there's no I in me
In Two Regimes of Madness (2006), Deleuze asserts that discussion is nothing more than an “exercise in narcissism where everyone takes turns showing off” (p. 384). Contextualized in terms of contemporary eco-political discourse, Deleuze’s critique of discussion raises important, if uncomfortable, questions about the role of dialogue and communication in the age of the Anthropocene. Indeed, it is not discussion that is fundamentally narcissistic, but rather it is the assumption that human meaning-making can, and should, overcome the inherent incommensurability of communication in and with the world that has exposed yet another ambit of our human philosophical privilege. In the face of complex geotraumatic upheaval, the presumption that there must be more — that is, more than we are able to think, to say — is beset by the prospect that current modes of thought have reached a terminus outstripped by the vast inhuman complexities of geological and ecological change. As the planet recedes from the image of the world’s givenness to human thought and analysis, the limits of dialogue, discussion and conversation surrounding climate change (all of which seem to be given general equivalency), are stripped bare and exposed for what they are: a panicky evasion of exhaustion prefigured by the ongoing noumenal transpiration of the non-human. Taking the (in)utility of discussion and its speculative potential as a starting point, this performative essay enacts an entangled discussion between several dissident voices, all of whom debate the complexities of climate change from distinctive philosophical perspectives and sonic positions. By weaving together the often contradictory aural (dis)encounters of anti-catastrophism, (cosmic) pessimism, scientism, techno-fetishism, and new materialism, this ‘patasonic experiment highlights both the potential and limits of “logical” discussion and argumentation, particularly in light of the inexhaustible rhythms of exchange engendered and maintained by our inveterate anthropocentrism and its coming planetary annihilations.
The first iteration of this performative essay reading took place at the "Tuning Speculation: De-Tuning Speculation" Symposium (Organized by The Occulture) in Toronto from November 18-20, 2016.