Brave New World

AutorHuxley, Aldous, 1894-1963
PealkiriBrave new world : a novel / by Aldous Huxley
IlmunudLondon : Chatto & Windus, 1932
ViideHuxley, Aldous 1932. Brave New World. London: Chatto & Windus.

A troop of newly arrived students, very young, pink and callow, follower nervously, rather abjectly, at the Director's heels. (Huxley 1932: 2)
'Just to give you a general idea,' he would explain to them. For of course some sort of general idea they must have, if they were to do their work intelligently - though as little of one, if they were to be good and happy members of society, as possible. For particulars, as every one knows, make for virtue and happiness; generalities are intellectually necessary evils. Not philosophers, but fret-sawyers and stamp collectors compose the backbone of society. (Huxley 1932: X)
'Bokanovsky's Process,' repeated the Director, and the students underlined the words in their little note-books.
One egg, one embryo, one adult - normality. But a bokanovskified egg will bud, will proliferate, will divide. From eight to ninety-six buds, and every bud will grow into a perfectly formed embryo, and very embryo into a full-sized adult. Making ninety-six human beings grow where only one grew before. Progress. (Huxley 1932: 4-5)
'...Bokanovsky's Process is one of the major instruments of social stability!'
Major instruments of social stability.
Standard men and women; in uniform batches. The whole of a small factory staffed witht he product of a single bokanovskified egg. (Huxley 1932: 6)
'Give them a few figures, Mr. Foster,' said the Director, who was tired of talking.
Mr. Foster was only too happy to give them a few figures.
Two hundred and twenty metres long, two hundred wide, ten high. He pointed upwards. Like chicken drinking, the students lifted their eyes towards the distant ceiling. (Huxley 1932: 11)
'Reducing the number of revolutions per minute,' Mr. Foster explained. 'The surrogate goes round slower; therefore passes through the lung at longer intervals; therefore gives the embryo less oxygen. Nothing like xygen-shortage for keeping an embryo below par.' Again he rubbed his hands. (Huxley 1932: 14-15)
'And that,' put in the Director sententiously, 'that is the secret of happiness and virtue - liking what you've got to do. All conditioning aims at that: making people like their unescapable social destiny.' (Huxley 1932: 17)
There was a slience; then, clearing his throat, 'Once upon a time,' the Director began, 'while Our Ford was still on earth, there was a little boy called Reuben Rabinovitch. Reuben was the child of Polish-speaking parents.' The director interrupted himself. 'You know what Polish is, I suppose?'
'A dead language.'
'Like French and German,' added another student, officiously showing off his learning.
'And "parent?"?' questioned the D.H.C:
There was an uneasy silence. Several of the boys blushed. They had not yet learned to draw the significance but often very fine distinction between smut and pure science. One, at last, had the courage to raise a hand.
'Human beings used to be...' he hesitated; the blood rushed to his cheekcs. 'Well, they used to be viviparous.' (Huxley 1932: 25)
He [the doctor], fortunately, understood English, recognized the discourse as that which Shaw had broadcasted the previous evening, realized the significance of what had happened, and sent a letter to the medical press about it.
'The principle of sleep-teaching, or hypnopÆdia, had been discovered.' The D.H.C. made an impressive pause. (Huxley 1932: 27)
Roses and electric shocks, the khaki of Deltas and the whiff of asafoetida - wedded indissolubly before the child can speak. But wordless conditioning is crude and wholesale; cannot bring home the finer distinctions, cannot inculcate the more eomplex courses of behaviour. For that there must be words, but words without reason. In brief, hypnopÆdia. (Huxley 1932: 31)
'Till at last the child's mind is these suggestions, and the sum of the suggestions is the child's mind. And not the child's mind only. The adult's mind too - all his life long. The mind that judges and desires and decides - made up of these suggestions. But all these suggestions are our suggestions!' The Director almost shouted in his triumph. 'Suggestions from the State.' He banged the nearest table. 'It therefore follows...'
A noise made him turn around.
'Oh, Ford!' he said in another tone, 'I've gone and woken the children.' (Huxley 1932: 32)
That's a charming little group,' he said, pointing. In a little grassy bay between tall clumps of Mediterranean heather, two children, a little boy about seven and a little girl who might have been a year older, were playing, very gravely and with all the focussed attentnion of scientists intent on a labour of discovery, a rudimentary sexual game.
'Charming, charming!' the D.H.C. repeated sentimentally.
'Charming,' the boys politely agreed. But their smile was rather patronizing. They had put aside similar childish amusements too recently to be able to watch them now without a touch of contempt. Charming? but it was just a pair of kids fooling about; that was all. Just kids. (Huxley 1932: 34)
A look of astonished incredulity appeared on the faces of his listeners. Poor little kids not allowed to amuse themselves? They could not believe it. (Huxley 1932: 36)
Levina raised her eyebrows in astonishment. (Huxley 1932: 43)
In the lift, on their way up to the changingrooms, Henry Foster and the Assistant Director of Predestination rather pointedly turned their backs on Bernard Marx from the Psychology Bureau: averted themselves from that unsavoury reputation. (Huxley 1932: 37)
'...I suppose you're going out?'
Lenina nodded.
'Who with?'
'Henry Foster.'
'Again?' Fanny's kind, rather moon-like face ook on an incongruous expression of pained and disapproving astonishment. 'Do you mean to tell me you're still going out with Henry Foster?' (Huxley 1932: 44-45)
'But every one belongs to every one else,' he concluded, citing the hypnopaedic proverb.
The students nodded, emphatically agreeing with a statement which upwards of sicty-two thousand repetitions in the dark had made them accept, not merely as true, but as axiomatic, self-evident, utterly indisputable. (Huxley 1932: 45)
Wheels must turn steadily, but cannot turn untended. There must be men to tend them, men as steady as the wheels upon their axles, sane men, obedient men, stable in contentment. (Huxley 1932: 48)
Fanny nodded her sympathy and understanding. (Huxley 1932: 49)
'But his reputation?'
'What do I care about his reputation?'
'They say he doesn't like Obstacle Golf.'
'They say, they, say,' mocked Lenina.
'And then he spends most of his time by himself - alone.' There was horror in Fanny's voice.
'Well, he won't be alone when he's with me. And anyhow, why are people so beastly to him? I think he's rather sweet.' She smiled to herself; how absurdly shy he had been! Frightened almost - as though she were a World Controller and he a Gamma-Minus machine minder. (Huxley 1932: 51)
'That is,' Lenina gave him her most deliciously significant smile, 'if you still want to have me.'
Bernard's pale face flushed. 'What on earth for?' she wondered, astonished, but at the same time touched by this strange tribute to her power. (Huxley 1932: 68)
She smiled at him with an expression of the most sympathetic understanding. (Huxley 1932: 70)
His [Bernard Marx's] face wore an expression of pain. (Huxley 1932: 70)
With eyes for the most part downcast and, if ever they lighted on a fellow creature, at once and furtively averted, Bernard hastened across the roof. (Huxley 1932: 74)
Well, now she had said it and he was still wretched - wretched that she should have thought it such a perfect afternoon to join Henry Foster, that she should have found him funny for not wantking to talk of their most private affairs in public. Wretched, in a word, because she had behaved as any healthy and virtuous English girl ought to behave and not in some other, abnormal, extraordinary way. (Huxley 1932: 75)
Each time he found himself looking on the level, instead of downward, into a Delta's face, he felt humiliated. Would the creature treat him with the respect due to his caste? The question haunted him. Not without reason. For Gammas, Deltas and Epsilons had been to some extent conditioned to associate corporeal mass with social superiority. Indeed, a faint hypnopaedic prjudice in favour of size was universal. Hence the laughter of the women to whom he had proposals, the practical joking of his equals among the men. The mockery made him feel an outsider; and feeling an outsider he behaved like one, which increased the prejudice against him and intensified the contempt and hostility aroused by his physical defects. Which in turn increased his sense of being aliend and alone. (Huxley 1932: 76)
'Tell him I'm coming at once,' he said and hung up the receiver. Then, turning to his secretary, 'I'll leave you to put my things away,' he went on in the same official and impersonal tone; and ignoring her lustrous smile, got up and walked briskly to the door. (Huxley 1932: 78)
That which had emade Helmholtz so uncomfortable aware of being himself and all alone was too much ability. What the two men shared was the knowledge that they were individuals. (Huxley 1932: 79)
Speaking very slowly, 'Did you ever feel,' he asked, 'as though you had something inside you that was only waiting for you to give it a chance to come out? Some sort of extra power that you aren't using - you know, like all the water that goes down the falls instead of through the turbines?' He looked at Bernard questioningly.
'You mea all the emotions one might be feeling if things were different?' (Huxley 1932: 81)
'All men are physio-chemically equal,' said Henry sententiously. 'Besides, even Epsilons perform indispensable services.' (Huxley 1932: 86)
Bernard looket at her (Ford! it was Morgana Rotschild) and blushingly had to admit that he had been playing neither. Morgana stared at him with astonishment. There was an awkward silence.
Then pointedly she turned and addressed herself to the more sporting man on her left. (Huxley 1932: 92-93)
'But, Bernard, we shall be alone all night.'
Bernard blushed and looked away. 'I meant, alone for talking,' he mumbled.
'Talking? But what about?' Walking and talking - that seemed a very odd way of spending an afternoon. (Huxley 1932: 103)
'For the New Mexican Reservation?' he said, and his tone, the face he lifted to Bernard, expressed a kind agitated astonishment.
Surprised by his surprise, Bernard nodded. There was a silence.
The Director leaned back in his chair, frowning. 'How long ago was it?' he said, speaking more to himself than to Bernard. 'Twenty years, I suppose. Nearer twenty-five. I must have been your age...' He sighed and shook his head. (Huxley 1932: 111)
Furious with himself for having given away a discreditable secret, he vented his rage on Bernard. The look in his eyes was now frankly malignant. 'And I should like to take this opportunity, Mr. Marx,' he went on, 'of saying that I'm not at all pleased with the reports I receive of your behaviour outside working hours. You may say that this is not my business. But it is. My workers must be above suspicion, particularly those of the highest castes. Alphas are so conditioned that they do not have to be infantile in their emotional behaviour. But that is all the more reason for their making a special effort to conform. It is their duty to be infantile, even against their inclination. And so, Mr. Marx, I give you fair warning.' The Director's voice vibrated with an indignation that had now become wholly righteous and impersonal - ws the expression of the disapproval of Society itself. 'If ever I hear again of any lapse from a proper standard of infantile decorum, I shall ask for your transference to a Sub-Centre - preferably to Iceland. Good morning.' And swivelling round in his chair, he picked up his pen and began to write. (Huxley 1932: 113-114)
'You don't say so,' said Lenina poltely, now knowing in the least what the Warden had said, but taking her cue from his dramatic pause. (Huxley 1932: 118)
He hoped that this reference to a shameful subject would make Lenina blush; but she only smiled with simulated intelligence and said, 'You don't say so!' Disappointed, the Warden began again. (Huxley 1932: 119)
'Queer,' said Lenina. 'Very queer.' It was her ordinary word of condemnaion. 'I don't like it. And I don't like that man.' She pointed to the Indian guide who had been appointed to take them up to the pueblo. Her feeling was evidently reciprocated; the very back of the man, as he walked along before them, was hostile, sullenly contemptuous. (Huxley 1932: 124)
She liked even less what awaited her at the entrance to the pueblo, where their guide had left them while he went inside for instructions. The dirt, to start with, the piles of rubbish, the dust, the dogs, the flies. Her face wrinkled up into a grimace of disgust. She held her handkerchief to her nose. (Huxley 1932: 127)
Lenina liked the drums. Shutting her eyes she abandoned herself to their soft repeated thunder, allowerd it to invade her consciousness more and more completely, till at last there was nothing left in the world but that one deep pulse of sound. It reminded her reassuringly of the synthetic noises made at Solidarity Services and Ford's Day celebrations. 'Orgy-porgy,' she whispered to herself. These drums beat out just the same rhythms. (Huxley 1932: 131--)
'...Yes,' and his voice suddenly took on a new resonance, he turned with a proud squaring of the shoulders, a proud, defiant lifting of the chin, 'to show that I'm a man ... Oh!' He gave a fasp and was silent, gaping. He had seen, for the first time in his life, the face of a girl whose cheeks were not the colour of chocolate or dogskin, whose hair was auburn and permanently waved, and whose expression (amazing novelty!) was one of benevolent interest. Lenina was smiling at him; such a nice-looking boy, she was thinking, and a really beautiful body. The blood rushed up into the young man's face; he dropped his eyes, raised them again for a moment only to find her still smiling at him, and was so much overcome that he had to turn away and pretend to be looking very hard at something on the other side of the square. (Huxley 1932: 136)
And she would tell him about the lovely music that came out of ta box, and all the nice games you could play, and the delicious things to eat and drink, and the light that came when you pressed a little thing in the wall, and the pictures that you could hear and feel and smell, as well as see, and another box for making nice smells, and the pink and green and blue and silver houses as high as mountains, and everybody happy and no one ever sad or angry, and every one belonging to every one else, and the boxes where you could see and hear what was happening at the other side of the world, and babies in lovely clean bottles - everything so clean, and no nasty smells, no dirt at all - and people never lonely, but living together and being so jolly and happy, like the summer dances here in Malpais, but much happier, and the happiness being there every dya, every day... (Huxley 1932: 150)
He hated Popé more and more. A man can smile and smile and be a villain. Remorseless, treacherous, lecherous, kindless villain. What did the words exactly mean? He only half knew. (Huxley 1932: 155)
'I know. But that's all the more reason for severity. His intellectual eminence carries with it corresponding moral responsibilitites. The greater a man's talents, the greater his power to lead astray. It is better that one should suffer than that many should be corrupted. Consider the matter dispassionately, Mr. Foster, and you will see that no offence is so heinous as unorthodoxy of behaviour. Murder kills only the individual - and, after all, what is an individual?' With a sweeping gesture he indicated the rows of microscopes, the test-tubes, the incubators. 'We can make a new one with the greatest ease - as many as we like. Unorthodoxy threatens more than the life of a mere individual; it strikes at Society itself.. Yes, at Society itself,' he repeated. (Huxley 1932: 174)
'...By his heretical views on sport and soma, by the scandalus unorthodoxy of his sex-life, by his refusal to obey the teachings of Our Ford and behave out of office hours "like a babe in a bottle"' (here the Director made the sign of the T), 'he has proven himself an enemy of Society, a subverter, ladies and gentlemen, of all Order and Stability, a conspirator against Civilization itself. For this reason I propose to dismiss him, to dismiss him with ignominy from the post he has held in this Centre, I propose forthwith to apply for his transference to a Sub-Centre of the lowest order and, that his punishment may serve the best intrest of Society, as far as possible removed from any important Centre of population. In Iceland he will have small opportunity to lead others astray by his unfordly example.' (Huxley 1932: 176)
Bloated, sagging, and among those firm youthful bodies, those undistorted faces, a strange and terrifying monster of middle-agedness, Linda advanced into the room, coquettishly smiling her broken and discoloured smile, and rolling as she walked, with what was meant to be a voluptuous undulation, her enourmous haunches. (Huxley 1932: 176)
She stood looking at him, her head on one side, still smiling, but with a smile that became progressively, in face of the Director's expression of petrified disgust, less and less self-confident, that wavered and finally went out. 'Don't you remember, Tomakin?' she repeated in a voice that trembled. Her eyes were anxious, agonized. The blotched and sagging face twitched grotesquely into the grimace of extreme grief. 'Tomakin!' She held out herarms. Some one began to titter. (Huxley 1932: 177)
Red in the face, he tried to disengage himself from her embrace. Desperately he clung. 'But I'm Linda, I'm Linda.' The laughter drowned her voice. 'You made me have a baby,' she screamed above the uproar. There was a sudden and appalling hush; eyes floated unconfortably, not knowing where to look. The Director went suddenly pale, stopped struggling and stood, his hands on her wrist, staring down at her, horrified. (Huxley 1932: 177-178)
It was John, then, they were after. And it was only through Bernar, his accredited guardian, that John could be seen, Bernard now found himself, for the first time in his life, treater not merely normally, but as a person of outstanding importance. (Huxley 1932: 183)
Mustapha Mond's anger gave place almost at once to mirth. The idea of this creature solemnly lecturing him - him - about the social order was really too grotesque. The man must have gone mad. 'I ought to give him a lesson,' he said to himself; then threw back his head and laughed aloud. For the moment, at any rate, the lesson would not be given. (Huxley 1932: 187)
'But doesn't he like you?' asked Fanny.
'Sometimes I think he does and sometimes I think he doesn't. He always does his best to avoid me; goes out of ther oom when i come in; won't touch me; won't even look at me. But sometimes if I turn round suddenly, I catch him staring; and then - well, you know how men look when they like you.'
Yes, Fanny knew. (Huxley 1932: 196)
The Savage started. That sensation on his lips! He lifted a hand to his mouth; the titillation ceased; let his hand fall back on the metal know; it began again. The scent organ, meanwhile, breathed pure musk. Expiringly, a sound-track super-dove cooed 'Oo-ooh'; a vibrating only thirty-two times a second, a deeper than African bass made answer: 'Aa-aah.' 'Ooh-Ah! Ooh-ah!' the stereoscopic lips came together again, and once more the facial erogenous zones of the six thousand spectators in the Alhambra tingled with almost intolerable galvanic pleausre. 'Ooh...' (Huxley 1932: 198
But for Lenina the moth did not completely die. Even after the lights had gone up, while they were shuffling slowly along with the crowd towards the lifts, its ghost still fluttered against her lips, still traced fine shuddering roads of anxiety and pleasure across her skin. Her cheeks were flushed, here eyes dewily bright, her breath came deeply. She caught hold of the Savage's arm and pressed it, limp, against her side. He looked down at her for a moment, pale, pained, desiring, and ashamed of his desire. He was not worthy, not... Their eyes for a moment met. What treasures hers promised! A queen's ransom of temperament. Hastily he looked away, disengaged his imprisoned arm. he was obscurely terrified lest she should cease to be something he could feel himself unworthy of. (Huxley 1932: 199-200)
In the end Bernard had to slink back, diminished, to his rooms and inform the impatient assembly that the Savage would not be appearing that evening. The news was received with indignaction. The men were furious at having been tricked into behaving politely to this insignificant fellow with the unsavoury reputation and the heretical opinions. The higher their position in the hierarchy, the deeper their resentment. (Huxley 1932: 204)
Pierced by every word that was spoken, the tight balloon of Bernard's happy self-confidence was leaking from a thousand wounds. Pale, distraught, abject and agitated, he moved among his guests, stammering incoherent apologies, assuring them that next time the Savage would certainly be there, begging them to sit down and take a carotine sandwitch, a slice of vitamin A páté, a glass of champagne-surrogate. They duly ate, but ignored him; drank and were either rude to his face or talked to one another about him, loudly and offensively as though he had not been there. (Huxley 1932: 206)
'Lenina, my dear,' he called in another tone. 'Come with me.'
Obediently, but unsmiling and (wholly insensible to the honour done to her) without elation, Lenina walked after him, out of the room. The other guests followed at a respectful interval. The last of them slammed the door. Bernard was all alone. (Huxley 1932: 208)
'A New Theory of Biology' was the title of the paper which Mustapha Mond had just finished reading. He sat for some time, meditatively frowning, then picked up his pen and wrote across the title-page. 'The author's mathematical treatment of the conception of purpose is novel and highly ingenious, but heretical and, so far as the present social order is concerned, dangerous and potentially subversive. Not to be published.' He underlined the words. 'The author will be kept under supervision. His transference to the Marine Biological Station of St. Helena may become necessary.' A pity, he thought, as he signed his name. It was a masterly piece of work. But once you began admitting explanations in terms of purpose - well, you didn't know what the result might be. It was the sort of idea that might easily de-condition the more unsettled minds among the higher castes - make them lose their faith in happiness as the Sovereign Good and take to believing, instead, that the goal was somewhere beyond, somewhere outside the human sphere; that the purpose of life was not the maintenance of well-being, but some intensification and refining of consciousness, some enlargement of knowledge. Which was, the Controller reflected, quite possibly true. But not, in this present circumstance, admissible. He picked up his pen again, and under the words 'Not to be published' drew a second line, thicker and blacker than the first; then sighed. 'What fun it would be,' he thought, 'if one didn't have to think about happiness!' (Huxley 1932: 208-209)
But in spite of this knowledge and these admissions, in spite of the fact that his friend's support and sympathy were now his only comfort, Bernard continued perversely to nourish, along with his quite genuine affection, a secret grievance against the Savage, to meditate a campaign of small revenges to be wreaked upon him. Nourishing a grievance agianst the Arch-COmmunity-Sonsger was useless; there was no possibility of being revenged on the Chief Bottler or the Assistant Predestinator. As a victim, the savage possessed, for Bernard, this enormous superiority over the others: that he was accessible. (Huxley 1932: 211)
'Ow, you're hurting me, you're... oh!' She was suddenly silent. Terror had made her forget the pain. Opening her eyes, she had seen his face - no, not his face, a ferocious stranger's, pale, distorted, twitching with some insane, inexplicable fury. Aghast, 'But what is it, John she whispered. He did not answer, but only stared into her face with those mad eyes. THe henads that held her wrists were trembling. He breathed deeply and irregularly. Faint almost to imperceptibility, but appalling, she suddenly heard the grinding of his teeth. 'What is it?' she almost screamed.
And as though awakened by her cry he caught her by the shoulders and shook her. 'Whore!' he shouted. 'Whore! Impudent strumpet!' (Huxley 1932: 228-229)
One arm still raised, and following his every movement with a terrified eye, she scrambled to her feet and still crouching, still covering her head, made a dash for the bathroom. (Huxley 1932: 229)
The Savage rose to his feet and took a couple of steps towards her. His movements and the expression on his face were so menacing that the nurse fell back in terror. With a great effort he checked himself and, without speaking, turned away and sat down again by the bed. (Huxley 1932: 239)
'No shoving here, now!' shouted the Deputy Sub-Busar in a fury. He slammed down the lid of his cash-box. 'I shall stop the distribution unless I have good behaviour.'
The Deltas muttered, jostled one another a little, and then were still. The threat had been effective. Deprivation of soma - appalling thought!
'That's better,' said the young man, and reopened his cash-box. (Huxley 1932: 248)
'Do you like being babies? Yes, babies. Mewling and puking,' he added, exasperated by their bestial stupidity into throwing insults at those he had come to save. The insults bounced off their carapace of thick stupidity; they stared at him with a blank expression of dull and sullen resentment in their eyes. (Huxley 1932: 251)
'It's more like a caffeine-solution party than a trial,' he said, and let himself fall into the most luxurious of the pneumatic arm-chairs. 'Cheer up, bernard,' he added, catching sight of his friend's green unhappy face. But Bernard would not be cheered; without answring, without even looking at Helmholtz, he went and sat down on the most uncomfortable chair in the room, carefully chosen in the obscure hope of somehow deprecating the wrath of the higher powers. (Huxley 1932: 256)
Bernard started and looked horrified. What would the Controlled think? To be labelled as the friend of a man who said that he didn't like civilization - said it openly and, of all people, to the Controller - it was terrible. "But, John,' he began. A look from Mustapha Mond reduced him to an abject silence. (Huxley 1932: 257)
'But why is it prohibited?' asked the Savage. In the excitement of meeting a man who had read Shakespeare he had momentarily forgotten everything else.
The Controlled shrugged his shoulders. 'Because it's old; that's the chief reason. We haven't any use for old things here.'
'Even when they're beautiful?'
'Particularly when they're beautiful. Beauty's attractive, and we don't want people to be attracted by old things. We want them to like the new ones.' (Huxley 1932: 258)
THe Savage was silent for a little. 'All the same,' he insisted obstinately, 'Othello's good, Othello's better than those feelies.'
'Of course it is,' the Controller agreed. 'But that's the price we have to pay for stability. You've got to choose between hapiness and what people used to call high art. We've sacrificed the high art. We have the feelies and the scent organ instead.'
'But they don't mean anything.'
'They mean themselves; they mean a lot of agreeable sensations to the audience.' (Huxley 1932: 260)
'One would think he was going to have his throat cut,' said the Controller, as the door closed. 'Whereas, if he had the smallest sense, he'd understand that his punishment is really a reward. He's being sent to an island. THat's to say, he's being sent to a place where he'll meet the most interesting set of men and women to be found anywhere in the world. All the people who, for one reason or another, have got too self-consciously individual to fit into community-life. All the people who aren't satisfied with orthodoxy, who've got independent ideas of their own. Every one, in a word, who's any one. ...' (Huxley 1932: 267-268)

