[-empyre-] introducing week 3
sondheim at panix.com
Mon Nov 24 09:58:55 EST 2014
J: But you do not think of the farewell as a loss and denial, do you?
I: In no way.
I: As the coming of what has been.
J: But what is past, goes, has gone - how can it come?
I: The passing of the past is something else than what has been.
J: How are we to think that?
I: As the gathering of what endures ...
J: ... which, as you said recently, endures as what grants endurance ...
I: ... and stays the Same as the message ...
J: ... which needs us as messengers.
- Heidegger, end of "A Dialogue on Language," On the Way to Language
the memorial work is a work of memorialization, a production, projecting
time into the future, there is that past which forms a kernel (I'm
reminded of the kernel in category theory); suppose the event, were there
such (there can be memorials to fantasy as well), were a corrosion, or a
constant dissolution - suppose that art is invaded by time - then what of
the symbolic act, which is an act or sheaf of actions or directives, what
of its efficacy, and is every symbolic act, in performance theory, a
performance? - and are the actants messengers, and of what? - apologies
for going on at length, I think of the inert brutality of genocidal
performance (and for better or worse, I think in fact of performance in
this regard also), and then again, what is to be done? - and the plaza is
an excellent example of a response - and the plaza itself can be quickly
undone, bombed, reimagined as the site of massacre - all those "tribal"
(not my word, the media's) villages wiped out - the village markets,
squares, plazas, as well, nothing - so we must act not according to our
measures, perhaps? - is little said here about political response -
voting, neighborhood activism, arming - but everyone in the Ferguson / St
Louis area is arming already - the gun stores are sold out we hear -
I: The danger of our dialogues was hidden in language itself, not in
_what_ we discussed, nor in the _way in which_ we tried to do so.
On Sun, 23 Nov 2014, Alan Sondheim wrote:
> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> One thing I wonder, how so much cultural work occurs _after the fact,_
> after the massacre, the use of the square, the beheading, the genocide;
> a temporality of mourning and warning seems embedded in so much
> production. It's hard to imagine art against a future massacre, without
> the looming presence of the past.
> I'm not sure of this at all, but I think that time might be a form of
> diacritical mark implicit in a performance related to the events we are
> discussing here, others as well, that the work looks back, perhaps inhabits
> the horror or curtails its effects.
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