Postmodernism is a movement that refused to die. The aged postmodern icons go on and on…and as prominent critic Eleanor Heartney declared way back in 2004: “There is nothing to replace (them).”
And then, along came James Franco…
By 2008. the movie star had become bored and frustrated with the limitations of his expression confined to acting and the time-consuming grind of the publicity machine…
In 2009, James Franco shattered the boundaries of the insular enclosed art world system when he traveled to museums across the U.S.A. to present and discuss Erased James Franco with the multimedia artist, Carter.
The short art film Erased James Franco was filmed inside Carter’s installation at Yvon Lambert Paris in the fall of 2008. The key signifier in the installation had its inspiration in the postmodernist artist Robert Gober, namely a casting of James Franco’s actual leg strategically placed against an open door.
The exhibition was aptly titled Leg Opens Door/1963, an ontological reference to the Aquarian wave breaking in the sixties cultural revolution. Carter’s direction for James Franco to perform his ouevre at 50 percent was a real time symbolization of the collective emptying of the Leo personal self to absorb the light of the quantum wave as the Aquarian impersonal Self.
Carter told me that James Franco had AHA Moment while making the film Erased James Franco. I pursued the actor for over five years to uncover what prompted the quantum leap that made Dr Francostein’s Monster the ubiquitous after-postmodern icon that I personally summed up as: “shattering every possible boundary between creative disciplines”.
By 2010, James Franco was on the red carpet of the Met Gala as doppelgänger to Marina Abramović wearing an identical tuxedo. Other appearances with art stars which revealed an unleashed shadow of celebrity famewhore lurking in the art world into the tabloid media that doesn’t normally focus on art stars.
The signature of the FRANCOSTEIN expression following Carter’s 2008 Aquarian experiment is a dual methodology of intervention and allegiance to meta.
Meta (from the Greek preposition and prefix meta- (μετά-) meaning “after”, or “beyond”) is a prefix used in English to indicate a concept which is an abstraction behind another concept, used to complete or add to the latter.
This sums up the after-postmodern which was a media game that to be played successfully determined that the would be media star had to hold the tension of opposites, with his mastery of Web 2.0 multitasking…
James Franco, with years of thespian training, could do this better than any art star. Therefore, his intention to outdo the avant-garde with his Web 2.0 mastery of smashing boundaries between the disciplines had a purpose…
…beyond raising his celebrity into a virtual epic of platform-hopping never experienced before in the pop culture.
Meta means about the thing itself. It’s seeing the thing from a higher perspective instead of from within the thing, like being self-aware.
Making a movie about the film industry isn’t meta. Making a movie about making movies is. —Urban Dictionary
The January 8 telecast of the 2018 Golden Globes presented James Franco with his ultimate meta moment — to appear on stage with his shadow, Tommy Wiseau, whose “worst movie ever”, The Room, was meta-made into The Disaster Artist to win critical praise.
This way James Franco, currently starring in The Deuce, becomes the meta-figure personifying the tension between the opposites — good art vs. bad art — for the critics!
But the meta moment hat followed this triumph, a full decade after that momentous AHA Moment was signified by the pin that he was wearing —
James Franco, the master of the Web 2.0 meta moment, got a new meaning for both signifiers, The Disaster Artist and Times Up, in the wake of Twitter accusations in “real-time” with his acceptance of the Best Actor in a Drama Award at the Golden Globes. The flood of accusations to follow were indeed about the FRANCOSTEIN breaking through boundaries, including removing the guards while simulating oral sex for a film scene. Whether the accusations are accurate or not, the symbolism is apt for Mr. Franco’s meta project:
In bringing together his own quantum leap into a critically hailed American auteur by way of a postmodern “meta copy” of “the worst movie of all time,” James Franco was doing a real-time performance of the tension of the opposites in which he personally defined the after-postmodern.
The nine-year reign of James Franco, as the ubiquitous figure of the after-postmodern superseding all other creative expression in this epoch by his sheer omnipresence has come to an end. Astrology confirms this as Uranus leaves Franco’s sign of Aries to move into Taurus this spring.
A new modernist movement has arrived and James Franco’s unexpected meta Moment summed up by signage on Sunset Strip revealing “James Franco’s life and art are getting uncomfortably close” provides a lesson right out of a neo-modernist playbook:
“WE DON’T CONTROL THE STARS, THE STARS CONTROL US.”
James Franco would be wise to withdrawal from the limelight and go inward to gaze at his fated star configurations as a means of shedding skins in 2018 and entering the realm beyond the meta: the Möbius strip where outer and inner are wedded in the sacred marriage of opposites.
But then, the very speed of the FRANCOSTEIN monster meant stomping on his critics!
Dr. Lisa Streitfeld is a Kultureindustrie theorist utilizing astrology as hermeneutics in the interpretation of contemporary art and pop culture. She is currently placing two book length texts on the market, “Missing James Franco 3.0: Nine Days at the Berlinale” and “Art & the Stars”, disclosing the ontology of the Age of Aquarius.
Three amazing women summing up the re-emergence of the feminine archetype passed away in 2017, leaving a crucial legacy of the 21st century journey — to internally embody the hieros gamos. Their collective contribution is lauded here as the essential crossing of boundaries between word/image for the collective goal of the physical embodiment of the Aquarian icon of gender equality.
Dianne Bowen started a (R)evolution right in her tiny East Village apartment building, distinguished on Second Avenue with a plaque proclaiming a former poet resident: Alan Ginsburg.
The irrepressible spirit of Dianne Bowen was dedicated to the resurgence of the empowering feminine icon which she heralded in the creation of her spirals as a living art of embodiment of past/present/future in whatever venue was open to it…
My dialogue with Dianne Bowen began the night we met at a Williamsburg performance party hosted by Heide Hatry and John Wronoski, who would introduce me to Kate Millett. Indeed, my conversation that began in Brooklyn with Dianne was about a new movement in feminism that I was to discover she was hard at work in the embodiment in her character, her art and her “sacred marriage” partner I captured in image.
During our discussion, in which she aptly wore her “Flying” T-shirt, the title of her 1974 autobiography in which she attempted to throw off the projections resulting from her overnight fame, I asked her how she had conscious knowledge of Inanna, the Sky Goddess, which was barely known in the sixties, and a surprising discovery of an ancient bisexual icon for women today.
“We had libraries in Minnesota,” she replied her characteristic sardonic tone. And as I queried her about the influence of this archetype on “Flying” and in her life, she repeatedly said: “Read the texts.” So I did. I purchased every one of the texts she brought to sell in the gallery and read them in sequence. It was an astounding discovery: Kate Millett, in her early propulsion to global fame after being distinguished as the only woman to be awarded with a degree with first class honors at Oxford, was to live the descent by way of her commitment to putting out revolutionary images in her art that undermined her academic influence.
In all of her mediums of expression — writing, sculpture, painting — Kate Millett was committed to the life of the unconscious, and her devotion to the internal journey got her committed to a lunatic asylum in Ireland at one point and a descent during the academisation of feminism in the eighties.
My experience of spending a few intense days with Kate Millett stream of non sequitur from made sense as her manifestoMy , like a jigsaw puzzle for the simultaneity of the left/right brain marriage. I found her to be the living prototype of the artist as a Third space between opposites. Her resentment at being cast by the media as the lesbian feminist icon resulted in her refusal to sit for a portrait for the cover of TIME magazine, which resulted in an Alice Neel painted portrait instead. She was married to the Japanese sculptor Fumio Yoshimura at the time of the 1970 publication of Sexual Politics, that made her an icon in the Woman’s Movement.
In order to change, recognize your desire, and then something will happen. If you consent to where you are, then you begin to change.
— Anne Dufourmantelle, 2012 EGS Seminar lecture
A new breed of philosopher could only emerge in France, where even the male philosophers attuned to the feminine, even if they don’t consciously acknowledge the polarity in their theories except to denigrate the overflow as “excess” (Lacan) . Dr. Anne Dufourmantelle immediately struck me as a new reality — a French woman thinker not bound by “think feel” and therefore in complete command of both her mind and emotions.
This could only take place through the inner marriage, a (R)evolution that I was devoted to instigating in France through my work with a French shaman trained by the son of Black Elk in the “underground” conversion through the native American church, the inipi, or sweat lodge. Steeped in Latin American literature, Ann Dufourmantelle had her emotions, chiefly her compassion, right on the surface.
