[-empyre-] Re: love, sacrifice, and the eternal surplus

Yvonne Martinsson yvonne at freewheelin.nu
Sat Oct 25 03:05:41 EST 2008


Just came across the Chinese 'word' for love. It has no tempus, no  
future, no past, just a now. And, culturally, the Chinese sign is  
close to the sign of family... Nevertheless, it's just another  
instance of love being 'here.'

Maybe it's the agape of the distinction agape and love.

But I do agree with Melinda that love is psychological. It's a  
question of identification, but yet not a proper identification. It's  
an anticipation of what could be. It sets our entire psychological  
economy in motion. It makes us work through our own drama.

The 'unattainable' is always desirable, but is it love? In a 3D  
environement one could think of the 'unattainable' as that which  
promises love, happiness etc. It's like safe sex. No sex is more safe  
than cybersex. No love is more safe than cyberlove. You risk nothing.  
You don't risk giving in (to another). But you can work through your   
own drama.





24 okt 2008 kl. 03.00 skrev empyre-request at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au:

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>    1. Re: Re: love, sacrifice, and the eternal surplus
>       (fredericneyrat at free.fr)
>    2. fwd: Love and Other Technologies (Josephine Bosma)
> Från: fredericneyrat at free.fr
> Datum: tisdag 21 okt 2008 15.08.56 GMT+02:00
> Till: soft_skinned_space <empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au>
> Ämne: Re: [-empyre-] Re: love, sacrifice, and the eternal surplus
> Svara till: soft_skinned_space <empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au>
> hello,
> so the less that we can do - first of all - is to make a difference
> between object and subject ...
> When Celine writes "L'amour est l'infini a la portée des caniches",
> this difference collapses (with a rough humor) - in the same way every
> reductionism does (without humor).
> Without exploring here differences between desire and love, object
> subject, phantasm and so on:
> one can say that there's a sort of
> surplus-of-love, which can't be reduced to any subject love: one
> always loves someone more than one loves she or he ...
> Sacrifice is a way to consume this surplus.
> Frederic
> Selon sergio basbaum <sbasbaum at gmail.com>:
>> Melinda,
>> I don't know if I got wrong your message, but are you suggesting
>> that all
>> the struggle for the meaning and expression of the world "love", or
>> at least
>> some of its meanings could be reduced to "just a physiological
>> response
>> sparked by a set of characteristics in the love
>> object (which doesn't necessarily have to be a person or the
>> representation
>> of person), and the context and availability of that object." ?
>> This means you're throwing away a lot of meaning -- all of it
>> opened to
>> interpretation and re-creation and also offering an paths to get
>> closer
>> (through involvement and interpretation and dialogue and silence)
>> to deep
>> hidden aspects of human soul & experience -- by a simplistic,
>> reductionistic
>> causalistic and materialistic explanation of neuroscience.
>> Between Shakespeare and Neuroscience, I'd rather stay with
>> Shakespeare.
>> Contemporarily, probably along a milkshakespeare.
>> love
>> s.
>> On Mon, Oct 20, 2008 at 7:51 AM, melinda <m at subtle.net> wrote:
>>> Hi all
>>> Well i guess it depends on what sort of love you are referring
>> to...
>>> -this one sounds like the heady passionate compulsive type of
>> love, as
>>> distinct the primal lust type of love, or the attached
>> companionable type
>>> of
>>> love..
>>> Ive been doing a bit of research lately for book chapter coming
>> out soon on
>>> love in 3 dimensional online environments, and this sort of love
>> - the
>>> tragic, the dramatic, the love of romeo and jullette, pop music
>> and
>>> hollywood, and much discussed throughout philosophy is really
>> just a
>>> physiological response sparked by a set of characteristics in the
>> love
>>> object (which doesn't necessarily have to be a person or the
>> representation
>>> of person), and the context and availability of that object.
