Saturday, 20 August 2011

Down town: 10 exercises upon the idea that rioters are produced by riots

Once there was a way, to get back homeward/ Once there was a way, to get back home./ Sleep pretty darling do not cry
Golden Slumbers

A prayer. If only  rioters might not be who they must be. If only the event could be separated from those involved in it. If enactments of loss and redemption at the level of historical events could also be divorced from the inevitable route of least resistance always taken by those individuals most involved with them. If it were possible to forget who these people are, and thereby avoid mapping the events belonging to them onto where they are coming from, but instead identify what they have made possible, what they have shown to be impossible. If their very flaws, those aspects of their character that is most on display, were the means somehow of achieving their redemption. That it could be that these vile and driven acts, performed in a single conflagration, as a sort of critical summation, might then lose their hold, relieving the actants of ever having to perform them again. 

a. Riot is an event that stands out from the ordinary run of things. 

b. Events, standing outside of them, thus serve as a means to get the measure of the ordinary run of things.

c. The ordinary run of things is that into which the event must return; implying its loss as a temporary vantage point, its ceasing to function as an event.

In responding to, in the writing of, significant events... it is always the main priority to not conclude, to not advance a position that has to be defended, and to not make important, attributable statements. Writing defines non-participation and re-asserts the necessity of receptivity in human relations.

The response, and its writing, should not seek to function as the explanation of the event but only appears as a reflection, a record of disturbance, and in a very particular register. The writing is always only my writing, appearing amongst equivalent others, it may make no claim on the event itself.  

In writing the event, receptivity performs its therapeutic function, dispersing the energy of disturbance... absorbing it, relaxing it. Writing releases the event from itself, as something that otherwise would stand alone, outside of response.