kraut atlantik

media anthropology site

mediators & personhood

just heard a very interesting talk klaus peter koepping gave at the interart meeting “Spielformen des Selbst. Subjektivität und Spiel zwischen Ethik und Ästhetik” at the berlin institute for cultural inquiry ICI.

questioning the western notion of an autonomous individual subjectivity, he came up with marcel mauss and some provocative thoughts on the ludic and its bodily impacts. (this follows those recently posted contributions vs. the cartesian dualism, shifting from the subject/object schism to the separation of individual/social.)

koepping claimed actio (capacity to act) and passio (capacity to feel) as the essential substances of personhood. a notion that foregrounds social components rather than individual ones. (this follows those recently posted contributions vs. the cartesian dualism, shifting from the subject/object schism to the separation of individual/social.)

thereby he opened up agency towards aspects of social and theatrical performance and underpinned transgressive aspects of the body, i.e. any bodily involvement as the ever-existing link in-between subject and world.

clearly referring from the point of ritual this joined ecstasy (έκ-στασις, “Out-Side-of-One-Self”) and entheos (ἔνθεος entheos, the “God-With-In”). centering on the ludic this in-between this eventually referred to gadamersSpiel-Raum” (literally “play-space”, scope or leeway). while koepping along several examples of rituals in rural japan, thought this as re-creational of any world/order and essentially ontological, this reminded me of something else:

this in-between, within-and-without or by some even considered an horrible inside-outside, not only refers to a transgression of rules and essentially creative aspects in a ritualistic sense but as well to dracklé’s recent critique of the historically stricken “cultural producer” in barcelona. like koepping she refrained from the notion of agency as an insufficient one and opted for a general terminological replacement and introduced the term “mediator”, i.e. a general reference to derrida, latour etc and the in-between as mode of thinking.

to generally link back to several discussions in barcelona, on media-anthropology.net etc – maybe it is not solely the notion of ritual, myth or text etc. that cultural anthropology fruitfully brings in into the discussion of media / anthropology but but the transgressive moment or maybe even paradigm as such.

koepping called it going wild and mit-machen, dracklé called it a being “in touch with things” that shifted attention to the moment/us of weaving, creating assemblies, alliances, i.e. towards doing things.

Both the symposia at interart /ICI and actio and passio at Berlin Free University are on-going.

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