[-empyre-] - noise of contagion - tuer

Johannes Birringer Johannes.Birringer at brunel.ac.uk
Sun May 3 21:13:41 AEST 2020

Hallo Junting, and all:
yes, I was also not sure what I meant, at least not quite, but it has to do with a repair of the future. And though I don't know Fisher's writings, and have not come across many hauntologists, I think we can learn from all this, and have. Christina early on cites Sor Juana

« What is that audacity/ with such great presumption/ that possibly being reason/fakes being idiocy?» (Enigma 13)  
then gives us Jabès:

 « What can you do for me? ..
   Writing for the sake of writing does nothing but show contempt.« 

Perhaps we are bound to show contempt when we write blogs; and conversation is hard, I think you may not have had time to read everything, as you implied, Junting. I asked as I tried to learn more about your study of noise, also in connection with Alan's poem and Annie's lockdown and concern for exposed workers, or in connection with silent cloud dance I love; then grasp your references to a death wish, in "tuer le mandarin" (your references to Hayot's philosophy of pain, and Hayot's citation from 'The Theory of Moral Sentiments' regarding a hypothetical destroyed China), also in connection with.. 

I'll leave here, not without remembering this week: May 1, the history of workers, the yearning for public protest, now in the country-here verboten for the time being) as full of paradoxes; we wear black or blue masks now, and when in Berlin some Black bloc anarchists tried to stage a protest on May 1, with masks, police reminded them of the "Vermummungsverbot" (ordinance against mummification), apologizing for the contradictions. 

Last night, 3Sat tv in Germany showed "Hamlet/ Hamletmachine," an artifact by Bochum Schauspielhaus that had a stunning white ice-rink stage, with two gravediggers playing boule with silver skulls, with Hamlet's role performed by Sandra Hüller who frequently vomits her poisoned and contagious ghostfather's words (remember me, remember me) onto Gina Haller's Ophelia who gradually dances into her grave, while the gravediggers (Jing Xiang, Ann Göbel) also play clowns who contort themselves with strange unreadable gestures to the soundtrack of a Japanese heavy metal dj. The rest is not silence, but a French-Arab actor (Mourad Baaiz) appearing, back from Poland, grimly to order the dead bodies to be taken up ( «soulèvez les corps»). Exeunt. 


Johannes Birringer

[Junting Huang schreibt]

Hi, Johannes, I am not sure I understood your question entirely. But as I read Ricardo’s thought-provoking post on the “undead media” and “zombie dreams,” I was also reminded of Mark Fisher’s writings on hauntology and capitalist realism. It is not only that what we have been experiencing right now is so real and surreal at the same time (and thus the living dead), but also that capitalism does not allow us to imagine any alternatives at this point.

It’s funny how we all look back at the 1980s and 1990s to see what went so wrong in the world. My own research focuses on artistic experiment with the recorded sound in the 1990s in China and Taiwan. In my own work, I am also inspired by Mark Fisher to think the recorded sound as temporal disjunctions, as something haunted, something eerie, something there and not there at the same time.

That said, I was also reminded of Derrida’s “artifactuality,” to think this “real-time” "half-actual-and-half-artificial" news cycles, or Infodemics, we are bombarded with. Derrida writes:

“This international artifactuality, this monopolization of the ‘actuality effect,’ this centralizing appropriation of artifactual powers for ‘creating the event,’ may be accompanied by advances in the domain of ‘live’ communication, or communication in so-called real time, in the present (tense)”

My reference to The Hypothetical Mandarin might be another issue. For me, it’s not so much about life and death metaphorically, but more about the ethical responsibilities “in a world of strangers,” to use Anthony Appiah’s words.

all my best

> On May 2, 2020, at 6:04 AM, Johannes Birringer <Johannes.Birringer at brunel.ac.uk> wrote:
> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> dear all,
> in a conversation, at one of the recent Segal Center talks with artists from all over the world, the Haitian theatre artist Guy Régis Jr. mentioned not only the need for a new (meta)physical theatre, but reflected on the graffiti he noted in the streets of  Port-au-Prince:  "Tuer".
> I think Ricardo wrote a furious and challenging post here on undead media and zombie dreams, on dying, and I am still trying to catch its many references (i am also trying to understand what the "new normal" could possibly mean). But I had also meant to ask Junting about the fantasies about the death of China that he refered to ['if the "great empire of China” were suddenly destroyed by an earthquake, how would an average westerner react to the news?']
> .... this western notion of "tuer" -  could you tell us more, Junting?
> thanks, with regards
> Johannes Birringer
> +++++
> [Junting Huang schreibt]
> Thank you, Luca. A quick note on your last point, Eric Hayot’s The Hypothetical Mandarin: Sympathy, Modernity, and Chinese Pain traced that whole tradition to the Enlightenment period, when European philosophers often used the Chinese in their thought experiments on ethics. At its core, it asks us again and again what we should do about the suffering from afar.

> Junting

More information about the empyre mailing list