From KJ to ev-ent-anglement 1
August 27, 2014 at 8:19 pm
I have recently made a rather large cut
or rather a surgeon made it for me
out of great necessity
(It was a kind of a “do or die” situation)
This edit to my physical body invites interpretations,
many times by strangers
People whom I don’t know
and who don’t know me.
I don’t mean to be mysterious
Online I am a composite of many identities
gendered this way or that
I find myself entangled in fragments of former selves
which are constantly colliding
shattering the illusion of the seamless narratives
about gender identity
often required for the comfort of others.
Comment From KJ
August 29, 2014 at 3:52 pm
This reminds me of Bill Shannon’s creative
dance movement at the nexus of art &
disability; my 6 year-old son also has the
same pediatric hip disease (Legg-Calve-
Perthes) and we have been relearning
what it means to move freely in the world,
always subject to limitations of the body.
“joins and disjoins—cutting together/apart—not
separate consecutive activities, but a single
event that is not one.”
Mar(k)ing Time: Material Entanglements and Re-memberings:
“Affect arises in the midst of in-between-ness: in
the capacities of a momentary or sometimes
more sustained set of relations as well as the
passage (and the duration of the passage) of
forces or intensities.”
Melissa Gregg and Gregory Seigworth
“An Inventory of Shimmers”
A Day in the Life of Janet Smart: novel
“Affective Aesthetics: Ethics, Ecstasy and
“Affective Noise in Darren Aronofsky’s Pi,
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Call of Duty: Heroes: video game
Cinema Interval, book
Cougar This: poem?
Dartington College in the UK
“Deep Lab”: video 20. Michel Foucault
“Digital AIDS Documentary,” article
‘Disertaciones de la Chingada’: novel?
“Envisioning Global LGBT Human Rights”:
evacuated Israeli military fortress
Eugene Lang College (The New School)
facebook, youtube and twitter
“Free Angela Davis” and “All Political
Gender and Media Studies at the
University of Utrecht
Golden Gate Bridge
Goldsmiths iTunes U
Ideas are material
“Ideas are material in that they become rituals
and then sedimented at a corporeal level.”
Diana Coole and Samantha Frost
New Materialisms: Ontology, Agency and Politics
PEOPLE who have engaged and/or were cut+paste in
La Chica Boom
Trucos Clash Of Clans
Herpes Protocol Cure
Affect is what sticks
“Affect is what sticks, or what sustains or
preserves the connection between ideas, values,
Montreal Script in 3 acts:
use #eventanglement #montreal to
Action 1: ~10 mins
• Alone or in groups: Please gift to participants at the installation in Highland Park in October, three
or more digital fragments that express the affect of this event in Montreal:
• Ideally: 1) an object, 2) something of yourself, and 3) something of this place.
• You can do this by tweeting, with a photo, with writing, or a link, or you can make or say something
here, record it, and pass it along with #eventanglement. Feel free to email it to me
Action 2: ~10 mins
• Alone or in groups, look at eventanglement.com or cells.eventanglement (which will soon hold
what you just shared), and move something from there here by retweeting, reposting, quoting,
copying, re-doing with #eventanglement and #montreal.
Action 3: ~10 mins
• We will end with a conversation about your feelings, limits, boundaries, interests, and criticisms
after engaging in these actions.
• Of course you can share these as well, now or later, byt cut/paste+bleeding on the ev-ent-
Hello and welcome to the fourth ev-ent-anglement. What is that? you might rightfully inquire.
An ev-ent-anglement cuts and pastes an event to an entanglement making use of two hyphens for its highly visible stitches: ev-ent-anglement.
The first three events were actually talks, linked to and building towards this one.
The first was held in the Netherlands in August 2014 at the European Summer School in Women’s Studies at Utrecht University
Of course several of you here today were there at that messy and perhaps somewhat abrasive or at least discordant beginning of this project.
The second event was in Dehli at the Visible Evidence documentary conference in December of 2014. Domi was in that room with me where we both presented on a panel and she was also at Utrecht, of course. Pictures of her once there are not here.
Ingrid was at the Utrecht event, and also in India when the 2nd event occurred, although she wasn’t present at the talk. She had gifted me many fragments, however, in Utrecht, and several of them were in India, just as this one is here today.
The third iteration was performed only a few weeks ago, but pretty far away, in Dublin, as part of a panel on New Materialism and Feminist Media Studies at the Con-soleing Passions Conference.
I call these talks “events” because their participatory and performative nature differentiates them from the more circumscribed set of routines and protocals of typical conference fare. Here, I am indebted to Zizek, who defines an event as: “Something shocking, out of joint, that appears all of a sudden and interrupts the usual flow of things.”
