representationalism

“That the Holocaust…” —Jacqueline Rose: on getting stuck inside your mind by experience, as a traumatic diktat

…could have become a premise–that is, a proposition which produces its own logical conclusions–is striking, or rather strikingly different from seeing it, for example, as unrepresentable atrocity, as unassimilable, or barely admissable trauma in the way Judith Butler, citing Primo Levi, has so powerfully described…

— Jacqueline Rose, The Last Resistance, 2017, p. 214

— Antoni Tàpies, lithograph

As I thought about it, it seemed to me that the idea of ‘premises’ as diktat over the future might also do as a working definition of trauma. When I was studying Sylvia Plath a long time ago, and trying to understand the appearance of the Holocaust motif in her writing as something other than the opportunism of which she was accused, I read an article by German psychoanalyst Ilse Grubrich-Simitis on working with second-generation Holocaust survivors that has stayed with me ever since. She described how the language of these patients was characterised by a dull, thudding referentiality, with no mobility or play, as if they were saying–in a way only made clear after the most difficult analytic listening–‘this happened,’ ‘happened‘ ‘happened‘ over and over again, to compensate for the silence, the psychic refusal to acknowledge the reality of the Holocaust, in the generation before. And in one of his evocative articles, ‘The Trauma of Incest’ of 1989, psychoanalyst Christopher Bollas describes how trauma shuts down the mind of the patient. The problem is not believing what they say, but the fact that that is all they have to say, so that there is nowhere else left for them to go inside their minds.

— Ibid., 215

(&&&[Deleuze])=-1...
...
Ἀκαδήμεια
detraque
enomy
hommangerie
immedia
infemmarie
τραῦμα
pique-assiettes
porte-parole
representationalism
thigein & conatus

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

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

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

on movement

The static: civil war: it elicits a … breach, that runs through society. It breaches, then runs in all directions at once. But this is to say that it surfaces. It surfaces as the mobile displacement of every certainty. It has that other meaning of static, white noise, and causes a superfluidity of motion, like the sea. Passes like a wave over the world, without resolving, so, also cloud-like. Vaporous. And intoxicating.

Static, it is the music that doesn’t allow you to hear. Only in the last instance will it resolve into melody, in Bergson’s terms, time. Yet at that instant, along comes a tragic figure, limping. And we should note that for Bergson there are no instants: we are always in the cloud, caught in the wave of time as duration, for as long as we can. So he supports this confusion: is it like the thought severed from itself? or severed from potency? No, Oedipus chooses for just this type of displacement, just this type of mobility.

We must ask how things differ for us when everything is in this shifting cloud of abstraction which is more like a screaming hurricane or jet engine. The difference is that we are immobilised. In those beautiful lines from La mort en direct, Eveything is of interest. Yet nothing matters. Enormous effort is expended on trying to make it matter again. This is unlike any will to power we have ever seen before. It is, as Houellebecq writes in the novel of the same name, atomised.

Each harbouring her little cut. Yes, I recognise it as a sexual image. And each his.

It will be a great relief to be able to use words again as they were intended: to enable movement. A similar relief was found, you recall, when we were talking of theatre people, about how, after the show, after the evisceration of it, happy or unhappy, about how great it was to have imposed on one the most ferocious violence of language, about how being called a cunt and a cock doubled for those organs one, happily or unhappily, had left or spilt on the stage. And this is in fact the way we have been using the language of theatre, without malevolence. To speak for movement, not on behalf of bodies, but to offer them some relief.

Another film: My Dinner with Andre. Wallace Shawn is speaking with Andre Gregory. He asks why the other gave up theatre. Gregory answers, Everybody got so good at acting in their everyday lives. Gregory, a theatre director, having given up theatre had initiated a new project he called a hive. Really just a dinnerparty where everybody turns up and we just see what happens.

With everybody so good at acting all the time, performing, as well as being their own (atomic) impressarios, entrepreneurs of the self, we experience humanity as an endless mobility. But not an open-ended one. Since each one is the end point. A stop.

And this is the word one cannot say. At least, it brings no relief to say it. Saying it is like plunging into the punctuation point at the end of a sentence.

Mobilities are of those old things, gender, race and class: the working class is on the move like never before and so has been the main victim of the various state-imposed lockdowns. Gender fluidity has been called by some performance, while those little words, the linguistic shifters, have become intransigent like never before, and we are asked to have our pronouns permanently assigned. Like smiles. Race and gender have most exercised the middleclasses even in the middle, exactly in the middle, of their crisis in values. When, perhaps, it gives relief from being squeezed. And when that class is empty, will the mobilities remain?

