• The continuous body: Emergence, authority and expiation in the oeuvre of Georges Bataille

Adams, Dominic Barnaby, 2022, Thesis, The continuous body: Emergence, authority and expiation in the oeuvre of Georges Bataille PhD thesis, Royal College of Art.

Abstract or Description:

The thesis re-evaluates Bataille’s base materialism via four interconnected and highly original approaches to a ‘debased metaphysics’ of thought and being’s movement. Chapter One shows how this logic has an impact on the way the morphic operates, with implications that form the instant as an autonomous, auto-generative body within a continuous process of being. This atemporality creates a continuous body where the body’s continuous aspect establishes both an atemporal instant and eternal version of time. Chapter Two develops how the instantaneous aspect of the body’s shape emerges from a generative principle of erotic movement, and is experienced as system, namely atheology, whereas its perpetual or continuous aspect is this system’s collapse, which conditions its prior determinacy as form. As will be shown, this dynamic enables new forms of difference to occur which are not relative, the strategic importance of which are developed in Chapter Three. This shows how determinacy/collapse are incorporated into the movement of a body in relation to its parts. Embodied atheology’s gestural poiesis is substitution of a system’s part for its determined whole, empowering the body part as an acephalic operator. This uncovers the purpose of difference’s autonomy, which instead of emphasising general ontological non-meaning, achieves a new type of total metaphysical definition that is exchangeable for the inessentiality of the autonomous body part. Substitution’s dynamic means the systematic body auto-invaginates and leaves definition’s articulation to the autonomy of the vagina itself. The authority required to determine being has produced autonomy as an ancillary part of this determinacy. Additionally, authority required to determine being also expiates itself. Chapter Four shows how this works by bringing in acephalia as a meditative and shamanic strategy for alteration within being, excusing the obligation of material thought to behave in a materially determined way by making the link between excretion as an expiatory practice, and an eroticised way of being wholly other, either as sound, or animal alteration. The thesis sets up the continuous body as a new conception of being, a system of being, its practice, and a more radical notion of expiation as shape-shifting as ontic transfer, that, put together, locates an ensembled context for a debased metaphysical shamanic anarchism.

Qualification Name: PhD
Subjects: Creative Arts and Design > W100 Fine Art
School or Centre: School of Arts & Humanities
Uncontrolled Keywords: Continuity; movement; difference; vagina; alteration
Date Deposited: 12 Dec 2022 14:31
Last Modified: 17 Jan 2023 10:30
URI: https://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/5226
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