Explore with your body
Good Bye Humanism

Good Bye Humanism

Good bye humanism

I would like to eventually establish a practice around the theories of affect, as well as agency. Of course, within the realm of fashion, because fashion is a close to body service, kind of. So it’s something that even though it’s not a cream or a lotion or makeup that we put on our skins, it is something that lies against our skin all day. I think, nowadays, people can measure the effect clothing has on you, you can get rashes from clothes, certain textiles, make you sweat more, it’s not breathable. Even the detergent that you use that sits in the clothes can cause allergic reactions.

Let’s start with affect. So affect is kind of structurally unrepresentable. So it’s a really hard concept to define. But I like to explore, within the domain of affect, because it’s something that you cannot really describe in language, because language waters down the potential of affect, essentially. So this new-materialist idea of contextualizing, or sensing and perceiving things, without the traditional modalities for capturing information really appeals to me. So even though I’m still doing a lot of writing, the writing that I’m trying to do now is, I guess, more creative. And the reason it’s creative is because there’s also an element of affect mixed in with that, because I get immensely stimulated from writing in this creative way. And moving away from sort of the traditional format of what academic writing might be. I mean, I still get stuck on it sometimes. But it’s fun to explore new avenues for expressing myself and having a voice.

Intensity does not produce meanings, but is capable of changing them: “[i]t is a state of suspense, potentially of disruption” (p. 86), which disappears at the very moment we attempt to locate and describe it, but modifies the narratives we produce.

The human reception of images (that is, external stimuli) occurs on at least two levels: that of form/content, and that of intensity/effect.  The form/content level is linked with the signifying order; consequently, people are capable of making sense of their perceptions on this level by narrativizing their experience. In contrast, a perception on the level of intensity/effect is, according to Massumi, “a nonconscious, never-to-conscious autonomic remainder” of bodily reactions to external stimuli (p. 85). It is disconnected from any possibility to being translated into a narrative: in Massumi’s gloss it is “narratively de-localized”. [1][2]

So in affect. So there’s a very big element of non humanism in it, which I also want to move away from. So move away from the human centric approach to contextualizing the world. And affect theory specifically, investigates the fact that non human things have as much capacity as humans to effect because they are humans are not the center of the world. And then this ties into fashion again, because beyond just the ideological values that we attach to fashion, its potential to affect us is really immense. I guess we can deal with fashion on a bunch of different dimensions, we can deal with the idle ideological dimension, but also with the material dimension. And then as I hypothesize, anyway, there’s even a metaphysical dimension there that also has an affect on us.

And then when we discuss affect, of course, we also have to look at agency. Affect is culturally mediated. So that’s the only way we can make sense of the world. And we do the same thing with agency, we assign or ascribe humanistic values or human characteristics to the idea of agency. And in the human centric experience of the world, only humans have the capacity to have agency. And it’s something that we have in our language. We say,  we become empowered, or we can choose. And this all has to do with our notions of what agency is, which is in human’s mind is a human centric experience. But humans are not the only thing or the only rational beings in this society or in this life. And we are not the only beings that can even exercise intentional agency. And what we have to realize about agency is agency is very complex, but it’s collectively distributed and it’s more than human and anything that exist have agency it has the potential to have an affect, or even an effect on our lives. So just by existing, something is automatically imbued with agency. And then when you also talk about agency, you have to look at the inta relationships between things, and how things have a knock on effect on each other. And this is something that I would I would like to explore more, agency as well as an affect, because there is a scientific and psychological element. And, of course, a philosophical element to it, all of which I really enjoy researching about.

So for my mode of research or my methodology, I once again relied on artletics, I actually have a few projects in the pipeline, none of none, some of them came to fruition, but some of them have not come to fruition yet. One thing that I would like to work on, as I did mention, before that I would like to publish a pillow book. But since I’m not a big fan of paper os a medium for publishing, I’ve decided to publish everything I do in a textile format. And when I actually do get the opportunity, I hope, to run some of the workshops I’ve been, like envisioning, or I’ve been working on or developing, I would like to capture people’s reactions from the workshop in a textile format.

So I might ask them to say what color was the most vivid while you were doing these movements, or which body part became activated. And then on pieces of clothing, I actually want them to make impressions. And it could be something with ink, it could be with markers. It could be in a variety of other ways. So like imprinting once again, an identity, or a narrative or a story onto clothing. And then also in the coming weeks, I will start printing some of the stuff that I’ve already written on pieces of textile. I’ve been writing a lot, maybe more than what is necessary, so I’ll have to curate and edit some of that as well. I actually a lot of the secrets that I’ve been collecting from my previous performances I’ve already prepared to be sewn into clothing. I just unfortunately haven’t gotten around to it yet, but it will form part of my thesis. Or what I will hand in towards completing my thesis.



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