Yes, we are in the cloud of our own carbon emissions. Stumbling around and trying not to acknowledge how we falter. Seeking therapy not to make that acknowledgement. Or plastering over the cuts. When along comes Oedipus, not that old one we can thank for doing so much harm in the century before the last one. And not that Anti-One Deleuze and Guattari take out for a schizo stroll. This one solves the Sphinx’s riddle. By choosing to walk with a faltering step, he (or she, or both, let’s see) is two-legged, three-legged, and four-legged.

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...
...
anciency
Ἀκαδήμεια
CAPITAL CAPITAL CAPITAL
hommangerie
imarginaleiro
immedia
infemmarie
τραῦμα
luz es tiempo
point to point
representationalism
textasies
textatics
theatricality
theatrum philosophicum
thigein & conatus

Comments (0)

Permalink

fifty-fourth part, called “subject matter LIV,” of a series of ‘letters’ written to you, the reader, towards a book called, theatre | writing

subject matter

The role of political management over the last two years of pandemic, or, to be histrionic, plague, has looked to be a direct use of biopolitics. Control of populations has been control of bodies, control of movement. And there looks to have been something sacrificed.

Biopolitical policing of populations, infected populations, has seemed to bring about a concession of the kind, since it is on a global scale, not seen since the mass mobilisations at the time of the globalisation of warfare, in the first and second world wars. Apparently it turns on matters of economy, this concession, where it is both disincentive to ‘growth’ and incentive to a type of specialised ‘wartime’ economy, to which the first makes its concession. Or sacrifice. But the sacrifice the political apparatus makes to biopolitics is of itself.

I think we can see this in a small change made in the vocabulary of New Zealand government representatives. As if by policy, for political reasons, the change has been from speaking of the vaccination metric in terms of the ‘protection’ of populations to speaking of it as immunisation. From a medical, scientific standpoint, this change seems unmotivated.

In consideration of climate change could or would we similarly replace environmental protection with environmental immunisation at stake might be human affairs in their entirety. The environment would need to be immunised against every human action. Can we imagine what this immunity might look like?

It has been said that it is capitalism, the capitalist plunder of resources, from which we must protect the environment. OK, why not immunise it? The thought is also there that we might do so by introjecting the problem—of capitalist plunder of resources—into the economic form of capitalism. The carbon market to trade in pollutant emissions seems exemplary in this respect. And the thought is there too, and to the contrary, that pandemics are natural forms of defenses: that is, the nonhuman environment’s immunity system.

We can, however, lay human affairs in their entirety at the door of politics. Or should that be at its feet? Then, I would have thought, since the forms of social organisation of politics are sacrifice, it is at its feet that they already lie. And herein the concession: biopolitics in fact looks like an abrogation of politics and a reduction in its political means such that it has no power. Or, it is immune to the charge making it responsible. Is immune to being asked to take responsibility: for what? human affairs in their entirety; every human action.

Politics no longer answerable, the forms of social organisation of politics sacrifice, the immunisation of populations as a political project: well, what meaning does this have other than the auto-immunity of political systems? That is, it’s no longer about the suppression of symptoms symptomatic to power but of political immunisation against those powers. They slide off, like the skins of images. So that the most obviously biopolitical plays into the freedom of politics from tragic necessity, from the tragic necessity of responsibility, plays as, slipping up on its own skin, comedy.

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
imarginaleiro
immedia
inanimadvertisement
luz es tiempo
National Scandal
point to point
representationalism
textasies
textatics
thigein & conatus

Comments (0)

Permalink

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

subject matter

At some level, somewhere, everything is moving too fast. Where this is so, what grants us immunity from it? Movement.

Roberto Esposito has developed the political theme of immunity. He finds a relation by contrasting the immunitas and the communitas that unites the two. It is physically there in the words to see.

Esposito does not follow the route of pitting one against the other, of making communitas in the community an exclusionary principle. The exclusion of what is external to that principle does not make it an internal principle forming the community, the political community. The pushing out of foreign matter, foreign subjects, does not form the community in its ontological integrity.

Instead, Esposito has it that the immunitas is in the community. And it is this which makes it one. It is always a little bit of the outside raised to play on the surface of political certainty.

