Monthly Archives: August 2013



PART ONE: The Logic of Sovereignty

2. ‘Nomos Basileus’



  • Pindar defines the sovereignty of the “nomos” (νόμος = law) by means of justification of violence. Nomos is the force that achieves the paradoxical union of violence (βία – “via”) and justice (δίκη/δικαιοσύνη – “dike”).
  • Hesiod: “Nomos divides violence from law in the same principle that it divides animal from man.”
  • Solon: “There is an interconnection between violence and justice.”
  • Pindar: Joins the two concepts in the concept of sovereign law and by doing so threatens them with indistinction.
  • Nomos Basileus = threshold between violence and law.

Violence ——————-Nomos Basileus——————-Law



  • Plato: “Justification of violence” can also be translated as “doing violence to the most just”
  • The axiom that places the strongest one in the position of ruler is common to all of nature. However strength comes also in the form of intelligence, so the intelligent should lead and the ignorant follow. It is not against nature, it does not occur through violence but according to nature, according to the power of the law over those who accept it.
  • Physis and nomos (φύση και νόμος, nature and law):  Plato neutralizes both.

Physis = body and elements that we “erroneously” say are of nature.

Nomos = soul and that which belongs to the soul (intellect, art, law).

  • “Law must rule over men and not men over law.”




Keywords: sovereign violence, exteriority, political system

 soph and hob

  • AS A RESULT: Sovereignty is the indistinction between nature and society between violence and law and this is what precisely constitutes sovereign violence.
  • The state of nature is “being in potentiality” of the law, it is the law’s presupposition as natural law.
  • Exteriority: law of nature + survival instinct, it is the concept that the core of a political system lives off the exception.




Keywords: sovereign nomos, localization, topological process.

  • Schmitt wishes to establish the superiority of the sovereign nomos. However he does show the link between localization and ordering constitutive of the “nomos” of the earth and the zone that that it implies that is excluded from the law.
  • So long as it is sovereign, the nomos is connected both with the state of nature and the state of exeption.
  • Both are sides of the same topological process in which it is impossible to tell between what is internal and what is external.
  • BUT they are merging and the exception is becoming more and more the rule… Therefore, everything is possible.



I have to say that this chapter was far from understandable to me… I got a vague notion of the concepts but it is not yet clear and was not at all enjoyable.. Oh Zizek we had a good thing going you and I, why leave it for this?!?!?!?!?



PART ONE: The Logic of Sovereignty

1.      The paradox of Sovereignty


Keywords: Sovereign, “in toto”, state of exception, juridical order, situational law

  • Sovereign is the one to whom the juridical order grants the power to proclaim a state of exception. He belongs to the juridical order but stands outside it.
  • The law is outside itself,
  • The exception:  it is that which cannot be incorporated, it defies general codification.  It appears when the question of creating conditions where juridical law can have validity arises. It is more interesting than the “regular” case as it proves everything. The exception is what we have to look for when we want to shed light onto the general. It is “the ultimate configuration of facts”.
  • Esteemed jurist is he who, with a clear mind and sharp judgment can, knows how to look into a case and see the ultimate circumstances of facts that deserve unbiased consideration and exception from the general rules.



Keywords: exclusion, suspension, threshold, chaos

  • “The exception is a kind of exclusion”.
  • Exception is NOT the chaos before order but the RESULT of the order’s suspension.
  • That which is excluded from the general rule is simply an individual case; it still has a relation to the rule by way of being the rule’s suspension. The rule’s way of applying to the exception is it’s withdrawal.
  • Chaos cannot be interiorized by the juridical order.
  • “Sovereignty only rules over what it can interiorize”
  • The only way for chaos to be included in the juridical order is through the exception: the state residing between chaos and the normal, between what is outside and what is inside the juridical order. What is outside is included in the very act of the juridical order’s withdrawal from the exception and its abandonment of it. Very much like what Zizek wrote about the fact that truth can be seen in a lie, in the very act of lying itself…
  • The situation created through the exception is that of a threshold between what is right and what is factual. The exception is neither and it is both… Exception itself is unrealizable.
  • The issue arises of creating and defining a space where the juridical/political order has validity. That is where the sovereign decision on the exception comes in.



Keywords: transgression of rule, sovereign exception, juridical rule

  • A juridical rule in order to maintain its authority must be legitimate independently of the individual case.
  • In the same way that language presumes the non-linguistic as that with which it needs to maintain a virtual relation in order to be defined, so must the law presume the non-juridical, that is the state of exception.
  • “The sovereign exception is the presupposition of the juridical reference in the form of its suspension.” That presupposed exception is inscribed in every rule and as part of the rule; it is the offence that would under normal circumstances bring about the transgression of the particular rule.



