A thought of performance

Tero Nauha, Theatre Academy of the University of the Arts Helsinki

 

In this article I attempt to trace the path of my artistic research, which began from the application of schizoanalysis in performance and which now explores the possible limits of thought in order to regard how performance thinks in specifically different ways from discursive forms of thought, such as philosophy. The main argument starts from the notion—borrowed from French thinker, François Laruelle—that philosophical thought does not tell us more about the Real than any other gestures of thought. I begin from a speculative relationship between the apparatus of cognitive capitalism. I conclude by superpositioning the post-humanist thought of Laruelle and Karen Barad with the concept of ‘non-standard’ performance as fictioning. As a whole, the article aims to propose a performative approach to artistic research in these terms.[1]

I

In his meticulous articulation of the semiotic conjunctions within production in Schizoanalytic Cartographies (2013), Félix Guattari analyses his theoretical findings of his practice of ‘institutional psychotherapy’ with Jean Oury at La Borde, an experimental psychiatric clinic. The institution, as an apparatus, reflects on the notion that the treatment of mental illness be regarded as a new arrangement of social and political connections. Institutional psychotherapy was an analysis of the conjunctions between the mental, social, political, affective and environmental, as a particular assemblage. The clinic of La Borde, for example, consisted of an assemblage of subjectivities, affects, non-human and technical objects. For Guattari, the world is constituted through machinic conjunctions and the disjunctions of fluxes. The Universe of reference signifies the universal principle of incorporeal ‘truth’, or virtual value—for instance, the universes of technoscience, biology, computer technology, etc. (Guattari 1995, 119). Oury and Guattari aimed to either reconstruct the world through schizoanalysis as the political analysis of desire, where treatment of illness was regarded as the ‘permanent combat against the pathogenic, the pathoplastic effects of the trouble that affected both the establishment and the carers’ (Alliez and Goffey 2011, 59). The lines of flight or the refrains of the assemblage constitute the territory of a subject in the group, which is processual, yet has a certain universe of reference. Schizoanalysis records and produces these assemblages and their economies. Through this conjunction, it produces a complexity, which results not in chaos, but in a world—or territory.

My aim now is to look at the relationship between economy and philosophy, which moves us towards an understanding of non-standard performance. Schizoanalysis is a philosophical apparatus, which produces an axiomatics of the world. It is an apparatus, which engenders territories, instead of reflecting on the world. It is a generative process of incorporeal universes, which receive expression through machinic processes of signification. The foundation of schizoanalysis lies in collective speech, or the collective agency of enunciation—and not in an explicit method or speculation. It is particularly economic and collaborative when based on the assemblage of production, recording and consumption. This apparatus of capture is based on collective enunciation in order to produce new existential territories.

Performance art may be regarded in the context of such an assemblage of collaboration and processuality, as one apparatus of capture and individualization. Here, meaning is assembled from heterogeneous components, which engage machinic and collaborative processes of articulation. These apparatuses contain ecological, economic, aesthetic and corporeal components, constructing machinic ties between the subject and the structure in order to create a function for the apparatus (Guattari 2013, 39). The collective agency of enunciation is a process between infinitely incomplete assemblages, which have a common universe of references, where the universe of reference signifies the virtual possible, which manifests itself in the domain of finite, existential territory. The machinic as plans or diagrams are realized according to how they ‘cut’ the matter and energy of flows; in other words, how the virtual is being actualized either as signified or only as a-signified functions. This process of machinic signification is akin to the speculative economy practiced today: as rhizomatic, rather than hierarchic or linear. Here, as Guattari describes, ‘machines can be connected to one another by a multitude of trees of implication with innumerable branches’ (Guattari 2013, 94). The economy of such apparatuses concerns where flows of matter receive forms of content through the machinic; although, these are infused with meaning only in particular constellations (Deleuze 2006, 94), and in such a way that the universes of reference are not the universal truth, but only ‘crystals of possibilities’ (Genosko 2002, 163).

In his articulation of the theory of schizoanalysis in Schizoanalytic Cartographies (2013), Guattari writes how aesthetic, processual operators must be conceived as heterogeneity, enacted by the dual conjoining of abstract and concrete machines. Such machines are like small contraptions, which aim to cut certain flows, in order to produce a functional apparatus such as a performance. Guattari writes that machines

at one and the same time, dissociate and gather together matters of expression, ‘polyphonize’ them, as Bakhtin would have it, and transversalize them, that is to say, make them shift between their diverse levels of deterritorialized forms and processes, which I call abstract machines. (Guattari 2013, 256)

The human being is caught between the discursive and the machinic; existence is made possible by a cluster of disjunctive and conjunctive flows (Guattari 1984, 114). In Guattari’s ontology, immanence is machinic, where function, instead of meaning, has the key role. Machinic conjunctions do not have to produce, record or consume meanings—they need only to function. Within this paradigm, both the world and subjectivity are bound by this ontology and its axioms. Within this machinic immanence, things, beings and agencies express themselves, and reality is an actualisation of a virtual Universe in the territory of subjectivities, things and beings. The institutional psychotherapy of Oury and Guattari aimed to investigate these productive relationships as they expressed themselves in refrains, institutions and lines of flight. Immanence, as regarded through schizoanalysis, is saturated with events, or again, the transformative actualisations of the virtual. As Deleuze suggests when he writes on a life, the ‘subject is produced at the same as its objects’ (2001, 26).

