Guattari (Foucault) and experience
Wow – dense but interesting reading (for me anyway). I think that it really outlines what is at stake in thinking about experience and, as usual, what I really like about Guattari is that he’s not just finding the right terms to describe experience, but realises how much this is entwined with the question of the creation of experience. I know Guattari doesn’t talk so much about experience but it seems that everything heads in that direction. His understanding of semiotics is one tempered by actual experience. His notion of subjectivity – and rejection of a given “subject” – in that it extends both to the social and to ‘pre-verbal’ intensities – brings experience back into the question of subjectivity. And his concept of the refrain is crucial here. I have been thinking about the refrain for years (as has Lone) and I’m still only just understanding it – particular in relation to his understanding of the ongoing constitution of time(s). Again crucial to experience.
So I’m looking forward to today’s discussion. I guess also that these two readings bring up so much that they might allow us to talk a little more at some stage about how we are thinking about “experience” and why – what we hope to get out of it. I’m sure it will all be somewhat “plural and polyphonic” but so much the better for that!
Lone – btw – the other day, pointed out that Guattari wrote a really good essay on Foucault, who he straightforwardly admires. With regard to the previous discussion here about Foucault and experience, Lone quoted me this -
All the themes we might call Foucauldian Existentialism converge on this pivotal point between semiotic representation and pragmatics of ‘existentialization’, and, in this way, places the micro-politics of desire alongside the micro-physics of power according to specific procedures. Each of these themes demands to be reinvented, one at a time, and case by case, in a process akin to artistic creation. Foucault’s immense contribution lies in its exploration of the fundamentally political fields of subjectification, as well as the guiding light of a micro-politics that frees us from the pseudo-universals of Freudianism or the Lacanian mathemes of the unconscious. As a result of the methods he articulated, the lessons we can derive from his intellectual and personal development, as well as from the aesthetic character of his work, Foucault has left us with a number of invaluable instruments for an analytic cartography. (Guattari Reader: 181)