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<eyebeam><blast> multiplicity/severality/Discussed

        One of the most striking moments in B. Lichtenberg Ettinger's
text was right at the start:
> I am articulating 'Beauty and Trauma' with what I see as a passage, in

> contemporary art, to Trauma and Transference in a matrixial sphere.
> sphere makes possible the passage from the subject as separate (Freud,

> Lacan) (on the one hand) or the infinitely multiplied subject
> (Guattari/Deleuze) (on the other hand), on to trans-subjectivity in
> severality.

        I am very struck by this. One could spend many hours thinking
and responding to this rich text on the whole. But let us look at one
thing for now. The idea of an 'infinitely multiplied subject.' In
contrast to that of severality.  In Deleuze and Guattari [A/O, M/P ,,
Dialogues, Negotiations and othertexts]  the notion of multiplicity does
not imply a multiplication of self. Rather there is no more subject and
the substance [in the classical sense] disappears. In its place a space
arises or a space is made clear where the desiring-machines and the
unconscious as factory can now be seen. With the infinite connections
that desiring machines make [Chaosophy 126 Semiotext[e]& Appendix to 2nd
ed. de L'Antioedipe Paris, Minuit] one is then aware of multiplicity as
an activity and not as a subject that might be multiplied in-infinity.
There can be no multiplying of a self-subject which no longer exists [if
it ever did]. That would be a mishap of the ego-structure entering an
intensive state on the body-without-organs and confusing its own
temporal structure with the image-delires- the schizzes-flows.
Deleusions and hallucinations have at least one of their sources in the
confusion of the 'I' ego structure as it passes [AntiOedipus 21 english
version] the bands of intensity,potentials, thresholds, gradients
[ibid]. More accurately it is the subject which passes through the
states but not subject qua subject in the classical sense. Meaning a
subject which possesses an ontological substance. Thus again there can
be no multiplication of that sort. The multiplicity is part of the
overall re-scanning of  matter material and form. Form as we know is
limited to the visible biological as well molecular structures which
compose it. Yet what the journey onto the body-without-organs entails is
the de-composing [not literally but in the zones of intensity  and
experience of another bodymind] of the those structures and the
re-living and living them by the 'subject'. As you know the
poetic-schizo- origins of these notions came to Deleuze and Guattari via
Artaud. It was Artaud indeed who from first hand experience mapped out
these treacherous and dangerous areas. R. D. Laing (Poltics of
Experience, Voice of Experience and other texts] describes this
experiential zone as a  reversion back to earlier biological forms.
Stanislov Grof has done longtitudinal studies of persons who have worked
in the unconscious and also come up with results, data and first hand
accounts which also confirm some of the areas of the psychic spaces
Artaud [to his glory and our good fortune] had mapped already.
        Deleuze reiterates in various interviews that [avec Guattari]
that he is not speaking in metaphors. He iterates indeed that his work
really is considering the problems of matter as well as the assemblages
which constitute a space for desire and persons. Desire is always
positive  with them and its transforms via the various social technical
and historical machines; subsequently there then follows the various
lines [4 are discussed in Milles Plateau] which cross and re-cross the
strata which make up the Judgement of God as they call them. The four
lines which run through the strata are varied in quality, direction
scope and intensity. Desire works along the lines and it is the last one
which is the line of flight. It is the line of flight which creates the
explosions which result in the schizophrenic person's experience of
delirium. Desire is perverted reverted and made to territorialize
deterritorialize and reterritorialize its various subjects as they pass
into and out the intense bands and zones of the body-without-organs.
        Much of the material D&G write from uses the schizophrenic model
as their paradigm, one can see at operation what  could be called an
addition, an augmentation which constantly occurs. Deleuze never takes
away [from schizophrenia or anything else]but adds a model, another
piece, another part and element to others as in the proliferation of a
rhizome underground. What came first the schizo or the capitalist? Marx
laughs under the face of Spinoza under the mask of Nietzsche under the
mask of Artaud to paraphrase Foucault's commentary on Deleuze.  Deleuze
remarks that Milles Plateau works as a series of split rings where you
can fit any one part into another: So the schizophrenic who has  no one
sex  [that is to say the schizo is not trapped in  the phallic stratums
and/or the Oedipal impassses; although one must add, there are, and
Deleuze and Guattari point this out, there are 'little oedipii which
cling everywhere':thus the danger of black holes etc.]   predates the
Oedipal structures and either passes around or when she/he encounters
[D&g cite numerous instances of this in Milles Plateaux and AntiOedipus]
