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Why a machine? Or any concept, for that matter?
September 04, 2018 06:55 PM PDT
Often, when I get excited about an idea — Nietzsche's amor fati, Kierkegaard's knight of faith, Deleuze's fold, and now Guattari's machine — I am often met with a certain confusion by those around me. Their instinct is that whatever I'm saying is "academic" and hence of no real interest.
Believe me, I understand such a reaction. But I believe it's an instinct that's been bred by a certain ideology that makes new, strange sounding ideas suspect. The fact is we deploy concepts all the time in how we make sense of the world, of ourselves, our relationships. Ego, the unconscious, freedom are all concepts that we just take for granted as true things. But they're concepts that were created and perpetually recast — except when we just assume they're true and so never question them.
Concepts are art but, like, really pervasive art in that they inflect everything we see. Sure, seeing a Van Gogh might have you re-seeing the viscosity of the atmosphere. But a concept like the ego has you rethinking yourself and the motivations of everyone all the time.
Concepts aren't true or not true. They can work in that they can explain. They can jibe with you. They may not jibe or explain but they can be beautiful, odd, exhilarating. Long before Maturana's "autopoisesis" began to work for me, it sure exhilarated me!
But why machines in particular? Well, I think it's a concept that radically recasts the very possibility of change in the social or personal or environmental. But there's something else about machines: it's a concept or figure that refuses any sure, natural, or true ground. Everything from atoms and fleas to me and my son to the experiences of love and confusion to airplanes, solar systems, and cosmic undulations are constitutive of ever-shifting machinic flows and distributions. And so, as a rhetorician, I take pleasure in having all my paradigms be up for grabs. It's, once again, exhilarating.The Art Machine
August 29, 2018 05:37 PM PDT
Inspired by reading Félix Guattari, here I am trying to explain what an art machine is as distinct from Foucault's discourse, Marx's means of production, and Althusser's ideological hailing.Deleuze & Guattari's Body without Organs (BwO), Yoga, S&M, Drugs, and a Morass of More!
May 12, 2018 07:29 PM PDT
I try to bring Deleuze and Guattari's figure of the Body without Organs to life and discuss different modes of access — different drugs, S&M, and mostly yoga. And I play some Boredoms! Fun for the whole family.Horizons
January 16, 2018 09:23 PM PSTThe Word Made Flesh: On Language, Rhetoric, Performativity, and Jesus
December 20, 2017 07:56 PM PST
There is no word, no thing, that is not always already being expressed. In the common view, we imagine words are these conveyors of preformed meaning that we hurl across the abyss separating me from you. But the expressive field is dense, saturated, multiple, and temporal.What is Rhetoric? (Take 1)
November 18, 2017 09:54 PM PST
What is Rhetoric? (Take 1)
November 18, 2017 07:08 PM PST
What is Rhetoric? (Take 1)
November 18, 2017 06:36 PM PST
I keep trying to define rhetoric, to make sense of its mode of making sense. Rhetoric, I claim, is the theory and practice of making sense of life as part of life. Its purview, then, is the very interaction between things. That's a couple of heady sentences, I know. Perhaps my rambling will help.Reading the Way of Spaces
June 27, 2017 07:47 PM PDT
How do different spaces distribute bodies? What things are asked of us? What energy is necessary to find our ease in a bar, a restaurant, a park, a clothing-optional spa?
This is where power, place, and identity intersect in a collaborative event of creation.
Discussed: Foucault, drinking alone, classrooms, city parks, naked hot springs (well, the hot springs aren't naked, the people are).On Solitude: Balancing the Human & Inhuman
December 27, 2016 07:40 PM PST
This is a more personal podcast in which I try to reckon the romance of the solitary man — focusing on Kierkegaard's reading of Abraham and Issac in "Fear and Trembling" — with the very real tugs the human social — affection, grief, kindness.
I begin by talking about how this jew spends his Christmas....
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