I have been reading Postmodernism and Consumer Society by FREDRIC JAMESON and in the light of the tutorial I have just had on my proposal for Module 18, my work practice, I found an articulation of an idea that has been milling around in me for some time.
“Supposing that modern art and modernism-far from being a kind of specialized aesthetic curiosity-actually anticipated social developments along these lines; supposing that in the decades since the emergence of the great modern styles society has itself begun to fragment in this way, each group coming to speak a curious private language of its own, each profession developing its private code or idiolect, and finally each individual coming to be a kind of linguistic island, separated from everyone else? But then in that case, the very possibility of any linguistic norm in terms of which one could ridicule private languages and idiosyncratic styles would vanish, and we would have nothing but -stylistic diversity and heterogeneity.”
I am fascinated by the “grammar” or semiotics of surveillance and the surveillance rooms that feature in movies, tv series and indeed the Situation Room in the White House. There is the visual display of the notice board which punctuates conversation and which is used as a communication link, then there is the paper cup of coffee and discarded packaging of take-away food. Even the White House with its kitchens of cooks and acres of finest china resort to this aesthetic when using surveillance to monitor the final hunt and kill of bin Laden. I am trawling the Internet for surveillance rooms and the conventions around them. What difference would it make if the Situation Room served up coffee in Dresden china or Carrie (Homeland) drank smoothies out of a clean glass? Is the convention of the disposable part of the monitoring that leaves no trace itself?