However Imperfectly Understood

Saturday, 1 December 14:00 - 19:00
Host: Marina Vishmidt
This session proposes to excavate the determinations of time and labour in the practices of reading, of research, of writing and of distribution as moments of a ‘living culture’ with discernible political effects. Reading when no longer circumscribed by the methodologies and ideologies of a textual substrate, but as one modality of a contingent relation, itself riven by contingency, between perceiving and acting in culture, an actual indistinction between consuming and producing. Social media lays claim to this in an attempt to foment a media socialism. But it disregards the materiality of alienation. If language is a virus, how is it possible to at once situate and extend reading as production of resistance? An economy of reading as an economy of affects tending towards dissolution, or to re-composition elsewhere – where do we locate this economy in production, in property regimes and in the articulation of being-other with being-together?

... A separation presumed is a separation ratified. In your critical essays, analytic texts, and more ‘fictional’ narratives, you evoke configurations of incident, metaphor, the prosaic and the attested, which interfere with historical lore and genre convention, putting forward new principles of production – of memory, of temporality, of sense – in their very construction. This would be one way of performing the indistinction between reading and writing, as a contingency that congeals into act or authorship only through the encounters it makes possible. A plurality of speech, of living organisation, as not just the unthought, but the texture of the work. …
… In other words, a materialist inflection of reading as a practice that tries to develop the paradoxical relation between indistinction and universal exchange, between singularity and individuation. Rather than aesthetic supercessions of a capitalist axiomatic, the first term is always imbricated in the second, and derives its transformative force from this imbrication. … M.V.
… The preface is its ventriloquist own, an auto-impressionist; it imitates the form of the preface in the tones of the university lecturer rehearsing his work-manlike habituation to knowledge. Not a drone so much as a exhalation of information in even columns of breath.At other times it performs as the aphoristic dummy to that homunculus of Walter Benjamin who whispers in-to the ear of all writers of ambition. The latter is fine, if the scent of damp tweed does not permeate the pages, but the former is more lithe, always making more of a text than a work. By which we mean a good fist of it, rather than a good stab at it. The judicious aim of the preface is to raise everything discussed to the same depth; a deft arabesque would disrupt the purposeful march over its even surface. It must raise issues whilst casting an even light on the monochrome surface of the discourse it describes. … S.R.
Steve Rushton's text, Readable Memory, Work and Text will be read in this session.


Edit - History - Print - Recent Changes - Search
Page last modified on December 01, 2007, at 03:28 PM