A practicing psychoanalyst, as well as professor, novelist and theorist, Professor Dufourmantelle conceived of the name of a new Saas Fee collaborative philosophy arising out of the Schirmacher media in philosophy laboratory: the Conversion. She placed this new philosophy within a new continental apparatus, the Mobius strip, by way of a historical analysis regarding the integration of the subjective experience into philosophy:
You have a position of subjectivity, beginning with Nietzsche; his Ecco Homo text goes directly back to the Augustine moment. So, this is what I want to point out: how come the thinkers on these subjects towards this debt are those who explore what it is to lose oneself ––what is it to lose the hospitality of experience that drives you to the edge of what is no longer related to the subject? Nietzsche’s Ecco Homo is sharp-edged and provocative in the way he returns the possibility of knowing himself and the delusions – to obtain a moment where the opening to the REAL is possible. (Dufourmantelle, classroom lecture, August 2014.)
The word/image connotation of “conversion” suits a new continental philosophy grounded in a transformation process. The word suggests the religious or the mystical, and yet is rooted in science, chemistry originating in the ancient art of alchemy. Conversion is the process by which the nigredo, or shadow, transforms through the four elemental stages, (Calcinatio, Solutio, Coagulatio and Sublimatio), into the quintessential, the hieros gamos. This final stage had many names, including: the holy wedding, infans solaris and the philosopher’s stone.
Dufourmantelle explained her choice of the word “conversion” was about sameness going into difference, an interpretation which echoed Deleuze’s interpretation of the “eternal return with difference” as a 21st century evolution from Nietzsche’s pre-psychological eternal return of the same. Haven’t we come far enough in self-knowledge techniques to be able to reverse our fate? Indeed, the psychoanalyst instructs us to look closely at the process, emphasising the paradox: it is from the place of sameness that conversion becomes a radical difference. This philosophical language for what physics is calling entanglement so intrigued me that I starting digging into lesser-known Greek myths for a story of conversion. There was indeed to be found a tension of sameness versus radical difference in the centaur Pholus;
Pholus was gifted in a way that made him, like the healer Chiron, stand out from the tribe of wildly unstable bodies fusing hunter with the beast hunted. One day he had a visitor, the son of Zeus. Heracles had just finished his fourth labor, the capture of the Erymanthian Boar, and entered the centaur’s cave with a wicked thirst. His host was keeper of a cask of wine given to him by Dionysius. This was, in fact, the holiday spirit passed down through three generations. The popping of the cork created chaos. The other centaurs became intoxicated by the smell and rushed up to the cave where Heracles shot them with poisoned arrows. Chiron got wounded in the foot. Pholus died in his attempt to save him. (Streitfeld, Hermeneutics of New Modernism, Atropos, 2014)
The asteroid Pholus was transiting the Galactic Center at 27 degrees Sagittarius, the sign of the philosopher, in a conjunction to Saturn at Anne Dufourmantelle’s tragic death by drowning; she was tragically swept into a current while trying to rescue two boys on July 27, 2017.
The Mayans viewed the Black Hole at the Galactic Center as the World Tree symbolizing Life/Death/Rebirth. These three women will live on, and on, through their feminine wisdom in a time of transition out of the patriarchy.
Editor’s Note: The following essay was invited into a special issue of “Deleuze Studies Journal” and rejected by a peer panel. It is published here in full. Furthermore, in the Schirmacher Iero pegnini tradition, I am publishing the rejecting comments providing the phenomenology of “What is Wrong with the American Academy” or “Why no New Feminist idea can Come out of American Institutions.”
The global demonstration of feminine awakening during the 2017 Trump inauguration was a Badiousian Event. Multiple localities echoed a universal cry for gender equality in the face of a proliferating oligarchy. In determining that the Deleuzian-Guattari prediction of “decoding” under “accelerated capitalism” has taken place, the offspring of the French duo is instructive for moving from the banner slogan (fig. 1) to a viable structure for a new feminist theory reflecting, in and of itself, the “recoding” an authentic gender equality under egregious economic conditions.
Intending to override psychoanalysis, the Deleuze/Guattari project re-introduced desire as “flow” into social investments subject to encoding and subsequent decoding:
For us, the essential thing is the relation of desiring-machines and social machines, their different regimes, and their immanence with respect to one another. In other words, how is unconscious desire invested in a social, economic and political field…we try to show how the flows invest different social fields, what they are flowing on, and by what means they are invested: encoding, over-coding, decoding. (Deleuze 2004:228-229)
Deleuze clearly associates “flow” with the feminine power (which he relates to the primitive) and its social orientation as an outward projection of internal desire: “What we’re trying to do is put libido in relation with an ‘outside.’ The flow of women among the primitives is in relation with flows of herd animals, flows of arrows.” (Deleuze 2004:229
In this paper, the movement into the right brain feminine thinking established the Deleuze Guattari coding now disclosed by a new continental philosophy: THE THIRD. Subsequently, it will be revealed by way of an established ontology, preciesely how this precipitous leap into a new paradigm by this French points the way to a new feminist movement.
II. Decoding the Language of Codes
The late Mark Fisher demonstrated how the Deleuze-Guatteri flow language was subject to its own codes. He appropriated Ellen Willis’ 1979 declaration for the title of his 2013 essay: “’A social and psychic revolution of almost inconceivable magnitude’: Popular culture’s Interrupted Accelerationist Dreams”.
Along with paying homage to Willis in his assault on Neoliberalism, Fisher demonstrated that we can continue to look to the Deleuze-Guattari project for language that simultaneously constructs/deconstructs an evolutionary marriage of left/right brain hemispheres with its 360 perspective on the social binaries, whether it be right vs. left or capitalism vs socialism: “the social axiomatic of modern societies is caught between two poles, and is constantly oscillating from one pole to the other” (Deleuze-Guattari quoted in Fisher, 2013:6).
Fisher demonstrates his intrigue with this coded language of coding: “The passage is teasingly enigmatic — what do Deleuze and Guattari mean by associating ‘the movement of the market’ with ‘decoding a deterritorialization’? Unfortunately, they do not elaborate…”
Yet, Fisher’s process of entering the Uncertainty of the Deleuze-Guattari language of the in-between serves to reveal his own unconscious awareness of the dynamism of opposites, as he continues: “…which has made it is easy for orthodox Marxists to situate this passage as a classic example of how ‘68 led to neoliberal hegemony — one more left-wing capitulation to the logic of the new Right” (ibid).
A “decoding” of Fisher brings the feminine voice, via Willis, into his struggle for a binary interpretation (right vs. left/capitalist vs. socialist) of the Deleuze-Guattari Third argument of “accelerated flow reversing the coding”’ (ibid). Ultimately, he “reverses the code” by instigating a Willis intervention into a triumvirate of male voices — Michael Hardt, Marx and Foucault – to finish by inserting her phrase into his summation of Foucault’s elaboration on Marx phrase “man produces man”:
The program that Foucault outlines in his gloss on this phrase is one that culture must recover if there is to be any hope of achieving the ‘social and psychic revolution of almost inconceivable magnitude’ which popular culture once dreamt of: ‘…we must produce something that doesn’t yet exist and about which we cannot know how and what it will be’. (Fisher 2013:8.
Paradoxically, the inclusion of the feminine voice with the (male) philosophical search for the New Man brings us to the declaration of Fourth Wave feminism.
III. Reversing the Flow to the Equality of the Fourth Wave
We can achieve an authentic gender equality by reversing the flow from the culminating Event of Saturday, 21 January 2017 – to Mark Fisher’s 2013 Willis intervention capturing and captured (subject/object) by the enigma of the Deleuze-Guattari prescient Third view: capitalist acceleration recoding its destruction by way of women arising en mass against the oligarchic last stand of the patriarchy. This brings us to French duo’s theory/practice of externalizing libido in a choice social function: their writing collaboration. Deleuze addressed his process with Guattari as entering the “flow” beyond “traditional duality”:
As for the technical side of writing the book, the two of us working together was not a problem, but it did serve a precise function, as we came to realize. One thing is rather shocking about books of psychiatry or even psychoanalysis, and that is the pervasive duality between what an alleged mental patient says and what the doctor reports—between the “case” and the commentary on the case, the analysis of the case. It’s logos against pathos….This is precisely why we used so many writers and poets: you would have to be really clever to decide whether they speak as mental patients or doctors—mental patients and doctors of civilization. Strangely enough, if we tried to get beyond this traditional duality, it’s because there were two of us writing. Neither of us was the madman, and neither the doctor: there had to be two of us if we were to uncover a process that would not be reducible to the psychiatrist and his mental patient, or to the mental patient and his psychiatrist. This process is what we call a flow. But, again, flow is an everyday, unqualified notion that we needed….We imagined this book as a flow-book. (Deleuze 2004:218).
