say, fear…

… is underestimated as a political risk. As soon as afraid, for loss of position, simple social advantage, or political status, the most primitive opportunistic intuition sets in–as if the limit condition for responsibility, in individual, social or political dealings, was accident aversion.

Safety culture is then symptomatic of a fearful society. Health is too: whether it is the health of the planet or of the foetus.

Fear does not drive career politicians or political usurpers to seek advantage, status and power. Fear drives them to avoid its loss.

Fear is the more forceful driver for those selfless ones on the left; and not because they have advantage, status or power but because they do not find in advantage, status and power as much meaning, while these are goods in themselves, in principle, for those others on the right. Still, for the ones on the right, fear prevents them from easily relinquishing advantage, status and power at the promptings of democratic process or change in political economy. They hold on: fear has them holding on; while the others on the left are fearful of taking hold.

The goods in themselves those on the left are fearful of losing are those based in the communicative realm, of consensus, or of the show of consensus, democratic principles, middleclass principles of fairplay, equality, and values called qualities to contrast them with the quantities of financial economy. This is the area where the left most needs a Nietzschean critique–an analysis that gets down and pulls up their servility by the roots.

What is called populism procures for the value of popularity a newly elevated status: but at the cost of those who care about it, who may even have gained most from it, becoming fearful for its loss.

What drives compulsive gamblers? It is a strange psychopathology, and a sociopathology when something large like global human ecocide is being gambled on: it is not fear of loss that compels the compulsive gambler. Loss can always be denied.

Loss can always be denied if it is seen to concern the future. A compulsive gambler lives inside the present moment of the gamble being made. This moment can be called mindfulness.

Mindfulness is inversely symptomatic. It diagnoses from within the pathology annulling the future for the present gain to be had from it. Mindfulness is not mindful of fear. It should be.

Fear is more basic than being mindful of what we have to lose. It is more direct and basic than any reflection on our own advantage, status or power. Yet fear is discouraged, except when dealing directly with our own personal welfare. A fear that is mindful of the risk of global human ecocide is discouraged. It is thought that this fear would be paralyzing.

The abjection of safety and health cultures consists in their continued reverence for what is to the advantage of the individual. The abject reality of safety and health cultures is the level of control they exercise over the individual, for the good of the individual.

The fear is not seen that drives people with power, status and advantage. In fact all we see of it is their paralysis.

They are paralyzed in the face of fear even while their faces attain a strange mobility and their actions acquire a character strangely hollowed out by hyperactivity. Their faces turn away, on the inside. They twitch. Their actions run in circles. They follow the same route as the traumatised, covering the same ground with a compulsion to repetition which resembles that of gamblers.

Fear in the case of those in the public media is of the nature of ongoing stagefright. It is visible in CEOs and in local and global leaders. But privately many experience the same stagefright.

Fear is the friend, the best and most reliable friend, to the one in whom it takes the form of the most primitive opportunistic intuition: it enables success through its utter lack of regard for consequences of any kind. It even makes the person in whom it is allowed to govern appear fearless. Fear then lives in an endless now where the one in whom it governs is only scared when he or she is not afraid.

[illustrated with images by Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes]

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from EF who wrote a book on LR’s TRANSFORMER LP to JC & an alternative FEAR from the one on that LP

0:30 Love You So Bad 4:15 Evening Prayer 7:13 Interview 14:18 Calm Down aka I Should Not Be Alone 16:44 Psalm 151
thanks noah

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evening prayer aka justice

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from David Berman to Wallfacers

In a very abstract frame today, I tried continuing with my writing and realised I would rather be talking to you. Whoever you are … wherever you are …

I have a lot of tabs (1, 2, 3 …) open I’ve been meaning to close once I wrote something about David Berman, David Cloud Berman I read in one of them. It was to be an RIP piece. Beside me I have the notes from when I heard he had suicided. They go like this:

this is coming

I’ll explain how

we’re all going to get through it

and “rebuild” society

Video after the jump

The last is from one of the links.

Then there is the line with the typo: The meaning of the world lies outside thw world. It’s from a Silver Jews album, the song ‘People.’

“Video after the jump” links to Berman’s blog, mentholmountains: arc of a boulder, which doesn’t link anywhere, but has links to writers, Thomas Bernhard, for example, and Robert Walser, and pictures and videos. It is not too dissimilar from squarewhiteworld.

An arrow directs on the kokuyo paper from the line “Video after the jump” to a reference to Cixin Liu’s Three-Body Problem. It reads:

Become a Wallfacer.

Humanity faces extermination, the extermination of a species of bug, coming from the stars, from the planet Trisolaris. It will take four light years to arrive. Meanwhile every human effort is directed towards defending itself, not the earth, but doing whatever it takes to defend itself.

400 years would seem to be sufficient time to prepare, however, the Trisolarans have sent an expeditionary force ahead to spy on human efforts and to limit them to what can be achieved from a current understanding of the fundamental laws of physics. The technology of Trisolaris far exceeds this limit, since the expeditionary force itself comprises AI supercomputers shrunk down to the size of subatomic particles, protons, quantumcomputers called Sophons. (The word for proton 质子 (zhì zǐ) is the same as the word for Sophon .) The lockdown on scientific research imposed by the Sophons is something that I was writing about in view of the comparable lockdown or limitation on paradigm shift, on fundamental advance, in the sciences–and more generally, in political economy–that is self-imposed in neoliberal institutional systems of governance where the pursuit of science is becoming the performance of science through representative means. (This source, considering the science of Three-Body misses the potential for critical diagnosis Liu’s fiction contains: note it contains info you might want to avoid if you intend to read the novels: it has the strangely phenomenological name, Exposing the structure of how we got our answers: Poetry in Physics.) (The diagnostic criticism implicit in Liu of the Sophonic lockdown as science fiction is explained by Philip Mirowski as the neoliberal fact of Open Science, ironically, at 56’57” in Hell is Truth Seen Too Late.) (I recommend reading Three-Body for its clinical diagnostic potential–and equally I recommend watching Mirowski, even if just for the part about Open Science.)

The Wallfacer project is undertaken by a humanity under threat of annihilation because of the lockdown on science imposed by the Sophons–which is described as being their ability to falsify experimental results from research in fundamental physics (note the Popperian line on falsification). The Trisolarans have a vulnerability: they communicate with each other through thought-reading, thought-hearing, thought-speaking. But they can’t read the thoughts of humans. Neither Sophons nor Trisolarans can see what is going on inside human minds. The notion of lying, of misrepresenting one’s true thoughts, of misrepresentation through speech and language is alien to these aliens–as is the notion therefore of representation. The Wallfacer project is to take advantage of this vulnerability. Wallfacers are selected to help save humanity through indirection and misdirection–through not representing their intentions. Besides the mental freedom to dream up plans and projects the use of which they need neither justify nor defend–in fact the Wallfacer project depends on their doing neither–they have all the world’s resources at their disposal to carry out their plans and projects.

