network critical

a note on human agency

Hochuli, Hoare and Cunliffe write that the social order has been “entrusted to lawyers, activists, remote governmental experts on transnational commissions, central bankers, technocrats, the market, CEOs… not to ordinary citizens” and that how production functions, is organised and distributed is left to “supply chain managers, investors and trade negotiators, not unions or politicians.” [see here]

Roles, the actions of actors or of agents with agency, are not characteristic of contemporary communications society however. The network is.

Contemporary society does not divide along class lines. It does not divide at all. Its entanglement, the entanglement of social and power relations that society comprises, constitute its control.

Roles do not characterise our kind of social political organisation but relations. Ordinary citizens are as much a part of the indivisible entanglement of control society as investors and trade negotiators, as well as unions and politicians. There is no division.

Power is relational. So is agency: as such, power is implicative.

The power of an agent to act is more than inextricable from the rest, from the totality of relations of power functions, it is implicated in the totality of the network of all of them.

The network materialises not as the totality of power relations, for example at the institutional or individual levels. It does not materialise neuro-bio-logically. Rather neurological and biological, ecological and social and psychical networks are built epistemologically on the model of material communications, the nondiscursive material network of a mathematical and computational imaginary. Yes: both material and imaginary, otherwise known as an hallucination of the totality.

It is imaginary because invented, a matter of pure invention. It determines the future and the future of human social organisation, so that it is a form of knowledge, a form of generic knowledge replacing all other forms.

Wrongly called science or the scientific worldview, in this determinative function of a knowledge, impending over the future, it is better called speculative.

The name for this network with its power functions and totality of relations is the market.

A speculative, implicative and nonhuman reality, or brain. Onto it are projected our real material conditions of an agency and roles that abrogate them both, preferring to our own, artificial intelligence.

...
CAPITAL CAPITAL CAPITAL
detraque
network critical
textatics

Comments (0)

Permalink

antinomy–or the opposite is true, even the opposite of the opposite, oddly

Narratives of crisis emplot events to create a meaningful sequence. The way they construct this sequence is prior to and entails the choice of explanatory mechanisms and the fingering of guilty parties. To speak about “post-truth,” declining trust in science, and/or the “death of expertise” is to sketch the faint outlines of a sequence, a set of slots into which the usual suspects will slip naturally and self-evidently. The sequence of events is linear, leading to a break: a long-term process of decline that ultimately leads to a “collapse of the relationship between experts and citizens,” a breakdown of trust that threatens to send “democracy itself [into…] a death spiral.” Sketched in this way, the linear sequence implies a culprit: the “foundation of all these problems,” the soil in which all the other dysfunctions have taken root and prospered,” is the “abysmal literacy, both political and general of the … public.” The public is worse than a phantom; it is willfully ignorant. Enter the Great Multiplier–the internet and social media–and the secular trend combusts into full-fledged crisis: “a google-fueled, wikipedia-based, blog-sodden collapse of any division between professionals and laypeople.”

— Gil Eyal, The Crisis of Expertise, (Cambridge, UK: Polity, 2019), 82.

network critical
pique-assiettes

Comments (0)

Permalink

sixty-fifth part, called “on movement LXV,” of a series of ‘letters’ written to you, the reader, towards a book called, theatre | writing

on movement

The brain selects items for action. It is not, for Bergson, for knowledge and does not select to know. It already practices an economy. Economising as a part of the system of perception, the brain is like any other organ in this respect: it synthesises problems of the outside.

If we know anything at all it’s out of habit: Hume’s insight, from which Deleuze gains the syntheses of habit. What then is synthesised, or contracted, from habits as problems of the outside? The brain takes this to be information. It takes syntheses of habit as items for action as well. Yet they are the products of habit.

That the syntheses of habit are products of habit as well, and are synthesised for action, makes that action general. Although divided into institutions, like institutional knowledge, institutional systems of representation, structures of cognition and grammars for recognition, the general action is indivisible. It performs an indivisible mobility, engaging the whole surface in movement so as to perpetuate its symbolic economy. That is, products of habit form another economy concerned with their symbolic reproduction with institutions to take care of their symbolic production.

