Sunday, August 17, 2014

Cassandra Troyan's Kill Manual (blurb)

What does the masochist have to teach us—about subjectivity, and capitalism, and feminism, and the possibility of a post-sovereign existence? Using online classifieds ads, and chatrooms, and email as her theater, Cassandra Troyan interrogates the dynamics of power (and sex as an extension of power) that structure our world. Where to maintain a self, to fortify one’s ego, is actually where the problem lies ('I can’t wait to get away from myself'). And where the constraint and humiliation of the masochist produces the promise of a world beyond the control society where bondage equates grace, and weight elicits happiness charged with a difference ('Voluminous happiness is never light / if it’s lifted it isn’t true'). Alternating between strategic reappropriation and a brutal lyricism, Kill Manual assumes a persona total in its world-destroying and creating powers. Relations of intimacy and commons emerge from (to use a phrase of Leo Bersani’s) 'the prospect of the breakdown of the human itself in sexual intensities.' Where, during an endgame of austerity plans and plans to expropriate every last resource remaining to human survival, the last thing they can take from us would appear the possibility of giving everything away.

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