Transmitting Culture: 1.

Inleidend noem Debray dat daar ‘n verskil tussen kommunikasie en oordrag is, al is dit hoe kleine nuanse dit is steeds sigbaar en moet ondersoek word. Oordrag bestaan hoofsaaklik uit drie afdelings wat in die vorm van ‘n piramide gesien kan word, nie hirargies, die materiele, die politieke en die diakroniese.

Hoofstuk 1 – The Medium’s Two Bodies.

Die Materiele Dimensie

Commonly understood, “communicating” is simply making familiar, making known. Its bias of meaning links us immediately with the immaterial. One speaks, on the other hand, of “transmitting” physical property as well as ideas.

What is said of vorms is also said of forces: in mechanics, the term transmission is applied to power and movement that are carried across-transmitted-by mechanical means, dynamically converted to different vorms of motion.

These materializations and exertions, rather than individual or group exegesis of sacred texts, bodily transmit the holy Word.

Memory’s reinforcements cannot be reduced to sayings and writings.

No tradition has come about without being an invention or recirculation of expressive marks and gestures.
And no new dimension of subjectivity has formed without using new material objects (books or scrolls, hymns and emblems, insignia and monuments).

In short, the trivial, peripheral, or basely material incidentals of how any given message, doctrine, or idea is put across mean as much to the mediologist as “exemplary lives” or “great books”.

Hierdie gedeelte wil inleidend die leser bewus maak dat daar ‘n verskil tussen kommunikasie en oordrag is, en ook dat die metode van oordrag baie belangrik is, in die sin dat die metode van oordrag gewoonlik ‘n materiele aspek impliseer wat die oordrag ewigdurend maak in teenstelling met kommunikasie wat slegs ‘n een dimensionele manier van kommunikasie is sonder enige langdurige effek op die leser. 

Die Diakroniese Dimensie

Communication excels by cutting short; transmission by prolonging, even if it must condense its ample forms of expression into the emblematic currencies of the motto, the logo, the apologue, the parable, and so on. Religion, art, ideology: these variegated categories of transmission all aim to thwart the ephemeral by the ploy of drawing out, particularly in the Western context, with its grand undertakings of constructions built to last. 
Though measurably temporal, transmission does have geography. Its advancement occupies space, but it conducts its crossings and bids for influence in order to make inroads toward permanence, to make history.
In the one case, continuance is only an accident; in the other, it is crucial.
Hier maak Debray die saak uit dat daar ook ‘n temporele aspek aan oordrag is en dat dit weereens anders funksioneer as kummunikasie in die sin dat dit ‘n fisiese geografiese gebied beslaan vir ‘n bepaalde tyd en so ‘n impak maak en oordrag laat plaasvind. Waar as dit by kommunikasie kom is dit een dimensioneel en lineer in die sin dat dit ontvang word en daar word beweeg na ‘n nuwe impuls. Juis omdat oordrag kies, of eerder dit inherent aan oordrag is, om tydsaam te wees maak dat die boodskap geleidelik ‘n fisiese aspek aanneem wat soveel meer deurdring na die kern van die mens as ‘n tydelike boodskap. Debray noem dat religie, kuns en ideologie onder andere van die blywende uitmaak juis omdat dit nie vinnig gevorm word nie, maar omdat daar tyd geneem word om sorgvuldig iets nuut te skep. 

