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Becoming nomadic, becoming woman : minoritarian becomings in the Deleuzian theater Spiegel, Jennifer B. 2005

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BECOMING NOMADIC, BECOMING WOMAN; minoritarian becomings in the Deleuzian theater by Jennifer B. Spiegel  A T H E S I S S U B M f T T E D IN P A R T I A L F U L F I L L M E N T O F THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF M A S T E R of A R T S in T H E F A C U L T Y O F G R A D U A T E STUDIES Individual Interdisciplinary Studies Graduate Program (Comparative Literature/Theatre/English)  The University of British Columbia September 2005  © Jennifer B . Spiegel  TABLE OF CONTENTS  ABSTRACT  ii  T A B L E OF CONTENTS  iii  DEDICATION  iv  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS  v  I N T R O D U C T I O N : IS IT D A N G E R O U S T O T R A V E L A S A W O M A N ?  1  PART ONE: "THE BECOMING-WOMAN" OF D E L E U Z E ' S T H E A T R E OF PHILOSOPHY feminine cruelty and the principle o f difference theatre o f repetition: dissolving identity, hanging Ariadne  10 12  :  17  schizo-sense logic: violence and the little girl's theatre  24  capitalism and the schizo-artist: bartered bodies or expansive experimentation?  29  the cruelty o f appropriation  44  PART TWO: S T A G E SETTINGS F O R A "FEMINIST" N O M A D I S M  47  hysterical theatre: newly born, but still forlorn?  47  sexually differentiated nomadism: virtually ha(l)ving sex  63  divine difference(s): is sex dragging (behind)?  71  CONCLUSION: BUILDING A L L I A N C E S . . .  76  BIBLIOGRAPHY  86  ii  ABSTRACT In A Thousand Plateaus, Deleuze and Guattari claim that within contemporary Western society, every movement beyond the normative must pass through the stage o f "becomingwoman," Woman being the dominant "other" against which the masculine political majority has defined its self-image. Becoming-Woman acts as the entryway into a nomadic theatre in so far as it indicates a willingness to inhabit positions and perspectives other than those delineated as normatively powerful and to develop according to these alternative desires. "Becoming Woman" does not, however, represent an end in itself, but plays an introductory role that may facilitate a potentially infinite number o f minoritarian "becomings." Ultimately, this nomadic theatre seeks to destabilize the stronghold that identity-based thinking has on the production and limitation o f our desires. It celebrates a multiplicity of desires by focusing not on the ways abstract norms and identities are represented, but rather on the way in which every lived gesture repeats a series o f images and, in so doing, makes that image into something entirely new. The question I ask here, however, is to what extent can a nomadic "becoming-woman" serve to empower women and minorities given the historical lack o f strong identities that have been available to facilitate their becoming?  The first half o f this thesis is dedicated to developing the strategies o f minoritarian becoming in the Deleuzian nomadic theatre. I argue that while this approach allows us to move beyond received normative ways of being, it does not yet provide the necessary tools to assure that minority desires will not simply be appropriated by a political majority. The second half o f this thesis therefore explores possible tools for developing approaches to cultural media that can not only serve a generalized process o f becoming-minoritarian or becoming-woman, but that can do so in a manner that also furthers the desires of women and minorities. Here I consider the approaches o f Cixous, Irigaray, Braidotti and Butler as providing possible avenues for developing these desires. M y focus throughout is on how these strategies inform approaches to cultural production and I therefore show how some of these strategies work in various nonrepresentational theatre and performance pieces, including the theatrical productions o f Artaud and Cixous, the drag performances o f Divine, and other approaches. I conclude by suggesting a re-reading of Deleuze that allows for the insights of the feminists I examined and that may pave the way for the development o f cultural media focused on building alliances amongst women and minorities through the use o f community theatre and carnival.  Dedicated to the loving memory of my grandmother Sylvia Yassi and to my ever loving nana Rose Spiegel  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Many thanks to my supervisor Dr. Steven Taubeneck for all his patience,  encouragement  and gentle and insightful guidance, and to my committee members Dr. Jerry Wasserman and Dr. Kirsty Johnston for all their advice, kindness and continual willingness to field my questions at all times. I would also like to thank the staff at IISGP. A special acknowledgement to Luce Irigaray for her inspiration and the time, attention and clarification of her work that she offered me at the University of Nottingham. I would also like to thank my many other loving and inspiring, my wonderful brother Sam for helping me edit and teaching me how to format properly, and my amazingly loving and supportive parents.  v  I N T R O D U C T I O N : IS I T D A N G E R O U S T O T R A V E L A S A W O M A N ? (anti-manifesto for the new troubadours)  x  Centered on the world's stage, she sings to her loves and beloveds,  ,  to her foes and detractors: However I am perceived and deceived, however my ignorance and conceits, lay aside your fears that I will be undone,  for I shall not be moved. - M a y a Angelou  But you are mobile as the veering air, A n d all your charms more changeful than the tide, Wherefore to be inconstant is no care: I have but to continue at your side. So wanton, light and false, my love, are you, I am most faithless when I most am true. Edna St. Vincent Millay  The year 2005: mobility is all the rage, rage is mobile, and the mobilization o f forces under the banner o f a shared identity seems to be at once the most frightening fascism and the most necessary strategy o f resistance in the face o f ever growing capital-driven globalization trends. In search o f possible directions for change, various movements plow fast-eroding minority histories, destabilizing the identity o f History as such. The question o f who is moving what and where echoes through war-zones, tourist destinations and the T V sets of those who find themselves in a rare quiet locale. More than ever, women are taking a visible role in these movements, navigating the multiple terrestrial and cultural landscapes presented through the various forms of media at our disposal. But despite the promises o f this supposedly newfound mobility there is cause to be leery. For have women not always been the classical "mobile units"  of Western culture, mediating the identities o f the dominant in society? What is the relationship between mobile cultural processes o f appropriation and the transformational capabilities of minorities? What possibilities can this rage o f mobility afford and what techniques allow it to maximize the minority desires o f the historically dominated? T o move beyond the normative roles that bind our movement and enable ourselves to pursue a multiplicity o f desires, Deleuze and Guattari claim that we must go through a process of becoming-other.  B y becoming-other we are able to develop minority desires that have been  suppressed by prevailing regimes o f power and the models and ideals that have been thrust upon us, entreating us to fashion and understand ourselves in their image. In A Thousand  Plateaus,  Deleuze and Guattari claim that within contemporary Western society, every movement beyond the normative must pass through the stage o f "becoming-woman," Woman being the dominant "other" against which the masculine political majority has defined its self-image.  Feminist  theorists, such as Elizabeth Grosz and Rosi Braidotti, have pointed out that the privileged position afforded to "becoming-woman" itself presumes a model subject position, limiting the usefulness of this strategy of transformation for actual political minorities. A t its worst, this strategy of becoming-woman has been accused o f violently appropriating the very real struggles o f the women's movement for the sake o f furthering the possibilities o f masculine majoritarian becoming, without taking into consideration the very real conditions and issues at stake in these struggles. Women's movements, and the causes o f other appropriated minorities, become the victims o f an all-consuming machine. However, despite the potential o f such a strategy to destabilize the socio-political identities that activist groups work so hard to establish, there is another sense in which "becoming-other" through "becoming-women" may be instructive to minorities grappling with particular patriarchal, colonial and heterosexist legacies. Feminist philosopher Luce Irigaray has argued that allowing a feminine perspective to permeate the political sphere and re-orient the direction o f social and institutional change could have far-reaching positive implications in terms  2  of establishing more peaceful, respectful and environmentally harmonious lifestyles.  While  Irigaray's occasionally Utopian brand o f feminism often verges on essentializing women's desires and perspectives, a nomadic becoming-other allows for the incorporation o f feminine and feminist interests, desires and becomings into the general social consciousness, without necessarily locking these interests to essentialized subjects. Deleuze and Guattari note that securing an identity for those who have historically been denied a socially visible presence may well be a necessary stage in creating a foundation from which minorities are able to pursue their desires. However, locking persons to an essential set of interests, desires and associations may inhibit the mobility o f those who associate or are associated with such politically charged identities. The nomadic philosophy o f Deleuze and Guattari advocates a fluid movement between identities, passing through a "becoming-woman" regardless o f one's biological designation. The question is, to what extent can a nomadic "becoming-woman" serve to empower women, given the historical lack o f strong identities that women have had available to facilitate their becoming? The method proposed by Deleuze and Guattari functions by rejecting the stability o f an identity, traversing a range o f possible ways o f living in the world. Every discourse, every constellation or trope, every name connoting an association o f forces, intensities and flows, presents a possible "becoming" whereby the intensities are taken up by the nomadic subject. It is not a question o f mimetically reproducing the other as though there were a'central concept or ideal governing their actions. Rather, they recommend allowing the flows and intensities associated with this other to guide our own becoming. Signs and gestures are understood to act directly and singularly, metamorphosizing into one another. A s Foucault put it, "this is philosophy not as thought, but as theatre: a theater o f mime with multiple, fugitive and instantaneous scenes in which blind gestures signal to each other." (1997, 237) In Difference  and  Repetition, Deleuze describes his project as being intimately intertwined with the idea of a "theatre of the future":  3 is a question o f producing within the work a movement capable o f affecting the mind outside o f all representation; it is a question o f making movement itself work, without interposition; o f substituting direct signs for mediate representation; o f inventing vibrations, rotations, whirlings, gravitations, dances or leaps which touch the mind.  This is the idea o f a man o f the theatre, the idea o f a director  before his time. (1994, 8) Philosophy, theatre and lived becomings are here intimately connected, each being a singular event, produced by repetition and offering possibilities for becoming that direct one another. The first half o f this thesis will be dedicated to the ways in which Deleuze constructs this "theatre o f philosophy" as a particular style o f "becoming-woman" that follows from the "theatre o f cruelty" developed variously by both Nietszche and Artaud. The first part will develop the ways in which Deleuze's understanding o f cruelty follows from the traditions o f Nietzsche and Artaud in order to make o f cruelty an affirmative principle that cuts across received ideals in celebration o f the particular differences enacted by a present gesture. I will further argue that this affirmative cruelty is characterized as "feminine" within this tradition in so far as the active feminine constitutes a rebellion o f the dominated lover within Western culture. The second part will explore some o f the ways in which Deleuze repeats the nonrepresentational gesturing o f Artaud's theatre o f cruelty and utilizes the schizophrenia from which Artaud suffered to point the way to the embodiment o f multifarious becomings.  This  becoming functions by way o f deterritorializing and appropriating the struggles o f the "little girl," characterized as the unmarked site of potentiality. While acknowledging "her" rage at being on the cusp o f patriarchal domination, I will argue that that the strategy presented by this Artaudian theatre o f cruelty diffuses women's struggles by making them instead stand for a more universal humanist condition. The third part will trace the historical movements o f "deterritorialization" and "reterritorialization" that are drawn upon by Deleuze and Guattari and inform their strategy o f "becoming-woman" as the primary means by which Westerners can  expand their possibilities through a revisiting o f the corporeal. It will show how "primitive" tribalism is implicitly correlated with ideas o f femininity and how these in turn are lifted from both women and indigenous persons in the service o f a generalized process o f socio-cultural transformation. The final section o f the first part will re-examine the concept of "cruelty" as affirmation of difference, and will suggest that Deleuze's championing o f a theatre o f cruelty, in his schizo-nomadic approach to philosophy, runs the risk of repeating the primary cruelty that has historically been inflicted on political minorities. I will argue that in order to promote not only a becoming-minoritarian for the majority, but an approach to becoming that can encourage the desiring production of women and minorities, further tools are needed. The second half o f this thesis looks at strategies for developing tools to serve the desires of women and minorities in order to explore the possibility o f a nomadic theatre sensitive to the conditions required to best facilitate these desires. The becoming-woman o f Deleuze and Guattari in many ways can be read as their response to a certain stream o f women writers that have tended to employ fragmented, polyvocal and non-linear styles in their writing. They frequently take Virginia W o o l f as their prime example. Their philosophy o f becoming-woman, as presented \r\A Thousand Plateaus, reads, however, as a response to the treatise on BecomingWoman presented by their contemporary, Helene Cixous, in The Newly Born Woman. The first part o f this section therefore compares the incorporeal becoming-woman o f Deleuze and Guattari to the corporeal becoming o f Cixous. Cixous' "return" to the corporeal as the site of desiring production offers a way o f bringing the living conditions to bear on their desiringproduction. However, Deleuze and Guattari's incorporeal becoming seems to open more possibilities for moving beyond the constructions o f the body, thus allowing for a greater flexibility in the possibilities available. In both cases, becoming functions through singular repetitions whereby identities like "woman" are always only provisional. Cixous calls this fluidity and refusal to ground in a singular narrative ecriture feminine, and it seems that this  5  same escape from narrative norms leads Deleuze and Guattari to highlight the importance o f the stage o f "becoming woman." Ironically, it is precisely the historical construction o f women as "mobile units" passed between men within patriarchal institutions, and the cultural legacy that these institutions have left, that now makes it difficult for women to function as the mobile agents o f becoming that philosophical nomadism advocates. Historically, women's "mobility" has meant that a woman's "fluid" "feminine" identity is molded by the men that possess her, and by the dictates o f patriarchal institutions that keep this system o f circulation alive. Whereas men may be confined by images that are too rigid, failing to take into the account the minority desires and multiplicity of forces o f real living men, women have traditionally been limited by a shortage o f adequate tools and models by which to form empowering identities. A s Braidotti puts it, "how can we renounce what we never had?" The second section of this part will therefore consider the possibilities opened by a philosophy o f sexually differentiated becoming as developed by Irigaray and by Braidotti's formulation o f a sexually differentiated  nomadism.  Why ." difference is safe-guarded by Braidotti, while other indexes o f difference are nomadized, is a question that will be addressed in the third section. Forced mobility and the rootless malleability o f identity that corresponds with it has, after all, been the lot not only o f women but many minority and oppressed groups. M a y a Angelou's powerful poem, "Our Grandmothers" illustrates the need to take seriously the specific identities o f oppressed minorities more generally. It speaks to the specific experience o f African American women slaves, who were often separated from their children and sold from slave-owner to slave-owner an experience that was shared by their male counterparts. The refrain, "I shall not be moved," suggests a resoluteness in the face o f those who would seek to "nomadize" them in the service o f increasing their own power and profits. This is less a commitment to absolute stability than a refusal to be moved and formed according to the terms o f an oppressive regime.  6  M y intent is not to subordinate the distinct experiences o f either African American slaves generally, or African American women slaves specifically, to an abstracted, universalizing history o f "women and the oppressed under patriarchal rule." Rather, what I am suggesting here is the shared way in which these conditions have been constructed in dominant Western systems of thought. The eroticization o f non-Western peoples under colonialism has functioned primarily by "feminizing" these cultures, which is to say, assimilating them to the feminine position constructed by binary Western logic, as the Other o f Western "civilized," "rational" man. Consider, for instance, the shared usage o f the term "dark continent" to connote both Africa and Woman, as the unknown in need o f masculine/Western illumination. O r the many portrayals of the "new world" that assimilate the people to their lush surroundings, bringing home paintings o f innocent looking naked women; so many versions o f the wild in need o f taming, the nomadic who need to be shown their proper place. This discourse in effect uses the language of nomadism and wildness to fix the identity o f such subjects in the position that Western philosophy has traditionally granted to the feminine: that o f malleable "wild" matter. The suggestion that, within the contemporary Western, becoming-other must pass through the stage o f "becoming-woman," may be primarily a nod to a discursive legacy that utilizes the masculine/feminine binary as a primary model for understanding and classifying other Others. While few would now argue that race or nationality are axes that form the basis of becoming, with racial and cultural hybridity being today commonplace and mixed citizenship a regular occurrence, sexual difference continues to pervade our thinking. For Braidotti, the nomadic subject is always sexed. Without insisting upon any definition o f what it means to be a woman, she insists that it is crucial to women's struggles that they be able to move between sites of identity as women. In the third section I will draw on Judith Butler's argument regarding the social construction of sex to argue that the pervasiveness of this strict sexual division may be more an artifact o f a way o f thinking that continues to carve out Woman as Man's other. In other words, this binary may be more a testament to the strong hold o f hierarchical identity-based  7  thought in our culture than a testament to the preconditions for a healthy strategy o f becoming. Furthermore, I will suggest that this resistance to what Braidotti calls sexual or gender hybridity may be a coercive impediment to the desiring-production o f those who do not identify along this either/or axes, as well as those for whom the axis of sexual difference is not primary. In an ostensibly "post-slavery" society, the differentiations between movements o f freedom and coercion are not always, crystal clear, particularly once we understand agents to be complex and multi-faceted, without necessarily holding a stable, centralized, synthesizing and unifying soul or mind to play the part of willing subject. The uses and limitations o f the nomadic philosophy of Deleuze and Guattari as offering emancipatory tools given this tension will be examined, with an eye toward the embodied conditions and artistic/cultural manifestations o f this struggle. Taking the differences in conditions amongst various groups seriously is invaluable to providing effective tools for a minoritarian becoming that can actually serve minorities. However, I will argue that the attempt by Braidotti to protect sexual difference may at once overlook some of the challenges o f other minorities, wishing to maintain their identities, while coercing agents into a gender binary, sometimes flagrantly against their desires. The final section of this thesis is dedicated to strategies for building effective alliances using the tools o f nomadic cultural production. Here, while sexual difference will not be taken as a primary axis o f becoming, the need to develop tools to address the unique desires o f "women" and minorities will be addressed. I will suggest here that the shared and repeated desire and the common impediments and steps that need to be taken to effectively produce desires are more effective place to concentrate than an insistence on the site of identity from which these common desires emerge. This does not mean ignoring the unique and shared conditions from which desires emerge but rather to view them in terms o f the desires produced. In this way we might avoid glossing over differentiated desires by masking them under a common name, and may also begin to find useful sites for alliances amongst those who would not otherwise "identify" with one another.  8  The main aim o f this thesis is to think through the possibilities afforded by nomadic thought for developing approaches to cultural production that are able to address minority desires. Here I will not so much be concerned with the ability o f majority culture to absorb these desires, but rather with the ability o f the desires of minorities to flourish culturally. These questions are o f course intimately bound up in questions o f economics and access to resources, the details o f which are beyond the scope o f this thesis. M y focus here will be on how various approaches to cultural production construct and deconstruct notions of identity and the ways in which these various approaches encourage and inhibit ways o f producing desire. The first half o f this thesis will offer some Deleuzian readings o f Artaud's productions, showing ways in which identity is deconstructed into sites o f metamorphosis to be traversed. The second half o f this thesis will offer readings o f Cixous' productions which develop a fluid understanding of identity based on the changing corporeal situation o f the agent. It will then go on to provide reading o f the virtual identities presented by Irigaray and Braidotti which create sexual difference as the horizon o f becoming, and will counter with a Butlerian reading o f drag performance. The final section will offer consideration o f an approach to cultural production inspired by ideas o f the carnivalesque and developed in terms of the serial repetition developed by Deleuze. Here, through concentration on the ways in which all participate, and the conditions o f their participation, I will aim to integrate the concerns raised throughout the thesis. M y intent, however, is not to offer a template for creating productions or events. N o such template could hope to serve the needs and desires o f a changing community. This thesis merely aims to offer some insights in understanding some o f the issues at stake in the production o f minority desires at the level o f cultural production and the ways in which the philosophical nomadism of Deleuze might be o f use in developing strategies to encourage these desires.  