The dissolution of everything that we know of as the body politic

When we began Foreign Bodies, the idea that the movement of peoples across territories was to become a defining political question, that it would motivate political movements and mobs, that it would become a mechanism through which different elites would build a political base to take power in the state, was marginal. It was not yet front page news, nor had it become the political cliché that it is now, refugee crisis, a meaningless phrase that provokes feelings of compassion or loathing without any real sense of the entities that comprise the so-called crisis, so that the crisis is never really born, never works the transformation that it ought to – the dissolution of everything we know of as the body politic at present and the creation of a new body politic, as well as new bodies and new politics. 1)There are a multitude of individuals and communities for whom the reality of this migration is experienced with all of its nuances, with all the beauty, wonder, awe, discomfort and fear that is provoked by the actual physical experience of another’s body. There are the migrants themselves, and there are those individuals and organizations who have moved themselves to the sites where help is needed, giving food and medical care, assisting people to overcome state control wherever possible. And there are those well within the confines of the nation state who provide spaces and advocacy for those whose journeys are complete (for now). I feel that these people experience what is happening not through the distancing cliché of “migration crisis”, but as a lived reality.

Where can we point the finger for this failure – surely it belongs with the management of this crisis, as if the state understands itself not as a vehicle for transporting human civilisation into something more humane and more civilised, but as a bureaucracy dedicated to the preservation of the threads of the status quo. This bureaucracy, which should be marginal and transitory, has filled the vacuum left by the aspiration in an earlier stage of the nation for a true social state, one in which labor rights and welfare were guaranteed by the state. This bureaucracy exists only to see that the institutions themselves, empty as they are of any political content beyond the continuation and, against all indications of economic reality, the necessary expansion of the capitalist project.

As is the case, always and inevitably, the bureaucratic formations which are designed for administering the periphery of the nation state, as in the case of imperialism, return to the center as well, as in the case of nazism, fascism and neoliberalism.

So Foreign Bodies is about those bodies which view the national border the same way a herd of goats view a seemingly impossible precipice, a dangerous inconvenience to be overcome by nimble feet and an act of will. It is about their experience once they cross this precipice, the violence they receive at the hands of mob, police and border security, the drudgery that their lives can descend into once they become administrative subjects. It is also about those non-migrating bodies 2)Of course, every body is a migrating body, whether actually-migrating, potentially-migrating, or historically-migrating. I am a refugee insofar as my grandfather was. I am a foreigner in Germany, though a privileged one, and yet I have “arrived” as it were in my home of Berlin, therefore I am both a migrating body and a non-migrating body. who live across the precipice, how they are shaped by their anxieties of the outside, how the administration of those other alien bodies makes invisible the work that the state performs on their own bodies, cells and molecules. Foreign Bodies is about the potential bodies that we might inhabit: physical bodies, political bodies, that are not shaped by paranoia and neuroses. – AT

Notes   [ + ]

1. There are a multitude of individuals and communities for whom the reality of this migration is experienced with all of its nuances, with all the beauty, wonder, awe, discomfort and fear that is provoked by the actual physical experience of another’s body. There are the migrants themselves, and there are those individuals and organizations who have moved themselves to the sites where help is needed, giving food and medical care, assisting people to overcome state control wherever possible. And there are those well within the confines of the nation state who provide spaces and advocacy for those whose journeys are complete (for now). I feel that these people experience what is happening not through the distancing cliché of “migration crisis”, but as a lived reality.
2. Of course, every body is a migrating body, whether actually-migrating, potentially-migrating, or historically-migrating. I am a refugee insofar as my grandfather was. I am a foreigner in Germany, though a privileged one, and yet I have “arrived” as it were in my home of Berlin, therefore I am both a migrating body and a non-migrating body.

PROBABILITY PRAXIS 16 of 28 – WANING GIBBOUS – Garbicz Festival.

