[NetBehaviour] Tactical Media Poem #3: Symbolic Contagion

BishopZ xchicago at gmail.com
Fri Aug 21 00:11:08 CEST 2015


"Order of Things" 1966, Michel Foucault, preface, quoting Borges,
quoting a Chinese Encyclopedia,


"... animals are divided into:

a) belonging to the Emperor

b) embalmed

c) those that are trained

d) suckling pigs

e) mermaids

f) fabulous ones

g) stray dogs

h) included in the present classification

i) frenzied

j) innumerable ones

k) drawn with a very fine camelhair brush

l) others

m) having just broken the water pitcher

n) those that from a long way off look like flies"


Categorizations are historical artifacts.


Are a dog and cat more similar

than two greyhounds,

simply because they have both

just broken the water pitcher?


"One Thousand Plateaus" 1987, Giles Deleuze and Felix Guattari,


"There is no language in itself,

nor are there any linguistic universals,

only a throng of dialects,

patois, slangs and specialized languages...


There is no mother tongue,

only a power takeover by a dominant language

within a political multiplicity."


For D&G language is a regime of signs-

a regime because it is inextricably linked to prevailing authority

and signs because language overcodes reality.


Language is not innocent.

It is insidious, contagious, and opaque.

Language does not describe an idea -

language is the idea -

every word a packed unit of connotation.


"Naked Lunch" 1957, William Burroughs,


"Language is a virus from outer space."



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