File spoon-archives/avant-garde.archive/avant-garde_1996/96-11-03.013, message 109


Date: Thu, 24 Oct 1996 08:07:53 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: word for the day



But perhaps the function of disappearing is a vital one. Perhaps this is 
how we react as living beings, as mortals, to the threat of an immortal 
universe, the threat of a definitive reality. So this whole array of 
technology could be taken to mean that man has ceased to believe in his 
own existence, and has opted for a virtual existence, a destiny by proxy. 
Then all our artefacts become the site of the subject's non-existence. 
For a subject without an existence of his own is at least as vital a 
hypothesis as that of a subject decked out with such metaphysical 
responsibility.

Seen from this angle, technology becomes a marvellous adventure, just as 
marvellous in this case as it seems monstrous in the other. It becomes an 
art of disappearance. It might be seen as aiming not so much to transform 
the world as to create an autonomous world, a fully achieved world, from 
which we could at last withdraw. Now, there can be no perfecting of the 
natural world, and the human being in particular is a dangerous 
imperfection. If the world is to be perfect, it will first have to be 
made. And if the human being wishes to attain this kind of immortality, 
he must produce himself as artefact also, expel himself from himself into 
an artificial orbit in which he will circle forever. (jb)

__

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