Everyday Life and Cultural Theory<br />FIGURING THE EVERYDAY<br />Ben Highmore<br />Merve AYDIN<br />ID501 2011<br />
Investigating the Everyday<br />Boredom: the Emptying of Time<br />Strangeness at the Heart of Everyday<br />
<ul><li> Highmore points out the ambivalent situation of everyday: it consists of </li></ul>boredom and mystery.<br /><ul><li> He emphasizes modernity transforms unfamiliar to familiar, extraordinary to</li></ul>ordinary.<br /><ul><li> He stresses that both boredom and mystery are driven by rationalism.
He criticizes that everyday life is marked by difference and points differences</li></ul>of “others”, at the same time modernity makes everyday not-always-everyday by<br />making other’s life is everyday-life through phantasmagoria.<br /><ul><li> He is trying to chase the ability of “make strange” within a culture of rationalism</li></ul>and within everyday life. <br /><ul><li>Highmore traces everyday life’s boredom in Western modernity throughout the</li></ul> different literature from Sherlock Holmes to Marx, Freud to Madam Bovary.<br />
Investigating The Everyday<br /><ul><li> Everyday life signifies ambivalently.
Everyday is; most repeated actions</li></ul> most travelled journeys<br /> most inhabited spaces<br />Everydayness<br /><ul><li> But perhaps the most repeated action is an oppressive routine or a</li></ul>pleasure giving bewilder. It can contain both.<br />
How do modernity effect “the new”?<br />Familiar<br />Unfamiliar<br />Mundane<br />Revolutionary<br />Modernity as a dynamic process<br />Traditional<br />New<br /><ul><li> Modernity incorporates and adjusts if it is disturbed by unrecognizable.
The result is frustration and dissapointment of promises. </li></li></ul><li><ul><li> Highmore uses Sherlock Holmes’ dilemma to explore the problem of</li></ul>everyday life within modernity.<br /><ul><li> Even if Holmes is bored by the dullness of everyday life and escapes from</li></ul>it by mysteries and enigmatics with his rationalism, he always tries to find<br />the ordinary in that bizarre and strange situations. He brings the bizarre down<br />to earth, to everyday. Mysteries are demystified by his rationalistic and<br />scientific methods.<br /><ul><li> The everyday is also the home of bizarre and mysterious.</li></li></ul><li>Boredom<br />Mystery<br />Figuring the <br />everyday life<br />Rationalism<br />(as a driving engine)<br />
Boredom: the empying of time<br /><ul><li> If we consider Western modernity as the emergence of new and different</li></ul>temporal experiences, these experiences are connected to an institutionalized<br />world of work and organized instruction.<br /><ul><li>The history of these modern temporalities can be traced back to the </li></ul>standardizing the time by mechanical clocks; it scheduled the experienced<br />time, it enabled to catalogue the day into countable fragments and practices<br />which includes daily monitoring that emphasizes the routinization and<br />regimentation of daily life.<br />
Analogy<br />Assembly Line<br />Everyday life within modernity<br />Uniformity<br />Dullness<br />recurring...<br />Uniformity<br />Dullness<br />recurring...<br />The boredom of everyday city life is the boredom of the assembly line;<br />one thing after another, an infinite series, the more it changes the more it remains the same...<br />
Continuous Production<br />uninterrupted production process<br />Inevitableregularity<br />rhythm of the mechanical system<br />worker<br />Marx, Das Kapital;<br /><ul><li> In handicrafts and manifacture, the worker makes use of a tool; </li></ul>in the factory, machine makes use of him.<br /><ul><li> In manifacture the workers are the parts of a living mecanism bu in the</li></ul>factory, the workers are living appendages of lifeless mecanisms.<br />Modern capitalism’s alienation<br />Sensory and Mental<br />
Factory work is emptied of all creative content.<br />Marx, Das Kapital;<br /><ul><li> Factory work is not just exhausting for muscles and nervous system, </li></ul>it confiscates every atom of freedom, both in bodily and in intellectual<br />activity.<br />Clock is the enemy of Assembly Line (Hamper)<br /><ul><li> Time is emptied of any significant markers that would differentiate one</li></ul>moment from the next.<br /><ul><li> Assembly line as an example of everyday modernity is not just reflects </li></ul>factory environment, it is also a general condition that points “plodding”, <br />“monotony”, the emptiness of time.<br />
<ul><li> Industrialization is registered in nearly all aspects of life.