They would be artists, poets, revolutionaries, for not having to answer to anyone for their freedoms, but for the fact that they are so and unquestioningly so resourced. Perhaps this is the link I wanted to make to David Berman: Become a Wallfacer.

The diagnostic import of the Wallfacer project can be seen when placed in relation to the lockdown on science. If, as I tend to think, neoliberal systems of institutional governance entail of the sciences a comparable lockdown–and we can see evidence of this in the shutting down of labs in the ‘hard’ sciences (those without direct application in technology and commercialisable IP) and see it also in the decrease in institutional support for intellectual labour, whether in fundamental theory in the sciences or in philosophy–then the Wallfacer project serves as critique of the view that it is to science, to scientists and to scientific research we must turn to find solutions to the problems facing life, to overcome the threat from earth.

Earth has this vulnerability: it doesn’t know we make it in our own image.

To overcome the threat from the earth, first undo the image we have made of it. The meaning of the world lies outside the world

[R.I.P. David C. Berman, 4 January 1967 – 7 August 2019]

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courtesy of Plug In The Street

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the unassuming brilliance of novelist Enrique Vila-Matas. But this is not it, neither, that is, evidence, nor representation. On the contrary. It is exactly the non-assumption, or, the other’s assumption.

…as Nathalie Sarraute once said–writing really is an attempt to find out what we would write if we wrote.

— Enrique Vila-Matas, Mac’s Problem, Trans. Margaret Jull Costa & Sophie Hughes, (New York, NY: New Directions, 2019), 4.

It was a time when children seemed very old, and the old seemed virtually dead. My clearest memory of that preschool year…

…this Hasidic saying: “The man who thinks he can live without others is mistaken; the one who thinks others can’t live without him is even more deluded.”

— Ibid., 14.

…Macedonio, the Duchamp of literature.

For the essayist Dora Rester, writing a novel means writing the fragments of an attempt at a novel, not the whole obelisk: “The art lies in the attempt, and understanding what’s outside us by using only what we have inside us is one of the hardest emotional and intellectual tasks anyone can undertake.”

— Ibid., 40.

[OSCOPE 22]

It appears we’re only just discovering that the gentle, compassionate approach to leadership makes better business sense than that of “command and control.” Studies in brain function (carried out by such methods as functional MRI) have detected that being treated disrespectfully raises one’s blood pressure and generates stress. “It’s the sure path to depression, the second-fastest-growing condition in developing countries, according to the World Health Organization. Bosses are by definition disrespectful, even if their lack of respect doesn’t always manifest itself in barked-out orders. Leaders, on the other hand, do their best to draw out people’s talent, and for that there needs to be respect, trust and motivation,” explained the Co-Director of the Executive Education program at Deusto Business School. But I find this hard to believe. The means and methods may have changed, but actually things are even more terrifying than before, perhaps precisely because you trust those around you more and believe that things really are better, and you don’t expect to discover, all of a sudden, out of nowhere, just when you least expect it, the real truth: they don’t love you because they’ve never loved you and they’re firing you because you’re past it and because you’re always causing scenes and because you drink too much and because one day you quoted a few lines from Wallace Stevens when tension was at its highest in that emergency meeting.

— Ibid., 110-111.

But then, this is brilliant: “The means and methods may have changed, but actually things are even more terrifying than before, perhaps precisely because you trust those around you more and believe that things really are better, and you don’t expect to discover, all of a sudden, out of nowhere, just when you least expect it, the real truth: they don’t love you because they’ve never loved you and they’re [not hiring you] you because you’re past it,” &so on. (Ibid., p. 111.)

And, as if of course, so is this:

Life, seen through the lens of the most cumbersome administrative procedures, will be–as, indeed, it already is–brutally depressing, a hostile labyrinth of interminable galleries and pavilions, red-taped up to the eyeballs; endless rows of offices and millions of corridors linking together seemingly countless galleries, each with its own sinister distinguishing feature, except perhaps the remote “Chamber of Writing for the Unemployed,” where a group of clerks, in their most elegant hand, will copy out addresses and redirect undelivered mail. Duplicating texts, transcribing texts … these men and women will appear to belong to another time and will prevent that knot of galleries and pavilions from being even more depressing.

But few people, despite their constant toing and froing along those cold corridors, will know how to find that final bastion of life as it once was, that bastion that gathers together all the lost and forgotten things, all those things that are still apt–precariously so, but nonetheless apt–to remind us that there was once a time, a bygone age, in which writing moved with parameters quite different from those in which it moves today.

As I tell myself all this, I think I glimpse one of the clerks–tucked away in the most hidden corner of the remotest gallery and having finished his work–write down some words on one of the pages of a stack of one hundred and three loose sheets, which, it seems, no one has been able to bind together due to a lack of resources:

“No, I can’t. I’m done with that.”

— Ibid., 183-184. [These are Hemingway’s words, it should be noted.

[And doesn’t this scene recall the history of science, even to resembling the history of scientific advancement and progress, in the chapter of a book I was reading today–the last book, in fact, written by Oliver Sacks, collated, on his instruction, from a stack of posthumous papers? This is the chapter, of The River of Consciousness, on the scotoma, to which histories relegate those findings, discoveries, phenomenological descriptions they subsequently deem to be premature, or prescient, but that are at the time they appear, and for years, often decades after, inconsequential exceptions and untimely anomalies. Or they are uncomfortable truths, annoying particles, gritting up the smooth running of given narratives, excluded and occluded. The scotoma in Oliver Sacks’s reading is the dark recess in which is written some words on a stack of one hundred and three loose sheets … no one has been able to bind together due to a lack of resources. (Ibid., 184.)]

…for the first time, I wasn’t writing in order to rewrite, but I was going a stage further. Well, I thought, still astonished at my own prowess, you have to start somewhere. But the real surprise came when I realized that actually writing something meant finding out what it felt like to write a fictional fragment rather than a diary fragment. And it almost makes me laugh to say this, but I am, of course, going to say it anyway: it feels exactly the same in both cases. Really? Yes, the same. This only confirms that, as Nathalie Sarraute said, writing is trying to find out what we would write if we wrote. Because writing, real writing, is something we will never do.

— Ibid., 185 [Note here the echo of Blanchot, under, what I am inclined to call, the sign of the impossible, issuing out from the dark recess, the scotoma of the false histories of all progress and advancement, scientific and otherwise.

[And this, on the side of a tissue box: the brain remains a symbol so long as so-called higher level function remains a matter of representation.]

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for Raymond Boyce, 19 May 1928 – 1 August 2019, presented at the tribute held 10 August 2019, Hannah Playhouse, Wellington, NZ

some-lines-from-the-Russian-school-for-Raymond-Boyce-2

some links:

“this building”

“is a masterpiece”

“of theatre” “design”

see also,

under the lefthand margin heading

TAYLOR ARCHIVE,

which is of course

the TAYLOR | BOYCE ARCHIVE

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25 June 2019: Seseragi – Gora – air

We will return to Seseragi. Ha, next to the babbling

The egg for breakfast is coddled in the geothermal spring.