PROBABILITY PRAXIS 16 of 28 – WANING GIBBOUS

5 August 2017

Garbicz Festival.

Interlocuters: Tereza Silon, Bishop Black

we performed in the forest. Birk and Nina had installed the lights, the sculpture, the screen, beautifully. The large screen behind us with the beamer coming in from the back. The ground was so soft, I sunk into it, so many times, it welcomed me. Bishop and Tereza were with us as interlocutors. There was a faint rain, just still a hint. Our technical equipment was safe from the rain in ninas car. We felt well taken care of. We took bare feet on the forest ground. Our purpose among the four of us was restoration, ecology. We felt honored to be performing amongst the trees. I saw them as part of the ritual, their tall bodies stretching upwards. I could focus on them, with them. There were times I came drawn to them, I wanted to included them in the percussions, but I did not want to hit them. Our audience came and went, they did not all stay with us the entire time. In the middle it wained, in the end they came again. I felt the undulation with the energy. They were pulled in with us in the beginning, inside the circle. We ended as a circle, around the circle. We helped Adrienne carry her last piece of wood as she rung out the last notes. In positive, all of this, and especially the magic that was felt through our bodies, was very real. Bishop ended with a mark on his forehead from the forest floor that looked like blood on a newborns forehead. Like he had just existed the cunt, it was stunning and beautiful. I had a magical dance blindfolded with two people, at least. The breeze was ecstatic on my skin. I I felt that I could have done better at the height of gnosis, that I was missing something of the magic at exactly that point, that perhaps there is a better way to remove the routine of that moment. That we need to prepare more for the climax and that it needs be even higher than what it felt then. Even though, I could see that people were with us, I was hoping there might be … something else. Im not yet sure what. Krf.

PROBABILITY PRAXIS 15 of 28 – FULL MOON – Chateu Perche Festival, France

PROBABILITY PRAXIS 15 of 28 – FULL MOON

5 August 2017

Chateu Perche Festival, France

(no interlocuters)

critical magic, in my mind, fundamentally challenges the idea that magic can be about a poof – wave the wand and change everything. Critical magic is about critical engagement, critical theory, active listening, participation, active presence, and deicing to work towards change. And yet. There is also perhaps, what I can see now, there is perhaps also room for a “poof” – if we can call it that. There is room for an exacting moment of revelation. In this conception, the poof moment could be the moment when the imagination takes on a new ordering and accepts a new paradigm as an act of performance — performance here is a moment of “reframing” ones truth.  This is as opposed to creating or enacting a new empirical truth. The world cannot change in one second, but our minds can change. The world can change slowly over time, with hard work and commitment and coming together through activism and action. Part of this change requires the changing of minds, and even though the changing of minds can also take a long time, it seems that on the other hand, a mind does switch, there is a moment when one decides that in fact the floor is not green, that rather it is brown. There are ahhah moments, there are moments when we decide to use a new pronoun for someone, when we decide to give someone a new name, when we acknowledge a death or a birth. And this moment is specific, one might say, a poof moment, a singular moment. There in that sense we can radically imagine a new way of categorizing that was before not seen. Ithink about what elizabeth povinelli says about life versus non life, all she had to write was simply the idea, the new vision, and the paradigm was open. Not because the paradigm is or is not, but rather that it exists at all as “one way of seeing” and if we can allow ourselves to see in that/those other ways, this is a radical vision. Radically visioning. The performance act is a chance to live inside a radical vision, to perform a radical state of mind and of speech act. It is a chance to practice a new way of seeing. Within that “other way of seeing” perhaps we can also envision what that other way of seeing will give birth to over time.

krf

Critical Magic Tbilisi

Although this was not a full hour ritual phase of the probability praxis series, it didn’t seem to matter at all to the magic we created together. We packed so much energy and heart into that sweaty room and shook the room at Success Bar in Tbilisi! Thanks to Nia Gvatua for these shots and bringing us into her exquisite world.