|UFDC Home||myUFDC Home | Help|
This item has the following downloads:
1 EXTENDING RHETORIC AND EVENT: LIVE D EVENTS IN RHETORICAL ECOLOGY By PHILLIP BRATTA A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUI REMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF A RTS UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2013
2 2013 Phillip Bratta
3 To friends and family (too many of you to list) throughout the years that have supported my endeavors
4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS No one ever writes without supp ort from many others. This thesis is definitely no exception and I have many people to thank. First, my committee: Laurie Gries and Sid Dobrin. These two scholars have exemplified what it means to be knowledgeable, considerate, and mo st importantly pati ent. Laurie has provided unparalleled time and effort in helping me think through the ideas and in providing invaluable conversations and feedback for the paper and argument. chair. Sid gave me the independence t o research the way I needed to, and continually opened up the richness of the issues by offering various other angles to consider I Many other faculty members both here at UF and at other institutions, deserve recognition t oo : Ames Hawki ns, Corrine Calice, Ann Gunkel, Jaafar Aksikas Joan Giroux, Greg Ulmer, Ral Snchez Stephanie Smith, Jodi Schorb, Allyson Reynolds, and Creed Gre er. My debts are also extensive to others in the UF English graduate program: Jake Riley Sa m Hamilton, Joe Weakland Gareth Hadyk DeLodder Kyle Bohunicky Melissa Bianchi Jordan Youngblood Shoniqua Roach Scott Sundvall Andee Krafft Elliot Kuecker Emily Glosser, Sam Banal, Andrew Wilson John Tinnell Carrie Guss, Adam Stengel Heather Pet erson and Joan Shaffer Thanks to all for supporting, pushing, and questioning me to, what Ulmer posits
5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 4 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ..................... 6 CHAPTER 1 EXTENDING RHETORIC AND EVENT: LIVED EVENTS IN RHETORICAL ECOLOGY ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 8 2 LIVED EVENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 14 One Million Bones ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 16 Rhetorical Performance Art ................................ ................................ ..................... 19 Topological Space ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 25 Collective Action ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 34 3 CONCLUSION ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 42 LIST OF REFERENCES ................................ ................................ ............................... 44 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................ ................................ ............................ 46
6 Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts EXTENDING RHETORIC AND EVENT: LIVED EVENTS IN RHETO RICAL EC OLOGY By Phillip Bratta May 2013 Chair: Laurie Gries Major: English Recent inquiries offered a dynamic lens through which to understand rhetorical acts. Furthermore, Kevin argument that gener ates public deliberation. When image events emerge, the rhetorical situation is constituted by distinct boundaries of rhetor audience image. Earlier work on rhetorical situation, for example Lloyd Bitzer and Richard E. Vatz, also suggested a composition of discrete elements (rhetor, discourse, audience, exigence, and constraints). Thus, to extend rhetorical events and eradicate those boundaries in rhetorical situations, this paper proposes a new theoretical term: lived events. Lived events are spontaneous, (inter)action with other bodies for the purposes of producing political and social art. In addition, lived events unfold and function not in rhetorical situations, but in a rhetorical ecology of affective processes and intensities. As an example, this paper explores a performance art installation: One Million Bones This performance piece meets the three criteria of lived events: rhetorical performance art, topological space, and collective actio n. By exploring One Million Bones this paper elucidates not only how lived events
7 emerge, but enables scholars to rethink visual rhetoric and rhetorical theory, event, and social activism, as well as highlight the interactions and interconnections amongs t all these levels.
8 CHAPTER 1 EXTENDING RHETORIC AND EVENT: LIVED EVENTS IN RHETORICAL ECOLOGY Much contemporary scholarship within rhetoric and composition has brought the dynamic qualities of rhetoric and writing to the forefront by conceptualizing th em in terms of event. In Composition as a Human Science for instance, Louise Wetherbee (147) s a series of physics, Phelps proposes a new conceptual structure for written discourse, one that as participant in play an important role in event creation, as Ral Snchez Text: Retheorizing Empiricism and Identity Snchez argues that an act the act of writing. And the writing subject is an act of identity formation, which is to say that it is an act of writing is not an epistemologi cal or ontological concept. It is a rhetorical ac tion ). In addition to Ph Snchez Barbara we are dealing with is not the saying of the Event, not the inscription of the Event into language or into speech, b ut saying as the Event, saying as eve ntful and not as an 19 ; emphasis in original ). In First Century a psychoanalytic f Lacanian uncanny/speech act that unfolds possibilities of/for the new. She posits that rhetoric as event should be conceptualized in terms of audience centered and that
9 t a speaking that woul d a political sequence. It ility, hand ing its determination over to the a udience While such non discursive rhetorics as event. Drawing on Susanne Langer, Joddy Murray suggests that discursive rhe toric functions as one idea followed by another idea, a sort of linear conceptualizing in language engagement; in contrast, non discursive rhetoric presents its content in a non linear fashion, inducing a sort of horizontal engagement from the viewer. Non discursive rhetoric mental images), and that it most often becomes employed to symbolize what cannot be These types of definitions have en abled rhetorical scholars such as Kevin DeLuca and many others to consider images as rhetoric, and furthermore as events. DeLuca and Joe Wilferth remark that rhetoric i s dependent on emergent forms and dependent on emerging technologies, those of production, of mediation, and of delivery. the most interesting aspect of rhetoric is its emergent ch aracter, its conting ent n.p. ; emphasis in original ). F or DeLuca and Wilferth, emergence suggests hence why rhetoric, in general, can be considered an event: an unforeseen phenomenon. DeLuca and Wilferth
10 argue that images function as rhetorical event particularly in image events: staged acts of protest designed for media dissemination useful in that they connect non discursive rhetorical events explicitly with social activism. For instance, radical environmenta l groups who create image events use various techniques, such as monkeywrenching, bodily blockage, and other types of ecotage, to disrupt a current exploitative environmental procedure and operation. But as these activists plan the disruptive act, they als o consider how the act or protest can gain media attention, and be disseminated. Since image events function in this distributed and Delicath 325). Generative arguments gen erate participation and expand public discourse by creating opportunities for audience members, who witness image events in person or on television and other media outlets, to create alternative lines of inquiry around a social issue. One activist group t hat deploys image events is Earth First! Founded in the late 1970s, Earth First! uses various tactics to halt environmental exploitations and disseminate their ideas. For example, in 1981 Earth First!ers visually disrupted the Glen Canyon Dam in Northern Arizona by unraveling a 300 foot long plastic ribbon along the dam. As a symbol of industrialism and urbanism, the dam functions as a signifier for Progress. To generate public deliberation, Earth First!ers sought to subvert this signifier by intervening w ith another signifier (ribbon). The ribbon, symbolizing a crack, points to the exploitation of natural resources and ecosystems by man made inventions. According to DeLuca and John Delicath, as the image of this disruptive event was disseminated through ne dominant
