Kroker, Arthur

Kroker, Arthur

(1945-) Canadian media theorist whose major influences include Marshall McLuhan, Harold Innis, Jean BAUDRILLARD, Gilles DELEUZE, and Friedrich NIETZSCHE. Kroker's key works consider the effects of technology on the socio-political/socio-cultural sphere. Books such as The Post-Modern Scene: Excremental Culture and Hyper-Aesthetics (1987), Body Invaders: Panic Sex in America (1988), and The Possessed Individual: Technology and New French Theory (1992) use postmodernism as both a critical tool and a stylistic guide. In Kroker's early work The Postmodern Scene, which he wrote with David Cook, the idea of postmodernism is seen as excremental. Unlike Fredric JAMESON, who is critical of the celebration of the postmodern as waste, Kroker's work refers to the Nietzschean/ Bataillean theory of excess and obscenity Against Jameson, Kroker argues we should see excremental culture as a means for transgressive action. Although postmodern depthlessness is potentially dangerous it is precisely this contingent feature which makes excremental culture a potentially useful revolutionary tool. In later texts such as Body Invaders, a collection of essays which he co-edited with his wife Marilouise, and The Possessed Individual, a critical assessment of French theory, Kroker clarified this position. In the former the authors show how panic sex can be used to illustrate America's technological determinism. Mirroring Bataille's reading of the sex act in The Accursed Share (1991), they argue that America's hysterical response to the body should be seen in terms of an attempt to discipline an increase of unreason and excess. Following this text, The Possessed Individual confirmed that Kroker's work has been heavily influenced by a critical engagement with French philosophy. Writers such as BATAILLE, FOUCAULT, LYOTARD, Deleuze, and Baudrillard are central to his thought. As well as his engagement with poststructuralism/postmodernism in these key texts, Kroker is also editor of the on-line journal Ctheory. See also POSTMODERNISM.
References in periodicals archive ?
Kroker, Arthur, Exits to the Posthuman Future, Polity, Cambridge, 2014, ISBN 9 7807 4567 1635, 224 pp.