Value Systems Items
“The purpose of sacrifice in primitive societies, according to Bataille’s sources, was to reveal the continuity through death of discontinuous beings (the monumental function). Through their survival, the survivors who witnessed the sacrifice experienced continuity (death took place and left them alive)” (p. 41). This is a necessary item—without it the collection does not hold. A value-system already contains a sacrifice. There is an excess, something that will have to pay for the feeling of continuity. The EmerAgency is a consulting firm that is charged with exposing what this sacrifice is. It is charged with exposing an aporia. Every value will necessarily entail a sacrifice, and in this collection that sacrifice is not always the one sanctioned by the state. The value collected here is abject.
Exposing the sacrifice is the goal of the egent in making the MEmorial. Ulmer wants the egent to expose the sacrifice in order to create a change in our value structures, or at least to expose the blind spot created by monumentality. Monuments memorialize certain sacrifices made by cultural heroes, such as astronauts or soldiers, but the sacrifices made by others every day are not only not memorialized, but are not even recognized as sacrifice (and instead seen as tragedy).
These values are not given a statue, a day, and certainly not a monument. They are not given any real form—they are, in fact, form-less values. This item will not be found in the accepted social narratives we tell ourselves. Rather this item exists in the behaviors that will arise form the ideals celebrated in traditional monuments. “What Memorials are to ideas, MEmorials are to abjects. Is it the case that every idea is shadowed by an abject?” If we look to behaviors rather than ideas, and if we use the MEmorial to locate ourselves with the group subject, the answer to the question is yes. Abject values are always there, they’re always created along side the accepted value. If we continue to look at problems using literate logic, a blind spot will necessarily persist in our self-knowledge, especially at the level of values.