El desordre ordinari

Ordinary Disorder

Curated by Eloy Fernández Porta

A common culture, constructed from everyday experiences and articulated with the personal and affective ties of custom: this idea, first put forward by Raymond Williams, has been the basis of numerous inflections in knowledge and its practices, including Marxism, the new sociologies and cultural studies. In recent times, however, it seems that the ancient celebration of the phenomenon of sharing as such has been replaced by a critical consideration of the principles and regulations that govern these experiences. These principles are not always manifest: rather, they appear as unwritten laws, drafted by citizens, i.e. consumers, who determine and sanction the forms of participation in the group, its habits and its expressive modalities.  

            Ordinary Disorder is the paradox that sums up this condition of the period of do-it-yourself, reciprocal surveillance by smartphone and horizontal espionage. One of the definitions of “culture” that is most present in the collective imaginary is that of “custom”. Customary events take place at a meeting point between analogue and digital experience: between materiality and interfaces. Ordinary Disorder is also a point of friction where practices and discourses from different historical stages of capital (the industrial, productive and emotional phases) overlap.

Doing justice to these phenomena requires a plural perspective, in which the tools of cultural criticism are renewed to address shared experience as a “case study” and as a “conceptual problem”. Thus, “semiotic, urban, journalistic or anthropological tools are ideal for clearly examining what is ordinary, banal, routine, popularwhat has been found, what is out there, in the city” [Mariano de Santa Ana]. Indeed, what we once called “pop” is nothing more than “the noise the box makes when the lid comes off” [Laurent De Sutter].