Sunday, October 31, 2004
Mist, Crumbs, Peculiar Ethos
I found Corey Union the other night (and damn, how I should be working on a response paper--something from Handa's vizrhet anthology this time). I found Corey Union; parked on the uphill grade just a block from the place. Into Exhibition Lounge, I strolled. It was empty, dark. Televisions stood on each side of the podium; one leaked static, the other, a faintly discernable "unusable signal" message.
Note-taking during a Vitanza talk is a nasty gag. Trick, treat, then this? What? Yet I scribbled until my miniature yellow tablet filled up. Then I stopped. And so these notes are my own (and now yours) strings.
The television monitors--two of them--mattered to the talk. Vitanza's text (talk) coincided with the movies; each screen played a slow frame-rate picture-show: hands typing, VV talking, cutting mushrooms, duck and cover footage. All of it loosely discordant--a purposefully jumbled synchronization of themes, resonances, unmatched with the precise (re)turns in the paper he read. And the object (although everyone in the audience would disagree, mostly) was to find the in-between space, the gap between the spoken-text and the screens.
Said Vitanza of the (de.per)formance, "Impossible to follow. It does not follow." And no claims to immediate intelligibility. And "unmasking is forever an unmaking." But I might have that wrong or it might have been a quotation from Deleuze on actual-virtual and two mirrors. I might have it all wrong. And in this case, that would be okay. "This event is for tomorrow unfounded on yesterdays," Vitanza said.
It was called "The Coming Pedagogy of the Peculiar." With refs to post-pedagogy--knowing and making even if or always non-codifiable, Vitanza addressed theory, asked us "to learn to live with ghosts," Hamlet, Marx, and Derrida, himself. String: beside "himself." String: the ground, the ?, the indeterminate self that shakes us, sets us trembling. And "let us not lose sight of the alongsides." Vitanza told us definition means to limit: creating certainty by throwing away the crumbs.
I got particularly rapt up in his suggestion that "community is always coming along" and that "it resists collectivity as much as it resists individuality." And a nursery quip: Subjectivity sat on a wall. You know the rest. Essence-existence-irreparable. String: Less interested in what goes for truth. More interested in a discourse of untruth which has haunted the text.
It was, on the whole, haunting. It promised to be. And here you have fewer than half of my notes which continue--strings--loose, tangential, listed. Fifty minutes plus Q&A: vagabond Sophists, Zeno's arrow, chromosomic multisexes (how many you want?), mushrooms and dough, Virginia Woolf, Proteus and a bowl of water.
~Keep your eyes on the in-between--the space between the excluded middle and the excluded third. Between them should haunt you. It should disturb you.
After the talk, I met and talked with Alex (and expressed my gratitude for his return email filling me in on the time, location), then introduced myself to VV, asked him how we'll re-gain access to his talk--an essay? Book? Kit. It'll likely be a kit. Available sometime soon--a future date "unfounded on yesterdays," to be sure.
Drove home in the rain.Posted by Derek Mueller at October 31, 2004 9:21 PM to Unspecified