Art And Lacan Symposium Archive



ARCHIVE - 02/07/09 - 05/27/09

• In ‘On Creaturely Life’ by Eric Santner, there’s a poem by Rilke (translated by Stephen Mitchell) called ‘The Archaic Torso of Apollo’ (p.199).
“We cannot know his legendary head
with eyes like ripening fruit. And yet his torso
is still suffused with brilliance from inside,
like a lamp, in which his gaze, now turned to low,

gleams in all its power. Otherwise
the curved breast could not dazzle you so, nor could
a smile run through the placid hips and thighs
to that dark centre where procreation flared.

Otherwise this stone would seem defaced
beneath the translucent cascade of the shoulders
and would not glisten like a wild beast’s fur:

would not, from all the borders of itself,
burst like a star: for here there is no place
that does not see you. You must change your life.”

Comment by Chris Sands — February 7, 2009 @ 12:14 am

• It follows on from Alice’s ‘acephallic’, which is an image Lacan used to describe the drive.
Rainer Maria Rilke and Lou Andreas-Salome seem an interesting connection.

A snap of Salome

Comment by Chris Sands — February 15, 2009 @ 5:03 am

• I like how “eyes,” turn to be “gaze” as they find a place inside the torso

Comment by maria — February 15, 2009 @ 5:15 pm

• i like how the body can’t go on like it is, though that’s all that is left of it.

Comment by lucky — February 15, 2009 @ 6:43 pm

• no it’s terrible like a mixture of trauma and drive- the way it has to change out of it’s it’s description

Comment by lucky — February 15, 2009 @ 6:53 pm

• is The Velvet Underground Venus in Furs inspired by Lou-Andreas Salomé?

Comment by pablo — February 20, 2009 @ 10:25 am

• It could be, but I think, because of the
words severin, severin in the song
it is related to Sacher Masoch’s
story ‘venus in furs’
(with the characters Severin and Wanda)
but perhaps a few different references, and perhaps it
should be

Comment by sol — February 21, 2009 @ 2:46 am

• Am not sure how this has to do with Lou Andreas-Salome
but a few days ago saw (2006) film called ‘Venus’ with Peter O’ Toole
(written by Hanif Kureishi).
This superb film, about the he relationship of a very old actor at the end of his life and a young woman (Venus),
seems about a ‘raging against the dying of the light’,
but also about speech and desire.
No hint of Erikson here, just the possibility that speech always involves a death and dying.
There’s an extraordinary moment in the film where Maurice (O’Toole) bridges the age gap with Venus,
calming ‘her fears’: he is after all ‘impotent’.
But this is an ‘extraordinary impotence’.

In ‘Neibours and Other Monsters’, Zizek writes: ” … castration’ designates the precedence of the empty place over the contingent elements filling it.’
and ”… castration and its disavowal are two sides of the same coin, castration has to be sustained by a non castrated remainder, a fully realized castration cancels itself out. Or to put it more precisely; lamella, the ‘undead’ object, is not a remainder of castration in the sense of a little part which somehow escaped unhurt the swipe of castration, but, literally, the product of the cut of castration, the surplus generated by it.”

Comment by Chris Sands — February 21, 2009 @ 4:22 am

• In any case see what we’ve done - here, the “acephallic” one is a he… is it ever like that? in life I mean

Comment by maria — February 22, 2009 @ 3:53 am

• In as much as ’sexuation’ somehow, I think, includes recognizing ‘the Other sex’,
if you are a man or a woman,
there ‘complexity’ from the start.
Lacan says (I think) that, to ‘work through’ the position a man involves a relationship with the object a
and for a woman it involves a relationship to the barred Other.
If a relationship between Maurice and Venus develops in the film,
Venus lets in Maurice’s desire and there are small but very beautiful moments of intimacy,
but if something is possible between these two,
what carries it, is a subjectivity: a subjectivity of speech and language.
Venus is drawn to (what’s left of) this famous actor.

Comment by Chris Sands — February 22, 2009 @ 5:36 am

• What of Lou Andreas-Salome and Freud?
Sol, you mention what seem like ‘love letters’ … (?)

Comment by Chris Sands — February 22, 2009 @ 5:43 am

• yes…. love letters that belong in courtly love?

Comment by alice — February 22, 2009 @ 3:39 pm

• What makes him the acephallic one here?

Comment by lucky — February 22, 2009 @ 7:46 pm

• well… he actually lacks a head… yet after some consideration the best guess is that he lost his head for venus…

Comment by rupert — February 23, 2009 @ 12:55 am

• to quote Sol, and how Venus collected the many heads to roll down - “She was very young, in furs and full of confidence”

Comment by maria — February 23, 2009 @ 4:07 pm

• There are two Venus’s here,
but in Lou’s case, there seems a ‘one by one’?

Comment by Chris Sands — February 23, 2009 @ 6:11 pm

• so much the case CS, yes… “one by one…” In Venus in Furs, von Masoch tells of Wanda - supposedly inspired in L.A. Salome her love stories taking on very different ways - an extreme one lies in relation to Nietsche who was gay…

Comment by maria — February 23, 2009 @ 6:13 pm

• I recall Freud advising some woman,
perhaps it was Lou, to maintain her masculinity complex (ity)

and between Freud and Jung
I wonder (in tandem)
whether the courtly love was not perhaps on
the side of Sabine Spielrein
I like 139 Chris, have re-read it many times

Comment by sol — February 24, 2009 @ 7:26 am

• Thanks Sol.

