Inflexions No. 9: F(r)ictions

Curation and Editing by Hubert Gendron-Blais, Diego Gil, Joel E. Mason

Design by Leslie Plumb

 

 

 

Hubert Gendron-Blais, Diego Gil, Joel E. Mason

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A call for works of art and/or philosophy that feel (or exist at) the friction point of two urgencies. The first is a need for immediate macro-material, perceptible, collective political change as exhibited recently in student strike activism in Quebec, Black Lives Matter in the U.S., Blackfella Revolution in Australia, and Idle No More in Canada, among many others. The second is a need for micro-material, processual, and often imperceptible anarchic tendings of an already swarming political affect, a coming together beneath recognized political forms, developed most recently by Stefano Harney and Fred Moten in The Undercommons and less recently in Deleuze and Guattari’s A Thousand Plateaus. A call for contributions that touches any event in which the corporeality of the political is felt and put into question towards a further reshaping of its form. Frictions: the manners of grasping the concretisation of a political struggle, the resistance of movement emerging from the contact of different surfaces. Fictions: the narrative, the fabulations that underlie the world we live in, the aesthetic and theoretic propositions that overspill towards the more-than-concrete, diagramming alternative trajectories of thought and feeling.

Both macro and micro perceptions of actualized political affects exist in the folds of every lived event. The question of how to navigate between these different modes of perception is what creates this feeling of a double point of friction. In other words, how to develop aesthetico/political techniques that open situations to the political forces already exercised at the level of both the perceptible and the imperceptible? How to attune to what is needed by the (under) ground, to what emerges from atmospheres? Since the more politically determinant dimension of a situation resides often in its unperceived lines (too thin, too wide for those who are distracted by the on-going flows of the massive channels), we would like to study how to tend towards the contrastive ambiances. Train ourselves to attend to the affective tonality of the event, how the potential materializes itself. But also, what can—or cannot—potentially land in the concrescence of the event [1]?

These contributions can be considered as attempts to share singular perceptions of situations, to communicate them in such a way that the (under)common togetherness they contain may resonate—as points of becoming—with other active modes of existence in our epoch. Since world situations are hyper complex, such singular perspectives are transmitted through the affective attunement of multiple bodies. These multiple attunements qualify the share of events as differential, as always immanent to an ecology of perspectives: infinitely nuanced, temporal, and constantly re-organizing [2]. Such performative processes embrace the contrastive qualities of works and experiences so as to maintain their potential for becoming an act in the future. This is the same road taken in The Undercommons with the concept of “hapticality [3]” Hapticality is the ability of all to feel into and across the unforeseeable potentials existing within even the most violent and modulatory landscapes. To be haptic is to move with the modes of attention that an event needs, at the meeting point of the ever singular differences that weave the texture of the experience [4]. Stretched over this exciting and intimidating landscape, we feel f(r)iction: the interaction of a troubling, a movement.

In order to grasp the contrastive quality of f(r)ictions, this Inflexions issue deploys its singularity by an inclination toward different modes of expression such as text, video, image, and sound.

These elements compose an ecology of practices that inflects the capacity of sense—at the nexus of these different mediums—beyond any predetermined form. It is hoped that this inflected fugitive line would throw down a series of chance relations—the multiplicities in and between perspectives—creating assemblages of trans-sense-making that could give account of how the immediacy of the political feels.  

The f(r)ictional grasp can be activated anew by each visitor who approaches this issue. Each single contribution has a broken quality exhibitive of f(r)iction: enough elbow room within itself to become differential micro worlds animated by the collection’s interlayering movement. The space that brokenness creates then allows the possibility of multiple perspectival experiences to co-compose for and with the visitors trespassing into the issue. We see this perception in the register that Gilles Deleuze calls “false continuity [5],” asking for the invention of a nexus of relations, reshaped at each view and read. This is the register of the “power of the false”: the capacity of transformation immanent to modes of existence.

In this issue, the concept of “fiction” seeks to highlight the indiscernibility of the borderland between macro and micro processes. Fiction names the undulating, active character of this borderland, its flux of perceptibility/imperceptibility. The crossroads of these movements of micro and macro create the complexity of the borderland of concrescence and transition, of becoming and distending together into an already present future. Simultaneously, friction is the way in which each contribution performs a bodily agitation, a micro recoil from within the immediacy of struggle, making off with a virtual image that returns as a “fiction.” A fictive semblance with a quality that pulls the perceptual habits of the bodies facing it beyond the concrete.

By attending to events (such as those emerging here) as already splitting on their own into multiple occurring levels of perception, we hope to avoid fetishizing either the solidity of the concretized political struggle or the novelty of political potential coming-to-be. Techniques for the interstitial forces are needed to care for events in which the micro and macro amplify each other. To make the micro audible for those who are not near enough to perceive it, as well as to pulverize the fetishization of the macro, rendering perceptible the micro-textures that shape and shake it into becoming.

Too close to be clean and too wrecked to be refined, the proposed contributions come with all the repetitions and habits that accompany the confrontation of any urgent temporality. Did you ever try saying or doing something sophisticated in the midst of an anxious situation? There is a fog within and between the urgency of “the activist milieu” and the relative privilege of “the university,” a fog that neither can dispel alone. Art (which suffers from both urgency and privilege) is not a bridge between the street and classroom. But through repetitions, artful practices draw experience back to the immanent fact that all three are already together in constantly oscillating movement; what is required of us is an active contemplation of that fact [6]. And yet it is difficult to experience suspensions for the potential of a new set of perceptions while being fractioned by the pure affective experience of political anxiety (in whatever manifestation). Thus, even while no one wishes to suffer these many (unequal, diverse) frictions, a greater desire appears: to affirm the forces of actual struggles as well as the potentials such struggles are pressing into our epoch – an appetite for more room to maneuver!

What assemblages may grow here

when the greenhouse is taken as a forest that already thinks?

Electronic fingertips

macro to the micro and the other way round

reinserted in a transformed ensemble

The quality of its form

the most basic step

the whole surface of the city

the terrestrial diversity of surface

Music and speaking and dying

different communications and directions for action


Notes

[1] “S’organiser, c'est agir d'après une perception commune, à quelque niveau que ce soit. […] Ce qui nous manqué, c’est une perception partagée de la situation. Sans ce liant, les gestes s’effacent sans traces dans le néant, les vies ont la texture des songes et les soulèvements finissent dans les livres d’école.” Comité invisible. À nos amis, Montréal, édition autonome, 2015, p.11-13. “Organizing is acting in accordance with a common perception, at whatever level that may be. […] What we lack is a shared perception of the situation. Without this binding agent, gestures dissolve without a trace into nothingness, lives have the texture of dreams, and uprisings end up in schoolbooks.” Invisible Committee, To Our Friends, trans. Robert Hurley, p.2.

[2] Brian Massumi. Politics of Affect. Polity Press, Cambridge, 2015, p.69-70.

[3] “But in the hold, in the undercommons of a new feel, another kind of feeling became common. This form of feeling was not collective, not given to decision, not adhering or reattaching to settlement, nation, state, territory or historical story; nor was it repossessed by the group, which could not now feel as one, reunified in time and space. […] Hapticality, the capacity to feel through others, for others to feel through you, for you to feel them feeling you, this feel of the shipped…” We cannot know the slave experience of “the hold” or what it has meant to be “shipped,” perhaps especially not by metaphor. While Moten and Harney surely mean to locate here an activity more complex than social history or identitarian encapsulations of persons, they do not mean less than that we are all caught up in the different ways that different pains dwell together in mutual modulation. Stefano Harney & Fred Moten. The Undercommons. Fugitive Planning and Black Study. Wivenhoe/New York/Port Watson: Minor Compositions, 2013, p.98-99.

[4] “In radical empiricism there is no bedding; it is as if the pieces clung together by their edges, the transitions experienced between them forming their cement. Of course such a metaphor is misleading, for in actual experience the more substantive and the more transitive parts run into each other continuously, there is in general no separateness needing to be overcome by an external cement […] But the metaphor serves to symbolize the fact that Experience itself, taken at large, can grow by its edges. That one moment of it proliferates into the next by transitions which, whether conjunctive or disjunctive, continue the experiential tissue […] Life is in the transitions as much as in the terms connected; often, indeed, it seems to be there more emphatically, as if our spurts and sallies forward were the real firing-line of the battle […] It is ‘of’ the past, inasmuch as it comes expressly as the past’s continuation; it is ‘of’ the future in so far as the future, when it comes, will have continued it.” William James, Essays in Radical Empiricism, New York, Bottom of the Hill Publishing, 2012 (1912), 2, VII.

[5] Deleuze relates ‘false continuity’ to the kind of cinematic shots inaugurated by Dreyer that break the regime of “organic narration” by loosing the sensory motor connections organizing the movement of images in relation to a concrete Euclidean space. Spatial relations between images and movements are decomposed in such a way that a direct perception of time emerges: a time image in which the possibility for alternative movement relations can be intuited virtually. Gilles Deleuze. 1989. Cinema 2. The time-image. Trans. Hugh Tomlinson and Robert Galeta. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 126,30.

[6] “Signs are a question of how experience of difference (between the element of the sign and the presence of water for example) is contracted into relation and the consistency of a duration. For Deleuze, this is an active contraction - or synthesis - which occurs more in the contemplation of differences over time, than in direct action per se (which is based only subsequently upon the synthesis involved in contemplation) (Deleuze, 1994: 73). Thus the crucial nature of the contemplation of difference - of the problematic task or demand - within Research-creation.” Andrew Murphie. “Clone Your Technics,” Inflexions 1. 2008 (21).

F(r)ictions. An Introprocession


 

 

F(r)ictions. An Introprocession

The NODE features a group of conceptually interlinked pieces that engage with a particular problematic in a variety of different modes...

NODE:

1. Quelques parts - Des vues/On figments
2. Judith Leemann - Harrow
3. Althea Baird & Marie Alarcon  -
        A Vague Sense Of Knowing It's Crawling Just Beneath The Skin | Weeping 01 
4. Adriana Disman - untitled: mourning
5. Rodrigo Sobarzo de Larraechea - Network project
6. Joe Steele : Tyhgita Cespedes : McKersin Previlus - The Body as a Source of Values and Rhythms
7. Dana Michel - Uncanny Valley Stuff Diggings
8. Jayanthi Kyle - Run | Black Child | Exhalt | Awake to Die from Life Dreams
9. Joel Gorrie - The Very Supports of Existence: Variations on a Theme
10. Paz Rojo - Dancism

Des vues/ On figments
Harrow
Weeping 01
A Vague Sense Of Knowing It's Crawling Just Beneath The Skin
Untitled: mourning
Network project
The Body as a Source of Values and Rhythms
Uncanny Valley Stuff Diggings
Run | Black Child | Exhalted | Awake to Die from Life Dreams
The Very Supports of Existence: Variations on a Theme
Dancism

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Ce qu'il faut opposer aux plans d'austérité, c'est une autre idée de la vie, qui consiste, par exemple, à partager plutôt qu'à économiser, à converser plutôt qu'à ne souffler mot, à se battre plutôt qu'à subir, à célébrer nos victoires plutôt qu'à s'en défendre, à entrer en contact plutôt qu'à rester sur sa réserve. […] Une affirmation politique. D'un côté, cela trace un contour net de ce pour quoi et de ce contre quoi on lutte; de l'autre, cela ouvre à la découverte sereine des mille autres façons dont on peut entendre la ''vie bonne.''

-Comité invisible

À nos amis

Il n'y a pas d'austérité, c'est une vue de l'esprit [1].

C'est en niant sa propre posture éthico-politique que le chef du gouvernement du Québec tenta d'arracher au mouvement de grève du Printemps 2015 son point d'attaque, pour neutraliser son territoire de lutte, celui des modes d'existence. Cette tentative de dissolution de la ligne de front—ou du moins son déplacement sur le terrain économique—est en fait une opération visant à nier le caractère proprement éthique du conflit. Si, en attaquant directement l'austérité comme logique de fond d'un rapport au monde, d'une manière de vivre, le mouvement de lutte s'en est pris à des "vues de l'esprit," des hallucinations, des flammèches évanescentes, c'est peut-être parce qu'il en entrevoyait d'autres. D'autres vues, chargées de potentiels, de mondes, d'horizons en reflets, de présages d'à-venir. Comme on voit une lueur au loin, une étincelle furtive dans la nuit, peut-être même là tout près.

Comme cette image disséminée, comme un (r)appel, pour laisser ça et là des traces sur les murs de la ville.



Notes

[1] Philippe Couillard, Premier ministre du Québec. M. Ouellet & J. Richer. "Bilan parlementaire. Couillard nie diriger un gouvernement prônant l'austérité." Le Devoir, 5 décembre 2014.


Bibliographie

Comité invisible. À nos amis. Paris: La Fabrique, 2014.



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What is needed for contesting austerity plans is a different idea of life, which consists for example in sharing rather than economizing, conversing rather than not saying a word, fighting rather than suffering, celebrating our victories rather than disallowing them, engaging rather than keeping one’s distance. […] A political affirmation. On one hand, it brings out the visible contours of what one is fighting for and what against; on the other, it opens one up to a calm discovery of the thousand other ways the ‘’good life’’ can be understood.

-The Invisible Committee

To Our Friends

There is no austerity, it’s a figment of the imagination –Philippe Couillard [1].

With this denial of the political reality, Philippe Couillard, the leader of Quebec’s government, tried to neutralize the spring 2015 student strike’s territory of struggle: modes of existence. He attempts to dissolve the frontline—or at least shift it towards the economical field—and denies the properly ethical character of the conflict. If by directly attacking austerity, as a way of living and relating to the world, the 2015 struggle was in fact addressing “figments of the imagination,” hallucinations, or evanescent sparks, perhaps that is due to the movement’s visionary quality. It enacted other ways of perceiving the horizon of potential worlds to come. The glimmering spark we see far away in the night may actually be quite close.

Scattered, this image may be taken as a call, leaving traces here and there on the city’s walls.


Notes

[1] Philippe Couillard, Prime Minister of Quebec. Philip Authier. “Quebec politics in 2014: The road to austerity.” The Montreal Gazette, December 27th, 2014. http://montrealgazette.com/news/quebec/quebec-politics-in-2014-the-road-to-austerity

Works Cited

The Invisible Committee. To Our Friends. Trans. Robert Hurley. South Pasadena: Semiotext(e), 2015.




















 

Harrow

Judith Leemann

Always a pattern in the story.
Always a pattern in your distortion of the story.

- Gregory Bateson

Fig. 1 harrow (bespoke) (2015) 23’40”

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Requiring two in order to be fully heard as one, these might be listened to one at a time by a person walking the same route on consecutive days, or by two people walking side by side, each listening to one of them, or in any other manner that doubles listening.

Fig. 2 harrow (off the rack) (2011) 23’18”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Vague Sense Of Knowing It's Crawling Just Beneath The Skin    

Althea Baird & Marie Alarcon

 

Weeping 01 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

against coherence as adherence PDF
against separateness and wholeness.
really, against wholeness, foreal.
the wholeness of a place (with its borders)
the wholeness of a being (with its boundaries)
the wholeness of a species (with its hierarchy)
with its domination

WHAT IS THE DANCE THAT IS HAPPENING UNDER THE SURFACE


“All spaces, all times, present their own particular resistance [to the coherence of policing], from the potholes in the streets to the tendency of many to have a deep hatred and resentment toward police... All of these resistances to police movement disrupt their ability to project” [a smooth surface of law abiding, viable, valuable control]."


Where the police are, is a place with edges, district, and roads that traverse. Every individual body that is everywhere they are or could get to. Traversed, brought into the fold and incorporated.



An hour has passed and we keep not dying.
An hour has passed and 1/28 of our people is dead.
or 1/28 of the day that one of our people dies has passed.
or we are slowly dying
or some we are dying slowly and some we dying fast.


The cut is where we are uncontained in our dying. No smooth skin, rather
welling blood, Or better later, breeding bacteria, tiny yellow
organisms and a pink ring of infection
that is not the body, not not the body.

The body as a place with edges, district, roads that traverse.
“The body as a fortress against illness,” against the invader, which is mortality
and vulnerability and porosity to the other which is organisms and their wars.

“The virus as a metaphor for change.”

TAKE A MOMENT TO
COLLECT YOURSELF

There was no way out. There was no way in. There was no other way than to be in and out and of the moment. There was never any other way, only other ways of dreaming, of seeing and describing, but always the same thing at its core. Enterprise and entropy. Searching seeking and surviving. Taking and losing and lost. We are all part of this crime. Desirous, disastrous, indiscriminate.
Always doing and doing and impulse and done.


There was never a path, only infinite possibilities.
Only one outcome. History set in stone which I suck and slurp, seeking an ounce of marrow for ravenous tongue.
Give me something to gnash, I scream and sigh and bey.


"There will be repercussions" I hear you whisper. But there were never repercussions, only an infinite number of paths of which only one is ever chosen. There are clashes, struggles for supremacy over road a, b, c, infinity.


But ultimately the road is curved and winding and backtracking and braided, only visible after it's been trampled smooth by the long march. Only the history remains. Some carry it as saviors, some as victors, some as slaves. And yet we’re still here, those of us who are still here,and if every generation more disappear then every generation has a memory of the disappeared and if ever the disappearances end, then there will be an end to disappearances. It never ends it can end it won’t end it does end. Start the path and it will appear.

Meanwhile I’m sucking stones, begging some marrow from the bones of the decimated. And where does this leave you? To what end do we feel guilt, or relief or sorrow? Remorse or anger or vengeance or pity? To what end? It is all doing and doing and done. Do. Move. Forward or back and inward and out and thoughtful and thoughtless. Just move.

Start the path and it will appear.
SOME OF US ARE STILL HERE

 

untitled: mourning

Adriana Disman

untitled: mourning was submitted to the issue live, and thus was only really released at that live event.
What we have here is a collection of fragments of media from the submission.
The fragments are not the submission, but comprise a new nexus.

 

 

take me to that doubling place.
the surface of a song: always already more than one
the un-wordable that remains always ready to haunt.
glottal stops stuttered shut and open still
a polygot place
jumping meditation
 
too close to be clean
inherited instruments
debris dragged along,  sophistication is evading us.
I remember the swell, the swarm after something hit
the tidal impulse of many habitual ideas cracking out,
“unfiltered”

*coming soon --- questions and propositions woven in from soft launch close reading & discussion---

How to attune to what is needed by the (under) ground, to what emerges from atmospheres?
Since the more politically determinant dimension of a situation resides often in its unperceived lines (too thin, too wide for those who are distracted by the on-going flows of the massive channels), we would like to study how to tend towards the contrastive ambiances. Train ourselves to attend to the affective tonality of the event, how the potential materializes itself. But also, what can—or cannot—potentially land in the concrescence of the event?
-Frictions: Introprocessions
however crude. however unsophisticated.
How to develop techniques to listen to the micro exhaustions? Give value to perishing, exhaustion
how to navigate between these different modes of perception is what creates
this feeling of a double point of friction.
What assemblages may grow here
when the greenhouse is taken as a forest that already thinks?
Electronic fingertips
macro to the micro and the other way round
reinserted in a transformed ensemble
The quality of its form
the most basic step
the whole surface of the city
the terrestrial diversity of surface
Music and speaking and dying
different communications and directions for action

-Frictions: Introprocessions
cracking out habitual textures with premature thoughts,
stuttering to make the differences palpable - to find a new surface -
"a way" amongst the cliché
transitions that pull at a concresence
with stitches still showing…
*ding
"maybe we should cross here"
we dreamt of a condensation rather then a constellation - has this happened?

f(r)ictioning towards a technicity in the making

actual brokenness

grasping proximities
say it bald, bold, weak:
trust that the transversal swims around and up through the failure of attemptinnnnng
oscillations rocking actual multiplicities

wanting to compose

The first movement in this video, involves what we may call 'choreographies of self' and concerns the ways we work according to flexible networks, whose logics such visibility, accumulation, connectivity, self-representation and communicability not only choreograph our subjectivity but make impossible to escape the promise of economic value and the potential for sale. Thus, our affective, cognitive, sensible and social capacities increasingly adopt the mechanics of a totalizing -and yet supposedly free- choreography which leave us in a paradoxical situation: whilst we find ourselves living in a sophisticated production system, which asks us the production of new subjectivities, we find no alternative, but the confrontation with the fear of being excluded from the domain of the possible, hence from a future that actually, no longer needs us. The second movement of the video involves what we call 'choreographies of unselfing' and it draws attention to those subjectivities that try to give up the above mentioned neoliberal logics: if the choreographer is subjected to the exhausting management of visibility and connectivity, the emancipatory task of choreography could let movement free from the subject form and thus open its own capacity for action, even when that would imply its own interruption. Accordingly, what stands at the core of this interrupting gesture is a refusal to choreograph or to be choreographed. This interruptive movement would trigger the inevitable displacement of the choreographer, who would assume the subordinated condition of its capitalist subjectivity and hence, the encounter with his/her subaltern potentiality.

Etymologically the term 'subaltern' derives
from Latin sub - (below, under); figuratively (a little somewhat); plus alter- (other) or alternus (alternate, to vary, oscillate, one after the other), which produced subalternus (subordinate). Moreover, other words which are synonymous of 'subaltern' are accessory, associate, added, assistant, helper, porter, servant, dependent, inferior, secondary, follower. How could choreography affect our (life) trajectories, rhythms and dynamics if we address it through a point of view worthless to the neoliberal gaze? What would our movements do, if we approach them from below, as subalterns? What if we engage pathways which, we nevertheless, do not know? How do we access them? In the following video we read images belonging to our surroundings as well as other that belong to the realm of fiction. Our attempt is to show how the refusal to choreograph and to be choreographed, is an active part of movement itself. To this end, we propose to situate the etymological field of the term 'subaltern' through that of 'the extra'. Accordingly, we draw attention to those existing -yet invisible- logics that trigger the potential of movement regardless choreography, hence proposing concepts that favors the unexpected, stimulate change and reformulate cognitive, sensible and ethical gestures. This video is an excerpt of a piece which originally is 50 minutes long.

we dreamt of a condensation of
all the concepts - has this happened?
not a constellation -- but the impress and imposition that frictionalizes
unplaceable in advance. A multiplicity of textures.
 

Des vues / On Figments

Quelques parts


Network project

Rodrigo Sobarzo de Larraechea


 

The Body as a Source of Values and Rhythms

Joe Steele : Tyhgita Cespedes : McKersin Previlus



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We make this work for our friends, and quote from Jonas Mekas’ fabulous “Anti- 100 Years of Cinema Manifesto” initially published in 1996, in which he addresses friendship:
I want to celebrate the small forms of cinema: the lyrical form, the poem, the watercolour, etude, sketch, portrait, arabesque, and bagatelle, and little 8mm songs. [...] I am for art which we do for each other, as friends. (Mekas 1996)
When we make films and art, or do work as a curator, artist, or filmmaker, these questions of montage by conflict and collision come into the front of our minds, along with the concerns of Mekas—who says that first and foremost that we should do this work for our friends, for ourselves. Welcome to our home.

Works Cited Mekas, Jonas. “Anti-100 Years of Cinema Manifesto.” In Point d’ironie, n° 1, Paris, 1996.

 

 

Untitled

Jayanthi Kyle

Vocals: Asha Long, Lady Midnight, Dana Suttles, Chadwick Phillips, Farrington Llewlen, Mankwe Ndosi, Sarah M Greer Production: Lance Conrad (Humans Win! Studio) Paul Flynn

 

Uncanny Valley Stuff Diggings

Dana Michel

 

 

The Very Supports of Existence: Variations on a Theme

Joel Gorrie

Dancism

Paz Rojo

 

 

TANGENTS present individual tangential contributions.

Tangents pieces strike off in directions all their own, and resonate across their divergences.

Taken together, they suggest potential connections with each other and the issue Node.

Matthew-Robin Nye - How to carry a landscape; Or, a crystalline gaze into the boundless wild.

Ronald Rose-Antoinette - Des eaux les sargasses: parfum d'un inconscient qui s'échoue

Grant Corbishley - Lifting the Creek: A Call to Arms in the Valley of the Wild

Giving value to perishing, micro exhaustions that spark

 

f(r)iction fraying

it’s not that the narrative is true; the narrative is never true.

a doubling in place

a doubling in place

prolong(ing) a polarity

what is already transducing?

‘’maybe we should cross there…’’
condensation building up on the glass-

cliched, together with those transversal re routings that begin fielding

what is already transducing?
sophistication is evading us.
stitches remain unexplained

the swell, the swarm after the hit

Dropping below
and overreaching

left with a gut….feeling

I remember the swell, the swarm after something hit

Lifting the Creek: A Call to Arms in the Valley of the Wild

Grant Corbishley

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We have lost our creek. A creek used to flow from the northern end of our Valley (which is situated on the southern coastal edge of Wellington City, New Zealand) down to the local beach and from there into the Southern Pacific Ocean.

Fig. 1 Location of the Valley of the Wild (area coloured red)

In the 1940s, the Wellington City Council decided to create a landfill (domestic and industrial rubbish dump) in the Valley. [1] The creek was piped and buried beneath five to thirty meters of domestic and industrial waste. There, inside the pipe, it has continued to flow for sixty or so years, long enough to be forgotten except by a few elderly people.

Fig. 2 Photograph of the upper valley, taken in the early 1930s. The orange line shows how high the valley was filled by domestic and industrial waste (Dominion Newspaper from R. Sinclair, private collection).

In 2012, however, the creek 'seeped' back into the local consciousness. The locals now want to lift it back up to the surface - quietly, poetically, affectively. [2] Both the burying of the creek and the desire to lift it back up to the surface are the story of the demise and the recent reinvigoration of the community that inhabits, and in effect is, the Valley of the Wild.

In January 2011, I drove Mildred, an elderly local, around the Valley (she was ninety so too old to walk up and down the Valley). At one point she asked me to stop next to the flat park which is the top of the landfill and said, “A creek used to be under there” (Pfeffer, personal communication, November 20, 2010). But no visible trace could be seen. I had never considered that a creek existed at the bottom of this deep valley. It was as if the filling and flattening of the valley obliterated all potential thoughts about the creek itself.

Locals sometimes wonder who came up with the idea to lift it to the surface; perhaps it was the creek itself. The creek offered no resistance to its demise, yet it carries a force that has ensured its return. That force is manifested, for example, every time there is heavy rain, when locals have noticed torrents of water streaming down the valley and have wondered where it came from; or, when crossing a small bridge in a steep gully, they have heard the faint gurgling as spring water trickles below before disappearing into the pipe. The presence and absence of the creek together with its wildness is what is most affective for locals of the Valley of the Wild. In the Valley, affect is a force existing prior to, and bringing into existence relations between both human and non-human entities which arise out of the play of forces.

When we locals drew a life size map of the creek on the surface of the park/landfill (above where it lies inside a pipe now) in February 2012 it slowly awakened a deep keening; a strange new but also old feeling emerged of a collective wanting to cradle the creek in our arms and gently lift it to the surface. A “call to arms” coming from the creek itself. It was as if, in the space between one moment and the next, something was born; rhizomatic thoughts and feelings emerged and transversally connected with others' thoughts and feelings via some kind of unexpressed acknowledgement of a deeper keening about loss. Until then, no one had thought about the creek or even cared. The life-size drawing of the creek traced on the surface of the ground was in some ways a map because it was representative of a pre-existing creek, but in other ways it was a diagram because it summoned forth new kinds of spaces filled with a new audience, and a community yet to come.

