Ricardo Miranda Zúñiga

Structural Patterns

Reflections on Art, Technology and Society

Continental Drift

without comments

October 06, 2005

On September 15th, I attended an opening lecture and discussion for a weekend long workshop at 16 Beaver, NYC – “Continental Drift” with Brian Holmes. The workshop was dedicated to mapping tactics of resistance against current global hegemony.

In his opening lecture, Brian discusses the U.S. construction of large global economic blocs since the end of WWII, beginning with the 1944 Bretton Woods Monetary System (international marketing system – U.N., World Bank), to the 1948-52 Marshall Plan to the economic support of Japan during the Korean War… to eventually establish today’s tri-dominant economic system with the U.S. dollar, the Euro and growing Yen.

As Brian puts forth in the online introduction:

The continental blocs are functioning governmental units one scale up from the nation-state. They represent specific attempts to articulate and manage the vast constructive and destructive energies that have been unleashed by the last four decades of technological development, from the introduction of the worldwide container transport system in the sixties, all the way to the emergence of widespread satellite transmission in the eighties and the Internet in our time. Military strategies, the competitive rush for markets, but also the uncertainty and turbulence of the neoliberal globalization process itself has led capitalistic elites to seek forms of territorial stabilization – however violent this “stabilization” may be. This means re-organizing, not just spaces and flows, but also hearts and minds, whether in the centers of accumulation or on the peripheries. We are all affected, wherever we are living.

I brought up Brian’s lecture and the workshop during a recent online disussion on -empyre- as we discussed the reality of cultural translation on the web today as corporations see the value of creating online market spaces that are sensitive to the cultures of target populations. And brought up the question of how artist using the Internet as medium may play a role in articulating an ethics of translation for the Internet.

Written by ricardo

October 28th, 2006 at 9:11 pm