Perhaps for the reason of the syntheses of habit being largely concerned with a symbolic economy, for Deleuze the brain is a sign signal system. As for Bergson, however, it is not for cognition and not to represent to itself that the brain and system of perception are geared, for example, representing to itself the problems of knowledge or cognition, which it would then act to process and contend with resolving. For Deleuze, the sign consists of a problem and the signal is an action.

Symbols, as matters of habitual synthesis, are still subjects of action and meanings are actions. Yet, what other meaning can they have but that acquired from habit? And, what may be parsed from these words but the syntheses of habit?

The issue is not that of bringing new meanings or a new meaning to light. Neither is that of naming this brain the false one and that one the true, the symbolic economy the secondary, or the brain of artificial creation, and the perceptual economy, the sensible one, primary and of natural creation. We are still talking of theatre and there is still the selection of subjects and for movement.

The issue is how to move in the crowd of subjective apprehensions. How to move when their alignment, the alignment of their outsides, is given by the misapprehension of symbolic actions, on a surface mobilised overall by the habitual syntheses of others. And what is movement when it is no more than the connectivity of outsides in their symbolic interplay, already, all over. The issue is, what is doing the work of the brain now it is no longer selecting items for action, for symbolic production, but the technological means, for the reproduction of habitual syntheses, that is doing the work of selection?

note: source references available on request–these will be part of the book, if it should come to pass.

If you would like to help it come to pass, and show your support for what I’m up to, please sponsor it: become a patron, here.

If you would like to receive these posts, as they are written, as letters addressed to you, please send me your email address.

(&&&[Deleuze])=-1...
...
Ἀκαδήμεια
hommangerie
imarginaleiro
immedia
infemmarie
luz es tiempo
network critical
point to point
representationalism
textasies
textatics
theatricality
theatrum philosophicum
thigein & conatus

Comments (0)

Permalink

sixty-first part, called “on movement LXI,” of a series of ‘letters’ written to you, the reader, towards a book called, theatre | writing

on movement

Our irony is not reserved to that which dismisses the body, to the pretension to spirituality, spirit, spiritualism or art, but to an automatism that is that of the general economy and of the cognitive-behaviourist brain. Boys, don’t they? tend to add to their toys an active component. Girls, I’ve seen, tend to add to them a social component.

Imagine the appeal of the toy that had both! The social economy is such a readymade—the readymade of social stereotypes and of their mobilisation in institutional codes. (And, of course, the readymade of gender stereotypes, social performativity, and the fluidity of roles: that whole theatre, where transitions of scenes are transitions of subjects, meaning, their production.)

The problem with a generally mobilised social economy is not that it exists. It’s not even that it’s a product such as engenders the commodification of social identities, stereotyping from the given material by a supplemental material, which, if we are sticking with the theatre metaphor, we can call symbolic. (Or phallic.) Its problem is that of already having been activated and socialised. That is, what’s a boy to do? What’s a girl to? Here is the repertoire—again, the theatrical metaphor—you are the supplement. Yet: you do not get to add the active component; and you do not get to add the social component. In other words, You’re it.

I seem to be speaking indirectly about social media. Not entirely the case: by general or a generally mobilised social economy I am referring to the mobilisation in the social of the economy, the socialising of economic drivers, capital as data, and, data as capital, to the rendering of the economy as social. It goes both ways.

Yes, we can see the boys excited on the floors of the stock exchange. And the girls rising through the managerial ranks by virtue of their social intelligence. (Or emotional intelligence.) But they are such for having been reciprocally produced by the economic supplanting the social and the social supplanting general political economy.

When we ask what is to be done we can see we are doing everything we can: flowing in all directions. This is what the code allows, which Deleuze and Guattari in Anti-Oedipus call the axiom of capital: a double parasitism or double ventriloquism. Am I speaking for myself here?

Do I really believe it? Well, yes, of course: what other cause could there be for giving rise to so many misunderstandings? All I want to be is clear about this: and immediately disown every word I have written.

How to eke out our little bit of world? our little patch of earth, as Deleuze and Guattari also write, when across its surface there is this general semiotic dispersal? We should note in this word, semiotic, both seeds and atoms; and note a change in register, or atmosphere. If there are still enough of the primary elements, if there are still enough atoms making them up, still enough air to breathe, the right amount of warmth, enough water, and sufficient soil, the seeds are subjects: that is, they contract these elements. Their coming-to-life is not so important as this.

