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Writing Under Influence (4-15-2017): Not knowing, Becoming the other

In Oedipus Rex, characters talk precisely because they don’t know what they are talking about. In this sense their workings parallel the works that art works do (cf: “Accomplished Acts” in Matters of Act (A)). Similar to prophets, which makes art works prophetical. If the characters knew what they were talking about, they wouldn’t have talked about it, and nothing would have happened. To generalize: One does something because one doesn’t know what one is doing.

In other words, the partiality of knowledge is condition for acting/doing. In Concertos No.2, we realized that people can be made to move (from one room to another, but also from their home to the concert venue) by foregrounding the partiality of knowledge. In that piece we regarded people as necessary resource for performance.

So there are two ways of making someone or something move from afar: aesthetics (beauty as choreographic apparatus) and the partiality of experience (desire to know). Obviously these two ways are related–unified in the figure of the forbidden fruit (something attractive that endows knowledge–knowledge is attractive).

Everybody is an amateur detective. The desire to figure things out parallels the desire for pleasure–if latter is corporeal consumption (of others), the former is intellectual consumption (of knowledge). In either case, an act of incorporation. And incorporation is a pleasurable act. Incorporation, however, is not simply the devourment of the other. It is more about the impossible want to assume the status/place of the other. As detectives we aim to attain the other’s perspective, and to know what the other knows. As lovers too, to feel what the other feels. Incorporation does not simply eat the other, but desires to become the other. Or more accurately: we eat in order to become the other.

Which is to say, that one moves, ultimately, to become the other. Survival consists in becoming the other.