2



art, art
be
come
from
I in
my must mind
notion
often
particular protected Protected
quickly
this that though Two things to
wrestle with what

as and a also again as
back
clear
drawing
how have
is I I is I I in I
justify
load
make my
of
pick
retrospect
some space spent
This the try to to try This the that try to time
unload up
weight 



Nothing like being late, nothing, being late.

In our first meeting on Monday, Carla told that she has been told, repetitively, that “we’re not ready for this;” “this” denoting, of course (maybe), a change of course, of a discourse, that of, of practices of knowledge production. What does it mean, then, to be ready?

He who lives in a state of waiting sees life come to him as the emptiness of waiting and waiting as the emptiness of the beyond of life. The unstable indeterminateness of these two movements is henceforth the space of waiting. At every step, one is here, and yet beyond. But this beyond is reached without being reached through death, it is awaited and is not reached; without knowing that its essential characteristic is to be able to be reached only in waiting. (Maurice Blanchot, Awaiting Oblivion)

When NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo decided that Eric Garner was not ready to breathe, that Garner was not ready to be taken out from the chokehold (after all, he could still mutter “I can’t breathe”), what kind of readiness was Pantaleo waiting for? That Garner was ready to hear the call of Law that Pantaleo, as a police officer, was merely putting in practice? If so, the death that took over Garner’s life prevented him from hearing (and, subsequently, obeying) this call, meaning that even though the law was broken (by Garner? by Pantaleo? by both?), its implementation was not completed. In this sense, Garner, who had to wait for his last breath infinitely (after all, he lost consciousness before his death), was to remain in an infinite state of being of late. When Pantaleo forced him to the ground, it was already too late for him to change the course of the events (being an overweight, African-American man he was): in a chokehold, it was impossible for him to be ready for the completion of the law anymore, although, in a chokehold, he was expected to.

Although it was the law that took part in Garner’s death, the law does not own his death. Rather, it owns the time that Garner missed and it is precisely this time that makes us either infinitely not ready or already too late.

 



art, art
be
come
from
I in
my must mind
notion
often
particular protected Protected
quickly
this that though Two things to
wrestle with what

To re-enter one’s own text through abstraction, like Michael does with his text above, is to come up with another measure, a measure that, at first, seems to put him aside as the (speaking) author, thus allowing the text itself to speak. This is what, at first, Agamben has in mind when he writes, “the power of language must be directed towards language.” Why, though, do I feel compelled to add “at first” to these statements?

For now, everything comes down to the question of power, the power that allows the prison to imprison itself. The laborious search for power, a poietic counterpower that would help us to negotiate (to carry on?) the crisis of authorship, authority, and origin that was handed to us by the books we read and the art we follow; a search for a power that would render our traditions impotent without negating them. A feeling of paralysis and guilt, similar to the lonely privacy of a voting booth: I’ve tried this many times; perhaps I will continue trying, but in the meanwhile, I have to accept the rules of the game.

“At first” is, then, an acknowledgement: we need a strategy, but this need receives its power from hesitation. We are hesitant because we are hopeful. There has to be another way, another kind of relation to our speech and our actions, but at first, everything seems abstract. The melancholy inherent in such abstraction (e.g. our attempts to give up our subject positions and identities) reverberates its affects in hesitation. When Michael re-appropriates words that, once, set up an intimate relationship between his voice, the text, and the reader, this new authorship does not reveal anything besides a gesture toward its own disappearance. A new kind of anxiety, now expressed in an alphabetical order, takes over: an anxiety that might be easier to live with but more difficult to identify.

The eye that must see its blind spot sees only blindness. Wrapped in a paradoxical thought, “at first” comes first only to leave us with the darkness of this spot. Hence, hesitation. Perhaps, a threshold.

How does hesitation translate itself into the language of education? I am ready, but hesitant, to make a claim: “at first” is a pedagogical relation that must be pointed out, must be sustained. It is not a leap to the unknown, but a firm punch in our knees; the kind of punch that shatters bones. This could be education, could.