Dancing to the Rhythm of a Geiger Counter: Modern(ist) Narcissism and the Anthropo(s)cenic Shock

  • João Florêncio Goldsmiths University of London
Keywords: performance, Anthropocene, Modernity, modernism, Vito Acconci

Abstract

In 2011, the biggest nuclear accident since Chernobyl took place at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan. Soon after the nuclear accident, a video appeared on YouTube in which a rogue power plant worker walked towards one of the site’s CCTV cameras and pointed to its centre while watching his own image being streamed live on his smartphone. Despite it clearly being a reinterpretation of Centers, the 1971 performance by Vito Acconci, this essay argues that the Fukushima reenactment not only questioned the cultural paradigms that grounded Acconci’s original gesture, but also signaled the urgent need for humankind to reconsider its own ontological and epistemological grounds in the face of imminent extinction. By comparing Vito Acconci’s Centers with its Fukushima reenactment, the essay tells the history of Modernity and of its failure as a project of human emancipation, grounded on a fantasy of human mastery of ‘Nature.’

Author(s): João Florêncio

Title (English): Dancing to the Rhythm of a Geiger Counter: Modern(ist) Narcissism and the Anthropo(s)cenic Shock

Journal Reference: Identities: Journal for Politics, Gender and Culture, Vol. 10, No. 1-2 (Summer-Winter 2013)

Publisher: Institute of Social Sciences and Humanities – Skopje 

Page Range: 111-122

Page Count: 12

Citation (English): João Florêncio, “Dancing to the Rhythm of a Geiger Counter: Modern(ist) Narcissism and the Anthropo(s)cenic Shock,” Identities: Journal for Politics, Gender and Culture, Vol. 10, No. 1-2 (Summer-Winter 2013): 111-122.

Published
2013-01-01
How to Cite
Florêncio, J. (2013). Dancing to the Rhythm of a Geiger Counter: Modern(ist) Narcissism and the Anthropo(s)cenic Shock. Identities: Journal for Politics, Gender and Culture, 10(1-2), 111-122. Retrieved from http://www.identitiesjournal.edu.mk/index.php/IJPGC/article/view/286