Saturday, July 5, 2008

Monday, May 12, 2008


INTO THE FOLDS ~ May 23-24


*all events will take place at the Société des arts technologiques, 1197 St. Laurent (below Ste. Catherine before René Levesque)

* the event asks for continued participation through all activities except the keynote and early-bird yoga sessions

* Erin cell phone: 514-691-9145

MAY 22 arrivals

Many of us will likely be working in the SAT space, so feel free to come and hang out! Just ring the doorbell and go to the back of the space to Art & D and peak in.

MAY 22 – 7pm

Steven Shaviro – keynote on Whitehead and Deleuze

May 23 – 9am (pre-event – come if you want! – coffee available for those who don’t do the yoga)

Yoga (with Gwendolyn Alker)

May 23 – 9:45 am


May 23 – 10am

Relational Movement 1 (with Erin Manning and Mireille Painchaud)

May 23 – 12-1:30pm

LUNCH – provided

May 23 – 1:00

Rebel Clown Army Games (Micha Cardenas)

May 23 – 1:30

Concept Building 1 (with Brian Massumi, Erin Manning, Steven Shaviro)

From Preacceleration to Inflexion

May 23 – 3:30

Nibble Break

May 23 – 4pm

Relational Movement 2 (with Sher Doruff)

May 24 – 9 am (pre-event)

Yoga (with Gwendolyn Alker)

May 24 – 10 am

Conceptual Speed Dating

May 24 – 10:45 am

Concept Pods

May 24 – 12:00

LUNCH - provided

May 24 – 1:30

Relational Movement 3 (with Erin Manning and Mireille Painchaud)

May 24 – 3:30

Concept Building 2 (with Brian Massumi, Erin Manning, Steven Shaviro)

From the Interval to the Fold

May 24 – 5:00

Pods 2: How to create a platform for relation?

May 25 -

Pods 2 continued (this is open but feel free to use the space to continue to conceptualize and create your relational platform)

May 25 – 2-5pm

Slow Clothes

Français ci-dessous


for immediate release

The Sense Lab presents:

Slow Clothes

a performance/installation event ~ Sunday May 25 2008, 2-5 pm

1197 St. Laurent, Société des arts technologiques, Art & D

Slow Clothes is a performance installation, a movement experiment, a fabric collection and an experience of tactility. It is a participatory event: people are invited to compose with fabric, to dress themselves, to move through the space, to eat and drink, to create mobile environmental platforms.

Slow Clothes is based on a fabric collection entitled Folds to Infinity. Fold to Infinity is composed of cut and serged pieces of infinitely connectable fabric (connectable through magnets, buttons, hooks, buttonholes, snaps).

The design of Folds to Infinity challenges:

1. the idea that clothing fits a pre-defined shape;

2. that clothing design must be modular with pieces patterned for standard assembly;

3. that clothing relates primarily to the individual body rather than relating the individual body to those around it and to their shared environment.

The complex connectivity and the relational environment of Slow Clothes transforms fashion from a passive fitting to an active composition.

Concept and Collection: Erin Manning

Mobile Architecture: Erin Manning, Jon Yu

Lighting: Troy Rhoades

Thanks to: The Sense Lab, Art & D

Contact: ; 514-313-9145



pour diffusion immédiate

Le LaboSens présente

Slow Clothes

Une performance/installation ~ Dimanche 25 Mai 2008, 14h-17h

1197 St. Laurent, Société des arts technologiques, Art & D

Slow Clothes est une performance/installation, une expérimentation de mouvement, une collection de tissus et une expérience du toucher. C’est un évènement participatif : les gens sont invités à composer avec les tissus, à s’habiller, à bouger dans l’espace, à boire et manger, à créer des plateformes mobiles environnementales.

Slow Clothes est créé autour d’une collection intitulée Plis à l’infini. Plis à l’infini se compose de coupes de tissus capables d’être infiniment reliés (à l’aide d’aimants, de boutons, de boutonnières etc.).

