Nothing Personal

 12/22 - Metro Magazine

“Personal writing as a style, then, does not in itself foreclose the critical or socially productive potentials of writing, but the bulk of contemporary personal writing arguably does little more than aestheticise personal experience as that of the private neoliberal individual without challenging it in any fundamental way. Rather than simply using this mode to affirm personal experience as given, we should turn our attention to the ways in which personal experience is always the product of the social, historical and political conditions that constitute it, and thus look to interrogate and challenge the very construction of the personal and personhood. In doing so, we would be carrying on the vitally important work of the radical writing traditions that employed more experimental and rigorous approaches to personal writing that preceded the current trend. As one of the central figures of the New Narrative movement, Bruce Boone, puts it, “if our writing is no longer to have social effects, why do we write?” – Available in print here

Labors of Love

11/22 – Response to Luce DeLire’s Lessons in Love II for Stillpoint Magazine

“DeLire’s reading of Sappho’s fragment gestures towards notions ofindeterminacy in love (qua the sublime), both in the relation of the lover to thebeloved and in the act and experience of love itself. In her reading of Sappho, there is a model of love and loving that eschews the toxicity that, for DeLire, characterizes love under capitalism—a toxic love defined by the logic of commodification and possession (of private property). This logic leads to areduction of the beloved to an object to be possessed and the collapsing ofthe horizon of infinity as indeterminacy that she sees as part of the radical potentiality of love and loving.” – Currently only available to subscribers


09/22 – Exhibitiong essay for George Watson’s show Filial at Envy

“Watson’s work does not shy away from desire as something that troubles and is troubling, that interrupts and complicates, yet compels us. Something that is messy and entangles us with others, often in ways that are characterised as much by ambivalence — admixtures of love and hate, dominance and submission — as by any kind of redemptive sense of mutual love and understanding. Desire here is a disorganising force; a large heart adorned with smashed paua shell and layers of sticky glue and resin; a word, crudely written and rubbed out on a child's doll house, leaving behind a blurry smudge.” – Full text available here

In-Between The Law & Transgression: Desire, Ethics, & Symbolic Destiny in Psychoanalysis

04/22 – Stillpoint, Issue 010: Judge

“The figure of the law has a special significance in psychoanalysis, as it intimates not just the law that regulates the social body, but the network of signifiers by which the symbolic is constituted. It is the installation of this symbolic law that allows the lacking, and hence desiring, subject to be constituted as such. This is the infamous act of castration, as the introduction of “the third” (the signifier) that separates the child-mother dyad and allows the subject to enter into the symbolic, and the social order in turn, as a desiring subject. Through giving up access to their enjoyment of the mother and her body and taking up language, the infant can assume subjecthood and become a full member of the social order. The act of castration though, of course, is a traumatic one, leaving its mark on the subject.”  – Full text available here 

The Team of Six Million

11/20 – Counterfutures, Issue 10
“In such a way, the returnee and the antagonisms that they represent should be understood as part of broader political contestation around the demos and the border, and hence tied up with the plight of both the migrant and the refugee. In a state of crisis, even those whose membership of the demos appears to be given, such as the citizen living abroad, becomes conditional and subject to political contestation. Within such states of crisis, agonistic relations run the risk of becoming antagonistic, as the them can quickly become recast as the enemy.” – Full text available here