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ART-e-FACT, STRATEGIES OF RESISTANCE   ISSUE #03, TECHNOMYTHOLOGIES
 

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Martin Bricelj


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Gothenburg N.B.
Ralo Mayer and Philipp Haupt
The power & politics of information visualization.

Black Culture — White Nature
Rose Reitsamer
The musical traditions of white masculinity.

Allegories of Angelic Bodies
Mojca Puncer
Mind, body, cyborgs and angels in the land of new media technologies.

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Helen Varley Jamieson


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Nostalgic Technology: Notes for an Off-modern Manifesto
Svetlana Boym
The aura of the error - the art of broken technology.

Dialoguing man and machine: Palindrome IMPG
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Bodies & space in a playground of people, words & numbers..


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T H E O R Y
TREMBLING MINDS // STRATEGICAL BONDAGE


Allegories of Angelic Bodies[1]
When we deal with representations of the body in the visual arts, new media technologies make it particularly evident that the image turns the body into a signifier in another space: it renders the body virtually present on screen, that is, in the space where the body is “absent”. The realm of representation cannot be avoided: the experience and the knowledge that we observe a certain phenomenon with the signs or attributes of another constitute the foundations of our culture. And yet representational systems contain gaps which touch upon the corporeality of the human body.

In the extreme cases of those artistic procedures that focus on the body and which can be described as “the recent body-oriented art practices,”[2] attempts are made to reduce the human body to the status of an object, to a mere sum of its constitutive parts.[3] This fully reified body also becomes entirely transparent, it retains no trace of mystery; therefore, it loses its representational potential. The beginnings of this often excruciating practice of representing the body can be traced back to the flourishing of the science of anatomy: artistic practices of representing the body had long been in a highly dependent, if not even parasitical, relation to the medical sciences. The ultimate consequence of the anatomical gaze was the attempt to reduce the human body to the status of object. In the second half of the twentieth century this approach reached a point where several artists took over the work of anatomists and put on display the objectified body in all its obscene bareness.

If we shift attention from the representational body (that is, the body as an image, a metaphor)[4] to the body in science, which places the body in relation to the machine, we can maintain that this process initiates the shedding of the mystery of the body in medical practice (from the sixteenth century to the Enlightenment of the eighteenth century), or more precisely with the advent of anatomy (which saw its legitimisation as a scientific discipline at the beginning of the nineteenth century).[5] Anatomical dissection procedures intervened in the realm of the body as a totality, which needed to be taken apart if its inner structure was to be revealed. Without the anatomical gaze, which breaks down the body into its constituents, there could be no reflection on the body in relation to the machine. Descartes was the first to systematically elaborate the analogy between the body and the apparatus, and by doing so, he reinforced the mind vs. body dichotomy that has persisted through the ever-increasing complexity of technological analogies up to the present moment, in which it ambitiously awaits the future.

Foucault conceptualised the influential notion of the discipline of the body, inaugurated in modernity with the invention of a new system of surveillance, the panopticon,[6] which produced the functional and disciplined body. Foucault introduced into philosophy the concept of the body that is “totally imprinted by history”.[7] According to Foucault, in modernity “[w]e are dealing not nearly so much with a negative mechanism of exclusion as with the operation of a subtle network of discourses, special knowledges, pleasures, and powers,”[8] that is to say, with processes which imprint themselves on the body through an altered regime of pleasure. To the bodies rooted in the new reality, this regime prescribes a segmental articulation of the truth about the immanence of power in the social realm. What comes about is a renewed unification of souls and bodies, an individuation, normalisation and discipline of bodies, all in the interest of social reproduction. Discipline of the body (the anatomical body politics, aimed at the individual) and the regulation of the population (bio-politics) are the two poles around which the system of power over life is structured,[9] and this system fundamentally determines, among other things, the aesthetic strategies of representing the body. Sex(uality), which according to Foucault was a means of access both to the life of the body and the life of the species, still functions “as a standard for the disciplines and a basis for regulation.”[10] The instruments of power are aimed directly at the body, its functions, physiological processes, sensations and pleasures. The body is riddled with the will to knowledge as well as with the authoritative use of knowledge, in which the body is all too passive. Foucault’s analysis of the historical contingency of sexual designations has shown that bodies are always subject to partial truths (the revelation of the immanence of power in the construction and distribution of truth and the specific construction of sexuality as the object of knowledge); by doing so, it has offered strategic positions for feminist, queer and other cultural analyses, for it has established the foundation for changes in identity politics and for bringing to light different truths about biological sex and bodies.