Some time ago, we stated that there seem to be two principles. We were not concerned with their mediation but by the contracting power of what contracts them, which we have identified to be a subjective power. A subjective power is at work contracting elements of social economy, just as a subjective power is at work in the misunderstanding synthesising the meaning of these words. Such is the bad habit of being human: to focus on the mediation as the moving part.

note: source references available on request–these will be part of the book, if it should come to pass.

If you would like to help it come to pass, and show your support for what I’m up to, please sponsor it: become a patron, here.

If you would like to receive these posts, as they are written, as letters addressed to you, please send me your email address.

(&&&[Deleuze])=-1...
...
Ἀκαδήμεια
CAPITAL CAPITAL CAPITAL
hommangerie
infemmarie
luz es tiempo
network critical
point to point
textasies
textatics
theatricality
theatrum philosophicum

Comments (0)

Permalink

sixtieth part, called “on movement LX,” of a series of ‘letters’ written to you, the reader, towards a book called, theatre | writing

on movement

We experience communication as bodiless, yet we feel it as movement. All those pleasures we feel from being communicated with, and all that pain: it is what makes us human, keeps us human, leads us to hope or wish to be. But isn’t so wishing also to wish to be bodiless?

If there’s a spiritual realm it belongs to communication. It doesn’t belong to emotion, to our feelings. It causes them. And yet it is the authority we most invoke for their expression, which communication authorises, so is seen to be despotic in the prohibition of that expression, and, in granting it, beneficent and even munificent.

Art’s humanising task: to elevate through its emotional appeal, and its function: communication. To bring our emotions to their fullest expression, with communication in judgement of their truth: that is the aspiration to being human art sets in motion. This would be a function of language except that so little of what we say, or signal through language, arrives at communication. It rather tends to reinforcement, habits of expression, expressive habits.

Not until we reach custom, the customary, do we experience communication. That is: the coded. Codes of communication encode language as institution. And institutions are judged for their humanity on whatever values of truth they embody. That is: disembody. This value derives from its production, with the despot ruling its range and the munificent one to grant the fullest range of expression. That is, the codes of expression like those of behaviour are political avenues.

Zones of relative freedoms, they are relative to being a nobody without any right to express emotions, and without their having any claim on truth. Such a nobody opposes the spirit, is all body, and is less than human. Somebody who doesn’t communicate is however thought to have a mental disorder before they are considered to have a communicative one, as in the case of autism.

Is emotional intelligence an intellectual capacity, an emotional one, or a communicative one? If it is a matter of communication, it is at once a question of institutional codes, of their humanising or dehumanising purpose. And of the role of art, the purpose of which is … to be free: free in the sense of an always politically arbitrated, calibrated, conforming relativeness.

And if art should wish to be free of politics? It should accede to the highest form of humanity. And in its disembodiment, participate in the spiritual economy of communication.

note: source references available on request–these will be part of the book, if it should come to pass.

If you would like to help it come to pass, and show your support for what I’m up to, please sponsor it: become a patron, here.

If you would like to receive these posts, as they are written, as letters addressed to you, please send me your email address.

(&&&[Deleuze])=-1...
...
Ἀκαδήμεια
immedia
τραῦμα
network critical
point to point
representationalism
textasies
textatics
thigein & conatus

Comments (0)

Permalink

forty-fourth part, called “subjective powers XLIV,” of a series of ‘letters’ written to you, the reader, towards a book called, theatre | writing

subjective powers

The digital surface is socially invested, given the power to produce subjects. The subjects we ought to want to be: that is, according to the narrative. It is a narrative of progress, yet it precedes the subjects of, shall we say, speculation, in a speculative data economy.

Those subjects who we ought to want to be and become are the trading pieces. And therefore, trade in pieces, pieces of a psycho-graphology or psycho-grammatology, like parts of speech, the swapmeet we earlier mentioned, where we don’t feel a thing, feel nothing like the insertion of the psyche, or the psychic body, the human one, into the social story, because these parts, and here the paranoia, are inserted into us. Or, better said, into the psyche. So there has been a previous paring down of it, the body-psyche, or body’s mind, if you like, a breaking down and a building up again, from borrowed parts. This is why changing the narrative is the same business: because it is in the same business.

