“Artists discover the compulsion toward disintegration in their own works, in the surplus of organization and regimen; it moves them to set aside the magic wand as does Shakespeare’s Prospero, who is the poet’s own voice. However, the truth of such disintegration is achieved by way of nothing less than the triumph and guilt of integration. The category of the fragmentary—which has its locus here—is not to be confused with the category of contingent particularity: The fragment is that part of the totality of the work that opposes totality.”
Theodor Adorno, Aesthetic Theory
“One version of psychoanalysis will say that the definition of mental health would be the capacity to tell a coherent narrative. From another psychoanalytic point of view, that would be precisely the problem. I think both things are true. People who have suffered ruptured, violated lives need and want some narrative coherence, but narrative coherence quickly can be a problem when it becomes a refuge from thinking. I agree that the idealization of narrative coherence is a bizarre cultural development. The problem is finding forms of incoherence that are listenable to. Psychoanalysis has tried this with the idea of free association—it can create a context in which incoherence is potentially the best way of talking to somebody.
This is very difficult to do socially, because either it sounds incredibly pretentious, or boring. This is, in a way, why experimental fiction hasn’t worked, though it should and maybe it can in the future. People who were brought up on traditional narratives either can’t read it or have so many ways of dismissing it that they can’t get to it. It’s a shame, because some of it is very interesting.
Somebody’s got to find a way of making a form of incoherence extremely revealing and alluring. It’s a really interesting cultural task—not that we should become better storytellers, because that’s the most boring thing on earth, but let’s become better antistorytellers. There is more to life than the stories we can tell about it. The interesting question is: what’s a culturally sharable form of free association, outside the psychoanalytic setting?
People need to be educated into believing that evocation is more important than information. If we could bear listening to people, without trying to understand what they’re saying, we would get more from them. Effectively, psychoanalysis listens for the incoherencies that are saying more, or something other, than the coherences. It’s got something to do with the musicality of people’s voices and intonations; it’s a form of listening that’s less hypnotized and distracted by their coherences.”
- Adam Phillips,
Part of the reason I think that queer theory and love theory are related to each other as political idioms, is that queer theory presumes the affective incoherence of the subject with respect to the objects that anchor it or to which they’re attached. One thing that is very powerful for me to try and think about is how we could have a political pedagogy that deals with incoherence. Where the taking up of a position won’t be so that an individual can be coherent, intentional, agentive, and encounter themselves through their object, but that there would be a way that situational clarity can be produced without negating the incoherence of the subject. Training in one’s own incoherence, training in the ways in which one’s complexity and contradiction can never be resolved by the political, is a really important part of a political theory of non-sovereignty. But we still have to find a place for adjudication, or working out, or working for, or working over, which requires a pedagogy of attention, of paying attention to the different ways in which we engender different kinds of claims on the world, in our attachments or ways of moving or desires for habituation or aspirations …
- Lauren Berlant
i literally have no idea how i existed in the world before reading things like this on tumblr or why i would even want to.
- kj: well i had long sleeves on today and got too hot and so sat by the pool in leggings and a t-shirt. and read my favorite philosopher.
- hs: who is your favorite philosopher? mine is kara jesella.
FIRST OF ALL WE BELIEVE THE MEME OF RYAN GOSLING IS FUNNY BECAUSE RYAN GOSLING IS FUNNY LOOKING
SECOND OF ALL WE BELIEVE THE ISOLATED PROFUNDITY OF THE MEME OF RYAN GOSLING DOES NOT NEGATE THE STUPIDNESS OF SOME OF THE AUTHORS
THAT’S OKAY EVERYONE IS DUMB SOMETIMES
HOWEVER SOME PEOPLE ARE DUMB TOO OFTEN. HERE ARE THE THINGS YOU ARE WRONG ABOUT:
1. TUMBLR POLITIX ARE NOT STUPID AND REDUCTIONIST ANYMORE THAN REAL LYF POLITIX ARE. THAT IS, PLEASE DO NOT DISRESPECT THA SACRED SPACE ON THE INTERNETZ THAT WE HAVE CREATED IN THE FORM OF SHORT BLOG ENTRIES. THIS IS A SAFE SPACE.
2. NICHOLAS CAGE IS UGLY. AND NO ONE WANTS TO LOOK AT HIS FACE IN A MOVIE OR IN A MEME OR ON OUR DASHBOARDS.
3. BETWEEN THE TWO OF US, WE HAVE SEEN WICKER MAN’S LATTER HALF THREE TIMES. ACTUALLY LIKEBOOM SAW ALL THREE OF THOSE. THAT HE BURNS ALIVE IN THE END INDICATES THAT HE IS A MARTYR WHO DIES FOR THE SINS OF MANARCHISTS EVERYWHERE AND IS FAR FROM A PERSON TO CRITIQUE.