The creek without a name. It bisects the Valley but does so in a “minor” nameless mode, from something once of useful value as an essential water supply to being of no further use and buried inside a pipe under the landfill in the 1940s. In using the idea of the minor here, I refer to the way in which the creek itself has come to defy a “proper” name in the same sense that Deleuze and Guattari suggest that a “minor literature” is a “deterritorializing sound” (Deleuze and Guattari 1986: 21). The creek is felt rather than named. We locals are in close proximity to the buried piped creek with no proper name, and are edging closer. In the process of becoming creek, we have come to sense listening and noticing as having an affective value, and via this have hoped to bring the unseen creek closer, to summon it, even lift it to the surface, return it to daylight and rediscover its name. We had been waiting patiently for the creek itself to make a gesture of some type, a sound that might suggest something onomatopoeically, or via a physical re-appearance, a trickling through a small crack in the ground, or that it might give some type of sign that it was in some way responding to us.

That has not happened as such. Deploying such a method seems to have had no effect, as the creek itself has not physically changed. It remains buried beneath the landfill. After some time, however, the humans have experienced an intensive transformation instead, noticing that they are collectively becoming creek. It is their extensive separation from the creek, their constitution as separated forms and matters, that is coming undone in this becoming: “[A]ll forms come undone, as do all the significations, signifiers, and signifieds, to the benefit of an unformed matter of deterritorialized flux, of nonsignifying signs” (Deleuze and Guattari 1986: 13). This transformation - from expecting the creek to raise itself up to us to a becoming creek - presents an affective opening up of a new possibility, new space and movement between human and creek, summoning forth becomings of molecular intensities. Becoming is an affectual process that unfolds as a feeling, thinking and doing process. Locals have entered into an emergent affectual relationship with the creek that is felt. It is not an equal or unequal relationship, but an unfolding intensity (rather than extensivity or territory) of the senses and of thinking. [3]

New space, where human/non-human encounters intensify, becomes possible when things are slowed down by listening, noticing and expressing actions that would potentiate a speaking back process for both corporeal and incorporeal things. Slow thoughts are acknowledged as “[B]ecoming part of the collective adventure” (Stengers 2002: 252-253). [4] We locals have understood that when things slow down to a certain point a rhythmic interplay emerges (similar to a vibration) where amplification of the sensed but unheard or unseen—for example, the trickle of the creek itself—becomes audible differently. This audibility no longer occurs in the creek or in the locals’ ears but rather across creek and humans and their criss-crossings within moments that, slowed down, are stretched to reveal new space in the gaps.

These “slow-down” techniques have disrupted locals' individual experiences of the Valley by opening up fields of collective attunements of an emerging affectual ecology; what Deleuze and Guattari call “material-forces” as opposed to “matter-form” (Deleuze and Guattari 1987: 95). Examples are: walking the bush tracks that criss-cross the valleys; grazing knuckles on rocks; tripping over tree roots and sliding down steep paths; being head-butted by a low branch; scraping/patting and digging in the community garden; tasting the food grown by our own hands; carrying chooks back to their coop; slowing down to listen to the nightly calling of the Ruru as a sentinel, as a reterritorializing refrain. [5][6] All these create a sense of place, operate to neutralize the habits of representation, and reposition the collective subjectivity of locals. Patrick Curry writes:

Nature is not mute. It is eloquent: discursively structured and therefore meaningful throughout, saturated with messages and stories, and without any stuff (energy), so far as we shall ever know, that is unpatterned - all of which includes, but vastly exceeds, both us and our language, the latter itself a subset of our own discursivity. (Curry 2008: 59)

Becoming Creek

Locals of the Valley of the Wild are “becoming creek.” The notion of the individuated local is being replaced by a much more complex situation where immersion in multiple sets of asubjective assemblages that interconnect and overlap and where a minor intrinsic language is emerging.

For many the gaze has been turned—the preoccupation with “what’s over there” has shifted to a noticing of the ground under our feet, as well as corporeal and incorporeal species of things and things-in-process. These include: the air, animals, flora and fauna, archaeology, geology, geography, traffic and weather. This shift is a new type of nomadic and distributed movement for this community without reference to any known map or previously systematized mode of doing things. The process of becoming creek began in an area of moistness in the Valley, forming as a drip then a trickle that wound its way down gullies, over stones and slopes, to join up with other trickles that accumulated to become a small creek.

The becoming creek involves both the actual lost creek that sits under the landfill in the Valley and the locals. The becoming creek signals the formation over four or so years of their process of collective expression.

No two locals experience the same collective becomings. William James talks about experience as a stream:

A process in time, whereby innumerable particular terms lapse and are superseded by others that follow upon them by transitions which, whether disjunctive or conjunctive in content, are themselves experiences, and must in general be accounted at least as real as the terms which they relate. (James 1912: 57)

One cannot be really sure of anything, even that the process of becoming is occurring explicitly, or if one is the only person experiencing it. But a contemporary anxiety we have acquired to always dissect, separate and isolate has been disturbed by a constancy that is the subtle humming of the collective feeling/doing process of becoming. Among locals there is an insistent sense of process, of something going on: an always in motion, meandering (nomadic) movement, flowing where the land will let it, pushed by the downward force of its own unfolding. This movement is an unstoppable downward streaming, pooling, swirling, gurgling, murmuring. It is experienced across all the projects and potential encounters that occur and are spoken about in meetings and in daily conversation. [7]

From major to minor conditions. Becoming creek requires a movement/gesture from major to minor, from molar to molecular combinations, and from unity to complexity. It is a deterritorialization of those territories in which a subject or local no longer experiences dislocation or dis-memberment, but instead becomes entangled in assemblages with other human and non-human beings or intensities. Deterritorialization is always accompanied by reterritorialization (Deleuze and Guattari 1988: 508-9). Therefore, it is a question of how to generate conditions for reterritorialization to take place, allowing the minor to emerge. These conditions, created via minor practices, must then be understood as always in process, always becoming – as generating new forms through working on those already in place.

The creation of conditions for a minor to emerge resides between humans and rocks, the young tree and the chickens - the internal variability created in the relational in-between. This variability is an on-going process of aesthetic co-composition. Necessitating more than just human participation, requiring instead the collective expression of intensities generated by corporeal and non-corporeal things. In conversation with Andrew Murphie, he said, “everyone has a lost creek. The experience of a creek being buried under rubbish or concrete” (2015). In order to break through the “rubbish/concrete,” it seems that all we need to do, is to generate minor conditions. One way we do this is by engaging in collective speculation and generating propositions about the creek. From time to time during these encounters it feels as though the creek makes itself felt collectively, through, between and around us. When this occurs a threshold is crossed, and a new type of space appears and with it a new type of relation to both the creek and each other.

We have been mourning the loss of our creek, but recently it revealed to us that there is no point to this, as it was never lost (it’s just having a difficult time). So instead of mourning, we choose to adorn the creek, celebrate its aliveness, to bring it alive in the minds of locals. On January 22nd, locals performed a celebration that bought the creek and bodies in close proximity. Using our bodies we mapped the creek on top of the landfill, playing a game in order to add flow of the creek towards the sea, and leaving an affective trace long after the ripple of bodies is gone.

Fig. 3 Locals “living in the creek” (stills from a video)

Sensory blanket

We are becoming creek. We are becoming the this-ness and the thing-ness of the Valley of the Wild. We are in the middle of a collective adventure. This has been an imagining of all forms of individuation as processes of becoming. All corporeal and non-corporeal entities and the deterritorialized territory within the Valley of the Wild—these operate together as generators of evental minor conditions so that we can deploy durational practices, as a means of engaging urgent ecological issues across the three registers of environment, sociality and subjectivity. The collectively felt presence of evental minor conditions generates a collective feeling of hope and both a caring for, being cared for, and a being interwoven and connected together within the virtual wefts and weaves of what locals have termed a warm and soft “sensory blanket.”

The weaving of the strips/threads of the sensory blanket were initially ignited by the listening and expression encounters, which then led to the forming of new relations, in a newly inscribed space that has become known as the Valley of the Wild. As the relationality between all “things” grows a new fibre is added, generating new time and space. Deleuze and Guattari wrote:

A fibre stretches from a human to an animal, from a human or an animal to molecules, from molecules to particles, and so on to the imperceptible. Every fibre is a universe fibre. A fibre strung across border lines constitutes a line of flight or of deterritorialization. (Deleuze and Guattari 1988: 249)

Such a blanket does not “represent;” instead it is a virtual composite that arrays a complex combination of things, prehending the next instance from the imperceptible to the felt. The open-ended woven nature of the blanket fosters endless chains of possibility that provides a framework for becoming - without beginning or end, limit or single meaning. It opens individuated singularities up to a host of new and alternative possibilities out of which emerge, and re-emerge, de-subjectified entities. These are beyond verbal expression. They are instead sensed, felt, and are a presence that is constant. It will be there long after us. The aim, therefore, is to make the sensory blanket “real” or rather to actualize it, and then we will be able to pass the care of it on so that humans, the creek – all beings – will continue to co-habit the Valley of the Wild in entanglements acting on entanglements, fold upon fold.

Notes

[1] It was used as a source of water by early European settlers until local houses were connected to the town water supply in the 1920s. From that point on, it lost all significance to the community, except for the children who played in it, and caught small fish.

[2] See “Lifting the Creek” project: www.houghtonvalley.org.nz

[3] An intensity in this case are processes or feelings and events that occur that set conditions for events to unfold in the Valley of the Wild, for differentiating but not necessarily separating things. Extensivity refers to something that has been captured as a territory. It maps assemblages, making a territory out of them, as the majoritarian regimes such as the Wellington City Council does repeatedly.

[4] Revisiting Deleuze and Guattari’s concept of asubjective assemblages: “There isn’t a subject, there are only collective assemblages of enunciation” (Deleuze and Guattari 1986: 18). Change as per previous comments This refers to heterogeneous assemblages of corporeal and non-corporeal entities, in continuous transformation and becoming in the Valley of the Wild.

[5] Nancy Turner, an anthropologist who studies Native Americans from British Columbia, calls this a “Kincentric approach to nature”. She writes, “The ultimate message is that we have relatives all around us: the rocks, the mountains, the trees, the edible roots, the animals and birds and the fish ... all are our kin, all are related to us and to each other” (Turner 2005: 69).

[6] Native owl that has recently returned to the Valley after an absence of more than eighty years.

[7] Thirty projects have been generated by locals in the past five or so years. To view them, go to www.houghtonvalley.org.nz.

Works Cited

Curry, Patrick. “Nature Post-Nature.” New Formations 64 (2008): 51-64.

Deleuze, Gilles and Félix Guattari. Kafka: Towards a Minor Literature. Trans. Dana Polan. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1986.

Deleuze, Gilles and Félix Guattari. One Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism & Schizophrenia. Trans. Brian Massumi. New York: The Athlone Press, 1988.

James, William. Essays in Radical Empiricism. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1912.

Murphie, Andrew. Personal Interview. 2015.

Stengers, Isabelle. Thinking with Whitehead: A Free and Wild Creation of Concepts. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2011.

Turner, Nancy. The Earth’s Blanket: Traditional Teachings for Sustainable Living. Seattle: University of Washington Press,

 

 







We have lost our creek. A creek used to flow from the northern end of our Valley (which is situated on the southern coastal edge of Wellington City, New Zealand) down to the local beach and from there into the Southern Pacific Ocean.

In the 1940s, the Wellington City Council decided to create a landfill (domestic and industrial rubbish dump) in the Valley.The creek was piped and buried beneath five to thirty meters of domestic and industrial waste. There, inside the pipe, it has continued to flow for sixty or so years, long enough to be forgotten except by a few elderly people.

 

In 2012, however, the creek 'seeped' back into the local consciousness. The locals now want to lift it back up to the surface - quietly, poetically, affectively. Both the burying of the creek and the desire to lift it back up to the surface are the story of the demise and the recent reinvigoration of the community that inhabits, and in effect is, the Valley of the Wild.

In January 2011, I drove Mildred, an elderly local, around the Valley (she was ninety so too old to walk up and down the Valley). At one point she asked me to stop next to the flat park which is the top of the landfill and said, “A creek used to be under there” (Pfeffer, personal communication, November 20, 2010). But no visible trace could be seen. I had never considered that a creek existed at the bottom of this deep valley. It was as if the filling and flattening of the valley obliterated all potential thoughts about the creek itself.

Locals sometimes wonder who came up with the idea to lift it to the surface; perhaps it was the creek itself. The creek offered no resistance to its demise, yet it carries a force that has ensured its return. That force is manifested, for example, every time there is heavy rain, when locals have noticed torrents of water streaming down the valley and have wondered where it came from; or, when crossing a small bridge in a steep gully, they have heard the faint gurgling as spring water trickles below before disappearing into the pipe. The presence and absence of the creek together with its wildness is what is most affective for locals of the Valley of the Wild. In the Valley, affect is a force existing prior to, and bringing into existence relations between both human and non-human entities which arise out of the play of forces.

When we locals drew a life size map of the creek on the surface of the park/landfill (above where it lies inside a pipe now) in February 2012 it slowly awakened a deep keening; a strange new but also old feeling emerged of a collective wanting to cradle the creek in our arms and gently lift it to the surface. A “call to arms” coming from the creek itself. It was as if, in the space between one moment and the next, something was born; rhizomatic thoughts and feelings emerged and transversally connected with others' thoughts and feelings via some kind of unexpressed acknowledgement of a deeper keening about loss. Until then, no one had thought about the creek or even cared. The life-size drawing of the creek traced on the surface of the ground was in some ways a map because it was representative of a pre-existing creek, but in other ways it was a diagram because it summoned forth new kinds of spaces filled with a new audience, and a community yet to come.