and sees them she has no interest in them. D&G freqently cite Beckett's
characters as instances of this anaoedipal and indeed antioedipal
movement. Also it is the energy (- sometimes called Numen depending on
its relation to the various synthesis of the unconscious --  A/O) of the
schizophrenic flows which both realize and undermine the capitalist
system, and on a personal lived level that destroy the schizophrenic
         How does this connect to the notion of multiplicity? I see it
as the Mutiple which has taken the place of the traditional dualism of
the One and Many. In Antioedipus and in Deleuze's book about Proust
there is a discussion of this. It is this model which also marks their
split from the classical notion of Truth and whatever remains of
Hegelian ideas of totality - Here I cannot help but invoke Genet: What
remained of a Rembrandt torn into little pieces... the little pieces are
the partial objects of which the poet Genet writes thereby making his
own desire machine .  Hegel concludes [in Western thought] an idea of
wholeness and unity which had permeated western philosophy since
Descartes and Plato. One cannot  overturn Plato says Deleuze, but as
Foucault remarks appropo of that problem, one can work around the sides,
the beside spaces [Lichtenberg also works beside and reintroduces a
meaning of the term Freud has rejected], the tiny zones, the humoresque,
Jarry's pataphysics as well as other arenas. Thus Deleuze's interest in
the Stoics and others.
        Close she is to Deleuze and Guattari but, as B.L.E. says 'close
in some
aspects...but divergent on several major points.'
        It is a rich difference and this little discussion is an attempt
to reveal that one can discuss the differences between several thinkers
and still derive pleasure and invite further discussion and dialogue. I
find the notion of severality to be one that is lucid and based on the
observations of an artist who [like Deleuze and Guattari although there
is no need to rationalzie or justify anything about one thinker versus
another] has carved out an area of research. And in this way she has put
into practice  precisely what Deleuze and Guattari call a multiplicity.
She has added to the region of thought and has exteneded the lines of
flight. In the fourth line  that which runs through the strata one
discovers unknown territories and new perceptions. Woman's body and
woman's consciousness accesses another sphere in the body-without-organs
and thus opens a sluice gate where  perception[s]/conceptions had been
not available previously. The notion of severality does not contradict
that of multiplicity but is one more piece in the machinery of desire
which augments while multiplying the positions it is possible for a
consciousness to travel through.  But why bother to discuss
contradiction here in the world of augmentations. Whar we have rather
are: "Vibrations" where 'Something is interwoven between several
entities into a tissue whose connections may become accessible via art.'
(Bracha Lichtenberg Ettinger, Canadian Review of Comparative Literature
Vol.24 3 Sept.97 p640)
        This Something that she discusses: what artist has not sensed
this and felt it at moments of high intensity and sensed perhaps that
what is occuring is the tactile remembrance and momentary inflection of
the pre-Oedipal body, the body which is submerged unconsciously
cathected in the dark night of our permanent repression. This Something
which is 'interwoven' in other words made by two sets of hands in the
creation of solitude as it grasps however fleetingly the touch ofthe
Other which does not kill and the Gaze which does not petrify; not the
gaze of the Medusa, but the matrixial space of shared body and lips
which speak through emptiness. This is the severaled motion which ends
for moments the severance all bodies feel from birth onwards. As the
body torn again and again from the mother's womb carries death in its
name. Its name vibrating in the very cells and molecular structure of
the anatomy, the skin, the nerves connecting to the delicate yet O how
powerful thing we call self and consciousness what we call the Me I.
Yes, there are several entities which lie behind and beside the trauma
which had made the amnesia which is the veil of our culture; that
culture which kills us as much as makes the shiny gods of consumption
and desire bodies; that Trauma which masks itself in the thousand
predators and war which makes our everyday life which makes everyday
life on the earth a hellish adventure as we trod from one body to
another. One cannot overturn Plato because He has mappped out too much
the sky of our design and its labyrinthine ways. But one can and one
must look around and beside. And these several entities Lichtenberg
speaks of are ourselves the believers who kiss and feel the tissues and
the connections which join us beyond the one or the dualisms of the old
ways. But the old ways don't disappear so easily. So we seek a new body
'which may become accessible via art' (ibid). Therefore the subject has
vanished in the Gaze of the shared-border-spaces. But this Gaze is not
the one delineated by Sartre. It is not the alienated 'Look' of the
Other who catchs us in shame and guilt.
        She wishes to point out the route to  'a passage.' And why would
we resist that passage unless our own refugee selves trammelled in
