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.

Monstrøsitet

31. marts 2014 § Skriv en kommentar

Hermed link til min artikel “Monstrøsitet” – om præstationssubjektets sanselige længsel, adresseret gennem Jacques Derrida og Gilles Deleuzes terminologier og tænkning. Udkom i august-nummeret (2013) af Avis Venire, udgivet af konsulentvirksomheden Villa Venire.

Click to access monstroesitet.pdf

(this article is in Danish!)

SOS What happened to the wailer?

17. oktober 2013 § Skriv en kommentar

As a Danish citizen I am part of a nation ranked as the happiest in the world. Nearly ten % of the population is taking antidepressants. Working as a psychologist/therapist, I am supposed to fix those experiences of LACK by finding and believing in the object missing; energy, happiness, motivation, calmness, concentration, you name it!! Burn-out syndrome and depression are diseases of lack and of nothingness: the slogan “All is possible” is overwhelming, gradually turning into “Nothing is possible”. And the wailer is nowhere to be found. Australian based Narrative Therapy has dealt with sufferings of “the internalized Other(s)” through practices of witnessing and reversing of those damned subjugating, marginalising discourses. It is a therapy of Pride, Voice and Recognition. However, I think the subjectivity at stake for a contemporary therapeutic response is changing from the Marginalised towards a Flooding of gazes, pop-up faces, signatures… Speech is so close to just being noise. Not sound, but noise. The art of communication and reflection, right?! So, how do people respond to this issue (not yet posed as a ‘problem’) of hyper-responsitivity in their everyday lives? In Scandinavia, the most popular answers are Mindfulness Techniques and antidepressants. And now, the term Intensity (and thereby the name of Gilles Deleuze) has entered pop-vocabulary, conceived as some sort of energizer, as a volumizer of the sensuous, turning into yet a quantitative matter of the great (too) “Much”. An abyss of individualizing promises operationalized through “Affect Management” in workplaces, in meetings, in schools, in spare time. The promise is to become aware of the present and to revive your senses (although learning the art of Smell only applies for red crisp apples, not for the rotten ones). All this IN ORDER TO…feel happy again…so you can work again. This is the search for inner silence in order to face and survive outer noise. What world is this? Being a traveller in social networks, being fed with decadent sensuousness and haunted by IN ORDER TO’s? My profession, the discipline of Psychology, is having problems responding to this over flooding of noise and hyper-responsitivity in ways that do not fall into those individualizing abysses, either within or without of a conversational frame. So far, I’ve been addressing handcraft, knitting, gardening, war veterans gathering around MC’s… What problems to frame? What gatherings to imagine? What assemblages? What silences to create, connected with joy rather than total lack (of speech)? How to become-wailer, crying out this overwhelming Too Much? This cry, this sublime complaint that “does not express the pain (…) but is a kind of song” (Deleuze, on Joy in l’Abecedaire)…

Speaking in tongues – thoughts on a Strident Feminist aka Caitlin Moran

18. september 2013 § 1 kommentar

I have not yet read a single text by british feminist writer Caitlin Moran. I did go to a talk yesterday in Copenhagen though. This talk (and all the funny talks afterwards) made me wonder, in an everyday life kind of way, in a bodily kind of way, in a philosophical kind of way; what the heck is feminism?
I especially kept wondering about Caitlin Moran’s positive, affirmative use of the term ‘strident feminist’. What does strident mean? Yes, of course, at first look; harsh, rough, ear-piercing, dissonant, unharmonious etc. So, usually, ‘strident’ works as a word used to silence somebody’s act of voicing themselves, via degradation.
Looking (not closer, but) farther at this word, ‘to stride’ is hooked up with fighting, struggling or making a strong effort, in the sense; walking with long or extended steps.
Secondly, ‘to stride’ is to utter an inarticulate sound, a fragment, granulate or screech, in other words, an ex-pression that cannot be read or interpreted in any common, unified or literate way. It is speaking in tongues (glossolalia) vs. speaking silver-tongued.
The third hook connects striding with straddling, where someone or something appears to favor both sides, ambiguously taking up an equivocal position.
So, all this adds up to a mix of making an effort to struggle for the ambiguities of Life in a yet unrecognized way of expression. Hm?
One thing is struggling for ones own life, but how to struggle for the life of others, for the living as such? The everlasting question, “what does it mean to speak for others”, is at stake through this strident feminist. The recognition of a minority should never encourage either reversed hierarchies, nor should it outline a complete ‘identification’ or delimitation of any group what so ever. Identity-work would always be a matter of paradoxes and of the infamous AND, according to (yummy) french philosophers Gilles Deleuze and Jacques Derrida. Somehow, in line with this, Caitlin Moran spoke with a desire not to isolate the becoming of a minority, by making suffering belong to someone(s), but instead talking about how suffering materializes as a collective problem of a People.
A collective problem? In what sense? Let’s talk about equivocation again. Taking up an equivocal position means the connecting of worlds in an ambiguous and ambivalent way – not because you don’t know what’s really real, but because you do know all the real real’s.
If women’s rights is about living a life where thinking, loving, breathing and creating is (legitimately) materialised, this bundle of living excites the living of others, it excites the living of all kinds of living bundles. A breath does not steal the breath of others. People kissing. People (thinking while) talking. People laughing. People carrying people, and people being carried by people. It does not steal, it lives. In other words, the problem does not belong to Woman, the problem of sexism is happening throughout the lives of all bundles of living creatures. It is not about category, not even in the (assumed most simple) couple “man vs woman”. It is about life occurring as connection and as encounters. All is affected.
Hence, equi-vocation and its emphasis on the vocal, the existence of equal voices creating worldly ambiguity and ‘actual problems through encounters’. Rather than equi-valence, the production of sameness, uniformity or identicalness in a realm of stabile values and indisputable morals.
Hm. This strident feminist; a bundle of life making an effort to struggle for the ambiguities of Life in a yet unrecognized way of expression…