The terms “feminizing” and “schizoanalysis” emerged out of the “flow-book” that inspired this feminist self-critique. Anti-Oedipus interpreted psychosis within a threefold relation:
The relationships of neurosis, psychosis, and also perversion depend on the situation of each one with regard to the process, and on the manner in which each one represents a mode of interruption of the process, a residual bit of ground to which one still clings so as not to be carried off by the deterritorialized flows of desire. Neurotic territoriality of Oedipus, perverse territorialities of the artifice, psychotic territoriality of the body without organs: sometimes the process is caught in the trap and made to turn about within the triangle, sometimes it takes itself as an end-in-itself, other times it continues on in the void and substitutes a horrible exasperation for its fulfillment. Each of these forms has schizophrenia as a foundation; schizophrenia as a process is the only universal. Schizophrenia is aonce the wall, the breaking through this wall, and the failures of this breakthrough: “How does one get through this wall, for it is useless to hit it hard, it has to be undermined and penetrated with a file, slowly and with patience, as I see “it”. (Deleuze and Guattari, 1983:136)
IV. The Liberation is in the Structure
It is crucial to examine the language structure here of this Third voice beyond doctor/patient as evoking and reflecting a proposition of three imbalanced states of being (neurosis, psychosis and perversion). Not only is the sentence composed of three phrases, but there is deconstruction within the constructed three parts, though we don’t realize this at first because the positive/negative process is happening simultaneously.
Deconstructed as literal phrases, the three reflect “a mode of interruption of the process”. The first phase, of the relationship between the 3, is marked here as positive (+); however, the process switches to negative (−) as the three interact with one another. The Third phase, or outcome, is where the opposites combine (+ −) in order to stabilize (“a residual bit of ground to which one still clings…”):
+The relationships of neurosis, psychosis, and also perversion depend on the situation of each one with regard to the process
− and on the manner in which each one represents a mode of interruption of the process
+ − a residual bit of ground to which one still clings so as not to be carried off by the deterritorialized flows of desire.
The text then interprets schizophrenia through language expressing the Third (breakthrough) via three subsequent phrases marked here with their quality of gender (the + −)
+Schizophrenia is at once the wall,
− the breaking through this wall,
+ − and the failures of this breakthrough
These two deconstructed sentences mirror one another. To understand the positive as the masculine energy and the negative as the feminine energy, we have a compositional diagram for the dynamism of gender opposites.
The key question is how to bring this erotic dynamism into a place of stabilization and balance required for authentic gender equality. The answer is in the very mode of the transition, keeping in mind that the word for transgender in French is “transgenre”. Trans means moving through, passing from one place or phase to another; the French literary term applied to gender means a moving through genre = moving through gender as genre. Therefore, the very ground of multiplicity proclaimed by the singular Deleuzo-Guattarian Third claims all genres, as well as genders, meaning the masculine, the feminine and the transgender/transgenre as the dynamic passage between the opposites.
V. Transgenre as a Movement into the Third
A new movement encompassing the Deleuzian view of feminism (which wasn’t conscious in his lifetime) provides the phenomenology through that craw stuck in the throat of feminism – language itself. In fact, a proactive movement of breakthrough via the dynamism of opposites (+ −) is interpreted purely by the text as the literal smashing through the schizophrenia wall in which various voices in a single system vie for dominance.
If the third phase of this construction is termed with the word failure, it is due to the inability of the collaborators to see the implications of their argument from a 360 perspective. Their creative use of the number 3 was to remain unconscious simply because it relates to the Third entity of their meeting of the minds. Extending this meaning of the Third to the 21st century icon that Jung termed as the Self and Wolfgang Pauli interpreted as the hieros gamos (Streitfeld, 2014), Edinger summed up the supremacy of this newly emerging archetype: “Since the Self is the central archetype, it subordinates all other archetypal dominants. It surrounds and contains them.” (Edinger 1972:38) This understanding was expressed by Michael Hardt, who declared his writing collaboration with Antonio Negri as guided by a Third entity (Streitfeld, 2014).
The process of getting to the Third requires the embodiment of this Deleuzian mirror we find in his second stage of the threefold process:
(2) − and on the manner in which each one
(2) − the breaking through the wall represents a mode of interruption of the process
Keeping in mind that the negative polarity, along with odd numbers, is troublesome and therefore associated with the feminine, the key to arriving at the state of gender balance is the acceptance of this second stage: interruption, chaos, and eventual breakthrough. Paradoxically, the invention is sourced in the collapsing opposites, requiring surrender into the chaotic stage. This is the natural outcome of the collapse of binary thinking, like trying to walk on solid ground during an earthquake the consensus reality is shattered.
With the reality TV showman Trump elected as POTUS, we see this process of breakdown on a public and national scale. Yet, from the 360 perspective, a complete collapse of logic is essential so that the intuitive (feminine) may come into balance with the rational (masculine). This dynamic of opposites coming into tension as a crucial stage of seeking a true (unconscious) equilibrium is what Deleuze and Guattari had the insight to foresee a priori of the American feminist misappropriation of French deconstructionist thinking. Schizoanalysis refers to the multiple voices vying for authority within a system in which a dictator (the female animus) appropriates the male logic for economic and political purposes, thereby undermining the deductive process of logic contained within the very structure of language.
In this paper, the 360 perspective of the in-between realm of the Third is labeled “beyond schizoanalysis”. Applying the term “beyond” to this universal state of equilibrium recalls Nietzsche’s term “beyond good and evil”, inspired by his fleeting intellectual partnership with Lou Salomé. Continental scholars are now viewing this kinship as the ever-present icon of the hieros gamos (sacred marriage).1
VI, The Erotic Consciousness of Nietzsche/Salomé
The merging of right and left hemispheres of the brain is an evolutionary process. We can trace this process through the German terminology of Selbstvergessenheit (self-forgetting) and Selbstsucht (self-knowledge) utilized by Salomé in her writing on eros (Hermsen, 2017:6).
The erotic consciousness shared by Salomé and Nietsche established a phenomenological model for the revival of the ancient Sumerian mythos of the dying and resurrected god/goddess (Streitfeld 2014:103-114). The lovers’ coded passage reflected the seasonal cycle from their initial spring encounter in Christendom (St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Rome) into their own coding of the “eternal recurrence” in a May Day creation of the Dreieinigkeit (Fig. 2) to the Sacred Marriage Rites of Sumer in their peak encounter on Monte Sacro (Sacred Mount) in Orta. Along the way, Nietzsche summoned the genus loci of place (Orta meaning middle, or medium) and characterized Beloved via the astrological symbols of the Lion (Leo) and Eagle (Scorpio) – an occult coding2 that would be later be utilized as literary metaphor in Thus Spoke Zarathustra.
The “sacred marriage” of the Nietzsche/Salomé mind produced a wunderkind offspring: Übermensch and the Eternal Return. Nietzsche, intent on creating a new literary language, likened his Zarathustra to dance in his letters (Nietzsche’s
Letter to Erwin Rohde (Feb. 22,1884) cited in Nietzsche’s Library, 66 in Streitfeld 2016:175, 183) and his character spun full circle to embrace the Shadow, embodying the 360 perspective. This is the “sacred marriage” icon of the Übermensch absorbing the Shadow of unity, i.e. the bifurcation of the mind, as the natural outcome of Nietzsche’s subconscious resolving the tension of opposites.
The bilateral thinking of either/or bouncing from one opposite to the other is the condition that Deleuzo-Guattarian offspring termed “schizoanalysis”. While they failed to identify the sacred marriage icon in their language, they created a rich literature from the 360 perspective of having achieved it. This “holy wedding”, also known the “philosopher’s stone”, is personified by ancient alchemists as Sophia, the Greek goddess of wisdom who embraces the opposites of the Third space between the eyebrows, known as the Third Eye,
VII. Desire and the Feminine
While Sophia exists beyond desire, the denial of passion is simply repression, closing off the “flow” leading to enlightenment in the Third Eye, according to Hindu philosophy. Deleuze’s injection of desire into continental philosophy is explicitly directed at la féminin. His earliest writing addresses woman as indefinable Other:
Woman does not yet have a philosophical status. This is an urgent problem. The philosophies of the Other (Autrui) are strange to us, we are ill at ease with them, and for a simple reason: the world proposed to us by the Other is an asexual world (Deleuze, 2002:17).
Moreover, Deleuze doesn’t permit woman a place in the opposites of object/subject. She is therefore, transiting between both as the yet undefined Third:
Woman is neither object nor subject; she is no longer simply that which one has, but she is not yet that which is; she is the élan of the object towardssubjectivity. Neither an object in the world nor the subject of a possible world. (Ibid, p. 23).
