[-empyre-] Transreal Transitional Objects

Judith Halberstam halberst at usc.edu
Wed Jun 13 12:26:33 EST 2012

Yes! Micha – the transreal is of course an inspirational source for the queerreal but I do think there are differences if only because, as Jay Prosser’s work elaborated so forcefully, there remains some part of trans identity that invests and reinvests in the real and there is a definitive shift in queer non-identities away from the real or against the oppression exerted in the name of the real. I think there must be lots of places where the queerreal and the transreal overlap and intersect but also where they diverge and part.

 I love, love, love your code poem and the whole idea of code poetry, poetry as code, code as poetic writing is provocative. But, I am not sure I agree about the function of the black femme and its antithetical relation to the cliché. As you see in my post, I am challenging the elitist claim in Deleuze that all the cliché can do is reinforce the common sensical and I understand the Black femme function to be that which lies outside of the boundaries of the known within classical cinema but not necessarily that which lies beyond the cliché. In fact, as Keeling’s reading of Set It Off demonstrates, sometimes, the queerreal emerges through and as the stereotype.

 The algorithm: a set of instructions but one that might be improvised, could even be randomized. A method that results in a visual effect but also a kind of logic. I don’t claim the algorithm as a truth, more a revelation of the coding that precedes all entries into the real.

 Homay: I love the connection to Alison Bechdel and the transitional object and I really want to think that through – when is a transitional object just an object? Where does the transition end and where does it begin? And like transitional objects, as you point out, animation gets classified as childish in order to refuse the disruption it presents – Eisenstein more than most recognized the challenge that animation posed to the bleak landscapes of capitalism and in Disney he saw a large scale critique of the capitalist real.

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