[-empyre-] concerning violence

Murat Nemet-Nejat muratnn at gmail.com
Sun Nov 9 06:36:15 EST 2014


Jon, an interesting parallel between your post and the below passage which
through some form tries to deal with the often visual "spectacularity" of
modern violence, time and distance disappearing, the *there* collapsing
into *here* through a "movie script," a cartoon or a sports game.

"From hashassins and anarchist bombings to drone strikes and YouTube
beheadings, modern terror develops within a global network of increasing
density and resonance. Terror one sees “over there” suddenly is here,
collapsing space and time and with them one’s points of reference.

One morning preparing to teach at NYU, my mother called from Florida saying
a plane had just hit the Trade Towers. I hung up and turned on the TV,
transfixed for hours. Eventually I got up to our roof on 103rd and later
downtown to the smoldering site. The air in the subway and streets was
laced with a moist dust, an entire city terrorized, seized for days then
weeks by anthrax attacks, a third plane going down on Long Island, and
blaring, unending sirens. The terror slowly passed, the shock not. It
waits. A friend—a major performance theorist who’ll go unnamed
here—confessed seeing the first tower burning and thinking it was a film
shoot. "

From

*Eleven Septembers Later: Film Lumiere*

My mind miniaturized

into a card deck

collapsing by opposing dreams

miniaturized giant in my mind

"don't worry

just a dream,

of childhood"

cowboys and indians Dick Tracy

Napoleon

sacrifice for a giant cause

my mind miniaturized

twice one more for the road

going the whole way

twins both reach home base

"good work kids"

my mind miniaturized twice

first as nightmare

second as a joke

"I built the towers to stand being hit by a 727"

But I forgot the heat.

"I sacrificed myself for God"

but I forgot the kids.

read during the September 11 Memorial Reading at The Poetry Project, St
Marks Church, NYC
...


    The visual precedent of *Vigilance* is photography, born in the middle
of the nineteenth century, the time when The United States starts its
progress as a commercial empire, and the rapacious, fertile producer and
consumer of visual language. The space created by photography/ film lumiere
has an unconscious, to its viewer reflecting, revealing the dreams,
aspirations, fears of her teeming population. Superimpositions of different
media –film, T.V., the web and words emanating from them- on photography,
which film lumiere is, creates a unified field/space which is prophetic. It
tells America’s sense of herself and her relation to the other. It has no
past, present or future, but a continuum folding sinuously on itself
reflecting to the viewer through time what happened and will happen:
America’s ego expanding, the world turning into her lake, while
simultaneously, in this contracting space, in this miniaturization, the
other, as the independent it, hurtling into a collision. The binary,
conflicting structure of film lumiere is exactly that. It is redolent with
the crushing anxiety, the meteor gravitational inevitability, of the
approaching other. The web, for instance, the supreme *a*symmetrical tool,
where time and space are at the mercy of a click, creates the illusion that
anything can be converted into anything, that gravity, the process by which
objects hit the ground, does not exist; while making that space more
vulnerable to those forces.



    *Vigilance* cuts into that space, forcing the reader, us, to see,
through its disruptive rhythms, the guilt, the responsibility pock-marking
this self-referring self-love."


Ciao,


Murat

On Sat, Nov 8, 2014 at 10:42 AM, Erik Ehn <shadowtackle at sbcglobal.net>
wrote:

> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> excellent. in the perpetrator, victim, witness triad - the witness is
> shocked/severed out of the equation, specifically in order to collapse
> imaginative and expressive space for the victim. the witness still exists,
> but to demonstrate estrangement. the perpetrators are fine because they
> have space behind them, up in the large house they've stolen.
>
>
>   On Saturday, November 8, 2014 7:24 AM, Jon McKenzie <jvmckenzie at wisc.edu>
> wrote:
>
>
> The diversity of voices and texts from so many sites and times of terror
> both troubles and consoles. Does sharing violence somehow console even
> as/if it amplifies? How to thread ourselves through so many events of
> violence, events erupting at different scales and speeds, as well as
> different with forms and degrees of animation and annihilation?
>
> It's good to that Reinhold Görling is here and to hear his question: “If
> there is a theatricality of violence: can we really be sure that theatre,
> art, film, literature does break with the repetition compulsion? “
>
> Our situation/tempo is very complex and shifting and calls for juxtaposing
> perspectives. I’ve been grappling with terror, performance, and media
> through graphe, understood first through the Platonic oppositions of
> logos/graphe, speech/writing, origin/repetition, true/false, good/bad,
> unity/difference, order/violence, theory/theater. Today through Descartes
> and others, what’s graphic often threatens what’s human, what’s humane,
> that is, us humans, certain in our doubt.
>
> At the same time, the Frankfurt School and postwar French theorists
> revealed how humanism imposed itself with a vengeance—with its theory as
> well as its theater. As portrayed by the writing machine in Kafka’s “On the
> Penal Colony” and Artaud’s “Theater of Cruelty,” modern institutions
> privilege the narrowest of graphe: the alphabet, ruled by the logos of
> human subjects. Armies and schools led the way.
>
> For better and worse, the displacement of logos releases hypergraphe and
> vice versa. Let us recall Bataille’s secret society, Acephale, the figure
> of the headless man.
>
> From hashassins and anarchist bombings to drone strikes and YouTube
> beheadings, modern terror develops within a global network of increasing
> density and resonance. Terror one sees “over there” suddenly is here,
> collapsing space and time and with them one’s points of reference.
>
> One morning preparing to teach at NYU, my mother called from Florida
> saying a plane had just hit the Trade Towers. I hung up and turned on the
> TV, transfixed for hours. Eventually I got up to our roof on 103rd and
> later downtown to the smoldering site. The air in the subway and streets
> was laced with a moist dust, an entire city terrorized, seized for days
> then weeks by anthrax attacks, a third plane going down on Long Island, and
> blaring, unending sirens. The terror slowly passed, the shock not. It
> waits. A friend—a major performance theorist who’ll go unnamed
> here—confessed seeing the first tower burning and thinking it was a film
> shoot.
>
> And if cliches, images, ghosts preceded the real… what violence would
> there be in that?
>
> In Of Grammatology, Derrida draws on Nietzsche to sketch a genealogy of
> violence, roughly: 1) violence against instituted law (eg, ISIS vs
> international laws, 2) violence of instituting law (eg, system of
> international laws tied to European colonialism), and 3) arche-violence,
> violence “prior” to the distinction of law/violation. Derrida later
> critiques Benjamin’s divine violence but his own notions of trace,
> differance, graphe carry the senses of path-breaking, spur, and explosive
> dissemination, and through pharmakon, the scents of perfume, poison, and
> parricide (of logos).
>
> To ask Reinhold’s question differently: How to navigate such genealogical
> strata while making performances that cite and grapple with violence and
> terror and graphe?
>
> It’s graphe vs graphe, and beyond Platonic logos lies modern graphe:
> graphic arts, photography, typography, cinematography, choreography… These
> are our means, but not the only ones.
>
> Jon
>
>
> On Nov 7, 2014, at 3:03 PM, Reinhold Görling <goerling at phil.hhu.de> wrote:
>
> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
>
> Thanks for the question and the possibility to try to say it more
> precisely.
> To ways to describe this come into my mind. The first follows Fanon and
> his rewriting of the master-slave-dialectics in Hegel’s „Introduction“ to
> his „Phenomenology". The master denies the recognition to the slave. But
> working for the master the slave gets able to develop a consciousness of
> herself by seeing herself producing things and changing the world. In the
> colonial situation of continuously performed cruelty, in a world strictly
> separated departed in two, the constant pain or negation prevents this
> possibility.
> But I doubt that this this model of subjectivity is still useful. We no
> longer can think of mediation mainly in the logic of production of things:
> that the subject sees itself in the product, recognizes its abilities.
> Mediation perhaps is always new and changing, it is becoming of the subject
> itself. There is no subject before it emerges out of a scene, a
> dramatization. But this is a continuous process.
> When subjectivity is what emerges out of the indeterminacy of a play than
> it is possible to destroy the subject exactly by destroying this room to
> play (Spielraum in German).
>
>
> Am 07.11.2014 um 20:50 schrieb simon <swht at clear.net.nz>:
>
> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
>
> On 08/11/14 04:48, Reinhold Görling wrote:
>
> this lasting impact of violence is exactly the denial of recognition and
> the lack of mediation that is in the core of the theatricality of violence.
> Violence aims to produce an image of negation that occupies the victim,
> that colonizes the space of its subjectivity. (Isn’t subjectivity first of
> all a free space to relate images, thoughts, emotions, memories of being
> affected in an always and continuously new way, to dramatize
>
> Does violence at its core possess a theatricality which lacks mediation?
> Perhaps it places the victim - and the victim of its images - at its core.
> Where there is - and the 'there is' would constitute the moment of action
> taking place in its 'theatricality' - a negation that occupies the
> victim... by overcoming the individual?
>
> The mediation is the impossible act of the subject, impossible to perform.
> Is this why it is lacking?
>
> best,
> Simon
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> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
>
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