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Bad Archive - De File
Does Collecting Make You Feel Dirty?
cbertsch
cbertsch
Bad Archive
I'm cataloguing and rearranging file folders today in order to make room for more new material in the cabinet next to my computer, where I can get to it easily.

A few minutes ago, I extracted a few "Bad Subjects -- Business Etc." folders for transport to one of the filing cabinets in the garage. In one devoted to business from the first year -- 1992-1993 -- I found preliminary notes for my piece "Making Sense of Seattle," written in March of 1993:
Just as the aesthetic practices of Modernism must be defined in relation to the mass culture it wards off/reacts against (Jameson), so must the contemporary 'alternative' scenes be defined in relation to exurbia/'Edge Cities' whose soul-lessness, community-lessness (Edge City intro) they counter/belie/etc. . . In opposition to this soul-lessness, such 'alternative scenes' (S.F. hippiedom as early example -- American already suburbanized) have primarily offered either college-towns or, increasingly, urban cores as their centers (note irony in picking Seattle for bands originally from Everett or Aberdeen!). As the urban core becomes less and less a 'center' (place to which people commute -- see Edge City intro), it finds itself a source of a new 'alternative', not as in the past, to itself (Modernism -- the city reflecting on itself = self-reflexivity), but to the multiple cores of exurbia that have robbed it of its centrality! Hence even NYC can be a source of 'alternative authenticity' in this new paradigm.
We're still in that world, to a large extent. But there have been greater efforts made to imbue exurban cores and micro-cores with at least a simulacrum of urban life. Certainly, the Borders/Barnes and Noble/Starbucks consumer culture has penetrated a lot deeper and wider into "middle America" than was the case in 1993. It's no accident that Barnes and Noble cafés often have that mural of 20s-era artists -- the mural alone could be a dissertation, given its initial maleness and subsequent multiculturalization -- associated with the self-reflexive urbanity of Modernism. To some extent, the exurban caramel mocha sipper with a "Microsoft Office for Dummies" book open on the table is supposed to identify with the images of Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Eliot, and Faulkner in the mural.

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Mode: partially sunken
Muse: Black Acres - Elysian Fields - Queen Of The Meadow

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