Reading Diary: Intensities - Extending Bodies and Voices (Book)

Architectural Body: This article relates the practice of Parkour with concepts of Landing Sites by Arakawa and Gins, and Deterritorialization by Deleuze and Guittari. My impression is that Parkour is both rhythmic and efficient, and therefore contingent on momentum. It is as if the Parkour body doesn’t move over or under an architectural ‘obstacle’, but somehow moves through it, as the up and down vectors are streamlined and momentum pushes along a horizontal axis/ the most efficient path.

There is a moment upon which the organism-person-environment articulates with a landing site that is unknowable and produces momentary affect/ deterritorialization: zoom-in, ultra slow motion, a foot contacts a surface, the force of the surface is absorbed up the shin through the thigh, pelvis and spine, counterbalances follow in a wave, sensation is felt through a closed kinetic chain, but then, the kinetic potential of the surface itself pushes the body into a space that no longer has resistance, form, or pressure. This moment in the atmosphere, along a horizontal trajectory of determination and momentum, is possible to field, but within a variant of surrender and unknowable factors. I think it is this space, before and after contact, that is the deterritorialzed ‘affect’ space, before and after the meeting of the organism and the architectural body, as they both affect each other through a pre or post convergence of sensation and force, and intention and function. The building and the body change each other post-contact, and how, is up to the particular moment of affect, and level of practice (a slip off the ledge seems like a terrible affect-moment to endure… As this failure, or success is noticed via perception, a series of contingent fielding is set-off, but still at the behest of momentum.

Stammer, Mumble, Sweat, Scrawl, and Tic: This text points toward the unspeakable gaps in the legible, and how “an instance of legibility produces its own shadow: the illegible”. In the ‘zone of illegibility’ a kind of corporeal communication is transmitted through a stammer, mumble, sweat, scrawl, and tic. So, what is it that we understand, but don’t really know? What immaterial energy does legibility produce?

I enjoyed the references to withdrawal, particularly in Mumble and Sweat. In Mumble, to inhabit ‘confusion’ as a means of evading an articulation that could be used as fodder for a measurable ‘side’ is a tactic of non-compliance, or embodied activism, that may appear to be the only possible act of defiance in an impossible situation. This state, however, is not passive. It is a passionate thrust into incoherence in the face of ‘legible’ conflict.

In Sweat, the cognitive images of the cerebral cortex question what can be articulated within silence, and through the suggestion of language. How are imagination and action different in terms of a mental process? Imagination can trigger action, as in a dream walk, whereby a person’s motor cortex lights up and sends signals for movement. A movement response coming from an imaginary process, coupled by research in neuroscience that proclaims the plasticity of the brain... To me this signals that the imagination requires great care, and that it is dangerous to assume that the divide between action and thought is so definitive.

In response to Tic, I wondered how ‘contemporary/capitalist’ romantic encounters might be framed as a series of affordances and investments, if the individual’s subjectivity were granted the same stock value as any other commodity in trade. This is a terrible thought. My face is making weird Tics.

Writing Aloud: The Sonics of Language: Leaning forward, looking closer, this text leaves pixelations on my scalp. Porousness, ectoplasmic new age-y but full of references so I can go there (which is revealing about my personality and need to legitimize from a canon of thinkers with historical cred). This text is a vibrational sound wave with like two sub woofers. Porousness is the collective, and moving through it is a ‘leakage’ of inarticulate anti-language that pushes and pulls and moves the body as it amplifies. And the stutter as an escape portal, a sly pulling the rug out from beneath the pompous word flow that centres the wordsmith. I keep reading and this whole thing both elevates and bottoms out, scratching at the edges of grammar, with little blips here and there, I question spelling, last names, things sound and feel slightly off in a synesthetic experience of sound via screen image text chewed up as they bypass my frontal lobe. This text dances and runs and it wags lots of fingers.

Utopian Body: Foucault, you are personable and sensitive in this text. I feel invited to read more of your work. Thx.

On the body, on placelessness, on transcendence, as utopia. The formless form as pure, unattached sensation, which has no location, but feeds back to a central nervous system. Extending through costume, ritual, adornment, uniform, and modifications to the outward appearance of the body, wrapping as it to amplify, are all possible, visual, methods. I notice the same imbalance toward visual stimuli Foucault, as you discuss the boroughs and strange ledges of the body, but relate primarily to the ‘front’ body, and the two windows of the head (eyes) when there are many others (mouth, ears, pores, nostrils) that can be sensed in other ways (temperature, balance, sound, touch). And love, Foucault, brings the body into the present space, the present containment as ignited by another’s gaze and touch, but orgasm is the uncontained eradication of the body, the self, the mirror, the corpse right? A blank space, a blotch of emptiness where nothing has no concept of anything, no self, no mummies, no mirrors, and no differentiation. So love is a means to loss of self, of momentary blankness, if you’re into that sort of thing.

Cyborg Manifesto: The time of distancing human and machine are long gone, and along with it has passed the totalizing, united wholeness of socialist-feminist political discourse. We are not one, but a multitude of many, differently composed, and differently affected by our historical and genealogical roots. Our commonality is that we have been thrust into an age of science and technology that is subservient to new divisions of labour, class, and gender. The Cyborg is a new type of existence, whereby man-made evolution has also produced new appendages that can be used to benefit techno-capitalist production and Western ideologies, or they can be used as subversive mechanisms that unite women along lines of pixilation and refraction as opposed to sameness.

In response to this critical point: “An important route for restructuring socialist-feminist politics is through theory and practice addressed to the social relations of science and technology, including crucially the systems of myth and meanings structuring our imaginations.” How do we hijack our own imaginations, or how do we reassert the production of our own imaginations, which in turn will change the course of social relations? Perhaps hijacking technology as a proactive strategy, or disarming communication by disrupting it, and/or breaking down systems of flow that disperse and inject capital. I don’t really know what this means. But perhaps that is enough. To inject discourse into the imagination, and let is ruminate. Then try to access it via technology, tap it like a maple tree, or in this case, something related to oil…  To invest in our own future capital is to invest in money that doesn’t exist yet. So, can technology access and adapt our imaginations for some kind of potential revelatory blossoming? I keep using these nature-based metaphors, but maybe there’s some bio-engineering involved.

Possible platforms for proactive change: YES to incoherence, noise, interruption, inefficiency, taboo fusions, writing at the borders of language, and hijacking communication technologies. NO to goddesses, total systems, the feminization of Work, embodying western male ideologies, dualisms as we knew them, and reproductive politics.