[ISEA2011] Panel: Diego Costa – Forscher­trieb, The In­stinct for Re­search: To­ward a Queer Psy­cho­analy­sis and a Psy­cho­an­a­lyt­i­cal Queer The­ory

Panel Statement

Panel: The Madness of Methods: Emerging Arts Research Practices

Ex­plor­ing the ways in which the dig­i­tal works as an in­ter­face for queer sex­u­al­ity (in fan­tasy and in prac­tice) this paper ar­gues for a Queer The­ory re­turn to psy­cho­analy­sis, and its tra­di­tion of the­ory-based prac­tice and prac­tice-based the­ory. The con­struc­tion of the human body – its dri­ves, its af­fects, its mark­ings, its ill­nesses – have all been ques­tions taken up by Queer The­ory as it has had, from the be­gin­ning, the lived body as its main ob­ject of study. Yet Queer The­ory’s rise to aca­d­e­mic promi­nence has also co­in­cided with an in­tense re-con­fig­u­ra­tion of this human body and how it deals with its ob­jects of de­sire through the in­creas­ing em­bed­ding of dig­i­tal tech­nol­ogy in the every­day. Tak­ing up bare­back­ing (un­pro­tected sex among strangers) as an em­blem­atic con­tem­po­rary “prob­lem” of and for queer­ness, the paper in­ves­ti­gates the ways in which psy­cho­an­a­lytic the­o­ries of early child­hood de­vel­op­ment help us un­der­stand what is at play be­tween the new media sub­ject and his new media ob­ject.

  • Diego Costa is a Provost research fellow at the University of Southern California’s Interdivisional Media Arts & Practice PhD program and a teaching assistant in Gender Studies. His film work explores the constitutive and symptomatic relationship between queer flesh and queer psyche in essayistic self-fiction and domestic ethnography modes. In the feature-length The Parricide Sessions (2007), shown at the IFC Center in New York and international film festivals, Costa engages in psychodramatic games with his father, who is invited to play Costa’s former lovers in the film. In Project ADAM (2010) Costa probes the naked body of a “perfect faggot”being in an empty room, asking what might be lodged in his throat and celebrating the never-ending non-productivity of his existence. As an academic Costa has focused his research on digital sexual economies, gender-nonconformant children, and barebacking — through a hybridization of contemporary Queer Theory and Lacanian Psychoanalysis. He ap­proaches art prac­tice vis-à-vis method­olog­i­cal re­search as akin to the clin­i­cal labor of psy­cho­analy­sis. The rea­son and rigor nor­mally as­so­ci­ated with sci­en­tific meth­ods are, thus, im­bri­cated in rig­or­ous at­ten­tive­ness to the un­con­scious.  He asks how might we nur­ture a nec­es­sary dis­tance from art­work and the­ory so that we can lis­ten to the un­con­scious for the pur­poses of de­vel­op­ing a symp­to­ma­tol­ogy of the re­search (and the re­searcher)? Costa will dis­cuss the im­por­tance of psy­cho­an­a­lyt­i­cal lit­er­acy as a means to un­set­tle any kind of method re­gard­ing the human ex­pe­ri­ence.  Screen­ing ex­am­ples of his ex­per­i­men­tal film and in­stal­la­tion work, he ex­plores how al­low­ing the un­con­scious to take shape through art, cou­pled with a well-honed abil­ity to read it uti­liz­ing the sym­bolic lan­guage of La­can­ian psy­cho­analy­sis, can con­tribute to the for­ma­tion of a new re­search par­a­digm where the re­searchers in­clude their own de­sire among their ob­jects of study.   dondiegoonline.blogspot.com/?zx=e28628394d9f6aaf

Full text (PDF) p. 541-543