II

Late capitalism, which may be regarded as post-Fordism or as cognitive capitalism, is not based on a dialectics of progress, but on mutation, emergence and crisis. As the ‘third type of processual assemblage’, writes Guattari, late capitalism functions axiomatically and transversally.[2] Axiomatic functions are arrangements of enunciations, which cannot be put into a signified category; and without signification, an axiom will conjoin with material flows, and make them function. Through transversality a production mutates itself, whilst having to function in new territories. As cognitive capitalism, late capitalism’s axiomatic functions create a milieu for the emergence of knowledge. This milieu is not a domain of repetition or code, so much as a place where chaotic forces may communicate with other milieus.[3]

Cognitive capitalism is distinguished from industrial labour in that ‘in cognitive production, the knowledge is not being produced, but emerges in the process. Here, capitalism as an apparatus is not creative or innovative, but is ‘forced to mutate in order to survive’ (Moulier Boutang 2011, 36). The mutation of the apparatus takes place through jumps and cuts in intervals, and as changing alterations. And whilst mutation is irreversible, creative or innovative improvisation is only a variation in relation to the original, or the major. Mutative processes do not reflect an authentic original; there is no primacy of harmonious qualities, but rather deviation and transversality. Knowledge emerges through these processes, and in communication with different milieus and axioms. By way of these mutations, Guattari writes, capital becomes intensified in its consistency (1995, 105). Living power is not reduced to machines or physical labour, but is transferred to the general intellect (Moulier Boutang 2011, 31). The production of knowledge takes place not through agonistic production (or antagonism between the boss and the worker), but prior to that, in the relation.

As Paolo Virno suggests, subjectivity is a faculty of potentials, a substratum (2004, 82). Late capitalism as cognitive capitalism is explicitly interested in managing these potentials and their actualisation, which takes place through relations. It manages not the physical expression of life, but the virtuality and milieus of life. Subjectivity is not the individual innovator, as it was in modern industrialism, but the material-discursive variable of the axiomatic. The intellect here does not refer to a network or to knowledge, but a ‘cooperation between brains’, or noo-politics,[4] as Maurizio Lazzarato defines cognitive capitalism.

We can trace the history of this critique of cognitive capitalism back to the Italian Autonomist movement of the 1960s and 70s, whose reformulation of Marxism led to the direct ‘refusal of labour’ in 1965, and consequently the critique of cognitive labour (Lotringer 1980, 9). As Sylvère Lotringer discusses, Antonio Negri, Mario Tronti, and later on Carlo Vercellone and Franco Berardi, founded their critique on Marx’s Grundrisse (Lotringer 1980, 9). Here, Marx writes on the concept of general intellect:

The conditions of the process of social life itself have come under the control of the general intellect and been transformed in accordance with it. To what degree the powers of social production have been produced, not only in the form of knowledge, but also as immediate organs of social practice, of the real life process. (Marx [1857] 1993, 706)

Cognitive capitalism is an axiomatic apparatus of capture, which aims to capture real-life processes. It is a move from the exploitation of human labour, to the appropriation and management of the ‘mass intellectuality’, which is the ‘prominent form in which the general intellect is manifest today’ (Virno 1996, 265–66). Through mass intellectuality, sharing and collaborative capacities become central to industrial, affective and immaterial labour. Virno (2003, 261) writes how: ‘general intellect manifests itself without being incarnated into machines or products as living labour, communication, self-reflection, thinking, competition and diversion’. Knowledge is not the social or human capital of the homo oeconomicus, [5] but it is in between: in the relation as the cooperation between brains (Marazzi 2011, 57). Knowledge is valid only when it is performed and shared (Pasquinelli 2008, 97). Or, as Moulier Boutang suggests through metaphor, the product of cognitive capitalism is not the honey that is being produced, but the act of pollination: the process of sharing, dissemination and relation in the market’s aim to capture the movement of the pollen (Moulier Boutang 2011, 164–189).

Mass intellectuality and immaterial labour is primarily ‘intellectual or linguistic’ (Lazzarato 1996, 135–36), whereas affective labour produces and manipulates affects of well-being, satisfaction, passion and care (Hardt and Negri 2004, 108). In the general terms of cognitive capitalism, the exploitation of life as production, is infinitely incomplete, and takes place between and in the network. It is biopower which produces life by means of living (Moulier Boutang 2011, 150). Still, cognitive capitalism is not ‘knowledge capitalism’ founded on an information society, because it functions instead on relation, cooperativeness, and affective capacity. It is a process of ‘the capture of a life’—bioproduction.

