Above and beyond this simplest case of the relative influence of signs from distinct senses and distinct media, there persists the more general problem of the relative weight of the various generic systems themselves in our culture: is science fiction a priori more powerful than the genre we call advertising, or than the discourse that offers images of bureaucratic society (the rat race, the office, the routine), or the computer printout, or that unnamed "genre" of visuals we have called op art effects (which probably connote a good deal more than the new technology of graphics)? Godard's work seems to me to turn on this question, or at least to pose it explicitly in various local ways; some political video art -- such as that of Martha Rosler -- also plays with these unequal influences of cultural languages to problematize familiar cultural priorities. The videotext under consideration here, however, does not allow us to formulate such issues as problems, since its very formal logic -- what we have called the ceaselessly rotating momentum of its provisional constellations of signs -- depends on effacing them: a proposition and a hypothesis that will lead us on into those matters of interpretation and aesthetic value that we have postponed until this point.

File type: video
Info: Semiotics of the Kitchen - Martha Rosler - 1975
Original Url: https://vimeo.com/140541716
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The interpretive question -- "what is the text or work about?" -- generally encourages a thematic answer, as indeed in the obliging title of the present tape, AlienNATION. There it is and now we know: it is the alienation of a whole nation, or perhaps a new kind of nation organized around alienation itself. The concept of alienation had rigor when specifically used to articulate the various concrete privations of workingclass life (as in Marx's Paris manuscripts); and it also had a specific function at a specific historical moment (the Khrushchev opening), which radicals in the East ( Poland, Yugoslavia) and the West ( Sartre) believed could inaugurate a new tradition in Marxist thinking and practice.

File type: video Original Url: https://vimeo.com/225878762
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