The creek without a name. It bisects the Valley but does so in a “minor” nameless mode, from something once of useful value as an essential water supply to being of no further use and buried inside a pipe under the landfill in the 1940s. In using the idea of the minor here, I refer to the way in which the creek itself has come to defy a “proper” name in the same sense that Deleuze and Guattari suggest that a “minor literature” is a “deterritorializing sound” (Deleuze and Guattari 1986: 21). The creek is felt rather than named. We locals are in close proximity to the buried piped creek with no proper name, and are edging closer. In the process of becoming creek, we have come to sense listening and noticing as having an affective value, and via this have hoped to bring the unseen creek closer, to summon it, even lift it to the surface, return it to daylight and rediscover its name. We had been waiting patiently for the creek itself to make a gesture of some type, a sound that might suggest something onomatopoeically, or via a physical re-appearance, a trickling through a small crack in the ground, or that it might give some type of sign that it was in some way responding to us.

That has not happened as such. Deploying such a method seems to have had no effect, as the creek itself has not physically changed. It remains buried beneath the landfill. After some time, however, the humans have experienced an intensive transformation instead, noticing that they are collectively becoming creek. It is their extensive separation from the creek, their constitution as separated forms and matters, that is coming undone in this becoming: “[A]ll forms come undone, as do all the significations, signifiers, and signifieds, to the benefit of an unformed matter of deterritorialized flux, of nonsignifying signs” (Deleuze and Guattari 1986: 13). This transformation - from expecting the creek to raise itself up to us to a becoming creek - presents an affective opening up of a new possibility, new space and movement between human and creek, summoning forth becomings of molecular intensities. Becoming is an affectual process that unfolds as a feeling, thinking and doing process. Locals have entered into an emergent affectual relationship with the creek that is felt. It is not an equal or unequal relationship, but an unfolding intensity (rather than extensivity or territory) of the senses and of thinking. <[3]

New space, where human/non-human encounters intensify, becomes possible when things are slowed down by listening, noticing and expressing actions that would potentiate a speaking back process for both corporeal and incorporeal things. Slow thoughts are acknowledged as “[B]ecoming part of the collective adventure” (Stengers 2002: 252-253). We locals have understood that when things slow down to a certain point a rhythmic interplay emerges (similar to a vibration) where amplification of the sensed but unheard or unseen—for example, the trickle of the creek itself—becomes audible differently. This audibility no longer occurs in the creek or in the locals’ ears but rather across creek and humans and their criss-crossings within moments that, slowed down, are stretched to reveal new space in the gaps.

These “slow-down” techniques have disrupted locals' individual experiences of the Valley by opening up fields of collective attunements of an emerging affectual ecology; what Deleuze and Guattari call “material-forces” as opposed to “matter-form” (Deleuze and Guattari 1987: 95). Examples are: walking the bush tracks that criss-cross the valleys; grazing knuckles on rocks; tripping over tree roots and sliding down steep paths; being head-butted by a low branch; scraping/patting and digging in the community garden; tasting the food grown by our own hands; carrying chooks back to their coop; slowing down to listen to the nightly calling of the Ruru as a sentinel, as a reterritorializing refrain.All these create a sense of place, operate to neutralize the habits of representation, and reposition the collective subjectivity of locals. Patrick Curry writes:

Nature is not mute. It is eloquent: discursively structured and therefore meaningful throughout, saturated with messages and stories, and without any stuff (energy), so far as we shall ever know, that is unpatterned - all of which includes, but vastly exceeds, both us and our language, the latter itself a subset of our own discursivity. (Curry 2008: 59)

Becoming Creek

Locals of the Valley of the Wild are “becoming creek.” The notion of the individuated local is being replaced by a much more complex situation where immersion in multiple sets of asubjective assemblages that interconnect and overlap and where a minor intrinsic language is emerging.

For many the gaze has been turned—the preoccupation with “what’s over there” has shifted to a noticing of the ground under our feet, as well as corporeal and incorporeal species of things and things-in-process. These include: the air, animals, flora and fauna, archaeology, geology, geography, traffic and weather. This shift is a new type of nomadic and distributed movement for this community without reference to any known map or previously systematized mode of doing things. The process of becoming creek began in an area of moistness in the Valley, forming as a drip then a trickle that wound its way down gullies, over stones and slopes, to join up with other trickles that accumulated to become a small creek.

The becoming creek involves both the actual lost creek that sits under the landfill in the Valley and the locals. The becoming creek signals the formation over four or so years of their process of collective expression.

No two locals experience the same collective becomings. William James talks about experience as a stream:

A process in time, whereby innumerable particular terms lapse and are superseded by others that follow upon them by transitions which, whether disjunctive or conjunctive in content, are themselves experiences, and must in general be accounted at least as real as the terms which they relate. (James 1912: 57)

One cannot be really sure of anything, even that the process of becoming is occurring explicitly, or if one is the only person experiencing it. But a contemporary anxiety we have acquired to always dissect, separate and isolate has been disturbed by a constancy that is the subtle humming of the collective feeling/doing process of becoming. Among locals there is an insistent sense of process, of something going on: an always in motion, meandering (nomadic) movement, flowing where the land will let it, pushed by the downward force of its own unfolding. This movement is an unstoppable downward streaming, pooling, swirling, gurgling, murmuring. It is experienced across all the projects and potential encounters that occur and are spoken about in meetings and in daily conversation.

From major to minor conditions. Becoming creek requires a movement/gesture from major to minor, from molar to molecular combinations, and from unity to complexity. It is a deterritorialization of those territories in which a subject or local no longer experiences dislocation or dis-memberment, but instead becomes entangled in assemblages with other human and non-human beings or intensities. Deterritorialization is always accompanied by reterritorialization (Deleuze and Guattari 1988: 508-9). Therefore, it is a question of how to generate conditions for reterritorialization to take place, allowing the minor to emerge. These conditions, created via minor practices, must then be understood as always in process, always becoming – as generating new forms through working on those already in place.

The creation of conditions for a minor to emerge resides between humans and rocks, the young tree and the chickens - the internal variability created in the relational in-between. This variability is an on-going process of aesthetic co-composition. Necessitating more than just human participation, requiring instead the collective expression of intensities generated by corporeal and non-corporeal things. In conversation with Andrew Murphie, he said, “everyone has a lost creek. The experience of a creek being buried under rubbish or concrete” (2015). In order to break through the “rubbish/concrete,” it seems that all we need to do, is to generate minor conditions. One way we do this is by engaging in collective speculation and generating propositions about the creek. From time to time during these encounters it feels as though the creek makes itself felt collectively, through, between and around us. When this occurs a threshold is crossed, and a new type of space appears and with it a new type of relation to both the creek and each other.

We have been mourning the loss of our creek, but recently it revealed to us that there is no point to this, as it was never lost (it’s just having a difficult time). So instead of mourning, we choose to adorn the creek, celebrate its aliveness, to bring it alive in the minds of locals. On January 22nd, locals performed a celebration that bought the creek and bodies in close proximity. Using our bodies we mapped the creek on top of the landfill, playing a game in order to add flow of the creek towards the sea, and leaving an affective trace long after the ripple of bodies is gone.

Sensory blanket

We are becoming creek. We are becoming the this-ness and the thing-ness of the Valley of the Wild. We are in the middle of a collective adventure. This has been an imagining of all forms of individuation as processes of becoming. All corporeal and non-corporeal entities and the deterritorialized territory within the Valley of the Wild—these operate together as generators of evental minor conditions so that we can deploy durational practices, as a means of engaging urgent ecological issues across the three registers of environment, sociality and subjectivity. The collectively felt presence of evental minor conditions generates a collective feeling of hope and both a caring for, being cared for, and a being interwoven and connected together within the virtual wefts and weaves of what locals have termed a warm and soft “sensory blanket.”

The weaving of the strips/threads of the sensory blanket were initially ignited by the listening and expression encounters, which then led to the forming of new relations, in a newly inscribed space that has become known as the Valley of the Wild. As the relationality between all “things” grows a new fibre is added, generating new time and space. Deleuze and Guattari wrote:

A fibre stretches from a human to an animal, from a human or an animal to molecules, from molecules to particles, and so on to the imperceptible. Every fibre is a universe fibre. A fibre strung across border lines constitutes a line of flight or of deterritorialization. (Deleuze and Guattari 1988: 249)

Such a blanket does not “represent;” instead it is a virtual composite that arrays a complex combination of things, prehending the next instance from the imperceptible to the felt. The open-ended woven nature of the blanket fosters endless chains of possibility that provides a framework for becoming - without beginning or end, limit or single meaning. It opens individuated singularities up to a host of new and alternative possibilities out of which emerge, and re-emerge, de-subjectified entities. These are beyond verbal expression. They are instead sensed, felt, and are a presence that is constant. It will be there long after us. The aim, therefore, is to make the sensory blanket “real” or rather to actualize it, and then we will be able to pass the care of it on so that humans, the creek – all beings – will continue to co-habit the Valley of the Wild in entanglements acting on entanglements, fold upon fold.

 

Ronald Rose-Antoinette

Des eaux les sargasses: parfum d'un inconscient qui s'échoue.

PDF

Pour la fin du monde, tremblant d’un avenir rebel, le perplexe si j’ose dire: konsidiré—sans la moindre littéralité; fils-zagryen—savamment tissés pour démater nos pensées; pluches—ta peau s’arrache au plus bas, étant toi-même en deçà de l’intensité; maré—cette boulversante venue du monde fait le lien entre ton visage et le trauma; Bondié—crié quand le vouloir monte au vif pour supplier une main; fouche—tant et si bien qu’on préférait ne plus avoir à le dire; sargasses—des contempteurs à ailes répugnent à leur odeur sulfurine; s’en fouté—Athanase est mort d’insouciance, se méritant un laghia de désolations; comparaisons—toute opinion passe par-dessous son sens dépressionnaire; indindin—le fouillis de l’arbre-à-pain recueille ces va-et-vient, innombrables, qui tordent la compréhension d’Athanase; rimed rhazié—la poussée de l’inutile séduit la main de l’humain, il en décrète une ordonnance; kaltés—à l’avant-garde d’eux-mêmes, mais j’en doute; la vole—le fout-le-camp en pétrit plus d’un; marés sur (an lè)—et que signifie d’exister plus jamais par les bords de ladite blancheur?; ti-tac—le commencement se découvre indécis, apprends d’orès déjà les prières péristaltiques de ce monde; cabrit-bois—un ensemble de brindilles, soudain la vision se fige; coco-fer—notre tâche est de (faire) mourir devant les irrésistibles de l’avenir; calottes—si tu es sans rade cet effet ne te concerne pas; pieds-bois—il n’y a pas de vent sans flexion, pas de flexion sans prise, ainsi enracines tant que tu peux, la plus infime surface de toi-même; tafia—le pharmakon; mitan—Andrée jète une parole dans les rapides de Manuela qui fait semblant de n’avoir jamais perçu un verset du chanté douloureux; matritée—c’est que toute chose, vois-tu, s’efforce de tromper l’élan suicidaire de ses pensées minimales; macocotte—l’hypocrisie: le tour de taille d’une amitié profitable; awa—en cette occasion précise une sincérité fait incise dans la négation; machin—la plénière; gros-poil—si aucune résolution ne (pour)suit le sentiment vécu; bwa-bwa—en-déraison qui attendrit les chemins-chiens où la typicalité vivoterait, aussi écrit “bouaboua”; gammes—cf. comparaisons; bain démaré—puisque le vouloir dans la vie est créditeur de salissures; sièk-temps—par ancienneté on peut entendre celui ou celle dont la mémoire se courbe en avant, celui ou celle qui ne se remémore hak, ni d’hier, ni d’aujourd'hui, pour qui le passé n’est pas encore, qui ne sait narrer le commencement du monde. Ce pour quoi, par magnanimité, une doyenne se montrera comme ababa, zombie, débarquée d’outre-monde, accouchée-désinhibée, tombée des reins quoi, ce pour quoi faut-il en prendre soin; milan—ah, sans quoi il nous coûterait de méconnaître la grâce d’une amitié; drivons—mais l’errance ne tacle pas le cheminement zigzaguesque qui les ramène jusqu’à nous.

- I -

“Et l’humain alors apparaît comme étant ce qui reste, quelque peu en lambeaux, de l’arachnéen traversé par cette espèce de météorite aveugle qu’est la conscience.” (Deligny 2008: 81)

Alors moi, par chance, Andrée…

je prends une volée de mémoire et m’étends à décrire ceci: un manger-cochon de souvenirs que l’ondée sévissant au-dessus de Montréal—son accent de fin (ou de ré-création) du monde—peine à rincer. Ma tête n’est pas bonne manzel Manuela. Voilà longtemps que j’ai vomis la question du sens. Je dis ça sans écorce.

Eh pis fout’, j’ai consigné sur ces pages tous les écarts, toutes les pressions, les levées, les durées de ces doigts que je ne pus à ma guise contrôler. Il fallait te conter ce qui nous est venu—dans le prolongement de ce tremblement d’organes, ce vers quoi nous bifurquions alors pour être à l’heure de la Relation, et ne rien manquer de sa turbulence, du débit de son déversement, pour te lâcher ça un peu grossièrement.

C’est avec un certain haut-le-coeur que je t’invite à examiner ce racontage de déboires. Y germe le principe même d’une expérience qu’il te faut aiguiser différer, mais jamais prendre en récidive.

