top of page

Wrapp, 2013

A NOTE ON CONTEMPORARY FAIRS

text by Karolina Maria Dudek

 

We are not impotent in the face of some natural or divine Other; we are becoming all too potent, without understanding our own power. Risks are cropping up everywhere, and we rely on the scientists to cope with them. But here lies the problem: the scientist/experts are the subjects supposed to know, but they do not know. (Zizek, 2011, p.360)

 

No matter who we are and where we were born, we are always a part of something that determines our existence. Firstly, we have an immediate dependence on our closes family, parents shape and influence what is later to be called our psychological background, which has an impact on our future life.  Secondly there comes geography, religion and politics, which clearly state our position in the world. But now, what makes the time we live in so different to the past, the spread of information over the Internet making us much more aware of the world around us. We have witnessed massive changes over the last twenty years like the spread of global connections through production, communication and technologies across the world. To some extent globalization is overtaking world politics, culture and economy of and dividing the population into two sectors; poor and rich. Twenty present of world population enjoys over eighty present of its income. This global inequality demonstrates how morally deprived the world is. The mass media today, portray the Western Lifestyles and those in West understand how the world’s poorest live. Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek, in a very humoristic way described that the western man in order to feel better just needed to get a cup of coffee with the sign that a small persentage of its prise goes to starving children in Africa or other third world place, and the they can carry on with their lives with the belief that they did something humanitarian. Pessimistic visions for future are also dominating political sectors, the collapse of capitalism, risk of conflicts, which could turn into nuclear holocaust or terrorist attacks, the same way of thinking could be applied to ecological, economical or political sectors.

Global warming influenced by consumerist generation is not only responsible for disruption of ecosystem but also geopolitical and financial systems. Radical scientist James Lovelock in his last book A Final Warning, the Vanishing Face of Gaia highlights the possibilities of ‘apocalyptical catastrophes’ which could be caused by the oceans risening twenty or even thirty meters. This could happen if Antarctica and Greenland melt into the ocean, almost everywhere will be five to six degrees hotter than now. Lovelock states that the changes in ecosystem are irreversible, and there is no action that could possibly prevent upcoming changes. 

 

There may be nothing we can do to stop the adverse changes now in progress; we cannot reduce our numbers fast enough and there is only a small chance that, using the remedies of geoengineering we could reverse climate change. We can talk of carbon footprint, of renewable energy and hold grand conferences around the world, but are these, however well meant, any more than the posturing of tribal animals bravely wielding symbols against the menace of an ineluctable force they do not understand? (Lovelock, 2009, p.152) 

 

We live in a world of high technological innovations and scientific developments, which are becoming a part of our everyday reality in form of virtual space, electronic devises, which enable us to connect with Internet wherever, we are. In a last two decades emerging technologies, ecological, cultural, global and political instability forces us towards recontextualiziation of the times we live in. 

British cultural critic Alan Kirby is one of the analyst of culture in the aftermath of postmodernism, wrote; In postmodernism, one read, watched, listened, as before. In pseudo-modernism one phones, clicks, presses, surfs, chooses, moves, downloads. (Kirby, 2006 p.2) Kirby in his essay The Death of Postmodernism and Beyond, diagnoses that in contemporary times the individual is given a platform mainly by democratization of network medias, so following that we can more easily express our opinions and participate in discussion forums. Even radio or television programs are constructed to stimulate participation from the viewer in various forms like phone calls, text massages, emails. A new possibility for being visible cultivates the importance of individual.   

In times when the big ideologies are replaced by credit cards, and temples swapped for shopping centres, man has never been more obsessed with consuming products. But does the power of money really eliminate our existential dilemmas or is it only the narcotic that keeps us under an illusion of liberty.  In the twenty first century a we can lead double lives, one physical: in reality, and the other virtual, where the individual responds to the Internet based spaces. That new era for some simply called post post-modernity is evolving from emerging technologies but also as a response to the political, ecological, cultural state.  The destructive influence of consumerist generation is not only responsible for the disruption of ecosystem but also geopolitical and financial systems. 

Slovenian philosopher Slovaj Zizek describes that we all know about the impending catastrophes; ecological, social, economical etc, but we some how cannot take it seriously, ‘I know it but I don’t believe in it’ (Zizek, 2011), We refuse to believe what we see. By rejecting the real problems, we simply live in an imaginary world, which could be called virtual. 

All the ecological, social, technological and cultural changes in the last decades lead us to the new understanding of the reality, where things no longer have one explanation, but everything oscillates between definitions. 

Incredible development of Internet, social networks and technology makes the access to the information from across the word instantly possible. Individuals are also privileged by the having opportunity of expressing their own views in form of blog, website or simply by getting involved with online conversation hosted by other users and are able to speak about things they consider as important. 

  • Black Instagram Icon
bottom of page