9  PART ONE: THE "BECOMING-WOMAN" OF DELEUZE'S THEATRE OF PHILOSOPHY There are laws against vice. But the shock stays with you. Anne Carson  The Platonic legacy in Western philosophy has been that thinking is conceived in terms of ideal forms. The Truth could be discovered, the Good life attained, i f only we could come to know these ideals and build our world in their image. Deviants are to be subordinated and put in their place. But monstrosities occur and often they have borne the name "woman." " A monster in the shape o f a woman/ a woman in the shape o f a monster/ the skies are full o f them," begins a poem by Adrienne Riche. Within the collective imaginary the feminine and monstrous have been deeply intertwined and this "monstrous feminine" has often been constructed as a looming threat to the integrity of the masculine form. Numerous feminists, from de Beauvoir to Irigaray and Braidotti, have argued that this is because Woman has been constructed as Man's Other; She has been a dumping ground against which M a n could create an ideal for himself, labeling that which fell short or was in excess o f this image "feminine." In an attempt to move beyond normative thinking based around ideals, and adopt a way o f becoming capable o f embracing possibilities previously condemned as deviant, many philosophers have turned to the celebration o f this "feminine" as a way out. In A Thousand Plateaus Deleuze argues that every becoming must pass through the stage o f "becoming woman." This is not so much because o f any beliefs held about actual living women, but because through embracing and adopting those values and possibilities previously labeled and dismissed as "feminine," opportunities that previously seemed unthinkable will become available. While this openness to the values of femininity may be useful in terms o f shifting thought away from restrictive paradigms, grounded on a principle o f exclusion, Braidotti has pointed out that such a celebration o f "becoming woman" as a vehicle for emancipating possibilities does not necessarily provide the tools for overcoming the obstacles that are faced by  women in their own becoming.  She warns that taking up such a becoming-woman as a stage in a  more general process o f becoming threatens to obscure the very real differences experienced on the basis o f sex. A s such, she warns that Deleuze's nomadism threatens to construct one more philosophical meta-narrative that ends by denying differences in the experiences o f becoming, thereby silencing dissident voices. The aim o f the first part of this thesis is therefore threefold: (1) to develop an understanding o f how the philosophy o f difference of Gilles Deleuze might be understood as a "becoming-woman"; (2) to indicate how this becoming can be understood as a theatre, and (3) to raise concerns regarding the danger o f this strategy as a means of developing tools for overcoming the obstacles faced by women in the production o f their own desires. I will argue that Deleuze's "becoming-woman" functions through the creation o f a nomadic "theatre o f cruelty," following in the tradition o f Nietzsche and Artaud. In both Nietzsche and Artaud, the principle of cruelty is used as the means by which ideas are determined; it is the principle that destroys forms, allowing for the possibility o f the new at every moment. In both cases, this thought-provoking cruelty is characterized as feminine. From Nietzsche, Deleuze takes a feminized understanding of an affirmative eternity that affirms precisely through repeating difference eternally. V i a Artaud, difference is realized as a process o f artistic experimentation in life. The multiplicity o f possibilities opened by such experimentation is articulated by Deleuze as the artistic expression o f Artaud's schizophrenia. This process is feminized largely because it arises in rebellion against the "originary" normalizing violence of the state as self-appointed mouthpiece o f the "judgement o f G o d , " judgement which subordinates multiplicity and deviance to its own images and goals.  In order to  facilitate becoming, the "feminine" is approached as the site o f potentiality and is conflated with various other minorities designated as "primitive," "natural" or "territorial." In this conflation, Deleuze and Guattari alert us to the problematic nature of such binaries. They suggest the exploration o f the "dark side" o f these binaries (becoming-woman, becoming-sorcerer, etc.), not  11  so much in terms o f adopting these identities but as creating myriad paths or "lines o f flight" from set identities. The question I would like to explore here is to what extent this "feminized" approach provides tools for those who have been the traditional victims o f these binaries, and to what extent does this approach repeat this process?  feminine cruelty and the principle of difference In the opening chapter o f Difference and Repetition, Deleuze sets out to destabilize the concept o f ideal form.  Instead, the world is understood as a flux o f differences that repeat  themselves, sometimes producing the illusion of identity, but always engaging in a process o f metamorphosis. That ideal forms constitute the model governing thought, Deleuze readily concedes. However, to develop an approach that allows us to think beyond the set forms is Deleuze's ambition. He draws upon the idea o f cruelty to challenge these forms.  The  affirmation o f difference, for Deleuze, is tantamount to the affirmation o f life and the possibilities it affords, whereas ideal forms act as the great protectors and constituents o f "state ideology": stabilizing flux, denying and repressing difference and enforcing a normative vision o f the world. Within this state ideology, difference is cast as evil, introducing movement into a system that props up its own continued stability as prototypically Good. In order to challenge such state ideology, Deleuze employs Artaud's idea o f cruelty as the very spirit o f revolution and the action of thought itself: There is no sin other than raising the ground and dissolving the form.  Recall  Artaud's idea: cruelty is nothing but determination as such, that precise point at which the determined maintains its essential relation with the undetermined, that rigorous abstract line fed by  chiaroscuro.  T o rescue difference from its maledictory state is therefore to be the project o f the philosophy o f difference. ( D R , 29)  12  Deleuze's chief opponent in articulating the philosophy o f difference is Plato, and the Platonic championing o f being over becoming. In defense o f stability, Plato famously banished poets and actors from his republic, claiming that they would encourage affectivity, passion and a general surrender to flux, attributes which he describes as "womanish." The overturning o f Platonism for Deleuze thus involves the re-creation of philosophy as a theatre o f flux that functions through a becoming "Woman" in the sense Plato feared. Drawing on the work o f Artaud, it performs a passionate embodied attack on form. Artaud writes, "from a mental viewpoint, cruelty means strictness, diligence, unrelenting decisiveness, irreversible and absolute determination" (1970: 79). Artaud's theatre o f cruelty is meant to manifest in direct actions designed to shock in order to awaken people from the acquiescence to set forms and stir them into thinking, drawing awareness to the passions o f the present. It is occasionally, in Artaud's writing, couched in terms o f a "terrible feminine" described as "the cry o f the revolt that is trampled underfoot" and conjures images o f the womb, "like the groan o f an abyss that is opened" (1976, 272). This feminine cry springs from the depths o f corporeal bodies in order to raise up against closure o f represented forms, "this masculine, the sigh o f a closed mouth at the moment that it closes" (274). In these cries, Artaud plays the part o f a "petrified warrior," and the determination o f these cries forms the basis of his theatre o f cruelty. In Deleuze's writing, this cruelty as absolute determination gives rise to a demonology whereby each determination constitutes a shock to thought as unrecognizable, inassimilable difference, crossing the threshold o f the unknown from whence it threatens the stability o f our current conceptual habits: It is not the gods which we encounter: even hidden, the gods are only the forms of recognition. What we encounter are the demons, the sign-bearers: powers o f the leap, the interval, the intensive and the instant; powers which only cover difference with more difference. (1994, 145)  13  While the principle o f cruelty that Deleuze uses to articulate difference as an active determination is drawn most directly from Artaud's famous theatre of cruelty, he argues that this theatre o f cruelty is already being concocted in the works o f Friedrich Nietszche. In the introduction to Difference and Repetition, Deleuze writes that Nietzsche's Birth of Tragedy "is not a reflection on an ancient theatre so much as the practical foundations o f a theatre o f the future," and a little further on he elaborates, "with Nietzsche, it is a theatre o f unbelief, of movement as Physis, already a theatre of cruelty" (9, 11). In Deleuze's development o f this "theatre o f cruelty" we already see how entrenched within this theatre is the idea o f a "becomingwoman," understood as an ancient "feminine" principle o f material potentiality. By way o f explaining the movements o f this philosophy as a theatre o f cruelty, almost immediately our attention is drawn to the role o f the classic feminine anima figure: Remember the song o f Ariadne from the mouth o f the old Sorcerer: here, two masks are superimposed - that o f a young woman, almost o f a Kore, which has been laid over the mask o f a repugnant old man. The actor must play the role o f an old man playing the role o f the Kore. (9) We see then, here, the rudiments o f the becoming-woman o f this new philosophy as theatre, whereby the actor develops his movements through inhabiting the role o f an old-man philosopher, but does so at the moment when the old-man is engaged metamorphosis.  This metamorphosis  mythical feminine  role o f receptivity  passes through a becoming-woman, and affirmation.  in a sorcerer's understood as  In other words the process  of  transformation as unpacked by Deleuze is understood as that o f an actor whose "own" identity is indeterminate, to be determined by the roles played. In order to transform, the actor must play the role o f the old empowered sorcerer and, following the lead o f one who "knows," ultimately can only transform through playing the receptive and fluid feminine role as She who is open to change. In an earlier book on Nietzsche, Deleuze elaborates on the affirmative role of Ariadne:  14  A s long as woman loves man, as long as she is mother, sister, wife of man, even if he is the higher man, she is only the feminine image o f man.  A s terrible  mothers, terrible sisters and wives, femininity represents the spirit o f revenge and the resentiment  which animates man himself.  But Ariadne abandoned by  Theseus, senses the coming o f a transmutation which is specific to her: the feminine power emancipated, become beneficient and affirmative, the A n i m a . (1983, 187) Contrary to traditional binaries, the femininity that constitutes the becoming-woman o f philosophy is not Woman as Man's opposite; not Woman as a rebellious force opposing M a n so as to overthrow H i m .  Deleuze's discussion o f Nietzsche's Ariadne develops the feminine as an  affirmation that affirms difference as such. Ariadne as affirmation is not Man's opposite, not the negative mirror o f the Same, but a force o f Her own.  She is set up as the fiancee o f Dionysus,  where Dionysus is understood as a god o f difference and eternity - a god that has undergone already a becoming-woman, undergoing a constant passionate metamorphosis that faces death and always returns, always differently. Ariadne, as a future oriented force, affirms the difference of Dionysus, promising a conjugal moment o f unifying metamorphosis that is always yet to come. Despite the promise o f unification, the differences o f the presence persist and are celebrated as the potential out o f which a future unification will emerge. When, in a Thousand  Plateaus,  Deleuze and Guattari introduce the idea that every  becoming must pass through a becoming woman, it seems it is W o m a n in the sense o f Nietzsche's  Ariadne that they  have in mind. Understanding sorcery to be the power  of  transformation, they write, "becoming-woman, more than any other becoming, possesses a special introductory power; it is not so much that women are witches but that sorcery proceeds by way o f this becoming-woman" (1987, 248).  The actor sports the sorcerer's mask, the sorcerer  sports Ariadne's mask, sings Ariadne's song, in order to transform; the invocation o f newly "emancipated" feminine energy carrjes with it the force o f affirmation, the force that says "yes"  15  to change, "yes" to new possibilities.  But what becomes o f the emancipated, once She is  promised once again, this time not to man, but to the Dionysian force o f a new theatre? Does she then "promise" to be eclipsed by a sorcerer?  Does she become the sorcerer?  What are the  implications o f the schism implied by this theatre between the woman as agent and the divine feminine anima? In her boundary-transgressing essay, "Dirt and desire: essay on the phenomenology o f dirt and desire of female pollution in Antiquity," Anne Carson tells us that in Ancient Greece  .  women were the prototypical transgressors. According to Carson, women were understood as moving about, from social position (mobile units passed between men in patrilocal marriage arrangements), to physiology (characterized as wet and leaky); all things feminine were understood according to the logic o f transgression (2000, 131-2).' Thus, women carried with them the immense potential to provoke anxieties o f ensuing crisis, were they not adequately contained. The primary institution o f containment noted by Carson is marriage, whereby a woman's metamorphosizing potential could be ordered and possessed within a male governed system. The desire Deleuze has to "emancipate feminine energy" speaks to a desire to put an end to the violent limitations that are put in place by the legacy o f patriarchal institutions. However,  Within Greek society and the philosophical legacy that has permeated the western world by way of Platonic philosophy, femininity has often been associated with metamorphosis and the demonic. Woman is always She who threatens to transgress recognizable boundaries and must be contained. As Mary Douglas' classic Purity and Danger and Kristeva's Power of Horror have shown, these demons have been associated with the 'polluting' quality of women. Anne Carson's boundary-transgressing essay, "Dirt and desire: essay on the phenomenology of dirt and desire of female pollution in Antiquity," underlines the legacy of this feminine threat in western thought. Carson notes the vast array of female characters in Greek and Roman mythology that undergo radical metamorphosis, suggesting the inability of the feminine to hold a form. Moreover, women pose a violent threat to masculine integrity in mythology, mainly through the threat of their sexuality: the sorceress Circe who turns men into pigs, the sphinx as woman-animal hybrid challenging men with her riddles, maenad wild-women tearing the heads off their own sons: abundant examples of mythological women can be found, unable or unwilling to maintain their form, submitting all too easily to animal passions and assaulting the form of men. In each case metamorphosis might be understood as the result of a blow of sorts; an entity is touched by another, causing it to lose its form and enter into a state of crisis. Carson writes, "the difficulty presented by any instance of contact is that of violating a fixed boundary, transgressing a closed category where one does not belong." (Carson, 130) 1  16  it is not clear that the new Dionysian nuptial theatre does not repeat, in veiled form, the same trend. In her Patterns of Dissonance,  Rosi Braidotti argues that the current "crisis" of  philosophy was brought about in large part by the rise o f previously excluded minority voices, most notably those o f women. This "crisis," she explains, is characterized by the crumbling o f faith in forms, subject position, and a general destabilization o f the ground from which epistemic claims can be made (1991, 7). It is the logical correlate o f the emancipation o f forces previously contained as the placeholders o f the negative side o f binary thinking. A s Irigaray puts it, it is what happens when "the ground begins to speak." Roles begin to dissipate and the destabilization o f identity categories presents us with the terrifying question: now that we can no longer be sure o f who we "are," what do we want to become? While keeping in mind this pertinent question, the worry that Braidotti (among other feminists) now voices is the appropriation o f "feminine" dissidence within as a genderless process of becoming-woman may serve to neutralize and silence the voices o f real life women. In making "woman" act as a genderless symbol o f affirmative "cruelty" or defiant rebellion, the fear is that the claims that women make and the issues they raise as particular impediments to their own possibilities for development and transformation are obscured under the pressure o f a de facto masculine humanism. The destabilization o f identity constructs allows women to liberate themselves from the restrictive identity constructs that have traditionally led to self-definitions only in terms o f the role they played for men, but it would also seem to deny them the possibilities o f creating stable identities for themselves.  theatre of repetition: unraveling identity, hanging Ariadne In the Republic, Plato accuses the actor of obscuring truth with its representation, presenting audiences with a "copy o f a copy." In Artaud's final public reading, "The Story Lived by Artaud Momo," he raises the question o f how truth and sincerity can be pursued in  17  performance. After four hours o f telling and performing tales o f his travels, his life, magic and the cruelty of psychiatric incarceration, he says to the audience, "I put myself in your place, and I can see very well that what I am saying isn't interesting at all, it's still theatre. What can I do to be truly sincere?"(Artaud in Dale, 85). In this question, Artaud seems to be turning away from his theatre o f cruelty and from theatre generally in what appears to be a concession to the Platonic critique. However, as Catherine Dale argues in her article, "Cruel," this act ultimately serves to unravel, not the notion o f theatre or performance as such, but rather the notion that it can be charged with a representational task. In so far as the "truly sincere" is thought to connote a singular truth, it is the "truly sincere" itself that is undermined. Catherine Dale explains, "By "pulverizing" the fatal oneness o f a true sincerity, Artaud creates a little sincerity overdoing (overcoming) the qualification o f both true and sincere" (Dale, 86). In Deleuze, the question o f this "truly sincere" becomes the question o f desire. It is not so much a matter o f representing desire, freeing repressed desires or being "true" to these omnipresent desires. Rather, it is a question of how to engage in machines that effectively produce desire and a matter o f what desires we want to produce. These are two separate but intimately related questions. Deleuze's answer to the question of the truly sincere is a theatre of cruelty that, rather than representing truth, is engaged in a continual process o f serial repetition o f previously deployed forces and images that creates in accordance with desire and produces desires as it creates. For Deleuze, this theatre o f repetition is "cruel" and "terrible" in so far as it escapes the dictates o f Truth, but for all this cruelty is all the more "sincere," faithlessly true to desire: The theatre o f repetition is opposed to the theatre ,of representation, just as movement is opposed to the concept and to representation which refers back to the concept.  In the theatre o f repetition, we experience pure forces, dynamic lines in  space which act without intermediary upon the spirit, and link it directly with nature and history, with a language which speaks before words, with gestures  18  which develop before organised bodies, with masks before faces, with spectres and phantoms before characters - the whole apparatus o f repetition as a "terrible power." (DR, 10) The "terrible power" is that which creates each event as a singularity, and in so doing destabilizes the routines and assumptions governing the organizational regimens that preceded the event. In repeating an action, or an event or phenomenon, the force o f the thing or event repeated is called upon to aid in the birth o f the present. According to Deleuze, our experience o f events, and o f the organisms implicated in these events, is formed through a series o f repetitions where identities are formed and ideas set. Deleuze explains this process as the movement between three modes o f repetition: habit, memory and metamorphosis as grounded in eros (love) and thanatos (death). Habit is understood as the contraction o f terms such that an expectation o f continuity ensues. When one term appears, a second is instantaneously expected. This second term is contracted into the very moment o f the first. Here the synthesis is spontaneous; the past and future are contracted into a living present. The body itself is composed o f these habitual contractions down to the cellular or molecular level; it is according to such habits that the organs perform as they do. It is on this basis that habitual actions are performed. It is this synthesis that is responsible for our principles of selfhood. The nature o f habitual repetition is such that it is always changing and thus our concepts o f identity are never completely stable. Deleuze writes, "habit draws something new from repetition - namely difference" (DR, 73). Habit is at the basis o f continuity, but the repetitions that create this continuity are founded on a difference; every event is singular and the habit itself must therefore be contracted for the survival o f a continuous subject. The self gives birth to itself through the habits it takes on, and solidifies itself by means of memory, but it can always be more than it is. A s Deleuze puts it, "Selves are larval subjects; the world o f passive syntheses constitutes the system o f the self, under conditions yet to be determined, but it is the system of dissolved s e l f (DR, 78). There is  19  no self apart from a constellation o f habits, a series o f repetitions that occur at even the minutest level. Images are introduced at the level of memory. Deleuze explains, memory, "elevates the principles o f representation - namely, identity, which it treats as an immemorial model, and resemblance, which it treats as a present image: the Same and the Similar."(DR, 88) Memory forms the basis o f the repetition that is repeated by the present. Eros penetrates the pure past, drawing up images that act as the touchstones of identity. Deleuze writes: it is always Eros, the noumenon, who allows us to penetrate this pure past in itself, this virginal repetition which is Mnemosyne.  He is the companion, the  fiance o f Mnemosyne. Where does he get his power? W h y is it that Eros holds both the secret o f questions and answers, and the secret o f our existence?  Unless  we have not yet found the last word, unless there is a third synthesis o f time... (1994, 85) This theatre o f cruelty uses images o f the past as its basis, but rather than presenting them as memorials to truth, it allows desire, or Eros, to guide the repetition. It takes the historical as the necessary basis out o f which it builds itself, and sees embodied metamorphosis and cultural revolution of all types as dependant on the ability of actors to draw upon a history out o f which to build. Drawing on Rosenberg, Deleuze writes, "historical actors can act only on condition that they identify themselves with figures from the past. In this sense, history is theatre..."