PAZ (Permanent Autonomous Zone) :: 2001

PAZ :: 2001
Video Length: 14.33 minutes

PAZ (Permanent Autonomous Zone) 2001
Video collaboration with Betti Marenko

Commissioned for her 2001 italian conference tour, presenting ‘THE SKIN MACHINE: Tattooing and Technologies of Becoming Else’. The video has been shown subsequently in numerous venues, including galleries, video festivals and the Capetown 2004 Tattoo Convention.

‘Permanently mark your body and you will make your body change.
In between inner and outer, there it is, skin.
Permanently mark your skin and something is bound to happen.

One at the time, one after another, twenty needles pierce the body. Twenty hooks are fitted, penetrating the skin under which raw flesh is waiting to burst open, to be opened up, pierced, hooked.
A floating essence of gravity arrested into space.
Over this suspended body new forms are taking shape, shapes of emerging and loose desiring energies.
The suspended body is the n-sum of a potential of multiplicities that are being actualised by intense pain and traumatic discipline, and that are triggered into place by the focus on the interland between pleasure and pain, where no feeling owns a name, nor the name itself exists yet to be told.’ Betti Marenko. 2001

Click on a title below to expand/collapse texts

The Same Invisible
From: Betti Marenko
Date: Tuesday, June 26, 2001 12:54 pm
Subject: invisible

this video puts in a whirl in my inside flesh and I feel spinning inside my head 
light coming out and getting in and exchanging molecules
from the top of my head down and up 
the images you made: it's like watching what I have seen with the eyes of the skin when my eyes were closed
it's the rhythm and they pulsate at the same rhythm 
I am so very happy for the materialization of the fantastic you can do with those machines, 
we see the same invisible
mucho amor
Permenant Writing, Impermenant Subjectivities







these are my populations so far 

the inventory of my personal trajectory in self writing, born out of desire and curiosity, grown slow on a learning curve of plunging, ecstasies, prongs and spreading, developed in years of intense and passionate labouring as an intellectual oeuvre, always accounting in my own skin a double story, the one of my personal life and that one of my intellectual life, interwoven and always prefiguring each other 

These populations are not symbols, neither metaphors 

They do no stand for something else 

They do not belong to the regime of representation. 

Rather, they are events on a plane of immanence, they are components by which the fluctuations of my subjectivity machine become manifest and visible 

Such is the role they have, that they behave in a strangely real and unpredictable way: by unpredictable I mean to underline the fact that not once in all my different – and often very contextually different – experiences of tattooing machinery I could have forecasted what point, at what intersection each of the individual tattoo would come to embody 

The question of the "meaning" of the single tattoo – which is one the typical question that non-tattooed people asks: "what does it mean?" – is irrelevant; rather, I insist in saying that they do not belong to that specific regime of signification by which is possible to pinpoint and describe a straightforward "meaning" of something. 

Unpredictability: actively not knowing beforehand the complex machine unfolding with the installation of a tattoo; only knowing how to create self-generating movement 

As catalyst, point of intersection of multiple planes, these populations are, each of them, territories of immanence. Territories of convergence of many worlds, experience, experiment, expansion, expenditure, excess, materiality, molecularity, mysticism, fire, tides, eddies, fear 

From each of them, something somehow, cannot but unfold. 

And what this something is, it is precisely what is unpredictable of tattooing. 

I search for a vocabulary to say these populations, to sing this music 

They do not have a meaning: they are components of a tattooing machine which, among other things, also produces a skin of connections with the world 


agents of expansion increasing a proliferation of surfaces, blackarrows instigate an otherwise slipping awareness of that specific differential where the materiality of being marries the imagination necessary to create unexpected trajectories that germinate virally unravelling from the skin to the flesh to the spirit 

I write on me the directions I intend to take, I write on me the possible trajectories of a journey that never stops, I write on me every time the urge surges and calls me when an image becomes the razor sharp condensation of an affection still confused but nevertheless already soliciting, an affection that coagulates in matter, and viceversa, a matter from which an affection departs 

and in the middle myself, my skin shedding, my self becoming, a skin that tinges with the colours of shadows to acquire the light of being, to experiment the decision of being with no reticence whatsoever 

in me this time are rising blackarrows, pointing, in the movement itself, to a direction that ushers me somewhere forward, and simultaneously I make this direction my own by following the traces left behind by these blackarrows, ceaselessly 

the direction that they indicate is carved forever in me 

the matter of my body, the matter of my skin is where it is condensed the direction these arrows point to 

the matter of my body, the matter of my skin is where the imagination becomes theory becomes practise 

I follow in this project a path which is at the same time intellectually rigorous and radically improvised, experimental, experiential, expansive, excessive. 

on top of everything, always, the necessity and the urgency that are leading me as by hand to the appointments that at regular intervals mark in the fire of desire the conjunction between needles and skin, between ink and blood, between a vision with a practice. 







Arrows, they are the signal indicating direction, when in crossroads one doesn't know where to go and many and different and opposite perhaps are the possible directions to take, the multiplicity of arrows each with their own suggestion, each with their own direction 

these arrows are enfleshened, the direction they point to it is the same direction that compose them and that give them shape 

If Arrows indicate direction, movement, journey and trail, then here there is no difference between the arrow and the arrow's own pointing 

Arrows are the moving, Arrows are the movement, Arrows are the direction, 

they don't indicate a direction, they embody it, 

they don't indicate a goal, they give body to it, 

they don't suggest a possible road, they personify its trajectories. 

Now straight, now askew, now aligned, now sloping, now neat, now blurred these trajectories in themselves don't do anything else but moving, producing, generating themselves, in the meanwhile of their existence 

Direction and movement do coincide, being and moving do coincide, being coincides with its own very moving, with its own very becoming 

Arrow: Freccia>S-Frecciare= to go fast 

in the cohabitation of black and white, the heading is sense of direction 

The direction is sense 

The arrow points to, signals, indicates a direction to take, indicates a sense, a course, a master route. 

These arrows do not stand for a direction, they embody it. 

They do not represent a trajectory, a sense, they are one thing with the possibility of giving yourself different trajectories, not necessarily coinciding with the rational pursuing of the subject 

These arrows do not represent a sense of direction, but the possibility of becoming all possible senses, of becoming in the very movement the transformation, of becoming the generation chamber of mobile nexus of possible worlds to imagine, desire, make flesh, make skin, make wider and wider catastrophes of joy

Betti Marenko. 1999
From: Betti Marenko 

Date: Thursday, June 28, 2001 4:27 pm
Subject: contagion & imagination

hey look what I found today in a massumi's book!
The body's zone of indeterminacy, though confined to its synapses, has widened beyond measure. 
Autonomic responses have been counteractualized as autonomous. 
This increase in the body's degrees of freedom is called imagination...
...other bodies may slip in that zone of indeterminacy, or autonomous zone, 
creating the conditions for a contagion of becoming-other - a process as fragile as it is infectious....