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Where would I go, if I could go, who would I be, if I could be, what would I say, if I had a voice, who says this saying it’s me? Answer simply. It’s the same old stranger as ever, for existence, of his, of ours, there’s a simple answer. It’s not with thinking he will find me, but what is he to do, living and bewildered, yes, living, say what he may.[1]

Yes, there are moments, like this moment, when I seem almost restored to the feasible. Then it goes, all goes, and I’m far again. With a far story again, I wait for me afar for my story to begin, to end, and again this voice cannot be mine. That’s where I would go, if I could go, that’s who I would be, if I could be.[2]

In Texts For Nothing the narrative voice subverts its subject’s resentment in the face of having no-identity, that is, for being incapable of changing the course of events in the way of having an identity, and prefers not to will at all, to will nothing, rather than will nothingness. Beckett reverses Nietzsche’s famous saying about man and nihilism: “man would much rather will nothingness than not will.” This is not an impoverishment of the will, rather, it is itself a will to nothing which turns Beckett’s writing into a motionless flight, a static genesis, and at the same time a movement of thought which spirals around and within nothing, in the process turning the absence of something conceivable into a neutral voice through which silence eternally speaks and engages in a non-identical relation with the world surrounding it.

In Waiting for Godot there is nothing at the centre of the subject; no one comes, no one goes, nothing takes place. That place is the side of a road where there is a barren tree, and there Vladimir and Estragon share an aloneness, an intimacy. They give the impression that they have been there for hundreds, or even thousands of years, associating by their clothes with Charlie Chaplin’s persona, “the universal vagabond.”

Vladimir: […] To all mankind they were addressed, those cries for help still ringing in our ears! But at this place, at this moment of time, all mankind is us, whether we like it or not. Let us make the most of it, before it is too late! Let us represent worthily for once the foul brood to which a cruel fate consigned us. […] But that is not the question. What are we doing here, that is the question. And we are blessed in this, that we happen to know the answer. Yes, in this immense confusion one thing alone is clear. We are waiting for Godot to come–[3]

In Waiting for Godot Beckett continues his project of purgation, or purification through reduction of life to its bare bones. According to Alain Badiou, as he puts it in his book On Beckett, to achieve this reduction of life and truth to their most naked forms, in his novels Beckett had to write thousands of pages in the way of wiping the slate clean and getting rid of the non-generic details of daily social life. To open up a space within the existing order Beckett had to unwrite the symbolic order in the way of subtracting the Symbolic from the Real. By situating Vladimir and Estragon in the middle of now-here, which he shows to be nothingness, Beckett gives voice to the Real of being, which is non-being. Beckett shows that at the centre of the subject there is a hole. The split introduced by Beckett in-between the subject and the signifier shows the subject and the signifier as constituted by a lack of a third party outside them. There is the absence of something in-between the fantasy and the social reality and the subject is this non-being constituted through and as the gap separating them. The subject is an effect of language, and yet this effect manifests itself only in the form of gaps, absences, cuts. That is, the subject manifests itself only in the form of a negativity from the perspective of the big Other. For the big Other excludes nothingness and death. The big Other wants subjects that are something within the symbolic order.

 What Alain Badiou has written about Beckett’s writing at the time of Texts for Nothing becomes relevant here.

With extraordinary lucidity, they tell us of the nothingness of the attempt in progress. They come to the realisation, not that there is nothing (Beckett will never be a nihilist), but that writing has nothing more to show for itself. These texts tell us the truth of a situation, that of Beckett at the end of the fifties: what he has written up to that point can’t go on. It is impossible to go on alternating, without any mediation whatsoever, between the neutrality of the grey black of being and the endless torture of the solipsistic cogito. Writing can no longer sustain itself by means of this alternation.[4]

It is in this context that Beckett’s Texts For Nothing, Waiting for Godot and Lacan’s theory of the subject coincide. At the root of this coincidence is a shared way of being in relation to the unconscious and death.

After being subjected to purgatory in his novels, Murphy, Watt, Moran, Molloy, Malone and Mahood are finally shown to be the embodiments of a split subject constituted by two clowns who have no role to play, their selves separate from their consciousnesses, talking to but not with one another. Vladimir and Estragon are both no one and everyone, none of the existing things and yet all that there is left.

The relationship between Vladimir and Estragon is in the form of a conversation with no centre, for both of the subjects of this conversation are constitutive of one another. The gap that separates them is the constitutive non-relation between them.  Beckett has taken almost all the measures required to concretely present the journey of being in time as being outside time. It is from Vladimir and Estragon’s perspectives that we see the nothingness outside the frozen image of two vagabonds in their immobility. It is from this gap that new thought emerges; out of this nothingness arises a generic multiplicity. Beckett stages this generic multiplicity by employing the asymmetrically dialectical encounter with the other. To do this he had to remove the character configuration and logical plot development, if not the pattern, from the scene of theatre. Reduced to their minimal needs the Beckettian characters confront the symbolic order and challenge the immutability of Cartesian discourse. Of the One, there is almost nothing left in Beckett’s work.

Man has nothing left to say and yet if he stops saying this nothingness the sublime objects will fill the unconscious and occupy a space that should remain empty. Vladimir and Estragon know that although they are not integral parts of each other they nevertheless cannot do without one another. They are doomed to share this irreconcilable and endless movement against themselves. As they speak they are moving further away from their intended meaning, and yet if they ever stopped saying words they would be immediately in touch with the Real which would be inordinately painful.

The Real of desire is a mystery even to the subject which can only be spoken around and yet never about; this nothingness at the centre of the subject should remain unoccupied for the subject to survive trauma and get free of the past. Freedom cannot be freedom if it is not experienced as a forced-choice. For freedom is the right not to choose to do something; saying, “This is not it!” And yet what is there to do but choose the least worse of all the alternatives. And rather than not will, for that would be total destruction for them, Vladimir and Estragon choose to will nothingness; as empty shells they shall remain free of the symbolic order by introducing a split between one another, within themselves, and between themselves and the social reality.

What’s at stake in Beckett’s project is finding the ways and the means of presenting a time outside time, another space, something unnamable outside the existing symbolic order. Beckett’s meaning is very fragile and it is precisely this fragility that makes a new beginning possible. Governed by the death drive the subject splits the given unities and continuities, introduces splits between the past and the present, and out of this tireless and yet exhausted activity of splitting new signs, signs of other signs, emerge.

Vladimir: […] Astride of a grave and a difficult birth. Down in the hole, lingeringly, the gravedigger puts on the forceps. We have time to grow old. The air is full of our cries. [He listens.] But habit is a great deadener. [He looks again at estragon.] At me too someone is looking, of me too someone is saying, he is sleeping, he knows nothing, let him sleep on. [Pause.] I can’t go on! [Pause.] What have I said?[5]

Pozzo: [Suddenly furious.] Have you not done tormenting me with your accursed time! It’s abominable! When! When! One day, is that not enough for you, one day like any other day, one day he went dumb, one day I went blind, one day he’ll go deaf, one day we were born, one day we shall die, in the same day, the same second, is that not enough for you? [Calmer.] They give birth astride of a grave, the light gleams an instant, then it’s night once more. [He jerks the rope.] On![6]

Only in one single instant all is lived and died. But this single instant takes a lifetime to pass. For Beckett its end comes when one confronts death. The characters in his Trilogy, Molloy, Malone, and finally the Unnamable, are all narrating their processes of deterioration, they are trying to give a voice to that time-space where it all ends and yet something other than the all of life in the symbolic order begins. Beckett writes how subject and the death-drive overlap. But he writes this event in such a way that this overlapping of the subject and the death-drive turns into a life force and splits the given unities including the Cogito. After all is said and done away with there emerges the not-all, that which remains after all is said. To say this not-all one has to expose the void within the symbolic order, to show that this void is constitutive of the symbolic order, and that without it all meaning would collapse. What happens in Beckett, therefore, is the process of self-deconstruction which shows the inconsistencies within the text and uses these inconsistencies against the intended meaning of the text. In Beckett we see that in the place of the transcendental signifier there is nothing. The subject is portrayed empty and the subject becomes a signified itself, an empty signifier, a signifier that signifies nothing but is itself signified. So where there was the transcendental signifier now there is nothing, as itself a signifier. We can see how it becomes possible to say the unconscious is a signifier, or as Lacan would say, “the unconscious is structured like language.”

[1] Samuel Beckett, Texts for Nothing (London: John Calder, 1999), 22

[2] Beckett, 24-25

[3] Samuel Beckett, “Waiting for Godot,” The Complete Dramatic Works (London: Faber and Faber, 1990), 74

[4] Alain Badiou, On Beckett, ed. and trans. Alberto Toscano and Nina Power (Manchester: Clinamen Press, 2003) 15

[5] Samuel Beckett, “Waiting for Godot,” The Complete Dramatic Works, (London: Faber and Faber, 1986), 84-5

[6] Beckett, Waiting For Godot, 83

Harold Pinter as Krapp, in Krapp's Last Tape, ...

Image via Wikipedia

It is a characteristic of Beckett’s plays to give the impression that there is nothing outside the stage. In Beckett’s plays God is never allowed to die altogether, but rather God is made to be felt by the audience as his absence, as the nothingness outside the stage. Krapp’s Last Tape is a good example of this recurring presence of God as an absence in Beckett’s plays. It is very rare not to have a couple, or more than one couple in Beckett’s plays, and Krapp’s Last Tape comes especially handy as a Beckett play with a single individual in it; locked in the past and trying to figure out not only how he has become what he is, but also why he is in general. There is no concern at all with the future in Krapp’s Last Tape, unlike Endgame for instance, where Hamm and Clov, although they don’t seek salvation from misery, they at least, just like in Waiting for Godot, expect a message from without, from some unknown external source about which they know nothing as to its relation to their future. They do strive for the unattainable knowledge of the nothingness outside. It is as though all their thoughts, actions, and speeches are governed by the nothingness off the stage. Whereas in Krapp’s Last Tape there is no sign of will, rather than willing nothingness, Krapp prefers not to will at all.

The tape recorder is the projection-introjection machine in Krapp’s Last Tape. Krapp is now introjecting what he had projected over the years, likewise the tape recorder is projecting what it had introjected over the years. This change of roles between machine and man reflects a perhaps often-neglected aspect of Beckett’s work, that aspect being the ambivalence of Beckett’s relation to projection-introjection mechanisms as exemplified by the tape recorder in Krapp’s Last Tape. Krapp oscillates between rejecting the past and affirming it.

During the sixties we see Beckett’s plays getting shorter and shorter, and the subject deprived of the unity of mind and body, the conscious self and the unconscious. Beckett progressively shortens the text and moves towards theatrical, or visual expression. The characters’ experience on the stage is limited to people once able to live dramas and capable of remembering those dramas. Dispersal of the subject, disappearance of the body, the subjects reduced to bodies in jars, to a mouth, or merely a voice, are some of the characteristics of Beckett’s final period of writing. Now his characters are no more capable of doing anything other than trying to remember those days in which they could still express their thoughts and feelings on stage.[1]

At the beginning of Krapp’s Last Tape Beckett announces that it is “a late evening in the future. Krapp’s Den. Front centre a small table, facing front, i.e. across from the drawers, a wearish old man: Krapp.”[2]

Krapp is an old and lonely man. He is shown on his 69th birthday listening to tapes he had recorded on his previous birthdays. As usual he will listen to the tapes and then record his voice telling what happened throughout last year. Krapp is the analyst and the analysand at the same time. He listens to his past from his own mouth through the speakers.  The play opens with Krapp who has always lived alone, reducing his life to a few physical actions carried out in a ritualistic way. This is Krapp’s daily routine; a few meaningless actions. Sometimes Krapp goes inside and drinks, eats a few bananas, takes a few steps in his “den,” and as he says, he sleeps with the old bitch who comes around once in a while.

Krapp lives his life neither by writing his mind games as Molloy and Malone do, nor talks as Hamm and Clov do. Krapp has no memory at all. Besides, he does not construct stories for himself. His tapes are his memory. But like all the other Beckett characters engaged in a play of consciousness Krapp deconstructs his story by using the rewind, play, and f.forward buttons. All that remains is a mass of misery pieces of which are not even imperfectly remembered, a multitude of unrelated and disconnected thoughts and impressions about the past.

Throughout the play we watch the three stages of Krapp’s life. The most important stage is the one narrated by the voice of Krapp at 39. The tape he recorded at the age of 39 contemplates the tape that he had recorded at 29, and Krapp at the age of 29 contemplates the period corresponding to his youth. And all the past periods of his life are judged by Krapp at the age of 69, which is “the present.”

Krapp at the age of 29 looks down on his youth and at times mocks himself for being the way he was. He is very happy to have done with that earlier period of his life. That Krapp at the age of 39 does not remember that he used to sing shows that he does not want to remember those unhappy days of childhood and adolescence. Krapp at the age of 29 is at a stage in his life where he has to make choices and decide what to do with his life. (This is matter of laughter for Krapp at the ages of 39 and 69).

One of the most important decisions Krapp has to make is the one concerning breaking his habit of drinking and giving up alcohol. At this stage we see young Hamm from Endgame meeting Krapp. Krapp tells his story using numbers and statistical information. A numerical exactitude in his narration is clearly discernible. One other important decision that Krapp has made at 29 is about reducing the intensity of his sexual life. Perhaps that is why he broke up with Bianca. (However, Bianca’s loving gaze is remembered by Krapp even when he is 39). Krapp’s 29th year passes in search of happiness and eventual frustrations. 29 years old Krapp’s tape ends with a call to God to show himself? To this call to God Krapp at 39 (on the tape) and 69 (on the stage) laugh. According to Krapp at 39, from that miserable year there is nothing left apart from that lost lover.

In Endgame Hamm and Clov are the father and son repelled and yet attracted by one another at the same time. They can do nothing with or without one another, or they can neither do, nor not do anything with and without one another.

The stage decoration is such that considering the on-stage activity as taking place within a head is easy and helps to understand what Beckett and we with him are dealing with here. The portrait hanging on the wall is turned towards the wall and the two windows facing the external world are sufficient signs to associate the stage as the inside of a man’s head, with the spectators watching the play from behind the split open head. This is signified by the portrait of the father on the wall looking towards the wall with the nothing behind the picture turned towards the stage and the spectators. At some point in the play Clov even attempts to communicate with the spectators, he turns towards and addresses the spectators, which shows us that Beckett was trying to make this point clearer by making the audience aware of the inverted projection-introjection mechanism that they are caught in. In all his plays and novels, one way or another, Beckett achieves inverting the projection-introjection mechanism into the spotlight. And he achieves this precisely by putting under a magnifying glass the failures within the projection-introjection mechanism.

What Beckett wants to say by employing these unorthodox techniques in theatre is simple and yet sophisticated. He wants to say that to escape from the Cartesian mind-body dualism and the mechanistic view of the world associated with it one has to create an imbalance between the projecting side and the introjecting side, between apprehension and comprehension.

The creation of imbalance can take the form of either an excessive projection of the imaginary and the symbolic onto the real, or a lack of projection resulting in total introjection. In the first case the subject loses touch with the real and becomes a totally imaginary and symbolic construction, and in the second case the subject loses himself in the chaos of the real. In both cases there is a loss of gap between the Imaginary, the Symbolic, and the Real. And when the imaginary, the symbolic, and the real become one, the uncorrelation in-between them becomes impossible to be in touch with.  In Dissymetries Badiou repeatedly and recreatively points out that Beckett is not divided into two, but into three. To use Derrida’s words, “one plus one makes at least three.”

[1] Linel Abel, Metatheatre (New York: Hill and Wang), 82

[2] Samuel Beckett, “Krapp’s Last Tape,” Complete Dramatic Works (London: Faber and Faber, 1986), 215

The recent developments in electronic music present us with a good example of how the inorganic has become, at least in sound, more organic than the organic. With the rapid development of sound-producing machines it has become possible to create such sounds that while listening to it one feels like there is a living organism from a strangely familiar realm making noises in the room, or worse still, that the noises are coming from within one’s mind and body. Listening to this kind of music makes the mutual exclusiveness of the somatic and the psychic irrelevant. Especially after the three dimensional medium presented by CDs and DVDs it has become possible to present the sound to masses in a form that sounds more real than the original, live recording. 

I will return to the relevance of electronic music in a little while, but first let me revisit Herbert Marcuse’s theory of how capitalism keeps itself alive by feeding on the death of the counter-subjectivities and the life of the dominant consuming subject governed by the life drive which is itself externally constituted within the subject. In a nutshell, Marcuse’s theory in One-Dimensional Man was that the one dimensional market society absorbs and turns the counter-cultural products into its own agents, reducing the two-dimensional to the one-dimensional, hence making the forces of resistance serve the purpose of strengthening what they are counter to. Marcuse’s problem was the dissolution of the two-dimensional sphere of counter-cultural production and its domination by one-dimensional relations. He suggested using mythological imagery  not only to make sense of the pre-dominant social reality, but also to create a counter-social reality which would at the same time be a critique of the existing social reality. What Marcuse said is still relevant to a certain extent, but to be able to use this theory one has to adapt it to the demands of the present situation. What I will attempt to do, therefore, is to ignore the irrelevant parts of Marcuse’s theory and try to find out those parts of it that matter for my concerns. It is true that Marcuse’s theory is no more sufficient in understanding and solving the problems of our Superpanoptic societies. And yet in it there are lots of insights with high potential for development in the service of psychosomatic and sociopolitical progress today.

Today even Madonna’s latest release, Confessions on the Dance Floor, is produced in a DJ’s room in London. The electronic dance music products are mostly produced in people’s bedrooms on a personal computer donated with software especially produced for making electronic music. The recent shift in the gears of electronic dance music, of course, is a cause of the amazing possibilities the digital sound machines present. These machines have no material existence; they are loaded on the computer in the form of digital data. One can have a studio loaded into one’s computer by pressing a few buttons on the keyboard. In this context, making music requires technical knowledge of the tools of production more than the knowledge of the rules of what is called making music. With electronic music the sounds are already there, loaded into the computer; all one needs to do to become a music producer has become putting these sounds together, making them overlap with one another in a positively disordered way and produce something that is neither the one nor the other.

If we imagine for a moment Beethoven making his music after the orchestra plays it, composing the piece after it is materialized, we can see how paradoxical the situation the producer is caught up in inherent in the production process of electronic music is. It is as if Beethoven wrote the notes of his music as he listened to the orchestra play it. We can see that this is in fact exactly the opposite of what Beethoven did. For in the case of Beethoven, unlike the electronic music producer, it is the internal orchestra in the psyche that plays the piece as Beethoven writes it, not an actual orchestra in its material existence. With electronic music that internal orchestra is not in the creator’s mind, but in the computer. 

Some of the more creative and experimentalist logics in this field record the noises coming from within their bodies, or from within other animals’ bodies, load them into the computer, and with the aid of synthesizers and effects units, turn these noises into the basic rhythms and melodies of their music. Heartbeat, for instance, can be used as drum and bass at the same time in some electronic music recordings. It is possible to dub-out, echo, delay, deepen, darken, lighten, slow down, or fasten up the sound of heartbeat with the computer. And after a proper mastering process you get something that sounds neither totally organic, nor totally inorganic.  These products are not only digitally bought and sold on the internet, but also exchanged with similar other products.