The paranoia breaks out when we feel a part of us take over the role we had hitherto supposed to be ours. As in drunk-texting, the words escape; and with certain drugs, we notice, senses deranged, that they are serial, the senses, from their being put out of order, out of, that is, the social order. We might just as well say, the narrative order. The essence of tragedy: personally to feel so ordered, by, what we can further call, social destiny or narrative necessity. Of course, it’s a comedy to everybody.

In classic tragedy, madness ensues. And we see this fairly regularly, the patch-up jobs, the motley of the general social roles, see, it is comical! Called in by friends, we assist in changing the narrative, so that you or I can get back up again, face the void.

Why void? Well, isn’t that the feeling? The feeling of starting again, and the fear. Like having nothing inside.

We return to a beginning actor, but in taking back possession of ourselves, normally proceed like the selfish one. We fall back on, often disingenuously, sometimes with real terror, what we know. The strangest thing can occur when we are the donors of our own body-parts. They become the opposite of ghost limbs. We become the ghosts.

It is said to be perfectly normal for our psychic well-being to view the space below the stage, the surface, as already full of the lives we are in fact living. But that is the past. We have reversed the order. It is not as full bodies we step out on to the void; it is as voids we step out on to the fullness of who we were.

What help is it to be considering subjective powers in the nightmare or mania we are living of living as introjected subject matter, part-consumables, grammatical egos? For a start, of the latter we can say we see the attraction, since to be part of digital discourse is reassuring, gratifying even, to think we have symbolic entity; this is what analysis does: as symbols of ourselves we can carry on… but it is only by granting such symbols as being outside us that we can do this.

That is, enter the void: the stage direction given not by the void but to the void. Here it comes now, extending its surface under us, at a point we can choose. It is a point in the now.

What is happening is the choice of the minima we go on with: What does a risking actor do? Joaquin Phoenix for some reason comes to mind, perhaps as an example because we can see the results on the plane of their registration, as compositional elements of the screen. He twitches. Or his grimace is nonsensical, out of place, and that’s how we can tell it’s part of the character. From the smallest gesture, we have said, with Kirkkopelto, a world.

Or it is in an angle of his body we see it flash blade-like. A light comes out of his eyes and illuminates the planes of his face. And it is a compulsion, from an inner compulsion, that he acts so in small bits and pieces, the minima of subjectivities; yet we cannot go so far as to call it inner or inward because pure expression, outside, a part of speech that makes absolutely no sense, but here is the pain in the yelp of a dog, a cur, that signifies a world, a world where such a yelp, scream, can be made. Such a world is not produced, not the product of the scream, but suffuses the surface: is the event we have noted, then the impersonal affect, then… the whole subject in its subjective duration, in its subjective duration so whole: a subjective power we have reserved for the indeterminate duration of the reported on, on, not a surface of registration, but receptive centre, the centre of a hearing of indeterminate duration.

The pruning off of perception, selection, all the way to active election, choosing what happens as it does; undoing it, giving it a power that is internal to a receptive centre, is not the expression that reaches out, of a metaphysical impression, but the expression of a psychic minimum in which the subject subsists, comes about or revolves; the revolution itself, of a past pressing up against the present, producing affects without antecedents: all the surface’s roles. The stage’s. This revolution is the saying, the telling, we need to be hearing, is not the story, the warning, the moral lesson, the past, but pushes, has the means to, against the future. Opens it, a crack.

note: source references available on request–these will be part of the book, if it should come to pass.

If you would like to help it come to pass, and show your support for what I’m up to, please sponsor it: become a patron, here.

If you would like to receive these posts, as they are written, as letters addressed to you, please send me your email address.

(&&&[Deleuze])=-1...
...
Ἀκαδήμεια
CAPITAL CAPITAL CAPITAL
hommangerie
imarginaleiro
immedia
infemmarie
τραῦμα
luz es tiempo
network critical
point to point
swweesaience
textasies
textatics
theatricality
theatrum philosophicum
thigein & conatus

Comments (0)

Permalink

forty-third part, called “subjective powers XLIII,” of a series of ‘letters’ written to you, the reader, towards a book called, theatre | writing

subjective powers

What is he afraid of, the beginning actor? We have attributed to him and to her a fear akin to losing control of your own stuff. That, once it’s out there, on the surface, for all to see, even if there’s noone there to see it, it is no longer his and hers. Beyond his and hers, that action is more or less raised by the lines of exaggeration and artifice.