repression were screaming however quietly that we desired our own death
that our desire desired us to repress and forget our repression and
forget the act of forgetting? Yet if we are too get through the madhouse
we now come to accept as everday life, where violence is the norm how
can we with any sanity refuse what is after all a very real work that
makes maps of what it has seen? The passage is really through the body
and its crevices. We call the body and mind seperate things - but it is
not so - what is this this actual moment here as I write to you Readers
but the mind that has made a body in the ether in the body which has now
grown new organs and made desire another space in which to walk its
ways? and we are not limited after all to a language which can stop us
unless we assume its rigidity as our own./ The passage
                to another type of subjectivity that is several and
moves between entities  which have shaped it and created it across the
zones of the body in its splendour. As the zones of intensity in the
body-without-organs are neither gender made or born, but with each step
f the shaping desire and the birth (incarnation) of the person one sees
a gender. Yet the body with-out-organs has not made a male or female
presence that several cannot share. So there is sharing in the
compassionate emergence of the child from the Matrix.She calls it a
becoming rapport between presence and lack to be in severality; for the
gaze in the matrix rolls into several eyes.' We are past the simple
dichtomies of one eye and two eyes and the creation of shame as a result
of having been seen or breaking a taboo . The gaze in this instance is
one element in the creation-machine of the artist. In her painting this
is the space which traverses to me the see-er. I am also the seen who
recovers, from a wound my wound. Unwound and unwounded possibly healed .
Thus this scene is no more a seen subject   which is objectified. But
rather it is subjectified in renewal and subject to subject wins out
over object death.
        Lichtenberg's work provides us with another map of the territory
'it works believe me, it works' as Deleuze and Guattari quote from the
writer Malcolm Lowry. When the Multiple, which Deleuze and Guattari
suggest we begin to live, has become the norm then the differences
between the Feminine body consciousness and the Masculine-body
consciousnesses will require work and visionaries. When the struggle
which Freud saw as taking place between Eros and Thanatos has come to an
end perhaps we shall see a Vision where bodies will speak the
Multiple-Several and the eyes which roll back will be the touch which
greets us all and death will be no more, death will have no dominion.
For in that world (That world which is this world, the world here and
now, the other world yes there is another world but it is right here) to
paraphrase Simone Weil - to see is to eat what one sees; so it is also
that to see will be to touch. Each cartographer offers another sighting
of the territory of unknown lands and unseen oceans, things never
smelled before, tastes never imagined bodies never seen. Where multiple
several bodies might speak past the deaths of the Wound and the wounds.
For none any longer can work in isolation - our consciousness is
permeated by the billioned amoured Other-Lovers. For by this time (1998)
the wound is  a massive earth which falters through space. Shall we love
her or hate her? That is our own reckoning. I quote Maurice Blanchot to
speak to the issue of single and collective and the line of flight, the
escape. 'What is this escape? The word is poorly chosen to please.
Courage consists, however,, in agreeing to flee rather than live
tranquilly and hypocritically in false refuges....[those who think
otherwise and believe that they can stand alone miss the point of the
drift], the immense flight that transports them... in a great immobile
movement... The ones who are in danger are those who 'take this movement
as [their] own. [They]  would like to personally withdraw. [They] live
on fringe... But perhaps that is what the fall is, that it can no longer
be a Personal Destiny, but the common lot.'  (Blanchot L'Amitie
Gallimard 71 pp.232-3) Blanchot speaks of the fall. Artaud spoke about
creating a new body. Weil speaks of a time when to see is to eat.
Lichtenberg's speaks of the severality of a shared consciousness which
can result from the tableau acting as a mysterious conductor of shared
borderspaces. Breaking borders and opening them up. Who can resist this?
who can say this is not the path to tread? What poet has not sought a
reader to enter her work as body subject and speak kindly to the wounds
which makes its very existence even possible. Poetry is an achieved
anxiety states American poetic critic H. Bloom. Therefore how can one
imagine an art-form which realizes itself pas the anxiety which toils
nighly in our bodies? Who knows the answer, who knows if life is death
or death is life? Each one of us must walk these trails and bring back
the data of our journeys in innner space, we are pioneers and our
languages work accordingly. New Bodies unknown Bodies unknown spaces of
depth and taste which make us other[s] than what we knew. I offer you
Reader More words from the depths of a young boy over a hundred years
ago who sent his report as follows:

