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Ana-materialism and the Pineal Eye: Becoming mouth-breast (or visual arts after Descartes, Bataille, Butler, Deleuze and Synthia with an ‘s’)'

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Ana-materialism & the Pineal Eye provides a landmark interpretation of materialism, representation and the image using the Cartesian conceit of a pineal gland and its voracious sexually embedded appetites. Developing the argument via Bataille’s re-invention of the pineal gland as an all-seeing, all- devouring, (pineal) eye, Golding borrows this move to envision a different analytic approach to digital forms of ‘matter’ and artificial forms of ‘life’. From her critical engagement with Bataille, Deleuze and Butler, Golding shows why the tools provided by these modern, contemporary and postmodern approaches to philosophy, image, the body, indeed representation cannot fully explore, let alone develop these new forms of reality/ies except by retreating into traditional binary divides between male and female, good and evil, mother/child and so forth. Ana-materialism and the Pineal Eye introduces a much needed understanding to oddly cathected sensualities, multiversal realities, digital imaginaries with no weight, no volume, no spatiality, but ‘somehow’ making sense, and with it, creating matter, ethics, art.
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Keywords: Synthia; ana-materialism; fractal philosophy; multiversal; non-representational imaging; performativity; rehearsal; synthetic life

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Birmingham Institute for Art and Design, BCU

Publication date: 08 December 2012

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  • Philosophy of Photography is a new peer-reviewed journal devoted to the scholarly understanding of photography. It is not committed to any one notion of photography nor, indeed, to any particular philosophical approach. The purpose of the journal is to provide a forum for debate on theoretical issues arising from the historical, political, cultural, scientific and critical matrix of ideas, practices and techniques that may be said to constitute photography as a multifaceted form. In a contemporary context remarkable for its diversity and rate of change, the conjunction of the terms 'philosophy' and 'photography' in the journal's title is intended to act as a provocation to serious reflection on the ways in which existing and emergent photographic discourses might engage with and inform each other.
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