[-empyre-] All call: subscribers interested in Boredom: Labor, Use and Time

Murat Nemet-Nejat muratnn at gmail.com
Sun May 31 04:32:18 AEST 2015

"In response to Murat, concerning whether boredom is inside or outside, we
might remember that Dasein, as being-in-the-world, puts into question
phenomenal conceptions of spatiality: Dasein is not in the world like a
thing within a box, but articulates a relational comportment, is itself
“being-in-the-world.”  In his analysis of boredom, Heidegger discusses two
mistaken paths—boredom as residing out there in things and boredom as
residing within a psychological subject—before he launches into his
explanation of profound boredom.  Also, with regard to the “being compelled
to listen to what boredom has to say,” Heidegger himself notes that this
means that boredom belongs to the realm of power (and politics?):"

"t seems that profound boredom compels us to listen.  It seems inescapable
and relates to the question of “Dasein’s innermost freedom” (136)"

Hi Erin,

Yes, as you said, Heidegger tries to move away from the distinction between
the subjective (inner) and the the objective (outside). I don't disagree
with that. In fact, eliminating that distinction maybe very powerful.

Nevertheless, as Heidegger himself suggests ("boredom belongs to the realm
of power (and politics?)), is total elimination of distinction possible?
That is why, Heidegger's repetition of the word "compel" is so resonant
forme. He seems to find something exquisite, fetishistic in the idea of
compulsion. My question is (as he himself seems to suggest in the above
quote) whether exquisite sense of compulsion had anything to do with his
attraction to fascism?


