[-empyre-] either the victim or the killer but never the image

Alan Sondheim sondheim at panix.com
Fri Nov 7 12:55:55 EST 2014

Hi, a few things. First, on the surface, 'biopower' to me is an odd term, 
connected with 'biofuel' and so forth - it skitters and deflects. Perhaps 
I am wrong.

The images you speak of slide from the indexical to the ikonic, or both 
entangled; in other words, the truth is in the abject. What I miss in some 
of the discussion is the utter violence done to and within the specatator; 
I can only speak for myself, but the images act upon me, invade me as the 
9/11 coverage did, construct the repetition and tunnel-vision of trauma: 
these are real effects that aren't wiped away by analysis. Amery comments 
constantly on the effect of the concentration camp and its thugs upon his 
intellect, his analytical prowess, which meant nothing at all, and how 
much dissolved with the first blow. This is where, again, anguish comes 
into play - anguish which is a knot, which is always already ikonic 
itself, which produces and inhabits itself, in a manner similar to severe 
depression, which loves itself and its comfort, which remains and gnaws at 
the self.

You ask, " What would it mean to take responsibility for images such that 
it would not be demanded of you or I that we front for them, giving and 
laying down our bodies to be signs of their truth, in the properly 
religious ritual?" - and I wonder, who remains to take such responsibil- 
ity, and, after trauma, anxiety, who is the "you or I," much less the 
"we"? There is where Kristeva comes in - such dissolution, falling apart, 
within and among the abject, that self and other are uncomfortably bound, 
felt as such, repulsive. And I keep thinking of PTSD among so many in the 
military - but also so many walking the streets here in the US, where 
Fergusons and schools are war zones, when the violence if language is just 
a short step away from the blow to the face.

- Alan

On Fri, 7 Nov 2014, simon wrote:

> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------

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