Monthly Archives: August 2013





Chapter 6 – Dance as a Metaphor for Thought

Keywords: dance, spirit, thought, Nietzsche, vulgarity, lightness, breath, verticality, gymnastics, event, nominal, fixation, fulgurant, nakedness, gaze, anonymity, space, subtraction, omnipresence, gravity, slowness, music, encounter, entanglement, separation, choreography, vertigo.

In this chapter Badiou turns his attention to dance and to the connection this particular art form has with thought.

For Badiou dance is not an art form in the typical sense; dance is, as Nietzsche says, “the image of a though subtracted from every spirit of heaviness”. Dance is innocence in forgetfulness of the body’s weight; it is a continuously new beginning; it is in itself the source of movement, the affirmation that is found in the absence of the shameful body…

After having read all about Agamben I feel that dance is the state of exception where the earth and the air merge and become indiscernible…

Dance has nothing to do with gymnastics, perfect technique and military bodies… It is the body that goes against all odds, is aerial, light, “devoted to its zenith”. Dance fits in with Nietzsche’s idea of thought as an active power, as becoming. It is an affirmation of all the restraints hidden behind the body’s capacity, it is the slowness inside the quickness of the movement.

If dance “finds its essence in what has not taken place” dance is the state of potentiality it is the state where the unconstrained body manifests itself through its disobedience of any impulse, through its self-restraint through its refusal to give in to the vulgarity of performing the act it is “supposed to do .

Going back to the Nietzsche – Badiou train of thought, dance can be seen as a metaphor for thought if we take into consideration that every genuine  thought depends upon an event, where “event” is that which remains undecided between taking place and non-place… If an event is defined the moment we give the thought a name, then dance is what points to the thought one step earlier, before it is given a name, before it is manifested as an event. Dance is therefore a metaphor for that which is not fixed, that which remains undecided, it shows the event before the event is named (bringing us back to dance as a state of potentiality).

Considering this, improvisation or even better authentic movement) is for me very close to being the true (if we accept the existence of such a truth) metaphor for thought. It is the movement that depicts the thought before it gains a conscious form, before we think the thought of naming the thought and turning it into an event. It si the twilight zone where movement and thought fall so much into each other that they tend to become one.

Badiou then proceeds to speak of the role of music in all of this, presenting it as the medium to bring out the silence where dance takes place, and continues to present to us his six principles of dance:

  1. 1.      The obligation of space
  2. 2.      The anonymity of the body
  3. 3.      The effaced omnipresence of the sexes
  4. 4.      The subtraction from self
  5. 5.      Nakedness
  6. 6.      The absolute gaze

Dance is the only art form that is constrained to space, it symbolizes the spacing of thought…

The dancing body is a “thought body”, it depicts nothing and no one, it is an emblem…

Dance manifests the two sexual positions but never names them as man – woman.  It represents simply the “encounter, entanglement, separation” it its purest form of desire (and by representing the restraint it makes everything allowed because they happen in their NOT happening).

“The dancer does not dance” – Mallarme. The true dancer does not appear to know the dance she dances (interesting that dancer = she… however that brings me back to my thoughts on improvisation… Is it the true dance???)

Dance is in the nakedness prior to any “dressing up” and not in the nakedness deriving from the undressing, it is in the innocence and the purity.

In order for these principles to be met, the gaze of the spectator must not seek

Finaly the gaze directed to dance must be fulgurant and absolute just like dance itself, disappearing the moment it appears and thus kept pure and eternal in its ephemerality.

As for the statement that “dance is not an art”??? I’m sorry but thought I really do understand his follow-up and all his supporting statements, I just cannot bring myself to support it… So I will leave it at that and allow each the option to read and decide for themselves…


Upon reflection, there is another point upon which I disagree and at the risk of sounding disrespectful I believe I owe it to myself as dance researcher to point it out: “The dancing body does not express any kind of interiority…neither imitation nor expression…”… I believe dance IS an expression. An expression of the thought before the thought can be put into words; a facilitator at times for exposing thoughts/emotions that are beyond or before the point of verbalization. And I believe this precisely because humans are not “digital” beings. We do not go from one state to the other instantly but we are “analogue” we make transitions, however brief they may be and the states we pass through can become indiscernible.  So if dance IS a metaphor for thought we can never say for sure at which point it makes the transition to being a medium of expression…


