Of Queer Neutrality

Winter 2014 / Summer 2015

John Paul Ricco, The Decision Between Us: Art and Ethics in the Time of Scenes, Chicago and London, University of Chicago Press 2014, 252pp

In what way does the concept of ‘decision’ invariably involve space and being- together? How can it be at once a relational term and a mark of apartness that structures being? To decide something means to already come belatedly to a scene of decisions that has preceded us without our knowing. Perhaps the simplest and yet most complex artifact that radiates these questions, taken from John Paul Ricco’s extraordinary and beautifully composed new book, is the blank sheet of paper: on the one hand, as a medium of inscription, representation, and communication, it subtends and actualizes the decision to commit word and image to the page; on the other, it is the inert blankness that overrides any inscribed decisions in the first place, undoing and admonishing forms as the paper’s whiteout points to what is always already there - the vacancy of the emptied and erased page that endlessly separates meaning from matter, sense from sensuality, subject from object. […]

84/85 Societies of Control