第9回大会報告 Bilingual Panel : Melancholy Ethics

Bilingual Panel:Melancholy Ethics: Ecocriticism and the Question of Visual Culture in a Planetary Age|Kumiko Yamamoto(University of Goettingen)

July 6, 2014, 16:30-18:30
Collaboration Room 3, Bldg. 18, Komaba Campus, The University of Tokyo

Bilingual Panel:Melancholy Ethics: Ecocriticism and the Question of Visual Culture in a Planetary Age

Love as Atmosphere: Shono Yoriko’s World without Others
Christophe Thouny (University of Tokyo)

Doubts, Denial and Recognition: A Cavellian and Oreskian Approach to Films on 311
Elise Domenach (Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon)

After Species Being: Gender, Sexuality, and the Critique of Industrialization
Diane Wei Lewis (Washington University in St. Louis)

【Chair】Christophe THOUNY (University of Tokyo)
【Discussant】Yoshiaki SATO

The panel was concerned with melancholy ethics, which according to Christophe, is not changing the world but changing our relationship with the world. The three papers responded to this question through various channels: Timothy Morton’s dark and melancholy ethics, Stanley Cavell’s way of overcoming skepticism by means of cinema, and Karl Marx’s concept of species being. Unfortunately, Suzanne Beth (University of Montreal) who was scheduled to talk about Kurosawa Kiyoshi’s cinema was unable to take part in the panel; but we were lucky to have Christophe’s paper that set the tone of the panel.

Christophe proposed to relate the question of melancholy ethics to the idea of “love without a lover” based on his reading of Shono Yoriko’s novel “Time Work Complex” (“Time-Slip Kombinato", 1994). For Christophe, the idea of melancholy ethics was closely connected with Fukushima, Japan. He expressed his frustration with the expression 311 that cancels out the real possibility of encounter with a planetary event. Instead of the act of mourning, he argued, we need to practice melancholy ethics to engage ourselves in this planetary situation, an on-going crisis. Drawing on Timothy Morton’s formulation: “The relation of humans to the world cannot or should not rely on the desire for return to pristine nature”, he defined melancholy ethics as staying and standing by to witness the passing away of this dying world that is ours. We need to stay because there is no escape from atmosphere without which we cannot live together. Atmosphere and kūki define our relation to the world of neo-capitalism, opening us to the planetary, the idea of love as atmosphere. Christophe expanded the idea of “love without a lover” in the novel into the Deleuzian concept of the world without others which can only be witnessed in passing – just like the Umishibaura station to which the narrator is summoned to go by a planetary voice.

Elise also approached the question of melancholy ethics through 311. She first quoted Philippe Rouy's film trilogy on Fukushima which is composed of images and sound recordings that TEPCO has made available on the Internet. When making the work the experimental filmmaker felt no urge to go to Japan, thereby refusing the rhetoric of localization and reclaiming those images to given them new meaning, a new kind of the planetary. According to Stanley Cavell, films are specifically suited to express our skepticism, our desire to withdraw from human finite conditions; they can also educate us to recover from our skepticism and reconcile us with the world and people. Elise then examined how denial and recognition in Cavell were expressed or domesticated in films about Fukushima which were shot or edited at least one year after the event, thus opening the planetary space to the images. Taking Atsushi Funahashi’s Radioactivity (2014) as an example, she discussed how the film made the invisible visible: radiation, the ignorance of the people in Futaba, and the irresponsibility of government officials. Based on Naomi Oreskes’s Merchants of Doubt, she argued that doubts raised by scientists were enough for politician’s political inaction and pointed out that this mechanism was expressed in the film in a way that produced denial, a key concept of philosophical skepticism. The ethical position of Funahashi that compels us to see ourselves as the people in Futaba helps to overcome our skepticism by way of analogy; If you are able to place yourself in the position of the other, you tend not to doubt his fear and hence you overcome your skepticism.

Diane examined how Capek’s R. U. R. (first staged in 1921) and Kaiser’s Gas Trilogy (1917-1920) depicted how industrialization transformed man’s relation to nature. The end of R. U. R. suggests that two of the later robots endowed with something of a reproductive capacity will become new Adam and Eve. This reproductive capacity of robots is closely tied to the end of humanity; by choosing indolence over labor humans become sterile, commits genocide, and population declines. In R. U. R. which is also an ambivalent critique of the Soviet Revolution, (hetero-)sexual politics is in play, describing the de-humanization of factory workers and crisis in their community. Diane argued that despite its sexual conservatism, the work registered how machine labor had transformed sexuality and made us rethink “the natural, gender, and sexuality”. She then focused on two aspects of Marx’s species being in “Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844”: “inorganic body” and “sexed body”. As a species being man lives in nature which is part of his body. Marx calls this “inorganic body”. Tearing away man from his object of production which unlike animals, he can distinguish from himself therefore alienates him; his inorganic body is taken from him. “Sexed body” coined by Diane, on the other hand, appears to derive from Marx’s definition of heterosexual relationship as the most basic form of labor. Marx’s discussion of inorganic body and sexed body, sexual relation between bodies frames the crisis of alienated labor as a threat to healthful whole bodies and natural relations between them that ensure sexual procreation and social reproduction. According to Diane this rhetoric was dramatized in Gas Trilogy, R. U. R., and other European dramas in the early 1920s. At the end of her talk she quoted Morton whose dark ecology demands melancholy futurity; we have to stay in this dying world and live besides monsters like Frankenstein’s one, a body produced by technologies in much the same way as artificial human beings are. Diane suggested that Frankenstein’s monster was really us or at least beside us.