Plis à l’infini remet en question:

1. l’idée que les vêtements dépendent d’un corps pré-défini (une forme, une grandeur)

2. que le design de vêtements doit être modulaire

3. que les vêtements sont confiés seulement à un individu au lieu de créer une relation entre l’individu et l’environnement.

La connectivité complexe et son environnement relationnel de Slow Clothes transforme la mode d’un modèle passif à une composition active.

Concept and Collection: Erin Manning

Mobile Architecture: Erin Manning, Jon Yu

Lighting: Troy Rhoades

Thanks to: The Sense Lab, Art & D

Contact: ; 514-313-9145

Friday, May 9, 2008


Hello Into the folds participants.
My name is Diego Gil. I am an Argentinian choreographer based in Amsterdam. Philosophy and dance are the practices that influence the most my artistic work. It is my interest to put into action the idea of "movement" as a non stop continuos flow that challenges the habitual way of organizing my body (dance) and my thinking (philosohpy). Thus, "dance" and "philosphy" carried on by the action of "movement" are the ways in which I try to relate and feel the world.

Lately I am performing a work titled "Creating Sense". Which deals with the issue of how the activity of dance movement emerges at each present time always in a new form, and how the three dancers organizes persistently a way of relating with the sense of his/her and the other movement.

Last year I sarted to work in a new project called "About Falling" ( in collaboration with dramaturge Igor Dobricic. In this piece we are developing a diagram of principles that frames a method to generate movements and its relations with space and time. The wish is to understand choreography as a simple and virtual diagram that inspires a free way to organize dance movement without the necessity to set them up previously.

This is basically what I do. My wish is to meet you personally in Montreal and continue the communication.
Looking forward enthusiastically.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Hi there -

I'm new to the group so wanted to introduce myself, and say that I'm very excited about meeting you all after reading through your posts!

I am a transdisciplinary type, focused the past few years on creating interactive sound installations. But I also do performance, make video, dolls, prints, etc - it all depends on what an idea calls for.

Most of my projects focus on overlaps I find between choreographies of logic, power and movement, with particular attention paid to how these forces are altered by the introduction of new technologies.

Some questions that arise in the work: What kinds of control and/or creativity would be afforded if something as essential as a footstep were reprogrammed? Might moving in a particular way burn a logical pattern that promotes particular kinds of thought? Alternatively, might rhetorical structures lead one to move in particular ways? How might our surface control of socially/technologically scripted encounters be hacked or mined to create new/needed forms of agency and communication? I attempt to address these questions through specific, grounded marriages of sounds and actions in each piece, while responding to the cultural and physical contigencies of the site hosting the work. Many of these projects I've created on my own, but the last couple of years have also included some exciting (for me) collaborations.

I just finished a new piece for particle group, with Ricardo Dominguez, Diane Ludin and Amy Sara Carroll. They invited me to create an interactive sound installation, to suggest the invisible manner in which nanotechnology penetrates bodies, minds, capital, politics, surveillance... One iteration of the piece was done in a nicely retro museum, which allowed for an odd mash-up of classical and contemporary choreographies of control.

More photos and discussion of this project can be found here:

while video of an earlier version done in Berlin, is here:

Rather than pepper this post with more photos and video, I hope you might have a few minutes to move around my site (start on either page linked above), where you'll find video, photos and info on other works I've made.

Micha Cardenas and I are in the same program at UCSD - here's a link to a "telematic" performance/experiment we did a few months ago

See you soon!


Lullaby on the way to Montreal

Hoping the old saying “better late than never” still has currency… there it goes for a presentation try (after one or two throat clearings):
My name is Paula and the first thing that has to be said before anything else is that I can’t wait to meet you all (I feel very lucky, for the 22nd is not far).