11 assumptions that Nature is a storehouse of resources and that Progress consis ts of This image event, like all image events, was making an argument, even as it lacked a clear th esis, data, and warrant. DeLuca and Delicath point out that all image events are an argumentative form characterized by fragmentation. Image events communicate not arguments, but argumentative fragments in the form of unstated propositions, indirect and i ncomp lete claims, visual refutation, and implied alternatives. T hese fragments constitute inventional resources capable of assisting public argumentation and deliberation. (322) res ponsibility for arg activism, as viewers are encouraged to rethink dominant ideologies and engage in public discourse (DeLuca and Delicath 317). As Earth First!ers challenged the dominant ideo logy of the dam as a symbolic site and visual representation of Progress, they hoped those viewers who see the image event would create alternative lines of argument within the public sphere, which might change social and economic conditions or enact legis lation. In other words, the hope with image events is that the fragmentation inspires the audience to question and change the way they think and engage differently in their everyday lives and democratic practices. In theory, image events are a fruitful w ay to understand the links between non discursive rhetoric and social activism, specifically the relationship between image, have created non discursive rhetorical events for which rhetorical theories of image events cannot fully account. With image events, the makers assume their audience will participate via visual interpretation and public dialogue. Once media capture the image
12 event, makers trust that their visual prese will catalyze the audience to participate in public discourses and press for more civic engagement in relation to issues raised in that event. In this configuration, the audience is situated as an audience separate from text and activist (or audience separate from discourse and rhetor). In other words, audiences are left out of the processes of invention; they do not become image event makers at the time the image event is initially produced on the ground. The audi ence is involved only in the post production of image events. In contrast, in other social a ctivist events, the audience is active participants, inventors alongside the original rhetors. These non discursive rhetorical events reconfigure the distinctions between rhetor, text, and audience, complicating the dynamics of rhetorical situations and thus our understanding of how non discursive rhetorics are produced. One such activist event is what I call a lived event. A lived event is a spontaneous, proprioce bodies for the purposes of producing political and social art/protest. Lived events are productive sites for rhetorical study in that they provide a non discursive, embodied rhetoric with i n an ecology of intensities, which illuminates the possibilities for rethinking the rhetorical situations of social activism. In this paper, I thus first articulate what lived events are in general to deepen our understanding of how non discursive rhetor ics can unfold in public space within a rhetorical ecology of affective processes and intensities Along the way, I discuss the social arts project One Million Bones in which lived events have emerged in order to identify three specific, defining character istics of lived events: rhetorical performance art, topological space, and collective action. To conclude, I very
13 briefly discuss some possible directions for lived events with(in) emerging digital technologies.
14 CHAPTER 2 LIVED EVENTS First, some discla imers: Like all events, lived events defy representation, making them difficult to capture in written accounts. This diffic ulty exists because they are neither discrete nor grounded in spectacle like image events; rather, while unique, they are continuous constantly unfolding and subtle L ived events are prerepresentational and prelinguistic. They happen before representation gets tacked onto them and/or language captures them and makes them metaphorical. In this sense, they could be identified as a type of robust materiality that Mark Hansen expresses: an experience of Hansen, cultural critics base their arguments upon poststructuralist approaches to ontology and metaphysic s by simply using technology as metaphorical for cognition. What Hansen aspires to do is move beyond representationalism to assert a technological real that can better account for a lived experience in and of technology itself. This same move is important when studying lived events, as lived events do not simply function as representational models for engagement with the world. As non discursive embodiment, they do not rely upon linguistic gestures to give meaning or structure cognition. They also are nont eleological: they have no end or final cause. Lived events simply emerge with contingency, give rise to unpredictable political participation, and thus flee when represented. Despite their difficulty to be described and represented due to their dynamism, lived events offer rhetorical theory a framework for underst anding how the body, affect, materiality and act(ivity) intersect outside linguistic representation for social and political purposes. In order for l ived events to function in this way, however, they must not be
15 understood as occurring in a rhetorical situation. events, objects, relations, and an exigence which strongl view, these elements a plot of discrete events. The world is a scene o f inexhaustible events which all compete subjectivism plays a major role in meaning discovered in situations, but created by Likewise, Louise Wetherbee as Phelps suggests, they (rhetor, audience, text, discourse, exigencies, and constraints) function in constant flux. Nigel Thrift, Jenny Edbauer Rice has suggested we th ink about rhetorical ecologies p of affective encounters, This understanding of rhetoric is especially fruitful for understanding how lived events unfold b ecause lived events blur the lines between rhetor audience text. In other words, lived events happen in and during fluxes and movements, which enable them to eradicate the boundaries between
16 rhetor, audience, and text In doing so, they render these eleme nts in distinguishable, and therefore make these elements supplant each other: the audience become rhetor ( s ) or the audience become the text ( s ) or the rhetor(s) becomes the audience, or the rhetor(s) becomes the text ( s ) One Million Bones Such general cha racteristics of lived events can be witnessed in the One Million Bones project that is currently in production. One Million Bones (hereafter referr ed to as OMB) is a large scale social arts practice addresses genocide, both historical and cu rrent atrocities The project involves the installation of one million fabricated (plaster, clay, plaster tape, wood, or fabric) bones at the National Mall in this installation will serve as a coll aborative site of conscience to remember victims and survivors, and as a visible petition to raise awareness of the issue and call upon our government to take much grave of b ones, symbolically each bone representing o ne victim of genocide, to influence politicians to address current genocides (particularly in Sudan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Somalia, Burma, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan). T o get politicians to potent ially end genocide, t his mass grave and visible petition will function rhetorically for the audience and serve a few purposes: (1) invoke the public to global issues, an d (3) influence the public to write to politicians hopefully enacting legislative change These purposes enable OMB to function similarly to image events in that the project sets the final installation among the visual backdrop of Washington. In doing so it will invoke observers at this installation to take action democratically