Foucault’s historical reading of the body at the end of the millennium, in the post-industrial globalised capitalist society, suggests that (women’s) resistance to certain power relations should start with a turn to the pleasure of the body (and, by doing so, counter the hegemonic relations of the authoritarian discursive regimes of gender and sexuality). This suggestion seems to advocate the formation of special strategies of “localised” struggle. What is important in this context is the fact that through sexuality bodies always assume specific relations to the apparatus of power and knowledge, which renders it impossible to clearly dissociate sexual identity from cultural constructions of the body; there is no “outside” where a natural, transhistorical sexuality resides. Bodies are multiply invested, however, this investment, or rather subjugation, of the body to the apparatus of power and knowledge is never carried out to perfection, which ultimately means that new identifications are possible. Through the glorification of heterosexual relations, the hegemonic discourse manages to secure the reproduction of standards which “fashion” the body: the latter should conform to socio-cultural ideals of “femininity”[11] and “masculinity,” which are, however, always historically specific. This has nothing to do with essentialist accounts of gender and sexuality; it rather concerns specific forms of relations and identities which are formed in relation to the hegemonic discourse, which in turn not only produces these “identities” but also limits them and, by doing so, ultimately renders them fragmentary and partial. Continuously aspiring towards the established “ideal,” the body confirms its submission to social conventions as well as its social embeddedness. Femininity and masculinity are thus always also specific ideological effects of power, produced in various discourses; they are subject to the imperatives of the capitalist market and its demands for the incessant production of body images. With strategies for manipulating appearance, the body acquires a certain power of seduction, which, however, does not serve to uncover some sort of truth; it rather leads the body into the play of appearances, in which “anatomy as destiny” can be challenged.[12] In this view, the body is no longer a metaphor but rather appearance freed from the depth of desire.[13]

Only a small step is needed from this line of reasoning to Baudrillard’s theorisations, in which representation is substituted by simulation, which becomes the simulation of bodily presence in cyber-space in the age of virtual reality. In social reality, saturated with media images, the “real” is increasingly conflated with simulation; we are becoming mediated, seduced into the “ecstasy of communication,” life through the screen. Technological development has technologised the body and set it up against the mythical plenitude and organic totality. Exploring the figure of the cyborg in the eighties, Donna Haraway offered a highly influential conceptualisation of the relations between the body and technology as a utopian symbiosis. But it was already in the seventies that the French philosophers Deleuze and Guattari developed a “rudimentary” concept of the cyborg body with their notion of the “body without organs,” which designates the paradigm that ended in the general deconstruction of the alleged human organic plenitude.[14]

 

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AngÉlophanies
photograph on aluminium, 1988/94
© Maria Klonaris/Katerina Thomadaki


Deleuze conceives of the body as an empty space whose surface is imprinted with patterns of variable intensity. This is the context of his argument that we should deal with art like the hysteric deals with his or her body. This means, for instance, that the eye should be transformed into some sort of a “polyvalent” organ, which not only sees but also touches and feels. With his conceptualisation of the body, Deleuze intervenes in contemporary aesthetics, wherein “the body” and “force” circulate as key concepts. Deleuze’s notion of the “body without organs” can help shed light on the established aesthetics. Of course we are still dealing with a body comprised of organs, however, this body is no longer structured according to traditional biological accounts. The rhythmic unity of the senses as the foundation, writes Deleuze, cannot be grasped unless we transgress the organism. This is the point where, according to Deleuze, the phenomenological hypothesis proves insufficient, for it refers only to the “lived” body.[15] But the lived body is a very limited idea when compared to the deeper, almost inanimate force.

