When I began my PhD study and collaboration with Adam, I realized that drawing concepts was helpful in order think through the philosophical ideas as a practice. It is a way of thinking with movement the way Adam once wrote “thinking is a feeling through a body that is always moving.” Following Deleuze & Guattari, this artistic/intraethnographic collaboration works between the molar/molecular: “The world as multiplicity, as constituted by movements of differences in intensity” (O’Sullivan, 31). Relation and its assembled meshworks are in perpetual motion. Language, as in writing for academia, as an example, asks me to suspend the movement. It is within a creative artistic process that we have developed an intraethnography as the intrasubjective collaboration that questions the production of subjectivity as coming from one voice. We also question identity-thinking that belongs to the articulation of the humanist subject.

A PhD requires new concepts to be created which is difficult in the process of writing traditionally, so I gravitated towards this artistic practice with Adam to understand rhythm, movement, relation, duration as important concepts in the discussion of “difference” and collaboration. Difference as duration, from Henri Bergson, are also affective events, and what happens around them are the excess that the “coherent” academic paper alone delimits. Adam and I both resist writing that is instrumental in nature (this instrumentality when it comes to autism is to be methodologically prescriptive in terms of remediation and cure). We also refer to our artistic practice as our life; it is has arisen from the way we move and survive in the world, outside of educational systems that have excluded us both as mother and son. These journals are daily reflections of collective readings and discussions with Adam and other readings we engage together.

Adam and I, often with members of The A Collective, bring readings or “situations” derived from others as an “enabling constraint” to begin. We might, for example, think around the concept of repetition and how that is taken up in various fields. In the behavioural psychology fields (also adopted by other clinical/therapeutic regimes), for example, repetition and obsessive interests are pathologized. Repetition is too simply characterized as behavioural (maladaptive) rather than as pleasurable, necessary, adaptive, generative. In the development of a skill, repetition is a practice for the development of technique. Repetition is also mastery. Repetition brings something into existence. Repetition spaces space (as in proprioception). It lands and moves again. Repetition stabilizes, sort of, because in repetition there are always new movements and affects coming forth, in the field of relation. We think deeply about repetition in terms of how it is positioned as mastery and human, and then move it toward autistic repetition outside the pathology paradigm.


O’Sullivan, Simon. Art Encounters Deleuze and Guattari: Thought Beyond Representation. Palgrave Macmillan, 2006.