On Sat, May 30, 2015 at 2:04 PM, Murat Nemet-Nejat <muratnn at gmail.com>

> Hi Jason,
> "
> I think where things are getting murky is my use of "trigger", which was
> probably not a helpful term. However, I disagree with the notion of surfing
> the web being only an escape from boredom. There is structure and then
> there is content. The structure is where Eric Souther is exploring, the
> inability to reconcile signifiers in the network. I think he is
> specifically talking about the lack of purpose of searching, how language
> is unable to encapsulate the living, shifting structure of the thing itself.
> I love the description of your workshops, that sounds like a good time."
> Could you elaborate more on what Eric Means by "language is unable to
> encapsulate the living, shifting structure of the thing itself?" I do not
> quite understand it. Does it mean that things, events, etc,, in the
> internet (is that the same as on line) have a different kind of reality for
> which language has not been found yet, and Eric's work tries to describe
> that struggle?
> One thing I noticed about language on the internet is that that language
> (bits, fragments) from it can be appropriated in one or two steps.  This
> has multiple consequences. First, it severs that piece of language from all
> the cultural, historical associations that shaped it and may give it
> resonance. Second, in the appropriator (basically the surfer on the
> internet) creates often both the illusion of knowledge and the reality of
> ownership (power). In American poetry, I don't know if any among you is
> familiar with it, to a movement like flarf. Flarf often took phrases from
> speeches of "ordinary" folks and used them in ironic poems often mocking
> those phrases--basically, suppressing that speech in the guise of
> discovering them. Personally, as someone who has migrated to the United
> States from a Middle Eastern country, I found the whole process (technique)
> infuriating. Of course, flarf phrases were often culled from popular
> culture (often movies). The effect to me was the same.
> Another instance of it occurred about two years ago at the Poetry Project
> in New York City around the poet John Ashbery reading from his new Rimbaud
> translations with a number of other poets. Many of those other poets were
> flarfists. If I remember correctly, each of them picked an Ashbery
> translation (still referring to the original title) and created a flarf
> poem out of Ashbery's words. I was bemused by the whole process. A
> recreated text was itself re-created/reproduced. The process reminded me of
> the distinction between camera obscura and photoshopped photography. In the
> former, the control (the* self-conscious* power) of the photographer is
> limited by the potentially anarchic movements of light itself which always
> remains somewhat beyond the photographer's control. "Mistakes" always occur
> making the camera obscura photograph always more than the intentions
> (focus) of the photographer turning it into a dialogue between the viewer
> and the photographic image itself. It created stasis, a condition of
> contemplation that materializes time, its passing (I wrote a long essay
> about it*The Peripheral Space of Photography* that Green Integers Press
> published as a separate book in 2004.) Giving exponentially greater power
> to manipulate to the photographer, photoshop alters the relationship of the
> image to the "real." The other (as image) losing its independece loses its
> own power (what I assume W. Benjamin calls its aura). Aura in that sense
> has a close relationship to positive boredom.
> In photoshop time basically disappears--isn't super efficiency (of speed,
> of power, of non-friction) an elimination of time--which created boredom in
> the positive sense? Aren't stasis, aura, contemplation aspects of boredom
> in a positive relationship with the other (reality as something ultimately
> not knowable. Erin, if I understand him correctly, isn't this what
> Heidegger is saying?
> I know for a fact that Ashbery did most of his Rimbaud translation over a
> period of about thirty years, by slow accumulation. The flarf version were
> all made post the publication of Ashbery's by New Direction, in other
> words, I guess in a few fours. Don't know if one is superior or inferior to
> the other. But they are drastically different. In my opinion, the ego is
> the translator" is more central in the flarf case, even though the
> assertion is to the contrary, that it is less personal because of its
> procedural method.
> Replication as an art/image model is crucial in out time. Benjamin sensed
> its importance maybe first in his essay "The Modern Work of Art in a World
> of Mechanical Reproduction." That is partly the attraction of a film like
> Orson Welles' "F For Fake." My own poem *The Spiritual Life of Replicants*--as
> androids in *Blade Runner--* is very much focused on the idea of
> copies--their "inner life." It is central in Conceptual poetry of
> Goldsmith, etc.
> In other words, boredom -at least in images and literature-- is I think
> intimately related, on the one hand to copying, on the other, repetition.
> Is repetition an exact replication--as the question is asked at the
> beginning of *Fata Morgana*.
> Jason, yes Naropa was a fascinating and a very fruitful experience for me.
> Before the start of the workshop I was told that the workshop was expected
> to make a presentation. When I asked of what kind, I was told not to worry
> about it. It was some very informal. On the force of that I decided to have
> the students to do the presentation, any way they wanted to. To me that
> would reveal how they saw the experience. They chose a bright and very
> talented kid among them. I told him that I didn't want to know what he will
> say. The upshot was what I told you. The others were all purpose
> driven--his had captured and benefited from the open endedness of my
> approach.
> Ciao,
> Murat
> On Fri, May 29, 2015 at 8:59 PM, Erin Obodiac <emo57 at cornell.edu> wrote:
>> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
>> And, here's chapter four of Heidegger on boredom:
>> Now and then, as when Heidegger writes, “Following our vacation, we shall
