day 44

I’m dreaming of a theatre. Another one. This one’s doing Howard Barker’s The Last Supper, so it’s called Theatre for Breakfast. But it could equally be called, as Barker called his own theatre, ‘theatre of infection.’

I have been writing that there’s only one thing worse than catastrophe, the avoidance of catastrophe.

The avoidance does not itself constitute the catastrophe. It performs the wrong reversal. It is not a question of Think how bad it could have been! but one of reversing the threat or inverting it: How good is it!

Today at the beach two young women stood at the edge of the sea, where it sank into the sand, and one of them threw her arms up in the air and sang out: I feel so free! then both acknowledged without the demands on their time of the social or work, they had been released. They were free.

It was a beautiful day. The beach pushed right against the horizon like a knife. (Which makes one think of another Barker play, The Wounded Knife.)

What would it take to puncture that blue? associated by some with death.

To be free of the demands of work and the social, How good is it!

It is not what we have avoided but that we have encountered.

Thank your gods. But Barker abjures us to rise to them. To become unforgivable. To rise to the occasion of delivering ourselves up to whatever it is. Even our own fiction.

A fiction is preferred. Preferable. And unforgivable.

Theatre for Breakfast performs bearpit style. A central circle where the audience hurls an actor or two, or in Barker’s case, many–he expressed hatred for the economies of writing for reduced (human) resources early on. Austerity of theatres or dances for one performer, or socalled performance art. Austerity avoiding catastrophe: imagine: no art!

But art, How good is it!

So the audience hurls the actors in onto a surface of sawdust or sand to soak up whatever bodily fluids come out of them–usually just spit. But what is unforgivable? And sweat, of course. They are sweating like slaves, and panting and eager like gladiators. And hot and well-greased. And blooded like prey. (Which is the name of a book by Herbert Blau, a friend, rest in peace, or do as you will, How good is it!)

Dirty. Will it make any sense, this time, you ask? having not seen Minus Theatre, or heard about it, and heard that it was better heard about than seen.

This is the strength of Barker: one of his first unforgivable acts–beyond unforgivable in NZ–to declare his theatre elitist. But not then to let the elite get away with it. And equally not let the culturally underprivileged or underprovided get away with it either. This is just the setup. Anyway, the elitism Barker is talking about isn’t privilege as such. It’s not about money. It’s about the elitism to which art makes its appeal–not as a beggar or chugger, charity case: but the intellectual elite to whom moral challenge is as essential as air; but this necessity is really everybody’s, says Barker, only not everyone will come to theatre because of the material setup.

But is it just the material setup? Isn’t it that theatre to many is by its nature inaccessible? Not lack of access–which funding bodies always want to be reassured is being provided–but aversion.

We can say all we like it’s a matter of education or being excluded because our stories are not the ones being told. But is it both? Or is it the former? necessitating an investigation into education. Or is it the latter? necessitating the re-education of those who might be doing the excluding.

The broader question is Who really wants to be morally challenged?

Isn’t this the last thing we want? Don’t we need art, theatre the way we need drugs, alcohol, to escape too much reality?

Can a taste for one’s values being thrown into a crucible or a bearpit be developed? Barker seems to think it can and that this is the necessity of theatre.

Then, aren’t we too used to having our values simply thrown away?

Or a more extreme way of saying this: aren’t we simply used to and don’t we more enjoy our degradation? … And isn’t this the similarity between art, theatre and drugs, alcohol supported by art-as-entertainment or escapism?

And for degradation we can easily swap in numbing or the more proper word anaesthetic.

I recall in one of the many filmic portraits of him one in which Oscar Wilde made the following essential distinction: some drink to forget; I, on the other hand, drink to prolong the moment.


… good wine of necessity is wine no matter what its quality that acts to prolong the moment …

… in some cases so good it engenders states of clairvoyance …

Tonight we watch Kelly Reichardt’s Old Joy with Daniel London’s eyebrows and Will Oldham’s legs (really, quite incongruously), Yo La Tengo’s understated score and an extraordinary song using the word congregation to mean something like popular will: we are sometimes with the congregation; sometimes it is against us. Watch out when the congregation is against us. [Please let me know if you know what, who done it.]

I want to make 100 movies in New Zealand where nothing happens.

It would take 100 to get the message across–to turn around the “cinema of unease” by which NZ cinema is and has been damned to be a thing without its shell twitching every time it’s poked with a sharpened stick.

Electrodes attached to it never able to relax in its skin.

Skin off salt rub.

100 movies in which nothing happens. A woman at the lip of the sea says I feel free. A cinema free of the congregation so free of the necessity to jab it with home truths and watch it jump.

This cinema would then be the opposite of Barker’s theatre. All it would say is chill out people! It’s OK! Stop trying so fucking hard!

Then I feel as though I am in a desert again among the deliberate acts of ugliness and abomination that compose our indigenous architectural landscapes, our relentless uneasy culture and its treasure trove of icons.

luz es tiempo
National Scandal
theatrum philosophicum
thigein & conatus

Comments (0)




luz es tiempo
point to point
thigein & conatus

Comments (0)


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

luz es tiempo

Comments (0)


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


some links:

“this building”

“is a masterpiece”

“of theatre” “design”

see also,

under the lefthand margin heading


which is of course


luz es tiempo
National Scandal
point to point
thigein & conatus

Comments (0)


21 June 2019: Akasaka – Komaba Campus Tokyo University – first day of Deleuze/Guattari Studies in Asia 7th International Conference

Today is the first day of the conference. The camp ended. J. arrived. I moved from staying at Yoyogi Memorial Olympic Youth Hostel to Akasaka, land of many reasonably priced eatingplaces and the old red light district, and Hotel Felice.

I reckoned on taking the Chiyoda line, since it seemed the more direct route than changing the local line at Shibuya, and arriving, albeit directly, at Komaba Campus Tokyo University. Together we planned my walking route from Yoyogi-Koen to Komaba. On the right would be a Doutor coffeeshop. I would walk 50 metres. At the end of the road, I would turn left, and, after 145 metres, I would turn right. At the twolane expressway, after 85 metres, turn left, for 25 metres, then right. Another 145 metress—left onto Yamate-Dori Ave. 515 metres down the avenue. Right at Tokyo University. 20 metres, then left, back onto Yamate-Dori—are you kidding? After 70 metres, right: there it is, see? University of Tokyo, Komaba Campus.

I saw no Doutor coffeeshop. Leaving the station, I headed into Shibuya, grazing the side of the area I’d been in when first I arrived. This meant I knew to turn right. Straight, let’s say is South. Komaba, is West. Is it?

I asked at a Family Mart. There is always a Family Mart. The people who work there are very helpful and friendly. They never know where you are going or how to get there.

I headed west. Young people, couples, I asked one. They looked studenty. He knew the way. And gestured vaguely nor-west. I entered an interior of two-bedroom dwellings, a residential zone. These always have curving narrow streets. They rarely have streetsigns. One remembers Barthes’s Empire of Signs.

I reach a park. There is a well-dressed young businessman—in a thin dark suit—with a tablet, not even smoking, which would have been more usual. He is standing under a tree. Is he watching TV?

He has little English, but understands my pronunciation of Komaba and Tokyo University. He searches in the browser of the tablet, without any luck. He opens a new window. Perhaps it is Google Earth, because on the screen I see, thanks to him allowing me to, the earth. With two fingers splaying on the screen he zooms in: there is Japan. Zooming in closer, we both see Tokyo. We share the joke that we can’t find out where we are without visiting the planet as extraterrestrials might, from space—to Shoto Park, Shibuya. You might even expect to see us both under this tree, if we zoom in close enough. But of course, there are many steps to go.

There is Shibuya. Far to the left of the screen is greenery, the New Zealand embassy, strangely, and appearing now, below it, to the south, one might say, is Komaba Campus. It looks to be several hours walk away. I have half an hour. As for the route, it is perfectly incomprehensible. At most I can see to reach the tip of Shoto Park and to head off in this orientation. (What is orientation if its westward? Occidentation?)

I thank him doomo arigato! Soon I reach a wide expressway with tall chimneys from the median strip, providing ventilation for the underground. A fence along the road seems to be a construction site but behind it there are trees, and where it ends a lane leads to a metal gate held ajar like a turnstile to stop vehicular access and warning signs, from which I infer only those on legitimate business should enter. Behind the gate there are areas going to weed and wide concrete paths. A young woman approaches and I ask her if this is Komaba. She extracts her cordless earphones and looks surprised I know where I am.

I have a campus map and it shows the building I should find, Bldg 18. This back entrance leads past an athletic field and a baseball park. The grounds in general, around the modernist blocks, look like they are left to grow wants to grow; and there is a central pedestrian avenue lined with northern-hemisphere trees. They could be plane trees, and must turn in the autumn. There are cyclists but no throng of students.

Finding myself in the back in an unkempt area of wild grasses and weeds a block behind the avenue, I hear in the distance a HEY! And Over here! I can’t see anyone and turn completely around. In the distance a small figure in the shadow of an entrance waves its hands. I look around to see whether I am the intended recipient of this signaling. HEY! Rings out again. Seems like it.

The figure disappears indoors. I reach the entrance to building 18, so it must be. The distances collapse—like that I saw on the map in Shoto Park intervening between there and here—and soon I am in crowded foyer. Alphonso Lingis is standing in the middle of it talking to a dancer and theorist I recognise from the camp. I hang around, but am rather swept up in the registration process, receiving a bag branded with Deleuze and Guattari’s names in Japanese, and in it a reprint of the programme, another journal, white with silver graphics, matching a T-shirt, also white and silver.

We filter through into the hall where Koichiro-san will deliver Opening Remarks. Al Lingis has come into the hall. I approach and introduce myself and we end up sitting together, the Australian dancer theorist on his left. I say, You are surrounded by antipodeans.