(DR, 91) This theatre o f history, draws up the forces of the past in order to enact a present metamorphosis. In this sense, it is not so much a representational theatre, exalting the past as a memorial for its own sake or even in order to preserve its legacy in the present, but in order to serve as a basis for action. If it passes through a representational synthesis, it does so provisionally. The theatre of cruelty is this transformation o f the past into the future in the present. Mnemosyne becomes active, thus destabilizing the binary that holds Eros as a phallic, masculinized drive, penetrating a pure, though malleable, image o f the past. Memory constitutes  20  itself according to the desires, not o f a stable and closed agent, but o f an indeterminate future. In other words, it is desire through and through and the whole system is open. The traditionally "feminine" subject becomes Deleuze's way into imaging the nomadic subject. He draws up the image o f Ariadne and her thread, leading Theseus through the labyrinth so that Theseus may become the great classical hero. Having slain the beast that terrifies the community, with Ariadne's help, he come out himself unscathed and all the more complete in his self-image.  Ariadne, however, is abandoned, and it is as this point that she becomes the  fiancee o f Dionysus. From the perspective of an enduring identity, this engagement to Dionysus is an engagement with utter metamorphosis, an engagement with death that follows from her abandonment, recalling that her identity had previously been determined entirely by the role she plays for him. The theatre o f repetition for Deleuze is the theatre o f Ariadne, no longer in the role o f helper-mother-wife enlisted to preserve another's identity. It is the theatre o f Ariadne's transformation. A n d perhaps, ultimately, o f her obliteration: Every object, every thing, must see difference,  its own identity swallowed  each being no more that a difference  Difference must be shown differing.  between  up in  differences.  We know that modern art tends to  realize these conditions: in this sense it becomes a veritable theatre metamorphoses  and permutations.  of  A theatre where nothing is fixed, a  labyrinth without a thread (Ariadne has hung herself).  The work o f art leaves  the domain o f representation in order to become "experience" transcendental empiricism or science of the sensible. (1994, 56) Entering the "unfixed" theatre, identity is unraveled, and this feminine helper no longer stands locked in her identity as helper. Rather the distinctness o f the roles dissipates and each must undergo their own becoming-woman, weaving the way through the labyrinth through a series o f repetitions without guidance, every guide being only provisional. Deleuze draws upon Artaud's lived experience with such metamorphosis as indicative o f the performative attitude  21  that must produce a new theatre o f philosophy. Artaud writes in the introduction to his Oeuvre Complete: I am innately genital and i f we examine what this means closely, it means I never made the most o f myself. There are some fools who think of themselves as beings, as innately beings. I am he who, in order to be, must whip his innateness. One who must be a being innately, that is always whipping this sort of nonexistent kennel. O ! bitches o f impossibility. (1968,19) Deleuze describes this process o f Artaud's as expressing a "desexualized acquisition." This becoming functions by means o f a violent self-fashioning that is driven by Eros in so far as it selects the ground or level from which this fashioning takes place, but the self is always elusive, always heading toward death. If desire seeks to unify the moment with the all the past, synthesizing identities in the form o f memory, the whipping o f the "innateness" highlights the difference that resists assimilation into a single, monolithic image of the world. The fusion o f Eros and Thanatos, love and death, creates what Nietzsche calls the eternal return, but in a sense that it is continually "returning" to the site o f intense difference. It is the repetition of that which is formless, a "return" to the ambiguous site of excess, which is always beyond the One and the Same. This is how the multiple breaks out o f subordination under a singular conception o f total ultimate unity. It is only that which is truly sincerely different that recurs eternally; only that which is not repressed under the yoke of the expected. Deleuze writes, "this is how the story o f time ends: by undoing its too well centered natural or physical circle and forming a straight line which, led by its own length, reconstitutes an eternally de-centered circle" (DR, 115). The repetition o f the present follows itself to the edge o f its possibilities, and is thereby faces the death o f its identity. The challenge o f the "truly sincere" thus emerges as the seeds of its own self-overcoming. It gestures toward the habitual repetition that forms the self, while whipping it  22  out o f its passive state. The impossibility of performing oneself as a stable innate being is always undermining the attempt and the only sincerity that can truly be pursued is that o f the movement of repetition. The ominous question now resounds as the question o f nihilism: does this negate the value of performance altogether? In the famous correspondence with literary journal editor Jacques Riviere, Artaud writes, "it would be a very great consolation for me to think that even though I am not all of myself, not as tall, not as dense, not as wide as myself, I can still be something" (1976, 36). A year later, in his final published letter to Riviere he elaborates: A man possesses himself in flashes, and even when he possesses himself, he does not reach himself completely.  He does not realize that constant cohesion o f forces  without which all true creation is impossible. Nevertheless, this man exists. I mean to say that he has a distinct reality which redeems him. Should he be condemned to oblivion simply because he can give only fragments o f himself? (1976, 43) The impossibility of unfolding oneself completely and thus being truly sincere is the conundrum raised by a non-representational theatre, that is committed, nevertheless, to the creative pursuit o f genuine ideas. Artaud explains, "Words, shapes o f sentences, internal directions of thought, simple reactions o f the mind - 1 am in constant pursuit o f my intellectual being. Thus as soon as I can grasp a form, however imperfect, I pin it down, for fear of losing the whole thought" (1976, 31). This forms the basis o f Artaud's methodology. Deleuze's reformulation o f this process o f theatrical fragmentation offers up a celebration o f difference and multiplicity through the repetitions that constitute the fluid becoming o f a metamorphosizing agent. This becoming is all the more sincere for its fragmentation, whereby the act is always performed from a present and onto a future always yet to be determined. Following this theatre of repetition, we do away with the norms that limit our possibilities. But what is the cost o f hanging our guides?  23  schizo-sense logic: violence and the little girl's theatre In developing a mode o f thinking, irreducible to classical image-based thought, Deleuze draws heavily on Artaud's experience with schizophrenia: it is not a question o f opposing to the dogmatic image o f thought to another image borrowed, for example, from schizophrenia, but rather o f remembering that schizophrenia is not only a human fact but also a possibility for thought one moreover, which can only be revealed as such can through the abolition o f that image. (1994, 148) Although Artaud writes a host of manifestos insisting upon what is needed for such a theatrical process to take place, the virtue of a true theatre o f cruelty is that it is and must categorically refuse to prostrate itself before a model. According to Deleuze, it is a "dogmatic image o f thought" that accepts problems as handed down and tells us "thinking" is that which allows us to solve these problems and attain the goals that have been set out for us. This image of thought calls upon methods to attain the goals set out by the authority o f others. This is the anti-thesis of the theatre o f cruelty. B y this means we are kept in an "infantile state," whereby all our energies are focused on fulfilling tasks that we did not create, tasks which may have assented to or "chosen," where choice itself is a response to a prescribed problem: Such is the origin o f the grotesque image of culture that we find in examinations and government referenda as well as in newspaper competitions (where everyone is called upon to choose according to his or her taste, on condition that this taste coincides with that o f everyone else). (1994, 158) T o engage in cultural production that does not reproduce this "grotesque image o f culture," but rather awakens us to genuine multiplicity and the possibilities therein, is then the goal o f the philosophy o f difference, at least in so far as we are considering it as a theatre o f cruelty. In The Logic of Sense, Deleuze offers more concrete direction as to how Artaud's schizophrenia gives rise to an affective theatre. Here it is done with respect to the language Artaud employs.  Artaud's language, as Deleuze describes it, is the language o f schizophrenia and this means it is "carved into the depths o f bodies" ( L S , 84). Far from being a play o f meaning, it is an affective bodily experience that transports us from the surface through its cracks or crevices, into the fathomless depths. Following Freud's observation regarding "the aptitude o f the schizophrenic to grasp the surface and the skin as i f they were punctured by an infinite number o f little holes," Deleuze describes the schizophrenic body a "sort o f body-sieve" that "is no longer anything but depth - it carries along and snaps up everything into this gaping depth which represents a fundamental involution" ( L S , 87). What results is bodily expression that transforms "the word into an action by rendering it incapable o f being decomposed and incapable o f disintegrating: language without articulation" (89). Referring to Artaud's translation of Carroll's famous "Jabberwocky" poem from Alice in Wonderland, Deleuze claims the words are welded together as sounds, exploited for their corporeal affect and uttered as continuous howl-words or breath-words. The body generates thought based on that which it consumes (i.e. everything it comes in contact with) and that which it is able to excrete based on its bodily processing o f that material. Through a focus on the body as depth, schizophrenia allows, or even necessitates, the overturning o f a limited model of thought based on discrete, pre-formulated concepts. Located in the depths is the very impetus and possibility o f metamorphosis; continually reaching into it, the schizophrenic brings about such a metamorphosis. The depth constitutes the well out o f which expression as extension emerges: depth is like the famous geological line from N E to S W , the line which comes diagonally from the heart o f things and distributes volcanoes: it unites a bubbling sensibility and a thought which 'rumbles in its crater'. (1994, 230) The volcanic depths o f the schizophrenic are forever threatening the platitudes o f the surface, delving into the abyss in which the past, present and future are synthesized. This schizophrenic language o f depths is placed in contrast to the non-sense of Carroll, who is  25  described alternately as a pervert and as "an affected little girl, protected from all deep problems" (1990, 86). Artaud's translation departs radically from that of Carroll's surface monster in order to experience through this work the terror o f the depths, the words that draw up from the libidinal economy o f pain and desire. Deleuze quotes Artaud's critique of Carroll's "Jabberwocky," as "the work o f a profiteer, who, satiated after a fine meal, seeks to indulge himself in the pain of others" (84). Carroll's word-play is described as the effect o f rigorous grammatical structure and "mastering o f the surface."  For this reason, Deleuze argues that  Carroll and Artaud function in completely different dimensions. The crux o f their differing forms o f becoming for Deleuze lies in their differing relationship to the child, or more specifically, to the little girl: Artaud thrusts the child into an extremely violent alternative, an alternative o f corporeal action and passion, which conforms to the two languages o f in depth. Either the child is not born, that is, does not leave the foldings o f his or her future spinal cord, over which her parents fornicate (a reverse suicide), or she creates a fluid glorious, and flamboyant body without organs, and without parents (like those Artaud called his "daughters" yet to be born).  Carroll, on the contrary,  awaits the child, in a manner conforming to his language of incorporeal sense: he waits at the point and at the moment in which the little girl skirts the surface o f the water, like Alice in the pool o f her own tears. (1990, 93) Between Carroll and Artaud, Deleuze negotiates his own theatre by way of this little girl. Carroll's mastering takes the little girl Alice as a means o f play. The little girl is She who dwells at the threshold, the borderland between the depths and the surface. The little girl still plays on the surface, ostensibly protected from the depths, but o f course the she will soon discover her depths. Within a perverse economy, she discovers them as the plaything o f a mastering artist. This is why it is a little girl and not a little boy; the little girl's becoming-woman in this schema involves the impending exploration o f her depths and the eventual invitation of the little boy into  26  these depths, the little boy is taught to penetrate and master these depths. But occasionally the roles implode and the surface disintegrates.  Artaud as schizophrenic is this little boy who,  refusing to be a "man" (qua master), has imploded the surface, grabbing the little girl as the daughter that he might himself become - a formless daughter, no longer distinguishable on the basis of organs. The dubious implications of appropriating the Little Girl's becoming are explored in a particularly vivid and brutal manner in Artaud's famous, if theatrical unsuccessful, re-working of the disturbing historical "great myth" previously dramatized by both Shelley and Stendal, The Cenci.  Centered around the rape of a daughter by her father, the play uses embodied cries and  the suggestion of embodied desires to demonstrate the hypocrisy of social institutions within the patriarchal civil and religious order, and ultimately, to destabilize it. While the play seems to celebrate Cenci's primal amorality, his monstrous power is clearly bolstered by his social position o f authority as father o f the household, putting him in partnership with the papacy. It is only Beatrice, as the archetype o f feminine youth, whose acts seem capable o f destroying the social ordering and the system of judgement that keeps it functioning. The sons and the mother are equally ineffectual, unhappy with the state o f affairs but apparently too much imbued with the "order o f things" to overturn it. A s the men deliberate the politics o f Cenci's punishment, Beatrice has him murdered and is, as a result, imprisonment and tortured by the very regime that made her vulnerable to her father's brutality in the first place. The girl's suffering and the force o f her revolt are sublimated by the religious and political order that imprisons her and she is used as the sacrifice that allows the community to rid itself o f their discomfort with the overt brutality her father brought to the surface o f the community. In this way, her force is used to protect the prevailing regime.  27  Beatrice's rebellion becomes the way out from the brutal order, but a way out that is contained within the greater structure and divested o f the particularity o f the pain that she experiences. Throughout the play, we see a repetition o f roles producing a doubling that destabilizes the hold o f the original. In her rebellious murder she recognizes her father's own violence and the play ends with her saying, "I fear that death may teach me that I have ended by resembling h i m " (52). Bodies penetrate one another, but who does the penetrating no longer seems for the schizophrenic a relevant question. Gestures and expression are removed from their "original" agent and as such the context of the agent is minimized. In its stead, the quality of the sounds expressed is given heightened importance. The sensory impact is to have as much impact as the "meaning," for ultimately the "meaning" is generated by the serial repetition of sounds and gestures. The great challenge Deleuze faces is the negotiation of the surface master and the schizophrenic. He writes, "Carroll and Artaud do not encounter one another; only the commentator may change dimensions, and that is his great weakness, the sign that he inhabits no dimension at all" (1990, 93). The immediacy of impact, the cruelty of every re-articulation and re-sublimation with an oppressive system is something to be thought of at a distance; we do not seem to be at serious "risk" of falling into the roles we encounter. Deleuze is caught in a double bind. On the one hand he may maintain the integrity of the little girl, toying with her challenges as a professional profiteer. Alternatively, he may submerge her in the depths, dissolving her form so that he can merge with her and "become-woman." Following this path, we may.fall into depths where we may become free to create from an always undefined space of libidinal desire, but a desire that issues from a space of pain at having no identity from which to create. What Deleuze thus attempts to negotiate is the balance between manipulating the surface meaning of received identities that might act as mirror through which one can develop a theory of or at least for oneself, and on the other hand delving into those encountered, not as set  28  identities, but rather as a flux o f intensity with which one will merge. From the perspective o f the one whose image is at stake, however, each has its danger. The surface master creates for himself an Other that will suffer for him. However, appropriating the raging outburst o f the little girl's "becoming-woman" in what Deleuze describes as a schizophrenic surveying o f the depths runs the risk o f repeating the systemic cruelty against her. It offers little direction in terms o f constructing an alternative that would alleviate her need to re-enact the violence o f which she has been the target. What needs to be established, then, is a means of approaching identity in a manner that is able to take into consideration the position o f "the little girl" herself. Or, in other words, a way o f understanding the unique place from which we all "become" and the tools we have for dealing with the obstacles we encounter.  capitalism and the schizo-artist: bartered bodies or expansive experimentation? In Anti-Oedipus, Deleuze and Guattari explain, "cruelty is the movement o f culture that is realized in bodies and inscribed on them, belaboring them" (1983, 145). The movement o f culture functions through the inscriptions o f bodies, however the ways in which bodies are inscribed is hardly consistent and the various cultural eras and revolutions can be understood in terms o f the changing relationships between bodies and their significance. Bodily performance functions in qualitatively different manners and thus understanding the theatrical turns o f the body offers an opportunity to trace the relationship between theatrical form and social structure at work. Situating this movement in terms of the theatrics of therapy in historical perspective, Deleuze and Guattari write: Our definition o f schizoanalysis focused on two aspects: the destruction o f the expressive  pseudo  forms o f the  unconscious,  unconscious investments o f the social  field.  and the discovery  o f desire's  It is from this point o f view that we  must consider many primitive cures; they are schizoanalysis in action. (1983, 167)  29  Deleuze and Guattari trace the performativity o f therapeutic practices and their role in the social construction from "primitive" shamanisitic cures to contemporary psychoanalytic practices. Through this movement, we are given a clue to the changing nature and role o f theatre and performance in society. This process brings to light the intimate connections between socioeconomic systems and the regulation and production o f desire as seen through theatrical and therapeutic practices. The "primitive" practices function by inscribing bodies with meaning. In the studies from which Deleuze constructs his analysis, following most notably the work o f Levi Strauss, it is specifically the bodies o f the young women in the community that are inscribed. The little girl "becomes-woman" through a ritual by which her physical body is used to carry the signs and debts o f the communities. The girls are taught specific family and tribal dances to mark their belonging to the community. Through this process, bodies are transformed from the singular and indeterminate bodies o f performers into a territory.  Inscription occurs on the  bodies and these inscriptions act as direct commands. Deleuze and Guattari describe such primitive rituals as oral in contrast to the abstracted or deterritorialized system o f writing that emerges with an imperial state model. This method o f marking is characterized by its immediate relationship to the manifold possibilities offered by living bodies in action. Signs here have meaning, but their meaning can not be dislocated from the mode o f expression: Savage formations are oral, are vocal, but not because they lack a graphic system: a dance on the earth, a drawing on a wall, a mark on the body are a graphic system, a geo-graphism, a geography.  These formations are  oral precisely because they possess a graphic system that is independent of the voice, a system that is not aligned on the voice and not subordinate to it, but connected  to it, co-ordinated "in an organization that is  radiating, as it were: and multidimensional. (And it must be said that this graphic system is linear writing's contrary: civilizations cease being oral only through losing the independence and the particular dimensions o f  30  the graphic system; by aligning itself on the voice, graphism supplants the voice and induces a fictitious voice). (1983, 188) This direct encoding o f meaning in the flesh is dubbed a theatre of cruelty. Meanings are arrived precisely through their corporeal determinations and the collective memory o f the tribe and its associated debts etc. are literally burned, carved or otherwise etched in or on the body o f its members.  What is inscribed is not, however, a central narrative, but rather a multitude o f  flows that do not need to defer to a centralized abstraction. It plays out a multidimensional system through the use o f various forms o f expression. Deleuze and Guattari recount a Ndembu medicine ceremony recorded by Victor Turner: G i v i n g [the sick person] potions, attaching horns to his body for drawing up the incisor, making the drum beat, the medicine man proceeds with a ceremony interrupted by halts and fresh departures, flows o f all sorts, flows o f words and breaks: the members o f the village come to talk, the sick subject talks, the ghost is invoked, the medicine man explains, everything recommences, drums, chants, trances.  