Je n’ai jamais douté une seule rime qu’il ne s’agissait pour mes mains de capter autre chose que le passage de ces temporalités soudaines, abruptes, intempestives, une essence peut-être, une quasi-essence alors. Parvenir, malgré la modalité précaire à laquelle j’ai recours pour te signer ce traité du mouvement, à la production d’une pensée susceptible de tordre quantité de couillonnades partout proliférantes. Les esprits les plus crapons ne sentiront jamais comme indispensable d’acquiescer à l’appel de ce qui réchappe à leur intention. De peur, sans doute, d’avoir à y solder l’organicité perceptive à laquelle ils tiennent tant et se risquer à un maniérisme fort peu convenable à leurs moeurs.

Eh bien si je raconte ça Manuela c’est konsidiré dans une solidarité de pensée, pour nous aider à enjamber nombre de croche-pattes (chez nous fils-zagryen , pièges-à-crabes, etc.) que les plus malveillants inventent pour mettre un frein à nos prises de vitesse.

Alors, moi l’éternel insoumis, je marronne dans l’inextricable forêt des mystères et des mythes.

Insaisissable

imprévisible

je les emmerde

je les fais chier dans leur choucroute autant qu’ils me triminent et m’importunent avec leur truc truffé de recettes apocryphes. (Frankétienne 2011: 23)

Il fallait voir ça, les océans monter-charroyer, l’humain chavirer sans ménagement blo… se liquéfier en une qualité de boue pas même recensée. La terre dérivait grand ballant pour se fesser dans des contrées qu’il nous fallut intégrer à tout va. La charité ma chère, tu donnais par inadvertance comme on dit, en marge de tes intentions, c’est donner-voler que tu donnes—que tu inspires l’air au passage ou l’époumones d’un coup sec. Tu ne peux tout prendre et conserver comme patrimoine ce qui ne t’appartient pas. La Force de… Surtout pas. D’aucuns taperont sur tes revendications: propriétaire tu n’es qu’en rêve.

Héritier de ce-que-de-que faut pas croire ça fout’. L’intrusif est dans son droit géologique, maritime, et cetera, de t’inverser renverser culbuter. Pas que tu sois moins légitime qu’un-tel prédécesseur te donnant pour ainsi dire disqualifiée, doublée dans la course historique: cela existe en pièce endroit.

À l’époque, à vive allure de colibri: “Comment se débarrasser des sargasses?”

Répondit l’époque, à ton de belle dévastation:

Au bout du petit matin, sur cette plus fragile épaisseur de terre que dépasse de façon humiliante son grandiose avenir – les volcans éclateront, l’eau nue emportera les taches mûres du soleil et il ne restera plus qu’un bouillonnement tiède picoré d’oiseaux marins – la plage des songes et l’insensé réveil. (Césaire 1983: 8)

(Même si j’apprends de toi que les poétries négristes ne pouvaient entrevoir, même en songes, les flatteries de sa-majestée des petites perceptions. Alors c’est pas nuée d’algues…).

Un bon matin d’avril—j’y reviens—l’infinie petite Martinique prit une de ces pluches. Magnitude irrésistible au large de la Dominique. Raz-de-marée déboulé, charroyé. Pincement au coeur, visage maré , chaleur, ivresse, Bondié, levés sur toi. On entendit un flot de paroles à propos de ce volcan qu’on dérespectait à la moindre colère séculaire, mais crime que c’était de penser ainsi, la montagne n’y était pour rien. Fouche que les gens sont mal-parlants. Je tins pour véridique que les mangots ne revinrent jamais en saison fleurir l’arrière de nos paroisses (que nous savions frêles sur le spectrum de l’échelle intensitaire). Et pourtant nous rivalisions de constructions toujours plus dissociées du niveau des mers, agrippées à flanc de montagne, misant sur je-ne-sais-quel-mystère pour nous tirer du naufrage. Eh pis, comment faire autrement sur cette grappe de tétés (tu connais) humectant le drap sous lequel elle nous garde couvés? On avait ça en vice: tourbillon après tourbillon, rage après rage. Exister, émerger en dégringolade. Le Pays-Martinique sentait bon, mais bon comme un pied de citrons enguirlandé de sargasses.

Pas plus tard qu’hier, et l’avant avant-hier, tu me baritonais: “Comment prendre soin?” Prends note Manuela. De près, qu’il te plaise.

Songes (à songer): mes soeurs pétrifiées par la houle qui vint lécher les pieds de notre villa, entrer sans frapper, et ne laisser pas même l’écume de son effraction. Le voisin, monsieur Athanase, finit d’arroser net son beau grenadier, l’air de s’être accoutumé aux caprices du tout-monde. Nous balancions déjà nos yeux sur le littoral en dérobade quand l’intéressé fit semblant de ramasser la seule carambole qui avait succombé au tremblement. Blasé, s’en fouté ! Mais lorsqu’il prit connaissance de l’intensité du phénomène, apercevant nombre de manicous oser l’herbe qu’il venait de tailler, le monsieur tomba enragé-aigri, et comprit que ce n’était pas mépris de la part de cette espèce de comparaisons farouches. La rixe a failli prendre. Sacré Athanase lui criait-on, un mulâtre jaune-mabouya, septuagénaire, pas très loquace, un rien indindin . Le désastre aurait déjà fait charbon que le monsieur continuerait à rassembler ses feuilles de casialata pour fabriquer un énième rimèd rhazié . De fait, il mit bien du temps avant de saisir que ce qui tramait au-devant de sa maison n’était pas la miraculeuse sédition de ces kaltés de gros rats créoles, circumnavigateurs de la visibilité, mais la violente résurgence de nos manières de pulluler, de propager, de proliférer. Athanase prit la vole , comprenant que ce n’était pas vague pour surfer ça. C’est rouler, tambouriner, lâcher prise qui filtrèrent dans son vieux-corps. Ces bêtes-là ne couraient pas non, mais on voyait combien l’envie ne leur manquait pas sur le coup. On les trouvait tellement laides qu’on eut l’aise de penser qu’elles seraient épargnées, les retrouvant parmi les rescapés après que la chose se soit retiré. C’était folie d’espérer. Athanase et ses manicous fonçaient en direction opposée tandis que mes soeurs et moi-même, verrouillées à notre indécision, n’avions ni jambes ni bras ni papa ni manman, rien comme extension de la volonté pour nous faire voltiger à contre-courant. La sororité fut catastrophique avant l’heure. Comment aller, dis? À la manière de quelle créature (à imaginer, mais à l’image de rien)? Moi-même, mêlée comme je suis avec ma tremblade de corps.

La foi, se diluant. N’empêche.

Les lettres t’en tombent. Le langage prend courir dans la plus grande stupeur, et c’est crier, bégayer, disloquer qui sort de toi, cerné, hébété. Se résigner, tu veux rire? Sans avoir à hocher du chef tu consens direct, sans délai de macération, c’est là vois-tu, ça arrive ça te prend la dérive des continents, l’emportement, la Possession; échouer, amarrer, rien de ça fait semblance.

Il n’y avait plus d’aigrette pour becter le dos des boeufs marés sur la colline, la route de Tartane prit trente-six rides en un ti-tac de temps. La marée-malfamée s’insinuant dans la presqu’île, qui cabrit-bois qui chiens qui poules-Madagascar qui pêcheurs valsés de miquelon prirent posture sur des embarcations éphémères. Pas de cinquante pages géométriques sur quoi se correr, tenir bon, raide comme coco-fer , parer au passage de la déferlante. Bon-Dieu-Seigneur-la-Vierge-Marie choisit de foutre le camp des rhaziés , des ravines, des fonds d’or où l’ancre l’avait jeté.

C’est que la chose était humide, tellement liquide dis-je. Torrentielle. Boire la tasse devint d’usage. La mer venait te donner une de ces calottes tu pouvais rien y faire, il n’existait pas de pommade pour soulager la rougeur étalée comme boue à la surface des sargasses.

Roches, chiens-fer, pieds-bois , cochons, toutes qualités, indifférenciés, grevés par la peur, rondirent vers les hauteurs à deux, quatre, mille pattes. Les lois du bougement—que nul ne se risquait à enfreindre—furent plus que jamais en vigueur. Te signifier ça, l’attouchement, le frissonnement, moment foudroyant d’analphabétisation lorsque, plus capable d’aligner mots, tu vas te serrer sous l’aile du silence, ça prend plus d’une bouteille de tafia pour te consoler d’une mémoire par trop têtue.

Ce que cela vient faire dans le mitan de tes affaires Manuela je sais pas. Il me fallait partager ça, héler mon angoisse, soulager ce mal de corps.

Le Crier sans jamais savoir à qui le faire.

Alors (mais) toi.

- II -

A graissé la marque de son passage. N’a laissé derrière elle que cendres de tous les ossements souvenus par la mer. Eu cette déveine de déssoucher un régime de vérités flanquées de sentiments contrariés.

Cette déveine de décoffrer les puanteurs du passé, ça qui mit en préface l’ascendance des complexions inconscientes.

Ça a lieu. Malgré que ça a lieu. Malgré que Manuela ne consente à épargner le hors-présent d’égards et autres considérations. Malgré l’avoir-lieu de ça. Tout bonnement. Sauf que ma nasse toute entière s’est empêtré dans ce “malgré”.

Après quoi le temps fait l’appel. Manuela est seule en conscience des absents. Pour preuve qu’ils n’étaient pas la cible.

Trois jours deux nuits après le premier quartan de lune. Malavisé de dire que l’homme-là qui a laissé ses liens d’avec le mystérieux en elle continue de protester, quitte à ne savoir comment passer d’une liane à une autre, c’est-à-dire à enfiler la sacoche d’un vouloir libre indivisible.

Au bout du quatrième coucher de soleil cerclant l’île-monde précipitant le royaume des mauvaises gens dans la confession, l’étourdissement vint—en lueurs—enquiquiner le drame de l’éveillée. L’hilarité s’ajouta par mesure de vanité. Sottement. De manière à abriter toute honte—bien matritée depuis la veille.

Son rire, c’est va-sans-dire, fut un champ d’efforts. Vainement, si j’assaisonne d’un peu la rumeur.

Suffit-il de tambouriner l’orgie des astres emperlés du bourg de Morne-Rouge (pièce rouge) jusqu’à la rocade de Dillon?

Toute galaxie danse-t-elle disparition?

Qu’on s’imagine la catastrophe pour soi, qu’on se l’enfile en bandouillère, une échelle soi-disant familière, et c’est en cela qu’on demeure vis-à-vis d’elle objet de railleries, bien méritées dit.

La poule fait semblant de manger du pain mouillé qu’elle picore jalousement dans le cou de sa macocotte mieux servie.

Ne riait-elle aux alleluia de la mer que l’écho-monde s’arrogerait le droit de molir volume de son gosier. Peut-on encore se dire humain si l’on humilie les dieux?

Alors recommandez-vous de soliloquer béat devant les nudités de la Terre baillant la gueule en plein mi-di? D’où que je sois un commandeur de quoi que ce soit moi que l’à-présent contrarie c’est vent? Au lendemain de mes béatitudes, comment dis-tu, n’aurai-je récupéré un restant de conscience. L’intrusion n’est pas une ingénue.

A planté un pied au cas où, tressé en nattes sa tête de jolie caprêsse, sait-on jamais ce que le chaos arrangé s’entête de susciter. La tresse fait gonfler, la tresse fait rallonger. D’accord. Mais est-ce qu’à la tresse peut s’accorder la foule en train de se noyer?

Bornés, pas fatigués.

D’après les oralitures Eau voulu croire à l’après des personnations présumées humaines. Manuela crié “awa !”

“N’oublie pas je t’ai enfanté Machin , que tu varies jamais de ta race” hasardait-elle. La parole fit désordre des plaines du Lamentin jusqu’aux mal-vents de la Pointe Faula, des têtons bien clairés du Morne Larcher aux vallonnements de Macouba.

Loin d’ici je me tourmente à raisons de trois quatre frayeurs chaque pluie sur mon visage essuyée. Certainement un morne va dévaler. Andrée Manuela (d’autant que trait d’union ne va pas de soi) me disent enfin tout le tort qui nous est causé. Par l’Intention, tonnerre!

Et puisque jamais carte ne perdure et que le rire se mit en bec d’émietter toute contre-vérité, les venirs océaniques de ce côté ne s’amoncellaient sans pièce tarder, Manuela s’émousse dans l’idée d’un littoral qu’est pureté en ce temps-là. Mais dangerosité du songe en dénégation de quelque sorte.

vrai que c’en était fait du doux rivage.

vrai que la ronde des papillons: cérémoniale.

Au vrai, le ressac ne constituait pas défiance. Ni offense. En même temps j’ajoute que Manuela gloussait une javel de paroles injuriées qui ne curait pas même le fond de mes arrières-pensées. Par chance, je suis profondément une immanence.

À qui je parle? Je parle à qui l’empire du pire a terrorisé qui l’Écrire qui le Conter.

“Ah rivage, ah mantou, ah partis, ah doudou.” La tirade de Néla alla comme précédemment. Ni le lieu ni l’envie de parler fleuri.

Vague a mangé, vague a valé, vague a bondé, d’une beauté à crever ventre de raison.

Par quimboiseur – il se disait - qui riait commandait elle riait irradiait.

Qui disait?

Sous ses allures de cocomerlo il reussit son coup de sorcier ravissant. Mais Manuela, toujours d’orès déjà frappée d’un gros-poil , buva encore de sa jouvence.

Crié la mer isalope. Lors même la mer n’eut de cesse de démater damnations pour damnations. Qu’aussi ce n’est pas coutelas qui va couper vague qui rase. À drôlement l’impression de tomber en bwa-bwa . Là est l’ironiquement vrai de ses grandes gammes .

