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  • Luisa Greiche

diffractive pedagogy: semiotic-material responsible practices of sensibility

Updated: Aug 29, 2023

Methodology is always an exercise of power in the sense that it establishes a structure. What interests us here is to enable multiple dimensions and openings that provide participants with opportunities to compose, change, add, discover, lose, break, build, deterritorialize, fabulate, diffract, etc. as part of the entangled flow that shapes their multiplicity, their roles and practices. The aim is to dilute the “learner-teacher” duality, as well as any dichotomy and power structure. It is a process of exploration and active inquiry in which participants know that they are producing phenomena, implicated and intra-acting in the process.

We propose performative processes that do not validate separations between subjects, genres or fields of study. Instead, we advocate for postdisciplinary approaches in order to respond to the ever becoming spacetimemattering dynamics of worlds that produce effects that matter. We prioritize the performative over the representational so we can attend to what is being produced in each intra-action, such as the ability of materials to affect each other.

The process by which we have been thinking about these ideas has been a performative process of collaborative writing. Then we have tried to attend, by other means such as audio processors, data analysis softwares and video editing programs, the diffractions (interference patterns) that the texts activate. This generates new differentiations that prevent us from thinking in terms of reflection and representation.

On the subject:

Creation as the prerogative of the anthropos, man-god. The shadow behind the question, the indecipherable symbol in the ruin. Renunciation, invasion, loss, hollowness, no-nothingness. Reflection of the one in all things. Xenophobia, homophobia, horror vacui. Half man, half idea.

To care is when thought becomes exclusive of man; to think is to organize the world, to capture it: what is thought and organized is what can be observed, placed in a certain way, stilled, frozen, fixed, scrutinized —the violence of someone who invites to take calm. Museum piece: private collection. Time out of time. Myth of individuality that assumes the existence of a world beyond, behind, above of what is represented.

On problematic sociotechnical arrangements:

Symbolic representation, pictorial representation, political representation. My voice through a speaker, through another speaker. The voices that have shaped and deformed us. Cognitive damage. What desires does the use of this technology dissipate? Justified neglect in androcentrism. What desires does it responds to? how are these desires and others produced? I care, therefore I am. Plastic membranes vibrate nervous laughter that then ask. Machinic beings that we already are and with whom we are. Obtuse agreements that do not end up being carried out. Protect, protect, hold, frame; catch what allows to justify the task, the action, movements assumed independent on something, somewhere, with respect to. Correlation. Make judgments, be rational.

Remnants of telegraphic communication, economic exploitation made efficient, war made territory. Complex gutta-percha extraction networks that ushered in the end of tropical forests. Exploitation of bodies that gave way to a geology at the service of capitalism. Body as territory. Horizons and verticalities that project differentiators. Ritual made merchandise.

On spectrality:

It is not that everything is the same, but that not only one thinks. Bees have been making honeycomb for thousands of years with slight modifications. Tumultuous thoughts affect joints, incarnating and incomplete, overflowing, they say, spreading in many directions, projecting unsettled pasts that destabilize their anticipations; they make us think and affect us, they disturb touches that do not touch but do make contact.

Incalculable emergencies fill our affections with their ghosts. A-syntonic evocations. Symptomatic, effects, affecting. How to start from the erosion, from its marks, from its traces, from the flows that they cause in the form of discontinuity? So many. Perhaps it is not about beginnings or continuities, but about irruptions and interruptions, couplings saturated with tears and absences, but also with caresses and regeneration.

On matter and how does it matter:

To make/us attentive answers, from the uncomfortable and generative calls, frictions, humming and the music of socia-ability. Record an action. Non-lives letting themselves be felt. Asking for justice perhaps without trial, they refuse to resort to thinking judgments that calculate and put in place economies to what does not return. There was an echo. I was having a hard time understanding. Not everything comes back the same. Not only but also, crowds, crowds in disorder, riots, fuss dis-turbing-us, yes, "out of step movements" to produce not only presents, not just turns, not just produce. They insist on changing, abandoning positions, without repeating themselves or withdrawing, diluting remaining and belonging. Unconditioned improprieties showings becoming re-verberations that are interposed des/positioning themselves. "Cutting together-apart". Hardly, almost. Dense, intense, soft. Reverberations that generate harmonics, polyphony, cacophony. Musicality, frequency and spectral pitch. Expanding bodies. Matter mattering. Neither gesture nor desire.


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