Posts Tagged ‘Freud


Derrida’s Archive Fever

Jacques Derrida
Archive Fever: A Freudian Impression
Area: History of Rhetoric and Memory Studies

•    Arkhe: 2 names at once—commencement and the commandment
o    There where things commence
o    There where authority is exercised
•    Order is not longer assured
2: “It is thus, in this domiciliation, in this house arrest, that archives take place.  The dwelling, this place where they dwell permanently, marks this institutional passage from the private to the public, which does not always mean from the secret to the nonsecret.”
5: “Sigmund Freud, the proper name, on the one hand, and, on the other, the invention of psychoanalysis: project of knowledge, of practice and of institution, community, family, domiciliation, consignation, ‘house’ or ‘museum,’ in the present state of its archivization.  What is in question is situated precisely between the two.”
•    An eco-nomic archive in this double sense: it keeps, it puts in reverse, it saves, but in an unnatural fashion
•    Where does the archive commence? This is the question of the archive
•    The death drive works to destroy the archive: on the condition of effacing but also with a view to effacing its own ‘proper’ traces
o    Devours before producing on the outside
•    *See Baudrillard’s Vital Illusion: the museumification of everything before it can even exist
•    There is no archive without a certain exteriority; without an outside
o    Assures the possibility of memorization, repetition, reproduction
•    This compulsion is indissociable from the death drive
•    The archive always works against itself
•    The archival model is to represent on the outside memory as internal archivization
•    The machine, and consequently, representation, is death and finitude within the psyche
o    The machine has begun to resemble memory
•    The future consists of a transformation of archivization techniques
•    The archivization produces as it much as it records the event
o    Psychoanalysis wouldn’t be what it was with e-mail
•    What is no longer archived in the same way is no longer lived in the same way
7: “In this way, the exergue has at once an institutive and a conservative function: the violence of a power which at once posits and conserves the law, as the Benjamin of Zur Kritk der Gewalt would say. What is at issue here, starting with the exergue, is the violence of the archive itself, as archive, as archival violence.”
11: “But, the point must be stressed, this archiviolithic force leaves nothing of its own behind.  AS the death drive is also, according to the most striking worlds of Freud himself, an aggression and a destruction drive, it not only incites forgetfulness, amnesia, the annihilation of memory, as mneme or anamnesis, but also commands the radical effacement, in truth and eradication, of that which can never be reduced to mneme or to anamnesis, that is, the archive, consignation, the documentary or monumental apparatus as hypomnema, mnemotechnical supplement or representative, auxiliary or memorandum.  Because the archive, if this word or this figure can be stabilized so as to take on a signification, will never be either memory or anamnesis or spontaneous, alive and internal experience.  On the contrary: the archive takes place at the place of originary and structural breakdown of the said memory.”
16: “One can dream or speculate about the geo-techno-logical shocks which would have made the landscape of the psychoanalytic archive unrecognizable for the past century if, to limit myself to these indications, Freud, his contemporaries, collaborators and immediate disciples, instead of writing thousands of letters by had, had had access to MCI or AT&T telephonic credit cards, portable tape recorders, computers, printers, faxes, televisions, teleconferences, and above all E-mail.”
•    Does it change anything that Freud didn’t know about the computer?
•    We don’t have a theory of the archive, only an impression of it
25: “I asked myself what is the moment proper to the archive, if there is such a thing, the instant of archivization strictly speaking, which is not, and I will come back to this, so-called live or spontaneous memory, but rather a certain hypomnesic and prosthetic experience of the technical substrate.”


Connolly’s Neuropoltics

William Connolly
Neuropolitics: Thinking, Culture, Speed
Area: Digital Media

• This study explores the intersections of thinking, technique, ethical judgment, cultural pluralism, sped, and cosmopolitanism
• Neuropolitics: the politics through which cultural life mixes into the composition of body/brain process. And vice versa.
Chapter One: The Body/Brain/Culture Network
• What role does affective memory play in the movement of thought judgment?
• Pursue conversations between cultural theory and neuroscience
4: “It is not whether practitioners committed to different regulative ideals of knowledge come to terms with anomalies, small fluctuations with big effects, and limits to the human ability to specify initial conditions precisely, but how they do.”
Chapter 5: Memory Traces, Mystical States, and Deep Pluralism
• Experiences of trauma produce the effects of memory trace
o “Triggering event”
• Memory traces are virtual—they are real without being actual
• Intensive memory traces across generations: the religious experience (William James)
121: “A trace, let us say, is enough like a thought to affect linguistically sophisticated thoughts and judgments, and not enough like a thought to be susceptible to direct inspection. A trace is a memory fragment that does not take the form of an explicit recollection. Because it is both fast in its arrival and fragmentary in its shape, it cannot be recollected in itself, even after psychoanalysis, although it can be interpreted through psychoanalysis.”
123: “The idea, then, is to bracket Freud’s presumption of the inheritance of primordial memory traces without closing the door to revisiting it. At the same time, I retain the idea of memory traces intersubjectively created and layered into corporeo-cultural life across historical time.”