Træthed II (summen)

4. oktober 2012 § Skriv en kommentar

Professor Byung-Chul Han ser noget for sig, han har en vision. I bogen “Træthedssamfundet” beskriver han en anden form for træthed end den isolerende jeg-træthed. En “Vi-træthed”. En inspirerende verdenstryg træthed og “et fællesskab, der ikke har brug for noget slægtskab. I det vækkes en bestemt takt til live, der leder til en samstemmighed, en nærhed, et naboskab.” En træthed i negativ potens, Vita contemplativa. En træthed, der ikke skal overkommes.

Det er altså ikke en diskursiv omdefinering af jeg-trætheden, Han har gang i. Projektet i Han’s bog er en opfordring til at undersøge, hvordan man skaber rammer for en ganske anden slags træthed, en verdenstryg træthed, hvor man gør sig tilgængelig for verden – hvor der opstår et jeg og et du, en dualitet. Een berører og bliver berørt af en anden.

Ræsonnementet i psykologiens verden har været; fuck dualitet! Giv den enkelte retten til at åbne livet, dér hvor der ellers kun var to steder at opholde sig; inde i varmen eller ude i kulden. Vi har skældt så skrækkeligt meget ud på dualismer. Fordi tvedelinger netop har været stærkt forbundet med essentialisering, med smalt liv og låst subjektivitet. Ergo lød det; lad os lukke det hele ind, livet i alle mulige former og farver og give det et par (borgerskabs-berettigende) navne! Paradoksalt nok er konsekvensen, at du’ets andethed, den andens andethed, er forsvundet, ædt op af inklusions-mekanismerne i afmarginaliseringens navn. Er det en længsel efter genkendelighed, der har været i spil, eller hvad foregår der? En længsel efter at kunne afmaskere, og det vil sige navngive dét ved os selv og det fremmede, der ellers ikke forbandt sig med det talende, favnende fællesskab? Vi forgabte os i fællesskabets ansigt og dæmoniserede fællesskabets summende ånd.

Den dualitet, Hr. Han lægger for dagen, handler om et Du og et Jeg. Og dermed muligheden af et Vi. Med tak for lån til konsulent Klaus Bakdal, kan man passende tale om et Hinanden her (et Hinanden, efterfulgt af Du og Jeg i parentes). Pointen med at introducere denne dualitet er at reetablere erfaringen af negativitet. Den subjektivitet, der rammes af et overmål af positivitet, er nemlig som et væsen, der æder i eet væk og aldrig kan blive mæt og aldrig sulten. Det giver ikke engang mening at kaste op. For paradoksalt nok bliver man ædt op i en sådan reaktiv respons, man dør af afholdenhed i en immunologisk udskillelse af det evigt tilflydende, af overmålet af positivitet. Filosoffen Gilles Deleuze ville mene, at vægringen ved føde er et forsøg på at erfare noget andet end netop overmålet af positivitet; tomhed, Void (frem for Lack), Legemet uden Organer. Det skaber eksistentielle problemer, fordi forsøget netop ikke kan foregå afsondret fra verden. Forsøget bliver bemærket og mærket af identitet og følelser – som en kompetence (udi perfektionisme), som længsel (efter autonomi), som rus (af kontrol).

Subjektivitet er her hårdt arbejde. Og hvem har ikke brug for en pause fra alle de forvrængende, modstridende stemmer, der afbryder sindets rolige flow? Blive befriet for frygt og bekymring? Hvem kan modstå ord som nærvær og tilstedevær? Hvem kan dy sig for at melde sig ind i det komplet modsatte af det synligt socialt aktive, nemlig, den isolerede afslapning?

Vi vender os hen mod den, afslapningen. Underholdningen. Bedøvelsen. Selvforsagelsen (vi har endda en alkoholfri uge i Danmark nu (men jeg siger ikke hvilken)).

Jeg vil påstå, at det vi søger er selvforglemmelse. Og derfor er mit vigtigste spørgsmål for tiden, hvordan vi skaber rammer for selvforglemmelse, der ikke ender som individualiserende reaktive teknikker for massage af sindet. Og nej, det er ikke engang lykken, altså følelsernes paradis, det her handler om. Det handler om fryd og spørgsmålet om, hvordan man gør denne summende tilstand til et socialt, verdenstrygt trætheds-fænomen.

“Det mindre i jeget ytrer sig som et mere i verden”, skriver professor Han. At glemme sig selv er ikke at forsage sig selv. Selvforglemmelse opstår ikke fjernt fra verdens gang, det opstår i forbindelsen med verden, i samstemmighed (ikke at forveksle med konsensus). Det opstår med bevægelser, gentagelser, takt, taktilitet, produkter og redskaber. Når vi spiller musik sammen. Danser sammen. Drikker whiskey i hinandens selskab. Laver håndarbejde. Kultiverer jorden eller smækker parketgulvet på plads. Laver stilhed. Laver et Hinanden og en vi-træthed, hvor vi lærer “ikke at reagere spontant på en pirring”, hvilket Nietzsche rammende citeres for i “Træthedssamfundet”. Det handler ikke om at tage en pause eller blive overmandet af det modsatte af aktivværen, det vil sige apati, depression eller udmattelse. Det handler om en sigtbarhed, et langvarigt blik, der summende giver adgang til lange og langsomme former.

It is not a Nothingness.

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