17 (engage with decision makers) and participate in public deliberation. The project also resembles an image event because t he final installation will be captured by video recordin gs and photographers and disseminated through an ecology of media: newspapers, I nternet, and news channels. To promote this June 2013 final installation, OMB has created preview installations, and it is in these installations that lived events first emerg ed. The OMB preview installations occurred in Albuquerque (August 27, 2011) and in New Orleans (April 7, 2012). These inst allations were created to exemplify how the developmen t of the final installation would unfold. Each preview installation required ab out two hundred volunteers and an all day event of laying down 50,000 bones in public space. In downtown Albuquerque, OMB occupied two city blocks with the bones; in New Orleans, OMB occupied Congo Square in Louis Armstrong Park. Since I volunteered at th e New Orleans installation, I will focus on the details there in this paper (although there were many similarities in Albuquerque ). historically had many cultures engage with the sp ace. Before the arrival of Europeans, Native Americans used the site as a market space, which was later used by slaves too i n eighteenth century French colonial rule when slaves got their one day off per week. Slaves also used this market space for gathe rings of song and dance. In the nineteenth century, Congo Square continued to be a kind of haven for slaves to practice music and this marketplace functions as a space for emergent art practices and forms composed by various cultures (Native Americans, enslaved Africans, and Creoles ). In choosing this public space for an
18 artistic installation that addresses genocide OMB rhetorically connects the past to the present as a way to highlight injustices and inh umane practices in American history. As present. More specifically, the use of this rhetorical device facilitates a consideration of what we do with and how we perceive pres ent social and political matters as we move into the future. For the preview installation, the ground is thus equally important to the performance and the material rhetoric of the day. The New Orleans preview installation began around 9:00 am on April 7, 2012 with volunteers organizing the bones into five piles on the edge of Congo Square. At carry the bones to the center of Congo Square, lay them down, and return to the stock pile to repeat the process. After four hours of activity, the 50,000 bones stood as a large installation piece. The installation also included music during the bone layin g: local musicians Luther Gray, Alexey Marti, Bill Summers, Tyrone Henry and Schubert Dauphin and others played percussions and d rums and chanted. After the bone laying was finished, Claude Gatebuke and Eric Ndaheba, both survivors of the Rwanda genocide and the Gatumba Massacre respectively, shared their stories with the public Around 5:00 pm, volunteers particip performance, an act of gathering and packaging the 50,000 bones for storage and their eventual re laying in Ju ne 2013 in the National Mall. The material rhetoric of the bones, the performance of laying them and the music shape an ecology of affective intensities. I will describe this ecology in more detail below
19 as I explain lived events, but it is important to no te, as this paper also shows, that the New Orleans preview installation cannot be conceptualized as a conventional rhetorical situation; rather, it functions as a rhetorical ecology of affective processes and intensities, and as such allows lived events to emerge. But such a rhetorical ecology only partially creates that emergence; three tentative criteria also need to be met. To note, I understand that in articulating these criteria of lived events, I contradict the emergence of lived events (or any kind o f event). According to Jacques Derrida, there are rules, norms, and hence criteria to evaluate this or that, what happens and there is no event Through my discourse, therefore, the lived events I discuss below cease to b e lived events; lived events can only be retroactively identified. Even by simply naming, we attempt to fix boundaries. Those boundaries (representations) have slippage though and can never articulate the exact temporal spatial dimensions of lived events. The issue also lies in the fact that lived events are ongoing and in constant flux. Lived events are the intensities that Phelps and Edbauer speak of, and, to complicate them more, they are ephemeral. Derrida the event is that which goes very q uickly; there can be an not expected, when one can no longer wait for it, when the coming of what happens criteria of lived events: (1) rhetorical pe rformance art, (2) topological space, and (3) collective action. While these characteristics overlap and mesh with each other, I will attempt to explain taxonomically. Rhetorical Performance Art While lived events can unfold in myriad ways, including acts of writing and speech, they are most evident in what I call rhetorical performance art. Rhetorical
20 performance art is an artistic project enacted in public space that addresses a social or political issue and induces the audience to participate with their body. By appearing in public space, rather than private or specific institutional space (such as a museum or theater), rhetorical performance art has greater potential to reach and engage a wider audience. As Peter Weibel highlights, this type of engageme nt has roots in the opening Louvre] to the French people, they were essentially no longer limited to an elite, and the preconditions were thus laid for the expansion of opening of art to the public literally and symbolically enacted a more democratic society, the move was problematic in terms of not only being accessible to those who could ), but physical access to the museum. In addition, who decides what pieces are selected for The Louvre (or any museum)? This type of question rose in the modernist movement with artists who criticized the museum as an elitist institution through curators various works in other spaces, such as in the street. In doing so, they reconfigured what public space means and created a firm foundation for rhetorical performance art. Rhetorical performance art is not ne cessarily a revolutionary idea for (re)thinking the relations public space and art. For the last one hundred years, how we engage with these two has been challenged by various artists and movements, from the Futurists to ible theater to flash mobs or smart mobs. Allen opportunities for lived events. In the late 1950s and 1960s, Kaprow used the term to describe performances and events that were i nteractive for the audience. Kaprow
21 point. they have no structured beg inning, middle, or end. They exist for a single New Media Reader 85). Happenings generated simply a new experience by eradicating performer and audience roles. Furthermo re, Happenings sought to fuse art and the everyday. As Geoffrey these boundaries of artist audience and art life. The difference lies in how Happenings neglected any particular political issue. As Noah Wardrip reports does not necessarily employ interaction in the service of something besides the creation of a new experience and New Media Reader 83). While such aspirations for new experiences was/are admirable, the lack of moving beyond the experience itself fails to account for the moral and ethical imperatives within social and cultural performance. In contr ast, rhetorical performance art does draw attention to moral and ethical implications embedded within social and political issues. Happenings, as well as various other performance productions, did precede rhetorical performance art, however, and hence la id much of the foundation for rhetorical performance art to appear in public spaces and induce audiences to newspapers, TV, radio and the Internet) form new forums for artistic articulation. They serve as a field of interaction for a different art in which passers by or users become
