The ‘Packet’

Ok, personal intellectual statement. Where do I begin from? I think I begin from C.G. Jung and the idea of a collective unconscious that embodies all the parts of the self in different configurations and different colours, but that have all the archetypes that make up both the self and the collective. I think we can (and do) inhabit (at least potentially) all of these roles, some to their most basic part (i.e. parent, child, friend, lover). These are based on a specific type of energy (I would say privately that relate to an individuals capacity especially in relation to other people and determine to some extent their level of vibrancy). The character of our collective unconscious (i.e. the colours of its manifestations) are determined by the discourses of our societal group. The stories don’t change, but the way they are enacted and the characterisations of the people involved do. I also come from W. Benjamin (to a certain extent). While I accept his premise of historical materialism, I think that fictive media (i.e. mythology) can give clues to the ‘losers’ of history as well. Now, we could go down the road of Baudrillard and talk about the ‘wag the dog’ principle (which if accepted would mean that even the myths are told by victors) but in response I would talk about J Fiske and the ways that disenfranchised people create resistance to a dominant narrative and appropriate for their consumption the given mythology in ways that utilise the same characterisations for their own use. In this way, even the resistance informs the characterisation of the myths. I would also come from Simmle and the ideas of specialisation within the metropolis (today read area of high population density). That certain actors (who are also celebrities) refine the enacting of a specific role that plays a part of that overall dominant narrative. I am a modernist/ late modernist/ post risk society believer(?). I believe there is a dominant narrative. There are those within that narrative that are more powerful than others, and that want to organise in and out specific messages that benefit them, but at the same time I think all people do that (Jungian again) to maintain their self perceptions (and to a certain extent their sanity)- to keep themselves in a somewhat coherent whole.

I think that the proliferation of media and the types of media that we are increasingly able to produce (both those in/ with power and those disenfranchised) allow us to see ‘self-in-other’. The external sensory perceptions that are included, to enable us to ‘feel part of the action’ (usually to make the media viewing more attractive and support the culture industry’s profit margin) in a newer way, our imagination is stimulated by music, more vivid imagery (as CGI and the increase in budget to those in the culture industry allow us to enhance these elements). As different media portrays different character perspectives of the same events over and over at the same time we learn them as our collective historical past. We are able to empathise with all those perspectives to a particular interaction, letting us recognise that all the elements in a situation can be due sympathy (limited of course by our capacities for empathy). Shortly, we can see the shadow elements of ourselves in the actions of others whom we have previously discounted, ignored or exported onto. The self-referencing is possible in some ways due to the expansion of the super-structure and the shift from exchange value to symbolic exchange. As our ideology is more influenced/ directed (initially for profit, but again with Fiske as a tension/ appropriation) we can see that the symbolic exchange works both ways. I think there is value in investigating the dominant narrative and those who receive it more willingly (because it more closely ties to their experience or aspirations) as it is systematic. The resistance happens cyclically with the culture industry production, but in a much less structured way and is therefore harder to demonstrate without reference to the way it impacts the shifts in production within the economic/ political structures that govern proliferation/ dispersion of media. If nothing else because of the scales involved. As an example, if a major media network decides on a new narrative/ myth (be it TV show, movie, biog of media personality) they put huge resources into its proliferation and this can be tracked through financial and viewing interval variables. The ways that this is interpreted and renegotiated may go through several incarnations, each of which are individual to a particular person, group, place and time. Those are important, but I am interested in the larger, meta narrative that gets impacted when future trends experts look at what will be the next big thing (that corporate entities then exploit) because of the power disparities involved and the resources that get committed. These threads are important clues to the directions of the collective unconscious (although not necessarily predictive as black swans can change overnight the direction of that mythology as the group impacted struggles to internalise and equalise the impact of what is usually a catastrophic event).

I think that this collective unconscious holds more clues to a new kind of cosmopolitanism (or maybe globalism). An ideology founded in the fact that the ‘other’ or the shadow must be recognised as a part of ourselves to understand our own story, and to come to reconciliation with those parts (of ourselves and our societies) in order to get on with the business of the mechanics of life. After the emotions, the logistics.

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