Daily Archives: November 13, 2014

Find the Commodity (HUM415)

First thoughts. Pretty rough. Help me with this.

Q. What is the status of the commodity in Dawn of the Dead and eXistenZ?

An answer to this question might be assembled from the following elements:

1. DoD:

The Mall as mise en scene. Consumer plenitude amidst the wreckage. A fantasy of “free play”: the commodity without production OR exchange? The world of the zombie apocalypse is necessarily post-money? At some point, inevitably, the supplies will run out. At what point do the survivors become commodities, their beating hearts the alluring “nose shine” that attracts the zombie consumers. (And why do zombies want to eat brains rather than other organs? The brain as the seat of reason, affect, imagination.)

2. eXistenZ:

Slave-pod as a weird placenta-commodity. A prosthetic attached to the consumer by the umby cord, which, once ported, acts as a bridge linking and thus identifying the two. IOW, the consumer becomes the commodity. In this scenario consumption and production are simultaneous (identical?). The body is not extraneous, vestigial meat to be shed (i.e., Case in Neuromancer) but the means by which the virtual occurs.

3. Formal considerations: montage, eyeline match, biotech visual motifs.