[-empyre-] Week 4 - Bio/Nano/Materialisms

Heather Davis heathermargaret at gmail.com
Mon Jun 25 10:27:32 EST 2012

Hi all,
Apologies for my tardy arrival. I am so excited to be a part of this
conversation with each of you, and find myself stunned by the quality of
thought and engagement of my brilliant interlocutors here. Thank you for
your contributions so for and to Zach and Micha for initiating and curating
this conversation. I am curious about the way in which the nano, in each of
your work, becomes a kind of significant imperceptibility. I am thinking
about how, in a previous discussion this month, the idea of 'queer is
everywhere' was broached. My initial reaction to this was a kind of doubt,
not trusting the utopic overtones, nor the amorphous quality of the
statement that lacked the dissensus that characterizes politics. What I
appreciate about the nano, in each of your works, Pinar, Ricardo, and Elle,
is the way in which this kind of utopic moment of the viral meets with an
politics of imperceptibility not as simply an aversion or counter-move to
surveillant systems (of sex, the state, neoliberal corporate models, etc.)
but as an imperceptibility that moves through the body to make significant
changes. It makes me wonder about the nano as being a kind of material
corollary of affect - that which carries a force, but is seen through its
effects, rather than in a chain of causes or origins. this is indeed a
queer position, a kind of passing that is important in its movement, of
what it touches and shifts, that is locatable in its actions. the nano
seems particularly adapted to this kind of effect, movement.

I cannot present here as beautiful a summary of the work that I am doing,
as it has yet to begin. Aside from dirt, which I love because of its
contaminating/contaminated qualities, because of its amorphousness and its
ability to be distinct while encompassing a range of materials, metaphors,
etc, I have become increasingly fascinated with plastic. It marks our
current age that is seemingly ubiquitous, unfathomable (in its scale,
duration, reach) and also makes the nano a human possibility. for it is
only because of the creation of purely synthetic polymers that we both have
the ability to manipulate things at a nanoscale, and are able to perceive
the nano as a separate measurable scale. I am interested in the way in
which plastic, as a medium, connects to a politics of imperceptibility.


On Sun, Jun 24, 2012 at 11:57 AM, Clough, Patricia <PClough at gc.cuny.edu>wrote:

> Thanks to all who engaged during week 3   and welcome week 4    Patricia
> ________________________________________
> From: empyre-bounces at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au [
> empyre-bounces at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au] On Behalf Of Elle Mehrmand [
> ellemehrmand at gmail.com]
> Sent: Saturday, June 23, 2012 8:43 PM
> To: empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
> Subject: [-empyre-] Week 4 - Bio/Nano/Materialisms
> Hello out there,
> I am honored to have this opportunity to neuro-jaculate on this list. The
> notions of materialisms/ immaterialisms/ bio-materialisms/ -erialisms,
> within the context of the bio-political, bring to mind the pixellated flesh
> of my holographic/ fauxlographic clones who live in my most recent
> performative installation entitled fauxlographic. For the past year I have
> been working within the speculative space of an ethno-dysphoric cloning
> laboratory, where diasporic anxiety is analyzed through the process of
> fauxlographic cloning. The clones enact sonic rituals, singing in Farsi,
> English and Perz-ish [a faux-ish language], based on multiple sources of
> information including embodied memories, wikileaks cables, and textual/
> visual/ aural references concerning Iran and Persia. The ethno-dysphoric
> scientist analyzes her dislocated subjectivity by performing a daily
> neurotic ritual within a glass computing chamber while wearing an EEG
> neuro-headset. As she neuro-jaculates with the clones
>  in order to (pars)e their data streams, the diasporic computing sounds of
> the EEG oscillate in pitch based on her neural activity. When high levels
> of CO2 are detected by the lab's sensors, the clones become aware of those
> gazing upon them, resulting in an anxious act of erasure and multiplication
> of their pixellated flesh on the fauxlographic screen, reciprocating the
> affective presence and implications of other bodies within the laboratory.
> The use of organic sensors transforms the lab into a cyborgian spatial
> interface, allowing for unconscious collaboration between multiple bodies
> in space, confusing the somatic architecture of the performance.
> // bodies
> [fragmented.dislocated.flesh]
> the metaphor of the split subject in a multitude of representations calls
> for the split subjectivity of the diasporic body. the hologram. the clone.
> the screenal flesh of the projection. the reflection on the glass. the live
> specimen with a neural prosthetic.
> //donna haraway's cyborg reconfigured
> the live specimen lays in a burst of stillness within the glass chamber
> for 30 minutes. the liveness of her naked body creates an affect that the
> clones cannot produce, but ultimately she will become a reproduction of
> herself. she performs analysis on the clones by means of neural computing.
> her experiments are open to the public, allowing for multiple bodies to
> inhabit the laboratory. the intersectionality of all of the bodies produce
> the organic energy that is necessary for the installation to function.
> the fauxlographic clones are fragmented and displaced as they interact
> with their ironic head scarfs from american apparel through gestural
> research. the black scarf cuts into their screenal skin, erasing their
> flesh due to the translucent nature of the fauxlographic screen. they are
> never fully in or out of the fabric, creating a fluidic relationship to the
> object, one that is not part of a binary construct, but one that arises
> from a unique space within the perception of being persian, and is
> expressed through the gestures of their diasporic anxiety. fractured
> elements of their being are echoed in the displacement of their body parts.
> they are vulnerable in their nudity with their pixellated flesh and
> informatic contents exposed, but that is the nature of the clone.
> - elle mehrmand
> --
> elleelleelle.org<http://elleelleelle.org>
> assemblyofmazes.com<http://assemblyofmazes.com>
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
> http://www.subtle.net/empyre
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