I keep looking at the end of Zizek’s essay, ‘Neighbours and Other Monsters’, trying to take something which seems important (as something to get on with). In this work, Zizek refers to a correlation of neighbour and Other,
but towards the end, to Gerard Wajcman’s mix of subjectivity and intimacy.
Prior to a modernity, Wajcman sees people subject to an all powerful gaze, to a gaze linked to a sovereign’s view.
In Wajcman’s thesis, what emerges through western art are concerns for what happens in a dark interior space, hidden from an invasive gaze.
There’s the link between an invasive gaze and psychosis, but Zizek suggests we still seem subject to ways by which the Other/neighbour/sovereign is supplemented or kept in place or reinvented.
There’s room for the sinthome here and reference to TV’s left on in houses, to quieten any suggestion that the Other is lacking.
So, the equation, that links subject and little ‘a’, acknowledges the object cause of desire and an intimacy so scary, it dresses up in furs … ?

Comment by Chris Sands — February 25, 2009 @ 4:13 am

• Have just seen Violet’s Freud image on the messageboard and perhaps what’s disquieting about it, has to do with Zizek’s neighbours and other monsters.
Is intimacy the last frontier?

Comment by Chris Sands — February 25, 2009 @ 4:48 am

• Format changed with comment 1 - might need ‘inverted commas’ to indicate start and end of poem.

Have woken up this morning feeling ‘how difficult communication is’, which, of course, psychoanalysis talks about.
I’m thinking about film and the gulf between video used by artists and commercial film.
Am doing my best to complete a (video) project started last summer
and seem to be having problems with ‘direction’.
A collaborator asks, ‘but whose film is this any rate’
and my best hope is that, with this part, I end up with some kind of trace (of communication between artist and collaborator).

The work of therapy traces miscommunication in a different way, certainly
and I want to include a quote from Kenneth Reinhard’s ‘Toward a Political Theology of the Neighbour’.
It talks about ‘knowledge’ and psychosis, so much so, (I think) that, the divide between an artist’s film and commercial film or another divide between analysis and C.B.T driven therapies -
- seems indicate of a market led economics and the possibility that there are alternatives.

Reinhard writes: ”Lacan’s repeated insistence on the ‘mystery’ of Freud’s utterance, ‘They love their delusions as they love themselves,’ suggests that he is intrigued by Freud’s claim to have found ‘the secret’ of paranoia not only in terms of the hidden content it might reveal, but also as mystery, occlusion of knowledge.”

Comment by Chris Sands — February 27, 2009 @ 2:41 am

• did you discover the “new forum“? You can easily add images by using image tags.

Comment by admin — February 27, 2009 @ 1:03 pm

• the new forum doesn’t like me or my password
when I try and try and all it says is
‘invalid password’
maybe it is a process of making paranoid
maybe I will stay away from there.

I was going to say- the monster was burnt outside
the walls

Comment by sol — March 1, 2009 @ 7:04 am

• I think Admin has to agree password request, which means setting up password etc. is not instant

Comment by Chris Sands — March 1, 2009 @ 10:57 am

• I had same problem as Sol, tried using provided password but found it was invalid

Comment by Chris Sands — March 1, 2009 @ 6:40 pm

• As a spam-blocking feature there is some wait before you get registered. The password sent to you only works after an additional email is sent per your approval. If you are a real person the administrators will approve your request and you get access. Sol and Chrissands, try now. Sorry about the delay.

Comment by jhm — March 2, 2009 @ 12:54 am

• Have just tried and it’s still not working

Comment by Chris Sands — March 2, 2009 @ 4:19 am

• really? you’ve been approved as a member, so it should work… rupert was also complaining but in the end he made it , and violet

Comment by admin — March 2, 2009 @ 4:39 am

• Chris, When the site rejects your password, there is a button that says something like “reset my password”– click on this and it should send you a new password that works.

Comment by jhm — March 2, 2009 @ 11:06 am

• thanks jhm, have logged on, but couldn’t see how to insert image

Comment by Chris Sands — March 2, 2009 @ 5:08 pm

• CS the image you tried to put up in the forum is at — your next move consists of clicking on the letters IMG: a small window appears, in there you write the address of the image: [img][/img] Done.

Comment by admin — March 7, 2009 @ 11:03 pm

Comment by sol — March 9, 2009 @ 2:43 am

• Sol, you posting the address of the above site has made me think again about a postponed project.
I must say, am not very keen on the idea of ‘outsider art’ etc.
It seems linked to populations living in large hospitals (in the past) and the contemporary tricky problem of funding projects.

Comment by Chris Sands — March 15, 2009 @ 5:20 am

• I still work with some of those people who
lived in large mental hospitals and the effects I have an interest in that
history. I am sorry
that the website does not show
more historical work as that is where the collections
strength lies for me. Me too, I sometimes don’t like
the phrase ‘outsider art’
and then again I like it a lot,
but whatever i think of the
phrase I like the work as a collection.
I remember what lacan writes about collections,
of matchboxes that becmome more than about
themselves. But i don’t remember where.

Comment by Sol — March 16, 2009 @ 6:15 pm

• Why everybody talks about the lack of the head, when the real lack is the penis?