The apparatus of the digital network as internet is central, but it is only because it may create a diffractive entanglement of life. Knowledge itself is not the key; what matters is the nature of the relation in which knowledge appears and will be territorialized. Knowledge is in the relation, where meaning is secondary. In this network, subjectivity becomes a function, and the performance of subjectivity is not the production of commodities, but of relations (Lazzarato 1996, 137). Similarly, with affective or care labour, the performance artist is inseparable from the producer of the relation-as-commodity (Marazzi 2001, 81). The affective relation of a performance artist is one of valorized production. There is also a connection with the performance and the virtuoso, where there is a sense of ‘incontingency, the absence of a “finished product”’ (Virno 2004, 53). The performer is the relation-as-commodity, and an apparatus. Immaterial labour within the network exists not as a subject with a reflective position, but as an apparatus of diffraction, superposition and entanglement. It is not a life of a subject which is being exploited, but a life in general which has been put to work. [6]

III

As such the economy of the world reflect and create positions, where, in this world, the artistic practice and aesthetics slice the world in reasonable amounts (Laruelle 2012, 20). I want to move from this realm determined by economy and regard, if the non-standard thought of Laruelle may propose if not an alternative, then a radical take on the unilateral relation between the Real and artistic practice. For Laruelle, the world is philosophy, or the philosophy is “world-shaped, the World is thought-world” (Laruelle 2010, xxviii). The following chapters contain an attempt to regard artistic practice not from the world, but from the radical foreclosure of the Real.

The apparatus of the world is digital. It produces the transcendental and divides one in two. It creates a relation with everything else, through infinite, but digital variation (Galloway 2013, 37). The ‘immanence’ of capitalism is a transcending immanence: an immanence posited in a gesture of thought—which, in this case, is relational. It is a world where immanence is becoming immanent in a gesture of thought. These gestures are based on the digital, i.e., differential networks of axiomatic analysis and reduction. In my previous research, I have determined this general process of cognitive capitalism as ‘schizoproduction’, as distinct from schizoanalysis (Nauha 2016). This axiomatic schizoproduction is not a speech act, but discursive, in the sense that it constrains how meaning is distilled from relations, without the need for signifying, linguistic acts. Schizoproduction performs the relation. The bare minimum of schizoproduction is the gesture of transcending thought: namely, what François Laruelle calls a ‘decision’. Decision is differential, but it does not have to signify. It is the capacity to produce distinction and separation, in the most minimal, axiomatic form. Schizoproduction is capitalism turned into immanent capitalism, through a gesture of thought— sufficient thought. It is where capitalism has become a philosophy of life, in that it has a firm belief within a sufficient thought, whatever it comes in contact with (Smith 2016, 30). If the network is where the general intellect is put into relation, then in schizoproduction these relations are turned into positions of the world. Positions are always in relation to one another, and as such differential, whereas what Laruelle conceives as ‘posture’ or ‘stance’, is rooted in oneself, in One or from the Real, rather than in relative position (Galloway 2014, 159; Laruelle 2012, 12). A posture ‘relies on precisely the concept of a thought in the terms of the real [which] correlates with the real while it simultaneously affirms its ultimate evasion of language and thought. […] the non-philosophical posture of thought is an empty position—a nonposition’ (Kolozova 2014, 62). This apparatus of schizoproduction, however, is not fixed, but perpetually open to rearrangements, entanglements and diffractions in positions. Immanent capitalism, or schizoproduction, is posited as immanent in a gesture of thought, which is decisional (Brassier 2001, 72). Decision is the gesture of thought where reason penetrates appearances; it is the process of manipulating the affects, objects and beings of the world. It is the reflective process of withdrawal and analysis, which produces the world. Laruelle argues that ‘scission is the practical moment of philosophical decision’.[7] Schizoproduction is the moment of capitalism as philosophy. However, Laruelle and non-standard thought do not regard decision as a voluntary or psychological event, but propose that ‘the decision already made implicitly by philosophy, is to see and hear in the first place. We decide each time we open our eyes’ (Galloway 2014, 147). Similarly, the decision is the apparatus of capture of schizoproduction. According to Alexander Galloway (2014, 54), the digital network—or the apparatus of capture in relational cognitive production—is where the decisional operations produce the world as riven into differentials. The real of the world is not made up of things the size that a baby can put into its mouth, as Karl Popper suggests (Hacking 2010, 145). Rather, it is pixel-scale. The real of cognitive capitalism is based on differentials where the scalpel of sufficient reason is the size of a pixel. The world is discursivity itself enabling politics, philosophy and art (Laruelle 2013a, 74). The rivenness of the world allows the flow of matter; but at the same time, it directs this flow between the two river banks.