Immunity is then a matter of what Althusser calls interpellation, whereby the individual is interpellated within the ideological state apparatus. This is perhaps a funny way to put it, but isn’t it the case that ideology is made to work by including what is foreign to it? And isn’t this especially true at the level of the state? It would, in fact, be to construct it as apparatus, or what we have also called mechanism, that it does.

As soon as we say everything is moving too fast, we are struck by its inadequacy. More than its inadequacy to actual experience, what strikes us is either that the opposite is true, instead, or that it can be. And this makes for uncertainty: we are uneasy at comparing the surface of the world to the weather. Beautiful day. Ever get the feeling everything’s moving too fast? Well, it’s not!

We are in a stasis comparable to the last stages of a depression, a state of catatonia, where movement has become impossible. Ideology no longer covers over the truth while initiating us into it, as if it were a conspiracy. We are no longer covered by false beliefs of a false, imposed consciousness against the climate. The two directions, extreme as they are, coexist. The reason for this is that as a result of its suppression by the mobility of the surface, political movement has become impossible.

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
immedia
infemmarie
τραῦμα
point to point
representationalism
swweesaience
textasies
textatics
theatricality
theatrum philosophicum
thigein & conatus

Comments (0)

Permalink

fifty-second part, called “subject matter LII,” of a series of ‘letters’ written to you, the reader, towards a book called, theatre | writing

subject matter

The combination of repression, suppression is followed by a further suppression. But this time it is a suppression of the political in the political. The political is now what does not play.

The reversal we talked about is this: where comic levity was suppressed, today it is tragic necessity which comprises a content or substance that is suppressed. Now, we might suppose content or substance to be bodies, to be the embodiment of what bodies collectively embody. The bleeding bits, not the edges. Animals, and so on.

We might suppose content or substance to be the bios. Or, at least, to refer to it. It would then refer to the ground and foundation of forms, since it would be that from which these are made. In-formed, as it were, or ex-formed. Licked like bear whelps into cubs. Or programmed by genes in the living cells to form tissue, flesh, the flesh of plants, the flesh of animals.

And in a way it is the case that the living-being of the planet is suppressed, but it’s more accurate to call it depressed. Its resources are depressed. The content or substance which is suppressed is so by … the surface. The surface here is the whole playing field. This politics occupies without itself being in play.

What plays on the surface is exactly the play of the surface: a kind of limitless mobility of a smooth surface which does not admit of bumps—or of cracks. That craze below the ice is at another level, a lower one, a compression layer, and an archeological one, a temporal one.

Time, now, time in all the massy heft of it, the unrolling gigantism of its inflated sense of urgency, the urgency of tragic necessity is packed deep down, lower than the void over which the surface slides: we might say it is in the invisible work. That work that now feels so weighty, so urgent, so intractable. That work, for example, of lowering carbon emissions, of assaying the cessation of unceasing destruction, of … bios.

Politics has no power to undertake the invisible work. That part of it that could is the rendering of all content and substance into air—of a particular kind: the burnt. Comedy today subsumes the bios and its tragedy. All that is light and air is the burning of content and substance, making light, the burning of the air.

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
luz es tiempo
point to point
representationalism
textasies
textatics
theatricality
theatrum philosophicum
thigein & conatus

Comments (0)

Permalink

fifty-first part, called “subject matter LI,” of a series of ‘letters’ written to you, the reader, towards a book called, theatre | writing

subject matter

Suppression, repression: theatre suffered these for politics. It led to a reversal of roles, but we can only speak of a role reversal in view of theatre, and of the surface with limitlessness in its potentiality, because this is where it occurs. However, there also looks to be a restriction in powers: the potential limitlessness of reach is paired with impotence when it comes to consequence. Added to this, we have asserted of such powers that what lies in reach, which is movement, is both indivisible and of indeterminate duration: there’s no going back. What happens comes to us by report of the actions, events, subjects on the stage, who are not altogether human, and when they are mobilise forces which are not. So there is also a notional completion, a closure of the circle, where the circle is but another figure of performance, and, as Deleuze might say, a repetition of difference.

Was there political recognition of what had occurred, of what had been reported on? Was this of such a nature that political forces rallied to suppress theatre—as if it had the slightest importance? No, I would say the politicisation of theatre closed it off from itself: now that is the further reversal we are getting to, the role reversal whereby political recognition reciprocated, and, like theatre, closed itself off from being a politics.

