[-empyre-] introducing week 3

Alan Sondheim 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.
J: But?
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.

- ibid.

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.

More information about the empyre mailing list