The happening of catachresis intrigues me, the other day on ABC, I saw some news about a university in Japan that holds robotic graduations for precaution of coronavirus. The appearance of the student with robotic bodies is indeed very bizarre, and through the lens of western media, it is as if Japan is this futuristic almost unrealistic country from the east. It is like a painting of the east from someone's fantasy. The painting is so persuasive that the fact it almost looks like Deleuze's Body without organs, or organs without body is interesting. It reminded me the term of Catachresis from Derrida and Spivak, the way mis-conception is formed.
In Spivaks "can the subaltern speak", she explains where Catachresis occur, when "women" or "working class" is grouped into one, and represented by the "master of words".
In Bell Hooks words(Marginality as a Site of Resistance, 1990)
'There is no need to hear your voice, when I can talk about you better than you can speak about yourself. '
For someone that struggle to find belongings and find difficulties in putting labels on myself, I always am forced in to the position of defining myself. When someone asks what you are, you have to start to think what you fit into their categories. The question itself is inviting catachresis. Which makes me think, can I really speak for myself?
Language is a important factor in the birth of catachresis, The gaps between incomplete languages and cultural understanding invites mistakes,
For example, ancient myth will start to change slightly over different countries, where a tale of the rooster from East Asia will become the tale of the spider in some other countries . The name Koala comes from a mis-interpretation too in that sense. When I put in an old Chinese saying for google translate, it panicked and jumped back and forth between mis-conception.
Being a translator is being selfless and transformative in this sense, where the translator has to lean back and forth between ideologies. It is a position that you have to allow others into you. But the translator themselves never speak, only to dance around their own interpretation of other.
Sometimes is the number of obstacles before you can speak that matters. There is a paradoxical situation where you have to learn how to complain before you can complain, to point out you are being perpetrated you have to learn to perpetrate. Just as I am writing now.
Ironically, to understand post-colonialism for me very much depends on my English skills. Therefore I started to record myself reading texts from Spivak, Hooks and Said. As I find it to be a way to speak for myself yet not speaking for myself.
Catachresis is neither negative nor positive for me, where mistakes and miracles are two sides of one coin, Just as Dadaist use them to break boundaries, and like the stutter of Makiko Yamamoto, it is those deviations that hints possibilities.