Comment by Alexandre — April 2, 2009 @ 4:11 pm

• Sol - I can imagine you know the Prinzhorn collection, we had it with Zizek at the Drawing Center on the walls at the launching of lacanian ink 16,,
a kind of Wolfman tree, though with human faces - from the Prinzhorn collection

Comment by violet — April 11, 2009 @ 1:40 pm

Comment by violet — April 13, 2009 @ 12:45 am

• (responding to comment 92, messageboard)
I think my question has to do with rigour (spelt the English way), if you like the rigour (or vigour) of a discourse.
I have learnt here that analysts link in to schools, sometimes work together and perhaps seem to constitute a community surrounding what has been called a ‘city profession’ and something similar happens in the art world in small enclaves, when something is going on.
But if I’m sometimes spellbound by psychoanalytic discourse, I see nothing like this coming out of the world of art and here I associate the missing ingredient with the term ‘rigour’: the rigour of Lacanian psychoanalysis.
Perhaps the work of art is more discrete and looking or being seen in a world (I’m thinking of seminar X1 -and Badiou) always bears a relation to the gaze.
This way, ’spellbound’ (another term), forces art towards Wajcman’s dark but intimate places: to look and to be seen (looking) involves dark glasses, Ulysses style, sheltering from the gaze.
Clearly the effects of the gaze (or voice) force a different strategy with psychosis, but my question has to do ‘rigour’. If Alain Badiou persists with art’s subordination to psychoanalysis, can we say the work of art is simply discrete: without rigour: manufactured in a dark place?
Is the symposium a dark place?

Comment by Chris Sands — April 13, 2009 @ 3:03 am

• The image above 36, 37, are also now museum pieces,
and, for inspiration, I looked again at JAM’s ‘Psychoanalysis in Close Touch with the Social’
In this article Miller refers to ‘fossils’: specifically to a fossilized psychoanalytic setting:
so, my question (not yet formed) has to do with the relevance of collections like the Prinzhorn collection.
My first question might be:
Was painting (for example) a way of supplementing the notion of asylum in a large psychiatric hospital?

Comment by Chris Sands — April 13, 2009 @ 3:38 am

• I am surprised to read that this was the first time
that the Prinzhorn collection had come to NY.
I must think that NY has everything!
All of the time!!

I wish i could see the pictures on the walls.
Thanks for alerting us to that link violet.
I especially like this idea:
”that no work of art can stand up as an example”
I think that even though we say ‘psychotic art’
we have to say
where, what piece, show it to me.

Comment by sol — April 14, 2009 @ 8:45 am

• Yes, you wouldn’t hear references to ‘psychotic art’ in the art world and references made to the work of artists and writers in psychoanalytic texts are sometimes problematic

Bogdan Wolf in ‘Joy,Joys, Joyce’ writes:
‘The change of the status of the Other could (thus) be taken as a move from the Other as a name of substitution to the Other as equivalence. Of course, once you introduce the Other as equivalent to something else, for example as equivalent to the symptom, which is how Jacques Alain Miller formulated it, then you are not speaking about the Other purely and simply as a place of the signifier. An introduction of the Other at the level of equivalence transforms the Other into something else, namely a body beyond the symbolic. At this level, at the level of the Other as equivalent to the symptom, the symbolic - constituted as a signifying chain in accordance with the pleasure principle - is no longer opposed to jouissance. Jouissance as beyond the symbolic opens up an alliance with the symbolic. This jouissance beyond the symbolic is nevertheless the effect of the signifier, which is consistent with Lacan’s late elaborations. Whenever there is a link between one signifier and another, which is the principle of substitution, there is also an effect of jouissance.

Comment by Chris Sands — April 15, 2009 @ 3:53 am

• ps. I didn’t include the above text to show what a problematic text could be,
but a working-through at a theoretical level is, I think, sometimes problematic, when like most great work, the work of Joyce (for example), is in some way universal.
That is, it works on all levels.
Following seminar XX1 - doesn’t art look sinthom-atic?

Comment by Chris Sands — April 15, 2009 @ 4:14 am

In response to CS’s question

Comment by violet — April 18, 2009 @ 2:55 pm

• Mmmmm
and the image is linked to blog

Comment by Chris Sands — April 19, 2009 @ 5:34 am

Comment by Chris Sands — April 19, 2009 @ 7:50 am

• CSS - did you want the image in here , or did you want it in the forum, where i saw you had also tried to put it up?

Comment by admin — April 20, 2009 @ 7:15 pm

• thanks Admin, no wanted it here, but first thought putting it in forum might save putting it in blog.
Perhaps it’s not such a bad thing, but images still seem difficult to post here.

Comment by Chris Sands — April 21, 2009 @ 2:29 am

• As postscript to the above, something odd has happened.
The something odd is - it seems I suddenly look a little bit like my father.
I don’t think I’ve ever heard people say I look like him,
but the above image made me think this
and afterwards, (without seeing this image) a few people commented I look a little like him.
He died a long time ago and (I feel) the uncanniness feels even more uncanny in the context of an art+Lacan symposium.