As for the presentation issue, I will just sing you a song I know by heart, but which usually brings me somewhere else every time I sing it (it's a bit too long and slow, and I'm sorry for this, but I can't help it). Let’s see what happens today and… and… and:
I am a writer, a researcher, a dramaturge in choreographic performance, and a fiction maker (so I hope). In any case, I am particularly interested in exploring any negotiations taking place between sensation, language, movement, politics, fiction and choreography (which I do not necessarily identify with artistic/dancing practices performed on stage, but rather as a huge pocket of heterogeneous knowledge that can relate to almost any aspect of human and nonhuman life; choreography then, as something that can, of course, be practised by any-one and any-thing with no age limit). Currently involved in some choreo- and video-graphic projects with artists and researchers coming from different backgrounds, I am also a PhD candidate at University Paris-10 (desperately trying to finish a dissertation entitled Vis elastica de la sensation. Chorégraphies contemporaines, within the following research fields: History of Science and Technique, Philosophy, Choreographic Arts). .

All in all, I am suspected (mostly by myself) of fantasizing a bit too much about the word “choreographic” – a word I couple with the word “montage” and with the word “elasticity”, two words that I tend to confound with modes of making place where there seems to be none. These fantasies often start and end up riding horses, pumpkins, oranges or octopuses along the Wild West in America (a place I have never been to), that’s why I am convinced that my mind must resemble a Western, an ocean or a kitchen, instead of a mind, instead of “my mind”.

Anyway, the reason why I am interested in choreographic practices is very clear to me (and definitely linked to some current choreographic practices that seem able to re-invent the not so marvellous history of choreography). The thing is that I am interested in any activity that can be called a fictional practice, by which I mean any practice capable of producing useful fictions; by which I mean any practice that embraces the power (the puissance) of speculation as a power to produce (hi)stories that deviate from cartographies of territories, activities, bodies, disciplines and practices “as they are”, to go into what they “may become” in different arrangements (and here I’m borrowing from Isabelle Stengers’ idea of “practice”). What I mean is that I see choreographic and/or fictional practices as practices that are not about knowing or not knowing but about letting the unknown move into the known; about making the known move, namely move into hesitation. So the reason why I am interested both in fictional practices and in choreographic practices is one and the same: it looks to me that they are both practices that may set up improbable situations; situations where entities that had no place no voice no name may become audible and visible and palpable and force us to think, move, speak, feel, act, interrelate, write, scratch, jump, and touch otherwise – thus making way for a variety of unexpected modes of sociability. In other words, choreographic and/or fictional practices as I sometimes see them around, are not only interdisciplinary, but also “extra-disciplinary” (borrowing from Brian Holmes now). For they open up crossroads not only between recognized and recognizable disciplines, but also between those disciplines and practices that may not have a voice or name in the public discourse. That’s where translation practices must come into play, I guess, as well as modes of figuring the kinds of consequences that such crossing journeys may generate, i. e. the ways in which they can affect people’s living and working conditions.

Choreographic or fictional practices then, may well be(come) close to an art of diplomacy (and thus become close to a politics or an “ecology of practices”, to use Stengers words and notions again). How? Allowing heterogeneous practices and entities to encounter and make place for one another in unsuspected ways; yet keeping the possibility, for each of them, to go on diverging with-in and along any achieved or underway arrangement. When they operate like this, fictional or choreographic (or whatever) practices are practices whose issue is to understand that any specific constellation is always the provisional result of a hesitant, local, artificial negotiation that has to remain hesitant, local, artificial, and negotiable.

Sigh. It goes on, it’s never ending, it goes on, on fictions of humidity now:

I definitely have a soft spot for humidity, for I believe that without humidity allowing for practical and conceptual blending to occur, there would be no thinking, no roller-skating, no affecting, no strolling around, no thinking, no navigation, no stupidity, no learning, no unlearning, no thinking, no strolling around, no skiing, no falling, no feeling, no clumsiness, no thinking, no in-between, no possible translation (no possible conversation). And yet, I have been asking myself if my choreographic, fictional, elastic, octopus, humid, galloping cookery stuff – what I usually call a strategy for myself and whoever wants to have it – couldn’t be misunderstood as yet another set of names for mobility or flexibility, these two notions that have become so problematic in neo-liberal societies. That’s why I insist in exploring the notion of elasticity instead, as a potentiality of variation, as a certain degree of variation that people may need to expand their thoughts, actions, and relationships, but one that also allows them to reduce them, if reduction is what they need at a certain moment – that’s what an elastic is good for: it allows people and things to expand, but also to retract. Taking the risk of confusion between notions, places and motions, I firmly believe that elasticity can be a possibility of escaping subjection to mobilization and flexibility. The difference between flexibility and elasticity would then be that at present flexibility can only mean blind adaptation to compulsive mobility, while elasticity could help us imagining a mode of acting upon situations, instead of just letting them act upon us. When people ask me the reason why I enrol in fictions of that kind, I always answer, with slight variations and depending on the weather and much more (and sometimes much less or in-between):

I guess I only need them to understand that the real is much better than fiction, namely because it is the biggest producer of fiction ever (do you know more banal than this?). Besides, I never meant I was going to change the world riding horses, pumpkins, oranges or octopuses lost in the middle of the Wild West, lost in an overcrowded humid mind.

Till soon!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Dear all,
My name is Natasha Prévost. I finished me Ph.D. in Women's Studies at Utrecht University at the end of November 2006. I came back to Montreal after six years last October 2007. I've been involved with the SenseLab and the GRIPAL (Groupe de Rechercher sur l'Imaginaire Politique en Amérique Latine) since I'm back. I'm moving to Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada as I got a job at the Centre de Recherche et Développement en Éducation where I will be a qualitative researcher. I took the job not only because I'm moving on the Atlantic coast but also because this Research centre receives research calls from outside. Sometimes it's the Government, but also the community and in fact more and more the community. I was train in Anthropology both at under and graduate levels. I conducted fieldwork research in Mexico, Brazil, Italy and The Netherlands. I first work with transvestites in Mexico and Brazil. Deleuze and his concept of nomadism comes into play here. I applied gender nomadism and identity deterritorialization as a theoretical framework to analyse the life stories of my transvestites colleagues. I also filmed a documentary taking place in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Fortaleza about transvestite's life and body transformation. I then turn to Brazilian children between seven and twelve years old from poor, middle and rich socio-economical classes. We worked in their primary schools or cultural and literacy centre for a year. We talked about what was important for them. For each theme the children drew, told me a story and I filmed. These data were collected and edited as a DVD of five minutes of images, sounds and drawings per children. It ended up being the way for the children participating of this project to be aware of the existence of the others. For this project I had at heart the relational process between the researcher and the research colleagues. I thus dig into the concepts of Affect, Empiricism, Intuition, Movement, Difference, Sympathy, Experiment and Difference in order to better describe this experience and how to deconstruct power relations inherent to ethnographic fieldwork research. Right now I hope to start the prototype of a project I would like to build in Brazil, while living in Moncton which is an ecological school. This project is at an embryonic stage now but I'll keep you posted when it actually happens. Guattari will be of great inspiration for this project. I'm looking forward to meet you all!!! Alessandra, sorry if I did not react to your e-mail but I was between job interviews and NYC. Let me know when you are in town!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Moving Me

(The kernel of time, Woman in Line, Sigh dreams, The memory of the Body and Hidding Day)

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Formatting Issue Resolved

Hi all,
There was a switch toggled incorrectly in the blog settings which was causing formatting problems on some postings (most egregiously on Ana Mira's post). The issue has been fixed, so everyone's postings should look a lot nicer and be more legible.
Enjoying the warm spring weather in Montreal! Felix

Friday, April 25, 2008

Deleuze's Concept of "Diagram"

Hello everyone, I'm posting a brief "mapping" on the concept of "diagram"

(Gilles Deleuze)
(Francis Bacon’s “graph” or diagram p.82)

…the marks are made, and you survey the thing like you would a sort of graph (diagramme). And you see within this graph the possibilities of all types of fact being planted
(Bacon in Deleuze, 2003, p.160)

