Corporeal Cognitive – situation and workshop

June 2, 2011 § Leave a comment

4. – 5.6.2011 Summer Public Art School Turku, Titanik-gallery.

Darkside of the Multitude’s muscle-information-sensibility-presence-trauma-composition summons Corporeal Cognitive –workshop for the first weekend of June. The two-day situation is dedicated to exercises and conversations about the nature of corporeality in a current communication environment.


Cognitive Corporeal was an experimentation about how to study the ways technology and cultures of capitalism has changed the communication and the corporeality. Has our bodily experience changed somehow? What kind of social relationships do we want to create? The core idea of workshop was to come present as bodies (perhaps as our avatars embodiments?) to this particular time and space, and with these people – who ever they might have been. We all agreed to give our presence. By various physical exercises we became more aware of the body, how skin is not the outer surface of it, and how the space around it felt. Furthermore, the exercises served as a warm up for the discussion. Often in social situations there is a tension, a refrain. It might be helpful to create a group harmony by moving together rhythmically. This of course does not mean we have to form a consensus about the subjects – but rather to free ourselves from the refrain.
In the workshop we didn’t plunge  into any therapeutic system. The nature of the situation was to map the field we want to work on.
On the discussion part the ideas of different thinkers served as a trigger for a conversation. Our approach to the theories is not only intellectual, but also pragmatical. We want to use the theories as a tools of action, in a sense of creation.

Collective body

Bifo speaks about the cognitarian, the worker of the immaterial capitalism. She is somebody who is processing information in order to create commodities and service. She is sensitive  to the semiotic activation trough the whole day. The assembly line of cognitive capitalism is the net, it is naturally also the place for the cognitarians to get organized. Bifo emphasises the state of being autonomous, which is something that the Science has lost in its subordination to the laws of economy. General intellect is the artist, the coder, the designer etc. – a collective becoming of cognitarians. From this collective subjectivation a paradigm shift is possible. “Our main political task must be handled with the conceptual tools of psychotherapy, and the language of poetry—much more than the language of politics and the conceptual tools of modern political science. The political organizer of cognitarians must be able to do away with panic and depression, to speak in a way that sensibly enacts a paradigm shift, a resemiotization of the social field, a change in social expectations and self-perception. We are forced to acknowledge that we do have a body, a social and a physical body, a socioeconomic body.” (Bifo#)
In their analysis about capitalism Deleuze and Guattari are speaking  about the machine like formation of society. That is, capitalism is embedded into every level and all the functions of society. Modern institution, such as money, state and media have been created to take care of the social field, so that more of people’s time would be released for work and production (Vähämäki).

Body, machine and communication

According to Bifo, the time of sensibility is slow, but the senses have been subordinated to the machinery time. We have no time for a slow emotional development, because the body is coded to the language of the machine. This could be seen as pathologies, such as copy-paste-pathology; the loss of memory as the Internet is our memory. Much is depending on cognitive skills and rational mind on the cost of sensibility and affection.
On the other hand Jussi Vähämäki writes about the sensuous capitalism. The virtues of a new work society are the vices of a fordist society: restlessness, impatience and absent-mindness. Acceia is the state of drifting away, being absent. In capitalism, this human capacity is used as a force behind production. Vähämäki argues, that because the nature of capitalism is completely societal, depended on other – as it is based on purely ethical principle  – the crossing/exeeding of capitalism requires the crossing of the ethical basis of capitalism.

Loops, assembly lines and automatism

The body is exposed to automata in multiple everyday situations. These repetitive situations are coded into our behaviour, like the way watch the groceries moving on a conveyor belt, or the way we automatically open the computer and facebook – even without being conscious about it. Has it  become part of our automatic nerve-system, like walking? Bifo writes, that these automations govern the societal behaviour. “Technological, lingvistic and psychic automatisms are the glue of such a society that is not anymore kept together by consensus, common ideology or objective.” Certain loop appears in actions – when the action has gone beyond ritual and it has become more obsessive or integral part of a person (neurosis could be included to this). For example Soma-therapy is a physical exercise that is based on an idea that our body reacts same way every time the traumatic situation is coming about. By working with the physical manifestation, it is possible to de-code and re-code oneself.

Enjoyment and relaxation

On the other side of the immaterial economy is the material culture of pleasure. The sensual is erupting in porn, eating for boredom or arming oneself with technical devices. After a hard day of work shopping or browsing magazines serves as a relaxation. Markets have become social spaces where to spend time and linger between products. Baurdillard speaks about the commodity as a tool of communication, and that the money was the first communication apparatus it’s message being: exhange value, i.e. it has no message. In the spectacle society we live in the desire for a picture, in an imagination that is becoming more real than the reality. In sensuous capitalism the gaze and the speech have become erratic, restless and impatient (Vähämäki). in fact, we do not concentrate on anything, just jump between tabs and different emotions that are evoked from the things we see, as if the human body, computer  and the Internet  would create one muscle-nerve-impulse-lump. Are we becoming one big unified body with some regional variation of the same theme? There are millions of different possibilities how the world and cultures could arrange, still, it is those few news that all circulate in different medias.

