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Dis.sociative Codes of Subjectivity: Architecture and the Technologies of Life-Image

Kaveh Alagheh Bandhosseini, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


Life-image, as the expression of enduring life, is Cesare Casarino’s appropriation of the Deleuzean time-image, by which he tries to reflect on time’s radical transformation under the biopolitical conditions. This research is an attempt to trace life-image in architecture since early modernism, claiming that a framework indicative of such transformation can be mapped out on the biopolitical turn of the spectacle as the hallmark of the contemporary architecture and its condition of possibility: the biopolitical, posthuman-neoliberalism. Subjectivity as a dissociative force is at the heart of time-images and it could also be seen in Marshall McLuhan’s discovery of the dissociation of sight/sound/meaning in the print medium and its reflection in the dis.sociation of the modern-subject from the premodern social bonds. Similarly, Deleuze’s time-image appeared at the intersection of the dissociation of the visual and the sound (the cinematic technique), and the rise of the dissociated yet inhabited spaces left by the demolitions of the WWII (the world). As the real and the everyday became both alienated and spectacular, time-image demonstrated the psychomechanics of a subject who could see better than he could react. The same timeframe- WWII- also marks the origin of the anthropocene and the globally dissociated-subject whose ability to react is now challenged on the planetary-scale. Within such context, life-image extends those studies to include the architectural medium- inherently dis.sociative as Bernard Tschumi writes- in a globally dissociated world. Casarino’s transference of the Deleuze/Bergsonian duration from a temporal to a biopolitical setting suggests a shift in the representational logic of posthuman-neoliberalism which today tends to construct a fetishized and foreclosed image of life (rather than time) to neutralize subjectivity. Through exploring of the intersections of architecture, biology, quantum-mechanics, and forms of life/death that start and end in nonlife (like the earth/geontology) this study analyzes life-images as the architectural entanglements (with its connotations in quantum-mechanics) that codify a cut between life and increasingly varied realms of qualculation. The hope is to show that, contrary to the claimed objectivity/neutrality, it is through the very same life-images that certain subjectivities and materialities emerge while simultaneously the production of others is excluded.

Subject Area


Recommended Citation

Bandhosseini, Kaveh Alagheh, "Dis.sociative Codes of Subjectivity: Architecture and the Technologies of Life-Image" (2018). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI13419308.