PhD, Concordia U / Montreal feminist (art) internet histories / philosophy of technology / women & electronic music / mobile media / self-imagining / trauma & love
April 8th, 2014 § 4 comments
Language is a Skin, 2014
with Roland Barthes
Tagged dedications, haptic perception, longing, sex
skin is a language?
dmf: Your inclusion of the piece reminds me of this F. Scott Fitzgerald quote from the Beautiful & the Damned, "I don’t want just words. If that’s all you have for me, you’d better go." I often repeat that phrase in my mind, and write it in response to others, yet currently I'm stuck in a loop which is all words, some voice, and nothing else. As such, I've been thinking a lot about words and the image of words (letters pieced together). In such a situation what can words do that they wouldn't be able to do if they were in relation to physical proximity, which would include the haptic exchange of surface textures. I'm not suggesting we are not embodied when we interact with words, and like the introduction states, we are never simply communicating with a person, they are before us with a complexity of their relations (here Haraway's situated knowledges comes in handy). But what can written words to be read do when we do not have a person in front of us, repeatedly & habitually. I don't think that there's any reason to place them on a hierarchy but rather explore the affective spaces created that too often seem to be obfuscated through physical proximity-ism.
How do we explore the other? get to know the other? It is predominantly through skin (if we are in physical proximity) & through surfaces, against surfaces, with surfaces. Aren't so many of us exploring the other through screens? Touching our screens? How does then our perceptual apparatus shift to accommodate for this? Does it…?
Ling's piece makes sense in the ways in which it borrows from post-structuralists, especially Kristeva's delineation of signification and language, which I find more compelling and not as vague. But why is his conclusion so focused on Kantian notions of rationality? That lost it for me…
not sure where Lingis' unfortunate faith in the Imperative comes from but surely part of a world better left behind.
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