22 slightly problematic in that many of these listed public spaces issue), he articulates the various possibilities for rhetorical performance art to create rhetorical ecologies that connect to social and politica l issues. Audiences experience a much different understanding of the issues when they perform in the art or simply are the art. In rhetorical performance art, the audience are not simply visual consumers as they are in image events; rather, the audience engages with several senses and lives through events to co produce non discursive rhetoric. Ultimately, I do not mean to suggest that rhetorical performance art does not connect to image events. In fact, most rhetorical performance art could be defined in a way as an image event because of similar characteristics in dissemination, content, motivations, or development. Such performances often function for the purposes of gr and video cameras, and the networks in which such performance projects circulate, create an ecology of media through which this performance is disseminated. For example, in the OMB project, documentary photographs and video footage of their 50,000 bone preview installations were/are posted on their website, blog, Facebook, and Twitter. In addition, OMB founder and TED Senior Fellow Naomi Natale has been featured in artic les for both local and national newspapers (e.g. Huffington Post), has presented at various conferences and forums, and has introduced the project (not the performance) in educational classrooms (from elementary to higher education). The igital technologies facilitates its appearance in various mediums and
23 textual presentations in order to encourage people to engage with the issue of both historical and current genocides. Like image events, one of the purposes of rhetorical performance art is to generate an awareness of social injustices, economic exploitations, oppressive institutions and ideologies for audiences. The purpose of rhetorical performance art, then, is analogous to that of image events: to produce generative arguments and publ ic deliberation. But, as mentioned in the introduction, image events are constructed with distinguishable elements of the rhetorical situation in mind; rhetorical performance art, on the other hand, works to break down the boundaries of artist, audience, and art by focusing (whether intentionally or unintentionally) on processes and interactions of artist, audience, and art rather than a final product. Via such processes and interactions, rhetorical performance art can be thought of as what Brian Massumi Semblance and Event Massumi contends that a technique of existence is pragmatic production of oriented events of change They [techniques of themselves on their grasp of common sense. At the same time, they reject inventive of subjective forms in the activist sense: d ynamic unities of ev ents unfolding. ( 14 ; emphasis in original ) Drawing on Alfred Whitehead, Henri Bergson, and Gilles Deleuze, Massumi wants to move away from an object oriented philosophy of the (fixed) substance or being of things. In addition, he also wants to shift away from subject oriented philosophies in which cognitive approaches position the subject as epistemological producer. According
24 the subject does not com e to itself already in the midst but rather looked upon the world both these philosophical frameworks, a process oriented philosophy is better equipped to address metaphysical and epistemological inquiries via techniques of existence. Techniques of existence are inventive gestures that articulate what Massumi proposes as activist p does not deny that there is a duplicity in process between subjective and objective. It [activist philosophy] accepts the reality of both. Rather than denying them, activist philosophy affi rms them ot herwise, reinterpreting them in terms of events and their taking effect Ultimately, nonobject [and] noncognitive it shifts our attention to affect, movement, act(ivity), and embodiment. Such activist philosophy undergirds the rhetorical performance art of OMB through the spontaneous emergence of lived events. The New Orleans preview installation attracted a large crowd of observe rs. Some observers mentioned that they had heard about th e event in the local newspaper and simply came to watch, while other observers stumbled upon the installation randomly. It is with these latter observers that the preview installation further shapes lived events Many of these observers, who I will refer t o as non volunteers, did not simply have a visual experience. Rather, they ended up spontaneously participating in the same actions and movements of the volunteers: they collected from the piles made their way to the center, laid the bones, and returned to the stock piles to repeat the process. While OMB certainly does not reject such audience engagement in the preview installation such participation is not
25 atrocities goin making of bones from clay, plaster, etc. and not in the performanc e of laying down the bones in the preview installation(s). The expecta tion is that volunteers who desire to do more than simply make bones will create the preview and final installations. OMB thus does not intentionally function as phenomena for unpredictable and spontaneous action. However, the project unintentionally in voked the audience to participate and co produce non discursive rhetoric through lived events. When the non volunteers participated in lived events, they beca me partial inventors of the installation and the elements of rhetorical situation began to bleed into each other. Audiences were no longer a distinct entity separate from artists /rhetors and art, but instead, they beca me co artists and co creators. Such rhetorical participation eradicates the boundaries between themselves and artists/activists and t he tripartite arrangement (artist, art, and audience), as well as redefines the OMB installation: rather than simply defined as a visual petition (a rhetoric) and performance art piece, the project becomes what I am calling rhetorical performance art throu gh the preview the audience with their bodies. To better understand how bodies become rhetorical in lived events, we must first, however, understand how bodies move vi a proprioceptive engagement in topological space. Topological Space Lived events require a presence of topological space. Topological spaces differ from Cartesian spaces in that the latter fixes objects with an external grid. The
26 Cartesian model situat es objects with particular coordinates, and the objects, as Alex based primarily on measurable qualities. For example, when a city map is constructed, buildings are represented and a scale expresses the approximate distance between the buildings and landmarks. Before we physically move through the city, we can look at the map and det ermine how long it might take to walk from building A to B. The map enables us to fix the materiality of the buildings, as well as the materiality of ourselves within actual reality. Once we become familiar with the city, we may no longer need to return to the map to travel; we mentally internalize the map. On days when we are walking in the city and want to arrive at a particular location, we navigate mental maps and direct ourselves to the goal. Ultimately, Cartesian space relies upon a subject orient for navigation. This mental map allows for predictability: time and space can be foreseen and ordered. For the OMB project, Congo Square has its asymmetrical circular plaza wit h grey squared stones arranged in half circles that radiate out from a center point. The plaza, surrounded by two hundred year old plus oak trees, has coordinates and distinct boundaries that separate it from other parts of Louis Armstrong Park and the ma in roads outside the gates. Thus, OMB is set within Cartesian space and positioned with an external grid: various maps (city maps, tourist maps, et al.), and subjects can mentally move to and through Cartesian Congo Square. In addition, the external grid and mental maps turn space into place through naming/linguistic articulations. In a way, Cartesian space would be better understood as
