The Culture of Immanence

Symposium:


Presentation Title:

  • The Culture of Immanence

Presenter(s):



Abstract:

  • The utmost in shaping… is to arrive at no ascertainable shape.

    -The Culture of Immanence

     

    Although as yet unnoticed by some, a radical change is beginning to take place in world culture that will astound even the most learned. Profound changes are occurring within postmodern societies and giving rise to transformations that will have unpredictable and immensurable consequences. We are on the threshold of catastrophic events, with paradigm changes that defy definition. Previously solid institutions, groaning under the weight of historical tradition, may well be blown away by cultural storm winds. In every discipline – from mathematics to the arts, from biology to economics – we see profound modifications in our feelings about the preconceived canons, and we are heading for a generalized state of crisis in contemporary culture. We still see the world from the historical vantage point of the culture of transcendence, although its dominance is now being challenged. From Plato’s Ideas and Aristotelian metaphysics, to the Hobbesian Leviathan, through to the teleological ideals of modernity, the culture of transcendence has imposed its univalence and super-codification on institutions and cultural trends emerging within them, thus flattening all their cultural features. It took part in every type of sovereignty as it constituted and consolidated its power through cultural institutions: academies, museums, and universities. The culture of transcendence was a culture for the “few” to the detriment of the “many”. However its modern version is for the masses, it functions in the interests of capital and has invented cultural dissimulation, the perverse allure we call culture of transcendence for the mass. This mass media pseudo-culture maintains most of the behaviors and principles of the culture of transcendence of the “few”, without modifying them for the super-codifying procedure imposed on the “many” – who are now “culturally” atomized and tragically disconnected among themselves, who are connected only to analogical media that provide unilateral information as part of the process of homogenizing their subjectivities. All of this was sustained by technological development that seemed to corroborate with the de-potentialization of the “many”; however technological acceleration led to an unexpected and catastrophic turn that involved a break from the system.

     

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    Full text (PDF) p. 207-209

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