Comment by Chris Sands — April 21, 2009 @ 2:40 am

• Uncannily, i found out that my father had been dead since January on April 19. Hey Chris, no wierding intended

Comment by jampa — April 21, 2009 @ 11:47 am

• That must be a strange time warp to find out so much later.
I also have a dead father thing happening this week.
It’s around the time of year my Dad died last year, but
I couldn’t remember the date so was looking for his death certificate
in the back room, which is so untidy I couldn’t find it at all.
Why a date is important..? It seems to be.

Comment by sol — April 21, 2009 @ 12:14 pm

• I have a dead father and I will never know which day exactly did he die. Un nerving
Comment by lucky — April 21, 2009 @ 5:21 pm

• Hope Michael’s reading this- to see how generous you guys can be. Thank-you. Funny thing though, on January 28, his (my father’s, not Michael’s) death date, I hit a wall, a peculiar one in that it wasn’t of my own devising. Floored me. Inscrutable and impenetrable. Ex-istent Sol, altogether beyond my imaginary. But contingent I insist. Upon what? God knows or an analyst who wants to talk about the clinic. Anyway Chris, I’ve been likened to my father all my life, a dead ringer, despite his meticulous absence. Now the question seems to be who begat whom? There’s an unravelling which can only result in a ball of wool where there was a jumper? You with me lucky? (Liked your gratuitous parentheses Sol x)

Comment by jampa — April 21, 2009 @ 8:26 pm

• I think I’m with you but it is a wild guess

Comment by lucky — April 22, 2009 @ 1:03 am

• Its a rare occasion then when ‘all the fathers’ turn up in some way or other …

Comment by Chris Sands — April 22, 2009 @ 2:53 am

• ps. Picasso the dad
is now on Lucky’s forum

Comment by Chris Sands — April 22, 2009 @ 3:15 am

• which does the trick the ball of wool or the jumper. In this case the ball might be better. It also makes me think of a song. To have a memory or not to have that is the question. ha ha who cares about a day here or there or if one is missing.
I too think it’s an occassion.

Comment by lucky — April 22, 2009 @ 10:28 pm

• when I was around 8 9 10 I wanted to read the whole bible despite not being an avid nor strong reader. I got as far as deep into the begats when I gave up. Abraham sticks out and maybe Issac. Nd on an on. Ok it’s all your fault somebody is the limit. I know pulling and pulling. Ok Jampa you flatter me and now I loose my aim. It is so wonderful the way the Lacanians treat the imagination.

Comment by lucky — April 22, 2009 @ 10:38 pm

• Dodged that one lucky, saw it coming.. was delighted to read Zizek conclude ‘How to read Lacan’ with the last lines from ‘the one absolute masterpiece of the 20c’, Beckett’s THE UNNAMEABLE… then there’s this from the Master’s FIRST LOVE,
‘I associate rightly or wrongly, my marriage with the death of my father, in time. That other links exist, on other levels, between these two affairs, is not impossible. I have enough trouble as it is in trying to say what i think i know.
I visited, not so long ago, my father’s grave, that i do know, and noted the date of his death alone, for that of his birth had no interest for me, on that particular day. I set out in the morning and was back by night, having lunched lightly in the graveyard. But some days later, wishing to know his age at death, I had to return to the grave, to note the date of his birth. These two limiting dates , I then jotted down on a piece of paper, which i now carry about with me… when out i must, leave me my graveyards… Or i wander… culling the inscriptions. Of these I never weary, , there are always three or four of such drollery that i have to hold onto the cross, or the stele, or the angel, so as not to fall…’

Comment by jampa — April 23, 2009 @ 12:01 am

• lucky in the forum, he is thinking big these days

Comment by admin — April 23, 2009 @ 12:27 am

• Boy I was thinking that was you in the graveyard thinking it ended after talk of marriage- Beckett. To my suprise reading it later it wasn’t you. And I almost wanted to have a light lunch in the graveyard too. Like you might invite me one day.. I don’t think I will ever make it my fatheras. I dont think it’s an old one anyway. he was either 57 or going on that so it was unheimlich that I posted last at those numerals.

Comment by lucky — April 23, 2009 @ 12:49 am

• I Didn’t properly delineate the quote?
Told a therapist today that i live in a corridor with doors to psychosis to the left and to the numinous to the right. I have the keys to both. And then there’s the windows. Why do i walk back and forth and not to the end lucky, where the door is open?

Comment by jampa — April 23, 2009 @ 3:13 am

• You did, it was my mistake. Is this a riddle? I s the door at the end neither the left nor right but death? Or just
ordinary life? Either way I can see why you wouldn’t- chicken!
By the way what is a sniper ‘a’? Would you explain to the novices. I like the new word I learned this mugning..

Comment by lucky — April 23, 2009 @ 12:49 pm

• was he new word ‘mugning’??

Comment by sol — April 24, 2009 @ 7:42 am

• no it twas numinous

Comment by lucky — April 24, 2009 @ 11:23 am

• Are we breaking into Beckett?

Comment by Chris Sands — April 24, 2009 @ 3:12 pm

• mugning — numinous? doesn’t mugning sound more like morning, lucky? and is it jargon or is it a slip?

Comment by admin — April 24, 2009 @ 11:53 pm

• I always think of the messageboard on the right and the symposium on the left, maybe the forum is the end? no i think of it on the left the messageboard even though I go there first usually. It seems like thew right always gets to goes first. Therefore I got mixed up. Yes admin, you hit the nail on the head. Dunk a shin

Comment by lucky — April 25, 2009 @ 12:21 am

• ok how did the extra question slip in there, or am i blind? thats my own jargon that slipped in. i think i’ve said it before to others.