The affective qualities of these products are extremely high. The producers of the five most developed forms of electronic music, which are Techno, House, Electro, Trance, and Breakbeat, claim that they are the beholders of the threshold between the soma and the psyche, that with their walls of sound they keep them separate and yet contiguous to one another. 

It would be wrong to assume, as many have done, that this kind of music is in touch with only a few listeners. On the contrary, since not only the listeners but also the producers of this kind of music have started to occupy dominant positions in the advertisement production business, it is not surprising that electronic music, and especially the underground minimal techno, is increasingly being used as the background music surrounding the object advertised in many advertisements on radio and T.V. Based on the erasure of the boundary between the psychic and the somatic, or between the inorganic and organic, the use of minimalist electronic music in the advertisements of today’s hectic life-styles is a very good example of the exploitation of the life/death drives inherent in contemporary nihilistic culture driving and driven by what has almost become transglobal capitalism.  The LG U880 ultra-slim mobile phone advert on T.V. is precisely the hard-core of how this exploitation of the life/death drives takes place. In the advert there is heart beating in the phone. Or, the heart is shown to have a transparent phone surrounding it. And with the minimalist techno at the back, that is, sounds that are neither organic nor inorganic but both at the same time. The beating heart in the phone creates the deep and dark bass sound with extremely electronic and yet organic sounding noises coming from within the phone.  It’s as though it is one’s own heart beating in the phone; this phone is you, so it’s yours… If we keep in mind that the transparency of the phone is fleshy, for there are capillaries of the phone, the overall impression created is one of ultra minimalist life reduced to its bare bones when in reality the LG U880 mobile phone is itself the product of exactly the opposite of an ultra minimalist attitude. The message is that this mobile phone is what attaches you to life, when in fact it detaches you from life as it is. The finishing words, “Life is Good,” only confirms my critique of this advertisement, of this marvellous sound-image which is an inorganic object disguised as a living organism. It is obvious that what’s at work here is the exploitation/oppression of the life/death drives, as the inorganic replaces the organic, and the real of death in the midst of life is expelled. 

As I said at the beginning of this article, in this perilous time the three dimensional sounds created by the contemporary electronic music are non-representational to such an extent that it is as though there is a living organism from a completely other dimension making organic noises in the room. And in this room and at this very moment  in which I found myself Marcuse’s theories are unfortunately insufficient in that they do not realize that it is precisely the reversing of the roles policy, that is, presentation of something as its opposite, of an inorganic entity as an organic entity for instance, or of that which is inside as if it is outside, that has to be left behind. As we know from Foucault and Hobbes, Panopticon and Leviathan are within and without the subject at the same time, and a reverse of the roles of the inside and the outside means nothing in this perilous time. 

For the solution of problems posed by the advanced projection-introjection mechanisms of what have become Superpanoptic societies, I shall attempt to show that post-structuralism and critical theory have never been as mutually exclusive as many suggest, especially in terms of the wrong and right questions that they have left unanswered. If we look at Adorno’s and Foucault’s writings we can see that most of their thoughts are directed towards finding out how to reconcile theory and practice. Just as theory and practice, post-structuralism and critical theory, too, are always already reconciled, because they come from Nietzsche, Marx, and Freud. They may be always already reconciled but the only way to actualize this reconciliation is to realize their common goal; to put theory in the service of ordinary life, to develop the conditions of existence, and to practise freedom. 

 It will almost sound offensive to say that the new emerges only if some people become traitors and shake the foundations of their own mode of being, or at least undertake opening up spaces so that light can shine among all, or death can manifest itself. But one must take the risk of offending some others, for every situation requires its expression, every problem bears within itself at least half of its own solution. It is all a matter of putting theory and practice in the service of one another. Theory that does not match the truth of its time is for nothing. It is important to theorize practical ways of dealing with the banal accidents of an ordinary life. I think what I have just said is one of the things that both Foucault and Adorno would have agreed on.

What we witness in this time is Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World turning into Rave New World.  A world in which the well known and the so called lines between mind and body, fantasy and reality, nature and culture, organic and inorganic, life and death, are not just blurred, but have completely disappeared. And yet, at the same time, these lines are in the process of reappearance.

click to listen


hour 1 / DVNT

Photek – Ni-Ten-Ichi-Rhy [Science]
Solar Chrome – Malevil [Maschinen Musik]
Petar Alargic – EeR NR1 []
Octave Mouret – Good News Everyone! I’ve Taught the Toaster to Feel Love []
Foul Shape – A Monster Has Created [Entity]
Loefah – Twisup VIP [DMZ]
Adam X – Downbursts [Prologue]
Plastikman – Ask Yourself (Dead Sound remix) [dub]
Intra:mental – Love Arp [Semantica Records]
Mothboy – Medusa feat. Sezrah Sylvan [Drawn Recordings]
Mothboy – Others [Drawn Recordings]
Drugstore – Razor [Offaudio]
Steve Bicknell – Track 5 [Cosmic Records]
Scanone – Angels [Syndetic Recordings]
Laserfire – Wires of Love (Encrypter remix) [dub]
Bruce Stallion – OK U Cunts [Off Me Nut Records]
Perforated Cerebal Party – Mystery Train []
Concrete DJz – Hadron Collider [Subsequent]
Pillpopper – Jewelry Box (Threnody remix) [Furioso] forthcoming
BEATure – Follow the Line [Sens Inverse Label]
ECHO PARK – After Burner [All City Records]

hour 2 / BLACKMASS PLASTICS showcase

Blackmass Plastics – Plasixsixsix
Blackmass Plastics – Bad Reflection
Blackmass Plastics – Step Up or Get…
Blackmass Plastics – Ouija Board
Blackmass Plastics – Arpexone
Blackmass Plastics – Biomega
Blackmass Plastics – Klonk Kreator
Blackmass Plastics – Visions of Plastic
Blackmass Plastics – OK Ozzy
Blackmass Plastics – Dial M.
Blackmass Plastics – D for Danger
Blackmass Plastics – Red and Black Rush
Blackmass Plastics – Known Space
Blackmass Plastics – Paranoid Agent
Blackmass Plastics – Selecta Infecta
Blackmass Plastics – Give Me Da Data
Blackmass Plastics – Scope Dog
Blackmass Plastics – T-Rex Powerdrill
Blackmass Plastics – Zargon
Blackmass Plastics – Nothing Nice
Blackmass Plastics – Get Destroyed
Blackmass Plastics – Get Bigga
Blackmass Plastics – Down Periscope
Blackmass Plastics – Get Jacked
Blackmass Plastics – Tek Tek v3
Blackmass Plastics – Ice and Slice
Blackmass Plastics – Future Past (original mix)
Blackmass Plastics – Trauma Centre
Blackmass Plastics – Blindsider
Blackmass Plastics – No Escape
Blackmass Plastics – Get Spooked

After my previous post on The Speculative Turn (which sounds like a runaway success, with downloaders having crashed the website on Christmas day) I realised that it was almost criminal of me not to have mentioned the artist's name, having praised his work. So he is Peter Neilson from Melbourne, and the piece is called Secateurs (2009, charcoal and chalk on paper, 70 x 50 cm). There are lots of other lovely charcoal drawings of various t … Read More



hour 1 / DVNT

Randomform – Segment Slipp [Plataforma-LTW]

8Bitch – In the Moog for Love [Svetlana Industries]

Maps + Diagrams – Savannakhet [Yuki Yaki]

Herzog – Small Loves [Audio Gourmet]

Weldroid – Not Every Neuron [Kahvi]

Petrovszky – Stick to It [Sajgon Records]

Mordant Music – Olde Wobbly [Mordant Music]

Ital Tek – Massive Error [Planet Mu]

kode9 – Swarm [Rephlex]

Jam City – Arpjam [Night Slugs]

Vector Lovers – Girl + Boy (2011 remastered) [Soma] forthcoming

Kraftwerk – The Model (Dead Sound remix) [dub]

the wee djs – g [This Machine is Broken]

michaelangelo – Conception IV [Subsist]

Rory St John – Deglove [Limetree] forthcoming

Coefficient – Inverse Resonance [Duality]

2methylBulbe1ol – Glocken [Ruff Records]

Mazzula – Enya – Tekkazula [dub]

Gunjack & Boriz Noiz – Mukashi No Ningen [Syndetic Recordings] forthcoming

Somatic Responses – Clone Aware [Acroplane] forthcoming

Ed Devane – Squib [Takeover Recordings] forthcoming


Supper Club for One – Styrofoam Sunset [Vocode]

Supper Club for One – Nothing Left To Prove [Vocode]

Supper Club for One – I Understand Perfectly Now [Vocode]

Wazo – Step Up [Vocode]

Silesian Miner’s Collective – Groove A (Derty Ratz) [Vocode]

Gruppe 909 – Outer Insights [Vocode]

Gruppe 909 – Hipsterism Is A Disease [Vocode]

Gruppe 909 – Mad Science [Vocode]

Warsaw Hoolz – Black Gold Caddy [Vocode]

Warsaw Hoolz – Don’t Make Me Smack Yo’ Momma [Vocode]

Original Console Generation – Elektro Mix [dub]

Sound Logic – Sage Advice (Vocode Edit) [Vocode] forthcoming

075 /

It’s the final MANTIS broadcast of 2010. Generally it’s been a good year here at darkfloorHQ. Personally the year started off on a bit of downer, and as most people it’s had some blips, at times major ones, but overall, things are on the up.

The show remains popular, the darkfloor site is busier and 2011 is shaping up with some quality showcases already lined up. A lot of radio shows around this time of year like to do a retrospective of the year, and whilst I technically could do that, there are just so many fresh new bits I wanna play I don’t have the space. All the shows are of course tracklisted, archived and made available to download or stream if you fancied digging through the past years efforts. I might do a 2010 retrospective studio mix if I get a chance.

Speaking of showcases as I was but a few lines ago, for our final showcase of the year I’m very happy to present Vocode Records.


Vocode Records is the offshoot of the long running Vocode Project, documenting the evolution of electro since 1999. The label philosophy is to release electronic music in all its forms, as long as its kopfnicken (which I think translates as head nodding). Expect to see releases in a variety of genres, but primarily in electro-bass with breakbeat grooves. Vocode Records currently operates as a netlabel licensed by creative commons guidelines.

Vocode is tended with loving care by DJ Mad Wax.


Cover of "The Dead Zone (Special Collecto...

Cover via Amazon

It is early 1974, “in Washington, Richard Nixon was being pressed slowly into a corner, wrapped in a snarl of magnetic tapes. […] In Room 619 of the Eastern Maine Medical Center, Johnny Smith still slept. He had begun to pull into a fetal shape.”[1]

In Stephen King’s novel The Dead Zone, adapted to cinema by David Cronenberg, the main character Johnny Smith stays in a coma for five years. He wakes up to a cold winter to find himself with a limp, and separated from his girlfriend. Johnny starts to see evil everywhere; he reads the consequences of the evil thoughts in people’s minds across time. A sense for evil, together with an ability to see the past, the present and the future, means it becomes impossible for Johnny to bear the burden of being in the world. He comes to realize that what he thought was an extraordinary psychic power is in fact an evil curse which makes life inordinately painful. Willing to escape from this unbearable situation that is turning him into the playground of good and evil, he falls deeper into the trap of a monstrous man, Gregg Stillson, the embodiment of evil in the world, who finds out Johnny’s secret and wants to abuse it. Johnny takes the wrong turn, because he didn’t know that “the dreadful had already happened.” Directed by the monstrous man he “wills nothingness rather than not will,” and dies a tragic death at the end.  

Little by little this brawny young dock-walloper had severed his connections with the world, wasting away, losing his hair, optic nerves degenerating into oatmeal behind his closed eyes, body gradually drawing up into a fetal position as his ligaments shortened. He had reversed time, had become a fetus again, swimming in the placental waters of coma as his brain degenerated. An autopsy following his death had shown that the folds and convolutions of his cerebrum had smoothed out, leaving the frontal and prefrontal lobes almost utterly smooth and blank.[2]       

Johnny’s rearrival, his return from the unconscious to the conscious state, from the land of the dead to the world of the living, with extraordinary psychic powers, a sense of omnipotence which turns out to be the source of death, is described by King in terms of a rebirth, a coming out of the womb after the second (nearer) death experience.

Johnny Smith is at first almost exactly the opposite of a clinical and criminal psychotic. Johnny does not identify, he refuses to believe in other worldly things, there is no struggle between good and evil in his world, in his world there is no evil, no third party. In Johnny’s world there is only him, Sarah, and their “eternal love.”  Living in an illusory heaven, Johnny is unaware of the dangers surrounding him, but in King’s world the evil shall surely show his multiple faces to scare the hell out of those people.

After the tragic and yet banal accident Johnny becomes a clinical but not a criminal psychotic. Johnny identifies himself with Jesus, he refuses to believe in the world as it is, there begins a constant struggle between good and evil in his mind. He has lost Sarah and their eternal love, and the evil forces surrounding their earlier happiness prevail. Johnny’s illusory heaven becomes an illusory hell. As usually happens in King’s world the evil shows his multiple faces and scares the hell out of the reader.

King’s novels are cathartic in a very Aristotelian sense of the word. And yet it’s precisely this cathartic effect disguised as subversive and critical of the established order that reproduces the order and produces psychotic replicas. King is a very unique example of how monstrous a unification of the therapeutic and the critical can be. There are two traumatic incidents leaving their traces on his life as Johnny goes along the way towards death. In this novel which is difficult to categorize as “horror” unless that is what horror actually is, Johnny Smith finds himself in an unbearable situation that sends him to an early grave. What seems to him to be a gift of life turns out to be a gift of death. Johnny is cursed by a “second sight” after two banal accidents, one in early childhood, one in adolescence, which submit him to the domination of the “power” of his wounds. And with the already there circumstances, that is, a society dying to believe in “the power of the wound,” “apocalypse,” “return of the living dead,” “transcendental experiences” and so on, Johnny becomes a tragic, Christ-like hero who feels compelled to sacrifice himself for the deliverance of salvation to the people. His mother sees it as an occasion for celebration that Johnny is mortally wounded when they tell her that he is in a coma: “God has put his mark on my Johnny and I rejoice.”[3]                  

Choose, something inside whispered. Choose or they’ll choose for you, they’ll rip you out of this place, whatever and wherever it is, like doctors ripping a baby out of its mother’s womb by cesarian section.[4]

And in accordance with the demands of his “inner voice,” Johnny Smith, in The Dead Zone, chooses resurrection. After five years of deep coma Johnny wakes up to a nightmare and finds himself as the one whose destiny it has become after two banal accidents of life to set things right and prevent heaven’s becoming hell. King knows that the reader’s assumption is that there is something inside to be protected from the external threats. The desire of the reader is the desire of the threat as external rather than internal to the self. King satisfies the reader’s desire by giving him/her the most beloved son Johnny as the gift: “the gift of death” as Derrida would have put it. Johnny fulfils the reader’s desire not only for an external threat but also for a saviour hero from within, one of “us.” Johnny emerges from his coma as the embodiment of the Christ-like figure, King’s son, whose mission it is to die and preserve the heaven-like qualities of this small American town in particular, and the universe in general.

 Upon his return to the symbolic order, from the unconscious state of coma, Johnny finds himself surrounded by people who are trying to exploit his extraordinary psychic powers, confronted with what Freud, in On Narcissism, calls “hallucinatory wishful psychosis” on a social level. It’s as though the whole society is in the grip of a paralysis and through their collective hallucination they cling to life. And Johnny becomes not only the thread tying them to their illusions, but also the one who preserves those illusions by sacrificing himself. Since this aspect of Johnny’s melodramatic story is more precisely expressed in David Cronenberg’s adaptation of the novel, I now turn to Cronenberg’s film.

Cronenberg emphasizes that Greg Stillson is the man who is the manipulator, the one who creates and sells illusionary images of himself. In Cronenberg’s film Johnny’s visions are placed directly in opposition to Stillson’s fantastic images of self. Towards the end of the film, Johnny, no more able to stand the half-dead life he is living in isolation, decides to put his visions to a good use. He attends one of Stillson’s campaigns and shakes Stillson’s hand to see into him. What Johnny sees is Stillson as the evil president of the future, who has the fate of the whole world in his control. Johnny sees him pressing the button of a nuclear bomb behind closed doors. Finally Johnny makes up his mind and at a later Stillson campaign, this time in a church, attempts to assassinate Stillson. Sarah is there with her baby, and she notices Johnny just as he is about to pull the trigger. Distracted by Sarah’s cry, Johnny misses the target. Stillson takes Sarah’s baby and holds it up as a shield against Johnny’s bullets. Meanwhile Johnny is being shot by Stillson’s guards. A photographer takes Stillson’s picture while he is using the baby as a shield and this picture becomes the front cover of the Time magazine, not only ending Stillson’s career as a politician but also leading him to suicide.    

In the film the atmosphere is extremely melancholic. Johnny is portrayed as a much more repressed, melodramatic individual who at the same time has a romantic vision of life. The traumatic incident, the time he spends in the dead zone, magnifies his will to transcend his body which he sees as a source of agony. He pushes himself further towards isolation to escape from the increasingly sharpening visions. Remember that Johnny sees in the past, present, and future of other people through touching them. Touching another person is a cause of pain for Johnny. As his visions sharpen and turn into sources of pain he moves away from intersubjectivity and towards introversion. It is one of the characteristics of Romanticism to consider trauma, suffering, pain, disaster as possibilities of transcending the flesh. In Cronenberg’s “romanticism turned against itself” we see exactly the opposite. In Cronenberg after the traumatic incident it is a regressive process that starts taking its course, rather than a progressive movement towards eternal bliss. The problem with Cronenberg’s inversion of romanticism is that he still sees the movement towards eternal bliss, towards jouissance as progressive; the difference between the classical romanticism and Cronenberg’s inverted neo-romanticism is that Cronenberg considers that progress to be impossible.

It is at the sight of their condition, upon the realization of the situation they are caught in, that Cronenberg’s characters recoil in horror. And it is at the sight of this that Cronenberg expects the spectator to recoil in horror in a fashion similar to his characters.


[1] Stephen King, The Dead Zone, (London: TimeWarner, 1979),100

[2] King, 82

[3] King, The Dead Zone, 71

[4]King, 111

İdeoloji bireylerin gerçek varoluş koşullarıyla kurdukları hayalî ilişkinin bir temsilidir.[1]

İdeoloji maddi bir varoluşa sahiptir.[2]


Beyin bir ekrandır.[3]


Rüya, Fantezi, ve Film

Eğer film ve gündüz düşü, film ve rüyaya kıyasla, daha doğrudan bir rekabet halindeyseler, ve eğer birbirlerine karışıyorlarsa, bu, ikisinin de gerçekliğe uyum sağlama noktasında -ya da, diğer yönden bakacak olursak, bir regresyon noktasında- yani, aynı anda ortaya çıkmalarından kaynaklanır: rüya çocukluğa ve geceye aittir; film ve gündüz düşü daha yetişkindirler ve güne aittirler, ama gün ortasına değil – daha çok, akşama.[4]

Hayalî Gösteren’de Christian Metz sinema ve bilinçdışı arasındaki ilişkinin oldukça önemli bir yönüne dikkat çeker. Rüya çocukluğa, geceye, bilinçdışına, Gerçeğe dairdir; bunun yanı sıra, film ve fantezi yetişkinliğe, simgesele, ve bilince aittir; yine de, bu bilincin kendisi akşama aittir. Aslında Metz’in söylemek istediği, sinemanın bize birçok şey göstermiş olmasına rağmen bizden aynı zamanda birçok şey saklamış olduğudur; çünkü her film Gerçeğin üzerindeki bir örtüdür, projektörden tek bir ışık demeti çıkar ve sinematik aygıtın loşluğunda kişi adeta hipnotize edilmiş gibidir, gösterilene yarı-bilinçli bir şekilde bakakalır.

