The Chora-Logic and Us

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The world of the internet has shifted us from the texts of literacy that made us concerned about what the texts meant or at most what we make of them to what can be made with them. This has brought our inventive or heuretic dimension to the texts of the internet. This is the reason writing becomes the best means to understand what can be made of them. Using the insight of grammatology, we can think that we are writing with the texts on the internet. Each of us is writing with the texts and their traces on the web and producing our meaning and enjoyments. The texts of the internet mediate these writings. This performative writings of the wasteful/ playful self of the web who is driven by the desires that are aesthetically grounded are profoundly involving our body. Based on these developments, we have several attempts to understand the human subject of the internet. One important attempt can be viewed as Chora-Logic. It is an experimental reconfiguration of the sovereign, abstracted and disembodied citizen-subject of Cartesian mould to the one situated both in the virtual destiny and multidimensional actuality of a particular place but whose self-knowledge and world knowledge is now increasingly mediated by access to electronically arbitrated more and more by the virtual polis.

The notion of Chora was a logical requirement of the metaphysics and cosmology of Plato. We can encounter it in the Timeous. We have seen that this notion of Chora is employed by Gregory Ulmer as a means to understand the texts and contexts of electracy. Chora-Logic is a means for us to understand how the self of the internet plays with the texts and mines knowledge, meaning and enjoyment from them. The playful self of the internet being a heretic self even draws knowledge, meaning , enjoyment that is yet to come from these texts that he/she encounters on the web. To an outside Cartesian observer, the playful self of the web appears to be erratic, confused and a self-idolater. There is no neutral point or the God’s eye point of view to understand the self of the internet. We can of course imagine such a zero point only hypothetically. We need this critical distance which is actually fast dying in the world of the internet. This is why we need to understand Chora-logic to understand the playful self of the web. Chora being a place of being and becoming offers us possibilities to think dynamically of the spacing where we can think of any change as occurring through the triad of being/space (chora)/ becoming. This suggests that Chora is additive and operates with the logic of association rather than the familiar subtractive logic of either or thinking. This is why what Cartesian positivists thinkers think as erratricks of the playful self on the web are actually based in Chora-logic that is additive and associative in character.

The linear logic of the starting point has dissolved and the playful self can begin anywhere and carry on with his creative writings on the web. The Chora-logic opens the playground at any point and allows the playful self to move side by side, all round and above and below so as to chase his/her aesthetic drives. Hence, we have to factor in how the internet makes room for the multidimensional affective sides of the playful self and hence has become a gathering place/ spot for the birds of the same feather. This also means Chora-logic allows us to clean as well as dirty the place or even get locked into our echo-chambers that offer us the comfort of hearing our own voice. Thus, we can use the insight of chora-logic that works through associations to understand how the playful self enjoys his/her colonization of the web. Just like Plato’s cosmology required the notion of Chora, we require Chora-logic to understand the new electronic cosmology that humans are generating on the web. The associative and additive dimension of the Chora-logic tells us that it works like cologic ( collage logic) that is based on the principle of correlation and coherence.

The Chora-logically generated cosmologies are also dislocating the real physical locale of the playful self. The playful self prefers to withdraw into these new bewitching virtual spaces and forgets the real physical ecologies. The escape into the virtual ecologies also affects the real human relations in the home and work places while individuals stay glued to the worlds of the internet. But Chora-logic being additive has within it to embrace the physical ecologies. We can already see how families, communities of workplaces and others have migrated into the worlds of the internet and have also become virtual communities. The grammatology of the plasticity of the web has its good sides as well as dark sides. The dark side includes the need for balance between the real self and its several avatars or larvae in the web. Overdose of the cosmologies and semiologies of the web may render the self of the web insensitive to the pain of the others as well as cry of environmental destruction. Besides, it can also keep us blind to the way capitalism is using the wealth and resources of the people to build economic and social inequalities to benefit their vested interest. This is possible because the world of the internet is grounded and fired by capitalism. It is the oxygen of the internet. Hence, we need to promote critical consciousness and remain alert. This does not mean that the Chora-logic is incapable of becoming subversive. It can be subversive as well as a propaganda tool. Hence, it is important not to let the critical side in us die as we surf the worlds of the internet.

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Hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue.

- Fr Victor Ferrao