It is not only a question o f discovering profoundly - its unconscious  investments by desire, such as they pass by way of the sick person's marriage, his position in the village, and all the positions o f a chief lived in intensity within the group. (1983, 168) The multiple sites o f intensity called upon by such primitive cures is what earns them a place within the schizoanalysis that Deleuze and Guattari seek to develop. It functions by networks whereby the "graphism itself constitutes a sign in conjunction with the thing designated," and this sign is "continually jumping from one element to another," creating webs that do not so much designate stable object-referents as ways of jumping or becoming through this network (1983, 204). This primitive shamanic theatre is in contradistinction to what emerges with imperialism, namely that meanings are deterritorialized from the imminent site of  31  multiple present bodies and reterritorialized  abstractly onto the body of the despot in the name  of the empire. Words are made to carry meaning and as such singular narratives are imposed: The voice no longer sings but dictates, decrees; the graphy no longer dances, it ceases to animate the bodies, but is set into writing on tablets, stones and books....the vocal, the graphic, and the visual . . . converge toward the eminent unity o f the despot... the subordination o f graphism to the voice induces a fictitious voice from on high which no longer expresses itself except through the writing signs that it emits (revelation). (1983, 205) According to Deleuze and Guattari, the shift to an imperial, written system marks the subordination o f desire to abstract dictates. Whereas, bodily desire had previously been repressed by the society in which the subject participates, the shift to an imperial system was such that the dictates descended upon the body in ways that effaced bodily desire. Bodily expression and the affiliations created thereby, including familial relations, are usurped and subordinated to the dictates o f the despot's written word. Here the question of exegesis sets in; what does the text mean? How do we bring out its meaning and enact the despot's script? Bodily performance now bows to a master-narrative and, as Deleuze and Guattari write, "the body no longer allows itself to be engraved like the earth, but prostrates itself before the engravings o f the despot, the regions beyond the earth, the new full body"(1983, 206). Western style patriarchal rule takes a single disembodied narrative, implicitly emanating from the lived conditions o f the ruler, effectively silencing and marking as blanket Other all deviants or minorities, which are now conflated in their position as Other. In capitalism, this process o f deterritoritorialization is complete. Whereas, in both the territorial systems as well as the imperial systems, representation designates objects, with capitalism, Deleuze argues, "representation no longer relates to a distinct object, but to productive activity i t s e l f (1983, 263).  Whereas the imperial state appropriates and mimics the  familial and tribal relations of a territorial system, capitalism uses the territorial elements as  32  mere material for the production and amassing o f capital. The flows of capital reduce the material conditions and persons that fuel it to a play o f images, generating mass imagery for the private consumption o f individuals whose identification rests on these consumed images. Persons become personifications of the capitalist system, whereby according to Deleuze and Guattari, "even destitution, despair, revolt - and on the other side, the violence and the oppression of capital — become images of destitution, despair, revolt, violence, or oppression" (1983, 264). What was once inscribed on the moving bodies of family members has since been abstracted and now it is the image o f "The Family" that appears with every public production. Everything public is fed as a metaphor for the personal but through this process the truly singular experience o f persons is effaced and replaced by a simulacrum. This creation o f a universalizing private theatre culminates in the production o f psychoanalysis and the Freudian tendency to answer every discontent with an image o f the Oedipal family and the complex it suggests. Through the myth o f Oedipus, Deleuze and Guattari trace the system o f representation from the Classical Greek theatre o f Sophocles and the on-set of the Western city-state, to Freud's privatization o f the myth within a capitalist context: In Oedipus there is a recapitulation o f the three states, or the three machines. For Oedipus makes ready in the territorial machine, as an empty unoccupied limit. It forms the despotic machine as a symbolically occupied limit. But it is filled and carried to completion only by becoming the imaginary Oedipus of the capitalist machine.  The despotic machine preserved the primitive territorialities, and the  capitalist machine rescuscitates the Urstaat as one o f the poles o f axiomatic, it makes the despot into one o f its images.  That is why Oedipus gathers up  everything, everything is found again in Oedipus which is indeed the result o f the universal history, but in the singular sense in which capital is already this result. Fetishes, idols, images, and simulacra - here we have the whole series: territorial fetishes, despotic idols or symbols, then everything is recapitulated in the images  of capitalism, which shapes and reduces them to the Oedipal simulacrum. The representative o f the local group with Laius, the territoriality with Jocaste, the despot with Oedipus himself: "a motley painting of everything that has ever been believed."  It comes as no surprise that Freud looks to Sophocles for the central  images o f Oedipus-the-despot, the myth becomes tragedy, in order to make the image radiate in two contrary directions: the ritual primitive direction o f Totem and Taboo, and the private direction o f modern man the dreamer. (1983, 267) The Freudian pyschoanalyst, functioning within the deterritorialized setting of late capitalism completes the "Oedipalization" of mass consciousness, set in motion by the Classical Greek theatre. Oedipus-the-despot, once a theatrically enacted myth learned by tragedians is, under late capitalism, internalized and played out in the "private theatre" o f the analyst's office. It is finally the imagination that has been colonized, transformed from an amorphous factory o f "desiring-production" to a private (scripted) classical theatre. There is no longer any need to look beyond the family structure in "healing" ourselves; social ills can all be reduced to the illness o f our relationship to the maternal and paternal forces around us, and our desire can all likewise be traced to such genealogical formations. Through the use o f this mythology, desire is contained and limited. Roles are stratified, such that singular events can be classified and analyzed according to set meanings, instituting a division o f labour: mother = corporeal territory, Father = Culture, Son = the one who desires, penetrating the corporeal territory and mastering Culture. The little girl, as we have seen, falls outside of this trinity, thereby signifying raw potentiality. The schizoanalysis developed by Deleuze and Guattari is therefore dedicated to destabilizing the classical representational theatre that has taken hold of the unconscious. It is in the interest o f such destabilization that Artaud-as-schizo-artist is called upon. The schizophrenic, according to Deleuze and Guattari, does away with the representational code modeled on familial structures. Rather than looking toward origins in order to tease out and confess to the perversion o f which the sufferer must have been guilty, schizoanalysis fellows the  34  network o f relations at every level. Artaud as schizo-artist is drawn on for the pursuit o f a recording system that either rejects the structure o f representation, or repeats it only to parody it. Artaud's poem "Here Lies" is quoted: I don't believe in father in mother got no pappamummy (Artaud in Deleuze, 1983, 14) and later I, Antonin Artaud, am my son, my father, my mother and myself. (15)  It is this serial parodying o f representation that forms the basis schizoanalytic practice. The psychoanalyst functions by acting out, and thus resuscitating, the role o f the supposedly slain father o f the classical Oedipal drama, exonerating the child for his betrayal o f the father and transgression o f the laws laid out. Rejecting this model, schizoanalysis breaks open the private theatre, removes the analysis from the confines o f the "father's" office, and allies it instead with an experimental production o f "art-as-process" which they very explicitly distinguish from a theatre. Deleuze and Guattari suggest that tribal medicine ceremonies constitute schizoanalysis in action, referencing Artaud's writings on his experience with the Tarahumuras indigenous tribe of Mexico in the late 1930s. Artaud's intention in visiting Mexico was to learn the means o f instigating a Cultural Revolution from what he understood to be the revolutionary atmosphere of Mexico. In the peyote rituals o f the Tarahumuras, he thinks he has found the means o f developing cultural modes o f expression no longer ruled through hegemonic decree but rather through attentiveness to the movements of desire made manifest in physical and mental expressions. In his earlier manifestos on a theatre o f cruelty, he notes the power o f respiration  and o f how and when words are uttered and gestures played out. He explains that he came to Mexico in search of "a real physical source of this revolutionary force" (1976, 368). Here we find a sense o f nostalgia for a territorial system, but one that decidedly grows out o f a modern capitalist environment. M u c h o f Artaud's account o f his time with the Tarahumuras was recorded while he was institutionalized in the asylum at Rodez, and he laments the barbarism o f modern Western "treatment" in contrast to the ceremonies o f the Tarahumuras. His account, written in a state o f delirium induced, in part by the conditions under which his illness is being treated, could apparently never be confirmed by subsequent scholars, the Tarahumaras tribes having apparently no recollection of his visit. In these accounts, Artaud seems to be decoding the rituals so as to be able to assign to them a new function within Western culture. These accounts resonate in many ways with Artaud's accounts o f various oriental theatrical forms, and can be seen as part o f an overarching project to create a new civilization through study o f the performative techniques employed by various cultures in the service o f galvanizing, maintaining, and healing their communities. Here, these primitive rituals have been extricated from their original context, deterritorialized to be reterritorialized onto the bodies o f contemporary performers and therapists. This process of decoding and o f following desires in multiple, seemingly incommensurable directions that unite only at a "deep" level, at once transcendent and corporeally imminent is characteristic o f the schizo-flow o f which Deleuze and Guattari write. This process is a celebration o f the territorial systems, but one that destroys its territoriality through its very celebration. Deleuze and Guattari explain the processes at work in such de-coding: Our societies exhibit a marked taste for all codes' - codes foreign and exotic but this taste is destructive and morbid.  While decoding doubtless  means  understanding and translating a code, it also means destroying the code as such, assigning  it an archaic, folkloric, or residual function, which makes  of  36  psychoanalysis and ethnology two disciplines highly regarded in our modern societies. (1983, 245) Artaud, however, is neither psychoanalyst nor ethnologist, but schizo-artist. Thus, as much as he is engaged in this activity o f de-codification, his purpose is markedly different. Rather than utilizing these decoded codes to bolster an axiom o f capital acquisition and , production, his process can be understood as challenging the very axioms according to which capitalism functions. Deleuze and Guattari continue: for capitalism it is a question o f binding the schizophrenic charges and energies into a world axiomatic that always opposes the revolutionary potential o f decoded flows with new interior limits. A n d it is impossible in such a regime to distinguish, even in two phases, between decoding and the axiomatization that comes to replace the vanished codes. capitalism at the same time.  The flows are decoded and axiomatized by  Hence schizophrenia is not the identity  of  capitalism, but on the contrary its difference, its divergence, and its death. (1983, 245) What characterizes the schizophrenic process is precisely that its focus is the process itself and not its re-organization into a salable item. It can not be slapped with a representative label and resists reinsertion into the Oedipal drama o f prescribed desire, (the capitalist's answer to the psychoanalyst's suggestion: "so that is what I want"). It is a process oriented toward becoming, whose value is found in the intensity o f the transformation and not in the successes it has attained.  Deleuze and Guattari insist that the value o f art lies truly in the process o f  experimentation as such and not in the product it produces, or even in post-facto appraisal o f the success o f the experimentation. The intensities o f transformation in which the magic o f the artist or the practitioner engages can never be codified and reproduced. Artaud's attempts to decode the various elements o f the Peyote rituals o f the Tarahumuras, his systematization o f the breathing hieroglyphics o f the Cabala and the gestures and sounds o f the Balinese are attempts to  37  access the fissures, the guttural depths o f truth that he thinks he can find in these territorial systems. Artaud acknowledges the theft involved in this type o f de-coding, designed to allow for the appropriation o f the power of these traditions. Artaud writes, "a White, for these Red men, is one whom the spirits have abandoned. If it was I who benefited from the rite, it meant so much lost for themselves, with their intelligent sheathing o f spirit. many spirits that could not be utilized again" (1976, 384).  So much lost for the spirits.  So  He records how he had to endure an  "incredible comedy," as the Tarahumaras attempted to dupe him in an effort to prevent him from amassing  and decoding the  energy  o f their true ritual.  However, as understood  by  schizoanalysis, his attempts are oriented toward a release o f the colonial legacy that allows one group to amass wealth through the appropriation o f another group's power under the name o f axiom that acts as law. Released from a commodity economy, the energies are sent to circulate freely. Deleuze and Guattari explain: the theatre o f cruelty cannot be separated from the struggle against our culture, from the confrontation o f the "races," and from Artaud's great migration toward Mexico, its forces, and religions: individuations are produced only within fields o f forces expressly defined by intensive vibrations, and that animate cruel personages only in so far as they are induced organs, parts of desiring-machines (mannequins). It is not a matter o f enacting the role o f a shaman or a sorcerer, or o f representing the ceremonies.  M u c h less is it a manner o f believing oneself to have become a personage to  whom one apprentices.  Rather the relationship o f the theatre o f cruelty to the various "races"  and cultures engaged is characterized by a desire to awaken the intensity accessed.  Deleuze  and Guattari refer to the tendency in modern physics to use proper names to designate certain fields o f intensity and potentiality as a process continuous with Artaud's use o f historical and cultural names and rites. In such cases, it is clear that when the name is invoked there is not a  38  specific personage being called upon but rather the force with which they are associated.  As  they put is, "history is like physics: a Joan o f A r c effect, a Heliogabalus effect - all the names of history, and not the name o f the father" (1983, 86). The theatre o f cruelty explodes the model that declares performance to be representative, resisting the dictum that would re-inscribe all the names as subsets o f a subsuming law or axiom. Instead, it suggests a process o f becoming-other, whereby the other is not mimicked, but rather the intensities which they call up are called up by the performer who deploys these forces as so many effects. The metamorphosis that ensues is therefore conceived as a real metamorphosis o f intensities and not, as is sometimes supposed, the mimicry o f a specific personage. For Deleuze and Guattari, art functions as a desiring-machine, that "short-circuits social production" and "interferefs]  with the reproductive functions o f technical machines  introducing and element o f disfunction" (1983, 33).  by  The philosophy o f difference as a  philosophical theatre o f the future attempts to explode the mythologies on which traditional theatres and modes o f cultural production are ostensibly based by postulated a principle o f metamorphosis and becoming, rather than on the production o f images and identifications.  The  basis o f such metamorphosis, and perhaps the most influential idea Deleuze and Guattari take from Artaud: that o f creating "a body without organs."  The creation o f such a body without  organs becomes the method by which persons can begin to engage in such a theatre o f difference. In the radio play, To Have Done With the Judgement of God (1947), Artaud writes: When you have made [man] a body without organs, then you will have delivered him from all his automatic reactions and restored him to his true freedom.  Then you will teach him again to dance wrong side out as in the frenzy of dance halls and this wrong side out will be his real place. (1976, 571)  39  In this radio play, Artaud equates the organs o f man to a new vision o f god that has taken over. The "judgement" o f this god is manifest in the very way that bodily is understood namely, as discrete and defined, with determinate functions and potentialities. Having killed god, organs are created as the microbe god before whom man now cowers. According to Artaud, the understanding o f the body in terms o f these organs is what allows man's vitality to be stolen from him and given over to the state for the purposes o f reproducing. What are to be created through these organs are not persons but soldiers that will mindlessly defend the interests o f American style capitalism.  It is thus now only in releasing man from this "judgement o f god"  and making him a body-without-organs, that man will be allowed his dance o f freedom. The body-without-organs allows for a fluid metamorphosis and regeneration. This body-withoutorgans is the site o f the schizo-theatre; the place where capitalism is run-off its limits and the self as cog in the in productive machine of "enlightened" individualism, overturned, ft is, in other words, the site o f Artaud's great resistance to the contemporary organization and institutionalization. H e announces it as the basis o f his rebellion: For tie me up i f you want to there is nothing more useless than an organ (1976,576) Where capitalism re-inscribes myths to create private soldiers for its cause, the bodywithout-organs resists the reterritorialization o f vital energies onto the organizational structures as they have been taught in the schools. It is this utter rejection o f institutionalization that maddens the institutional masters to not cease to scrutinize the situation for a way o f confining it and appropriating the energy produced. This is the battle of Artaud's to which Deleuze alerts us and it is through this struggle that Deleuze shows us the extent to which the psychoanalyst is complicit in promoting the representationalism that confines desire to set o f nicely delineated organs: Where psychoanalysis says, "Stop, find your self again," we should say instead, "Let's go further still, we haven't found our B w O yet, we haven't sufficiently  40  dismantled our self."  Substitute forgetting for anamnesis, experimentation for  interpretation. Find your body without organs. Find out how to make it. It's a question o f life and death, youth and old age, sadness and joy.  It is where  everything is played out. (1987, 151) The body without organs, this space where everything is played out, is anti-imagistic, yet it thrives off o f the appropriation of images and rites of the oppressed, abstracting them from their context to be played out serially by the amorphous body of the Western schizo. The body-without-organs morphs according to all the intensities it come in contact with and uses all of these intensities to rail against its shackles. It draws up the powers of animal spirits, o f sorcerers and gods, importing any and all techniques that facilitate an intense metamorphosis. It seems to find resonance with territorial systems of primitives, but abstracts itself through its rapid metamorphosis and rises into an incorporeal state that rejects the territory. Renouncing the American obsession with artificial production, Artaud writes: Rather than a people who feed their horses, cattle, and mules the last tons of real morphine they have left and replace it with substitutes made of smoke, I prefer the people who eat off the bare earth the delirium from which they were born, I mean the Tarahumura eating Peyote off the ground while they are born, and who kill the sun to establish the kingdom o f black night, and who smash the cross so that the spaces of space can never again meet and cross.  A n d so you are going to hear the dance T U T U G U R I .  (1976,557)  41  This smashing of the cross is the celebrated cruelty that does away with the godly forms, and the distinctions thereby instituted. Beginning with this smashing o f the cross, Artaud wishes to follow the Tarahumura into the black night, the indistinct abyss where the dance occurs. This is the orgy o f becoming which refuses to limit desire to the sanctioned forms. The cross stands as the symbol o f the spiritualization o f the body; it is that which crucifies the body and keeps it from dancing. Each o f the four directions o f the cross is overseen by a priest, seeking to spiritualize, limit, and thereby betray desire. A s Deleuze and Guattari elaborate, "every time desire is betrayed, cursed, uprooted from its field of immanence, a priest is behind it" (1987, 154). T o abolish the cross requires a rite by which the light of religion, with its "illuminations" o f forms, can be snuffed. Such a rite allows the " s e l f to escape from the models that have coopted and formulated it. That is why it is immanently theatrical and it is why the theatre o f cruelty, as a non-representational site o f becoming, can become for Artaud and Deleuze a line of flight. Unlike the capitalist co-opting o f otherness by the self-same principle o f production, the schizo-artist's body without organs refuses to be bound to an axis of production and correlated mythology. The dance o f Tutugari, as Artaud presents it, features seven men. The seventh of these men is the "sun/ in the raw," intermittently presented as a horse and as a man leading a horse, but as Artaud explains, "it is the horse/ who is the sun/ and not the man." Six o f the men begin by rolling on the ground, "leap up one by one like sunflowers" and surround and finally up-root six crosses, while the seventh, the horse-man, comes galloping up naked and "holds up/ an enormous horseshoe/ which he dipped in a gash of his blood" (1976, 558-9). This dance is invoked as the rite by which the body extricates itself from bondage to its assigned organs and reterritorializes itself onto the "natural" body o f the earth. The body without organs is this liberated body, free to enter into the play of earthly metamorphosis. The rite turns around a  42  becoming-horse, a becoming-sunflower, etc. This transformation is understood as occurring in a very real sense. It is not a matter o f mere mimetics but is rather realized so as to affect a significant change in the universe. However, there is another sense in which the transformation must be understood to be incorporeal, for clearly, the men don't really become animals, plants, the sun, etc., at least in so far as we understand these entities as having stable physical identities. Deleuze and Guattari explain such becomings as ultimately process driven, as opposed to being oriented toward the ultimate forms into which they metamorphose: Becoming produces nothing other than itself.  We fall into a false alternative i f  we say that you either imitate or you are. What is real is the becoming itself, the block o f becoming, not the supposedly fixed term through which that which becomes passes.  Becoming can and should be qualified as becoming-animal  even in the absence o f a term that would be the animal become.  The becoming-  animal o f the human being is real, even i f the animal become is not; and the becoming-other o f the animal is real even i f that something other it becomes is not. (1987,238) The body without organs is the plane o f consistency that allows for the fluidity o f becoming, a fluidity that depends on the rejection o f organization. That is why, on the one hand, the body without organs must appropriate territorial forms o f becoming, and on the other must abstract these territorial becomings from their embodied context. The rite o f becoming-sun does away with the "real" sun; black night is approached. It no longer matters whether, in the human act of becoming-other, any accurate conception is held of that which one becomes.  