“… To live an event as an image is not to see animage of this event, nor is it to attribute to theevent the gratuitous character of the imaginary.The event really takes place – and yet does it‘really’ take place? The occurrence commands us,as we would command the image. That is, itreleases us, from it and from ourselves.”
“It’s entirely conceivable that life’s splendor surrounds us all, and always in its complete fullness, accessible but veiled beneath the surface, invisible, far away. But there it lies–not hostile, not reluctant, not deaf. If we call it by the right word, by the right name, then it comes. This is the essence of magic, which doesn’t create but calls.”
F. Kafka, a Zurau aphorism
“Not only has the border been punctured porous by the global market and international corporations, together with desperate emigration from the south, but the border as cultural artifact has been diffused to cosmic proportions. It’s phantasmatic reality looms daily larger than ever.
“What if the voice of the friend which comes from beyond me and is the voice of the law which comes within me as Heidegger says, cannot be heard without a certain noise? What if a law that would be without noise[….] would no longer be a law?”
“[….] a determination to maintain the possibilities of a private realm of a world not always already owned and controlled by the demands of the public sphere or capitalist politics.”
“The theorem of image: all reality gives rise to its own limitlessness in the attempt to exclude its opposite–it is the refusal of fantasies that makes them a reality.”
“If place is cognate with a destiny then landscape draws one into an estranging experience of a place without DESTINY.”
Laurent de Sutter
To all those who enter Maurice Clifford World, the question of the experience of experience (the estrangement of the ‘real world’ , the uncanny landscape which de Sutter and Jean-luc Nancy depict) creates immediate problems of belief, whether and to what end now-ing and knowing can be determinative in constituting a stable, yet irascible, modernist (that is, based–all too solid word here since nothing is ‘base line’– on simultaneity and nihilism) reality? Like Ray Miland in the fifties movie, The Man with X-Ray Vision, the extreme transparency that develops out of addiction to transparency gives rise to a mystic and apocalyptic vision in which even the demiurge of Law cannot stand before those forces. In fact all the now-discredited versions of reality which have been met with and battle done, said gigantic, monstrous forces being chthonic, or deep landscape, in nature, spring forth again from being tossed to the ground. Law itself becomes labile and hybrid, noisy and unstable. Experience, now ‘experience’, becomes impoverished and comes under corporate ownership, mediated though a wire. Modernism’s ‘nothing is here’ flips over into ‘Something Is Coming’. Every resistance folds back on itself, all becomes portal, gateway, threshold.
MCW in his lived thought patterns, dives headfirst into the most esoteric and counter-intuitive regimes, following the flow of an experimental optic–which amounts in practice and off the canvas: ‘experience’ which we are reminded is no longer acceptable in any sort of scientific framework (other than perhaps some versions of Newtonianism in his last papers dealing with biblical and kabbalistic concerns and no doubt toward messianic concerns which Newton’s ‘scientific work was to support).
But, he thinks, as so many have thought both the ignorant and the genius, if you cannot trust what you can see, feel, have sensate impressions of (none of which is germane to the modern scientific enterprise). The answer is that in fact you can trust nothing. He can only have, but barely, trust that he can bring paint to surface, object nailed to assemblage, video turned on; but outside that, through the opening of whatever ‘art’ may be, is the wild frontier, it’s all he can do to paint the scrims onto which this ‘dark matter’ (so out of sync with the reality engine which science proper affixes to everything) is in contact, a darkness which is boils up in a boulabaise of liquid mind, solid energy, and diaphanous matter. Who is the Authority here? What god or gods–lately dead–can sign the guarantee which would refute, confute the resulting uncanny mixture, the stuff oozing out of all the cracks and gadget miscegenation, hybrid mixtures of life and death, the coming machine? From the MCW point of view there is none, nothing but Foucaltian power generators of the episteme which, once put into micro-places, i.e. the subjectivity nearest you, that is, starting from yourself, then once one sees past the initial guard posts, everything gets melted away and like Wiley Coyote, one realizes that he has overshot the abyss but is still running above it and come the awareness comes the fall. (There may be something to be said for the sheer ‘coming’ whether in the messianic sense or in the sense of pleasurable jouissance, or both simultaneously—although the personal sense of pleasure, lends itself to a subjective ‘melting into’ there is also a cultural, religious, even epistemological sense of the group pleasure at the thought of the scuttling of ‘officialdom’ and all the sure and overweaning knowledge that they bring forward, the feeling that everything must ‘come to a head’ — if not to the other end.) And after all: what is it to ‘have’ (as opposed to be ‘had by’) an experience…and for that matter, what is it to have, or be had by, a self? Like belief, perhaps which comes down to what one is willing be believe in strongly enough (or that one can BE believed in) in order to reach a certain–or uncertain–state of grace, floating through the debris. And perhaps here is where proof and belief part ways while being held together by shear nothingness:
“The space between worlds, variables, and constants, the gap upon which all truth depends, is like a fulcrum which allows two opposing weights and forces to cooperate, with the aid of nothing more than the touch of a finger, in overcoming gravity. The truths of correspondence are a little like this: ponderous weights (Energy, Mass; I think, I am) are lifted and lowered only because they find their center in absence. As Lao Tzu reminds us, the cartwright’s art is most focused not on the rim, the spokes, the hub, or the axle, but on the space he must leave between the hub, or the axle: it is there that the wheel turns and the cart moves.
What this means is that the essential, the irreducible, or the fundamental point in the world, in discourse, and in machines is very like something which is not there: an opening, a space, a gap which joins. If the wheel and axle were to fall into the background, one could see this space where the movement is a ring of light.”
The Persistence of Memory, Philip Kuberski