Laruelle argues that the gesture of thought cannot think anything without a relation, and consequently without a position (Laruelle 2013a, 74). The outside of thought—as alterity, nature or ‘the victim’—are positioned as such, in a gesture of thought. Such a sufficient reason is determined in the ‘last instance’ of economy. This notion of the ‘last instance’ was developed by Louis Althusser (2005, 112–13), as the determining force of capitalist economy, or in other words, the determining of the world. However, for Laruelle, determination-in-the-last-instance is the Real where ‘everything philosophy claims to master is in-the-last-instance thinkable from the One-Real’ (Laruelle 2010, xvi). As such, it determines non-philosophy, in that the determination-in-the-last-instance is an

identity without difference, and without synthesis but not without transcendental priority or duality, of philosophy and of science for example—not against all their possible relations, but against the unitary spirit of philosophical and epistemological hierarchy in these relations. (Laruelle 2013b, 23–24)

In other words, the Real is operating in the force of thought. As such, we also need to address how performance is determined in the last instance of economy. This is how performance receives its function, how artistic practice may transform the world, and where the ‘artist comes into being’ (Bolt 2008, n.p.) in discursive, material and affective ways. The performance artist may transform the world through events within the apparatus of capture determined in the last instance of economy, as Althusser proposed.

IV

The relationship between thought and the real in non-standard philosophy is determined by the last-instance. In the last-instance of the Real, non-philosophy is not in opposition to philosophy as metaphilosophy or anti-philosophy. Rather, Laruelle considers the determination-in-the-last instance as the Real or the One. He explains that, ‘everything philosophy claims to master is in-the-last-instance thinkable from the One-Real’ (Laruelle 2010, xvi). The economic apparatus of the world, as it has been presented above in schizoanalysis or cognitive capitalism is thinkable onlyfrom the Real, unilaterally. If the world is a mélange of differential positions, then the Real is ‘blended without a single morsel of transcendence (of the World, language, movement, topology, Set theory, etc.)’ (Laruelle 2013b, 18). The Real is opaque, foreclosed and without a light; it has no resemblance to metaphysical concepts such as tenebrae or omichle.[8] The Real is not the void of pure nothingness, but an opaque indeterminacy which does not fit into the black box of the economy of thought. John Ó Maoilearca (2015, 73, 92) writes how, philosophy has always its own ‘black box’, where ‘anything can be in the box it is the opacity or promise of the Real that they convey which is coopted by philosophical authority,’ and where each philosopher has his or her own ‘a black box wherein the means for capturing reality are stored.’ In the apparatus of philosophy, which is sufficient reason and the apparatus of capture, the Real is gestural. However, the proposal for a non-standard thought regards thought from the Real, where philosophy itself is the material of non-standard thought.

In my argument, performance is determined-in-the-last-instance of economy, and transcends immanence in a gesture of thought. We can see that there is no exit from these differential gestures of thought through the philosophical apparatus. So how might performance become a thought from the Real—and not about or for the Real? How can performance function not as meta‑, anti‑, alter‑, or post-performance—in other words, how might it exist without relying on positions and capture? We do not know what this non-standard performance is, but we may know what it is doing—through the ‘cloning’ of performance. In cloning, performance is taken as a posture from the Real, and not as a position. Similarly, philosophy is not aped or mimetically replicated in artistic practice. It needs to be emphasized that the active and performative nature of cloning is never sufficiently explained or brought to conclusion as ‘being cloned’. We need to see that cloning is always from the Real where all knowledge, things and beings are regarded as flattened. A thought is always transcending thought, and performance is captured by the apparatus of schizoproduction as it appears in the world, in the form of change or transformation. The flattening or cloning in performance from the Real is not determined in the last instance of economy, i.e. sufficient reason, but these performances are mutations and subtractions of performance. John Ó Maoilearca (2015, 140) writes how ‘even the hallucinations or fictions of philosophy are real,’ and not determined in the last instance of the economic, but rather in the opaque Real.

Performance does not reflect on the Real, but on performance itself, determined by the Real. The performance is not withdrawn into a position of anti-art. Cloning, as what we could also call the ‘superpositioning’ of art, does not represent performance-as-performance. The performance does not translate economy, philosophy or art into a reflective representation, where translation is only an application of an apparatus. For the sake of cloning, we need to cancel out the option of indifference or reflexive performance, because we cannot represent thought in performance, but only clone thought in performance.

V

For non-standard thought, cloning flattens out the functions of apparatuses. In my view, here lies the possibility for adjusting it as superposition or diffractive phenomena. In superposition, particles as ‘philosophical decisions’ (Galloway 2014, 229) and generic, immanent ‘waves’ do not mix or blend. Understood as cloning, artistic practice is not a mixture, or blending of two or several instances, such as a body in movement and a concept of the body. They overlap but do not mix, even though a decision of sufficient thought proposes something like that instantly. I call this ‘fictioning’ in art and thought, which is not a collection of things, administered by sufficient reason. The mixture of decision and the immanent real leave different traces in comparison with superposition (Barad 2007, 265).