It is not just a technological situation, it includes a sensory-mental experience.
The salaried masses operate within an industrial and rationalized environment.</li></ul>Industrial technologies<br />Menagement techniques<br />To regulate and<br />to rationalize home life<br />Home<br />efficiency<br />ease<br />
<ul><li> Marking Time, which is literally “differentiating”, have a meaning in</li></ul>everyday modernity to differentiate “dull waiting”, “boredom”.<br /><ul><li> the efford to articulate difference through counting fails, when it just</li></ul>reduces differences to similarities.(Steward)<br />
Weber;<br /><ul><li> Spirit of modern capitalism is strongly influenced by the development of</li></ul>technical possibilities.<br />but not enought,<br /><ul><li> Social Structures; laws,</li></ul> administrations,<br /> calculable legal system,<br /> formal rules.<br />Franz Kafka;<br /><ul><li> Everyday is invaded by a maze of bureaucratic officialdom that seems </li></ul>entirely designed to frustrate and destroy.<br />Weber;<br /><ul><li> iron cage of bureaucratic rationalism X spontaneous enjoyement
Puritanical Asceticism (Weber);</li></ul>Modernity is asceticism secularized, generalized and enforced. Everyday<br />is governed by asceticism.<br />
<ul><li> Boredom was a sign of denigrating the everyday life of other social</li></ul>groups. (national differences, gender, social classes, race...)<br /><ul><li> The use of boredom both to mark social distinctions and to diagonise </li></ul>cultural domination points that everyday life is marked by difference.<br />
Strangeness at the heart of the everyday<br /><ul><li>Everyday modernity is not just relentlessly routinized and boring , everyday is mystery too.
If a certain form of rationalism is a motor of routines, retionalism can also be seen to generate more mysterious forms. </li></li></ul><li>Freud;<br /><ul><li>Psychoanalysis have a central importance for understanding everyday</li></ul>life.<br /><ul><li> The is an intimate link between everyday and the psychoanalysis; it</li></ul>considers inconsiderable events which other sciences put aside because<br />they are too unimportant. It is a science of the ordinary, a surface<br />psychology of everyday life.<br /><ul><li> Everyday life is a world of manners and convensions, continually</li></ul>disrupted by repressed thoughts. The everyday as non-conscience<br />life is a vivid aspect of the tradition.<br /><ul><li> Freud and Holmes, both pursue the fantastic in the most seemingly</li></ul>banal places.<br />
<ul><li> Modernity invades the everyday as “phantasmagoria”
The phantasmagoria of everyday is charactarized by commodity, it turnes</li></ul>human social relationships in to the fantastic form of a relationship <br />between things. (Marx)<br /><ul><li> Phantasmagoria can befound in shop window displays and exhibitions to</li></ul>push the magical to the forefront of everyday.<br /><ul><li> Modern exhibitions; the everyday is put on display as phantasmagoria:</li></ul>not everyday “everyday life”, but the everyday life of others, it simulates<br />other everydays.<br /><ul><li> By displaying other cultures, races, folklors as exotic goods, everyday life
s experienced as something other. </li></li></ul><li><ul><li> Everyday offers itself up as a problem, a contradiction, a paradox; it is </li></ul>ordinary and extraorniary, known and also unknown, obvious and<br />enigmatic. <br /><ul><li> Everyday life is bot relentless routine and the marker of social distinction.
If the culture of everyday modernity unfamiliarizes the unfamiliar, this </li></ul>condition can be defamiliarized.<br /><ul><li> By attending the everyday life as a lived experience, making it vivid and</li></ul>embracing more directly the ability of to “make-strange”, phantasmagoric<br />representation is replaced by practical, poetic and critical operations.<br />
Everyday Life and Cultural Theory<br />FIGURING THE EVERYDAY<br />Ben Highmore<br />Merve Aydın<br />ID 501 / 2011<br />