Numerical Isolation as the Tragic core of Video-Blogging

Daniel R. Smith

Premise

Recently I have been thinking more about tragedy as an art-form, how the individual is portrayed in a tragic light, and whether we may apply the analysis of tragedy, as undertaken by classicists and philosophers, to the our own ‘age’. To the age of YouTube. One way into this has been the work of Soren Kierkegaard and I think a short explication of this research line can be demonstrated here.

To video blog is to do something that marks the individual out as a distinctly modern subject: to assert themselves as individuals and gain their individuality, to mark themselves out from others, to not be isolated and alone, they in fact require isolation to achieve their own exhibition. Continue reading

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“That’s what they’re afraid of. You.” Assange as the tragic hero of our time

Daniel R. Smith

The up-coming film The Fifth Estate, about the news-leaking website WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange, is not a thriller or a piece of Hollywood entertainment. It is a tragedy that would rival Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex. Having, of course, not seen the film, such a claim is meant not as a review on its merits as a work of art. Instead it is a claim to its function as a piece of fiction in today’s mediated culture where politics is a matter of spectacle and where narrative(s) competes for a unitary story. The story of WikiLeaks and Assange as its tragic hero is a story that encapsulates our age; the age of constant incredulity to any information and a life where politics is a theatre viewed through media-filters of competing sources and contested dialogue. Continue reading