The Choragrapher in Us Part I and Part II

Plato

Plato had positioned a transition between the celestial and the terrestrial  worlds though the notion of a chora.  It plays an important role in his cosmology. It is theorised as invisible receptacle of all becoming. It is in the chora that all forms were thought to be materialized. One can think of it with the analogy of a space. Chora is said to be receiving everything without receiving their forms.  For Plato chora is place of chaos. It is full of unbalanced heterogeneous forces.  It is matrix where mimesis of the eternal forms takes shape. As a matrix, it has inspired scholars  to understand the dynamic substratum of the  digital world.  Umler is calling the dynamic matrix of the digital world as choragraphy. It is something where the choreography or the dance of the traces in the internet takes place.  Hence, choragraphy for him is digital writing. It is imagined as a space of incubation. It is an in-between zone. It is a transition that leads to the creativity of the dance of signs/ traces in the worlds of the internet. This choreography is engineered by  human as well as AI choreographers. But all of it occurs in the matrix of  chora.

Often we may find ourselves in a chora. It is a space of anticipation. It gives us a feeling that the solution that we are looking for is available in a certain direction. We seem to have a hunch that if we walk that path, we will reach the desired destiny.  Chora opens us the possibilities of  becoming  inventive. Plato invented a way to reason within literacy. He did it by  inscribing  dialectics within the written simulation of conversation ( dialogue). Hence, how are we to reason in the world of electracy ? Ulmer thinks that it is possible because of choragraphy. He says that the line  in the  online anticipates him.  This means  it is already in the chora.  There is a way, (the meta + hodos) and  the one who walks  its path over time, will be the enabled one  who can use the line to draw designs with the picto-ideo-phonograpic images of  the digital world.  The digital world has put us into the grounds of chora. We are enabled to write with the line on online. Given the choreography of the worlds of internet, we  who are writing online  are trying to satisfy our aesthetic instincts.  We have become creative and inventive and as such have become digi-grammatologists.  Choragraphy as an anticipatory structure is related to hermeneutics. But is different because it is projective and does not just brings pre-understanding but also brings fore-understanding to bear into its projects. Everyone is a designer on the internet. It is chora, that provides us  the alphabets to ride our way to meanings and enjoyments. The same is true for those who engineer the digital alphabets in the first place. We all have become hueratically  choragraphing subjects.   It is chora that transforms the digital form into a space of invention. 

The internet world does not promote one-fit-size for all. Everyone can be creative. It is chora that makes it possible.  The internet is a choragraphy. It is choragraphic grammatology. We write with the line online with picto-ideo-phonographic images and traces. It is chora with its anticipatory horizon thatoi offers us possibilities of inventive and creative writing online. This means both the producers and consumers of the internet content are writing. Everyone is a grammatologist in the web. The internet has place for all. All the previous media forms have converged in the internet. This is why everyone feels welcome and enjoys the pleasures of being a grammatologist of the internet. There is always more to do in the web. This is why the subject of the networks is always on the arrival. He/she can never really reach his/her destination. There is always more to come, more to enjoy, more to write. This anticipatory coming is the chora. It keeps us on the arrival. 

Ulmer tells us that dialogue / conversation of  literacy is displaced ( not replaced) by desire of the electracy. This is why he says epistemology is also displaced by epithymics.  Desire rules on the web. We can abuse others if we are angry or  do the same for economic or political reasons as we find it with the trolls.  Unfortunately, we are chasing desire destructively. Therefore, what are we do to deal with this hungry desire? How are we to harness it for the wellbeing and welfare of everyone? These questions become important for us all.  This is why we have to enter choragraphy. It being a place of invention may enable us to find ways to bring welfare to all as we surf/ dance to the worlds of the web.  The world of the internet is also on the arrival. The computers are accelerating their processing ability. The interface of voice-recognition, data-gloves and eye movements will make the keyboard obsolete. We will then use the graphic line online more easily. These changes are already around. They will fast gain currency and will reach common people just like the PC and the keyboard has already come on the touchscreen of the smart phone.

 

  We are already writing with images of the worlds of the internet. What we need is self-knowledge and responsibility. know thy self of Socrates is still valid. Therefore, critical thinking is radicalized by the ever growing digital world. Hermeneutics and critique are displaced by heuretics and grammatology which are profound illustrations of critical thinking.  Hence, we need to become profoundly aware of the grammatologies of  the internet and find creative and responsible ways to engage the same for our  good and the good of humanity. Our narratives are shaped by the dace of the patterns of traces ( choreography) that we generate as subjects of networks. Our behaviour on the web has almost become mindless. What therefore, we need is to be mindful and choose our engagements to build patterns of traces ( choreographies) that are emancipative.

