eye name you

dear you,

ok, say you take a photo of me, perhaps at a cafe in paris or in the mountains of saas-fee.

you post the photo.

i take the photo, crop it, and make it my profile pic.

the extension of your visual domain via camera (kino-eye) thus flips in moebius fashion to become the extension of my skin into the virtual — or what we have called kino-gait.

but we have also said that camera and web profile aren't extensions, per se, but literally parts of one's own body instead, albeit at some phenomenological remove.

hence, such an instance of creating a profile pic becomes a moment of singular plurality between the two bodies. in one sense they become a singular flesh: kino-eye meets kino-gait, eye meets moving skin.

(surveillance meets spectacle.)

(such an instance of creating a profile pic, then, also becomes the moment in which capital most heavily invests.)

at the same time there is a separation: an offer of the photo, on the one hand, and an acceptance but also an editing of the gifted offer. i accept, but on my terms.

how do we understand this particular politics of touch?

do i simply presume your permission to make your eye my skin? does posting the picture online imply freedom to re-use thusly? do i commit a violence in editing the photo? do i offer an injustice to you by assuming that you could and would want to name my skin with your eyes?

dear you, did i engage this particular politics of touch based on prior flesh relation?

or would i do the same thing to a stranger?

archive, intelligence, thought

Instant Karma's Gonna Get You: Reflections on Movement, Relation and Memory

(submitted by sean smith to the intersections 2010 conference in communication and culture at york university)

Street Chess in Amsterdam

In 1966 the Fluxus-influenced artist Yoko Ono presented Play It By Trust, a conceptual work featuring a chess board with two sets of all-white pieces facing each other on a grid of all-white squares. The opponents become indistinguishable from one another in the absence of traditional visual signifiers, and as the hypothetical game progresses the entire binary of militarized competition becomes subject to reconsideration. Using Ono's white chess set as a model I will put the game into play, so to speak, as a means of questioning the interrelated concepts of movement, relation and memory within this ludic space. Drawing primarily on the theory of Deleuze and Guattari, Kittler, Massumi, Manning and Agamben, I will contrast the archive as technical apparatus with a more embodied and intermediated form of collective remembering, as well as explore their implications for political sovereignty in the age of Empire.

Street Chess in Amsterdam

Two passages from Jean Baudrillard:

- from "Beyond Artificial Intelligence: Radicality of Thought," in Impossible Exchange, p. 116:

"Kasparov has on his side the human passion of the challenge; he has an other ranged against him, an opponent. Strictly speaking, Deep Blue has no adversary; it moves within the scope of its own programme. This is a decisive advantage for the human, the advantage of otherness, which is the subtle precondition for play, with its possibilities of decoying, of 'overplaying one's hand', of sacrifice and weakness. The computer, by contrast, is condemned to play at the height of its capabilities."

- from "Deep Blue or the Computer's Melancholia," in Screened Out, p. 163:

"When up against the machine they have themselves programmed (let us not forget that it was men like Kasparov who programmed Deep Blue), human beings can only subtly de-programme themselves, become 'technically incorrect' to stay ahead of the game. They may even have to take over the machine's own place. … This is the only possible strategy: if you become technically correct, you are unfailingly beaten by the machine."

Capital Idea

ESPN basketball analyst Jeff Van Gundy, speaking about an injured star athlete: "Just because you're getting paid a big salary doesn't mean you'll heal any quicker!"

still life (a portrait)

Barbed Paradise

"the camp intended as a dislocating localization is the hidden matrix of the politics in which we still live, and we must learn to recognize it in all of its metamorphoses." (g. agamben)

* * *

the leisure industry. enclosed spaces. striated spaces. iron gates. barbed-wire fences. tiled walkways. stone paths. flowered hedges. palm tree columns. spectacular spaces. controlled spaces. wear your bracelet at all times. english, french, german and spanish as the official languages of tourism. mexican, italian and mediterranean as the official flavours. edible muzak, vanilla music. authenticity. colonialism, then and now. why does it feel acceptable to speak ni hao and xie xie but condescending to speak hola and gracias? desiring the other. spf 45, 10, 30, 60. spectrum of melanin. skin versus flesh. pattern recognition of facial scans, gaits and volumes. excess fat, excess hair, excess food, excess alcohol. a powder keg of explosive violence. with the lights out, it's less dangerous. here we are now, entertain us. i feel stupid and contagious. here we are now, entertain us. a mulatto, an albino, a mosquito, my libido. yeah. instructions for washing hands: 1. soap; 2. wash; 3. dry; 4. disinfect. don't drink the water. wear shoes. hygienic paper covers half left on the straws. fist bumps offered by the staff. gastroenterology. jewish penicillin. too hot, too cold, too humid, too dry. sun worship. photo ops. covert ops. sport as statistical anomaly to the sedentary. in grid. subject, object, abject, traject. dialup internet. (stay in fantasy, maintain disconnect!) heterotopia. heteronormativity. repressed desire. bringing sexy back. techno-femme states that all communication is sexual. a mocking return of the tactile. an imagined lolita. spy versus spy.

* * *

"the social image of the consumption of time is for its part exclusively dominated by leisure time and vacations — moments portrayed, like all spectacular commodities, at a distance, and as desirable by definition. this particular commodity is explicitly presented as a moment of authentic life whose cyclical return we are supposed to look forward to. yet even in such special moments, ostensibly moments of life, the only thing being generated, the only thing to be seen and reproduced, is the spectacle — albeit at a higher-than-usual level of intensity. and what has been passed off as authentic life turns out to be merely a life more authentically spectacular." (g. debord)

Sunny Spectacle