Amnesia or More Zombie Art, or part 4

27 Mar

For Taraka

Amnesia is quite cool. I like it, but why – which of course is obvious – does Hollywood need to make this phab phenomena so terribly one dimensional. I like that too, totally and save me from a smart version Wes Anderson with Bill Murray as, what about, melancholic sports coach one day sans past, or von Trier, the possibility is of course is if not all his films are amnesia and like not about. Hmmm maybe not all of them or perhaps only one or a half, but they are anyway von Trier movies so it really doesn’t matter. What about, what’s his name, the French dude Gondry, or did he stop making movies – wait a second – when did, I can’t remember last time I heard about or anything about him. After that that one, what’s it called – I forgot… hmmm it was a bit like Massive Attack wasn’t it, but the cast was nice. Look at this, I think it’s freakin brilliant, the actors of that movie whatever but you know with that guy, yeah essactly Cable Guy, Ace Ventura, Mask and like the centerfold of the magazine Sleaze as the super loser and the savior come evil mega bitch with a pleasant face is Kate Winslet, which at least moi can not detach from Titanic and “I’m the king of the world” sort of crucifixion scene in the front of th-that ship mixed up with “Sense and Sensibility” – Austinian morals a purrfect compliment – maybe she wasn’t in any other movies oh yes Ophelia in Branagh’s Hamlet. This is already quite sparkles, Ace Ventura meats Rose DeWitt and the abysmal romance “–I will never let you go…” – what the fuck is this and here it comes, the assistant of the memory eraser thingy company, the tiny guy who steals Winslet’s panties, OMG yes yes yes, that’s what ever his name could be from goddamn Lord of The Rings – Frodo, for Chrst’s sake, the ring bearer transformed to a pantie sniffing misfit with a jazz beard. Elijah Wood, who’s your career consultant? Daniel Radcliff? Aha, I get it Macaulay Culkin. With that cast Gondry’s movie turns 360 from bad to badass. Hardcore and obviously the film is all about amnesia, temporary or not, as choice or artificially arranged, but it doesn’t matter the aesthetics of the film just is one too mucho of wannabe indigo kitsch, it’s just not an option. Gondy is like a parent that would like to smoke a joint with the daughter and her teenage friends.

Amnesia, we all know the set up, either it’s the hero waking up in a basement some somewhere and he remembers nuttin’ but have a magnum in his right hand and a mystical code tattooed on a place of the body that gives him opportunities to show off his six pack. This is scratch and now it’s just a matter of chasing down the past and appropriate it, whatever that means. The alternative is the anti-hero geek nerd Rob Schneider type that wakes up in the same place and the story unfolds similarly except that the side-kick will finally function as side-kick, substitute to his lost past. The memory of the girl, the touch, the smell was either planted in the right place – Blade Runner [btw isn’t the Gondry what was it now now name film a sort of poetic appropriation of Ridley Scott’s movie, only difference is that Kate Winslet has fused into both Rachel (Sean Young who “accidentaly” also is in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. Conspiracy alert) and Pris -Daryl Hannah], or there never was one – amazing – but it doesn’t matter cuz after waking up it’s the same, once ascending from darkness time and space is back to basics and voila, hit the road.

It’s this this that I can’t take, why when the hero wakes up is linear again linear and he, rarely she, is all okidoki except he doesn’t remember his name – it’s always only memory and recognition that is gone, not language or like the ability to throw a freakin knife really really hard and good – damn that one is a good amnesia movie – aha – what yes sir Geena Davies in The Long Kiss Goodnight with Samuel Jackson who also suffers form some sort of trauma, yesh these films are fucked up Freudian [spit on Woody Allen], and this is what’s so boring, but that Geena Davies thing is awesome except the end and the embarrassing child, still the set up is the same – Geena wakes up blank like a bimbo up stairs and one days happily married memories starts to come back, just for example that knife story throwing.

I’m into something slightly less cosy, something that would make a terrible movie, but check this out our guy – hero or not – wakes up but instead of waking up to, Oh my God, I have no me-moriee. Our guy wakes up to an endless series of waking ups. In other words not an amnesia you wake up from but one that goes on and its like you wake up to each and every moment, and the next it’s all erased again, and the next and the next. Evelything and every passing moment is all the time absolutely new or whatever – nö-thing what so ever has continuity except amnesia. Get that, each and every moment is absolutely new. It’s not that oh shit I don’t recognize my wife, or whoever tells me she is, but this one is like I lose my wife ever moment again and again, every moment and fuckin forever. Continuous and repeated amnesia, and still, consider that speech is not touched so you can speak but at every moment you could have said anything what so ever utterable but you can absolutely not recall anything at all at any moment. No no, this not just going brain dead, it’s worse – this is like waking up at every moment from brain dead, it’s continuous amnesia. This is like “I don’t believer in the Devil. / You should, cuz he believes in you” see what I mean – this is the revenge model fierce. It is indeed one reason why we don’t want to hang out in utopia, this is the first version of life in no-space, a totalitarian lack of both history and future that only exists as excessive presence as now and now and now and now.

