[-empyre-] uncapturing theory citations

Johannes Birringer Johannes.Birringer at brunel.ac.uk
Thu Jun 21 03:00:55 EST 2012

hello all.

intriguing discussions, which got off on a euphoric tone, then became
more contentious & noisy, as they probably should; and yet it seems our 
enthusiasm about queerreals and transitional objects remains unabated,
working around the systems and inside them as well
(possibly, as Amanda might argue, that is because 
"engaging queerly with technology [etc/] is about tinkering, hacking, modding - 
working around the system to create our own circuits of meaning"). so what
happened to high theory and the urge to cite?

and what do you do when you have never heard of ooo?  

I particularly loved, however, the less discourse-theory-heavy remarks that came the other night
as I listed to music --    i think it was Tim speculating on the opera singer making the glass explode,
"exploding glass into not-glass."  

>>The dead (as it were) glass is nowhere, there are just memories, including fragments of glass, which are new things.>>

last weekend at London's Barbican,  Pina Bausch's "Ten Chi" staged the scene in a slight variation:
a dancer in a long white dress is lifted onto a chair, ready to sing, but in her hands she holds a large block
ice.  As she prepares so sing and drop the ice, another, dark-haired dancer enters with a red towel that has glass inside
as we find out. She puts the towel on the floor and vigorously steps on it with her sharp heels. The glass
breaks.  She opens the towel and admires the "dead" glass, the fragments. 
The woman on the chair with the ice is upset, gets down and leaves muttering something about someone
always wanting to steal her show.

neither the glass, not the ice, can sing or break to us whether they have an idea of beauty or jouissance. why would they?

what is it i am missing about objects and their thoughts?

Zach scheibt: 

>> it seems that many theorists and writers who focus on
technology, the nonhuman, and the new materialisms you have already
mentioned engage affect through a deleuzian / spinozan approach. and
they do so because it affords them a particular way to think technical
/ nonhuman materials. it seems like one of the critiques we could
think about here is the one that jack has already brought up, which is
on the use of high theory and a politics of citations. do you think
its possible to explore this strand of affect through low theory? 

but, Zach, what if one were to produce or engage affect without a deleuzian /spinozian
approach? or without the high or low?

the story about the opera singer's voice breaking the glass does not need 
theory, and yet, hmm,  in Tim's telling of it, it implies an aesthetics of transcendence.
Münchhausen-Stockhausen, I believe, was so foolish to speculate on that, also. 

with regards
Johannes Birringer

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