Keywords: exception, example, inclusive exclusion, exclusive inclusion


the rule

  • Exception forms a system with the example; the two constitute the two symmetrical modes by which a set (of rules) obtains its own coherence.
  • A class can contain everything (providing it abides to the rules of said class) except its own paradigm. That is, the one object the comparison to which decides whether or not any other particular object belongs to the class. The example is therefore excluded from the class (or the normal case) precisely because it shows its own belonging to it…

 example and exception




set theory 



  •  The exception is a fourth category. It cannot be included where it is a member, it cannot be a member where it is included. It cannot be both…





  • Sovereignty (according to Schmitt) is the right to make the decision on the exception.
  • The law has the regulative character “if… then… (else…)”, it is a rule primarily because it creates the sphere of its own reference  and makes that  reference regular.
  • The sovereign decides the “normal structuring of life relations” which the law needs.
  • The juridical order constitutes itself through the repetition of the same transgressive act without any sanction, that is as an exceptional case.
  • Guilt is what it all revolves around. It refers NOT to the transgression BUT to the law’s simple reference to something.
  • Sovereignty is in the threshold, where life is both in and out of the juridical order.
  • “The rule lives off the exception alone” > the law on its own cannot exist, it relies in its being part of the life of men.



Keyword BAN:  he who has been banned has been abandoned by the law. He is neither in nor out of it and at the same time he is both.





the exception

Which one do you notice more?? THE EXEPTION!!!

In relation to my own practice I love symbols, math theories, and pedicate logic… When I insist that choreography is math, this is what I mean!

Set Theory Symbols


Inflexions  – A journal for research creation


William Forsythe – One flat thing reproduced 01/03


7.         The Perverse Subject of Politics: Lacan as a Reader of Mohammad Bouyeri


Perversion, states Lacan, is an inverted effect of phantasy. The subject puts himself in the position of an object and when that object becomes the object of another’s will then what we have is sadomasochism, where the sadist himself occupies the place of the object without knowing it and for the jouissance of another.

Based on this notion, political totalitarianism can be defined when I, as political figure, inflict pain on others, on humanity, not as myself but as part of the big Other’s plan or will.  I am therefore absolved from any guilt, shame or responsibility over my actions (or that is what I tell myself). The subject in this case is seemingly not guilty since all he does is realize an “objective, externally imposed necessity”. However, the sadistic pervert takes it a step further and actually rejoices in the act finding an obscene enjoyment in what he does. It is indicative that the Nazis told knew very well the suffering they brought upon their victims but portrayed it as a burden they had to endure in order to fulfill their duty; the violation of  the spontaneous ethical instinct to pity and those suffering was in its fake form of ‘I had no choice, they made me do it, it was my job to do it and I endured the consequences of it’ transformed onto proof of ethical grandeur…

Similar is the case of Islamist extremist Mohammad Bouyeri who after murdering the filmmaker Theo van Gogh wrote a letter to Hirshi Ali, a member of the Dutch parliament and strong supporter of the rights of Muslim women, in which he in effect imputed terror her as his opponent. In it he accused her of not having the courage of her convictions and challenges her to wish for death as proof that she indeed does. “I shall wish this wish for you” he writes and in this shows that the sadistic attitude that invokes terror and suffering in its addressee is possible only in the case where the sadist subject makes himself the instrument-object of another’s will.

Nearing the end of Zizek’s book we read about belief and what constitutes it. It does not concern facts so much as it gives expression to an axiomatic, unconditional ethical commitment. Liberal/skeptical cynics along with (religious) fundamentalists have BOTH lost the ability to believe…It has come to a point where traditional secular humanists are the ones connected to belief and religious fundamentalists to knowledge. For the latter, belief has been reduced to knowledge by way of their continuing way of presenting religious statements as quasi-empirical statements of direct knowledge, of seeing (to put it roughly) religion and science as belonging to the same sort of positive knowledge.

In closing I would like to leave you, dear reader, with Zizek’s statement that at the end of the day, the stuff ethics is made of is the simple persistence against all odds…


Links and kinks…


Mohammad Bouyeri[term]=mohammed%20bouyeri&filters[primary]=images&filters[secondary]=videos&sort=1&o=0


‘Laughing Killer’: Bouyeri and the Murder of Theo van Gogh –>I am only including this link because of the performativity of its title… A laughing killer is provocative, it implies someone not only guiltless but also ENJOYING what he did.  As a title it leads readers to have a certain reaction from the start… The importance of “appearance” is obvious to me here and not necessarily completely in tune with the truth…


Speech by Imam Abu Laban in Copenhagen after murder of Theo van Gogh –>how can it be that they can find excuses for taking a human life? Is it because it was done in the name of the big Other in the guise of religious honor?