Beyond the organism, and at the same time as a boundary of the lived body, there is something that Artaud first discovered and dubbed the body without organs: rather than the organs as such, the body without organs resists their organisation, that is, the organism. It is an intense body, traversed by a wave, which traces levels and thresholds of the body according to the variations of its amplitude. It is in this sense that the body is “without organs;” it rather consists of thresholds and levels.[16] To exemplify the concept, Deleuze refers to Schreber’s schizophrenic hallucinations, which denote states that are articulated as a plane of thresholds and coordinates crisscrossing the surface of the body without organs, which is perceived as an egg.[17] What the body-egg represents is precisely the state of the body “prior to” its representation as an organism: there are only vectors and degrees, zones, cinematic movements and dynamic tendencies, in comparison to which all forms are arbitrary and insignificant.

Artistic visualisation of the body in the age of new media technologies frees corporeality from “material” representation, and thus divests the eye of its affiliation with the organism, of its status as a fixed and qualified organ: the eye virtually becomes an indeterminate polyvalent organ, which sees the body without organs, that is to say, as a figure in pure presence. The pure presence of the body becomes visible when the eye becomes the organ determined by this presence. Sometimes it seems that artistic endeavours go hand in hand with the new technologies as regards the tendency to render the eye the only entity that can be charged with material existence. Deleuze believes that music — when tightening up its sonorous system and its polyvalent organ, the ear — addresses something entirely different from the material reality of the body and ventures into the most profoundly spiritual facets of being, into the disembodied, dematerialised body. This is where we can observe certain similarities with the simulation of the body in cyber space as a mode of experiencing its dematerialisation.

To return to the body without organs: when we want to grasp other forces that pertain to it, we need, according to Deleuze and Guattari, to establish a parallel between the desiring production and the social production: the “body” emerges as the object of competition between the active forces of desire and the reactive forces mobilised by the capital. One of the outcomes of the exploration of the repressed and the expression of the economy of desire in capitalism is Deleuze and Guattari’s celebrated conceptualisation of decoding and the decentring phenomenon in schizoanalysis (the alternative to the subject of psychoanalysis). The images of the “schizophrenic” body without organs pose the following question: are these the figures of the “exterminating angels” from the limits of capitalism, “its fully developed tendency, its hyperproduct”?[18] Deleuze and Guattari contend that the body without organs represents the model of death, a motionless engine, the zero degree of intensity. The model of death appears when the body without organs rejects the organs — “it has no mouth, no tongue, no teeth … all the way through to self-mutilation, to suicide.”[19] And yet there is a very real difference between the body without organs and the molar organism. It is a characteristic of every intensity to invest in itself the zero degree, from which it was generated at a certain moment, as that which increases and decreases in an infinite number of possible degrees. Death is necessary in every becoming (for instance, in becoming-the-other-sex) and it shapes the zones of intensity on the body without organs. The body without organs, as Deleuze and Guattari write, is the passage, the boundary between the molar and the molecular, the limit of the social, “its tangent of deterritorialisation, its last residue.”[20] The genesis of the notion of the body without organs leads the way from the artistic artefact created in the “outmoded” medium of painting (Deleuze’s analysis of Bacon’s painting) to the art of new media technologies, in which the “body without organs” acquires dimensions that are entirely different from those secured in painting. Through art, and assisted with new media technologies, we are now able to approach the realm where life and death, the human and the non-human, the organic and the inorganic are anything but distinct. Deleuze and Guattari have made a significant contribution to the development of a non-organic concept of the body, and their schizophrenic “angel” could be read as the anticipation of the post-human body, which incorporates the animal becoming and non-organic models.

Already in Artaud’s thought we can detect the desire for disembodiment, the disarticulation of the body, the desire for the body as the point of passage, separation and fluidity, which is pure presence and the body without organs. The phantasy of disembodiment has become the question of new technologies, which determines contemporary aesthetic strategies and confrontations of the body with its presence and its image, its representation, its simulation. In the eighties Haraway introduced the idea of the cyborg, which draws on Foucault’s bio-politics; however, it also shares several features with Deleuze and Guattari’s desiring machines and the body without organs, with their becoming-animal and becoming-woman (the repudiation of transcendence or the unconscious and affirmation of those notorious territorial forces that transform the individual into the subject). Cyborg images can lead the way out of the dichotomies through which the body has long been accounted for.