Reading performance art

Week 4

Birringer, Johannes 1991. Video Art / Performance: A Border Theory. Performing Arts Journal 13(3): 54-84.
Aparici's bilingual video lecture simultaneously translates and disrupts the ideological terms of the on-going commodification of the image in a predominantly visual culture. His disruption is also aimed at the quotational vogue that seems to dominate the self-reflexive aesthetics of postmodernist art. (Birringer 1991: 58)
Translating and disrupting ideological terms. Ongoing commodification of the image. The quotational vogue. Self-reflexive aesthetics. WTF am I reading?
Each movement, each gesture, each pose: a pre-recorded video scene replayed to the knowing audience in a ritualistic celebration of the power of the fetishistic image. (Birringer 1991: 59)
A "postmodern" reading of Madonna's stage performance.
The desirable identification she offers the viewer in "Vogue" is not with her but with the numerous poses she borrows from Hollywood stars. In naming and copying her (female and male) sources, Madonna's self-parodic message proposes her own video model of appropriation itself, as her image track refers us simulaneously to the nostalgic aura of black and white Hollywood film and to the dance style of "voguing," a very recent black gay club phenomenon in which dancers imitate the gestures of movie stars and runway models. (Birringer 1991: 60)
So that's what it is. Now vogue...
Carolee Schneemann, commenting on her Meat Joy performance in 1964, explained that the active physicality of her body could reintroduce smell, taste, and touch to art to art and "at the same time transform and integrate any action or gesture of performers and audience: an enlarged 'collage,' to break up solid forms, frames, fixed conversations or comprehensible planes, the proscenium stage and the separation of audience and performer." (Birringer 1991: 63-64)
I suspect the academia.edu research interest "New" senses in art: touch, smell, taste originates from Carolee Schneemann. She is in my list of readings, too.
In fact, I would go so far as to claim that video became the catalyst for a new stage in the radical critique of representation which had exhausted the Dionysian energies of the rebellious 1960s and led to a dead end in most of the anti-theatrical experiments, the narcissistic and self-lacerating autoperformances and body works (Rudolf Schwarzkogler, Chris Burden, Gina Pane, Vito Acconti, Günter Brus, Stuard Brisley, Stelarc, Marina Abramovic). In some cases the performers tested the limits of their bodies and then transplanted their ideas about participatory performance or ritualistic action into the closed circuit environment in which the camera interacted with the performers/viewers, and placed them within the production process or, rather, inside the doubled process of viewing and being viewed (monitored). The demonstrative presentation of physical presence became provisional, a function of an interlocked gaze and a continuous dislocation between "real" and "live." (Birringer 1991: 64)
Actually the most comprehensive list of the main performance artists I have yet come across.
For Damnation of Faust, on the other hand, Birnbaum does notuse found TV images but shoots her own footage in a children's plaground. Her edited and alted images of the children playing, shown on several monitors set into the walls of a room that is painted red, create a quiet, elusive and poetic quality that grows deeper in resonance when the physical language of the young bodies (the children sit on benches and wait or fly through the air on swings) is perceived as movement and as communication. And this movement of expression, contained in the gendered behavioral modes of "playing" on the swings and enclosed by the fenced-in urban playground, comes to be see in juxtaposition to the sculptural construction of large photo stills (in the shape of a folding fan or arch) that depicts close-up details of the body language through which cultural codes of sexual, social, and racial difference are inscribed in the children. Avoiding the tautologies of media-based critiques of the media, this sculptural installation enables a more profound view of political culture by treating it not as a ready-made, but dissecting a microcosmic process in an innocent playground where the "disciplinary society" (Foucault) exerts its invisible power to train children and to exploit the loss of their innocence. (Birringer 1991: 80)
I like this description for some reason.

Jay, Martin 2002. Somaesthetics and Democracy: Dewey and Contemporary Body Art. Journal of Aesthetic Education 36(4): 55-69.
...aesthetic, or rather artistic, experience involves the whole body not just the mind and imagination or even the senses as receptors of stimuli from without. Dewey thus resisted the time-honored hierarchy that still subtended contemporary taste, which, so he charged,
tends to reckon as higher the finer arts that reshape material, where the product is enduring rather than fugitive, and is capable of appealing to a wide circle, including the unborn, in contrast with the limitation of singing, dancing, and oral story-telling to an immediate audience. But all rankings of higher and lower are, ultimately, out of place and stupid. Each medium has its own efficacy and value.
For politics, it was therefore perhaps the performative arts that were even more important than those devoted to building permanent objects for posterity, an insight that anticipated Hannah Ardent's well-known distinction in The Human Condition between man as homo faber and as political performer. (Jay 2002: 56-57)
"Homo faber (Latin for "Man the Creator" in reference to homo sapiens meaning "wise man") is a philosophical concept articulated by Hannah Arendt and Max Scheler that refers to humans as controlling the environment through tools." The wikipedia article this explanation originates from also drew the connection I did: "In Ray Bradbury's novel Fahrenheit 451 (1953), a character named Faber constructs a hidden radio earpiece that he uses to guide the thoughts and actions of the book's protagonist, Guy Montag."
Building on Dewey's argument, the contemporary pragmatist philosopher Richard Shusterman has proposed an ambitious project of what he calls "somaesthetics." Hoping to efface the distinction between the fine arts and mere craftsmanship and undermine the exclusivity of art as an autonomous institution, Shusterman praises Dewey for his willingness to "exchange high art's autocratic aura of transcendental authority for a more down-to-earth and democratic glow of enhanced living and enriched community of understanding." Noting Dewey's fascination for the body therapeutics of F. Matthias Alexander, whose system of upper torso exercises were designated to enhance breathing, posture and motion, he argues that essential to aesthetic experience is pre-discursive corporeal development. (Jay 2002: 57)
All around interesting stuff.
Perhaps the most disturbing moment in the Actionists assault on bourgeois sensibilities, and as it turned out not on them alone, came in 1968 at the University of Vienna when Brus and his colleague were asked to join a political meeting called "Art and revolution," devoted to the role of art in late capitalist society. In what became known as "Action 33," Brus, standing naked on a chair, cut his body with a razor blade, urinated into a glass from which he then drank, defecated on the floor and smeared himself with his own excrement, masturbated while singing the Austrian national anthem and the university song "Gaudeamus Igitur," and capped it all off by inducing himself to vomit. (Jay 2002: 61)
This is very much reminiscent of what is known on the webs as "Interior Semiotics", a disturbing performance which can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I9lmvX00TLY

