Archive for June, 2012

What counts as new in the human world? Not many things. Boris Groys, I think, has suggested over a decade ago that ‘things’ (Sachen) cannot be new for they are not real in the sense that, Groys points out, things “are not what lies behind their cultural descriptions and representations”, what is actually real, he states, are the relations between cultural activities and their products. in his work if I understand him correctly,, he also wants us to understand that the qualification ‘new’ is not something that is bestowed by either authenticity or the market. I have long been puzzling about this issue myself, in particular with regard to the market. It is a consequence of my own theory of semantic agency and, furthermore,  recent theories of relational communicative leadership, thirdness, and narrative empathy have continued to lead me on a path to understanding and conceptualizing this relation as problematic. The ‘new’ as a label is not actually and truly ‘new’. ‘New-ness’ is a narrative device (ambassadorial, at the very least, more likely a broadcast narrative empathy [Suzanne Keen]), embedded in a culture of empathy [Fritz Breithaupt] that is supposing a theory of mind, but a highly reductive concept of mind. That is exactly the point, that is what the market does, it reduces variations and contingencies of new-ness narratives. The market, from the point-of-view of ‘new-ness” narratives is the anti-evolution.

As semantic agency theory assumes, true new-ness would be un-intelligible and un-communicable. It would be a newdity. It would be truly naked – a naked singularity, even? And as such, it would be an object of shame. Not its subject, it would not have to be ashamed, because the culture of the newdity knows no such taboo, but in emerging in our culture (that is market culture and therefore the culture of anti-new, of anti-evolution) the newdity’s appearance as naked causes others to feel ashamed and gaze away not seeing it, even wanting to un-see it. In being so shamed, because it is naked and comes without the apparatuses of seemingness without the cloaks of appearing as ‘novelty or innovation (that is none: a ‘novation’ that is already ‘in’ cannot be truly and actually new)’, the newdity should it feel this shame – which it doesn’t know before for its nudity is not something that would make it stand out among other newditities for that is, after all, their natural state – will have begun a process integration via putting on ‘appearances’: This is why ‘in-vestment’ in ‘innovation’ always is a cloak-and(sometimes)-dagger  affair: Interest in a new thing is vested because it is vestimentary, a fancy dress. This is why we confuse fanciness with newness, and innovation – though never anything truly new – is considered ‘fashionable’: the cell-phone that can store more movies, is garnished  with more bling, and can be furnished with more upcoming and novel apps. However, the true and actual newdity will not be so easily ‘innovated’, upgraded, dressed. It does not commute into these discourse being so un-communicable and un-commutable. For its nakedness, it knows no shame, and therefore, has no excuses (Breithaupt). for it (intelligibility) nor knows it how to make them up (communcability). Newdity is not easily found in contemporary human culture, because to be filtered through the still not dead (or undead and zombie) notion of ‘human'(anthropos), means to dress up in excuses. But if it is always just same old same old, how are we to progress? We need to stop being afraid of our natural state of our nakedness and embrace the (old/new?) culture of newdity.

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