But perhaps we should find a concept, or better a figure, that is less charged with meaning than the figure of the cyborg. The notion of the “body without organs,” first formulated by Artaud and serving as the foundation of Deleuze and Guattari’s theory of the body, is equally overdetermined due to its frequent (and frequently inaccurate) employment. The body without organs is a kind of fluid reality, animated from within by self-regulating processes as the basis of the true non-organic life. It is the body that relinquishes organisation and systematisation without succumbing to chaos. By doing so, it rids itself of normative roles and functions, although it follows the inner logic of its constitutive elements to find equilibrium.

We are not going to read the experience of the artistic visualisation of the body within new media technologies as a document or an illustration of a scientific theory but rather as an epistemological paradigm. Insofar as an artwork or an art project becomes a “model” of a theoretical concept, its images can speak through theoretical discourse. Here specifically we are dealing with the philosophy of representation, with aesthetics, established through the theoretical shift towards a dialogic confrontation with visual discourse. The recognition of the demands for innovation (for instance, the demands of the market for ever new products) is also important for an understanding of the structural and strategic disposition of signification in the context of artistic visualisation through new media technologies. In other words, artistic engagements of this type can be seen as strategic models, which contribute to the revelation of the meaning of artistic innovations and the mechanism which these innovations are part of. The art of new media can thus be understood as a theoretical operative, capable of producing recognisable models, which are necessary for the dissemination and renewal of theoretical thought. However, any project that attempts to sidestep contingency, the event as such, in other words, the real which persistently evades any notion of structure, is necessarily false. It is precisely these contingencies, these singularities that the desiring — embodied — subject attaches itself to. Artworks representing the body, even when they employ conceptual or even scientific means to augment their exploration, are ultimately nevertheless embodied, spatially determined, perceptual, phenomenological. Performativity in the art of new media technologies, like its precursors, demands a recognition of the chiasmatic interdependence of the subject and the object of looking, which activates through the bodies the processes of projection and identification (intersubjectivity, chiasmus in Merleau-Ponty’s work[21]). Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenological conceptualisation of embodiment and visibility facilitates consideration of the contemporary notion of the subject in relation to virtual reality and the new electronic media.[22]

What is particularly interesting in this context are the possibilities of broadening the readability of the body, which is constituted as, or through, an artefact. In recent bodily-oriented artistic practices, the body as the object, which used to be represented two-dimensionally (painting, photography), is increasingly becoming an “organism”, designed to represent desires and, above all, concepts (the body of the performance, on display for the audiences, is entering the domain of new media technologies), which also indicates its attempts to constitute itself as the subject through a recognition of the chiasmatic interdependence of bodies. Here we are dealing with two types of representation which partly overlap in their fluid relations, where language is understood as an open system[23] of visual signs, produced in particular historical — conscious as well as unconscious — circumstances.

So-called postmodern aesthetics is marked by a certain doubt about the “essence” of the medium. The medium is no longer the object or the aim, it is rather a means of exploration, interpretation and subversion of mechanisms of representation. Aspects of representation emphasised in this “project” are distributed among several roles in the communicative situation: the roles of the sender and the receiver, relations between subject positions within representation; the historical and geographical context in which representation circulates, and the roles that these contexts perform in the production of meaning. This is why postmodern aesthetics often carries a palpable political charge.

In the sixties and the seventies numerous works focusing on the body arrived on the scene and initiated the development of new models of embodied and at the same time decentred subjectivity (combining the discourses of phenomenology, poststructuralism and feminism). However, at the end of the millennium, in the age of multinational capitalism, virtual realities, post-colonialism and cyborg identity politics,[24] it became clear that the body is actually no longer the boundary of the subject. In her essay “A Cyborg Manifesto,” Donna Haraway describes the destabilisation of the modernist individual, brought about by the colossal technological developments and the radical politics of non-normative subjectivities. Dichotomies between the mind and the body, the human and the non-human, the masculine and the feminine and so forth become ideologically dubious.[25] Haraway’s “Manifesto” also calls for the revelation of facts pertaining to communication across different axes of difference, such as sexual, racial or geographic. This means that the interpretative framework needs to be complemented with discourses concerning sexual and other identities (feminist, queer, post-colonial and other cultural studies).