Abramović, Marina, Chris Thompson and Katarina Weslien 2006. Pure Raw: Performance, Pedagogy, and (Re)presentaiton. PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art 28(1): 29-50.
THOMPSON: And also this idea in Marx, from very early on - it's a lot like Joseph Beuy's idea of "Everyone is an artist" - that the ideal society will be one where each individual could be his or her own artist. (Abramović et al. 2006: 30)
This is a neat idea. And it almost seems that something to this effect is starting to take place, via deviantart and tumblr or even facebook. But the problem is that with such individual massification of art, the concept loses almost all of it's meaning and may become a way of communalizing art, like "sharing" pictures in tumblr (which is nothing more than mere participation in it's profusion) or the instagram phenomena which enables one to coat every random picture with effects that make it look in some sense artistic. Otherwise it's a good idea and I imagine that in an ideal society everyone would be in some sense their own artist, creating their own aesthetic environment. The option to put your own selected image as a banner for your profile on facebook moves towards that, inasmuch as it is more individual than the option in rate.ee to choose "skins" (css templates) and pay for it.
Finding your own function, and then fulfilling that purpose, is very important. (Abramović et al. 2006: 32)
Right you are, miss Abramović.
The performance is a process. The public as well as the artist has to go into it. They must meet in a completely new territory, and build from that timeless time spent together. That's very important. Because you need that time so that something can really happen as a performer. But the public also needs time for something to happen to them. Because they need time to adjust. I'm totally against all these short performances - two minutes, three minutes. It's really feeding an audience who doesn't have time. I don't have time in my life, but I have time in my performance. I always have time in my performance. (Abramović et al. 2006: 34)
I remember her remarking about something similar in an earlier interview, about being-there, making a connection with the audience. The requirement of time to adjust seems valid, as the audience needs to get to know what it's getting into. In street performances this aspect is lacking, bringing about situations in which people really don't have time to pay attention and may come up to insult the performer for intruding into his routine. I once had an experience in the public space, walking past the mall with my girlfriend when a guy was yelling something with a megaphone. I turned to my girlfriend to say something sardonic addressing the megaphone guy to the effect of "you should shut the fuck up", not knowing that the guy with the megaphone had closed in on me and by the time I was saying this was right beside me. It really did shut him up, but insulted him in the process. He happened to hear something that was addressed to him but not said to him.
THOMPSON: We had read a couple of texts for that week's class, and each week a group of students, four or five of them, leads a discussion. So they decided how we'll talk about it. They said that, instead of me teaching, what they were going to do was this: They would read one passage aloud, then we'd take five minutes to just sit. And then after that, anybody could talk. But after each person talked, we had to wait a full minute before anyone spoke or responded, and continued the entire class in this manner. (Abramović et al. 2006: 34)
This sounds great! Like giving time to digest what is read or heard.
THOMPSON: ...if you have to sit for a minute, then you have to decide what's worth saying. You're also cognizant that after you're done, no one else can talk for a full minute, so you have truly to measure what you say. (Abramović et al. 2006: 35)
It was an essay by Gilles Deleuze, called "Mediators", which they read.
ABRAMOVIC: ...So we are going to invite you. We can talk, we can attack you, you have to defend.
THOMPSON: Defend for real, or just with words?
THOMPSON: I always thought it would be nice to have a bit more physical struggle present in academia.
(Abramović et al. 2006: 35-36)
I'm starting to like this Chris Thompson.
Also within the structure of the academy, there was this attitude that students are not supposed to show their work outside of the academy. I totally disagree with this. I think that is you absolutely think that you have a good idea, it should be shown regardless of your age or the limits of your study. (Abramović et al. 2006: 37)
I couldn't agree more. Currently I'm struggling with the face that I am merely a BA and can't apply for many neat scholarships that would let me travel around, meet others in my field and improve my work, because the understanding is that your work only becomes important when you're already in the MA. In a word, conformism: the structure of an ideal student is layd out so if you want to accelerate, you can't, because there are all these procedures that are set in place to hold this back.

Keidan, Lois and Daniel Brine 2005. Live Art in London. PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art 27(3): 74-82.
In the UK the term "live art" is understood not so much as a description of a singular practice or discipline, but as a cultural strategy to include a catalogue of processes and practices that might otherwise be excluded from more establöished curatorial, cultural, and critical discourses: a strategy - or approach - that acknowledges ways of working that do not sit easily within received structures and strictures, and that privileges artists who choose to operate across, in between, and at the edges of more conventional artistic forms. Live art is, in other words, a framing deviden for artists whose work is rooted in a broad church of disciplines but are, albeit in a plurality of ways, making art that invests in ideas of process, presence, and experience as much as the production of objects or things; art that is immediate and "real;" art that wants to test the possible and permissible limtis of "liveness." (Keidan and Brine 2005: 74-75)
An apt formulation that lends itself easily to semiotic vocabulary. The rest of the article, I'm sorry to say, falls very much short of the initial premise but rather promotes some Agency's doings. It is filled with sentences like: "The opportunity to collaborate with Tate Modern in locating live art practices and discourses within one of the world's most influential cultural institutions represented a significant sea change in the position of live art within London and in the advancement of its critical and popular currency."

Week 5

Phelan, Peggy 2004. Marina Abramović: Witnessing Shadows. Theatre Journal 56(4): 569-577.
A significant aspect of the US-based performance art of the early 1970s defined itself in opposition to the commodity based art market. Attempting to create art that had no object, no remaining trace to be sold, collected, or otherwise "arrested," performance artists of the seventies were working against the accumulative logic of capital. (Phelan 2004: 570)
A valid point.
Great art accumulates relevance and meanings as it moves beyond the control of its creators; weak art decides in advance what the piece is about. (Phelan 2004: 571)
Words that could just as well be applied to academic work.
Each day the artist wore a different color linen jacket and trousers. A metronome was also usually clicking throughout the performance. Whether one calls it environmental theatre or social sculpture, House extends something of the repetition and serialization at work in Warhol's Shadows into the realm of live art. While Warhol was operating within the economy of the object and setting up repeating copies of the same image, Abramoviç was theatricalizing the repetitive everyday acts of sleeping, showering, elimintaing waste, and sitting at a table. But these acts, each perhaps an homage to the quotidian, did not render the performance a literal treatment of these common acts. On the contrary, the symbolic and metaphoricla associations were dense, ranging from Kafka's Hunger Artist to the prayerful acts of a Sufi mystic. The accumulcation of associations and meanings people brought to beat on the art quite literally added to its energetic force. (Phelan 2004: 574)
define:quotidian - "Of or occurring every day; daily." or "Ordinary or everyday, esp. when mundane."
Performance remains a compelling art because it contains the possibility of both the actor and the spectator becoming transformed during the event's unfolding. People can often have significant and meaningful experiences of spectatorship watching film or streaming video. But these experiences are less interesting to me because the spectator's responses cannot alter the pre-recorded or the remote performance, and in this fundamental sense, these representations are indifferent to the responses of the other. Interactivity holds more promise, but thus far most of the technology delimits in advance the kinds of interactions possible between audience members and performers. (Phelan 2004: 575)
A relevant piece of the puzzle of performance art: the performer's and audience's copresence makes the latter's responses a possible source for alterations in the performance. The theater-goer is a spectator or viewer, the performance audience is interacting with the performance.
If Levinas is right, and the face-to-face encounter is the most crucial arena in which the ethical bond we share becomes manifest, then live theatre and performance might speak to philosophy with renewed vigor. So far the language of this conversation has been largely nonverbal. Becoming fluent will require practice, patience, humility, and the recognition that the social body, like our own all-to-human body, is both stronger than we guessed and unbearably tender. (Phelan 2004: 577)
Noice. The reference goes: Emmanuel Levinas, Ethics and Infinity: Converstions with Philippe Nemo, trans. Richard Cohen (Pttsburgh: Duquense University Press, 1985). [utlib]

Cheng, Meiling 2001. Cyborgs in Mutation: Osseus Labyrint's Alien Body Art. TDR 45(2): 145-168.
In this country [U.S.], staging a live action in even the remotest public sites requires a government permit and exorbitant insurance, obstacles not encountered during osseus labyrint's international tours. (Cheng 2001: 147)
Hmm... This is the first piece that brings up this issue.
In conceptual terms, I regard the performance of THEM as beginning with the dissemination of the postcard that invites audience participation. By calling the information line, which urges callers to reconnect at a later date - preferably an hour before the designated event - potential specators are enmeshed in a psychic theatre that attracts their consensual actions with a promise tantalizing in its mystique. Since there is no advertising for THEM other than the postcard itself and since the performance is free and its site unusual, callers tend to recruit themselves as messengers who carry the clues to a treasure hunt. Word of mouth spreads among potential viewers like self-generated rumors hatching a cult. The condition of the exchange - free admission for volunteering as extras in a film - further heightens the excitement, especially in a city where being in a movie is as easy as eating a takeout pizza - always easy, yet always delicious. The contingency that occurs on the date of the event offers a serendipitous plotline that tests the performers and entertains the audience. But a central player in this matrix is the environment of the Los Angeles River and the multiple sensory stimuli it provides - before, during, and after the anticipated performative action. (Cheng 2001: 147-148)
In short, the key for a successful performance is building an atmosphere of excitement.
This formal language deeloped collaboratively by Sim and Steger starts with the visual design of their stage present - skin as uniform: the standard costume for the couple is their naked and clean-shaven bodies. Their convention of not wearing clothes in performance emulates the natural state of nonhuman animals, while reinforcing the ethological dimension of their choreography. The two artists not only move but "dress" like beasts, fish, fowls, insects, or microbes - covered by nothing but that with which they were born. (Cheng 2001: 150)
Here the use of naked body is actually somehow justified, in contrast with some feminist acts which give no justification but simply imply "I'm a woman, look at me."
Stegner mentioned that "labyringht" also has an evolutional implication. In our email correspondence, he cites a stetement from the well-known palontologist Stephen Jay Gould as an inspiration for osseus labyrint's art: "the history of life is a labyrinth, not a ladder of progress" (Steger 2000).
The current usage of "osseus labyrint" came about becuase of an incident in their 1990 tour to Czechoslovakia, where the local press happened to drop the "h" from "labyrinth". Sim and Steger decided to accomodate the accidental slippage. This choice in response to a chance incident exemplifies the artist's affinity for mutation. After all, what is mutation if not a radical alteration through chance or through design? (Cheng 2001: 151)
I like this mindstate, this affinity for mutation.
For lack of an existing vocabulary pertinent for my purpose, I have coined the term "homi-xenology" to analyze osseus labyrint's alien body art. My neologism accounts for the transitory fusion of two mutually alien forms: the body of the human performer ("homi," an inflected prefix derived from the Latin "homo") that absorbs the postures, gaits, proportions, behaviors, and imagined psychic states of other spaces ("xenology," from the Latin "xeno" and "logy.") In essence, homi-xenology is a free-ranging creative method that draws inspiration from the biological, scientific, and fantastic worlds in order to extend the performing body's capacity as an instrument for corporeal ornamentation; it molds the human physique to create instant flesh sculptures that embellish the space. (Cheng 2001: 154)
I do love it when jargon in coined (as opposed to cases in which jargon is merely used).
Indeed, I observed some shortcomings in Mac Beth, especially in the areas of vocal delivery, characterization, and the semiotic precision concerning the pairing of verbal and physical languages. (Cheng 2001: 160)
I find it interesting that this author conceptualizes "semiotic precision" in the relationship of verbal and "physical" (nonverbal).

Graver, David 1995. Violent Theatricality: Displayed Enactments of Aggression and Pain. Theatre Journal 47(1): 43-64.
Among the performing arts, which include dance, music, acting, stand-up comedy, magic tricks, and gymnastic exhibitions, performance art may highlight more than most the raw immediacy of performative activity, but it has no monopoly on this immediacy. I think we should resist the temptation to label an activity performance art simply because the immediate presence of the artist is more palpable than any exchange of signs or appeals to representational conventions. When John Cage sits in silence before his piano keyboard on the stage of a concert hall for a predetermined lenght of time, he is performing a rather unusual type of music. The point is lost if we focus solely on the fact that he is performing. (Graver 1995: 44)
define:palpable - "Able to be touched or felt." The distinction between performing arts and performance art is neat.
The realms of presentation and representation themselves create an analogous dichotomy between the visible and invisible in that the spectators actually see only the bodies presented on stage but usually construct within their minds' eyes the represented world by virtue of the invisible conventions of representation that link particular physical images and gestures with particular implicit significances. (Graver 1995: 46)
I think this dichotomy of presentation and representation should be reviewed in light of Goffman's methodological dramaturgy: e.g. where is the aspect of representation in the presentation of the self?
Despite the power of words to rename anguish and brutality, however, if bodies are burning in a sufficiently intimate or unregulated theatrical situation, the victim's withering flesh will make its own arguments. Although violence can disguise itself as meaning and join the semiotic transactions on the stage, its presence generally threatens both to escape the meaning assigned to it and to disrupt the delicate balance theatricality establishes between the ontological priorities of display and enactment. (Graver 1995: 48)
It is quite interesting how different authors (here a literary scholar) understand and use the word "semiotic": always conjoined with something else, in this case, "transactions". And again, the semiotic aspect here has to do with the relationship of words and brutality or between violence and it's meaning.
For Artaud display and enactment continue to have meaning; bodies continue to be transformed into signs. Artaud does not wish to cut off discourse so much as expand and redirect it. By writing in space with the bodies of the actors or, more generally, with the materiality of spectacle and performance, Artaud wishes to make metaphysical stateements that lie beyond the capability of purely linguistic communication. (Graver 1995: 48)
This is a very powerful metaphor: (theatricality is) writing in space with the bodies of the actors. By way of analogy, our everyday life is writing in time and space with our bodily behaviour.
In place of being bothered by the pain, of allowing it to engulf and obliterate every other aspect of the world, Fakir transforms it into a tool for various somatic and psychological experiments. Pain is, for him, a way of altering his consciousness and his dientity. It is also a way of concentrating energy within the body, savoring the narcotic release of endorphins, or initiating an out-of-body experience. Pain becomes for Fakir an interiority deeper than the self. (Graver 1995: 52)
A contrasting view of pain to that of Elaine Scarry.
By distancing themselves from the discourse of Western theatrical performance, Fakir and SRL magnify the material impact of their theatrical performances. The audience must face their spectacles without being able to transform them into manageable meanings. The spectator's eye has little hope of being the eye of knowledge that controls through understanding what it takes in, yet it also cannot ignore what it sees. The standard rewards of aesthetic spectatorship are violated. (Graver 1995: 63-64)
This could just as easily apply to the performances in the last article (Them). In short, performance art creates spectacles that do not give ready-made significance to the spectators.

