Architects are people afraid of disorder and mess. Architecture is a way of taming or subjugating space. We tend to address space, even the most rudimentary, as form of stability from which something can take off, open up or engage. Space in this sense becomes reactive and hence consolidating vis-á-vis territory, identity, life – a space of possibilities. But what about formation of spaces that implicit their own decay, corruption, collapse or undermining, i.e. a space that actively produce instability, especially produce indeterminate instability. Instead of a stability to take off from these are spaces to fall through, sink into, to be devoured by. It is in those moments of falling through that space becomes active, where spaces become productive of “whatever” or said differently that they produce or become productive through necessity, just one instance from ex nihilo.
Modernity with its narratives around a liberal individualized subject, “classical” capitalism, concept of property etc. tends or tended to consider space in respect of occupancy, from the nation to “occupy movements”. Some thing occupies what is not yet completed and spaces are filled through strategies that adhere to a certain, desired, completed and authorized subjectivity. In other words space understood through legislation, measurability and power. The occupy movement, that desperately desired approval from dominant discourse, in this respect was of course doomed from the start. Instead of occupation could one address space through a different metaphor, mold. Mold and fungi approach space differently, they move into spaces that are already full. Fungus doesn’t move in, nothing needs to be emptied out or evacuated, fungus fucks occupy it superimposes. However, for this superimposition to be effective it needs to address space through different forms, or at least experiment with different forms of subjectivity. It’s not like mold kind of shares space, like double room with two single beds. No no, mold is to space as we know it like superimposed incompatible phenomena. This superimposition is one possible capacity for undermining and corruption of space.
Decay is a building material. Corruption is spatial practice. Like, animals that live underground and dig canals they are great architects, the more they build or dig the more they corrupt the ground. Until one moment , when spaces fall in on themselves.
Consider the tension between perspective and horizon. Obviously we are discontent with the primacy of perspective and think argue that this domination has been exponentially strengthened from day to day since the end of the 18th century. Perspective is necessarily reductive, discursive, directional and functional through affordance and investment, perspective is by proxy economical, territorial, reflexive and trivial. Horizon, and we don’t just mean the 360 degrees, but horizon rather as a non-territorialized identity that withdraws from measurability and direction, and hence from economy. Perspective can be understood in respect of openness, negotiation and divisibility, horizon doesn’t go there, it’s open, it’s unconditional and is ready to be conquered, consumed, annihilated.
Perspective, coincides with occupancy, in the sense that perspectives can be traced to one yet composed etymology and they are laid out next to each other, on top of, underneath, side by side etc. Perspective is like photoshop, layout. Perspectives in themselves are not necessarily strong but relations they form are strong and consistent. Said differently perspective is measurable whereas horizon is a matter of intensity.
In the western world more or less since 250 years, considering the birth of the modern subject etc, we treat rhythm as a spatial capacity – not least through elaborate musical notations or through music software – rhythm has become architectural and perspectival. Can we dare say composers are people that fear sound and therefore tame music in their compositions? Rhythm should be understood as horizon and through intensity, not as weak entities connected through strong and consistent relations. On the contrary rhythm should be understood as strong entities with weak and fuzzy connections.
You know, gossiping with Deleuze – and thinking here that structures are great, strategy is bad (we will come back to why) and tactics are underrated and the shit [e.g. in relation to economy or artistic practices] – location, position, statement, definitions is so last Friday, it’s all a matter of staying in the middle – and middle here is of course not a location but a dynamic – and changing speed. What Deleuze, or for that matter gossip, is talking about or emphasize is neither the speed or changing parts, but a matter of transforming what or how both change and speed is. Rhythm, when understood as or over horizon and intensity, is something that can change change and speed, and always in the middle, as in fill circle.
Reflection proposes light and extension, the possibility of measuring and of divisible continuity. Reflection further proposes three dimensional space, a space that emphasize both three and dimensional, in other words the recognizable, reflectable, the measurable, i.e. consistent. Consequently reflection, light and extension or say distance, implies the emergence of economy.
Now reflection or economy is obviously not bad things but produce certain kinds of life, certain kinds of consciousness. Talking to Flusser, reflection and implicitly economy causally realize life in respect of survival and reproduction. Reflection in the first instance will never bring us anywhere, especially not somewhere else. More over reflection obviously shows up in company with imagination, which you know is like – if the world was a tomato imagination would be the green shit that one just want to get cut off. Or like if imagination was a person hearing it’s name would result in an eye roll. Totally.
Imagination is always already house-clean, proper and tidy. Oh, and reflection is already spooning with policy.