In its  destabilization o f the fatherly judgement o f G o d as Father/Priest, the Maternal body as territory is equally desecrated and depicted as a construct that forms the precondition for patriarchal systems of judgement. Artaud describes the body o f the earth as that out o f which the crosses are embedded and the mother's embrace as "foul." The desecration o f the mother serves to  43  destabilize the binaries according to which the mother is depicted as the ground o f a masculinized culture. If there is a primary conflation here of the maternal and the territorial or earth-body, the push to develop a body-without-organs sets about destabilizing this relationship. In Artaud's work, however, this seems to be developed by a frequently violent disregard for the situation o f those who have occupied this position. While, on the one hand, creating a body-without-organs allows for an expansion of performative possibilities, consideration of the lived situation from which these possibilities are performed becomes a glaring omission. In developing their schizoanalytic approach, Deleuze and Guattari use Artaud's artistic tools to begin unraveling normative ideals. B y historicizing these tools, Deleuze and Guattari expose the ways in which such an approach grows up within a capitalist economy. However they maintain that, while capitalism organizes by sublimating multiple becomings to an axiom o f capital production, the process o f artistic experimentation encouraged by schizoanalysis breaks open this axiom, offering a possibility to move beyond an obsession with capital. Moreover, they suggest that in this move beyond, minority desires can flourish, being allowed to break out the norms that hitherto had sublimated them. Here it is suggested that the forces o f the marginalized be brought to the foreground and celebrated in the open. The extent to which such a celebration benefits those who have been systematically marginalized, however, remains to be seen.  the cruelty of appropriation Creating a "body without organs" allows us to be open to a variety o f possibilities and forge new ways o f pursuing our desires. According to the Deleuzian-Artaudian approach, as long as one is capable o f engaging in the process o f creating a body-without-organs, it would seem that the horizon o f possibilities is infinitely expanded. This approach is inspired by a principle o f constant consumption that cannot be re-inscribed within an overarching principle o f capital accumulation. Artaud writes, "to be cultivated is to eat one's destiny, to assimilate it  44  through knowledge" (1976, 359). The question, however, is the sort of knowledge that one eats in this instance, available and empowering to all, or does it presuppose an "eating" agent, in a position o f dominance relative to that which is eaten? This need not necessarily presuppose a economically dominant agent, but is, rather, oriented toward the question o f what is required to be a mobile, consuming, agent. Is the sort of knowledge required to "eat one's own destiny" a knowledge which necessarily presupposes a certain sort of agent; one whose knowledge o f their own history and whose position as a mobile individual is secured. This model o f becoming based on consumption seems relatively innocuous so long as what one becomes is a sunflower or a horse. Its implications are all the more urgent when the becoming is engaged in destabilizing the identity o f a cultural minority: the Tarahumuras for instance, or the Balinese actors. Not only do territorial systems o f representation suggest a becoming-other, the body-without-organs follows such systems through a becoming-primitive that enters into the territoriality of selected traditions only to deterritorialize and decontextualize the traditions from which it draws. The rites described in To Have Done With the Judgement of God are written up ten years after Artaud's visit to Mexico during the period that he was in and out o f the Asylum at Rodez. Artaud's accounts o f the various theatrical traditions on which he writes in Theatre and Its Double are notoriously sketchy and inaccurate from a factual perspective.  We know what interests him are the intensities of the becoming. But what is the  effect o f appropriating the names and rites o f others while discarding the importance o f their "reality" in themselves? The focus on future-oriented performance advocated by a Deleuzian reading o f Artaud functions by appropriating what we might call a collective memory - having done away with the principle of personal identity. While in the case of Artaud, this process may be "reterritorialized" onto the body of the schizophrenic, Deleuze further deterritorializes this to make it a principle of thinking and living. Here, an understanding o f schizophrenia as a principle of life-as-experimental-art, and desire as the production o f experiments in living, is created.  This principle dislocates gestures that constitute identity and utilizes them in the service o f "producing" new desires. There remains, however, at any given moment a recognizable agent o f desire, and these agents do not begin from the same position and with the same cultural tools. Despite the fact that the performed desires may celebrate multiplicity by bringing "minority" desires into the foreground, it is less clear that actual identifiable minorities will be in a stronger position to produce and pursue their desires by following this approach. T o the extent that minority "identities" are consumed by those previously identified as the majority in an attempt to broaden their own possibilities, there is a very real danger that what ensues is not so much the advancing of minority desires, but rather the sublimation o f these desires as tools in the pursuit of majority desires. This is not to say that the theatre o f difference as a principle o f nomadic living is necessarily detrimental to the desiring-production o f minorities. However, it falls short of providing the tools by which such desiring might take place. According to Deleuze and Guattari, every "becoming" within contemporary Western society must pass through the stage o f "becoming-woman," since "woman" as a category has been constructed as the dominant minority against with the masculine identity, as the politically dominant majority, has been formulated. Woman comes to symbolize the possibility that the desired, as body, ground o f experience and Other, has to produce its own desires. This destabilizes a way o f thinking based on ready-made distinctions and, as such, is described as the destruction of boundaries through a rebellious, but affirmative act o f "cruelty" that allows for the celebration of marginalized desires that fall between the norms and ideals that are typically promoted. However, how this strategy can be o f use to women, and the extent to which passing through a stage o f "becoming woman" in the Deleuzian sense o f destabilizing identities through fluid, multifaceted mobility remains to be seen.  46  P A R T T W O : S T A G E SETTINGS F O RA "FEMINIST"  NOMADISM  I am an instrument in the shape of a woman trying to translate pulsations into images  for the relief o f the body  and the reconstruction o f the mind - Adrienne Riche  In many ways the title o f this section appears as a paradox, for how can we "set" nomadism? Philosophical nomadism as developed by Gilles Deleuze, furthered in his partnership with Guattari, functions by way o f destabilizing identities as forms that house being. Instead the world transforms in a flux of becoming. We inhabit images and forms only temporarily, passing through them in a process o f desiririg-production that recreates the form as a singular immediate gesture. From a radically nomadic perspective, the idea o f a "feminist" nomadism is already paradoxical in so far as it retains a base o f "woman" or even "women" or "femininity" as a stable concept from which the nomad takes off. It is as though this "feminism" provides a sanctuary in which the nomad can galvanize forces, free from the persecution that may elsewhere be encountered, before continuing on with a journey that occasionally may lead into a war zone. We might ask, however, i f a "feminist nomadism" is really nomadic at all? Who or what are these "feminists"? Who or what are these "women" o f which they speak?  hysterical theatre: newly born, but stillforlorn? In 1975, Helene Cixous and Catherine Clement together published their now classic treatise on feminine becoming, The Newly Born Woman. This text is not to be read as putting forward a singular argument.  Rather, it plays with the idea of feminine expression as a fluid process o f  becoming that issues from the body in what they often describe as "hysterical theatre." This  theatre functions as a revolt against the prevailing "phallogocentric" model of thought and the patriarchal order it defends, while offering itself up as an alternative medium of becoming. In many ways, the discussion on becoming-woman in Deleuze and Guattari's "Becoming-Intense, Becoming-Animal" functions as a response to this text. The "hysterical theatre" of Clement and Cixous utilizes the multiple resources of the body as a way of breaking out of the limitations imposed by prevailing language structures. The nomadism that Deleuze and Guattari develop retains a strategy of multiple expression which, in keeping with the theorization of Clement and Cixous, they characterize as a "becomingwoman." However, extending their version of the Artaudian schizophrenic "theatre of cruelty," Deleuze and Guattari develop an approach to becoming that seeks to expand possibilities through an  incorporeal  metamorphosis, whereby change takes place through virtual contact,  transcending the limitations imposed by existing organic structures. This incorporeal becoming frees agents from corporeal conditions and allows for metamorphosis to take place. Deleuze and Guattari are interested in what a body can do, rather than what it is.. But it might be that they have taken an awareness of libidinal desire for granted. For those bodies that have systematically been robbed of their desires along with their identities, the identity of these bodies may still be a matter that needs attending in so far as it may help to develop the desiring capacity of these bodies. Clement and Cixous refuse to allow the body to be taken up as a tool in incorporeal transformation, and insist, instead, on letting the body speak. In so doing, they retain a concept of agency that disappears in the incorporeal nomadism of Deleuze and Guattari. Unlike the combined text of Deleuze and Guattari, Cixous and Clement each author their own pieces to make up  the Newly Born Woman.  This stylistic difference in co-authorship itself belies  a difference in the concept of agency and development at work. In the case of Deleuze and Guattari, the identities of the authors blur and it no longer becomes possible to assign a given thought to one author or the other. In the case of Clement and Cixous, multiplicity is championed in a manner that allows for discrete voices that are distinct from one another, even  as they both engage in a flux o f transformation based on what and whom they come into contact. This allows for a celebration o f difference in their work, conceived as a giving voice to the other. This voice is that which issues from the body at a given moment rather than the identity that has come to be associated with it. In the present analysis, I will focus primarily on the way Cixous articulates this hysterical theatre o f the body, or ecriture feminine as it is more commonly called. I will compare the tools she develops through this theatre of "feminine" becoming to those developed by Deleuze and Guattari via their Artaudian schizophrenic performance. Through this comparison, the utility o f using bodily desire as a means o f protecting women from potentially disempowering fragmentation at the hands of others will be investigated. In A Thousand Plateaus, Deleuze and Guattari use "feminine" cruelty to create a demonology, tracing a path of becoming through a becoming-woman. In their analysis o f Kleist's play, Penthesilea, Deleuze and Guattari demonstrate the possibilities opened through the violent love o f Achilles and Pentheselia. Achilles undergoes a becoming-woman and Penthesilea a becoming-dog that results in the death o f both - Penthesilea attacks him in the manner o f her pack of dogs, ripping him to shreds and killing herself. Despite its repetition o f a classic fear scenario o f the deadly danger o f feminine animal passion, it is celebrated by Deleuze and Guattari as that which is needed to liberate thought from its repressive molds and allow for the free play o f desire and possibility. In their view, Kleist "offers a wonderful explanation o f how forms and persons are only appearances produced by the displacement o f a center o f gravity on an abstract line, and by the conjunction o f these lines on a plane o f immanence." (1987, 268) The distinctions o f form, the affinities o f love and clashes of violence that muddy these distinctions; all this is a matter o f perception based on speeds and slowness, the rate at which metamorphosis occurs. Cruelty for Artaud retains something o f the fear and suffering typically associated with it in the modem lexicon, depicted as the necessary pains o f truly living and thinking. However, in the work o f Deleuze and Guattari the pejorative gloss disappears, with the result that such cruelty is depicted as the height o f affirmation and the celebration o f life.  49  Following the literary plane o f consistency that Kleist creates, they remark "even death can only be conceptualizes as the intersection of elementary reactions o f different speeds" (268). There is no need to fear the becomings o f Penthesilia; they are not the signs of evil but a demonstration of the fluidity o f form over time. This becoming-Kleist advocated by Deleuze and Guattari reads as a response to Cixous' reading of Kleist in "Sortie," the second essay in The Newly Born Woman. While Deleuze and Guattari describe their approach as a nomadic transversal of (in this case, literary) planes o f imminence, Cixous describes the experience as "finding a place," i f only temporarily. "Sometimes I find where to put the many-lifed being that I am. Into elsewheres opened by men who are capable of becoming woman," writes Cixous and elaborates, "I was Kleist's Penthesilia, not without being Achilles" (98).  The movements o f force and violent becomings in this play  are the fluid and natural flows that move beyond the laws that carve up identities and reign in desire: One gets beyond everything with Kleist.  A n d it is not called transgression.  Because passion suddenly flares up in the world where that idea does not exist. (1986,98 - 99) Boundaries are transcended and possibilities expanded through becomings fueled by a passionate desire to inhabit another and transform through this passionate contact. Each becomes pregnant with the other and is remolded with the other. For Cixous, the becomings function according to a logic o f reversal fueled by love: Achilles "becomes" Penthesilea, Penthesilea "becomes" Achilles. Each becomes receptive to the other, resulting in the transmutation of identity. The wounds inflicted are the wounds o f love; the puncturing o f identity and the "transgression" o f boundaries that comes with letting another in and allowing them to move you. This is cruelty by the terms o f ecriture feminine: One has to have won; but this victory does not have the meaning o f a masculine triumph.  He dominates to destroy.  She dominates to not be dominated; she  50  dominates the dominator to destroy the space o f domination. knocked down is helped to his feet.  Because the one  A n d she leads the one who is "conquered"  into her world - a world he has never dared imagine. (Cixous, 1986, 116) Cixous' logic o f reversal that sees Penthesilea becoming-Achilles, (rather than the analysis o f Deleuze and Guattari that focuses on her "becoming-dog"), suggests the potential difference between a masculine "becoming-woman" and a feminist philosophy o f becoming/or women. Beginning from a masculine position, presumed as the starting point o f Western discourse, identifying with "man" Deleuze and Guattari can be read as taking Cixous up on her invitation into the world o f Woman. Cixous' reading, however, begins from the position o f she who has suffered domination, and thus suggests that becoming may need to pass through a becoming "masculine," which is to say, a becoming dominant. The logic o f reversal, however, has its dangers. The image o f feminine cruelty has often been constructed so as to confirm a masculine position o f power. From a masculine position of dominance, a becoming-woman may repeat the masculine position that is able to affirm itself through a choice to undergo this feminine cruelty.  M e n may submit to a "feminization," but so  long as they do so by calling an image o f Woman to serve his becoming, has he not trivialized the feminine condition? The feminine becoming-man does not necessarily open itself to the same possibilities.  Deleuze and Guattari claim there can be no becoming man because man is  the philosophical position o f being that insists on non-transformation through recourse to the being o f its static form. B y "becoming" the dominant figure o f being, women may facilitate a masculine becoming. However, such reversal does not necessarily free women from the discursive economy that has traditionally constructed them as victims. Deleuze's discussion o f the women of Masoch in Masochism:  Coldness and Cruelty  presents the danger o f the ostensible role reversal in a contractual agreement that maintains the basic master/slave dialectic. Representations o f feminine cruelty can be elevated and the woman torturer revered, but this may be but one more repressive image, contracted to titillate a  masculine imagination without presenting any real possibilities for feminine becoming. Deleuze writes: What characterizes masochism and its theatricality is a peculiar form o f cruelty in the woman torturer: the cruelty o f the Ideal, the  specific  freezing point, the point at which idealism is realized. (Deleuze,  1989,  55) In the writings o f Masoch, women take on the identity master. They distribute violent blows and humiliate their men, who prostrate themselves before these women.  But this ideal is  always a position she has taken on by contract, and often out o f love for her "slave" who has willed her into this role. This is clearly not the sort o f domination that Cixous has in mind for feminine becoming. But where in lies the difference? H o w can she be sure that her love driven dominance will not make her into a chilly despot, alienated from her flows o f desire, donning the disguises o f masculine ideals? Cixous' famous essay, "The Laugh o f the Medusa" is instructive in this respect. Here the gaze acts as the weapon o f cruelty. Medusa embodies a looming threat o f the theatre o f cruelty. She displays that which happens when the image gazes back. Whereas many o f the other hybrid beasts force transformation, the Medusa petrifies, turning those who meet her gaze to stone. Her gaze prevents the mobility that the heroic masculine figure has come to expect as master o f his fate. She offers him the destiny to which, gripped by fear, he clings: namely to maintain his form forever, though at the expense o f his life. The warrior who approaches this demonic snake-woman hybrid, (typically with the intent of slaying her), risks in the process, falling victim to his own brand o f cruelty, namely, to his Platonic impulse for preservation which, if he fails, will lead to his demise through a poetic magnification of his impulse. Cixous mocks the rigidness o f the masculine penetrating phallis. She correlates it with an arousalterror response to the fluidity o f feminine jouissance, writing, "[men] need femininity to be associated with death; it's the jitters that give them a hard-on!" (134). The Medusa's cruelty is  52  only that she returns the masculine gaze and dares to enjoy it, but this is enough to freeze the Platonic man in his place. She is then neutralized once she is beheaded, deprived o f her own mobility and used as an instrument o f cruelty on behalf of her beheader. Cixous' Medusa is one who laughs, who expresses her desire and displays her joy publicly; a performative writer or a theatrical being, but one who is her own bodies' author. Her "cruelty" is affirmative, never deadly, and is not designed to freeze in place. Contrary to the masculine projected fear, it is merely the pursuit o f her desire, her gaze, which is neither there to inhibit or encourage the pursuits o f he on whom she gazes. Cixous' Medusa expresses the need to begin this project by rereading hitherto feared images of femininity in an affirmative light. Cixous rewrites the canon, positing positive feminine identities. In actively repeating and embodying the pulsations o f real women's bodies, she is able to override the flat images o f the feminine that set abstract boundaries on corporeal possibilities. This is why theatre becomes an important medium o f feminist activism for Cixous. In her manifesto on feminist theatre, "Aller a la mer," Cixous explains the legacy o f the feminine body in the theatre and the necessity o f resuscitating this body as a political gesture o f change. The subordinate role o f women in the cultural media is due, she claims, to a silencing o f real women's bodies and it is thus through providing mediums for these bodies to speak that the situation can be changed: T h i s " V i e u x Jeu" ( O l d Hat/ O l d Game) still involves  playing the Role,  maintaining the ancien regime o f performance and mirror-gazing; it encourages the double perversion of voyeurism and exhibitionism, and division o f labour and o f "jouissance" (pleasure) (who is "in" the theatre, who works, who is exploited by whom?), and it reinforces the opposition between the real and the imaginary which benefits those in whose interests the pretence exists... If I go to the theatre now, it must be a political gesture, with a view to changing, with the help o f other women, its means o f production and expression. It is high time that women gave back to the theatre its fortunate position, its  53  raison d'etre and what makes it different - the fact that there it is possible to get across the living, breathing, speaking body, whereas the cinema screens us from reality by foisting mere images upon us. (1984, 547) This call to bring the immediate living gestures of the theatre to bare against the foisting of'thought images recalls what we have been calling the "becoming-woman" o f Deleuze's thought. These images and the delineation o f roles to be played, sets the ground for the originary violence that Cixous points out has traditionally oriented against women and minorities. In the schematization o f Deleuze and Guattari, the cruelty associated with becoming-woman, and becoming generally, acts as a second order cruelty aimed at this form o f originary violence. However, while for Deleuze this becoming-woman is an incorporeal process, using contact with another body as the basis o f a transformation that ultimately transcends the subject, for Cixous the body acts as the locus o f action. What goes on in the particular  body o f a woman is o f the  utmost importance in allowing her to manifest her possibilities, "the scene takes place where a woman's life takes place, where life story is decided: inside her body, beginning with her blood." (1984, 547)  This insistence on the body as the site o f expression is what Cixous  ultimately means by feminine becoming. The body, for Cixous, always transcends the univocity of an essentialized  image o f the self.  