Friday, October 1, 2010

Erin Manning Evening Lecture

NOTE: As with all my notes from the EGS, there will likely be mistakes because I did not record the lectures, I made notes as they spoke, so I am perhaps interpreting what they are saying as I am writing.

The students are required to attend evening lectures given by the faculty each evening as part of our curriculum. Erin Manning was the third person to give an evening lecture during the August sessions.

This talk comes from the last chapter of her forthcoming book Ethics of Language in the Making and is built from quotes from autists and those with characterized as having low-functioning autism.

The talk is particularly inspired by the work of Amanda Baggs and her amazing video, In My Language:

Mindblindness - an inability to understand what is in the mind of another. Autists don't necessarily only remain attuned to humans, but to everything else in the "theater of individuation."

What is sidestepped in the clinical model of autism is the presupposition that object relations are typical or are normative and naturally interhuman, not that they are socially-prescribed.

Metaphor as a mobility of relationality, not of representation -- they move across strata of intelligibility.

Let's also look at Tito Rajarshi Mukhopadhyay

The milieu of individuation should not mean that which is not multiple. We are multiple. The challenge is exacerbated for autists because there is this issue of translating the lived experience into language.

Pure experience doesn't exist without thought, rather language seems to privilege a modality of time and the autist's experience of time is difficult to put into our language - verbal and nonverbal in expression.

Many voices from the neurotypical communities discuss a "descent into autism" such that the trope hovers around ideas of subhuman, retarded, and a simple (false) dichotomy of human relating and ignores the possibility that neurodiversity and radical difference might inform our own lived experiences.

Language activates fields of relation; it is eminently relational and a collective individuation of sense: between words, with the words. Language acts presuppose collective activity.

Ethics are the immanent expression of the infinite potentiality in the limits of the emergent.

Language-making is the bringing-into-the-act.

[NOTE TO SELF: Psychasthenia still presupposes an essentialism that misleads us in our thinking about relationality. This talk has me rethinking. There is this problem of understanding the co-generative nature of language to communicate our loss of self]

Could the real problem be in the deliberating in order to find consensual terms; might it be that our task is to increase the attempts at communicating?

The neurotypical communities tend to underestimate the rich contributions that the autistic community can contribute to our understanding ourselves.

[END OF TALK]

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