What strikes me about this is that mass media society has total domination of our cultural memory. We scarcely have any cultural memory from before film or television.
Contrary to the cry for myth of Rollo May and Joseph Campbell who prescribed myth as a panacea, America really is drowning in fictions, myths and fantasies, and is ever more engulfed in an entire simulacrum of illusions. We’re not starved of myth so much as we’re starved of grounded Reason.
A lot about our culture is about displacement, distorted around the contours of power and privilege which warp the social fabric. It’s enough to make people feel really crazy.
I think it was Martin Scorsese who said that film directing was about choosing what to show and not show. That pretty much describes the fault lines between the public and private in Hollywood.
We no longer even have a vision of the future. Things that are futuristic too belong to the past – like Blade Runner, Tron, Robocop, the music of Vangelis, Wendy Carlos and Kraftwerk. Futurism is an activity of the past, and tragically spells out our inability to imagine our own future from a culture disjointed from cultural time.
It reveals to us a strange mix of cultures. One is the ordinary functional modern Houston, the air conditioned oil boom town, celebrating its entrepreneurs, robust business and hustler culture. The other is the extraordinary just under the surface, the rich texture of human community which is sadly amnesiaed in more mundane times. In Harvey, we see these dueling ethics clash in amazing ways, and reveals how Houston’s disaster could hopefully open our minds to learn how to survive the future peril of a new climate reality.
The Geist, the specter, of Tyler Durden, fueled by the restless spirit of the office park dystopia, is a force personifying much of the malcontents in this age of anger. It’s interesting to place Fight Club not as fiction, but as prophetic documentary evidence of a time and place, a metaphor of the historical present, a world trapped between McWorld and Jihad, between globalism and it’s blowback.
Here I endeavor to explore the kachina cult, and how the influence of the West impacted Hopi Pueblo society. It begins as a simple story of a self-contained culture and its traditions, but soon winds through turns of critical theory and art history, arriving at unexpected places. I effort to explore ways and forms in which cultures have continued transformation in postmodern technoculture by using the Mickey Mouse kachina as a paradigm for cultural syncretism. It is a story which advances through narratives at first familiar, then stranger, and familiar again, arriving at an original move, and final speculation on the future of cultural theory.