Tuesday, 17 July 2012
Artists Ralph Dorey and Lyndsay Officer are interested in the examination of material, in ecology outside of an anthropocentric ﬁeld of vision. They are interested interested in an encounter with a human or non-human other which neither creates a spectacle of that other, of the subject or of the encounter. Setting up camp at Braziers Park in the week running up to and throughout the Supernormal Festival they will be conducting research into the site that consists of the surveying and mapping of biodiversity as well as use of the tools of archeology and anthropology. The project recognises the generative power of the observer as another material equal to that which is recorded. This is non-linear research within which observation, interpretation and response exist in a state of continual feedback.
SUPERNORMAL is a three day, experimental arts and music festival at Braziers Park in Oxfordshire. SUPERNORMAL offers a platform for artists, performers and musicians to work collaboratively and creatively, incorporating new methods and mediums into their work for a new kind of audience. SUPERNORMAL presents an innovative weekend of art-focused practice in unfamiliar settings where both impromptu and timetabled events can surprise and delight.
10th - 12th August 2012
Monday, 9 July 2012
There is a colony of water droplets on my skin, half in shadow, half in light clustered along the apex of my forearm which ends in the hand which writes this. An hour previously I rubbed beeswax and calendula into my skin before leaving the house, in the hundred yeards before returning to my door the sky opened up and soaked me. The surface of the rain-water holds tight between wax and the hairs on my arm. Everywhere else is now dry as I write this.
The body is an interface, a zone of many smaller encounters spreading out in all directions. Two months ago I fell down and fractured my left clavicle. I think with my body, my hands know all manner of things to which my brain is unaware of. Unaware of even in rough translation. My arm-organs perform all manner of tasks, perform all manner of research on their own. They long for contact, react to it like a tendril curling around the stimulus and drawing further parts of the union of me into contact. This is true even if such contact is a proximity of flight. The body has ears at all points, on arms, on eyes, on cells, on ideas, on names. Likewise it has mouths, and skin, and olfactory organs. Some large, some small, some simple and some beautifully baroque. When I fell an ear drum within me sought to accept this encounter, to perform it's organ function, to take compression and expansion as vibration and flow and digest this energy and then in the final portion of duration found it self lacking the hand to pass this (now) information onward to, and so instead it had cause to describe what it had experienced in a record of bone. snap. There is no separation between the ear and the sound, the briefest organism is both. A thing both within and without heard something of the praxis of physics, geology, chemistry and biology and played a two second (or eight billion year) composition which concluded with the flourished gesture. snap.Without a further stage to hand off to the action remains incomplete, recorded at the moment of crash. Or rather, collapse at the point of becoming receptive, just this side of the void. A collapse as a mark of receiving, or as close as we can get to receiving anything.
Nicola Masciandaro published a wonderful piece on immanence, sorrow and mysticism a The Whim this morning.
"Opening philosophy’s decisional closing of the Real’s foreclosure to thought, the operative fact of philosophy as the “organon . . . [or] a priori form which, giving us the World, forecloses the mystical experience which intrinsically constitutes humans,”mysticism is the involutionary science of turning the transcendental vector of flight from World to One into the most radical immanence without reduction whatsoever, of truing World to One via unbounded or non-decisional translation of the meaning of Plotinus’s pros from ‘to/toward’ to ‘with’, which it may also signify, as in the beginning of the gospel of John: “kai o logos pros ton theon” (1:1) [and the word was with God]—translatable also as ‘face-to-face’ or ‘at home with’."
The snap of philosophy is something I have brought up many times before and this with of mysticism seems a cousin to what I've talked about regarding belief as the site beyond reason it is the other side of the break. Immanent world as something beyond comprehension or communication, something animal. The feeling of horror is the reaslisation that one is not only face to face with this, not only held within but infected with and utterly permeated by its strands.