FILM
Requiem for the 20th Century
multi-projection installation, Cankarjev Dom, Ljubljana, 2002
© Maria Klonaris/Katerina Thomadaki

 

One of the key features of the so-called postmodernist visual art[26] is a proliferation of installations and various other works utilising new media technologies. These works destabilise the modernist notion of representation. Obliterating the boundaries between different art forms and genres, they render it impossible to formally classify artworks according to different techniques or materials used to produce them. What they do have in common, however, is a specific perceptual and communicative value, which is achieved through visual effects mediating movement through an altered perception of spatio-temporal coordinates. The emphasis on the visible, movement, corporeality and interactivity are the landmarks of contemporary visual arts and culture. The development of photography, cinema, video and the new electronic media — through a differentiation from, but also in close proximity with, fine arts and their spatial and corporeal features — establishes new procedures of figuration, perception and interpretation of the body.

The figure of the angel can help us approach the extreme point of representation, or simulation, of the body:[27] the figure of the angel resists discursive/representational seizure through a persistent oscillation between “nothingness and excess” (in contrast to the corpse as the diametrically opposed extreme, which renders the human body — in its structure as well as in its function — completely transparent, incapable of representation). The figure of the angel, its elusiveness, can thus be understood as the ultimate “upper” limit of the representation of the body. The figure of the angel can assist our consideration of manifestations of the body in virtual environments, for angels have no body and they belong to the symbolic order, unscathed by the decay of flesh. Something similar can be detected in cyber space and virtual reality: “Angel-like subjects are flying across the data space and their bodies are like shadows of eternal light.”[28] We are dealing with a figure which is neither human nor a machine, neither man nor woman, neither flesh nor image, and it “resembles” an angel. “The angel … is meandering from one side to another and back again — introducing the order of desire combined with the body, which can’t be framed.”[29] The angel is “nothing — too much: an endless movement of becoming — between plenitude and emptiness — between a symbol and a sign — between a signified and a signifier — between without-organs and organisation.”[30] It seems like a body without substance, boundaries and form, in short, without subjectivity. However, in cyber space and in virtual reality, we are not dealing with the experience of a bodiless existence but rather with the experience of possessing another, etheric, virtual body; this is a body which does not confine us to inert materiality and finitude, an “angelic spectral body,” which can be artificially generated and manipulated.[31]

Speaking of contemporary visual body-oriented practices which utilise new technologies, we should not overlook the work of Maria Klonaris and Katerina Thomadaki. One of the important moments in their artwork and exploration of the imagery represents the image of an angel,[32] being related to the intersexual body as “a paradigm for an alternative concept of the sexed human”[33]. Klonaris and Thomadaki used a medical document, a photograph of a hermaphrodite — a blindfolded female subject with a male body — and displaced it into the realm of art (the photograph was remade into a cinematic photogram). In such a realm it became free from the discourse on the normative and deviations.

With this gesture and through the alternative articulation of particularized non-normative subject Klonaris and Thomadaki have raised the question of postmodern performativity. The deconstruction of clichés is active here, and it also has the consequences for the notion of artistic subjectivity, being tied to the construction of gender and identities: art on the “escape” from the bodily normativity (biopolitics) restores fluid identities. The intersexual body is namely in-between both sexes and it offers the possibility for rethinking sex and gender positions in terms of their fluidity enabled by new technological means.

The intersexed subject facilitates the association of the image with an angel. Klonaris and Thomadaki offer the marvellous hermaphroditic angel emerging in the new visual technologies.



Bibliography

Angerer, Marie-Luise, “The Body Bytes Back”, in: Maska No. 76—77 (special issue on Biotechnology, Philosophy and Sex, ed. M. Grzinic), Ljubljana 2002, pp. 96—9.

Baudrillard, Jean, “Ekliptika spola”, in: Maska No. 1—2, Ljubljana 2000, pp. 31—3.