Bref brefons: puisque clairement vague à coupé court à tout ceci… sans toutafaitement rémédier à l’envoûtée. Foutrement loin du premier-janvier-bain-démaré .

Et que nous vaut ce rire enragé, rafales de gencives-à-dents rentre-dedans?

Manuela courait après le temps d’auparaprès, celui d’où tout pétaillerait flamboierait de nouveau, comme d’avant tous les accents—de début de mitan de monde. Qu’importe. Rire là forcé, grassement, à contre-marée, en envisagement d’une beauté à machoire tombée. Jamais ne dire ne ouïr Manuela faisait rien pour réexulter la Caraïbes en volcans en cratères souffrants sulfurisant. Nous sommes là à supputer une dame abandonnément incessante, convalescente.

Ça fait sièk-temps qu’elle nous archipélise par le rêve. Que l’eau descende dans l’eau, en voie d’un souvenir de pierres.

“Seule vivra la matador”dis-tu?

Je dis solitude est sans cours dans le destin des échelles à bras de survivance.

Je dis le mot pour dire marcher n’existe pas encore. Le mot pour dire indolore n’existe pas encore. Le mot pour dire exister n’existe pas encore.

Voler mais pas seulement. S’extrhabituer à toujours plus vexant, exaltant—humiliant?

Toujours est-il qu’en attendant ce milan ne parvena jusqu’aux reins de ladite Montréalaise.

Le rapporteur de paroles a parlé. Peut-il encore phonétiser?

- III-

Or ce que l’esprit en sudation libère durant la saison sèche est une aubaine pour nous les bêtes.

Puisque nous sommes, que nous importe la façon avec laquelle les anciens s’y prêtèrent. Quelle est donc notre exigence, nous l’à-présent? Du mordant.

Ne se repaître que du sang qui n’a encore perlé. Ou élire silence.

Ne voulons point échoir dans le lit des défunts qui nous ont sacrifiés, carnavalés, jamais demandés.

J’appelle aeon l’audace (folie) de nous susciter. Et quand bien même.

J’appelle aeon, le Saoûl nonchalamment exagéreant. Ainsi sommes-nous.

À faire durer la procession/

préparation

et si et si… je mourrais dans l’eau à-tous-maux des mornes dévalée. Sans toi la salive que je mousserais. Sans esbrouffes tout près tout près. Le temps se tarde, vite bois, il se fait un noir qui oblige au courir. Fantaisie tu suis? Consacré moi aux fougères, j’arrache je mâche-recrache. Toi tes façons sont si soudaines et hagardes. Piégeant sans peine entre tes dents la succulence des libellules verre-bouteille.

Tu fais débrouillard.

Pourvu qu’après ce soir il en est cent autres que nous humions les floralies d’en-bas.

-IV-

Or ce que l’esprit en sudation libère durant la saison sèche est un siècle de jours de fête. S’épanchant dès lors

le miel satiné de tes yeux

je le veux. M’amidonne à la fourrure à tes plumes aux cambrures oscillantes de tes hanches écaillées. Nos corps ne sont-ils pas assez?

Lisses. Buvons un coup aux libérés.

Ô marée, nos ennemis auront enfin le goût d’être saignés.

Ils en auront.

Et que dis-tu Aeon? Pendant que tu m’écorches me griffes nous les boiteux, nous les pateux, nous essayons à flanc du présent l’écriture dès maintenant. Dévrillés de nos allants banals.

Nous ne sommes pièce comparaisons.

En sérénade, lentement

Nous drivons en sève

De nos cîmes au perchoir de nos sanctuaires.

Bibliographie

Césaire, Aimé. Cahier d’un retour au pays natal. Paris: Présence Africaine, 1983.

Deligny, Fernand. L’Arachnéen et autres textes. Paris: L’Arachnéen, 2008.

Fran

 

Pour la fin du monde, tremblant d’un avenir rebel, le perplexe si j’ose dire: konsidiré—sans la moindre littéralité; fils-zagryen—savamment tissés pour démater nos pensées; pluches—ta peau s’arrache au plus bas, étant toi-même en deçà de l’intensité; maré—cette boulversante venue du monde fait le lien entre ton visage et le trauma; Bondié—crié quand le vouloir monte au vif pour supplier une main; fouche—tant et si bien qu’on préférait ne plus avoir à le dire; sargasses—des contempteurs à ailes répugnent à leur odeur sulfurine; s’en fouté—Athanase est mort d’insouciance, se méritant un laghia de désolations; comparaisons—toute opinion passe par-dessous son sens dépressionnaire; indindin—le fouillis de l’arbre-à-pain recueille ces va-et-vient, innombrables, qui tordent la compréhension d’Athanase; rimed rhazié—la poussée de l’inutile séduit la main de l’humain, il en décrète une ordonnance; kaltés—à l’avant-garde d’eux-mêmes, mais j’en doute; la vole—le fout-le-camp en pétrit plus d’un; marés sur (an lè)—et que signifie d’exister plus jamais par les bords de ladite blancheur?; ti-tac—le commencement se découvre indécis, apprends d’orès déjà les prières péristaltiques de ce monde; cabrit-bois—un ensemble de brindilles, soudain la vision se fige; coco-fer—notre tâche est de (faire) mourir devant les irrésistibles de l’avenir; calottes—si tu es sans rade cet effet ne te concerne pas; pieds-bois—il n’y a pas de vent sans flexion, pas de flexion sans prise, ainsi enracines tant que tu peux, la plus infime surface de toi-même; tafia—le pharmakon; mitan—Andrée jète une parole dans les rapides de Manuela qui fait semblant de n’avoir jamais perçu un verset du chanté douloureux; matritée—c’est que toute chose, vois-tu, s’efforce de tromper l’élan suicidaire de ses pensées minimales; macocotte—l’hypocrisie: le tour de taille d’une amitié profitable; awa—en cette occasion précise une sincérité fait incise dans la négation; machin—la plénière; gros-poil—si aucune résolution ne (pour)suit le sentiment vécu; bwa-bwa—en-déraison qui attendrit les chemins-chiens où la typicalité vivoterait, aussi écrit “bouaboua”; gammes—cf. comparaisons; bain démaré—puisque le vouloir dans la vie est créditeur de salissures; sièk-temps—par ancienneté on peut entendre celui ou celle dont la mémoire se courbe en avant, celui ou celle qui ne se remémore hak, ni d’hier, ni d’aujourd'hui, pour qui le passé n’est pas encore, qui ne sait narrer le commencement du monde. Ce pour quoi, par magnanimité, une doyenne se montrera comme ababa, zombie, débarquée d’outre-monde, accouchée-désinhibée, tombée des reins quoi, ce pour quoi faut-il en prendre soin; milan—ah, sans quoi il nous coûterait de méconnaître la grâce d’une amitié; drivons—mais l’errance ne tacle pas le cheminement zigzaguesque qui les ramène jusqu’à nous.

- I -

“Et l’humain alors apparaît comme étant ce qui reste, quelque peu en lambeaux, de l’arachnéen traversé par cette espèce de météorite aveugle qu’est la conscience.” (Deligny 2008: 81)

Alors moi, par chance, Andrée…

je prends une volée de mémoire et m’étends à décrire ceci: un manger-cochon de souvenirs que l’ondée sévissant au-dessus de Montréal—son accent de fin (ou de ré-création) du monde—peine à rincer. Ma tête n’est pas bonne manzel Manuela. Voilà longtemps que j’ai vomis la question du sens. Je dis ça sans écorce.

Eh pis fout’, j’ai consigné sur ces pages tous les écarts, toutes les pressions, les levées, les durées de ces doigts que je ne pus à ma guise contrôler. Il fallait te conter ce qui nous est venu—dans le prolongement de ce tremblement d’organes, ce vers quoi nous bifurquions alors pour être à l’heure de la Relation, et ne rien manquer de sa turbulence, du débit de son déversement, pour te lâcher ça un peu grossièrement.

C’est avec un certain haut-le-coeur que je t’invite à examiner ce racontage de déboires. Y germe le principe même d’une expérience qu’il te faut aiguiser différer, mais jamais prendre en récidive.

Je n’ai jamais douté une seule rime qu’il ne s’agissait pour mes mains de capter autre chose que le passage de ces temporalités soudaines, abruptes, intempestives, une essence peut-être, une quasi-essence alors. Parvenir, malgré la modalité précaire à laquelle j’ai recours pour te signer ce traité du mouvement, à la production d’une pensée susceptible de tordre quantité de couillonnades partout proliférantes. Les esprits les plus crapons ne sentiront jamais comme indispensable d’acquiescer à l’appel de ce qui réchappe à leur intention. De peur, sans doute, d’avoir à y solder l’organicité perceptive à laquelle ils tiennent tant et se risquer à un maniérisme fort peu convenable à leurs moeurs.

Eh bien si je raconte ça Manuela c’est konsidiré dans une solidarité de pensée, pour nous aider à enjamber nombre de croche-pattes (chez nous fils-zagryen , pièges-à-crabes, etc.) que les plus malveillants inventent pour mettre un frein à nos prises de vitesse.

Alors, moi l’éternel insoumis, je marronne dans l’inextricable forêt des mystères et des mythes.

Insaisissable

imprévisible

je les emmerde

je les fais chier dans leur choucroute autant qu’ils me triminent et m’importunent avec leur truc truffé de recettes apocryphes. (Frankétienne 2011: 23)

Il fallait voir ça, les océans monter-charroyer, l’humain chavirer sans ménagement blo… se liquéfier en une qualité de boue pas même recensée. La terre dérivait grand ballant pour se fesser dans des contrées qu’il nous fallut intégrer à tout va. La charité ma chère, tu donnais par inadvertance comme on dit, en marge de tes intentions, c’est donner-voler que tu donnes—que tu inspires l’air au passage ou l’époumones d’un coup sec. Tu ne peux tout prendre et conserver comme patrimoine ce qui ne t’appartient pas. La Force de… Surtout pas. D’aucuns taperont sur tes revendications: propriétaire tu n’es qu’en rêve.

Héritier de ce-que-de-que faut pas croire ça fout’. L’intrusif est dans son droit géologique, maritime, et cetera, de t’inverser renverser culbuter. Pas que tu sois moins légitime qu’un-tel prédécesseur te donnant pour ainsi dire disqualifiée, doublée dans la course historique: cela existe en pièce endroit.

À l’époque, à vive allure de colibri: “Comment se débarrasser des sargasses?”

Répondit l’époque, à ton de belle dévastation:

Au bout du petit matin, sur cette plus fragile épaisseur de terre que dépasse de façon humiliante son grandiose avenir – les volcans éclateront, l’eau nue emportera les taches mûres du soleil et il ne restera plus qu’un bouillonnement tiède picoré d’oiseaux marins – la plage des songes et l’insensé réveil. (Césaire 1983: 8)

(Même si j’apprends de toi que les poétries négristes ne pouvaient entrevoir, même en songes, les flatteries de sa-majestée des petites perceptions. Alors c’est pas nuée d’algues…).

Un bon matin d’avril—j’y reviens—l’infinie petite Martinique prit une de ces pluches. Magnitude irrésistible au large de la Dominique. Raz-de-marée déboulé, charroyé. Pincement au coeur, visage maré , chaleur, ivresse, Bondié, levés sur toi. On entendit un flot de paroles à propos de ce volcan qu’on dérespectait à la moindre colère séculaire, mais crime que c’était de penser ainsi, la montagne n’y était pour rien. Fouche que les gens sont mal-parlants. Je tins pour véridique que les mangots ne revinrent jamais en saison fleurir l’arrière de nos paroisses (que nous savions frêles sur le spectrum de l’échelle intensitaire). Et pourtant nous rivalisions de constructions toujours plus dissociées du niveau des mers, agrippées à flanc de montagne, misant sur je-ne-sais-quel-mystère pour nous tirer du naufrage. Eh pis, comment faire autrement sur cette grappe de tétés (tu connais) humectant le drap sous lequel elle nous garde couvés? On avait ça en vice: tourbillon après tourbillon, rage après rage. Exister, émerger en dégringolade. Le Pays-Martinique sentait bon, mais bon comme un pied de citrons enguirlandé de sargasses.

Pas plus tard qu’hier, et l’avant avant-hier, tu me baritonais: “Comment prendre soin?” Prends note Manuela. De près, qu’il te plaise.

Songes (à songer): mes soeurs pétrifiées par la houle qui vint lécher les pieds de notre villa, entrer sans frapper, et ne laisser pas même l’écume de son effraction. Le voisin, monsieur Athanase, finit d’arroser net son beau grenadier, l’air de s’être accoutumé aux caprices du tout-monde. Nous balancions déjà nos yeux sur le littoral en dérobade quand l’intéressé fit semblant de ramasser la seule carambole qui avait succombé au tremblement. Blasé, s’en fouté ! Mais lorsqu’il prit connaissance de l’intensité du phénomène, apercevant nombre de manicous oser l’herbe qu’il venait de tailler, le monsieur tomba enragé-aigri, et comprit que ce n’était pas mépris de la part de cette espèce de comparaisons farouches. La rixe a failli prendre. Sacré Athanase lui criait-on, un mulâtre jaune-mabouya, septuagénaire, pas très loquace, un rien indindin . Le désastre aurait déjà fait charbon que le monsieur continuerait à rassembler ses feuilles de casialata pour fabriquer un énième rimèd rhazié . De fait, il mit bien du temps avant de saisir que ce qui tramait au-devant de sa maison n’était pas la miraculeuse sédition de ces kaltés de gros rats créoles, circumnavigateurs de la visibilité, mais la violente résurgence de nos manières de pulluler, de propager, de proliférer. Athanase prit la vole , comprenant que ce n’était pas vague pour surfer ça. C’est rouler, tambouriner, lâcher prise qui filtrèrent dans son vieux-corps. Ces bêtes-là ne couraient pas non, mais on voyait combien l’envie ne leur manquait pas sur le coup. On les trouvait tellement laides qu’on eut l’aise de penser qu’elles seraient épargnées, les retrouvant parmi les rescapés après que la chose se soit retiré. C’était folie d’espérer. Athanase et ses manicous fonçaient en direction opposée tandis que mes soeurs et moi-même, verrouillées à notre indécision, n’avions ni jambes ni bras ni papa ni manman, rien comme extension de la volonté pour nous faire voltiger à contre-courant. La sororité fut catastrophique avant l’heure. Comment aller, dis? À la manière de quelle créature (à imaginer, mais à l’image de rien)? Moi-même, mêlée comme je suis avec ma tremblade de corps.

