Monday, November 30, 2009

A Brief Sketch Concerning Monsters

Given that there are things out there, in the spaces between concept and matter and social messiness, we recognize the Monster as distinct from (in an incomplete list) the Diagram, the Machine, and the Ghost, in the following ways:

A Monster is a complex, hybrid, semi-autonomous thing whose actions are unpredictable, but interpretable. Monsters can behave destructively if their motives are misunderstood, but if a Monster is seen as an actor within a larger, unfolding story or narrative, and if the maker is able to recognize and work within that same myth, then the unpredictablilty of the Monster becomes productive. Examples include Frankenstein (yes, that's his name), Godzilla, and the Sea Serpent. It is primarily a set of agencies.

[[[A small piece of a larger thing, more later, but quick references include David Simon ("The institutions are the new Greek Gods"), H.P. Lovecraft ("vast, cool and indifferent"), Perspecta 40 {who got it wrong, but more on that to follow} ("Contemporary architecture is in many ways a monstrous thing."), Bruno Latour, ("If the demon is such a terrible threat, it is because it divides in two, if the demos is such a welcome solution, it is because it divides in two."), ZORK ("It is pitch black. You are likely to be eaten by a grue."), and of course, k-punk ("To call capital a 'self-engendering monster' is not at all to speak metaphorically.")]]]

5 comments:

bryan said...

plus also this is going to make a fantastically illustrated longer essay some day.

Ryan said...

Yep - and/or a killer children's book no doubt!

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