Title: From ‘Poetic Politics’ to ‘Poetic Imagery’: Critical Theory as Interpretative Tool for the Understanding of Post-democracy (Media) Public Sphere
Stream: Critical and Cultural Studies, Gender and Communication
Presentation Type: Oral Presentation
Christos Nedelkopoulos, University of Ioannina, Greece
In this paper, I am looking for the foundations of the modern public sphere (public-virtual sphere) in the Post-Democracy era. According to Crouch, Post-Democracy connects the (democratic) characteristics of the modern Democracy with the pre-democratic of an oligarchy with absolute power. This corresponds perfectly to the construction of the modern (media) public sphere where the inversion of the earlier democratic public sphere is achieved by the aesthetic legitimation of its pre-democratic character; resulting to a total transformation from the socially-public structure to the virtually-public. For this transformation is required an appropriate art activity which necessarily moves between the social and virtual producing a new publicity structure. Such an art activity connects the social functions of the communication (e.g., the dialogue of the democratic theory) with the imagery (which returns us to the pre-democratic period of the myth). In particular, this produced visualization of the public sphere is closely related to the avant-garde scene of the ’50s and ’60s (assemblage, performance, cut-ups). So, the post-democratic public sphere is formed from the mass media transforming the innovative art of the middle 20th century to a communicative technique. I call this new ontology of the political ‘applied cultural aesthetics’ which is characterized of an inversion of the ‘poetic politics’ (Benjamin) to a ‘poetic imagery’. Intending to found this ‘aesthetics’, I will use the interpretative tools of Critical Theory (Benjamin and Marcuse) analyzing a comparative example between two well-known and similar facts of police brutality in public sphere: Los Angeles 1992 – Athens 2008.
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