Koichiro-san talks on the theme of the conference: war machine conflict coexistence.

In the name of the field in which we gather the most famous conflict is that over the Continental Analytic divide. But then there is also that of Deleuze and Guattari studies with the Derrideans: “I do not like to avert my eyes from these conflicts,” says Koichiro-san. (I almost wrote ‘bravely.’)

He notes during the recent Deleuze|Guattari Studies conference in Brazil the protests against Deleuzian studies.

Here we are, speaking in English about a very French philosopher, in Japan.

This itself speaks to the third theme coexistence—over representation exists a complete injunction.

Ian Buchanan’s opening address is entitled “Society of Control (Revisited)” and of course he trespasses on that injunction I have just name making representative application of the philosophy we are set here to discuss. Perhaps we were better to conclude this no conference but an inference?

Deleuze/Guattari Studies Asia began 7 years ago in Taiwan. I forget the context, but Buchanan quotes Twain—perhaps it is an orthographical association with Taiwan?—“I didn’t have time to write you a short letter so I wrote a long letter instead.”

“Many young people,” he says, “have a strange craving to be motivated.”

(In light of the storming of Hong Kong’s Legislative Chambers today, this is more or less ironic?)

Buchanan cites the book, The Tyranny of Metrics, then Deleuze: “We are in the middle of a general breakdown of sites of confinement.” That is the prisons, schools, houses of legislation and government, places—this is really an architectural theme—where disciplinarity is demonstrated and its authority is now being contested, or, rather deposed.

The theme of the talk is open capture—in the global algorithmic field of data. So Surveillance Capitalism is also cited—one of my ‘lolly-scramble’ of capitalisms in the appendix to the presentation I will give later today.

David Harvey: “The best way to get rich is to sell something you didn’t pay for.”

Frederic Jameson: culture can be sold like nature—to exploit culture in the way we exploited nature.

(This too may be more or less ironic given the deforestation of the Amazon, that proceeds today at the rate of one ‘football field’—the source is BBC—a minute, under Bolsanaro.)

Compared to Google the surveillance of the Stasi in now nonexistent East Germany, where one in five were reputed to be informers, is “child’s play.”

On average, every time you agree, ticking the ‘agree to terms and conditions’ box to gain access to some digital and online service, you are agreeing on average to 1000 contracts: you data is being shared with, on average, 1000 services-businesses, other than the one for which you are signing up.

I successfully recall the term agnotology: the willful, not to say strategic, production of ignorance—in the consumer population.

A change is noted from central out circulation of ‘news’ to point to point distribution.

“In the open air, fake news can be debated and exposed,” but not on Facebook, where you are the product.

What Deleuze is doing in talking about score-cards in the “Postscript on Control Society” is evoking the situation we have today, for example, in education, with outcomes and metrics designed to represent them, and autoveillance designed to self-assess one’s efficacy in securing, or producing, them: score-cards are the best way of turning education into a business.

Services are sold now; and the general field of activities bought.

Deleuze says, machines don’t explain anything by themselves.

Cybernetics connects, as Adam Curtis maintains, to Control Society.

In Anti-Oedipus, Deleuze and Guattari write that the flow of capital is always accompanied by an equal flow of stupidity.

In knowledge workers and service-information, or informatics, labour stupidity is axiomatised, meaning the self-authorising, the law-making, of axiomatics. (If the law don’t fit the rule, change it to make it, or make a new law.)

The media machine no longer needs us for it to function. (But doesn’t this already hold and isn’t this already entailed in cinema? And there theorised? Not to speak of the machines of the unconscious: they don’t need us, or what we call ‘us,’ to function.)

Facebook—here the new form of capitalism is being adduced—has approximately 4000 workers. But it makes USD500 billion.

This is because 2 billion people work for Facebook for free.

Our response? We should be looking for new weapons.

Question: how do we respond to the speed of modulation?

Buchanan: “We have lost the aesthetic capacity to respond to our times.”

This last well-rehearsed phrase warrants discussion. It does so not over the question Have we? Have we lost blahblahblah… There have been, and there will be more, too many grandstanding WE HAVE’s and WE ARE’s. As Greg and Anne pointed out earlier: this is exactly the eternal return of ontology, of the ontological: this is how we are now; I am justified in my observation for its timeliness—it is after all, after all, NOW we are talking about and now we are talking. Or, as I supposed, now about which we confer at this conference.

Does ‘conference’ always presuppose the inference of the now of the timeliness of our participation in discussion? … From which various diverse positions can be elaborated, before, in fact, they elaborate themselves in whatever consensus or dissensus is at stake.

The young man from the Philippines with the elaborate name, Elijah Joshua Benjamin D.F. Aban, was the most politically radical speaker—for which I admired him. We shared the next session, because the third presenter, Mikkel Astrup, didn’t show.

He read at breakneck speed volumethreeofCapitalisusedbyDeleuze&Guattari lack&desireaddressedinthatbook CapitaltheonlybookpublishedduringMarx’slifetime …

Revolution is still being conducted in the Philippines in the form of a protracted people’s war. It is mentioned in The Communist Necessity. Negri also cites Philippino radical movements.

I deliver my paper. (This is the link to the paper I presented.)

More—I deliver my presentation; and, strangely, although it is written, lineated, to fit as a reading within the 25 minute limit we would have if there were three presenters, it sits nicely in the allocated 35 or so.

Joff P.N. Bradley, one of the convener’s and running this session, asks the first question: Why this form? (You will see, if you follow the link, what he means.) Is it a collage?

It is written as a presentation, to be presented—and the time for these presentations is short. It is not a representation. It is not written to represent themes, ideas, concepts or illustrate them, with examples, but to present them.

Deleuze—and I have in mind his lack of good will, his being, as Joe Hughes has it, a surly interlocutor, a phrase I already used in my question to Jae a few days ago—is nonpropositional. He does not represent, or, in philosophical exposition, offer a one to one correspondence between terms and concepts: he is nonrepresentational. Multiplying voices presents another way in which his books do not represent, say, the views of their author—or of an author.

This idea is in Deleuze as indirect discourse. It takes the place here of any kind of literary criticism or interpretative approach or hermeneutics.

Rather than a collage, there were three themes I wanted to present. So there are three bins. I was tempted, upon hearing Kuniichi Uno’s presentation at the Camp, where he spoke about the figure, to rename them figures for the damage they do—a damage Deleuze ascribes to the movement of thought: fig. 1, fig. 2, and so on. But… As the writing progressed, relations among the themes developed in a reciprocal contagion, forging connections in mutual imbrication.

Why Cixin Liu’s Three-Body Problem? I am asked.

Because I like it, I say. …and because of its insolubility. The three-body problem is not, cannot be, solved in the novel. It is insoluble. The movement of three celestial bodies, three suns in this case, cannot be predicted.

In the novel the attempt is made in a virtual reality game, played by characters on earth. So it sets up a plane of the problematic—where the three themes can each consist in a nonpredetermined way.

There is a special poignancy about this, since, given the insolubility of the problem, earth is subsequently threatened by invasion, an invasion which it is unlikely humanity will survive. There is this movement from virtual reality to reality—from a game to the reality of the end of humans.

Also, I found echoes for neoliberal tactics—of autoveillance, of constant controls, reductive metrics, outcome-based, where price is the only organ of sense the thought collective offers to perceive the problem and in its determinations of the individual, social, the political, as well as the economic—in the depiction, at the beginning of the novel, of conditions at the height of the Cultural Revolution in China, 50 years ago. These echoes amount to a technology of the self—of selves—governed by technocracy and presided over, in China by the Party, and, for us today, by corpocracy. (I recalled that Elijah Joshua Benjamin D.F. Aban in his presentation used the name Mark Fisher, saying Rest in peace, Brother.)

Before I began I saw a figure I recognised from Stockholm, the Deleuze|Guattari Conference there: Dan W. Smith, the superb commentator and translator of Deleuze, currently working on his lectures. He approaches and says, That was really great.

If anyone was going to pull me up on points of contention, I thought it’s going to be you, I say.

Why would I? He says. It all worked together and was great.

Al Lingis attended this session, sitting next to Ruth Irwin, who liked it. Al is also all smiles. We have lunch together.

Al maintains a curiosity about people, asking each one he meets their name and what they do.

At lunch, he speaks of his birds, his aviaries, the two acres he has at home—and how Muhammad Ali used to look after rooftop pigeonhouses for dimes when a kid.

A boy he knew once went up there and killed the pigeons. Ali confronted him and, although he was bigger, took him on, and severely beat him. After this is when Ali began to train as a boxer: he knew he could not control his anger; and this was the only time, he said, he ever lost control.

Muhammad Ali kept and cared for pigeons all his life. He had several thousand pigeons.

Felicity Coleman is the next keynote speaker: “Becoming Algorithmic: Modalities of “collective interactivity” in the post-media era.”

Coleman maps the modal onto the physical where it engages an ethics. From the modal and modality I hear something of Spinoza, the mode being individual, or individuating—an individual, sufficiently individuated to interact in the post-media era.

Guattari’s notion of ‘post-media’ points forward to an algorithmic becoming of the world.

The relation of code to what it encrypts is entirely arbitrary. Guattari’s molecular revolution indicates a modal ethics, as both a future condition and a hope—for post-media.

Guattari starts to worry about International World Capitalism on the threshold of its integration through algorithms. He asks, How can the singularity of mediatic expression be recovered? When there is a paradox: it is mediatic, not singular. Yet it is necessary that it is at once mediatic and singular.

Modal logics belong to philosophical logics. Karen Barad is cited for the materialism that distinguishes matter from materialisation—that is how it comes to be and is used. Here are apparent epistemological and discursive interests: an interest in the users.

