To Eat, To Speak, To Skirt: Reading the Little Girl's Lips: Sarah Mann-O'Donnell's World



Participants of the Deleuze Studies conference were not prepared for Sarah Mann-O'Donnell's presentation. She climbed onto the desk, crushed red plums, separated them into pits and peels, ate the pulp, and then vomited it onto the table through a pipe. Her actions were interspersed with stuttering and strange little stories. She was creating an enclave that generated sensual sense, affect, bringing to life a particular short-lived cosmology. Naturally, her world entertains tight connections with Deleuzian thought, in particular with Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari's Body without Organs, and Deleuze's remarks on Lewis Carroll's Alice in The Logic of Sense. But the consequence of presenting philosophical ideas in such a way reaches beyond philosophical debate: when ideas are brought to life—given an actual, performative social life—they acquire their own mobility and generate fresh, new spillovers, breaching borders, leading elsewhere. They do not represent, but engender something new in the world, they do, thus coming close to a performance of ritual. Connecting her outer self with her interiority, Sarah can summon brute and creative forces embedded within the body through practice in its own right.