—, “The Ecstasy of Communication”, in: The Anti-Aesthetic. Essays on Postmodern Culture, Seattle: Bay Press, 1995, pp. 126—34.

—, Simulations, New York: Semiotext(e), 1983.

Deleuze, Gilles, Francis Bacon, logique de la sensation I, Paris: ƒd. de la diff≥rence, 1984.

Deleuze, Gilles, and Guattari, Felix, Capitalisme et schizophr≥nie, L' Anti-Îdipe, Paris: Minuit, 1995.

Foucault, Michel, The History of Sexuality: Volume One, An Introduction, Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1984.

—, Discipline and Punish: The Birth of The Prison, New York: Pantheon Books, 1977.

Grzinic Mauhler, Marina, Estetika kibersveta in ucinki derealizacije, Ljubljana: Zalozba ZRC, 2003.

—, “In-between Sexes: Stranger than Angel”, in: Klonaris/Thomadaki: Stranger than Angel. Dissident Bodies (exhibition catalogue), Ljubljana: Cankarjev dom, 2002, pp. 22-25.

—, “Pojmovanje telesa v Merleau-Pontyjevi filozofiji”, in: Filozofski vestnik No. 1, Ljubljana 1997, pp. 181—99.

—, V vrsti za virtualni kruh. Cas, prostor, subjekt in novi mediji v letu 2000, Ljubljana: ZPS, 1996.

Haraway, Donna, “A Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology and Socialist-Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century”, in: Simians, Cyborgs and Woman: The Reinvention of Nature, London: Routledge, 1991, pp. 149—81.

Jones, Amelia, Body Art. Performing the Subject, Minneapolis and London: University of Minnesota Press, 1998.

Klonaris, Maria, and Thomadaki, Katerina, “Dissident Bodies in The Digital Era”, in: Maska No. 76—77, Ljubljana 2002, pp. 100—105.

—, “Intersexuality and Intermedia. A Manifesto”, in: The Body Caught in the Intestines of the Computer & Beyond. Women’s Strategies and/or Strategies by Woman in Media, Art and Theory (eds. M. Grzinic, A. Eisenstein), Maribor: MKC, Ljubljana: Maska, 2000, pp. 20-24.

Kunst, Bojana, Nemogoce telo, Ljubljana: Maska, 1999.

Lash, Scott, Sociology of Postmodernism, London and New York: Routledge, 1990.

Lyotard, Fran≠ois, “Si l’on peut penser sans corp”, in: L’inhumain. Causeries sur le temps, Paris: Galil≥e, 1988, pp. 17—33.

Merleau-Ponty, Maurice, Ph≥nom≥nologie de la perception, Paris: Gallimard, 1945.

—, “L’entrelacs — le chiasme”, in: Le visible et l’invisible, Paris: Gallimard, 1964, pp. 172—204.

Mondzain, Marie-Jos≥, “Figures of Otherness and Difference in the Work of Maria Klonaris and Katerina Thomadaki”, in: Maska No. 76—77, Ljubljana 2002, pp. 106—111.

Zizek, Slavoj, On Belief, London and New York: Routledge, 2001.



[1] This essay is based on the masters thesis of Mojca Puncer, entitled Med telesom angela in kadavrom — meje reprezentacije (Between the Body of an Angel and a Cadaver — the Limits of Representation), Department of Philosophy, Faculty of Arts, Ljubljana 2003.

[2] When using the term “the body-oriented art practices”, I am following Amelia Jones’s designation: the term describes mainly works from the nineties, which are indeed related to the earlier projects of body art, however, they introduce complex strategies for exploring the body (fragmentation, symbolisation, subjugation to various technologies, extreme deformation as a result of the development of the technologies of photography, installation, multi-media and avoidance of live performance); therefore, Jones substitutes “body art” with “body-oriented practices” and elaborates the latter as works focusing on the body, which is not necessarily the artist’s own body. Cf. A. Jones, Body Art. Performing the Subject, Minneapolis and London: University of Minnesota Press, 1998, p. 199.

[3] This, however, should not be conflated with the work of younger artists exploring the technologically enhanced, artificial, “post-human” body, which nevertheless persistently articulates its social gender, racial positioning, bio-sexual contextualisation and other modalities of identification. Cf. A. Jones, op. cit., p. 199.

