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Massumi, intro

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Diane Davis

on 24 March 2011

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Transcript of Massumi, intro

It's comforting to talk about bodies as subjects of a preexisting grid. Gender Race Class Age Sexual
orientation etc. Such bodies are describable, locatable, understandable From here, you can begin to theorize such bodies in motion, but then you are limited to the kinds of motion available on the grid. Motion is just passage through a series of points or positions on the preexisting grid. Aging, for ex, amounts to the passage from age/point 2 to age/point 3 Positionality begins by subtracting movement from the picture, making it secondary to itself. Freeze-frame Motion becomes a function of a prior positioning Massumi wants to start with movement, with unmediated experience, with precisely what the grid by definition leaves out Mediated vs unmediated experience lines up with emotion vs affect Affect is unmediated. It doesn't wait for consciousness or language Emotion is what you call an affect that has been mediated Oh! That's anger i'm feeling! or joy...or envy...or But bodies are affected every nanosecond of every day in ways that never become conscious Massumi wants to start with what is "real but abstract." Real but in motion, not simply pin-pointable--dynamic and alive Incorporeal, in that sense Body is not simply matter that is here, definable. It is also incorporeal in the sense of dynamic, constantly changing. Every cell of your body is in motion right now Already different from what it was when I started this sentence. Body: both corporeal and incorporeal. Simultaneously. Disjunct. This incorporeal materialism "bumps being straight to becoming." Extensive space is measurable, divisible, composed of points along a grid, thru which Zeno's arrow flies But that is only one dimension of reality "A thing is when it isn't doing." A thing is a definable point or position only when it is static, when it isn't moving, dynamic--only when it isnt alive Extensive space and the arrested objects occupying the positions is a back-formation from cessation. But the dynamic enabling of this back-formation is intensive. Movement comes first, ontologically speaking. Position is derived from originary movement. Stasis is a back-formation from movement Positionality is an emergent quality of movement Passage preceeds construction--gender, race, orientation, etc, emerge and back-form their reality. Indeterminacy and determinacy, change and freeze-framing go together They are distinct but indissociable Passage and indeterminacy constitute the "field of emergence" while positionings are what emerge So nature and culture share an ontogenesis--a field of becoming Yes, culture, too, becomes; it, too, is dynamic and alive Possibility is back-formed from potentiality Potential is unscripted and unpredictable. It is the sum total of an untotalizable futurity. It only feeds forward Potentiality is the condition for emergence; possibility amounts to the re-conditionings of the emerged History is distinct but indissociable from becoming. But history reconditions the conditions for emergence. Emergence emerges. Changing changes. Actualized possibilities recondition potentiality Habit is an example of this nature-culture continuum It’s an acquired automatic self-regulation. it resides in the flesh, and yet, it is culturally acquired Evolutionary constructivism. World is self-augmenting. World snowballs Critical thinking is not simply constative; it's performative. It doesn't simply describe the world. It institutes, transforms Sensation is doubled by the feeling of having a feeling This doubling is immediate, as in non mediated. It is an intensity Page 15 This variation is felt. It is a self-relation. . It is the felt reality of relation, even if it is not large enough ti become conscious The vast majority of the world’s sensations are non-conscious
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