There was a heated discussion about the terms, “planetary”, “fantasy”, “ecology”, and “denial”. These terms apparently defied any attempt for definition. Rather they provided the opportunity to rethink what is natural in our own terms.

Kumiko Yamamoto (University of Goettingen)

本パネルはメランコリーエシックスを扱った。メランコリーエシックスとは、Christophe Thounyによれば、世界を変えることではなく、われわれの世界との関係を変えることである。三つの発表はこの要請にさまざまな経路で応答した――ティモシー・モートンのダーク/メランコリーエシックス、スタンリー・カヴェルの映画による懐疑主義の克服、カール・マルクスの類的存在。黒沢清の作品について発表する予定だったSuzanne Beth (University of Montreal)は残念ながら参加できなかったが、代わりにThounyが発表し、パネルの基調を定めた。

Christophe Thounyは笙野頼子の「タイムスリップ・コンビナート」(1994)の読解に基づき、メランコリーエシックスを「恋人不在の愛」という観念に関連づけることを試みた。彼にとって、メランコリーエシックスはフクシマの問題と切り離せない。彼は311という表現に苛立ちを示した。というのもこの表現が惑星的な出来事との真の遭遇の可能性を無効にしてしまうからだ。喪の作業の代わりに、われわれはメランコリーエシックスを実践し、進行中の危機である、この惑星的状況に関与する必要がある、とThounyは論じる。「人間と世界の関係は未開の自然への回帰という欲望に依存するようなものではないし、またそうであってはならない」というティモシー・モートンの定式を手がかりに、Thounyは、われわれのものであるこの滅びつつある世界が過ぎ行くのを目撃するために、そこに留まり寄り添うことである、とメランコリーエシックスを定義した。われわれは留まらなければならない。それがなければ共生が不可能なアトマスフィアーから逃れることはできないからだ。アトマスフィアーと空気はわれわれとネオキャピタリズム世界の関係を規定し、惑星的なもの、空気としての愛へとわれわれをうち開く。Thounyは笙野頼子の小説における「恋人不在の愛」をドゥルーズの他者なき世界という概念へ拡張した。われわれはただこの他者なき世界を通りすがりに目撃するにすぎない――ちょうど惑星的な声が「私」に行くように命じた海芝浦駅のように。

Elise Domenachもまた311を通じてメランコリーエシックスの問題に取り組んだ。彼女はまずフィリップ・ルイによるフクシマ三部作を取り上げた。この作品は東電がインターネットにアップした映像やサウンドから構成される。制作にあたり、作家は日本へ行く必然性を感じなかった。これは日本という一地域への限定化を拒むものであり、また東電の映像を奪回し、新たな意味、おそらくなにか惑星的なものを与えるためである。スタンリー・カヴェルによれば、映画は懐疑主義、有限な人間的条件からの引きこもり願望を表現するのにとくにすぐれているという。映画はまた懐疑主義からの克服を教え、われわれが世界や人々と折り合えるよう教育してくれもする。Domenachは、こうしたカヴェルにおける否認と承認がどのようにフクシマ映画に表現されているのか、あるいは馴化されているのかを考察した。扱われる作品はすべて事故から少なくとも1年を経て撮影・編集されたものである。この遅延が映像に惑星的なへだたりを与えるからだ。船橋淳の『放射能』(2014)を例に取り上げ、Domenachはそれがいかに不可視のものを可視化するかを論じた。たとえば、放射能、双葉町の人々の放射能に対する無知、そして役人の無責任さ。ナオミ・オレスケスの『世界を騙しつづける科学者たち』に基づいてDomenachは科学者たちが疑問を呈するだけで、政治家は何もせずにいられると論じ、このメカニズムが哲学的懐疑主義の鍵概念である否認をうみだすような仕方で『放射能』に表現されていると指摘した。双葉町の人々の立場に身をおくよう迫る船橋の倫理的な立場は、類推によって、懐疑主義を乗り越えるのに役立つ。すなわち、他者の立場にたてるならば、人は他者の畏れを疑いえず、そのとき懐疑主義は乗り越えられるのである。

