Doing the crease: text and subjectiness in a liberation of folds
de Sonneville, Daphne
Text appears ordered, yet so much can go wrong. It has a form and a sound, needs to be put together and deciphered, and inherently serves to deliver a message. Inspired by the potential of clumsiness, my research project Doing the Crease: Text and Subjectiness in a Liberation of Folds comprises five text-based art projects that investigate whether text can become ‘subjecty’ through methods of folding. Deleuze speaks of the fold as an ‘operative function’ that is almost self-generating. I argue the fold is what Heidegger might call ‘subjectival’ or ‘in itself eager to represent’, derived from the Greek word hypokeimenon that denotes the subject as that-which-lies-before. Characteristic of the fold is its expansion: going in and out, overlapping and reoccurring, the fold finds its form in repetition or by sticking out and getting in the way. This can be recognised in my art projects as the doubling and looping of text, image and sound, but also in the recurring themes that overlap throughout the thesis and feed back into the work. Because my methods involve repetitive, plain language, the work often appears to acquire a deadpan, slapstick-like quality. As such, it demonstrates that slapstick, too, may be a type of fold. Inspired by what Deleuze calls a ‘liberation of folds’, I see the fold as a form of action that finds freedom through its reiteration. What began as research on subjectiness thus becomes an enquiry into the mechanism of the fold as an emancipatory movement. In addition, it appears that the quality of subjectiness naturally invites interaction. Engaging other subjects and bringing them into focus, the research project establishes the possibility that, in a meeting of subjectiness, emancipation means the fold moving away from one narrative to fold again and join another.