Whatever the lack that Deleuze viewed in the women of his time, the Deleuzo-Guattarian phenomenology reveres the feminine by means of an unconscious emphasis on the quality, the feminine characteristic of number, to present their holistic argument:
The three errors concerning desire are called lack, law, and signifier. It is one and the same error, an idealism that forms a pious conception of the unconscious. And it is futile to interpret these notions in terms of a combinative apparatus (line combinatoire) that makes oflack an empty position and no longer a deprivation, that turns the law into a rule of the game and no longer a commandment, and the signify into a distributor and no longer a meaning, for these notions cannot be prevented from dragging their theological cortege behind—insufficiency of being, guilt, signification. Structural interpretation challenges allbeliefs, rises above all images, and from the realm of the mother and the father retains only functions, defines the prohibition and the transgression as structural operations. But what water will cleanse these conceptsof their background, their previous existences—religiosity? Scientific knowledge as nonbelief is truly the last refuge of belief, and as Nietzsche put it, there never was but one psychology, that of the priest (Deleuze and Guattari, 1983:134).
Deleuze and Guattari are freeing women to utilize their position in the transition between subject and object to adopt a trifold framework (via the three above topics: lack, law and signifier) for constructing a new vision of desire, a view that “makes of lack an empty position but not deprivation”. The term “emptiness” speaks again to the + − in that what is filled is positive, while the empty is negative. Getting rid of the negative connotations in which “empty is not deprivation” means seeking a balance between empty/fullness. This makes an erotic game of the efforts to destabilize the binary enforced as a patriarchal coding that is both derivative and hierarchical in its aim to continue repressing the authentic feminine power, the same dark energy Deleuze is intent on liberating in the body through “flow”.
The Third entity that is the collaborative voice uses the language of positive and negative on either side of “and” within the sentence construction. Thus, the Deleuze-Guattari text moves the reader into the realm of the opposites via a declaration in which “structural interpretation challenges all beliefs, rises above all images”. How much truth is there in this statement! The Third Entity “flow-book” organically creates an unconscious equilibrium within the dynamics of the Third. With the unexpected bon mot (“scientific knowledge as nonbelief is truly the last most tasty morsel refuge of belief”), the widespread problem of the binary is summed up without explicitly mentioning the cause: a universal acceptance of scientific reductionism making religion out of the secular.
VIII. Challenge to the Feminists
The Deleuzo-Guattarian marriage challenged feminists to follow their collaborative model of entering the “flow-text” of the Third as a tactic for undermining the unquestioned authority of binary reductionist language overtaking the academy. Yet, Deleuze’s earlier writing established a crucial provision for the game: players must free themselves from the “law” by reducing its blanket authority to a simple a rule in the binary game open to new interpretation and subsequently overturned by way of an evolved consciousness:
The modern world is one of simulacra. Man did not survive God, nor did the identity of the subject survive that of substance. All identities are only simulated, produced as an ‘optical effect’ by the more profound game of difference and repetition. We propose to think difference in itself independently of the forms of repetition which reduce it to the Same, and the relation of different to different independently of those forms which make them pass through the negative (Deleuze, 1994:15).
This key passage of Difference and Repetition stresses the authority of the binary to be undermined by the game the French author is literally playing with language. For example, the doubling in “different to different” in the final clause is an intentional Signifier of “repetition and difference”. Or is it “repetition of the Same”? Tricking the reader’s mind has an alchemical effect. Mercurial leaps separate the notion of different (associated with the feminine viva la difference) from the negative connotation in binary thought, and override the “lack” that has sufficed to dismiss the feminine from western philosophy.
Did the feminist thinkers take up the challenge to follow this marriage into new acts of language creation? What happened was the opposite: the feminists in the academy became the law intent on killing any and every form of erotic game.
IX. Lilith as the Third Wave Icon
The Third Wave of Feminists was termed “feminisms” (Strauss 2000). This covered up the lack of an overriding idea regarding feminist development at the close of the millennium. Yet, from the perspective of Deleuze, the inclusive term fits “schizoanalysis” as multiple voices reflecting the lack of center in postmodernism.
I would like to suggest a re-visioning of the Third Wave of Feminism as the resurrection of Lilith, the she-demon of Judiasm known as the first feminist. Lilith appears in the Sumerian myths as the shadow of Inanna, whose proactive journey to and from the Underworld prompts her self-declaration as “Queen of Heaven and Earth”. A clear signal a Lilith resurrection was the Woman’s Spirituality Movement of the eighties and entering pop culture in the nineties via the Lilith Fair.3
The intention to revision the Third Wave as the resurrection of Lilith is crucial from the perspective of a holistic Fourth Wave in which an authentic internal/external unity recreates the Übermensch in its gender free origin, Die Übermensch in accordance with Nietzsche’s muse Lou Salomé, a human vessel of the pre-patriarchal Sumerian Queen of Heaven & Earth (Streitfeld 2016:198-223).
Logically, the authentic face of the feminine must be fully emerged in order to declare an authentic balance of gender polarity within the individual, as well as externally in the culture. If we can take the Venus glamour of Sex and the City as Lucifer, the Morning Star rushing a new identification of feminist as brilliant and beautiful through excess, then we have the Evening Star polarity with Girls dark plunge into the Shadow of the New York art world of their parents.
X. A Thousand Plateaus
“The two of us wrote Anti-Oedipus together….We are no longer ourselves. Each shall know his own. We have been aided, inspired, multiplied” (Deleuze and Guattari 1987:3). This is how Deleuze and Guattari introduce the second phase of their experiment. A Thousand Plateaus solidifies the breakthrough of first title — which overcame duality by embracing the Tausk theory of the schizophrenic machine even as it rejected the outcome: the Oedipus theory of the rejecting Freud father.4 It achieves this with a language for the corpus straddling the opposites of biology and technology: “assemblage”, a “body without organs” and “a book itself is a little machine…” (Ibid 3-4)
The numerology in the new title is significant.5 One indicates a new beginning and zero indicates the zero point of absolute creation. Three zeros is creative beginnings. As noted, the Third entity of this collaboration balances the Cartesian right brain with the right brain intuition regarding the quality of number. As quality is a characteristic of the feminine, this unconscious method overturned the “negative” association of the feminine proclaimed by the binary. Therefore, the leap into the 21st century icon of the hieros gamos has overcome the sameness of repetition to arrive at “difference”. By this erotic dynamism of opposites, the game of chance proposed in Difference and Repetition is enacted from the 360 space.
Enlightenment has been made possible by the freeing of the universal archetype, Lilith. to express her abuse and exile through the subjectivity of Feminisms. The schizoanalysis label was therefore inevitable due to the schism of the Cartesian adaptation of the Second Wave to external challenges to equality imbedded political and economic conditions that required women to sacrifice their feminity (the interior journey) in order to compete with men in society. How could such a surface attempt to achieve a new objectivity through the subjective multitudes not result in a schizoanalysis?
XI. Beyond Schizoanalysis
This brings us to a new task in 2017, a year defined by something new: a U.S. presidential inauguration catalyzing a global Woman’s demonstration. This outpouring revealed the paradox at work: the “boots to the pavement” approach to equality is directly opposed to the real work of withdrawing one’s projections for the purpose of internal integration. Could the outpouring signify that the prototypes for balance within have been completed? It will take the liberated female brain to come up with balanced approaches that empower, rather than repress, the authentic face of the feminine newly emerging in the 21st century.
Sophia is an apt icon for a new era ” beyond schizoanalysis” to achieve a new objectivity universally applied to all women – regardless of economic status, race, religion or culture. The essence of the pre-patriarchal Venus her bi-polar journey to and from the underworld establishing the duality of Venus as the Morning Star (Vesper) and Evening Star (Hesperus). The worship of a holistic philosophy of the feminine embedded in these cosmic cycles circles back to the ancient source of the hieros gamos achieved by flow between the male and female deities. 6 Clearly the Deluezo-Guatteri marriage couldn’t view from an outside perspective the Third Mind in which they were immersed as collaborators.
Can we now surmise that Deleuze’s notion of the Eternal Return was tied into his hope for an emergence of difference in the authentic face of the feminine repressed by the patriarchy? This approach was a direct contrast to the American feminists fighting to reduce the gender differences between male and female in their quest for political and economic equality. Therefore, it had to be coded.
