The Dance of The Body without Organs
My current project employs the concept of the Body w/o Organs as a model of artistic process to undermine social, scientific, and political hierarchies used in organizing our states of consciousness and embodiment. By arriving at a location of stillness, or “zero intensity” through this process of dislocating normative structures; new structures, configurations, and organizations will emerge that reflect local, emotional, or irrational consistencies. The project exists in several instantiations, including immersive virtual environments, networked art, 3-D modeling, and texts.
Body w/o Organs, Deleuze and Guattari, Artaud, Virtual Reality, Virtual Environment, Irrationality, Surrealism, Visible Human Project
1.0 Situating Subjectivity
“My mind became a place of refuge, an sanctuary, a room I could enter with no fear of invasion. My mind became a site of resistance.” (hooks, 1991)
Located as a privileged subject relative to race and gender; I am at a transitional place regarding power relations. My upbringing as a white male of a middle class family in a line of Scottish farmers immigrating to the rural Midwestern US roots me in the blood-soaked soil of the Klu Klux Klan. I was born and raised 20 years after and 30 miles from Marion, Indiana, site of countless barbaric lynchings of African Americans. My sympathies betrayed the hegemonic classifications of my own body and color of flesh. I lined up with the victims, not with my kin. My desire to be done with the coding of the politics of identity in my flesh increased my sense of disembodiment. My own betrayal of skin and kin accompanied by the undeniable privilege afforded me by the embodied coding of race has created a bifurcation that has accompanied me through my circumnavigations in the world, leading me into much conflict, pain, remorse, and joy. I have access to the world and institutions of art, science, and technology; institutions that are bastions of privilege and potential sites of resistance. This project, “The Dance of the Body w/o Organs”, is the result of my desire to build a new relationship to my flesh, “The Flesh”(Merleau-Ponty, 1968), and to the body politic.
I have been developing The “Dance of the Body w/o Organs” since 1998. By aspiring to a creative process that is complex and liquid I have created an emulsion of catalysts characterized by shifting emphases between artistic practice, scientific inquiry, teaching, reading, writing, and critical thinking. The process is a mobius strip where one discipline flows over another.
This essay serves a double function: 1). As a modest line of flight, a contribution to the total work, The Body w/o Organs; and 2). As an account of the project that this writing is a part of. In an attempt to answer the inevitable question, what is the body w/o organs?, I will discuss the development of the concept by Antonin Artaud, and refer to a few subsequent...