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.

Reklamer

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.

http://villavenire.dk/media/4326/monstroesitet.pdf

(this article is in Danish!)

Paper for “The Deleuze Studies in Asia Conference 2014”, June, Osaka, Japan

3. marts 2014 § Skriv en kommentar

Handcrafting-bodies as delirious ensembles

For thousands of years, in all kinds of worlds, the art and practice of handcraft has continuously been part of people’s everyday lives. By knitting, weaving, crocheting, embroidering etc., handcrafting is the art of becoming-imperceptible through monotonous and restrained steps – etymologically, monotony refers to the tension or stretching of a single string. Such monotonous indulgence might produce a state of joyous inertia and is often described as akin to spiritual practices or experiences of Void. Exact techniques, repetitive movements, microscopically clicking sounds, colors and sensuous materials, all actualized from within an archipelago of raising and fading murmuring voices. As such, an ensemble of handcrafting-bodies form a delirious meute, affirming the event of “stationary journeys” and producing “individuations without a ‘subject’” through flows of silence, fabulation and involutive stretchings.

In Scandinavia, the quest for a mindful being of inner peace has gone haywire. There is a desperate desire for solitude and absence of speech, and likewise an array of individualizing practices trying to ease neo-liberal sufferings of ‘burn-out’. Hence, new existential questions arise from this neuronal paradigm, disrupting traditional disciplines of dialogue and identification, e.g. that of Psychology. What if nothing outlines me and movements have moved me too much? What if I don’t want to express MySelf to you, but rather imperceptibly dwell within collective doings? “Experimentation is involutive, the opposite of the overdose”, Deleuze wrote. In line with this, this paper addresses how monotonous handcrafting-ensembles positively and collectively affirm the event of inertia as pure being, as Void, in the sense of a Blanchotian Midnight.

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…

Lisboa Conference on Deleuze

3. juli 2013 § 1 kommentar

About to leave for Lisboa, Portugal…what a gorgeous place for a conference centering philosopher Gilles Deleuze!

Check out the website at http://deleuze2013.fc.ul.pt

I’ll be presenting in one of the panels and here goes the abstract…

“Dwelling-tellings – the Art of Joy”

How to become a narrator? How to tell one’s story and become other? Those questions haunt the discipline of Psychology. Freud proposed a topological mirror to work on subjectivity. And for a decade, narrative, constructionist approaches have focused on acknowledgment, intentionality and a grateful Witness. The art of Conversing and Listening has been the fundamental pillar of various psychological practices. Meanwhile, the questions crucial to subjectivity of today are changing. People set out on quests for ‘inner peace’ rather than confessing the story of their lives in reflective dialoques.

How on earth might a conversational psychology respond to this trend? How to respond to the troublesome, existential questions that people are desperate to answer nowadays by individualizing, exotic ‘techniques of the mind’ such as Mindfulness? And how might the work of Gilles Deleuze outline new territories of practices dealing with such societal sufferings as depression, exhaustion and anxiety?

The language that outlines a Person, the telling of the story of my life, is not to be discarded here. The storying of one-self, the marking out of a territory of an ‘I’, is neither disgraceful nor incompatible with a Deleuzian approach. Rather than warding off the territorial workings of language, the ideas of Deleuze revives an attention towards the telling itself rather than what (or whom) is being told. How to create frames for dwelling-tellings? How might psy-professionals territorialize social settings that might deterritorialize the re-presenting of identity, producing “individuations without a ‘subject’”, as Deleuze beautifully put it? For instance, practicing handcraft makes people forget themselves and in a way forget others while still dwelling and connecting with others. To approach those questions and unfold these lines of thought in some Deleuzian spirit, this workshop is nurtured in particular by terms such as joy, involution and void.

Dwelling-tellings…Down Under

16. oktober 2012 § Skriv en kommentar

Soon heading for Australia…I’ll be looking out for deadly spiders. And hoping for some nerdy times while discussing responses to trauma etc. at Narrative Practices Adelaide. Those are some of the questions I’ll bear in mind…

What are the effects of handcraft – such as knitting, gardening, playing instruments – on our ability to do some dwelling-telling and to forget ourselves all the while?

What might cognitive neuroscience have to say on the connections between tellings, dwellings, tools and movement?

What does the Social look like in this experiment of bringing (repetitive) movements in the therapeutical limelight?

What might a distinction between different silences enable us to do, say and see – that of silence (lack of voice) and silence (void)?

What happens with concerns on context, power and positioning when bringing Philosophers of Joy, Gilles Deleuze and Friedrich Nietzsche, to the narrative fête?

If Freud used a topological Mirror to work on subjectivity, and if the Narrative field uses a grateful Witness, how might a conversational psychology “respond” to the present turning away from such practices of reflected subjectivity and the drive towards techniques of inner silence (eg. Mindfulness)?

Down Under, I’ll be thinking in terms of this idea of dwelling-telling (sorry, it’s terrible to pronounce!). It is associated with the lovely narrative idea of loitering and it suggests a rethinking of everyday social life that I believe the western societies are looking for. Longing for.

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