[-empyre-] affect, low theory, and capture

Ana Valdes agora158 at gmail.com
Fri Jun 22 00:24:02 EST 2012

But a hotel is also a way for the nomadic to rest for a while to interact with others to listen to gossip to drink to eat to sleep in a bed made by some other than oneself.
The hotel is always transitional a non-place as an airport or a motorway if we follow the anthropologist Marc Auge's theory Non-Places.

Skickat från min iPhone

21 jun 2012 kl. 11:13 skrev Lauren Berlant <lberlant at aol.com>:

> Hi all!  I just thought I'd float a few thoughts. 
> 1.  The juxtaposition of Jordan's "Hotel" to Montgomery's "Transitional Objects" does raise lots of questions about what kinds of refusal to produce a narrow-veined kinship cluster of likenesses and samenesses do to the general queer project of expanding the plane on which relationality appears as a scene in the psychoanalytic and criminal senses, a moving object and a moving target.
> In Jennifer's piece the mutilated recombined dolls produce no anchor but an anxiety about how to stay in relation; while in Jordan's piece the erotics of stuckness, of a binding to the signifiers of desire, can become both fetishistic of what appetite stands for and, because dedramatized by the music and slow, inarticulate mise en scene, drained of fetishism's drama to demythify or intensify the sign. Hotel in a way is about not a desire for expansive perverse queered transition but a queer stuckness that doesn't expand into the world but expands time into the enigma of relation itself, on the verge of shattering without the fetish's drama and pseudo-finality. 
> 2.  This leads me back to Zach's insistence on negativity as that which seems negative: withdrawal, subtraction, immeasurability, escape from capture. I said this to Zach last spring when we were talking about the common and sex, so this is where we are stuck, but: I think it's a mistake to take the state's biopolitical aesthetics of the subject's and a population's forced appearance and translation into data as the defining taxonomy of the moment, because by copying the dominant fetishizing idiom, repeating its own profound stupidity about the relation of information and knowledge, even in resistance to it,  you reproduce its idiom as the idiom of the world. Any representation of relational processes (or of object/scenes, as I call them) makes a new closet and a new disturbance. Practices of exposure and literalization  are false comforts. (I feel this as well about the romance of the nomad--being a nomad is a lot scarier and incoherently scavenging than Braidotti suggests! That's one way to read Patricia's poem...)
> I think it's a sign of the crisis of the reproduction of life that the world's "we" are in that literalization, the sheer immeasurable description of the materiality of affect in action and relation, is everywhere seen as necessary for a new realism. 
> XxoL
> Sent from my iPad
> On Jun 20, 2012, at 6:56 AM, Ana Valdés <agora158 at gmail.com> wrote:
>> I saw in the city of Umeå in the North of Sweden a very interesting
>> exhibition, "Lost and Found Queerying the Archive". The curators Jane
>> Rowley and Louise Wolthers built the show around some central and
>> pivotal questions: identity, love and sexuality. Many of the voices
>> presented are anonymous, people questioning themselves, searching for
>> some belonging, for some identity, asking themselves about normality
>> and normativity. The norms are made of conventions and consensus,
>> agreements, historical memes written on people's experiences and
>> stories.
>> For me personally it was a great "aha" moment to read Rosi Braidottis
>> "Nomadic Subjects", a book where she writes about our fragmented
>> identities, our ability to wander between different identities and
>> belongings but not staying in one.
>> Ana
>> On Wed, Jun 20, 2012 at 2:44 AM, Zach Blas <zachblas at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> hi all--
>>> i’m finally jumping in here again after some great posts from
>>> patricia, lauren, jordan, and jack again!
>>> i’d really like to pull in some empyre subscribers to this discussion,
>>> so i wonder if we can try to tackle some more general questions about
>>> the stakes and stances around affect and its relations to queerness,
>>> digital technology/media, and political art.
>>> patricia and lauren, you have already somewhat laid this out, but i
>>> think it would be great to hear more about how you parse affect and
>>> feelings and what those frameworks / structures of thinking permit,
>>> enhance, delimit, enclose. in my experience, discussions around affect
>>> always run up against conflicting approaches to defining it as well as
>>> how it relates to feelings or emotions.
>>> patricia, 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? do
>>> you know of anyone who is doing this? in this area of deleuze, affect,
>>> queerness, and feminism, luciana parisi has talked about a fundamental
>>> queerness through her notion of abstract sex and claire colebrook has
>>> also considered how doing theory could be fundamentally queer. i’m
>>> just really curious how the feminist new materialisms, which engage
>>> affect and queerness, could align/overlap with jack halberstam’s
>>> investments in a low theory and what that might look like--or what it
>>> already looks like if someone is doing this....and for this week, how
>>> low theory and high theory differently impact and shape our
>>> understandings and experiences of affect.
>>> lauren, thanks for bringing in the transitional objects video! i
>>> wonder if was can all take a look at a recent work by jordan crandall
>>> called “hotel.” http://vimeo.com/7091631 maybe we can think about the
>>> relations and (dis)alignments between these two videos and how they
>>> convey affect. notably, jordan’s piece does not use language, while
>>> the other piece has consistent speaking.
>>> maybe another way to think about affect, queerness, and technology is
>>> around capture, withdrawal, and escape. i’m pretty taken by recent
>>> theories of escape, invisibility, refusals of recognition, tactics of
>>> nonexistence, becoming imperceptible. personally, i’ve been really
>>> interested in how alex galloway and eugene thacker have framed this
>>> around what they identify as the coming era of “universal standards of
>>> identification,” which of course are already here with devices like
>>> biometrics. “henceforth,” they write, “the lived environment will be
>>> divided into identifiable zones and nonidentifiable zones, and
>>> nonidentifiables will be the shadowy new ‘criminal’ classes–those that
>>> do not identify.” this is something phil agre has also written about,
>>> what he calls the capture model and grammars of action. different from
>>> surveillance, capture is specific to our information age and grammars
>>> of action are what capture produces. arge writes that “the capture
>>> model describes the situation that results when grammars of action are
>>> imposed upon human activities and when the newly reorganized
>>> activities are represented by computers in real time.”
>>> i bring this all up because i’m generally interested in affect,
>>> capture, and measurability. since i recently read a lot of hardt &
>>> negri for my prelim exams this spring, immeasurability and beyond
>>> measure surfaced a lot. this is a pretty open-ended question at this
>>> point, but i’m just wondering if anyone has thoughts on affect’s
>>> relation to (im)measurability and capture--and how that might weigh on
>>> queerness and feminism...
>>> thanks!
>>> --
>>> zach blas
>>> artist & phd candidate
>>> literature, information science + information studies, visual studies
>>> duke university
>>> www.zachblas.info
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> empyre forum
>>> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
>>> http://www.subtle.net/empyre
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