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Ulaş Aktaş: Civilisational Wilderness or Civilderness and Cultural Immune Systems
Civilisational Wilderness or Civilderness and Cultural Immune Systems
(p. 97 – 108)

The development of cultural screens

Ulaş Aktaş

Civilisational Wilderness or Civilderness and Cultural Immune Systems

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Hyperpolitics …deconstruction …the global financial crisis …asymmetric wars …gender depression …superpositivism …climate change …the global slum crisis … investor blackmail …the spread of AIDS …budgetary collapse …biopolitics …neo-racism … etc. etc.1

It would not be difficult to come up with yet more terms with which to continue this series. Terms describing the general state of crisis are in themselves so inflationary that merely in describing the crises one attains a critical state oneself. The term crisis is a medical one, suggesting that an organism will either recover or die. While in the current formation of civilisation neither of these options can be expected, it would appear more accurate to follow Paul Virilio’s profound diagnosis and assume a state of “raging standstill”2.

Can anything consistent even be said about the development of this hyperaccelerated civilisational standstill? Perhaps not, yet it would seem that an attempt must be made.

Taking Foucault’s and Deleuze’ expectations of a further radical transformation in the supporting axes of civilisational force formations and Hans Peter Weber’s concisely clarifying insights into the mode of operation of a cultural screen (the immunitary conditions of the culturality of human existence) as my point of departure, a certain virulence seems to me to be present. It is the virulence of an inquiry into an as yet unqualified cultural screen for the future constitution of civilisation. That the current cultural screen, by which I mean the balance of forces within the cultural immune systems, is in a state of disintegration, would seem apparent.3 My perspective is the one of a cultural anthropologist. I will therefore proceed as follows:

1. First of all I shall attempt to clarify the Foucauldian-Deleuzian expectations of a further radical transformation within the supporting axes of the basic formations of civilisational forces. 2. My next step is to outline the creatural conditions of cultural screening within an anthropic community as described by Hans Peter Weber. 3. Finally I should like to delineate the effect of dance on cultural screening at issue here as a search for the poetic elementary particles of an aesthetics of existence.

The collapsing civilising forces: the age of axes

When we speak of dance and politics today, it is self-evident that the state no longer formulates the new civilising forces. Rather, these are created by a tuning of forces on every organic and organisational level. The state is merely expected to join and lend...

  • immunization
  • crisis
  • politics
  • body
  • dancing

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Ulaş Aktaş

is  a cultural anthropologist and associate researcher at the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Frankfurt am Main. He is researcher in the “cern minor lab”, co-editor of the magazine: “plateau – Zeitschrift für experimentelle Kulturanthropologie” and co-founder of the interdisciplinary research group “menschenformen”. His areas of teaching and research focus on body in the technological and social transformation processes of present time (body thinking), the importance of audiovisual media for the cultural and imaginative reproduction of the social (image thinking), the “sex” for the reproduction of power within society (gender thinking), the meaning of post-historical civilizatory processes for the further development of the creature called “human” (creature thinking), critical social theory for the maintenance of a thinking that assumes from the suffering (critical thinking).

Stefan Hölscher (ed.), Gerald Siegmund (ed.): Dance, Politics & Co-Immunity

This volume is dedicated to the question of how dance, both in its historical and in its contemporary manifestations, is intricately linked to conceptualisations of the political. Whereas in this context the term "policy" means the reproduction of hegemonic power relations within already existing institutional structures, politics refers to those practices which question the space of policy as such by inscribing that into its surface which has had no place before. The art of choreography consists in distributing bodies and their relations in space. It is a distribution of parts that within the field of the visible and the sayable allocates positions to specific bodies. Yet in the confrontation between bodies and their relations, a deframing and dislocating of positions may take place. The essays included in this book are aimed at the multiple connections between politics, community, dance, and globalisation from the perspective of e.g. Dance and Theatre Studies, History, Philosophy, and Sociology.

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