>>>  The more unattainable the object, the more desirable and
>> embedded it
>>> becomes in our neural activity, producing a whole raft of
>> physical effects
>>> from anxiety, palpitations, intense focus, breathlessness, severe
>>> depression, sleeplessness, etc etc, hence upping the likelihood
>> of tragedy,
>>> drama, violence  and sacrifice..
>>> Neatly circular hey.. and definitely unromantic..
>>> Melinda
>>>> Owen et al,
>>>> Love and sacrifice are intimately intertwined throughout
>> history. Or
>>>> should we say surrender rather? But, what is sacrificed or what
>> is
>>>> surrendered to?
>>>> In a Lover's Disourse Barthes says he wants to say 'I love you'
>> in
>>>> Spanish - te quiero -  because the subject is dropped in
>> Spanish
>>>> syntax. And even more preferably, he would like a language that
>> drops
>>>> the object as well. The subject - object sacrificed, excluded,
>>>> eradicated, the word 'love' becomes affirmative. In love 'I'
>> don't
>>>> exist - which is very contrary to contemporary culture of
>> taking
>>>> control, getting in charge etc that situates us in the violence
>> of
>>>> language, control issues and so forth.
>>>> Barthes also says he wants the lover to be a 'mute object'.
>>>> Interestingly enough he calls the lover an object here in the
>>>> discourse of love. A case in point for the 'tyranny of
>> language'? As
>>>> soon as language returns, we fall into its violence, and the
>> violence
>>>> and hence the I need to be sacrificed, if we want to surrender
>> to the
>>>> affirmative  'love' [you].
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> empyre forum
>>> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
>>> http://www.subtle.net/empyre
>> --
>> -- Prof. Dr. Sérgio Roclaw Basbaum
>> -- Coord. Tecnologia e Mídias Digitais
>> -- Pós-Graduação Tec.da Inteligência e Design Digital - TIDD
>> (PUC-SP)
> Från: Josephine Bosma <jesis at xs4all.nl>
> Datum: onsdag 22 okt 2008 14.15.12 GMT+02:00
> Till: soft_skinned_space <empyre at gamera.cofa.unsw.edu.au>
> Ämne: [-empyre-] fwd: Love and Other Technologies
> Svara till: soft_skinned_space <empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au>
> [hello all, The following was posted on another mailinglist (IDC)  
> only yesterday. I contacted the writer to ask if I could forward it  
> to you, because of the relevance of the topic. He generously  
> welcomed it. I hope it is ok to forward, Melinda? Anyway, I also  
> hope this finds you all well, J]
> from: Dominic Pettman, pettmand at newschool.edu
> Hello IDC people.
> My new friend and colleague, Trebor, has been kind enough to invite me
> to contribute to the list, by way of introducing my most recent book
> /Love and Other Technologies: Retrofitting Eros for the Information  
> Age/
> (Fordham University Press, 2006). I would like to thank him for this
> opportunity to further spread the word about a project which is, let’s
> say, in the “slow-burn” post-publication stage. So let me begin with a
> shameless plug, via my other friend and colleague, McKenzie Wark, who
> was good enough to describe it as “the ultimate book on love for the
> over-educated.”
> To begin with, this book represents an interdisciplinary study of the
> way in which three key terms – /love/, /technology/ and /community/ –
> are currently being figured by various aspects of contemporary  
> media and
> culture. My fundamental argument is that these terms are in fact words
> /which designate the same cultural movement/: a movement /towards/ the
> Other, which continually redefines what it means to be human  
> (especially
> a human amongst other humans; or, indeed, posthumans).
> I turn to Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben for guidance, since I am
> intrigued by the possibilities inherent in his concept of “whatever
> being” – the rather abstract citizens of his “coming community” –
> especially tricksters, fakes, ‘toons, assistants, and even porn stars.
> My book looks to such figures within new media, cinema, and  
> literature,
> in order to further “flesh out” this notion.
> One of the motivations behind writing this book began with the  
> seemingly
> simple question: what does Agamben mean when he talks about “whatever
