By Linda S. Kauffman
Linda S. Kauffman turns the pornography debate on its head with this audacious research of contemporary taboo-shattering fiction, movie, and function artwork. Investigating the function of delusion in artwork, politics, and pop culture, she exhibits how technological advances in drugs and technology (magnetic resonance imaging, desktops, and telecommunications) have profoundly altered our strategies of the human physique. our on-line world is generating new kinds of id and subjectivity. The novelists, filmmakers, and performers in Bad women and ill Boys are the interpreters of those courageous new worlds, cartographers who're busy mapping the fin-de-millennium surroundings that already envelops us.
Bad women and in poor health Boys deals an important and enjoyable travel of the present cultural panorama. Kauffman boldly connects the dots among the unconventional artists who shatter taboos and problem felony and aesthetic conventions. She hyperlinks writers like John Hawkes and Robert Coover to Kathy Acker and William Vollmann; filmmakers like Ngozi Onwurah and Isaac Julien to Brian De Palma and Gus Van Sant; and performers like Carolee Schneemann and Annie Sprinkle to the visible arts. Kauffman's vigorous interviews with J. G. Ballard, David Cronenberg, Bob Flanagan, and Orlan upload a rare measurement to her well timed and convincing argument.
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Extra resources for Bad Girls and Sick Boys: Fantasies in Contemporary Art and Culture
It is only in markets that one can judge the relationship of abundance and scarcity between things that determines their respective prices” (BB, 48n6). The kind of rationality attendant to this particular form of subjectivity alters accordingly, setting an economic calculation of success and failure into motion as the primary horizon upon which value must be determined. Other forms of judgment, especially juridical appeals to transcendental principles such as those we ﬁnd in contractual logic, are displaced as possible modes of evaluative discernment: only the calculation of private interest, which is the ﬁnal barometer of acceptable proﬁt and loss, becomes the acceptable mode of evaluation.
As he puts it, “Individuals entered the contract because they have an interest” Excavating Categories 41 (BB, 273): they are cathected to its stakes, hopes, risks, dreams. They enter the contract because something about it speaks to them—something about it matters. But as the contractual logic then takes hold, the subject becomes framed purely as a juridical will (as a subject of rights), eﬀectively erasing by allegedly subsuming this originary subject of interests. As the juridical evaluation of rationalized ends and means begins to totalize the horizon of subjective deliberation, the subject of interests is allegedly subsumed into this puriﬁed state of satisfaction.
But, as Foucault interestingly notes, the logic of subsumption seems to fail. While the subject of interests and the juridical will may be reconciled, they “are not governed by the same logic” (BB, 274) and “cannot be completely assimilated to each other” (BB, 273). A fundamental heterogeneity lies at the core of liberalism’s schemas of subjectivity, which extends into the heterogeneous juridical and calculative modes of rationality: the subject of interests and the subject of rights are diﬀerent animals.