Kendinizi bir sinema salonunda oldukça rahat bir koltukta otururken hayal edin. Bu an, öteki insanlardan oluşan bir kalabalığın arasında, karanlıkta, sessizce oturmayı kabul edeceğiniz o oldukça nadir anlardan biridir. Tek ışık kaynağı, imgeleri beyaz perdeye yansıtan projektördür. Beyaz perde yansıtılan ışığı hareketli resimlere dönüştürür ve siz de büyük bir hayretle bu resimleri izlersiniz. Rahat koltuğunuzda, dingin ve edilgensiniz, ve hareket etme kabiliyetiniz bir dış güç tarafından kısıtlanmıştır. Bu haliniz, gerçeklik ve rüyalar âlemi arasındaki yarı-uyanık kişinin haline oldukça benzemektedir. Bir film seyretmek, uyanık olmaktan uyku haline geçmeye benzer. Bir seyirci olarak izlediğinizin gerçek olmadığının farkındasınızdır, ama yine de bunun tamamıyla kurgusal olmadığına kendinizi ikna edersiniz. Bir film izlerken, tıpkı tam da uyanmak yahut tam da uyumak üzere olan birine benzersiniz.

Rüya malzemeleri, tıpkı sinemanın malzemeleri gibi, görsel ve işitsel imgelerdir. Ne var ki, rüyalar ve filmler arasında üç temel ve göstergebilimsel fark vardır. Hayalî Gösteren’de Christian Metz, bu farkları şöyle sıralar:

[…] öncelikle, öznenin yapmakta olduğu şeye dair eşitsiz bilgisi; ikinci olarak, gerçek algısal materyalin mevcudiyeti ya da eksikliği; ve üçüncü olarak, hakkında şimdi konuşacağımız metinsel içeriğin kendine ait (film veya rüya metnine ait) bir nitelik.[5]            

            Bütün bu farklar, öznenin uyanıklık derecesine bağlıdır. Uykuda bütünsel yanılsama söz konusudur; özne rüyanın metninde bir rol üstlenebilir. Fakat sinemada, özne kendini perdede göremez, elbette filmde oynayan aktör veya aktrislerden biri değilse. Sinemada sizinle gördüğünüz arasında bir mesafe koyan bir gerçeklik hissi vardır. Uyanık olduğunuzda, izlediğinizin kurgusal olduğunun bir noktaya kadar farkına varırsınız.

            Metz’in dikkat çektiği ikinci fark, algının maddesinin varoluşuyla ilgilidir. Sinematografik imge, gerçek bir imgedir; görsel ya da işitsel bir maddeden yapılmış bir imgedir. Rüyada, rüyanın maddesi yoktur, rüyanın materyali tamamıyla yanılsamadan ibarettir, dışsal bir nesne olarak varlığı yoktur.

            Üçüncü fark, filmin metinsel içeriğine dairdir. Bir rüyayla karşılaştırıldığında, kurgusal film çok daha mantıklıdır. Eğer David Lynch gibileri bir kenara ayırırsak, filmin planı genellikle seyircinin beklentilerine uyum gösteren bir sırada gelişir. Gelgelelim, rüyada, herhangi bir plan yoktur, çünkü kimse başka bir kimseye herhangi bir şey söylemiyordur. Rüya hiçbir yere ait değildir.

Sinema ve rüya arasındaki bu farkları ortaya koyduktan sonra, Metz bir başka terim ortaya atar. Bu Freud’un ‘Tagtarum’ dediği bir nevi bilinçli fantezi olan gündüz düşüdür.[6] Gündüz düşü filme daha yakındır, çünkü gündüz düşü gören, fantezi kuran öznenin bilinci bir noktaya kadar işlemektedir. Dahası, gündüz düşleri de uyanıkken tecrübe edilmektedir. Filmin mantıklı bir  yapısının olmasının nedeni, aktörlerin, yönetmenlerin, ve seyircilerin tümünün uyanık olmasıdır. Bir filmi yapmak ve izlemek, bilinçli, bilinç-öncesi, bilinç-altı psişik süreçleri içerir. Fantezi kurmak da bu üç psişik süreci içerir, fakat bir film, bilinçli seçimler sonucu üretildiğinden, belli bir amaca sahiptir ve belli bir anlamı iletmek ister; ne olacağı önceden planlanmıştır, ve her bir detayı yazılmıştır. Öte yandan, fantezi kurmak içerisinde boşluklar ve bağlantısızlıklar bulunduran tamamıyla psişik bir süreçtir. Fantezi kurduğumuzda, niyetimiz bir başka kişiye belli bir anlamı iletmek değildir. Her iki süreçte de Metz bir tür iradi simülasyonun işlediğini düşünür. Gündüz düşünü gören de, film izleyicisi de gördüklerinin yahut tahayyül ettiklerinin gerçek olmadığının bilincindedirler; fakat yine de tam tersi bir durumun söz konusu olduğuna kendilerini inandırırlar.

Hem film izleyicisi, hem de gündüz düşçüsü, gerçeklik ilkesinin yerine haz ilkesini koyarlar. Her iki durumda da kişinin görmekte veya hayal etmekte olduğunun gerçekten gerçekleşmekte olduğu yönündeki bir yanılsamaya dair gönüllü bir inanç vardır. Bu inanç olmadan, fantezi kuran ya da film izleyen öznenin herhangi bir haz duyması mümkün değildir. Bu etkinliklerin tek amacı, tatmin edici olmayan gerçekliği telafi etmektir. Fanteziler ve filmler toplumsal gerçekliğin destekleyicileridir; onlar sayesinde Gerçek uzakta tutulur, ve özne ile hiçlik arasındaki boşluk korunur. Hiçlik simgesel düzene içkindir. Rüya gören öznenin bilinçdışınca yönetilmesi gibi, sinema seyircisi ve fantezi kuran özne de Gerçeği bir haz kaynağına dönüştürüp simgesel düzene tercüme ederler. Film yapımcıları doğrudan seyircinin bilinçdışıyla iletişim kurmayı denerler. Hedefleri bilinçdışıdır ve bilinçdışı itkilere denk düşen imgeler bulurlar. Bilinçdışını oluşturan da tam bu denkleştirme sürecidir, çünkü bilinçdışı itkilerin adlandırılmasını önceleyen hiçbir şey yoktur. Sinema itkilerin nesnelerini metafor ve metonomi kullanarak toplumsal olarak kabul edilebilir ve simgesel olarak anlaşılır biçimlere sokar.

Lacan’a göre, metafor yoğunlaşmanın, metonomi ise yer değiştirmenin ürünüdür. Bu iki ifade biçiminin çok etkili olmasının sebebi, bilinçdışının işleyişine literal olandan daha yakın olmalarından kaynaklanır. Dolayısıyla, Lacan, “bilinçdışı dil gibi yapılandırılmıştır,” diyebilmektedir.

Gördüğünüz gibi, hâlâ bu “gibi”yi (like/comme) koruyarak, bilinçdışı dil gibi yapılandırılmıştır derken ortaya koyduğumun sınırları içerisinde yer alırım. Bilinçdışı bir dil tarafından yapılandırılmıştır dememek için, “gibi” derim -ki her zaman bu noktaya dönerim.[7]  

Böylece, metafor kavramı bastırmanın bir ürünü olarak belirir ve bir imgenin daha etkili olacak bir başka imgeyle yer değiştirmesini içerir. Metonomi bir nesnenin bütününü temsil etmesi için o nesnenin bir kısmını kullanmanın ürünüdür. Metafor ve metonomi bilinçdışı ve toplumsal gerçeklik arasındaki boşluğu doldurur. Onlar, bu iki dünya arasındaki aracılardır.

“Bildiğimiz haliyle sıradan gerçeklik, derisi soyulmuş etin ve değiştirilebilir maskenin proto-ontolojik Gerçeğine karışır.”[8] Zizek, John Travolta ve Nicholas Cage’in başrolleri paylaştığı Face/Off filmine gönderme yapar. Bu filmde, Travolta ve Cage kendilerini, ne yaparlarsa yapsınlar kendi kendilerine karşı koydukları bir durum içerisinde bulurlar. Birbirlerinin yüzlerine sahiptirler. Mesaj, yüzlerinin ardında Gerçeğin, derisi soyulmuş etin, bizi kendimizle özdeşleştirecek koca bir hiçin bulunduğudur. Toplumsal gerçeklik ve Gerçek arasındaki boşluk açılmıştır ve her iki adam da kendilerini düşmanlarının rolüne bürünmüş halde bulurlar. Yüzün kendisi Gerçeği saklayan maskeye dönüşür. Burada, maskenin Gerçeği temsil eden bir metafor olması değil, yüzün Gerçeği temsil eden bir metonomi olması söz konusudur.

Bu eksikliğin ortaya çıkışından önce (sinema gösterenine hâlihazırda çok yakınız), çocuk, büyük bir endişeden kaçınabilmek adına, inancını iki kat artırır (bir başka sinematik özellik) ve bu noktadan itibaren sonsuza dek iki çelişik fikre sahiptir (gerçek algının her şeye rağmen etkisiz olmadığının kanıtı).[9]

Bazı filmlerin bu iki çelişik konumu birbirinden ayırmadaki başarısızlığı, bu filmlerin iyi etkilerinin nedeni olur. David Lynch filmlerinde sıradan gerçekliğin Gerçeğe karışması sürecini gözlemleyebiliriz. Mulholland Drive’da, Hollywood kariyerinin başlangıcında genç bir aktrisi görürüz. Film onun dağılma sürecini anlatır. Hayalî, simgesel, ve gerçek kademe kademe birbirine karışır ve aktris de kurgusal olan, zihninde olan, ve toplumsal olan arasında ayrım yapabilme yetisini yitirir. Ancak filmin sonuna geldiğimizde, onun gerçek durumunun farkına varırız. Hayatının planını Hollywood’un kurgusal dünyasında kaybetmiştir. Bu kaybın açtığı alanı doldurmak için, uyuşturucu ve alkol bağımlısı olur, ve daha fazla uyuşturucu kullandıkça, iç alan daha da büyür, ve iç alan daha da büyüdükçe, bilinçli seçimler yapması imkânsızlaşır.

gaps in and out of thought… the void is growing…

Yansıtmalı Özdeşim ve İçe Yansıtma

Klein içe yansıtılmış nesneler ile içsel nesneler arasında bir ayrım yapar. İçsel nesneler, hem içe yansıtılmış nesneleri, hem özdeşim nesnelerini, hem de a priori fantezi imgelerini içerir. Klein’a göre, içe yansıtma, çocuğun korkutucu iç dünyasından kaynaklanan endişe ve korkuya karşı bir savunma mekanizmasıdır. Çocuk kendini kötü, saldırgan, ve eziyet edici nesnelerle doluymuş gibi varsayar ve dışarıdan iyi nesneleri içe yansıtmayı dener. Bir başka deyişle, çocuk içsel kötü nesnenin yerine dışsal iyi nesneyi koymaya çalışır. Dolayısıyla, içe yansıtma yalnızca benliğimi değil, aynı zamanda içsel iyi nesneleri korumaya yarayan bir savunma mekanizmasıdır.[10]

Klein bilinçdışı fantezinin bütün psişik süreçlerin temelini oluşturduğunu iddia eder. Fakat Freud’a göre fantezi kurmak sinir bozucu ve tatmin etmeyen gerçekliği telafi eden bir savunma mekanizmasıdır. Klein bilinçdışı fantazmatik üretimin içgüdüsel süreçlerin tezahürü olduğunu düşünür. Klein’ın perspektifinden, bilinçdışı toplumsal gerçeklikte olup bitenle irtibatı olan daha etkin ve üretken bir dinamizme dönüşür. Klein’ın keşfinin önemi, çocuğun henüz hayatının başlangıcından itibaren toplumsal gerçeklikle nasıl da yakından ilişkili olduğunu göstermesidir. Çocuk annesine döner ve bilinçdışı onu çevreleyen nesnelerle ilişki kurma yoluyla bilince yönelir. Klein’a göre, çocuğun ilişki kurduğu ilk dışsal nesnelerden biri anne memesidir. Çocuk açlıktan ötürü, ve başka bir iletişim aracı olmadığından, ağlamaya başlar. Anne, çocuğun süt istediğini anlar. Annenin göğsünden gelen sütle karşılaşan çocuk, açlık sorununa çözüm teşkil eden dışsal bir iyi nesnenin varlığından haberdar olur. Fakat sütün akışının kesintiye uğramasıyla birlikte, açlığın da etkisiyle, çocuğun aklı karışır. Çocuk memeyi kötü bir nesne olarak görür ve daha saldırganlaşır. Süt geri geldiğinde ise, çocuk hem kötülüğün kaynağına, hem de iyiliğin kaynağına saldırdığını fark eder. Böylece çocuk her nesnenin hem iyi, hem kötü olduğunu kavrar; nesnenin nasıl kullanıldığı onun tikel iyiliğini ya da kötülüğünü belirler. Önemli olan, toplumsal gerçeklikle nasıl bir ilişki içerisinde olunduğudur.

Hayatın ilk yılında, içe yansıtma ve bölünme baskındır; çocuk ölüm itkisince yönetilir; bu itki, rahmin sağladığı ve organizmanın her türlü ihtiyacının organizmanın hiçbir çaba sarf etmesine gerek kalmadan sunulduğu kapalı mekân ve zamana dönüşün imkânsızlığı karşısında yaşanan düş kırıklığına cevaben ortaya çıkar.

Ölüm itkisiyle başa çıkabilmek için, özne saldırganlığının bir kısmını anne tarafından temsil edilen dış dünyaya yansıtır. Sonuç olarak, çocuk dış dünyayı kendi içinde bölünmüş bir dünya; kendi içlerinde iyi veya kötü olmayan, başka nesnelerle ilişkilerinde iyi-leşen veya kötü-leşen iyi ve kötü nesneleriyle dolu bir dünya olarak tanır. Yansıtmalı özdeşim çocuğun hayatın zorluklarıyla başa çıkabilmek için kullandığı bir başka savunma mekanizmasıdır. Yansıtmalı özdeşimle birlikte, benliğimi ve içsel iyi nesneleri dışsal kötü bir nesneden gelebilecek olası bir saldırıya karşı korumak için, çocuk içsel kötü nesnelerini dışsal iyi nesneye yansıtır. Çocuk dışsal iyi nesneleri, dışsal kötü nesneleri, içsel iyi nesneleri, ve içsel kötü nesneleri hep birbirine karıştırır. Her şey iç içe geçtikçe, çocuk kendine ve dış dünyaya karşı saldırganlaşır. Bu zor durumla başa çıkabilmek için, çocuk dış dünyaya bütünlükler yansıtır ve iyi ile kötü arasında bir ayrım yapmaz. Bu da çocuğun ölüm itkisince yönetilen halden, yaşam itkisiyle yönetilen hale geçtiği anlamına gelir.

Gelişimin üçüncü aşamasında, depresif konum vardır. Depresif konumla birlikte, çocuk, içinde bulunduğu içe yansıtma ve yansıtmalı özdeşimin paranoid-şizoid konumda, yalnızca iyi nesneye değil, aynı zamanda kötü nesneye saldırmasından ötürü kendini suçlu hisseder. Çocuk bu süre zarfında sevgi dolu ve şefkatli annenin paranoid saldırılara maruz kaldığının farkına varır. Sebep olduğu zararı telafi etmek için, çocuk toplumsal gerçekliği temsil eden anneyle olan ilişkisini onarmaya çalışır. Klein açısından depresif endişe bir ilerleme göstergesidir.

Bu psişik süreçler hayatın sonuna dek sürer. Çocuk aynadaki imgesini kendisi olarak tanımlar. Lacan, Klein’ın depresif konumuna “ayna aşaması” adını verir.

Hayalînin simgesele karşıt olduğu fakat aynı zamanda onunla üst üste bindiği Lacancı anlamda da, hayalî, benliğin temel cezbedilişini, Oedipus kompleksinden önceki (ve ondan sonra da devam eden) bir aşamanın tanımlayıcı damgasını, insanı kendi yansımasından yabancılaştıran ve onu kendi kopyasının kopyası yapan aynanın kalıcı izini, anneyle olan özel ilişkinin derinden süregidişini, eksikliğin ve sonsuz kovalamacanın saf etkisi olarak arzuyu, bilinçdışının ilksel nüvesini (ilksel bastırma) betimler. Tüm bunlar, şüphesiz, bir bakıma ilksel olarak yerinden olmuş uzuvlarımız için sahici bir fiziksel yedek, bir protez işlevi gören o öteki aynanın, sinema perdesinin, işlemesiyle yeniden etkinlik kazanır.[11]  

Bir hayalî ve narsistik özdeşimler dönemi olan ayna aşamasında, çocuk aynada gördüğü yanılsamaya inanır. Kendini bir bütünlük olarak görür ve hakikaten bir bütünlük olduğuna inanır. Bu, ötekinin arzu nesnesi olan benlik ile öznenin gördüğü haliyle benlik arasında geçen bir çatışma dönemidir. Aynadaki yansıma, ölüme dek sürecek olan içe yansıtma ve yansıtmalı özdeşim sürecini başlatır.

[…] Lacan tarafından tarif edildiği şekliyle ayna deneyimi, özsel olarak hayalî olanın (= bir hayaletle, imgeyle özdeşim yoluyla benliğin oluşumu) tarafında konumlanmıştır. Ayna, buradaki, büyük Öteki olarak işlev gören yansıması ayna alanında zorunlu olarak çocuğunkinin yanında görünen ve çocuğu cama doğru tutan annenin dolayımıyla simgesel olana da bir ilk erişim olanağı sağlar gibi görünse de, bu böyledir.[12]

            Perde, yansıtmalı özdeşimin alanıdır. Kendimi karakterin yerine koyarım ve filmi onun perspektifinden görmeye çalışırım. Bir bakıma, kendimi narsistik bir biçimde bütün bir kişi olarak filmin bağlamında konumlandırmaya çalışırım. Fakat perde, bu ayna benzeri niteliğini, ona eriştiği anda kaybeder. Perdeyle birlikte, daha gelişmiş bir süreç işlemeye başlar ve bu sürece, basitçe özdeşim değil, yansıtmalı-özdeşim adı verilir. Özne filmdeki karakter olmadığının ayırdındadır, fakat buna rağmen, sanki bütün bu maceraları yaşayan oymuş gibi, bu kimliği üstlenir.