Bishop, Claire 2004. Antagonism and Relational Aesthetics. October 110: 51-79.
The curators promoting this "laboratory" paradigm - including Maria Lind, hans Ulrich Obrist, Barbara von der Linden, Hou Hanru, and Nicolar Bourriaud - have to a large extent been encouraged to adpot this curatorial modus operandi as a direct rection to the type of art produced in the 1990s: work that is open-ended, interactive, and resistent to closure, often appearing to be "work-in-progress" rather than a complete object. Such work seems to derive from a creative misreading of poststructuralist theory: rather than the interpretations of a work of art being open to continual reassessment, the work of art itself is argued to be in perpetual flux. (Bishop 2004: 52)
This reminds me yet again of Mathiesen's "The Unfinished" (now applied to art), and the central notion of "mutation" in one of the previous articles.
For instance, Bourriaud argues that art of the 1990s takes as its theoretical horizon "the realm of human interactions and its social context, rather than the assertion of an independent and private symbolic space" (RA, p. 14). In other words, relational art works seem to establish intersubjective encounters (be these literal or potential) in which meaning is elaborated collectively (RA, p. 18) rather than the priatized space of individual consumption. The implication is that this work inverses the goals of Greenbergian modernism. Rather than a discrete, portable, autonomous work of art that transcends its context, relational art is entirely beholden to the contingencies of its environment and audience. Moreover, this audience is envisaged as a community: rather than a one-to-one relationship between work of art and viewer, relational art sets up situations in which viewers are not just addressed as a collective, social entity, but are actually given the wherewithal to create a community, however temporary or utopian this may be. (Bishop 2004: 53-54)
define:wherewithal - "The money or other means needed for a particular purpose." The tendency of relational art seems to me to be possible to sum up in a word: contextualizing. The work of art is contingent upon the social situation, the cultural context, the chronotopic characteristics of the individuals participating in it etc.
It is important to emphasize, however, that Bourriaud does not regard relational aesthetics to be simply a theory of interactive art. He considers it to be a means of locating contemporary practice within the culture at large: relational art is seen as a direct response to the shift from a goods to a service-based economy. It is also seen as a response to the virtual relationships of the Internet and globalization, which on the one hand have prompted a desire for more physical and face-to-face interaction between people, while on the other have inspired artists to adopt a do-it-yourself (DIY) approach and model their own "possible universes" (RA, p. 13). This emphasis on immediacy is faimiliar to us from the 1960s, recalling the premium placed by performance art on the authenticity of our first-hand encounter with the artist's body. (Bishop 2004: 54)
This makes a whole lot of sense: in the internet-times (IT) where the traditional aesthetic experience is so available (only a few clicks away), people desire the artistic experience of before-internet-times (BIT) in a fashion that would excite their sense of what is possible IRL.
...Tiravanija built a wooden reconstruction of his New York apartment, which was made open to the public twenty-four hours a day. People could use the kitchen to make food, wash themselves in his bathroom, sleep in the bedroom, or hang our and chat in the living room. The catalog accompanying the Kunstverein project quotes a selection of newspaper articles and reviewers, all of which reiterate the curator's assertion that "this unique combination of art and life offered an impressive experience of togetherness to everybody." (Bishop 2004: 57)
Yup, new possibilitites.
The theoretical underpinnings of this desire to activate the viewer are easy to reel off: Walter Benjamin's "Author as Producer" (1934), Roland Barthes's "Death of the Author" and "birth of the reader" (1968) and - most important in this context - Umberto Eco's The Open Work (1962). (Bishop 2004: 62)
Somehow I notice a semiotic tendency in these theoretical underpinnings.
Sierra's return to the Venice Biennale in 2003 comprised a major performance/installation for the Spanish pavilion. Wall Enclosing a Space involved sealing off the pavilion's interior with concrete blocks from floor to ceiling. On entering the building, viewers were confronted by a hastily constructed yet impregnable wall that rendered the galleries inaccessible. Visitors carrying a Spanish passport were invited to enter the space via the back of the building, where two immigration officers were inspecting passports. All non-Spanish nationals, however, were denied entry to the pavilion, whose interior contained nothing but gray paint peeling from the wall, left over from the previous year's exhibition. The work was "relational" in Bourriaud's sense, but it problematized any idea of these relations being fluid and unconstrained by exposing how all our interactions are, like public space, riven with social and legal exclusions. (Bishop 2004: 73-74)
I've read the Spanish Pavilion being mentioned, now I undestand why - it's kinda outlandish. The remark about social and legal exclusions in the public space and indeed all our social interactions, seems a valid one.

Week 6

Dickie, George 1975. What Is Anti-Art? The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 33(4): 419-421.
Recently I have tried to begin thinking about art in a different way. Instead of focusing attention on particular works of art with an eye to seeking a generalization by way of abstracting the observable characeristic or characteristics they have in common, I have attempted to focus on the social framework in which particular works are embedded and arrive at an instutitonal conception of art. (Dickie 1975: 419)
I think this "institutional approach" has become a part and parcel of today's art theory. In 1975 it might have been new, but now it is a historical approach.
..."anti-art" is sometimes used to refer, not to objects, but to the actions of "artists." Harold Rosenberg cites the case of the New York artist Vito Acconti who "periodically notifies the art-world, by mail, that on certain dates he will mount a stool in his studie x number of times and that this 'work' may be viewed at the designated hours." This artist also produced such other "works" as counting his pulse beats and moving the contents of his apartment to an art gallery. (Dickie 1975: 420)
Thus, Dickie understands performance art to be anti-art.
There are then at least four different kinds of anti-art: 1) art in which chance plas a part, 2) art which has strikingly unusual content, 3) "ready-mades," and 3) actions by "artists" which do not result in any object-product. (Dickie 1975: 420)
An elaboration of what he means by "anti-art".
Let us now consider the anti-art of Acconci and friends. These "artists" go Duchamp one better: they perform an action and make a declaration but do not "produce" (that is, end up with) an object which in any way resembles traditional paintings or sculptures. The only thing left to do (and there is a high probablity that it has already been done) is for an "artist," call him "Zero," to make a declaration and not do anything. [...] The possibility I suggested of Zero's declaring and doing nothing amounts to a mere exercising of the machinery of the artworld. [...] Acconci's and Zero's "art" is real anti-art: art because they use the artworld, anti because they do nothing with it. Aconci and Zero are "artistic bureaucrats" in one sense of the abused term "bureaucrat," that is, they occpy a niche in an institutional structure but do nothing which is really productive. If all artists "produced" only anti-art, that is, were anti-artists, then Hegel's prophecy would be fulfilled - art would be dead. (Dickie 1975: 421)
Finally a person who is against performance art, but only because at the time perhaps there wasn't a good conception of performance art yet. Later performance artists took pride in not producing any objects, aside perhaps from documentation, which - really - isn't anything like traditional painting or sculpture. Essentially, Dickie saw art without objects - so-called "immaterial art" - as anti-art that would kill art. He did not forsee that this form of art could be much more productive than traditional art, exiciting enough to survive the coming of the information age which makes traditional painting and sculpture out to be a relic of bygone ages as it is.

Scalafani, Richard J. 1975. What Kind of Nonsense Is This? The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 33(4): 455-458.
Although diverse and self-consciously chaotic, "works" of conceptual art can be grouped very roughly in three categories. I will catalogue various pieces within each of these categories in some detail, for the weight of my argument against the alleged seriousness of the movement will rst at least in part on the poverty of individual accomplishments. The predominant category in terms of sheer numbers consists of works and activities which are radical to the extreme. Chris Burden, under the sponsorship of the Los Angeles County Museum the Rico Mizuno Gallery of Los Angeles, and dealer Ronald Feldman of New York, has had himself shot in the arm with a .22 rifle, crucified to the top of a Volkswagon with real nails driven through his palms, nearly electrocuted on a garage floor, and has filmed himself crawling bare-chested over fifty feet of broken glass in a parking lot. Piero Magnoni sent cans of his own excrement to his Milan gallery labeled "Mierda d'Artista." Vito Acconci, commissioned by galleries and private collectors, has done a work consisting of biting himself over his whole body. In another work, he has masturbated under a ramp while gallery visitors walked over it, and in yet another, he has exhibited his penis dressed in doll's clothing. Collectors have paid as much as $2,000 for photographic documentations of these events. Robert Barry closed an Amsterdam gallery for two weeks claiming that to be his entire show. Ray Johnson sends letters and postcards to people. Mel Bochner measures the growth of plants, the size of museums and galleries, and other things. The list of these works goes on and on. (Sclafani 1975: 455)
The tone of this author indicates that he is not amused. I find these diverse and self-consciously chaotic acts very interesting. Even more so that not all of these are mentioned by various later reviewers - the information is always partial. For example, the Volkswagon-crucification but was said to be a farse by Abramovic (many performances were staged - documented, but not done). The "mierda d'Artista" I find interesting as a local artist Jaan Tooming has done something similar and lately became a news issue as one of his jars of excrement was stolen from the gallery and presumably smashed to the ground near it. Vito Acconci's penis-puppetry is news to me, although I know about his Seedbed that he was at the same time talking about what he'd like to do with the people in the gallery (or something to that effect). And lastly, Robert Barry's act is very much like the "Zero" described by Dickie in the same issue of this journal.
In "Stating and Nominating" (CH-101, 5, 1971), Ian Burn and Mel Ramsden discuss "propositional modalities," "semiotic ground rules," syntax, and other matters pertaining to the nature of art as they see it. (Sclafani 1975: 455)
An unexpected place to meet semiotics.
I begin with a familiar point which may at first appear merely sociological but actually has deeper philosophical import. When Duchamp presented his urinal, he was already an established artist. Thus, the significance of Duchamp's act cannot be divorced from its particular historical context, including his previous work as an artist. And the success of his statement cannot be divorced from the measure of uptake he was able to secure from the artistic community of his day simply because he was Duchamp. (Sclafani 1975: 456)
A valid point. In many a case in my readings on performance art I have speculated about this - how the reception of some act as a work of art depends upon the social context, perhaps even to the level of what the artist is associated with.

Acconci, Vito 1991. Some Notes on Illegality in Art. Art Journal 50(3): 69-74.
What allower me to shruf off (or not even think about) questions of illegality was the general atmosphere of the time in which I made these works. This was the end of the 1960s, the beginning of the 1970s: it was the time of demonstrations against the Vietnam War (which appeared to validate the effectiveness of individual and community action against what was called - or called itself - the establishment....) (Acconci 1991: 70)
The social context - of course - plays a major role in the definition of art and it's execution. Amongst other major social upheavals Acconci's seemingly illegal acts (sponsoring prostitution, staging attempted murder, masturbating in the public) went largely unnoticed (for the establishment).
On the other hand, the artist of this time, coming out of an immediate tradition of art-in-itself, and finding himself/herself out in the street, could function on the street only as an outsider, an alien. What the artist did, now that he/she was outside of his/her accustomed art world, was necessarily awkward and incorrect; unwittingly, because he/she didn't know the code of the everyday world, the artist might do something "illegal". (Acconci 1991: 71)
I'm afraid this analogy could apply to semioticians: accustomed to the liberties of the academic world, the semiotician will be awkward and incorrect in the everyday world.

Judson, William D. 1995. Bill Viola: Allegories in Subjective Perception. Art Journal 54(4): 30-35.
The implication that the camera image is a document, a direct impression of reality, is balanced by Viola's decision about framing (iconic symmetry or obsessive hand-held pursuit), about movement and stasis, about generated and reflected light that give his videotape a transcendent quality. More intensely present in viewing than ordinary physical reality, these images take on the force of archetypes. Teach precisely distilled image of the people, the animals, the landscapes, and the natural phenomena in Viola's tapes is not so much visual description as it is revelation. (Judson 1995: 30)
What the f* are you on about? I'm seriously beginning to despise writers who use philosophical terms in such a contorted manner. It's a way to say a lot without actually saying anything important. I think the saying "if you scream you have nothing to say" could be appropriated here as "if you can't put it in simple words then it's not worth putting in words at all." [I am of course speaking of discourse on art, not scientific or philosophical discourse]
Viola's work incorporates both the conceptual metaphors of his chosen medium and the perceptions of the many cultures - ancient and modern, Eastern and Western - in which he has immersed himself. Nevertheless, in his pursuit of enlightenment through attention to transcendent experience, Viola is heir to a Romantic tradition of which Brakhage is a recent part. (Judson 1995: 31)
I think I'm done with this article.

Week 7

Wilson, Martha 1997. Performance Art: (Some) Theory and (Selected) Practice at the End of This Century. Art Journal 56(4): 2-3.
Contemporary performance art still exhbits the traces of this art-historical moment in the following ways: Performance art is composed of (often confrontational) ideas; it takes place in "real" time; and the body is its irreducible medium, the locus where text and image intersect. (Wilson 1997: 2)
I like this wording. In slightly different vocabulary, the body is the nexus of semiotic practices.
Because it is embedded in the body, performance art takes time itself to be its primary subject. Tehcing Hsieh's yearlong works - during which he, for example, lived in a cage, lived outside, punched a time clock every hours, was tied to another person; and did "no art" - place the body's expenditure of time at the center of the idea. (Wilson 1997: 2)
Not the first time when time is viewed as the central aspect of performance art.

Ward, Frazer 1997. Some Relations between Conceptual and Performance Art. Art Journal 56(4): 36-40.
For the purposes of further argument, conceptual art might be considered as work that emphasized the underlying conditions of aesthetic experience: Language was seen as foremost among these conditions. material form and sensory perception were made secondary to analyses of their discursive and institutional frames. Performance art, on the other hand, seems relatively straightforward to define, "as a form of art that happens at a particular time in a particular place where the artist engages in some sort of activity, usually before an audience. The main difference between performance art and other modes of visual art practice, such as painting, photography, and sculpture, is that it is a temporal event or action. (Ward 1997: 36)
I do like various definitions of the same phenomenon. In this one, once again, time is the prime characteristic.
Where Conceptual art detailed relations between aesthetic production and its institutional conditions, performances by artists including Acconci and Chris Burden examined the effects of these relations on subjectivity. The introduction of their own bodies as terms in this set of relations has been seen to have had a critical effect by pointing to the contingent, social construction of subjectivity. Or else its effects has been seen in the visceral transgression of social and aesthetic norms. (Ward 1997: 36)
I wonder if this has something to do with late Foucault.
...there is the problem of how to account for any relations between Conceptual and performance art. This difficulty is compounded because performance art was not a "movement," in the way that Minimalism or Conceptualism were, whatever attempts have been made to situate it as one. Rather, performance has surfaced and disappeared throughout the twentieth century as a kind of undercurrent, periodically bubbling up within - or in some relation to - various avant-garde movements: the Soviet avant-gardes, Futurism, Dada, the Bauhaus, neo-Dada, Fluxus, Pop, Minimalism, perhaps even Abstract Expressionism... (Ward 1997: 38)
This makes a lot of sense. The last article traced performance in the Futurists.
In conjunction with this, if these works express the desire for an emphatic kind of embodiment that could not ground the subject of Conceptual reason, their mediation and perhaps undecidable status as performances at once confounds that desire. If conceptual art is only abstractly communicative, these works are altogether ambivalent about the possibility of communicative action, in a way that points up come of Conceptualism's pretensions. (Ward 1997: 40)
It has not crossed my mind before, but from a semiotic viewpoint performance art as communicative action is one of the most pertinent approaches.

