially expected’, which are the concepts of ‘work’, ‘Reason’ and the mechanical process.

Impulse Exchange – (Related Article)
Irrational impulses may be exchanged and used to inspire potentially pernicious and destructive results. To an extent, it is this irrational harm that makes up the vertiginous aspect of the impulse. For example, the passive partner may say to an active partner by way of flirtation: “You’re terrible!”. Herein, the underlying objective is to allow the active partner to become ‘terrible’, to draw them from civilised etiquette into excessive monstrosity. “You’re terrible!” is not a belief or attitude, but one side of an emotional exchange intended to inspire desire in the other party. Sexual consummation is the other side of this exchange, that, or the emotions and language which equate with it. This form of exchange, though it may appear harmful, unreasonable, destructive or non-consensual may in any case operate as part of a functional and reciprocal relationship.

Information – (Related Article)
Important in this blog in so far as it lacks Aura and indeed any experiential quality. And yet ‘information’ is that through which we mostly make contact with and process the world. ‘Information’ is an uninvolved way of interacting with the world in that we receive it consciously and without the sensual and unconscious complexity of an actual experience.

Negative/Positive Exchange – (Related Article)
Bataille states: “The urge towards love pushed to its limit is the urge towards death”. At the same time, he also bases human exchange not on the desire to acquire and conserve, but on the desire to lose and destroy. Acquisition and conservation are contrasted against ‘expenditure’ with acquisition representing a mean basis for pleasure and expenditure a more generous basis. Positive Exchange therefore represents generous reciprocal expenditure, say as in love or kindness. Negative Exchange represents a more complex and not immediately obvious mode of exchange where destruction and loss make up ends in themselves. Negative Exchange has reciprocity in the way one action contextualises another, either consciously or within unconscious impulse. Also see Impulse Exchange above.

Relational Space – (Related Article)
The world through which we are involved with each other; emotions, actions and reactions that come into being where two or more individuals come together. Includes effects of body language, facial expression, vocal intonation, unconscious effects of weather or architecture etc. This Relational Space for its full significance should be imagined without homogenizing and disembodying media such as TV, radio, magazines or internet. Relational Space however is necessarily redefined and reorganised by homogenising, Spectacular Space.

Spectacular Space – (Related Article)
Beyond the Relational is the spectacular which is made up of homogenizing media (Radio, TV, internet etc). Spectacular space is universally accessible and in a sense creates a version of the world. There is a relationship between this spectacle and the individual in that it feeds back into and reproduces Relational Space. Spectacular Space is generally (today at least) de-relational, full of images without aura, demographised and bland more than communicative, relational and complex.

    • Mr. Divine
    • April 25th, 2011

    I read all this and I’ve nothing to say apart from that I read it all

    • That’s probably as perfect a response as I could hope to inspire. I wish everyone would leave comments like that.

    • Mr. Divine
    • April 26th, 2011

    What a coincidence as I also thought it was a perfect response

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