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Paul Hegarty

Related: academic - Body whithout organs


Paul Hegarty is associate professor at University College Cork, Ireland, where he has taught in the French Department since 1996, specialising in C20 thought and visual culture. He is also involved with the new 'art history' programme and has taught in the schools of architecture and critical theory at the University of Nottingham in England. He has published articles and a book on Georges Bataille, and other articles on performance art, architecture and conceptual art. He is currently working on a book on Agamben and a further book on Bataille. Articles arriving in the near future include one on 'Japanese noise music', and another on New York/Paris and the time of modernity. In the meantime, he has become a 'practising sound artist' with installation and performance work. --http://www.slought.net/content/11049/ [Jun 2004]

Body whithout organs (BwO)

The body of organs, of identity (not forgetting that organs without a body might be more dangerous still) has privileged the eye, and in contemporary culture, makes this privileging a site of control: "the eye is a masochistic orifice in the age of panoptic power, capable of endless discipline and of being seduced beyond bodily subjectivity into a floating free fall within the society of the spectacle", leaving the ear repressed, except in terms of receiving "spectacular" sound (muzak, MTV) (Kroker, Spasm, 49). The body without organs, though, would not free us from this, but drive us further in, playing masochism beyond jouissance. "Freeing" the ear would not liberate us, either. Rather, the ear has to become masochistic, in the Deleuzian sense (see "Coldness and Cruelty" in Masochism (New York: Zone, 1994), 9-138) instead of being forced to submit. It must then renounce both control and contract. There is, of course, another story of the eye -- Bataille's, followed up by Foucault, in which the upturned eye, removed, trans(un)figured, is the site of the loss of meaning. Eugene Thacker assimilates this story with noise music: "the visuality of Bataille transgressing itself is analogous to the music of noise" ("Bataille/Body/ Noise: Notes Toward a Techno-Erotics", (63), in Brett Woodward (ed.), Merzbook: The Pleasuredome of Noise (Melbourne, Cologne: Extreme, 1999), 57-65). The comparison is perhaps too easy as the ear does not have the status of the eye, nor is music of noise in itself capable of the reversibility of the eye, which seeks to be both medium and control of media. --Paul Hegarty in http://www.re-lab.lv/rezone/arhivs/msg01483.html

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