Wagner, Anne M. 2000. Performance, Video, and the Rhetoric of Presence. October 91: 59-80.
"The arts require witnesses." This dictum may seem self-evident, yet its obviousness nonetheless requires some explanation. For I am gambling that this statement does seem obvious to present-day readers - so apparent, so uncontroversial that its long-distant origins in the writing of an eighteenth-century Frenchman, Jean-François Marmontel, appear beside the point. (Wagner 2000: 61)
Is this why Acconci mailed the artworld about his Step Piece?
An artist leaves her studio. She is Laurie Anderson. In the course of a day in June 1973, she takes photographs of the ten men who accost her in the street with what she terms "unsolicited comments of the 'hey, baby' type." She asks permission first. Her accosters are mostly pleased and flattered to comply. She answers their pleasure with banter, smiles, and laughter; does her compliance facilitate the ease, close-up portraits she is able to secure? later in her studio, she responds to her accosters differently, as if now to undermine their ease; like an investigative reporter preparing an evidential dossier, and mindful of the law, she imposes anonymity on her informants: a wedge of white neatly cuts off their eyes. In this case the gesture seems less protective than offensive; in the name of privacy she inflicts blindness, even a kind of objecthood, on subjects who had started out by treating her that way. (Wagner 2000: 63)
Oh Laurie, you little she-devil.
What is remarkable about performance art around 1970 is precisely how preoccupied it was by questions of this type. How might the artist intersect with a public? Which public where? one it chose, or encountered, or conjured into being through its own gantasy? Would the public itself find the artist, perhaps? How? Once located, what would art's audience then be made to witness? Or, rather, should we say endure? (Wagner 2000: 67)
Heh, "since one cannot expect an answer, the point is to analyse these questions" (Foucault 2009: 24)

Dworkin, Craig Douglas 2001. Fugitive Signs. October 95: 90-113.
I am he(re)
that drops letters.
The sentence also carries an uncanny prolepsis, since it was written by a poet [Acconci] who would soon change media and "drop ... letters" in a turn to other, nonlexical, markings. In Catherine Quéloz's words (with an appropriately vital and manual verb): Acconci "takes hold of [s'empare] the body of language, of its materiality." His poetry attempts "to give words body and weight"; and "body," or "corps," as I will argue, is all to the point in Acconci's early work. (Dworkin 2001: 90-92)
define:prolepsis - "The anticipation and answering of possible objections in rhetorical speech." The anticipation consists of the poet Acconci turning into the performance artist Acconci.
At the beginning of her monograph, for example, Kate Linker makes a move so seemingly de rigueur that one might almost fail to notice it. She writes: "In 1969 Acconci, who had been a poet, made his first visual pieces." Compare Linker's assertion with the opening sentence of a much earlier essay by François Pluchart, who writes of Acconci as "a poet who, beginning in 1969, progressively abandoned the space of the page for a place in which the body was assigned the task of going beyond the poetic function." (Dworkin 2001: 99)
Different authors remark on Acconci's shift from poetry to performance.
Rather than "going beyond the poetic function," Acconci's body art, I want to argue, is actually an explicit continuation of his poetry. (Dworkin 2001: 99)
You could also look at it like that, but it would also mean an obligatory discernment of the poetic function in performance art.
A number of Acconci's pieces dating from the early 1970s overly thematize printing and explore a very literal writing from the body. In Run-Off, the naked Acconci jogs in place until he works up a heavy sweat and then rubs his lathered body against a wall prepared with blue tempera. Significantly, he transfer that paint to himself with the explicit intention of converting his body into a writing instrument, which can then mark other surfaces. (Dworkin 2001: 100)
define:lathered - "Cause (soap) to form a frothy white mass of bubbles when mixed with water." define:tempera - "A method of painting with pigments dispersed in an emulsion miscible with water, typically egg yolk." Curious art-speak. Also, a curious relationship between body and text.
In the parsed sentence of Acconci's performances, "the body," in his own words, "could be [both] the subject of an action" as well as "the receiver, the object." In this sense, Acconci's employment of the body in his exploration of "reflexive information" is identical to the use of language in his early poetry. The self-referential play in Acconci's body art suggests that he was continuing not only the physical mode of his poetry (writing and printing), but also its strategies and concerns. Another of those shared concerns is an emphatic antimimeticism. (Dworkin 2001: 102)
I feel like I am reduced to recording in this blog whatever people in other disparate fields have remarked about the body and sometimes even body language. I really should start reading about exlicit nonverbal communication again soon.
Acconci's investigative project was undertaken in a climate of radical semiotic interrogation. Without explicit connection or commentary, artists and poets were creating works that proposed the same theoretical conclusions being simultaneously advanced by poststructuralist theorists. (Dworkin 2001: 103)
I think I should give a name to this tendency to use the word "semiotic" so widely. I remember first reading "Space and place as substrates of culture" and remarking how many such phrases one can come up with: semiotic routine, semiotic value, semiotic unit, semiotic phenomena, etc. And I also remember being quite confused as to what these pairs denote. Not it is clear with familiar authors, but still semains mysterious when meeting such phrases as "semiotic interrogation" or "semiotic transactions". Thus, I shall from now on call this kind of ling semiotic adjectivism, or "using the adjective 'semiotic' too profusely and/or idiosyncratically".
As Acconci realized in his "performances as channel," "generating expression .... need not be an official end of an action but only a side-effect" of presenting marks in a field of difference. Those marks are what Acconci, discovering that "information need not be the primary end of action but only a side effect," called "fugitive signs." The body itself, as Acconci makes clear, is a spontaneous generator of precisely such signs. "If I do not perform," Acconci writes about a work that explicitly investigates the channels of communication, "the material [i.e., written messages] builds up ... while I am at rest," and elsewhere, with an almost hallucinatory paranoia, he imagines an artist whose body's very existence continually produces a string of pure singifiers... (Dworkin 2001: 109)
This is what happens when art critics start talking semiotics. In the remark that the body's very existance continually produces signs is dangerously close to the "semiotic existentialism" in line with "living is a semiotic ordeal". And now I am practicing semiotic adjectivism. Dang.
...culture, after Nietzsche and Foucault, might be roughly defined as what happens to bodies in order to make them behave within medial systems: what holds people to their orles in the social production of signs, whatever, in short, makes people mark "properly." (Dworkin 2001: 110)
And now the author is coming dangerously close to what I am working on.

What the Foucault?

Argikultuuri teooriad: Independent Work (Week 4)

Foucault, Michel 1986. Of Other Spaces. Translated by Jay Miskowiec. Diacritics 16(1): 22-27.
Structuralism, or at least that which is grouped under this slightly too general name, is the effort to establish, between elements that could have been connected on a temporal axis, an ensemble of relations that makes them appear as juxtaposed, set off against one another, implicated by each other - that makes them appear, in short, as a sort of configuration. Actually, structuralism does not entail a denial of time; it does involve a certain manner of dealing with what we call time and what we call history. (Foucault 1986: 22)
When Foucault says "set off against one another", I am thinking of binary oppositions... And how some structuralist-minded teachers still view human language as constituted by oppositions. Whereas for me, language is constituted by ambiguities. Words can be interchanged without a remarkable loss of meaning. But the words I do use - the elements I set into configuration, that is to say - reveal the discourse from which I'm writing, the discourse I'm relating with at the moment, and whom I am addressing.
In a still more concrete manner, the problem of siting or placement arises for manking in terms of demography. This problem of the human site or living space is not simply that of knowing whether there will be enough space for men in the world - a problem that is certainly quite important - but also that of knowing what relations of propinquity, what type of storage, circulation, marking, and classification of human elements should be adopted in a given situation in order to acheive a given end. Our epoch is one in which space takes for us the form of relations among sites. (Foucault 1986: 23)
define:propinquity - "The state of being close to someone or something; proximity." It is evident (as this lecture was given in 1967) that in the second half of the sixties, overpopulation was gaining ground as a real issue - whether it is a real problem or not today, it rarely surfaces in public discourse.
Of course one might attempt to describe these different sites by looking for the set of relations y which a given site can be defined. For example, describing the set of relations that define the sites of transportation, streets, trains (a train is an extraordinary bundle of relationships because it is something through which one goes, it is also something by means of which one can go from one point to another, and then it is also something that goes by). One could describe, via the cluster of relations that allows them to be defined, the sites of temporary relaxation - cafes, cinemas, beaches. Likewise one could describe, via its network of relations, the closed or semi-closed sites of rest - the house, the bedroom, the bed, et cetera. But among all these sites, I am interested in certain ones that have a curious property of being in relation with all the other sites, but in such a way as tu suspect, neutralize, or invert the set of relations that they happen to designate, mirror, or reflect. These spaces, as it were, which are linked with all others, which however contradict all the other sites, are of two main types.
First there are the utopias. Utopias are sites with no real place. They are sites that have a general relation of direct or inverted analogy with the real space of Society. They present society itself in a perfect form, or else society turned uposde down, but in any case these utopias are fundamentally unreal places. (Foucault 1986: 23-24)
Now I remembered that this article invented the word "heterotopia" ("places and spaces that function in non-hegemonic conditions"; "such as the space of a phone call or the moment when you see yourself in the mirror"). This is postmodern lingo at it's prime, but nevertheless interesting.
The mirror functions as a heterotopia in this respect: it makes this place that I occupy at the moment when I look at myself in the glass at once absolutely real, connected with all the space that surrounds it, and absolutely unreal, since in order to be perceived it has to pass through this virtual point which is over there. (Foucault 1986: 24)
I wonder if Winston's room above the shop is a heterotopia.
But these heterotopias of crisis are disappearing today and are being replaced, I believe, by what we might call heterotopias of deviation: those in which individuals whose behavior is deviant in relation to the required mean or norm are placed. Cases of this are rest homes and psychiatric hospitals, and of course prisons; and one should perhaps add retirement homes that are, as it were, on the borderline between the heterotopia of crisis and the heterotopia of deviation since, after all, old age is a crisis, but is also a deviation since, in our society where leisure is the rule, idleness is a sort of deviation. (Foucault 1986: 25)
This kinda explains Foucault's later work on the mental hospitals and prisons. He was investigating heterotopias of deviation. And of course how the "deviations" are socially constructed and used as a punishment.

Foucault, Michel 1982. The Subject and Power. Critical Inquiry 8(4): 777-795.
I would like to say, first of all, what has been the goal of my work during the last twenty years. It has not been to analyze the phenomena of power, nor to elaborate the foundations of such an analysis.
My objective, instead, has been to create a history of the different modes by which, in our culture, human beings are made subjects. My work has dealt with three modes of objectification which transform human beings into subjects. (Foucault 1982: 777)
Firstly, I realize that much like myself, Foucault had a definite goal in his research. Secondly, I also recognize that my goals are different from his. I am indeed (at least currently) analyzing the phenomena of power and foundations of such an analysis. This is indeed not my primary goal, but it is the one most prominent at the moment. With the concept of subject I have very little to do with, but in light of this paragraph I do understand why some spend their efforts unraveling subjectivity.
The first is the modes of inquiry which try to give themselves the status of science; for example, the objectivizing of the speaking subject in grammaire générale, philology, and linguistics. Or again, in the first mode, the objectivizing of the productive subject, the subject who labors, in the analysis of wealth and of economics. Or, a third example, the objectivizing of the sheer fact of being alive in natural history of biology.
In the second part of my work, I have studied the objectivizing of the subject in what I shall call "dividing practices." The subject is neither divided inside himself or divided from others. This process objectivizes him. Examples are the mad and the sane, the sick and the healthy, the criminals and the "good boys." (Foucault 1982: 777-778)
Firstly, my work involves the objectivizing of the behaving (or acting?) subject in semiotics. It is not the subject who speaks, neither the subject who labors (in the mechanical sense), nor the subject who is merely alive (physiologically). It is the subject who uses it's body to act upon the world, itself and others. Thus it makes perfect sense that Secondly, I concur with the notion of "dividing practices". This is the basic feature of all semiosic activity, according to semiotics of culture, in that the subject's world, the subject itself, as well as it's relations to others can be divided into Internal and External spheres. This is me or mine, that is you or yours. Svoi and chusoi.
Finally, I have sought to study - it is my current work - the way a human being turns himself into a subject. For example, I have chosen the domain of sexuality - how men have learned to recognize themselves as subjects of "sexuality." (Foucault 1982: 778)
And with this I agree also, although my interest lays in self-communication and individuality. Right now it seems that it has more to do with self-surrender and self-censorship than with self-subjecting (or self-subjectification?)
To sum up, the main objective of these struggles is to attack not so much "such or such" an institution of power, or group, or elite, or class but rather a technique, a form of power.
This form of of power applies itself to immediate everyday life which categorizes the individual, marks him by his own individuality, attaches him to his own identity, imposes a law of truth on him which he must recognize and which others have to recognize in him. It is a form of power which makes individuals subjects. There are two meanings of the word "subject": subject to someone else by control and dependence; and tied to his own identity by a conscience or self-knowledge. Both meanings suggest a form of power which subjugtes and makes subject to. (Foucault 1982: 781)
This paragraph made me recognize a road not taken: how people are identified or characterized, made subjects by observers and self-observation in respect to their behaviour and demeanor. "I am rude. Thus I do not belong to such and such group or cannot be part of such and such institution." In short, nonverbal behaviour can be basis for dividing practices.
As far as this power is concerned, it is first necessary to distinguish that which is exerted over things and gives the ability to modify, use, consume, or destroy them - a power chich stems from aptitudes directly inherent in the body or relayed by external instruments. Let us say that here is a question of "capacity." On the other hand, what characterizes the power we are analyzing is that it brings into play relations between individuals (or between groups). For let us not deceive ourselves; if we speak of the structures or the mechanisms of power, it is only insofar as we suppose that certain persons exercise power over others. The term "power" designates relationships between partners (and by that I am not thinking of zero-sum game but simply, and for the moment staying in the most general terms, of an ensemble of actions which induce others and follow from one another). (Foucault 1982: 786)
Surprisingly clearheaded answer: there is firstly power over things (bodily capacity), and secondly power between individuals or groups. From my perspective these two are intimately related: bodily capacities enable power between individuals to manifest itself. To put it in simple words, what I can do and say is in relation with what others can do and say. More exactly, my demeanor towards others influence their behaviour.
It is necessary also to distinguish power relations from relationships of communication which transmit information by means of language, a system of signs, or any other symbolic medium. No doubt communicating is always a certain way of acting upon another person or persons. But the production and circulation of elements of meaning can have as their objective or as their consequence certain results in the realm of power; the latter are not simply aspects of the former. Whether or not they pass through systems of communication, power relations have a specific nature. Power relations, relationships of communication, and objective capacities should not therefore be confused. This is not to say that there is a question of three separate domains. Nor that there is on one hand the field of things, of perfected technique, work, and the transportation of the real; on the other that of signs, communication, reciprocity, and the production of meaning; and finally, that of the domination of the means of constraint, of inequality, and the action of men upon other men. (Foucault 1982: 786)
This very paragraph was very influential for me in an estonian translation. The footnote specifies: "When Jürgen Habermas distinguishes between domination, communication, and finalized activity, I do not think that he sees in them three separate domians but rather three "transcendentals."
It is a question of three types of relationships which in fact always overlap one another, support one another reciprocally, and use each other mutually as means to an end. The application of objective capacities in their most elemental forms implies relationships of communication (whether in the form of previously acquired information or of shared work); it is tied also to power relations (whether they consist of obligatory tasks, of gestures imposed by tradition or apprenticeship, of subdivisions and the more or less obligatory distribution of labor). Relationships of communication imply finalized activities (even if only the correct putting into corporation of elements of meaning) and, by virtue of modifying the field of information between partners, produce effects of power. They can scarcely be dissociated from activities brought to their final term, be they those which permit the exercise of this power (such as training techniques, process of domination, the means by which obedience is obtained) or those, which in order to develop their potential, call upon relations of power (the division of labor and the hierarchy of tasks). (Foucault 1982: 787)
Quoted at lenght because surely I must return back to this very same passage many times again.
Of course, the coordination between these three typoes of relationships is neither uniform nor constant. In a given society there is no general type of equilibrium between finalized activities, systems of communication, and power relations. Rather, there are diverse forms, diverse places, diverse circumstances or occasions in which these interrelationships establish themselves according to a specific model. But there are also "blocks" in which the adjustment of abilities, the resources of communication, and power relations constitute regulated and concerted systems. Take, for example, an educational institution: the disposal of its space, the meticulous regulations which govern its internal life, the different activities which are organized there, the diverse persons who live there or meet one another, each with his own function, his well-defined character - all these thigns constitute a block of capacity-communication-power. The activities which ensure apprenticeship and the acquisition of aptitudes or types of behavior is developed there by means of whole ensemble of regulated communications (lessons, questions and answerds, orders, exhortations, coded signs of obedience, differentiation marks of the "value" of each person and of the levels of knowledge) and by the means of a whole series of power processes (enclosure, surveillance, reward and punishment, the pyramidal hierarchy). (Foucault 1982: 787)
Here Foucault is actually getting to the point I was so desperately seeking: that of the complex of capacity-communication-power. It is in a sense the "acquisition of aptitudes" (learning of a repertoire) which, among other things, enable one to use "coded signs of obedience" (silence and censor via nonverbal means, for example), and which marks the "value" of a person.
These blocks, in which the putting into operation of technical capacities, the game of communications, and the relationships of power are adjusted to one another according to considered formulae, constitute what one might call, enlarding a little the sense of the word, "disciplines." The empirical analysis of certain disciplines as they have been historically constituted presents for this very reason a certain interest. This is so because the disciplines show, first, according to artificially clear and decanted systems, the manner in which systems of objective finality and systems of communication and power can be welded together. They also display different models of articulation, sometimes giving preeminence to power relations and obedience (as in those disciplines of a monastic or penitential type), sometimes to finalize activities (as in the disciplines of workshops or hospitals), sometimes to relationships of communication (as in the disciplines of apprenticeship), sometimes also to a saturation of the three types of relationship (as perhaps in military discipline, where a plethora of signs indicate, to the point of redundancy, tightly knit power relations calculated with care to produce a certain number of technical effects). (Foucault 1982: 787-788)
It really pays to read and re-read Foucault. His example of saturation of the capacity-communication-power complex is exactly the one I deem most useful for dystopic fiction and similar areas: military discipline, where lines of command are redundantly evident. The analogy is not far drawn: in the Brave New World alphas, betas, gammas, etc. are differentiated to the point of redundancy by the colour of their clothes.
The exercise of power is not simply a relationship between partners, individual or collective; it is a way in which certain actions modify others. Which is to say, of course, that something called Power, with or without a capital letter, which is assumed to exist universally in a concentrated or diffuse form, does not exist. Power exists only when it is put into action, even if, of course, it is integrated into a disparate field of possibilities brought to bear upon permanent structures. (Foucault 1982: 788)
Power exists only in praxis. I wonder if Steven Lukes would here call Foucault too behaviouristic and claim his approach to be one-dimensional.
In effect, what defines a relationship of power is that it is a mode of action which does not act directly and immediately on others. Instead, it acts upon their actions: an action upon an action, on existing actions or on those which may arise in the present or the future. A relationship of violence acts upon the body or upon things; it forces, it bends, it breaks on the wheel, it destroys, or it closes the door on all possibilities. Its opposite pole can only be passicity, and if it comes up against any reistance, it has no other option but to try to minimize it. (Foucault 1982: 789)
That is to say, power is not force. Power involves influence, manipulation, communication. Power must rely on subjectivity, that is, as Foucault puts it, "the other" is "thoroughly recognized and maintained to the very and as a person who acts" (ibid).
The word "strategy" is currently employed in three ways. First, to designate the means employed to attain a certain end; it is a question of rationality functioning to arrive at an objective. Second, to designate the manner in which a partner in a certain game acts and what he considers the others think to be his own; it is the way in which one seeks to have the advantage over others. Third, to designate the procedures used in a situation of confrontation to deprive the opponent of his means of combat and reduce him to giving up the struggle; it is a question, therefore, of the means destined to obtain victory. (Foucault 1982: 793)
I should think these definitions over against the notion of "behavioural strategies".