Her feminist theatre is thus one that realizes  the  multiplicity of corporeal possibilities, moving beyond what Deleuze called the "dogmatic image of thought." Cixous explains: all it requires is one woman who stays beyond the bounds o f prohibition, experiencing herself as many, the totality o f those she has been, could have been or wants to be, moving ever more slowly, more quickly than herself, anticipating herself. (1984, 548) A s we saw in their analysis o f Kleist's Penthesilea, this understanding o f metamorphosis as the adaptation o f various speeds and slownesses is repeated by Deleuze and Guattari, but there is an important difference; namely, the difference made by the singular subject realizing within  54  herself a multiplicity. She will not be fragmented and dominated in a system o f becoming, but will be cognizant o f her own presence and the possibilities it opens. Cixous' theatre is thus not one that flows from a Body Without Organs, but rather searches after the multiple options the organs provide. She does not turn from the Mother, but searches after the possibilities the mother's body offers. This is why Cixous titles her manifesto with a word play, "Aller a la mer," that can be at once understood as "Go(ing) to the Seaside," or "Go(ing) to the Mother." Her image, a feminine theatre and feminine writing (ecriture feminine), is one that issues as bodily fluid, its expression never predetermined, and yet always emerging from the corporeal conditions o f an agent, like the creatures from the sea, the child from its mother. Every "birth" is its own, but it does not give birth abstractly to itself. Rather it emerges from an other and finds its love and support from this other. This vision o f corporeal becoming has the advantage o f anchoring desire in a ground the agent can recognize as her own, without insisting on a stable, central or essential self to which these desires "belong." The disadvantage, however, is that it would seem to limit becomings to the possibilities delineated by bodily organs. A n d how, after all, do we know what the body is saying? In much the same way that Deleuze uses an Artaudian schizophrenic theatre as a means of breaking out o f the regulations o f image governed thought, hysteria is used by Cixous as a theatrical means o f feminine protest. The techniques, or symptoms, o f their respective theatres bear a strong resemblance to one another.  Both are willing to employ violence as a means o f  confronting and destabilizing the "judgement o f god," enlisting bodily expressions that defy ordering within the "rational" system o f patriarchal Western institutions and the primary violence it levies as punishments to transgressors. Both employ contradiction, fragmentation, repetition, and sonorous outbursts in order to break apart arrangements. Internal and external binaries in both cases are imploded and in both cases the agent engages in a constant metamorphosis o f role-play that allows them to transcend any role that might be imposed. Deleuze explains that the schizophrenic "plays roles that plays other roles." Cixous' hysteric  55  does likewise, however, for her this role-play never leaves the fluid site of the body. Cixous explores this in her play on Freud's famous hysteria case, Portrait of Dora. The play displays Dora's circulation between the men; father, friend and therapist, each o f whom inscribe their desires onto her, exchanging roles amongst themselves and imposing narratives on top o f Dora's own gestures and expressions. Dora, meanwhile searches for the key to her misery, to unlocking the expression. For Cixous, it is the multiplicity o f sounds that cannot be ignored and thus has the power to shift arrangements. Indeed multiplicity is the "key" for Cixous to unraveling the myths that bind. This multiplicity o f bodily expression is located in the figure of the symbolic mother, Mrs. K . , who, speaking in part for the Sistine Madonna, tells Dora, "there's more than one way. The body, you'll find out, has infinite resources." (41) These are continually discovered in the play through a series o f role-playing, where Dora takes on, and subverts, the roles and explanatory modes o f those who seek to explain her away.  If the  mother figure is read as a metaphor for theatre itself, we can understand it/her as giving others their voice in so far as she permits them to flow out multiply. In so far as the theatre is seen as the mother with her flowing bodily fluids, the role must be understood as active and unwilling to be shut-up by a singular myth or desire. If the idea o f a unified self is effaced or sacrificed, it is only so that a multiplicity o f desires can flow through the very body o f the subject. The impulse to return to the "maternal" body, in order to access our true desires has, however, been approached with some suspicion by many feminists. o f feminine protest expressed  While applauding the spirit  by C i x o u s ' "hysterical" theatre, Gabrielle Danes argues that  Cixous' strategy o f returning to the (fluid, corporeal) Mother risks re-inscribing old binaries and locking women once again in their traditional role as nurturing ground for the growth o f others: . Cixous's omniscient Mother tends to reduce all .women to Woman, a sort o f maternal goddess from the perspective o f the desiring child who has no needs or desires o f her own (exactly as in Freud's desiring little boy's model), a model which ignores, even denies, any real differences among women.  In Cixous's  56  rhapsody, Woman is equated with milk, menstrual blood, reproduction, nurture; that is to say, woman = (M)other = nurture = womb = cave = earth = nonmale/Other.  Although to rhapsodize about the virile beauty o f this phantasy  W o m a n might seem to provide a sort o f defense against the (phallocentric) privileging o f male over female, it actually serves to perpetuate those binary oppositions which Cixous would seek to overthrow. (2001, 245) While this criticism strikes me as a little heavy handed, there is a sense in which the anchoring o f the subject in corporeal desire may limit the possibilities women have available. Despite Cixous' frequent references to the maternal and the feminine to describe her system, she should not be read as re-instituting a naturalized gender divide. In Sortie, Cixous celebrates Jean Genet as one o f her main examples o f ecriture feminine, and, as we have already seen, she flags Kleist as one who also writes the metamorphosis that provides the sort o f possibilities for feminine becoming o f interest to Cixous. In Portrait of Dora, the mother figure is not Dora's biological mother, and it becomes clear that what Cixous is after is not a return to an essential biological figure o f a corporeal Woman, but rather the possibilities that corporeal bodies offer. The gendering refers then to the position that corporeality has hitherto been given within traditional thought binaries and the ways in which this binary has historically functioned to: (1) conflate Women with physical matter and (2) declare that Woman (qua physical matter) needs to be controlled by M a n (qua mind). In declaring the body capable o f thinking and speaking she resuscitates the "feminine," but not at all by declaring all women the same. Where, Danes' argument does strike a chord however, it that it is only corporeal differences among and between women (and persons, and beings generally) that can be accounted for by Cixous' feminine hysterical theatre. This means that the cultural conditions o f women's differences, and the non-corporeal horizon o f possibilities they might wish to pursue, would seem to be inaccessible by the terms o f this feminine corporeal expression. If desire is that which arises from the bodily condition o f an agent, can desire be produced that cannot be located in the  57  body? Or, are we limiting becoming to the possibilities (multiple as they may be) offered and sketched by the organs (breasts, womb, etc.)? D o we need, in other words to be able to designate and construct the site o f desire in the body before we can take seriously the desires produced? In his short review o f Cixous' Neutre Deleuze focuses on the creation o f possibilities, o f mixtures, of fluidity in which Cixous engages. This engagement moves beyond a concern with corporeal essences and gendered divisions, into a space o f experimentation that, at least in Deleuze's reading, appears if nothing else to embrace difference through its continual reinvention: Cixous is inventing other speeds, sometimes crazy speeds, in relation to the contemporary.  Neutre never tires o f saying it: mix colors in such a way that  through movement they produce unknown shades and hues.  Writing per  second, per tenth o f a second... (Deleuze, 2004, 230-1) For Deleuze, Cixous' strategy proceeds by way o f a continual experimentation with the possibilities provided by images, colours, vibrations, providing a means o f approaching phenomenon in terms of the routes it can provide; the possibilities for metamorphosis. Wherein lies the gap then between Cixous' "hysterical" theatre, and the speeds and slownesses that make up the transformational "becoming-woman" o f Deleuze and Guattari? Not only does Cixous move beyond the category o f "woman" in her exploration of corporeal multiplicity, she does so by means o f a becoming through writing and through reading, in short through interactions which, within the Deleuzian lexicon, factor as incorporeal  events. Cixous' approach grounds  these experiences in the bodies engaged, thereby protecting women from the "body-snatching" that fragments women's forces, sending their bodies circulating among men. But by what standard can this body function as ground? H o w does the body of an agent ground desire without already presuming the borders of what this body is? A s Claire Colebrook puts it, "any description o f the body as cause is already within the difference and distribution o f existence  58  itself." (Colebrook, 2000, 41) Cixous, on the one hand, seems to want to do away with causal narratives. A n d yet, in grounding desire in the body she would seem to either be granting o f causal sovereignty to the body (the body as de facto producer o f its own system o f meaning), or else the importation at any moment, o f a system that can grant meaning(s) to the body-asground. T o listen to the body would seem to make sense only i f bodies have a way o f communicating with one another, even i f this way always defies codification. Like Deleuze's schizophrenic theatre o f cruelty, the movements o f Cixous' theatre are propelled by serial repetition rather than by an attempt at representation.  In her Portrait of  Dora, characters repeat the lines and actions o f other characters, playing "their" role, but always in such a way that the singularity o f their own expression overrides and subverts the set role. Dora repeats and subverts Freud's role as meaning-maker, Freud plays and subverts the role o f father, M r s . K plays at being a mother, but only symbolically and not to her "own" children... and so the merry-go-round continues.  Here we are shown the instability o f  "character," where the only apparent constant is the physical presence o f certain recognizable bodies. Nor, does the play posit itself'as a true representation o f a state o f affairs. The play mimics the structure o f the psychoanalytic session, destabilizing any privileged position the "real" session might have in terms o f knowing and curing the patient. It fits itself into the classic two hour time block. It places before us all the key players referenced by Freud's famous account o f the case o f Dora, but the lines are a jumble, the roles radically called into question and the structure designed specifically to unravel itself. Who are the patients? A n d who the therapists? A n d how does corporeal desire in all this function to direct the movements of expression so as to ultimately prevent the "body-snatching" that threatens to silence the desires o f women in the name o f a general becoming that continues to allow some to dominate others? In other words, how does this answer the concerns that seemed to initially motivate the development o f "feminine" expression as grounded in the body?  59  Cixous' play mimics at once the symptoms of the hysteric - it is fragmented, functions by repetitions that destabilize meaning, and leaves the audience with no sense o f a linear narrative - and the "cure" o f the psychoanalyst. However, it is difficult to see how this play enacts the expressions o f feminine corporeal desire. Unless we are to take on faith that it is the expression Cixous' own bodily desire. The ways in which it engages with a repetitive structure, most notably that of Freud, but also, to the structures o f modern drama that she continues to draw upon, if only to subvert it somewhat (there is still, nevertheless, a recognizable script, the presumption o f an audience/performer divide, the enlisting o f actors to embody her script for her, etc.) still need to be explained, and it would seem that an adequate explanation must in these cases go beyond recourse to bodily desire. In so far as the theatrical form she uses speaks not ultimately through her own body but through those o f others, the model is further complicated. For Cixous, part o f the appeal o f the theatre is precisely that by its very structure it gives voice to the other; the other that it repeats, yes, but more specifically the other bodies o f actors. The body o f the agent continues to be celebrated and the theatre celebrates it all the more effectively in so far as it allows multiple agents to speak at once, making it the paradigmatic cultural medium for the celebration of a community founded on multiplicity and difference. True as this might be, there are limitations to the multiplicity it is able to sincerely express, for if in the theatre multiple bodies are expressing their desire, they are not all doing it in the same way. Roles are prescribed (even i f there is some room for play) and the division o f labour is not insignificant. The differences in expressive modes are part o f what allows each to make their difference truly different. When actors agree to take on a role in a scripted play, do they not, at least in some sense, need to be begin with this script, even i f in embodying this script they makes use o f their own (bodily) desire? O f course their own desires may guide them to the role, but these desires are already abstracted from the body o f the play in so far as it is the corporeal present that is at stake. The transformation would seem to lie in the movement  60  between the body o f the actor and that o f the playwright (among other players) and via the body of the script. A n d this latter, which is o f the utmost importance, finds its force as a mediating body that facilitates metamorphosis, not from its corporeal existence (it does not even need to be penned onto a piece of paper), but rather from its incorporeal  or virtual relations. We could,  of course, look for these relations in the brain, via memory, but then we are already relocating action in the brain/mind/conscience and away from the sensible, extended body in Cixous' sense. While the play itself may be embodied, and its body/structure may speak for itself (the "medium is the message"), it seems nonetheless that it carries and transforms meaning at points of contact which are never, strictly speaking, corporeal. T o speak o f cultural expression as the emissions o f bodily organs is to have always already predetermined the borders o f these organs. The hesitation we saw earlier in Danes critique, regarding the tendency of corporeal accounts of feminine expression referred to the predetermination of bodily organs and the reduction o f possibilities for expression to the organs a person is said to have or even to be. These, as Danes suggests, result in beautiful, but ultimately limiting metaphors according to which transformation might take place (writing as breast milk, menstrual fluid, etc.) Cixous' approach gives women (and men) back their bodies and offers some indication o f how they might speak, but does she do so only to imprison the agent in their organs as they have been already determined and metaphorized? Moreover, for all the concerns it expresses o f "giving voice" to the other, it is not clear that her hysterical theatre ultimately succeeds in this endeavor. Allowing the bodies o f others to speak through her texts seems rather to be tantamount to the subordination o f others bodies to the (virtual) desires expressed by her script. In evading discussion of the importance of the incorporeal  in metamorphosis, couching virtual bodies in  corporeal terminology, it seems Cixous unwittingly runs the risk o f repeating the theft o f which she accuses traditional masculinist theatre, even i f she does so in the name of 'the Other.  61  If, however, metamorphosis takes place through incorporeal, rather than corporeal events, how are we to prevent the systematic fragmentation o f some bodies in the service of the empowered metamorphosis of other (dominant) bodies? If identities move about in a flux how can the differences in position and desire be taken into account without making o f these differences a corporeal prison? It seems we have thus arrived back at the incorporeal "schizonomadic" theatre o f Deleuze, whereby roles are played by other roles; delving into the depths of bodies but enacting metamorphosis in a virtual space, enacting the incorporeal arrangements and becomings of those temporary home-bodies traversed. The becomings then, despite their corporeality are incorporeal in as much as they traverse the incorporeal possibilities made available, not through corporeal mimesis but through understanding and repeating the metamorphic potentialities presented; the very principles o f movement that are found in the "homes" past through. It is not, then, a question o f plotting the corporeal against the incorporeal, but nor can it be a matter o f understanding the mechanics of bodies. What a body can do always exceeds itself, and exceeds the terms the body can currently define. This is why Cixous' becomings always engage in cultural texts. However, A s Colebrook writes, "if the body is never at one with its effects, if becoming always exceeds any grounding being, then we also need to rethink an ethics of incorporeality" (2000, 42). This ethics, she explains, will emerge through our attempts, not to understand the incorporeal, or the corporeal situation o f becoming but through our attempts to navigate the gaps.  )  The ethics o f Cixous' theatre is the ethics o f bodies. She encourages the bodily expression and the use o f bodily impulses to break out of predetermined roles and narratives. The presence o f previously silenced bodies and bodily impulses expands the cultural possibilities, but these possibilities must ultimately be understood as the incorporeal possibilities of becoming, expanding the material possibilities o f embodied desire. Whereas the feminine that Cixous refers to is the corporeal mode of production, she offers no incorporeal understanding o f femininity or sexual difference that may serve as a means o f understanding  62  the condition o f women. This has the advantage of not grouping women together under an abstract banner that can never incorporate all their differences, but it thrusts the burden o f protecting women's rights and opportunities onto an understanding o f their organs. Cixous is not ultimately a theorist o f sexual difference, but rather o f the body. She has no incorporeal conception of Woman as such. While, on the one hand this frees us from subordination to ideals o f Woman, it is difficult to find within her work an axis for addressing the situations o f women and the ways in which they can resist domination and the silencing under the banner of a generalized consumerism. Moreover, in turning to the body as a site o f transformation, the burden o f identity construction would seem to be merely deferred to the ways in which the organs have been constructed, running the risk o f naturalizing and thus limiting sites o f desiring-production. We will thus now turn to the consideration o f sexual difference as a horizon of becoming that might protect the demands o f women, while avoiding virtual imprisonment within naturalized organic limits.  sexually differentiated nomadism: virtually ha(l)ving sex In her Nomadic Subjects Rosi Braidotti combines the nomadism o f Deleuze and Guattari with the philosophy of "becoming woman" developed by Luce Irigaray. For Irigaray, "Woman" provides a horizon of becoming, allowing real women a way of developing and transforming themselves through images that are able to speak to their conditions. Irigaray explains this becoming not in terms of either corporeal or incorporeal becoming, but rather with reference to what she calls the "sensible transcendental," a transcendentalism that, like that o f Cixous, is grounded in the sensible.  However, rather than necessarily speaking^row within the body. She  uses the sensible as that which inspires the expansive images of femininity, thus broadening the possible horizon that women have available to them for a sex-specific becoming.  Braidotti calls  this the "virtual feminine," since the image o f femininity that is drawn up is viewed as an artifact of the cultural imaginary, though it is no less powerful for its imaginary quality.  63  Irigaray's feminine sets about creating horizons for women related to their own morphology and cultural condition. However, in propping up such virtual feminine images as a matrix o f alliance among women, she often runs the risk of effacing the differences among and between women.  In order to guard against the construction of a normative feminine horizon,  Braidotti draws on a strategy o f Deleuzian nomadism. Employing the strategy o f a schizonomadic theatre, Braidotti advocates an understanding o f feminine becoming that moves and jumps from one "home" to another, moving through racial, class and geographical categories. She also encourages non-human, hybrid metamorphoses, thus freeing the subject from a naturalized obsession with Humanism and its correlated normative assumptions. Unlike that o f Deleuze, Braidotti's subject always travels as a sexed being, such that Becoming-woman is not viewed as a stage (one becoming among many) but rather as an on-going process that intermingles with various other metamorphoses. The impulse for developing nomadic subjects along the axis o f sexual difference as "female feminist subjects" follows Irigaray's claim that women have been the excluded in dominant discourse as the "other" o f man. In keeping with the Lacanian tradition, M a n is understood as he who wields the signifying phallus. In so far as language is that through which desires are codified and communicated, the inability o f dominant discourse to (re)present women as extant desiring subjects poses a serious threat to the ability o f women to realize their desires in the world. While women may be more or less free to deploy the language o f the dominant discourse, Irigaray maintains that the appropriation o f this discourse is necessarily insufficient. Through the performance of this "masculine" discourse, male supremacy is reinforced in as much as such an appropriation retains the masculine as the model that it strives to replicate. Through the acceptance and replications o f this discourse and the values it encodes, women are condemned to representing themselves as poor copies o f men. A m o n g a series o f troubling quotes from the works of Plato on the, subject o f women, Irigaray offers an example o f an early attempt at reducing sexual difference to a single (masculine) axis in his  64  Republic, thereby revealing the prejudices at work in simplistic models of "equal opportunity." Section 456b reads: "all the pursuits o f men can naturally be assigned to women also, but in all o f them a woman is weaker than a man." (quoted in 1985a: 158) What troubles Irigaray in this model is not so much the suggestion that woman can perform the various needed social duties only at a level inferior to that o f men, but more the suggestion within this model of the Republic that "[woman] will only participate insofar as she is the same as a man" (1985a: 157). Irigaray, on the contrary, is committed to an understanding o f women as having their own distinct desires and social roles as derivative o f these desires. Irigaray goes so far as to suggest that, were women's desires truly embraced and made manifest, they could offer the key to solving many of the most serious global problems from war to pollution, for it is the repression o f the "feminine" and its associated values o f care and sensitivity, beginning at the most immediate corporeal and interpersonal levels, that has allowed a disharmonious way of life to flourish. If the only currently available discourse is understood to be specifically masculine, and, as such, necessarily inadequate to express women's desires and strengths, a problem emerges as to how women are to begin to express their desires. It is this problem that forms the starting point for Butler's critique o f Irigaray's system. A s Butler asks, "is specifically female pleasure "outside" o f culture as its prehistory or its Utopian future? If so, what use is such a notion for negotiating the contemporary struggle of sexuality within the terms o f its construction?"(1999: 40) In other words, how, through a "playful repetition" o f Western discourse, can women begin to articulate desires that, according to Irigaray, are not accessible through this discourse? In an attempt to answer this question, an early model of the "virtual" or "divine" feminine becomes handy for Irigaray. In her analysis o f Plato's myth o f the cave, Irigaray introduces the figure o f Echo as the mythological prototype o f the female who "dies for the love of Narcissus" (1985a, 257). Trapped within a system o f representation that silences some so that the voice o f others can be heard and repeated, Irigaray insists that, "even her voice is taken away."