[4] The inanimate, abstract body, the body as a symbol, can be dubbed the “representational body”, which signifies the body according to its instrumental characteristics, that is, according to the human ability to employ our own bodies as a means, which can also be a strategy of the artistic representation/investment of the human body (founded in the Cartesian dualism of mind and body). Conversely, there is also the “presentational body”, which designates the human individual as a psycho-physical totality; this notion is akin to the phenomenology of the body as theorised by Maurice Merleau-Ponty.

[5] The impact of anatomical science on aesthetic notions of corporeality in relation to artificial structures in the context of European cultural history is explored in Bojana Kunst’s Nemogoce telo (The Impossible Body), Ljubljana: Maska, 1999.

[6] “Panopticon” is defined as an optical arrangement characteristic of prisons (“to see while not being seen”); in more abstract terms it designates the apparatus encompassing the visible matter (the workshops, the barracks, schools, hospitals, prisons) and circulating through a range of functions (M. Foucault, “Panopticism”, in: Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison, New York: Pantheon Books, 1977, pp. 195—228).

[7] M. Foucault, “Nietzsche, Genealogy, History”, quoted in: S. Lash, Sociology of Postmodernism, London and New York: Routledge, 1990, p. 261.

[8] M. Foucault, The History of Sexuality: Volume One, an Introduction, Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1984, p. 72.

[9] Ibid., p. 139.

[10] Ibid., p. 146.

[11] As Baudrillard argues, the sovereignty of seduction belongs to femininity with its strategies for manipulating appearance (“femininity as the blurring of surface and depth […], of the genuine and the artificial”; hence, “in a peculiar way, [femininity] determines the space of simulation: in this space it is equally impossible to tell the real from the copy”; J. Baudrillard, “Ekliptika spola”, in: Maska No. 1—2, Ljubljana 2000, p. 33).

[12] Freud’s formulation “anatomy is destiny” entered feminist theory through Lacan’s work. It can be understood as the anatomical, organic determination of the body; there are also alternative conceptualisations, such as the “body without organs”, which circulates in theoretical as well as artistic discourses and which I will elaborate below.

[13] Cf. J. Baudrillard, op. cit., pp. 31—33.

[14] Cf. M. Grzinic, V vrsti za virtualni kruh (In Line for Virtual Bread), Ljubljana: ZPS, 1996, p. 18.

[15] Merleau-Ponty explored the idea of the lived body in his Phenomenology of Perception (Ph≥nom≥nologie de la perception, Paris: Gallimard, 1945, p. 90 et passim).

[16] Cf. G. Deleuze, Francis Bacon, logique de la sensation I., Paris: ƒd. de la diff≥rence, 1984, p. 33.

[17] Cf. ibid., p. 33; G. Deleuze and F. Guattari, Capitalisme et schizophr≥nie, L' Anti-Îdipe, Paris: Minuit, 1995, p. 26.

[18] Cf. G. Deleuze and F. Guattari, op. cit., p. 43.

[19] Cf. ibid., p. 393.

[20] Cf. ibid., p. 334.

[21] M. Merleau-Ponty, “L’entrelacs — le chiasme”, in: Le visible et l’invisible, Paris: Gallimard, 1964, pp. 172—204.

[22] Marina Grzinic discusses this relation in her essay “Pojmovanje telesa v Merleau-Pontyjevi filozofiji” (“The Body in Merleau-Ponty’s Philosophy”), in: Filozofski vestnik No. 1, Ljubljana 1997, pp. 181—190.

[23] Open systems are also marked by a typical looseness of their codification (artistic codes consist of aesthetic and other signs, which — due to their iconic and analogical nature — are often significantly less conventional, coded and socialised than the signs of logic; artistic codes elicit, among other things, affective and aesthetic experience, which is always necessarily subjective).

[24] D. Haraway, “A Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology and Socialist-Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century”, in: Simians, Cyborgs and Woman: The Reinvention of Nature, London: Routledge, 1991, pp. 149—181.

[25] Cf. ibid., p. 163.