“Something shocking, out of joint, that appears all of a sudden and interrupts the usual flow of things.”
Similarly, Alain Badiou calls an event “a rupture in the normal order of bodies and languages as it exists for any particular situation.”
“a rupture in the normal order of bodies and languages as it exists for any particular situation.”
On top of the disruptive, energetic and time looping Power Point, what may also present as shocking or out of joint or even something akin to a rupture in each of the talks cum events—yours being the fourth and last—is that I ask the audience, in this case you and others engaging with us online today and for the next week or so, to act with me, to cut and also to paste selected fragments of yourselves and others into the online record of the ever-growing and always-changing event, which itself is housed and becomes anew online. “Cuts are part of the phenomena they help to produce,” writes Karen Barad. Here your cuts are not only formative they are saved and reusable. I am planning for your cuts to help produce the phenomenon of Montreal at an upcoming installation in LA. Your script for action in three acts is forthcoming.
Your cuts as well as your pastes, like those of many others before you, produce the ev-ent-anglement: a digital place that archives, grows, and changes via the shared acts, interests, and values of its diverse feminist community. This photo was cut+pasted by a Women’s Studies graduate student during the talk in Utrecht about a year ago. Like the hundreds of objects now in making up the ev-ent-anglement it was easily cut and pasted in with a quick forward to me from her instagram account
You are invited to change the ev-ent-anglement now or at any time during the event by tweeting, moving a photo or video or link via instagram or vine or tumblr with the hastag above. This line of thought came to me from Domi at the Utrecht event via a twitter account she very well may have used only once, to participate in the event. Your more formal and detailed script is forthcoming.
Hers and your cut and then pastes into the ev-ent-anglement are both a “causal procedure and act of decision,” distinct activities that Sarah Kember and Joanna Zylinska understand as always potentially ethical. In the first talk, Kember and Zylinska’s writing about cutting, was central to the performance
A few days after that, Kember, Zylinska, and many others cut in their chosen fragments to mark their own attachments, like this video “Then Along Came STS/And by Nina Wakenford,” now an object in the ev-ent-anglement. In this way things, and works, and even people have moved and changed and this talk a year later has grown to include their many fragments.
Here is photo tweeted to me in Dehli by online participant vj_um_amel. Soon after engaging actively online she would begin to collaborate with me on the project. Her fragment depicts her collaboration with media theorist and artist Micha Cardenas’ in a performance called "Immobility: A score about mobility”
As I move across time and place extending new scripts at different events in new places the digital ev-ent-anglement grows and changes to include the ideas, images, and traces of the affective encounters that make up every event. The difference in this event is that I ask you to find, cut and paste, share, entangle with previous ones. These events are not one.
The ev-ent-anglement it is not seamless: each stitch, like the hyphens I began with, remains visible and usable for further entangling.
Rather, I ask you and other participants to show and share the cuts For instance, when I was in Utrecht, new media scholar and trans theorist KJ Sturken, entangling from afar, added a poem about the cutting off of some of his body parts. He wrote: “I have recently made a rather large cut to myself or rather a surgeon made it for me out of great necessity.” Want to read on? Not to worry, the poem is entangled in the ev-ent-anglement, and you can read the rest of it at the website listed above. You have my permission to wander. Your script is forthcoming.
Similarly, after Utrecht about a year ago, disability theorist and artist Petra Kuppers cut+paste to a now largely defunct website about experimental poetry and hypertext. She wrote that the ev-ent-anglement had taken her, and therefore us, back to this place and its set of concerns about digital poetics, once so central to her: “I am visiting them now wondering how I feel now about presence and absence, words and sounds.”
In her fragment, she also remembers poet Alaric Sumner, “someone who passed much too young.” Although dead, and fully unknown to me, he enters the ev-ent-anglement there and again here. One more object for you to consider and entangle with.
Then KJ entangled with Petra. We had moved far from, yet still connected to, the feminist, editing, affect and new media theory that grounded the initial event in Utrecht. He writes. This reminds me of Bill Shannon’s creative dance movement at the nexus of art & disability ; my 6 year-old son also has the same pediatric hip disease (Legg-Calve-Perthes) and we have been relearning what it means to move freely in the world, always subject to limitations of the body.
Both Bill Shannon and Legg-Calve-Perthes enter there and move here.
As I moved from place to place new attachments attached. I wrote on the ev-ent-anglement about Alisa Lebow’s keynote address at Visible Evidence in Dehli, as one of my own cut/pastes
and in this way other’s fragments from and about the Middle East became part of the ev-ent-anglement. As I said, it was about this time that vj un amel began to intra-act.