            Ben, bir filmi izlediğimde, kameranın gözü olurum. Her şey benim etrafımda olup biter ve ben bütün bu olup bitenin gözlemcisi olurum. Bir film izlerken, bir bakıma, yarı-tanrılaşmış bir yaratığa dönüşürüm; her-şey-olmayanı herkesin-üstünde-olmayan bir konumdan gören, duyan bir yaratık; ve aşkın ile içkin arasındaki ikili ayrımı anlamsız kılan bir konum. Olayların hem içinde, hem dışındayım, ve bedenimle ve geriye kalan her şeyle aynı anda hem buradayım, hem başka bir yerde. Benliğin gözünü mümkün kılan ötekinin gözüdür.          

Sinema ve Fetişizm

Bokun bile bir ticari değeri vardır. Bu, elbette, bokun kimin boku olduğuna bağlıdır. Söz konusu olan insan boku olduğunda, ondan kurtulmak için para ödemeniz gerekir. Fakat hayvan boku, birileri onu yenilemeyeceği için değersiz olarak görmek yerine kullanmayı öğrendiğinde, oldukça verimli ve etkili bir gübre olabilmiştir. “Bilakis, annenin bedeninin temaşasına yansıtılan bu terörün ta kendisidir, ve bu, anatominin farklı bir konformasyon gördüğü yerde bir eksikliğin okumasını yapmaya davet eder.”[13]

İçgüdüler bile öznenin kendini içinde bulduğu süperpanoptik yansıtma-içe yansıtma mekanizması tarafından üretildiğinden, bilinçdışına kendini ifade etmesi için bir serbestlik kazandırmak, içerideki kötünün dışa yansıtılmasını üretir. Freud’a göre, ölüm itkisi sonsuzluk, hiçlik, ve ölüm için verilen bir mücadelenin etkisidir. Ben, sebebi olduğunu da ekleyeceğim.

Meta fetişizmi, hiçliğin, öznenin arzusunun Gerçeğinin inorganik nesnelerce temsil edilmesi arzusu olduğu ölçüde, hiçlik istencine eşittir. Kapitalizm nesnelerin kullanım değerinin yerine iki-boyutlu ticari değeri koyar; böylece, özne arzulanmak için arzular, ve bunu da ancak meta fetişizminin iki boyutlu alanını benimseyerek, kendisi bir fetiş nesnesine dönüşerek yapabilir. Marcuse’nin tek-boyutlunun iki-boyutluyu massettiği yönündeki şikâyetini hatırlar ve aynı zamanda Marcuse’nin iki-boyutlu kültürünün bugünün baskın kültürüne dönüştüğünü hatırda tutarsak, çözümün, büyük Ötekine, hayatlarımızda hangi biçimle karşımıza çıkıyor olursa olsun, “Kendimi senin beni gördüğün gibi görmüyorum,” demek olduğu daha anlaşılır olacaktır.

Bizim fikrimizce, fetişizm yalnızca sadizmde, o da ikincil ve çarpıtılmış bir halde, ortaya çıkar. Fetişizm inkâr ve gerilimle olan özsel ilişkisinden yoksun bırakılmıştır ve, sadistik yoğunlaşma sürecinde bir fail olmak üzere, tamamıyla farklı olan olumsuzluk ve olumsuzlama bağlamına geçer.[14]

Böylece ölüm itkisi hâlihazırda var olan nesneleri bölerek yeni arzu nesneleri üretir. Ölüm itkisi olarak özne, simgesel olanı bölerek, hiçliği ve ölümü temsil etmek üzere yeni arzu nesnelerinin ortaya çıkmasına imkân tanıyan mekânlar açar.

İyi nesne bilginin tarafına geçmiştir ve sinema kötü bir nesneye dönüşür (‘bilim’in geride durmasını kolaylaştıran ikili bir yer değiştirme). Sinema ‘infaz edilir’, fakat bu infaz aynı zamanda bir onarımdır (bilme durumu hem saldırgan, hem de depresiftir), fakat göstergebilimciye özgü, özel bir onarım: Kurumdan, ‘incelenmekte olan’ koddan alınanın kuramsal bedende yeniden kurulması.[15]

Sinema hakkında yazmak, temelde, simgesel düzenin bir eleştirisidir, çünkü hem yazma, hem de sinematik üretim simgesel toplumsal etkinliklerdir. Sinema hiçliği örten bir şeyin arzusunu doyuma ulaştırarak yaşam itkisini sömürdüğünden, sinema hakkında yazmak esas olarak simgesel olanın ardındaki hiçliği ifşa etmeye çabalayan ölüm itkisince yönetilir. Bir filmin örttüğü, hiçlikten başka hiçbir şey olamaz; ve filmin ardındaki bu hiçliği ifşa etmek özne ile gösteren arasında bir bölme koyar. Bu açıdan bakıldığında, psikoterapi var olan toplumsal düzeni eleştirir olur, çünkü eleştirmen filmi eleştirmekle film endüstrisini tedavi eder, ki bunun da seyirci üzerinde tedavi edici bir etkisi olur

Sinemada olduğu kadar başka alanlarda da, fetişizmin iyi nesneyle yakından ilişkili olduğu aşikârdır. Fetişin işlevi, (Melanie Klein’ın söylediği anlamda) kendi ‘iyiliği’ içerisinde, eksikliğin dehşete düşüren keşfi tarafından tehdit edilen iyi nesneyi yeniden kurmaktır. Yarayı kapayan ve kendi erotojenik olan fetiş sayesinde, nesnenin bütünü aşırı bir korku olmaksızın yeniden arzulanabilir olur.[16]

            Metz’e göre, sinema bir fetiş nesnesidir. Filmler eksik olan bir nesneyi temsil ederler. İmgelerin perdedeki yansıması, perdenin ardındaki, imgelerin görünmesini mümkün kılan hiçliği saklar. “Fetiş, fiziksel haliyle sinemadır. Fetiş her zaman maddîdir: bir kimse, yalnızca simgeselin gücüyle onu telafi edebilmeye başlamışsa, artık fetişist değildir, demektir.”[17]

            Sinema, ulaşılmaz arzu nesneleri üretir. Bu nesneler, bir boşluğu doldurarak, hiçliği daha da ulaşılmaz bir hale getirir. Sakladıkları bir şey olduğu hissini uyandırarak, hiçlik arzusunu üretirler. Gelgelelim, sinemanın hiçlik istencini sömürme gücü, bir ideoloji biçimi olarak sinematik aygıtı eleştirebilmemiz için elimizde olan tek araçtır.

            Arzu nesnelerinin yüceleşmesi, sinema ve televizyon aracılığıyla olur. Daha da ulaşılmaz olmalarıyla birlikte, daha da yüceleşirler. Sinemanın yaptığı, bir bulunuş yanılsaması yaratmaktır. Sinema hiçliğin yerine geçen bir nesne sunarak eksik bir nesneyi gösterir. Perdede gördüğümüz de bir eksikliğin bulunuşudur. Sinemanın keyfine varabilmesi için, öznenin yapması gereken şey, izlediği şeyin yalnızca bir eksikliği kapatan bir bulunuş, öznenin arzusunun Gerçeğinin temsil edilişi olduğunu bilmektir. Böylece Metz, “fetişin fiziksel haliyle sinema olduğunu” söyleyebilecektir.[18] Bu haliyle, fetiş, hiçlikten başka bir şey olmayan Gerçek arzu nesnesini temsil etmek üzere üretilendir; bu anlamda, fetiş, hiçlik istencini tatmin etmek için üretilir.

            Sinematik anlatı olayları gerçek sırasıyla göstermez. Kesintiler, boşluklar, sahneler arası alanlar vardır. Bütün bunlar -kesintiler, boşluklar, sahneler arası alanlar- bir dış gerçekliğe doğru açılmalardır; gösterilenin dışında bir şey olduğu hissini uyandırırlar. Seyirci, filmde olup bitene dair bilmediği bir şey olduğuna inandırılır. Her insana içkin olan bu bilinmeyene dair merak, sinema tarafından sömürülür. Seyircinini perdede gördüğüne aynı anda hem inanmasını hem inanmamasını sağlayarak, sinema kendisi ile seyrici arasında müphem bir ilişki yaratır.

            Sinema, anlatıda boşluklar bırakarak, yansıtmalı özdeşime olanak tanır. Seyirci filmin metnindeki eksikliğin üzerine içindekileri yansıtır. Bu boşlukları kendi içsel kısmi nesneleriyle doldurur ve filmin bölünmüş anlatısına bir bütünlük ve süreklilik empoze eder.

            Ölüm itkisi bölünme ve içe yansıtma içerir. Ölüm itkisi olarak özne verili bütünlük ve süreklilikleri böler. Ölüm itkisiyle yönetilen bir seyirci için filmdeki karakterlerle özdeşleşmek imkânsızdır. Bilakis, bu seyirci hiçbir şeyi arzular ve onsuz hiçbir anlam olmayacağını bildiği hiçlikle özdeşleşir. Ölüm itkisi, anlatıdaki boşlukları doldurmak yerine, onlara ışık tutar, bu boşlukların anlatıya içkin olduğunu ifşa eder. Anlatının yarım kalmışlığı, anlamının olanaklılığının koşuludur.

            Bu iki seyirci türünü birbirinden ayırt edebiliriz: yaşam itkisince yönetilen seyirci ile ölüm itkisince yönetilen seyirci; çağrışımcılık ve çözülmecilik.

            Çağrışımcılıkta, özne kendini hayalînin ortamına yerleştirir ve filmdeki karakterlerle özdeşleşir. Çözülmecilikte, özne iç ve dış nesneler arasında yeni bölünmelere yol açar ve özdeşimi kendi için imkânsız kılar.

            Yaşam itkisi dünyayla bir olma istencidir; taklitçilik ve çağrışımcılık ardındaki güçtür. Ölüm itkisini taklitçilik ve çağrışımcılıkla irtibatlandırmak yanlıştır. Ölüm itkisi olarak özne bütünlüklerin ve sürekliliklerin çözülmesine ve bölünmesine yol açar. Korku filmlerinde, seyirci açısından hakikat bilgisinin yokluğu, yani seyirciye her şeyi bilen gözün rolü verilmemesi, seyirciyi meraklı kılar ve böylece filmde ne olup bittiğini anlamak için karakterlerle özdeşim kurmaya zorlar. Filmi seyrederken doldurulacak boşlukların bolluğu karşısında, yaşam itkisi izleme süreci boyunca yaptığı işlerden dolayı gücünü yitirirken, ölüm itkisi bastırıldığı için daha fazla güç kazanır. Nihayetinde, yaşam itkisi çöker ve ölüm itkisi salonu kaplar.

            Korku filmi, ölüm itkisi ürünü olsa da, yaşam itkisini, yani seyircinin bütünlük oluşturma, eyleme istencini, anlatıdaki boşluklardan ve tutarsızlıklardan kurtulma arzusunu sömürür. Ölüm itkisi olumsuzlamayı olumsuzlar ve ulaşılabilecek en üst olumlama düzeyine ulaşır. Thanatos hiçbir şey istemezken, Eros hiçliği ister. Thanatos’un Nietzsche’nin şu sözünü tersine çevirdiğini rahatlıkla söyleyebiliriz: “insan hiçbir şey istememektense, hiçliği ister.” Eros hiçliği istemeyi ister ve her şeyin yerli yerine oturması için bütünlükler oluşturma işine girişir; sistemin hiçbir eksiği, dolayısıyla Eros’un da hiçbir isteği olmayacaktır. Thanatos bölünmelere yol açar, ve simgesel olanın ardındaki hiçliğe ulaşmaya çalışır. Thanatos hiçliği istemez; hiçbir şey istemez. Hiçbir şey istemez ki, her şeyin ortasındaki hiçliği, var olan her şeyin ardında hiçbir şey olmadığını gösterebilsin.

            Eros hiçbir şeyin eksik kalmamasını, eksikliğin eksik kalmasını isterken, Thanatos yaşamı olduğu gibi olumlar ve eksikliği ister, bir şeylerin eksik kalmasını, her şey söylendikten ve yapıldıktan sonra o eksikliğin varlığını sürdürmesini ister, ki böylece o eksikliğin sunduğu hiçliği arzulayabilsin. Thanatos hiçbir şeyin yerine bir şey koymayı istemez; bilakis, o, her şeydeki eksikliği ister. Olumsuzlamayı olumsuzlayarak, ölüm itkisi yaşamı olduğu gibi, yani bitmemişliğiyle, ve tam ortasındaki hiçlik ve ölümle birlikte olumlar.

Sonuç yerine

Bu denemede, sinematik aygıtı psikanalizle olan ilişkisi içerisinde çözümlemeye çalıştım. Adını anmamış olsam da, denemenin bütününde Gilles Deleuze’ün etkisi vardı. Henüz Fark ve Yineleme’de Deleuze beyni bir perde/ekran olarak anlar. Bana kalırsa, Deleuze’un bir perde/ekran olarak beyin anlayışının kökleri, onun Fark ve Yineleme’de yeniden yarattığı ölüm itkisi kavramındadır. Onun temsilî varlık tarzına karşı çıkışı, aslında Freud’un itki kuramındaki aşkınlığa yönelmiş kavramsallaştırmalara karşı bir saldırıdır. Deleuze külliyatı bilinçdışı itkiler ile bilinçli arzular arasındaki ilişki üzerine bir araştırma olarak okunabilir. Bu bağlamda, Deleuze’cü felsefeye sadık kalmak adına, beyni yalnızca bir perde/ekran olarak değil, aynı zamanda bir projektör olarak yeniden kavramsallaştırmak gerekir.

Sinematik aygıtın yalnızca bilinçli anlığı değil, aynı zamanda bilinçdışı itkileri de tetiklediğini, böylece yalnızca bilinç değil, bilinçdışını da ürettiğini düşünüyorum. Bilinçdışının arzuları ürettiği konusunda Deleuze’le hemfikirim, ancak Deleuze’de eksik olduğunu düşündüğüm şey, bilinçdışının da her zaman hâlihazırda sinema, medya, ve televizyon gibi dış güçler tarafından üretildiği fikridir. Dolayısıyla, bilinçdışının ürettiği arzu her zaman hâlihazırda hâkim şeyler düzenine hizmet eden hâkim bir arzulama tarzına uyum sağlamaya meyillidir.                                                                                          

İngilizce’den Çeviren: Mehmet Ratip


[1] Louis Althusser, “The Ideological State Apparatuses,” [İdeolojik Devlet Aygıtları] Mapping Ideology [İdeolojiyi Haritalandırmak], der. Slavoj Zizek (Londra: Verso, 1994), 123

[2] Althusser, 125

[3] Gilles Deleuze, “The Brain is the Screen.” The Brain is the Screen: Deleuze and the Philosophy of Cinema. Trans. Marie Therese Guiris. Ed. Gregory Flaxman (Minneapolis and London: University of Minnesota Press, 2000), 367.

[4] Christian Metz, The Imaginary Signifier: Psychoanalysis and Cinema [Hayalî Gösteren: Psikanaliz ve Sinema], çev. Celia Britton, Annwyl Williams, Ben Brewster and Alfred Guzetti (Londra: Macmillan, 1982), 136-7

[5] Christian Metz, The Imaginary Signifier: Psychoanalysis and Cinema [Hayalî Gösteren: Psikanaliz ve Sinema], çev. Celia Britton, Annwyl Williams, Ben Brewster and Alfred Guzetti (Londra: Macmillan, 1982), 120

[6] Metz, 43-9

[7] Jacques Lacan, The Seminar, Book XX: Encore, On Feminine Sexuality, The Limits of Love and Knowledge [Kadın Cinselliği Üzerine, Sevginin ve Bilginin Sınırları] (New York: Norton, 1998), 48

[8] Slavoj Zizek, Did Somebody Say Totalitarianism?[Biri Totalitarizm mi Dedi?] (Londra: Verso, 2001), 183

[9] Metz, The Imaginary Signifier [Hayalî Gösteren], 70

[10] Melanie Klein, The Psychoanalysis of Children [Çocukların Psikanalizi], çev. Alix Strachey (Londra: The Hogarth Press, 1975)

[11] Metz, The Imaginary Signifier [Hayalî Gösteren], 4

[12] Metz, 6

[13] Metz, 69

[14] Gilles Deleuze, Coldness and Cruelty [Soğukluk ve Zalimlik], çev. Jean McNeil (New York: Zone, 1989), 32

[15] Metz, 80

[16] Metz, 75

[17] Metz, 75

[18] Metz, 75

Cover of "The Time Machine"

Cover of The Time Machine


The Time Machine

The Time Machine

by H. G. Wells

The book’s protagonist is an amateur inventor or scientist living in London who is never named; he is identified simply as The Time Traveller. Having demonstrated to friends using a miniature model that time…




News from Nowhere

News from Nowhere

by William Morris

News from Nowhere (1890) is a classic work combining utopian socialism and soft science fiction written by the artist, designer and socialist pioneer William Morris. In the book, the narrator, William Guest,…




A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court

by Mark Twain

This is the tale of a 19th-century citizen of Hartford, Connecticut who awakens to find himself inexplicably transported back in time to early medieval England at the time of the legendary King Arthur in AD…




The Panchronicon

The Panchronicon

by Harold Steele MacKaye

A novel about time travel. Excerpt: “Don’t have to keep count,” he replied. “See that indicator?” he continued, pointing to a dial in the ceiling which had not been noticed before. “That reads May 3, 1898, now,…




Police Operation

Police Operation

by Henry Beam Piper

Hunting down the beast, under the best of circumstances, was dangerous. But in this little police operation, the conditions required the use of inadequate means!




Last Enemy

Last Enemy

by Henry Beam Piper

The last enemy was the toughest of all–and conquering him was in itself almost as dangerous as not conquering. For a strange pattern of beliefs can make assassination an honorable profession!




He Walked Around the Horses






by Henry Beam Piper

Was this ill-fated expedition the end of a proud, old race–or the beginning of a new one? There are strange gaps in our records of the past. We find traces of man-like things–but, suddenly, man appears, far…




Time and Time Again

Time and Time Again

by Henry Beam Piper

To upset the stable, mighty stream of time would probably take an enormous concentration of energy. And it’s not to be expected that a man would get a second chance at life. But an atomic might accomplish both–…




Key out of Time

Key out of Time

by Andre Alice Norton

Ashe Gordon and Ross Murdock, angry about the loss of their fellow agent Travis Fox on the planet Topaz, have travelled to the planet Hawaikan, a warm ocean planet, where they intend to set up a time gate. The…




The Time Traders

The Time Traders

by Andre Alice Norton

Intelligence agents have uncovered something beyond belief, but the evidence is incontrovertible: the USA’s greatest adversary is sending its own agents back through time! And someone (or something) is presenting…




The Chronic Argonauts

The Chronic Argonauts

by H. G. Wells

This brief story begins with a third-person account of the arrival of a mysterious inventor to the peaceful Welsh town of Llyddwdd. Dr. Nebogipfel takes up residence in a house sorely neglected after the deaths…




Golf in the Year 2000, or, What we are coming to

Golf in the Year 2000, or, What we are coming to

by J. McCullough

Written by a mysterious 19th-century Scottish golfer named J. (or Jay) McCullough, using the pseudonym “J.A.C.K.,” it also predicted the advent of golf carts, golf professionals and international golf competitions….