Ansell Pearson’s Viroid Life

Keith Ansell Pearson
Viroid Life: Perspectives on Nietzsche and the Transhuman Condition
Area: Digital Media

• Neo-Lamarckism: (demands giving ourselves ‘over’ to the future) in blind faith as a quasi-Heidegerrian destiny (only a machine can save us)
• Non-affective machines: thought exists without a body
o No future of/for invention: no future at all
• Nietzschean conception of the transhuman condition
• Thought needs to embark on a new negotiation with technology
• Technics is both the sign/mark of human distinctive futurity and the source of the artificial character of human inventions and evolutions
• D&G: rhizomatic/machinic becomings don’t so much place ‘in’ evolution as create or invent it, so marking ‘of’ evolution as an event of genuine becoming
o Bergson’s creative evolution
• Guattari: within the machinic universe beings have only the status of virtual entities; that is they are sites of becoming in which what becomes is always something alien
• The task of working through the transhuman condition thus involves the task of thinking beyond the ‘beyond’
1: “In this volume of essays I question, problematize, overturn, revalue, announce, renounce, advocate, interrogate, affirm, deny, celebrate, critique, the ‘transhuman condition,’ exploring the human as a site of contamination and abduction by alien forces and rendering, in the process, the phenomenon polyvalent and polysemous.”
3: “In 1979 Lyotard defined the ‘postmodern condition’ as ‘incredulity’ in the face of those grand or meta-narratives which have served to provide human existence with teleological meaning and significance, so that the lament of the loss of meaning in postmodernity boils down to mourning the fact that knowledge is now no longer principally narrative.”
4: “However, these new realities demand not an impetuous abandonment of a thinking and valuing of the ‘human’ condition, but rather a radical re-examination and revaluation, in which one would show the extent to which this condition has always been a matter of invention and reinvention, that is, always a matter of the transhuman. The grand narrative today is likely to take the form of a facile quasi-Hegelianism in which the rise of the machine is construed in linear and perfectionist terms: the ever-growing inhuman character of ‘technology’ resides in the ‘simple’ fact that it is machines that are proving to be more successful in creating an adequate response to the tasks laid down by evolution that the creatures whose existence first gave rise to it.”
5: “To declare that technology amounts to ‘the pursuit of life by means other than life’ is not to provide insight into the past and future condition of evolution but to encourage blindness regarding matters of life and death within late-capital. Such a claim deprives us of any genuinely interesting and critical in-humanity.”
Chapter 1: Loving the Poison: The Memory of the Human and the Promise of the Overhuman
• Deleuze uses Freud’s notion of mnemonic trace: consciousness born at the site of a memory trace
• Deleuze: in Nietzsche and Freud we find two themes of memory:
o Traces of memory become so indelibly stamped on his conscious that he is no longer capable of action (which requires forgetting). Not that his only action is reaction; rather, he’s unable to act out reaction since he feels his reaction, making it endless
o Active memory that no longer rests on traces; no longer simply a function of the past, but has become transformed into an activity of the future
• Interpreting and deciphering are the process of production itself
o We repeat the past to discharge and create beyond/beyond ourselves
• Deleuze: time as subject, or subjectification, is called memory
o Absolute memory endlessly forgotten and reconstituted
23: “Memory is viewed as functioning in terms of a punctual organization in which the present refers simultaneously to a horizontal line that captures the flow of time, moving from an old present to an actual present, and to a vertical line that captures the order of time, going from the present to the past, or to the representation of the old present.”
24: “The opposition drawn between ‘memory’ and ‘becoming’ not only rests on an unmediated privileging of becoming, but also ignores the illumination that Deleuze’s earlier work brings to bear on the source of the tremendous power of memory. Becoming is inconceivable without memory, including a technics of memory, in which the ‘product’ always exceeds the law of production.”
26: “As Deleuze maintains in his study of Proust, memory works as a ‘tool’ – one not simply subject to a willful manipulation and exploitation of the human, all to human kind that can be placed in the service of an overcoming. The subject ‘of’ memory is nothing other than this self-overcoming. Thus, he can contend that the orientation of Proust’s work is not the past and the discoveries of memory, but rather the future and the progress of learning.”



Sigmund Freud
The Interpretation of Dreams
The Unconscious

Area: History of Rhetoric and Memory Studies

Interpretation of Dreams
•    Patient: Irma
•    Previously day—starting point
•    Reproduction of an earlier event
•    Mind connected to past events with the ability to recall with precision
•    Fulfillment of wishes started by the events of the previous evening

The Unconscious
•    Repression lies not in annihilation, but in the preventing of ideas becoming conscious
•    572: “Freud can confidently assert that the mind, which appears so chaotic, contradictory, beyond causation, is ruled by inexorable laws.  Mental events are like pearls on an invisible chain, a chain largely invisible precisely because many of the links are unconscious.”
•    574: “In support of there being an unconscious psychical state, that at any given moment consciousness includes only a small content, so that the greater part of what we call conscious knowledge must in any case be for very considerable periods of time in a state of latency, that is to say, of being psychically unconscious.”
•    Latent memories
o    “Latent recollections can no longer be described as psychical, but that they correspond to residues of somatic processes from which what is psychical can be once more arrive.”
•    Are latent states of mental life conceived of as conscious mental or physical ones?
•    Other people’s consciousness can only be considered through analogy
•    “We understand very well how to interpret in other people the same acts which we refuse to acknowledge as being mental in ourselves.”
•    The “psychical”
•    When a thought passes from unconscious → conscious, the first reaction will be a rejection of the repressed idea
•    Unconscious is timeless—time is bound up in the conscious

August 2018
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