In Dublin, Rena Bivens tweeted in a video of Japanese artist, Sputniko’s “Menstruation Machine.” The links will become more clear to you as I move farther into the ideas of the event. In this way, the ev-ent-anglement opens out to entangle linked lines of inquiry and art and activism yielding further audience attachments at later events, like this one here. Feel free to bleed and thereby entangle at any time.
Entanglements, the second word fragment roughly cut with just two little dashes into the neologism ev-ent-anglement, are according to Karen Barad about “joins and disjoins—cutting together/apart—not separate consecutive activities, but a single event that is not one.”
This event is not one, nor are its materials, it is also the ideas of Ilona Hongisto and the behind the scenes labor of Risa Goodman who built ev-ent-anglement.com for me for free after I put out a request for a programmer on the FemTechNet listserv.
This is the first ev-ent-anglement site: it holds fragments from the Utrecht and India events in the form of tweets, comments, blog posts, photos, links, videos, and records of my four presentation and responses to them.
The Meaning of Freedom was cut and pasted in by TL last year online when I was in Utrecht.
Here is the new site, built by Laila Shereen Sakr, also known as VJ UM Amel, and grown by me for the past few days to include all of you. It allows users to see and entangle the objects that have been cut+pasted into the ev-ent-anglement. If you tweet now, your fragment will show up there soon. Of course, all the theorists I have quoted here so far, and many of your thoughts and attractions are also there: Badiou, Zizek, Sturken, Kuppers, Lebow, Barad, Kember and Zylinska, Bjork, Calhoun, Renschler, and soon enough Melissa Gregg and Gregory Seigworth. There you might find some of our feelings, or even affect, but this harder, as you all know too well. It is how I hope you can best contribute to this project. Cutting and Pasting the Affect of Affective Encoutners, or Montreal.
I am going to ask you to share fragments of our affect. That which: “arises in the midst of in-between-ness: in the capacities of a momentary or sometimes more sustained set of relations as well as the passage (and the duration of the passage) of forces or intensities.” Of course, I’ve done that before with several of you here and there.
The ev-ent-anglement saves and moves border disorders. An in-between-ness of fragments and forces from several single events that is and are not one, as well as the actions of many who are and are also not one, in this case, the image cut+paste by queer feminist film critic Ingrid Ryberg while I was performing in Utrecht, also found again here in Montreal. For the ev-ent-anglement none of us acts alone but rather within a refined, defined, collective feminist digital media practice.
“An actant never really acts alone. Its efficacy or agency always depends on the collaboration, cooperation or interactive interference of many bodies and forces”. While you are always an actant, your agency is staged, generative and intentional if you choose to engage with the ev-ent-anglement. As I said, it is an experiment in collective feminist digital media practice, rendering in its doing others ways to be co-present and co-productive. As is true of any experiment, its failures are generative, its desires are sustaining. I want your affect, here. Your script is forthcoming.
The evidence of your presence and collaboration today will take the form of some fragments of your choice that will move on to the in-between.
You will entangle both it and yourself in to perhaps be entangled by others at different events in new places. I particularly want Montreal to be entangled with at the final performance in LA. This will be the goal of your upcoming activities in three acts.
While every event is an entanglement: the ev-ent-entanglement names, and attempts to save, and also resuse some user-generated fragments of the people, place, thing and objects that were once and thus still present. While events are bounded by place and time, the ev-ent-anglement, and other similar technological solutions, rather effortlessly moves or perhaps expands boundaries of time, place, and community. While some of our presence becomes quite easy to record, save, and pass on what has proved harder to record, save, and pass on, is affect.
Of course, if you choose to engage, you will become an object in the ev-ent-anglement, as will your fragments, as do the people, places and things you summon up and link to. In this way the site manifests one of the central ideas of new materialism
“Ideas are material in that they become rituals and then sedimented at a corporeal level.” I help you sediment your ideas, and perhaps affect, with that of others, online. I am hoping we can do this in a different way from our already sedimented internet practices.
For, the ev-ent-anglement, engages in changing our conception of the archive from a repository of things to a process of shared feminist knowledge production. Nouns and verbs; things and their processes; people and/as objects; feminist cuts and connections that bind. Many people, and their thoughts, images, and feelings become linked and linkable objects.
