Why I Do Notebook Studies

Courtesy of Warner Bros.Courtesy of Warner Bros.

(the prescribed "plans" that chart the course of each person's life in the adjustment bureau)

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"In body. — More so than men who are coaxed toward social success, toward sublimation, women are body. More body, hence more writing. For a long time it has been in the body that women have responded to persecution, to the familial-conjugal enterprise of domestication, to the repeated attempts at castrating them. Those who have turned their tongues 10,000 times seven times before not speaking not speaking are either dead from it or more familiar with their tongues and their mouths than anyone else. Now, I-woman am going to blow up the Law: an explosion henceforth possible and ineluctable; let it be done, right now, in language."

(Cixous, "The Laugh of the Medusa")

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phantom limb

phantom limb


shoutouts: #rru #iics525

Phantom Limb

flesh∞notebook∞network, superiority of analog, study no.2

Phantom Limb (Notebook Study)

. the soft cardboard cover of the book is easy to groove or etch lines into
. constellations, synthetics

. when the vinyl of the sticky tattoo covers the soft cardboard, the pen-stylus tip gets caught up in the foldings or furrows that precede its path during the grooving process

. saw = slow scalpel

. material is too flimsy to saw through (didn't have any way to keep the book from moving)
. slipped rhythm
. the cut was rough, though it appears relatively clean (articulations)

. or as the Colonel would suggest in her own sawn-off fashion, truthing hurts …

Phantom Limb (Notebook Study)

. what does skin tectonics have to say about the chasm?

Feminist University

(abstract submitted to the "precarious spaces: (dis-)locating gender" conference, hosted by the susan b. anthony institute at university of rochester)

Holey Space (Notebook Study)

Writing the Body: Technics, Gender and the Society of Control

Sean Smith
European Graduate School
Department of Biological Flow

Ingrid Tatyanova
Fine Arts College of Kowloon


The notion of writing the body has a lengthy history in feminist scholarship, seen for example with such diverse writers as Cixous, Hayles and hooks. In their own unique ways we might suggest each describes practices of writing intensively — that is, of capturing affective thought in as urgent a fashion as possible so that thinking and feeling are no longer easily understood as discrete concepts. In contrast with the book "proper," which is most often understood as the culmination of a long process, the notebook, on the other hand, is usually the beginning of a process — the incipient moment of poiesis when thought emerges from the foldings of flesh relation to find expression in gesture and inscription. One captures thought through writing while it is still felt in the body, challenging any possible understanding of mind-body dualism in the act of recording or making memory prosthetic.

pages stick together at the holes

Increasingly, however, we might also understand the notebook as a site of politics and resistance in the contemporary society of control, with all the precarity that implies. It may offer dramatically different conditions of possibility precisely in how its embodiment enters into movements with other bodies — normative or otherwise — to create space, time and memory. We might describe these gendered technics through the lens of Fornssler's affective cyborgism — not a preconstituted body as such, but rather an always emergent part-subject that becomes individuated as it enters into contingent networks of relation and technique. This paper explores these gendered technics and their affective underpinnings in a performative autoethnography of writing practices, engaging a body of thought that also includes Ettinger, Deleuze, Guattari, Serres and Derrida.


Sean Smith

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Burn Notebook

[do we have holey space yet, smith asks?]

@Propeller: Here and There (and the threads in between)

Here and There, Courtesy of Propeller Gallery

Curated Exhibition organized by Propeller Centre for the Visual Arts in collaboration with One Hour Empire

Canada is commonly perceived as a nation of immigrants: people displaced and uprooted by events that are out of their control. They exist and work here while their hearts and minds are still there. This double life is not just an immigrant experience. You may live here in your parents' home but have a fantasy life there in the World of Warcraft. You may spend your daily grind here in the city while you live in the outskirts of town. You may suffer from illness here but imagine being healthy there. You may face yourself here in a mirror and under a microscope there.

The premise of the show is the juxtaposition of your two places in the broadest sense of place. Artists often use different forms when dealing with here and there while sometimes the differences are only in the content. We expect to see two separate works for HERE and THERE but we will also consider a single artwork if you feel it better presents your double life.

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The Department of Biological Flow will be showing work from Kino-Gait Study No.3 and Process Transduction, as well as performing the installation Living Room in the Year 2046. Come on down and join us Thursday night, or check out the show before the 13th! :D

Compass (with apologies to Bruce Nauman)

Compass (with apologies to Bruce Nauman)

Idea for a Conceptual Art Project, No.22:

1. Stage lights are hung from the ceiling in a grid-like formation.

2. The array of lights is programmed to illuminate the artist primarily from the back side, such that a shadow is thrown forward in front of the body.

3. The artist walks in the direction of the shadow.

4. Using certain chance elements in the lighting program the intensity of the luminescent field slowly modulates. The shadow begins to "come around" the side of the artist's body, such that the magnitude and direction of the thrown shadow vector is continually in flux. A topological architecture of light is created.

5. The artist also modulates course and continues to walk toward the direction of the shadow, not allowing its magnitude to become overly shortened (or captured).

6. The artist's head is bowed, looking straight ahead toward the shadow at all times. A camera affixed to a pair of glasses captures what the artist sees while tracking the moving shadow. The video from this camera is played live on a projection screen and also serves as documentation of the performance.