Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All

Friday, July 14, 2006

ABe Appreciation Week: Texhnolyze

Today we turn to a series that re-teams a number of the creative people who collaborated to create Serial Experiments Lain five years before. Much of Texhnolyze focuses on gang warfare in a crumbling underground city called Lukuss where radical prosthetic medicine is practiced. Later in the series the plot widens to contemplate the fraught relation of Lukuss to the surface world. Deeply preoccupied with the ineradicable embodiment and hence vulnerability of human experiences of dignity, intimacy, difference, and indifference, Texhnolyze is a brutal and relentless thing, incredibly tender to the touch. I admire the extravagant experimentalism of the series (there are whole episodes in which scarcely any dialogue is spoken at all, for example), the vividness of so much of the imagery in it, the unflinching intergrity of its thematic explorations. But I have to admit it is my own least favorite work connected to ABe at an emotional level -- I find it just too pessimistic for my tastes. Still, I cannot recommend it highly enough.

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