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Evan Scribner

Doubling-Short Circuit Card

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In Spurlock's doubling K there's a card from Zizek about short circuits:

 

A short circuit occurs when there is a faulty connection in the network—faulty, of course, from the standpoint of the network’s smooth functioning. Is not the shock of short- circuiting, therefore, one of the best metaphors for a critical reading? Is not one of the most effective critical procedures to cross wires that do not usually touch: to take a major classic (text, author, notion) and read it in a short- circuiting way, through the lens of a “minor” author, text, or conceptual apparatus (“minor” should be understood here in Deleuze’s sense: not “of lesser quality,” but marginalized, disavowed by the hegemonic ideology, or dealing with a “lower,” less dignified topic)? If the minor reference is well chosen, such a procedure can lead to insights which completely shatter and undermine our common perceptions. This is what Marx, among others, did with philosophy and religion (short- circuiting philosophical speculation through the lens of political economy, that is to say, economic speculation); this is what Freud and Nietzsche did with morality (short- circuiting the high-est ethical notions through the lens of the unconscious libidinal economy). What such a reading achieves is not a simple “desublimation,” a reduction of the higher intellectual content to its lower economic or libidinal cause; the aim of such an approach is, rather, the inherent decentering of the interpreted text, which brings to light its “unthought,” its disavowed presuppositions and consequences.

And this is what “Short Circuits” wants to do, again and again. The under-lying premise of the series is that Lacanian psychoanalysis is a privileged instrument of such an approach, whose purpose is to illuminate a standard text or ideological formation, making it readable in a totally new way—the long history of Lacanian interventions in philosophy, religion, the arts (from the visual arts to the cinema, music, and literature), ideology, and politics justifies this premise. This, then, is not a new series of books on psychoanalysis, but a series of “connections in the Freudian field”—of short Lacanian interventions in art, philosophy, theology, and ideology. “Short Circuits” wants to revive a practice of reading which confronts a classic text, author, or notion with its own hidden presuppositions, and thus reveals its disavowed truth. The basic criterion for the texts that will be published is that they effectuate such a theoretical short circuit. After reading a book in this series, the reader should not simply have learned something new: the point is, rather, to make him or her aware of another—disturbing—side of something he or she knew all the time.

 

In the context of doubling its about short circuiting debate by breaking down the aff/neg binary, but I'm interested in using it in another context. However, I can't find any cards. Does anyone know where to find more lit about this concept? Are there other names for it?

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He wrote a book about this shit: The Parallax View. I'm pretty sure that card is from the intro.

 

book = not bad. I'm surprised they haven't cut more of it...

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He wrote a book about this shit: The Parallax View. I'm pretty sure that card is from the intro.

 

This is true. Good place to start. Also, Delueze and Guttari also make a similar argument that might be compatible

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This is true. Good place to start. Also, Delueze and Guttari also make a similar argument that might be compatible

 

Where can I find that?

 

Thanks for the recommendation, the parallax view is exactly what I was looking for.

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He wrote a book about this shit: The Parallax View. I'm pretty sure that card is from the intro.

 

Zizek's idea of Parallax View comes from Kojin Karatani's Transcritique on Kant and Marx. Arguably it's not as useful since it's specific to Kant and Marx, but just thought it'd be good to know…

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Where can I find that?

 

Thanks for the recommendation, the parallax view is exactly what I was looking for.

 

Deleuze doesn't make the argument so much as Guattari does in the AO papers.

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zupancic's book is part of the short circuit series. i don't remember exactly what other books but amazon search should take care of that. all of those books are relevant for other places you can find short circuits.

 

also, short circuit and short circuit 2 were kick ass movies.

 

spurly

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I believe some Bataille scholars have interpreted his work in a similar way. At least to suggest that the process of a major text (positivity, reform) coming into confrontation with a minor text (negativity, nihilism), is a jarring and politically favorable event. In this sense its more of a sacrificial doubling, where productivity is sacrificed in lieu of expenditure. Its more nuanced than most Bataille arguments people read in debate, definitely better than that piece of shit UTNIF file everyone seems to have.

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