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by Paul Chan
Friday, May. 10, 2002 at 12:43 PM
"The Rewriting Of The Disaster: Thoughts on independent media, new media and the work of mourning" was a talk delivered by New York artist and Independent Media Center Activist Paul Chan on November 15, 2001 at the New Social Geographies and The Politics of Space Conference at Scripps College, CA.
The Rewriting Of The Disaster
Thoughts on independent media, new media and the work of mourning
By Paul Chan
Let me begin with a confession: I feel weak. This is not surprising, knowing what I experienced, and what others experienced with us New Yorkers some time ago: a time that feels both terribly intimate and infinitely distant. It is hard to describe. It is also a unique quality of the disaster, which I will return to later.
Do others feel weak? I do not know. Writer Maurice Blanchot (who shadows this text from title to the final period) wrote, "Weakness is grief weeping without tears." And there is still much grieve. Numbers and analysis are of no use to me, either to dispute or confirm facts. The interconnections between the horror, the politics, and the propaganda are complicated. Almost overwhelming. I feel reluctant to act in this orchestrated descent, with each action and each turn contributing to another fall from an illusionary democratic grace. As if the Seattle police or the National Guard in DC weren
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