Here is an obvious code that reveals the passage forward: equality has quality written into it. This suggests that a state of gender equality means introducing quality into the notion of gender balance. For example, to analyze the feminist waves through the quality of number, a Fourth Wave returns us to the One, the holy marriage of unity. In this manner, the feminist passage from the beginning of the 20th century can be viewed as an alchemical transformation in which women became their gender opposite (Second Wave) in order to undergo schizophrenic breakdown (Third Wave) and resurrect (Fourth Wave) as a unity of masculine and feminine in reflection of both the holism of Sophia and containment of the erotic dynamism of the bipolar Love Goddess. In order for this alchemical equation7 to be complete, we have the images and slogans of woman’s march on Washington, displaying the full range of emotions –- from rage to joy — that women in society have been denied under the patriarchy.
The task now for women is to consciously embody this pair of icons: Sophia penetrating a wisdom beyond the opposites, and Inanna, whose erotic dynamism between opposites has been anticipated in pop culture through the slick Sex and the City and its antidote, Girls.
What this leap into the Third requires honoring the alchemical stages of the inner marriage mirroring the zigzag evolution of feminism itself. While this is a condition extremely hard to achieve in the gadget love of the 24/7 technological society, the rewards are too great to deny the attempt. Out of the belly of an applied “eros consciousness” comes the birth of Das Übermensch as the 21st century woman guided by her holistic brain.
Can we really continue to interpret Marx’s New Man apart from the feminine? The Dutch author Joke J. Hermen created a Kairos moment when she placed aside her written paper at the 2017 Lou Andres Salomé Colloque International and announced that she discovered Salomé through her professor, Gilles Deleuze, who told his students of her writing on Nietzsche. Hermen became the human fusion of opposites when she seized upon chronological time to embody in free form Lou’s Kairos pursuit of the Self:
For her artists are best able to articulate this exploration of the inner self which transcends individual identities. In her works on art, the writer defines a unique space devoted to the exploration of the innermost recesses of the psyche: it becomes the mirror that enables us to search for and scan the contours of a Self with unparalleled loving care and attention. (Hermen, 2016),
Salomé’s l.anguage of the in-between encapsulates the Deleuzian concepts of Eternal Return with Difference in that the embrace of Uncertainty is key to real change. This brings us full circle back to the philosophical term of Übermensch as the Aquarian archetype of the sacred marriage and Lou Salomé as the human embodiment.
The Deleuzo-Guattarian marriage foresaw the individual internal struggle between opposites manifested in language as the necessary prerequisite to solving the global problem. This was put into practice at a time they could not express their views of feminism for fear of being attacked by means of their own terminology: schizoanalysis. Instead, they put their vision into practice, surrendering their individual ego as a model for the reconstructed feminine.
The Fourth Wave of feminism honors the unified brain and puts it to work to resolve social problems in a manner that is both holistic and sustainable. Lou ’s personal example of living a life dedicated to psychic integration provides a trangender/transgenre model for a new feminist movement. This universal effort annihilates the binary reductionist coding of the military industrial complex. The painful reality is that this either/or mentality resulted in the disastrous 2016 US election. The dueling male and female golems (Fig. 4) arising from the binary patriarchal division legitimized the schizoanalysis language born out of the flow. Is it now wonder that what came to pass as a vote of “the lesser of two evils” removed the affirmation of individual choice?
This newfound inner/outer position is being termed by continental philosophers as diverse as Slavoj Zizek and Bracha Ettinger as the Mobius strip (Streitfeld 2014:148). In this figure, the inner and outer are so intertwined that neither can be distinguished from the other. Integration automatically resolves the problem of the objective vs, subjective in which Lacan dismissed the feminine as “excess”. In the present state of chaos, these opposites can be overcome simply through conscious recognition of the dynamic tension linking them in the body and without. The oligarchic society of the late stages of capitalism is where Lilith fully awakens in the culture to vocalize the deplorable state of inequality existing far beyond the loins.
Clearly, the time is NOW for a twenty-first century philosophy of feminism. In 2017, we see a new positive global society arising out of a holistic movement in the arts and philosophy which resolves the problem of gender balance by returning humanity to its origins — the hieros gamos.8 The feminist that has traveled through the subsequent stages of growth to embody this icon is the proactive mover of a new age of gender equality. In this sense, the contemporary feminist has become the Deleuzo-Guattarian offspring in that she has also birthed the New Man and New Woman in herself: the hieros gamos.
Deleuze/Guattari demonstrated how this can be achieved – the coding of capital acceleration recoding female desire as a mass social movement seeking genuine gender equality. The partners anticipated the collapse of the quantum wave and were setting up the rules of the erotic game in which the constellating icon of the hieros gamos guiding their hand would free the daughters from assaults on both sides of the gender divide: the patriarchal authority intent on keeping women from expressing their authentic power through capital flows and the feminist authority intent on repressing eros that forbids access altogether. In this sense, the Third realm occupied by Deleuze and Guattari fulfilled the Foucault prescription of “man produces man” – (“we must produce something that doesn’t yet exist and about which we cannot know how and what it will be”) by giving permission to women to play the game of love as a unifying force of the opposites. Sometimes it is necessary for the father to unmake the sins of the mother.
Amirpasha Tavakkoli’s “Nietzsche lu por Lou Andreas- Salomé” stressed the feminine balance that Salomé brought to Nietzsche’s philosophy. The paper was delivered in “Lou Andreas- Salomé Colloque International” in Strasbourg 9-11 February, 2017.
Nietzsche’s coding for the sacred marriage between himself and Salomé was uncovered through occult methods such as astrology and numerology in my 2016 dissertation for European Graduate School, “ÜBERMENSCH: Nietzsche, Salomé & the Age of Aquarius”. See 126.96.36.199. Nietzsche’s Dream, pp. 103-113.
At this time, I was in discussion with Lily Rivlin to update her classic 1972 essay “Lilith” republished in a 1984 anthology: Which Lilith: Feminist Writers Recreate the First Feminist”.
5. See section 3.3.2. Dreieinigkeit 1912: Salomé, Freud and Tausk (pp. 279 – 321) in “ÜBERMENSCH: Nietzsche, Salomé & the Age of Aquarius” for an analysis of the Dreieinigkeit between Lou Salomé, Victor Tausk and Sigmund Freud and its influence on Freud’s theory of Oedipus. It would seem that Tausk’s influential text, on relating the schizophrenic influencing machine to libido influenced the Deleuze Guattari language and Tausk’s role in the development of Freud’s Oedipal theory, along with Salomé, ties their experiment with the hieros gamos to that of Deleuze Guattari. See also: Tausk, Victor, Sexuality, War and Schizophrenia: Collected Psychoanalytic Papers. Introduction and edited by Paul Roazen. Translated by Eric Mosbacher. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 1991.
See “The Event” (pp. 162-167) in Lisa Paul Streitfeld’s Hermeneutics of New Modernism (2014) for deconstructive method of number as quality.
New scholarship during the writing of this paper has determined the Greek enosis Aphrodite Cover-Up repressing the ancient bisexual fertility goddess in Cyprus and knowledge of the dual face of the Venus orbit as Morning and Evening Star.
The Axiom of Maria Prophetissa applies here, particularly if the Third Wave can be seen as the daughters of the Third Wave creatively birthing something entirely new that will resolve the problem of gender via integration (Trangender): “Out of the One comes Two; out of Two comes Three; and from the Third, comes the One as the Fourth. In this way the Two become One.” See Streitfeld 2016:16.
See Remo Roth’s Return of the World Soul (2012) for his translation and interpretation of Wolfgang Pauli and Carl Jung’ s 30-year correspondence in which they come to an agreement on the hieros gamos as the 21st century icon.
Binion, Rudolf (1968), Frau Lou: Nietzsche’s Wayward Disciple. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1968.
Deleuze, Gilles (2004), Desert Islands and Other Texts: 1953-1974, New York: Semiotext(e).
Deleuze, Gilles (1994), “Difference and Repetition”, trans. Paul Patton, New York: Columbia University Press.
Deleuze, Gilles (2002), “Description of woman for a philosophy of the sexed other”, trans. Keith W. Faulkner, In Angelaki Journal of the Theoretical Humanities, vol 7, no. 3.
Deleuze, Gilles and Felix Guattari (1983), Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, trans. Robert Hurley, Mark Seem & Helen R. Lane, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Edinger, Edward F. (1972) Ego and Archetype: Individuation and the Religious Function of the Psyche, Bolder: Shambhala.
Fisher, Mark (2013) “A social and psychic revolution of almost inconceivable magnitude: Popular Culture’s Interrupted Accelerated Dreams” E-flux, October 13, 2013. Downloaded March 6, 2017.