27 place and occupation. Although Sidney Dobrin does not articulate exactly Cartesian space as place and occupation, he expr esses a similar idea when he remarks, definitions within space are formulated through occupation and when space becomes place, meanings are produced. These meanings are not simply social; rather, they are political and structure d within a value system. Dobrin ll occupations are political; all considerations of the spatial must account for the political. All occupations are discursive, rhetorical, hegemonic. Through its occupations, space is not merely social; it is p Yet, before space becomes political, it is topological and has potential for being politicized. To politicize that space, I am suggesting in this paper that individuals participating in lived events use proprioception, which I explain belo w in more detail, in topological space to generate novel values and meanings within Cartesian space. Such usage, as we will see, gives lived events a non discursive characteristic. The use of proprioception and its production for lived events works nicely limited to Cartesian geometry. Such spaces are virtual in that they are undecided; they do not have a fixed, Cartesian identity. But they are also actual in that they ha ve a (99). Again, analogous with events in general, we arrive at the description of topological space as that which cannot be articulated. But working off the map ex ample above, we may be able to better understand topological space: When we set out to arrive at a certain location, but do not have to mentally navigate how to get there, and arrive without that cognitive use, we experience topological space via our embod ied
28 knowledge. Consider the times when we get home from meeting with a friend or work and cannot remember the walk or drive. Even when we leave from various parts of the city or town and are required to take an atypical route, we still arrive at our home without having to think about every turn and travel distance. What is happening in those moments? Instead of a Cartesian subject and mind that moves the body, the body simply moves itself, as well as the subject and mind, through Cartesian space. In othe r words, the body uses an affective proprioception within and from topological space to navigate proprioceptive the body guides itself in relation to the unfolding of its own mov Proprioception is a sense that allows an individual to know how his or her body parts connect with each other and mobilize through time and space. It is always connected to the external environment. A simple example: when I walk, I do not need to watch or think about my legs and feet to move my body forward. In other words, my proprioception is functioning to propel my body and mind through the actual, physical spatial tempo ral world. Yet, proprioception differs from the traditional five senses because it doesn't come from any specific organ, but from the nervous system as a whole. In a way, proprioception is an ecological sense of the body. However, proprioception is not the internal movement of organs; rather, it is always connected to an external environment (whether on a Cartesian grid and/or topological web). Just because I do not have to think about my heart beating does not mean I am using my proprioceptive sense. T hus, when individuals use proprioception, they move their
29 bodies through Cartesian space with a knowledge that is derived from the environment, but also from repetition. Repetition differs from habit, in that habit links the past to the predictable futur e. For example, when I set my alarm clock every day to 8:00 am, I develop an agenda with predictability. The past simply unfolds into the present so that the future can be predicted. Repetition, on the other hand, is formed via an unpredictable folding o f the past, present and future in particular moments, which simultaneously enables the present and future to unfold in unpredictable ways. This unfolding is an event. And that he normal order of bodies and languages as it exists for any particular situation or as it appears in (the event) is produced. For instance, the repetition of drawing a landscape of trees and mountains can possibly mutate with each drawing, most likely producing unforeseen images of the landscape. The representation of the normal order of the landscape is ruptured with each drawing because the drawer may perceive the tre es and the mountains differently. If the drawer allows his or her body to guide the drawing, the trees may become resemblances of people or the mountains as buildings. The landscape may visually become a mix of an urban center and rural pastoral. Include d in the act of drawing these drawings is proprioception: movements of the hand, of the intensity between hand and pencil, of the intensity of pencil applied to paper. With each repetition, the body of the drawer learns how to move through Cartesian space; yet, with each repetition the body also becomes comfortable as it begins to move through topological space, to move in possibly novel ways. If those latter moves begin to plan
30 mentally how to move, then repetition ceases and habit develops. When repetiti on emerges, embodiment occurs; repetition, in other words, allows proprioceptive acts to develop an embodied knowledge that can generate unpredictable happenings. The drawer now engages with their hand and perception in ways that had been impossible a prio ri; the drawer has a sense of embodied knowledge from their affective proprioception. In OMB, since the bone laying process is a repetition, it creates affective proprioception from the topological web Each navigation from the bone piles to the center allows non volunteers to perceptu ally feel their way from topological space through the Cartesian space. There is no external grid or map for the performance. Linguistic directions also are absent; non volunteers are not told how to act. Yet, non volunt eers are compelled to participate and intuit how to participate through visual, aural, and proprioceptive experience. Non volunteers, thus, become emergent figures who participate in and create a non discursive, embodied rhetoric. As Massumi get an emergent figure, you need to add senses other than vision. In particular, touch and proprioception, the registering of the displacements of body parts rela non volunteers begin to participate, they generate arguments t hrough their embodied actions. The claim, data, and warrants are not discursively present. The bones and bodies and their movements are making an repetition, that argument is ultimately fragmented. As non volunteers develop an embodied knowledge through the repetition, unpredictably also emerges: they could change the path from bone pile to center and how they lay down the bones. At the end
31 of the day, the installation will b ecome something that cannot be precisely foreseen. All that can be seen, or rather perceived, is the ritual (which I address momentarily) and repetition of volunteers and non volunteers. This affective proprioception in OMB develops not only through rep etition, but through perception. Before I explain how, I first need to clarify the difference here a theory tightly connected to neurological research and psychology wit h visual communication as paralleling perceptual process dependent on primary emotion based begin with light hitting the retina, [and] vision occurs deep within the br ain; [but] perception, the process by which we derive meaning from what we see, is an elaborate symphony played first and foremost through the unconscious emotional system, with ious recognition of a visual situation, Barry breaks down the visual experience neurologically: light/visual information from the environment passes through the cornea, pupil and lens and hits the receptors in the retina; next, that light/information is co nverted into electrical impulses; electrical impulses divert into two routes: t he thalamo amygdala pathway and the cortical pathway. The former connects to the amygdale, the emotional center of the
