Symbolic Misery- Volume 1

Symbolic Misery- Volume 1 : The Hyperindustrial Epoch

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Description

In this important new book, the leading cultural theorist and philosopher Bernard Stiegler re-examines the relationship between politics and aesthetics in our contemporary hyperindustrial age. Stiegler argues that our epoch is characterized by the seizure of the symbolic by industrial technology, where aesthetics has become both theatre and weapon in an economic war. This has resulted in a symbolic misery where conditioning substitutes for experience. In today s control societies, aesthetic weapons play an essential role: audiovisual and digital technologies have become a means of controlling the conscious and unconscious rhythms of bodies and souls, of modulating the rhythms of consciousness and life. The notion of an aesthetic engagement, capable of founding a new communal sensibility and a genuine aesthetic community, has largely collapsed today. This is because the overwhelming majority of the population is now totally subjected to the aesthetic conditioning of marketing and therefore estranged from any experience of aesthetic inquiry. That part of the population that continues to experiment aesthetically has turned its back on those who live in the misery of this conditioning. Stiegler appeals to the art world to develop a political understanding of its role. In this volume he pays particular attention to cinema which occupies a unique position in the temporal war that is the cause of symbolic misery: at once industrial technology and art, cinema is the aesthetic experience that can combat conditioning on its own territory. This highly original work - the first in Stiegler s Symbolic Misery series - will be of particular interest to students in film studies, media and cultural studies, literature and philosophy and will consolidate Stiegler s reputation as one of the most original cultural theorists of our time.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 128 pages
  • 148 x 228 x 12mm | 200g
  • Polity Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Translation
  • 0745652654
  • 9780745652658
  • 383,599

Review quote

"In this decisive contribution to a critical understanding of contemporary life, Stiegler demonstrates how mass exclusion from cultural production constitutes a form of generalized impoverishment, threatening to reduce our existence to mere subsistence. Typically though, he also suggests how we might build alternatives to this 'symbolic misery'. This work forms a vital part of Stiegler's essential project." Martin Crowley, Queen s College, University of Cambridge "Expanding on Deleuze s idea of 'control societies', Bernard Stiegler provocatively diagnoses the 'misery' of contemporary society as a collective exclusion from the creation of symbols. A war is being waged, he argues: capitalistic marketing is the instrument of choice, the battleground is aestheticsand the fight is for the control of affect. Recommended for anyone interested in the contemporary cultural condition." N. Katherine Hayles, Duke Universityshow more

About Bernard Stiegler

Bernard Stiegler is Director of Cultural Development at the Centre Pompidou in Paris.show more

Table of contents

Foreword Of Symbolic Misery, the Control of Affects, and the Shame that Follows As Though We Were Lacking or How to Find Weapons in Alain Resnais s Same Old Song Allegory of the Anthill The Loss of Individuation in the Hyper-industrial Age Tiresias and the War of Time On a Film by Bertrand Bonello Afterwordshow more

Review Text

"In this decisive contribution to a critical understanding ofcontemporary life, Stiegler demonstrates how mass exclusion fromcultural production constitutes a form of generalizedimpoverishment, threatening to reduce our existence to meresubsistence. Typically though, he also suggests how we might buildalternatives to this symbolic misery . This work forms a vitalpart of Stiegler s essential project." Martin Crowley, Queen's College, University ofCambridge "Expanding on Deleuze's idea of control societies , BernardStiegler provocatively diagnoses the misery of contemporarysociety as a collective exclusion from the creation of symbols. Awar is being waged, he argues: capitalistic marketing is theinstrument of choice, the battleground is aestheticsand the fightis for the control of affect. Recommended for anyone interested inthe contemporary cultural condition." N. Katherine Hayles, Duke Universityshow more

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