4. EVERYONE KNOWS PEOPLE WITH BAD POLITIX HAVE BAD POLITIX DUH.
5. OK LOOK. THE POINT OF A MEME IS TO BE SPECIFIC. MANARCHIST RYAN GOSLING CANNOT SIMULTANEOUSLY BE RACIST RYAN GOSLING AND CLASSIST RYAN GOSLING AND DISRESPECTFUL OMNIVORE RYAN GOSLING BECAUSE THERE IS JUST NOT THAT MUCH SPACE ON THE PICTURE. THUSLY, IF WE ARE TO TRULY UNDERSTAND THE NUANCES OF RYAN GOSLING’S IGNORANCE REGARDING GENDER AND OTHER CONSTRUCTED IDENTITIES, WE MUST FIRST “NAIL” THE MANARCHIST.
6. THE MEME (A SAFE SPACE) IS NOT A NUANCED POLITICAL FORUM. AS SUCH, “NUANCED” (OR WHATEVER) POLITICAL EXCHANGE WHICH CITES THE MEME AS ITS IMPETUS IS IN FACT DOOMED TO FAIL. AKA UR DUM.
7. COMMUNIZATION THEORY, AS FAR AS WE CAN TELL MOSTLY COMING OUT OF THEORIE COMMUNISTE, HAS RECENTLY BEEN DOING GENDER PRETTY HARD ALBEIT STUPIDLY. THE INSTANCE OF THE MEME STATING ‘COMMUNIZATION THEORY’S REFUSAL OF IDENTITY POLITICS MEANS NEVER HAVING TO SAY YOU’RE SORRY’ IS KIND OF FUNNY OR WHATEVER BUT IS AN INCORRECT CITATION. THAT DOESN’T MEAN THE MEME FAILS, IT ONLY MEANS THE AUTHOR IS UNFAMILIAR WITH, PERHAPS, THE FIELD OF COMMUNIZATION THEORY, OR THEORIE COMMUNISTE, OR WHATEVER. NBD. (LIKEBOOM RECOMMENDS THE FIRST TC ARTICLE IN THIS BOOK [PDF])
8. BEING ANTI-PATRIARCHY AND ANTI-WHITE-SUPREMACY—AS A FRAMEWORK TO UNDERSTAND THIS WORLD—DOESN’T MEAN WE’RE ANTI-THEORY OR ANTI-INSURRECTIONISM OR ANTI-THE-COMING-INSURRECTION OR, FOR THAT MATTER, PRO-IDENTITY-POLITICKING. (SUZY-X YOU REALLY GOTTA STOP INSINUATING SHIT LIKE THIS CUZ IT’S GETTING ON OUR NERVES.) BEING ANTI-PATRIARCHY/ANTI-WHITE-SUPREMACY IS NOT A ‘SOLUTION.’ NOR IS TUMBLRING.
9. THIS IS IN RESPONSE TO US THINKING SHIT’S DUM AND HAVING NOT MUCH BETTER TO DO ON A WEDNESDAY NIGHT. NOT CUZ WE THINK WE’RE FIXING THE WORLD.
10. THERE ARE A NUMBER OF HIGHLY LEGIT CRITIQUES OF IDENTITY POLITICS. FOR EXAMPLE: SOME FEMINISTS ATTEMPT TO VALORIZE A SKEWED CONCEPT OF THE NATURAL. OR, SOME FEMINISTS WANT TO FURTHER EMPOWER THE STATE TO PROTECT THEM AND AFFIRM THEIR “RIGHTS” RATHER THAN DESTROYING IT. MANY FEMINISTS ARE FUCKING RACIST.
11. NO ONE WITH HALF A BRAIN BELIEVES ANYTHING WILL BE SOLVED BY DESTROYING THE SYMBOLS OF CAPITAL. C’MON.
12. AUTHORS OF THE COMING INSURRECTION AND THEORISTS OF COMMUNIZATION HATE EACH OTHER.
13. CAPITAL IS A SOCIAL RELATIONSHIP THAT IS HARDLY ELUSIVE.
14. MAKING FUN OF MANARCHISTS HAS NO RELATIONSHIP TO ASKING PEOPLE NOT TO ‘DENY THEIR PRIVILEGE.’
15. MOST FEMINISTS ON THE INTERNET SUCK. MOST INSURRECTOS ON THE INTERNET SUCK. MOST PEOPLE ON THE FUCKING PLANET SUCK. CHILL.
LIKEBOOM AND SHOULDERS
i would almost reblog this just for the ALL-CAPS but also REALLY IT’S AMAZINGLY HILARIOUS (and smart etc. etc.) AND WORTH READING. ALL BOLDING IS MINE.
if i am forced to describe my “writing philosophy”, this is what it is. (not to distract from her amazing thoughts, but the term “girlcore” was created by me, and a lot of the ideas etc about it were also inspired by me…just saying this so people don’t think i’m just clinging onto her thoughts/ideas.)
