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Konsulting the Border

Konsult Experiment, beginning December, 2019, Gregory Ulmer and John Craig Freeman (Florida Research Ensemble).

After collaborating on two essays addressing theory and practice of augmented reality (AR), both for collections edited by Vladimir Geroimenko, Freeman and Ulmer committed to a full-scale konsult on the U.S.-Mexico Border.

Ulmer and Freeman, Distance Table Work, Konsulting the Border.

Event.  Event refers to the experience of an egent (inventional consultant) achieving insight. Arthur Koestler showed that three fundamental modes of insight shared the same structure of bisociation (the convergence of two unrelated domains or semantic fields): a) getting a joke —Ha; b) Eureka discovery in science —Aha; c) Epiphany illumination in art —Ah.
        The important point relative to event is that this experience requires egent engagement with a practice. Incidents, occasions, occurrences happen (natural and man-made disasters for example), but to become event requires individual theopraxesis (knowing willing imagining) processing the occurrence within a form. As Heidegger pointed out about ontology, Being emerges within language (philosopher uses writing and logic to produce event of being). Or The term “anagnorisis” in Greek tragedy is moment of recognition and turning point in the drama creating the event of tragedy (Oedipus realizes his true identity). Konsult is a practice designed to support such insight native to electracy, specifically addressing creativity as such (heuretics. “finding”).

A border is a line: the Big Bend diagrams a fold catastrophe (R. Thom).

Extimacy. This is Lacan’s term to identify the nature of subject identity formation in electracy. Human identity emerges within a field condition (the Unconscious), a psychoanalytic version of Heidegger’s Dasein (being in the world), in which the inside and outside of person are diagrammed using topological figures such as Klein bottle or moebius strip. The import is that “truth” is hidden in plain sight: repression does not erase the subject’s truth but displaces, disguises, distorts it using the tropology of dreamwork, such that it may be recovered, known, reconfigured in therapy (or through practices of art or politics). The theory and practice of psychoanalysis, existential philosophy, and modernist poetics are isomorphic, functioning by means of extimate epiphanies or illuminations: the invisible spiritual affective order “inside” becomes intelligible and accessible through formal operation with and through the material concrete manifest “outside.” In short, the Border outside (US-Mexico border)—configured within konsult theopraxesis—gives insight and knowledge of “the border in me,” and bordering itself as such. Extimacy is how egents gain access to both poles of alienation—totality of global commodity forces and unconscious libidinal drives of the body (corporation and corporeality).

A semiotic square (Greimas) of outlines a border system, indicating a shift from Frontier to Sprawl.

In short, event create extimacy, and extimacy is the ontology required to complete the cognitive map (choragraphy) of electracy, reconnecting the microcosm and macrocosm registers of digital apparatus. The challenge of our project is to design and test konsut, and apply it to choragraphy of the US-Mexico border. The ambition is that the extimate experience of our konsult event educates an engaged public sphere with respect to electracy in general and remediation of border disasters in particular.

John Craig Freeman

Border Moment, Nogales AZ

2020-01-06T22:07:05+00:00 December 29th, 2019|Categories: Uncategorized|

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