In the state of exaggeration, that action, it stands in relief from the surface, in a queasy way. The state of artifice… a beginning actor might rightly fear he will be found out for showing himself in a good light. Producing the standardised pout or stance, which on him is vaguely ridiculous. And we’ve said about this that what is happening is the action being cut from the body, which acts, by the blade, the line, of the surface, or stage, on which it features, which receives it, on which its report is made, as any body’s. What is personal, now impersonal; action to event: and this, because of its little bit of outside, itself subject, subjectivated, or having its own life, apart from the erstwhile host, donor or sacrifice.

Another sort of fear perhaps is more realistic: of putting the inside outside. Now there’s no retreat. Another sort of exaggeration: commit thyself, we say to the beginning actor; and she puts it all out there, tits and all. Or he is the striding cock strutting across the play area. Another sort of artifice, then, of the most realistic kind: the body as its own prosthetic. …but it is exactly by the body a beginning actor, having committed an action to the stage, is not protected. What’s inside is now outside. And we’ve suggested it now like a birth, an afterbirth, or an excrement, has to make its way on its own.

In Minus Theatre, the group I led for some years, we praised commitment. But we had a saying about that first decision, which the whole practice focused on, perhaps unduly: There are no bad decisions that you can make. But you can get better at making them.

In exaggeration and artifice some comfort lies, a comfortable zone of the indiscernability of one’s artifice to others, or one’s (exaggerated) forthrightness. Yet a beginning actor finds herself out. Or fools himself. And so commences the process of becoming a selfish actor.

What does the surface have that there’s no retreat from it? That whatever I have decided to ‘commit’ to it is unretractable. Is a commitment. Yes, we can see here the fear of the institution of the stage, the theatre, performance, to which a beginning actor feels himself having to make a commitment. But beyond that, it’s more obvious: fear of not being praised; fear one is no good. One is bad. It hasn’t quite sunk in that one is not what one does, that the gesture, the noise, motion one elicited from oneself, being out there, is no longer one’s own. And should a beginning actor be so informed?

Should we say to her, that glance you made to me full of the hope of being recognised, was it part of the action? Cut it. The line is not yours, it’s the character’s. Those guts you left out on the stage, leave them for the stagemanager to pick up; yes. I recognise they’re still attached. Cut it.

What’s out is out. There’s no going back now. That arm you waved with, that heart that beat, yes, I know that if I prick it it will bleed, with your blood. And yet, no, no. I am not in judgement. This is how we console ourselves standing on the outside, standing, as it is said, off.

Fear of being judged precedes the fear whatever we do will produce that judgement. And don’t these two things go together? Fear of losing what one had inside, one’s precious life, one’s precious death; fear that comes when it is outside. Fear that comes too early and fear that comes too late.

Committing to the surface of psychoanalysis used to be the fear of many creative people, lest the engines of creativity are disassembled on the surface, and, when brought back together never work the same way again. Not so much the fear of having one’s dirty little secret outed as of seeing it for oneself, for itself: that this is all I am, because it is all I ever was: my work is the working out of the most trivial complex! and common!

It is strange given the ubiquity of the digital surface it does not occasion a similar fear. … And there, on it we are productive of our performances, showing through our engagement our will to humanity, our good will. And what wonderful sense we can make when we try! How witty! … and how good we can look when we are properly made up.

Attachment anxiety is given new meaning by an inability to separate ourselves from those actions on the surface. Separation anxiety is given new meaning by our capacity for attachment to the slightest gestures of our digital personae. Commitment anxiety has the meaning it has from attachment to those personae. Like an analyst, it interrogates us, the surface; like an analyst whose analysis goes all the way to the psychic source: an engine we proudly display in the exploded view.

Do we inform ourselves of so being analyzed? When it is in the company of friends we are swapping parts? As if it was entailed by our interconnectivity that it resemble a giant psychic swap-meet.

note: source references available on request–these will be part of the book, if it should come to pass.

If you would like to help it come to pass, and show your support for what I’m up to, please sponsor it: become a patron, here.