An apparatus is a material arrangement which supports discourses; a system of relations (Foucault 1980, 194–95). We can understand apparatuses in relation to cognitive capitalism or other apparatuses of capture in use. They are also applicable and translatable to other discourses. However, from the point of view of post-humanist philosopher Karen Barad, an apparatus is also the practice where divisions are constituted (2007, 169). For this purpose she introduces the neologism of ‘intra-action’. Barad’s concept here is not reflective or reductive. She describes it as a state in which ‘measurements do not entail an interaction between separate entities; rather, determinate entities emerge from their intra-action’ (128). Intra-action, in contrast to interaction, is where the ‘“phenomena” are the ontological inseparability of objects and apparatuses’ (127). Intra-active phenomena constrain, yet they leave objects indeterminate. This is the case with the phenomena of diffraction or superposition too. Instead of a mixture of performance and thought (a differential reflection), I propose a superposition and diffraction. Barad writes:

Entanglements, like superpositions, are uniquely quantum mechanical—they specify a feature of particle behavior for which there is no classical physics equivalent. In essence, the notion of an entanglement is a generalization of a superposition to the case of more than one particle. (Barad 2007, 169)

Superpositions and diffraction (or interference) are related in that they ‘leave interference traces, and mixtures do not’ (285). The entanglements are not mixtures, but superpositions. The model of diffraction for performance as intra-active phenomena follows the contradictory feature of a photon, where it may on one hand behave like a wave, and on the other occasion like a particle—in entangled superposition with the apparatus.[9] According to Donna Haraway, ‘diffraction is a mapping of interference, not of replication, reflection, or reproduction. A diffraction pattern does not map where differences appear, but rather maps where the effects of difference appear’ (2004, 70). A speculation from a fixed point is a reflective, classical positioning, whereas superposition is a mutating, diffracting and cloning of the phenomena. The cloning of performance does not represent the Real or the body, but the traces of the opaque superposition of the body ‘as wave and particle’. The performance is not a disjunctive differential proposition ‘either-or’, but a conjunctive superposition of ‘and-and-and…’ (Deleuze and Guattari 2003, 17–20).

Performance is a complementary and indeterminate phenomenon, and yet it is not a mixture, where determinate data would interact and produce the apparatus. It is where ‘thought and matter intra-act’ (Barad 2003, 815), and where there is no noumena (i.e. things-in-themselves), but only phenomena, from the Real. The determination of the performance emerges from the intra-action, but does not pre-exist the condition-conditioned relation (Barad 2007, 128). Reflective thought emerges from the entanglement and intra-action between thought and matter, where in terms of Barad, the apparatus is itself performative. Phenomena flatten out thought and matter into mattering. Discursive practices are ‘ongoing material (re)configurings of the world’ (Barad 2003, 822). Performance as cloning or superposition is an ongoing entanglement with thought and matter from the Real.

Superpositions are always entanglements, but as Barad notes: ‘ upon measurement, the superposition appears to “collapse” into a mixture ’ (2007, 280). In performance, we observe the mixture of traces and representations, matter and thought. However, these binaries are complementary, and not arbitrary events of truth or representations of the Real. The representation has a complementary and indeterminate superposition with the performance from the Real, and not about the Real.

In performance, I am acting as if being beside myself—measured as ‘restored behaviour’ (Schechner 1985, 35–38)—in a complementary register, where performance has no single identity of the Real, but nor does it exist as a copy. The performance is a complementary superposition and fictioning. [10] To borrow Laruelle’s (2013a, 47) wording, performance is a ‘non-thetic Reflection (of the) real, a non-specular or mirrorless reflection’, where non-thetic reflection marks the cloning of the Real. Fictioning in performance is the cloning of the Real, the universe—or, as I propose, the cloning of a body in performance. Fictioning is not a mixture or mélange, but a complementary superpositioning from a body.

VI

In my performance practice, I use text, voice, sound and body as my primary material. In this article, I have proposed that we should regard the body in a non-thetic relation with practice, and its relation to the Real, i.e., it is from the real. A body is opaque and foreclosed from the observing mind—which does not signify a Cartesian cut, but rather an intra-active phenomena. There are no static observation points, but only complementary fictioning. The question here, following Laruelle, is: how does performance think what it is performing and perform what it is thinking?[11]

In 2015, I began a project in which a text was first read out loud and recorded. This recording was then edited and pressed into vinyl records. These records were played from two DJ turntables during performance lectures where, using the turntables, I would scratch, slide, stutter, repeat or alter the pitch of the voices on record. These records were mixed with my own live voice, reading the same recorded text. In later performances, I added a theremin to the performance apparatus. The theremin is an electronic musical instrument invented in 1919 by Russian physicist Lev Termen. Termen claimed that with this instrument, one could create music from the aether.[12]

In these performances, I used the theremin, along with a guitar effect pedal, to create sounds that mimic the human voice in glossolalia—speaking in tongues or prattle language, that one has not learned. The important aspect of these experiments is the materiality of the sound. The sound is created by the material track pressed into the plastic, over which a stylus moves around; or by the electromagnetic field of a body; or a physical human body. The experiment is material. At the same time it invites the audience to a fictioning of the performance—similar to the performance of a mesmerizing ventriloquist. The ‘charlatan’ nature of such a performance is superpositioned with conceptual gestures. The apparatus of performance is fictioning the theoretical arguments, as a non-thetic cloning of the Real.