The dining room, Kamiyama, is on the fourth floor of the ryokhan, Ichinoyu Honkan, est. 1630. Yakuta are worn. The maître d’ steps aside for a clear shot. But none do it justice. Next to the babbling…

And note the bark, bamboo, the fishtail window latches, the gilded cupboard doors–and the porch separated from the square main room with its square light fitting by sliding screens, next to the babbling, and the ubiquitous vibrant green of the maples.

After breakfast we take the Tonzan, the Hydrangea Train, to at least see Gora, even if we cannot ascend the ropeway and catch a glimpse of Fuji, over lake Ashi.

Gora is an alpine transit lounge. A brief walk, snapping the pompom pines, and an old house, with a mini pine growing in the gutter.

And then descending the mount, with the sleeping lady, after her friends had swapped a multitude of sweets, and not snapped the teeth of the sleeping lady snapping in and out.

The shrine with the snakes and frogs promised great prosperity from its waters. Next to the Tonosawa stop, we stop briefly, tempt the spirits of wealth, and, having time to take the walk once more down to Hakone-Yumoto, trundle our wheely bags through the town, back on the Romance Car to Shinjuku, where the tapered tower is, and the Skyliner.

It’s sad to be leaving again, but it is again. One hopes it hopes, despite the coming events, it will be possible to return. And connections have been made. And that means so little these days of connectivity but … time passes, on the wing, and on Sunday 14 July I receive an email from Alphonso Lingis.

He is in Auckland. We meet up at 8.15am on 18 July and start talking … next to the babbling … and at 6.15pm we stop. I put him in the cab to take him to the airport for his flight at 9pm.

The kereru greets Al, and the tui swoop in the backyard, even the rosellas show up, when we are in the backyard, talking, and the piwakawaka …

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24 June 2019: Akasaka – Hakone-Yumoto – Tonosawa – Kowakidani – Hakone Open Air Museum

We leave Akasaka, and Hotel Felice–and it has been–for the Romance Car–it, in fact, is–booked to take us to Hakone.

Reaching Hakone-Yumoto, we have climbed off the flatlands of rice production, and ascended into the cloud and into the hills; the temperature has dropped outside; the time has passed in the concentrated suspension of Japanese rail. Even as it is this time not high speed shinkansen but Romance, it is quiet and the consideration of others on the train is quite tangible, not formal or abstract: and it is not granting to one space to do one’s own thing; it is not the privacy, a vacuole or foyer of private liberty, enjoyed when others condescend to leave us alone; it is not that one perceives of as a conscious choice in the respectful distance some cultures observe, say, for example, in view of, and around the romantic couple–or those who are in the throes of an emotional event. It is like snow, general, this discretion, and in extension. So the time seems to pass quickly, until we are swept up into the foothills not so far from Fuji.

Also the timbre of the train changes–almost as if the Romance Car can change gauges, to climb; and the next rail service we come to, on the platform opposite where we disembark, is the Hakone Tozan Railway, which runs on a single track on the second steepest line in the world, from Odawara, which we have passed through, up to Gora, from which the Hakone Ropeway extends, to Lake Ashi–where there are ridiculous Disney tallships–at the foot of Fuji; or it would extend, were it not closed because of increased volcanic activity around the crater of Mount Hakone.

Snapped above is the black garlic seller, the chestnut guy, at Hakone-Yumoto station. We get some (umi as those we ate on the Spanish Steps some years ago), and negotiate the main road, to catch a bus on the far side–not so easy, but the traffic stops to let us trundle over. The bus is free to Ichinoyu Honkan. Chosen for its onsen, it sits directly on the river, in fact a station up, on Tonzan line, from Hakone-Yumoto, at Tonosawa. Here we leave our bags, impressed by the age and beauty of our ryokhan. The oldest parts of the building are four hundred years’ old. It was established in 1630, has, like most old wooden structures in Japan, either been burnt–more common–or been shaken down–far less common, given Japanese craftsmanship–and rebuilt and added on to: from the snap above of the exterior it seems to jut out of the landscape. It is not only that in fact it belongs. It is that the atmosphere gives a subtle acknowledgement that in fact it does.

Our check-in time is at 3. We descend the hill to Hakone-Yumoto once more, having arrived before midday.

From the map it looks like the post office is beside the railway station. We walk down beside the river, past the weir, the arcades across the river for some reason reminding me of Lake Garda. We are directed back across the river from Hakone-Yumoto, up through its other half. A snap of the interior of the post office appears above. It’s raining heavily. We have our 950yen clear plastic umbrella. We stop in at a marquetry store–seems to be a local speciality in the craft line: different woods cut into prisms, the cross sections showing hexagonal and other tesselating patterns, shaved to micromilimetres, laminated and laquered into trays, coasters, serving dishes, display boxes. The high sheen is almost kitsch but the larger items, beyond our price range, are quite beautiful.

What we are not told is Hakone-Yumoto straddles a fork in the river. We mistake one fork for the other, where our ryokhan is, and get lost in the rain.

When we find our way back downriver to Hakone-Yumoto, our plan is to take the Tonzan line perhaps up as far as Gora. But we change our minds.

At this time of year, the Tonzan line becomes the Hydrangea Train, the flowers in bloom on either side of the track, stalked by photographers, locals making the journey simply to experience the profusion of the hydrangea and celebrate its ephemerality.

Second steepest railway–different from cable, rope or ratchet–in the world, Tonzan, to deal with the canting, has a number of switchbacks, and changes direction. It’s fun to see the whitegloved guard and driver running down the platform to swap ends, their high seriousness, their high polish and human haste.

In recognition of the Swiss source of the new cars using the line, the ads inside, in the curved spaces above the windows, and billboards in the stations, depict not Japan, but Switzerland–a similar train passing over stone bridges, up mountains, in the snow. Perhaps it is the steepest?

I snap where we get off, before Gora, because we spot on the route plan, that this is the stop for Hakone Open-Air Museum. J. has read about it. But nothing prepares us for it.

Look, the people inside the work are cleaning it; and the bronzes are restrained from developing a patina–by a similar cleaning regimen?

The face in the hole in the solid sheet is called Surprise with the Glare by Takao Tsuchida. The monumental bronze figures above are by Emile Antoine Bourdelle.

I have noted before the extreme reverence with which modern art is treated–on Naoshima–in its display, and in its careful preservation. But there is a strange contrast here: is it Donald Keane who writes that the Japanese is one of the few if not the only culture to place such high value on ephemeral and passing things–in the tea ceremony, Sakura, the Hydrangea Train, in ikebana, and as a general attitude to the life of both human subjects and objects? But here timeless art is not allowed to age–no patinas allowed! Would the perspex bubbles of the work snapped above have such care lavished on them anywhere else?