32 brain; the latter connects to the cortex and begins the state of awareness. The thalamo amygdala route has a shorter distance than the cortical route. Hence, by the time we become aware, our emotions have already been stimulated by the visual environment. emotional memory frames all conscious response. T he cortex also sends a second signal to the amygdale, adding conscious input to emotional reaction and emotional Although Barry reverts to a cognitive understanding of visual experience, we can derive from her study an important idea to understand what audiences might experience in lived events. In her perception theory and definition of perception, Barry generates a form of affect theory. As the emotional center of the brain gets stimulated from the visual environment, the brain and the body can act in ways a prior consciousness the best and most obvious example being how individuals engage with advertisements (Barry 54 55). Such brain, eye, body interaction leads Barry to note that perception is meaning through experience, is a dynamic, interactive system that utilizes built in genetic programming to synthesize sensory input, memory, and individual needs. The eyes are only an initial part of the equation, and can, in fact, (48). In addition to the eye, the brain is also only one component to perception. As James J. Gibson contends, that anything whatever is transmitted along the optic nerve in the activity of perception. We can think of vision as a perceptual system, the brain being simpl y part of the 61 ; emphasis in original ). In other words, perceiving is neither an eye nor a brain mind centered experience; rather perceiving is an eye brain mind body affect.
33 Perception is not simply cognitive, but, and more so, embodied. Understanding perception along these above terms helps explain why lived events are an affective experience. Not only does eye brain mind body perception induce non volunteers to participate in OMB, but these non volunteers also perceive movement and feel their way through Cartesian space and topological space. Obviously, non volunteers see the material rhetoric of bones and the movement of bodies. And they also see the development of an art piece. But t he y al so experience multisensory stimulations: visua lly, aurally, and proprioceptu ally. They hear the bones, the rhythms of the music, and the silence of human voices. They hear t he reverberating sounds of participants collecting the bones from the bone piles a nd of bones connecting with the ground that interaction with each other and the ground stimulates aurally, but perceiving the sounds signi fies movement. The dings of bones contacting each other and th e ground create a rhythmic music. The striking on the percussions and the beating of bongos adds another layer to the aural experience. This rhythmic combination is also ac companied by chants from the musicians. cr eates a rhythm for non volunteers to (possibly) move through the Cartesian space. Non volunteers are affectively persuaded by these aural and proprioce ptive sources to spontaneously participate in laying the bones. Once in action, non volunteers move with the rhythm of the ritual, an experience of affective proprioception that produces an embodied rhetoric with political implications.
34 A lived event is further shaped with these processes of engagement and the process that unfolds via collective action. Lived events emerge, function, and circulate with(in) a collecti on of people. Such movements draw our attention to the activity of interactions (collective action), action that further underscores the political dimensions of lived events, but also expresses connections between microcosms and macrocosms. Collective Action Because lived events are emergent political acts, they create novel ways for the production of new values and meanings, as well as civic engagement, whi ch is always form possibilities for different ways of connection and participation within a democracy. In other words, collective action is a democratic practice. The form and substance of that democratic practice, of course, can vary. Within Western philosophical tradition, democratic practice tends to hold dialogue and/or public spe ech as the quintessential living experiments in bringing people together and making them affiliate or disaffiliate with the positions held. They are not reduced to individual words but assemble and (876). Again, we see democratic practice as tied to discursive representations and acts (dialogue and discourse). Rhetorical theory is rife with (implicitly or explicitly) privileging such verbal, as well as written, language for collective action because of the idea of clear claims, data, and warrants. As a consequence, theories that connect rhetoric to
35 democratic practice and civic engagement oft en subjugate or simply neglect the body due to the lack of clear claims, data, or warrants. Yet, the body can generate much rhetorical force, especially when participating in ies upon the coordination and communication of bodies. Subtract those bodies and the collective led by corporate media, governmental bureaucracies, social biases and money, power and privilege. Collective actions [with the body] cut through these contours and allow people to create bodies can spur materiality (and movement). Important to note is that collective action differs from collaborative action in which the latter typically suggests that individ uals are working together toward a particular outcome. When individuals collaborate, they tend to predict the end. But when individuals collectively act, there is no script or predetermination. In fact, the collective action and the subsequent results m ay not even materialize and produce any substance, as in the case with lived events. Thus, as collective actions emerge, lived events gain potential to produce a different way of living, of connecting, and of engaging with social and political issues. B esides unfolding in topological space via proprioceptive engagement, lived events operate via refamiliarization. Drucker defines refamiliarization (which is problematic for two reasons that I address below) and connect Unlike de
36 familiarization, whic h works with shock experience, Drucker claims that refamiliarization has a different purpose: De familiarization propose[s] a slap in the face shock effect, a momentary s urprise meant to transform habitual thought into awareness. But awareness of what? Refamiliarization asks images to show the contingent relations of complex systems, to expose vectors and forces of interests, desires, and power The task of refamiliarizati on is to show that what is is not entirely simulacral, but connected to the lived experience of persons and peoples, organic beings, within cultural, political, and vulnerable ecological spheres. ( 30 ; emphasis in original ) While explicitly shocking imag ery about social iss ues is necessary at times, and indeed sometimes more productive to radically changing economic, political, and social conditions, it also has the potential to deter collective action. When shocked, individuals often tend to retract to c onservative modes, shutting down any opportunity for invention. By closing off those potentials for invention, activists fall short of connecting people and persuading people to act. Drucker thus argues that because of the saturation of images within cont emporary society, visual artists need to take a different approach from the are already bombarded with shocking and strange images, so to think that visual artists can continue to produce such images and believe social action will result is frivolous. Rather, artists and activists ought to use refamiliarization in their image event making if s While refamiliarization is useful to understand the collective action needed in lived events, Drucker how lived events actually unfold. First, similar to DeLuca et al., Drucker focuses on simply the visual experience of an event. As much as she invokes images to connect
