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Friday, 8 November 2013

Queer ontology and sexual allagmatics

I'm trying to write a paper on queer ontology, putting together elements of Althaus-Reid's indecent theology, (Mortimer-Sandilands') queer ecology and bits and pieces of Sara Ahmed's work on orientation (that she calls queer phenomenology). I thought of including a section on the operations of sexual individuation, on the different sexes (to use Deleuze and Guattari's motto à chacun ses sexes) that act like singularities individuating each body capable of desire. Sexual identity is only possible through an (erratic) sexual allagmatics. The operations that produce sexual identities involve the way sexual norms are taken but also the devices that create and maintain desires. Psychoanalysis, as well as schizoanalysis as ways to deal with the emergence of structures of desire within bodies, do no more than (fragments of) sexual allagmatics. A structure of desire is always composed by singularities such as contagions, performances, clothes, gestures, emotional links - the biography of anyone is a sculpture made by these operations on the vicissitudes of all contact with the world and of the insertion in a demography of subjective items. Operations of all kinds give shape to a sexual matrix - and it is only from a hylemorphic point of view that one can recognize in one's life patterns that ought to generate a cis, a trans, a hetero and a homo person. Allagmatics is about erratics - it is about looking primarily into the clinamina (I'm thinking of calling the paper "Bodies in Clinamina").

In fact, sexual difference has itself an allagmatics. Most of the gender performances can be viewed as operations that end up giving rise to individually sexed bodies - natural man and women are no more than the form that is to be specified outside the workshop (to use Simondon's metaphor). The construction of rules bodies and normalized desires is always unfinished, always incomplete. Sexuality is meta-stable: desires disappear only to come back in a different way. No desire is fed only on itself - and no body is in a perennial flow of desires. There is, to be sure, degrees of crystallization depending on whether different operations act on the body. Degrees of instability within a meta-stable structure. Looking at the allagmatics (that involve the norms issued outside the workshop), one sees how identities are always exposed to the vicissitudes of what seems to be a simple instantiation.

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