Dai Xiyun: From a Butterfly for Nobody to a Captured World


Arnhem, June 2016


How do contemporary art and writing practices deal with the relationship between the world and the ʻIʼ? The question is far-reaching but a fundamental one, captured and plagued by alienation, distance, and depressive affects. This thesis tries to find an exit in practice and theory to make sense of and work beyond depressionʼs “trap”, through two steps. Firstly, by working from individualized suffering towards a dialectical, that is, psychoanalytic concept of the ʻIʼ (through Lacan and Klein); and then in the second next step beyond this, towards a dialethical concept of the ʻIʼ, drawing on Deleuze and Guattari and schizoanalytic comprehensions of neuronal storytelling. Through this theoretical argument, I create a rendition of a distanced ʻIʼ, an over-consciousness zombie subjectivity, plagued by the hyper-velocity of socioeconomic developments over four short stories. The narrative of these interconnected short stories becomes the landscape through which I weave theory, imagination, experience and recollection together, for readers and myself to pass into. The fiction is in this way a practice of internal-external life that is producing itself and reproducing a dialethic aesthetic relation between the ʻIʼ and the world.