[26] When dealing with the term “visual arts”, it is tempting to focus on the visual, which strives to produce visible images and objects; however, it must be emphasised that this approach no longer suffices, for it misses the gist of these practices that ask us to reconsider artistic and broader cultural aspects in relation to open and obviously embodied intersubjective relations; cf. A. Jones, op. cit., p. 23.

[27] Heidegger can help us define the figure of the angel as the “upper” — in contrast to the corpse’s “lower” — limit of the representability of the body in artistic practices; in “The Origin of the Work of Art”, Heidegger argues that the work of art emerges in the gap between the Earth and the World, which Jameson translates as the gap “between the meaningless materiality of the body and nature and the meaningfulness of the legacy of history and society” (F. Jameson, Postmodernizem, Ljubljana: Analecta, 2001, p. 15). It could be argued that the cadaver belongs to “the meaningless materiality of the body and nature”, whereas the bodiless angel belongs to the cultural legacy (the diversity of cultural interpretations overdetermines the body of the angel); however, the latter acquires entirely new connotations in the context of contemporary artistic and discursive practices.

[28] M.-L. Angerer, “The Body Bytes Back”, in: Maska No. 76—77, Ljubljana 2002, p. 99.

[29] Ibid.

[30] Ibid.

[31] Cf. S. Zizek, On Belief, London and New York: Routledge, 2001, p. 54.

[32] The Angel Cycle (1985-2002): photographs, installations, videos, texts and performances by the French artists of Greek cultural background, M. Klonaris and K. Thomadaki; cf. Klonaris/Thomadaki, “Dissident Bodies in The Digital Era”, Maska, No. 76—77, Ljubljana 2002, pp. 100—105. In their video work Requiem for the Twentieth Century (1994) the blindfolded hermaphroditic angel is put in the context of the second world war, and thus rendered no longer merely a mythological figure but rather “an authentic manifesto of the watchfulness and melancholy of the century”; cf. M.-J. Mondzain, “Figures of Otherness and Difference in the Work of Maria Klonaris and Katerina Thomadaki”, in: Maska, No. 76—77, Ljubljana 2002, p. 107. In Slovenia, their work was introduced also with the exhibition Stranger than Angel (Dissident Bodies) which was held in the cultural and congress centre Cankarjev dom (Ljubljana, September 17th — November 3rd, 2002).

[33] M. Grzinic, “In-between Sexes: Stranger than Angel”, in: Klonaris/Thomadaki: Stranger than Angel. Dissident Bodies (exhibition catalogue), Ljubljana: Cankarjev dom, 2002, p. 23. Cf. also M. Klonaris, and K. Thomadaki, “Intersexuality and Intermedia. A Manifesto”, in: The Body Caught in the Intestines of the Computer & Beyond. Women’s Strategies and/or Strategies by Woman in Media, Art and Theory (eds. M. Grzinic, A. Eisenstein), Maribor: MKC, Ljubljana: Maska, 2000, pp. 20-24.








CONTENTS








THEORY
LOOKING FOR A HUSBAND WITH AN EU PASSPORT BY TANJA OSTOJIC
Black Culture — White Nature
Rose Reitsamer

TREMBLING MINDS / STRATEGICAL BONDAGE

Allegories of Angelic Bodies
Mojca Puncer

Black Culture - White Nature
Rose Reitsamer

Radical machines against the techno-empire. From utopia to network
Matteo Pasquinelli

Post-modal Repro-duction of Power
Šefik Šeki Tatlić

Gothenburg N.B.
Ralo Mayer and Philipp Haupt

Hyper-textual coauthor in the age of neo-liberal consumerism
Hajrudin Hromadžić

Hypertext-(ual) conscious-ness. Literature (?) on new media
Katarina Peović Vuković



ART WORK
SYSTEMS

TECHNOLOGY REVISED
 
TREMBLING MINDS / STRATEGICAL BONDAGE
 
WE COULD SURVIVE
 
TECHNOLOGY: PERFORMANCE: REFLECTION
 
CONTEXTUALIZATION OF EVENTS AND PRODUCTION
 
WWW FUCKED UP
 





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