The 2 Dimensional Complex: A Framework

Preface to a Dream

So inextricable was my puberty with my exposure to the anime Neon Genesis Evangelion, that to this day, the little “fwwp” sound effect that plays when the characters plugsuits contract gives me some sort of weird slothropian erection as a result. It’s possible for me to say with relative certainty that I spent more total time trying to picture Rei Ayanami’s titties while masturbating furiously in the shower than I did in conversation with any of my peers. If I recall shelf of anime vhs tapes at the local video adventure I am filled with the sort of wistful nostalgia that most people probably experience when they remember their first kiss. --Antonin Artaud

Like many 2dcons*, I am unable to trace the trajectory of my own sexual awakening within the symbolic language furnished by the 3d world. For those who live and love in the 3d world, the language of sex is decidedly floral. Puberty is described as a blooming, budding or blossoming. Our genitals and reproductive processes are given botanical euphemisms. Adolescence is a springtime. In abrahamic terms, humanity is figuratively and literally conceived in a garden.

For the 2dcon, the symbolic tone of this language produces two distinct presumptions which are problematic. The first is that it frames sexuality as a reproductive process. The effect of the horticultural language of sexuality is that sexuality itself becomes inextricable from sex. This then creates the implication that the 2dcon (who cannot seek sex or reproduction) is an asexual person. Which is of course not true. The second and potentially more dangerous implication generated by the semiotic timbre of our sexual vocabulary is this: that it places human sexuality within the world of the natural. Sex is, as a result, segregated from the synthetic in the metatext of our cultural literature. For a 2dcon, sex exists ONLY in the synthetic. This then places the 2dcon in opposition to the conventions of his or her culture in a way that is not only marginalizing but belligerent.

It becomes impossible for the 2dcon to be anything but a degenerate or pervert due to the “unnaturalness” of their synthetic sexuality. This emphasizes why and how 2d sexuality is distinct from the sexuality of the 3d world. For a 3dcon, sexuality originates from within. It has no outside source or extraneous antecedent. It is within them always--regardless of their exposure to exterior forces. Its form may be affected by these forces but it exists independent from them. If those forces had not been present their sexuality would still exist.

For a 2dcon, sexuality is only ever exterior and cannot exist separate, prior, or deprived of the synthetic outside quantities. For the 2dcon sexuality isn't present intrinsically. Sexuality is present in an external form and taken up by the 2dcon. 2d sexuality is totemic. The totemic items are the media, physical or otherwise. Most activity within 2d culture has a purpose and form similar to the totemic increase rituals of tribal societies. In attempting to render the contours of 2d sexuality (alternatively: synthetic, exterior or rhizomatic sexuality) in a way that is understandable to outsiders, I have found the extant rhetorics inadequate.

One can describe 3d sexuality as dendritic due to its interior and intrinsic nature. It originates only at an interior point and develops in a branching manner and no point within this system can be reconciled outside this original point. The nature of this sexual system is highly amenable to the historical colloquy through which we engage sexuality. But, when we attempt to address 2dcons with these same tools we find very little traction. For this reason, it becomes apparent that the discussion and modelling of 2dcon phenomena must occur within an anti-epistomological, schizoanalytical and quantum mechanical critical space.

* 2dcon is a japanese term for individuals with a 2d complex, meaning those who have an attraction to anime characters to the exclusion of all else - ed

Coming Next: Chapter One - Features of the Exterior and Interior: The Dendritic Hierarchy vs. The Synthetic Totem Ritual and the Complementarity

Discussion of The 2 Dimensional Complex: A Framework on tHE r H i z z o n E:

Fascinating, I can't wait to hear more of your story. It is at least now apparent to me that "2D," in this case, does not mean "flat," like a sheet of paper, as I had always pictured; rather, the "2DCon" is 2-dimensional in the way a surface can be wrapped around a sphere. Or, rather, the way a surface can be wrapped around a striated sphere - that is the sickly 3dCon - and consuming it as a neutrophil might consume a bacteria.
joey you have actually alluded to 2 separate contents that will be present in subsequent chapters. the first is your neutrophil analogy. At some point i intend to digress substantially from the traditional deleuzean rhizome and will attempt to transition to what i call the hidekian rhizome which than requires a new real world analog at which time i will be dispensing with the botanics finally and will be using certain monocellular phenomenon to model this new "rhizome"

secondly the idea of consumption and the 2d conquering in a way the myopic and therefore vulnerable hierchies of the 3d world. probably the penultimate chapter will be on the ascendency of the 2d, the collapse of the 3d and the advent of the anime instrumentality
well written, i liked it! i would only ask - what is your stance on rebuild?
Brilliant as always, NCF. But why can't 3D experiences be described as similarly totemic? Aren't 3D sexual experiences ultimately based around some other person or image of another person which one finds sexually stimulating? Can't simple sexual desire arise within a 2Dcon even without an active stimulus? (Based on memories, perhaps)

