Myths of everyday life


Erika Matsunami


The fact that we cannot manage to achieve more than an unstable grasp of reality doubtless gives the measure of our present alienation: we constantly drift between the object and its demystification, powerless to render its wholeness. For if we penetrate the object, we liberate it but we destroy it; and if we acknowledge its full weight, we respect it, but we restore it to a state which is still mystified. It would seem that we are condemned for some time yet always to speak excessively about reality. This is probably because ideologism and its opposite are types of behaviour which are still magical, terrorized, blinded and fascinated by the split in the social world. And yet, this is what we must seek: a reconciliation between reality and men, between description and explanation, between object and knowledge. (Barthes, 1957/1972)1


This enigmatic text is a citation from the last paragraph of Necessity and Limits of Mythology by Roland Barthes. Barthes had written monthly from 1954 to 1956. At the time, he constantly tried to think about some of the myths of everyday French life.


I revisit Barthes’s thoughts about his final sentence, which can be found in the excerpt above. It is indirectly associated with Hegel’s aesthetics on creativity and its intellectual creation, and it has profound implications in the digital age. As in past times of change, the economy is always an important social issue, however, economic relevance as a democratic political issue faces specifically modern challenges. It might be an expansion of the world, beyond each existence. In modern society, there are diverse options for global and international communication as well as the enormous amount of information that comes with them. The fact that we cannot do more than perceive the instability of reality without doubting it, gives us a measure of our current marginalization. Probably, today's information goes far beyond the belief that we are not aware of the fact, and it relies on an understanding of things in our context. For example, a picture has pitfalls that briefly explain this complex information society, in other words, a picture might not properly be recognized as a pitfall of space and time, but rather it might be solved on the cognitive level individually. There is a gap between the complex digital information society and the existence of perception. 


It may be possible to have an individual cognitive experience between information and cognition at the neuron level in the mathematical sense. Their (multi-) modalities between the universality of mathematical sensations through the neurons and an objective and subjective of both sides of perceptual experience2 from a neuroscientific point of view have been investigated by empirical experiments, but cognition is an area that is too complex overall3. Nevertheless, through the experience of informational recognition, it might be possible to change the lifestyle even if the surrounding environment does not change, but, in which sense does it change? 


Barthes mentioned in his reflection that it was not a compromise, but rather a reconciliation between reality and men, between description and explanation, and between object and knowledge. Namely, these procedures of experiences might be "something" out that gives us the inspiration for our future. Thus, Information might reflect "things", or "things" might be reflected by information, this act is “cognition” even if we can not touch “things” in information. In doing so, we would be dealt with our reality by the individual acts in our environment practically, therefore, we are questioning our living space. It might be an interactive process as an experience for humans in everyday life.





1.Mythologies, Roland Barthes, Editions du Seuil, Paris, 1957, selected and translated from French by Annette Lavers, London, Paladin, 1972.

2.Information Theory and Cognition: A Review, Khalid Sayood, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE 68588-0511, USA; Published: 14 September 2018




What are the challenges that economic relevance as a democratic political issue faces in modern times?

What is the gap between the complex digital information society and the existence of perception?


Recent research question:
How can we achieve a reconciliation between reality and men, between description and explanation, and between object and knowledge?

-> B.O.D.Y. - the second skin

A Nordic night in summer



In einem Festsaal, ein gemeinsames Abendessen in einem Weißen Nacht, lauschen die Stimmen der 'baritone', 'tenor', 'soprano', betonte von forte bis pianissimo durch den Raum – Echodynamik.

Der Mythos wurde zerrissen und fließt aus der Erinnerung an Fragmente,

dabei fließen die Wörter in verschiedenen Sprachen, die alles im Zufall klingen.


Durch den klanglichen Zufall macht es eine zusammenschließende der Wörter des nordischen Nachts. – Eine magische Welt öffnet sich.*



White violet in a summer night for us,

it is MA**, an empty space in between.

What adoption is in between two different spaces of ?

– probably its mythical expression through the phenomena of Nature.





*In a ballroom, over dinner together on a white night, listen to the voices of the baritone, tenor, and soprano accented by the space from forte to pianissimo - echo dynamics. The myth has been torn apart and springs from the memory of fragments, while the words flow in different languages, in which all sounds are random.

By sonic fortune, it makes a merging ambiance of words of the Nordic night. – A magical world opens up.

 **MA (間): In traditional Japanese music, ‘Ma’ is similar to jazz ‘After beat’. However, it is a silent tone on the microtonal level, not an interval or a break, that is an active silence. The idea is that there is a "space and time", which does not appear on the surface. Things consist of the relationship between space and time behind them, also in front or in-between. Namely, the wholeness does not consist of rationality, but it is composed of leeway (Spielraum) as a connection. 


Politics of Affect


Brian Massumi

Wiley; August 2015

The capacity to affect and to be affected'. This simple definition opens a world of questions - by indicating an openness to the world. To affect and to be affected is to be in encounter, and to be in encounter is to have already ventured forth. Adventure: far from being enclosed in the interiority of a subject, affect concerns an immediate participation in the events of the world. It is about intensities of experience. What is politics made of, if not adventures of encounter? What are encounters, if not adventures of relation? The moment we begin to speak of affect, we are already venturing into the political dimension of relational encounter. This is the dimension of experience in-the-making. This is the level at which politics is emergent.

In these wide-ranging interviews, Brian Massumi explores this emergent politics of affect, weaving between philosophy, political theory and everyday life. The discussions wend their way 'transversally': passing between the tired oppositions which too often encumber thought, such as subject/object, body/mind and nature/culture. New concepts are gradually introduced to remap the complexity of relation and encounter for a politics of emergence: 'differential affective attunement', 'collective individuation', 'micropolitics', 'thinking-feeling', 'ontopower', 'immanent critique'. These concepts are not offered as definitive solutions. Rather, they are designed to move the inquiry still further, for an ongoing exploration of the political problems posed by affect.

Politics of Affect offers an accessible entry-point into the work of one of the defining figures of the last quarter century, as well as opening up new avenues for philosophical reflection and political engagement.