What we may pass over, almost unnoticed, is the complementarity of such an event, which in the sense of non-standard thought follows the double-slit experiment,[13] described by Bohr where:

In any attempt of a pictorial representation of the behavior of the photon we would, thus, meet with the difficulty: to be obliged to say, on the one hand, that the photon always chooses one, of the two ways and, on the other hand, it behaves as if it had passed both ways. (Bohr 2010, 51)

In a gesture of a thought, we reflect on the superposition of the performance. It is at the same time a speculative performance and a fictioning and performing without a determinate decision. The gesture of thought leads to framing, positions, staging, dramaturgy, reduction, analysis, withdrawal and other forms of decisionality. In fictioning, we regard the performance as passing-both-ways, i.e., ‘enacting the between’ (Barad 2007, 359). The sounds and voices of the performance from different origins are not propositions of truth events, but cloning from the Real. Artistic practice is closer to the monstrous ventriloquism of philosophy, than we would like to think (Ó Maoilearca 2015, 168).

However, my argument is that performance and the body in performance have a radical position, which is different from the gestures of thought. The body in performance is radical and from the Real, and following this performance is not an apparatus of capture. Performance as a superposition and fictioning, is where representations, gestures of thought and the apparatuses of capture function as measuring devices. They are in a complementary relation with the indeterminacy of the fictioning and non-thetic world of performance.[14] The fictioning lacks definition, while gestures of thought measure a lack of knowledge.

In contrast with acting, directing, dramaturgy, choreography or scenography, the raw material of performance is a body—in other words, a non-thetic reflection of a body, or cloning. The performance is from the body and not about it nor with it. The body has no truth value, yet it is opaque. The body, as being regarded from the position of philosophical decisionality, is the determined-in-the-last-instance (of economies), i.e. the body in schizoproduction. Cloning performance (or performance as cloning), or ‘non-standard performance’ would not claim to change the world or the Real, but it would be a flattened thought from the Real.

The world is a network, the world is fictioning. A body is a world-without-us (Thacker 2011, 5) which is an apparatus, foreclosed and not turned away from the gestures of thought. Like the ‘universe’, in Laruelle’s terminology, a body may be ‘deaf and blind, we can only love it and assist it’ (Laruelle (191, 2–4). The body for schizoanalysis or for post-autonomist theory is at most an event: the actualisation of the virtuals or substratum of the potenza. In this article, I have attempted to argue that a body from the Real is more radical than that. It does not resist, but remains indeterminable. This is the specific attribute of performance, which is not only the ‘liveness’ of an event, but livedness alongside the Real. Performance is not determined in the last instance of the economy; it is from the Real—a superposition of the gestures of thought and matter.


Notes

[1] This article presents aspects of my postdoctoral research, which takes place within the Academy of Finland funded research project ”How To Do Things With Performance.” https://howtodothingswithperformance.wordpress.com/

[2] ‘Transversality is the unconscious source of action in the group, going beyond the objective laws on which it is based, carrying the group’s desire’ (Guattari 1984, 22).

[3] ‘The notion of the milieu is not unitary: not only does the living thing continually pass from one milieu to another, but the milieus pass into one another; they are essentially communicating’ (Deleuze and Guattari 2005, 313).

[4] ‘Noo-politics (the ensemble of the techniques of control) is exercised on the brain. It involves above all attention, and is aimed at the control of memory and its virtual power. The modulation of memory would thus be the most important function of noo-politics […] To understand this neologism, we not only need to know that Aristotle noos (or noûs) means the highest part of the soul, the intellect’ (Lazzarato 186, 190).

[5] In distinction from the social capital of Pierre Bourdieu or the Chicago School type of economics as being promoted by Alan Greenspan, et. al.

[6] It needs to be stated that the general intellect or life in general are distinct from the generic, as presented by Laruelle. For his non-standard thought, the generic does not mean the banal, ordinary, or human capacity, as in Virno and other post-Marxist thinkers. It is not a social attribute of a human, but is equal to his other concepts of the One or the Real. The generic does not reclaim the Real, but it is from the Real.

[7] ‘The force-(of)-thought is the theoretical instrument of philosophy’s non-philosophical transformation. It is only an organon, the force of decision-making, itself determined in-the-last-instance by the Real’ (Laruelle 2013b, 37, 232).

[8] ‘Aer meant fog and darkness—not darkness as in Tenebrae (from Sanskrit origin, tamas, the darkness of shadow, or the darkness that belongs to the underworld, the realm of death), but darkness as in the Greek omichle ( the darkness of fog, mist dust-clouds, the Mistmare)’ (Negarestani 2008, 103).