There is nothing to alienate from

According to Zerzan, postmodern ideology points out that there is nothing to alienate from because it’s hard to distinguish what is a reality and what is a representation of it. The real has intertwined with its mimesis. In modernity, the citizen could have felt alienation from the nature, the worker of an assembly line could feel an alienation from a life, and in the culmination of alienation, in existential philosophy, human life is alienated from an existence. But in post-modernity there is only the smooth surface of the communication.


Overall, the most important thing left with from the situation was being present with other people. For me, it wasn’t important what do we communicate – I even felt a pressure about the content. I feel that talking  is very difficult, and I would rather concentrate more on doing part, although I do think it is important to practise verbal communication, because it is hard. Also, sometimes I feel that my body is distracting my ability to concentrate and communicate pure information. How can we link these two – information/conversation and action. Workshop could have ended to a performance or situation in the city,  but we thought it would be corny. Instead we decided to carry out the actions in our normal daily life. Did we succeed in creating a collective subjectivation, did we succeed in creating personal subjectivations?


Readings of

Franco “Bifo” Berardi

Deleuze and Guattari

Jussi Vähämäki

Primitivist view: John Zerzan



Chat Body

May 20, 2011 § Leave a comment

CHAT BODY – Performance without bodies

BETA-club, Gallery Titanik on Thursday 26.5.2011 at 4 – 7 pm (GMT +2). The event is part of Performanssi 2011 festival produced by Artists’ Association MUU.


Skype account was created at the gallery. Titanik multitude was treated with musculators substituting the intimacy of communication.

Two at first sight opposite concepts have been used in contemporary art: absence and corporeal. In paintings we can see people with blank faces, bodies without sentience;  in photography art, bodies are posing like symbols in a desolated land – their faces covered. The communication technology has had affect on the separation of mind and body. Leaving the body snuggled down in front of a computer, the mind keeps floating in cyperspace between looping youtube video clips and ever-updating facebook-newsfeeds. Are we capable of being present in our body? Have people become just nodes in space through which language represents itself, like Derrida claims? This is the starting point to our chat.

absence – presence

corporeal – incorporeal

Continuation at a workshop – CORPOREAL COGNITIVE


May 20, 2011 § Leave a comment



Debjunktivaatio, bjukjuvation, adjunktivation – is a non-sense word changing in use for every time. Deriving from the word ‘subjectivation’ (a term used by Félix Guattari among others), bjunktivation can mean anything from escaping the territories of a capitalistic production of values, to creating an autonomous place for a subject to flourish. Eventhough the word is changing, it keeps something familiar in itself, like the rhythm or the composition of the letters. The nature of the word is indeterminated, so is the nature of the subject.

Idea and completion

Adjunktivation disco was an idea about people coming together and creating a momentum of a collective subjectivation – with the help of DSM. The situation took place in Turku in December 2010. It was carried out in the performance space Kutomo, at the event BETA for unfinished performances. The idea was that DSM provides the audio-sensual atmosphere to which people can react in any way they want. Furthermore, the idea was to flip the role of an audience and a performer.
The happening started by showing the audience it’s place – as an audience. Little by little we started to connect the individuals with an embroidery ribbon. On the wall was a projection of youtube -videos.

What will you do?

Once again we tied strangers into cluster-like formations that force the indvidual to an unpleasant closeness. Some feel a need to free themselves. What about the ones that stay?
Using the given authority of a performance artist, we invited the multitude to the stage. By doing this, the audience was given a possibility to free themselves from the comfortable status of a viewer; to gain their active participantship from an identity of a consumer of an art product; to experience the multitude as a collective creative force.

Pointing out the refrain

On one of the screened youtube videos, dark side of the multitude was bound by the very same ribbon than the multitude in actuality. Did the people react the same way as in the video?

Do you let yourself be tied, or what kind of a role are you going to take? What is the space around you, who is creating the borders, the lines, the passways? What happens when the imaginarium – the video, the representation – and the moment of now meet and melt together, does one become the other? Can you then reflect yourself?


“Tsunami..the sence that everything s finished…we are in the undertow..this sence of every energy receding, this sence of depression. Cynisism, the only element remain in our culture, but cynisism made of moments, of de ja vu…the sence of not beign able to coordinate will and action anymore, the sensation of incapacty of the body to move, to perform actions of desire, for pleasure, communication, simply for freedom, joy of beign there. all ths has vanished……the undertow…cynisism is the sensation that your body and mind as a matter have come undone, that seaces to be organism. The body without organs has transformed in to a body in decompositon, and the organs have folded themselves one on to the other, all together, disgustingly they feel each other as intollerable to one another. wait for the tsunami. Wait but get ready. Because you haveto think of something. The clothes to wear, a gesture to make, a word to say, the second before the wave finally wipes you away.” Bifo



May 20, 2011 § Leave a comment

April 2010

performance at an exhibition opening at Tüzraktér, Budapest

You can find exhibition related writings from here:

2009 Antispectacles

May 16, 2011 § Leave a comment

Begging, Turku

Ambientjamming at Ikea, Raisio

Scandinavian style furnishings at Topinoja dumping area, Turku