Comment by lucky — April 25, 2009 @ 12:32 am

• I agree the message board is on the right,
this is on the left but I think the forum is up above
in the centre, or maybe to the right - in grids.

Comment by sol — April 25, 2009 @ 10:30 am

• it was a numinous mugning here

Comment by sol — April 25, 2009 @ 10:31 am

• I disagree it is not to the right, or maybe it is…

Comment by lucky — April 25, 2009 @ 11:39 am

• Dunkashin all. But the corridor is oppressively narrow. A Beckettian space Chris, yes. And gutless i am lucky. Perhaps any door, leads to the same space As the song says- “look straight ahesd , nothing but blue sky…”. It seems apt to recognise I’m an obsessive

Comment by jampa — April 26, 2009 @ 9:15 am

• Thus ‘am i alive or dead?’
or both?
Maybe the undead? An animate corpse. As it says somewhere in ‘The animatrix’, “a machine sees all resliity as vertual reslity”

Comment by jampa — April 26, 2009 @ 9:37 am

• Clearly should read, virtual reality…

Comment by jampa — April 26, 2009 @ 9:41 am

• Found out this weekend that the discourse of capitalism is related to the discourse of the master and that a discourse of contemporary symptoms can be the product of the discourse of the analyst, and yesterday was a sunny marathon day in London. An elaboration of the four discourses seemed exciting, but I’m out of my depth with mathemes (and algebra in general).
It seems odd that little can be done film-wise with Joyce or Beckett, but I remember Beckett’s son was (or is) a film-maker

Comment by Chris Sands — April 27, 2009 @ 4:05 am

• What is entailed at the end where the door is open jampa? is it enjoymeant?

Comment by lucky — April 27, 2009 @ 11:30 am

• Or is the act going to the end in this case? Would that be divorced from jouisance?

Comment by lucky — April 27, 2009 @ 8:33 pm

Comment by violet — April 28, 2009 @ 3:34 pm

• what does that flag stand for- which country?

Comment by lucky — April 28, 2009 @ 10:04 pm

• the artist is Paul Demand - he constructs settings in a box and makes photographs — of the flag, I think the closest is Côte d’Ivoire

Comment by violet — April 29, 2009 @ 2:07 am

• Numinous turns up only in the addenda to my shorter oed, though its usage goes back to 17c.
‘… suggesting the presence of the divine, inspiring awe…’
Bit taken by the fact that you guys want to pursue the metaphor of the corridor, perhaps i share it? Maybe its overcrowded? - with ordinary life. As someone said (who?) ‘most people live lives of quiet desperation’. But i’m thinking sort of the corridors in King/Kubrick’s ‘The Shining’, that airless architecture of psychosis.
The open door at the end is the obsessive without symptoms i think. But as i write, in the clutches, as i am, of psychiatry for the moment, talk of the corridor, suggested an urgent administration of anti-psychotics. There’s a measure of the numinous about your sublime Maitreya Violet x

Comment by jampa — April 29, 2009 @ 9:57 pm

• Sorry, looking again, the statue is of Shakyamuni

Comment by jampa — April 29, 2009 @ 10:00 pm

• sniper ‘a’ referred to an old lucky, the obscure object of (paranoid) desire, the desire of he of the tentative discourse, he of course being an oddball among Lacanian theoreticians. And violet, Paul Demand’s flag seems to put the nation state in my corridor. As i think you are most astutely aware x

Comment by jampa — April 29, 2009 @ 10:53 pm

• “Told a therapist today that i live in a corridor with doors to psychosis to the left and to the numinous to the right. I have the keys to both. And then there’s the windows. Why do i walk back and forth and not to the end lucky, where the door is open?”
“is the door at the end neither the left nor right but death? Or just ordinary life?”
“or both? Maybe the undead?”
This is how I would answer or as Lacan says, something like, “respond by posing an inverted question” and this, I am not sure but I think he says is the logic of the discourse of the Other. I dont have it in front of me but I think he from seminar XI.
Ok, so the answer to the door at the end of the corridor being death is way too easy, but the answer of it it being life is also too easy. And all other permutations -undead, nonliving, the notdead unliving- seem like ecological distinctions. But one has to admit that if it is a question of a haunted -by you that is- corridor with an open door, beckoning-a lure if you will, it has to be “life or death?” But if it is then a question of “life or death?”(not to be taken in the sense of dire circumstances) and life and death seem too easy, what is left for us to choose? I would say, to choose the “or…?”(inflection on the silent punctuation), thus donning the dunce hat (man’s accustomed topper) play the fool. The quest-ioner who seeks not for the answers, but to properly phrase the question “Why am I the questioner?”
Seems a little obtuse perhaps and hokie, but come on, “does the door at the end of hallway mean death or…or life”. As Lacanians you are suppose to be more obscure than that.

Comment by c — April 30, 2009 @ 2:07 am

• I didnt really make my point there at the end. The door by being already open, isnt then about openning up or shutting out anything-a full life for example. It is about assuming something, since a door, already open, is essentially a portal. A portal for which we use in the transitioning between states(eating, sleeping, fucking, entertainment). This is all obvious, and the question was abstractly what are you delaying to assume via the portal, “Life or death?” And the answer that presents itself to the question of the door, for abstract life and death seem too simple to cause all the confoundation, is the question of the door itself. Just like when Zizek says, “The mysteries of the ancient Egyptians were the mysteries for the ancient Egyptians”. Logically this would tend to another question, “How, then, do you assume a question?” Well, it would seem you already have.

