I would prefer not to
I'd like to focus my blog post for this week on the film Time Out and its relation to the idea of disjuncture of Arjun Appadurai, the idea of cruel optimism of Lauren Berlant and the Deleuze’s formula of ‘I would prefer not to’.
1. Following the idea of Appadurai of the imagination as a social practice. Vincent seems unable to formulate for him a new imaginaire (as a constructed landascape of collective or personal aspirations) he feels the disjuncture in the imaginaire of his life his work but he is not able to image another one. Even the idea to work for the UN (whether or not is true) is a pale attempt of trying to do something that matters. As his father pointed out is UN really helping "undeveloped" countries?
2. I also see the idea of cruel optimism as a lack of fantasy. Is not just that something that you desire is actually an obstacle to your flourishing is that you can not properly imagine anything else that can really make you flourish.
3. The moment in the film when Vincent talks about his old work with Jean Michel, saying that the thing that he enjoyed most of his old work it was driving, and at one point while he was driving he just decided to keep driving. That decision to keep driving, without turning to reach the place of his appointment is a sort of passive resistance , as the one of Bartleby’s in the Melville’s book Bartleby, the Scrivener. Is what Deleuze called the ‘formula’ I would prefer not to, a formula that is neither affirmative nor negative.
Lastly I would like to link the idea of disjuncture and cruel optimism with Gregory Crewdson’s Hover series. Is a series of black and white photograph that portrait a suburban world strangely out of balance.