37 with m erely a visual experience. Her articulation of refamiliarization thus neglects to account for how refamiliarization occurs as people make connections through multisensory experiences of collective action. During lived events, for example, refamiliarizatio n occurs when individuals connect to others in the actual and immediate lived moment (microcosm), which in turn connects those individuals to others in remote engage with, and subsequently produce mental concepts; rather, as individual bodies experience affective proprioception with/in connection to other bodies, they become part of a lived experience in ways that images cannot manifest. By connecting these lived expe riences to others, refamiliarization has inherent political and ethical implications. acknowledge the innovation and novelty that are necessary for engaging with democra tic practices. Democratic practices respond to complex social and political issues. Innovative and novel ways of thinking and acting are often necessary to solve dilemmas. Connecting is only a basis for refamiliarization; connecting in innovative ways en hances refamiliarization and opens possibilities for engagement in our ever globa lized and interconnected world. Lived events are rhetorically effective because they offer people to connect and address complex issues with innovative and novel actions and affects of the body in the local and to the global. In the OMB preview installation, for instance, such innovative and novel actions of bodies unfold as people (spontaneously) participate in collective action through repetition and perception. When they pa rticipate in collective efforts that entail repeated
38 movements of bone placing, they may perceive the installation in two ways: (1) the larger than immediate, in which I mean they perceive spaces that have move ment of all volunteers to produce a text that could not be done without many other people and (2) the remote or distant contexts ( the historical and current connections of seemingly disparate people), in which I mean they perceive the acknowledgement of the injustices of genocide and the collective ac tion to recover from those injustices The former perception allows participants to perceive their contribution to a cultural text (the installation) and feel part of a group of visible strangers. It is local. The latter perception enables participants to feel connection to others (both historically and spatially distant) outside the local, hence it is global. The latter perception is what can be called perceiving cosmological spaces. Cosmological spaces are constituted by the interaction and entangleme nt of seemingly disparate spaces and objects. In order to perceive cosmological spaces, ritual is often vital. A ritual, a la Massumi, is a way of performing thought. It is a technique of existence for bringing forth virtual events through techniques inv olving bodily performance, in mutual inclusion with events of the other kinds. Events, for example, of the heavens, of a cosmological kind. Ritual produces a perceptual feeling of seen cosmological spaces. Its gesturality is visionary. It involves proprioception in the invention of a virtual event of vision, of a cosmologically spatializing kind. Ritual technique produces a cosmological semblance of a spatializing event of vision, perceptually felt at a point of indistinction with cosmological thin king. it invokes into occurring a collectively shared nonsensuous experience of a cosmol ogical kind. ( 124 126 ; emphasis in original ) reverting to romantic ideals of self a nd truth, Massumi identifies the deep connection between ritual performance and refamiliarization that emerges in lived events. In OMB,
39 participants in proprioceptive ritual move affectively beyond the immediate context of Congo Square, the bones, the othe r participants, and the installation. Instead, they perceive/feel cosmological spaces: past and current genocides and victims of genocide, both historically here in the United States (Native Americans/Indians) and abroad (Holocaust, Armenian Massacres et al.) and currently abroad in several African, Southeast Asian, and Middle Eastern states. Through these collective actions, participants are able to connect via their proprioceptive bodies not only with other non volunteers and participants, but also with the social issue OMB addresses: genocide. This bodily connection is important because g enocide no l onger is an abstract concept or a statistic Instead, participants experience a deep, concrete relation to genocide as attention is drawn to the materiali ty of bones and bodies (actual and symbolic) across public space. Th is concrete relation to genocide emerges within and thro ugh a rhetorical ecology of affective processes and intensities in which both volunteers and non volunteers mimic a particular mater iality to genocide. Although OMB artists cannot recreate genocidal acts of mass slaughter, they use a particular and the collective action of lived events to highlight the materiality of genocide. Particularly, as participants compile a mass grave, their actions produce non discursive rhetoric that becomes more tha n an abstract visual display: th e mass grave is felt through perception that is visual, aural and proprioceptive. N on vol unteers perceptually feel, in other words, the mate riality of genocide through their physical engagement. Genocide becomes a felt experience as participants carry and lay bones and return to the stock pile. That perceptually felt process collapses time. Via live events, participants experience the singula rity of past, present, and future folded into
40 each other. But furthermore, participants feel an unfolding of the present and future that is absent of genocidal incidences. The OMB collective action that collapses space and time was expressed by both volunt eers and non volunteers. S everal participants remarked that through the process of laying bones they felt the emergence of something larger than themselves. Participants felt a presence of being there at the installation and in the process of inventing t he installation, as well as a presence that connected with victims of genocide, both historical and current. This same feeling also rose after all 50,000 bones were laid. stand back and just look at what they had been part of. It was a gorgeous moment when everyone there knew in their hearts that they were part of this thing that was so Love Letter To New Orleans, Po a m ental image of an object(s). As participants navigate their way to bone piles and bring a small number of bones (in comparison to the total number of bones) to the center point, they experience their immediate participation, but also they perceive their re sults of bone laying as both significant and slightly insignificant to the larger project. It will on ly be after hours of ritual and repetition that participants will be able to see and perceive the whole installation and the effects of collective action. While OMB may claim it is collaboration emerges in the making of bones, the preview installation actually functions as a rhetorical
41 performance art piece and generates lived events. It does more than image events, persuading t he audience through bodily participation in the process of laying bones. While the preview installation OMB does establish a set of rules (participants collect a set number of bones from the stock piles and are required to lay them down in a specific area ), the project also opens space for spontaneity by compelling non volunteers t o repeat the ritual movements. Rather than focusing specifically on the material rhetoric of the bones (the text) or how the installation (another physically larger text) attemp t s to persuade viewers, the process of laying the bone s opens the possibility for lived events to emerge It is t he performance of creating the installation that renders a non discursive, embodied rhetoric al event: a lived event.