Foucault, Michel 1995. Madness, the absence of Work. Translated by Peter Stastny and Deniz Şengel. Critical Inquiry 21(2): 290-298.
Perhaps some day we will no longer really know what madness was. (Foucault 1995: 290)
Oh, Foucault, Foucault, tsk-tsk-tsk, so naive. He comes off as a true believer in the beginning this one.
Artaud will beloing to the foundation of our language, not to its rupture; the neuroses will belong among the constitutive forms (and not the deviations) of our society. (Foucault 1995: 290)
I'm starting to think this has something to do with Madness and Society. Neuroses being constitutive of society reminds me of a quip from today's papers. A 12yo girl who was bullied at school was said to have a less developed sense of reality. This made me wonder how they came to diagnose this girl's sense of reality. Is there a reality-o-meter out there?
What will the technical support for this radical change be? The possibility that medicine may master mental illness just like other organic ailments? Precise pharmacological control of all mental symptoms? Or a more or less rigorous defnition of behavioral deviations for each of which society might be at leisure to anticipate the most convenient method of neutralization? Or still other modes of intervention, perhaps none of which will in fact suppress mental illness but which will all have the purpose of eliminating the very face of madness from our culture? (Foucault 1995: 291)
Don't be crazy, Foucault, that cannot be. I highly doubt if madness as such can be eliminated from any culture. With a sense of what's normal always comes the it's opposite, a sense of what is deviant from it, a sense of the abnormal.
Those who will be looking at us over their sholder will certainly not have many clues at their disposal to answer this question. Only a few charred signs: the endlessly examined, centuries-old fear of seeing the level of madness rise and submerge the world; the rituals of excluding and including the mad; and, since the nineteenth century, the alert ear bent on overhearing something in madness that could tell the truth about the human; the same impatience with which the utterance of madness are rejected and collected, the hesitation in recognizing their emptiness or their meaningfulness. (Foucault 1995: 292-293)
This sounds very familiar from his inaugural speech. The madman's ravings are listened to in search for some hidden truth and at the same time dismissed, because it is the speech of a madman.
There is not a single culture in the world where everything is permitted. And we have known for a long time that humanity does not start out from freedom but from limitation and the line not to be crossed. We know the systems of rules with which forbidden acts are to comply; we have been able to discern the rules of the incest taboo in every culture. But we still do not know much about the organization of prohibitions in language. (Foucault 1995: 293)
This is what I am interested in the nonverbal sphere. Goffmanian approach says that deviance is not-taken-note-off; once you fart in public, for example, it is the duty of everyone near to ignore the stench and the memory of it's sound echoing in their mind, repulsing them - because for goffmanians, the harmony of the interaction is important. How prohibitions such as this come to be (because 100% of human beings pass gas, for example) is interesting.
In the eyes of some unknown future culture - one possibly already quite near - we shall be those that have come closest to those two sentences never really pronounced, those two sentences equally contradictory and impossible as the famous "I am lying" and both pointing to the same empty self-reference: "I am writing" and "I am delirious." We shall thus figure next to countless other cultures that placed the "I am mad" near an "I am an animal," or "I am god," or "I am a sign," or yet near "I am a truth" as was the case in the entire nineteenth century up to Freud. (Foucault 1995: 297)
Or in case of Thomas A. Sebeok, I Think I Am a Verb.

Foucault, Michel 2009. Alternatives to the Prison: Dissemination or Decline of Social Control? Translated by Couze Venn. Theory Culture Society 26(6): 12-24.
he question of an alternative to prison typically brings to mind the scenario of a choice between different kinds of punishment, for example, when asking a child to choose between being caned or being deprived of dessert as punishment. It is a false or at least a loaded question since it in effect asks people to take for granted the existence of a penal regime that grants to particular individuals the right to punish people for particular things, and to consequently think about which system of punishment should operate: imprisonment or some other form of punishment? (Foucault 2009: 13)
This is a familiar theme: if you impose a question on some topic you are in effect reifying the matter of the question as something evident and given, which may not be the case after all. In this sense "How should criminals be punished" implies that criminals should be punished, it is merely a question of method.
What does it mean, this thing called punishment? Should one really punish people? (Foucault 2009: 13)
Spoken like a true (read: stereotypical) philosopher. Ibid: "What if ... we do not wish to be punished at all?" Seems rhetorical.
What, then, was the point of such a perfect prison if there is neither security nor rehabilitation? The Swedes immediately recognized this, and in 1973 they tried to elaborate a programme that would be an alternative to classic prisons. Its main features were that, first of all, these institutions were to be small establishments of 40 to 60 people, in which individuals, though forced to work of course, were not subjected to the usual kind of stupid, uninteresting, mind-numbing, humiliating, unpaid labour. It was proper, real, useful work, paid according to the rates applying outside, thus work that was, if you like, inserted into the economic reality of the country. (Foucault 2009: 14)
Ah! This almost sounds like a real rehabilitation scheme: small group of people, less social pressure (you can get to know one another) and opportunity to do something meaningful (remember that "purpose" is a driving force in humans).
Second, they were establishments which also tried to maximize contact between the individuals and the outside world instead of trying to eliminate such contact with their families and familiar surroundings. These establishments were designed with a number of rooms, rather like a small hotel or boarding house, so that the inmates’ family could visit and they could make love with their wives or girlfriends. (Foucault 2009: 14)
But this way the punishment is not vicious?! The prisoner remains a human! In Thomas Mathiesen's book it was evident that contact with the outside world was (at least in those Norwegian prisons he described) kept to an absolute minimum.
By playing a part in the definition of punishment and its administration, the individual being punished is made to take on the management of his own punishment. And this too is an old principle, which is that of repentence, tried out in the 19th century. The process of making amends was supposed to start when the individual begins to consent to his punishment, when he acknowledges his own culpability. (Foucault 2009: 16)
This I find interesting in relation to self-education. I am reading these texts as a form of independent work to susbstitute the lack of rigor in the official lector's presentation. The analogy between punishment and education is not one I would like to encourage, but I do find the case similar: I am participating in my own education, I accept the educational procedure to the extent that it will more likely be more productive than if I had stuck the "official" course materials (which are actually nil, in this case). I'm playing a part in the definition of education and I am taking on the management of my own education.
Recently, this has been tried out through the elimination of short-term punishment, of different lengths, as in Poland, Holland, or Germany, where a relatively widespread but more flexible and affordable, for the less well-off, system of fines has been introduced. There are also alternatives that rely on the temporary suppression of particular rights, like the right to drive, to leave a designated area, or the imposition of certain kinds of labour, but without confinement. In short, there are signs that one is trying to punish the individual by ways that do not include the incarceration of one’s body in one form or another of a prison. (Foucault 2009: 17)
This is extremely important, because Foucault pays attention to the body. The prison incarcerates the body, locks it into a restricted chronotope (time-space). The general tendency is to move away from the body towards detached forms of action, be it in criminology or in any other social phenomena. It's "Let's leave the body alone and focus on matters that aren't as crude or brute." But Foucault raises justified critique:
Yet, even in these forms of alternatives to the prison one needs to point out several things: they are all a relatively limited extension of the prison outside its boundary. Many of these measures, such as remission, or partial detention, are simply a way of delaying or deferring imprisonment, or a way of diluting the time of imprisonment over a whole period of one’s life; they are therefore not a system that abolishes detention. A fundamental issue arises therefore, which is that these new methods that try to punish without imprisonment are basically a new and more efficient way of re-implementing the older functions of the carceral that I noted earlier. (Foucault 2009: 17)
That is, these new alternatives are not totally detached. It is simply "extensions of the prison outside its boundary".
Of course one must not immediately conclude that what is being put in place through these seeming alternatives will be worse than the prison. It is not worse, though one must bear in mind that, in relation to a system of incarceration, there is nothing really alternative in these new methods. It is more a matter of the transmission (démultiplication) of the old carceral functions that the prison implemented in a rather brutal and inefficient way, so that they are now achieved in more flexible, free and also more extensive ways. They are all variations on the same theme of punishment through confinement. It is the same set of procedures for punishment that were in effect in the 19th century, whereby when someone commits a crime or transgresses in some way, his body will be seized upon; one will exercise total control over him as an individual, place him under surveillance, force his body to labour, prescribe behavioural schemas for him, and prop him up endlessly by mechanisms of control, judgement, rotation, and improvement. These alternatives to the prison are thus but forms of the repetition of the
prison, forms of the diffusion of the prison, and not its replacement. (Foucault 2009: 17-18)
Very thick passage indeed. On the one hand these alternatives seem beneficial but on the other they may be even worse than the prison. Yet again there are no easy solutions.
Does the penal machinery have as its aim not the elimination of illegalities but, on the contrary, the aim of control over them, of maintaining them in a state of equilibrium that would be economically useful and politically advantageous? In short, should penal politics not be understood as a means for managing illegalities? In other words, is penality really about a war waged against breaches of the law or simply a particular planned economy of crime? (Foucault 2009: 19)
Similar critique could be waged agianst any and all instutitons. Is the university an institution of education or simply a particular planned economy of stupidity?
The space of the prison is a fearsome exception to right and to the law. It is a place of physical and sexual violence; it is also, as we know, a place of ceaseless and necessarily illegal traffic amongst the inmates, between the inmates and the guards, the guards and the outside world, a traffic which is besides absolutely vital: it enables the inmates to survive, sometimes physically, and it produces a surplus that allows the guards to live through their intolerable situation. The prison is also a place where the management daily practises illegalism, be that only to hide from the judicial system or the higher adminstrative levels and public perception all the illegalities that happen inside the prison. One could add that the prison is equally the place where the police recruits its petty criminals, its informers, its hired hands, etc. (Foucault 2009: 19)
His examples of the ways illegality is managed profusely in prisons.
I do not know if criminologists can establish something like the rate of illegality specific to an institution, for example, the rate of illegality necessary for a school to function, or a bank, or the tax office. Each institution has its rate of illegalism which is necessary and sufficient for it to exist; I am sure the prison must have the highest rate. The prison is institutionalized illegalism. (Foucault 2009: 20)
I can think of at least one illegality in the universities: "intellectual crimes" or the constant breach of copyright laws which prohibit texts from being copied in any form. Without breaching this universities couldn't exist as such because knowledge would be very expensive to acquire. It is only due to the exchange of information made possible by the internet that some forms of study can even exist.
...this mythology constructed around the figure of the delinquent and the crime boss has naturalized the presence of the police in the midst of the population, a police which is itself a rather recent invention, appearing at first in France at the end of the 18th century and copied everywhere. This group of criminals, once constituted and professionalized, serves many ends, including as spies and informers in projects of surveillance as well as for carrying out illegalities that are profitable for the class in power, such as illegal traffics that the bourgeoisie prefer to delegate. So you see that crime and its professionalization has been the instrument for a good deal of economic and political gains. And it is precisely the prison which has been the instrument whereby the criminal is labelled, professionalized, recruited, circumscribed by that status and has thus become the target of an indefinite surveillance. (Foucault 2009: 21)
Haha, police as a group of professional criminals. This reminds me of the notion that the warrior class in the Ancient world was first and foremost a band of roaming hooligans, so to way, who fed upon the people they were at the same time protecting from "outside" coercion. Let us do what others would do just the same!
These are the questions about the general economy of illegality that one must ask of power, and, since one cannot expect an answer, the point is to analyse these questions. (Foucault 2009: 24)
Curiously good methodological suggestion for semioticians.