Another interesting point comes from a reiki approach. Our throat chakra is considered the energy point that has to do with expression of our true feelings and THOUGHTS. Reiki practitioners say that the trues form of communicating those needs is dance! It is I guess in a way the medium to express the thought before it actually becomes a conscious thought…


Vishuddhi, Throat, Fifth Chakra Dance




An Explosive Genealogy: 
Theatre, Philosophy and the Art of Presentation



How does all this potentially apply to my work?!??!?!?! Right now I HAVE NO IDEA!!!

Θα τα παρατήσω όλα και θα γίνω πριγκίπισσα…

fucking princess





            Reading Badiou I have come to the conclusion that he is way to concise and well written to enable any sort of summary without leaving out crucial details. Every word he writes is necessary! I found myself however making interesting associations with previous readings but also with some of my own beliefs… It is those that I intend to focus on mostly even if in a “short and sweet” manner, as I believe that anyone can get hold of the text and read it but the products of each individual’s post reading reflections are unique and have perhaps something to offer…

Chapter 1 – Art and Philosophy

Keywords: art, philosophy, oscillation, didactic, romantic, classic, likelihood – “verisimilitude”, Brecht, hermeneutics, psychoanalysis, singularity, immanence, configuration, truth, education, idolatry, censure, mimesis, desire, object of desire, Deleuze.


Badiou begins my reminding us that the relationship of art and philosophy has always been that of an oscillation, a back and forth, a never-ending loop… He describes art as the key to education and speaks of Lacan’s theory of the Master and the Hysteric as a relation parallel to that of philosophy and art. Just as the Hysteric challenges the Master in asking him to define her and always remaining disappointed by his responses and asking for more and more, so does art always challenge philosophy, constantly questions its answers as to her identity…

He then continues to analyze the three possible schemata linking art and philosophy, the didactic, the romantic and the classical, and the relationship each attributes to art and the truth…




            These two rules of “liking” state that art must be liked. However that has nothing to do with opinion but simply with art’s cathartic effect. Furthermore, it has nothing to do with truth either, it only needs to resemble truth within the imaginary, to touch upon the spectator’s desire. It is what Badiou calls likelihood or verisimilitude, proposing that the truth is not always that which is likely and giving philosophy the “role” of the unlikely truth. Quoting: “Art is not a form of thought, it completes its existence simply by its act.”

Coming to the 20th century, the author speaks of the saturation of all three aforementioned tendencies and their characteristic examples:

  • Brecht and the didactic schema, where art is the peoples’ service producing no truth but only guidance against cowardice in the face of truth.
  • Hermeneutics and the romantic schema where art is an element of pure promise, and one and the same truth circulates between art and philosophy.
  • Psycthoanalysis and the classical, with Freud and Lacan and the Aristotelian approach to self-consciousness conveyed by a theory of desire. Here a work of art depicts the blockage of the symbolic by the Real, the effect of art is imaginary and makes the object of desire emerge. I this schema only is it that we find a link of art to all the realms, symbolic, imaginary, real…

He describes the avant-garde’s failure to link art and philosophy in a persuasive fashion due to their tendency towards representation rather than thought. By condemning art as inauthentic and at the same time insisting that in must be reborn as absolute they were both didactic and romantic and they were neither… They were simply anti-classical…

The need arises now for a 4th schema, to bring us out of the saturated depths of the other three…It demands:

  • To be rid of previous concepts on the relation of art and truth
  • To find a way to make the relationship between art and truth at once singular and immanent, to show that art is both unique in its approach of truth  but also takes place only within the mind of the subject, only within the truth it generates and has no place out of it.


  • Art itself = a truth procedure.
  • The philosophical identification of art can be categorized as truth
  • Art is a thought in which artworks are the Real.
  • Art cannot be reduced to philosophy.
  • All art makes clear is its own existence.
  • Philosophy guides us in our encounters with the truth. (can we say it lives in the in between state? Where what is and what is not truth merge and need clarification?)
  • Art produces truth and education is the arrangement of knowledge so that some truth may come to pierce a hole in it and make us go further; therefore art is pedagodical.
  • A work of art is finite, it is complete in its existence and anything done to it afterwards is potentially catastrophic.