>> now attempt . . . ” (132), the reader is reminded that this discourse was a
>> seminar in 1929/30.  No doubt, Heidegger experienced the first (waiting at
>> a train station circa the impending 1930s Depression) and second (attending
>> a pleasant party circa the end of—the party’s over—1920s) forms of boredom
>> during this specific hiatus, yet he asks in general “whether a profound
>> boredom is a fundamental attunement of contemporary Dasein” (132).  In
>> addition to socio-historically positioning Heidegger’s discourse on
>> boredom, we might also position it in relation to the rest of the book
>> (The Fundamental Concepts of Metaphysics) and note that it precedes and
>> frames his famous discussion concerning animality and its poverty in
>> world.  We might assume that the animal cannot be bored, and that boredom
>> is an attunement proper to Dasein alone.  I would like to argue, however,
>> that boredom’s relation to temporality—being in limbo, being empty,
>> dragging and standing still—point to mediations of time that animality and
>> technical entities also interface with.  One point of entry might be that
>> although the second form of boredom comes from within Dasein, the first
>> form comes from “the outside” (133), from things themselves.  Unlike
>> animals, inanimate things, and technical entities, says Heidegger, Dasein
>> has a relation to world, to beings as such, so this comportment, which is
>> the ground of attunement, is foreclosed to them. Though without a proper
>> relation to beings as such, the animal is, nevertheless, open to world.
>> Heidegger calls this being poor-in-world, and we might wonder if being
>> poor-in-boredom is the animal’s modality of boredom.  So we might ask here,
>> can animals be bored?  And what about machinic entities?  If we keep within
>> the Heideggerian parameters, we should remember that boredom is analyzed
>> outside the concept of consciousness.  Heidegger tells us that with regard
>> to boredom, time must be questioned outside consciousness and subjectivity:
>> “the initial positing of man as consciousness in general, or as a nexus of
>> lived experience or the like—all this must be put into question if a path
>> is to be cleared for us to penetrate into the essence of boredom, and
>> together with it into the essence of time” (134).
>> Instead of investigating the psychology of the bored subject or in a
>> subject passing the time, Heidegger suggests a listening “to what profound
>> boredom gives us to understand” (134).  We know that this listening is
>> neither the hearing that belongs to sensory perception nor an understanding
>> that belongs to consciousness: boredom affects our being in a different
>> mode, as an attunement, the attunement of boredom.  The first step is to
>> dissociate boredom from any particular identity or ego and relate it to the
>> there is, the es gibt, the il y a, or, as Heidegger states the “it is
>> boring for one” (135).  His example here is “’it is boring for one’ to walk
>> through the streets of a large city on a Sunday afternoon” (135).  This
>> boredom, he says, “wishes to tell us something” (135).  Profound boredom
>> cannot be shouted down (136) by passing the time, nor can it be not
>> listened to, but it must, says Heidegger, be listened to: “we now have a
>> being compelled to listen” (136).  The command-structure of the call (Ruf)
>> is a familiar motif throughout Heidegger’s work, and here we might venture
>> into the politics of boredom and its authoritarian (?) call.  It seems that
>> profound boredom compels us to listen.  It seems inescapable and relates to
>> the question of “Dasein’s innermost freedom” (136) and “has already
>> transposed us into the realm of power” (136).  The power of profound
>> boredom flattens distinctions: “it makes everything of equally great and
>> equally little worth” (137).  It produces indifference.
>> Although Heidegger, in his de rigueur fashion, seeks to understand
>> profound boredom and its originary temporality, we might ask in a
>> Kittleresque manner, what is technologically determining this
>> investigation?  Stiegler’s Technics and Time volumes have fully elaborated
>> Heidegger’s suppression of technics, especially the phonograph, and we
>> might begin here since profound boredom compels us to listen.
>> Heidegger introduces the idea of a temporal horizon to address the
>> temporal character of profound boredom.  The temporal horizon entrances
>> Dasein in the attunement of boredom.  The horizon is the temporal totality
>> of beings, and although Heidegger suggests that it is not a scenery or
>> backdrop enfolding beings, we might think about Stiegler’s project and
>> consider the temporal horizon as the totality of tertiary
>> retentions—tertiary mnemotechnics—that constitute time.  In this chapter,
>> Heidegger demonstrates that it is time itself that is entrancing in
>> boredom: entrancing because it both announces/manifests beings and makes
>> possible the refusal of beings, beings that refuse themselves (150).  In
>> this space, a space of freedom, says Heidegger, Dasein discloses itself to
>> itself (149), and this is a moment of vision [Augenblick]: “time is the
>> moment of vision itself” (149).  The idea that self-disclosure is subtended
>> by temporality and vision is a familiar motif in much western philosophy:
>> temporality as the inner sense and self-reflexivity as a mirror-structure
>> often constitute ipseity, subjectivity, and selfhood.  Dasein, of course,
>> is a different animal, and we must understand temporality and vision not in
>> terms of sensory perception or phenomenology, but in terms of Heidegger’s
>> existential analytic.  Yet, I would also like to argue that the pairing of
>> time and vision suggests a cinematographic technics, and it is here that we
>> might pose the question of cinematic boredom, both in the sense of the kind
>> of boredom that belongs to cinema and in the sense that boredom is somehow
>> cinematic.
>> Erin Obodiac
>> _______________________________________________
>> empyre forum
>> empyre at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au
>> http://empyre.library.cornell.edu
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