Foucault, Michel 2003. "Society Must Be Defended": Lectures at the Collège de France, 1975‐1976. Translated by David Macey. New York: Picador. [Ch. 11. pp. 239-264]
This is only chapter 11 (conclusion) from Society Must be Defended. Admittedly, it’s the most interesting chapter, in which Foucault introduces biopolitics and tries to sum up what he’s been saying about warfare. (worpress user jack brown)
A word from the sponsor (the uploader of this text).
It seems to me that one of the basic phenomena of the nineteenth century was what might be called power's hold over life. What I mean is the acquisition of power over man insofar as man is a living being, that the biological came under State control, that there was at least a certain tendency that leads to what might be termed State control of the biological. (Foucault 2003: 239-240)
Hence, biopower.
What does the right of life and death actually mean? Obviously not that the sovereign can grant life in the same way that he can inflict death. The right of life and death is always exercised in an unbalanced way: the balance is always tipped in favor of death. Sovereign power's effect on life is exercised only when the sovereign can kill. The very essence of the right of life and death is actually the right to kill: it is at the moment when the sovereign can kill that he exercises his right over life. It is essentially the right of the sword. So there is no real symmetry in the right over life and death. It is not the right to put people to death or to grant them life. Nor is it the right to allow people to live or leave them to die. (Foucault 2003: 240)
Symmetry is at least imaginable: in the Brave New World, people are bokanowskified to life.
The right of sovereignty was the right to take life or let live. And then this new right is established: the right to make live and let die. (Foucault 2003: 241)
We get it, Foucault, you like reversing stuff. I'm not sure yet what making live and letting die mean. In light of the last text, rehabilitation via family life and euthanasia?
...in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, we saw the emergence of techniques of power that were essentially centered on the body, on the individual body. They included all devices that were used to ensure the spatiial distribution of individual bodies (their separation, their alignment, their serialization, and their surveillance) and the organization, around those individuals, of a whole field of visibility. They were also techniques that could be used to take control oveer bodies. Attempts were made to increase their productive force through exercise, drill, and so on. (Foucault 2003: 242)
Serialization is taken for granted today [isikukood]. Drill is very much related to taking control over the body: the military line of command comes to mind.
Unlike discipline, which is addressed to bodies, the new nondisciplinary power is applied not to man-as-body but to the living man, to man-as-living-being; ultimately, if you like, to man-as-species. To be more specific, I would say that discipline tries to rule a multiplicity of men to the extent that their multiplicity can and must be dissolved into individual bodies that can be kept under surveillance, trained, used, and, if need be, punished. (Foucault 2003: 242)
Here I detect methodological individualism, or "not seeing the forest in the trees".
After the anatomo-politics of the human body established in the course of the eighteenth century, we have, at the end of that century, the emergence of something that is no longer an anatomo-politics of the human body, but what I would call a "biopolitics" of the human race. (Foucault 2003: 243)
Anatomo-politics surprised me, much like the notion of praxeosemiotics earlier today. Biopolitics, I imagine, is the politics of the biological constitution of human race.
Biopolitics' other field of intervention will be a set of phenomena some of which are universal, and some of which are accidental but which can never be completely eradicated, even if they are accidental. (Foucault 2003: 244)
I believe universal expressions of emotions to be a part of this set of phenomena biopolitics can intervene into. It is fairly restrictive, though, because once display rules enter the game, it is already out of biopolitics' juristiction. I wonder if emotional contagion fits biopolitics. I'm already stretching the meaning because biopolitics must deal with massified and general phenomena (and include mechanisms like forecasts, statistical estimates, and overall measures).
Sovereignty took life and let live. And now we have the emergence of a power that I would call the power of regularization, and it, in contrast, consists in making live and letting die. (Foucault 2003: 247)
In a sense, the overall "grumpiness" (for example) of a nation/culture/society/group could be a matter of biopolitics as far as it is regularized. cyberfeminism.net's page on biopower does claim that one of it's fields is "Production and manipulation of affect labor. Involves human contact, and includes bodily labor." (3rd "immaterial" labor of Hardt and Negri).
I would now like to go back to comparing the regulatory technology of life and the disciplinary technology of the body I was telling you about a moment ago. From the eighteenth century onward (or at least the end of the eighteenth century onward) we have, then, two technologies of power which were established at different times and which were superimposed. One technique is disciplinary; it centers on the body, produces individualizing effects, and manipulates the body as a source of forces that have to be rendered both useful and docile. And we also have a second technology which is centered not upon the body but upon life: a technology which brings together the mass effects of characteristic of a population, which tries to control the series of random events that can occur in a living mass, a technology which tries to predict the probability of those events (by modifying it, if necessary), or at least to compensate for their effects. This is a technology which aims to establish a sort of homeostasis, not by training individuals, but by achieving an overall equilibrium that protects the security of the whole from internal dangers. (Foucault 2003: 249)
If I'm understanding this correctly, then in Nineteen Eighty-Four the repressive system is based on discipline (not to do, say or think that which is forbidden) and in Brave New World it is based on regulatory technology (not to be viviparous or abnormal).

Argikultuuri teooriad: Independent Work (Week 5)

Foucault, Michel 2009. Security, Territory, Population: Lectures at the Collège de France 1977-1978. Translated by Graham Burchell. New York: Picador. [Ch. 11. pp. 256-283]
The word, obviously, is "conduct (conduite)," since the word "conduct" refers to two things. Conduct is the activity of conducting (conduire), of conduction (la conduction) if you like, but it is equally the way in which one conducts oneself (se conduit), lets one be conducted (se laisse conduire), is conducted (est conduit), and finally, in which one behaves (se comporter) as an effect of a form of conduct (une conduite) as the action of conducting or of conduction (conduction). (Foucault 2009: 258)
Here I relish the frenchy jargon.
Usually conduire, conduite, etcetera, would be translated into English by a variety of terms - lead, direct, guide, take, run, manage, behave, etcetera - as well as conduct. However, despite the resulting occasional awkwardness, since Foucault specifically draws attention to and exploits its two meanings in the French, in translating conduite I have often used the English conduct, and its various forms where normally another English word would be used. The meaning of 'conduction,' in both English and French (la conduction), seems to be exclusively scientific or technical. Foucault uses the word for the practice of conducting (the process of producing conduct), along the lines perhaps of his coinage 'veridiction' for the practice of truth [...] Finally, when Foucault speaks of "a conduct" (une conduite) the sense often embraces the activity by which some conduct others, the way in which individuals conduct themselves within this form of 'conduct.' [Editor's/translator's footnote on page 258]
A clarification.
I would like to try to identify some of the points of resistance, some of the forms of attack and counter-attack that appeared within the field of the pastorate. What is at issue? If it is true that the pastorate is a highly specific form of power with the object of conducting men – I mean, that takes as its instrument the methods that allow one to direct them (les conduire), and as its target the way in which they conduct themselves, the way in which they behave – if the objective of the pastorate is men’s conduct, I think equally specific movements of resistance and insubordination appeared in correlation with this that could be called specific revolts of conduct, again leaving the word “conduct” in all its ambiguity. (Foucault 2009: 259)
I think I have finally found the moment when Foucault spoke explicitly of the relationship of power and behaviour.
In at least some of these Gnostic sects, in fact, the identification of matter with evil, the fact that matter was seen, recognized, and qualified as evil, and as absolute evil, obviously entailed certain consequences. This might be, for example, a kind of vertigo or enchantment provoked by a sort of unlimited asceticism that could lead to suicide: freeing oneself from matter as quickly as possible. There is also the idea, the theme, of destroying matter through the exhaustion of the evil it contains, of committing every possible sin, going to the very end of the domain of evil opened up by matter, and thus destroying matter. (Foucault 2009: 260)
In baffling contrast what I think of as semiotic existentialism has to do with freeing oneself not from matter (or even energy) but from information, from semiosis.
And then, from start to finish, the English Revolution of the seventeenth century, with all the complexity of its institutional conflicts, class confrontations, and economic problems, allows us to see a quite special dimension of the resistance of conduct, of conflicts around the problem of conduct. By whom do we consent to be directed or conducted? How do we want to be conducted? Towards what do we want to be led? This is my second remark on the non-autonomous specificity of these resistances, these revolts of conduct. (Foucault 2009: 264)
Quite serious questions - to quote him from another text - the answering of which is perhaps impossible, but analysis of the questions themselves may prove valuable enough.
Desertion was an absolutely ordinary practice in all the armies of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. But when waging war became not just a profession or even a general law, but an ethic and the behavior of every good citizen of a country, when being a soldier was a form of political and moral conduct, a sacrifice, a devotion to the common cause and common salvation directed by a public conscience and public authority within the framework of a tight discipline; when being a soldier was therefore no longer just a destiny or a profession but a form of conduct, then, in addition to the old desertion-offence, you see a different form of desertion that I will call desertion-insubordination. Refusing to be a soldier and to spend some time in this profession and activity, refusing to bear arms, appears as a form of conduct or as a moral counter-conduct, as a refusal of civic education, of society’s values, a refusal of a certain obligatory relationship to the nation and the nation’s salvation, of the actual political system of the nation, and as a refusal of the relationship to the death of others and of oneself. (Foucault 2009: 264-265)

I would just like to raise a problem of simple vocabulary. Could we not try to find a word to designate what I have called resistance, refusal, or revolt? How can we designate the type of revolts, or rather the sort of specific web of resistance to forms of power that do not exercise sovereignty and do not exploit, but “conduct”? I have often used the expression “revolt of conduct,” but I have to say that I am not very satisfied with it, because the word “revolt” is both too precise and too strong to designate much more diffuse and subdued forms of resistance. The secret societies of the eighteenth century are not revolts of conduct; the mysticism of the Middle Ages I was just talking about is not exactly a revolt. Second, the word “disobedience” is, on the other hand, too weak no doubt, although the problem of obedience is in fact at the center of all this. A movement like Anabaptism, for example, was much more than disobedience. Furthermore, these movements that I have tried to pick out definitely have a productivity, forms of existence, organization, and a consistency and solidity that the purely negative word of disobedience does not capture. “Insubordination (insoumission),” perhaps, although we are dealing with a word that in a way is localized and attached to military insubordination. (Foucault 2009: 266)
I am a jargon-lover, I have to admit. But this passage is relevant in other ways, too, than mere fancy of words. I'm readings this (and presently only this) chapeter from this book because it deals with counter-conduct. The first notion that I associated with it was "disobedience". Although this notion has a long history in all sorts of contexts and JSTOR offers countless articles on it, it certainly does not capture all of what is implied by counter-conduct. At first sight, these are: 1) diffusion and subtlety, 2) productivity and consistency. Disobedience as such seems to become disobedience when it is noticed, when the lack obedience is taken note of - it cannot remain diffuse and subtle if it is signified as disobedience. And secondly disobedience does ring a negative bell - it is couner-conduct that only says no.
...what we [call] “dissidence” in the East and the Soviet Union, really does designate a complex form of resistance and refusal, which involves a political refusal, of course, but in a society where political authority, that is, the political party, responsible for defining both the country’s characteristic form of economy and structures of sovereignty, is at the same time responsible for conducting individuals in their daily life through a game of generalized obedience that takes the form of terror, since terror is not when some command and strike fear into others. There is terror when those who command tremble with fear themselves, since they know that the general system of obedience envelops them just as much as those over whom they exercise their power. (Foucault 2009: 267)
This may come very handy when discussing Nineteen Eighty-Four which was written in light of the Soviet Union.
And it is precisely because the word dissidence is too localized today in this kind of phenomena that it cannot be used without drawback. After all, who does not have his theory of dissidence today? (Foucault 2009: 268)
It is perfectly understandable why the word dissidence cuts Foucault's tongue. But the last sentence is indicative that Foucault set out to be an "originalist" - there may be other theories of disobedience, dissidence, revolt, etc. out there, but I'm going to do my own thing and name my own discourse.
So let’s give up this word, and what I will propose to you is the doubtless badly constructed word “counter-conduct” – the latter having the sole advantage of allowing reference to the active sense of the word “conduct” – counter-conduct in the sense of struggle against the processes implemented for conducting others; which is why I prefer it to “misconduct (inconduite),” which only refers to the passive sense of the word, of behavior: not conducting oneself properly. (Foucault 2009: 268)
And this is what he comes up with. It is a language game, but a fruitful one, as counted-conduct really is different from misconduct. Even now I am already beginning to embrace it.
There is [also] mistrust of confession, which, until the tenth to eleventh century, was still an activity, a practice that could take place between one layperson and another, and which later, from the eleventh to twelfth century, was reserved essentially, exclusively to priests. (Foucault 2009: 277)
It seems that this commonsensical notion was effectively lost with the rise of pastoral power. Which is a pity initself because it seems valid social-psychologically that you should confess to your fellow layman, preferably a friend, and build trust and security this way

Davidson, Arnold I. 2011. In praise of counter-conduct. History of the Human Sciences 24(4): 25-41.
Security, Territory, Population (Foucault, 2007) contains a conceptual hinge, a key concept, that allows us to link together the political and ethical axes of Foucault’s thought. Indeed, it is Foucault’s
analysis of the notions of conduct and counter-conduct in his lecture of 1 March 1978 that seems to me to constitute one of the richest and most brilliant moments in the entire course. (Davidson 2009: 25)
According to this author, counter-conduct is the conceptual link between analysis of power/knowledge and power/subjectivity.
But this essential moment has been rather undervalued due to the fact that the main legacy of this course has been to give rise to so-called ‘governmentality studies’. There is absolutely no doubt that the practices of governmentality and the historically precedent practices of pastoral power studied by Foucault in this course open up a new and significant field of inquiry, both within Foucault’s own work and more generally. Yet one should not overlook the fact that pastoral power and governmentality are historically and philosophically contiguous in that they take as the object of their techniques and practices the conduct of human beings. If the ‘government of men’ is understood as an activity that undertakes to conduct individuals, ‘pastoral power’ concentrates this activity in the regime of religious institutions, while governmentality locates it in the direction of political institutions. (Davidson 2009: 26)
I'm almost sorry that I read about methodological individualism because now I'm seeing it everywhere I look. It also looks as though Security, Territory, Population set the stage for governmentality studies bot neglected the conduct aspect which could indeed relate discourse/power and individual behaviour.
One already sees here the double dimension of conduct, namely the activity of conducting an individual, conduction as a relation between individuals, and the way in which an individual conducts ‘himself’ or is conducted, ‘his’ conduct or behavior in the narrower sense of the term. (Davidson 2009: 26)
Methodological individualism, etc.
Furthermore, Foucault’s problem of vocabulary, his attempt to find a specific word to designate the resistances, refusals, revolts against being conducted in a certain way, show how careful he was in wanting to find a concept that neglected neither the ethical nor the political dimensions and that made it possible to recognize their nexus. After rejecting the notions of ‘revolt’, ‘disobedience’, ‘insubordination’, ‘dissidence’ and ‘misconduct’, for reasons ranging from their being notions that are either too strong, too weak, too localized, too passive, or too substance-like, Foucault proposes the expression ‘counter-conduct’ – ‘counter-conduct in the sense of struggle against the procedures implemented for conducting others’ – and notes that anti-pastoral counter-conduct can be found at a doctrinal level, in the form of individual behavior, and in strongly organized groups (Foucault, 2007: 201, 204). (Davidson 2009: 28)
Having read and quoted the way Foucault formulated the notion of counter-culture this is not surprising. What is noteworthy here that strongly organized groups (say, solidarity groups) are like individuals.
...the exercise of power consists in ‘conducting conduct’ ["conduire des conduites"]’ (ibid.: 1056). Next, Foucault draws a direct connection between power and government, again distinguishing government from political and economic subjection, and highlighting the fact that to govern an individual or a group is ‘to act on the possibilities of action of other individuals’, is a ‘mode of action on the actions of others’ (ibid.: 1056). Thus, according to Foucault, ‘to govern, in this sense, is to structure the possible field of actions of others’ (ibid.: 1056). (Davidson 2009: 28)
Having also just recently read "The Subject and Power" (presumably, "Le sujet et le pouvoir"), I find little surprising in this too, aside from the translation of "conduct of conduct" as "conducting conduct". The surface definitions of governmentality and power here are neat, though.
‘Eccentricity of conduct’ is Mill’s name for counter-conduct, and he strikingly opposes ‘originality in thought and action’ to the ‘despotism of custom’ (ibid.: 268, 272). (Davidson 2009: 31)
Davidson draws a similarity between Foucualt's counter-conduct and Mill's eccentricity of conduct, which is in some sense "peculiar" and "shunned equally with crimed".
I’m in favor of a true cultural combat in order to teach people again that there is no conduct that is more beautiful, that, consequently, deserves to be considered with as much attention as suicide. One should work on one’s suicide all one’s life. (Foucault, 2001m: 1076)
In discussing suicide with a friend who is a sociology student, I came to a similar conclusion: suicide letters should not be written in despair; they should be written clearheadedly and express the ongoing anguish rationally, justify the existential break in terms that can be understood more objectively (e.g. not subjective emotions and impressions, but arguments and examples).