La foi, se diluant. N’empêche.

Les lettres t’en tombent. Le langage prend courir dans la plus grande stupeur, et c’est crier, bégayer, disloquer qui sort de toi, cerné, hébété. Se résigner, tu veux rire? Sans avoir à hocher du chef tu consens direct, sans délai de macération, c’est là vois-tu, ça arrive ça te prend la dérive des continents, l’emportement, la Possession; échouer, amarrer, rien de ça fait semblance.

Il n’y avait plus d’aigrette pour becter le dos des boeufs marés sur la colline, la route de Tartane prit trente-six rides en un ti-tac de temps. La marée-malfamée s’insinuant dans la presqu’île, qui cabrit-bois qui chiens qui poules-Madagascar qui pêcheurs valsés de miquelon prirent posture sur des embarcations éphémères. Pas de cinquante pages géométriques sur quoi se correr, tenir bon, raide comme coco-fer , parer au passage de la déferlante. Bon-Dieu-Seigneur-la-Vierge-Marie choisit de foutre le camp des rhaziés , des ravines, des fonds d’or où l’ancre l’avait jeté.

C’est que la chose était humide, tellement liquide dis-je. Torrentielle. Boire la tasse devint d’usage. La mer venait te donner une de ces calottes tu pouvais rien y faire, il n’existait pas de pommade pour soulager la rougeur étalée comme boue à la surface des sargasses.

Roches, chiens-fer, pieds-bois , cochons, toutes qualités, indifférenciés, grevés par la peur, rondirent vers les hauteurs à deux, quatre, mille pattes. Les lois du bougement—que nul ne se risquait à enfreindre—furent plus que jamais en vigueur. Te signifier ça, l’attouchement, le frissonnement, moment foudroyant d’analphabétisation lorsque, plus capable d’aligner mots, tu vas te serrer sous l’aile du silence, ça prend plus d’une bouteille de tafia pour te consoler d’une mémoire par trop têtue.

Ce que cela vient faire dans le mitan de tes affaires Manuela je sais pas. Il me fallait partager ça, héler mon angoisse, soulager ce mal de corps.

Le Crier sans jamais savoir à qui le faire.

Alors (mais) toi.

- II -

A graissé la marque de son passage. N’a laissé derrière elle que cendres de tous les ossements souvenus par la mer. Eu cette déveine de déssoucher un régime de vérités flanquées de sentiments contrariés.

Cette déveine de décoffrer les puanteurs du passé, ça qui mit en préface l’ascendance des complexions inconscientes.

Ça a lieu. Malgré que ça a lieu. Malgré que Manuela ne consente à épargner le hors-présent d’égards et autres considérations. Malgré l’avoir-lieu de ça. Tout bonnement. Sauf que ma nasse toute entière s’est empêtré dans ce “malgré”.

Après quoi le temps fait l’appel. Manuela est seule en conscience des absents. Pour preuve qu’ils n’étaient pas la cible.

Trois jours deux nuits après le premier quartan de lune. Malavisé de dire que l’homme-là qui a laissé ses liens d’avec le mystérieux en elle continue de protester, quitte à ne savoir comment passer d’une liane à une autre, c’est-à-dire à enfiler la sacoche d’un vouloir libre indivisible.

Au bout du quatrième coucher de soleil cerclant l’île-monde précipitant le royaume des mauvaises gens dans la confession, l’étourdissement vint—en lueurs—enquiquiner le drame de l’éveillée. L’hilarité s’ajouta par mesure de vanité. Sottement. De manière à abriter toute honte—bien matritée depuis la veille.

Son rire, c’est va-sans-dire, fut un champ d’efforts. Vainement, si j’assaisonne d’un peu la rumeur.

Suffit-il de tambouriner l’orgie des astres emperlés du bourg de Morne-Rouge (pièce rouge) jusqu’à la rocade de Dillon?

Toute galaxie danse-t-elle disparition?

Qu’on s’imagine la catastrophe pour soi, qu’on se l’enfile en bandouillère, une échelle soi-disant familière, et c’est en cela qu’on demeure vis-à-vis d’elle objet de railleries, bien méritées dit.

La poule fait semblant de manger du pain mouillé qu’elle picore jalousement dans le cou de sa macocotte mieux servie.

Ne riait-elle aux alleluia de la mer que l’écho-monde s’arrogerait le droit de molir volume de son gosier. Peut-on encore se dire humain si l’on humilie les dieux?

Alors recommandez-vous de soliloquer béat devant les nudités de la Terre baillant la gueule en plein mi-di? D’où que je sois un commandeur de quoi que ce soit moi que l’à-présent contrarie c’est vent? Au lendemain de mes béatitudes, comment dis-tu, n’aurai-je récupéré un restant de conscience. L’intrusion n’est pas une ingénue.

A planté un pied au cas où, tressé en nattes sa tête de jolie caprêsse, sait-on jamais ce que le chaos arrangé s’entête de susciter. La tresse fait gonfler, la tresse fait rallonger. D’accord. Mais est-ce qu’à la tresse peut s’accorder la foule en train de se noyer?

Bornés, pas fatigués.

D’après les oralitures Eau voulu croire à l’après des personnations présumées humaines. Manuela crié “awa !”

“N’oublie pas je t’ai enfanté Machin , que tu varies jamais de ta race” hasardait-elle. La parole fit désordre des plaines du Lamentin jusqu’aux mal-vents de la Pointe Faula, des têtons bien clairés du Morne Larcher aux vallonnements de Macouba.

Loin d’ici je me tourmente à raisons de trois quatre frayeurs chaque pluie sur mon visage essuyée. Certainement un morne va dévaler. Andrée Manuela (d’autant que trait d’union ne va pas de soi) me disent enfin tout le tort qui nous est causé. Par l’Intention, tonnerre!

Et puisque jamais carte ne perdure et que le rire se mit en bec d’émietter toute contre-vérité, les venirs océaniques de ce côté ne s’amoncellaient sans pièce tarder, Manuela s’émousse dans l’idée d’un littoral qu’est pureté en ce temps-là. Mais dangerosité du songe en dénégation de quelque sorte.

vrai que c’en était fait du doux rivage.

vrai que la ronde des papillons: cérémoniale.

Au vrai, le ressac ne constituait pas défiance. Ni offense. En même temps j’ajoute que Manuela gloussait une javel de paroles injuriées qui ne curait pas même le fond de mes arrières-pensées. Par chance, je suis profondément une immanence.

À qui je parle? Je parle à qui l’empire du pire a terrorisé qui l’Écrire qui le Conter.

“Ah rivage, ah mantou, ah partis, ah doudou.” La tirade de Néla alla comme précédemment. Ni le lieu ni l’envie de parler fleuri.

Vague a mangé, vague a valé, vague a bondé, d’une beauté à crever ventre de raison.

Par quimboiseur – il se disait - qui riait commandait elle riait irradiait.

Qui disait?

Sous ses allures de cocomerlo il reussit son coup de sorcier ravissant. Mais Manuela, toujours d’orès déjà frappée d’un gros-poil , buva encore de sa jouvence.

Crié la mer isalope. Lors même la mer n’eut de cesse de démater damnations pour damnations. Qu’aussi ce n’est pas coutelas qui va couper vague qui rase. À drôlement l’impression de tomber en bwa-bwa . Là est l’ironiquement vrai de ses grandes gammes .

Bref brefons: puisque clairement vague à coupé court à tout ceci… sans toutafaitement rémédier à l’envoûtée. Foutrement loin du premier-janvier-bain-démaré .

Et que nous vaut ce rire enragé, rafales de gencives-à-dents rentre-dedans?

Manuela courait après le temps d’auparaprès, celui d’où tout pétaillerait flamboierait de nouveau, comme d’avant tous les accents—de début de mitan de monde. Qu’importe. Rire là forcé, grassement, à contre-marée, en envisagement d’une beauté à machoire tombée. Jamais ne dire ne ouïr Manuela faisait rien pour réexulter la Caraïbes en volcans en cratères souffrants sulfurisant. Nous sommes là à supputer une dame abandonnément incessante, convalescente.

Ça fait sièk-temps qu’elle nous archipélise par le rêve. Que l’eau descende dans l’eau, en voie d’un souvenir de pierres.

“Seule vivra la matador”dis-tu?

Je dis solitude est sans cours dans le destin des échelles à bras de survivance.

Je dis le mot pour dire marcher n’existe pas encore. Le mot pour dire indolore n’existe pas encore. Le mot pour dire exister n’existe pas encore.

Voler mais pas seulement. S’extrhabituer à toujours plus vexant, exaltant—humiliant?

Toujours est-il qu’en attendant ce milan ne parvena jusqu’aux reins de ladite Montréalaise.

Le rapporteur de paroles a parlé. Peut-il encore phonétiser?

- III-

Or ce que l’esprit en sudation libère durant la saison sèche est une aubaine pour nous les bêtes.

Puisque nous sommes, que nous importe la façon avec laquelle les anciens s’y prêtèrent. Quelle est donc notre exigence, nous l’à-présent? Du mordant.

Ne se repaître que du sang qui n’a encore perlé. Ou élire silence.

Ne voulons point échoir dans le lit des défunts qui nous ont sacrifiés, carnavalés, jamais demandés.

J’appelle aeon l’audace (folie) de nous susciter. Et quand bien même.

J’appelle aeon, le Saoûl nonchalamment exagéreant. Ainsi sommes-nous.

À faire durer la procession/

préparation

et si et si… je mourrais dans l’eau à-tous-maux des mornes dévalée. Sans toi la salive que je mousserais. Sans esbrouffes tout près tout près. Le temps se tarde, vite bois, il se fait un noir qui oblige au courir. Fantaisie tu suis? Consacré moi aux fougères, j’arrache je mâche-recrache. Toi tes façons sont si soudaines et hagardes. Piégeant sans peine entre tes dents la succulence des libellules verre-bouteille.

Tu fais débrouillard.

Pourvu qu’après ce soir il en est cent autres que nous humions les floralies d’en-bas.

-IV-

Or ce que l’esprit en sudation libère durant la saison sèche est un siècle de jours de fête. S’épanchant dès lors

le miel satiné de tes yeux

je le veux. M’amidonne à la fourrure à tes plumes aux cambrures oscillantes de tes hanches écaillées. Nos corps ne sont-ils pas assez?

Lisses. Buvons un coup aux libérés.

Ô marée, nos ennemis auront enfin le goût d’être saignés.

Ils en auront.

Et que dis-tu Aeon? Pendant que tu m’écorches me griffes nous les boiteux, nous les pateux, nous essayons à flanc du présent l’écriture dès maintenant. Dévrillés de nos allants banals.

Nous ne sommes pièce comparaisons.

En sérénade, lentement

Nous drivons en sève

De nos cîmes au perchoir de nos sanctuaires.

 

 

Sum up your body. Yawn. Yaaaawn. Note that your Yawn is autonomous from your body. Note that your Yawn has a body that is not your own. Note that this body has weight.

Picture an uncountable number of strings in space: cotton, unbleached, soft to the touch and casually fuzzed, in the way that only natural fibres can be. Taut: coming from and receding to distances beyond your field of vision. The strings, shooting in every possible direction, create a delicate network that, were it to have edges, might resemble the hazy blowball of a dandelion in bloom. These strings, their networked connections, the structure that they compose have no knowable borders, for their plane of experience bounds outwards with an appetite that exceeds time’s will to march forward.

You are within this uncountable number of strings, lacking coordinates. But, “you” are a(n impossibly) suspended “you,” an invisible “you,” a “you” without agency. You are a vector, a “you” of convenience, set to expire the instant “you” is/are no longer required. Don’t worry; “you” will continue to be reconstituted with new qualifications for some time, iterations echoing forward and behind, the terminus of this journey of you-ness only known by the stillness of its arrival. The end of the line.[1]

Continuing: A number (x) of these strings quietly present themselves, nearing the foreground of your attention. [2] Coming from somewhere off in the distance to your left and disappearing somewhere over to your right, they maintain a directional tendency but retain an independence from each other; these string-things are following the course of their string-ness from and into imperceptible depths. There is no sound here, but the space resembles an aural field, full of reverberation, events far out of sight creating vibrations in the lattice of your immediate surrounds.

These strings are not still. They don’t perceptively move, but on singular occasions their trajectories shift, to align, caress, run abreast of each other, in a choreography of being both together and separate. Had these strings not selected themselves out, you would not have noted their gambol—their here and there, the resonance of their fluctuation between concrescence and form-taking. After a moment, they separate—split – fray – bound off in unknowable directions. “You” reconstitutes itself again for its next sojourn.

