The development and use of the theoretical apparatus

In the early part of the process I was reflecting my ideas through the metamodel of Guattari, as it is presented by Janell Watson (2009) (See the previous diagram)

It seemed to be an analytical tool, which did not function very well in the actual working process, for many reasons. In some sense, schizoanalytic practice aims to dismantle the behaviour, which is needed to fulfil the synthesized requirements of self-control in contemporary capitalism. In here, we perform like a sponge – a polymeric structure imitating a rhizome, which is ontologically altogether different. The sponge structure is not natural, but ontologically synthetic and produced. Movements, which take place in schizoanalytic practice, are not ‘natural’ or ‘authentic’ but often ridiculously fake, and they are not capable of producing catharsis. I have referred yo this way of working with the performance practice of Matt Mullican19, Ueinzz theatre group or in some sense with the early 80s No Wave musicians such as Arto Lindsay or Ikue Mori from DNA.20 

Intensities as such may produce a mess, which is neither overwhelming nor discursive. However, this is the approach of the avant-garde, which has significant difference from schizoanalytic practice. The atter tries to produce moments of receiving and moulding form, aside from occasional ruptures, as well. 

Almost instantly, when talking with people in Bytom, I was faced with a kind of fog and confusion, which I call a mess. What is the potentiality, which is unseen, yet, present? What kind of refrains can be produced emerging from the constraining mess? Constraints and agency are present themselves side by side in a mess. The nature of abstract machines such as capital or music has very different consistency than those of concrete assemblages. (Guattari 1979/2011, 47) They either “charge” themselves with signification or interaction, either stratified, fluid or external of representation – as capitalist abstractions. (Guattari 1979/2011, 47-49) Capitalist abstraction is homogenizing and synthetic, which “must unceasingly recreate the void, reproduce the splitting and isolation of an individuated subject in relation to assemblages of enunciation,” and it must function as a system of neutralization and overcoding. (Guattari 1979/2011, 53) Thus, all machinic assemblages will be always relayed back to universal and not minor abstractions.

How can I approach abstraction in practice, when abstraction eludes it, and by the practice itself is conveyed into meaning. In practice my starting point can be a simple direction, intensity or a way to do something, similar to Fluxus scores or OuLiPo directions, for instance. However, the presence of meaning, or the Abstract Machine of meaning, assumes that there is always coded meaning presented in the end. There is a sense of being locked down or being anxious of something which may have happened before or fear of something, which is only an affect of non-identity.

In the state of the event of performance, where my subjectivity experiences the spatio-temporal situation so different than in the everyday, there is a sense of dislocation, intensity and lack of significant direction. I would consider this as a performance in the machinic consciousness; the performance of the machinic itself, instead of articulation of resistance.21 However, this machinic appears not as signified meaning. It is not that I would recognize spots of a-signified ruptures of meaning, but that I will recognize the severality or crowd of faces – that I vaguely perceive the machine itself. I do not say, there would be any possibility to perceive this in totality, but rather that the machinic itself is perceived in the performance as a ‘construct’. The performance is a terrain where the subject deterritorializes. 

The Abstract Machine of faciality is a function, which I present here very briefly, since it exemplifies the function of the abstract machine in general – how meanings are coded. A non-discursive matter is turned into discursive signification by the abstract machine of faciality. (Deleuze and Guattari 1980/2005, 167-191) The faciality traits are different from the animal muzzle, and can be marked by dominant significations, such as ‘mad laughter’ or ‘seductive face’, etc. Faciality is an existential refrain and a grid of these dominant significations. Moreover, according to Guattari, this refrain of faciality is a ‘diagrammatic key’, for the group or tribe to catalyse and reterritorialize under a specific sign.22 Faciality as existential refrain manifests as a suggestive recomposition of the more or less damaged existential Territory and functions as a processual, exited state of intense desire, also. (Guattari 2013, 146) The refrain carries in itself the dead memory, remnant and the surplus value by bringing about the catalyses. (Ibid.) Faciality is an ‘institutional stamp’ as well as a “messenger-bird that taps on the window with its beak, so as to announce the existence of the other virtual Universes of reference, that can modify the actual state of enunciative dispositions profoundly.” (Guattari 2013, 147) Guattari distinguishes the latter one as a possibility linked with the practice such as the Dadaists' and Surrealists', “their technical utilization of aleatory caesura” which indicated the bifurcation and potentiality. Another option for Guattari is a “straightforward processual mutation”, which he refers to Proust’s “refrains of lost Time”. (Guattari 2013, 147-48) 

Thus an emblem, signature or face may engender new existential territory and transformation of the possibly actual, with certain procedures, which in turn are not dichothomized in discursive rules of signification. The utterance of the performance, illocutionary, is not only trapped under the discursive repression of the signification, but may produce such transformation of the articulations of collective speech. However, these procedures are not arbitrary and the processes should consider the abovementioned procedure of the existential refrains.  