Hermsen, Joke (2017), “Eros & Art: Time Rebels and Soulsearchers in the works of Lou Andreas Salomé”, Lou Andres Salomé (1861-1937) Colloque International, Strasbourg, 9-11 February, 2017.
.Jung, C.G. (1970), Answer to Job. In Collected Works, Vol. II. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1958.
—Mysterium Coniunctionis: An Inquiry into the Separation and Synthesis of Psychic Opposites in Alchemy. 2nd Dd. Collected Works Vol. 14. London: Routledge, 1970.
Nietzsche, Friedrich (1976), Thus Spoke Zarathustra. Edited and translated by Walter Kaufmann, New York: Random House; reprinted in The Portable Nietzsche. New York: The Viking Press, 1954 and Harmondsworth: Penguin Books.
Roth, Remo (2012), Return of the World Soul: Vol. 1& II. Pari: Pari Press, 2011, 2012.
Salomé (1981), Lou Andreas, Amor. Frankfurt: Insel Verlag, 1981.
— The Erotic, Translated by John Crisp. New Brunswick/London: Transaction Publishers.
LOU ANDREAS-SALOME (1861-1937) COLLOQUE INTERNATIONAL: A l’occasion du 80eme anniversaire de sa mort 9-11 feb 2017. The conference at the ESPE de L’academie de Strasbourg was organized by Britta Benert and Romana Weiershausen.
Lou Andreas-Salomé was ushered into the academy on 09-11 February 2017 directly under the Leo/Aquarius Lunar Eclipse of her reprise as the Aquarian icon of the Übermensch.
Scholars from various disciplines convened at the Universite Strasbourg to share their research and creations inspired by Lou Salome, while struggling over a common vocabulary for the in-between symbolized by the location on the French and German border.
The organizers with the archeology of the Dreieinigkeit. The Nietzsche/Salome creation of the Dreieinigkeit (projected) is the hieros gamos, or the Third realm between the gender opposites.
The German scholar Irmela von der Luhe was the keynote speaker. Her full-bodied struggle articulated the need to uncover a new language for Salome, thereby placing the feminist denial of her importance into a crucial critical perspective.
On Thursday evening, the group was treated to the new German film, Lou Andreas-Salomé, expertly crafted to unfold the untold story of inner/outer feminine liberation from the holistic perspective of writing of her autobiography in her twilight years.
Cordula Kablitz-Post’s direction of Lou Andreas-Salomé stressed the androgyny of Lou as the trans-gendering of opposites into the dynamic erotic space of the in-between.
From a critical perspective, Lou Andreas-Salomé was (r)evolutionary in the manner that it acted as a cinematic Mobius strip dramatising the untold story of inner/outer feminine liberation from patriarchal projections — not through female fantasy but the lived experience that was the (r)evolutionary trademark of Salomé.
Indeed, having the first European academic conference on Salome in Strasbourg, a stunning city in-between two nations, where the bulk of the people are trilingual, in using the international language of English to communicate over the historical borders.
All participants entered through the holistic perspective of the woman with whom they shared their identity — via the Lou badge!
The growing trade of Salome literature, in three languages, in evidence at Strasbourg, courtesy of Ursula Welsch, director of Median Edition Welsch.
Thomas Schmidt (Deutsches Literaturarchiv Marbach), presented projections from his curation of “Rilke and Russia” that will present the archeology of Rilke’s travels with Salomé.
During the Thursday Round Table, Lutz Keßler (above) shared images from a recent theatrical performance about Salomé and the Dreieinigkeit in her chosen hometown of Göttingen.
The Dutch author Joke J. Hermsen (ab0ve) lived up to her Hermetic moniker by creating the Kairos moment in her interpretation of Salome through the binary of time:
In her philosophic and psychoanalytic writings Salome formulated a theory in which love, but also art and creativity are to be understood as the renewing forces of human life. They both provoke what we could call a kind of crumbling down of the identity-limits, the so-called “Selbstvergessenheit” enabling the amorous or creative subject to come into a new interaction with ‘the other self’ (Selbstsucht). It is this practical movement–to forget oneself in order to find oneself that Eros and Art engage…. Her model of a two-stringed or double-edged character of time and subjectivity implies therefore the existence of a distance, a creative space between these two layers of our subjectivity, that is: between the facts of our identity, our race, sex, age class, culture, etc. and the unconscious story of our inner self.
–Joke J. Hermsen, “Eros & Art: Time Rebels and Soulsearchers in the Works of Lou Andreas- Salomé”
The boundary-crossing scholar Kristine Jennings (above) presented “Im Zwischenland: Lou Andreas Salomé on Adolescent Female Sexuality”. Jennings’ translation of Salomé’s masterpiece, “The Devil and His Grandmother” is now packaged as Sex and Religion: Two Texts of Early Feminist Psychoanalysis introduced by Gary Winship, the scholar who presented the first English translation of The Erotic in 2012, the year of the Salomé resurrection.
Jennings declared Salomé as a key contributor to the debate surrounding sex and gender. She presented the essentialist Salomé departing from the American feminist view in her belief of biological considerations: “the reproductive difference between male and female comes down to the female egg enclosed in her own circle — as opposed to the male sperm as differentiated and striving”.
Jennings’ paper “Im Zwischenland: Lou Andreas Salome on Adolescent Sexuality” presented an engrosing literary analysis of the fiction of adolescence as metaphor: commanding the space of Uncertainty between the opposites.
The Iranian scholar Amirpasha Tavakkoli presented the Nietzsche Salome philosophy into the crucial 21s century context of the hieros gamos balance between the masculine and feminine in his “Nietzsche lu par Lou Andreas-Salomé ” on Saturday morning.
The German scholar Annette Kliewer (left) rose to her role as the closing presenter, providing an essential placement of Lou Andreas Salome’s literature in the academy via her paper, “Mehr als eine spannende biographie: Ein Playdoyer fur eine ‘Behandlung’ von Lou Andreas-Salomé in der Schule”.
The closing moments of the landmark conference, Annette Kliewer (left) with organizers Britta Benert and Romana Weiershausen.
Lou Lives! The enigmatic prize-winning Austrian author Cordula Simon (above) revealed her Salomé influence of boundary crashing through borders, both literal and literary, reading from her eclectic novels at the Austrian consulate.
This sampling of the brilliant and beautiful boundary-smashing conference participants at Austrian consulate in Strasbourg celebrated Salome as heralding an authentic fourth wave feminism of liberation.
Dr. Lisa Paul Streitfeld is a Kulturindustrie theorist, art critic and scholar relating Salome to a Fourth Wave of feminism. Her paper “Beyond Schizoanalysis: How the Offspring of the Deleuzo-Guattarian Marriage Allies with Fourth Wave Feminism” has been selected in a special edition of the Deleuze Studies Journal.
It is a cinematic breakthrough that perhaps could only come from the monk. Michael Manta’s Receta expands the vocabulary of film to fold the personal journey into the universal quest for transcendence.
Mike Mantas enacts his inner monk on a spiritual journey in his “Receta”.
While this is no small feat, the surprise is how it achieves this quantum leap into the timeless; in real time by way of interweaving the making of homemade cheese into political documentary about his ancestral Greece during the violent uprisings anticipating the Trump era of nationalist revolutions.
As writer, director and producer of his own mythology transforming his identity from queer monk to avant-garde Greek-Canadian filmmaker, Mike Mantas‘ layered interweaving of autobiographical…
…by means of a multicultural tapestry of Queer identity on a sea journey…
…to absorb the transgender Aquarian icon…
…is coded with the newly arising icon of the hieros gamos via the extraordinary face of Mina Orfanou as the Goddess Eurynome.
Evoking the hero’s journey of our time of dislocation, Mantas, a trained actor, self-performs the marriage of polarities (masculine and feminine)…….by means of mastering a Greek recipe for cheese created in real time…
Diametrically in opposition to the externalization of the “male gaze” …
…coded through the killer stare of the nude female store mannequins…
…melds symbol and gesture to herald a 360 perspective symbolized by the trangender figure holding a utility geometry of holism: an umbrella.
The outward projection of the psyche’s inner struggle for union takes place through the eye of Mantas’ vintage camera in which the analog camera serves as recurring motif…
…for the physicality of filmmaking in which the gesture with the camera is an apparatus of personal excavation…
… a metaphor of Heideggerian Being in which interior is reflected in the exterior…
Such a richly multilayered narrative texture utilising the Shadow as container for the embrace of the iternal feminine is new to cinema.
“Receta” has a metal lock box as metahpor of the Philosopher’s Stone storing the coded psyche.
