Automaticity, Looping, and the Possibilities of Perversion
This chapter juxtaposes Nao Bustamante’s and Patty Chang’s video installations, both of which depict weeping as performances of theatrical excess. Here, brown jouissance opens us toward reading with modes of affective unruliness, so that we can understand the non-normativity of brown feminine domesticity and emotionality and locate its productive excesses. Neapolitan (2003), which shows Bustamente crying at the final scene of Fresa y Chocolate, and In Love (2001), which shows Chang passionately kissing her parents while crying, both rely on divergent models of automatic behavior. Bustamente offers a theatrical version of the hysterical Latina, while Chang performs the mechanical coldness and racial melancholy that Asian Americans are imagined to inhabit. By toying with these expectations, both Bustamente and Chang veer into the territory of perversion, enabling us to see both the racialized norms of affective comportment and their possibility for subversion via the technology of the loop, which shows us brown jouissance as the multiplication of the present. In this chapter the charge of automaticity becomes fodder for alternate experiences of reality.
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