But certainly, to entangle a digital fragment of yourself, with a cut and paste via a simple hashtag, while you are attending what you thought was a talk where you thought you were going to sit and listen is neither required nor easy. I’m wondering how you feel, and how that matters. “Affect is what sticks, or what sustains or preserves the connection between ideas, values, and objects,” explains Sara Ahmed. As I’ve suggested, soon enough I am going to ask you to consider entangling your affect as well as your ideas, values and beloved objects. I wonder how this invitation makes you feel?
I want the ev-ent-anglement to hold your feelings and responses, your worries, and their digital limits. I hereby acknowledge the cost.
The ev-ent-anglement, unlike the corporation, believes that there is something that exceeds both the mimetic copy of some part of yourself or others that you can so casually give away or pass along.
We call this the bleed: the actions, affects, and activities that will never be caught and saved as objects in a database. What sticks. What seeps.
An ev-ent-angelment easily cuts and pastes your fragment into this event but also tries to takes account of something harder: the bleed. While you can easily entangle at will that might be pleasurable, or painful. Your script is forthcoming. Whatever your reaction, I would like to suggest that the act is gendered.
Importantly for our project here, cutting or editing as both theory and practice, is historically women’s work, and craft, and arguably feminist work; “like doing the washing up,” as much as it is like creating art.
Dziga Vertov’s Man With a Movie Camera draws out cutting and editing in gendered terms.
Of course the contemporary act of self-cutting, like editing, can also be understood in gendered terms: a violent act of power-seeking performed in yet another of those private places allocated to women and those understood as female in patriarchy. Interestingly, this kind of cutting does not bring with it an associated paste. What this cut brings with it, what it wants, its dyadic, is a bleed.
While all human bodies (and those of other animals) bleed, a particular kind of bleeding will help focus the bleed’s role in our feminist project of #ev-ent-anglement 4—one where our directives are to #cut/paste+bleed —because the menses are one of many in-between bodily acts that are uniquely and distinctly female. Julia Kristeva asks us to consider bodily acts, like menstruation, at the border between clean and dirty, live and dead, inside and out: “Repelling, rejecting; repelling itself, rejecting itself. Ab-jecting.”
The seeping and connecting quality of all blood allows it to be a metaphoric glue, like affect, that marks the many pulls, movements, and actions of our present entanglement—from in to out and on to off, from me to you to us, from digital matter to living body. Of course all people—men, those in-between or indeterminate, and females who don’t menstruate—can bleed with us too! Cyborgs all, we use technology and place to flow through binaries. Let’s cut/paste and bleed through! There is no in-between.
Intra-action, another of Barad’s terms, marks again where “there is no ‘between’ as such, human and non-human organisms and machines emerge only through their mutual co-constitution
Your intra-action with the ev-ent-anglement cuts+pastes a small piece of your digital self or that of others who you care about, by generously and knowingly gifting it to me, and the ev-ent-anglement, rather than to the man or the corporation, and all their places where our fragments currently call home.
This small user-generated, highly-focused collection of fragments, themselves about cutting, pasting, events, entanglements, and also the bleeding that ensues is not so different from a mashup of Facebook and Pinterest, say, except in the highly focused set of questions it ponders, the deeply architected pathways for connection it engenders, the closely knit nature of the community it calls upon, and our planned uses for the fragments it collects.
What will be done with your objects and your traces? We certainly won’t sell you anything, not even yourself. Rather, at the fifth and final event, to take place in Los Angeles this Fall, new media artist/theorist VJ Um Amel and I plan to finish the experiment with a live performance event: a generative visualization of some international feminist documentary and new media theorists’ thinking and practices about cutting, pasting, and bleeding within Internet culture. From your fragments will come art and community as a form of collective theory-making.
The project’s last iteration will be in October 2015 in another place that is not one, PAM, an avant-garde gallery and performance space in Highland Park, LA.
This is undoubtedly a messy but loving experiment that seeks to produce a collective critique of contemporary Internet culture through very small but infinitely large feminist, theoretical, activist, and artistic gestures.
Unlike much on the Internet, our community is limited, our database is small, the ideas and things gathered here are complex and deep, to know what is here demands time, and your presence is generative.
When you participate, as did capricorn dragon, you become a willing and informed object, an actant, and a collaborator.
If the Internet is an unorchestrated archive of fragments of all our selves that we gladly give away to be mined to sell us more things we never need, including commodified versions of ourselves,
we might want to take on the empowering and collaborative feminist role of editor so as to curate ourselves, together, into a collection that matters and has some new kind of sense.
Our object is ourself and ourselves. Our Bodies/Our Selves Redux. Lopped. Looped. Lined. Linked. Re-Aligned. Show the Seams.
Justice to our fragments! I invite you to join or at least bleed to us. Your script is here. Thanks for your acts.