Comment by c — April 30, 2009 @ 3:06 am

• I just read your answer of “the obsessive without symptoms” and, yes, that seems to have an oblique jive-ability with my reading, but less symptomatic.

Comment by c — April 30, 2009 @ 3:38 am

• I’m an idiot not a lacanian. Mr. priest!

Comment by lucky — April 30, 2009 @ 11:45 am

• How in the hell can you not have any symptoms. I’snt a tic or a kind of habit a symptom? Unless it’s a guise I suppose.

Comment by lucky — April 30, 2009 @ 11:47 am

• Jampa are you the oddball Lacanian or did you possibly mean me? Of course that would be way too flattering.

Comment by lucky — April 30, 2009 @ 7:13 pm

• A symptom, nowadays, means anything that lies to close to your intuition. There for it has too much influence and emerges more than it should in your speech or discourse. Like, how the swine flu is literally a symptom of the American media and/or market.

Comment by c — April 30, 2009 @ 10:17 pm

• Are you calling me Mr. Priest? Ahhhhhh, i was starting to worry that my arguments were becoming sympathetic towards religion. Its just those damned little liberal atheists get under my skin. Does anyone know about any writings about a how the material conditions for producing a news program engenders the structure of the news-text? Or the name of the more popular media theorist?

Comment by c — April 30, 2009 @ 10:28 pm

• It’s hard to keep up the pace here,
but re. comment 78, which is Violet’s Thomas Demand image:
In ‘Prisons of Jouissance’ (p.43. of the very latest LacInk), Jacques-Alain Miller says
‘the image is a screen for what cannot be seen’.

And if the image also conceals, who are the cardboard people populating Demand’s mock world?
Is this the image operating on a parr to speech in the sense that language speaks us
and if so, how do we transcend a cardboard world?

For the artist, perhaps, the world is mostly hiding or it’s overt,
but what interests me is this relation between something visible and hidden
and the sometimes crushing effect of too many signifiers with something spoken.

Comment by Chris Sands — May 1, 2009 @ 3:26 am

• You’re assuredly no idiot lucky, a ratbag maybe, and yes the oddball is me. (And an idiot). ‘…obsessive without symptoms’ follows Lacan’s self description as an ‘hysteric without symptoms’. Can someone talk me through posting a photo, my daughter has taken a ripper

Comment by jampa — May 1, 2009 @ 4:58 am

• jampa, the formula we wrote up there happens to work, though it needs to be an image which is in the internet, again it is so sensible that if the quotations are not straight it won’t take it… — to post an image you write: what it says up there………………….. even though it doesn’t write itself here……………..If it doesn’t work for you I’ll probably be able to fix it

Comment by admin — May 1, 2009 @ 12:23 pm

• I am a rat so I’ll accept it. But it’s a bitter pill when I look up the word. We don’t use it here where I am.

Comment by lucky — May 3, 2009 @ 12:45 am

Comment by violet — May 3, 2009 @ 1:29 am

• where is it here where you are, lucky?

Comment by violet — May 3, 2009 @ 1:51 am


Comment by rupert — May 3, 2009 @ 2:19 am

• Soooooool, run, number 100. :

Comment by violet — May 3, 2009 @ 2:32 am

• 100: thanks for the tips.
odds or evens..heads or tails?
what are the limits of the symbolic order?

Comment by sol — May 3, 2009 @ 6:10 am

• 101: O! look
some1 is sitting in the empty

Comment by sol — May 3, 2009 @ 6:11 am

• I am in that room.

Comment by lucky — May 3, 2009 @ 8:46 am

• I went to someone’s 100th birthday party yesterday

Comment by Chris Sands — May 3, 2009 @ 10:42 am

• … or perhaps she skipped a few in her time … ?

Comment by Chris Sands — May 3, 2009 @ 10:46 am

• you are in that room, lucky… and what are you doing in there, apart from sitting in the empty chair?

Comment by violet — May 3, 2009 @ 11:40 pm

• noticing some things that cant be said

Comment by lucky — May 4, 2009 @ 1:17 am

• of the things that cannot be said… they have no name?

Comment by violet — May 4, 2009 @ 4:02 am

• Some of those and some that do have names

Comment by lucky — May 4, 2009 @ 8:56 am

• perchance the obscene, Lucky?

Comment by violet — May 4, 2009 @ 11:58 pm

• I would say so probably

Comment by lucky — May 5, 2009 @ 12:21 am

• so yours is a moral issue, Lucky, an ethical one…? how does it have to do with right or wrong… or does it have to do with intriguing us all?

Comment by violet — May 5, 2009 @ 1:47 pm

• I suppose all of the above in some way or another. It’s an intricate right or wrong that is hard to sort out at time..

Comment by lucky — May 5, 2009 @ 11:26 pm

• You suppose… is that perchance the way you construct Otherness, with its intricate right or wrong to be sort out as your own desire?