Pèreversion and ImmèresionIdealized Corruption in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and The Picture ofDorian Gray  –> found through “find it at Lincoln”  an interesting approach to Lacans wordplay. 


Walt Disney & Illuminati : Subliminal Perversion Exposed (2013) –>a very curious result when I typed “perversion” in YouTube…  I am not sure how to link it to Lacan and Zizek but I did feel there was a link…  I cannot put my finger on it but I know it is there… Perhaps that notion is inself the link to all I have read so far on Lacan by Zizek…  


Slavoj Žižek on Sex, Desire, Fantasy, Reality


jew ritual murder of gentiles (GOYIM)//Blood Libels & Sacrifice




The Mask–>a mask that when put on turns you into the version of you that you dream of being…  it is not then what is hidden behind the mask that matters, but what is hidden behind/inside the person wearing the mask, it is the wearer’s secret fantasy.


Eugenie: Story of Her Journey into Perversion (1970) trailer



Personal Thoughts…

“I shall wish this for you”…  A very ineresting title for a performance of project based on audience interaction. How does a performer understand the other’s wishes? How would they be translated and brought to life? Is my wish mine? Is it  yours? Is it the Other’s? And if you don’t want to wish the wish I ask of you, then how can I manipulate you into thinking it is your own wish and acting upon it? And if you put on the mask of another is it really an act? Or is it your secret wish to be the other? to have the other? to have the other desire you? to have the other want to be you?


Let’s put on a mask and walk through town. Let’s see what we do differently…


So long Zizek, it was a nice ride… I am sure we’ll meet again 😉


6.         God is Dead, but He Doesn’t Know it: Lacan’s Play With Bobok


The modern atheist thinks he knows God is dead. However, the very notion of believing someone to be dead unconsciously places modern man in the place of still believing.  For Lacan the true formula of atheism is not to declare that God is dead but rather to declare that God is unconscious. One of the basic traits of modernity is the shift in what constitutes repression: what is now repressed is not the subject’s forbidden desires but prohibition itself; the subject has become a “tolerant hedonist dedicated to the pursuit of happiness” giving heed to the superego’s insistence to enjoy!

However, the very diminishing of oppressive authority has resulted in even harsher prohibitions and even the previous privilege of harboring at least transgressive fantasies has given its place to the commonly known “guilt trip”. The common child-adult dialogue of :

Adult: Do this!

Child: Why?

Adult: Because you have to.

And the subsequent obedience of the child who at the same time maintained its own personal unwillingness, has become:

Adult: I want you to do this but if you don’t want to do it OOOO-kaaaay…

Child: *dumbfounded silence due to the fact that it DOESN’T want to do what

it is asked to do but at the same time DOES want to please –stupid desire to be

desired- the parent*

Subsequently the guilt trip is “successful”, the child does what it is told but has lost even the freedom to be unwilling… The child can no longer rebel against authority as is its nature but has to appear complacent even whether it likes it or not… And if THAT false freedom of choice doesn’t mess up a person’s superego for life, what does??? The obscure  superego injunction as Lacan calls it is in my opinion what drives all the more kids to therapy nowadays…

Based on that train of thought Lacan supports that in psychoanalysis it is not when a patient has a false impression of himself “it is not enough to convince the patient about the unconscious truth of his symptoms, the unconscious itself must be brought to assume this truth”. It is one thing to talk one out of saying they are an elephant and acting like one and a totally other thing to actually changing his belief and convincing him that he is NOT in fact an elephant…

The same applies to Marx’s theory of commodity fetishism. One may believe that an everyday object has “superpowers” but the task of critical analysis is to discover what those “superpowers” are, not just to deny their existence… This shift form saying that “the commodity (the everyday object) seems to you to have special powers but in reality it is just a means of expressing relations between humans” to saying “you may thing that the commodity appears to you as an embodiment of social relations but actually by participating in those social exchanges what you actually wind up thinking is that the commodity in itself has the special powers to enable those exchanges.” This is portrays why Lacan stated that the formula of materialism is ‘God is unconscious’ rather than ‘God doesn’t exist’.  This brings us to Kafka and the comparison of what once was (publically pretending to believe while inside mocking and questioning those beliefs) and what is now (freely showing our skepticism while inside remaining haunted by those same beliefs and even stronger prohibitions).