[9] ‘Under one set of circumstances, electrons behave like particles, and under another they behave like waves […] Bohr resolves the wave-particle duality paradox as follows: “wave” and “particle” are classical concepts (that are given determinate meanings by different, indeed mutually exclusive, apparatuses and) that refer to different, mutually exclusive phenomena, not to independent physical objects’ (Barad 2007, 29; 119).

[10] I am borrowing the term fictionale from Laruelle, but aiming a slightly different, performative use of the term. However, the foundation is the same, where: ‘the fictionale “presupposes” the real in a non-thetic way and conditions it without ever positing it or inscribing it in Being or the World. The Universe is on the hither side of the World or totally exceeds it’ (Laruelle 2013a, 232).

[11] ‘Non-philosophical pragmatics can be defined by saying, for example, that all language becomes performative in it but in the form of a performativity of description […] the One is not active or does not act in the mode of a transcendent causality; it is as thoroughly passive as the real can be […] this passivity therefore must fully penetrate the new usage of language, which is description (of) description […] it is thoroughly descriptive of passivities, and passive in this task […] it is instead “performative,” if one can still call it that, in the sense that it is exerted without remainder and thoroughly manifested as its operation (of description): it is what it does, it does what it says by saying it’ (Laruelle 2013a, 168).

[12] Notwithstanding the fact that aether, or luminiferous aether had been proven to be a general misconception, or superfluous by Maxwell and Einstein some years earlier, in 1905 (Einstein 1998, 124).

[13] Double-slit experiment or two-slit experiment was performed originally by Thomas Young in 1801, but it has become one of the key experiments illustrating the propabilistic nature of quantum mechanics, which do not follow the Newtonian physics. It defines how light can display characteristics of wave and particle at the same time, or where electron seem to have appeared at two separate positions at the same time. In relation with momentum and position in this experiment, Richard Feynman has written, that in relation with the uncertainty principle of Werner Heisenberg, he ‘recognized that if it were possible to measure the momentum and the position simultaneously with a greater accuracy, the quantum mechanics would collapse’ (Feynman 2011). See Feynman (2011) and Barad (2007).

[14] ‘In some discussions of quantum theory, the terms “uncertainty” and “indeterminacy” are used interchangeably, despite their different meanings. […] while “uncertainty” refers to a lack of knowledge, “indeterminacy” refers to the state of being indeterminate (lacking definiteness). That is, uncertainty is an epistemic issue, while indeterminacy is an issue of ontology’ (Barad 2007, 424–25).


Works Cited

Alliez, Èric and Andrew Goffey, eds. 2011. Guattari Effect. London: Continuum.

Althusser, Louis. 2005. For Marx. Translated by Ben Brewster. London: Verso Books.

Barad, Karen. 2003. “Posthumanist Performativity: Toward an Understanding of How Matter Comes to Matter.” Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 28 (3): 801–831. https://doi.org/10.1086/345321

———. 2007. Meeting the Universe Halfway: Quantum physics and the entanglement of matter and meaning. Durham: Duke University Press. https://doi.org/10.1215/9780822388128

Bohr, Niels. 2010. Atomic Physics and Human Knowledge. Mineola: Dover Publications.

Bolt, Barbara. 2008. “A Performative Paradigm for the Creative Arts?” Working Papers in Art and Design 5. Accessed February 8, 2013. http://www.sitem.herts.ac.yk/artdes_research/papers/wpades/vol5/bbfull.html

Brassier, Ray. 2001. Alien Theory: The Decline of Materialism in the Name of Matter. Thesis submitted to the University of Warwick, Department of Philosophy.

Deleuze, Gilles. 2001. “Immanence: A Life.” In Pure Immanence: Essays of A Life. Translated by Anne Boyman, 25–33. New Yorks: Zone Books.

———. 2006. Foucault. Translated by Séan Hand. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Deleuze, Gilles and Félix Guattari. 2003. Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia. Translated by Robert Hurley, Mark Seem and Helen R. Lane. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

———. 2005. A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Einstein, Albert. 1998. “On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies.” In Einstein's Miraculous Year: Five Papers that Changed the Face of Physics. Princeton: Princeton University Press

Feynman, Richard. 2011. The Feynman Lectures on Physics. New York: Basic books.

Foucault, Michel. 1980. “Confession of the flesh.” In Power/Knowledge: Selected Interviews and Other Writings 1972–1977. Translated by Leo Marshall, 194–228. New York: Pantheon Books.

Galloway, Alexander R. 2014. Laruelle: Against the Digital. Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press. https://doi.org/10.5749/minnesota/9780816692125.001.0001

Genosko. Gary. 2002. Félix Guattari: An Aberrant Introduction. London: Continuum.

Guattari, Félix. 1984. Molecular Revolution: Psychiatry and Politics. Translated by Rosemary Sheed. Harmondsworth: Penguin.

———. 1995. Chaosmosis: An Ethico-aesthetic paradigm. Translated by Paul Bains and Julian Pefanis. Sydney: Power Institute.

