Kookiness seems to be a current tendency in politics, media and art. But how do images, films, works of art or campaigns reveal their specific reaction to this daily spiral of absurdies? Even critical strategies are no longer transgressive as they are nor longer directed against anything, but tend to be kooky in their specific way of repeating accustomed things within a new context so as to make the result seem crazy enough. How can both science and art reflect upon such follies? Couldnt it be fruitful for them, to explore kooky thinking figures themselves?
I is globalized, you is globalized, so is we. How should it be possible then to exaggerate things, if our globe is encircled from within? If we suppose, that the realization of scientific and technological transgressions in nano- or cosmic sciences are regularly discussed as being only a matter of time? The Handbook of Communication Guerilla has recommended to adopt strategies of power such as, e.g. to exploit the concept of hyper-affirmation to hold an hyperbolizing mirror up to the system: Dear citizens, would you please join the tomorrow gen screening for the index-linking of pensions. Sincerely, your Federal Government. Soon, not only Tony Blair will be engaging his spin doctors to twist and turn the news in favour of a pro-governmental attitude. We are already our own doctors, regarding ourselves as absolutely normal, but never really going too far.
Is it still possible to escape self-regulation or is everybody just borg? Camouflage comes into fashion, casting shows equal ways of creating identity. Being gay means being cool and at the same time, the re-biologization of gender roles is pretty en vogue: Why men are better in parking and women are better listeners ... But even the differentiation of roles, such as, e.g., the increasing hype of transgendered persons as casted by afternoon TV shows, might easily result in normalization: it feels like an infinite rabbit and hedgehog story. This kind of transgression is evenly distributed via networks, easy access via mobile is always guaranteed, and thus, this kookiness is perfect to be promoted as novelty. In which cases is kookiness not just mis-kookied into normalization?
One might agree that the seventies were rebellious, the eighties psychoanalytical and text-paradigmatic, the nineties hedonistic and queer. Once, being excessive has been the domain of the fields of avant-gardistic art and avant-gardistic film nowadays, Hollywood presents us with men-beating women, blockbusters claim catastrophies as their stars, and intertextual references ironically display their citationality. Even technology is getting more and more excessive: digital special effects, multiplex cinemas, gigantic screens, Dolby Sensurround ... Supposed that cinema itself has become kooky, do we then still need kooky readings? Has Camp become obsolete or has it never been more than a practice of normalizing self-regulation anyway? Do feminist film studies and queer theory equallly contribute to this system? In which aspects and how do films unsettle us in these days? Which kind of images leave us overwhelmed?
Even though criticism cannot claim a position beyond the system and despite of all its inevitable involvement there are good reasons to be against. We have become familiar with mimicry and falling viewing figures (but hardly with gender mainstreaming yet). Now it is time for new agitprop-strategies, for our own spinning, the own of which is continually under discussion.
To explore the new governmentality of the Self, to explore its inherent media conditions and opportunities, to check its instabilities and to occupy mechanical and electrical tensions and rotations anew, this is what the search for kooky aims at.