quivering dogs

What follows here is a short text I wrote for an exhibition of work by painters titled Internal Forces. Linda Marie Walker curated the show. By way of introduction to where I might write from she sent me a photo of a drawing/painting of a little dog by Aldo Iacobelli. Prickling dogs have a lot of resonance in my thinking landscape, in my thirties I borrowed a metaphorical cur from Gilles Deleuze in his unfolding of the monad world of philosopher Gottfried William Leibniz. I worked with that dog for a long time. D's metaphor relates to affect at a fundamental level of bio being, before or rather apart from human language, his question is about force and power over, about human engagement, fear. and pleasure.


I don't know: quivering dogs

What is this? is a question to which 'I' don't know the answer. A koan recognises something deeply mysterious and strange that is at the same time part of the material world.

Writing deaf and blind I have not experienced any of the works: so …

Looking: snips of screenshots attached in emails on the desktop, texts on the hand-held; images that offer a glimpse of a small painting yet to be revealed amongst the tissue of its arrival by air.

Listening to … what I cannot possibly know …. Writing happens anyway or in any case –– even as there is no case to be made –– toward the coming together of these works.

Writer and curator LMWalker is an artist who gathers other artists to do whatever they do. The work of the exhibition —— Internal Forces, Painting —— is the spatial arrangement of objects and materials, of sounds and approach. Working attends to the object and it's relation to other objects gathered and spaced in a manner that considers the affective possibilities of the gathering in this space and this time —- a process that necessarily calls into doubt the singularity of each work whilst simultaneously insisting on the endless variation of human engagement with(in) the world(s) of now…        …works that attest to the various life force of each artist who has made the material come together as a coalition of colour — rhythm — non-thought. The hoped for affect is a staging that brings people and works in relation together ''and given a measure of space from each other at the same time" (Maggie Nelson, The Art of Cruelty, 46).

It's a painting show –– well yes and no. LMW has asked each artist who is also a painter or a poet or an embroiderer or an editor-filmmaker, to contribute whatever in relation to abstraction — as a multiplication rather than a distillation? — and an atmosphere of internal force.

Where does the frame begin, where does framing end? How porous is the skin I'm in? An interior one moment becomes an exterior the next moment, or the moment that passed last millennium. This atemporal fold can quiver or scrunch, twist, snap or writhe. It can expose, hide, secrete, quiver, prickle or reveal.

A singular human plays a relatively narrow part in the order of things. The world is transient, conditional, and contingent. The relation between the being who makes with what is at hand is a mode of resistance, and in this way an ethical insistence on making-doing.

Cultivate not knowing as a liberation from constraint and anaesthetic experience (I'm listening to Stephen Batchelor, 'Instruction: I don't know'), approach through the awareness of body, through the senses: this is embodiment, mindful embodiment. What can outstrip our capacities for representation? don't-know mind.

What this is ?                          s        t        a        y
remain in the aftermath … bewilderment of unknowing


Teri Hoskin       1 May 2017
Internal Forces, Painting Artists: Jorge Carla Bajo, Louise Blyton, Melinda Harper, Anton Hart, Aldo Iacobelli (the little dog is Aldo's), Toshiyuki Iwasaki, Louise Haselton & Christian Lock, Andy Petrusevics. Curator: Linda Marie Walker. May 25 - June 28 2017. Praxis Artspace, Adelaide].

Read curator LM Walker's essay


1 Stephen Batchelor 'Instruction: I dont know'


How could a pain follow a pleasure if a thousand tiny pains or, rather, half-pains were not already dispersed in pleasure, which will then be united in conscious pain? However abruptly I may flog my dog who eats his meal, the animal will have experienced the minute perceptions of my stealthy arrival on tiptoes, my hostile odour, and my lifting of the rod that subtend the conversion of pleasure into pain. How could a feeling of hunger follow one of satisfaction if a thousand tiny, elemental forms of hunger (for salts, for sugar, butter, etc.) were not released at diverse and discernable rhythms? And inversely, if satisfaction follows hunger, it is through the sating of all these particular and imperceptible hungers.

Tiny perceptions are as much the passage from one perception to another as they are components of each perception. They constitute the animal or animated state par excellence: disquiet. These are ‘pricklings,’ or little foldings that are no less present in pleasure than in pain. The pricklings are the representatives of the world in the closed monad. The animal that anxiously looks about, or the soul that watches out, signifies that there exist minute perceptions that are not integrated into the present perception, but also minute perceptions that are not integrated into the preceding one and that nourish the one that comes along (“so it was that!”).


Gilles Deleuze, The Fold: Leibniz and the Baroque. (Le pli.) Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1993. 86-87.