Upsetting the hierarchical linear time measured in quantity, Mantas infuses kairos — the unexpected moment of the quantum leap– into film as a measure of the qualitative…
Melding analog and digital by means of the symbolic and performative, Receta constructs the organic source of film, celluloid, into the Mobius strip as it overcomes the binary dualism of the subjective/objective…
Receta proclaims a bold new era of cinema marrying subjective/objective through the right and left hemispheres of the brain. By challenging the viewer as participant in the quest for unity, the real/surreal seamlessly blend personal and universal narrative..
The Third Eye is among the rich iconography in “Receta” for the paradigm leap into the Third.
Mantas’ Greek birthname is Chronopoulos. Not surprisingly, this enterprising filmmaker has made his destiny in digging so deep as to establish the visual language of a new art for(u)m at the intersection of Chronos and Kairos…
…by means of opening new Doors of Perception.
While making unconventional demands for a whole brain participation to absorb multidimensional narrative, the rewards of learning Mike Mantas’ Receta are well worth the effort.
Re/Searching the Hieros Gamos in Artistic & Critical Practice
Lisa Paul Streitfeld
The disclosure of the elusive Templar Treasure was the unexpected outcome of an entangled relationship between “re-search” and artistic/critical practice of the hieros gamos. There is much to know about how “The Sacred Marriage Rites” transmitted via unearthed cunneiform tablets were honored in ancient Mesopotamia. Yet full Heideggerian disclosure of Being required a unity of inner exploration and outer research in a New Media practice exploding the boundaries between art, literature, criticism and curation. This presentation demonstrates the alchemical process by which this icon publically entered the body of the artist in January 2008 to guide research through the duration of the eight-year Venus cycle to the Templar Treasure in 2015. Along the way, the 2012 phenomenology of the “eternal return” of the 1882 Venus Transit of the Sun disclosed the archaeology of Nietzsche’s hieros gamos rites with Salome birthing the Ubermensch as the divine marriage of heaven and earth. The presentation concludes with a short interactive performance. Performance Link: http://thealchemyoflove.blogspot.hr
Barbara Rachko is an American artist with a personal and professional trajectory unique in contemporary art. As a Naval officer stationed on active duty at the Pentagon (Rachko is a retired Navy Commander), she made a slow transition to artist through studying drawing. In 1989, she became a full time professional artist doing realistic portraits while beginning to create works inspired by the primordial energies given form and imagery in folk culture. Her breakthrough occurred after suffering an inconceivable tragedy: the loss of her beloved husband in the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon.
Whereas “Domestic Threats” (1991-2007) carried the ominous specter of American insecurity in the fallout of September 11, the breakthrough of a subsequent series of photographs, “Gods and Monsters” (2007), established a blackground as characteristic of the unknown lying ahead. The full circle return of “Black Paintings” (2007-2016) to her earlier medium (pastel on sandpaper uniting the opposites of rough and soft) brings this blackground disclosed by means of photographs into the foreground. The surprise that results goes Pop.
The eerie feminine figures of these works are reminiscent of the twisted dolls of Hans Bellmer. With the single exception of Stasis (2009), they are headless, or otherwise have covered (The Absence, 2012), shadowed (Figment, 2010), or cut-off faces (Incognito, 2014 and Alone Together, 2016), blurred mouths and bodies suspended half in shadow. This visual blockage of verbal expression reflects the artist’s successful passage into the right brain of wordless imagination. Also contributing to the shattering of linear perspective are the aerial (The Ancestors, 2013) and spiraling views (Some Things We Regret, 2009). The cycle is reinforced by the narrative: the dominant grimacing male figure of Alpha (2009) is reborn by way of the red egg of alchemical rebirth offered in Effigy (2009) to the left/right brain balance of Blind Faith (2014) transmitted via a half-covered face suspended above a scepter, symbol of male domination.
These dissolving feminine archetypal energies seem to float in space amid an array of parts, giving way to the sexless golem figures with their hulking torsos (Spectral, 2014), appendages (Intruder, 2011), coiled Kundalini power (Paranoia, 2009) and anthropomorphism (False Friends, 2011) suggestive of Quetzalcoatl, the winged serpent characterized here as White Star (2016). These unclassifiable figures positively lurch into the foreground and seem to be exploding autonomous symbols in their wake. These take geometric forms: the animated disk (So What, 2011), signaling wholeness; an egg-shaped oval (Between, 2009; Couple, 2011; and Poker Face, 2012), representative of birth. Significantly, Offering (2012) extends the fish icon of the receded Pisces Age.
The holistic narrative of heavenly birth crystalizes in Epiphany (2012) where prominent circles are corporatized on the Indians’ cheeks and the oval is indeed an oversized egg, while amorphous floating shapes may be scattering feathers.
Finally, there is the masculine/feminine balance arising from the division of Couple (2011), in which the spotted egg-shaped scepter held by the androgynous skirted female figure morphs into the alchemical red egg symbol incarnated by the matching cheeks of Dichotomy (2015).
The “separate but togetherness” inherent boundaries of this couple are drawn by flesh separated by individual cross patterns as an apotheosis of the Matisse motifs in “Domestic Threats”. Here the design of the three black shapes on the male shirt points to the quantum leap into the realm of the Third realm of the hieros gamos.
Rachko’s artist‘s statement reveals the series was influenced by Jazz. This is the conscious understanding of the filtering of imagery through the ego surrendering to liquid emotion. Yet, what makes “Black Paintings” truly exciting is the subconscious influence arising from Rachko’s early love of silent film, specifically The Golem.
GOLEM enters the art world dialectic via a 2016 exhibition at the Jewish Museum Berlin just as the “Black Paintings” series was concluded with Alone Together as the Third space birthing the fully formed Heideggerian human Being of White Star matched with the Quetzalcoatl Palaver.
Significantly, the circular seven chapter thematic exhibition in Berlin closes with Doppelgänger, bringing the visitor back to the golem guarding the entrance, thereby signifying a leap through the binary (Trio, 2010) into the Third (The Space Between, 2009), via a new paradigm of cyclical time. In Rachko, this multidimensional perspective is reinforced by the changes in scale within a single picture (Big Wow, 2011, and Some Things We Regret, 2009).
The golem arises in an artist’s ouevre as the figure magically animated from inanimate matter rejected by the suspicious ego (Intruder, 2011) preoccupied with identification, classification and control. By means of videos on her website, Rachko reveals her process of disclosing through the imposition of the Real; as her customary Mexican and Guatemalan folk figures take center stage with the release of the former background detail, the tension between opposites (Troublemaker, 2015) is heightened by juxtaposed electrical wave patterns (Spectral, 2014) clashing with energy draining vampires (Big Wow, 2011) determining a mirror projection (Who Can be Sure of Anything, 2008) regarding a hopeful rise (Motley, 2014), dreaded collapse (Fallen, 2011), or worse: Stasis (2009).
Ultimately, the archetypal Shadow (Broken, 2013) emerges from the blackground to take over the foreground; this is brilliantly anthropomorphized as the leering Judasing (2013) heralding the artist’s original creations molded from dark energy/dark matter. The process by which the “known” gives way to the “unknown” reveals how the rational mind surrenders to instinct. It stands to reason that the Judasing embrace of the traditionally cast-off golem requires consciousness of the repressed personal shadow. This process of recognition charges the work of art with the transpersonal power of the collective archetype of the Shadow.
Rachko has achieved this power through her long process of maturation as an artist. Her creations are inspired by the vast collection of Mexican and Guatemalan folk art that populate her studio and she even invites access to strangers through a “virtual” tour complete with videos. Earlier paintings were entirely filled with these figures as conscious transmissions of the archaic entering into contemporary art. The breakthrough of “Black Paintings”, which she calls her most personal work, is the sacred marriage of opposites. The blackground is a formed/formlessness of the unified “dark energy/dark matter” both framing and rivaling individual figures; now center stage, these anthropomorphic beings give way to golems lurching towards the observer/participant.
What a prospect! Thrust into foreground, the blackness absorbs the projection of the viewers’ unknown inner life and makes them direct participants to the Shadow confrontation. The discovery of one’s unknown inner world carries a powerful energy charge repressed by ego, and yet, once aroused, is capable of bringing a full force of an awakening. The art that makes transparent the passage to this realm is truly a (r)evolution that makes art as populist as it was in the sixties.
In fact, Rachko’s brightly hued golems popping out of the blackground provide a new meaning to Pop Art. The sixties movement into optics of geometry and color was not intended as multi-dimensional penetrations into archetypal reality; in fact, Pop was derived from popular commercial imagery arising as material for artistic expression in rebellion against the shamanic struggles of the American avant-garde. Yet, the bright primary colors were intended to make the eye POP, and we can view this optical awakening as the dawning of the Age of Aquarius.