Die Politiese Dimensie

Human beings communicate; more rarely do the transmit lasting meanings. Communication’s horizon is individualistic. 
Everything is a message, if you will – from natural to social stimuli or from signals to signs – but these messages do not necessarily constitute an inheritance.
Transmission is duty, mission, obligation: in a word, culture.
Communication and transmission must both contend with the problem of noise.
If communication takes place between persons, transmission uses collegial methods and collective settings, frameworks, and management. 
It brings about unification into corporate entities such as professional guilds…
By this means the corpus of knowledge, values, and know-how is brought out of yesterday into the present, stabilizing group identity via multiple two-way journeys.
Essences are made and remade through transmission; the torch thrown to each new generation, which must hold it high, says the common wisdom.
Preserving all these gives a community its reasons for being and hoping. One has no right to forget or keep them to oneself, and to squander them would be to forfeit what must be held dearest. They are not something hastily communicated sub rosa but rather more as mysteries into which one is by degrees initiated, heart and soul. 
Basies kom dit hier neer dat die daad van oordrag ‘n spanpoging is, ‘n kommunitere daad. Dit is nie individualisties nie. Oordrag vind plaas tussen geslagte en oor tyd. Hierdie oordrag figureer ook in groepe, hetsy korporatief of privaat. Groeps identiteite word gevorm deur hierdie fisiese oordrag van gebruike, rituele, simbole, of denke. Dit het die gevolg dat die groep wil aanhou bestaan juis omdat hulle iets spesiaal het wat hulle differensieer van die norm en hulle wil dit bewaar en daarom skryf hulle en rig standbeelde op om die kultuur te bewaar vir die wat op hulle sal volg sodat hulle sal weet waaroor die groep gaan waarin hul hulself vind.

Die Meganismes van Oordrag

There can be no transmission of movement, in the mechanical sense, without machine parts that produce it.
Transmission, on the other hand, imposes itself on us by its character as process or mediation, something that dispels all illusion of immediacy.
To sum up, if it is true that one cannot separate completely, in vivo, the range of phenomena encompassed by communication and transmission, one must guard against mixing them together. In vitro, we can do this by subordinating the first, more modern notion to the older one, which seems to me at once more holistic and more rigorous. (Hier word voorgestel dat oordrag bo kommunikasie geplaas word in ‘n hirargiese stelsel waar die oue gekies word bo die moderne.)

Hier word dit duidelik gemaak dat oordrag en kommunikasie nie heeltemal van mekaar geskei kan word nie maar dat daar duidelike afbakeninge vir elkeen se gebied is en dat die een nie die ander se werk moet probeer doen nie, maar eerder saam ‘n goeie werk moet doen.

Afbakening van ‘n Dissipliene

how is it that, two thousand years after Jesus, there still subsists something like Christianity in the Western world…
What are the pathways followed by the relay race of human thought (a subject overflowing the mere transactions of language)? Where are the sites at which, somewhere between myths and figuration, a new or different meaning is added to something that had possessed none, or another, before?
This is because these productions of consciousness – religions, doctrines, ideologies, disciplines – impinged decisively on the course of material things. They had direct influence on organized bodies and human bodies, modifying how they functioned politically, economically, and militarily, rather than working only in peoples’ dreams and minds. The administration of signs and images had effects and stakes that are tangible, constraining, and at times violent.
Hoe het ‘n beweging 2000jaar bly staan? Dit het ‘n konkrete verandering teweeg gebring wat die fisiese ruimte betree het en so die mens se bewussyn deurgedring het wat groepe laat bymekaarkom het om hulle spesiale identiteit te wil beskrem. Hierdie beskerming moet egter seker wees van wat dit beskerm en dit is wat hier bo uitgelig word dat met die afbakening van ‘n gebied dmv simbole en tekens dit ‘n effek sal laat wat partymal sal voel asof dit selfs beperkend is, en selfs geweldadig.

Organisering en die Organisasie

Those who do the remembering, the memorants, or remembrancers, constitute collective official channels of recreation (because only the living can stir the embers of meaning that slumber in traces of the past).
The message that does not find an institutional housing will go up in smoke or be drained off as so much background noise by the ambient environment of cultural life.
The institution acts as a kind of registry or patent office, but rather than passively conserving its charges, it is never done sifting, revising, censuring, interpreting, and peddling them.
At the institutional level, transmission means structuring the social locus in the guise of collective organized units, devices for filtering out mere noise, and totalities that endure and trancend their members of the moment and reproduce themselves over time under certain conditions, all at high costs.
…just as there can be no cultural transmission without technological means, so is there no purely technological transmission.