A Dream of John Ball

A Dream of John Ball

by William Morris

A Dream of John Ball (1888) is a novel by English author William Morris about the English peasants’ revolt of 1381 and the rebel John Ball. Like the novels close contemporary – A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s…




Project Mastodon




The Sleeper Awakes

The Sleeper Awakes

by H. G. Wells

The Sleeper Awakes is H. G. Wells’s wildly imaginative story of London in the twenty-second century and the man who by accident becomes owner and master of the world. In 1897 a Victorian gentleman falls into…




Looking Backward

Looking Backward

by Edward Bellamy

Set in Boston on December 26, 2000, but written before the turn of the nineteenth century, this classic Utopian novel is more significant and relevant than ever with its reappearance this millennium. Addressing…




Seven Out of Time

Seven Out of Time

by Arthur Leo Zagat

The novel concerns scientists from the future who pull seven people out of time in order to study emotion which has been lost to the human race.




Time Crime

Time Crime

by Henry Beam Piper

The Paratime Police had a real headache this time! Tracing one man in a population of millions is easy–compared to finding one gang hiding out on one of billions of probability lines!




The Time Axis

The Time Axis

by Henry Kuttner

Called to the end of time by a being known as The Face of Ea, four adventurers face a power that not even the science of that era could meet — the nekron, negative matter, negative force, ultimate desctruction…




Temple Trouble

Temple Trouble

by Henry Beam Piper

Miracles to order was a fine way for the paratimers to get mining concessions–but Nature can sometimes pull counter-miracles. And so can men, for that matter….




The Man Who Came Early

The Man Who Came Early

by Poul William Anderson

How rarely science-fiction writers succeed in creating a wholly alien culture may be judged from any adequate study of an earthly culture of a time or place which does not form part of our direct heritage. S.F’s…




The Day of the Boomer Dukes

The Day of the Boomer Dukes

by Frederik Pohl

Just as medicine is not a science, but rather an art–a device, practised in a scientific manner, in its best manifestations–time-travel stories are not science fiction. Time-travel, however, has become acceptable…




Doctor Who: Nightshade

Doctor Who: Nightshade

by Mark Gatiss

Monsters of the mind kill all in their path.




Doctor Who and the Empire of Glass




Doctor Who: Human Nature

Doctor Who: Human Nature

by Paul Cornell

“On the eve of the First World War, John Smith teaches at an English public school. But is he all that he seems?”




Doctor Who: The Sands of Time

Doctor Who: The Sands of Time

by Justin Richards

An ancient Egyptian god is reborn through Nyssa.




Doctor Who and the Scales of Injustice

Doctor Who and the Scales of Injustice

by Gary Russell

The Silurians come up against a sinister government department.








The Man Who Saw the Future

The Man Who Saw the Future

by Edmond Moore Hamilton

Excerpt: Jean de Marselait read calmly on from the parchment. “It is stated by many witnesses that for long that part of Paris, called Nanley by some, has been troubled by works of the devil. Ever and anon great…






by George H. Smith

We can anticipate that robots will be fiercely resented, at first, in a society that will see them as the latest—and an indestructible—widespread threat to the workers whom they will replace. The men who…
































  1. David Cronenberg – Introduction
  2. David Cronenberg – National Velvet, 1963 – Empire, 1964 – Andy Warhol by Robert Mapplethorpe, 1986
  3. David Cronenberg – Troy Diptych, 1962
  4. David Moss, David Cronenberg, Dennis Hopper, Amy Taubin, James Rosenquist – Couch, 1964
  5. David Cronenberg – Red Disaster, 1963
  6. David Cronenberg, Dennis Hopper, James Rosenquist, Amy Taubin – Screen Tests, Selected Participants, 1964-66
  7. David Cronenberg – Elvis I and II, 1963
  8. Elvis Presley – Flaming Star
  9. Dennis Hopper, David Cronenberg, James Rosenquist – Sleep, 1963
  10. David Cronenberg – Foot and Tire, 1963-64
  11. David Cronenberg – Sixteen Jackies, 1964
  12. David Cronenberg, Miriam Davidson – Miriam Davidson, 1965
  13. Mary-Lou Green – Haircut No. 1, late 1963
  14. David Cronenberg – Five Deaths, 1963
  15. David Cronenberg – Kiss, 1963 – Silver Disaster #6, 1963 – Blow Job, early 1964
  16. David Cronenberg – White, 1963
  17. David Cronenberg – Tunafish Disaster, 1963
  18. 18. David Cronenberg – Race Riot
  19. David Cronenberg – Most Wanted Men No. 2, John Victor G., 1964
  20. Amy Taubin, David Cronenberg – Silent Speed, Andy’s First Films
  21. David Cronenberg – Underground Filmmaking in the 60s

Recorded at The Art Gallery of Ontario
Friday, May 19. 2006

In July, he is curating an Andy Warhol exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto. “Andy was making underground films when I was making underground films,” the director said. “And I was more inspired by him than by Hollywood. He created himself: He was an outsider, a Slovakian, Catholic, gay, an artist, poor; an outsider in his own family, a triple outsider like Kafka, with his nose pressed against the New York window. And, he became the ultimate insider, the center of his own world, and drew people to him. He became a huge example of the invention of an identity.” In fact, a Cronenberg character.

Conceived and narrated by renowned filmmaker David Cronenberg to accompany the exhibition Andy Warhol/Supernova:Stars Death and Disasters, 1962-1964. Commentary by David Cronenberg, Mary-Lou Green, Dennis Hopper, David Moos,James Rosenquist and Amy Taubin.

Director David Cronenberg explains the debt he owes to Andy Warhol’s bizarre and chillingly prophetic work

Monday September 11, 2006
The Guardian

Empire is the classic. It was outrageous – yet somehow it worked. An eight-hour shot of the Empire State Building, it was high concept, not in the Hollywood sense, but the art sense. It’s got potency, resonance. Andy even said the Empire State Building was a star. It’s so New York, which was the centre of the artistic universe at the time, the 1960s. That’s why I decided to begin the Andy Warhol show I am curating with Empire.

I can’t recall when I first saw a Warhol. I feel as though he was always in my consciousness. I started making films at the same time he did, and the New York underground scene is what influenced me – and that was Andy. He didn’t think you needed access to anything to do what he was doing – just grab a camera, do your own thing, and it’ll work.

Preparing this exhibition, I was initially planning to ignore the films. It seemed too obvious to bring a film-maker in and for him to choose the films. But I didn’t have to dig deep to realise it would be a major oversight. Andy started the silk screens, the film-making and the Death and Disaster series at the same time. Everything influenced everything.

By taking photos from Life magazine and newspapers, he was democratising art. He saw everything as having artistic potential. When he picked up a camera, he just shot what was there in front of him: the people he knew, the people who stumbled into his studio. So there was that link between his art and his film-making.

Andy saw a great connection between celebrity and death. Although he worshipped celebrities, he was aware that there were different kinds of celebrity, and that celebrity was somehow involved with death. Someone asked him what he was working on when he was doing his celebrity stuff, and he replied: “Death.” He only started to work on the Marilyn silk screens after she’d committed suicide.

Because of the newspapers, he saw that anyone could be plucked out of obscurity and become famous, but only for that day, for that 15 minutes. Death – some bizarre, strange, spectacular death – would do it. Hence his Tuna Fish Disaster: two women in a suburb of Detroit became front-page news because they had eaten tainted tuna fish sandwiches and died.

I’ve also included Elvis’s hit song Flaming Star in my show, to accompany Andy’s painting. I was going to sing it myself but we managed to get the rights, so we have Elvis’s version. If Andy were around, I would have asked him to sing it. Elvis was a flaming star. It’s naive to think Andy wasn’t aware of that, and of how dark the movie that featured the song was. It was a western, and westerns could be all kinds of things; every second movie was a western in those days. But Flaming Star is about racism, and everyone dies in it, including Elvis.

Andy was a celebraholic. He would go to all the movies and read all the tabloids. He wasn’t anti-Hollywood; he loved it. But he had created his own universe in New York and become its star. Being gay, Slovakian and an artist from Pittsburgh, he never felt he could storm Hollywood. So he created his own stars, called them superstars, made his own movies and had his own studio. That’s how he dealt with that desire he had to belong, to be immortalised. And there was nothing superficial about his work. It would be easy to dismiss the flowers or soup cans as flippant or ironic, but Andy was never ironic. He said he ate Campbell’s tomato soup every day as a child and an adult. It had huge significance for him.

Andy was very shy. He didn’t like to be touched. He liked to say he was completely asexual, although I don’t think that was true. He liked to be among people, but found it difficult. He said the reason he made his first film – Sleep, about a person who was asleep – was so that he didn’t have to talk or interact with him. It was his way of working with an inanimate object, because the actor was genuinely sleeping.

Andy was doubtless shocked by JFK’s death, but there’s no way he could have identified with Jack, who was too butch and macho. He would have been with Jackie. She becomes the centre of the anguish of the Kennedy assassination. Those works [the Jackie Kennedy silkscreens] are very emotional. Andy became Jackie in the end. He had a tremendous identification with the people he put in his art. He became Elvis, too, and the electric chair.

It’s fitting that this show will be running on the fifth anniversary of 9/11. I think Andy would have thought the attacks an obvious thing to do. The assault on symbols, the way they combined death and disaster – what could have been more Warholian? In his era, it would have been the Empire State Building. He would have understood the symbolism; he would have seen that much more than buildings were being attacked. The images of people jumping out of the buildings – he had already done paintings like that. It was a bizarre prophecy. He was very prophetic and accurate in his understanding of America, of commercialism, of capitalism, of its flaws and strengths.

Interview by Matthew Hays.

· Andy Warhol Supernova: Stars, Deaths and Disasters, 1962-64, curated by David Cronenberg, is at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, Canada, until October 22, 2006

Andy Warhol in UbuWeb Film

UbuWeb Sound | UbuWeb

S w a r m   I n t e l l i g e n c e

S w a r m //// I n t e l l i g e n c e

DJ Set @ Bethanian 01.10.10
Download01. The Bug – Skeng (Autechre Remix)
02. Terror Danjah – Acid
03. Baobinga & ID – Tongue Riddim
04. Swarm Intelligence – Grinding Teeth
05. Milanese – So Malleable (Cold Mix)
06. Royal T – 1Up (Rockz Remix)
07. Swindle – Airmiles
08. Rory St John – Farewell to the Flesh
09. Africa Hitech – Lash Out
10. Rude Kid – Squash
11. Clark – Gonk Roughage
12. Joyrex – Joyrex J4
13. Baobinga – Ride It (Untold Remix)
14. DJ Boss – 1st Rendered
15. AFX – Elephant Song
16. Tempa T – Next Hype (DVA Vocal Remix)
17. Gunjack – Buckshut’s Revenge
18. Aphex Twin – Digeridoo
19. Rory St John – Deglove
20. LFO – Mummy, I’ve Had An Accident…
21. Clark – Violenl
22. Power-Pill – Pac-Man
23. Rory St John – Wasted
24. Excision & Noiz – Force
25. Jega – Rigid Body DynamicsDJ Set @ Bethanian 01.10.10 by swarmintelligence

Thrown in random order:

  • Ian Bogost
  • Jane Bennett
  • Graham Harman
  • Levi Bryant
  • Paul Ennis
  • via Spring 2010: Speculative Realism

    Heraclitus, Detail of Rafaello Santi's "T...

    Image via Wikipedia

     Heraclitus is known in antiquity as “the obscure” and is famous for playing with paradoxes in his writings. His work survives now only as a collection of short fragments, but from what we have it is clear that he was a very careful and intentional writer who deliberately used language in a precise sense. Given the evidence, it is reasonable to conjecture that his original writings—including those that are now lost to us—contained sets of sayings or aphorisms. Characteristic of these fragments is a lack of overarching order or argument. Furthermore, they offer a variety of possible interpretations and can never be pinned down with a single meaning. In this sense, the puzzling ambiguities and paradoxes of his writings suggest that they are intentionally enigmatic in order to provoke thought rather than settle it. It goes without saying he never teaches directly nor gives a clear declaration of his own views. Instead, he encourages others to reason for themselves rather than take others’ views on good authority. This requires personal engagement and participation on the part of the student, ostensibly a favored style of instruction for Heraclitus.

    Parmenides is, according to James Warren, “perhaps the most celebrated of all the early Greek philosophers” (p. 77). One of the reasons for this is, no doubt, his declaration that reality is full and complete as it is and, therefore, there is no way to understand change. What is more, there is no coming to be or passing away for Parmenides. What is cannot come to be from what is not. What is is ungenerated, undying, and eternal presence. It just is.

    Diogenetic Banksy

    Zeno and Melissus

    Given Parmenides lasting effect regarding the unchanging essence of what is, philosophers henceforth speculated about the origin and composition of the cosmos under the shadow of Parmenides, especially in attempting to account for processes of change and generation within the universe. Two thinkers in particular who extended the thought of Parmenides were Zeno and Melissus – the three together often subsumed under the descriptor the Eleatic school.… Read More

    Indecent Bazaar

    via Indecent Bazaar

    Transcribed from the Backdoor Broadcasting Company recording.

    Ray Brassier: I’m going to be talking about Nick Land’s work. I’m going to talk about it philosophically, and explain why, because I think that’s a key to understanding what its political ramifications might be. If you want to understand if a politics of accelerationism is possible or feasible, you need to confront the internal conceptual intelligibility of the accelerationist program… Read More

    via moskvax

    a very rare picture of samuel beckett… maythemusic:  en attendant… rions un peu avec Samuel Beckett

     Principal Supervisor: Laura Cull

    As Beckett scholar, Mary Bryden has noted, Gilles Deleuze’s philosophical engagement with Samuel Beckett’s work is particularly focused on his early novels and latterly with his television projects, rather than on the stage plays for which Beckett is best known to theatre scholars, such as: Waiting for Godot, Happy Days and Krapp’s Last Tape. Known for his antipathy towards spectatorship of live theatrical events, Deleuze ignores these canonical plays in favour of analyzing lesser-known works such as the novel Molloy and the television play, Quad. Correlatively, there are few examples in current scholarship – either theoretical or practical – of Deleuzian approaches to Beckett’s theatre. We would be pleased to accept proposals from suitably qualified candidates who are interested in exploring the implications of Deleuze’s philosophy – beyond his specific commentaries on Beckett – for understandings of Beckett’s theatre. In turn, the project may wish to consider how Beckett’s own theorization of his theatre practice might feedback onto understandings of Deleuze. The project may be designed to culminate in a purely written thesis or in both practical and written outcomes. To apply, please use the online ‘Studentship Application Form’ (found at and submit to Scott Burdon at
    Informal enquiries are welcome – for further details please contact Dr Ysanne Holt (
    Deadline for applications is Friday 29 October 2010
    Interviews will be held week commencing 22 November 2010

    Philosophy E-books


    The Birth of Novalis: Friedrich Von Hardenberg’s Journal of 1797, With Selected Letters and Documents

    Fichte Studies

    Philosophical Writings


    Selected Writings on Aesthetics

    Another Philosophy of History and Selected Political Writings

    Philosophical Writings


    Contributions to Philosophy (From Enowning)

    The Metaphysical Foundations of Logic

    The Fundamental Concepts of Metaphysics: World, Finitude, Solitude

    The Basic Problems of Phenomenology

    Schelling’s Treatise on Human Freedom

    The Essence of Human Freedom: An Introduction to Philosophy

    The Essence of Truth: On Plato’s Parable of the Cave and the Theaetetus

    Towards the Definition of Philosophy

    The Hermeneutics of Facticity


    Heidegger Memorial Lectures

    Hegel’s Dialectic

    Philosophical Hermeneutics

    The Beginning of Knowledge

    Dieter Henrich

    Between Kant and Hegel

    The Unity of Reason: Essays on Kant’s Philosophy


    Love as Passion: The Codification of Intimacy

    Law as a Social System

    The Reality of the Mass Media


    Fear and Trembling and Repetition

    Either/Or I

    Librophiliac Love Letter: A Compendium of Beautiful Libraries | Curious Expeditions


    Poetry E-books

    Charles Baudelaire, Les Fleurs du Mal

    C.P. Cavafy, The Collected Poems (fixed)

    Fernando Pessoa, A Little Larger Than the Entire Universe

    Fernando Pessoa, 35 Sonnets

    Ezra Pound, The Cantos

    William Carlos Williams, Collected Earlier Poems

    W.B. Yeats, The Collected Poems

    Dante, The Divine Comedy (bilingual edition, Mandelbaum translation)

    Anon., The Epic of Gilgamesh (Andrew George trans.)

    T.S. Eliot, Collected Poems, 1909-1962

    T.S. Eliot, The Annotated Waste Land

    Federico Garcia Lorca, Selected Poems

    Homer, The Iliad (Fagles trans.)

    Homer, The Odyssey (Fagles trans.)

    Langston Hughes, Collected Poems

    John Milton, Paradise Lost (old spelling edition, ed. Barbara K. Lewalski)

    Ezra Pound, The ABC of Reading

    —Hugh Kenner, The Pound Era

    —Carroll F. Terrell, A Companion to ‘The Cantos’ of Ezra Pound’, I

    —Carroll F. Terrell, A Companion to ‘The Cantos’ of Ezra Pound’, II

    Virgil, The Aeneid (Ahl trans.)

    Wallace Stevens, The Collected Poems

    Walt Whitman, The Portable Whitman

    William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Lyrical Ballads

    John Keats, Selected Letters

    Georg Trakl, Poems and Prose

    Charles Olson, ‘Projective Verse’


    Hart Crane

    Collected Poems


    Selected Letters


    “A” (119 MB)


    The Norton Anthology of Poetry

    The Oxford Book of American Poetry

    (Much thanks to Karim for all of these)

    Posted by cogito
    Table journals

    Image via Wikipedia

    I’m a little late on this, but you still have a month left to enjoy unfettered, free access to Sage Journals Online. Good times to be had for all you independent scholar types out there. … Read More

    via An und für sich

    The consequences of projection of fantasies onto the Real can be clearly observed in Kerouac’s The Subterraneans, which was quite a subversive book in its time, carrying Kerouac quite high up the cultural ladder, and in Burroughsian terms “causing thousands of Levi’s sold”. 

     San Francisco, California

    In The Subterraneans we see Jack Kerouac’s persona Leo oscillating between attraction to and repulsion by Mardou who is a Cherokee American. One half of Leo loves Mardou and the other half is afraid of this love. If in one chapter Leo declares his love for Mardou, in the next chapter we see him resenting her. Leo’s oscillation between the life drive and the death drive constitute a movement between negation and the transcendence of this negation. Affirmation always remains at bay for Kerouac and his character Leo. Perhaps only at the beginning of the novel he gets a bit closer to affirmation, but this affirmation is in no way an affirmation of Mardou as she is. Rather, it is the affirmation of what has happened throughout the novel, an affirmation of that which has lead to the break-up of Mardou and Leo, as if what has taken place was what actually happened, rather than a projection of Leo’s paranoid fantasy on what has actually happened. At the end of the novel it becomes clear that all that has been lived had been lived for this novel to be written, rather than for its own sake.