70.8 million people today are displaced—the highest number of displaced since WWII.

Coleman shows a slide of the refugee boat installed at this year’s Venice Biennale. 1000 people lost their lives on it. It had sunk and the artist salvaged it to be a monument to refugees.

Helen Storey’s work at the camp Za’atari is representative of algorithmic becoming.

Camp registration shows the number of people in the camp and their status. These are “Human Capital Data.”

Za’atari is about to achieve city status. Humans here are the assets.

The UN funds (what I note at the time under the acronyms GIS and ICT) the self-mapping of refugees for the sake of camp administrators and ‘stake-holders.’ This is a measurement of “axes of value” (Guattari).

In how the suffering mode (of “human data points”) is lived and played out, one must guard against all mechanistic automatic thought.

Coleman asks, What is the point of the human species?

What is the point of the human species—as it undergoes an algorithmic revolution that is equal to the industrial revolution.

This question consists in asking after the modes of life—of an algorithmic humanity.

“Becoming algorithmic” is “to be completely subsumed in the dataset.”

For Coleman, Guattari’s notion of minor is over. The minor is over.

The molecular revolution didn’t happen.

“I think desire has been completely obliterated in this global moment.”

Asked about AI, she respond, “I don’t think AI is what the media would have us believe it is.”

code is neutral (should this have a question mark?) – algorithm is not.

The minor is over, therefore a new scale of organisation of subjectivities is called for (Coleman makes clear she does not see this happening at the scale it would need to—to produce results).

Elijah Joshua Benjamin D.F. Aban asks, What can be done to recapture the potentialities for revolution, given that algorithm is in utero? (That is, the totalisation of the field of humanity as data assets or data points is not yet fully effected.) He invokes a “capitalist mindset” and it is unclear whether Coleman’s presentation is part of it.

“I can’t possibly answer that question because it’s 2019 and I’m a feminist,” she says.

She namechecks at the end Barad, Claire Colebrook, and another whose name I don’t get, whom she calls—although I might have misheard—an abolitionist. This is a thinker, or these are thinkers, whose belief is that the earth should be and presumably will be better off without humans. It’s not a nihilism. Then again presumably it is a feminism adequate to 2019.

I am reminded of The Three-Body Problem. Once it is established the Trisolarans are on their way to earth, there are those who work with the master species to hasten the demise of humanity.

Is a feminist thought adequate to 2019 one that works with the earth to abolish humanity? Of necessity?

I also think about Deleuze’s “open a window, to let in a little air.”

As I’m leaving the hall, I say to Elijah Joshua Benjamin D.F. Aban that I liked his presentation and that I thought he should be asking about possibility in the light of algorithmic becoming.

Torsten Jenkel is presenting in the next session—three are running concurrently.

Torsten’s work is on Macunaíma, a novel written in 1938 by Mario de Andrade. He is writing his PhD on it. On the way to the National Noh Theatre we talked about it. He is unnecessarily self-deprecating.

Mario de Andrade is also the author of the Anthropophagic Manifesto, in which we read: “Only cannibalism unites us! Socially Economically Philosophically.”

The specific cannibalism in question is that of the Tupi tribes, in Brazil. “Tupi or not tupi, that is the question,” he also writes.

Torsten’s presentation is a philological excavation of bibliographical sources.

He speaks of the St. Thomas legend—which is how the Portuguese on their arrival interpreted the legend of the indigenes about a white man who preached peace many years before their arrival. He left footprints in the rock and had a cross as his emblem.

Theodor Koch-Grünberg illustrates the telling of this tale by an indigene. In it the white man is well-dressed and placed above the indigenous informant, who is silent, semi-nude, and listens to the white man rather than telling his story. Koch-Grünberg’s written description completely belies this pictorial depiction. The indigenous informant is well-dressed, the white man listens.

I think of Cabeza de Vaca, his journey, how it mirrors that of this St. Thomas.

Torsten talks of the whitening policy—through intermarriage, an active policy to whiten the indigenous population through miscegenation.

In Macunaíma the capitalist is a mythological cannibal giant.

Torsten talks of Macunaíma as a schizo movement, a picaresque, its logic “not being logical” as Mario de Andrade says.

James Martell’s presentation deals with Beckett as diagnostician of these Trumpian clown-times.

Trump: “I know words. I have the best words.”

Beckett’s diagnosis gives us a war machine—“absolute mindlessness” as the ground of thinking or where thinking cannot quite be, yet be or any longer be—this definition of the virtual—distinguished from the ground, Schelling’s Ungrund. … “bottom of thought rises to the surface where an individuation cannot give it form.”

“Wreck it, like Beckett”—sing Scottish band Therapy.

… “the sound of the surface being broken”—Beckett.

Deleuze: Beckett’s l’épuissé—being the emblem of the exhaustion of possibilities. (But this is quite unlike Coleman’s absence of possibilities and foreclosure. Again the problem and therefore the distinction devolves on this (or that) being the case, on a grounding, as is the focus of Christian Kerslake’s book, Immanence and the Vertigo of Philosophy, taken from the title of an early series of lectures (1956?) delivered by Deleuze, “What is Grounding,” itself recalling of course Heidegger. That is this distinction between knowledge and being, or the problem of sense, as Deleuze puts it, after Hyppolite.)

Tingting Hui speaks on Lewis Carroll’s Alice. (What is it about Logic of Sense that has so captured attention at this time?)

Or, as Tingting puts it, “what is more serious, to eat or to speak a word?”

All three presentations deal with different kinds of mirrors:

– Torsten: the mirror of history or mythology that is literalised in history.

– James: mirror of Fallon and Trump; again something literal here in the repetitions of Trump, in portraits on the walls, and the interview of Trump in a dressing-room mirror by Fallon as Trump.

– Tingting: mirror of the looking-glass.

Logic of Sense comprises 34 series of paradoxes.

Question of oral regress, regression intrinsic to the mouth where what is said and the edible switch places, ingestion and expression.

Agamben et al. pair language and silence, and depth.

Louis Wolfson called himself a schizophrenic working in language—he feels as guilty after eating as after hearing his mother’s voice. He is unprepared for the division of interiority and exteriority.

Again, it is interesting to note that Wolfson, Carroll and Artaud all appear together in Logic of Sense, where literal language is that of surface and schizophrenic language is that of depth, speaking food, devouring words, by Artaud, leaving only skeletons.

The questions for this session, for each of the presenters, are taken together.

I am interested in the idea that it is the indigenous and mythological component of Macunaíma for Torsten that perverts its logic. There seems to be here an impulse that wants to ground the transgression of logic, the trans-sense, of indigenous mythology, as it is taken up in Macunaíma,in a kind of ‘indigenism’ diagnosed by Mexican philosopher Emilio Uranga as being a cultural nostalgia for an historically ‘more native’ understanding that never was, was never absolute, but could only appear relative to a later cultural formation.

Tropicalísmo by contrast works by way of the smallest difference, by calculating a cultural differential, a shift in rhythm, that is all the more disruptive (although this word has been cheapened).

Esposito might also read cannibalism into immunity? A morsel of the other is taken into oneself.

Macunaíma‘s transgressive force is the rupture of laughter? That is to say, its immanence?

Coffee. Then it’s all happening again: I choose the session with Dan Smith, not just because he said nice things about my presentation.

Janell Watson is with Kenneth Surin. Were they both then in Stockholm?

Michel Serres, reports Watson, attributes his work to the problem of violence: all his writing is about Hiroshima.

Were Deleuze and Guattari, as Badiou says, just a couple of desiring anarchists?

Is axiomatic commodification more cruel, as they say, in Anti-Oedipus, than acts of barbarism and savagery? Really? (I hear Watson’s singular intonation on that emphasis.)

There is a fathomless abyss between the flow of capital and wages and purchasing power. Capital increases exponentially, while money in the pocket is a trickle.

Capitalism is “no longer the age of cruelty or the age of terror but of cynicism, accompanied by a strange piety.” Piety spiritualises capital extraction of surplus value.

The state is always barbarism … capitalism requires reterritorialisation.

Jason Read—must be the same as the would-be translator of Simondon—writes on the capitalist split subject—split over: a cynical capitalist intention; with a pious state requiring the subject’s belief.

There are two pieties:

1) Obama—metropolitan globalist piety

2) Trump—ethno-majoritarian piety

Despotic residues haunt the capitalist state.

Deleuze and Guattari: “the state desire, the most fantastic machine for repressing is still desire.”

This fantastic desiring machine is Lacan’s objet petit a—a little machine driving all desire.

Tauel Harper works his Habermas virtuous communication bubble sociological positivist nice guy schtick. (All the good will Deleuze’s surly interlocution abjures, for all its affirmation.)

He sounds like High Performance through High Engagement—the course the PSA has foisted on council employees… that nods to Interest-based Problem-solving, only because it is a repackaged course bought some five years ago: all that Habermas virtuous communication bubble sociologically positivistic view of society schtick, that ended when Thatcher said “There is no such thing as society.”

Tauel Harper says, “Brexit is the biggest thumbing of the nose to international capitalism I have seen in my lifetime.” Trump with Brexit he coins as Truxit, not Trumpit or Brexump.

In his presentation I hear this word repeated “represent” again and again.

Dan Smith takes the desk, presenting.

Deleuze says explicitly, “powers of the false—come from time”…

  1. form of the true contrasts with the power of the false—the universal and necessary universality of right
  2. form of time—what could possibly undermine the form of the true? Deleuze’s answer is time. Truth changes in time, but – this is just a change in contention – it doesn’t change the form of the truth Error is only an effect of the true. The form of time is independent of its contents, puts the form of truth in question. The form of time is nonchronological.
  3. What is it that the primary form of time is is coexistence – if it is true that a naval battle may take place tomorrow: then, two paradoxes. The paradox of possible propositions, each become necessary. 2nd logically impossible cannot be derived from the possible. This is the paradox of contingent futures.
  4. The falsifier—his master argument allows Deleuze to paint a picture of the falsifier, as he who “imposes a power of the false adequate to time.” (Deleuze) – allows falsifier to give direct appearance of time: incompossible present. – Borges’s “Garden of Forking Paths” in which all possibilities occur at once. Pure form of time frees form of false from subordination to time: False is no longer not true – but raises the false to the power of metamorphosis – stands opposed to the eternal and the true.