42 CHAPTER 3 CONCLUSION In this paper, I have attempted to show how lived events help produce new political and rhetorical actions in public space. Image events acquire rhetorical power to address social and political issues by enabling an audience to engage in public deliberation and generative rhetoric. In this event, the audience is disconnected from invention, as their intervention comes post production. Lived events, on the other hand, complicate that rhetorical situation and allow the audience to produce, and hence offer a new lens to think about how we engage with art and social issues. Lived events are complex phenom rhetorical situations, the dissipation of Cartesian space and actualization of topological space, and the collective effort within a rhetorical ecology of affective processes and intensiti es. They entail a non discursive, embodied rhetoric that also allows for innovative ways to understand argumentation and democratic practices. In addition, they can further enable more complicated theori es of epistemology and ontology: knowledge as embod iment, affect, and as a process within a network of processes. While I focused on a rhetorical performance art in physical space to highlight lived events, emerging digital technologies also provide us with ample opportunities to create lived events. In return, lived events might create new foundations for thinking through the possibilities electracy. Indeed, with digital technologies individuals can further explore radical changes to current injustices and exploitations. By connecting lived events to digital activism, we also open up potentials to better understand rhetorical situations, visual rhetoric, composing, and writing. No longer can
43 these foci neglect or simply dismiss the value of the body in inv ention if scholars consider lived events. Rather, lived events could extend conversations in those areas, as well as raise more inquires about the posthuman body or a postbody within rhetorical ecologies and digital technologies. When more of those inqui ries emerge, I see those events are. Thus, as an extension of this project, we might begin those inquiries and conversations.
44 LIST OF REFERENCES Badiou, Alain. The Commun ist Hypothesis Trans. David Macey and Steve Corcoran. London: Verso, 2010. Print. Handbook of Visual Communication Eds. Ken Smith, Sandra Moriarty, Gretchen Barbastsis, and Keith Kenney. Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum As sociates, Publishers, 2005. 45 62. Print. First Century: Speculations on Evental Rhetoric Ending with a Note on Barak Obama and a Benediction by orical Studies for the Reengaging the Prospects of Rhetoric: Current Conversations and Contemporary Challenges Ed. Mark J. Porrovecchio. New York: Routledge, 2010. 16 36. Print. Philosoph y & Rhetoric 1.1 (1968): 1 14. Communication & Mass Media Complete Web. 29 Jan. 2013. Del Gandio, Jason. Rhetoric for Radicals: A Handbook for 21 st Century Radicals Gabriola Island, British Columbia: New Society Publishers, 2008. Print. Argumentation 17.3 (2003): 315 3 33. SpringerLink 17 August 2012. DeLuca, Kevin M. and Joe Wilferth. Enculturation 6.2 (2009): n. pag. Web. 17 Aug. 2012. Walker Critical Inquiry 33.2 (2007): 441 461. Web. 31 August 2012. Dobrin, Sidney I. Postcomposition Carbondale and Edwardsville: So uthern Illinois University Press, 2011. Print. Cultural Politics 4.1 (2008): 25 46. Web. 21 August 2012. Si Rhetoric Society Quarterly 35.4 (Fall 2005): 5 24. UF Library Catalog Web. 15 Nov. 2012. Gibson, James J. The Ecological Approach to Visual Perception 1979. Hillsdale: Lawrence Erlabaum Associates, Publishers, 1986. Pri nt. Hansen, Mark. Embodying Technesis: Technology Beyond Writing Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2000. Print.
45 Students Rebuild Students Rebuild, 16 April 2012. Web. 3 November 201 2. Massumi, Brian. Semblance and Event: Activist Philosophy and the Occurrent Arts Cambridge: The MIT Press, 2011. Print. Making Things Public: Atmospheres of Democracy Eds. Bruno Latour and Peter Weibel. Cambridge: The MIT Press, 2005. 876 883. Print. Murray, Joddy. Non Discursive Rhetoric: Image and Affect in Multimodal Composition Albany: SUNY Press, 2009. Print. One Million Bones. http://www.onemillionb ones.org/ Phelps, Louise Wetherbee. Composition as a Human Science: Contributions to the Self Understanding of a Discipline New York: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. Reid, Alex. The Two Virtuals West Lafayette: Parlor Press, 2007. Print. Snchez, Ral College English 74.3 (January 2012): 234 246. Literature Online Web. 15 July 2012. Sirc, Geoffrey. English Composition as a Happening Logan: Utah State University Press, 2002. Print. Vatz, Philosophy & Rhetoric 6.3 (1973): 154 161. Communication & Mass Media Complete Web. 23 Jan. 2013. Wardrip Fruin, Noah, and Nick Montfort, eds. The New Media Reader Cambridge: The MIT Press, 2003. Print. Making Things Public: Atmospheres of Democracy Eds. Bruno Latour and Peter Weibel. Cambridge: The MIT Press, 2005. 1008 1036. Print.
46 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Phillip Bratta is currently a graduate student in the English department at University of Florida Before coming to UF in fall 2011, he completed his Bachelors of Arts in Cultural Studies at Columbia College Chicago, as well as taught ESL/EFL in Chicago, Peru an d San Diego. At University of Florida he teaches Tech nical Communication (ENC 3254) and First Year Composition (ENC 1101 and ENC 1102) courses and he will receive his Masters of Arts in English (concentration in Composition and Rhetoric) in May 2013 With an interdisciplinary approach, his interests span f rom rhetorical and writing theory and studies to nationalism, imperialism, and post colonialism in film, literature, print culture, and popular culture. Beginning f all 2013, he will be pursuing his PhD in Rhetoric and W riting at Michigan State University