Venn, Couze 2007. Culture Theory, Biopolitics, and the Question of Power. Theory Culture Society 24(3): 111-124.
Underlying the question of hegemony, therefore, is another set of questions concerning, on the one hand, the government of conduct and the problem of the correlations of security, territory and population in the context of the mobile and conjunctural production and reproduction of unequal relations of power (Foucault, 2004a), and, on the other hand, concerning the anticipation of a time to come in which such inequalities will have been abolished or altered. (Venn 2007: 111)
It seems to me that articles of this sort start out with their author's positions in the ideological space: their biases, hopes, and dreams. I wonder if this is a more or less hidden characteristic of all political (scientific) discourse.
On the other hand, the genealogy of the discourse about individual bodies and populations shifts from a focus on body as bearer of qualities – or as the already-territorialized body – to a concern with life, with biopolitics and their constitutive force. (Venn 2007: 113)
I believe this could be called the biopolitical turn.
Foucault’s characterization of governmentality, as we know, associates it with the new, pastoral form of power emerging from the 18th century in terms of technologies of the social operating as an anatomo-politics and a biopolitics. (Venn 2007: 115)
I notice the term "technology", which again I would link to techniques of the body, but Foucualt had very specific ones in mind, the anatomo-political and biopolitical variety. It is questionable how this could be linked to the "body politics" (e.g. Nancey Henley).
The two are not mutually exclusive, but are co-articulated and relayed by way of a new element: the norm. (Venn 2007: 116)
Venn is here making a move I would not dare to make: connecting disciplinarity of individuals and regulation of populations via the norm.
On the other hand, the new calculus of power sets up practices of resistance, which poses new problems for the theorization of counter-conducts – and for what some would still call ‘counter-hegemonic’ struggles. (Venn 2007: 121)
It is possible that much to do with counter-conduct has been written under the guise of counter-hegemony (or even, borrowing from Floyd Merrell - guerilla culture).
Lazzarato (2006), following Foucault (2004), differentiates between four types of counter-conduct that aim to ‘avoid being governed’, namely: escape,ruse, strategies of reversal and violent confrontation. (Venn 2007: 122)
This is actually a valuable clue. Yet it is nearly impossible that I could ever read Lazzaroto's unpublished paper in french (‘La discipline, la souveraineté et la biopolitique comme techniques hétérogènes de l’art de gouverner’).
For instance, as Lazzarato points out, counter-conducts have to respond to the fact that the government of conduct now operates through institutions and apparatuses of disciplinarity and security that have recruited mechanisms of resistance like trade unions, so that these opposional or dissident forces are made to participate in stabilizing the norms of ‘good conduct’. Similarly, the media, the university and experts act as relays in correlation with legislative mechanisms to form opinion and bring conduct back within the established order. Nevertheless, differences proliferate at the level of the lived, and events constantly introduce unpredictablility and instability. (Venn 2007: 122)
This is exactly what Thomas Mathiesen feared in his abolutionist struggles. The article ends with a neat discussion on the "informationalization" of power:

Foucault, Michel 1980. Power/knowledge: selected interviews and other writings 1972-1977. Translated and edited by Colin Gordon et al.. New York: Pantheon Books. [Chapter 3: Body/Power, pp. 55-62]
...in this superb set of essays and interviews, Foucault has provided a much-needed guide to Foucault. These pieces, ranging over the entire spectrum of his concerns, enabled Foucault, in his most intimate and accessible voice, to interpret the conclusions of his research in each area and to demonstrate the contribution of each to the magnificent -- and terrifying -- portrait of society that he was patiently compiling.
It's not a bad idea to include parts of official reviews with chapters read selectively from books. No doubt some day I should read the whole of Power/knowledge but for now it seems that this will suffice.
Is there a fantasy body corresponding to different types of institutions?
I believe the great fantasy is the idea of a social body constituted by the universality of wills. Now the phenomena of the social body is the effect not of a consensus but of the materiality of power operating on the very bodies of invididuals. (Foucault 1980: 55)
This is what I think to be extremely true. When Foucault says that discourse is power with material existence, I think this is what he means. That the materiality of power operates on individual bodies. I could go on saying that power "conducts the conduct" of these bodies, but the point has already been made and wider implications could be added later (with more closer attention to nonverbal behaviour).
As always with relations of power, one is faced with complex phenomena which don't obey the Hegelian form of the dialectic. Mastery and awareness of one's own body can be acquired only through the effect of an investment of power in the body: gymnastics, exercises, muscle-building, nudism, glorification of the body beautiful. All of this belongs to the pathway leading to the desire of one's own body, by way of the insistent, persistent, meticulous work of power on the bodies of children or soldiers, the healthy bodies. (Foucault 1980: 56)
This is fairly familiar. TO put it in later foucaultian terms, mastery and awareness of one's own body requires a relationship to oneself that involves the cultivation (gymnazein) of the body.
What course is the evolution of the bodily relationship between the masses and the State apparatus taking?
First of all one must set aside the widely held thesis that power, in our bourgeois, capitalist, societies has denied the reality of the body in favour of the soul, consciousness, ideality. In fact nothing is more material, physical, corporal than the exercise of power. (Foucault 1980: 57-58)
Exactly the contention I was already jumping ahead of.
I would also distinguish myself from para-Marxists like Marcuse who give the notion of repression an exaggerated role - because power would be a fragile thing if its only function were to repress, if it worked only through the mode of censorship, exclusion, blockage and represseion, in the manner of a great Superego, exercising itself only in a negative way. If, on the contrary, power is strong this is because, as we are beginning to realise, it produces effects at the level of desire - and also at the level of knowledge. Far from preventing knowledge, power produces it. If it has been possible to constitute a knowledge of the body, this has been by way of an ensemble of military and educational disciplines. It was on the basis of of power over the body that a physiological, organic knowledge of it became possible. (Foucault 1980: 59)
This is where I find my seminar paper incomplete, because I only took notice of silencing and immobilizing, neglecting the productive side of power.
The archaeology of the human sciences has to be established through studying the mechanisms of power which have invested human bodies, acts and forms of behaviour. (Foucault 1980: 61)
As much as I like this idea and see the evident similarity with my own work (nonverbalist reading of the human sciences) it tells me little to nothing else than merely stating the congeniality.
Take the example of philanthrophy in the early nineteenth century: people appear who make it their business to involve themselves in other people's lives, health, nutrition, housing; then, out of this confused set of functions there emerge certain personages, institutions, forms of knowledge: public hygiene, inspectors, social workers, psychologists. And we are now seeing a whole proliferation of different categories of social work. (Foucault 1980: 62)
This passage made me think if a suitable field to do my analysis in rests in the "body language experts" themselves, e.g., people who teach how to use body language, conduct seminars etc. The frightening thought in this is the aspect of institutionalization. Right now there are only single individuals who make their claim for fame by doing this, yet it is not possible that one day there will be institutions or groups of "body language watchdogs".

Punday, Daniel 2000. Foucault's Body Tropes. New Literary History 31(3): 509-528.
Describing the body as a site allows critics like de Lauretis to achieve certain critical and analytical goals; it provides a trope, I will argue, through which critics can make particular arguments and claims. (Punday 2000: 509)
That is, "the body as a nexus of power" is a trope. I have dismissed this word thus far, but cannot any longer. A trope is "A figurative or metaphorical use of a word or expression." Welp, not much help, but yeah, okay, trope is a word.
In this article, I would like to analyze Foucault's body trope and to investigate the rhetorical problems that it raises for critics who appropriate it as an "instrument." I will ultimately argue that we should place Foucault's body trope into the tradition of the body politic, and should recognize that contemporary critics encounter many of the same problems raised yb that traditional trope. (Punday 2000: 510)
Nooooo! Don't place it into the tradition of the body politic! Please, no, don't reverse Foucault's work and return to sovereign power.
Foucault treats the normalized body as a spatial "site" because normalization depends on space to order and differentiate individuals. The individual elements of the body are subjected to the spatial differentaition typical of the disciplinary system. Disciplinary machinery, Foucault writes, works "on the principle of elementary location or partitioning. Each individual has his own place; and each place its individual" (DP 143). Discipline analyzes tasks and even gestures into building-block movements. One of the clearest examples of this articulation of the body and its movements into basic elements is military training. Foucault describes the "instrumental coding of the body": "It consists of a breakdown of the total gesture into two parallel series: that of the parts of the body to be used (right hand, left hand, different fingers of the hand, knee, eye, elbow, etc.) and that of the parts of the object manipulated (barrel, notch, hammer, screw, etc.)" (DP 153). (Punday 2000: 511)
I was afrait this article is going to talk about the State, but instead thus far it has gone very appealing route for me: not surprisingly I have gathered a rather large amound of jargon to approach instrumental activity and the manipulation of objects (or "extensions of the body"). This article might even be useful, insofar as it can point me specific pages in Discipline and Punish, for example, that deal with this.
Thus, discipline does not merely evaluate individuals according to norms; it also breaks individual bodies down into basic elements to better evaluate and train them to obey this norm. This spatial organization of the body is essential to the theory of power that Foucault develops in the middle of his career. Indeed, it is only when Foucault speaks of power in Discipline and Punish that he uses the language of "inscribing" the body. Foucault remarks that "the body is also directly involved in a political field; power relations have an immediate hold upon it; they invest it [ils l'investissent], mark it [le marquent], train it, torture it, force it to carry out tasks, to perform ceremonies, to emit signs." Foucault uses the language of "investing" and "marking" to emphasize the way in which power affects the body from the outside. (Punday 2000: 512)
The languag of bodily inscription actually confuzed me in Judith Butler's articles on Foucault. The relationship between power and body that I currently hold is that of forcing it to carry out tasks (in this way power "produces" via the body, as well as produces the body itself). There is much more to the story, it merely requires one to put the pieces together in some way.
Kevin Jon Heller notes Foucault's claim that power is always "both intentional and nonsubjective" (HS 94), which heunderstands to mean that "a social formation's mechanisms of power are always supra-individually structured." The link between extra-personal power and the language of bodily inscription is particularly clear when we note the relative absence of these metaphors in the work of Foucault's last period. (Punday 2000: 512)
And in baffling clarity, this little pieceof information may help me to unite semiotics of culture, power, and nonverbal communication in one simple swoop: culture - the supra-individual system of signs - structures the actions of body. Very obvious, but comes with numerous implications I'm not yet ready to articulate.
The spatial language of Foucault's body site, developed earlier in his career, depends on the belief that power originates beyond the individual. Foucault figures the body as a site, then, both because the body participates within a disciplinary apparatus of spatial differentiation and because power functions beyond the control and intentions of individual subjects. (Punday 2000: 512)
In short, power is a social phenomenon.
..."The body is the inscribed surface of events (traced by language and dissolved by ideas)..."... (NG 148).
I had to tear this sentence out of it's context because it suits perfectly into my discussion on the relationship of language and nonverbal behaviour. The body itself is the "surface of events", language describes these events and ideas... Well, there could be many variants, but currently I would say it "identifies these events with other ideas and dissolves the actual event." The sentence originates from Foucault, M. (1984). Nietzsche, Genealogy, History. In P. Rabinow (Ed.), The Foucault Reader (pp. 76-100). London: Penguin Books. One website offers an alternative translation from French: "The body is the inscribed surface of events (traced by language and dissolved by ideas)..." The paragraph itself goes on and the ultimate conclusion is that "Its [genealogy] task is to expose a body totally imprinted by history and the process of history's destruction of the body." Thus, the relationship between history of ideas and the body. Alternative translation of this very same sentence goes: "It must show a body totally inscribed by history, and history destroying the body." Very interesting indeed.
The imprinted body provides FOucault with a text that can be read torstand historical changes. These changes specifically concern the transformation of the laws according to which individuals are supposed to interact; Foucault proposes "[a] genealogy of values, morality, asceticism, and knowledge" (NG 144). The body in this sense is the site in which historical changes can be observed in the codes for social behavior and perception. (Punday 2000: 514)
This is really valuable insight for my first article on the relationship of body and text. Dayum.
The fact that the body is a palimpsestic space, in this sense, enables Foucault to observe the discursive conflicts that are the hallmark of his historical analysis. And yet, as readers of Foucault will concede, the body itself never provides an actual text that is interpreted. All of Foucault's work ultimately discusses books that describe bodies; at no point does it actually observe physical bodies. As Frances Bartkowski remarks, "this focus on the body is explored by Foucault through some representative texts, that is, through language." (Punday 2000: 514)
dafine:palimsest - "A palimpsest is a manuscript page from a scroll or book that has been scraped off and used again." It is weird to recognize myself - in this minor way - in Foucault. My subject matter is what is said about body language, not actual behaviour itself.
In suggesting that Foucault's body site is a trope used in his analysis of the history of social ordering, I am placing Foucault's theory into a long tradition of writing which uses the body to represent social relationships. The trope of the "body politic" is a way to establish the "natural" interrelation between individual and institutions. (Punday 2000: 514)
Okay, perhaps my denial of the "body poltic" approach was unjustified. Surely there are other ways to establish the "natural" interrelation between individuals and institutions, and I prefer the "body poltics". I think this is the first instance in my work when a single plural "s" marks two completely different discourses (political holism like that of Hobbes / nonverbal communication and power).
A king might be understood to have the "two bodies" of Kantorowicz's title in the sense that the frailties and morality of his "body natural" must be distinguished categorically from his "body politic," which is timeless, perfect, and ultimately owned by no one - not even the king himself. The idea that the king embodies the whole society leads quite naturally to the best-known use of the "body politic" - as a way to speak about the unity of the whole society. One of the classic examples of the body used to symbolize the society is provided by Thomas Hobbes at the outset of Leviathan... (Punday 2000: 515)
Yup, this kind of metaphorical "body poltic" I detest.
Foucault argues for a notion of dispersed power functioning through many individuals, a notion that the traditional body politic denies. (Punday 2000: 516)
When discussing the doctrine that individualsubject are responsible to sacrifice themselves for the good of the country embodied in the king, the initial metaphor is what Kantorowicz calls "organological" - that is, based on the association with a body composed of a head and members (KT 209). This meraphor "dictates that all limbs of the body not only be directed by the head and serve it, but also be willing to exposed themselves for the head" (KT 256). (Punday 2000: 523)
This is a neat metaphor, because is describes the logic of top-down ruling very well: those on the top are the most important leaders, and those on the bottom must die (be exposed) for the top to survive.