Definition (s) /List of concepts

1. The diagram in Bacon
– preparatory work that belongs to painting fully, and yet precedes the act of painting p.81
– done in sketches or invisible and silent, yet extremely intense p.81
– make random marks (line-traits); scrub, sweep, or wipe the canvas in order to clear out locales or zones (color-patches); throw the paint, from various angles and at various speeds p.81
– presupposes that there were already figurative givens on the canvas (and in the painter’s head), more or less virtual, more or less actual p.81

– it is precisely these givens that will be removed by the act of painting, either by being wiped, brushed, or rubbed, or else covered over p.81

– ex.1) a mouth elongated, stretched…p.81 ex. 2) the head, part of it cleared away with a brush…p.82
a zone of the Sahara inserted into the head or a piece of a rhinoceros skin, viewed under a microscope, stretched over it p.82
And in a way you would love to be able in a portrait to make a Sahara of the appearance – to make it so like, yet seeming to have the distances of the Sahara (Bacon in Deleuze, 2003, p.160)
– the unit of measure were changed (micrometric, cosmic)
units were substituted for the figurative unit
outstretched diagram
in a midst of the figurative and probabilistic givens, a catastrophe overcame the canvas
emergence of another world
– as agent of analogical language
notion of modulation and not similitude, nature of analogical language or the diagram p.95-98 (see also p.146)
the diagram acts not as a code but as a modulator, defining possibilities of fact p.98
– operative set of asignifying and nonrepresentative lines and zones, line-strokes and color-patches p.145
– the term designates a mapping of the elements of chance, a selection and distribution of clichés, and a condition that shapes creative accident p.144
– a Figure emerges from the diagram when the later extends across the whole picture, when it is conferred with a new radiance and power of vibration that cannot be limited to one zone or another p.145
– By the way of the diagram, a compositional strategy, there can be a breakage with representation or figurative resemblance p.146

2. Its manual character
– marks and traits: irrational, involuntary, accidental, free, random, nonrepresentative,
nonillustrative, nonnarrative
they are no longer significant or signifiers; they are a-signifying traits
traits of sensation (Cézanne confused sensation that we bring with us at birth)
manual traits
it is here that the painter works with a rag, stick, brush or sponge; that he throws the paint with his hands p.82

– involuntary (manual) marks p.160: the hand assumed an independence, and began to be guided by other forces, making marks that no longer depend on either our will or our sight p.82

– blind manual marks attest to the intrusion of another world into the visual world of figuration p.82

– they remove the painting from the optical organization that was already reigning over it and rendering figurative in advance p.82

– shake the dependence of the hand and break up the sovereign optical organization ==> catastrophe, chaos p.82
– the turning point of the painting p.82
– two ways in which the painting can fail: visually (figurative givens and optical organization of representation) and manually (spoil the diagram, overload it, rendered inoperative which is another way of remaining in the figurative) p.82
– operative set of asignifying and nonrepresentative lines and zones, line-strokes and color-patches p.83
– destined to give us the Figure, traits and color-patches break with figuration p.83

– traits and color-patches are not sufficient in themselves, they must be utilized
they mark out possibilities of fact, but do not yet constitute a fact (pictorial fact)
they must be reinjected into the visual whole which, through the action of these marks, will cease to be an optical organization
– the manual diagram produces an irruption like scrambled or cleaned zone, which overturns the optical coordinates as well as the tactile connections p.110
– the diagram is never an optical effect, but an unbridled manual power p.111
– it is a frenetic zone in whichthe hand is no longer guided by the eye and is forced upon sight like another will, which appears as chance, accident, automatism, or the involuntary (the optical world, and the tactile-optical world, is swept out, wiped away) p.111

