“I am an invisible man. No, I am not a spook like those who haunted Edgar Allan Poe; nor am I one of your Hollywood-movie ectoplasms. I am a man of substance, of flesh and bone, fibber and liquids – and I might even be said to possess a mind. I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me.” Ralph Waldo Ellison, The Invisible Man, 1952.
We are all the invisible man of Ralph Ellison’s novel, living in a society that, in every area, feels the need to create more information, more layers, more connections than the preceding industrial society. We are all the invisible man in this world of images in photographic, moving images and multimedia platforms formats. We live in an aesthetically complex world, which is stimulating in a critical manner, both in terms of significance as well as in terms of its ambiguity. A world that asks difficult questions and resists facile conclusions. We all live in a reality that is a process of mediation by the individual who is perturbed by the impossibility of acting with the correct sensitivity in this enigmatic data world.
We are all Ralph Ellison’s invisible man in the tendencies of implosion that speed digital technologies impose upon this world, juxtaposing cultures, transcultural encounters, taking things to the limits of national, material, psychological and technological frontiers. We are all the invisible man, hybrid creations and creatures, identities and cultures that emerge from the infinite reconfigurations of our intrinsic codes: genetic, spiritual, atomic, numerical and digital.
Penser le vêtement, c’ est déjà metre du langage dans le vêtement.
Roland Barthes, Le grain de la voix
Thus, in an age that makes me remember of this Roland Barthes’ quotation, in which he discuss that the function of the clothes is not to protect and to be esthetical, but also to be a way of communication and send information, I think about art and culture the same way. All the images and information, all contemporary creation, all the contemporary platforms in the internet: Google, blogs, myspace, itube… have the best word – “Hybrid” – to translate the characteristics of the conditions of our times of complex dialogues that take into account interconnected histories. We live in a landscape made up of vectors and co-ordinates of a “neurological hybridisation”, in an atmosphere of automatic vigilance and a kind of self-guiding missiles beyond imperial hegemonies and national narratives. We live in an ambiguous landscape in which connectivities and notions such as Society, Economies and Politics are hybrid. The world is a complex game of hybrid Cultures and Identities and the eyes and brain of humanity are located precisely within this landscape of hybrid Creatures and Ecologies.
We live in a world of neurological complexity that permeates our way of thought, a crisis of nerves. We live by navigating the world of information, immersed in a sea of data, sound and noise, and, in these circumstances, we have to learn to play the “neurological game”. And to learn to play the “neurological games” that are appropriate for the needs of a global society in the age of information does not mean inventing something that is completely new. On the contrary, it is better to return to the learning of the past. To remind old theories, philosophies and icons, and view them in a new light, expanding upon those memory elements that can best be used in present times. This is our belief, within these complex systems, that have become super-complex ways of seeing the world, with its cultural politics of globalization, and living in it, we have to simplify life, we have to co-exist and live with the most elementary human principles and remain true to them.
It is here that I place my acting point of view in society, culture, arts and literature, following Foucault and its “politics of multitude”. Art and culture have to be something within its time, learning from the past and looking for the future. Contemporary creation is not assumed in the new understanding of politics; contemporary creation has to be political. It is this notion of hybridisation, this lucid action that is really important to me nowadays.