justice, justus

saskatchewan roughrider quarterback darian durant didn't have one of his best performances in yesterday's grey cup championship game against montreal. he struggled with both his passing and running, and the riders never really developed a sustained rhythm offensively. one could intuit this by simply watching what was unfolding, though the stats overlays seemed to make the same case. durant was not the reason they lost, but he wouldn't have been the reason had they won, either.

down three points late in the game, the riders needed a decent drive to have any opportunity for the tying field goal. facing heavy pressure from a tough alouette blitz, however, the outcome was effectively decided when durant threw the only interception of the game on a desperation heave to avoid being sacked. given his prior performance in the game and the shock to affective intensity that rippled through the collective perception, it would have been very easy to blame durant for the loss — a sort of becoming-goat, if you will.

but colour analyst glen suitor interjected, pointing out that durant was not actually panicking but rather trying to do the "correct" thing and throw the ball out-of-bounds before being sacked. the complementary video replays confirmed precisely that which suitor suggested: a throw that originally appeared ill-advised suddenly became most advisable, despite the failure in execution. such is the ambiguity in the stylish argument.

we might refer to this stylish argument as a discursive exoneration in the public sphere, with durant receiving a symbolic pardon from suitor, or at least an offer of protection against overexposure.

Green Pride

but we wear the identity as well: indeed, we have all paid the price to do so.

each inscribed fan of the first best loser also seeks a discursive exoneration upon re-entering the public sphere from the heterotopias of spectacular battle. though minor characters in this performance, they, too, played their parts well. they, too, face judgment in the court of biological flow.

were you a worthy opponent?
were you treated justly by the authorities?
were you unlucky?

questions of self-discipline, relation, power, law and ritual asked in the corridors and conduits of moving bodies. as with that memory box, the questions are primarily visual. one wonders, however: did the television discourse protect these minor players from overexposure as well?

for the most part, judgment is passed silently.

_____

(for rod murray: superfan.)

weaving: memory, relation, skin

Property Of

sportsBabel, March 2009:

"How precious the ability to transition fluidly between multiple identities, particularly living in a society that says we can have only one? We may try on others like well-made Armani suits when we play sports videogames, for example, or manage fantasy sports teams or wear authentic replica jerseys to the stadium. But these are tightly manufactured identities that generally remain within a constellation of corporate consumer control."

Baudrillard - Screened Out

Giorgio Agamben, "Identity without the Person," Nudities, p.46:

"Persona originally means 'mask,' and it is through the mask that the individual acquires a role and a social identity. In Rome every individual was identified by a name that expressed his belonging to a gens, to a lineage; but this lineage was defined in turn by the ancestor's mask of wax that every patrician family kept in the atrium of its home. From here, it only takes a small step to transform persona into the 'personality' that defines the place of the individual in the dramas and rituals of social life. Eventually, persona came to signify the juridical capacity and political dignity of the free man. The slave, inasmuch as he or she had neither ancestors, nor a mask, nor a name, likewise could not have a 'persona,' that is, a juridical capacity (servus non habet personam). The struggle for recognition is, therefore, the struggle for a mask, but this mask coincides with the 'personality' that society recognizes in every individual (or with the 'personage' that it makes of the individual with, at times, reticent connivance)."

* * *

Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus, p.170:

"We can now propose the following distinction: the face is part of a surface-holes, holey surface, system. This system should under no circumstances be confused with the volume cavity system proper to the (proprioceptive) body. The head is included in the body, but the face is not. The face is a surface: facial traits, lines, wrinkles; long face, square face, triangular face; the face is a map, even when it is applied to and wraps a volume, even when it surrounds and borders cavities that are now no more than holes. The head, even the human head, is not necessarily a face. The face is produced only when the head ceases to be a part of the body, when it ceases to be coded by the body, when it ceases to have a multidimensional, polyvocal corporeal code — when the body, head included, has been decoded and has to be overcoded by something we shall call the Face."

Courtesy of Philips

(small billboard above urinal in men's washroom at pub showing football game: human figure and shaver are portrayed in same polygonal wireframe fashion as the prior image above, but not at the expense of pink tinges which remain on the informational skin.)