This care is nothing new. At Chiyoda Art Centre a team of grasscutters descended on the small patch of grass, and with handheld shears, like scissors, snipped it quietly down. There were seven of them. Of course we see the same in gardens everywhere–the round topiaries of pines, pom-poming in silhouette, the meticulous care taken with packaging, with presenting food, the growing of melons in cube-frames to give square fruit, the technologies of personal bodily care in onsen culture… But the preservation of artworks in a state of newness, when done in materials which do age, to which age adds depth, gravity… Then is this idea of aging inherited from the Romantic ruin cult? Should we be painting back the colours on classical Greek and Roman statuary? Putting the wigs and merkins back on?

The patching and mending of materials, in boro and sashiko–so the fabric tells its story, patched indigo, in white threads–or kinsugi–joining broken ceramics with gold–or even the elaboration of supports for plants and trees, often with support structures, for prized ones, more extensive than the tree or plant itself, these are not the same as the poetry of aging, fragmenting and deterioration prized from the Romantics on? …Although we would place special conditions on the sorts of aging, fragmenting and deterioration that is prized: let there not be rot, or agents active, like bacteria and fungi, in the materials; but let it show the worming in the wood once the worms are gone; let the bronze brought up out of the sea show the barnacles and patinas–but let their work have finished and not be ongoing and live; which reminds us of the icon fabricators, aging back woods, paints and surfaces, as artfully adding patinas and coatings as Hirst’s fantasia… Although we also have the example of Duchamp’s Unhappy ReadymadeReadymade Malheureux of 1919: the geometry textbook despoiled by weather… , well, done by Duchamp’s sister, Suzanne, on his instruction… The trade in instant antiques–chairs whipped with chains and scorched and splattered with grease–reproduces the effects of aging: but death is kept at bay. The Nihonese attitude seems different.

It has been said that the quality wavers of the works exhibited at Hakone Open-Air Museum but it may be just this aspect of taste.

It ought also be considered that the sculpture park is the first of its type in Japan; the collection was started in 1969. By any standards, it is exceptional.

The snap above shows the hot-spring footbath–an onsen for feet.

The Picasso pavilion was closed for renovation. I snapped it because of its big Hollywood letters. The figure in front, called the flower who walks, La Fleur qui Marche, is by Fernand Léger. Like the Miró, also above, its colours have been kept as bright and clean as if it was just done.

This tower is Gabriel Loire’s Symphonic Sculpture, from which the views of cloud sweeping the hills around above are snapped too.

And the first of the Henry Moores, to be continued… by the biggest collection I have seen anywhere.

Antony Gormley lies prostrate in there too.

The Hand of God — Carl Miles, raising the question, and figuring the raising of the question, of taste.

These are Barry Flanagan’s The Boxing Ones–with a vista behind giving a sense of the scale of the place.

Giuliano Vangi’s Grande Racconto recalls us to the hilltop behind Kosan-ji in Ikuchijima, on the Seto Sea, where the whole hill is Carrara marble, 5,000 square metres of it. It is dazzling white enough to give sunstroke–I had to buy a hat after that–perhaps dazzled with the glare of its title, as it is called Maraishin no Oka, Englished as Heights of Eternal Hope for the Future by the sculptor from Hiroshima, Kazuto Kuetani. Here: at squarewhiteworld

Ryoji Goto’s Intersecting Space Construction recalls us to the imbrication of human subjects–like interlocking rooftiles.

We leave Hakone Open-Air Museum having not seen the Picassos, hoping to return perhaps tomorrow… as this substantial collection is being temporarily housed in the gallery where we enter… the one with the big name being closed… and I do not show here the indoor exhibitions, featuring a Giorgio de Chirico sculpture, an Yves Klein blue relief work, with gold figures, Giacometti’s thin woman without arms, Femme Mince sans Bras, captivating, some of which can be seen here: https://www.hakone-oam.or.jp/en/exhibitions/article_reg.cgi?id=829688

The Tonzan back as far as our stop, Tonosawa–the path along the hillside, descending to Ichinoyu Honkan–we check in at last to the most beautiful room we have stayed in, of beautiful humanscale proportions, on the corner of the 400 year-old building, overlooking the river, itself curving around our room, with a private onsen in our room. And we go out searching for dinner. We find a place with the TV on, playing the incomprehensible–to us–reality shows we have seen before–still incomprehensible–and the bowed-over ancient proprietor welcomes us, instructs us on dining etiquette at one point, while his equally ancient, but less bowed-over wife cooks for us. There is for a time nobody else there, but two guys drinking beer and chuhai from enormous glasses, who soon leave. Then a traveler enters in a summer suit with a straw hat and engages the proprietor in a discussion which could as easily have been about the races or rice crops as about the new Emperor.

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23 June 2019: Akasaka – University of Tokyo, Komaba Campus, 21KOMCEE WEST – Akasaka – Ramen Street, Tokyo Station

Out the back gate, past the ventilation chimneys, crossing, the beware of ghost sign, up over the hill, down residential oneway, police manning the inroads to embassyland, under the pedestrian bridge, left at the south-easterly corner of Yoyogi, in through exit 2, minutes before Chiyoda line sped away, under the city, to Akasaka, debriefing with J., dinner at the first place I’d eaten two doors down from Hotel Felice: clams, grilled fish—Norwegian or Nihonese was available—the local, chuhi and birru. Now I know the way, this morning, the last day of the conference—it is almost sad, to have resolved the problem of finding one’s way, soon to be leaving one’s way behind. Like a secret one carries.

For Kenneth Surin, I decide on Session 28—four other sessions are running at the same time, 9.20-10.50. Morning snacks are served on floor 3: coffee, marmalade bun.

Felicity Coleman, Rebecca Hill and Catherine Dale—the last convening, the former presenting at this session, with Kenneth—talk about being here. Felicity Coleman has in the past hired a car, made her way through the small towns, stopping at onsen. Today, in the rain, she says, an onsen in the woods would be perfect. She is, tomorrow, presenting in London—but will gain a day inflight. In fact, many of the conferees are going straight to London.

I wonder at this moving group of people conducting their business all over the world—taking this world with them, insulated by it; as one is, traveling by car, J. and I later decide, insulated, not reliant on the confusion of finding one’s way along with locals and other visitors, in the confusion, for example of rail, and how it opens one up to by forcing types of exchange which would be missing in the car-bubble. Then there is traveling as a couple also—and this trip we have both traveled alone and together: how couples become a world, infacing.

I introduce myself to Ken, who has come in early, is consulting his laptop. He seems to recall our meeting in Stockholm, but is probably being polite.

Al, preferring the front, we move ringside. He does his round of the table, finding out who is there, what they do, with his great receptive smile.

“Becoming Gender” the session is called. Dale calls it something of a misnomer.

Ken’s preamble is to say that he has to wait until his retirement from Duke University—where he is professor emeritus—and after decades of teaching, to finally present on becoming gender. He has a Union Jack T-shirt, distinctive whiskers, an orotund delivery. …becoming is intrinsically tied to the category of the minor. To which Coleman’s the minor failed, the minor is no longer a possibility… has no salience.

Becoming-animal … part of a constellation, being analytically rather than arithmetically in the minor.

Everyone has to become woman, even women.

Everyone has to become animal, even animals.