(1985a, 263) However, i f we are to take Echo as an allegory for the contemporary condition o f women's desire, then she has not really "died," but has rather gone deep into hiding. She represents, for us a sublimated demi-god(dess), whose divinity must be recovered by  65  disenfranchised woman seeking to find ways to speak up and be heard in a male-dominated society. While "even her voice" may have been "taken away," for Irigaray it seems she must retain the possibility o f reclaiming it, albeit with great difficulty. According to the familiar myth of Echo and Narcissus as imagined in Ovid's Metamorphoses, Echo is a female elf able to express her desire only through repeating the words of others. When she falls in love with the male Narcissus, she can thus express to him her desire only through the selective repetition o f his speech. This repetition seems to be o f interest to him. However, once she presents herself to him in the open, he rejects her violently. Ashamed, Echo goes into hiding in a cave, never to be seen again, while Narcissus ends up drowning for the love of his own image as reflected to him on the surface of the water. U p o n the death o f Narcissus, Echo, angry and hurt as she is, repeats his dying words as a lament. It is at this point that we can begin to understand her repetition o f the dead/dying man as the beginning of her own speech. Backtracking from this moment to the moment at which Echo was robbed o f her powers to speak on her own, we can begin to understand Irigaray's strategy for regaining the all but lost presence o f women's desire. The first step in Echo's return is the realization that, even condemned to repetition, her desires can still be expressed, i f only in a highly limited fashion. If (masculine) Philosophy (qua metaphysics) is now drowning itself, having cut itself off its various opportunities for desiring-production and realized its inability to appreciate the other though its representational abstractions, Echo's lament and continued desire for the self-affirmation o f Narcissus can be heard in Irigaray's retelling o f this masculine philosophical tradition. Her repetition in the wake o f Narcissis's discourse is what allows her to begin to express her own meaning. In Irigaray, this is followed back in time through the philosophical tradition and the discourses it produces to the moment o f "her" rejection by the Narcissistic male philosopher which corresponds to the disappearance o f her corporeal existence, and especially her corporeal (qua sexual) desire, from their discourses.  A t the moment in which Narcissus finally drowns himself in his own image, completely  consuming his own existence, corporeal and otherwise, Echo no longer has any choice but to reconstruct the language on her own terms, even i f this begins in inarticulate bodily and sonorous expressions o f  66  lamentation. From the site o f her rediscovered body, her desires can then be formulated on their own terms. Irigaray writes, "I think the place where [feminine syntax] could best be deciphered is in the gestural code of women's bodies" (1985b, 134). The question is how can we separate "genuine" bodily expression o f feminine desire from expressions that are merely reenactments o f expectations men have projected onto women? If we trace the story o f Echo to the moment she loses her "freedom" o f speech we find that the situation is not as simple as we might have hoped. In Ovid's version of the myth, Echo is condemned to repetition only after her "babbling" served to stall Juno, wife o f the ruling male god Jupiter, thus allowing Jupiter the opportunity to satisfy his own promiscuous sexual desires. Echo's "free" speech can thus already be understood as containing female mobility, thereby allowing male desire to triumph, which is to say that, her babbling may already be complicit in the "feminine masquerade." Irigaray admits that, "since [women's] gestures are often paralyzed, or part of the masquerade, in effect, they are often difficult to 'read" (1985b, 134). Nevertheless, she continues to insist that there is still a way out from this masquerade, a "beyond" that begins to show itself, "in suffering, but also in women's laughter. A n d again: in what they 'dare' - do or say - when they are among themselves" (134) - and presumably, when they are not being compelled by a ruling male "god." In many ways the impulse to generate a language o f feminine desire is consistent with the suggestions made by Deleuze and Guattari that to liberate desire we must pass through a "becoming-woman." Such a "becoming-woman" is what allows us to produce "feminine" desires, thus liberating a range o f previously inaccessible possibilities. But this begs the question: what counts as "feminine" desire? Like Cixous, Irigaray leads us "into" women's bodies as the key. A s we have seen, how these bodies and their designating organs are understood is, however, never an entirely corporeal situation. Virtual femininity precedes the bodily experience o f "womanliness" much like an Echo of the Narcissistic image o f thought. According to Irigaray, it is only through such mimicry that that we are able to produce our own desires. Irigaray's "virtual feminine" is intended to pass through women's bodies, where  67  "women" are understood in the first instance as exactly that which has traditionally been designated as such. In this way, Irigaray's process can be likened to an inhabitation o f the Deleuzian ground of memory. This memory itself becomes the active agent o f metamorphosis. From the present habits that make up the individual "woman," we delve into the memories we have at our disposal o f what women "are." Inhabiting these memories, we identify ourselves as women and act on the desires we find there. This inevitably lead us into an always as o f yet indeterminate future o f possible desiring-productions. However, rather than allowing women's femininity to get effaced in the possible futures that open up, Irigaray maintains that all o f a woman's transformations are an exploration and transformation o f her possibilities as a woman. It is through creating possibilities for women as complex agents o f transformation that the horizon o f possibilities for women will expand, such that it will no longer strike women as necessary to reject their "femininity" in order to engage in other possible becomings. A s the argument goes, this feminine platform is what gives women a ground from which to advocate for structural changes that might facilitate their own further becomings, given that they are sexed agents with distinct conditions. This does not lock women in an essential nature, but rather takes into consideration the multiplicity o f elements and experience that make-up the varied conditions of women. Nevertheless, the insistence on creating specifically feminine horizons o f experience that repeat a division in the sexes risks propping-up new normative understandings o f womanhood. In This Sex Which Is Not One, the "sameness" o f women's bodies is highlighted in order to provide the ground for a new language that can offer women a chance to express their bodily desires where the "old" "phallocentric" language failed. T o the extent that recognition o f linguistic symbols requires some degree o f generality or uniformity, words that might be used in multiple contexts to give the would-be speakers an opportunity to "learn" the language, this would seem to be somewhat unavoidable. Irigaray is concerned that the highlighting o f multiplicity amongst women is used to efface differences in the realm of sex and sexual desires.  In a double entendre that connotes at once the division o f the lips o f the vulva by the penetrating phallic organ the division o f women on the basis o f racial divisions, Irigaray writes, "you come back, divided: 'we' are no more. Y o u are split into red and white, black and white: how can we find each other again?" (1985b, 211). In her attempt to build solidarity, the differences among "women" are intentionally minimized. A s a result, she runs the risk o f discounting or otherwise passing over the priorities and experiences o f those for whom it may not ring true to identify as "a woman" first and foremost. T o the extant that they do identify "as women," they may find that the virtual women created, ostensibly for the benefit o f all, fail to address their own struggles and desires. Braidotti's solution has been to "nomadize" her conception o f the subject, while retaining a sexual division: Postmodern nomadic feminism argues that you do not have to be settled in a substantive vision o f the subject in order to be political, or to make willful choices or critical decisions. Nomadic feminism goes even one step further and argues that political agency has to do with the capacity to expose the illusion o f ontological foundations. (Braidotti, 1994, 34-5) Feminist nomads are able to move about across various homes and identities, but that they do so as a sexed agent. It is not necessary to set boundaries on what it means to be a woman, nor is it inherently problematic that some o f the identities traversed may contain within them contradictory terms. It is permissible for the nomad to leap and pirouette, to jump across large distances of cyber space and transform oneself into tiny particles in order to make a journey: there are always many ways to travel. It therefore becomes possible to hybridize and traverse myriad aaxes of experience, without having to neglect realms o f experience or dimensions o f one's "territories." A s Braidotti puts it, "the nomad has a sharpened sense o f territory but no possessiveness about it" (36).  69  In Metamorphosis, Braidotti suggests a celebration of hybridity that repeats the demonology recommended by Deleuze; a radical process o f metamorphosis that passes through multiple "memories."  Many o f these are non-human, passing through various speeds and  slowness, in a manner that can celebrate the singularity of a gesture o f becoming that challenges the boundaries o f the ideals that had previously formed normative ideals o f the Good and Beautiful life. Despite her celebration o f hybridity, however, Braidotti is leery o f sexual hybridization that effaces the binary category of sexual difference, presenting trans-gendered and androgynous possibilities for becoming. The notion that sex can be hybridized, she claims, trivializes the conditions and differences actually experienced by women, suggesting that these are categories that can be merely shrugged off. O r alternatively, that they can be reduced to powerful metaphors through which dominant cultural anxieties and neurosis can be expressed. She cites, for example, the imagery o f male invagination in Video Drone, whereby a male character becomes impregnated by his television set with disastrous outcomes, to illustrate the ways in which gender hybridity tend to repeat sexist fears of "feminization." Through such trans-gendered imagery, she suggests that damaging stereotypes are often repeated, exploiting the conditions o f women in a manner that does not necessarily do anything to advance the concerns of those who must actually deal with the conditions metaphorized. However, the main danger o f this trend, as she presents, seems to be strategic: it diverts attention away from the lived conditions o f women, deterritorializing their situation, as though handing over fragments of women's experience to be used in the production of dominant cultural narratives were enough to lead women out o f a position of subordination.  Braidotti's solution is mainly to encourage  women and other minorities to take up the means o f cultural production in order to express their desires, thus providing tools for transformation and metamorphosis that issue from their specific conditions. But this seems to beg the question: who counts as a woman anyway?  70  Divine difference(s): is sex dragging (behind)? A s a virtual concept, Braidotti's "woman" need not be strictly defined, Her boundaries need not be set and yet in her awareness o f territory, the nomad empowers herself by naming herself according to conditions she experiences alongside others. She may name herself according to many other variables as well: race, class, religion, etc. Some o f these she seems to be able to choose. None are merely a matter o f arbitrary selection at her whim. But despite the critique o f the privileged position Deleuze assigns to "Becoming-Woman," sexual difference acts for Braidotti as a matrix o f difference that, following Irigaray, continues to overpower all other differences. For Braidotti, it seems we can move between our various territorial positions, but only through those memories to which we have some kind o f entitlement.  While  nearly every other memorial site allows for,some fluidity and hybridity, sexual difference strikes Braidotti as so pervasive that we can not conceive o f a subject without considering her as "man" or "woman." However, it is not clear that the pervasiveness o f this division is not itself a testament to the very position it occupies within the legacy o f Western thought.  According to Judith Butler, that persons are so violently  coerced into identifying themselves according to a sexual division, even against the urge to do away with any stable ground that would anchor and legitimate this division, is itself a testament to prevailing regimes o f power that continue to structure and limit our thinking. While the highlighting o f "sameness" among women has often been employed as a strategy for building solidarity, for Butler such attempts threaten to exclude women who fail to identify with the "feminine" economy o f desire over and against the supposedly "phallocentric" symbolic order. A s she writes, "women who fail either to recognize that sexuality as their own or understand their sexuality as partially constructed within the terms o f the phallic economy are potentially written off within the terms of this theory as 'male-identified' or 'unenlightened'." (1999, 40) Moreover, Butler suggests that such 'feminist' projects o f developing a radical alternative cannot help but be constructed by the very discourse from which they are trying to escape: If sexuality is culturally constructed within existing power relations, then the postulation o f a normative sexuality that is 'before, 'outside', or 'beyond' power is a cultural impossibility and a politically impractical dream, one that postpones the  71  concrete and contemporary task o f rethinking subversive possibilities for sexuality and identity within the terms o f power itself. (1999, 40) Irigaray's insistence on escaping existing power relations would seem to either leave us bereft o f signs, or to re-inscribe a totalizing discourse based on the presumption of a universal female body. In either case, change becomes impossible since there is no way to begin to speak outside o f discourse. A s we saw in the retelling o f the myth o f Echo and Narcissus, it is nearly impossible to distinguish "genuine" female expression from the babble o f its betrayal as compelled by a male "god" and His own discourse o f power. Moreover, as Butler argues, the presumption o f this universal female body as the site for the emergence of desire threatens to silence the desires o f actual individual women in the name o f providing a language for the emancipation o f their specifically "feminine" desire. Rather than offering specific alternatives, Butler recommends working within the existing economy o f signification in order to destabilize and subvert the existing assumptions regarding the meanings o f these signs. The main example o f such subversion for Butler is drag performance. Three dimensions come into play here that, in contrast to Irigaray's understanding, for Butler ought not to be presumed to have an inherent connection: We are actually in the presence o f three contingent dimensions o f significant corporeality: anatomical sex, gender identity, and gender performance.  If the  anatomy o f the performer is already distinct from the gender o f the performer, and both o f these are distinct from the gender o f the performance, then the performance suggests a dissonance not only between sex and performance, but sex and gender, and gender and performance. (1999, 175) Here we can hear echoes o f the dimensions expressed by Irigaray in her "feminine masquerade," desire and the sexuate body. The relationship between these dimensions, however, has clearly shifted. With Irigaray the masquerade is the performance of an identity distinct from true identity as linked with potentially unexpressed and even presently inexpressible desires which are themselves grounded in the sexuate body o f the individual in question. With Butler, however, masquerade becomes a performance that calls into question the possibility o f any further or ultimate truths lurking behind the mask. While a  72  dissonance between performance (qua masquerade) and the anatomical (qua sexuate) body and its desires is made explicit in the writings o f Irigaray to which Butler is responding in Gender Trouble, Irigaray seeks to strengthen the connection between the latter two dimensions in order to overtake the former masquerade performance. With Butler, by contrast, subversive performance is designed to destabilize the relationship between the latter two dimensions. Rather than grounding desire in the anatomical body, it is instead understood to be constructed by the performance itself. Gender, understood to denote sexual identity (as opposed to a biological state), thus becomes a category constantly in flux, discursively constructed by the gestures o f the performer. Braidotti's encouraging of hybrid identities provides a vehicle by which agents can explore the horizons o f their various minoritarian becoming, thus engaging in transformation from where they are. It seems, however, that she is reluctant to permit the agent to transcend where they "are," particularly where the identifications strike her as necessary for a certain vision o f political reform. Her "outside," alternative, or "marginal" expressions thus threaten to lock the most marginal amongst them in identities that forever betray their desires. With Braidotti we are able to take seriously the desires o f those "outside" the universalizing categories o f womanness that "white middles class feminists" had previously been accused o f imposing; we are now given a strategy by which women can also take seriously their particular national, racial and economic setting (among other dimensions). However, these positions qua positions, raise a number o f questions: how "black" does one need to be to be "black"? What equations does one need to i  calculate before one receives one's Indian status card, or a yellow star on one's jacket? Braidotti is content to allow these positions to be fluid, provided that the identities themselves are not eroded, particularly on the question o f sex. This strikes me as potentially problematic for several reasons. O n questions o f race and ethnicity, positions are nearly always hybridized, not only in terms o f what it means to be a given ethnicity, but also in being able to locate oneself within a single (or even double) ethnicity. O n the matter of fluidity between ethnic and national borders Braidotti is unequivocally supportive. However, sexual difference  73  strikes her as too fundamental to give up, stressing the importance o f the specific processes women experience and the need to take these seriously. This amounts to a repetition o f sexual difference as the matrix o f difference which, as previously argued, may not in fact ring true to those whose primary struggle has been on the basis o f the other affiliations, and the stress placed on other positions occupied. It also enacts a denial o f the experiences of those who can not identify themselves with virtual images o f woman or man at all. In this sense, Butler's critique of Irigaray's strategy is equally applicable to Braidotti. Why should persons need to identify with one of two sexes, simply because this is the way experience has carved up by prevailing discourses of power? Butler draws on two main examples. The first is the case o f the famous Hermaphrodite Heculine Barbin who eventually suicides, being coerced into adhering to one o f two sexes, neither o f which provide an adequate site from which she can produce desires in a meaningful way. While this is an extreme example, it is used here to illustrate the fluidity o f sexual identity even at the seemingly most basic level. Butler then uses drag as a model for destabilizing the relationships between sexuate bodies, gender identities and gender performance. Butler is, however, well aware that the performance of drag relies heavily on the repetition o f a stereotyped or stabilized relationship between gender identity and gender performance. The title o f Butler's first major work o f gender theory Gender Troubles plays on the title o f the campy and subversive John Waters film Female starring the drag queen Divine.  Troubles,  In the case o f Divine, a feminine identity can be suggested  through a certain stereo-typed bodily performance (gesture, dress, etc.) in order to destabilize the relationship between gender identity and the sexuate body. Divine's character in Female Trouble literally, becomes a model for a counter-image of beauty and morality that adopts standard notions o f beauty and moral conduct only to turn them on their head, thus calling into to question the normative assumptions o f how an ideal woman should be. Ultimately, this performance appears to be designed more as an attempt to undo the process o f modeling as such, rather than as the propping up a viable counter-model. Divine's character's crowning  achievement is a grotesquely spectacular show in which she finishes by shooting at the audience, killing several people. The film ends with her punishment by electrocution; a fate which she insists is the highest honour a person can receive in her line o f work, characterized as it is by subversion on a criminal scale.  T o the extent that Divine is here adopted as a model, the  extreme criminality of her behavior indicates that she is adopted as such only provisionally in order to dispense with received naturalized ideals. The question to be asked at this point is then whether we can in fact afford a strategy o f rejection that leaves our only constructive options at the mercy of existing symbolic fragments. Despite her utter subversion o f ideals, it is not clear that the drag queen Divine succeeds in subverting the relationship between gender identity and the sexuate body nearly to the extent that Butler suggests it might. Her gender performance includes, among others, the performance of an unwanted pregnancy and subsequent motherhood, mimicking the female body. Ultimately, it is clear that as a film star, Divine's actions are mere performances that nonetheless gesture toward the schism between the sexuate body o f the performer and the physiological phenomenon that she is mimicking. In affirming this schism, the film fails to challenge the oppressive material conditions that may contribute to current correlations between bodily circumstances and performances in a way that can be useful to embodied performers. Braidotti's fear is that such performances may even be to the detriment to women's movements, obscuring issues o f safe birth control and other issues o f "women's" health, trivializing the issues that women tend to face with the convenient dismissal: "there no such thing as Woman anyway," or "really, these aren't women's issues, we all could face them." Such responses however, strike me as problematic only i f they serve to trivialize the issues as such. A destabilization o f categories o f sexual difference would be problematic i f it implies the breaking down o f an alliance between all those who do face obstacles to the production o f desire, for which activist majors must be taken. The task ahead is to develop tools for building effective alliances while continuing to celebrate the mobility of desire and the changing nature o f the desiring agents.  