Is this artistic practice of mine political, you asked? It’s even less than self-governance. But that is precisely the active part of it. It is a governance of disintegration of self and self-referential abilities. It is just the act of trying to re-member something of past and future, re-member the body, re-member own part. It does seem urgent to me, and don‘t get me wrong, not for a pleasure of being able to reflect, reflection seems completely redundant. It seems urgent for the possibility of thinking of…, of acting towards…, of meeting…, of redefining citizenship and forming collectives.
I am a compost-ist, not a posthuman-ist: we are all compost, not posthuman. […] The edge of extinction is not just a metaphor; system collapse is not a thriller. Ask any refugee of any species. […] Who and whatever we are, we need to make-with—become-with, compose-with—the earth-bound. My purpose is to make “kin” mean something other/more than entities tied by ancestry or genealogy. […] Kin-making is making persons, not necessarily as individuals or as humans.
Donna Haraway, Anthropocene, Capitalocene, Plantationocene, Chthulucene: Making Kin
In the sectarian practice—body-artists position—each tangent will be joined with the transcendental unity, where autonomous parts are in relation to the whole as in a sect.
A sectarian is on the side of the dogma like a parasite, described by Michel Serres, the parasite in a network, where each element is next to, shifted or not on the thing, but on its relation. This is a network of a network, relations to relations itself, a system of relations, the labour structure of an artist’s body. This is a parasitical and sectarian network of relations. Following the thought of Alain Ehrenberg on selfhood in his »Weariness of Self« book, I propose that becoming self after self, myself, yourself, ourselves and themselves is life assignment and a production of collective responsibility but paradoxically results in exhaustion and inadequateness. Becoming meta-self, cultural omnivore self, forming an aggregate, propertizing time, knowledge, mobility and multicultural otherness to re-fashion and re-tool itself, writes Beverly Skeggs. Uhhh, it is exhausting to even write and read that.
Let’s fantasize a person, a person that is inhabited by complex kin of partial existences and states, not related to each other in sectarian, complementary relationship but rather involuntary, even parodic coexistence. Its parts are moving and constantly changing, but still, it does not consume its entire energy to define its self, its self is just not there, it is simply not possible. It’s made of queer electrons. The electron is not merely causing trouble for us; in an important sense, it is troubling itself, or rather, its self, as we will soon see. That is, the very notion of »itself,« of identity, is radically queered. Othering, the constitution of an »Other,« entails an indebtedness to the »Other,« who is irreducibly and materially bound to, threaded through, the »self« —a diffraction/dispersion of identity. (Karen Barad: On Touching – The Inhuman That Therefore I Am)
What would be a performative strategy for dissensus of a collective (social) body and collective (singular) body?
What could be an art working that is not an aim but a side product of living the body (alongside the body, without claiming its integrity first and then its ownership)? What would be a performative strategy for dissensus of a collective (social) body and collective (singular) body? How about the ability to act with clashes, stutters and self-conflicts in the body, in the patterns of its control, submission and anxiety. The monstrous agency of bodies, patterns of their management and their glitches in process of production of meaning?
Here I am hallucinating a person becoming of remnants: this actor disintegrates in the act. Dissolves. Inhabits partial relationships. Only minor beings are able to inhabit the productive relation of the major beings. Those are beings that live and eat on the side of a major schema of a body.
The dinner is served. Remnants are flooding back to the surface, guests are arriving. An Idiot is seated among them, conflicted with his own body, …
IDIOT: I am of two bodies, which, in part hallucinated and internalized, replicate themselves in a determined drama of unsettled malaise. In a sense there are nothing but body doubles, reflecting one another as if to mark the failure of integrating the traumatic singularity of what is given to us as our own ownmost body.
COCKROACH is seated next to him. He does nothing. Nothing happens. He does not fit any story as nothing happens with him. He is waking up bodies of guests gathered around with repulsion and at the same time with a sense of redundancy. He gives an excuse to be gentle without a purpose. But who would like that! This gentleness is filling an entire room and is most irritating.
AHH and HAA are seated on cockroaches left.
AHH (whispering): I do not conceive, how does he even gets to be part of this! He repulses me.
HAA looks at her reproachfully.
AHH: What?! I am just saying what everyone is thinking.
AHH is a generic description of a household with high work ethics, (protestant work ethic, one could say), diligent with money, smart with making it all work, going both to Ikea and recycling centre. AHH is waking up early, taking care of children, restraining strong emotions. AHH is not too ambitious. AHH knows the limits and is rather generous.
HAA sips from the glass nervously. HAA is politically conscious. He knows Cockroach must be seated there. HAA goes to demonstrate against cuts, against racism, against the class division. HAA could be called »real intellectualist socialist« and he definitely wants the world of equality someday and will never stop his active support for the idea.
There is an obvious chemistry between AHH and HAA, real love from the first sight, but they are going to deny it. Instead, they will argue heated discussions then fight and quarrel until there is nothing left of sexual desire, but a passive aggressive silence to be filled by someone else seated nearby.
That would be a young lady, soon to be a bride, still shy, she will never learn out of it as a matter of fact, only by constant uncensored stating aloud what she is actually thinking. But she is pure love, 100% organic as a matter of fact. With a green, local, fair trade, handmade, original stamp on everything of her, is it the out-bursting health or fashionable sickness stamp he wears.
HAA: Would you stop that? Cynicism can kill.
YOUNG LADY: The food is delicious! You know, I just learned that self-affirmation allows the new thing to grow, a new, more stable, crystalized in time becoming, which does not submit to the general productive paradigm. I feel suddenly free!
IDIOT: Don’t be naïve. Just as you said it, you became the anti-idea of it, an innovation and annulment in one, same instant. It comes in a flashback every time when you get an idea of something new, something, which nobody else has thought about yet. Personal freedom, ha! The dark matter cumulates into the actions, which has paradoxically opposite effects from intended one. The dark matters not only sweeps away the ideas they are born from, but it spills around in a wave of negativity. It is the lie hold up for a long time, just spill out little by little poisoning everything around.
HAA: Would you stop that? Cynicism can kill.
COCKROACH nervously looks around. He did not understand that last part but he »can’t stop that« for sure.
After the appetizers, time for the first course: two maids are serving them. Amnesia and Anesthesia are two sisters. Amnesia has no hands, and Anesthesia has no head, but together they form an active person. They fight a lot to position themselves right in the world. Amnesia makes people remember that there was something, not clearly what and when, but that there was. Anaesthesia makes people feel, everything, the pain of the world, at once. They are proud of their working class identity but in their approach to the subject, they are an antithesis of political awareness. Rather masochistically autoerotic in love of dirt and hardship it brings them.
Everyone at the table continues to swallow imaginary pieces of their common body layered like lasagna for a better composition of flavors. Only Cockroach doesn’t, he is just there, concentrating on just breathing, and they cannot stand it that through his refusal this meal has a taste of communion. This is not what cockroach intended, oh no.
YOUNG LADY: murmuring to herself: I know, I know that if I just try really, I could change the atmosphere… what could it be? Perhaps if I meditate for a moment I get purer and then it will just happen….
They can’t wait until this awkwardness is over and the after party finally starts. Young Lady wants to dance tonight and Idiot enjoys his spastic movements as well. Ahh and Haa will have a break from the battle and Cockroach will find a relief in them not noticing his presence for a while. Tomorrow they will switch their places and the organization of this body will go on.