Philosophy – creates concepts in time

– concepts don’t have an identity but a becoming in time;

put time into concept—intensity changes AND so the form of time is introduced into Deleuze’s concepts.

False no longer means not true because form of the false has been freed by the form



One still requires immanence.

The truthful person is the first falsifier.

The concept is an invention.

Art: 3 great texts

– Melville’s The Confidence Man

– Fourth Book of Zarathustra

F for Fake, Welles

… “The forger does know how to change. The forger relies on the expert who recognises the true Vermeer.” All the forger has to do is to study the criteria of the expert. The expert always has a forger in him. Both forger and expert engage judgement.”

Science: is not dogmatic, willfully fallible—a theological notion

– asymptotic progress towards the form of the true.

Kant – God expresses the ideal of absolute knowledge that is the goal of science.

Mononaturalism: precisely because of its fallibility most of the propositions of science will be shown in the future to be false

– progress of science equals that of falsity to falsity

– the movement of science embodies the power of the false as a power of metamorphosis—and of the multiple.

Through Popper’s falsifiability science becomes a patchwork of ceteras parabas—all things being equal

from Deleuze we have an autonomous power of the false freed as the not untrue

Nietzsche’s critique must be borne in mind: “What if we want untruth?”

– Deleuze shows true is in fact secondary to the truth subject to the pure form of time.


Anne: where time is no longer eternity, the form of time is also metamorphic. The form of time is itself not ontological.

Dan: Deleuze says reality, time—it’s all a problem. That problem is a pure variability. It is continuous variation.

Greg: You are looking for a true form of the false.

Greg (to Janell Watson): the reference to piety is also a reference to Nietzsche.

Dan: belief is the relationship to a proposition. This is most readily seen in the question, Do you believe in God? – as where we are asked about a relation, our relation, to the proposition.

3 modes of time—




—get rid of a developmental idea of evolution

coexistence in Anti-Oedipus of capitalist state form with barbarism and savage states (or nonstates): between them there is neither evolution nor progress; not a succession but they are coexistent.

– static genesis

– dynamic genesis

pure form of what is not eternal (a Platonic and non-Platonic form): the pure form of things that change.

Language of dynamic genesis is within the static genesis. It is dynamic because of a mobility of language. (And appears, again, in The Logic of Sense.)

Kenneth Surin: Does the power of the false operate on the conditions of the proposition?

– the proposition requires representation.

Deleuze means to have done with judgement—of Kant: so Deleuze will have done with propositions. Because of the truth and the false. Heidegger says we need to take questions as the model for propositions. We should have done with propositions as the model for thinking.

Dan: We need to get to a nonpropositional level of sense. Carroll on surface. Artaud’s screams and breaths can’t even … too hard … to get to sense.

Underneath sense lie the depths of bodies.

Logic of sense comes from the depths of bodies.

The question is How do you get sense out of that?

Gregory Flaxman’s keynote: “The Screen is a Brain: On the Techno-Genetic Evolution of Images”

This rests on the problem of the monolith in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey.

3 million years in the past a clan of hominids scavenge at the tail end of a drought that has been going on for tens of thousands of years.

An alignment of the planets always accompanies the appearance of the monolith.

Organisms constantly instrumentalise their bodies but nothing prepares the relationship of the hand with the hammer. A secondary technicity is required.

3 million years of technogenesis in a single cut: the bone-hammer leaves the hand of the human ancestor. A space station floats in orbit around the earth.

Artificial life was always going to be the most likely way extraterrestrial makes contact with terrestrial life—given cosmogeological timeframes.

1. obelisk manifests intelligence and intention

2. radio signal suggests the monolith was hidden to be found. Its planned discovery indicates the triggering is by evolution

3. sign of evolution—Kubrick precedes the triggering, from the moonbased monolith, its second appearance, of the radio signal, with the appearance of a camera. This triggers the sign.

There is no more profound sign of the evolution of our development than the capability of envisioning technosemiotic awakening in moving images.

The point is made that in 2001 there is reflexivity and a self-consciousness—of a film positing the development of this capability of the technosemiotic. The film-making knows itself to be about and stages itself upon and as this technical, genetic—because evolutionary, although not necessarily human, because technical—and semiotic threshold.

If you look at the scene in 2001set in the excavation in which the monolith stands centrally, you witness what seems to be an insignificant moment in which the scientists are lined up, are making smalltalk, that the camera is there to record: the camera operator turning it, as if resetting it—is it clear that it is a moving-image in question? It is at least clear that this specifically unmomentous moment triggers the monolith to emit a highpitched signal, which the headsets in the suits worn by the scientists pick up—initiating the chain of events that the rest of the film will follow: the long journey of the long ship with HAL, the AI, onboard to the next giant monolith, the one to which that on the moon was sending its signal—in a chain of technosemiotic events.

Of this threshold being reached, the idea of conspiracy, of faking in film, attests to the same one.

What does it mean to have conceived a film as history of the universe? To have reimagined the cosmos as a moving image?

Greg mentions once again Matter and Memory.

Cinema creates a cosmology with which we go can go beyond nature and the human—the immanent plane extending to unfolding of the cosmos itself.

Deleuze understands cinema as cosmogenetic or cosmocinematographic.

As in 2001 so too in Terence Malick’s Tree of Life.

The power of cinema is to provide an automatic movement and nonhuman perception.

Husserl: all consciousness is consciousness of something.

Bergson want to (condemns) cinema to mimicking (mimicry). Deleuze celebrates it because it does. (Cinema gains a power of the false as well as that of a spiritual automaticity.) (This is also the reason Deleuze takes Bergson to the movies—in Cinema 1 and 2.)

Cinema is capable of “going up the paths that natural perception goes down.”

There is the absence of anchorage and postural level.

Bergson: the image is a road by which we pass in every direction … modification … and uncover the universal undulation of matter: the movement image dwells on chaos.

– through to axes

– subjective centres

to—in Cinema 2—the body without organs.

Matter coagulates into molar aggregates, refers to a living being.

Each image is afforded a double image by its registration.

…another system, in which all the images vary. Plane of immanence. Plane of light. From a system of anchorage and relative deterritorialisation—the passage of the evolution of cinema becomes the instrument of envisioning evolution itself—autonomous, automated evolution—and a new kind of brain.

Here, once more, as in Greg and Anne’s keynote at Chiyoda, Spinoza’s spiritual automaton enters. And Leroi-Gourhan’s Speech and Gesture: “the symbol and its contents are merged into one.”

That the spectator cannot intervene entails a new stage of human development—of reflective thought, before which the human is powerless, in which “individual interpretation is drastically reduced.”

“Cinema puts movement inside of thinking.”

Each stage of evolution, for Leroi-Gourhan, “creates a brain on top of the brain.”

– the potentially revelatory nature of a brain on the brain.

Questioned as to what the monolith means, Greg: we need to resist, he thinks, allegorising it. Far from being answered within the film, this is answered by the film itself. (The film is this thought.) It creates its own conditions of possibility.

Leroi-Gourhan: the body can be instrumentalised but it is not (yet) a tool (note the echo of Heidegger’s not yet thinking). Asked what is a tool? Leroi-Gourhan hesistates.

Question: Does agency in VR take away from the spiritual automaton?

The face of a frame and thereby an off-frame, this is what interests me about cinema.

I think about the regression of the brainscreen that Damasio repeats as the image of what is called thinking, and the essence of human cognition, of the neuroscientific understanding of cognition—this regression states the impossibility of an interior spectator on thought looking at the screen—the perceptual field—while this spectator is in turn observed by another… so there is a succession of little subjects, each one looking on what the brainscreen shows of the one before. But it states the view as necessary of a series of two—which is all the sense regression needs to gain its impetus, its direction—it is still going inside… This off-frame Greg Flaxman mentions as being what interests him about cinema, it seems to be is the possible direction, sense and movement of thought: to an outside.

Let me give you an example of this outside—off-frame, I am sitting at a table in a house on Waiheke Island, writing this. Another example is presented in the snaps above: the students with plywood flats belong to a music department; the sounds of applause, and stabs of music from a jazz orchestra, as well as the unison chanting of an audience, reach us through the windows over the three days of the conference. These sounds and the cawing of crows—are neither in the text or the snaps. The windows are open.

luz es tiempo
on tour
point to point
theatrum philosophicum
thigein & conatus

Comments (0)


19 June 2019: Anne Sauvagnargues & Gregory Flaxman, Kondo Kazunori, Uno Kuniichi at Chiyoda – Akasaka, Hotel Felice

Anne Sauvagnargues and Gregory Flaxman (two whose separately written books I greatly admire, and now get to meet, now working together) present “Techno-Genetic Semiotics”:

…which concerns the status of images, no longer seen as representation, but a new form of individuation.

In 1989’s Schizoanalytic Cartographies Guattari shows production of subjectivity is with machinic assemblages (agencements—but as here the emphasis is on the machinic assemblages is not entirely misleading).

Guattari’s 1969 “Machine et Structure” review of Deleuze: structure is not only an ideal structure in the mind but it has an affectivity in machinic systems, involving technical social agents and human agents (i.e. assemblage-agencements), for example—the smartphone.

In Deleuze’s Cinema 1 sensory-motoric image involves technical and biological production of subjectivity—to achieve a “geology of morals” as the plateau of that name in A Thousand Plateaus puts it.