CONCLUSION: BUILDING ALLIANCES (nomadic activism and the carnival corpus)  The year 2005: mobility is all the rage, rage is mobile, and the mobilization o f forces under the banner o f a shared identity is at once the most frightening form o f fascism and the most necessary strategy o f resistance in the face o f every-growing globalization trends. There are reasons for this rage. There is a use. In the works of Deleuze and Guattari, we have seen how cruelty becomes a principle that cuts across normative categories o f thought. It is, in their work, a productive response to the quiet oppression o f normative thinking which props up ideals, implicitly devaluing those who can not be defined by such ideals and ultimately restricting the possibilities o f all. Rage becomes cruelty and cruelty a strategy o f destabilizing the primary violence o f prevailing state, or static thought. Ultimately, it is the destabilization o f categories as such that, from the perspective o f the status quo, is perceived as cruelty, since, by definition, introducing new possibilities is threatening to the prevailing order. In the works o f Deleuze and Guattari, analyzed in the first half o f this thesis, I argued that this cruelty becomes a productive theatre o f experimentation. Following the theatrical strategies of Nietszche and especially o f Artaud, I showed how Deleuze and Guattari suggest a way of opening new possibilities by repeating the intensities and flows o f others with whom, and with which, they come into contact. Events are repeated, but each repetition is utterly singular, creating an entirely new event. For Deleuze and Guattari, this process o f experimentation begins with an acknowledgment of their present situation; they are caught in late twentieth-century Western culture having inherited a legacy o f patriarchal institutions, post-platonic philosophy and a host of categories largely governed by binary thinking. From this perspective, Woman appears as the penultimate Other o f binary thought, having come to symbolize all that the platonic rational man defines himself against. She is associated with the body, with passivity and passion, with being unable to regulate herself according to set boundaries thus embodying the principle of metamorphosis,  76  as well as holding the position of the penultimate object of desire. In order to embrace a fluid process o f becoming governed by desire and do away with static, hierarchical binaries, Deleuze and Guattari suggest that every becoming must pass through a becoming-woman. The first half of this thesis showed how the early philosophical work o f Deleuze, as well as the later social analysis o f Deleuze and Guattari, proceeds by way o f such a "becoming-woman," in order to eventually destabilize the categorical ideal of "woman" as such and flow from one type o f becoming into another. I suggested that this strategy is an elaboration of the work o f Nietzsche and Artaud, and demonstrate the implications o f this strategy by conducting an analysis o f some of the performance pieces o f Artaud using the tools developed by Deleuze and Guattari. M y analysis focuses on the politics of violence at work in these pieces. I argued that this strategy succeeds in opening possibilities that allow us to move beyond the normative ideals that typically organize Western institutions. However, I suggest that it also threatens to erode the fabric o f its inspiration by subordinating the intensities and flows of those who have been most marginalized to the desire for liberty and mobility now formulated by the most dominant Westerners within a late capitalist social climate. Part two o f this thesis, Stage Settings for a Feminist Nomadism, focused on the utility o f the Deleuzian strategy o f "becoming-woman" for those persons marginalized as women. I compare the "becoming-woman" advocated by Deleuze and Guattari in their version o f the theatre o f cruelty to that developed by Cixous and embodied by her "hysterical theatre." Here Cixous utilizes the corporeal body o f the performer as the ground from which desire is produced. In so far as the body remains the locus o f desire, and in so far as we pay attention to the involvement of each body, no body's force would seem vulnerable to being usurped by others. Her "hysterical theatre" is an attempt to develop a cultural mode of expression that celebrates and legitimates indeterminate corporeal expression, without needing to determine meaning within a singular narrative.  77  The trouble with this approach, however, is that desire is never a purely corporeal phenomenon. Once we begin to take its virtual dimensions into consideration, we are no closer to teasing out the power politics o f the movements o f desires and their subordination to other desires. I therefore considered Braidotti's adaptation o f Deleuzian nomadic philosophy, which retains Deleuze's basic approach to experimentation and becoming but retains the axis o f sexual • difference in accordance with the feminism o f French theorist Luce Irigaray. For Braidotti, "becoming-woman" is not a gateway into a flux o f becomings, but rather an ongoing process in which women engage as they go through various other forms o f becoming. Braidotti, therefore, focuses on the ways in which sex is constructed alongside other dimensions o f becoming within the cultural media (e.g. women engaging in animal transformations, machine transformations, etc.). I am sympathetic to the desire to expand the range of possibilities available to women in a manner that does not force women to renounce their sex. The insistence on making becoming necessarily sexed at every instance seems to reduce our possibilities to a sexual binary that may be more a function o f the ways in which culture has constructed sex than a natural necessity. Moreover, in allowing nearly every other possible axis o f difference to surface in its singular, hybridized form, while rejecting the possibility o f hybrid sexuality, sex would seem to be given an inflated importance that may not in fact ring true to the experience o f many persons. In order to call into question sex as an absolute axis of difference, the final section o f this paper considered Judith Butler's analysis o f hermaphrodism and drag performance. Whereas hermaphrodism calls into question biological dualism, drag performance extends this ambiguity into cultural or virtual horizons. Understanding sex as a performance opens us to the disjunctions between corporeal existence and the typical ways o f classifying becoming based on corporeal signs. Drag performance shows us the possibility o f transcending predetermined limitations with regard to sexed expression. Nevertheless, to the extent that drag mimics ideal images o f the "opposite" sex, what we ultimately see is this strategy's own limitations in addressing the lived conditions with which persons must contend as sexed as they go about their  78  own transformations. I argued that while Divine's drag performance in Female Troubles subverts recourse to ideals in conceiving gender, the ways in which issues o f feminine reproduction are raised does little to expand the possibilities open to those who find themselves in the situation o f an unwanted pregnancy.  In fact, Divine's performance as a mother with an  unwanted child may ultimately serve to reinforce dualistic thinking with regard to sex. Butler's subversion o f the category o f sex through her use o f drag performance is divergent from the strategy of becoming-woman employed by Deleuze and Guattari in many ways. Butler's strategy tends to function by empowering the performer through a rational decisionmaking process that allows for conscious self-fashioning in accordance with singular desires. T o this end, repetition grounded in mimesis is employed, whereby forms are taken up by unlikely performers, thus destabilizing the meaning that these forms of being, or ideals, have come to have. Ideals are re-deployed as performative roles to be inhabited. Deleuze and Guattari also suggest a process o f becoming that functions by means o f repetition and by the inhabitation o f roles. However, for them it is not so much the forms that are repeated but the "intensities and flows"; which is to say that they are more interested in decoding the ways in which various singularities produce and pursue desires, in order to repeat the process o f desiringproduction. A comparative analysis o f the work of Judith Butler and that o f Deleuze and Guattari would likely shed a great deal o f light on how each o f these strategies navigates the relationship between desire and choice by means o f divergent approaches to performance. Here, however, I merely sought to show that, while the need to develop alliances along sex lines is important, recourse to sex categories is an insufficient means o f doing this. I would like to suggest, at this point, some directions for re-reading the nomadic philosophy o f Deleuze and Guattari in a manner that takes into consideration some of lessons of the sex and gender theorists examined here, in order to develop strategies for building cultural alliances that may allow for the minority activism.  79  The nomadism o f Deleuze and Guattari provides a conceptual medium by which to travel across sites o f possibilities. Through these travels, possibilities for change are discovered. It is not a matter o f mimicking the sites encountered, but o f actually changing oneself through the acquisition of new memories and experience which form the ground from which habits are overturned and the future forged. The memories acquired are not images as such but dynamic contractions, based on the minutest movements. What is learnt is thus new ways o f putting things together and moving in the world. But bodies are limited in how they can move, and every body performs a gesture differently. Sometimes the modifications performed by one body provide a more effective site o f repetition for another approaching body. When we come together to learn gestures, alliances are built and sanctified with a name. For Deleuze, possibilities are established through identifying our "habits," physiological, cultural, etc. through a process that reaches into our memories, selecting which memorial terms and images we will use and how we can tweak and repeat them in order to become what we would like to become. Here, as Irigary and Braidotti argue, it is neither possible nor useful to amalgamate all differences under the rubric of the multiplicity o f the One. Alliances in the form of virtual identities are necessary, as is the recognition o f real differences, so long as these do not become cemented as ideal forms, nor tyrannize us as models to which we must conform. We must recognize that the sorts o f possible alliances are many. The singularities that lie in the margins o f distinct movements - whether they be those of a so-called individual, a trope or an army - are not inherently a threat to the desires o f these movements. We know that the mere fact o f identifying as a woman is no guarantee o f convergent desires, even on such issues as seemingly central to Women's movements as reproductive rights, childcare and women's role in the workforce. A l l the theorists we have examined would agree that desires do not "naturally" flow from identity forms (even culturally constructed ones), and so it may be a mistake to look to the setting of identity as a means o f anchoring activist movements. A s we saw in our discussion o f Deleuze and Guattari's Capitalism  and  80  Schizophrenia,  identities, even "revolutionary" identities, can easily be deterritorialized from  the desires they previously produced and can easily become trivialized and sold, supporting the very systems against which they were previously deployed. However, attempts to prevent this deterritorialization by grounding desiring production either in the body o f corporeal agent (Cixous) or in virtual divisions along a set access of difference (Irigaray and Braidotti) would seem to be insufficient means o f effectively promoting minority desires. In the case of Cixous' corporeal desire, or ecriture feminine, it would seem that the burden of constructed assumptions is merely deferred onto the organic body o f the subject, whereby social understandings o f their organs inform the possibilities from which they produce their desires. Moreover, despite its corporeal basis, the ground from which common alliances can be built remains obscure. Drawing on the virtual access o f sexual difference, Braidotti and Irigaray are both able to create images o f femininity through which women can expand their possibilities in a manner that takes into consideration their own conditions as women. This does not necessarily lock an understanding o f these conditions to a single, universal image o f what this might mean. Nevertheless, I have argued that the prioritization o f sexual difference as the axis of difference, making sexual identification as either man or woman a prerequisite ground for desiring-production, at once threatens to gloss over the importance o f other axes o f difference, while instituting normative restrictions on the production of corporeal possibilities. Drawing on the serial repetition o f Deleuze's nomadic version o f a theatre o f cruelty, I would like to suggest that it is possible to create alliances that speak to the specific positions and conditions from which desires are produced, without needing to create virtual identities that adhere strictly to a sexual binary. Throughout our discussion we have looked at various approaches to cultural production in terms o f their role in the production o f minority desires generally, and women's desires specifically. Deleuze's Artaudian schizo-nomadic approach to performance allowed us to explore the fluidity o f identity, the ways in which we draw on the images available to create the present event, allowing us to transcend preconceived ideas of what  81  constitutes a particular identity and what a body can do. Theatre becomes ritual and ritual becomes experimentation, deterritorialized from its original context and aimed at galvanizing forces in new ways that can engage diverse desires in shared repetitions. Through this approach to serial performance we learn to ask, not what something is, but what desires it produces. What we have here is thus an approach to performance that begins in theatre, but forward looking as it is, and shunning the principle of representation, it rapidly breaks down the boundaries between art and life. It is not a question o f "art" mimicking "life" or "life" mimicking "art," but a continual repetition that repeats with more or less intensity, and produces desires in a more or less effective way.  The system of desiring production moves away from  normative forms to be mimicked, and "returns" to the multiple possibilities of the bodies. This mode o f desiring-production functions, as we have seen, through the exploration of marginalized ways o f moving and becoming in the world. Specifically, it functions through a "return" to the flip side o f Western binary logic, thus conflating a host o f traditional Others, and making Woman (as the territorial Other) the gatekeeper to this exploration. The system of experimentation suggested by all this functions much like a carnival or festival, whereby various masks are sported, lifted from their various contexts and brought into contact with one another at various levels and through various changing bodies.  For this reason,  I would like to suggest that the analysis o f community based performance art in developing alliances along the lines o f minority desires is a fruitful direction for future research. The work o f two performance theorists may provide particularly useful tools for embarking on such an analysis. The first is the Popular Theatre approach developed by Augusto Boal. Here members o f the community come together on issues o f common concern and are encouraged to enact their relevant experiences, as well as potential solutions to the dilemmas presented. The polyvocal approach creates possibilities that destabilize the notion o f a True representation o f the issues that may prove to open interesting possibilities for community development and a rethinking o f ways o f embarking on personal and global transformations.  82  Such an approach offers potential for developing a community-based, future-oriented activist model in which the situation and its solutions are repeated, offering community-generated "memories" from which participants can draw. Involving the various agents o f the community in active participation would seem to move toward the goal o f doing away with a dogmatic image o f thought. However, so long as it is merely a struggle among a collection o f various "dogmatic images," this strategy can only go so far in allowing us to rethink the possibilities o f cultural media to advance minority desires. Further research into the possibilities afforded by what we have been calling the "feminine" theatre of cruelty advocated by Deleuze via Nietzsche and Artaud is needed. One way of doing this may be to combine it with Bakhtin's understanding o f the camivalesque in order to analyze the possibilities afforded by contemporary festivals such as Burning M a n , various World Music events, and New A g e retreats, but also grass roots drag performances and the cultural sampling that takes place in contemporary fashion trends. In our discussion o f Cixous' hysterical theatre we noted the importance o f taking stock o f the actual dynamics of, as Cixous puts it, "who is 'in' the theatre, who works, who is exploited by whom." Through attention to the details o f repetitions, the ways in which they reinforce and destabilize habits at every level to inform, construct and impede desiring production, we may continue to take note of the power dynamics at work in current systems of appropriation. Following the nomadic philosophy o f Deleuze and Guattari, I have argued that alliances are built according to desires and that these desires are to be understood as being produced from certain habits (physiological, cultural, etc.); from these habits memories are called on in the pursuit o f desires. I have suggested that the interrelation between these various levels will offer us some insights as to the ways in which alliances may be usefully built: what are the desires produced and along what access do they converge? Or, in other words, how can memories be used effectively to produce the desires of those who share certain habits. Key events that involve a high concentration of performers who come together specifically in order to celebrate and  perform their desires offer a useful starting point for studying these trends and for building possible alliances. However, as serial performances, the ways in which they both do and do not move beyond a contained performance event is of the utmost importance. The nature of a changing society is such that there is no simple mechanism that "best" encourages. The aim o f this thesis has thus not so much been to establish a model o f cultural production that privileges one mode o f expression over another. Rather I have here explored some ways o f thinking about cultural becomings and the role o f various approaches in terms o f facilitating the desires that have been most marginalized. I have suggested that the strategy o f becoming-woman put forward by Deleuze and Guattari offers opportunities for thinking beyond hierarchical binaries and facilitating experimentation in ways o f becoming traditionally discounted. I have further suggested that this "feminine" approach breaks away from the rubric of closed identity politics in a manner that allows hitherto silenced voices and ways o f expressing to flourish. However, I have stressed the need to take into consideration the conditions o f particular becomings and the particular desires and struggles of women and other politically marginalized minorities. Such attention is necessary in order to assure that the desires that these minorities bring are not sublimated into a central machine o f generalized becoming, glossing over the particular desires that are still largely unheeded. Rather than insisting on a particular site or dimension out o f which differentiated desires emerge, I have suggested that sites o f difference and alliance may become fluid and situation-specific.  Our focus now must be  on how fruitful alliances can be built and what role cultural media can play in building these alliances without forcing fascistic identifications. I began this thesis with a discussion of rage, mobility and resistance and have argued that there is a form o f "cruelty" that can be instrumental in resisting the fascism o f Western style colonial discourse and the binary o f Same and Other that it institutes.  I would like to end by  emphasizing the need now to focus on what we might call the mobility o f love. B y this I mean the need to be faithful not to vows o f allegiance to a particular image or identity, a particular  model or medium, but to building alliances that move beyond these identities in order to serve the desires o f those living together in the present. Here it is not a question o f coercing persons into adopting even a supposedly emancipatory stance, but o f creating approaches within our cultural institutions that can encourage the participation of all and accommodate not only a range of what is desired, but also how it is desired. In this pursuit we will always be negotiating a balance between our shared memories and disparate ones and the flux o f desires that are produced. If mobility is now all the rage, and i f rage is mobile, then we will not get very far attempting to halt the proverbial "rage against the machine." But, perhaps, heeding the conditions from which this rage desires we can develop directions for transformation that will be able to build alliances that can take into consideration the still too frequently silenced minority desires. Developing strategies for building nomadic alliances among these desires, whether these be those of women, indigenous peoples, ecological concerns or others assimilated to the "territorial," rather than consuming and selling these desires on a growing world market, may create significant shifts in the ways we think o f ourselves and our communities. If this is a situation o f cultural crisis, then it can only be by turning to the possibilities afforded by cultural media that we will be able to develop strategies for change.  85  BIBLIOGRAPHY  Artaud, Antonin. Collected Works: volume one.  Tr. Victor Corti. London: John Calder, 1968.  Artaud, Antonin. Selected Writings. E d . Susan Sontag. T r . Helen Weaver. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Inc., 1976.  Braidotti, Rosi. Patterns of Dissonance: a study of women in contemporary philosophy. T r . Elizabeth Guild. Cambridge: Polity Press, 1991.  Butler, Judith. Gender Troubles: Feminism and the subversion of Identity. New York: Routledge, 1999.  Carson, Anne. Men in the Off Hours.  New York: Random House, 2000.  Cixous, Helene. Portrait of Dora. T r . Anita Barrows in Benmussa Directs: Portrait of Dora by Helene Cixous and The Singular life of Albert Nobbs by Simone Benmussa. London: John Calder, 1979.  Cixous, Helene. "Aller a la Mer," T r . Barbara Kerslake in Modern Drama V o l . 27:4 (1984). 546-9.  Cixous, Helene and Catherine Clement.  The Newly Born Woman. T r . Betsy Wing.  Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1986.  Colebrook, Claire. "Incorporeality: The Ghostly Body of Metaphysics" in Body and Society: V o l . 6:2 (2000). 25-44.  Dale, Catherine. "Cruel: Antonin Artaud and Gilles Deleuze" in Shock to Thought: expression after Deleuze and Guattari.  E d . Brian Massumi. London: Routledge, 2002.  Dane, Gabrielle. "Hysteria as Feminist Protest: Dora, Cixous, A c k e r " in Women's Studies V o l . 23 (1994). 231-256.  86  Deleuze, Gilles. Nietzsche and philosophy.  T r . Hugh Tomlinson. London: Continuum, 1983.  Deleuze, Gilles. Difference and Repetition. T r . Paul Patton. New York: Columbia University Press, 1994.  Deleuze, Gilles. The Logic of Sense. T r . Mark Lester with Charles Sjivale. E d . Constantin V . Boundas. New York: Columbia University Press, 1990.  Deleuze, Gilles. Masochism.  T r . Jean M c N e i l . New York: Urzone, Inc., 1989.  Deleuze, Gilles and Felix Guattari. Anti-Oedipus:  Capitalism and Schizophrenia.  T r . Robert  Hurley, Mark Seem and Helen R. Lane. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1983.  Deleuze, Gilles and Felix Guattari. A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia.  Tr.  Brian Massumi. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1987.  Foucault, Michel. "Theatrum Philosophicum" in Mimesis, Masochism and Mime: the politics of theatricality in contemporary French thought, ed. Timothy Murray. A n n Arbor: The University of Michigan Press, 1997.  Irigaray, Luce. Speculum of The Other Woman. T r . Gillian C . G i l l . Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1985a.  .  Irigaray, Luce. This Sex Which Is Not One. T r . Catherine Porter. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1985b.  87  


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