For some reason, I recently went though a period of seeing faces and forms everywhere: clothing piled on a lintel post became s golfer in plus fours, a pile of stuff on the floor took on landscape dimensions. Everything around me seemed to be congealing into recognizable forms of one sort or another. Cloud watching gone wild. Of course pattern recognition is something that humans do very well, even to the extent of imposing patterns when one is not there. We don’t like to live in a wilderness I guess. And Hermann Rorschach thought that it could serve subject analysis well, this finding of patterns in apparently randomness, as a psychoanalytic tool for diving into the wilderness of the unconscious and giving clues to the formations of consciousness.
And now, ever since the intense scientific focus on Mars, both from Martian orbit and from ground crawlers, the Rorschachian phenomena of pareidolia, or seeing shapes, some with formidable presence, emerging from the Martian landscape. Of course this began much earlier in more primitive viewing conditions with Lowell’s canals of mars and then later the face on Mars, and now with animals, figures, pieces of technology, architecture and more being seen. Obviously the phenomena is very scale-able, with increased viewing power merely increasing the extent and fine grainedness of the phenomena. From my living room to the stars.
And then there are other instrumental set ups that try to penetrate the enigmas of consciousness, like the Turing test and even the lowly quiji board, all of which are basically one step, technologically, above the pointer stick, the foundational tool of all analysis of whatever kind, (I’m thinking now of the scene in The Blob where a guy pokes the blob with a stick and the stuff, goes rapidly up the stick eventually killing him by completely engulfing him. Perhaps this is a good model for the inescapable workings of tech in its most primal state….and all the problematics which develop from that in regard to inside/outside, subject/object and so on: what constitutes a stick, where does it begin and end and then methodological procedures re: how is it to be grasped, where, under what conditions and then metaphysical questions to the effect of, is the brain simply a big sophisticated stick or is it somehow more than a stick…but then back to where does the stick end, if it does, and where does it begin, if it does. In other words questions which begin to seem theological.
Which brings us to the concept of sticklessness or acheiropoietos