If you would like to receive these posts, as they are written, as letters addressed to you, please send me your email address.

(&&&[Deleuze])=-1...
...
Ἀκαδήμεια
hommangerie
imarginaleiro
immedia
infemmarie
network critical
point to point
representationalism
textasies
textatics
theatricality
theatrum philosophicum
thigein & conatus

Comments (0)

Permalink

twenty-ninth part, called “the subject XXIX,” of a series of ‘letters’ written to you, the reader, towards a book called, theatre | writing

the subject

The surface receives the gesture. On which side sits the subject? With gesture, or with reception? And…

Is it definite, this action? Is it possible to slow down the selfish actor, to find this moment that breaks every habit? I want to say it is more violent than definite, but this is contradicted by the physical evidence, of which there is none. And this is what’s wrong with asking for it to be marked, with asking the selfish actor to go back to the beginning. She will forget entirely the stage, and make the most natural movement: and there will be no difference between gestures. Mark it? How?

It seems already to be marked. Not physically. That’s obvious. Not symbolically: the addition of any symbol, sign, would signal the gesture, would be it. So it would not take place. All we have is the index.

The selfish actor says as much. He says, What? This? … you want me to believe in the smallest… one of these… is a world? Huh?

…but it is what happens when an actor reaches the line, takes a step, makes a sound… And it is not taken away when the stage is empty. Can we compare it to the brain? to internal experience?

What index do we have to thought? To think there is one gives a vertiginous feeling. We are like the selfish actor, unable, for some reason, to find the beginning; but for what reason?

Now, we have the endocrinal revolution. Can talk to the facts of emissions of signal chemicals, but to talk this way places these outside, outside the subjective nonfacts of internal experience? The physical causation cannot account for the metaphysical impression.

Then there’s the barely scientific analysis of psychology that wants to find footing using behaviour as index, or using the social activity of neurons as index, their communication, their inner gestures and almost spontaneous formations, worlds. The dramas of psychoanalysis passing from favour. In these dramas however we do find violence and narratives of metamorphosis, but they too are contradicted by the physical evidence, of which there is none. None for castration. None for Oedipus. None for the phallus, as a signifier occluding its presence, by a process of signification. Removing from the beginning the evidence. Some of the lies told about me are untrue, as Geoffrey Palmer said, some time in the 90s.

The opposite of the selfish actor is the beginning actor. A beginning actor is frightened by the seemingly symbolic function of the stage. It would be great if the beginning writer were too, afraid that in the first word lay coiled up all of his, all of her, future failure. While we are inured to thought.

The selfish thinker being the precise double of the selfish actor. So that what if thought does not actually occur? And can we throw that back at the surface that receives the gesture?

Can we say, sometimes neither the stage nor acting occur? The surface does not appear. The line does not divide. And… it’s not that the gesture is impotent, or sterile, or say in some other way non-virile. These are the conditions precisely for the surface to receive the gesture.

In the gesture is already marked the lack of consequence. The stage’s triple oath is like the monastic: poverty, chastity and obedience. Might we unpack that last, and say obedience to the beginning?

No physical trace is left, neither by thought, nor by the stage or acting. Poverty has its correlate in the smallest gesture, the pruning of the subject to its bare fractal life. Chastity is the cleaving of the stage to itself, its complete powerlessness, and its failure even to be a surface of registration for the gesture it receives, which summons it. Obedience has its correlate in the necessity we can observe, since it is this observance, for the actor every time and at each instant to be beginning. So the gesture with the subject its centre of reception is always new.

note: source references available on request–these will be part of the book, if it should come to pass.

If you would like to receive these posts, as they are written, as letters addressed to you, please send me your email address.

(&&&[Deleuze])=-1...
...
anciency
Ἀκαδήμεια
hommangerie
imarginaleiro
immedia
inanimadvertisement
infemmarie
luz es tiempo
network critical
point to point
textasies
textatics
theatricality
theatrum philosophicum
thigein & conatus

Comments (0)

Permalink

twenty-fifth part, called “the subject XXV,” of a series of ‘letters’ written to you, the reader, towards a book called, theatre | writing

the subject

We’ve all known selfish actors, who’ve felt the depth below the stage to be theirs, when it is nothing. In fact, this type is more common than those who feel they’ve brought to the stage something precious of which they are about to be dispossessed. It makes one think of Wright’s precious jewel, his death, as he perceived it in his life. Or, as he said he did, and performed it on the stage.

