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Ways of Meaning
Angela Melitopoulos

Based on audio-visual research and an archival survey, this thesis addresses questions regarding the possible relations that could be established between artistic practice, geo- psychiatry, politics, resistance, pursuing an updated cosmic thinking in which “soul” and “machine” exist everywhere simultaneously, in order to deal with the notion of multiplicity intensified by the proliferation of machinic social relations.

The underlying investigation follows Félix Guattari’s interest in animist cosmologies and practises that can be seen as models of subjectivity production that can be folded into our contemporary existence. Guattari was convinced that animism, far from being a return to irrationalism, is a way to overcome and to neutralize the ontological dualisms of modernity that have become the main sources of many of the contemporary political, ecological, social, scientific, and aesthetic problems.

This thesis connects the anthropological approaches of Viveiros de Castro, Elisabeth von Samsonow, and Barbara Glowczewski with the experimental approaches of institutional psychiatry, from the ‘migrant work’ of the Catalan anarcho-syndicalist psychiatrist and resistance fighter François Tosquelles to the psychiatric clinic of La Borde where Félix Guattari worked all his life, as well as the approaches of decolonizing visual culture in the cinematic and cartographic projects of the Research Group Fernand Deligny and their therapeutic practices.

The aim is to show that geo-psychiatry started as a decolonisation of our psychic life from the ontological dualisms of modern thought, pointing towards the future of a technophile media activism where it encounters cosmologies that break with the uni-dimensionality of geometric cultures and monological temporalities.

The main concepts of the collective assemblage of enunciation and form of machinic animism pursued by Guattari are central to the emergence of these aesthetic paradigms in an increasingly affirmative culture of connectivity between techno- allied bodies. It reaches out to networks of resistances that build animist subjectivities in anti-colonial minority politics in the Global South.

And finally it evaluates a technophile becoming of our subjectivity in the fabrication of the techno-scientific modes of seeing the earth with regard to environmental politics and the autonomy and right of migration.