Leroi-Gourhan’s Gesture and Speech is read closely by Deleuze and Guattari in A Thousand Plateaus.

—tools made by hand feedback to the human:

moving forward into dimensions of images—cinemas is a threshold for technology.

Cinema no longer produces an image we can call human.

In cinema a spiritual agent or mind (Anne uses the English “spiritual” when I think she means d’esprit which rather means of mind than the French spirituel. In fact, Massumi makes this mistranslation in A Thousand Plateaus where he translates Plato’s republic of free minds as republic of free spirits.) … in cinema, spiritual [I just left the ‘p’ out of that word and got siri-tual, is this the source of virtual spirit, Siri?] or mind is not trying to master an agency in the film camera.

The scandal of cinema is that it is no longer possible to attribute to the human the film-making: film/camera has its own agency/agencement.

Image of thought is how thought represents itself to itself.

Cinematic image is not related or relatable by way of representation. It has no image or model. The cinematic image appears as an apparition in itself. It is itself the actualisation of a perception (the camera’s/film’s). It therefore involves an individuation. (The image is not part of representation because it itself individuates.)

The cinematic image, the image in cinema, shows that it is possible for the image to have perception and motoricity. So the cellphone has agency.

Signs are no longer just to be understood under human language.

Semiology passes—outside of human language—to semiotics.

Image or sign does not have a specificity to the cinema because of the same feedback loop of tool and hand.

Technik—in Greek—does not separate out literature from technology and science.

A Western metaphysics is needed to perform this split between higher ‘spiritual’ (mental) production and the applied arts of the technical or technical arts (that is any art that has a technical aspect which can then be separated from it, and separated from it have its own pedagogy). This split does not obtain in Japan at all.

There are symbioses between living agencies and technical agencies.

Noo – image of thought in cinema as in la noologie.

Mechanism + software:

Greg: we do not see the camera in the image. Its agency is invisible.

(Again I was taken to the thought of Merleau-Ponty, because of this distinction between visible and invisible and flesh: so that in a certain way, in a sense, the camera, the mechanism, is visible in the flesh. … like code and computerthere is a self-consciousness of agency and to separate the viewer in this way is to play into the notion of a separable perceptual field, which presupposes an abstract and disembodied viewpoint that can that partition some of itself off, and say this to you is the portion we call perceptible and visible. In fact, Greg and Anne’s argument is towards the relative viewpoint of the film and camera as a subject distinct from the human subject—a technical subject. But then there are technical, biotic and symbiotic subjects—and are they not anorganic?)

… breaking out of this parenthesis, it is not a subjectivity of image, the image not subjective, if this is thought only as being human subjectivity.

What is an image in Deleuze?

Deleuze says, It is time.

The subjective production of science is cited as one “no longer reserved to human subjectivity.”

Cinema is neither a [human] language nor language system. Semiotics refers then to a “system of images independent of language in general.”

aesthetic – system of sensibility

Image and perception (and perhaps even the entire perceptual field) are the same thing. This is speaking from the point of view of Cinema 1 and 2.

Subtractive model of subjectivity: whole field of perceptual images—as immanent—is that, a whole field or plane of immanence—without “everything that does not interest my perception.”

Anne: “Subjectivity comes to be the problem of the earth. … Culture is something that happens to our planet earth.”

It is not simply an ecology of subjectivity, but an ecotechnological transformation, or in ecotechnological transformation.

Geology of morals—again in A Thousand Plateaus—means the elision of culture and nature. The problem of the earth understands or comprehends as problematic this elision.

Deleuze does not turn to Bergson’s Creative Evolution but rather to his 1896 book Matter and Memory, particularly in view of taking Bergson to the cinema in the two cinema books.

For evolution, for evolution following this subtractive model of subjectivity, all phenomena are included except that which does not interest the perceiving, as the thinking, the conscious subject.

Greg spoke of an “acentred universe” (quite a good phrase, I think) meaning the “englobing or an image around a particular centre of indetermination.”

Centring on “indetermination” ours is a provisional centring that obscures the subjective field rather than revealing it—obscuring this other dimension of images.

What does the concept allow us to do?

Provisional acentring—englobing an image of indetermination …

“There are no other aesthetics not pragmatic” – Anne.

Habit – is both habituation and habitation. Habit is the only way to exist as a subject. (This is Deleuze’s first synthesis, in Difference and Repetition.)

No longer ego cogito but ego habitus—the habitus of rhythmicity and periodicity defines the subject, or its subject.


Matter-life-spirit: if we don’t want ontology so split, we need to open up subjectivity. (This also resonates strongly with the work I have been doing independently—this and the acentring of the subject of and by indetermination. For me, this means the torroidal space of the durational event of subjectivity.)

The sign is both nonsyntactic and asygnifying, writes Deleuze: “even human language has always been asignifying.”

Anne on Deleuze citing Jacobson and Sausurrean structuralist (formalist) linguistics: “There is no inner signification.” (The division between signifier and signified is nonspatial, nontemporal—nondimensional.)

Anne also cites—as a beautiful book—Howard Cohen’s How Does the Forest Think.

Greg: What is a sign?

What makes a sign?

The cut is arbitrary—if we think about it—as to where we say a sign begins and ends. Is it phonemic? Orthographical?

The image in cinema makes explicit this implicit practical problem of what is a sign.

Benveniste’s 5 pages on Saussure are some of the most revealing.

Greg: the “relationship of sign, signifier and signified, AND the real therefore cannot be simply parsed.”

Irony is that of Derrida’s favourite trope of catachresis—meaning a misuse, of the sign, that becomes habitual, creating a new meaning, from misuse—when deconstruction itself is subject to catachresis. That is deconstruction is rolled out as a sign for everything from the demolition of a building to the most banal of interpretative strategies of analysis.

Anne—in somewhat pedagogical mode—and here we can see she is a very good teacher, but perhaps does not need to make everything polemical: So, 2 series, continua, one signifying, and one signified (easier to imagine in French, in the gerundive form of signifiant). The sign comprises these two continua. But it is not a meeting point and inside the sign there is no signification. We cannot plumb its depths or uncover its secrets. It is bare of depth, empty, because purely formally differential.

Anne: for Lacan the question of signifier and signified leads to a new theory of subjectivity. — to endure symbolic means to endure the cut. (Cf. castration as it is presented by Deleuze in Difference and Repetition.)

flows of series – cut between – where one ends another begins

“Language is a virtual system existing in each of our heads simultaneously,” says Saussure. – says Greg.

Language is an automatism (a MACHINE IN THE ESPRIT or GHOST – says I).

Bergson’s – line on language and signs – language is a structure that is not given by my own invention. It is a mode of subjectivation that is unconscious and productive of subjectivity.

Phenomenology is not produced by an act of consciousness. Phenomenology relies on the vécu.

But I cannot access language in self-consciousness.

The Sartrean ego cannot any longer obtain when you are interested in collective modes of subjectivation.

(Deely’s Poinsot—I want to add to the genealogy of semiotics being unfolded.)

I am informed, intelligenced. Consciousness results from a social and political construction.

Saussure—Beneniste—Jacobson— the shifter, the deictic I you he she one …

You have to have a consciousness outside of consciousness to say I.

Discourse is language in action.

Anne overstates her non-hospitality to human language.

What is the tense of the moving image?

It is an existential dimension, the clause “there is …” (Cf. Blanchot and Bataille and Levinas, I think, all three concerned with the there is.)

Cinema is not privileged because its subjectivity is avowable: say, this is me again, in Dziga Vertov’s I am camera.

Marxist analysis of Deleuze and Guattari: the person comes after the Middle Ages at the entry of the capitalist subject.

Simondon’s metaphysics mean also differenciation of sytheses of time:

1. – habituation, actualisation, territorialisation;

2. – territorialisation as deterritorialisation – “a machinic assemblage, a collective assemblage of enunciation and assemblage of machinic bodies. Deterritorialisation and reterritorialisation. So in Simondon, deindividuation and individuation.

These, de- and re- are in mutual presupposition.

Territory is an act, a gesture.

Every territorialisation begins with a deterritorialisation.

Greg: territory begins in a hunting ground. But now, in societies of control, we live in an open field in which we are being surveilled and tracked. (We are no longer the hunter, but hunted within a specific dispositif.)

Decoding in this open field is difficult.

The relationship between presignifying image and prelinguistic signs is difficulted – vantage, POV.

Greg: Bonitzar [?]: “every image is a moral” – a valence. Every sign is a perspective. (Now we are getting close to semiotics again.)

A sign presupposes a valence, a vantage, an evaluation. The object it creates is but an evaluative disposition. (And we are leaving the perceptual field.)

Deleuze writes that cinema is not a universal or primitive language system.

Rancière “stupidly” says Anne says Deleuze uses cinema to provide theological insight into matter itself. This is because cinema is more capable than human consciousness to delve into matter itself. You cannot distinguish degrees – for cinema, matter equals acentred images. There is no ontological hierarchy of the three levels, only the relationship between uncentred and centred.

Cinema presents a type of image that is not humanly produced.

Nietzsche gives a metabolic as well as symbolic interpretation. (Metabolic is a good way of addressing the symbolic against the physical framework of bodies and proxemics.)

Anne: Habit – external relationship.

Greg: Whitehead says “life is robbery.” All life lives off other living forms.

Greg: psychomechanics and Spinoza’s “spiritual automaton.” Spinoza uses the spiritual automaton in The Treatise on the Intellect. Leibniz takes up this term.

Cinema is a material automaton: the image, says Greg, exists as




(Is this, I asked later, not the definition of the neoliberal market? (i.e. its vantagepoint, exactly, as the conceptual mechanism giving rise to it.)

