02 August 2010

Report: David Wolach's "The Commons & the Body"

Last Sunday, July 25th David Wolach presented the third event in Nonsite's summer suite on commoning, "The Commons & the Body."

Wolach (like Donovan the week prior) opened with a writing prompt:

"What would giving up a proprietary relationship to one's own enclosed body entail for you?"

I wrote the following:

"Allowing others to help define the boundaries and limits of my body?
Implicating the other in overcoming my own discomfort with it?
Remediating shame like groundwater."

Here are some notes from what followed (I tried to attribute sources when I could remember!):

We must switch the question from what a body is to what a body can do.

Wolach's three points of interest in the body as commons:

1) Labor organizing
2) Illness
3) Poetics of emulation (temporary suspension btw. corporeal body and the rest of the world)

Affective capacities we can share for mutual subsistence...?
Poem as appendage of the body?

the body=concepts/inscriptions
a body=materialized

How can organizing/outsourcing be further radicalized as a set of movements?

The body as usefully submitting to other bodies—to outsource the body to a wider coterie.

Liz Grosz: The body is incomplete...depends on triggers from the outside...

Wolach: Interested in the minor triggers of the body...occluded potential...

Prompt #2: List some things that would have to be in place for the release of a proprietary relationship to the body to be mutually beneficial?

My response:
"A different set of regulatory codes that allow the body to occupy space in a shared manner...
A different relationship to use and operativity..."

Rob Halpern: Prosody as organized pulse...
David Buuck: Permission to fail // to risk having needs met // fear as necessary precondition
Taylor Brady: Possibility of de-skilling
Anne Lesley Selcer: No one is "enclosed"
Chris Daniels: I don't own something I am // I don't "control" my body as it ages, shits, etc.
Brian Teare: Commoning exists outside of systems...the spontaneous...
Yedda Morrison: Difficulty dealing with the body of my body that is still on my body (her daughter was sitting on her lap as she spoke!)

Some pics:

1 comment:

  1. This may be one of those "remember the conversation we had 2 years ago?" random omments, but I felt the need to revisit this post in regard to the comment you posted under my name, that comment being "no one is enclosed." I wanted to clarify, since, to me, it sounds like weird celebratory hippie shit, that it was in response specifically to David W's prompt to imagine our *own bodies* as commons, a prompt which prompted many of the women in the room to respond our bodies ALREADY were, and that so, the problem for us personally was perhaps the opposite of over enclosure. This was in the vein of a conversation that encouraged "self immolation" and "surrender" as a response to privitization. I found the appropriate passage in Federici today: "Just as the Enclosures expropriated the peasentry from the communal land, so the witch-hunt expropriated women from their bodies, which were thus 'liberated' from any impediment preventing them to function as machines for the production of labor. For the threat of the stake erected more formidable barrier around women's bodies than were ever erected by fencing off the commons" (184). So both David's prompt and Federici's quotation work on multiple levels, conflating a privitizaiton of land with an expropriation from one's essential bodily sovereignty. A little confusingly, Federici asserts that women's bodies become public use through the witch hunts, open to the needs to labor and capital accumulation. My (and others') comments to David's prompt respond in this vein, that is the one in which the female body is not respected as boundaried or private or enclosed by self.