This, from “Transformations of the Image,” a talk presented in Venezuela in 1995:

[I]n this new stage the very sphere of culture itself has expanded, becoming coterminous with market society in such a way that the cultural is no longer limited to its earlier, traditional or experimental forms, but is consumed throughout daily life itself, in shopping, in professional activities, in the various often televisual forms of leaisure, in production for the market and in the consumption of those market products, indeed in the most secret folds and corners of the quotidian. Social space is now completely saturated with the culture of the image; the utopian space of the Sartrean reversal, the Foucauldian heterotopias of the unclassed and unclassifiable, all have been triumphantly penetrated and colonized, the authentic and the unsaid, in-vu, non-dit, inexpressible, alike, fully translated into the visible and the culturally familiar. (111)

Holy magisterial prose, batman! Making such a claim in our post red-state/blue-state, Anglo-America vs. the rest of the world, Asian tiger world seems far too simplistic, but what’s interesting to me is that “culture,” understood in an aesthetic sense, becomes equated to “culture” in the anthropological sense. And–if it is “the culture of the image” which has colonized “social space” to saturation point, can the theorist’s peeking into “the most secret folds and corners of the quotidian” do anything but replicate that act of colonization? But really, I’ve a lot of sympathy with this quote.

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