January 2008

STUDY FOR A PASSION working script for City Art Rooms, 18 March – 29 March 2008

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no mind

A man who can’t be persuaded is a frightened man.

– Albert Camus

hommangerie
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eumenides or Trio of Chaoids ???

– Francis Bacon, Tryptych 1944-1988

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putting oneself on the line and at risk writing, thinking, &, having spread the tablecloth, standing up on it

Deleuze’s work on literature … has nothing to do with textual criticism or commentary, deconstructive or otherwise, since what matters is only what can be created, experimented or lived through the text, on the assumption that ‘a text is nothing but a cog in a larger extra-textual practice’ (DI [Desert Islands and Other Texts], 260). Understood in this way, art or literature is simply one of several available vehicles for immediate intellectual intuition (i.e. intuition of the sort that Kant and the neo-Kantians sought to foreclose).

– Peter Hallward, Out of this World, p. 129

the difference between creation and chaos. … chaos is the point where innovation becomes so instantaneous that it simply dissolves – chaos names the point where the crucial difference between subtraction and extinction becomes unsustainable. Chaos is not indeterminant but hyper-determinant. Whereas every viable creating establishes a certain consistency or trajectory, chaos is inconsistent.

Chaos is characterised less by the absence of determinations than by the infinite speed with which they take shape and vanish. This is not a movement from one determination to the other but, on the contrary, the impossibility of a connection between them, since one does not appear without the other having already disappeared […]. Chaos undoes every consistency in the infinite. (WP [What is Philosophy], 42)

This is one reason why a creative ontology requires the intervention of appropriately creative thought rather than a merely receptive faculty or passive intuition – it isn’t a matter of reflecting chaos but of inventing forms of consistency that ‘stand up’ to and in chaos. Deleuze and Guattari name science, art and philosophy as the three forms of thought capable of such invention. They are the ‘three Chaoids, realities produced on the planes that cut through chaos in different ways.’ [What is Philosophy, 208tm.]

– Ibid., p. 130

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then Gilles Deleuze gave up depths in favour of a sort of transversality and big tablecloth

The sharks remain as silent as a woman who’s trying to hide her thoughts in order to spare your feelings.

– Carlos Eire, Waiting for Snow in Havana, p. 312

croydon
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AIP

The audience is also in performance. OR

The performance is also of an audience. &

We are you.


– “The Yellow T Shirt” by Paul Haggith

Gusanos – worms. Or counter-revolutionaries. Or revolutionaries. Or recidivists. Or those accused of recidivism. Without it having been proven. Suspected. Suspects. Suspected of negative feelings. Misgivings. Negative thoughts. Negative intentions. Before they become negative actions. Patriots. Non- or anti-patriots. Recusants. Whatever. Rats. Worms. And I shall come amongst you. Shall worm my way into your midst. Where I’ll seem to be one of you, will be taken for one of you. Then, I’ll be one with you. And by the time you wake up to it, it’s too late: I am. I am you. And you are me. You worms. … Never think for a second that the fact I’m in your heart proves what a worm I am, what a parasite. No. You are in mine, too. Gusanos.

There’s nothing satisfying in having your expectations met. Dawn and sunset. These are things worth repeating an infinite number of times. But reading The Lovely Bones? Or listening to Robyn’s song…? Or even reading Waiting for Snow in Havana, where each chapter follows the same pattern of structured repetitions, meeting expectations. How many readings, repetitions, recognitions, and so on, can these sustain?

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cultural politics are redundant exercises in the economics of public life

The chief thing for us to do is to start creating real alternatives in popular theatre to the community theatres and the shopping centres which reflect, not the spiritual power, but the moral stupour of our cultural explosion. I am thinking of regional centres, widely recruited audiences, in collaboration with scholars, churches, unions, industry, workshops, critiques, lectures, tours, youth conferences – a full public life growing around a substantial repertoire.

– Herbert Blau, in The Impossible Theatre: A Manifesto, 1964

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a figure, or a ‘figural character,’ looks over the horizon

croydon
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immedia

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before-the-scenes notes for study for a passion/telling on the telling: towards a machinic meez

Mise for study requires a shaker, an automated system to deliver a continuous shower of ash onto the stage, increasing in density as the piece proceeds. Possibly a machine driven by belts to link a quiet electric motor to an offset wheel, connecting, in turn, to a fine mesh cage full of ash. Simple. But to make the belt-drives an element in the mise, working decor. And of course pulleys to raise the cage. Possibly also a loading hopper for the ash to imply its source in the incineration of people.

To show the mechanism in order not to be the mechanism, i.e. remove the motor or sense of a motor, deus ex machina, or simply behind-the-scenes, by having a sensible motor doing a tangible job, before-the-scenes. [Cf. Peter Hallward’s Out of this World, p. 114]

What the belts and wheels accomplish is a series of “immobilisings, petrifications and repetitions” which are not related to and not integrated into the actions of the characters. [Deleuze quoted in ibid.] Although characters may comment on these incidental events, observing their effects, rather than coming from the character or story, they precede them and constitute the very dimension occupied by them. [Cf. ibid., p. 115]

The ‘autonomy’ of elements: scenic and acting or those in the nature of properties belonging to a character, an action or to a narration. The autonomy of all the elements of classic psychological theatre. Which is as old as Stanislavski and Chekhov and reaches its limit in Beckett and Artaud. These autonomies, then, release the ‘anorganic,’ validate the virtual: autonomous elements rule!

It’s not so much a thing of anti- or non-narrative theatre but of stories confounding, complicating the erstwhile central or master narrative, because implicating the latter. Taking it down. Wrestling. Overcoming or indeed liberating that type of theatre which is voluntarily enslaved by story-telling and psychological narration: that oedipal theatre. A theatre comes of many masters, many stories, stories crossing others, chance intersections that have nothing to do with interest!

Narrativity is therefore not the enemy. Time is. The present is. The psychological present time in which character and audience are forced to be interested. Have interest thrust upon them! Clock time. And stakes in clock time. The time divided and limited by, and made finite by, the actions of an actor or of a story told through actions. The telling is the enemy, not the teller or her story.

To find elements, machines that tell on the telling, and not just by recording it. Live elements, tangible machines doing sensible jobs. Exposing not the telling’s limited – or shallow – finite and divisive – or conservative – sense but betraying it in favour of a continuous story, time-story(!)-drama, become particular to all and general to none. A story or drama that is not mediated by the telling. Virtual (hi)story.

The teller of a human story must first grasp it in its inhuman aspects, by the absolute potentiality signalled in its autonomous elements. The contribution of an impersonal prop with its magical attributes and lack of belonging. An atmosphere suddenly suffocating all action. The incidental music which becomes properly incidental and pursues its own musical tangent. Or beginning at the point when one can go on no longer. Where is it one goes who can’t go on?

The beginning beyond any end in the state of continuity’s pure memory or the whole of the past: time’s other country.

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THE BEAN

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