Short Study on Violence
Performance while the Body weather workshop with Frank van de Ven in the Cairngorms 19-25 of may 2013.
George Bataille in his theory on Immanent and transcendent Violence, reminds us the being of man inside animality as well as outside of it. Unlike human, the animal is immanent to the environment in which it lives and does not have the capacity to transcend it. Violence in the animal world only rises to a feeling of transcendence for humans due to the objectification of the other as passive, when it comes to killing or copulating. The enslavement and the appropriation of living creatures brings about his further alienation from nature in which man forgets he belongs to as well. As nature becomes man’s property, man loses his feeling of immanent continuity with it, by negating nature, man negates itself.
Into this abyss of ignorance, man has made of violence an instrument that differs from all the others in its refusal to conform to the world. Hanna Arendt, ” On violence” separates violence, power, authority and force in order to underline how violence does not depend on numbers or opinions but on implements and the implement of violence multiplies the human strength. And she says that everything depends on the power behind the violence, the civil obedience, the laws, the rulers, the institutions.
Violence is the notion of the other as the ultimate limit of one’s power. Piotr Hoffman talking about violence says: “Our practical mastery of the natural environment still leaves intact the limitation of human agents by each other”. As opposed to nature, In a transcendent violent environment, the other emerges as an insurmountable obstacle to one’s aims and purposes or as an inescapable danger which one is powerless to hold at bay.
The other is thus the focus of an ultimate resistance to one’s powers.