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The links, short essays and even shorter fragments presented here as “Melancholy Broken Body” constitute neither comprehensive resource nor critical argument, but a mood board. Each element prods a narrative that is as incommunicable as it is hard to avoid in our experience of making, thinking and interacting online: that of the body’s relationship to our wares – hard and soft – and of that connectivity’s impact on the spirit. There is a sadness out here on the web, a kind of immanent loss that breaks our bodies in the way that Carpal Tunnel Syndrome does, pinching a nerve to cause paralysis and somehow agonizing numbness.
What follows is a spoiler alert, perhaps, for those who choose to read through Julia Kristeva’s “On the Melancholic Imaginary”, reproduced to our right: the article concludes with the thought that works of art “enable us to establish less destructive, more pleasurable relations with ourselves and with others” and allow the ego “to assume an existence on the basis of its vulnerability to the other”. Let this be the function of our work online.
Special thanks to: Alessandra Hoshor and Paige Johnston.