Deleuze and Guattari—what is new, remarkable, interesting—“the actual is not what we are but what we become.”

“we become animal so that the animal also becomes something else.”

a zone of interchange

of passage between human an nonhuman

Gregor Samsa fails (to escape Oedipal coding in authoritarian family). Already I want to ask if every such becoming is a failure.

The Wolf Man – Freud’s – his position is in a territoire sauvage, the steppes, between forest and farmland—he is a pack animal.

Eugene Thacker—there are prejudices we have to overcome.

The life of the group forms a plane of consistency. The aggregate comes to have a life

– of packs herds swarms.

Donna Haraway loves dogs.

…it becomes a political question, to set up a steppe, a plane, a pathology … a plan/e of escape.

Wolf Man’s depression: bourgeois interiority.

Schizoid element: outside.

There can be molar collectivities, e.g. kolkhozi, collective farms, set up under a regime of collectivisation—and one might say the open office as well.

In molar collectivities there is also group belonging.

I think about this question:

Is Deleuze-Guattari studies a molar collectivity or does it set up a molecular plane of consistency?

In the molar, negation is used to determine difference in contrast to same. A question of either internal determinations of a concept or external determinations of molar or static nomination, accusation.

What marks one as part of a molar aggregate?

One is only ever sufficiently English Brazilian… but this sufficiency is still not affirmative. It conceals “desire, convention, contrivance.”

Deleuze and Guattari’s first move requires us to work on what I and you do or do not have in common. They do not require an identification, one drawn from abjection. There is a tautology in the racist: the one who claims to be the only one who is French or American; the one who claims to be the only one who has this essence and can have it. This one is inevitably the one who is. (But is it still drawing on abjection, on what we may call ontological abjection, to talk about being sufficiently British? British enough to wear the T-shirt? Deleuzian enough and Guattarian enough to wear the T-shirt?)

Rather than the ontological abjection of identification, we might enter a becoming, as a passage through a zone of indiscernability.

(I am put in mind of the letter in which Kafka writes, I’m going home to China.)

Rebecca Hill speaks next, she is “conceiving immanent desire with Irigaray and Deleuze and Guattari.”

Irigigaray offers a diagnosis of phallocentrism. Rather than her criticism of Deleuze and Guattari’s becoming-woman Hill traces the “generative commonalities and divergences” amongst these thinkers.

In a 1973 seminar, “Dualism, monism and multiplicities,” Taoist immanent desire is contrasted to Cartesian dualism. From the latter, every statement splits, cuts the subject—dividing thinking from desiring. From the former, there is no need for a split in the subject: thinking and desiring “is a pure process.”

Thought is monist multiplicity outside the status of number.

To become is to escape capital and man. (In a “pure process”?)

Immanent thinking is not feminist and is not colonialist.

The 1973 seminar acknowledges a “phallocratic imperial” background to all thought.

Hill offers that she gives a “highly motivated reading” of Irigaray.

The transcendence of Irigaray’s view of sexual difference—

“Volume without Contour,” “When our lips speak together,” in Speculum of the Other Woman: these concern immanent thought.

Western metaphysics uses woman as its “ground and resource” (all through this I am thinking of the Derridean chora).

Woman overflows and unravels the systematisation of reason and order.

What is stated is an “immanent feminist topology” of thought.

The feminine is the locus of chaos and terror.

The Oresteia trilogy is cited: Clytemnestra kills Agamemnon for killing her daughter Iphigenia.

Orestes—the titular—kills Clytemnestra and is put on trial.

Mother and daughter, Clytemnestra and Iphigenia, become unspeakable.

A feminine topology of immanence, from “Volume without Content,” sets up an impersonal and unlimited field of immanence.

In “When our lips speak together,” lips are a figure of multiplicity: against the representative interpretation.

A w/hole that is never totalised—lips are a multiplicity.

The place of woman is mentioned in relation to Taoism.

The phrase is used “absolute self-survey,” but not in reference to Ruyer.

It comes to questions: That was, I say, between “sufficiency” and “purity.” This is a question for both—but perhaps Rebecca will be able to correct the statement—Irigaray writes somewhere, Perhaps (it is only) a (true) (understanding) (of) sexual difference that will save us?

I don’t think it was “true,” says Rebecca Hill. It was of course taken from Heidegger’s phrase.

Of course, I say. (Only a god can save us now, I think.)

And, Hill continues, it is in her later work. I have not dealt with her later work here…

…there seems to be some kind of zone of indiscernability in Kenneth’s phrase, an immanent feminist topology invoked…except polarised…

What do you mean by polarised?

Well, more rigidly constructed.

I would not use the word rigid. I mean, in her later work, Irigaray talks about a zone of something like indiscernability, where a becoming that is dual is possible, of both man and woman, of man with woman… But, I don’t work with her later writing, where she says sexual difference is real. … And she actually says, for which she has been heavily criticised by the trans community, There are only men and women. …

I see I backed away from a proposition rather than having to state it: I might have said polarised over gender—on the basis Irigaray, that it is in her later work notwithstanding, says very much this. But what I was asking had nothing to do with inclusion or exclusion in becoming gender, or becoming animal. It had to do with what the human might be; however, we can never excuse or avoid or refuse addressing sexual politics.

This question of what the human might be, I raised it because Coleman was in the room: in an algorithmic becoming there is no possibility of being saved—or saving us—let alone by understanding sexual difference.

But is this really the case? Isn’t algorithmic becoming something for which men and women can or should take responsibility? Even as it is nonhuman becoming, belonging to a technosemiosis which is not human or gendered. Still, isn’t this letting it go, this question? And I am reminded of Coleman’s As a feminist, I can’t possibly answer that question. Perhaps the algorithmic becoming—well we know that in its use, like reason, it is—uses women and men unequally, makes use of them, where it encounters them differently?

This would not be a question of what the human (contested in its internal differences) can do, it would not be a question of what whatever we is ought to do—therefore it would not be a question of morality—but it would be a question of what the human, we, can be, of what we is, exactly contested in sexual difference. Isn’t this the ethical question of only (an understanding of) sexual difference can save us (now)?

Another question: Ken answers with the long list of becomings which Deleuze and Guattari give. Getting to becoming mineral, he says, this is one I have never really understood. I suppose you could speak of the mineral as that which is used for jewelery, or in computers… is in watches, gemstones and precious metals…

Strangely there is some sage nodding of heads. It doesn’t seem to occur to anyone that minerals are mobile elements. They pass through sedimentary layers of strata. What might be at stake in a mineralisation, or becoming mineral, is gaining this fine grain level of mobility—and a granular point of view or perspective. (That of the mineral subject, I might now say.)

Ken pronounces haeccitas “hex-itas.”

The next keynote is again presented in the wooden hall underground with the hinged chairs and the technical difficulties. It is Alex Taek-Gwang Lee: “Deleuze/Guattari and the Third World: Rethinking Political Philosophy After May 68.” He is perhaps the third speaker Koichiro-san has introduced as his best friend.

