Friday, May 25, 2007

Where repetition is a kind of homage to the future by respecting the past

Deleuze/Guattari: Remix Culture, Paul D. Miller Interviews Carlo Simula in Music, Theory, Album/CD/DVD Covers, Remix Culture, Interview, Hip Hop, History, DJ Culture, Criticism Tuesday, May 22nd, 2007 Trackback Image source: Dusty Groove Text source: and November 20, 2005 The following is an interview with Carlo Simula for his book MILLESUONI. OMAGGIO A DELEUZE E GUATTARI (Cronopio Edizioni)
4) I find very interesting that in “Cinema 1-Movement and image” Deleuze talks about D.W.Griffith cinema, referring to image-action (the example he refers to in particular is “Intolerance”), and Griffith’s articulation of the narration, that offers two examples of “civilization”: (black people/white people). It almost seemed to me that your remix of “Birth of a nation”, especially when played live, originates, with the obvious differences, from Deleuze’s same critical ground… your opinion on that..
Civilization, as Freud pointed out so long ago, is about rules and boundaries but it also inspires a kind of continuous renewal. At heart, civilizations are control mechanisms - they’re psychological more than they’re physical. They are meta-tools. For me, at the moment, it seems like the West is in a serious crisis of meaning. The Enlightenment went dark in the mass mechanized warfare of the two world wars, and the shattered remains were burned in the fire of Vietnam. Pretty much nothing remains.
My music asks: how do we create new forms of meaning from these hollow ideals? We’ve moved far past Plato’s Republic into a realm where the “civic” aspects of culture as software are the new frames of reference. Software (credit card debt, individual assigned names on line, domain names, DNS routers, encryption, computer aided design that builds airplanes, routes electricity, guides DNA analysis etc etc there’s alot more but you get the point) regulates individual behavior - both on and off line - in the post industrialized world. Software for thinking: it’s an invisibly coercive concept.
I like Deleuze’s take on “Intolerance” but you have to remember that film acts as a crucial myth device for a world based on the consumption of images. I think that we need to analyze film from the viewpoint of not only what the Situationists called “psycho-geography” - a place that posits movement between radically different environments as a causal principle in the way that we organize information, but what Deleuze and Guattari posit as “deterritorialization” is essentially a kind of nomadic response to media overload - finding ways through the information data-cloud.
Griffith was essentially a propagandist for state repression - he created “cut-up” cinema as a tool to portray multiple situations - but exactly for the opposite of what Deleuze and Guattari would think about. He used it to lock down perception. They use it to open things up. Juxtapose the two, and you can see why two radically different thinkers like Sergei Eisenstein and Guy Debord liked to think of Griffith as the essence of American cinema. That’s the dj situation - origin, and destination blur: they become loops, cycles, patterns. The way to explore them is through the filter of woven meaning. Black culture has been the world’s “subconscious” for most of the last several centuries - it has been the operating system of a culture that refuses to realize that its ideals have died long ago.
The threads of the fabric of contemporary 21st century culture, the media landscape of filaments, systems, fiber optic cables, satellite transmissions, and so on - these are all rhizomatic. They are relational architectures - the move in synchronization. The meshwork needs to be polyphonic. The gears move in different cadences, but they create movement. They need to be pulled apart so that we can break the loops holding the past and present together so that the future can leak through. Perhaps this is where we break with the old situation of “black” “white” - that stuff is really dumb any way. It’s all a lot more complex than that dualism.
This is the new “operating system” I envisage when I remixed “Birth of a Nation” - the collapse of Wagner, the collapse of the Western scripts of linear progress, the renewal of a world where repetition is a kind of homage to the future by respecting the past. Paul D. Miller a.k.a. DJ Spooky that Subliminal Kid Tunis, Tunisia - 11/20/05

No comments:

Post a Comment