Continuing Zizek talks of Dostoevsky, his statement in Bobok that ‘If God doesn’t exist than everything is permitted’  and his description of the spirits decision to enjoy their time among the undead by ridding themselves of morals and shame and doing/saying all those things that they had not dared to in life. The horror (ethically) of this according to Mikhail Bakhtin is that it is a reminder of the limits of ‘truth and reconciliation’ in the sense that we will come across perpetrators for who confession (the truth) will not server as catharsis but as an additional pleasure… Dostoevsky’s hero however, who is a religious man listening to spirits talk, creates a “truth” for himself in which what he is witnessing is proof that God does exist. In this fantasy  lies Dostoevsky’s ultimate lie: in his effort to present a terrifying Godless universe he instead portrays  a Gnostic fantasy of an evil God, of that aspect of religion that has been repressed. And of course let us not forget Lacan and the superego as it is exactly that, that urges the spirits to compulsively enjoy a shameless sincerity.


            For Zizek, Gnosticism is the externalization of the truth. To make his case more clear:




            All this fits nicely with the principles of cyberspace and the philosophy of Leibniz concerning the “monads”, microscopic substances living each in its own private universe with no way to look out at its surroundings and simultaneously able to see the whole universe mirrored in itself… That space where the undead can talk without limits is a depiction of Gnosticism and Cyberspace; it is the place where everything is allowed because no real interaction is possible and therefore no danger of harassment. Harassment is an ambiguous term implicating on an elementary level social forms of violence that should be condemned mercilessly but having subtly drifted into condemning any kind of over-proximity to another real human being with desires, fears and pleasures. The attitude of tolerance prevailing today has a liberal character and mostly takes on two forms of expression: that of respect and openness for otherness and that of an obsessive fear of harassment. What is now considered the “central human right” is the right to not be harassed in any way, and tolerance is thought of as the notion that the other is OK as long as he does not invade my personal space and as a result I must not get too close either, I must respect the other’s intolerance of my over-proximity lest I be accused of harassment. This has resulted in the use of restraining orders not so much, as far as Zizek describes, as a measure to keep someone at a safe distance rather as a “defense against the traumatic Real of the other’s desire”.  Openly displaying ones passionate desire for another is in itself violent for the recipient, even if in the end it turns out to be welcome.

However there is a paradox in this, that of surplus enjoyment; the more the object is veiled, the more it is shielded and protected, the more intensely disturbing is whatever trace of it is left as a reminder. I want what I am forbidden to have… And serves as a proof of sorts that the only guarantee of satisfaction is the existence a firm limit imposed by a symbolic authority that I can then violate. Satisfaction comes through transgression of a limit set to keep me from what I am not supposed to desire. However there is one catch nowadays: we are so strongly bombarded with the command to ‘Enjoy!’ that enjoyment has taken the form of an ethical duty resulting in feelings of guilt when a person does not feel the need to violate moral inhibitions and enjoy “guilty pleasures”. The real freedom thus, is to be allowed to maintain the right to NOT ENJOY if we choose to…


Favorite quote from Zizek ‘till now: “Evil resides in the very gaze that perceives Evil all around itself”…

Da links yo want, I got fo yo! Jamaica (in a regge singsong voice…)



From Somebody’s Diary

by Fyodor Dostoevsky

translated by Constance Garnett.

[a Bobok is a small bean]




‘The big bang theory’ “Bernadet walked in on me while we were doing the cybernasty under the bridge of souls”


Atheists know that God exists?


Technology and Art


Blast Theory “You Get Me” –> Blast theory is a company that combines instant composition, online gaming and cyberart. They interest me very much because what they do is in a way connected to further research about holograms and improvisation performances I would like to do.


Nick Harkaway: Touching Cyberspace, the Physicalisation of the Net –> Interesting concept, cyberspace becoming palpable…


Nodding off, my jumbled up thoughts…


I have come to realize as I look for examples on artistic work fitting this chapter, that the closest I can find is my own future work… My dream hologram project combining virtual reality, dance, the possibility to do anything and everything to and with your virtual partner with no inhibitions, no prohibitions, no shame and no regrets, because there will be no real life consequenses… The performer can take on any role and the audience can even play God to those on stage…

And  I ask myself, if there IS such a cyber-God, is everything possible or is our human nature still going to stand in the way???

Will people attemt deeds that would be unthinkable had they had a flesh and blood human in front of them instead of a hologram?

Or are our instincts and prohibitions so deeply etched within us that we cannot bring ourselves to openly express our most dark secret desires EVEN IF IT IS ALLOWED???


Hmmm. A new idea is coming to life… PAF beware… You just might become part of it…


Goodnight (forever…)

Bonustrack on Trauma…

The Trauma of Being Alive

Published: August 3, 2013


Just came accross this, took a few minutes to read it (as I am having a very hard time concentrating on writing my proposal and anything and everything to keep me otherwise busy suddenly comes up…) and found it too good to be just a coincidence  So here it is, a few easy to understand words on ‘trauma’…


And I love the picture because it seems very indicative of the woman carrying her pervious trauma, minimizing it and then acknowledging it again when the new, big and fresh trauma refuses to go away…