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Demagogic Speech And Rhetorical Emptiness
En BERTRAND GERVAIS y SOPHIE MARCOTTE, Attention à la marche ! // Mind the gap!. Montreal (Canadá): LES PRESSES DE L'ÉCUREUIL.
The third volume of the Electronic Literature Collection (ELC3) is home to Radikal Karaoke by Argentine-Spanish artist Belén Gache. This work offers a criticism of the political speech by transforming it into a karaoke and, consequently, raising the question about the decreasing “value” of this locus (Grossberg 2012). Radikal Karaoke is an interactive online device that displays a video in loop while the user/reader speaks/shouts using a microphone and pressing the keyboard randomly. The video shows people applauding, explosions, spectators watching a show, aliens, slaves, etc., and at the same time, the user/reader is pressing the keyboard following instructions and reading a written text that scrolls along the bottom of the screen. Depending on the volume of the voice and the use of the keyboard, the video will produce different images, colors and sounds. The author clearly marks a position related to the need for intervention from those who consume her technopoetic (Kozak 2015). Gache’s work interrogates us about the indiscriminate consumption of nonsense political speeches and aims to implicate us as part of this parody. What is the relationship to current political practices and social reception? Regarding this question, this paper analyses the way Gache focuses on the rhetorical emptiness of hegemonic discourses renewing the debate over the relation between demagogic politics and automated society (Berardi 2014). The objective is to identify the strategic use of this device to make people take on an active role in the execution of poetry through karaoke and to denounce the political use of propaganda through an excess of linguistic nonsense and over-saturation of media space.
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