Monstrous Futurity

04Nov09

Drugs in Milk makes a few notes on my Lady Gaga post which points out LG’s articulation of the monstrousness of fame-as-drive. The strange repetitious motion of the drive (the pleasure of the mouth moving and not the food within it, not the object within it following Zupancic) describes the function of fame and yet its ubiquity seems to signal something even more troubling.  Referring to fame as ‘the fame’ acknowledges the fact that fame appears as an objectless object (a process – becoming famous) which itself is representable as a collection of objects (the contentment of wealth).  Fame functions as the running together of the scopic and invocatory drives (sight and sound) as a doubly partial relation (and only partial relation) to the big Other.

As Zizek concludes in “The Big Other doesn’t Exist”:

“Thus, the fact that “the big Other doesn’t exist” (as the efficient symbolic fiction) has two interconnected, although opposed, consequences: on the one hand, the failure of symbolic fiction induces the subject to cling more and more to imaginary simulacra, to sensual spectacles which bombard us today from all sides; while on the other, it triggers the need for violence in the Real of the body itself (cutting and piercing the flesh, or inserting prosthetic objects into the body).”

The inexistent of the big other becomes ‘anyone can be famous’ where fame is accidental yet deserved.  The inability to achieve fame is one side of its cruelty whereas its consumptive capability is on the other side.  I would say that the pursuit of fame itself has become visceral – where the dominant alternative is not the real of the body but the imaginary-real of attitude – the non-belonging sense of belonging where one participates in the big Other of fame by ‘being oneself’ or ‘just being who you are’

The most interesting/troubling aspect of LG’s performances is her futurism – which constanly repeats the past just enough to actually seem oddly futuristic. This asserts that culture, technology, and fame are smashed together in a way which they can never be redeemed but only grossly enjoyed.

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2 Responses to “Monstrous Futurity”

  1. I’ve been thinking there’s an odd connection between LG and Marylin Manson – the performance and reception of the performance being interreflexive, audience manipulation/response as part of the meaning-production. And the cybernetic post-humanism (compare Mechanical Animals w the horricic inhumanity of the cripple-dance in the Paparazzi video…)


  1. 1 Treating J.G. Ballard As A (Big Science) Research Space « How To Play Big Science

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