Stiegler and the misery of the symbolic
According to the philosopher Bernard Stiegler, the war theme is nowadays recalling not just the conventional definition, rather a more pervasive one, the "aesthetic" war, whose main aim is actually the aesthetic con - sistence.
The conversation with the philosopher Rossella Corda, curator and translator of Stiegler’s significant works, including Symbolic Misery (Meltemi), will be dealing with some crucial issues of hypermodernity.
This is the way our age is defined by the brilliant contemporary French philosopher who has recently and unexpectedly left this Earth (1952-2020). Philosophy of technology, in the background of intertwined aesthetics and politics, are his themes.
What relationship between the individual and society, singular and common? How are the identification processes implemented? Are they today regulated through communication systems which have actually become a technical expedient or a propaganda vehicle? Let’s think about computation, data management, marketing, social media, Art….
How do they fit into the current capitalist standardization of behaviours, representations and perception of the world? Are we facing a society that controls us , according to Foucault, Deleuze and Guattari, or is Resistance still possible? And what kind of (radical) thought can help to draw emergency exits?
"The misery of the symbolic, Bernard Stiegler says , is not only the sad emptiness of working alienated class, rather the bareness of today's consumer, deprived of the possibility of shaping his own desires and totally conditioned by the logic of spending. Aesthetics is the most beloved weapon of industrial technology, and cinema its favourite field: both contribute to poisoning the individual and collective experience".
"Yet in this essay (Symbolic Misery) whose starting points are Marx, Husserl, Heidegger as well as contemporary authors such as Byung Chul-Han and Mark Fisher, Stiegler does not only analyze the control of ‘industrial technology' on the Symbolic; he also opposes the exhausted scenario of bulimic consumption and the eternal present with flattened subjects, to the potential of the Arts - subversive “herald of the future". Therefore, Aesthetics becomes ‘at the same time the weapon and the theatre of economic competition and tries to grasp the symbolic field: communities and human beings search in their memories, objects, spaces and languages for the meaning of their existing and being together; a gloomy field still able to flourish again' (Alessandro Mantovani).
Bernard Stiegler (1952-2020) was a French philosopher of worldwide regard, who questioned philosophy and technology, in the background of intertwined aesthetics and politics. Among his books translated into Italian: Amare, amarsi, amarci (2014); La società automatica (2019); L’ingovernabile (con R. Ronchi, 2019); L’assoluta necessità (2020); L’immunità della filosofia (2021).
translation by Caterina Cavallo