Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Terminus 2 (n-1)

In Dancing the Virtual we thought a lot about the terminus. It seems to have returned for Housing the Body, in Whitehead's concept of satisfaction, For Whitehead, "'Satisfaction' is the contentment of the creative urge by the satisfaction of its categoreal demands" (Process:219 - by the way, that's what I love about Whitehead, and that 's where I think he's a little different to Deleuze ... in the end he's so precise about the process .. I mean it's not any satisfaction but of its categoreal demands).

Outside of these demands, satisfaction of course leaves a remainder to be prehended in another occasion.

Another version of the terminus .... us as feeler/subject/superject arising out of the processes of feeling (occasions of feeling? - but are there any other types of occasion? someone else can answer). 'The feelings aim at the feeler, as their final cause. The feelings are what they are in order that their subject may be what it is" (222).

Final causes everywhere, both exhausting the event, and opening to new events.

I can't say I understand termini very well, but I've been thinking about William James' trips across campus (towards a termini) a lot since last year.

One of the things that has helped me a little is this picture. It's a still from a very mundane video, taken with a digital still camera from a Danish train (on Lolland for those who want to know - here's the video). The train trip was itself an occasion. It was followed very closely by another train trip occasion/event - the most beautiful train trip I've ever had (a beautiful train, an endless dusk outside, the Danish countryside in summer). This video of the earlier trip has now been "prehended" as part of the later occasion. As prehended it seems fairly portable - and no longer attached to the earlier occasion. It assembles that later occasion/train trip now as memory, each time differently of course (remembering that a repetition, like satisfaction, is both an end and open to connection, an end in that it marks a moment in expression, open to connection in that it is always a very specific link with its double repetition, the two forming not a separate event, but a duration with something like a fractal eventness between 1 and 2).

In any case, this video has been prehended in many different forms of satisfaction - with me as superject-subject feeling the way it has been the channel for: new forms of collaboration with artists, a trip to San Jose, exchanges with others on Youtube, in combination with other videos inVJing, stripping the train sound out of it for a hour loop of train travel, etc. It has become a very meaningful image for me, I guess very open to prehension, always satisfying in one sense but never quite satisfied in another.

Satisfaction, termini, feelings, are always exhausting themselves in one 'categoreal' sense. They "limit boundless, abstract possibility into the particular real potentiality from which each novel concrescence originates" (220). However, satisfaction also seems to leave a lot to continue, despite this, as things return to their own infinities. Maybe in this video's case it's the moving green (an eternal object?) that makes it so satisfying and prehensible at the same time.

Easy to think when you're sitting across the road from the Parc de la Fontaine. Endlessly satisfying.


DJSnafu--Paul said...

Hi Christine, the terminus is indeed a complex idea to grasp and I am myself not yet sure where it ends in a conceptual landscape; there is something very ephemeral about it, concrete yet slippery, like pliable scaffoldings, and I definitely like this idea of fractal eventfulness that you bring about and that makes me think of the terminus as the idea of a thought in becoming -- not as a motion but as an animated form, following here Lynn's distinction between the two. In the sense that you need motion to reach the terminus, if we are to recuperate James'campus walk example, yet that the terminus can be this range of possibilities in the end, the closest you get to touching a plane of immanence precisely because its shape and form evolve as you reach for it, thus posing the terminus as a animated form of idea...

just early morning thoughts... maybe I should drink alittle more coffee befoe posting though. Cheers, P.

Ib said...

thanks Paul, actually your comments clear up a lot for me regarding the terminus, especially the idea that you might think it along with Lynn's animate form .. and that motion of any kind carries with it a continuous variation of potentials, something perhaps both inhabiting and exceeding the motion (to the terminus).

cheers, Andrew

DJSnafu--Paul said...

Hi Andrew... I now realize Ib. is you and not Christine... sorry about the name confusion. Looking forward to meet with you, Paul