May 21, 2015

On Expression | In search of missing pieces

Thoughts on voicing, expressing, and taste of the recent events in Albania (Tirana & Gjirokaster). A summary of not only the events, participants, media coverage, public spending, and the generated online waste, of time, effort, and criticism - but, our cultural heritage, folklore, gender identity and (in)equality, history, the making of history, the present, integrating the present, the future, inspiring a future, and so on - via Derrida's Economimesis.
In his essay Economimesis, Derrida examines the terms of the contract to see if it actually does sustain an economy of expression rather than of representation, taste rather than consumption. As fine art is a form of speech, the aesthetic turn away from bodily consumption towards taste does not leave the mouth, which is the site of both bodily consumption and ideal detachment. For Derrida, the privileging by philosophy of expression disguises an economy of secret consumption, of covert representation governed by desire. Everywhere it carries out its work of consumption behind the disguise of detachment, consuming what it detaches itself from. Detachment is but a disguise entrapment. [1]
If hearing-oneself-speak, in so far as it also passes through a certain mouth, transforms everything into auto-affection, assimilates everything to itself by idealizing it within interiority, masters everything by mourning its passing, refusing to touch it, to digest it naturally, but digests it ideally, consumes what it does not consume and vice versa, produces disinterestedness in the possibility of pronouncing judgments. 

What is excluded from it and what, proceeding from this exclusion, gives if form, limit, and contour? And what about this over-board with respect to what one calls the mouth?

There is no answer to such a question. One cannot say, it is this or that, this or that thing. We will see why.

What this logo-phonocentric system excludes is not even a negative. The negative is its business and its work. What it excludes, what this very work excludes, is what does not allow itself to be digested, or represented, or stated-does not allow itself to be transformed into auto-affection by exemplorality. It is an irreducible heterogeneity which cannot be eaten either sensibly or ideally and which-this is the tautology-by never letting itself be swallowed must therefore cause itself to be vomited
. [2]

[1] Mark Wigley, Postmortem Architecture: The Taste of Derrida, Perspecta 23, p.159.
[2] Jacques Derrida, Economimesis, p.20-21


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