Arshake is pleased to publish the second of seven installemnts of an essay on thinking, poetry and writing in the technological era by Brunella Antomarini, Professor of Aethetics and Contemporary Philosophy at the John Cabot University in Rome. The essay originally appeared on the magazine “Smerilliana. Luogo di civiltà poetiche” (Pensiero poesia scrittura in feed back loop, in “Smerilliana”, n.17 2015, pp. 275-90), and it is here relaunched, translated into English.
(…) Today, with the art of electronic digital writing and on the Web, along with (or as a feedback of) the end of ideologies, any poetic, literary, or artistic manifesto – any complex form of thought – weaves into each other and their opposites. This intertwining also happens in politics or philosophy (one may think to realist philosophies getting mixed up with objectivist trends of thought that in turn get mixed up with the constructivist ones, etc.; or think to the confusion between Right and Left in politics). There is no way now to pick an enemy and declare war. Althusser called this “internal distanciation”. In other words, there is no way to affect the political status quo by means of intellectual thinking. Intellectual thinking is obsolete: it required a mechanical control (people used to typewrite, then) on the ideas exerting control on reality, on which it swooped down from above, as if dropping bombs on the clichés and the distortions of a conventional and dull life. The ideas that intellectual thinking produced were clear and trustworthy in comparison to the compromises of politicians, or these ideas would turn them into intellectuals. Politics was a matter of ideas, and ideas made sense if they made life better. This is the reason why, in the aftermath of WWII, which lasted until the end of the last century, Hannah Arendt raised the question of politics. She said that all thought is political and its task is to go beyond the limits of objective knowledge, that is, of objects and goods.
Still, thinking as she described it was already undergoing a technological transition, that is, was marching towards the new technologies feedback loop. When between the 1950s and 1970s she first described how science and totalitarianisms are connected and then how thought and political freedom are as well, the first computers were already in use (and not by chance experiments with computers were done for military or espionage purposes, as later happened with Internet remote connection).
I believe that thought as Arendt described it already possessed all the necessary technologies to be described as both intellectual and poetic, marking the transition from the paradigm of active-critical intervention on reality to something else.
In The Life of the Mind, thought is not conceived as a logical-inferential activity, but to the desire to appear (Arendt, 26). All things appear to each other and this is not an epistemological or ontological matter, but both things equally. Our appearance is always for someone else to see. That we naturally offer our image to the world is truer today than ever (see Cecchi, Chapter III).
… to be continued …
Bibliographic references of Part II (the entire bibliography will be published at the end of the essay):
Hannah Arendt, La vita della mente, curated by A. dal LAgo, tr.it. G. Zanetti, Bologna: Il Mulino 1987
Dario Cecchi, La costituzione tecnica dell’umano, Macerata: Quodlibet 2013
This is the second of seven installemnts of an essay on thinking, poetry and writing in the technological era by Brunella Antomarini that originally appeared on the magazine “Smerilliana. Luogo di civiltà poetiche” (Pensiero poesia scrittura in feed back loop, in “Smerilliana”, n.17 2015, pp. 275-90). You can read here the first part of the essay.
“Smerilliana” was first published by Enrico D’Angelo in January 2003, in the Marche region.It initially came out every six months. Later every volume of «Smerilliana» became a place of poetic civilisation, with the addition of the series “Poets of Smerilliana” and “Mosaic”. When it first appeared, Giovanni Raboni cited «Smerilliana» while writing in «Corriere della Sera», calling it the most open-minded and interesting poetry publication on the Italian scene. «Smerilliana» ideally continues the work of the literary biannual magazine «Plural» (founded and directed by D’Angelo in Napoli, between 1986-91), pursuing the pluralist outlook and style of the movement, as defined by the Orientalist Rahim Raza.
image: first electronic writing machine realized by Olivetti, 1976