Paper for Deluze Studies Conference, Istanbul, Turkey, July 14-16th 2014
12. juli 2014 § Skriv en kommentar
For thousands of years, in all kinds of worlds, the art and practice of handcraft has continuously played a part in peoples everyday lives. Handcrafting is the art of becoming-imperceptible through monotonous and restrained steps – etymologically, monotonous refers to the tension or stretching of a single string, which is exactly what knitting, weaving, crocheting, sewing etc. is all about. Such monotonous indulgence might produce a state of inertia and is often described as akin to spiritual practices or experiences of Void. Exact techniques, repetitive movements, microscopically clicking sounds and sensuous materials – intertwining within an archipelago of raising and fading murmuring voices. As such, handcrafting might assemble and affirm what Deleuze termed “stationary journeys”. It opens up territories of silence, fabulation and involutive stretchings, producing “individuations without a ‘subject’”. But why, why insist on the possibility of such collective becomings-imperceptible?
In Scandinavia, the quest for a ‘mindful being’ has gone haywire. In order to deal with surroundings of incessant stimuli, people withdraw to isolated spaces of solitudes longing for inner peace and re-balanced burned-out nervous systems. This desperate desire for ‘absence of speech’ and ‘neutral, unlimited awareness’ creates an array of techniques that individualize those sufferings created through neoliberal machines – techniques that dance on a kind of surface that always implies an underneath or foreseeable, self-reflected position. What is at stake is an incessant desire for movement and for being moved. And this subject of the identity-forever-in-flow suffers from stimuli overdose. Hence, new existential questions arise from this ’neuronal paradigm’, disrupting the Discipline of Psychology that rely so heavily on dialogue and identification. What if nothing outlines me and movements have moved me too much? What if living is stuck as “hardened empty envelopes”? What if I don’t want to express MySelf to you, but rather imperceptibly blend into collective doings?
What I wish to address is the possibility of a Deleuzian surface when it comes to therapeutic settings. Do we have to face each other? Do we have to take turns talking? Do we have to ‘express ourselves’? In order to experiment, we need to acknowledge contemporary claims of states of inertia, of stuckness, of desire for Absence. In other words, how a body without organs might unfold as “a molecular process into a black hole”, how a line of flight might be caught up in self-destructive machines. How to respond to states of burn-out or depression, the sufferings of too much open-ended-ness? “Experimentation is involutive, the opposite of the overdose”, Deleuze wrote. In line with this, handcrafting will collectively and positively affirm the event of inertia as pure event, as Void, in the sense of a Blanchotian Midnight. Affirming those stationary journeys at midnight – that fullness of being in dark, daily moments of nothingness. An involutive stretching of the string.