It may seem like “you” is/are witnessing the birth and death of an undetermined event, the one-step-after-the-next, the fourth note after a third. Were it left here, this taking-account-of would be an accountancy of taking, a connecting A(x)-to-Be-to-Seeing all the way down the line, becoming predictable through force of habit, the lassitude [3] of actions repeated again and again to the point where they become familiar, family, exploitable, expendable…

Slow the moment down. Pause. Feel the line slack, cut; let out the line, line by line, remember that these cotton lines with their sumptuous tactility are just a proposition that you have been entangled by, a wild nest that ‘you’ is/are trapped within, iteration upon iteration of the illusion of choice, a becoming anything-but-other. Imagine that gorgeous, dandelion-like nest of lines of unrealized and realized potentials, and recall: in the network-making, border-linking, searching for- of family resemblances, these logical connections which are so highly prized are the trip-line of something else. [4]

Let go of “you.” Let the strings let go of you. Let go of the strings.

Instead, imagine a ribbon that has more than two planes. It maintains its thin and thick, its coming-to and going-away. But it also adds the capacity to carry, to turn sideways and hide, to catch, present a face, to slice. A ribbon offers an affordance of rest, layer, and surface. Imagine this ribbon has the capacity to be as wide or as invisible as its evasion of capture requires, carrying imaginary homelands across linear perimeters of time and space. Side-step the line.

It is not possible to see all facets of a ribbon at once. Invariably, one side is hiding. One side of a ribbon may display an effect, where the other contains a cause. Logic is hidden, unavailable for inspection. Progression loses its coherency, its narrative disjunctive, misaligned.

Return to this spider’s web of cotton lines zipping to and fro, and substitute with ribbons careening this way and that, ripping past one another, turning on themselves into complex crystalline forms, presenting fragments of truth and untruth. Ribbons fold in on themselves like origami, creating faces adjoined to faces in both space and time. The perspectival force of progression has folded itself into an unknowable knot.

What if we step back from our perceptive world, before connecting ground to gravity, walls to barriers, bodies to wounds, before we accept the truth of one step requesting another. What if one step calls for a second, and a step responds to this call by presenting a pot of mums where a foot used to be?

Buried in its folds and facets, its corners tuck in on themselves. Hidden deep in these pockets and folds rests an uneasy fugitivity, a wildness whose logic is incommensurate with the logic of capture. [5] The rendering of an actual world loses its sensibility. The world begins to deterritorialize, borders unhinge. Experience drives the account, but the account is odd, queer, other. Smoke clears from a war-torn sky and two moons come into focus. [6]

On a plane adjacent to these two moons, other ribbon-surfaces depict landscapes. These landscapes are larger than a single plane might hold, but many ribbons folding in on themselves, creating structures of dodge and weave start to do the work of holding it aloft. Each landscape is not contained on one surface, but pours over the fold, continuing out of sight, to the interior or the opposite side of its crystalline form. [7] Borders lose their cohesion. A single face of landscape belies but does not hold its entirety. Imagined continuity takes the place of the whole, the virtual supplanting the real, while the real is tucked away for safekeeping. A landscape can now be carried in the mind’s eye. A border can be traversed from the centre, meaning made by the juxtaposition of one moon to the next, one homeland to another. A homeland, its scale hidden by the deceptively simple operation of tucking the real into the virtual, carried on a fold no larger than a postage stamp. Tucked into the cuff of your pants for safekeeping.

How to carry a landscape; Or, a crystalline gaze into the boundless wild.

Matthew-Robin Nye

PDF

Sum up your body. Yawn. Yaaaawn. Note that your Yawn is autonomous from your body. Note that your Yawn has a body that is not your own. Note that this body has weight.

Picture an uncountable number of strings in space: cotton, unbleached, soft to the touch and casually fuzzed, in the way that only natural fibres can be. Taut: coming from and receding to distances beyond your field of vision. The strings, shooting in every possible direction, create a delicate network that, were it to have edges, might resemble the hazy blowball of a dandelion in bloom. These strings, their networked connections, the structure that they compose have no knowable borders, for their plane of experience bounds outwards with an appetite that exceeds time’s will to march forward.

You are within this uncountable number of strings, lacking coordinates. But, “you” are a(n impossibly) suspended “you,” an invisible “you,” a “you” without agency. You are a vector, a “you” of convenience, set to expire the instant “you” is/are no longer required. Don’t worry; “you” will continue to be reconstituted with new qualifications for some time, iterations echoing forward and behind, the terminus of this journey of you-ness only known by the stillness of its arrival. The end of the line.[1]

Continuing: A number (x) of these strings quietly present themselves, nearing the foreground of your attention. [2]Coming from somewhere off in the distance to your left and disappearing somewhere over to your right, they maintain a directional tendency but retain an independence from each other; these string-things are following the course of their string-ness from and into imperceptible depths. There is no sound here, but the space resembles an aural field, full of reverberation, events far out of sight creating vibrations in the lattice of your immediate surrounds.

These strings are not still. They don’t perceptively move, but on singular occasions their trajectories shift, to align, caress, run abreast of each other, in a choreography of being both together and separate. Had these strings not selected themselves out, you would not have noted their gambol—their here and there, the resonance of their fluctuation between concrescence and form-taking. After a moment, they separate—split – fray – bound off in unknowable directions. “You” reconstitutes itself again for its next sojourn.

It may seem like “you” is/are witnessing the birth and death of an undetermined event, the one-step-after-the-next, the fourth note after a third. Were it left here, this taking-account-of would be an accountancy of taking, a connecting A(x)-to-Be-to-Seeing all the way down the line, becoming predictable through force of habit, the lassitude [3] of actions repeated again and again to the point where they become familiar, family, exploitable, expendable…

Slow the moment down. Pause. Feel the line slack, cut; let out the line, line by line, remember that these cotton lines with their sumptuous tactility are just a proposition that you have been entangled by, a wild nest that ‘you’ is/are trapped within, iteration upon iteration of the illusion of choice, a becoming anything-but-other. Imagine that gorgeous, dandelion-like nest of lines of unrealized and realized potentials, and recall: in the network-making, border-linking, searching for- of family resemblances, these logical connections which are so highly prized are the trip-line of something else. [4]

Let go of “you.” Let the strings let go of you. Let go of the strings.

Instead, imagine a ribbon that has more than two planes. It maintains its thin and thick, its coming-to and going-away. But it also adds the capacity to carry, to turn sideways and hide, to catch, present a face, to slice. A ribbon offers an affordance of rest, layer, and surface. Imagine this ribbon has the capacity to be as wide or as invisible as its evasion of capture requires, carrying imaginary homelands across linear perimeters of time and space. Side-step the line.

It is not possible to see all facets of a ribbon at once. Invariably, one side is hiding. One side of a ribbon may display an effect, where the other contains a cause. Logic is hidden, unavailable for inspection. Progression loses its coherency, its narrative disjunctive, misaligned.

Return to this spider’s web of cotton lines zipping to and fro, and substitute with ribbons careening this way and that, ripping past one another, turning on themselves into complex crystalline forms, presenting fragments of truth and untruth. Ribbons fold in on themselves like origami, creating faces adjoined to faces in both space and time. The perspectival force of progression has folded itself into an unknowable knot.

What if we step back from our perceptive world, before connecting ground to gravity, walls to barriers, bodies to wounds, before we accept the truth of one step requesting another. What if one step calls for a second, and a step responds to this call by presenting a pot of mums where a foot used to be?

Buried in its folds and facets, its corners tuck in on themselves. Hidden deep in these pockets and folds rests an uneasy fugitivity, a wildness whose logic is incommensurate with the logic of capture. [5] The rendering of an actual world loses its sensibility. The world begins to deterritorialize, borders unhinge. Experience drives the account, but the account is odd, queer, other. Smoke clears from a war-torn sky and two moons come into focus. [6]

On a plane adjacent to these two moons, other ribbon-surfaces depict landscapes. These landscapes are larger than a single plane might hold, but many ribbons folding in on themselves, creating structures of dodge and weave start to do the work of holding it aloft. Each landscape is not contained on one surface, but pours over the fold, continuing out of sight, to the interior or the opposite side of its crystalline form. [7] Borders lose their cohesion. A single face of landscape belies but does not hold its entirety. Imagined continuity takes the place of the whole, the virtual supplanting the real, while the real is tucked away for safekeeping. A landscape can now be carried in the mind’s eye. A border can be traversed from the centre, meaning made by the juxtaposition of one moon to the next, one homeland to another. A homeland, its scale hidden by the deceptively simple operation of tucking the real into the virtual, carried on a fold no larger than a postage stamp. Tucked into the cuff of your pants for safekeeping.

Notes

[1] On a different life-plane as a becoming-architect, I was tasked with the same initiation of many in the field: learn the daunting, seemingly impenetrable task of mastering AutoCAD. As with other vector-based software, all points in its virtual reality are relative: placing your cursor in the software’s black void is imprecise, its confluence of x, y and z vectors difficult to locate, let alone conceive of. Adjusting to this reality is like learning to trust the placement of you foot in the next step in a pitch black room; time, and an awareness that the distance between points is a leap of faith towards the speculative and conceptual.

[2] It is impossible to overstate this significance of Erin Manning’s work on neurotypical and neurodiverse perception on my understanding of myself and the world, in its in-formation. Neurotypical observation is never passive: in fact, it is violent, a wrenching of a desired object from its surrounds. “The separating out of the object backgrounds the intrinsic relationality of the field’s coming to expression, clearing the stage for an overshadowing human subject to cast his presence in its place, in order to take personal credit for the field’s environmentally emergent accounting for itself.” (Manning and Massumi 2014: 7)

[3] Each Methodology has its own life history. It starts as a dodge facilitating the accomplishment of some nascent urge of life. In its prime, it represents some wide coordination of thought and action whereby this urge expresses itself as a major satisfaction of existence. Finally, it enters upon the lassitude of old age, its second childhood. The larger contrasts attainable within the scope of the method have been explored and familiarized. The satisfaction from repetition has faded away. Life then faces the last alternatives in which its fate depends [....] When any methodology of life has exhausted the novelties within its scope and played upon them up to the incoming of fatigue, one final decision determines the fate of the species. It can stabilize itself, and relapse so as to live; or it can shake itself free, and enter upon the adventure of living better (Whitehead 1929: 18-19).

[4] How to do Research-Creation? At the SenseLab, our research location resides in the hyphen; but that hyphen represents a territory in and of itself, an important locality underexplored by current thinking on the subject. Sawchuk and Chapman start in this direction with their research category “Creation-as-Research”, hinting at its radical potential to upend knowledge production - “It is in this sense that such creative work can be understood as a strong form of intervention, contributing to knowledge in a profoundly different way from the academic norm.” But why do we shy away from a total radicalization of this form of knowledge production, buffering this hybridity by mimicking creation-as-research work within more established “theoretical articulations? (Sawchuck and Chapman: 2012)

[5] I want to deliberately gesture here to two key concepts: The emergent field of ‘Wildness’, an ecological approach to subject formation, a subfield of queer theory in development by Tavia Nyong’o, Jack Halberstam and the late José Esteban Muñoz; and the fugitivity, articulated by Stefano Harney and Fred Moten in The Undercommons. Emerging scholarly work on the topic of queer subjecthood points to an integration of imminent becoming and Affect Theory, reconfiguring ecologies through an understanding of the processes by which they emerge and shape subjectivity. Fugitivity speaks to modes of being that escape capture by the (capitalist) structures that drive our society’s institutions. The work of putting these concepts in conversation needs to be done.

[6] In Samuel L. Delany’s Dhalgren, the aspiration-less drifters in the fictional, post-apocalyptic American city of Bellona are startled one evening to find that there are not one, but two moons hanging largely in the sky. Two moons become a signifier for a landscape in flux, vibration, motion. The narrative of the text functions as a möbius strip, the “beginning” of the text folding into its “end”, the landscape reconstituting itself (but different) as a locale unfixed in normative functionings of time and space. Most of the characters in this narrative are black, queer, female, or immigrants to this city out of time. A möbius strip, of course, is a ribbon riddled with improbability, its facets only ever virtual. Wildness knows no bounds.

[7] In the crystalline, you can never see all images at once. “Crystalline narration will fracture the complementarity of lived hodological and a represented Euclidean space. Having lost its sensory-motor connections, concrete space ceases to be organized according to tensions and resolutions to tension, according to goals, obstacles, means or even detours.” How would a landscape versed only in the crystalline perform? What fugitivities would it support, wildness would it let in? How might it fold back on itself, in clever concealment? (Deleuze 2005: 128)

Works Cited

Arakawa, and Madeline Gins. Architectural Body. Tuscaloosa: Alabama University Press, 2002.

Campuzano, Guiseppe. “Veiled Genealogy of a Trans Future.” The Future Lasts Forever. Eds. Runo Lagomarsino and Carlos Motta. Gävle: Konstcentrum, 2011: 29-38.

Delany, Samuel R. Dhalgren. New York: Vintage Books, 2001.

Deleuze, Gilles. Cinema 2: The Time Image. London: Continuum, 2005.

Harney, Stefano and Fred Moten. The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning and Black Study. Wivenhoe/New York/Port Watson: Minor Compositions, 2013.

Latour, Bruno. “Networks, Societies, Spheres: Reflections of an Actor-Network Theorist.” International Journal of Communication. 5.1 (2011): 796-810.

Manning, Erin. Always More than One: Individuation’s Dance. Durham: Duke University Press, 2013.

Manning, Erin and Massumi Brian. Thought in the Act: Passages in the Ecology of Experience. 2014.

Nyong'o, Tavia. “Back to the Garden: Queer Ecology in Samuel Delany’s Heavenly Breakfast.” American Literary History. 24.4 (2012): 747-767.

Sawchuk, Kim and O.B Chapman. “Research-creation: Intervention, Analysis and Family Resemblances.” Canadian Journal of Communication. 37.1 (2012): 5-26.

Whitehead, Alfred North. Process and Reality. New York: Free Press, 1978.

Inflexions is a member of the Open Humanites Press journal collective.


Inflexions by Senselab is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.