After all, death, our knowledge of our own, is like a secret we carry, perhaps our most primitive. At the same time, it’s like the contents of our bowel. Which is present when we spill our guts.

More primitive than sexuality? And aren’t these used to undermine the selfish actors, who believe there’s something special about their own shit, so that we have to remind them, in Gargantua and Pantagruel, or Kafka, whose use of sex, Kundera calls, his greatest innovation in the novel? Look at the comedy of the public institution brought to its knees and having its face rubbed in it! The Princes, and the Schadenfreude!

Private tragedy is wrested from us by the public stage. And we become a laughing stock. A stock that is held in security, reassuring everybody else they are safe. It is not them. But is this the essence of the stage? Is the essence to be that it undermines those it holds up, when, haven’t we said, there’s nothing underneath?

To forget for a moment that we are ugly, crass, guilty, foolish and dying. Chinchilla’s words, written by MacDonald. This world of artifice we attribute too cheaply to libido.

Too cheaply, because we are not asked to pay the price, like those with their precious depths, who see it all bubble to the surface, who see it all come out: and how ugly it all is! And how shameful. So it is strange we ask our actors to find their motivation, or a correlate for what they perform in the depths of their experience, when we know from the worst instances of psychodrama, whether that of public life or in another venue, how pointless that is.

The body on the stage is expressive how? So that its slightest gesture creates a world. This insight is Esa Kirkkopelto’s, but he uses it as a lead onto the argument that an actor by composing from such gestures, of which the slightest creates a world, engages in dramaturgical composition; and to ask the question whether we need directors: well, shouldn’t theatre be democratised?

Again, in each of these cases, we have the exercise of public morality. But it is public by proxy: however brilliant Kirkkopelto’s insight is, he is not being separated from all that he is by the merest gesture. All of that private stuff, as soon as it bubbles up, is shit for consumption: keep producing it!

Yet, an actor makes the merest gesture, and creates a world of which she is not a part. Ought an actor then disavow it? Or choose for it, knowing herself to be excluded from it as from a stone? as the world were the gesture of a stone, and the stone her gesture. For this is what we are saying: to look at the vertiginous individuality of a stone; and for the actor, word or gesture being stone not to undermine it, but for it to act, perform this double-act of doing and undoing. Thinking. Unthinking. Composing. Decomposing.

Decomposing: not for being broken down into elementary particles, to be recirculated, reticulated or recycled, and so serve the composition and creation of life (life world, life language)—not for the sake of the communicative network, but directly de-structured of its organising component or principle. As if the whole thing, as if what makes the interconnectivity of the whole, were another part beside it: and could be split off, by the slightest possible gesture, word or sign. As if by the merest word or sign, symbol or gesture-index, the system’s being whole might be set apart, so that it fell apart. Lost its organisation in structure and in depth. And in height, as we have seen, in the undercutting of our public figures, and, indeed, in the whole structure of symbolic representation.

Yet we insist on the word, sign, gestural index that does this having meaning without the system of meaning, or of signification. So also do we insist on the integrity of the world, or the actor, having suffered this disintegration. This is the subject, who is at once a nonhuman subject, the ‘smallest possible gesture’ being an artistic material. The material with which we think, doing theatre.

So that when we ask after the symbolic structure in view of how it concerns our perception, our perception as subjects (of subjects of perception, and so on) we feel it right to point to the smallest possible gesture. Since it is all that is necessary. And, since it has been separated by the stage from the rest, and disconnected, yet is not unexpressive but creative and entirely positive.

The world in its entirety might have been the last thing to be created. And to lie, just there, on the surface. This is what our perception seems to say. The last thing is the first it sets before itself, in choosing as its final representative of it its own interest, and in claiming this to represent the whole. By this reduction to the only human world, our perception is like the selfish actor. The meaning of the stage is that there is nothing to support this view.

note: source references available on request–these will be part of the book, if it should come to pass.

If you would like to receive these posts, as they are written, as letters addressed to you, please send me your email address.