    […] this was my three week thought and really the energy behind or the surface one behind the creation of the Jealousy Phantasy in the Grey Guilt dream of the World Around Our Bed.)—now I saw Mardou pushing Yuri with a OH YOU and I shuddered to think something maybe was going on behind my back – felt warned too by the quick and immediate manner Yuri heard me coming and rolled off but as if guiltily as I say after some kind of goose or feel up some illegal touch of Mardou which made her purse little love loff lips at him and push at him and like kids.[1]

    Upon having the dream Leo begins to see everything through the keyhole of his obsession that one day Mardou will sleep with Yuri if she hasn’t already done so. I would like to read this story with the story of Adam and Eve’s fall from Heaven to Earth in mind, or the passage from the old Earth to the new Earth. What’s at stake here is the conflict between what’s going on in Leo’s mind as to what’s going on in Mardou’s mind and what’s really going on in Mardou’s mind. There is, in reality, nothing going on in Mardou’s mind. It is Leo projecting what he read in the Bible onto Mardou’s mind, what he read in the Bible being that it was Eve who caused the fall, for it was her who tempted Adam to eat the apple. So Leo is projecting what he has introjected from the Bible. And the Bible was the representation of women in general and his mother in particular for Kerouac. The preconception in Leo’s mind that women are evil, sinful, and guilty by nature both attracts and repels Leo. This state of being caught in a movement between repulsion/attraction ties the subject with an endless chain of negative associations to his own fear of being betrayed, pushing him further towards madness and death. The final words of the book bring the end which Leo was from the beginning of the relationship more than willing to reach: separation and through writing it down reunification with the lost object. For as we know from Freud, “writing was in its origin the voice of an absent person.”

    And I go home having lost her love.

    And write this book.[2]

      Leo believes that he has had the dream and that if he has the dream of it the sexual intercourse in real life has either taken place or will take place in the future. Kerouac/Leo is, “at present,” writing The Subterraneans. And everything has already taken place; the sequence of events follows this way: Leo has the dream, Mardou engages in sexual intercourse with Yuri, Mardou and Leo break up, Leo continues the daydream, laughs to retain sanity in the face of this tragedy, and goes home and writes this book. In it there is no true story; and it doesn’t matter whether there is or not a true story other than the story of an unhappy consciousness running towards its death in and through a story of love, affection, resentment, guilt, and compassion, which exposes the symptoms of a life as it unceasingly wills its subject’s end.

    […]still making no impression on my eager impressionable ready-to-create construct destroy and die brain – as will be seen in the great construction of jealousy which I later from a dream and for reasons of self-laceration recreated…[3]   

    Now, Leo sees Mardou in bed with Yuri and obsessively believes that his dream will come true. Leo believes himself to be a clairvoyant, that he has the ability to know things prior to seeing them actually taking place before his eyes. This he has introjected from Mardou herself, who, in a Nietzschean fashion, believes, does, and says things which simultaneously repel and attract Leo. There is no linear narrative in Mardou’s story about her adventures with the subterraneans of San Francisco and Leo likes it because there remain lots of gaps for him to fill with his fantasies later on when he is writing his story. Say what she may,

    I got nervous and had some kind of idea about Mike, he kept looking at me like he wanted to kill me – he has such a funny look anyway – I got out of the house and walked along and didn’t know which way to go, my mind kept turning into the several directions that I was thinking of going but my body kept walking straight along Columbus altho’ I felt the sensation of each of the directions I mentally and emotionally turned into, amazed at all the possible directions you can take with different motives that come in, like it can make you a different person – I’ve often thought of this since childhood, of suppose instead of going up Columbus as I usually did I’d turn into Filbert would something happen that at the time is insignificant enough but would be like enough to influence my whole life in the end? – What’s in store for me in the direction I don’t take? – and all that, so if this had not been such a constant preoccupation that accompanied me in my solitude which I played upon in as many different ways as possible I wouldn’t bother now except but seeing the horrible roads this pure supposing goes to it took me to frights, if I wasn’t so damned persistent –’ and so on deep into the day, a long confusing story only pieces of which and imperfectly I remember, just the mass of the misery in connective form –[4]

    What, then, is this “connective form”? Who, then, is the subject of this “mass of misery pieces of which are imperfectly remembered”? There is a different way of remembering in action here, a different way of being in relation to time and language in this “imperfect remembrance” of the lived experiences. The problem with Kerouac’s writing is that he is not separating his introjected object from the projecting subject. Kerouac wants to represent Mardou as she is and yet he at the same time wants to prove that Leo was the one pulling the strings from the beginning. What Mardou is actually trying to convey is veiled by Kerouac who makes it impossible for the reader to distinguish between fiction and reality, self and other, subject and object, projected and introjected. His voice dissolves into the voice of Mardou and Mardou’s story remains unheard. Rather than unveiling, Kerouac’s writing not only veils but also manipulates the truth of the other for his abusive purposes. All his life Kerouac struggled to traverse this field of partial representations of the other, but being an innocent fascist he repeatedly fell into his own traps and failed in affirming the real as it is. If he could have loved the real as it is, he could have “delivered himself from his automatic reactions,” and thus he could have become “a body without organs.”[5]

    While most of us live by the time of good sense, the Nietzschean subject is able to defy such sense and experience the creative evolution of self in exploration of a deeper memory – the virtual memory of the pure past as the event of events of the eternal return. Rather than a self-identical self, the self of the third synthesis of time is a creatively evolving self who is able to genuinely affirm life as metamorphosis.[6]

    Leo chooses to become partially mad, for Mardou is the other half of his madness. The internal theatre of Leo stages a sexual intercourse between Mardou and Yuri and/but although this intercourse has not yet taken place, Leo is assured that one day it will. Leo had started plotting ways of getting rid of Mardou three weeks prior to their split. Is this will a will to end the relationship that makes Leo see this dream? In other words, is the source of this dream a will-to-nothingness-oriented-hope, a wish that Mardou will engage in sexual intercourse with Yuri and the relationship will end that way? Or is the dream based on a will-to-nothingness-oriented-fear that Mardou does not, and has never loved Leo? These questions can be asked if one wants to know what the dream means, in other words these questions are interpretation oriented questions and my aim here is not to interpret Leo’s dream and understand what it means but rather to make use of this dream in understanding why this dream matters not only for The Subterraneans, but also for twentieth century philosophy, literature, cultural and critical theory, and psychoanalysis.

     Both Oedipus and Leo see themselves as innocent victims “caught in a trap set by the God.” Fiction and reality give birth to one another in each case. In Oedipus’ case the prophecy turns into truth, in Leo’s case a dream turns into reality. Leo believes in what he sees in his dream and he sees Mardou in bed with Yuri. And his strong belief, almost an obsession, that one day Mardou will sleep with Yuri gives birth to the actualisation of this event at the end of the novel. Leo tells everyone about his dream. He tells Mardou almost every day following his dream that he is worried about the future of their relationship. Leo’s paranoid-schizoid attitude prepares the grounds for the actualization of what he was afraid of. At the end of the story, the only thing left at hand for Leo to make the best of is to write his experiences down and turn his loss into a gain in and through language. Leo is such a tragic character that in order to remain sane he has to laugh at himself by considering the “whole host and foolish illusion and entire rigmarole and madness we erect in the place of one love, in our sadness…”[7] to be a joke. When Leo learns that Mardou has actually slept with Yuri, when the truth is finally established, when fiction turns into reality, he addresses the reader:

    […]but I continue the daydream and I look into his eyes and I see suddenly the glare of a jester angel who made his presence on earth all a joke and I realize that this too with Mardou was a joke and I think, ‘Funny Angel, elevated amongst the subterraneans.’

    ‘Baby its up to you,’ is what she’s actually saying, ‘ about how many times you wanta see me and all that – but I want to be independent like I say.’

    And I go home having lost her love.

    And write this book.[8]

    Cover art from the film and soundtrack editions of THE SUBTERRANEANS. Cover art from the film and soundtrack editions of  The Subterraneans 

    Kerouac writes through love, but through a love that Leo is afraid of falling in. And his writing is the product of a sick desire, it is driven by a love of love, a desire to be desired. Kerouac exposes himself through Leo in such a way as to show why it is necessary to create something without becoming destructive of either the self or the other. Something that he himself doesn’t know how to do. It is an ill will that drives Kerouac towards manic-depressive, self-destructive alcoholism. His consciousness of the absence of “eternal love” in this finite life together with his immortal longing for an eternal love turn him into “a shipwreck on the shores of lust.” What Kerouac lacks in life is what is necessary to operate the war-machine in Kerouac. Love is the force that drives the war-machine and Kerouac is afraid of loving with a greater love, without projective identification. He is a paranoid love-machine because his love is in the form of a spark given birth by the struggle between the superiority and the inferiority complexes he simultaneously harbors within himself.

    In the absence of a war–machine, war dominates the world. And when war dominates the world there is nothing left for one to write but that although his books are among the most important examples of a different way of being in relation to time, language, and life, Kerouac is “locked into an attenuating endgame, playing himself, with each move, further into a corner and into defeat.”[9] He, suffering inordinately from an irrecoverable loss, an irreparable deterioration of psychic and somatic health, pays a high price to render us the witnesses of his fantastic experiences.

    Kerouac died in 1969 and/but long ago, in 1951, eighteen years before ceasing to exist among the living, in On the Road, he writes this:

    And for just a moment I had reached the point of ecstasy that I always wanted to reach, which was the complete step across chronological time into timeless shadows, and wonderment in the bleakness of the mortal realm, and the sensation of death kicking at my heels to move on, with a phantom dogging its own heels, and myself hurrying to a plank where all the angels dove off and flew into the holy void of uncreated emptiness, the potent and inconceivable radiances shining in bright Mind Essence, innumerable lotus-lands falling open in the magic mothswarm of heaven. I could hear an indescribable seething soar which wasn’t in my ear but everywhere and had nothing to do with sounds. I realized that I had died and been reborn numberless times but just didn’t remember especially because the transition from life to death and back to life are so ghostly easy, a magical action for naught, like falling asleep and waking up again a million times, the utter casualness and deep ignorance of it. I realized it was only because of the stability of the intrinsic mind that these ripples of birth and death took place, like that action of wind on a sheet of pure, serene, mirror-like water. I felt sweet, swinging bliss, like a big shot of heroin in the mainline vein; like a gulp of wine late in the afternoon and it makes you shudder; my feet tingled. I thought I was going to die the very next moment.[10]

    What Kerouac enjoys is death from pleasure, what he desires is suffering. In Kerouac’s writing there is a multiplication of the directions towards which it becomes possible for the subject to head as the subject goes along the way creating new life forces out of his Dionysiac regress. In time, however, Kerouac’s revolutionary becoming takes such a direction that his desire turns against itself turning him into a reactive force drowning in his own resentment. The Kerouac image represented by the media (newspapers, TV, radio), is in conflict with Kerouac’s image of himself, and this relation to himself of Kerouac through a media, through an external force, through a panoptic eye, locks Kerouac into the projection-introjection mechanism through which he constantly breaks and is beaten by as he beats. This operation is more than Kerouac can actively handle, and turns him into a reactive and anti-social person making him “rather will nothingness than not will,” destroying him in the process.


    In Julio Cortazar’s short story Axolot, we read the main character realizing that the type of fish called Axolot stand still in water with no movement at all, a kind of motionless flight. With this realization the character commits himself to becoming like those fish himself. At the end of the story he sees everyone outside of himself as an Axolot fish. He has become an axolot himself. He has gone beyond the finitude of his existence. He becomes altogether immobile, merely an observer, watching people, life, opportunities, and time pass by. Eventually he becomes imperceptible. Here and now everything is continually changing towards becoming-imperceptible. Time turns something into nothing. Everything is in time only for a short period of time. Then everything disappears in a neutral light.

    To have dismantled one’s self in order finally to be alone and meet the true double at the other end of the line. A clandestine passenger on a motionless voyage. To become like everybody else; but this, precisely, is a becoming only for one who knows how to be nobody, to no longer be anybody. To paint oneself gray on gray.[11]

    It is the ambiguity of the relationship between the life drive and the death drive that is being manipulated by global capitalism (contemporary nihilism) today. Undecidability, absence of foundational truth procedures, loss of principles, and declarations of the end of history and the subject are all manifestations of a discursive disease which is very rapidly contaminating the relationship between humans and their own health. In a world where a normal person must have a therapist, where having a therapist is a sign of normalcy, there can be no other choice but to shake the foundations of the illusions on which the health of many generations to come depends.         

    Carrying out an intervention in the course of events, introducing a split into the continuity of things requires learning how not to be produced by the image factory which captures desire in a certain order of signification mechanism so as to turn the subject into a copy of the products of the image factory, or into the object of the other’s interpretation  and identification processes. To become capable at least to subvert the codes of the capitalist axiomatics which produces desire as the desire of nothingness and death, this subject should come to a realization that he/she is already caught up in the projection-introjection mechanism. So the subject has to learn to use the projection-introjection mechanism in such a way as to sustain the conditions for the impossibility of wickedness in the form of exclusive and illusory constructions of the Real. Surviving the absence of a transcendental signified in a “time out of joint” requires learning to love the object of desire for what it is rather than for what it resembles. This is to love and live without projective identification, without paranoid reactions to the other, without possessing the other, or without confining the other within the boundaries of the self. One has to cease to be somebody and learn to become nobody so as to create a difference in and for itself and affirm this difference by affirming the difference of that which is “not I.”

    Movie from the book: “The subterraneans” (1960; Dir. Ranald MacDougall) featuring Gerry Mulligan, Art Pepper, Art Farmer, André Previn and Carmen McRae on screen.

    The Subterraneans- Kerouac, Pollock and Bowie from magicloaf on Vimeo.

    Cengiz Erdem, The Life Death Drives (London:, 2009), 210 – 220.

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    Kerouac'ın aşk müziği 

    Jack Kerouac’ın Türkçeye yeni çevrilen romanı ‘Yeraltı Sakinleri’ bu yıl okuyacağınız aşk romanlarının en afilisi. Roman, Beat Kuşağı’nın özgürleştirici anlatım tekniklerinin ilk uygulamasını da satırlarında barındırıyor. Kerouac, en ünlü kitabı ‘Yolda’yı üç haftada, ‘Yeraltı Sakinleri’ni üç günde yazmıştı.

    Kerouac’ın aşk müziği – Kaya Genç (Radikal Kitap)

    [1] Jack Kerouac, The Subterraneans (Penguin: London, 2001), 69

    [2] Kerouac, The Subterraneans, 93

    [3] Kerouac, 39

    [4] Jack Kerouac, The Subterraneans, 20

    [5]Antonin Artaud, Selected Writings, ed. Susan Sontag (University of California: Berkeley, 1975), 570-1 “When you will have made him a body without organs,

    then you will have delivered him from all his automatic reactions and restored him to his true freedom

    then you will teach him again to dance wrong side out

    as in the frenzy of dancehalls

    and this wrong side out will be his real place.”

    [6] Tamsin Lorraine, “Living a Time Out of Joint,” Between Deleuze and Derrida, eds. Paul Patton and John Protevi (Continuum: London and NY, 2003), 39

    [7] Kerouac, The Subterraneans (Penguin: London, 2001), 77

    [8] Kerouac, 93

    [9] J.M. Coetzee, Youth (Secker and Warburg: London, 2002), 169

    [10] Jack Kerouac, On the Road (New York: The Viking Press, 1957), 173

    [11] Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus, trans. Brian Massumi (University of Minnesota Press: Minnesota, 1988), 197

    Cengiz Erdem, The Life Death Drives (London:, 2009), 210 – 220.

    (via dubmode, fakefuneral)

    Zamanın uçurumundan ve ötesindeki karanlıktan başka ne görüyorsunuz? – William Shakespeare

    Kanlı bir yumurta sarısı. Bir çarşafa yayılan yanmış bir delik. Herkesi açmakla tehdit eden öfkeli bir gül. – May Svvenson

    Dipsiz bir uçurumun içine baktığınız zaman, o da sizin içinize bakar. – Friedrich Nietzsche

    Baktıkça bakıyorsunuz kendinize, Yetişir! Bu da hiç konuşmayan adam yapıyor sizi. – Edip Cansever

    Yazmak mutsuzluğun nedeni değil, sonucudur. – Montaigne

    Mutsuzluk dünyanın en komik şeyidir. – Beckett

    İşler daha kötüye gidemeyecek hale gelince daha iyiye gitmeye başlar. – Kafka

    Ben sahiden Rosie’yim, Ve ben Gerçek Rosie’yim, Bana inansanız iyi olur, Ben çok çok önemliyim. – Maurice Sendak

    Bir deliyle başedebilmek için normal rolü yapmanız gerekir. – Herman Hesse

    Gülün dikene katlanması onu güzel kokulu yaptı. – Mevlana

    Her gün yeniden doğmalı. – Yunus Emre

     Zeno: Filozofun Bir Ölümlü Olarak Portresi – “Zeno” Kimdir, Kim’(ler)in Hikâyesidir?

    Zeno -Filozofun Bir Ölümlü Olarak PortresiCengiz Erdem Cinius Yayınları İçe dönük infilâklardan medet uman garip bir düşünme biçiminin girdaplarında boğulan bireyin kendi yarattığı lâbirentte kayboluşunun ve çözümü sevgide bulmak suretiyle yeniden doğuşunun öyküsü…  Elindeki bu kitap hayatı kilitlenmiş bir adamın kendini içinde bulduğu ruhsal ve fiziksel durumlara karşı giriştiği amansız mücadeleyi anlatıyor sevgili okur.Kendini içinde bulduğu anlamsız rutinin pençesinde kıvranan bir akademisyen olan Zeno kendisine bir komplo kurulduğundan emindir. Çevresinde gelişen her olayı kendi kafasında kurduğu komplo teorilerinin süzgecinden geçtikten sonra gören bu kurban-kahraman adeta bir hiç kimse haline gelmiştir. Birbiri ardına yayınladığı kitaplar onu gittikçe daha yalnızlaştırmış. adeta şeffaf bir duvar örmüştür çevresine. Aşkta başarısız olduğu ve hayatta istediği noktadan çok uzakta olduğu için gittikçe nefretle dolmaya başlar Zeno çevresine karşı. Psikoz zuhur etmiş, kahramanımız paranoyak senaryolarla doldurmaya çalışmaktadır hayatındaki boşluğu. O kadar önemsiz hissetmektedir ki Zeno kendisini, ölmek isteyecek noktaya gelmiştir artık. Bu senaryolar ona kendisini önemli hissetirmekte ve ölümü uzak tutmaktadır hayatından. Yayın Yılı: 2007144 sayfa12,5x19,5 cmISBN:9944126816İLGİLİ KONULAR:Links > New Book-Fantezi Makinesinde Hakikat Sızıntısı 

    Zeno -Filozofun Bir Ölümlü Olarak Portresi
    Cengiz Erdem
    Cinius Yayınları 

    İçe dönük infilâklardan medet uman garip bir düşünme biçiminin girdaplarında boğulan bireyin kendi yarattığı lâbirentte kayboluşunun ve çözümü sevgide bulmak suretiyle yeniden doğuşunun öyküsü…

     organ without a body

    The Naked Lunch I am concerned with here is David Cronenberg’s film about William Burroughswriting process of Naked Lunch. The film, rather than being a direct adaptation of the novel, is a distillation of Burroughs’s life as he strives to write himself out of the past. We see Burroughs progressively deteriorating to the level of a dumb beast as he tries to make sense of his sufferings in and through writing. In the introduction he wrote for the 1985 edition of his earlier novel Queer, the writing of which dates back to 1953 following the two years period of depression, guilt, and anxiety ridden self-hatred after his accidental shooting of his wife Joan in September 1951, Burroughs, in an almost confessional manner, explicates the sources of his compulsion to write. Writing, for Burroughs, represents his lifelong pursuit of getting out of consciousness and reaching the area between fantasy and reality.