3. Painting and the experience of catastrophe
– chaos and catastrophe (in relation to the figurative givens) / germ of order or rhythm (in relation to the new order of the painting) p.83
it unlocks areas of sensation (Bacon in Deleuze, 2003, p.83).
– ends the preparation work and begins the act of painting p.83
– experience of the chaos-germ, the collapse of visual coordinates (pictorial experience not psychological although it can have an immense influence on the psychic life of the painter)
confrontation with danger (painter)
the chance that the abyss or catastrophe will give way to rhythm p.83
Paul Klee’s chaos, the vanishing grey point and the chance that this gray point will leap over itself and unlock dimensions of sensation p.83
– painters pass through the catastrophe themselves, embrace the chaos, and attempt to emerge from it
painters differ in their manner of embracing this nonfigurative chaos, and in their evaluation of the pictorial order to come, and the relation of this order with this chaos
– being itself a catastrophe, the diagram must not create a catastrophe p.128
– chaos and catastrophe imply the collapse of all the figurative givens

4. Abstract painting, code, and optical space
turns chaos into a simple stream in order to discover the abstract and signifying forms
elaborates a symbolic code on the basis of formal oppositions, instead of a diagram

5. Action Painting, diagram, and manual space
abstract expressionism or art informel
the abyss or chaos is deployed to the maximum, the entire painting is diagrammatic p.86
ex. Pollock’s all over drip paintings p. 160
ex. Action Painting p.86
conversion from the horizon to the ground p.86
imposes the hand on the eye p.87
line without contour p.89
the diagram expresses the entire painting at once, that is, the optical catastrophe and the manual rhythm p.86
domain of the irrational trait and the line without contour p.89

Current evolution of abstract painting:
1) the extension of the diagram to the spatial and temporal whole of painting (displacement of the beforehand and afterward) p.86
2) the abandonment of any visual sovereignty, and even any visual control, over the painting in the process of being executed
3) the elaboration of lines that are more than lines, surfaces that are more than surfaces, volumes that are less than volumes p.87

the painting ceases to be an organism or an isolated organization in order to become a division of its own surface, which must create its own relations with the divisions of the “room” in which it will be hung p.88

(Three paths each of which designate a “modern” function of painting:
– abstraction p.84
– abstract expressionism or art informel p.85-88
– Bacon p.88-90 plus)

6. What Bacon dislikes about this ways
Why Bacon did not become involved with this two preceding paths? p.88:
1) the code is inevitably cerebral and lacks sensation, the essential reality of the fall, that is, the direct action upon the nervous system p.88
the code can easily become a simple symbolic coding of the figurative p.89
(by internalizing tension in the optical form, abstract painting neutralized it p.89)
2) the diagram covers the entire painting, its proliferation creates a veritable mess
sensation is attained, but it remains in a irremediably confused state

7. Frame
– necessity of preventing the diagram from proliferating, the necessity of confining it to certain areas of the painting and certain moments of the act of painting p.89
Save the contour p.89
the diagram must not eat away at the entire painting; it must remain limited in space and time, it must remain operative and controlled p.89
it must remain localized in space and time p.128
it must not cover the entire painting p.128
possibility of fact, not the fact itself p.89
– not all the figurative givens have to disappear; and above all, a new figuration, that of the figure, should emerge from the diagram and make the sensation clear and precise p.89
– emerge from the catastrophe rather than submerging us further p.89
– the precision of the sensation, the clarity of the figure, the rigor of the contour p.89

– power of vibration and nonlocalization

8. Hand
– values of the hand:
digital (maximum subordination of the hand to the eye) p.124
tactile (tactile referents, virtual referents: depth, contour,…) p.124
manual (what is imposed on sight is a space without form and a movement without rest which the eye can barely follow and it dismantles the optical; reversed relationship) p.125
haptic (when sight discovers itself a specific function of touch) p.125

9. The law of the diagram
One starts with a figurative form, a diagram intervenes and scrambles it, and a form of a completely different nature emerges from the diagram, which is called the figure p.125
It is from the diagram – at the center of the painting, at the point of close viewing – that the entire series emerges as a series of accidents “mounting on top of another” p.126