> being”? As is usually the case with seemingly simple questions, they
> lead to other questions, which themselves spiral out into a network of
> inter-related, and ultimately more complex, questions. For  
> instance, how
> does this notion of “whatever being” relate to his concept of the  
> coming
> community? What would an “inessential commonality” (the basis of  
> such a
> community) actually look like? Is the “automatism of love” (Zizek) a
> stumbling-block to thinking the coming community? Or is there a way to
> reinflect the lover’s discourse beyond notions of subjective essence?
> (In other words, if we are all men and women “without qualities,” on
> what basis do we select one partner over another?) And how do
> contemporary forces – such as the Internet, globalization, and the
> information revolution – encourage or discourage an emergent  
> conception
> of community . . . ideally outside the increasingly exhausted
> co-ordinates of humanism, the humanities, nihilism, postmodernism and
> psychoanalysis (to name only a few)?
> For while we often ponder the meaning behind the ur-sentence “I love
> you,” we have concentrated most of our efforts on the word “love,”
> rather than questioning the “I” and the “you” – as if the bridge were
> more important than the banks it claims to connect. Indeed, we tend to
> assume that this metaphor of bridging two stable and identifiable
> entities is enough to capture the passionate event; which it  
> clearly is
> not. Love is more than merely an engineering feat which joins to
> previously isolated points. It is a bringing-forth, a revelation – a
> /techne/. (After all, we /make/ love, don’t we?)
> Hence my primal scene, featuring the famous androgynes in Plato’s
> /Symposium/, who have been split in two by the angry gods, and who  
> thus
> seek their “other half” in frenzied desparation. In order to fuse back
> together again, these love-crazed creatures are obliged to rely on
> “Hephaestes and his instruments.” Love is thus, from the outset, a
> technical operation. (I don’t actually say this in the book, but  
> will do
> so in a forthcoming article, that Heidegger’s definition of modern
> technology as “an unreasonable demand of nature,” works beautifully  
> as a
> definition of love as well.)
> Which is all to say, that whether we follow the argument of someone as
> spectacularly anti-romantic as Niklas Luhmann, who describes love as
> “the codification of intimacy,” or the melancholic structuralism of
> Roland Barthes and his “image-repertoire,” we gather the instruments
> which can help us form a deeper appreciation of the mysterious
> relationship between /longing/ and /be/-longing.
> A brief glimpse at my index of proper names will reveal directors such
> as Wong Kar-Wai, Terence Malick, Stanley Kubrick, Hirokazu Koreeda,  
> and
> Shu Lea Cheang, as well as writers such as Vladimir Nabokov, J.G.
> Ballard, Thomas Pynchon, Robert Musil, and Haruki Murakami. These
> figures are supplemented by the conceptual maps of thinkers such as
> Bernard Stiegler, Jean-Luc Nancy, Kaja Silverman, Søren Kierkegaard,
> Martin Heidegger, Friedrich Kittler, Sylvia Agacinski, and many many
> others.
> So I’ll leave you with a brief extract (pasted below), which will
> hopefully function as an exciting trailer for the whole thing.
> If you have any comments or questions, feel free to post them to  
> the list.
> Further writing samples from this book, and my previous titles /After
> the Orgy: Toward a Politics of Exhaustion/ (SUNY, 2002) and /Avoiding
> the Subject: Media, Culture and the Object/ (Amsterdam UP, 2004),  
> can be
> found here:
> http://www.blackjelly.com/pettman
> Thanks for listening.
> dominic
> pettmand at newschool.edu <mailto:pettmand at newschool.edu>
> ********************************************************************** 
> *****************
> *Here’s Looking At You Kid*
> “Separate the sexual act from love, and the language of love is
> devalued.” So states Anthony Burgess. In the very next sentence, he  
> goes
> on to say: “An aspect of our freedom is our right to debase the  
> language
> totally, so that its syntagms become mere noise.” The link between the