    I am forced to the appalling conclusion that I would never have become a writer but for Joan’s death, and to a realization of the extent to which this event has motivated and formulated my writing. I live with the constant threat of possession, and a constant need to escape from possession, from Control. So the death of Joan brought me in contact with the invader, the Ugly Spirit, and maneuvered me into a lifelong struggle, in which I have had no choice except to write my way out.[1]

    The death of Joan creates a space within Burroughs into which he escapes, and attempts to fill with his writings. Cronenberg explicates what Burroughs had already implied in his introduction to Queer. In the film writing in particular and creativity in general is shown to be a response to a traumatic incident, that is, production of fantasies to compensate for the horrors of life. As the film proceeds so does the mental deterioration of Bill Lee who represents Burroughs in the movie. The first signs of Lee’s split come when he is arrested by two policemen for “the possession of dangerous substances.” What they are talking about is the bug-powder which, Lee, who has given up writing to become a bug exterminator, uses to kill insects. The two policemen ask him to demonstrate his profession. One of them puts an insect the size of a hand on a pile of bug powder to see if the insect will die. As the insect begins moving its wings, arms, and legs they leave the room and Lee with the insect. As soon as they leave the room the insect tells Lee through a mouth-anus at its back that it has instructions for him, that it comes from the Interzone, that his wife Joan is not actually human and that he has to kill her. The insect asks Lee if he could put some bug powder on its mouth-anus upon the application of which it starts to make noises and movements as if in an orgy. In the next scene we are in reality and Joan is asking Lee to put some bug powder on her lips. As wee see a few scenes later that the mouth-anus turns out to be the abyss, the bottomless depth, or the space in-between fantasy and reality in which Lee loses himself and shoots his wife.

    This presentation of fantasy and reality side by side occurs throughout the film. It is when the gap between fantasy and reality disappears that the Unconscious manifests itself. In the case of Bill Lee the undesired event is pushed back into the unconscious in turn causing an accumulation of sadistic impulses in him. These sadistic impulses are then externalized in and through writing. For Burroughs writing was cathartic in that it liberated the untamed drives and prevented the manifestation of aggression in the external world. In Cronenberg what we see is almost the opposite of this attitude to writing. As we know from Dead Ringers, Videodrome, and eXistenZ, for Cronenberg writing and creativity have destructive rather than therapeutic effects on the writer. In the film Bill Lee emerges as the culmination of these two opposing views on not only the creative process but also the relationship between the creator and the creation, the subject and the object, mind and body. As the arena of this conflict Bill Lee’s world is that of the one in-between the internal and the external worlds, the Interzone, or in psychoanalytic terms the Unconscious, the Real, where there is no self or not self.

    Interzone is Tangiers on the North African coast where Burroughs wrote Naked Lunch in 1953. In those days it was a place of escape for the self-exiled artists and artisans. At Interzone everyone has their own particular universality in one big universal cesspool and that cesspool is Lee’s fantasy world. The Real, or the Unconscious, is impossible to represent and all those monsters, bug-typewriters, and disgusting images are only the creations of Lee’s hallucinating mind. In it every universality is surrounded by many other universalities and each universality is a body without organs. Upon arrival at the Interzone Lee starts to see his typewriter as an insect resembling the one which he had first encountered in the interrogation room at the police station. The bug-typewriter becomes the mouth-anus mechanism, the partial object opening a gap through language in-between the body without organs and the organ without a body.

    Orality is naturally prolonged in cannibalism and anality in the case of which partial objects are excreta, capable of exploding the mother’s body, as well as the body of the infant. The bits of one are always the persecutors of the other, and, in this abominable mixture which constitutes the Passion of the nursing infant, persecutor and persecuted are always the same. In this system of mouth-anus or aliment-excrement, bodies burst and cause other bodies to burst in a universal cesspool.[2]

    Here Deleuze is referring to Melanie Klein’s Psychoanalysis of Children. The state of being which Deleuze summarizes is the paranoid-schizoid position of the child, the world of simulacra. At this stage, which preceeds Lacan’s mirror stage, the child is not yet capable of identification. There is an introjection-projection mechanism going on but the objects, internal and external, are experienced as bad objects. The conception of goodness has not yet developed in the child. Since there is no good object for the child to identify with there is no condition of possibility for the identificatory process with a good or a bad object, there is no self or not self.

    The paranoid-schizoid position is followed by the manic-depressive position in which identification with a good object takes place. The passage from paranoid-schizoid introjection-projection to manic-depressive identification is the process of passing through the Interzone, or in Lacan’s words “traversing the fantasy.” In Deleuze’s terms this process is the hovering of an impersonal consciousness over the transcendental field of partial objects. The bug-typewriter is Lee’s impersonal consciousness manifesting itself in the form of a paranoid fantasy, a body without organs which is pretending to be an organ without a body. In fact it is neither a body without organs nor an organ without a body and yet it is both at the same time. It is a becoming in between being and non-being.

    Cronenberg’s move is away from Burroughs’s Kafkaesque understanding of the body as metaphor and towards a Deleuzean narrative of the metamorphosis of the body in a literal sense. All those self-destructive creators are inverted into the spotlight in and through Croneberg’s films and this enables Cronenberg to contemplate on the creative process as an inversion of destructive process and fill the film with this contemplation. What we see in Naked Lunch is the death drive in conflict with the life drive.

    In Deleuze the body without organs is the metaphor of the death drive. And since the death drive is a response to the fragmentation of the self, it can only take the form of a paranoid fantasy projected onto the Real. The body without organs is the partial objects brought together in a totalizing way, in a way that deprives them of their partialities.

    What the schizoid position opposes to bad partial objects—introjected and projected, toxic and excremental, oral and anal—is not a good object, even if it were partial. What is opposed is rather an organism without parts, a body without organs, with neither mouth nor anus, having given up all introjection or projection, and being complete, at this price.[3]

    The body without organs, then, is the absence of a connection between the subject’s inside and outside. The subject, in a state of total negation, neither eats nor excretes. It eats nothingness itself and becomes the catatonic (w)hole. It is not out of the body without organs that the subject is born but from the paranoid-schizoid position which consists of a not yet formed consciousness, an impersonal consciousness violently attacking the external world and splitting the given unities. As opposed to the body without organs it consists of projection and introjection of the partial objects surrounding the subject to create fantasies such as an illusionary ego, and learns to keep the body without organs, or the Real at bay. The paranoid-schizoid position is followed by the manic-depressive position which corresponds to the formation of the super-ego and the sustenance of a balance between id, ego, and super-ego.

    Burroughs’s cut-up and fold-in techniques appear to be the two constituent parts of his defense mechanism against the spectre of Joan haunting him. To escape from the paralyzing state of being haunted by the spectre, that is, not to turn into a body without organs, he carries the projection-introjection mechanism to its furthest and literally and unconsciously puts words and sentences, partial objects, next to and within each other to make up discontinuities, cause ruptures and keep the Real at bay. Through giving a voice to the Real as it is before symbolization, Burroughs’s intends to prevent it from becoming real, from being actualized  hence submitting the governance of his actions to an external force. It is this mechanism of repression inherent in the cut-up technique that causes what it tries to cure. The cut-up technique involves literally cutting-up passages and putting them together as a new text which would be neither the one nor the other, hence deforming the syntax. The fold-in technique involves folding into each other the different parts of the same text, hence distorting the order of time. In both states what is at stake is a total negation of the external world as a result of its being considered as hostile. In Burroughs the paranoid fantasy projected on the real replaces reality with its inverted version, that is, Burroughs turns what he imagines the external world to be against itself by creating a paranoid fantasy involving a scenario in which the subject believes itself to be governed by an internally constituted external and evil force. Burroughs discovered cut-up and fold-in techniques as a defense mechanism against the paranoid fantasy he constructed around himself. To get out of this mad symbolic world, he decided to slash it into pieces and connect it with other texts that are themselves torn apart.

    Burroughs’s cut-up technique is a result of his search for a way of desymbolizing the paranoid symbolic world he had constructed and projected onto the external world. Burroughs thought resymbolization was therapeutic in that it gave voice to the evil within in the way of expelling it. Cut-up technique aims at desymbolizing the totalitarian system surrounding the subject and was a defense against the totalitarian nature of this resymbolization. Burroughs himself admits in a letter written to Kerouac shortly after beginning to use the cut-up and fold-in techniques that “writing now causes me an almost unendurable pain.”[4] In Naked Lunch the movie, the theme of the materiality of language recurs through the encounters between the bug-typewriter and Bill Lee. Bill Lee creates an insect within, projects it onto his typewriter, and talks with it.  His creations have taken on lives of their own and are doing and saying things mostly against him.

    • (via silent-musings)In Nova Express, Burroughs’s 1964 text, The Invisible Man says, “These colourless sheets are what flesh is made from—Becomes flesh when it has colour and writing—That is Word and Image write the message that is you on colourless sheets determine all flesh.”[5] Burroughs had a strong sense of the materiality of language. When he has The Invisible Man say “becomes flesh when it has colour and writing” he is in a way referring to the Unconscious as the invisible man who is striving to become visible to himself and to others in and through language.

     Foucault’s interpretation of Bentham’s Panoptic mechanism becomes relevant here. In Discipline and Punish Michel Foucault presents the Panopticon as a metaphor of how power operates within modern western society. A revolutionary apparatus for its time (19th century), the Panopticon was more than just a model of prison for Foucault, it was a mechanism to keep an absent eye on the prisoner, to keep them under control at all times.

    The Panopticon functions as a kind of laboratory of power. Thanks to its mechanisms of observation, it gains in efficiency and in the ability to penetrate into men’s behaviour; knowledge follows the advances of power, discovering new objects of knowledge over all the surfaces on which power is exercised.[6]

    The formulation of the concept of the Panopticon involves not only seeing without being seen, but also a mechanism that imposes both their differences and their resemblances upon the subjects. So the subject’s difference from other subjects is itself externally constituted, but is also internal to the subject. The subject is the product of the mechanism in which the subject finds/loses itself, and participates in the setting of the trap. Some subjects are produced in such a way as to act on an illusory sense of consciousness, that they are in control of their lives and events surrounding them, that they are freely choosing their destiny, when in fact all the rules and possibilities of action are always already set. In a panoptic mechanism taking on passive and submissive roles brings wealth, love, health, and even happiness. In a panoptic mechanism everyone is a slave, but some are less so than the others. In a panoptic mechanism submissiveness brings power. The system is such that the subject, to feel secure, takes on a passive role. In return the subject is recognized as worthy of a higher step on the social ladder, which brings an illusionary sense of security. The efficiency of the panoptic mechanism depends on its ability to produce submissive/adaptive/rational subjects.


    Burroughs’s mind works exactly like a panoptic mechanism. And I think this has been one of the major concerns of Cronenberg throughout the shooting of the Naked Lunch. What we have in the movie is a man who has been caught up in a trap that he himself set. Bill Lee projects the construct of his psyche onto the external world and it is by doing this that he finds/loses himself in the trap, dismembered. The paranoid fantasy he constructs becomes so powerful that it engulfs him causing his detachment from the external world and leading to the eventual loss of the gap between fantasy and reality. It as this point that the Real slips through and tears him apart. He, in his mind, literally becomes a slashed monster, sees himself thus, as he is not, and becomes other than himself. His becoming-other, however, is in the wrong direction, or rather results in a confusion concerning the relationship between the subject and the object.

    Burroughs believed that literature gives birth to action. He also saw writing itself as an action. At the end of the film we see Bill Lee at the border on his way back to Annexia from the Interzone. Two guards ask him what his occupation is. He says he is a writer. They want him to demonstrate. He takes out the gun from his pocket. Joan is at the back of the car. It’s time for their William Tell routine. Joan puts a glass on her head. Lee misses the glass and shoots Joan on the head. The guards are satisfied. The spectator witnesses this crime and remembers the person irrelevantly looking out of the window when they were slaughtering Kafka’s K. at the end of The Trial. Who was that person? Was it God? Was it a single man? Was it all of humanity?

    [1] William Burroughs, Queer (New York: Penguin, 1985)

    [2] Gilles Deleuze, The Logic of Sense, trans. Mark Lester (London: Athlone, 1990), 187

    [3] Deleuze, The Logic of Sense, 188

    [4] William Burroughs, Letters (New York: Penguin, 1994), 286

    [5] William Burroughs, Nova Express, (London: Panther, 1982), 30

    [6] Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish, trans. Alan Sheridan (New York: Pantheon Books, 1977), 204

    The cover of Kafka's absurdist 1915 novella Di...

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    A short film adaptation based on Kafka’s “Metamorphosis”. Early work by filmmaker Carlos Atanes, 1994.

    İzolasyon ve Yaratıcılık

    Eğer bunalımlı, yani depresif bir şahsiyet biraz yetenekliyse evden çıkıp toplumsallaşma uğruna saçmalamak yerine odaya kapanıp yaratıcı yazarlığa, müziğe veya ressamlığa falan yönelirse kendine çok büyük bir iyilik etmiş olur. Bunalımlı kişi böylelikle bunalımını ve mutsuz bilincini lehine çevirerek topluma faydalı bir insan olur ve tımarhanede saygın bir hasta konumuna düşmekten kurtulur.

    Yazarların tanıması pek hoş olmayan insanlar olduğu sıklıkla söylenegelmiştir. Bu tüm yazarlar için doğru olmasa bile, pek çoğu için yerinde bir tesbittir aslında. Bunun sebebi yazarların kişiliklerinin yazdıkları yazılarda ortaya çıkarken, sosyal ortamlarda geri plâna itilmesidir. Ama belirtmeliyim ki bu da tüm yazarlar için geçerli sayılamaz; sadece bunalımlı yazarlar yazılarının yansıttığından daha farklı karakterlere bürünürler gerçek hayatlarında. Toplumdan yabancılaşma, çevreden kopma, içe dönme had safhadadır bunlarda.                                     

    İzolasyonu ve bunalımı bir yaşam biçimi olarak benimsemiş yazarların başında gelen Franz Kafka’nın bir sabah uyandığında kendini devcileyin bir böceğe dönüşmüş olarak bulan bedbaht personası bu yabancılaşmanın ürünüdür meselâ. Ama Kafka’nın kendinden öncekilerden farkı “yabancılaşmaya yabancılaşmak” gibi bir durumun nasıl olabileceğini ve nelere yol açabileceğini kaleme almış olmasındadır.

    Kafka bir insanın böceğe dönüşmesi gibi son derece doğaüstü bir hadiseyi son derece normalmiş gibi ciddi ciddi anlatıyor bizlere. Ama Dönüşüm’ün sonlarına yaklaştığımızda görüyoruz ki yüzeydeki o ciddiyetin hemen altında anormalliğe kayıtsız kalan bir çevre karşısındaki bireyin ironik tutumunun yarattığı dalgalanmalar mevcuttur. Ve bu ironik ciddiyet — işte bu yersiz resmiyet — yabancılaşmış karakterin böceğe dönüşme olayına kayıtsız kalan toplumun düştüğü durumun ironik ve mizahi bir anlatımı olarak çıkıyor karşımıza Dönüşüm ikinci kez okunduğunda.

    Kafka’nın eserlerindeki o kesin ve net dilin — Kafka’nın bir avukatlık bürosunda hukuki yazışmalar yaparak yaşadığını unutmayalım — işte o hukuk dili gibi boğucu dilin böyle anormallikleri anlatmakta kullanılması bizi adeta bir yabancılaşmalar seli içerisinde bilinmezliğe sürüklüyor ve/fakat işte biraz şansımız varsa Kafka’nın yabancılaşmaya yabancılaşmış sesini duyabiliyoruz.

    Şöyle: Eğer bu güne kadar hep kaybetmişsek aşkta, kumarbaz aklıyla düşünüldüğünde son derece şanslı bir kişiyiz demektir. Bu kadar şanslıysak, yani hep kaybetmişsek aşkta, işte ancak o zaman girebiliyoruz Kafka’nın bu garip dünyasına. Ve eğer girebilmişsek bu dünyaya, sen de takdir edersin ki kahkahalarla gülmekten kendimizi alamıyoruz sevgili okur.



    In this folder you will find the audio recordings of events associated with the ANTHEM Group, including “The Harman Review: Bruno Latour‘s Empirical Metaphysics,”  related seminars in the Information Systems Research Forum at ISIG , LSE, and reading group discussions of Bruno Latour’s (2005) Reassembling the Social: An Introduction to Actor-Network-Theory. You can find the accompanying reading schedule with the discussion topics here at the ANTHEM blog. We also maintain a Google Group and the Bruno Latour Appreciation Society on Facebook. Thank you for your interest.

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    “Assemblages According to Manuel DeLanda” – PowerPoint slides for Graham Harman‘s talk at LSE on 27 November 2008.
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    17_04_2009 Harman at UCD (Dermot Moran Respondant).mp3
    1 hr 45 min recording of Graham Harman’s talk at University College Dublin (UCD), entitled “A New Theory of Substance”, with Dermot Moran as discussant, on 17 April 2009.
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    1 hr 47 min recording of Graham Harman’s talk entitled “Assemblages According to Manuel DeLanda” and the discussion at the ANTHEM seminar, London School of Economics and Political Science, on 27 November 2008. Chaired by Peter Erdélyi. The PowerPoint slides can be downloaded from the Source URL.
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    3 hrs 24 min recording of “The Harman Review: Bruno Latour’s Empirical Metaphysics” symposium at ISIG, LSE on 5 February 2008. Speakers are Bruno Latour and Graham Harman. The panelists are Lucas Introna and Noortje Marres. The event is introduced by Leslie Willcocks and chaired by Edgar Whitley. There are also audience questions and comments. Further details at Source URL.
    By anthem on Feb. 8 2008
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    1 hour recording of Graham Harman’s talk, “The Greatness of McLuhan,” on the metaphysics of the ‘tetrad’ of Marshall and Eric McLuhan, at the Media School at Bournemouth University on 4 February 2008. Introduction by Barry Richards and Peter Erdélyi. Abstract available at Source URL.
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    1 hr 15 min recording of Graham Harman’s talk “On the Origin of the Work of Art (atonal remix)” at the Arts Institute at Bournemouth on 1 February 2008. Introduction by Tammy Lu. Abstract available at Source URL.
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    1 hr 33 min recording of Noortje Marres’s talk “Devising Affectedness: Eco-Homes and the Making of Material Publics” at the Information Systems Research Forum, ISIG, LSE on 24 January 2008. Introduction by Peter Erdélyi. Abstract and slides available at Source URL.
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    1 hr 34 min recording of Graham Harman’s talk “On Actors, Networks, and Plasma: Heidegger vs. Latour vs. Heidegger” at the Information Systems Research Forum, ISIG, LSE on 29 November 2007. Introduction by Aleksi Aaltonen and Peter Erdélyi. Abstract and slides available at Source URL.
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    2 hrs 23 min. Date of recording: 11 December 2007 at the LSE. Discussion of pp. 219-262 of Latour’s (2005) Reassembing the Social: An Introduction to Actor-Network-Theory. See topics in the reading schedule at Source URL.
    By anthem on Dec. 13 2007
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    1 hr 16 min. Date of recording: 27 November 2007 at the LSE. Discussion of pp. 173- 218 of Latour’s (2005) Reassembing the Social: An Introduction to Actor-Network-Theory. See topics in the reading schedule at Source URL.
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    46 min. Date of recording: 13 November 2007 at the LSE. Discussion of pp. 121-172 of Latour’s (2005) Reassembing the Social: An Introduction to Actor-Network-Theory. See topics in the reading schedule at Source URL.
    By anthem on Dec. 13 2007
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    2 hrs 13 min. Date of recording: 30 October 2007 at the LSE. Discussion of pp. 63-120 Of Latour’s (2005) Reassembing the Social: An Introduction to Actor-Network-Theory. See topics in the reading schedule at Source URL.
    By anthem on Dec. 13 2007
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    1 hr 22 min. Date of recording: 16 October 2007 at the LSE. Discussion of pp. ix-62 of Latour’s (2005) Reassembing the Social: An Introduction to Actor-Network-Theory. See topics in the reading schedule at Source URL.
    By anthem on Dec. 13 2007
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    My Father was accustomed to say, “we must begin by the beginning.” So, I must begin this lecture about the subject of art by its beginning. But, what is this beginning? I think we have to begin with the oldest question—the question of being, the question of being as being, of being qua being. What is being? What are we saying when we say something is, something of art is…? Something of art is a joy forever, for example. What are we saying? I begin by a fundamental distinction between three levels of the signification of being.

