Love in the Time of the Rhizome

We have given ourselves pseudonyms, not to be taken as subjects but as things. In this vein, we have also opted not use names, like John or Paul or Levinas  (traditionally labelling subjects),  but chose objects or things instead. I’m basketball and she’s pavement.

Last week, Basketball and I brought up the idea of love. If for Deleuze and Guattari there is a multiplicity and no subject or object, we kept asking each other,  then how do we love? How do you even utter the very words: I love you? This phrase has only a subject, object and verb. But, if there is a multiplicity, how does one or many say I love you, or communicate this idea, or is it even possible? This week, Kennedy brought us back to this idea. She writes: “Perhaps I fell in love too soon with a philosopher who denied too much (certainly love–and yet at times his work is distinctly reminiscent of the romantics of the German traditional–but that’s another project?)” (2).  Pavement and I think not. Love, (what is it?), seems fundamental to affect, to sensation. How does an assemblage love another assemblage?  If we think in terms of “things” like Jane Bennett, how does that affect (there that word is, again) not just the political or environmental implications of our interactions with a world of things, but our emotional interactions?  Is it possible to think in these ways AND express a feeling like love through a subject/object hierarchical language, or does our language limit our abilities to speak, and therefore even think (at least with relative ease) within these new paradigms?

After pondering this question for awhile, Basketball and I came upon a section in our reading in which resonates in relation to our question, as Kennedy suggests that “there might be a new language, a new formation of the affective and felt experience, in the concept of sensation, which is beyond ‘subjectivity’ and that which is signified within formal structures of language formation, signification, semiotics and regimes of meaning construction such as we might find in psychoanalysis, for example” (32).  Where does the necessity for a new language leave us?  What can we make of — or better yet, make with (as Massumi would encourage) — that?

When we love, do we love bodies? Or where is the body located when we love?

Is love, then, in light of Deleuze, Guattari and Kennedy, an unfair dismantling and singularizing subjugation? To say “I love you” is to force your beloved into an object and un-multiplied position. But, there must be a way to love that is more freeing? With this new language, perhaps?  But what could this new language be?  Even if I point at someone and say “Love” as a way of saying “I love you,” I’m still creating a relationship to me that makes that person-thing a kind of object.  How do we think outside of our current linguistic and ideological structures in a way that opens up the potential for “things” and emotions which are not presented in terms of subjects and objects?

Irigaray seeks to change the phrase to I love to you, but that still doesn’t get at the loving of multiplicities, at respect for the assemblage.

We could try “my flow loves your flow.” My subjectlessness loves your subjectlessness. There is still an implied hierarchy. And, where is the multiplicity?  Maybe love is too stationary, too unmoving for this kind of thinking. No, we can’t accept that.  Maybe we could say: Love is happening now and we are part of it. That seems so impersonal. Maybe we could say: There is a flow of feeling and we are riding it? Still, impersonal.   But, maybe the point is that it has to be impersonal, that personhood is the problem, the obstacle to this new understanding of affect, connectivity, and language?

random thought: I wonder if when we watch a love-story, if we then feel more love or more intense love for the person we already supposedly love? As in, say, “The Notebook,” after watching that movie I recall having very intense feelings, sensations of love. I had never loved as much as I did in that moment. But, it wasn’t my love, it was a flow of feeling, a line of feeling, a ____________(we don’t have the word yet) of feeling. I didn’t own that intensity, I was only part of it.

We’re full of questions, and have yet to find any compelling answers. We’re still not sure love is possible in the network, in the digital baroque. Can “dividuals” love “dividuals”? Is love merely a creation of affect? Can we trust our bodies’ feelings of love? Are we okay with an impersonal, a depersonalized, a subjectless love?

Basketball and Pavement want to know what you (non subject subjects–multiplicities) think?


~ by laurenmcamp on October 3, 2010.