“-Hey, what now? I’m authentic enough…” Buddy, there’s nothing you can do but continue do more of the same and authentic. To go authentic is like becoming Dan Graham, more of the same at Hauser & Wirth, or something. Poor dance folks from back then, every freakin day more authentic, what a curse – what do you prefer, authentic or amnesia – well, check it out same thing just that amnesia seems to show up through the back entrance. Authentic is by proxy good [so it seems even during and after Derrida, like behind all that relative schtuff], amnesia is deeply fuckin wrong. I say, wrong!

Yet and luckily freedom is never that all over, even in the 70s we could take a break from authentic. Contemporary thought however appears to – look whose talking – forget that part about financial or ubiquitous capitalism, we are locked up and there’s no way out, we are so fucked we have learned to like it, opportunities for a life otherwise is not just past tense it’s com-ple-teley over and increasing. But is it and how? We’ve all become young girls on a shopping craze resurrecting all and every scent of capitalism at every and so on moment. Vis some kind of line up from “I studied with Althusser“ – Badiou- to “Yes, I was close to Guttari” – Bifo -, critical theory, “Hello, my name is Stefano Harey” [I love you, dude] and a splash of Occupy Wall Street, a sense of a word of warning, or “let me tell you” speech appears to be evolving, but as we all know a warning, correction, condescending sentence, criticality á la Goldsmiths is not gonna produce any thing more than more warnings, corrections, condescending word and coagulations of power. We have entered amnesia already, it’s just that we, the ordinary hasn’t realized it yet, you the young hasn’t gotten the picture, but you know what I think, no I know, it’s the other way around, those scholars and intellectuals – including architects, a lot of them [OMG such consolidation suckers – stop thinking about buildings, houses, territories, design and have a Red Bull, just stop] are totally stuck with modes of navigation that is not valid anymore, they consider the world in ways contemporary people don’t and not anymore. Get real – especially the art world, university system and holy fuckin smokes the dance business [don’t even think about it] – you are asking the wrong questions and in the wrong way. You know what we don’t need your authorization. Look at this, just because we don’t learn language from our mothers we haven’t abandoned her, fuck no we have established new models of love. Just because big bucks and some hippies in France have turned us into young girls [they are just dirty old men writing from a safe place] it doesn’t mean we don’t know about it and use it, it’s just that you guys don’t see it happening and how. We don’t use your maps, we don’t follow your political agendas, we are not against that which you are for, we are not part of your world, not your political unconscious, not your imaginarium – we love you but have nothing more to say, we adore you but we are not afraid and your words scare us only in the same way as Hollywood movies – because we want to and like it. You are vampires that hunt during twilight and as individuals, you still believe in origins and language, we are different, we are zombies, we don’t hunt we plague. We don’t seek redemption deceiving virgins to pity us, we don’t operate with and through categories as such, we don’t look for a return, we don’t care about life or eternity – we are forever as such and itself and hence don’t need it. A critical stance however it is or not criticality BS is by definition producing a location and that location is known both before during and after. We can not mourn, not even the workers, but we can neither go on – I can’t go on I must go on – no way but as you guys mourn, warn and feel sexy hooking up with occupy movements we’ve used up our imagination and burnt the maps, our modes of life are not organized, oriented, discussed, mapped, demonstrated, activisted, what or how, it’s not Goldsmiths, Marxist, SR or triple O, it’s in and out at the same time or is just not concerned, it is music and sports, culture and administration, it doesn’t make a difference between mainstream and indie [OMG, twice]. This is the point, the way we live is not compatible with your universe. It’s not that we left it – but that conference was really quite embarrassingly reactionary – we are still in there but incompatible, we are a multitude that forgot the part of dominant discourse. We do or don’t believe in the future – that is a tendency already established, with bumps perhaps but not broken. We don’t believer in the future, and certainly not yours. You have nothing to project on us and we don’t – project. We don’t believe in the future, we have raised the stake, we believe the future. We are zombies. We plague, infest, overwhelm for no reason, because because, and that is how we don’t just survive but are rich. You know, it doesn’t matter if you tell us we are suffering, like psychoanalysis told me that I wanted to fuck me mother, we don’t go there, we are past it, and we are shining shining shining.

