an abstract for the conference on Identities, Ethnicities and Nationalities in Asian and Pacific Contexts , 1994

electric cannibal

The paper will speculate upon what the Asia-Pacific region may look like in the future, in terms of the impact of new communications technologies.

I am particularly interested in the growth of what could be called a new regional consciousness, or 'mind' - as the embryonic and strange inhabitant of those in between spaces referred to by Homi Bhaba in Nation and Narration:

"The address to nation as narration stresses the insistence of political power and cultural authority in what Derrida describes as the 'irreducible excess of the syntactic over the semantic' [ie in electric cannibal, this 'syntactic' is expressed via the media/technological infrastructure/systems, which in turn in themselves constitute a syntax]. What emerges as an effect of such 'incomplete signification ' is a turning of boundaries and limits into the in-between spaces through which the meanings of cultural and political authority are negotiated."

As part of this talk I will show a range of video segments, including a 'prototype in electronic publishing' which deals with issues of national identity in Australia and the region, called INVOCATION (currently in production).