SEDUCTION // j e a n b a u d r i l l a r d
THE ORIGINAL SENSE OF "PRODUCTION" IS NOT IN FACT THAT OF MATERIAL MANUFACTURE; rather it means to render visible, to cause to appear and be made to appear: pro-ducere. Sex is produced as one produces a document, or as an actor is said to appear (se produire) on stage. To produce is to force what belongs to another order (that of secrecy and seduction) to materialise. SEDUCTION is that which is everywhere and always opposed to PRODUCTION; seduction withdraws something from the visible order and so runs counter to production, whose project is to set everything up in clear view, whether it be an object, a number, or a concept. Let everything be produced, be read, become real, visible, and marked with the sign of effectiveness; let everything be translated into force relations, into conceptual systems or into calculable energy; let everything be said, gathered, indexed and registered: this is how sex appears in pornography, but this is more generally the project of our whole culture, whose natural condition is "obscenity". Ours is a culture of "monstration" and demonstration, of "productive" monstruosity (the "confession" so well analysed by Foucault is one of its forms). We never find any seduction there -- nor in pornography with its immediate production of sexual acts in a frenzied activation of pleasure... not a shadow of production can be detected in the universe of production, ruled by the transparency principle... objects, machines, sexual acts, or gross national product.