If Zizek and his buddies told us that it’s easier to imagine the apocalypse, we have no problems… we have as little problems with imagining a way out of capitalism as Zizek appears to have zero problem with imagining a way out of thought, philosophy or critique. We are using another mindset. We are in another state. This is the problem, aha – imagination is not a priori open, it is an openness (imagination is complicit with the possible), imagination can not conquer imagination, so let’s not fight imagination nor capitalism but let’s just stop using it, stop considering it as anything else than a tool, an instrument, part of the camouflage, internal to the spectacle, stop having problems and use it in respect of how obsolete it really is – imagination, capitalism and fuck yeah, apocalypse too.

There are no ways out of liberty or freedom, these are both tendencies of totalitarian regimes so what comes after authentic, what’s after liberty itself? It cannot be rule neither convention – which obviously restricts and breaks the vow. A paradigm shift, or a breach of knowledge, a fissure in the symbolic order is like a classical revolution or upraising always followed by a moments euphoria, of an excessive sense of liberty and then… if not rule and convention, what is left is a technical aspect, a praxis of making the common foreign not to restrict or cage but in a sense tame or domesticate liberty, authenticity or improvisation. Technique could be seen as a coagulation of liberty itself, technique offers or gives direction not in favor of something, not as instrument or the ability to transform a third party – sure you train karate to be able to defend yourself or whatever – but in the case of liberty’s technique or techniques of authenticity or dance improvisation are not techniques as means of gaining teleology, or to give traction to these liberties or capacities of liberty but instead to practice liberty or improvisation as foreign to itself, or turn the argument around technique becomes a means of surveillance. Technique is often concerned with rigor but it is a rigor to itself as itself, technique is concerned with possibility, it maintains imagination, it organizes domesticity.

It is obviously impossible to produce outside imagination or language, but if technique is a path or trajectory, some kind of identitairian capacity that keeps us busy, and in any case technique implies comparison and a departure from politics (in whatever sense). Let’s recall Foucault for a sec. he doesn’t dig into techniques of the self but indeed technologies and there are reasons immediately detectable. Foucault in general rejects strategic levels of thought or production, indeed except in interview, Foucault refuses to pass a helping hand, he refuses to guide, produce trajectory or keep us busy. Foucault is a structuralist – and thanks big Bingo for that – his job is to unveil open capacities for the reader, transparencies to be utilized in whatever way, not maintained as politics or modes of control. Foucault exposes over a generic dispositive – knowledge, power and subjectivity – circumstances for perspective, strategy, organization, governance etc. To Foucault technique is slippery, heteronormative, negotiated, strategic, nouveau riche, reactionary, relational, identity-sucking baloney whereas technology is a landscape, a state [rather than a mode of acting] or non-directional territory, that is open and doesn’t confirm or keep us busy. Technique demands something from us whereas technology minds its own business and let’s us be whatever.

The emancipation dance struggled for and possibly obtained, was not restricted and is still not [at least not as dance], but what instead happened on a broad level is the return of technique, however this time not as rule or convention but an ability to confirm given or obtained liberty. Improvisation in particular, and especially in New York at least since Ronald Reagan entered the oval office has been subject to an endless violation by and through technique. Yet, if dance techniques proper fundamentally were about homogenization and erasing the dancer as subject etc. techniques post 1981 have been all about allowing the dancer to engage in his or her subjectivity, it is a training in openness, based on a notion of difference as something benevolent per se. Technique in dance in other words has become a mean to maintain multiplicities, of maintaining the police, liberty. The liberties that dance struggled for has over the last thirty year, increasingly and with higher speed been consolidated from the inside through the elaboration of techniques, by strategies of control and organization. This is not necessarily something altogether negative, but it should be clarified that technique always is productive within certain circumstances and obviously any and all technical training by definition consolidates a territory. Technique implies the production of neurotic subjects, and secures forms of development embedded in capitalism or psychoanalysis, namely the necessarily parricidal subject, which is a great addition since the parricide at best is a form of deconstruction and not emergence or multitude.