meghan (o’neill) and i were talking about this. meghan made this amazing computer collage with screen captures of text messages between herself and i, textedit diary entries (didn’t know other people did this - i have hundreds of textedit diary entries saved on my computer), stills from photobooth videos she’d taken of herself where she’s trying on outfits or checking out her boobs, etc. we tried to think of a name for this kind of art (or writing, etc) but couldn’t come up with one. i think we were trying to describe “girlcore.” we think it includes people like you, shelbi chew, bunny rogers (i think a good example of a predecessor would be hiromix). i guess it could include non-internet stuff, but the internet/social networking/online friendships/posting pics of yourself on tumblr,fb,youtube seems like an integral part of it. basically a “personal brand” that is so deeply embedded into people’s conception of the artist that her work becomes completely inseparable from her life. specific ways of typing/talking (zzzz for example, or using all lowercase), idiosyncratic status updates, music taste, etc are all make an impact on the girlcore artist’s work, sometimes even making an appearance in the work itself. or vice versa - for example, you made an fb post about being in a trashy motel and a few hours later posted the videos/photos on your tumblr.
motifs include “girly” products (pretty designer dresses, false eyelashes, sparkly nail polish), the colour pink, indiepop/twee/shibuya-kei, and diaristic explorations of romantic relationships, sexuality, body image, ‘hipster’ and youth culture, the nature of artistic production, feminism. what’s most exciting to me is the kind of feminism that comes into play here. i don’t really know what it’s called… i guess it’s related to sex-positive feminism, lipstick feminism maybe. but when we show our bodies, turning people on isn’t the main goal. i think it’s more implicit, like we understand people might look at the photos and say “that’s hot” and welcome that reaction in a way. we’re not dumb, we know about the male gaze blahblahblah and internalizing the male gaze to the point where we think that showing naked pictures of ourselves is a form of self-expression but it’s actually just a result of late capitalism blahblahblah etc. there’s a rather romantic idealization of the body, feeling that showing pictures of our naked bodies is another form of expression, the same as writing about our day or making a drawing. i think of william blake (his valorization of the human body, sexuality, even of polyamory, as a normal and even positive part of life that we should not feel ashamed of) maybe ryan mcginley is a good example of this attitude.. but instead of hoping to lose weight, do coke with art people in new york and go on mcginley’s road trips, we take the pictures ourselves. maybe it’s sentimental in a way… i constantly take photographs of my day and write diary entries/notes. i’m afraid of forgetting. i want to have a record of everything in my life, what happened and what i looked like and felt like.
also, there’s an interesting interaction with sexual orientation here… a flirtation with lesbianism? maybe we’re just bi-curious and going through college and “everyone goes through that phase.” but maybe it’s more. there’s a sense of deep closeness, even love between us (not just you and me, but bunny, other bloggers or girl artists). the relationships i have with other girls often feel more fulfilling than my romantic relationships. in these relationships, i feel completely honest, open, understood, connected, cared for. bunny is visiting toronto soon and i want to share my bed with her. and hug her for a long time. i think of doing a performance with her and wonder how people would react. would it just look like lesbian porn made to turn on straight (yet homophobic) guys? and i wonder if the lesbian flirtation comes from that partially, just knowing guys think it’s “hot” when two pretty young girls get naked together.
but yeah today i dreamed about an art show with me you bunny maybe someone else where we all take videos of ourselves performing the pencil test (the one where you place a pencil under your breast and wait to see if it falls or not, it’s supposed to let you know if your breasts are “saggy” or not) and play them at the same time.”
—i guess this is by dragonauttt. there’s a lot going on.
“sense is about orientation…a play on meaningfulness/directionality…how are we oriented toward language?” “paradoxes articulate an excess of sense.” “even in production of nonsense, sense remains.” “the ground on which language lays itself is fundamentally linked to the mad. what kind of revolution can we have without the mad? this is his answer to marx. what does the schizophrenic retain? sense.” “the mouth has a choice between 2 series. the mouth is a condition of eating and speaking, but the two can’t overlap.” “words are edible, visceral, material.” “this is a book about events: an unpredictable coagulation of externally connected physical events that momentarily cohere.” “events are capable of being spoken…they can’t be contained in language, but we can speak of them. our talking about it is part of the event.” “how can i understand language not as a system of signs…as a series of small events?” “the schizophrenic converts bodily forces into words and words into bodily forces.” “he never says what does it mean with literature, but what do they do there.” “alice speaks nonsense, her body can’t speak sense, and yet it makes sense, it makes sense directly without emitting signs.” “chaos is not an absence of order, but too much order.” “we perceive something, but we feel sense.” “the surface of things becomes discourse. discourse is an effect of materiality.” “for stoics, being is always about specificity. it is defined by its capacity for growth.” “the past and future have no existence but in the present.” “the event is indifferent to particularities. it is impersonal, anonymous, a process. it is always about to occur or has already occurred.” “the world of sense/event/incorporeal/virtual is a self-subsisting world that makes language possible.” “what is it about art that generates effects that are real? something of the real world is already sense.” “this book is a genealogy of language.” “the world/a thing is more than itself. the world contains the possibility of its own doubling. the real is always already linguistic before language. answer to lacan: the world is not divisible, it is always already divided.”—paraphrasing liz grosz. i’ve quoted the logic of sense before. my favorite quote of the past two years, besides the erica jong, is: “either ethics makes no sense at all, or this is what it means and has nothing else to say: not to be unworthy of what happens to us.” also, every word is physical and immediately affects the body.