In order to give a work of art the ability to be a truth we have to demote the infinite nature of truth to meet the finite nature of art. With this in mind Badiou proceeds to speak of the event and its relation to truth.

First of all, he notes that every truth originates in an event. A work of art cannot be both a truth AND the event in which said truth originates. And from here Badiou continues with a list of statements supporting this notion and the need for artistic configuration. In order to see art as truth we have to consider the artistic configuration initiated by an event, anything before that does not matter. Even then we must not have expectations of uncovering something fully defined but only something imperfectly described.

I see it as a never ending cycle. Artistic truth – art as truth??? That brings us to a truth of truth and there is no such thing… And so it starts all over again, each time discovering a new, temporary, version of the truth… Art for me is a tool, a way to any answers but not the answer itself. Art can be truth so long as it is neither question nor answer. The minute those to come into play then the cycle begins…

Finishing up, Badiou poses three questions to be answered:

1)      What are the contemporary configurations of art?

2)      What becomes of philosophy as conditioned by art?

3)      What happens to the theme of education?

Summing up his answers: (Any) philosophy simply elaborates on an aspect of the truth, it does not give singular definitions or it nor does it actually produce it. Philosophy exposes truths. On the other hand as far as education is concerned the only real education is that BY truths and the necessity arises to distinguish truth from opinion (and that is what philosophy aims at). SO, artistic configurations are there to serve this purpose; the art works constitute the thinking subjects of these configurations and philosophy’s role is to show us the difference of these generated ever-changing truths from opinions…











TRUTH. German Expressionism / Art film


Truth is Art


Bertolt Brecht and epic theater.


Live Art Development Agency Study Room Guide on



The Catharsis Project


‘Porca Miseria’ (Pig Misery): live art, masochism and catharsis


Homo Sacer – post philosophic aspects…

There are concepts in HOMO SACER that I cannot fully grasp and put into words…

So I’ll play the association game.

What is in my head due to what I have read?


Weightless, My Anorexia –> Is this not a state of exception? A being in the twilight zone, alive but just barely???


Deadly day in Cairo as Mursi protest camps stormed –> Happening now… Note the phrase “state of emergency”…


Τι συμβαίνει τη στιγμή του θανάτου μας; Επιστημονική μελέτη ρίχνει φως στο φαινόμενο της επιθανάτιας εμπειρίας







PART THREE: The Camp As Biopolitical Paradigm of the Modern


Chapter 4: ‘Politics, or Giving Form to the Life of a People

Keywords: possession of the state, territory, material wealth, living wealth, economy of human values, eugenics, race, genetic, heredity, hermeneutics, facticity, contingency, fallenness


  • In 1942 the book State and Health in an effort to bring order to the topic of the political value of biological life and the transformation or the political horizon, stated that “large conflicts between peoples were more or less caused by the necessity of guaranteeing the possessions of the State. The threat that neighboring States might expand territorially has thus often been the cause of conflicts in which individuals, considered so to speak as means to achieve the desired goals, were ignored.”
  • A combination of biology and economy came to exist with the establishment of a budget to account for the living value of people and the consideration of the care for the biological body of the nation.
  • The meaning and responsibilities of medicine changed and became integrated in the state’s functions and the level of the people’s health became a condition for financial gain.
  • Eugenics, as science of a people’s genetic heredity, dictates the principles of this new biopolitics.
  • In the era of Nazism, race was decided to be nothing but hereditary and was defined as a group of human beings manifesting a particular combination of homozygotic genes that other groups lack.
  • Politics have the negative task of fighting against the external and internal enemies of the State while police have the positive task of caring for the citizens’ life.



  • The novelty of modern biopolitics lies in the fact that the biopolitical given is as such immediately the biological given. The life that had become the ground for sovereignty with the declaration of rights, becomes now the subject-object of state politics.
  • When life and politics start to become one instead of being divided and simply linked by the state of exception that is the bare life, then all life becomes sacred and all politics become the exception.




