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Subject do you know where you are
Posted by Ally
Posted on Wed Mar 22 03:48:55 2000
From IP h129.s58.ts30.hinet.net  

Do You Know Where You Are?

I.Postmodernism and the City: Postmodern architecture:
How do you locate you position?
How are your senses functioning in the hyperspace?
What can you believe in--in what you see, smell, taste, hear, or feel?
How can you follow up the rapidly changing definitions?
What is your faith?

A."[A]gainst the elite (and Utopian) austerities of the great architectural modernisms," a piece of architecture changes its features into a populist art merging with its "tawdry and commercial sign-system of the surrounding city . . ." (80).

B.Three features of postmodern architecture, taking Portman's Bonaventura Hotel as an example.
1. First feature: "[A] popular building, visited with enthusiasm by locals and tourists . . ." (80).
2. Second feature:
3. Third feature:

C.Do you know how to check in after you arrive at Hotel Bonaventura?
1."There are three entrances to the Bonaventura": Standing in the lobby of the Hotel Bonaventura, people would be confused at their location. Without signs of directions, people would get lost in the building.

2.Making a choice between an escalator and an elevator: Different vehicles take people to different destinations: The different choices that people make will lead they to different places, where they have no idea where they will be.

3.Autoreferentiality: Active and inactive: Subject and object:
a."[W]e are no longer allowed to conduct on our own: and this is a dialectical intensification of the autoreferentiality of all modern culture, which tends to turn upon itself and designate its own cultural production as its content" (82).

b.When they freely make a choice of the entryways and of the vehicles, people are offered with options, which "[govern] the inner space of the hotel itself . . ." (81).
Q: The significance of entryways: city/hotel; hotel/people

4."[R]eflective glass skin of the Bonaventura": Standing outside the hotel, people see nothing inside the building but "only the distorted images of everything that surrounds it" (82). When they see in the glass skin, people are seen, too.
Q: What kind of language is the reflective glass skin speaking?

5.Can a hotel be a maze? People will only have to intensify their sensual ability to locate their positions in the postmodern hyperspace rather than drift in the interwoven "great global multinational and decentred communicational network . . ." (83).

D.The New Machine: People have new understanding about their bodily perception in capitalistic surroundings in which people receive, display, and exchange their technological experiences.

II. The Abolition of Critical Distance: The dialectic of History:
What can you make of History?
What is your principle to make a difference between the genuine and the fake?
Can you tell the relation between the moment and the (global) space?

A."[M]oral or moralizing judgements" are no longer available to be applied in postmodern hypertext, "if postmodernism is a historical phenomenon . . ." (85).

B."Can we in fact identify some 'moment of truth' within the more evident 'moments of falsehood' of postmodern culture?" (86)

C.Contemporary cultural politics:
1."Critical distance" (87): Even though the relative autonomy or semi-autonomy might not be endowed with in the cultural sphere of the late capitalism, "everything in our social life . . . can be said to have become 'cultural' in some original and as yet untheorized sense" (86).

2.The concept of aesthetic: Stopping being influenced by so called classical or bourgeois aesthetics--moral teaching, people should be aware of the "dimensions of political art" that is differently brought up by Lukacs or Brecht, and a new cultural form "cognitive mapping" is found. (88-9)

D.The Construction of a genuine political culture: authenticity of postmodernism.
1.The expansion of interpretation: It cannot be a cultural ideology or fantasy to explore the "genuine historical reality" or merely reflect the reality, the mimesis of reality, and/or the contradiction in the representation of reality, but it should be an invitation for more perspectives of interpretation.

E."Map and remap": "The representation of the subject's Imaginary relationship to his or her Real conditions of existence" (89) in a globalized space.
1.The correspondence among the indicators ("new instrument"), the information (documents and geography), and subjective experiences (89-90): There is never a "real" map.

2.Althusserian ideology: In an (inter)national and social context, it certainly becomes a political issue of self-, social-, and national-identity and position when the development of technology is included.

3.Lacanian symbolic system: It is no longer a biological existence as Althusser asserts because Lacan points out that the subjects are situated in a symbolic system, which is not simply imaginary or real.

III.Conclusion:
In the global system, the boundary between subjects and objects are blurred up. Through knowledge and understanding relative locations, we can locate and relocate our positions in the hyperspace of postmodernism expelling despair and confusion but searching for new stances to encounter our historical moments.

Work Cited
Jameson, Fredric. "Postmodernism, or The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism." Postmodernism: A Reader. Ed. Thomas Docherty. New York: Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1993. 80-92.


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