metasurfacesmade me BLEED
It is no longer about the urge to feel, it is about a piercing need to be penetrated, to feel beyond our limits, to experience things with a striking, killing intensity. Especially when the reality seems too dull and too flat to provoke our sensuality and make us feel things. We are technological nymphomaniacs and cyber masochists. And those practices are linked to the intense need to escape from the real time forms of experiencing the self to other more mediated ones. Screens offer the possibilities to escape but they also escalate that need even more.
One adopts MASOCHISTIC practices to escape the BURDEN of the SELF
Once, while being at the beauty clinic I had a 'pleasure' to have my face pierced several times in a row with very painful injections with short breaks in between. It felt like a waterfall of pain but also ecstasy of feeling something so painfully real. A relief caused by being fully immersed by something so intense. Losing self-control and real-time attachment to the situation. A feeling where one doesn't need to be connected with the self on a personal level but rather dissolves into a simple yet abstract form such as pain. A form of escapism - escaping myself through the intense experience. At this moment i had to think that this feeling was closely linked to the feeling of being virtual.
According to the standard reading of MASOCHISM, the masochist, like everyone, also looks for PLEASURE; his problem is that, because of the internalized SUPEREGO, he has to pay for his access to pleasure with the PAIN.
–ZIZEK & DELEUZE
Technology make things familiar. It is an interface between here and now. Like a chat screen that feels like our bedroom. A schizoid bedroom. Where we share our intimacy and exchange virtual gazes while being online. Almost like being bare naked. Stalk the other person's last seen and afraid to be caught stalking. Screens are our fantasies, surfaces for our desires. Like the conversations that we have with people we never meet. That's a fantasy too. Imagining closeness, experiencing it without any physicality. It's a new unreal intimate where the screen holds us together. And we remain in that realm. We are getting used to that unreal form of intimacy. Like fake news, falsely blown up, seem real and appealing but they are empty from the inside. We both blow it up. We think we are creating the truth, here on the screen. We feed ourselves with it with fake experiences and then our bodies scream for something real. Like waking up from a bad dream. It feels like we haven’t eaten in a long time. Bodies craving the impulse, craving extreme intimacy – to overindulge oneself in it. To be immersed in a fleshiness of experience - either very painful or extremely pleasurable. The extremes of our feelings are our screens too, they are expressions of our hyperbolic emotions. Erotics of abstractions that our bodies seem to demand more and more. Chasing more and more complicated fantasy.
There is the possibility of a TECHNO-FETISHISM which may devolve into a pathology, a schizoid need for repetition:
We may end up in a NEVER-ENDING circuit: one more SMS, one more call, one more image, and one more link to check. "Encore!" When the subject of technoculture gets wrapped up in, or loses itself in, the circuits of communication, it loses its relation with a stabilizing (FANTASMATIC) reference (as good as real) that rules its desire.
And at some point it is no longer important whether it feels good or not. The intensity matters. Screens are like gambling machines that narrow the subjective experience into arbitrary reward seeking.
Desire is a machine
fills itself with itself
a synthesis of machines
a machinic arrangement
We want to be penetrated/ cut through, disembodied by those virtual surfaces, interfaces – to feel ourselves and the world around us. We want it to happen on a psychotic level. The in between wouldn't work for us anymore. We are falling into large emotional leaps that will probably never have a chance to get realistically fulfilled. It's our own virtual masochism that we end up living in. Chasing extremes. And it has its own reflection in a physical world. Our bodies suffer from it too. Invisibly.
Screens never take us to our destination, they are a journey, a traverse towards a promise of being fulfilled. Screens are never finished, they only expand together with our needs for the intensity to experience and to be.
DESIRE is a purely VIRTUAL ‘movement’ that has always reached its destination, whose moving is itself its own destination.
–ZIZEK & DELEUZE
Text published in the publication NXS #1 – Cyber Sensuality, Goys & Birls, 2017