Jun 232011

Through my PhD I use my body as a tool for thought.  A case study.  A testbed.  Tonight I went out in Berlin, in a nice outfit.  I try to look nice / smart all the time – even more consciously now.  At CalArts, such complicated feelings about my body arose that it felt the preferable option to stay overweight, to allow myself to gain weight, loose touch with my body: that appendage below my head I carried around.  But not now, in this inquiry.  I want to be the impenetrable, tight, theory-hard body. 
I guess Lacan would say I chose to be the object of desire.  But I know from experience, sometimes we choose to be, and sometimes we choose not to be.  Tonight, I thought I looked good.  I was wearing a black dress with white dots from Oasis, cropped leggings, black 2-inch buckle shoes, turquoise raincoat.  I fixed my face with eyeliner and red lipstick.  Oh my word, I could feel eyes on me.  I become so aware of the gaze in public.  I mean, could they stop staring?  I did not choose this! I am not an object for Neanderthals on public transport! I am the object so that I look together, to conceal the wobbly mess I am.  I am the object to give myself an outline around myself, an edge I can see around myself in the mirror.  I am the object because I am constructed in any case, so I might as well construct myself!  I am the object because I feel better when I put myself together well.  I am the object because this is my tool for thinking.

Jun 222011
My body seems to know things I do not know.  Or, at least, I have observed it’s critically timed messages (rebellions?).  I guess there is a battle for supremacy between my brain and my body.  My brain can think and generate thoughts and words.  But my body can call the shots.  Let me recount an instance.  Last year, I gave my first conference paper in Newcastle.  Not only did I speak words, I danced a section of it.  When I woke up very early on the morning of the conference, to catch the train to Newcastle, I realised I had very itchy toes.  Athlete’s bloody foot!  I hadn’t had it for years!  I had my outfit planned out, which involved a trusty pair of blue t-bar shoes with a two-inch heel.  Closed toe.  So, I put on a pair of ugly, comfy Crocs sandals and took the pretty shoes in my bag.  I switched the shoes over just outside the conference venue.  On my way up the stairs to where the conference was held, an ugly sandal fell out my bag.  I did not notice until a man ran after me with ugly shoe.  I was mortified!  Not only was I nervous at the ridiculously maschocistic nature of my presentation, but my body was telling me who was boss!  There is nothing like my own body to make me look stupid at any moment!