Let’s flipside it all, especially in respect of contemporary artistic practices. Now, if we know what reflection produces what about the other side. If there is no reflection, thus no light and no distance, hence no dimensions and nor economy, neither for survival or a sexuality organized around reproduction. We could and should develop on this but basically this means the formation of life that is instead devouring and orgasmic. In respect of non-reflection the world is endlessly small and big at the same time, without the possibility of representation nor repetition such a world must understand time completely differently and can only have it all each time, as each time is unique and unilateral, the result being a desire to incorporate the other, to devour, and since this world has cancelled out differentiation communication is not information based but can only be affective, sensuous, orgasmic. The non-reflective equals orgasmic.
Now, its obviously not enough to close our eyes or hang out in a dark space, as if photographers would be orgasmic when developing images… No, there is no voluntary path to non-reflective life or production, and this is the great paradox in order to “reach” a stage of non-reflectivity we need to use imagination and reflection, indeed exactly to get out precisley imagination and reflection.
Recently I realized that I’ve never been able to show up. I don’t mean that I was constantly late or had some issue with navigation and ended up in the wrong place. That would have been quite cool, more like I wasn’t able not to reflect and hence project on to the future something already possible, not to in advance justify or judge. “Great, you’re…” – that’s me – “a guy that approaches the world with caution and respect, a reflected and” – here it comes – “good person”. All this in opposition to naiveté, ignorance and innocence, deception and darkness of the opposite, but is there a third option that doesn’t sign up to either reason or some hippie esoteric mumbo jumbo? Is there something between – of course between here is a spatial address, so fuck that, but is there a different option, neither constipated conceptual artist that covers his tracks so meticulously there’s zero sex, and happy-coincidence hope-for-the-best that probably doesn’t poop at all. To show up, describes this third exit point, approach or perhaps closure, not definition nor openness. To show up is really not easy, really not.
Godard [Not again. Another think-worthy little sentence that makes the arguments untouchable], said probably more than once, “not a just image, just an image”. Which indeed depicts the same enigma or dilemma: not a justified, measurable or moral image, but just an image, an images that shows up, without anticipation, expectation, telos etc. The quest however is, and it is at least twofold, how to avoid not to moralize “just”, or how to not make showing up strategic, that is economical or a matter of affordance and investment?
Godard’s words and add to that Deleuze’s two books on cinema are obviously situated, the result of a particular political imagination that in many respects are fundamentally different to our current predicament. Showing up is not a matter of liberating ourselves from something; it’s not a pedagogy but perhaps rather a matter of circumventing imagination, in favor of a different process… No, in fact, in favor of a different kind of production, that is not creative or attached to imagination, i.e. to possibility, but to potentiality or, better, truth procedure.
Identity politics and the whole package of performativity – with which I have engaged thoroughly over the last too many year – at the end of the day comes out as highly romantic. Sure, Butler and the rest were amazingly important but perhaps we should check out the expiring date on thought, not only on milk. When this stuff was put together our societies were differently composed. I’d say very differently, and the following twenty years has been an avalanche affirming both identity as politics and performativity, bring to that the whole narration on precariousness, immaterial labor, socially engaged art etc.
Performativity today is approximately as original as the welfare state in the 60’s an 70’s. And don’t we need a movement against, which isn’t possible of course… that could emancipate us from the shackles of performativity? One could just wonder what the equivalent to Woodstock would be today? For sure not Occupy Wall Street and certainly not the Berlin Biennale, and I mean the very idea of festival or even event is obviously totally out of the question.
The problem with embodiment or it’s negative is that it takes for given a human consciousness, it’s highly, both anthropo- and logo-centric. The problem is not the body (at least not in a negative sense). Consciousness, a human generalized consciousness, and the superiority of consciousness to anything else, that is the problem. The semiotization of the subject and the body through performativity, we have to acknowledge, coincides with a general movement towards the financialization of the world and the entry point to this process is semiotics, the finacialization of meaning. At some moment performativity carried the capacity of emancipation but today, in a world configured totally differently, it’s become economy, it’s become business, and I mean big business.
I remember an MTV gala many years ago where Robbie Williams says something like: “I want to thank MTV for my four sports cars, three villas, two yachts and my supermodel girlfriends.” Funny obviously, but a decade later it sounds rather lame, what he of course should thank is his performativity and the authorization of it by another performativity, MTV. This is obvious, your most precious property today has nothing to do with material things, cars, villas or babes, no your most precious is your subjectivity, and the participation in the world of your subject is through performativity.
The interesting problem to engage in today is not embodiment, not at all. Perhaps paraphrasing Graham Harman: The interesting problem today is not the relation between mind and mind, or between body and mind, or mind and body. No, the real problem is the relation between bodies and bodies. And this is of course not only human bodies, or human bodies to other objects but also, and foremost, the relationships between objects and objects, bodies and bodies. The first task, and it is a difficult one, how to think these relations without us, without or circumventing consciousness. So, a deep no to embodiment and yes to the body, no to the body as vied from consciousness and yes to the body understood as an object. Moreover an object that has it’s own consciousness, a consciousness that doesn’t care or not about whatever consciousness we have or don’t.