Foucault said political philosophy is a theory of government. Yet Deleuze and Guattari call their own work political philosophy. It does not so much address governmentality as a people who are missing. This is what makes it political philosophy.

The Third World constitutes the historicisation and the politicisation of a people who are missing. (Note: it is not the singular people of a Volk, not a People who is missing.)

In Cinema 2 political cinema is to think about people who are missing—the Third World.

This consideration comes in light of the cinema being an art of the masses. Stalinism. Nazism. Americanism. It is an art of the the mass subject.

Once America was the land of deterritorialised peoples. Now its concerns are its its own ends and interests.

The aim of political cinema is to invent and not to represent people who are missing. “The missing people are a becoming.”

This future politics in my terms is planetary communism.

Why do the people of liberty not accede to a liberation of others? So that A Thousand Plateaus speaks of “exploitation of the Third World; the arming of dictatorships, and the pollution of the atmosphere.”

Imperialism provides a counter-history of liberalism.

Ultimate aim of Deleuzian politics, according to Mbembe, is

  1. a founding violence
  2. imposition of law
  3. a system designed to sustain colonialism and to replicate it.

But there is then a boomerang effect, from the colonised peoples: Auschwitz has its origins in colonialism—implanted back in the imperium. This is Mbembe’s necro-politics.

Commodification of labour—subjugation of labour force—in colonial countries, flows back—an authoritarian politics—flowing back to Europe and to the West in general.

The fascism and biopolitics in nation-building in the Third World rebound on the West.

Manjiko—as it is called here—Manchuria, shows how fascism grows up in the mechanism of capitalism. Capitalism incubates and bears forth fascism—leading to the mobilisation of the newly imperialised Third World in Total War.

Fascism is the counter-current in imperialism.

Nationalism in the 1930s in Japan became Empire—and failed.

The Japanese designed Manjiko as a nation-state in answer to this failure.

Emancipation and development are the goals of the game: an anti-imperialist nationalism.

The Third World movement shows colonialism does not work out unilaterally. Colonial territory is established on the exclusion of native peoples.

The colonial regime in Manjiko failed because of the division of the colonists and the colonised.

In a Land War, the colonised is a “wild beast” to hunt down.

Foucault writes that in the 17th century the form of power changed from disciplinary power to biopower: people became population.

From Malthus, for whom it is population that matters, while liberalism relies on people and on a cancellation of the population, to Hobbes’s liberal Leviathan, it is an easy step to biopower—to people as data.

Liberalism in Malthus concerns population. The people who are missing concerns a geophilosophy: taking up the conflict for settlement, colonialism, and therefore also imperialism, between land and sea, that between the Behemoth and the Leviathan.

In Schmidt, sea threatens earth-born nature. The Leviathan has no hierarchy. It threatens the Ship of State.

For Deleuze, humans cannot live in security unless they assume the struggle of and land and sea is over.

The Third World is an “island,” the missing people a “desert.”

Inhabitation does not end a desert island.

The island as a field of struggle of ocean and land precedes Robinson Crusoe.

It is prior to the opposition of Crusoe the coloniser and Friday the colonised. In Tournier, the island changes Crusoe.

Crusoe cannot perpetuate our world because he cannot reproduce: he is asexual.

He is a pervert.

There occurs the internal subjectivation of the island as such.

Planetary communism goes from the island as subject. Becoming-island is a politic of the desert island.

The Third World means this kind of island.

Danilo asks about the link between fascism and imperialism.

The French and English empires survived because they underwent development and modernisation.

Nationalism in Japan occurred for the purposes of the modernisation of Japan, resulting in imperialism.

Adam Smith is anti-imperialist. Imperialism in the UK is a product of the nation-state. There is a time lag between empire and nation-state: an attempt to return to empire.

Christoph asks why we should leave our food and our shelter, those of the developed world, and become Third World.

The Third World is an abstract world: it is not a question of refusal but of working against exclusion.

Greg asks after the coherence of a homogeneous concept of the nation-state when the state as we know it is heterogeneous, made of many peoples.

To become Third World you must invent the Third World. A territory.

Leviathan reminds us and recalls us to the nation-state we must be part of.

Greg: First Worlds coexist with Third World, in Mexico, the US, in China.

Craig Lundy: Is Third World a new earth?

In Third World, we are inventing an earth in common: that means communism.

(There are the now commonplace technical difficulties with the mics.)

I read in the programme that Philip Martin, from Macquarie University, Sydney, is presenting on the Kyoto School: something I have been missing is the connection between Deleuze and Guattari and Japanese philosophy.

The Kyoto School’s most well-known representative is Kitaro Nishida.

Working in the tradition today are Shizateru Ueda and Ryosuke Ohashi.

Jun Tohsaka (1900-1945) coined the name Kyoto School.

Martin goes about formulating a connection: the suprasensible in the sensible is how Deleuze frames Kant’s project.

Deleuze’s criticism—of having done with judgement—comes from a criticism of a total form of history—in real historical institutions.

There is another model of the sensible and the suprasensible in Deleuze: this is art.

From Law and Judgement, to, in Deleuze, Art.

Kitaro Nishida’s logic of basho—which a simplified translation might give as place—entails an expressive and transformative relation to the world and to history.

Logic and Life (1936) proposes the reciprocal determination of individuals and their actions and the world as a whole. It is a monadology.

The continuous history of change and transformation between consciousness and the world means we are caught in continuous transformations with the world (as a whole).

Art, ethics and religious experience is a knowing of itself to be transformative.

Miki—is another figure, Martin has not the time to present.

Nishida: the world of historical reality … is the subject of his 1936 work.

Jun Tohsaka: What is the Technological Spirit (1937/2018). This work informed by scientific Marxism links art to life to science. The technological spirit is social production in and of history, working on the level of a technology of self as a creative procedure, and creating thereby, rather than taking it as a given, a common sense—in the production of a society or social and cultural sense.

Antonio Catalano: his theme Deleuze as political thinker, through the work of Italian political philosopher, Toni Negri.

Deleuze does not isolate politics as a way of thinking. The real issue is the relation between ontology and politics.

Marxism follows two lines of descent: a theological-political direction which is that of Benjamin, Schmidt; a biopolitical direction, that of Foucault, Deleuze, Guattari.

Negri: At the Origins of Biopolitics (1997).

Negri with Guattari: Communists Like Us.

Our time is one of the saturation of discussion between society and economics.

Capitalism builds a real plane of immanence.

Every singularity is pure energy.

Hegel—dialectics, negativity, history

Deleuze—philosophy of nature, affirmation, becoming-woman

Negri needed from Deleuze and Guattari an ontology of the spontaneous production of beings to transform Marxism.

Living singularities will always exceed the structures of domination.

From Deleuze issues a biopolitics creative of subjectivities, biopolitics as a constituting power and one not simply constitutive or given power in a given set of power relations.

Spinoza engages first philosophy of ontology, materialist immanence: “matter that produces is expression.”

From an ontology of absolute immanence is it possible to derive a politics?

There is no purely theoretical level which must be translated into action—theory and action enter a zone of indistinction where politics equals ontology.