Same thing with technology in art in general – use technology for Christ’s sake and all of them but don’t ever let technology represent itself. Fuck yeah, technology is super duper and always ape nuts cool and awesome – even small scale shit – high res, low res, porn res, wifi, kaoss pad, tiger paw, mountain lion – but watch the fuck out, the moment technology goes on stage or sits in the museum – yes sir, it transforms by automation from technology to technique, from landscape to path, from form to content, from background to action, to some form of instrumentality, some form of strategy that wants something from the viewer or spectator, if noting else – attention. S h i t, in every sense, and how damn boring. Yet, there’s no choice really cuz if this process doesn’t kick in there can exist no property to consider, what is needed is a production of signature or authorship, and with this what vanish in the process is complexity, or the potentiality embedded in complexity. Technology isn’t potentiality, as a field or a knowledge it contains its own identity in the last instance, a form of immanence, it processes the capacity for the production of the possibility of radical differentiation. A representation of technology with its maintained complexity must not be either an image of technology, nor an image produced through or by technology but must be the representation of the technology of images, obviously translatable to dance or any form of representation. To unfold such a production however a specific form of rigor is necessary, which is precisely not the rigor of the or an itself or a rigor of technique, but instead a rigor against the self, against itself as technology – a form of rigor that annihilates identity in the first instance, that cancels out forms of convergence or probability, a form of apocalypse, irreversibility or amnesia. However the delicacy of such production of a rigor against itself, considered as a specific formation of immanence, for this immanence to be rigorous, or in the last instance, it cannot be understood as something but instead must be addressed as a continuous undoing of itself, it must in other words be an immanence that is undivided, un approachable and an identity to itself, it must in some or other ways be oracular, or i.e. synonymous to an ever altered in itself amnesia. Immanence or amnesia thus can also be understood as flatus vocis, the abstraction from any form of concreteness except in itself and such, i.e. the referent is erased, could not have been there in the first place or was always there as delusion. Philosophy as we know it, as it addresses immanence through philosophy thus could be said to regard both immanence and amnesia over a Hollywood kind of narrative – philosophy is a waking up from amnesia and the world is it self alike and we take it from there as if nothing has happened.

Following for example Franco Bifo’s thoughts on financial capitalism what has occurred in Western society over the last decade or two is precisely the circulation of abstract, non referential signs, the sign has become financialized and this is the ubiquity we today experience, a sort of coming of amnesia – and this is not Hollywood it is the real shit.

The quest that political and critical theory, or philosophy has taken itself is the elaboration of a solution, a way around the problem from some kind of assumed externality, i.e. a reflected upon immanence, yet standing in front of a predicament where power has been appropriated by amnesia also a solution becomes complacent to the ubiquity that surrounds it. Instead of the preparation of a route around, an unexpected journey, what is needed is a form of monstrous, or better simply monster production, i.e. a production on the terms of amnesia, a recycling of the same as the same, instead of some sort of camouflage – to pose as the other and announcing once presence – this is hyper camouflage – a posing as the same producing against oneself as identity, recognizability, authorship, property etc.

Instead of avant-garde, resistance, alternative, occupation as an experiment nostalgia, if we consider nostalgia as the resurrection of an already hollowed out signifier and thus the production of emptying, of void, of amnesia. Still this production is something, also as a nothing. Nostalgia is nothing circulated as something and in so being nostalgia poses absolutely no threat to our current modes of governance. But if this production is conscious to itself and against itself, is hyper camouflage, it communicates nothing but its own communication, nostalgia has become a chimera of teleology, it looks like it but isn’t. It is pure communicability, it is empty and still it is. Nostalgia is the production of blankness, or better blank. Using a metaphor of copying, nostalgia from the perspective of reproduction is the endless copying of copying until what appears is an absolute blank. In the case of Xerox machine a black surface, it is the production of limitless memory however without relation, without connection, reference or referent but only from the perspective established agency, from the perspective of probability the surface is black and blank but from the horizon of contingency or potentiality the blank is a universe true to itself. Nostalgia in the times of ubiquity becomes the production, not from an outside but from a radical inside, of potentiality. Not the solution, but the non-solution to our present predicament thus implies an endless regress, not to an index but to itself through a rigor of its own annihilation, a becoming non-conscious vis-á-vis established agency. The only survivor – they are many and they don’t hunt, they plague, they lute and mess up – of semio-capital or a semiotic apocalypse is the zombie. The zombie is structural and contingent to it self, they bypass value for the pure production of nothing as nothing against themselves. The zombie is unconditional rigor, without relations, without property, without technique, nameless – unconditionality to itself, continuous amnesia as the production of unlife, of the undoing of consciousness, of identity to itself at the last instance, for the contingent emergence of an altogether different existence.

In the mean time, not in order to free ourselves, not even from ourselves [that’s already a production in consciousness] what we must, is to make an art, improvise a dance, produce a pop, that annihilate ourselves, both the our and the self side. Not an art about zombies, not art made by zombies, but an art that is zombie.

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