        Therefore the poet is truly the thief of fire.  Il est charge de
l'humanite, des animaux meme; il devra faire sentir, felt and heard; if
what s-he brings back from down there is has form, s-he gives it form;
if it is formless s-he gives formlessness. Trouver une langue; A
language must be found; - Moreover every word being an idea,, the time
of a universal language will come!One has to be an academic -deader than
a fossil - to complete a dictionary in any language whatsoever. Weak
people would begin to think about the first letter of the alphabet and
they would soon rush into madness!
        This language will be of the soul for the soul, containing
everything, smells, sounds, colours, thought holding onto thought and
pulling...This future will be materialistic [matter matter matter as in
Deleuze and Guattari; geology, the body, the matrixial]... Eternal Art
will have its functions; since Poets are citizens. Poetry will not lend
its rhythm to action it will be in advance [an escape in advance of the
escape!].... These poets artists will exist. When the endless servitude
of woman is broken, when she lives for and by herself man - before this
abominable - having given her release she too will be a Poet! Woman will
find some of the Unknown! Will her ideas differ from ours? - She will
find strange unfathomable, repulsive, delicious things; we will take
them, we will understand them.'
        Rimbaud's letter to Paul Demeny  of 15 May, 1871. Year of the
Paris Commune. These words written by a mere boy of 17 and some days.
Over 100 years have hurled and precipitated us into the visions of
splendid contemplation before the inventions of Woman. And has not
Feminism in all its varieties not done exactly what the young boy hoped
and longed for? Again I cite Harold Bloom. He suggests that the first
books of the Bible were authored by a woman. And if that is the case,
then we are in for some re-thinking. And perhaps and according to some
scholars there is a chance that this might be so. So let our languages
be open to research and open eruditions of unimanginable terrritoires as
Eurydice speaks and comes back from  'down there' and the Unconscious is
no longer even a factory of desire but the swirling web of words and
bodies, spaces and times of severality and multiplicity. And a new earth
will be created and all poetry and all the Blessed One's people as the
prophet says shall be poets.
        Thee words have come to Bless thee and to bless is to love.

        Clifford Duffy


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