It is in the ideal hegemony of the “inside,” of ontological interiority, that the political is determined.”

Absolute ontological: the ontological inside—the plane of immanence equals an ontological inside.

What relation to singularities does the plane of immanence have? What relation to subjectivities?

Communism is to subjectivities what the plane of immanence is to singularities.

Communism—space for free and autonomous development of singularities: the part is not subordinated to the whole, but a plane of immanence and singularities; work becomes creative process.

Jean-Sébastien Laberge states his theme as a dissensual meta-modelling of ecosophical democracy.

The metamodel is an external apparatus of synthesis.

A few months after joining the Greens, in 1985, Guattari first uses the term dissensus.

Guattari took the Greens in the direction of Rainbow Network, which was an experiment in creative dissensus, agreement in respect of difference—in which dissent is not denied.

With a network of 5,000 each individual or collective cannot claim to the exclusive representation of its membership.

This way of working reverses theme and variations. It starts from variations.

It works in parallel with the priority of the social over the political. It is a movement in social world (not necessarily first a political movement, and not one imposed on or to be imposed on a social world).

Ecosophical democracy is fabulating, not the acceptance of difference but fully assuming it.

Guattari died in August 1992.

Before questions commence, Antonio Catalano leaps to his feet to profess to his shame at speaking before the great Anne Sauvagnargues–in French–had he known, he would not have dared, which Jean-Sébastien Laberge responds to in an equal torrent of French, while Anne makes a little joke, almost concurring with the first speaker, then explaining she is only joking.

In the questions, which again followed after all three presentations, Anne criticised Martin for the use of suprasensible, which, it seems, she heard as super-sensible, therefore in ethical breach of her polemical insistence on immanence without transcendence.

Martin replied that the suprasensible maintains contact with immanence.

Laberge remarks on dissensus that it is used by Guattari and then becomes common in Negri (and also in other Italian political philosophers, like Esposito).

The issue is: new ways to put different points of view together in the social.

It must have been yesterday, in the coffeebreak, that Wren Nishina, or Nishina Wren-san, who was the interpreter for the artists exhibiting at Chiyoda Arts Centre as well as for Uno Kuniichi-sensei, was wearing his dovegrey pleated shirt, and I said to him, Ah, Issey Miyake’s Pleats Please.

Yes, it was the Saturday, because Wren said to me, I thought, since I was presenting, I ought to make an effort. His paper had been “Spatiality according to Deleuze and Shinobu Orikuchi”—taking up on the idea they share of the frontier or boundary not being a ‘geometric fiction sandwiched between two blocs of land’ but a ‘world,’ or—if one were to co-opt computer speak—a partition, that is an horizon on which a world dataset takes place.

It really was a beautiful shirt. Wren is an MA student at Tohuku University. His English-speaking voice is Oxonian. He said, You are a Japanese expert.

No, an amateur.

You seem to know more about Japanese culture than anyone else here.

This impression must have come from simply knowing a little of Uno Kuniichi’s background with Butoh, and Hijikata.

…and then he said something even more flattering, after I’d said I was a late doctorate currently looking for a position—and that if he knew of where I might be welcomed, I would willingly go there. He said, You have such amazing curiosity. If only we all had such curiosity.

What the cure is for that, as Dorothy Parker wrote, noone knows.

Joff Bradley presents the final keynote, in the woody hall, with the technical problems, and the little chairs, that, when Kenneth arrived, he called built for midgets. He had a chair brought into the hall from the foyer, and positioned himself in the aisle.

Joff Bradley’s presentation is called “On deadly spirals of ipseity.” I had gained no real insight into Joff’s area of interest, despite his having convened the session at which I presented, despite having had, albeit cursory, encounters with him, through R.’s intercession, her introduction.

If Chiba Masaya-san had been, as I wrote, the first revelation of the Deleuze|Guattari Camp, with his disconnective Deleuze, Joff was a, if not the, revelation of the conference, his contribution entirely unexpected—in its suggestiveness.

Wilhelm Reich is the figure who presides over the presentation: Nick Land’s dark Deleuze is invoked, as is Masaya Chiba’s disconnective Deleuze. A negative Deleuze, an affirmative Deleuze, but what about a joyful Deleuze? A Reichian orgasmic Deleuze—and Guattari.

He cites a discussion between Žižek and Schutzer—Deleuze and pleasure.

He is dealing with the avoidance of stating the real importance of that crackpot Reich to both Deleuze and Guattari—all through Anti-Oedipus, which even quotes some of his fruitier, whackier theories, commentaries. … “the embarrassment with Deleuze and Guattari for celebrating the anti-fascism of Reich.”

But Reich was Freud’s favourite disciple.

What Joff’s real theme is is the hikikomori—the locked-in-the-parental-home of those too, in fact, embarrassed by themselves. The socially withdrawn.

Of the hikikomori Reich would say it is the worm in man.

But Joff makes the alignment of hikikomori with autism—withdrawn-ness, isolation—not depression, which to me is in this relation to autism.

The (biological) tapeworm spreads cancer—is active in spreading cancer around the body.

Rudolf Steiner might be a blue (as opposed to a red) kind of fascism. (This is a reference to a session in the conference called “Red and Black Deleuze: Planetary Communism and Open Marxism,” which was a panel discussion, taking place at the same time as the session I was attending on Bergson, Space-Time, Deleuze, with Craig Lundy, yesterday.)

With the worm in man the organism can be dammed up petrified and cannot pulse. Reich says fascism of the worm in the life force that does not wiggle but goosestep.

There is a double capture of worm and hikikomori.

Reich holds that orgone energy kills cancer. Resignation shrinks.

Joff speaks to the death in life of the hikikomori: the orgasm frees energy, for Reich.

Reich’s guide to a joyful life is to have as many orgasms as possible.

So as not to be Nietzsche’s lonesomest one.

The lonely withdrawing ones, says Nietzsche—from this comes the possibility of the Overman.

(Once again, it is worthwhile comparing this with Simondon holding up Zarathustra as epitome of transindividual—withdrawing from the crowd, being left to bury the friend, the dwarf, the highwire artist, returning to the cave, and transindividuation.)

The serpent hanging out of the mouth of Zarathustra is none other than the Reichian worm in man.

Armoury is, for Reich, in this contactlessness and affective blockage; an autophagy—in connection with the little machines supposed to provide contact in the hikikomori’s room, or those Reich is left with, in the end, his orgone machines, autophagy belongs to the body without organs: it turns cancerous.

The Id in Reich communicates cosmic orgone energy.

But then in armoured seclusion, waves of desire—undulations of the worm—freeze into segments.

Ipseity is the singularity of the self.

The hikikomori nestles down deeper into the self—in deadly spirals of ipseity.

The face does not open the self to the other, opening to the self—as in Levinas. (Joff states his singular move, not just in this presentation, but in a pragmatics, is not to make recourse to Levinas.) Ipseity is hostage to itself.

Spirals of ipseity occur in detached auto-immunity of the self.