 

Part II

Taking Charge of our Choreography on the Web 

The growing world of  electracy  is placing a huge challenge before us. It is inviting us to do to the digital image what the classical Greeks did for the alphabetic word.   The Greek invented metaphysics which then became a new way of categorising the world that was different from somewhat totemistic  order used by the oral  civilizations.  The oral societies had an organizing apparatus that was more or less  totemistic. The society of literacy had phonetic alphabets  while post-literacy world of electracy has digital image.  The digital alphabets are inventing our understanding of the world anew.  We have to invent a new metaphysics to categorize the world of our new experience. We need to repeat the Greek miracle. We are inventing  electracy out of literacy just as the older civilizations invented literacy out of orality . We cannot escape this juncture. The worlds of the internet are already flowing to us in diverse ways. Even if we decide to say a big no, Freud has taught us about its impossibility.  Freud taught us that negation is a defence  that allows unacceptable thoughts to be entertained under the sign of ‘no’.  Freud teaches that ‘no’is a primordial abstraction which separates from a proposition, leaving the unwelcome idea fully internalized.  This is why we must understand that we can become what we hate and reject.  In some deep way saying no is saying yes. 

We have already shifted to image metaphysics. Our generation is paranoid about its image. Our politics is rooted into image building as well as image destruction.  We have shifted from the world of alphabets to the world of digital images.  We are guided by the image reason. The image reason is aesthetic in character. It is different from largely analytical alphabetic reason that creates conceptual categories by sorting out essences from accidents and produces hierarchies of classes.  We can find in the both philosophy and art a rebellion against this alphabetic reason.  In some way we may say that there was an anticipation of aesthetic image reason in those fields.  The image reason follows an aesthetic order and moves directly from one image to another in an associational series.  The image reason is ruling us today. The fear is that the spectacle of the image may destroy the critical dimension of reason.  It is already creating our identities. In the oral societies the people experienced the subject as a spirit and organised themselves as tribes. Under literacy, people experienced the subject as individual self and organised themself in the print era, as nation-state.  Under electracy we have become electrate and are experiencing the subject differently both from oral as well as literal societies and are likely to organize differently in some way other than the tribe and the nation.  We have already seen that the geographic borders, economic self-interest and symbolic culture that organized a nation-state are crumbling down. ‘What form will the new socio-political order take?’ is not known. It is an opportunity for us to be heuristically inventive. 

We are fully immersed and soaked into the image culture. Just as the culture of literacy with its reading  and writing culture led to the individual self, the immersion into the world of the spectacle shaped by digital images with the choreography of  its traces is producing a different experience of the self.  Deleuze and Gauttari have indicated that the individual of literacy is breaking down into a dividual.  Self of the networks that is surfing several networks  of the world of images is born.  The dividual has double aspects. The self is divided  from within with it several avtars  on the web as well as  it flows with several worlds  in the  web.  This   condition seems to have produced disruption of the primary identity and as a result may be identity politics is having a prime time in our societies. The aesthetic reason seems to have led us to experience our self primarily as a body and there is steady forgetting of the cogito of Descartes.  We seem to be acting mindlessly on the networks of web to satisfy the aesthetic thirsts of the body. Ulmer says that we have reached a Post-self under the era of electracy. All of us are living with an image/s of self-nurtured and nourished by the platforms of the social media. We are facing the consequences of having an image/s  that circulates and has it life apart from our presence and control.   Right now we seem  to be passively dancing to the choragraphy of the internet. We need to take charge of this choreography.

To come to terms with the dancing dividual of the internet, we have to come to terms with chora. The self of the networks of the internet is already a choragraphic.  Choragraphy is  also hermeneutical.it is an anticipatory structure that the self in the web brings to bear. Being rooted in the image reason this anticipatory structure is wildly soaked into aesthetic orientations.  This is why the self  is not enthused by analytic tools of the literacy.  Self of the networks has become what it hates. It does not like breaking of the concepts into its constituent parts. Breaking of concepts into its parts   to simplify them belongs to literacy. But the self of electracy is in a hurry and it embraces the world of images holistically while it divides itself as a dividual on the net.  The self that says no to the tools of literacy is embodying the tool of analysis within itself. It has become what its hates, dislike and rejects.  This is why we have to come to our senses in this era of electracy that primarily satisfies our senses. But to come to our senses we need our mind. We need to examine the choragrapic anticipatory structure that is shaping our engagement with the worlds of the internet.   Only this exercise might enable us to take charge of our choreography in the net.  It may enable us to discern the coherence principle that guides our surfing on the web.  There is a coherence logic that makes the play of different traces on the internet fit together for each of us. There is no one coherence principle that we can apply to all. It works differently for different people.  The either/ or logic of literacy is dead and a kind of juxtapositioned associative thinking that we  may call coherence logic is ruling us in an era of electracy.

 

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Hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue.

- Fr Victor Ferrao