Networking, Wark’s Media Events

With the CSAA conference next week and all the ‘networking’ that is meant to happen, I thought I would post this link to a resource on McKenzie Wark’s old UQ webspace: “Networking on the Network” by Phil Agre.

I bought Wark’s global media events book yesterday in the secondhand Gleebooks. What I have read of it last night looks kind of interesting. I am not that much of a big fan of pure media studies (that is, studies that look at media as a self-contained ‘pirate’ milieu that hijacks reality from the ‘real world’ and doubling the reality as ‘media’, thus providing a space of investigation for media scholars). If Wark’s book looks at the gap between a state of affairs and the language used to denote such a state of affairs (ie the Deleuzian conception of events from TLoS), then I may be more interested. I decided to buy it after being triggered by this article co-written by my favourite Melbournian academic of angry, Christian McCrea. McCrea and Felicity Colman let fly the phrases of fury in a ninja zombie attack of gesture around the cult studs maypole. The physicality of the maypole metaphor captures some sense of the affective dimension of enthusiasm that I suggested was lacking from the critical dimension of Stelarc’s performances (while I now admit that Stelarc’s performances in themselves are highly affective).

While doing a little online loitering I found this interesting article on the X-Files by Wark. He writes:

“The X-Files is an allegory of the way Americans see themselves and their place in the world. If Star Trek reflects American imperial optimism of the post war years, the X-Files talks to an American people soured by the Vietnam war and the Watergate scandal. It speaks to an American public for whom the centre does not hold, who are completely cynical about the grand narratives of American empire and progress and righteousness. It draws on the residual, marginal popular cultures of the far left and far right.”

This needs updating. The obvious catalysing point is 9/11 as I have written about here. I wonder if I could get a short article published somewhere comparing the pre-9/11 X-Files to the post-9/11 CSI through a comparison of the way they construct and discuss ‘truth’…? Hmmm…

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