> first and the second sentence is left intriguingly open, inviting  
> us to
> fill in the blanks with our own thoughts on the relationship between
> eros, agape, communication and structure. (And not only that, but to
> reflect on the notion of “relationship” itself.)
> Identifying the signal-to-noise relationship of amorous discourse  
> seems
> like a technical imperative in these troubled times. While at first
> glance, a study of love may seem like a retreat into the personal, it
> will soon become apparent that it is anything but. Love, like  
> weaponized
> anthrax spores, has a habit of getting into everything.
> One entry-point we can use for such an all-encompassing and diffuse
> discourse is the visual mechanism which often triggers its  
> existence in
> the first place. As Kaja Silverman maintains, “passion is a semiotic
> affair” (50). Indeed, this same critic identifies a formal
> transhistorical human subject, the “world spectator,” who is  
> referred to
> as such since they (we) are /subject/ to the scopic regime of love:  
> “The
> world spectator is emphatically a desiring subject” (11). Describing a
> conceptual trajectory linking Plato’s hypnotized cave-dwellers with
> Debord’s equally mesmerized cinema-goers, Silverman focuses on the
> ontological feedback loops of (visual) attraction:
> [W]ere others to look at us through our own eyes, ‘ourselves’ is
> precisely what we would never be. We can appear, and so Be, only if
> others ‘light’ us up. To be lit up means to be seen from a vantage  
> point
> from which we can never see ourselves. It also means to embody not our
> own, but /someone else’s/ idea of beauty. Our ‘essence’ is thus
> strangely nonessential. (19)
> And further:
> The being whom I light up with the radiance of affirmation supplies me
> with the form which allows me to see what I could not otherwise  
> see; it
> alone makes possible beauty’s embodiment. It is together, then,  
> that we
> bring about its appearance. (20-21)
> If Beauty goes for a walk alone in the forest, would Beauty still be
> beautiful? The answer is an emphatic no.
> Thus, for Silverman – as for myself – “libidinal signification has an
> /ontological/ force” (43). That is to say, every relationship is a
> transductive relationship (i.e., a relationship which doesn’t merely
> link, but /creates/ the terms in that same relationship). Beauty – or
> more simply Self, whether figured as beautiful or ugly or somewhere
> in-between – does not precede the encounter with Others. This
> “ontological force” is the one emphasized throughout the following
> chapters, and prompts an ethical assessment of one’s own actions.  
> Not so
> much in the moralistic-behavioral sense (“am I a good person?”), but
> according to a more symbolic economy of recognition and deferral  
> (“am I
> a person?”). Silverman states, “To each of us, through our particular
> libidinal history, has been given the potentiality for  
> participating in
> a unique series of disclosures. This potentiality is not so much a
> talent as a responsibility. When we fail to realize it, we are
> bottomlessly guilty” (48).
> Without embracing this statement completely (in what sense is this
> series /unique/? and why give so much ground to the deployment of  
> guilt?
> do we detect a whiff of emotional blackmail here?), the notion of
> responsibility in relation to an erotics of Being is nevertheless a
> revealing one. Through it we can /see/ the stakes involved in being
> together, longing together, and belonging together (in the sense of W.
> J. T. Mitchell’s desire to “make seeing show itself” [175]).
> For in English at least, the verb “to look” can be both objective  
> (“you
> look good”), and subjective (“I look at you”). It is simultaneously
> passive and active, gazing and gazed-upon. And yet, from the myth of
> Aphrodite’s lazy eye, to those infamous blinkers which fall over the
> retinas of the impassioned, love is an interactive event which  
> involves
> not only sight, but all of the senses . . . and perhaps others we are
> not even aware of . . . yet.
> To coin a phrase, then: If love is blind, sex is Braille.
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