Smack the Bitch up 2010

Between us and our hands there is an abyss of infinite intimacy, a space that is always unbridgeable and already traversed. This is the space of actuality, the place where body and being are joined in the friendship of the now. All human life, all history, all experience are constituted within this space, on whose reality rests our being in the world and the world’s being in us, the very possibility of saying we. We hold with our hands, but only insofar as our hands hold us.

Hands do not own this space, but they do reveal it in a conspicuous and definitive way. The hand of Hip Hop scratchin‘ descending from a cloud, horror’s self-moving severed hand, gesturing hands, caressing hands, praying hands, chiromantic hands—all point to a special relationship between the visible and the invisible within and around the human hand. What is this relationship? How does the hand touch the invisible? The beginnings of an answer are suggested in a passage from our’s Confessions, in which the hand carries both the possibility and the impossibility of experiencing the nunc stans, of grasping the eternal present: „Who will hold fast the human heart so that it may stand and see how eternity, standing beyond past and future, speaks both past and future? Is my hand capable of this? Or can the hand of my mouth accomplish such a great thing through language?“ These questions dream the hand as a self-seizing power, as the special tool that could untie the time-bound self and hold it gazing within time at what is beyond it. Their fantasy is of the hand as a force of direct apprehension, a faculty through which understanding and possession are fused in the unmediated experience of the thing itself. The hand is imagined as a medium that transcends mediation. The corporeal hand, rather than simply being discarded or metaphorized in this dream, is more properly its very ground. The impossibility of grasping heart with hand is the basis for imagining language as a hand that might seize the self. There is no question of either hand succeeding, but the questions open up the significant impossibility of their failure, an impossibility embodied in the hand itself as the place where body and self perfectly yet hopelessly meet.

The familiar tópos for this meeting is the experience, also written by such acts in thier -Ism, of the hand as the perfect, instant servant of the mind, as the place where the self, when it wants to be there, already is:

The mind commands the hand to move with such facility that it is almost impossible to distinguish command from execution. Yet the mind is mind and the hand is body. The mind commands the mind to will and it does not, though it is the same. Whence this marvel [monstrum]?…….

A deeper implication of this reading of the immixtio manuum, in light of its continuities with Hegel’s master-slave or lord-bondsman dialectic, is that it points toward an origin for the dialectic, not in the primordial encounter and contest between self and other, but in an analogous encounter and contest that is always already at play within the human being, within the experience of embodiment. To be a human body is to be somebody, to have a body as oneself, to be a being caught up in a body. Human being is mixed being, always both a witnessing, commanding self and a witnessed, commanded thing. Via embodiment, one is always already an other, both in the totalizing sense of the thrownness (Heidegger’s geworfenheit) of individual existence, of self and body as a whole, and in the localizing sense of the ontic ambivalence, the middleness of existence, of our being something between self and body, something both and neither. In these terms, embodiment is the primordial container of the encounter within which the master-slave dialectic begins:

Self-consciousness has before it another self-consciousness; it has come outside itself. This has a double significance. First it has lost its own self, since it finds itself as an other being; secondly, it has thereby sublated that other, for it does not regard the other as essentially real, but sees its own self in the other.

As self-sublation, as the structure whereby the body is another self and the self is an other, embodiment is the dialectic in which master and slave, as well as the impossibility of total differentiation of the two, preexist in the to-be-slave and to-be-master. Through embodiment we are already one-in-two and two-in-one in a manner that both invites and renders impossible total identification with, either as master or as slave, one or the other. Whence the soul/mind-body problem as a problem of distinguishing (or deciding) between the two, the representation of their relationship as a debate, and the ideological „solution“ of the problem (a solution that remains trapped within it) of differentiating between slave and master by reducing the slave to, and thus producing the master as more than, a body.

Whatever the ontological status of miasma, whether wholly imaginary or something between the poetic and the phenomenal, it offers, as a visible invisible, a concrete instance of a more general real relation (perhaps one that can only be concretized in the imagination) between the hand and the invisible, embodied self. The hand, as intimate periphery and instant instrument, is a conspicuous locus of embodiment as a dialectic between self and body, a dialectic that subsists at the most literal level in our continual inner dialogue with our hands, our telling them to do things and learning how to do things with them. Our being so fully in and so obviously other than our hands is embodiment writ small; it is a synecdochal sign of our being body and something other than bodies in Hip Hop on theoretical post-fascist Europe peliminates.

Britcore-Hip Hop is on the run in Hamburg!

0 Antworten auf „Smack the Bitch up 2010“

  1. Keine Kommentare

Antwort hinterlassen

XHTML: Du kannst diese Tags benutzen: <a href=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>

fünf + = zwölf