– the brain on top of the previous brain,

an animation and autonomous, an automatism in thinking.

What brings together mots and choses is the spiritual automaton (singularity) – a little divine thing.

Deleuze: the cinema is a cinema of the world—is a meta-cinema.

Thinking in relationship to an image.

Anne: Conception of world – Spinoza and Descartes – “removed a closed world to an infinite existence.” This means infinite extension – the problem of the spiritual automaton connects matter and mind.

The modal idea is then where there is thought, where there is body.

Anne: “when you read Spinoza under God you can understand necessity and you can understand chance.”

God? Anne: it is writing. (This again links to the work I have been doing on writing and AI, as the late working-out of a dispositif present in writing from the first: the Word, God, the Law.)

God today is automatic automatism.

I ask my question, thinking also, why Norbert Wiener and cybernetics in the feedback from the tool to the hand? Isn’t the automatism of the marketplace as conceived and promoted by the neoliberal thought collective here in play? Like a projection of the projection transferred to the projector—cinema.

Greg asks for clarification. He doesn’t get the leap to market neoliberalism. But we talk later … and tend to agree. Particularly when it comes to cinema’s intrication in the market. That is that the market does not exist.

After this, Koichiro-san announces that the sponsors of the event will be presenting their product for trial and for sale: JT.

JT is of course Japanese Tobacco.

The product is e-cigarettes, using small capsules, englobing the drug / flavour of choice.

Christoff comes up and says, I like that your last question was followed by the introduction of … the market.

That there is nothing ironic and not even critical in the Japanese attitude to an academic event being sponsored by a tobacco company seems to me to be quintessentially Japanese. It acts as a reflector to all those oddly proxy attitudes of censure built on ressentiment—an American later declared, on finding out that the sponsor was JT, that maybe he oughta leave right now.

The catering as usual was great for lunch. Was it bento today? I think it was Katsu chicken bento. If it was, it came from a nearby restaurant that Koichiro-san had approached. Again, this opposing movement to abstraction of localising and terroir—eating from the territory. It is opposed in its intention.

Kondo Kazunori:

It is 1300km to Kondo … Kazunori-san has written on Cavaillès—mathematician and Victor Delbos—his two books on Spinoza.

He offers a textual survey, which he calls an archeology, of Deleuze’s notion of immanence. It’s difficult and unrelenting stuff, and he quotes extensively in French and then subsequently in English from his sources. It’s also admirable, but sometimes seems to suffer from the presumption of scientism that comes from the accumulation of proofs, as well as an accent that is reading rather than speaking from a pre-prepared text in English.

Léon Brunschvig 1869-1944 – the first pairing cited, immanence and transcendence distinguished between as the difference between the “directions of the two beliefs towards God.”

André Laland 1867-1964 – Kant’s “transcendent principle” distinguished from the “immanent principle” in Kant.

Deleuze uses ‘immanence’ on its own in regard to Spinoza’s “immanent cause” in the Ethics.

‘Univocity’ is retained throughout Deleuze’s oeuvre. But the first time it is in regard to Spinoza that Deleuze brings univocity thought together with immanence. It is his invention, because univocity is a concept of Duns Scotus.

In Logic of Sense there is immanence of the ‘quasi-cause.’

Deleuze does not originate use of immanence in relation to transcendence (and Kant). But what is original in Deleuze is linking univocity to Spinoza and immanence with univocity.

In Anti-Oedipus “champ d’immanence” appears in association with capitalism.

According to Kazunori-san the second major threshold in the use of ‘immanence’ is its association with Hjemslev.

“Champ d’immanence” is entirely original to Deleuze and Guattari.

Relative immanence is distinguished from pure immanence: relative immanence occurs in relation to transcendence.

1977 marks another threshold in the definition of immanence.

– “Désir et Plaisir” in Two Regimes of Madness;

Spinoza and Us: Spinoza’s Practical Philosophy;

Dialogues with Claire Parnet.

Here “champ d’immanence” changes to “plan d’immanence” (usually translated as plane of immanence. But as you can see, there is elision in the French between plan and plane with important consequences.)

In Dialogues with Parnet, there appears the optional clause: either plane of consistency or plane of immanence. They may not be the same thing but they are presented together.

It is ‘plane of consistency’ again in Spinoza and Us. Here it could also be a ‘plane of immanence’ as well.

Anne asks whether the cut of a threshold in the use of these notions begins a new continuity, as in a rhizome, where the cut of a threshold is a new beginning.

Kazonori-san answers that the plane is folded with the singularity. He draws a picture of a wavy line on the curve crossed by a straight line, which is the singularity of a threshold cutting across the wave but also at the fold.

I ask whether Deleuze gives reliable or adequate representation of his concepts. Is there a correspondence between terms and concepts in Deleuze? Joe Hughes calls Deleuze a “surly interlocutor.” Perhaps he is an unreliable narrator, unreliably narrating, and initiating a mobility of terms, which do not necessarily cleave—at least not at all rigorously, as has been presented—to their concepts?

Kondo Kazonori-san’s answer is that there are patterns. There are in fact three.

Uno Kuniichi-sensei has arrived at lunch. He is wellknown to many of the professors, including Anne, who introduces him to Greg.

The theme of his presentation is that Deleuze and Guattari—either unfortunately or fortunately—contrast the Eastern sagesse of thinking with figures with the Western philosophy of thinking with concepts. The figure is inadequate to the concept; Eastern wisdom does not arrive at philosophy, identified with the creation of concepts—autochthonous in Greece, @5th century BCE.

Western ego is contrasted with Eastern figure. Do they hold a notion of the soul in common?

The soul sees war as struggle in combat. While the East flows.

Figure in East and concept in West: a rhizome of flow.

Hegel provides an image of the sensible, that is a symbol: only spirit can grasp the concept.

Kuniichi-sensei makes the point of Hegel’s symbol being almost like a figure.

He cites the translation by Andrew Cole of vorstellen as “picture-thinking.”

For some reason I note: first there is externalisation of relation, then internalisation of relation, in subjectivation(production of a subject).

And: making a thought in the encounter with cinema’s non-feedback in non-cybernetic imagery. (The inclusion of Norbert Wiener in Greg’s presentation is still worrying me, thanks to Adam Curtis’s All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace.)

The figure is a disaster.

“We see the damage the figure has done.”

“What is the figure of the Orient? And then the figure of the Orient in relation to the immanence of Deleuze and Guattari?”

The sense here is that the figure does not and perhaps cannot reach immanence.

Izutsu’s book [sic?] on Eastern religions is cited.

Zen immaculates beings from the all. (Compare this with the obscenity of the tree root in Sartre’s novel Nausea.) Zen launches the all into chaos.

“The concept belongs to the philosophy of the West and the figure to the wisdom of the East.”

Perhaps, from excessive use or misuse of the figure, a singular translation has been elaborated in the East.

For Hegel the Figure blocks the East from forming concepts.

However, there is another type of the figure in Deleuze’s Logic of Sensation, which differs from that of Deleuze and Guattari in What is Philosophy?

The figure found in Francis Bacon’s painting bears no relation to the wisdom of the East invoked by Deleuze and Guattari.

Kuniichi-sensei elaborates Bacon’s disfigurement and distortion and damage to the figure in his figuration on a coloured plane.

Isolation deformation dispersion modulation – captured: to make visible the invisible forces in a

matter of fact

all that is on the plane of sensation

Bacon’s figure has the same name as what is observed as the opposite of the concept.

The haptic, the manual or tactile aspects of Bacon’s painting, is distinct from the optical or purely optical.

“In the spatial zone of closeness, the sense of sight behaves just like the sense of touch, experiencing the presence of the form and ground at the same place.” – Maldiney.

Deleuze discovers his own East and deterritorialises the figure—it has become a sign of the outside.

Bergson: the figure is like fabulation. Its sensory surplus enters into the supersensory.

Figure appears in the encounter of the finite with the infinite.

In Difference and Repetition thought without image is figured by Antonin Artaud.

Artaud says to himself, I cannot think. His is a thought that constantly turns about a point of pain and impossibility.

The Artaudian thinking machine seems to lose all image.

Figures appear in Artaud’s poems (the poems are articulated in and by figures): 1921 stones become figures.

Artaud lost the image but he did not lose the figure—not reserved to the theatrical figure and to a theatre of cruelty.

The thinking body and the theatre of a body in crisis defines the theatre of cruelty.

Artaud, in being done with the judgement of God, puts an end to the institution of thought. (The institution of thought might be identified with the concept.)

The “figure works the thought—more real than an image; less abstract than a form.” And: “less visible than an image.”

The immanent and intensive use of the figure of Artaud’s invention does not contradict that of Bacon. It is another figure than that invoked in relation to the wisdom of the East.

He suffers from the transcendence.

– there is certainly a transcendence of the figure;

– from the beginning of Buddhism there has been a strong immanentism in combat with Hindu transcendentalism: a place of immanence of oneself—emptiness and nothingness;

– a betrayal of immanence.

Nietzsche and Spinoza arrive at immanence by introducing an intense seduction of life. In Artaud, it is by thinking the unthinkable, by figures, that a singular body, a body without organs puts an end to the judgement of God.

Matter, genesis, sincerity, haptics, fragile, fluctuating, harmony of sorts …

… it is possible the figure is crucial for immanence.

Kuniichi-sensei’s presents a poetics—could it be anything else?—of the figure, reticulated around the physical and mental alienation to thought suffered by the body in pain, the mind in pain of Artaud.

I try to form a question: I start by saying that I am a fan of the damage done by the figure. Although without the context of Minus Theatre, and its method of decomposition, this statement on its own does nothing.

Immanence seems to be articulated as an agonism in Artaud.

Is immanence which can be said of the immanentist aspects of (Zen) Buddhism, equally agonistic?