Rachko was born under the sign of Aquarius. Her self-trajectory is revelatory of the human passage through the Shadow lurking behind the sixties dawning of a new age of gender equality. The passage towards the 21st century icon of the hieros gamos (sacred marriage) is reflected in her personal and professional trajectory towards the integration of left/right brain. The artist’s initial attraction to the “dark matter” of Mexican and Guatemalan folk art indicated an opening towards the occult by way of a link to an ancient culture that sacrificed humans so the collective might be blessed with the transcendental energy of the gods.
A new mythical narrative arises through the autonomy of the symbol. Rachko’s symbols begin in relation to anatomy, such as the circle for the eye or mouth (see “Evolution of a Painting: Poker Face” on www.barbararachko.com; surrounded by blackground, they gain their autonomy. Her early realistic replication of images from three-dimensional objects to two-dimensional pastel figurations filling up the entire picture provided the foundation for this breakthrough; her future shift to pioneering a blackground (which propels the pastel drawing into the medium of painting) established a space for interpretation and projection. The transition from positive to negative space of dark energy/dark matter charged the artist and her observer/participants with an energy emanated by dream figures such as the devil (Provocateur, 2015), feathered serpent eying an ant with a human female head (Palaver, 2016) and miniature ballerinas (The Space Between, 2009). Paradoxically, these transmission drives are made real by the primitive sense perception typically dulled in modern life. The juxtaposing of the dual serpentine figures of Stalemate (2013) depicts a yellow ball (miniature sun as icon of the Self) solution to the warring opposites represented by the replicated doubling of foot. Subsequently, Charade (2015) is a stunning interpretation of the transgender Aquarian Sky Goddess (Rachko is a licensed pilot) shocked by the outer projection of her inner phallus.
“Black Paintings” point into a new direction of art mirroring the human passage towards the disclosing of the wholeness contained within dark matter/dark energy. The paradox emanating from the work itself is this: if the instinctual hand gesture had forehand knowledge of the direction of the artist’s surrender, the journey would never have taken place.
If Andres Serrano were a painter, he would do a Barbara Rachko. Indeed, the ascent of an erotic consciousness that Serrano initiated in the hyperrealist medium of photography now extends to canvas; Barbara Rachko newly interprets painting as the subject/object “capturing site” of the 360-degree perspective of the hieros gamos. Along the way, she pilots the golem crest of the quantum wave as it breaks open the Shadow into the collective consciousness at the very moment it is most needed.
Dr. Streitfeld is a freelance critic, regular Huffington Post reviewer and Kulturindustrie theorist. This is an essay for an upcoming exhibition.
Stefano Cagol makes a personal revolution universal in his Berlin “Readymade,” the subject of “HOT SEAT” looping behind him in his exhibition at CLB Berlin. (Photo by LPS).
…after tracing his Body of Energy imprint in a one man movement from one end of Europe to the other…
“Symbols, metaphors, current topics, immediateness, stimulating, communicating, openness, multiple points of view. These are the key words to my relationship with the public. It couldn’t be any other way,” states Cagol. “The artwork is an opportunity to better understand our own time and future. It’s a sort of mission. In my account, art is never closed in itself.”
Have van will travel: Cagol’s means of transport is a “mobile station” doubling as a roving billboard from Norway to Gibraltar.
The Italian native’s self-described “scanning energy expedition” culminates in the German capitol with a two month residency at Momentum Berlin and solo exhibition inaugurating a highly visible new collaborative art space of CLB Berlin/ Collaboratorium für Kulturelle Praxis.
Cagol’s signature “Writing as a Landmark” energises a new Berlin geographical arts zone: “The Body of Energy (of the mind): Stefano Cagol” opens Collaboratorium Berlin/CLB in the Aufbau Haus am Moritzplatz in Kreuzberg.
The Italian native is creating a (r)evolution in art through a simple, and yet dceptively complex, method: the infrared camera, which he refers to as his “symbolic energy keeper.” The portable digital apparatus can fit into a knapsack, allowing him the artist to be ever-mobile and spontaneous in his tracking energy exchanges across borders.
The infrared technology developed by the military for detecting traces of life within human destruction is utilized by Cagol to make a stunning art signature celebrating life, with a timeless purpose…
…revealing (below) the spiritual traces that humans leave behind (above) at TBOE “Hands and Trees” at the MAGA Museum in Italy.
The Torino artist came to prominence in Europe from his “Ice Monolith” project in the Maldives exhibition in the 55 Venice Biennale. He arrives in Berlin with the visual Art-I-facts of his year-long passage through Europe creating Actions and Happenings while igniting the continent with his interactive energy.
ENERGIZING THE STONE: “I am an artist,” he tells me in the gallery when asked if he might be a shaman. (TBOE performance at Mojacar, Andalucia).
Cagol makes Kundalini visible in the art gallery with a humour that Beuys might not appreciate…
…enshrining a found object (in video) that he has photographed (below) enflamed with his energy…
… as demonstrated in the gallery during an impromptu “HOT STONE ACTION”…
Capturing this moment of inner/outer integration in Berlin, the global reconciliation capital makes this boundary-smashing artist a highly visible proponent of what has been largely invisible–the arising of the long-repressed feminine energy taking the shape human embodiment in unification with masculine spirit.
Stefano Cagol places his “Body of Energy” inside his CLB exhibition. He is standing before “TBOE Gibraltar” marking his February 28, 2015 arrival in the most south-western point of the expedition, hosted by Listen to the Sirens, an art initiative in the Montagu Bastion, part of the Little Constellation network.
Cagol may not be making claims of shamanism, but surpasses the much venerated “mystical” Joseph Beuys by virtue of creating visual links between his materials and personally magnetic human vibration, thereby opening a window, within the confines of the art gallery, to the 96 Percent of the universe that is dark matter/dark energy.
Cagol performs a TBOE student InterAction at Salerno Univeristy, transforming the
Piazza del Sapere (square of knowledge) into the shape of the human heart.
The global artist elevates art as transformational–making the here and now experience of energy exchange both tangible and real, linking past, present and future with the ever-present origin.
“The Body of Energy (of the mind): Stefano Cagol” is sponsored by VISIT Programme of the RWE Stiftung für Energie und Gesellschaft gGmbH. The exhibition at CLB BERLIN COLLABORATORIUM, Aufbau Haus am Moritzplatz runs until Dec. 12, 2015 in Kreuzberg. The Exhibition times are Tu.-Su. 15:00-19:00 pm. There will be an Artist’s Tour at 17:00 on Friday, Nov. 27, and Tuesday, Dec. 1, with a Finissage from 18:00-21:00 on 12 December.
A Berlin BOE Action/Performance will take place in December. For further information go to: www.bodyofenergy.com
Lisa Paul Streitfeld is a cultural critic and theorist who ignited a dialectic of the Kundalini in the international avante-garde. See www.kundalinisdaughter.com
All photos are by Stefano Cagol and published with permission of the artist.
Following a tense week in which cops killed blacks and blacks killed cops, Devon Bray’s “The Law” went viral. It also has staying power; not only does the video beautifully capture the mood of a unique EVENT spreading across the hinterland, but his art speaks on multiple levels…
…and the universal law of karma: honor your neighbor and they will honor you.
What this means in a tense moment: if a cop recognizes your face, and you recognize his, there is more potential for creative CONVERSION into the THIRD rather than the destruction of warring opposites.
Devon Bray is a multimedia artist commited to the principle that change begins at home, in the human heart. He demonstrates this both in his stunning talent and his commitment as a youth councilor.
Bray has a new message as a means of reconciling the warring opposition: “I like to say #AllLivesMatter rather than #BlackLivesMatter. We have to stop complaining and pointing fingers and change the way we think and feel about each other. Love Conquers All.”
The filmmaker’s signature is imbedded in his images: “Love Peace and Unity – No more killing on both sides.” He explains how this creative prototype for an EVENT sweeping America got started and will continue:
The BLM activists were gonna protest on Sunday, but the Wichita police chief sat down with them. Everyone agreed to come together for a community cookout and Q & A. I filmed the event and created a song and video in 24 hours. When I released it, it went viral. We called it the 1st step to progress and plan on keeping it going, getting bigger and better. We are endeavoring to show the world how it’s supposed to be done.
Dr. Lisa Paul Streitfeld is a philosopher and critic based in Berlin and New York City.
All images copyright the artist Devon Bray and published with his permission.