Will Hallett

Increasing emphasis among feminist psychoanalysts on the maternal subjectivity, a non- and in some cases prior to phallic capacity/aspect (or, I argue, identity) of subjectivity, can be read in certain contexts as the grounding of a primary passivity of psychic life: an archaic witness, or orphan-psyche, that is continuously unseen and unaddressed by society through the ever reproduced veneer of the insurable liberal humanist subject. Yet, while unseen and unaddressed in any majoritarian context, this orphaned witness remains a laboring subject and, as such, is the host (always) of its own sophisticated programmatics: of thought for itself. As the subject/identity proper to (at least) philosophical and artistic creativity, it is this psychic life of witnessing/thinking that is unseen by the digital society, industry, and its actors within the lab, the office, the classroom, and their surrounding and intermediary ramps and ramparts. In many industry-specific cases, the healthy vociferation of creative thought for itself can even cluster as a triggering material for those techno-capitalist actors who still find meaning in tilling the field of social reproduction. In contradistinction to some theorists’ blithe equation of the social normalization of the child to the cultural passing down of artefacts of thought, I argue that it is via the notion of the identitypolitik that the labor and sophistication proper to the orphan-psyche can seek its own field of reproduction.

What is perpetually unseen by my collaborators, then, is that I see myself. It is via our emotional acknowledging of the other’s witnessing of itself, that a new realpolitik may situate our praxis in the early Anthropocene.

Will Hallett, New Centre for Research and Practice