Before Kuniichi-sensei can answer, Anne, who is now sitting opposite me, repeats agonism? Qu’est-que ça veut dire? Agonisme?

Oui, ç’est agonisme. Someone confirms.

She does not seem happy with the question.

Kuniichi-sensei’s translator, assisting him, repeats the question in Japanese to him. It is the same person who translated for the students presenting their work in the exhibition associated with the Camp and Conference.

I back up the question with the background of Western agonism—the tradition of trials and struggle—supposed to fit the spiritual hero for enlightenment. This also extends to the mortification of the flesh and austerities of all sorts which are still visited on Western peoples. (I am aware of a variation of this tradition in so-called Eastern wisdom: and I am thinking also of Zhuang-zi and traditions of rupture through laughter, through dancing, which is again Nietzschean, music and trance—all of which Japan participates in.)

Kuniichi-sensei answers that there are also trials in Buddhism.

I ask more generally about Hijikata Tatsumi, inventor of Ankoku Butoh.

Kuniichi-sensei answers he spoke many times and at length with Hijikata about Artaud. Neither one of them shared the almost religious mythologised view of Artaud that was common in Japan at the time. Hijikata’s book is an exploration of immanence, Kuniichi-sensei said.

Immanence can change into transcendence.

“I have to see exactly what happens: when something happens to reverse”… immanence to transcendence, transcendence to immanence.

Two associated questions arise: is enlightenment—in the only sense of reaching a plane of consistency or immanence—singularity, a threshold at which the plane is folded? Or, rhizomatic, a cut commencing a new series?

Is immanence—moreover, in this sense—“spiritual” or in thought? i.e. might not the whole confusion over spirituel and d’esprit, between mind and spirit, devolve on this point?

I made a note here on Ainu being the indigenous people of North Japan. There is a picture in the park fronting Chiyoda Arts Centre of the aristocrat whose residence it had been. He is wearing a long atavistic kind of necklace, threaded with stones.

Koichiro-san asks, By what do we receive the figure?

Form, answers Kuniichi-sensei, by the intellectual eye. By the image of sensation.

The haptic is key for understanding the figure. So, I noted, a proxemics is in play, an imperceptible relation between that which was seen… a relational perception.

The link of misosophy, about which Jae asks, with violence: we can only think with some sort of violence. That is in the encounter.

Violence on a more physical dimension detects some undetectable perception—a relation between violence and impossibility.

For Artaud it is the impossibility of thinking, this violence. The unthinkable became some sort of figure very concretely—the stone, the Stone.

A background appears on the screen where Kuniichi-sensei has been showing quotations. Anne: Dürer’s mother. No, says Koichiro-san: Spinoza, the hypotenuse.

I approach Kuniichi-sensei after the presentation. I tell him of our friend in common. He says, You are from Brazil? No, I say. Not a good time for Brazil, he says.

After this Koichiro-san addresses me as Simon-sensei. I treasure this moment.

I leave for Akasaka, to which Chiyoda Line provides a direct route. J. flies in today. We meet at Hotel Felice, the corridor above. And pictured also is our first meal two doors down from the hotel.

on tour
point to point
thigein & conatus

Comments (0)


18 June 2019: Chiyoda Arts Centre – National Noh Theatre – Yoyogi

Koichiro Kokubun asks, Does schizophrenia remain the key concept in understanding Deleuze and Guattari?

Psychosis was not sufficiently analyzed because inaccessible to psychoanalysis.

In oppressive excess—neurosis ensues.

Kokubun-san makes three “completely indefensible” hypotheses:

1) the 19th century is neurosis;

2) the 20th century is schizophrenia;

3 the 21st century is autism.

As in previous sessions, there is a possible confusion within the epistemological field of psychoanalysis, if not the field of philosophy, of ontology with the field itself, or the horizon and conditions of its appearance: the pathology that is diagnosed—is it a thing? Is it something—an existent?

Domination of (father’s) authority—malfunction of discipline—liberation of individual—gives to 20th century psychosis.

W.H. Auden calls the early 20th century the Age of Anxiety.

“your perception of the world presupposes what you do not perceive.”

“the part of the object I do not see I posit as visible to others.”

—this is from Deleuze’s work on Tournier’s Robinsonnade: “A World Without Others.”

And: “the margins of the world disappear” on a desert island or in a world without others. “I am nothing other than my past … past is not present for me. No self without others.”

Shin’ichiro Kamagaya:

our next speaker, was born in 1977 with cerebral palsy. He suffered procedures of normalisation as a child and found them physically painful, and “as you see,” he says, from his motorised wheelchair, “they did not work.”

He first practiced as a pediatrician and in 2001 began work on autism using a method developed in Japan called Tojisha-kenkyu.

The method came out of the paradigm shift to coexistence with disabled people in the 1980s. The person with disabilities should not have to change. It is rather society which must change.

Shin’ichiro notes the differences between a social model of “disability” and a medical model of “impairment” and the friction between the two.

Co-production or participatory or user-led research—with the ‘subject’ of the research, that is ‘tojisha’ participation—tojisha-kenkyu developed in 2001 from the work of the group Schizophrenics Anonymous, which had begun the year before, in 2000. It was therefore started by schizophrenics.

The beautiful distinction is made between disempowerment in the sythesising of different viewpoints and empowerment in the juxtaposition of different narratives to form a polyphony.

Tojisha-kenkyu has 5 steps:

1) assuming a metacognitive position, of myself as others see me;

2) putting my problems into words and sharing them with others;

3) making up hypotheses about why we are living like this;

4) experimentation in how to live of the tojisha where failure disappears and where failure is an important resource to update our hypotheses;

5) testing and updating our hypotheses; building up a shared database: giving rise to manuals, worksheets and a literature in tojisha-kenkyu.

Individual characteristics indicate impairments. But the social dimension exists between people.

Autism is the misfit here because communicative disorders of miscommunication cross both social and medical lines: autism is both impairment and disability at once.

“We cannot ask whether there is a cause on the part of society, if we adopt ‘impairment of social interaction’ as our definition of autism.” The medical definition of autism has to be replaced.

In the last several decades the number of diagnoses of autism has increased by 3000 per cent. Academic research cannot explain it. A biological explanation can only account for a small portion of the diagnosed number.

Another factor for consideration is that the condition expresses itself differently according to the social context. Auditory processing characteristics have been shown to differ between the UK and Japan in the literature. The autism is different from culture to culture.

“It is not an example of a pure natural kind” and calls into question social contract thinking.

Part of autism is socially constructed. The rest is biologically describable.

The approach of “primary deficit in social cognition is not only empirically but also logically problematic.

Theory of mind does not suffice to explain autism because it goes to the sender as well as the receiver in communication.

Variability in autism from place to place is in view of social norms—of communication, registration, sending, receiving.

Local social culture determines autism as a ‘deficit in social cognition.’

A 2010 study by Elinor Ochs and Olga Solomon, “Autistic Sociality” shows Austistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to be socially specific.

Unlike other ‘disabilities,’ ASD people do not have the option of demanding that society change to allow their coexistence with and within it. But they must either be isolated from it or must themselves adapt to it.

Individuation in characteristics amount to an heterogeneity in the symptomatology of austism, quite apart from talking about a ‘spectrum’ of disorders of sociality.

This leads me to wonder about there being a Japanese phenomenology and a Japanese Merleau-Ponty, both for the construction of a perceptual field perputed to belong to the autistic person and for the epistemological construct as well as the ontological speculation which brings autism, in its individuating heterogeneity, to light on these levels, phenomenological, epistemological and ontological.

Social cognition can be divided into identification—sense of self—and autobiographical memory—mentalising, empathy based on self-other discrimination, where sense of self works by “intentional or emotional contagion.” The latter provokes the consideration of similar neuro-atypical others in the case of the autistic individual.

Ayaya Satski is a tojisha-kenkyu researcher with autism. For her, “a familiar face is seen as an assembly of parts.” She has no automatic recognition of either her mother’s face or of her own.

“Unconscious and automaticity” are very important in autism, conscious and unconscious control—this is a very good hypothesis for tojisha-kenkyu’s with autism.

Kokubun Koichiro-san: the hypothesis is connected to capitalism today, to an increase in the diagnosis of ASD.

People go for diagnosis because they fear their own inability or impairment in view of social cognition.

“In order to entrust our perception to others, these others must be similar,” says Koichiro-san.

I’m thinking about narcissism, a narcissism spectrum: depressive cannot escape from self. ASD cannot but. Cannot return (to self).

Is the desert island model—of Deleuze’s “world without others”—a normalising one?

Danilo asks: Is a protected [isolating ASDs from others] better than integration?

Shin’ichiro-san cites the deaf community as rejecting integration: “people with invisible impairments tend to be neglected [by society]; they have to adapt [not society].

The problem is the included minority rather than individuation.

“Mainstreaming” necessitates adaptation.

“Inclusion” ought to cover minority but in practice does not.

Next to speak is Takuya Matsumoto, a very young professor, flicking his fringe from his face.

Eugene Bleuler 1911 described schizophrenic patients as autistic because they were withdrawn from the outside world.

Leo Kanner 1943 described infantile autism from the start as “extreme aloneness,” unlike schizophrenia, of which it was first diagnosed to be a symptom, in which a previously existing relation is disrupted.

The 1970s distinguished autism from schizophrenia.

ASD is a recent development.

1981 Aspergers was recognised as a syndrome and named for him.

1995 Lorna Wing introduced Austistic Spectrum—inclusive of Aspergers.

2011The Wall: Psychoanalysis at the Test of Autism a propaganda film made by Sophie Robert disparages psychoanalysts in France for not distinguishing autism from schizophrenia.

Donna Williams, autistic writer, in Nobody Nowhere, described autism as a battle to “keep out of the world and a battle to join it.”