(&&&[Deleuze])=-1...
...
Ἀκαδήμεια
hommangerie
immedia
infemmarie
τραῦμα
luz es tiempo
network critical
point to point
representationalism
swweesaience
textasies
textatics
theatricality
theatrum philosophicum
thigein & conatus

Comments (0)

Permalink

twenty-third part, called “the subject XXIII,” of a series of ‘letters’ written to you, the reader, towards a book called, theatre | writing

the subject

It seems human beings create two worlds, when we know there is one. To one, humans are alien. Are alien or see themselves (ourselves) to be alien. This is the one world we know of through detailed empirical observation and description going back to the Natural Philosophers.

To the other, human beings have done something like naturalise themselves. It is the world borne of imagination, ingenuity and reason, seen to be the natural consequence of having a human brain. In it we see reflected ourselves, our, as it were, workings, the workings of distinctly human faculties, and find that it expresses most clearly our inner experience. (Ourselves, reflecting on ourselves, reflecting on ourselves.) It expresses our deepest truth as humans (seen currently to be the brain and functionings of the neurons). Built around interests that are human, this is also the world that is spitting us out: either we or it have gone bad.

So the world to which we have naturalised ourselves contrasts with the natural world, the world which from a philosophical perspective is natural. Of course, that we know it to be so is a function of science, the sciences. But this is something like a tautology. While the human sciences inform us of the human nature of the built world and remind us that it is humans who are responsible for making it as it is, the natural sciences (including both physics and biology) measure our distance from the natural world as well as take their distance from it, or keep distant from it, in order to measure that distance. That is, they rely on what is natural to the human, most true, our deepest truth: that we are different from the rest of nature.

Now, the human sciences, sociology, economics (debate may still be open as to whether it is a science, however to us, considering the actual influence and participation of economics, as an epistemological formation, in producing what we know, the question seems to have been settled, say, in the post-imperial age, before and between the first and second world war), political science (ditto) and to an extent biology, or these drawing on biological (and recently neurobiological) insights, may insist on a continuity between human being and animal being, on the human brain as being a natural fact, and on evolutionary factors—at base, because even social factors are said to have evolved—, which lie behind all of nature, all of life, in fact; while sciences focused on the human as an object of knowledge situate us in the natural world, they do so for the sake of public morality. Privately, it’s ok to go on thinking, indeed knowing, you differ from your dog and your garden. Publicly we must insist on a natural continuum, giving rise to notions of ethical use and sustainable practice. As much as Aesop, from the critical interpretation of human nature, from analyzing human development, in the species and individual, are extracted moral lessons, on pride, humility, arrogance, hypocrisy, and so on.

The hard sciences weigh in with studies on what we think and on how much of what we think, and on how much of what we think we know, is to our detriment—as a species—inasmuch as we experience the deleterious effects of what we do. Of course, at the individual level are harmful effects. But there is no current epistemic reversal going on in view of the fight between worlds: public morality remains convinced of human exceptionalism as it does of human culpability, or, as these are currently termed, anthropogenetic global threat and anthropocene.

The subject remains a moral one, and so does, in answer, our subject of the stage as centre of reception and receptive surface. The claims, we have said, for human exceptionalism rest on language. We have qualified this by saying that human exceptionalism can depend on language to support its claims only inasmuch as what is claimed for language belongs to the system and systematicity of language—of all human languages; and of all languages insofar as they are human. Human exceptionalism relies on the structure of language. In this structure is where human culpability is found. Its foundation. Or moral core.

The subject of the stage is a moral one, but is a dreaming subject: the dreaming subject is what we have in mind. So our strategy is not (only) in the unmaking or undoing that occurs in the interval, in the hesitation between stutters, in the selecting from perception of what will be acted on, that we have addressed as its freedom. Our strategy is to show that in theatre we find, we make, unmake, produce, undo, lose sight of, then strike, the hallucination of what it is not to be human. As if we had been dreaming…

note: source references available on request–these will be part of the book, if it should come to pass.

If you would like to receive these posts, as they are written, as letters addressed to you, please send me your email address.

(&&&[Deleuze])=-1...
...
Ἀκαδήμεια
hommangerie
imarginaleiro
immedia
inanimadvertisement
infemmarie
luz es tiempo
network critical
point to point
Problematik
textasies
textatics
theatricality
theatrum philosophicum
thigein & conatus

Comments (0)

Permalink