Diane Wei Lewisはチャペックの『R. U. R.』(1921年初演)とカイザーの『ガス三部作』(1917-1920)において工業化が人間と自然の関係をどのように変容させたかを考察した。『R. U. R.』の最後では生殖能力らしきものを備えたロボットが新たなアダムとイブになることが暗示されている。このロボットの生殖能力は人類の終焉と分ち難く結びついている。労働よりも怠惰を選択することで人間は生殖能力を失い、虐殺を行い、人口が減少する。ロシア革命の両義的な批評でもある『R. U. R.』には、(異性間の)セクシャルポリティクスが作用している。描かれているのは工場労働者の非人間化と共同体の危機である。性的な保守主義にもかかわらず、この作品がいかに機械労働がセクシャリティを変容させ、われわれに「自然なるもの、ジェンダー、セクシャリティ」を再考させるかを示している、とLewisは論じた。ついで彼女は『経済学・哲学草稿』(1844)におけるマルクスの類的存在のふたつの側面にわれわれの注意を向けた。「非有機的身体」と「性的身体」である。類的存在としての人間は身体がその一部である自然の中で生活している。マルクスはこれを「非有機的身体」とよぶ。動物と違って、みずからと区別することができる生産物から引き離されると、人間は疎外されてしまう。非有機的身体が奪われてしまうのだ。他方、マルクスは異性間関係をもっとも基本的な労働として定義しているが、この定義からLewisのいう「性的身体」が得られる。マルクスによれば、非有機的身体、性的身体、もろもろの身体間の性的関係が、健康な全き身体への脅威として、また生殖や社会の再生産を確実なものとする身体間の自然な関係への脅威として、疎外された労働の危機を構成する。Lewisは、このレトリックが『ガス三部作』や『R. U. R.』などの1920年代初期のヨーロッパの作品において演劇化されたという。最後に彼女はメランコリーな未来を要請するモートンのダークエコロジーを引用した。われわれはこの滅びつつある世界に留まり、人造人間と同じようにテクノロジーによって製造された身体であるフランケンシュタインのような怪物に寄り添って生きていかなければならない。フランケンシュタインこそわれわれである。あるいは少なくともそれはわれわれの傍らにいる。


山本久美子(University of Goettingen)


Love as Atmosphere: Shono Yoriko’s World without Others
Christophe Thouny (University of Tokyo)

Doubts, Denial and Recognition: A Cavellian and Oreskian Approach to Films on 311
Élise DOMENACH (Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon / University of Tokyo)

My presentation aims at questioning our ethical positions towards images of destruction. Are we doomed to express doubts over the sublime images of catastrophe in films on 3.11 ? Can we recognize our condition in those figurations ? I will be making use of three concepts from American philosophers who investigate our ethical relation to knowledge and skepticism, Stanley Cavell and Naomi Oreskes : doubts, denial and recognition. I will proceed to the screening and the analysis of one brief segment from Yojiu Matsubayashi’s Horses of Fukushima (dealing with environmental and sanitary consequences of the nuclear accident), one scene from Atsushi Funahashi’s documentary Radioactive (showing the « cultural production of ignorance » about radiation that Oreskes sees on issues relative to Ozone or tabacco industry that apply as well to radiation expertise) and one scene from fiction film Odayaka by Nobuteru Uchida (dealing with denial amongs mothers, within a japanese public school). My ambition is to show how Japanese films force us to unveil the “cultivation of denial” under a nuclear sky that Cavell pointed out in 1986 (the year of Tchernobyl accident) and the “science of ignorance (agnotology)” that Oreskes is considering as part of a planetary sciences project in Harvard University at present.

After Species Being: Gender, Sexuality, and the Critique of Industrialization / Diane Wei LEWIS (Washington University in St. Louis)

How did machine production change thinking about man’s relationship to nature? Marx addressed this issue in the “Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844,” where he describes the impact of alienated labor on man’s relation to nature. Marx argued that it is in the relation of man to woman that man’s relationship to man, as well as his relation to nature, is most “immediately” and “sensuously” manifested. Marx’s concept of “species being” described the sexual relation as both natural and social, defining heterosexual reproduction as the most essential form of labor: life-producing life, life as a means to life, and labor which is totally merged with life-activity.

What happens when labor loses its connection to the natural body? In the early 1920s, plays such as Kaiser’s Gas trilogy (1917-1920), Capek’s R. U. R. (1920), and Toller’s The Machine Wreckers (1922) represented the crisis of estranged labor as a disordering of normative heterosexual relations. In The Machine Wreckers, mechanization leads to demasculinization as craftsmen find their life’s labor broken up into repetitive, mechanical tasks. In Gas, the integrity of the male body is destroyed as work is fragmented into single movements performed in tempo with the machine. In the sci-fi play R. U. R., this crisis is imagined to lead to the end of human reproduction and species being.

The critique of industrialization as a threat to species being registered how sexuality was transformed by machine labor. Despite their sexual conservatism, these early-twentieth-century texts showed the necessity of rethinking the relationships of “man to woman” and “man to nature.”