Lewis Carroll, Louis Wolfson and Raymond Roussel have all recently been diagnosed ASD.

The process of a “minor literature” in minorisation of language in particular is not so much schizophrenic as autistic.

Hypersensitivity to temperature, from which Carroll famously suffered, is part of ASD diagnostics.

Carroll and Artaud are differentiated in The Logic of Sense, the former a writer of the surface, the latter a writer of depth, due to their suffering from different disorders: Artaud schizophrenic, Carroll autistic.

“The problem is not to go beyond the bounds of reason, it is to cross the bounds of reason as a victor. Then one can speak of good mental health.” Deleuze on Wolfson, in Essays Critical and Clinical.

Matsumoto Takuya-san cites Lacan’s the sinthome as useful for understanding ASD.

Is the question one of the radical outside as invoked by Deleuze in Foucault?

…rencontre…encounter… Ritornello … refrain, exists as autistic trope of echolalia, forming a territory. [What about Beckett?]

We all followed Koichiro-san through the metro system to the National Noh Theatre.

Here we were introduced in a talk to the ritornello underlying Noh performance—Jo Ha Ku.

Jo—slow plateau of rhythm;

Ha—rapid increase in speed leading to peak;

Ku—abrupt completion of rhythm.

Each performance, each scene in each performance, each movement, down to gesture, in each scene develops in jo ha ku.

The Jo Ha Ku system was formalised in the early 15th century.

In Noh, there is no intention in the actor. The movement, gesture, stylised or natural, just happens. Jo Ha Ku follows the shape of natural impulse. It is spontaneous. Necessary for this spontaneity and naturalness is to cultivate mental nothingness.

The shape of impulse: it has not yet differentiated itself; it is inchoate; it begins not knowing its goal; this leads to an exponential curve of individuation in the movement, gesture, sound—for example birdsong—and its release; then its abrupt completion, as the impulse cancels itself in release.

Noh is between manmade and natural.

Control—but then let it go.

Noh—importantly, and in light of what Hijikata says of Butoh, that it is performed for the dead—is performed for the gods.

We tour the theatre, both auditorium and backstage. The dressing rooms are the series of identical tatami rooms, each with an identical locker, each identical to the one beside it, each one separated by sliding screen, extending in series. Each one is therefore characterless and impersonal. A formal structure is present in the backstage. But this formalism prepares an intensive structure of spontaneous—although formalised—gestures and movements and sounds, a theatrical language, onstage. Separating backstage from onstage is a symbolic threshold marked by a change in the wood of the floor: we were told that we were not to step over this threshold, onto the wood of the stage, even before it reaches the curtain covering the entrance to backstage—not wings because singular, wing—without the special toed white booties.

We were each given a pair of these and came to use them on the practice stage, a replica of the mainstage set up in a rehearsal room, complete with entryway bridge (to wing), stage marked by pillars, bearing a roof—Noh was originally played outside, under the cover of this tithing-house type awning, in shrines (separated from the audience by an empty space—for the gods?) and the traditional backdrop of the pinetree.

The Deleuze|Guattari-campers were split into fives and each group sent to a station situated in and around the practice auditorium. Here we knelt and learnt the basic different techniques for three types of drum used in Noh performances—one played on the left knee, one on the right shoulder, the base drum taipa on a stand with fat wooden drumsticks: each of these is assembled onstage by the player. All are horseskin. Players not only provide a rhythmic background but also vocalisations for the different characters, whooping to a high note for the young woman mask character. We learnt the transverse flute, getting breathless blowing over the hole, learning the most basic trill, again low to high—jo ha ku—the only melodic instrument in the band.

Performances are also accompanied by a chorus of singers in an almost continuous recitative, the origins apparent of Noh in trance, with odd asymmetrical whoops and offkilter rhyhmic and melodic motifs.

At each of the instrumental stations we had to kneel, feet tucked under bums, and make a bowing greeting, and at the giving a bowing thanks. Where this was too painful to sustain—it was—we were allowed to sit cross-legged, but if a camera was present, and at the start and end bow, return to traditional kneeling upright position, spine straight, and head level, keeping the rhythm, coordinating the whoops.

The last station our little group got to was the walking onstage. We put on our white toed slippers, stood in a line. The posture requires feet together, sternum angled to the ground, but head and chin back, to keep the mask—which we were not wearing—facing flat on to the audience. Arms are held out, elbows slightly bent, hands lightly clenched, with thumbs to the frontward plane. The master came around and corrected arms, angle of head and neck, hand rotation, then demonstrated what we were to do: feet are in continuous contact with stage—hollow to resonate when stamped—and toes lift at end of each sliding step.

Approach front stage in the jo ha ku rhythm, slow, accelerating, and performing the gesture of lifting the fan, closed, as if making a strong point to an interlocutor, while keeping arm slightly bent at elbow, moving arm from shoulder, hand lightly clenched. Then both arms, the left as if holding fan, the right hand holding one.

“Lift the fan as if the entire weight of all the air in the room lay on its end.”

Our lessons complete, our ankles bruised from kneeling, we became the audience for a demonstration performance. First the actor was dressed.

He explained in Japanese (translators were supplied who were PhD students for the workshops and a German translator, from Tokyo University, working on Noh, translated into English for this section) that this was embarrassing for him, since he had never been dressed in front of an audience before.

The dressing began with a skull cap and long underwear. The dressers were male, both in male kimono. They moved around the actor attaching and fitting the different parts of the costume for a drowned samurai spirit who makes his entrance at the end of a Noh drama. (Noh is sometimes referred to as the theatre where no one laughs; its sister form (kogyen?) is therefore the satirical form of Noh, using Noh elements—we saw a performance of this type in Hiroshima.) Costumes for Noh are all of the same size and worn by men and women—the acceptance of female performers into Noh is a recent development. Wearing a brilliant blue and gold-splashed stiff skirt-style kimono, the actor explained that this was a new costume but that in the next several hundred years it would develop a more beautiful patina. Costumes are still in use that are over 200 years old.

The final stage in the dressing is donning the mask. The actor said, When I put on the mask, I will no longer speak. My dressers, however, will speak for me.

The mask was only to be touched and held by its edges. The actor disappeared behind it. The dressers fitted him with his long fronded black wig. He has been in the sea, this spirit, so the hair does not need to be neat, but hangs over his face like seaweed.

The actor received his halberd. He retired backstage and the four musicians took their places on the practice stage. We had been told that filming was strictly prohibited during the performance; even the cameras recording the event were lens-capped: it seemed that this was less in reverence or out of tradition and more that the gods would not abide the competition of a technosemiotic eye.

The two dressers took their place stageleft, kneeling, to sing the chorus parts.

The samurai spirit returned to the stage by the bridge leading from backstage through a curtain to stageright. Bearing his halberd, he charged and jumped and raged and postured. The leaps took him off the stage, the surface of which boomed when he landed back onto its resonating surface. The voices of both chorus and musicians whooped and hooted, and the chorus chanted.

The rhythms and interlace of instruments and voices sounded as if each, apart from the recitative chanting (we were told that Japanese do not understand the words), were following his own (all male today) line. Drum. Hoot. Chant. Whoop. High to low flute trill. Leap. Posture. Jo Ha Ku. … like a crazy cart with wheels off-centre at each corner, less moving forward than in chaotic and cacophonous motion, back and forth, side to side, up and down.

The spirit came out again, after the performance finished and offered poses to the camera—as you might see from the snaps above.

R. stayed for dinner in the area, I headed away, relieved to be left to wander the subways and … in fact, I got out at Yoyobi station–on the Oedo Line from Sendagaya–not Yoyobi-Koen, and headed in what I hoped was the right direction, passing finally down the famous clothing market street in Harajuku, Takeshita, turning right, walking walking—I found I had performed a huge circle, and made no progress, but back and forth, side to side, uphill and down.

A handy map informed me I ought to have turned left not right at the end of Harajuku’s famous street, Takeshita (see UFO candy-floss above), which, when I got to it, I did. This took me to the bottom of Yoyogi park and soon I was back by the entrance to Yoyogi Youth Memorial Olympic Hostel. I walked right by to come to the street of food over the railway line. It was around 9.30pm when I bought, starving, after the drumming, the whooping, the walk of Noh, and the circuit I had taken, a ramen, which was heated at the Seven Eleven, and a salad. These I took back to my room. Delicious greasy pork noodles and sesame Japanese spinach.

a nice note on the white stones around the perimeter of the Noh stage: there for outdoor performances to reflect light into the masked faces of performers as footlights—now redundant, but retained; the poles define the stage for the masked performer—without them, she or he would not know where the edge of the stage is, the masks difficult to see out of, and the steps at the front of the stage are there just in case he or she misses the edge and tumbles from the stage to get back onto it.

on tour
point to point

Comments (0)


“The problem is not to create a better story, but to make it sufficiently performative to make it build its own reality.” – Wim Nusselder

the title, citing Wim Nusselder, is from comments on the video at Kate Raworth’s website.

National Scandal

Comments (0)


dear reader, I am writing a book. Below a tiny excerpt. If you would like to support this work, please contact me by way of the contact form, top, left hand margin.

The brain remains a symbol, with all that is entailed under this symbolic existence, nailed at some extremity—perhaps the highest plank—of the vast carpentry we have been calling the symbolic framework of reference, so long as its cognitive functions are identified with representation and so long as these higher functions are so called. Except that it express itself symbolically we should therefore show no small amazement that we cannot trust it.

luz es tiempo
theatrum philosophicum
thigein & conatus

Comments (0)


field recordings 2017:06:16 18:06:43 – 2017:08:03 12:37:29 including Minus Theatre rehearsing VMG at the Baptist Church and setup at LOT23

luz es tiempo
theatrum philosophicum

Comments (0)