A field guide to getting the lost art of unrecovery

Filed under:Anti-Recovery — posted by Schizostroller on August 20, 2016 @ 7:52 am

In the sense that Deleuze & Guattari talk about the arc and the circle, the arc never quite reaching the circle (kind of ‘edging’ in the S&M world), I would say a schizophrenic line of flight is more a tangent of the surface of the BwO. In the sense that Wittgenstein uses his ‘beetles’ to explain the difficulty of labelling emotions (I think Artaud means something deeper here, the base ganglia of the brain that is ultimately linked to speech and language does after all work with all organs in the physiology) then the ‘psychobabble’ of the ‘schizophrenic’ that RD Laing describes as a ‘word salad’, is akin, if one wishes to think of such a Batesonian dynamic and take the word ‘akin’ literally, to escaping unpleasure. A skill useful to interpret word salad is to see them as waking dreams but as sleeping dreams are understood in Freud’s Interpretation of Dreams where the line of flight stems from escaping the censoring apparatus.

The idea that being delusional is a problem seems suspect to me, in the ’70s in the UK the Mental Patients Union released a pamphlet with a fish on the hook on the cover. It symbolised mental illness as the ‘struggle to get off the hook’. Think of the illocutionary manipulative language of say converting evangelist Christians or salesmen or women using NLP, think those courses for misogynist blokes on how to ‘pull more women’; and then imagine the schizophrenic’s memories that like a veteran suffering PTSD from one to many firefights flees the emotions associated with trigger words, lines of flight rather than the aphasic returns of a masochist returning to the abusive partner. Think of the language of the sexually repressed family trying to create new capitalist work subjectivities, the language brought home from work, applied to the children, the difference between disciplinarian societies and control societies. Realise that figures suggest that 65% of people diagnosed with psychosis have a history of CSA or CPA (child sexual or physical abuse) and the inability and lack of support families have in dealing with such trauma, rather than blaming them (esp. when clearly not the perpetrators).

But read about antilanguage as well as psychoanalytic interpretations of word salads, as they CAN be broken down and made sense of, think of Carry On films or Hip hop after reading Henry Louis Gates Junior’s signifying Monkey, skat like a jazz singer, read Lefebvre’s Production of Space and think of the archaeology of one’s own knowledge base and learn to surf the signifiers of the linguistic architecture. Think of whether we can elude control? Think the deliberate obfuscation of Deleuze and Guattari. Think Sokal and nonsense, then think of Lewis (or Peter) Carroll.

This is a skill to be mastered, an embodied one at that. Yes, the artist does it more productively, but then we have the autonomist’s refusal of work, what is a greater refusal of work than the schizophrenic refusing to do the abusive Master’s work and making sense. This is where mental health recovery is a form of biopower, it isn’t that we don’t want schizophrenics to discover more joy.. we do! we do!, it is just that the normalisation game is a game of capture.
But the idea that the artist and all the art theory questions of whether art is complicit in capitalist exploitation and may never gain full communism, so ‘edging’ will never make the full Deleuze and Guattari schizophrenic, one needs to know the feeling of rolling the car on the bend. And then make that sensation an art of life.

In Finding Nemo, the fish get caught by a dragnet, the cod have what Nietzsche called a herd mentality, perhaps more a swarm. They escape as Nemo learnt that they need to keep on swimming down..
Knossos is often acknowledged as the labyrinth, rather than the myth seeing it as somewhere within the first city (Lefebvre again).
Daedalus gave two bits of advice to Theseus, one don’t do what you are told. Two to find the minotaur keep going down.
Of course he needed the narrative thread to return.

That said the Minotaur did like eating his virgins.

With regards not just Deleuze and Guattari and the BwO, but Foucault too, especially with respect to biopolitics, it is worth noting that a lot of modern trauma research centres trauma in the body. Neuroscience prioritizes the emotions before cognition and language after that. This is why Lacan makes at least some sense with the symbolic being Law. But here also alongside Wittgenstein’s unknowable or incomparable beetles one has the frustration of Lacan’s Mathemes (we can also think of frustration leading to thought with Bion and his negative K – or partial object theory of Klein that influenced D&G). We then get word salad lines of flight, D&G’s point was to use this embodied tendency for intentional practice.
With regards dissociative states and D&G lines of flight there is a sense that these lead to Laingian ‘word salads’ as the body, rather than the ‘will’ (worth thinking of the bodywork of Moshe Feldenkrais here), tries to work out these unspeakable, unutterable feelings.
In this sense narrative is seen as highly important in mental health recovery studies. But with respect to that we do have the problem of normalisation and agency with regards the relation to the means of production within that subaltern right to speak. or even fight to speak, as oneself, selves.
If one wants to see schizophrenia as a biomedical thing, one will NOT get D&G, because of Guattari and his work at La Borde clinic, rather than anything Deleuze said.

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image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace