Iv’e been a bit quiet on the blog front this week, not because I haven’t had anything to say but it’s just been one of those weeks where everyone seems to be stuck in a rut of coldness and assessment tasks and group meetings. Anyway, I thought I would start off my Friday with a post on something I have explored in a bit more detail since the lecture.
Korsakow has to be performed, there is no chronological order, its all middle, the user must play it in order for it to come into being. It’s a musical score, and an action must be done by the user to make it sing.
The guts of this quote is that basically, until a user engages with a Korsakow work, it’s jut an abstract text, but by turning the information into experience, users create something else, something new and entirely unique. Its a performative text, the notion of performance conceptualises what a spoken or written text can bring about in human interactions.
I think this means, in essence that to say something is to do something, or to implore others to do something which relies on everything being outside the text and them bringing in things from the outside.
I thought of it like a house. You can buy a house with an oven, some chairs, even a couch. But it’s when you start to play with the space and introduce photos, colours, plates and spoons and pillows that it starts to speak back, starts to mirror you and your personality. Because if you didn’t bring in anything from outside, the house would stay the same, you would starve, physically and emotionally, and no journey would even begin, no memories would be made or connections forged.
Early theories (J. L. Austin) acknowledged that performance and text are both embedded in a system of rules and that the effects they can produce depend on convention and recurrence. In this sense, text is an instance of ‘restored behaviour’.
Austin says that;
Language not only represents, but also can make something happen. He distinguishes between two types of performative speech acts.
- The illocutionary act act is concerned with what an person is doing in saying something (e.g. when someone says ‘hello’, he is greeting another person).
- The perlocutionary act involves the unintended consequences of an utterance and refers to that what an actor is doing by saying something (e.g.when someone says ‘hello’ and the greeted person is scared by it).
So, Korsakow is pretty much a series of perlocutionary risks?
Lets see what Derrida
had to add, remember, he belongs to the post modern camp so at the time, context was dead.
Instead of emphasizing linguistic rules, scholars within this strand stress that the performative utterance is intertwined with structures of power. Because a text inevitably changes a situation or discourse, the distinction between text and context is blurred.
Derrida actually stays with a few of Austin’s core ideas, maintaining that by illocutionary force, language itself can transform and effect. Derrida however rejects that a performative utterance relies on conventions or rules and values the distinctiveness of every individual speech act, because it has a specific effect in the particular situation in which it is performed
According to Derrida, the effects caused by a performative text are in a sense also part of it. In this way, the distinction between a text and that what is outside it dissolves. For this reason it is pointless to try to define the context of a speech act. Due to the possibility of repetition, the intentions of an individual can never be fully present in a speech act. The core of a performative utterance is therefore not constituted by animating intentions, as Austin says, but by the structure of language.