Comment by violet — May 7, 2009 @ 12:11 am

• I like your ‘perchance’s’ Violet.
Something dreamy about it
and despite the antiquity of ‘perchance’,
sounding very Lacanian

Comment by Chris Sands — May 7, 2009 @ 3:40 pm

• yes

Comment by lucky — May 7, 2009 @ 4:21 pm

• let me laugh Chris Sands, at the antiquity of perchance… is the actual word to use “perhaps”?

Comment by violet — May 7, 2009 @ 7:56 pm

• perhaps perhaps has a ring of accident to it
whereas perchance has the ‘chance’

chance has a limit and a law
whereas the ‘hap’
(of the perhaps, and also the happenchance)
has more of the irruption (for me)
- so also bound by law

so who knows what the actual word to use might be? Comment by sol — May 7, 2009 @ 10:26 pm

• of what you say I like perchance…

Comment by violet — May 7, 2009 @ 11:32 pm

• I like perchance too

Comment by sol — May 8, 2009 @ 12:44 am

• As we’re talking about dreaming,
have been ploughing through Alain Badiou’s very long Wagner text (and have reached half way).
If this is a text about not just Wagner, but also
I wonder if Badiou’s not ’stretching a point’.
Am not sure which point this is, but if music now dominates
in the way that images surround us,
what comes to mind is recent very large paintings by Gerhard Richter
where paint seems to be dragged across panels
and surfaces which index the artist’s preoccupations
(with abstraction and a photo realism).
Badiou talks about the totalizing effect of Wagner’s music
and many German artists seem drawn to look again at grandiose expression,
but somewhere else in the most recent LacInk,
Jacques Alain Miller refers to Moses prohibiting idols (images)
and a tradition which privileges a text.

I’m not sure what my question is now or if I have one,
but perhaps the internet has to do with Wagner’s project
or the sense we have of a nagging form
and the return of text …

Comment by Chris Sands — May 8, 2009 @ 3:12 am

Comment by Chris Sands — May 8, 2009 @ 3:30 am

• Perchance, the internet illuminates something at the beginning or end of the day. A languid moment, a moment of langour: a pausing to take in day and night. Having logged onto BBC news, I just read that Toyota have been their first ever loss … so, there’s evidence that things are becoming more Lacanian … ? In a seminar recently, I was so impressed by the notion that psychoanalysis doesn’t work, unlike (until recently) the discourse of capitalism.

Comment by Chris Sands — May 8, 2009 @ 3:57 am

• seeing perchance here again is friendly, since I remember here from years ago

Comment by lucky — May 8, 2009 @ 7:11 pm

• did I perchance leave my keys here the other day?

Comment by sol — May 10, 2009 @ 2:59 am

• I fail to see why no-one’s invented keys that answer when you call.
Cars do it with their keys, but I suppose it could be pandemonium on forgetful days,
with keys choosing seeking solace in dark, deep pockets.

Comment by Chris Sands — May 10, 2009 @ 5:36 am

• Chasing metaphors into holes has everything to do wif the clinic. and nufin to do with the teleology hinted at by lacanians.. What is it

Comment by jampa — May 10, 2009 @ 8:51 am

• Is there a lacanian telos, apart from the final matheme? Or an i asking for (obviated) keys in empty pockets? That is, i cant see the keys for th doors…

Comment by jampa — May 11, 2009 @ 1:18 am

• I feel very unequiped to answer this question Jampa,
but i do want to respond. For me, much of Lacan
reads through Freud, and Freud’s nachtraglichkeit
it very much - the unconscious itself - could be
teleological if you wanted to use such a word -
not there but for its effect/s

Comment by sol — May 12, 2009 @ 8:27 am

• in chapter 4 of “My Teaching” Jacques Lacan says: ” …the end is the telos, why I do it. The end of my teaching is to train psychoanalysts who may fulfill the function known as the subject…”

Comment by violet — May 12, 2009 @ 11:59 pm

• Last night, came across a text by Philippe La Sagna called ‘The Obsessional’s Objects’ and remember my love of a Polish film called ‘Kanal’ made soon after WW2 and seemingly shot in the sewers beneath Warsaw. I think the thought was prompted by another film called ‘Le Trou’, this time French, but also a little ratty.

La Sagna refers to Freud’s perception of the rat’s cannibalism and writes: ‘Behind the obscure rites of the taboo, so close to neurosis, you will also find the murder of the father/totem and its consumption. Let us not forget that Freud locates the source of morality and religion there. Why should consumption follow the murder of the father? Why this combination of death drive and orality? One devours to assimilate something to oneself, to identify with the father and the animal, in a certain confusion and identity proper to orality, which renders equivalent heterogenous things. Cannibalism is where something different from orality starts.’

Later in the surprising text we find: ‘One could say that nowadays, desire is evaluated, appreciated, calculated. It is similar. This is exactly what the Rat Man operates with his father when he equates him with a lamp and a towel: he reduces him to the cessible.’
‘There is a link between obsession and culture: it saves the world and preserves it at the same time, by making everything communicate at the level of semblance, it reduces it to the sewer where all its products end up.’

Comment by Chris Sands — May 16, 2009 @ 4:07 am

Saturn Devouring His Son by Spanish artist Francisco Goya. It depicts the Greek myth of Cronus

Comment by violet — May 18, 2009 @ 12:57 am

• What would Goya have done in an age of ’social realism’ or worse
(not that we’re there yet!)?