———. 2013. Schizoanalytic Cartographies. Translated by Andrew Goffey. London: Bloomsbury

Hacking, Ian. 2010. Representing and Intervening: Introductory topics in the philosophy of natural science. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Haraway, Donna. 2004. “The Promises of Monsters: A Regenerative Politics for Inapproriate/d others.” In The Haraway Reader, 63–121. New York: Routledge.

Hardt, Michael and Antonio Negri. 2004. Multitude: war and democracy in the Age of Empire. New York: The Penguin Press.

Kolozova, Katerina. 2014. Cut of the Real: Subjectivity in Poststructuralist Philosophy. New York: Columbia University Press.

Laruelle, François. 1991. ”On The Black Universe: In the Humanist Foundation of Color.” In Hyun Soo Choi: Seven Large-Scale Paintings, 2–4. New York: Thread Waxing Space.

———. 2000. “Identity and Event.” Pli: The Warwick Journal of Philosophy 9: 174–89.

———. 2010. Future Christ. A Lesson in Heresy. Translated by Anthony Paul Smith. London: Continuum.

———. 2012. Photo-Fiction, A Non-Standard Aesthetics. Translated by Drew S. Burk. Minneapolis: Univocal Publishing.

———. 2013a. Philosophy and Non-Philosophy. Translated by Taylor Adkins. Minneapolis: Univocal.

———. 2013b. Principles of non-philosophy. Translated by Nicola Rubczak and Anthony Paul Smith. London: Bloomsbury Publishing.

Lazzarato, Maurizio. 1996. “Immaterial Labour.” In Radical Thought in Italy: A Potential Politics, edited by Paolo Virno and Michael Hardt, 132–46. Minneapolis: The University of Minnesota Press.

———. 2006. “The Concepts of Life and the Living in the Societies of Control.” In Deleuze and the Social, edited by Martin Fuglsang and Bent Meier Sørensen, 170–90. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. https://doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748620920.003.0009

Lotringer, Sylvère. 1980. Italy: Autonomia. Post-political politics. New York: Semiotext(e).

Marazzi, Christian. 2011. The Violence of Financial Capitalism. Translated by Kristina Lebedeva and Jason Francis McGimsey. Los Angeles: Semiotext(e)

Marx, Karl. (1857) 1993. Grundrisse: Foundation of the Critique of Political Economy (Rought Draft). Translated by Martin Nicolaus. London: Penguin Books.

Moulier Boutang, Yann. 2011. Cognitive Capitalism. Translated by Ed Emery. Cambridge: Polity.

Nauha, Tero. 2016. Schizoproduction: artistic research and performance in the context of immanent capitalism. Thesis submitted to the Theatre Academy of The University of Arts Helsinki. https://helda.helsinki.fi/handle/10138/159817

Negarestani, Reza. 2008. Cyclonopedia: complicity with anonymous materials. Melbourne: re.press.

Ó Maoilearca, John. 2015 All thoughts are equal: Laruelle and nonhuman philosophy. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Pasquinelli, Matteo. 2008. Animal Spirits: A Bestiary of the Commons. Rotterdam: NAi Publishers.

Schechner, Richard. 1985. Between Theater and Anthropology. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. https://doi.org/10.9783/9780812200928

Smith, Anthony Paul. 2016. Laruelle: A Stranger Thought. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Thacker, Eugene. 2011. In The Dust of This Planet: Horror of Philosophy, Vol. 1. Winchester: Zero Books.

Vercellone, Carlo. 2007. “From Formal Subsumption to General Intellect: Elements for a Marxist Reading of the Thesis of Cognitive Capitalism.” Historical Materialism 15 (1): 13–36. https://doi.org/10.1163/156920607X171681

Virno, Paolo. 1996. “General Intellect.” Lessico postfordista. Dizionario di idee della mutazione. Edited by Adelino Zanini, Ubaldo Fadini. Translated by Arianna Bove. Milan: Feltrinelli. Accessed November 11, 2015. http://www.generation-online.org/

———. 2003. “Labor, Action, Intellect.” In Biopolitics: A Reader, edited by Timothy Campbell and Adam Sitze, 245–268. Durham: Duke University Press.

———. 2004. The Grammar of the Multitude: For an Analysis of Contemporary Forms of Life. Translated by Isabella Bertoletti, James Cascaito and Andrea Casson. Los Angeles: Semiotext(e).

Biography

Tero Nauha is an artist and a postodoctoral fellow at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies. He is also a participant of a Finnish Academy funded postdoctoral research project ‘How To Do Things With Performance’. He defended his doctoral research at the Theatre Academy of the University of the Arts in Helsinki in January 2016. In 2015, he published his first fiction novel Heresy & Provocation for a Swedish publishing house Förlaget. His performance art projects have been presented at the Frankfurter Kunstverein, Theatrediscounter in Berlin, CSW Kronika in Bytom, Performance Matters in London, and at the New Performance Festival in Turku, among other venues.

http://teronauha.com
http://howtodothingswithperformance.wordpress.com



Copyright (c) 2017 Tero Nauha

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.