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Cyclopean Vision vs Poly-sensual Engagement


Requested comment on Douglas Kellner, Media Culture and the Triumph of the Spectacle Journal of the Interdisciplinary Crossroads Vol. 2, No. 2 (August 2006), pp. 219-251. Published in that journal.
Introduction
Vision metaphor
Substitute for failure of intellectual integration and operational coordination
Myth and meaning
Identity and spectacle
Wholes vs Happenings
Engaging the "spectator"
References

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Introduction

This comment on the paper by Douglas Kellner (Media Culture and the Triumph of the Spectacle, 2006), reframing the earlier study of Guy Debord (Society of the Spectacle, 1967) derives from overlapping concerns as a futurist with the use of particular metaphors in framing the challenges of governance for the future. It arises from early work on integrative forms of presentation of information and subsequent work on its visualization in support of policy-making -- how overviews (synthesis) gets intelligently presented for action. However more recent events indicate the need to frame such topics in terms of information warfare and, more appropriately, memetic warfare (cf Participative Democracy vs. Participative Drama: lessons on social transformation for international organizations from Gorbachev, 1991; Missiles, Missives, Missions and Memetic Warfare: Navigation of strategic interfaces in multidimensional knowledge space, 2001) .

My primary concern with Kellner's excellent articulation of the issue of spectacles, and their interpretation, is his minimal focus on the operational possibilities in response to the problematic situation they constitute -- despite their "contradictions and reversals" and their "volatility, unpredictability, and evanescence". As he notes, "various models of opposition and struggle" were a preoccupation of the Situationist International whose successors make available the Debord text on the web -- with related commentaries (cf Len Bracken, The Spectacle Of Secrecy) and characteristic criticism of Debord himself (cf Luther Blissett, Guy Debord is Really Dead, 1994). My commentary is therefore a suggestion as to how his analysis effectively creates a framework through which to explore initiatives that he does not discuss.

ffectively creates a framework through which to explore initiatives that he does not discuss.


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