any numerical exchange?
Was watching a bad film feeling fascinated. The accused is an illustrative cinema with predictable characters, narrative and an instrumental cinematic tropes..
However, I lingered on because there seem to be some unintended elements that revealed darker imaginations..
One was regarding the role of audience/crowd in a spectacle/act. The other was the performance of numerical exchange/money within a social body.
Perhaps am reading too much into certain elements, however, perhaps it is fun to do just that..?
The sex rape was encouraged by people watching.. They clapped, they suggested who should be next, called the victim names and did not try to stop the actions. They watched the act a bit like they would a theatre or a sport game, or a computer app usage – hence am thinking of this in terms of spectacle..
According to the procession, the accused, despite seemingly being only witnesses to a rape, they actually Helped it happen. They could not say/tell whether the rape would not occur without the audience, or how it would have been without the context of a cheering crowd. However, for the specific illustration, the charge was that the crowd must have known there is an illegal act, rape, and not just witnessed – but cheered it on.
This perhaps provides an interesting distinction between a witness to a crowd/user/audience? The witness is more passive, however there could also be a question of the actors/app/event-participants seeking witnesses.. ie, i might do x because I want people to witness, and that is all.. No?
The other element is that of power and the perks it provides. Being set in usa, power is symbolised via money/numerical-exchange mechanism. The more of the exchange numbers one has – the more power they have. That power provides certain protection.. Hence, the illustration is focused on a rich woman, seemingly born into a rich family, and a poor one. It seems that life circumstances rather than abilities make the differences.
These circumstances, eg of birth, made it so the poor woman can be in a greater danger of being raped with impunity for the rapists.. Hence, probably, more chance of being raped/assaulted..
This, in my view, brings an interesting perspective into money and its innate social effects – hierarchy. It can be argued that numerical exchanges are simply tools, neutral in terms of social effects. However, because for numerical exchange to have a value, it requires an hierarchical order, we need to asses these type of exchanges with that innate element.. (perhaps there are others..)
To say that in a certain exchange, 1 is worth more than 100 – or vice versa – we are making an hierarchical order. I’d argue that such orders deprive society and culture of richness from an instrumental pov, and people of more interesting lives – from a human pov.. (eg, in the film, the poor woman might not have been raped if she was not, err, poor.. In that sense, the hierarchical order in and of itself is affecting people and society – no? I’d say depriving rather than affecting, but perhaps am wrong.. I guess that at times the effect is not just of de-prevision.. However, there is an effect..)
However, even with out a negative/positive, view – is it not at least an aesthetic and political question? Of how we want to imagine the order – if any – that links with exchange values, or lack of them?
Actually, I think there is a fundamental mistake in the idea that there is a binary logic between hierarchy and network/non-hierarchical being.
I distrust bibaries because life is more complex.. Binaries seem over simplifications.. Perhaps cool for illustrating a pov, not even a life of a pov.. Unless they become more complex, eg in computing..
Anyhow, the reason I think what seems like a binary – hierarchy and network/non-hierarchical – isn’t one is because the question of emancipation, allowance, preclusion, flexibility and prejudice..
An hierarchical exchange, and its support system, will make life hard for an horizontal exchange and a network to live or indeed thrive within it. The hierarchical culture will be challenged and naturally fight back. We can see that in the evolution of the internet, where despite the network/horizontal/non-heirarchical/distributed nature of network tools and technologies, once placed with in the numerical exchange realms, it had to conform. The stuff that doesn’t is in the darklands of the internet..
The link, from hierarchy to non-hierarchy perspective seems therefore binary. However, if we look from a non-hierarchical perspective, the link is that of affordability and allowance.
Non-hierarchies can allow hierarchies to pop up, if and as, might be required. Hierarchies within a network reality does not challenge the network as a whole nor at any specific local juncture. The hierarchy, at certain space-times, might be needed.
However, if we imagine a street within a city that suddenly became economically horizontal, the least it will do is raise some concerns for the powers to be.. A case in point is that when there were eu food and drink mountains and it was thought like a good idea to horisontalise it by giving it away – big business stepped right in to stop it. When there are local internet provision social hubs, big – or even smallish – business complains that, err – they take business of from them.. (..and do it “unfairly” for being free of charge..)
btw – Are there network/non-hierarchical rhythms..?