As a performative player, we are driven by a primary lack at the core of the psychic apparatus. It compels us to seek fulfillment through the gaze of the other: the elementary fantasmatic scene of being looked at (validated) by an unseen presence. The imagined gaze observing us becomes a kind of ontological guarantee of our being.
It serves to put us in our place -- to subject us. In this way, erotic cultures of exposure and display can be seen as driven by the need to perform for the gaze -- the Big Other, the symbolic order -- and therefore to write themselves into existence. Yet at the same time, these insertions of the self into the symbolic order can be regarded as a way of channeling or dissipating surplus energy. From such a viewpoint, the connective intensities that drive these new forms of self-exposure and display are those of expending excess, and the allure of showing could parallel that of sacrificing. The pose, as event-portal, becomes a double-edged solicitor.

Jordan Crandall


nettime 02072007


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