In words recalling some of the ideas of Nick Land (Around the era of those essays on Kantian Sadism, of the sublime as a violent punishment.1) Masciandaro goes on to state
"The question is stupid not because it is unanswerable, or leads into a bottomless tautology, but because it brings me face to face with an essential stupidity, with my stupidness, with stupid human being. I am too stupid to answer this question. And to ask it, exactly stupid enough."
This stupidity is very important, existing as a placeholder for something nameless. To be stupid, is to be intuitive, reactive rather than premeditative, to live in the moment rather than the past/future, to not privileged the idea, to not even privilege the brain. To be in the body while the body is already floating in the plane of immanence. To be stupid is to remain outside the royal court of reason, to remain outside that situation which presumes to discuss true material but never can because the precondition of its discussion is Idealism and the scored grooves of power.
The root of Bataille's erotics is not wildness for it's own sake, not hedonism (because that is just stories and entirely based on human contact) but sensation.
You'll notice this post can't decided whether it is dated today, yesterday or tomorrow. I thought I could get it completed in a day but it kept nagging at me. So as usual things left unsaid will just be spilled here on the pavement. For some unspoken parts this is for the best, I wanted to write on the sensation of tattooed line up my arm but really I have saved myself from that failure, it is a feeling beyond expression. The other part would be a record review I have been meaning to write for over a year now. The Body's All The Waters of The Earth turn to Blood is a record I have tried to write on more or less since it was released. I still might, but this isn't the right place for it.
In closing, here is one final failure. This song, and for the most part he video also (the wild boys are alive) has stuck to me like a varnish for the last couple months. I played it on repeat for the first week after my accident and now I can not separate the haunted nausea from the synthesizers. This song makes me feel sick every time I play it, and try as I might I can not even examine that response let along unpick it (a dropped stitch). I know this is not just something I have layered on the surface of the music, attraction and sickness run through the whole project, more so than any other coil record, I think I just brought it right up to the surface. The failure is that, a song, an album, a pair of albums (with Horse Rotovator), a band, a movement, an era that I wanted to write about is now off the table, because I can't approach it with clean hearing. So like the articles mentioned in the previous paragraph, I shall just mark this and abandon it, put it to rest as thing I can keep touching but can't interpret.
Love's Secret Domain from Threshold House on Vimeo.
1: Here also is a fragment from something else I previously wrote elsewhere, in a friendly discussion on Cyclonopedia
"While I have the book out, here is something else from Fanged Noumena that is relevant:
The sublimity evoked by an experience is in direct proportion to the devastation it wrecks upon the imagination. Because the pain resulting from the defeat of the imagination, or the animal part of the mind, is the tension that propels the mind as a whole into the rapture of the sublime experience. Sublime pleasure is the experience of the impossibility of experience, an intuition of that part of the self that exceeds intuition by means of an immolating failure of intuition. The sublime is only touched upon as pathological disaster - Delighted to Death
Which is essentially what we were describing earlier in terms of the lovecraftian horror incomprehendible immensity of the real. However, the previous Land quote, (as well as the rest of that essay) develops the author’s (and Negarestani’s) position against this, which following from Bataille, see reason’s joy at violence toward the imagination as a tyrannical oppression which underpins the horror of modernity. Which leads neatly to Masciandaro, particularly this interview which features some nice stuff on the Sublime. I’m particularly interested in the stuff on rock climbing as relating to Bad and True Infinity (from the trison link). Being quite heavily into bouldering myself, the only way I can effectively climb is to think in terms of the immediate, atemporal moment. To think of the end hold or indeed the notion of grades and routes - which is something I think is not being addressed by Masciandaro- is have a duality of form (language) and matter (the screaming failing body). I'm really uncomfortable about seeing climbing as the romantic conquest of nature by the will. Better to see it as it is, ones skin and skeleton forming a network with the rock, with the upward direction being more or less arbitrary (which is suggested at by his "ultimate bouldering problem" idea, but I think movement is a part which is missing from that model). Not wrestling but training. This for me, resounds with the fluid and infinite immanence of things like “leper creativity”.