An attempt to state regulate psychoanalysis in France and in the Uk
illuminates a subtle cultural shift towards making (clinical) practice look somehow equivalent,
so what happens if something like this happens later with contemporary art?
Could it?

What does Goya’s painting say now?

If obsessional neurosis is one way of ‘proving neurosis’,
does ‘Satan devouring His Son’ imply the return of Freud’s dead father:
cannibalism and a ratification in the name of two professions which are not equivalent?

Can Goya’s nightmare be our nightmare too?

Comment by Chris Sands — May 18, 2009 @ 2:49 pm

• what old lucky were you referring to jampa?

Comment by lucky — May 20, 2009 @ 12:54 am

• I want to hear about the old lucky , jampa — of him “shooting on the foot”

Comment by violet — May 20, 2009 @ 12:45 pm

• Are you all talking in code?

Comment by Chris Sands — May 20, 2009 @ 5:59 pm

• don’t you remember CS, in the old days jampa telling lucky he was “shooting on the foot”

Comment by violet — May 20, 2009 @ 6:39 pm

• no, but I’m getting old !

Comment by Chris Sands — May 21, 2009 @ 10:01 am

• When I was very little I went to art school in London and there came across the writings of John Cage, which might have made a big difference at the time. As I grew up I forgot all about Cage, but around the time I started to use video more, heard his music on the radio and eventually put an audio clip into a short film. Yesterday, I listened to a version of his ‘Indeterminacy’ and some of my issues mixing ’script’ and video seemed to fall away. Cage was a good reader of his texts, partly I think because he was clearly reading a text which occasionally made a little sense in the course of a reading. More than this, he seemed to be talking about something close to what Lacan talks about in seminar X1, only in this instance, ‘hearing’ replaces ‘looking’ (and the gaze).

So Cage arrives at a hearing (it seems) which rarely combines with some performative aspect of music (unless it combines with performance in an indeterminate way!?). If there’s a question in here, it has to do with ‘hearing’ (or ‘looking’) and a supposition that ‘hearing’ and ‘looking’ necessarily exclude music and art. Has music and art moved away from hearing and looking since Cage (and could it) or does Cage presuppose JA Miller’s two versions of the unconscious? It seems a crusty question when Cage wasn’t keen on psychoanalysis, but if Lacan opens up a possible pedagogy for contemporary art, a question remains concerning the function of a pedagogy - and a hearing and a looking when its not subject to the voice or gaze.

Comment by Chris Sands — May 22, 2009 @ 4:32 am

• what two versions of the unconcious does Miller refer to?

Comment by lucky — May 22, 2009 @ 12:13 pm

• Miller referred to Freudian and Joycean unconscious

Comment by Chris Sands — May 23, 2009 @ 3:18 am

• My point was. do we move on from Cage or are we now subject to more pressure?
To an imperious superego; to a gaze that makes the ‘looking’ (of SX1) and ‘hearing’ more difficult.
The collective ‘we’ here stands in for what it might be to be alive now as opposed to Cage’s post war epoch: so, conjecture and is it harder to be an artist now?
It’s a question sometimes asked by different generations, perhaps an impossible question …

Comment by Chris Sands — May 23, 2009 @ 3:30 am

• “Miller referred to Freudian and Joycean unconscious…” how does Cage come in the mddle?

Comment by violet — May 24, 2009 @ 9:24 pm

• Violet, it looks like middle, could be muddle but is mddle.
At the start of ‘Indeterminacy’, Cage says he hasn’t much time for symbols,
then it seems mushrooms or the practice of mushroom identification is both sinthom-atic
and not sinthom-atic for a composer who has a chip on his shoulder regarding psychoanalysis.
There is something of the symbolic with Cage, despite what he says,
and talking about ‘hearing’ or audition (and the relation between mushroom identification, ‘looking’ and a pedagogy) he might sound like Lacan in SX1.
(the Lacan of ‘looking’ and the gaze).
Cage’s mushroom constitute both Cage the subject, who doesn’t care for Freud
and Cage the sinthome,
who finds a way of talking about rubbish

Comment by Chris Sands — May 25, 2009 @ 4:42 am

• of Cage and the mushrooms , it sounds a bit like R.Rorty and the orchids - much as he loved them, knew to which species they belonged, tells how much he enjoyed being around them…he writes about them. How is Cage’s music involved with the mushroom contemplation…

Comment by violet — May 26, 2009 @ 6:24 pm

• Orchids and mushrooms … could be a riddle:
an orchid might have to do with what a woman (sometimes) wants
and mushrooms, for Cage, could have to do with what Joyce wants.

In ‘indeterminacy’, the composer talks about declining psychoanalysis,
when his analyst suggests he may write more music as the result of an analysis
and in an interview he says prefers sounds that don’t talk.
Cage was fond of Joyce’s writing, but his many references to mushrooms
seem part of the eloquence of an artist,
whose commentaries (in a sense)
provide an alternative to the discourse of the analyst.

In other words, Cage liked mushrooms and talking about mushrooms,
but he also knew how to talk like an artist.
Mushrooms are (just occasionally) part of what he says as an artist:
Duchamp liked dust and Cage liked what mushrooms do
and both liked chess.

Comment by Chris Sands — May 27, 2009 @ 5:28 pm

Comment by Chris Sands — May 27, 2009 @ 5:52 pm