10. The function of the diagram
– the operation of the diagram, its function: to be “suggestive” p.83
– form ==>completely different relations ==> figure p.126
– diagram-accident scrambles the intentional figurative form, it imposes non-formal color-patches and non-figurative traits from where the final whole emerges p.126
– The diagram acted by imposing a zone of objective indiscernibility or indeterminability between two forms, one of which was no longer, and the other, not yet: it destroys the figuration of the first and neutralizes that of the second. And between the two it imposes the figure p.127
– the diagram has introduced or distributed formless forces throughout the painting p.127
– the figurative lines will be scrambled by extending them, by hatching them, that is, by introducing new distances and new relations between them, out of which the non-figurative resemblance will emerge p.127
ex. you suddenly see through the diagram that the mouth could go across the face (Bacon in Deleuze, 2003, p.127)
– the essential about the diagram is that it is made in order for something to emerge from it, and if nothing emerges from it, it fails p.128
– what emerges is the figure gradually (series) or all at once p.128

Related concepts

– Origin of the word traits:
Traits and color patches (transl. French traits and taches)
Two different conceptions of painting: the optical (the visual perception of the line and color by the eye) and the manual (the application of traits and patches of color by the hand). p.160
Traits asignifiants (Latin tractus, the past principle of trahere, to draw). Etymologically, it refers to a graphic line i.e. to the action of drawing a line or set of lines (a stroke, a draft, a “touch” in a picture). Also used do designate a distinguishing quality or characteristic mark, a feature that allows one to identify or recognize a thing.
Deleuze refers to both meanings: it is the marks or strokes on the canvas that introduce traits of animality into the human figure, thereby constituting a “zone of indiscernability” between the human and the animal.
Translation note: trait = stroke when Deleuze is referring to the activity of the artist’s hand on the painting. p.154
How to pass from the possibility of fact (diagram) to the fact itself (pictorial fact)? p.128
several forms may actually be included in one and the same Figure p.128
one movement, and which makes these apparently arbitrary elements coagulate in a single continuous flow p.129
we witness the revelation of the body beneath the organism, which makes organisms and their elements crack or swell, imposes a spasm on them, and puts them into relation with forces p.129
we will capture the fact p.129

Bacon, Francis. 2003. The Logic of Sensation. Transl. and Introd. Daniel W. Smith. Afterword Tom Conley. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.


Thursday, April 24, 2008

social folds, technological folds, species folds


I'm a bit embarrassed that I hadn't noticed all the activity on the blog, so I'll try to catch up! I'm lotu5 and I live in the San Diego / Tijuana borderlands. I'm so excited about meeting you all and working with you after reading all the fascinating descriptions of your work and practices. I also know and have worked a bit with Alessandra.

I'm presently finishing my master's thesis at the European Graduate School about the role of desire in politics, or more specifically, exploring the Deleuzian productive desire as a basis for a queer biopolitics, looking at how a transgender reconfiguring of desire can shape or inform world-building projects and resistance to control of the body.

I'm also working on my MFA at University of California, San Diego focusing on performance studies and social media. My work to date has focused on collective perfomance projects engaging with social media in various ways, starting with the Boredom Patrol of the Rebel Clown Army and developing a practice of the clown that is very focused on the body, but then taking those collective actions into the online public space of Youtube.

More recently, I've been focused on Sharing is, an open source porn laboratory, exploring the way that open source methodologies can be applied to cultural production and specifically to queer porn production. I'm very excited that there are a few of us who will be in the workshop who've been really working on this question of the erotic, as it pertains to movement and folding of subjectivities, but also specifically developing erotic somatic practice beyond the limits of male and female and in a collective context. I am very interested in the idea of social action as research, in the way that politics, art and science come together in a productive difference that is interdisciplinary practice.

For my thesis project at UCSD, I'm continuing my trajectory of the question of how
technology can facilitate new practices of identity, sexuality and resistance, by using motion capture and immersive technology to bring a bodily presence into Second Life and exploring the integration of the physical and virtual body.