    First, when I say something is, I just say something is a pure multiplicity. ‘Something is’ and ‘something is a multiplicity’ is the same sentence. So, it’s a level of being qua being. Being as such is pure multiplicity. And the thinking of a pure multiplicity is finally mathematics.

    The second level is when we are saying something exists. It is the question of existence as a distinct question of the question of being as such. When we are saying something exists we are not speaking of a pure multiplicity. We are speaking of something which is here, which is in a world. So existence is being in a world, being here or, if you want, appearing, really appearing in a concrete situation. That is ‘something exists.’

    And finally, the third level is when we are saying that something happens. When something happens we are not only saying that it is a multiplicity—a pure multiplicity, and we are not only saying that it is something in a world—something which exists here and now. ‘Something happens’ is something like a cut in the continuum of the world, something which is new, something also which disappears—which appears, but also which disappears. Because happening is when appearing is the same thing as disappearing.

    And so we have to understand the relation between the three levels, the relation between being qua being (pure multiplicity), existence (multiplicity but in a world, here and now), and happening or event. And so we can see that in a concrete situation we have, finally, two terms: first, a world, a world situation—something where all things exist; and after that, an event, sometimes, an event—which is something which happens for this world, not in this world, but for this world. And I call a subject ‘a relation between an event and the world.’ Subject is exactly what happens when as the consequence of an event in a world we have a creation, a new process, the event of something. And so we have something like that. It’s something like in a protest…

    The point is that the relation, the subjective relation between an event and the world cannot be a direct relation. Why? Because an event disappears on one side, and on the other side we never have a relation with the totality of the world. So when I say that the subject is a relation between an event and the world we have to understand that as an indirect relation between something of the event and something of the world. The relation, finally, is between a trace and the body. I call trace ‘what subsists in the world when the event disappears.’ It’s something of the event, but not the event as such; it is the trace, a mark, a symptom. And on the other side, the support of the subject—the reality of the subject in the world—I call ‘a new body.’ So we can say that the subject is always a new relation between a trace and a body. It is the construction in a world, of a new body, and jurisdiction—the commitment of a trace; and the process of the relationship between the trace and the body is, properly, the new subject.

    So when you have to speak of the subject of art you have to speak about a lot of things. First, what is a world of art? What is a world for artistic creation? It’s not the world in general. It is a specific world for the artistic creation… ah! the police. So this is the first question. The second question is—what is an artistic event? What is the new singularity in the development of the art world? Third, what is a trace? What is the trace of an event in the art field? And after all that—what is the construction of the new art body?

    But before all that, I want to clarify by some examples the question of the subject as a relation between trace of an event and construction of the body in a concrete world. And I want to refer to our situation today—to our world today—because I think that there are today two subjective paradigms. I can propose that the concrete situation of our world today is something like a war between two subjective paradigms, two norms of what is a subject. The first one is a strictly materialist and monist philosophy of the subject. And what is, finally, a monist philosophy of the subject? It is the affirmation that there is no distinction, no real distinction between the subject and the body. If you want, in the first paradigm, I show… (drawing figure). The first paradigm… the subject is something which is finally identified to the body as such. So the subjective creation as a sort of paradigm is only experimentation of the limits of the body. The subject is something like an experience of its proper limits, an experience of finitude, an experience of the limits of the concrete unity of the body. But finally, what is a limit of the body, a limit of the living body? The strongest limit of the living body is death. So we can say that in the form of the subjective paradigm the subject is experimentation of death as final limit of the body. And I think, for example, that there is something like that in the extremist form of body art. Body art is experimentation, direct experimentation of the limits of the body as exposition of itself. But, in fact, the absolute limit of something like body art is experimentation of death as such; and the real and final experimentation in the field of body art can be to commit suicide in public. And it’s a philosophical determination, because a long time ago Heidegger said that finally Dasein or subject is a subject for death. I can name, in general, the subjective paradigm which is experimentation of the limits of the body something like enjoyment because enjoyment is the name of experimentation of death in life, experimentation of the big thing (das Ding) as death in life itself. So we can say that the first paradigm of subjectivity in our world is the paradigm of subjectivity as enjoyment. But in enjoyment we have to hear the French jouissance—that is exactly the same word. And the definition of enjoyment is experimentation of death in life with experimentation of the limits of the body. And naturally enjoyment is beyond pleasure. Pleasure is something like experimentation of life in life, but enjoyment is beyond pleasure because it’s experimentation of the limit of the body as death. So we can say that the sort of subjectivity, the paradigm of subjectivity is a subject for enjoyment. And I think it is the Western paradigm today; it is, in fact, our paradigm—subject for enjoyment and the experimentation of the limits of the body.

    The second one, the second paradigm is an idealistic, theological, metaphysical philosophy of the subject. The subject can be completely separated from its body. In the first paradigm the subject is finally the body itself. In the second paradigm, the subject is completely separated from its body; it is against the subject as subject for enjoyment, the revival of a profound desire of separation, the desire of existence of the subject as separated of its body. The goal is to find—in life, in action—the point where the body is only the instrument of the new separation. And you see, it is not experimentation of death in life as in enjoyment, but it’s assumption of a new subjective life by the mean of death itself. So we can say that that sort of subjective paradigm is experience of life in death, which is opposed to the experience of death in life. And we can name sacrifice that sort of subjective experience of life in death.

    And the contemporary world is a war between enjoyment and sacrifice. And the war against terrorism is, finally the war between enjoyment and sacrifice. But in this war there is something in common. There is something in common between the two paradigms. What is common to enjoyment and to sacrifice, finally, what is common is the power of death, the power of death as experimentation of the limits of the body on one side but experimentation of death as the means for a new life on the other side. So with the war between enjoyment and sacrifice, we have finally confronted the power of death. And there is no real place for artistic creation in that sort of war—I am convinced of this point—neither on the side of the power of death as enjoyment neither on the side of the power of death as sacrifice. There is no real opening for new artistic creation. So we have to find a third possibility, a third paradigm. We have to propose something as a new subjective paradigm which is outside the power of death—which is neither enjoyment (that is pleasure beyond pleasure and limits of the body) nor satisfaction in the sacrifice (that is enjoyment in another world, of pleasure beyond suffering). We can say that—neither pleasure beyond pleasure nor pleasure beyond suffering, neither enjoyment nor sacrifice. In a much more theoretical framework we can say something like that.

    We have three possibilities of relation between a subject and its body. Three possibilities. And so, we have three possibilities for a subjective paradigm. The first one—reducibility. Reducibility. The subject can be reduced to its body. We can say that we have, in that case, an immanent identity of the subject, immanent identity because there is no separation at all, but complete identification between the process of the subject and the becoming of its body. In that case the norm—the final norm is enjoyment, the experimentation of death in life. The second is separability. Separability… The subject can be separated completely from its body. There is, in that case, transcendent difference, transcendent difference because the subject experiments itself in the transcendent world and not in the sacrifice of its proper world. The third possibility that I propose is something like immanent difference, not immanent identity, not transcendent difference, but immanent difference. In that case, the subject is not reducible to its body, so there is something like an independent subjective process. There really is a creation, which is not reducible to the experimentation of the limits of the body. But it’s impossible that there exists some separation between the subject and its body. So there is neither separation nor reducibility. And that is the situation of the subject when we can understand it as a process of creation, a process of production, a process, which really organizes the relation between the trace of an event and the construction of a new body in the world. And so we have to find something which is not in the field of the contemporary war between enjoyment and sacrifice. And I think the question of the subject of art is today this question—to find something like a new subjective paradigm, which is outside the contemporary war between enjoyment and sacrifice. And we have a lot of problems to organize in this new paradigm—a new paradigm, which has to understand completely how a new body can be oriented by a subjective process without separation and without identification. So we have to maintain the distance between the trace of an event and the construction of the body.

    I show you once more my revendication which is, you can understand now, is a revendification of a new subjective paradigm. Give me a new subjective paradigm. And so you can see that if the subject is completely an identity with the body there is no real difference between the trace and the body. And so, finally, the subject is completely in the world. If you have a complete separation between the subject and the body, the subject is completely on the side of the trace, and so it is completely dependent on the event as an absolute event, an event which is outside the world. So on one side, the subject is completely in the world and it is an experimentation of the limit of the world, and on the other side, it is completely outside the world and so it is on the side of something like an absolute event, and so something as god, like god. Can you understand? So in the two subjective paradigms of the contemporary war we find the subjective process as a complete immanent situation and in distinction with the world, or complete separation and in distinction with the radical absolute event. We can see in the two paradigms that we cannot have something like a real process of production without experimentation of the limits, finally, of death in the life of the world, or you have something like transcendency and religious determination. So the question of the subject of art is really to maintain the distinction between the body on one side and the trace of the event on the other side. And so we have, I think, to solve something like five problems. So it’s a criterium of size that I give to you to solve five problems.

    First one, first problem—if really the subjective process as a process of creation is in the field of a distance (but an un-separated distance) between the trace and the body we have to interpret the event as an affirmative one and not as a purely disappearing or transcendent thing. If really the trace of the event is in the constitution of the subject, but not reducible to the body, we have to understand that an event, a real event is something affirmative. And it’s a complex question because certainly there is a sort of disappearing of the event, and event is a split, a break of the law of the world. So what is the relation in a real event between the negative dimension—rupture, break, split, as you want—and the affirmative necessity if really an event is not absolute and real event? So we have to think of an event, and for example, of an artistic event, as something like an affirmative split. It’s the first problem.

    The second problem is the very nature of the trace—the trace of an event if an event is something like an affirmative split. What is a trace? And it is a very complex distinction because a trace has to be in the world. The event is not exactly in the world, but the trace has to be in the world. And so, what is the trace? What is the real trace, which is in the world but which is in relation with the event as affirmative split? It’s the second big problem.

    The third problem is—what is the constitution of the new body? Because naturally we have in the case of the subjective process something like the new body. Only a new body is in the possible disposition to have something new in the creation in relation to the trace of the event. The trace of the event is not reducible to the body, but the body is not reducible to the world. Once more, once more. (showing figure) You can see that if the subjective process is really in the distance of the trace and the body, we have to interpret the construction of the body as the new body because if the body is not the new body it is completely in the world and it’s not in relation, in complete relation to the trace of the event as an affirmative split in direction of the world. So the third problem is—what is a new body in the world? What is a new composition of multiplicities? What is really something, which is the support of the subjective process, the support of a trace? That is the third problem.

    The fourth problem is the question of consequences. We have a new body. We have a relation to the trace of an event, so we have something which is materialist creation, the process of materialist creation of something new. What are the consequences of all that and how can we be in the discipline of the consequences? Because naturally, if there is something new in the subjective process we have to accept the incorporation in the new body and so the discipline of the consequences, of the practical consequences of the new body.

    And the final problem is to find something like an immanent infinity because if the subjective process is something like a new creation in the world we have an infinity of consequences. We cannot have an experimentation of the limits, precisely. We are not in the first paradigm which is experimentation of the limits. In fact, there are no limits. There are potentially—virtually (to speak as Deleuze)—we have virtually an infinity of consequences. But this infinity is not a transcendent one; it’s an immanent infinity. It is the infinity of the body itself in relation to the trace. So we have to understand what is an immanent infinity and not a transcendent infinity.

    So our five problems are: event as an affirmative split. What is exactly the trace of an event? What does the constitution in the world of the new body mean? How can we accept the discipline of consequences? And what is an immanent infinity? And that is the questions we have to solve to say something about the artistic subject.

    So I have to solve the five problems. Or I have to say something about the possibility of solving the five problems, but in the artistic field, not in general—not in general since the problem is absolute… It concerns all types of subjective processes. But what is the question in the artistic field? (drawing diagram)…

    First, we have to say what is an artistic world. What is a world of art? Something like that is our first question, our preliminary question. I propose to say that a world is an artistic one, a situation of art, a world of art when it proposes to us a relation between chaotic disposition of sensibility and what is acceptable as a form. So an artistic situation, in general, is always something like relation between a chaotic disposition of sensibility in general (what is in the physical, what is in the audible, and in general) and what is a form. So it’s a relation (an artistic world) between sensibility and form. And it’s finally a proposition between the split of sensibility, between what is formalism—what can be formalized of the sensibility—and what cannot. So, it’s something like that. (drawing diagram) ‘S’ is sensibility, ‘F’ is form, so the general formula for an artistic world is sensibility in the disposition of relation between what is a form and what is not a form. So something like that, very simple. So when we have something like an experimentation of relation of that type between sensibility and form we have something like general artistic situation. It’s a completely abstract definition, but you can see the nature of the definition. So, if you want, the state of affairs in the artistic world is always a relation between something like our experimentation of chaotic sensibility in general, and the distinction, which is a moving distinction, between form and inform, or something like that. And so we experiment with an artistic situation when we experiment with something which is in the relation between sensibility, form, and inform.

    But if this is true, what is an artistic event? What is the general formula for an artistic event? We can say that, generally speaking, an artistic event, a real artistic event is a change in the formula of the world. So it’s a fundamental transformation of that sort of formula. So it’s something like the becoming formal of something which was not. It’s the emergence of a new possibility of formalization, or if you want, it’s an acceptance like form of something which was inform. It’s the becoming form of something which was not a form. And so it’s a new current in the chaotic sensibility. It’s a new disposition of the immanent relation between chaotic sensibility and formalization. And we can have something like that, which is, if you want, the event—the artistic event as an affirmative split. (drawing figure) This time, ‘S’ is always sensibility, ‘F’ is form and ‘F1’ is the new disponibilité of the formalization. And so you have something like that when you have an artistic event. Sensibility is organized in a new way because something which was inform—that is, a symbol of negation, we have negation (drawing) yeah?—something which was inform, or no formalization is accepted as a new form. So we have here the becoming of inform in something which is formalism and the split is with the new negation of form, which is the negation of F1. So that is exactly the general form of an artistic event as an affirmative split.

    Why is it an affirmative split? It’s a split because we always have relation between affirmative form and negative one. What is formalist—what is accepted as a form and what is not accepted as a form. So it’s a split in the chaotic sensibility between form and inform, but it’s a new determination of the split, affirmative split, because something which was in negation is in affirmation. Something which was not a form becomes something like a form. So we are really in an artistic event. Something (showing diagram)… so we can see the affirmative idea of the split is when something which was in the negation, part of the formalist impossibility, becomes affirmative possibility. So we can say that in the field of artistic creation the affirmative split is finally something like a new disposition between what is a form and what is not. And the becoming in a positive form of something which was not a form is the affirmative dimension of an artistic event.

    What is a body? What is the construction of a new body? A new body in the artistic field is something like a real concrete creation—a work of art, performances, all that you want—but which are in relation with the trace of the event. The trace of the event is something like that—the declaration always that something really is a form, that something new of the dignity of the work of art—and that is the trace. The trace is something like a manifesto, if you want, something like a new declaration, something which says, “this was not a form and it’s really now a form.” That is the declaration, so the trace of the event. And a new body is something like a work of art, which is in relation with that sort of trace. And often in the field of artistic creation is a new school, a new tendency. There is, generally speaking, some names—names of a school, names of a tendency, names of a new fashion as a dimension of artistic creation—and that is a new body. It’s a new body, which is in the world, in the artistic world, in the new artistic world. It’s the creation of something new in the artistic world in correlation to the trace. And we understand what is the discipline of consequences in the artistic field—discipline of consequences is a new subjective process, is something like really a new experimentation, a new experimentation of the forms, a new experimentation of the relation between the forms and chaotic sensibility. And so it’s the same of the new school, of the new tendency, of the new forms of creation, of artistic creation.

    And the very interesting problem is the final problem: what is, in all that, the immanent infinity? What is the creation, in an artistic subjective field, of a new existence of infinite? I think in the artistic field the immanent infinity is finally something like the infinity of the form itself. And what is infinity of the form itself? It’s the possibility that the new form—the new possibility of the form—is in relation, in direct relation with the chaotic sensibility. And a new form is always a new access, a new manner, a new entry, a new access in the chaotic of sensibility. And so we can say that in the artistic field the creation of forms is really the movement of immanent infinity, is really an access of the infinity of the world as such. And so we are really in the development of a new tendency, so, of a new body in the artistic field, something like a new development of immanent infinity. It’s not only something else; it’s a new manner of thinking of the infinite itself. And it is why it is very important today to have something like new artistic experimentation because I think that the political question today is very obscure. I was saying that our problem is to find something which is not in the field of the war between enjoyment and sacrifice, to find something which is really a third subjective paradigm. I think that is the specific responsibility of artistic creation—this search—because often when political determination are obscure artistic determinations clarify the situation. And so as a philosopher, I can say to you (and I think a number of you have a relation to the artistic world, the artistic field) there really is today a specific responsibility of artistic creation, which is to help humanity to find the new subjective paradigm. So the subject of art is not only the creation of a new process in its proper field, but it’s also a question of war and peace, because if we don’t find the new paradigm—the new subjective paradigm—the war will be endless. And if we want peace—real peace—we have to find the possibility that subjectivity is really in infinite creation, infinite development, and not in the terrible choice between one form of the power of death (experimentation of the limits of pleasure) and another form of the power of death (which is sacrifice for an idea, for an abstract idea). That is I think, the contemporary responsibility of artistic creation. Thank you.

    – Alain Badiou

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