Guattari writes about the discontinuity between the dreams and sketches of Leonardo da Vinci and the “techno-scientific state of things of his epoch,” where his dreams did not acquire the consistency or collective enunciation at his time. (Guattari 2013, 142) Expressions engender existential mutations, but only until there is a functioning abstract and concrete machine involved. They are performative only if they can acquire the consistence of collective enunciation, in other words, when ‘a dream’ requires abstract machine and involvement of the virtual Universes in order to function. “The Concorde was never very successful because its economic Universe lacked consistency,” he writes.23

How do we perform or how is the enunciation set into existence by performatives? What is performance in accordance with the real Flows, possible Phyla, virtually real Territories and virtually possible Universes? What part does the larynx, saliva or molar teeth take in the act of enunciation, and in what relation is the subject with the abstract and concrete machines? During the performance my attention to action is not focused or open to possibilities; it does not confer with a narcissistic body-image, but rather it resembles the description of the psychotics presented by Gisela Pankow: 

“The neurotic can recognize the missing parts of his body or those which are separated as well as the whole to which these belong, even if his way of talking about his body makes it appear mutilated or cut up. Thus one part of his body can come to represent the whole without dissociation and without the entire body being destroyed. The psychotic, on the other hand, has a dissociated image of his body: he can no longer recognize a part of his body as precisely a part of it; the body as it is experienced is no longer an entity.” (Pankow 1974, 407)

The performing “constituted social temporality” of this particular experiment was constituted from the Flow of the real by the possible real of the abstract and concrete Machines in the Phyla. (Butler 1988, 519) The performative is put into being in the existential territory, which has a particular consistency. Moreover, each practice session and the actual performance was a singular smoothing of the Flows: a sort of existential homogenization. However, the domain of the particular Territory of the performance was not only a reduction of the potentials, but also a site for cognitive, memorial, affective and imaginary experimentations. Not one formula functions the same way at different occasions. Therefore, different signals and matters have to have some compositional and mutual apprehension between each other, in order for any performance or performative to take place. 

19 Matt Mullican defines the emptiness of a stage as almost unbearable, when the audience enters the room, where he has been preparing his performance, and they come with their smells, warmth and chatter. (Griffin 2009) Mullican is being hypnotized prior to performance, and a subjectivity is being revoked, which is not altogether new, but a repetition of the previous performances. Mullican is not completely conscious of the repetition, but unaware of the repetition of the other. He describes the situation of entering a stage: “I go out there [stage], and it’s like entering a void. It is a creepy thing. I don’t know what I am going to do. What I do, is always so particular – it’s such a particular feeling, to go out there and not really have anything to do. […] What I do, is always so particular – it’s such a particular feeling, to go out there and not really have anything to do. Because I have to wait for myself to do something. […] Then, again if nothing comes out, then nothing comes out, and that’s always a possibility. I find myself doing the same time I did time before, and time before that, and time before that […]” (Mullican, 2007)

20 Description of my schizoanalytic practice at an event in Tomar, Portugal, May 2009: “While I am messing around with the guitar and layering more loops, I am whirling around the stage on the verge of falling. It feels clumsy, tense and I notice that I am more conscious of what I am doing, in contrast to the beginning of the performance. I am ashamed of my lack of skill. The layers of repetitive sound build up a noisy and chaotic frame – a protective ‘shield’ from the audience – which makes me feel uncomfortably distant. I dwindle more in my thoughts. I am aware of my actions, but I am utterly uncertain what is going on. I do not want to entertain, but neither do I deny it completely. I feel extremely tense and stressed, and feel that I am on the verge of my mental capacity.”

21  In an early text “Machine and Structure” Guattari writes: "The essence of the machine is precisely this function of detaching a signifier as a representative, as a 'differentiator', as a causal break, different in kind from the structurally established order of things. It is this operation that binds the machine both to the desiring subject and to its status as the basis of the various structural orders corresponding to it. The machine, as a repetition of the particular, is a mode - perhaps indeed the only possible mode - of univocal representation of the various forms of subjectivity in the order of generality on the individual or the collective plane. […] The voice, as speech machine, is the basis and determinant of the structural order of language, and not the other way round. The individual, in his bodiliness, accepts the consequences of the interaction of signifying chains of all kinds, which cut across and tear him apart. The human being is caught where the machine and the structure meet." (Guattari 1984, 114)

22 ”During the High Middle Ages […] the face of Christ Pantocrator […] began literally to haunt the multiple horizons of Christianity.” (Guattari 2013, 144)

23 “Concorde simultaneously involves: a diagrammatic Universes with plans of theoretical ‘feasibility’; technological Universes transposing this ‘feasibility’ into material terms; industrial Universes capable of effectively producing it; collective imaginary Universes corresponding to a desire sufficient to make it see the light of day; political and economic Universes leading, amongst other to things, to the release of credit for its construction … But the bottom line is that the ensemble of these final, material, formal and efficient causes will not do the job! The Concorde object moves effectively between Paris and New York but remains nailed to the economic ground.” (Guattari 1995, 48)