Then, should we ask what is politics? A matter of social organisation. Like theatre, it need not have at its centre a principle, about which it revolves: anarchy is politics. Like theatre, it needs no morality to guide it (quite the contrary), to police its edges, directing policy, as we have said about being directed in that fashion: it too is amoral.

More than this, politics represents to itself its mechanism, it demonstrates to itself, in a way that we could also say that it reports on it, what it is doing, or, as some are fond of saying, what is to be done. How think of the social organism? It doesn’t matter but that this thought has to be tied to actions, events and subjects. Politics concerns the movements of subjects, that is, their conflict; but, again, these are only political subjects to the extent there is political recognition, to the extent that they share the stage. So its subjects, and its subject matter, are those of self-representation and recognition, political subjects.

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
immedia
infemmarie
representationalism
textasies
textatics
theatricality
theatrum philosophicum

Comments (0)

Permalink

fiftieth part, called “subject matter L,” of a series of ‘letters’ written to you, the reader, towards a book called, theatre | writing

subject matter

On one side, the suppression of movement on a then contagious surface, relating to the disordering by comedy, public shaming and so on; on the other side, the self-appointment of theatrical means to be those representing order, with a relation to a tragic representation: both worked together. The one was by political expediency, since it meant to show self-identity in the political subject. He is the one good at playing the tragedy, believes in himself, takes it for necessity. The other was an internal suppression of subjective powers in theatre, those appertaining to the surface. Against these the state defined itself, while, naturally, making use of them, in fact, needing expert advice to do so, derived from a psychological theatre, psychological theatre representative of structural, legally constituted necessity, and subjection, with, as we know, the necessary redundancies that come with representing self to self. Mirror of the soul; mirror of the state.

Between one and the other, or we might as well say, between political suppression and repression, a reversal, a swapping of masks took place. The tragedian’s for the comic actor’s. But this is only half the story. The reversal occurred to the political surface, itself. Representatives of the state arrived at the theatre wearing masks. And looking out from the stage across the audience, our actors recognised the task that had befallen them: they were to speak the truth. To power.

And what did the audience do? It listened with reverence. Because its members knew too that this was their role. And, so all speaking to power goes.

At interval it saw itself in diminishing numbers, took on the (surface) size and scale of the calamity. And the tears that came with that acknowledgement acted like glue on the underside of the masks. While our actors, at the end, empty as usual, came out to the bar and congratulated each other mildly but the director profusely and seriously, who bore the weight of responsibility for all.

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...
...
hommangerie
imarginaleiro
immedia
infemmarie
luz es tiempo
point to point
representationalism
textasies
textatics
theatricality
theatrum philosophicum
thigein & conatus

Comments (0)

Permalink

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

subject matter

What was suppressed in theatre was levity. What caused the suppression was the fluid and mobile nature of the surface: it might spread, like a contagion, bringing with it fluid identities, sexualities, cross-dressers and all manner of erotic, aesthetic, and political perversion. Worst of all, it would inject humour into the proceedings, upsetting them with a disorder related to comedy and the unexpected.

If it did so with, with what it brought and brought out, this was because it was a medium for change, for the dosing out of change. In other words, its power to invoke this power, indulge those tastes, entertain these notions, demanded that it be suppressed. For the sake of order, an order not yet one said to belong to the public, but for the sake of an order related to tragedy, theatre called down on itself a suppression of the surface. This had the result of lifting it up, the surface, to command, command and withdraw, issue orders, hide behind a deus ex machina, or in a cloud. A stormcloud.

A stormcloud voices its displeasure. And, as Anouilh writes in his rewrite of Antigone, the spring is wound up tight. It unleashes a mechanism that punishes exactly what has been suppressed: all the comic actors, as we know, are tragic ones.

They are not yet depressed. Instead they follow the order of tragic necessity. They are not yet just doing their jobs: instead, their jobs are the most important in the world; a tragic knowledge of the threat theatre posed. So, you see, it is the efficacity of the stage that was condemned, what we may call its comic potential.

The reversal, going around the turn of mediation, of what it might bring with, should theatre not be directed in this fashion, made it seem as if the danger, threat, the risk of it, lay in what it represented, making it all the more necessary to represent it, in what we now call a feedback loop, but is really just recursion. The threat of the tragic end of one of our dictators was thought to represent not a subjective power but an objective one, and a political one. This feeds, as we can see, into a politics of representation: better for the dictator to be herself a comic actor.

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
point to point
representationalism
textasies
textatics
theatricality
theatrum philosophicum
thigein & conatus

Comments (0)

Permalink