Analytica manifesto

Analytica is a research and training association linked to the New Clinic, both founded in 2000 by Dr Scott Von and associates for the production of clinical and theoretical work in integral medicine, psychiatry, psychoanalysis, philosophy, and related fields of the arts and sciences. Analytica is unique in developing a project to produce a clinic and place for medicine and psychiatry to be practiced in conjunction with and as preliminary to pure analysis. We seek to further Freud and Lacan’s project of taking psychoanalysis out of the medical and therapeutic paradigm and into a new form of psychic transformation and social relation. Analytica exists for the production of analysis not for the production of analysts. The question of whether one wants to further one’s professional practice - for example as a doctor, teacher, artist, scientist, or otherwise - with their analytic work is unique to each person. Analytica does not require or provide degrees, licenses, or exams, which are relevant to the university or state of each member. Analytica is concerned with the production of analysis in extension as a form of transmission and transformation of social relations by means of the analytic discourse, and thus it functions as a school, clinic, laboratory, gallery, theatre, and publisher for the production of its members. 

After 30 years of participation in diverse psychoanalytic institutions - as well as other medical, therapeutic, and pedagogical institutions - we initiated our own version of an analytic institute. Analytica began as an informal research and training institute for the future of psychoanalysis. This aim comprises several projects including reconnecting psychoanalysis to its roots in "Analysis" as invented by the Greeks at the turn of Western thought in the passage from the presocratic philosopher-poets through the work of Heraclitus, Socrates, and Plato - steering between the hysterical equivocation of the sophists and the academic rigidity of the academy. This "symptom" or dilemma went underground during the resurgence of the discourse of the master in the Roman Catholic church before being re-opened in the enlightenment through the spread of reason and the augmentation of the discourse of the university into the population producing the divided subject of alienation on a large scale - finally to be diagnosed or named by Freud in the twentieth century as neurosis or the discourse of hysteria. Lacan perceived Freud's discovery and invention to be closing up under the general formation of a rigid body of theory and practice in psychoanalytic institutions rendering it no better than the inertial discourse of medicine or psychology. In the 1960s after being excommunicated from the analytic orthodoxy for a second time, Lacan created a new form of institute, association, or school for the production of analysis. Throughout the seventies Lacan shifted his focus further to experimental mathematics and poetics - the domain of a-signifying semiotics - where meaning is literally formed, created, or constructed - as a model for analytic practice and institutional transmission - even to bring together the school and clinic into one continuum from analysis in intension to analysis in extension. 

Lacan invented or re-affirmed several important ideas of analytic operation. He declared that the analyst authorizes himself by himself in relation to some others, thus restoring the stress on "auto-analysis." He removed entrance requirements, graduation exams. degrees, titles, and other bureaucratic and hierarchical procedures. He placed himself in the continued position of the analysand by free-associating his seminar as a form of writing in situ - even encouraging his listeners in the position of analysts to question him. He created the cartel as a form of collective work group to replace classes. He experimented with a form of research and transmission of analytic experience called the pass to replace case presentations and other graduation methods. In his latest seminars he suggested increasingly that analysis was best performed as a form of writing - using topological diagrams and poetic invention almost exclusively. Despite all of this, before his death he dissolved his school declaring it unfit to carry on without him. We each must reinvent analysis for our selves - not just as a practice as Lacan stated but as an institution as he implied. 


Analytica is made up of a series of interlocking practices all forming the construction of analysis:

1. Intensive Analysis: From Auto- Analysis to Co-Analysis (The One and the Two in Analysis) 

We place into question the artificial separation between self-analysis, personal analysis, therapeutic analysis, didactic analysis, control analysis, and supervision, replacing this with "intensive analysis" or "didactic analysis of the symptom. While there is NO such thing as didactic analysis in the old sense that one may be assigned a teaching analyst at an institue for a purpose different than a "patient," there is ONLY such thing as didactic analysis in the sense that every analysand teaches himself about his symptom by means of teaching an analyst. Analysis is initiated first by the unconscious in its desire, transference, or symptom. Analysis is initiated from the demand or responsibility of he who takes the position of the "analysand." By placing any number of others in the position of "analyst" for any amount of time or frequency, one constructs an analysis with some others. For Freud this auto-analysis was performed through writing with his colleague Fliess. Jung's analysis with Freud and his continued analysis with Gross and Spielrein all pointed toward an idea of co-analysis where he argued there is no absolute separation between analyst and analysand. Ferenczi demonstrated this idea to Freud. We propose to further articulate this point: Analysis is a construction between two within a community of others engaged in the co-creation of the analytic relation and discourse, in which the positions of analysand and analyst can be taken up and exchanged in a fashion to be determined.

2. Cartel: From Work Group to Play Group (Small Groups in Analysis)

The cartel is a collective group which extends the analytic discourse, relation and ethic into a didactic form. Rather than students of a master or expert, the cartel creates a collective of those sharing a similar desire to work on a certain topic, learning by way of construction. Participants take turns presenting or demonstrating to the others their particular contribution to the mutual topic. The group has a certain minimum and maximum number to be determined along with a certain frequency of meeting, period of existence, and outcome production of the group. The cartel as Lacan devised responds to Bion's invention of a "work group" functioning beyond the symptom of the "dependency", "fight", or "messianic" groups, but takes the idea even further into what might be called a "play group" or "analytic group" in which we move beyond the limited economy of production and reason into the general economy of desire. 

3. Demonstration: From Seminar to Pass (Large Groups in Analysis)

A demonstration replaces the lecture, workshop, case presentation, and pass simultaneously. In a demonstration one takes responsibility for one's desire to construct one's symptom as a mutually transmissible form of writing or speech act. Lacan's seminar was an example of this where he continued to occupy the position of the analysand while occupying the position of analyst - for the purpose of trying to invent and transmit something about his symptom of psychoanalysis. In the demonstration one accepts that a theory or practice is never separated from the subjective position of the desire or symptom of its presenter, and yet nevertheless accepts that it is possible to transmit a form of real knowing to a community of others in a rigorous but not rigid form of writing. What Lacan aimed at with the “pass” (which he had declared a failed experiment before his death) is hereby attempted: the "demonstrations" are a series of "passes" in which the analytic community of those placed temporarily in the position of analysts can decide whether this transmission has been successful. Whether these demonstrations include creative, theoretical, or clinical material, they implicitly if not explicitly link the presenter's analysis to his demonstration over time in a writing, speech act, performance, or other production.

4. Assemblage: From Assemblage to Schizoanalysis (Transfinites in Analysis)

The general assembly of the members of the association as a bureaucratic process in which patriarchy and democracy are mixed in some unarticulated form is replaced by "schizoanalysis." Schizoanalysis was a mode of analysis in extension devised by Guattari in working with Lacan's school and the La Border clinic in which analysis is applied to the institutional process itself. In this case the operations of the institute remain rigorous but not rigid as they are continually evolved by the members themselves. The collective phantasies of the institute and its members are put into question while the desire of the group is co-constructed. The continually evolving template or structure of the institute will be written by and for the members in response to which any individual is free to join or leave as they see fit. Anyone is invited to apply to become an “auditor” or “participant” of the group by filling out a simple informational form and having a conversation regarding their desire to participate. At any time after one year a participant may become a member by making a demonstration of contributions to the association.