Friday, April 29, 2011
I HADN'T ORIGINALLY INCLUDED THIS BIT, BUT MY CONSCIENCE HAS BEEN NIGGLING
"Globalization" is unquestionably loaded territory, especially from the perspective of those who have no control over it. I don't even mean in big socio-economic terms, I just mean in terms of things-we-can-make-art-with. For instance: I want native kora players to be able to use their music to be successful. But the first time I experienced a kora was a white guy who had one at a live music set in a gallery in Seattle, and if I hadn't, I would never have wanted native kora players to use their music to be successful. The lines between "pillaging", "colonization", "appropriation", "adoption", "attention", "interest" and "appreciation" are all muddled up for us these days, particularly in the first world. Or maybe they aren't and I just have 20th century baggage. It's hard to say.
"Supermodernity", for the cyborg anthropologist's purposes, is a much more 1970s one world kind of idea. At least, that's how I read it. It's Howard Shore choosing the hardingfele to make the sound of Rohan, out of any and all of the fiddle-like instruments in the world. It wants to mean that you can select anything that history has thought up thus far and use it to make something. I like making things, so I think that's ultimately a good thing. I just don't want people to assume that it means taking from others for ourselves. Because I don't think anything good could come from that.