I'll just make a quick note on some of the reading. I found the Spinoza Practical Philosophy essay to be very rich in connections to what I've been thinking about. Clearly, the discussion of affective capacities and intensive thresholds has a lot of resonance for the erotic work I've been doing, as in this quote which speaks to the experimental richness that work has for me, "you do not know before­ hand what a body or a mind can do, in a given encounter, a given arrangement, a given combination," but I also appreciate the shifts in scale that Deleuze makes in this essay, not just thinking about individual bodies, but going on saying "it is no longer a matter of utilizations or captures, but of sociabilities and communities . How do individuals enter into composition with one another in order to form a higher individual, ad infini­tum?". I've been teaching a class on Collective Practice and we discussed Delanda's A New Philosophy of Society just last week, so this method of shifting scales and looking for the links between them stood out to me, as Delanda focuses on it. As well, I've been reading Haraway's When Species Meet, so the discussion of animal bodies also stood out, in terms of the questions she raises about how an encounter with something so other can reconfigure questions of ethics and world-building. "Now we are concerned, not with a relation of point to counter point, nor with the selection of a world, but with a symphony of Nature, the composition of a world that is increasingly wide and intense."

Monday, April 21, 2008

surface encounters

Alessandra and I are members of a collective of emerging visual artists, working with experimental film. We wanted to introduce some of the work we are doing, as well as give context to some pictures posted below. Our collaborations bring technology, art, philosophy and pornography into conversation with one another in a way that cuts a path through the existing segregation, to actively engage with “queer subjectivities” from a non-identity-based, non-gendered perspective. For us this means creating images that exceed or displace the signifying framework of representation in order to open up a space where desire and pleasure become the driving forces of sense-making – for both the producers and the audience. Ultimately, we are interested in an aesthetic practice that does not posit a new discourse of sexuality but rather continuously resists closure by exploring expression, processual sexuality and eroticism.

Our first project (see first two photos) was in response to a call from the Berlin PrOn Film Festival, where participants were given five rules and four days to complete and upload their projects. Our approximate concept for the piece engaged with the notion that cyberspace offers utopian possibilities for alternative (non-hegemonic) spaces to co-exist with Real Life. Cyber69½ (a tribute to Bruce la Bruce’s Super8½) ironically demonstrates the failure of this project, as bodies slip back into normative sexual encounters. Our collaborative work was as much spontaneous as experimental, as set creation, costume design (assembled from second-hand or found materials) and filming was process-based rather than determined from the outset.

Our second project “Pornopticon - Erotic Peepshow, 25¢” was installed at the Erotic Meltdown Festival in Toronto. The piece incorporates three 3D short films (3-5 minutes each) in the style of a peep show, where spectators enter a booth to look through 3D glasses. The booth, designed in the style of the real peep show–including paper towels and other sex-show paraphernalia–– frames the images, breaking their chain of signification and challenging dominant assumptions of what pornography is supposed to be. Our playful engagement with 3D technology gives texture to the relationship between surfaces and the sensorium, distilling, fragmenting and augmenting the erotic image. Here, objects and body parts come to emphasise an eroticisation of the detail (versus coded sexual beings), exploring the aesthetic potential of surfaces––organic and inorganic–– as external and shifting triggers of productive desire.

Our approach to creativity and to sexuality follows the proposition that desire is never simply a single line, but originates from bodies that are already multiple, and thus sexuality can never be fully represented, but at best partly exposed. The exploration of such informs our art practice as a singular affirmation of already existing, albeit unarticulated visions of desires and pleasures that cannot be reduced to gendered identities, sexual orientations, codes, or perversions – to cut-up bodies and organs that are arranged to form a social order. All this is based on the belief that a creative and ethical re-articulation of the roles and meanings of sexual encounters that defies representation and morality can only be based on the actual experience of sharing and coming into contact with others, to keep exploring and experimenting. [See J. Ricco The Logic of the Lure]