[-empyre-] Welcome to Mickey

John Hopkins jhopkins at neoscenes.net
Sun Nov 18 02:53:32 EST 2007

Greets & thanks for this interesting discussion, though I am severely 
frustrated about the parallel subjects that are being covered between 
the iDC list and this one.  I have the feeling of a kind of 
competition going on there...  :-\  (Patrick, I'm not sure about the 
efficacy of cross posting, as perhaps that should be done with both 
lists, with all posts...)

>>what happens when all memory is external?  will this mean that we 
>>will be living in the perfect Zen dream of be-here-now?  or that we 
>>would be constantly repeating our mistakes?
>I think this is a crucial question.  But isn't it also possible to 
>ask if memory is ever external?

when we step out of the event (in the process of making a re-creation 
of the event) -- this interrupts the memory formation process (and 
prior, the sensory reception process).  we remember making the 
photograph, not participating in the event, so the event memory 
becomes interspersed with memories of photographing the event.  What 
we are living is arguably not the event but another process entirely 
(with the event 'playing' in the background).

>>Each time the Self makes a document there is at least a partial 
>>stepping-out of lived experience into the abstracted world of the 
>>document.  It is in this abstracted world where we are most in 
>>danger of losing connection to primary experience and ultimately 
>>our embeddedness in the continuum which is all.
>It's not the abstraction itself so much as our response to it that 
>poses this danger.  To me the key word here is 'partial'; I would 
>phrase it "only ever partial".  There are different ways to enter a 
>relationship with a document, but we never leave lived experience 

yes, there is the sliding scale of sensory blockages and open-ness to 
receive the energy of the situation...

consider the following narrative that I wrote yesterday:

"These words are being written in a book, on a paper page with a 
fine-lined red pen.  I will later transcribe them into an email to 
post to this list.  I am documenting the event of sitting in a cafe 
that is next to the bakery in a generic modern supermarket in a small 
town in the Eifel region of western Germany.  My attention and my 
eyes are focused on the end of the red pen and where it is in 
relation to the grid of Light grey lines on the paper.  I look up 
occasionally and  watch when someone walks by.  At the next table two 
middle-aged women and an older man converse in a heavily accented 
German dialect.  Supermarket workers are moving palettes of food 
noisily around.  On occasion, I am aware of being watched curiously 
while I focus on the paper and pen.  I am here, I am not here.  My 
attention is split -- smells of the food in the bakery, cleaning 
supplies, consumer goods mingle and reach my nose.  The fluorescent 
Light annoys my eyes.  The cold draft from the door chills my left 
foot.  But during the last three sentences I've watched only the tip 
of the red pen as it jerks unsteadily across the lines.  A group of 
young army recruits stand in line  buying plastic cups.  I don't talk 
to anyone.  I watch the tip of the pen move across the page.  My body 
absorbs smells, sensations, moises from the location but almost 
without making an impression on my body.  I am here, I am not here..."

>>How can we think or experience the movement between abstraction and 
>>specificity in ways that permit the preservation of memory, as a 
>>necessary "survival" and navigational tool, without endorsing an 
>>imbalanced and violently limiting economy of representation?
>>Of course documentation can be a re-presentative act in itself.  
>>one which places the observer at that place at that time which is 
>>different than subsequent after-the-fact re-play...
>Would you please say more about this?

that the individual's intent in an event is to be nothing more than a 
means to create documents about the event.  The television 
camera-person on location -- journalistic canon says that the camera 
person should only record, never participate...  Although I believe 
that this is impossible -- that the observer's eye affects the event. 
There is this historic myth that the observer can be completely 
removed from the situation.  And, so, documentation has become an 
integral part of most art events -- despite the fact (quantum-wise) 
that the presence of cameras, tape recorders, etc, change the 
creative act itself...

and from another point-of-view, the act of observing is all that is 
necessary to affect the event -- one does not need a technological 
recording device -- it is 'merely' the act of human observation (a 
human body receiving electromagnetic radiation!) that changes the 
event.  Technological devices are simply a layer of mediation on this 
fundamental relationship.

hmmm, okay, on to some other posts...


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