Tsargon posted:
well written, i liked it! i would only ask - what is your stance on rebuild?

i dont even need both hands to count the positive features of rebuild. they are as follows:

  • test plug suit.
  • the one shot where asuka is rolling around in bed and the camera is right up in her groin and you can see the outline of her fat pussy flex under her shimapan.
  • when asuka runs out of the bathroom naked. obviously.
  • asuka in short short and bra and apron cooking lunch for shinji.
  • promise of eyepatch asuka in rebuild: the quickening.

id say anno is pretty divorced from the evangelion property both creatively and personally at this point. he wrote his love letter to the post bubble generation with the original series. it was a work of profound and sincere love and optimism. but the audience to whom he addressed that love letter rejected the fundamental proposal of that letter: that self loathing segregating effects of the hierarchy could be overcome or bypassed by collective love(horizontal movement and rendezvous?? the conversion of an arborescent system to something more like the structure of deleuze's rhizome--what i will call the optimistic rhizome).

so in having the collective love of the original series rejected by audiences, anno created the more pessimistic(Realistic?) End of Evangelion. while the original series proposed a hopeful model for deliverance and characterized its audience(who were also its subject) as disfigured but ultimately redeemable, EOE depicts them exactly how they self-presented to anno: not the benign milksops of the original series but rather belligerent reactionary cowards. their avatar(shinji) rejects, as they did, what was perhaps the greatest gift anyone has ever given them: unconditional and collective love. here is where anno starts to depart from a strictly deleuzean interpretation of the rhizome, AND where i feel he becomes most interesting. anno starts to envision the pessimistic rhizome. a hidekian rhizome or "droplet" rhizome. i cant speak right now to the features of such a rhizome because i intend to save that content for a later chapter but i will say that one of its most important aspects is how it develops and extends D&G's ideas about the purpose and form of structure in a heterarchical system.

anyways. by this point anno has detached sufficiently from the evangelion property that rebuild shoudl not be considered to have the quality of a direct letter that the series or EOE had nor should it be taken into account when considering evangelion as a critical metatext. we can find greater purchase with a critique of its surface aesthetics and the success of its form. we can say that the tone is severely handicapped by its clumsy rushed pacing. we can say that the sense of inertia which was so important to the original series is all but absent due to the hurried rhythms of the movies. we can say that the starkness of the original visuals and stillness of their diegetic space is no longer present. even the action scenes are lesser in the new movies. without the long intervals of motionless, anxious inactivity, the angel battles loose much of their tension, the sense of dread is gone. basically we can say that merely as pieces of art, the rebuild movies are less than substantial.

lungfish posted:
Brilliant as always, NCF. But why can't 3D experiences be described as similarly totemic? Aren't 3D sexual experiences ultimately based around some other person or image of another person which one finds sexually stimulating? Can't simple sexual desire arise within a 2Dcon even without an active stimulus? (Based on memories, perhaps)

i think the mistake your making is that you are conflating the presence of sexuality with the presence of a stimulating force. the external force stimulates an existing sexuality in 3d. whatever exterior force interacts with interior sexuality, it does so as a submissive "audience". whereas the 2d sexuality is contained entirely within those exterior totems. so that: in taking up a totemic sexuality, the sexuality belongs to the totem and is merely shared by the 2dcon for a certain period of time. this is why 2dcon is a form of collective or "node" sexuality.

ah, im glad you think that way! ive found when discussing eva that the difference between those who do and dont "get it" is their stance on eoe, that is, whether or they appreciate is as a masterpiece, a work of genuine creativity.

im not sure if i agree that it is more "realistic", but i do feel that both of the endings (series and eoe) are different sides of the same coin, that is, positive and negative. the real beauty of eoe is its spectacle of the grotesque - the complete dis-figuring and annihilation of every evangelion character in a tremendous explosion of violence and perversion. as tho, keeping in line with the theme of shinji's psychosis being the fulcrum of the world, on which all of existence hangs and pivots, shinji's intense misanthropy broke through to reality and eviscerated everyone and everything!

rebuild is another re-imagining, then - in the same way as eoe was a re-imagining of the series ending, rebuild is simply using the material of the evangelion franchise to build something else. something fun, i agree, but something hollow, lacking totally the great artistry of eoe.

im afraid i am totally ignorant of rhizomes and etc., but i still feel as tho i have understood!

wheres the rest
december at the earliest. i have things to do

stacey posted:
december at the earliest. i have things to do

that's kool. teh wait will be worth it...

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