l'art d'être · laureen andalib

Biopolitics and Rhizomatic In-securities

In Timothy Murray’s “Digital Terror: New Media Art and Rhizomatic In-Securities,” the implications of global (and constant) digital advancements are explored in regards to propagating the simultaneity of global terror and artistic production. The irony here however is not that artistic production is often oblivious from this very digital terror: it capitalizes on the immateriality of its very “digital material”— in other words, it reflects on the various, “precise conditions” of global-insecurity. Most importantly, through the “paradox of digital terror” (for example, in reference to Herman-Peled), this existential paradox is universally situated in the crucial (and perhaps even misleading) omnipresent network of in-betweenness, a crucial discourse of Murray’s essay.

As introduced through Deleuze’s opposition against the conventional “ontological subject,” Murray raises the theme of collective agency, which operates strictly because of global positionally. This very platform provokes in-betweenness: a fickled decisiveness which unconsciously consumes the state of being in-between, but then denies the fragility of the conclusion. After introducing Crandall’s logic, I found it most fascinating when Murray raises the most important issue of the digital world: the way it unintentionally gobbles the world’s information as a system, but regurgitates (and also strips) humankind’s place by rendering them to “bits” through micro-deconstruction. If this is the case when re-constructed, can the digitized identities of humans re-contribute to this collective agency?

In relation to the art world, Murray explains, “viral parody is the new life form of digital installation and internet art.” Furthermore, as he proposes the notion of the “digital delirium”— combining futuristic aesthetics with the assertiveness of historical objects– to me, the global archive becomes both reckless, brilliant, and threatening. This is when I question myself as an artist myself: in finding appropriation to be one of the most powerful tools of discourse of platform establishment. Thus, the digitization of appropriation is not like painting or photography where a certain reference of discourse indexes a specific moment in time, but rather, presents the motive of a network as an ongoing, living platform of installation which changes meaning through temporality.


Biopolitics and Rhizomatic In-securities

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