Deleuze and Guattari, p.170:

"Facialization operates not by resemblance but by an order of reasons. It is a much more unconscious and machinic operation that draws the entire body across the holey surface, and in which the role of the face is not as a model or image, but as an overcoding of all of the decoded parts. Everything remains sexual; there is no sublimation, but there are new coordinates. It is precisely because the face depends on an abstract machine that it is not content to cover the head, but touches all other parts of the body, and even, if necessary, other objects without resemblance. … The face is not animal, but neither is it human in general; there is even something absolutely inhuman about the face."

* * *

Agamben, p.47:

"It is hardly surprising that one's recognition as a person was for millenia one's most jealously guarded and significant possession. Other human beings are important and necessary primarily because they can recognize me. Even the power, glory, and wealth that the 'others' seem so sensitive to, make sense, in the final analysis, only in view of this recognition of personal identity. Of course, one can — as it said that the Caliph of Baghdad, Hārūn al-Rashīd, was fond of doing — walk incognito through the streets dressed as a beggar. But if there were never a moment in which the name, glory, wealth, and power were recognized as 'mine,' if — as certain saints recommend doing — I were to live my whole life in nonrecognition, then my personal identity would also be lost forever."

peace, love

sportsBabel, March 2009:

"This identity constellation of corporate consumer control is marked by its architecture and interface, and it obscures its bodily remainders in the process. In navigating multiple identities, on the other hand, one explicitly acknowledges the remainders, indeed embraces them. The former is an administered, metered and exchanged passage into the skin, while the latter offers a contingent and outward invitation of the flesh."

_____

(for rod murray: critical race scholar.)

my skin is (y)our relation

when samuel morse sent the inaugural telegraph message in 1844, the first words he communicated to his partner were biblical verse:

"what hath god wrought?"

though it is not clear today whether morse was referring to himself or the christian deity, we may discern at least two outcomes that He hath wrought with the advent of electricity-based communication.

first, with electricity He hath wrought an annihilation of the difference between speaking and writing as pure forms: gesture is revealed to be the kinetic substratum that animates both. second, with electricity He hath also wrought a shift from space to time as the primary feature defining our constitution of the commons.

mi casa, su casa

attending the big game in person can be an expensive proposition today; it may also be logistically prohibitive. so where does one watch the game with friends: at the sports bar or in one's living room? or, if the question now concerns time, where does one watch the game with friends: on instant messaging (eg. skype, corporate discussion board) or on one's skin (eg. facebook profile page)?

from volume to surface phenomenon, interaction now more closely resembling tesseraction (cf. mez breeze). if the conference brings together people to the same space, then the surface of the skin has already been established and fixed, its relations mingling within. given the conference in time, on the other hand, we must continue to produce skin with every word spoken. perhaps it is fortunate we are physically numb to the process, muted as it were by the anaesthesia of telesthesia.

not that we feel nothing. the process is always tactile, stimulating: we are always in touch even when we are out of touch. though the skin of the host may be crawling, the massage of the message may be pleasurable indeed.

did your friends invite themselves over? no problem, please stay a while. mi casa, su casa, i'm the king of the casa.

_____

ought one to piss in the living room of the king? no, perhaps not — unless one is caring for the plants or treating a rattlesnake bite. but waterworks sometimes do occur: intensity may loosen the bladder or moisten the eyes; hydraulic thought may break through the dam. the king might hath a small mess on His hands.

how do we understand a gesture of hospitality in this damp zone of surface intension? a house is a skin, material, a piece of property. a house only becomes a home when it is invested by relation.

so what is defended against the tides that may ensue, whether in space or in time: the house or the relation?

eighth, eighth, eighth

flesh∞notebook∞network, part two

"Noology, which is distinct from ideology, is precisely the study of images of thought, and their historicity. In a sense, it could be said that all this has no importance, that thought has never had anything but laughable gravity. But that is all it requires: for us not to take it seriously. Because that makes it all the easier for it to think for us, and to be forever engendering new functionaries. Because the less people take thought seriously, the more they think in conformity with what the State wants. Truly, what man of the State has not dreamed of that paltry impossible thing — to be a thinker?" (Deleuze and Guattari, ATP, p.376).