The sovereignty of the self turns to itself—possibly through micromachines—or—spirals into itself.

It concerns the centrifugal rings as the worm recedes into itself. It becomes a malignant subjectivity.

Lingis is the source for the title of the presentation, his phrase “engendering spirals of ipseity,” which describes orgasm. So, here, for Joff, these become deadly.

It concerns, says Joff, not the fascism of the rhizomatic potato but that of the couch potato.

Ryu Murakami, a very different writer from Haruki, (one I have been reading as soon as English translations become available) writes after Fukushima—which Joff states as decisive, a threshold for the increase in the numbers of hikikomori—of the “movement of sorrow of the past to the loneliness of the present.”

– Murakami Ryu’s The Symbiotic Worm

For Stiegler, there has to be a pharmacological coexistence with the worm in man. (Joff does not reject the use of pharmaceuticals—neither, in fact, did Guattari.)

No one can withdraw from withdrawal – spit out the black serpent – the worm in man – “we are all hikikomori.”

As I write this out, back in New Zealand, it resonates with me more; at the time I took as a gesture. I took it to be gestural, and to theatricalise the moment Joff was intending to mark. But now it has something of Coleman’s hopelessness of humanity’s current algorithmic becoming—and of course it has to do with isolation, which is that of the individual who, forced to watch, withdraws, who cannot withdraw from her withdrawal, or who deadens himself.

This enervation is not the same as the numbing to mediated atrocity we are said to suffer as a result of our saturation with images of violence and abjection. No, it is much more personal and has to do with personal shame, libidinal or perhaps orgasmic shame—with which, in adolescents, Joff will identify it.

So perhaps it were better said than forced to watch, watched—forced to be watched—even to the self-consciousness of knowing she is and the autoveillance as an amplification—in a deadly spiral of ipseity—of his being watched: the little machines, who, in that lyric of Mercury Rev, have telephones for eyes.

Ryu Murakami says that Japanese youth may be a new possibility of the human.

I think, Why the interest in the strange pleasures of failure? Is it that fascination Izidor Barši spoke about in his presentation of the intellectual—and by extension the intellect—with violence?

Why the stupid embrace of “vacuoles of noncommunication” (Deleuze’s phrase for what we need in societies of control—in the “postscript” with that title)?

Joff’s big Reichian joke came after his rhetorical gesture: “we are all hikikomori.” He was finished, made a movement to leave the lectern (behind him some of the slides I snapped above), and applause burst out.

But then he returned—held his arms up to quell the applause, saying, “Sorry! Sorry! I finished too soon!”

And he went on:

Where there is processual schizophrenia in schizoanalysis, in hikikomori the question is one of disarming the rings enveloping the body of the hikikomori—getting the worms to stream (in Reich’s term—here problematic considering the streaming media that is a relentless fact of life for hikikomori, as Joff acknowledges).

Narcissism, self-hatred, orgasm-anxiety, forms the basis of the general hatred of life.

Nonfascism, there produced in Anti-Oedipus by processual schizophrenia of schizoanalysis, here is in Nick Land’s cry:

DEATH TO THE HUMAN SECURITY SYSTEM!

Questions:

Anne asks about the social production of autism. Are they (hikikomori) too connected? Or too unconnected?

I am thinking about Josh Cohen’s book Not Working: Why We Have to Stop. His word for the propensity that is innate in humans to stop, to give up, withdraw, lie down, is ataraxia. Cohen gives four case studies for the four types of the ataraxic: for the burnout, Andy Warhol; for the slob, Orson Welles; for the recluse, Emily Dickinson; for the slacker, David Foster Wallace. Note that all four suffer from hyperproductivity at the same time—effecting a remarkable dynamic between creativity and enervation, or the sort of exhaustion which precedes and doesn’t follow from productivity, between work and stopping.

Danilo asks: how does gender apply?

Joff answers there are more male hikikomori.

Danilo asks around the notion of armoury, coined in the sense it is used by Joff, by Theweleit in writing about character-armour against the flood of women and Jews.

There is a question also about the outbursts of deadly violence from otherwise reclusive and alienated hikikomori types: Joff makes the brilliant point that this a question of the drives and not of desire—it is not because, as Stiegler puts it, of a crisis in desire, but is a deadly expression of the drives, the Triebe—sometimes translated as instincts. Desire does not find its destination and the drives now burst out.

Joff gives the numbers of hikikomori as around 1.2 million in Japan. Asked how these figures can be stated, he answers that they come from diagnosed cases, since, often, concerned parents will take their hikikomori children to doctors—for advice and for treatment.

Hikikomori is not limited to Japan: in the US and the UK numbers of such cases appear to be on the rise.

Perhaps it is when answering Danilo’s question, Joff becomes overcome with emotion and says, I am just sick of losing students. One month they are in your class. Then they just disappear.

He also talks about using Pokemon Go in a research project to get hikikomori outside, about which he wrote a very long paper. His conclusion, he says, was not very hopeful: he doesn’t hold out a lot of hope for this type of approach.

Koichiro makes the final address. He says that he has been restrained by his official role from making any kind personal statement, but that now he would like to take this opportunity to make a personal statement: a slide comes up—my book is coming out soon, published by Edinburgh Press, and I would like you all to buy a copy. Buy one for friends too.

He invites a representative from the next Deleuze/Studies Asia Conference to come forward: it will be held in Nanjing. She begins, as Koichiro did, days ago, that Ian Buchanan approached her and said that there should be a Deleuze/Guattari Conference Asia, this time, in China.

I try to find Dan W. Smith to say buy and share my contact details. He must have left. I find Greg Flaxman. He says it’s been great meeting and that all my questions were right on point. I invite him to come to New Zealand. He says he has no doubt our paths will cross some time in the future.

I say goodbye to Al Lingis. It’s been great meeting—I am hopeful of seeing him again—perhaps next month, when he is visiting Christchurch for a conference?

This didn’t happen sadly, the event in Christchurch having already taken place at the time of writing.

My final notes, before leaving on the direct return route to Akasaka and Hotel Felice, concern my own project:

…the joints of opponents as Ronaldo dodges or tackles them… …the letters and articulations of the words and sentences I now write… are so many subjective events, determining the field of a subtractive sensible interest.

In other words, the system of objects on the outside becomes determinate only in actual (becoming) the spontaneous perception of consciousness.

Neither is it determinate in the pattern lying in wait to be found, nor is it animated—in the strongest sense of inspirited, of the simulacrum brought to life, to lifelikeness, by the sculptor: it is rather the thought in action, that is consciousness.

That night, J. and I go out to Tokyo Station to find Ramen Street. It turns out this is underground. We join the queue, and when we reach the machine, we punch in our choices, going by the photos, for our ramen and our drinks, pay entering the coins and notes, and receive tickets which we take to our table, in the middle of a crowded ramen bar.

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Ἀκαδήμεια
CAPITAL CAPITAL CAPITAL
detraque
enomy
hommangerie
imarginaleiro
infemmarie
τραῦμα
on tour
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