Felix Guattari: The Schizo, the New Earth, and Subjectivation

” True madness is staying with the sanity of our world, holding onto the insane violence of capitalism which is destroying the very foundations of life on our planet. True sanity is in rejection of this world, of exiting its mad ways, of marshalling the energetic creativity to enter a new earth, a new realm of freedom beyond the madness. Yet, to do this is to push past the boundary lines of our current thinking, to enter into a new relation with ourselves and the environment around us.”

Southern Nights

From now on, no domain of opinion, thought, image, affect or narrativity can pretend to escape from the invasive grip of ‘computer-assisted’ data banks…
………– Felix Guattari, Schizoanalytic Cartographies

“How should we talk today about the production of subjectivity?” asked Felix Guattari. Then he’d recognize the obvious: “A first observation leads us to recognize that the contents of subjectivity depend more and more on a multitude of machinic systems”.1 Ahead of his time, or just looking around and seeing what was already obvious, and yet bringing to the fore the hidden kernel of that ubiquitous world we now term the network society we’ve become.

I remember reading and rereading a particularly poignant section of Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia – that collaborative project of Deleuze and Guattari, two friends whose lives would be entwined. As  Francois Dosse relates it in his biography of the two friends Intersecting Lives, Deleuze and Guattari have described…

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Monstrous Existence: Icon of Creativity and Destruction

Southern Nights

.‘Oh Mother’  – Kali-Ma, Queen of Life and Death: dance upon my ashen bones, dine upon my entrails, feed upon my darkest soul!
…..– Hymn to Night & Time

Smash the mirror: it’s a lie what you tell yourself, the world is invisible and waiting. Let the darkness seep in and envelop you. The world of light you see around you is but the flotsam and jetsam, a drift of rainbow plumage on a sea of energy that seeks its daemonic day in the Sun.

Enter your melancholia as if it were your lover’s body; and like a lover savor its dark passions, then like a Mantis slay it, be done with it, and eat it alive till there is nothing of melancholy left but only the power of your dread life.

Think on Black Kali-ma, an image of the fierce life of creative destruction that is this universe…

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Subtraction Theory: The Future of Capitalism

Southern Nights

Over on The Real Movementblog Jehu has a timely post that carefully evaluates the so-called post-capitalist notion as erroneous. He begins with the worn and obvious quote by Zizek ironizing the notion that “it’s much easier to imagine the end of all life on earth than a much more modest radical change in capitalism.” As Jehu says, “I have been reading a lot of writers who are trying to prove Zizek wrong by imagining a society that might be loosely categorized as post-capitalism — a term I personally detest.” Read his post: here.

Marx in the Grundrisse sees the future of capitalism as the End of History, or as he termed it the monopoly capitalist was ultimately seeking the elimination of space and time in a global system of absolute control:

“In as much as the circuits which capital travels in order to go from one of [its] forms into the other…

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No beauty not won through pain

Ballet: Agony of the Feet” by Tim Burton
Taken from The Orlando Sentinel, Sunday, September 6,1998
…There is grace and nobility in those feet.

It may not be physical, like dancing en pointe…

ppain

…but beneath the achievement of grace–in whatever art, there is a form of torture, peculiar to the art, that lies unseen to others, and without which–that grace will never be achieved.

I remembered that article when I read a post on my beautiful machine/danseur ignoble. Asher writes about dance–not in the abstract, not as one who is watching, but from and out of the experience of their body. Muscles. Bones. Joints. Is it that dance is to the body as mind is to the brain?

Asher’s style is direct, unadorned–it’s the language of the barre, of the pianist learning scales, of listening to the body with such finely tuned perception that the body learns to hear itself without intervention, without intention.

I think of those time lapse photos where you see the body of the moving dancer following as though pure spirit, pure dance–a veil of movement. Asher doesn’t say much about that. He writes of what you see in the image of those beautiful, damaged feet in the photo above. Of the pain, the exhaustion–and the exhilaration of learning, of stretching every muscle and joint toward the impossible: toward perfection.
This is how an artist does philosophy. Read their posts, and learn.

#131

#132 framed.

An assemblage/mixed media from 2013. 26×30″ Street trash, newspapers, and acrylic mounted on a broken piece of Masonite. Three years later, these early assemblages still look pretty good. Unfortunately/fortunately, I now live where neighbors keep it pretty clean… trash treasures are harder to come by. West Kensington, I miss your trashy streets and lots.

Life Drawing–that erases the received reality

I’m convinced that drawing is the mother of all the visual arts, and while that usually entails, figure, landscape… representational work. I’m interested in working outside of those boundaries. What we’re trained to see–is too politically constrained, that artist’s renderings of ‘realism’ recapitulate and reinforce multiple levels of the status quo, & claim by default to being the one and only and forever reality. When the ‘IS,’ when what we have, our political status quo, is hell bent on the way to ending human life on this planet.
I’m thinking… how to explore different modes of drawing–life drawing, that don’t ‘draw’ on geometric space or figurative realism… yet are as intensely involved in that visual transformation from eye to paper as traditional techniques?

This is an aesthetic dimension of my interest in the place of art in late capitalism. How… is something I’m working out my art, rather than theory.