  • Verfallerheit: fallenness, characteristic of being that has to be its own ways of Being.
  • Man is not a living being who must overcome himself in order to become human, he is not a bipolar of body and spirit, politics and nature rather he resides exactly at the point where those merge and become indistinct.


Chapter 5: VP

Keywords: VP – versuchspersonen, human guinea pig, sadocriminal acts, hypocrisy


I just buried my cat Gismo… One of my closest companions of the past two and a half years, one of my loves. He was killed by four dogs. I do not understand who would train their dog to be a killer. But all this about HOMO SACER is a load of crap compared to actually losing someone. And to the suffering of a being so sweet and innocent who had no idea why he was being killed. He was not sacrificed and no one will be punished for his death. He is for me the ultimate Homo Sacer. The one that is not only killed but can never understand why, did nothing to deserve it and can never escape… I will finish now what I started here by just quoting what I feel is important from the following chapters. If I have some personal thoughts I will share them. I will do what I have to do while I am still numb. And I apologize in advance for the inadequacy of it…


  • At the Nuremberg trials, the experiments conducted by German physicians and scientists in the concentration camps were universally taken to be one of the most infamous chapters in the history of the National Socialist regime.
  • What is even more disquieting is that experiments on prisoners and persons sentenced to death had been performed on a large scale before and particularly in the United States, the very country of most of the Nuremberg judges!
  • The criterion considered necessary was the full consent of the subjects (for the Chicago prisoners of one of the experiments) , a highly hypocritical  thing considering that the extent to which someone sentenced to death can have free will and consent is debatable…
  • Comparing the experiments of prisons however to those of the Nazi camps we see that while in the first case they were trying to fight against misery and death caused by the natural order while in the second case they worked to maintain and justify cruelty.
  • The VP’s were people sentenced to death or detained in camps, both of which meant exclusion from the political community. They were homini sacres, deprived of most of the rights and expectations attributed to human existence and yet still biologically alive, they were in the twilight zone between life and death, they were bare life.


Chapter 6: Politicizing Death

Keywords: coma, coma depasse, survival, life support, transplant, brain death, systemic death, somatic death, heart failure, epiphenomenon, neomorts, faux vivant.


  • Coma depasse – overcoma: a stage of life beyond the cessation of all vital funcitons. It renders obsolete the stopping of the heartbeat and the cessation of breathing as criteria for establishing death. It is a state between life and death that demands new definitions for death. This necessity is rendered even more strong my the improvement of transplant technologies and the need to be sure of death before cutting someone open to remove their organs and at the same time keeping them alive long enough for the organs to be viable.
  • Life and death are not just scientific concepts but also political concepts, which as such aquire a political meaning only through a decision.
  • The borders have become biopolitical and because of this are moving and the exercise of sovereign power now passes through them more than ever and cuts across the medical and biological sciences.
  • We therefore have two suggested states of the body: that of the neomort, maintaining some characteristics of life for the sake of future transplant yet with the legal status of a corpse and that of the faux vivant, a body kept alive by life support on which, based on the status of brain death, one can intervene without reservations.
  • So between those two states we have a space of exception in which purely bare life is controlled by man for the first time, giving us the ultimate homo sacer.


Chapter 7: The Camp as the ‘Nomos’ of the Modern

Keywords: camp, condition inhumana, protective custody (schutzhaft), good morals, proper initiative, public order, state of danger, case of necessity

  • The camp is simply a place in which the most absolute condition inhumana that has ever existed on earth is realized.
  • Individuals are taken into custody independently of criminal behavior, simply to avoid danger to the security of the state. It becomes a state of exception that is no longer referred to as an external and provisional state of factual danger and starts to be confused with juridical rule itself.
  • The camp is the state of exception that is opened when the state of exception begins to become the rule; it is now given spatial arrangement, is no longer only a temporary suspension of the rule of law based on a factual state of danger but still remaining outside the normal order.
  • The camp is the structure in which the state of exception is realized normally. It is a hybrid of law and fact where the two terms have become indistinguishable.
  • It is the space of impossibility of deciding between fact and law, rule and application, exception and rule, which decides between them anyway,