real estate shortage

they look like bullet holes . . . 3/8" ≅ 9mm

the holes are not stable "structures". there is already a form of "erosion" taking place.

my pen rapidly slips into the holes if i am going too fast and not paying close enough visual attention to my gesture. quite often i am nervous to write near them, and my available "surface area" for writing becomes significantly diminished . . . am i afraid of the signifier disappearing down their gravity wells?

fragments of paper keep falling out and sticking to my skin or my clothing. my fingers always feel these raised edges as they pass over the surface. turning pages catch on the raised edges of the hole (ruptures of skin tectonics) and must be gently pulled apart.

at other times i plunge happily into their depths . . . the reader may reconstitute the message from context at some later moment.

the deeper the holes penetrate and the more that matter-flow is pushed sideways, the more the topography of the surface is changed or altered. writing, or that simple passage around the holes, becomes far more difficult. striation is disrupted in the process for the gestural act proper, but can we also suggest that it is disrupted for the tracking of metric space itself?

pages stick together at the holes

Notebook as machine

There is a qualitative difference between remixing or breaking the machine that is the book proper, and doing the same for one's personal notebook. The former is often understood as the culmination of a long process involving writing, editing, typesetting and printing phases, often under the rubric of a separate "publisher" entity. The notebook, on the other hand, is usually the beginning of a process — the moment of poiesis when thought emerges from the foldings of the flesh to find expression in gesture and inscription.

This notion of writing the body has a lengthy history in feminist scholarship, as seen in such diverse writers as Hélène Cixous, Katherine Hayles and bell hooks. In their own unique ways we might suggest each decribes practices of writing intensively — that is, of capturing affective thought in as urgent a fashion as possible such that thinking and feeling are no longer easily understood as discrete concepts. One captures thought through writing while it is still felt in the body, nullifying any possible understanding of mind-body dualism in the act of recording or making memory prosthetic.

In this sense the notebook becomes a most intimate expression of what Fornssler refers to as affective cyborgism: that is, an understanding of technologies as inseparable from our bodies — indeed they are generated by them — yet more or less proximate to the fleshiness of our lived corporeality. Our notebook is qualitatively different than other books precisely because of this proximity to the body. In this differential proximity, as well as in the interface proper, lie the political and ethical moments of our always-already cyborgian beings.

But these beings should more adequately be referred to as becomings, for they are also emergent from the relations of matrixial intersubjectivity between bodies. This may be understood both in terms of material and immaterial networks and prosthetics, as well as in terms of resonant waves between organic entities. Hence, the political and ethical moments are made explicit precisely in how our technologized selves negotiate a fragile and contingent commons, tottering between repressive, militarized and integrative systems of profit and control on the one hand, and opportunities for agency, poiesis and resistance on the other.

In other words, the "same" technology may offer dramatically different conditions of possibility precisely in how its embodiment enters into movements with other bodies to create space and time. The affective cyborg, then, is not a preconstituted body as such, but rather an always emergent part-subject that becomes individuated as it enters into contingent networks of relation.

It is relation that breaks the machine of the flesh∞notebook. Our ontology is ontogenetic. Our technology is not deterministic.

* * *

"But noology is confronted by counterthoughts, which are violent in their acts and discontinuous in their appearances, and whose existence is mobile in history. These are the acts of a 'private thinker,' as opposed to the public professor: Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, or even Shestov. Wherever they dwell, it is the steppe or the desert. They destroy images."

trust protocol

Chess Queen

king, queen, pawn
your identity is safe with me.
fits and starts and
bits and parts and
psg through the
tapdance checkerboard
showdown.

but send a msg on the
backchannel motherboard
lowdown, will you?

play that other game,
you know, the one that
everyone expects to not expect
from no one?

(or was it the other way around?
asked marker and his maneki neko
secret agent high five network.)