and the Integral Accident of Love?

Some thoughts on Me and You and Everyone We Know. Everybody go see it. Yes, it is that good.

On the ‘sign’:


Was she aiming for perhaps post-gendered intimacy? Anyway…

One of Paul Virilio’s more well known theses is that with the invention of modern technologies come the accidents associated with them. He calls this the integral accident. Railway locomotives produce the railway accident. The car produces car crashes. So on and so forth.

Reading Mackenzie’s Transductions has got me reading some long forgotten books (I was storing them in my car’s boot!). One such book is Lyotard‘s The Inhuman. It is a book made up of papers delivered at conferences and the like. In one such paper, and BTW the only paper that Mackenzie seems interested in, Lyotard writes:

From its origins, mankind has set up a specific means of controlling time — the narrative of myth. Myth allows a sequence of events to be placed in a constant framwork in which the beginning and the end of a story framework in which the beginning and the end of a story form a sort of rhythm or rhyme, as Holderlin put it. The idea of destiny long prevalent in human communities — and even today in the uncoscious, if we are to believe Freud — presupposes the existance of a timeless agency which ‘knows’ in its totality the succession of moments constituting a life, be it individual or collective. What will happen is predetermined in the divine oracle, and human beings have as their only task that of unfolding identities already constituted in synchrony or achrony. Although given out at the time of Oedipus’s birth, Apollo’s oracle none the less prescribes in advance the destiny of the hero up until his death. This initial and summary attemp to neutralize the unexpected occurence was abandoned as the techno-scientific spirit and the figure od capitalism came to maturity, both of them much moreefficient at controlling time.
Very different, and yet very close, is the way modernity treats the problem. Modernity is not, I think, a historical period, but a way of shaping a sequence of moments in such a way that it accepts a high rate of contingency. (67-68)

An accident as such does not have to be something bad; ‘accidents’ are overcoded as bad within certain symbolic rituals of capitalist/moral/governmental enterprises such as the actuarial insurance industry with their technologisation of risk.

What if there are integral accidents to sociality? What if all we live are the accidents produced in a technologically mediated world? And what if what we thought of as our respective ‘lives’ were merely the latest versions of narrative myths that we tell ourselves about ourselves?

I have discussed this before and I think in a not dis-similar fashion to Punch Drunk Love, Me and You and Everyone We Know explores the nature of social accidents in a postmodern world.

The harmonies produced by the rhythm and rhymes of everyday life are accidental. MaYaEWK is a study of social accidents. It explores them with a childlike innocence. From covoluted accidents on the roadway involving goldfish to accidents of intimacy on internet chat programs to accidents of love that precipitate between an elderly person’s taxi driver and a shoe salesman.

(You can listen to the freakin fanta-stic soundrack here and more from Everlong Records, as a sidenote check out Roxy Saint‘s track “Rebel” and Metric’s stuff on the Everlong site. Yeah. That’s not what I’m talkin’ ’bout. Yeah. But what you should be talkin’ ’bout.)

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