In sum, the art of transmission, or making culture, consists of adding a strategy to a logistics, a praxis to a techne, or establishing an institutional home and engineering a lexicon of signs and symbols. What persists over time is the art of composition; the proportion of elements varies.

As a general rule, the stronger the innovatory force of a given symbolic message (i.e., the greater its nonconformity with the norms of its milieu), the sturdier must be its transmission’s organizational armature, because it will become all the more difficult to clear ways through hostile surroundings. (Hier mag dalk die rede le hoekom die NGK nie Apartheid kon volhou nie, omdat dit in die Bybel gegrond was op ideologies subjektiewe  menings oor bepaalde Skrifuitleg.)

Because an excess of originality affects reception adversely, one must know how to use signs that are dispensable – or already familiar to the ambient milieu – to be understood. In the science of perfumes, a non-diluted fragrance can become toxic or noxious; the mediologist’s art avoids this pitfall, pouring the banal into the original, as water stretches wine. 
(The ‘who’ as subject of the ‘what’)

Likewise, the institution or tradition of painting would not have come about as art without the art gallery, the site of its appreciation and sale, with all the attendant regulated capitalization of daubed canvases this implies.  (Dus kan deer geen ‘wat’ bestaan sonder ‘n ‘wie’ nie, wat ‘n resiprokale verhouding impliseer binne die strukture van die instansie.)

Because we fetishize memory in its material forms, its facticity causes us to overlook the very materializing organization it was called on to extend in the first place.
Hierdie onderafdeling van Hoofstuk 1 is ‘n baie belangrike afdeling en ek sal dit later in diepte bespreek, dit is nou te laat in die nag om noukeuring deur te gaan.

Netwerke en Gebiede

Transmitting means organizing; it thus stakes out territory. It consolidates a whole, draws borderlines, defends itself, and exiles others.
Organizing cannot proceed without dividing tasks and demarcating spaces.
No territory, ideal or physical, exists without a capital (from caput, head). Every school has its headmaster or principle, every doctrine its founder…
All territory is organized according to a center that directs and peripheries that undergo. This is the difference in nature between a network (which is technological) and a territory (which remains political).
A collective intelligence does not ipso facto produce an elective or electoral solidarity. As data is not knowledge, so a PC is not a polity. Cyberdemocracy is the dream of technocrats who have forgotten their partially animal existence. Only by remaining preoccupied with this latter have those definitive religious or political prophets who are invested with official duties of demarcation ensured their success over time.
A network is not a nonterritory but an organized connectedness.
The mobile array of organized matter innovates while the stationary motor of material organization conserves. But the innovative effort of the evolving technology has a need for organizational stability.
Dit is belangrik vir elke kultuur om sy gebied fisies af te baken want soos hierbo uitgelig word het die religieuse en die politieke steeds geseevier bo die tegnologiese kultuur omdat die eersgenoemde ‘n fisiese teenwoordigheid handhaaf en op daardie manier ‘n baken van oordrag word waar die gevaar van die tegnologiese is omdat dit geen fisiese teenwoordigheid het nie agv die vinnige pas waarteen dit beweeg dat dit geen kultuur kan neerpen nie, nie omdat daar niks is om neer te pen nie, maar omdat dit te vinnig verander en daar nie tyd is om anders as individueel na te dink oor wat geplaas word op die internet nie. Die internet is ‘n free-for-all area wat alles toelaat, en juis daarin le sy sterkheid en swakheid. Daar moet perke gestel word om ‘n goeie basis na vore te bring vir ‘n goeie volhoubare kulturele generasie.

Die mediologie van die Christendom

This historical genesis attests, better than any other historical experience, to the general truth that the object transmitted does not pre-exist the process of its transmission, if it indeed appears that Christianity invented Christ instead of the other way around.
If you wish to understand a theology, examine its corresponding ecclesiology: you will pass from the form to the formative matrix.
Dit was dan Hoofstuk 1 – The Medium’s Two Bodies.

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