June 5, 2010

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June 5, 2010

Anyone who tries to shoot down a cloud with arrows will soon exhaust his quiver. Here is what one should do: charm the cloud with the tune of a violin played on a drum or with the tune of a drum played on a violin. Then before long the cloud will come down and take its ease on earth until full of happiness it turns to stone.

June 4, 2010

An exquisite pleasure had invaded my senses, something isolated, detached, with no suggestion of its origin. And at once the vicissitudes of life had become indifferent to me, its disasters innocuous, its brevity illusory – this new sensation having had on me the effect which love has of filling me with a precious essence; or rather this essence was not in me it was me. I had ceased now to feel mediocre, contingent, mortal. Whence could it have come to me, this all-powerful joy. Whence did it come? What did it mean? How could I seize and apprehend it?

I put down the cup and examine my own mind. It alone can discover the truth. But how: What an abyss of uncertainty, whenever the mind feels overtaken by itself; when it, the seeker, is at the same time the dark region through which it must go seeking and where all its equipment will avail it nothing. Seek? More than that: create. It is face to face with something which does not yet exist, to which it alone can give reality and substance, which it alone can bring into the light of day.

And I begin to ask myself what it could have been, this unremembered state which brought with it no logical proof, but the indisputable evidence, of its felicity, its reality, and in whose presence other states of consciousness melted and vanished. I decide to attempt to make it reappear. I ask my mind to make one further effort, to bring back once more the fleeting sensation, and I feel something start within me, something that leaves its resting-place and attempts to rise, something that has been embedded like an anchor at a great depth; I do not know yet what it is, but I can feel it mounting slowly; I can measure the resistance, I can hear the echo of great spaces traversed…

June 3, 2010

 

June 2, 2010

Those substances where the eggs, germs and maggots swarm not only make our heats sink, but also turn our stomachs. Death does not come down to the bitter annihilation of being-it is also that shipwreck in the nauseous. I will rejoin abject nature and the purulence of anonymous, infinite life, which stretches forth like the night, which is death.

June 1, 2010

Beings only die to be born.

Plants rise in the direction of the sun and then collapse in the direction of the ground.

Trees bristle the ground with a vast quantity of flowered shafts raised up to the sun.

The trees that forcefully soar end up burned by lightning, chopped down, or uprooted. Returned to the ground, they come back up in another form. The base is the summit.

Communication cannot proceed from one intact individual to another. It requires individuals whose separate existences in themselves are risked. The moral summit is the moment of risk-taking; a being suspended in the beyond of oneself, at the limit of nothingness.

May 29, 2010

The most sophisticated definition of “magic” that now circulates through the American counterculture is “the ability or power to alter one’s consciousness at will”…The traditional magician cultivates an ability to shift out of his or her common state of consciousness precisely in order to make contact with the other organic forms of sensitivity and awareness with which human existence is entwined. Only by temporarily shedding the accepted perceptual logic of his culture can the sorcerer hope to enter into relation with other species on their own terms; only by altering the common organization of his senses will he be able to enter into a rapport  with the multiple non-human sensibilities that animate the local landscape. It is this, we might say, that defines a shaman; the ability to readily slip out of the perceptual boundaries that demarcate his or her particular culture-boundaries reinforced by social customs, taboos, and most importantly, the common speech or language- in order to make contact with, and learn from, the other powers in the land. His magic is precisely this heightened receptivity to the meaningful solicitations-songs, cries, gestures-of the larger, more-than -human field.

May 28, 2010

The bathroom. A sanctuary for delinquency,  a citizenship of absenteeism. A place for loitering, for those who have no business. An alter for the reckless sacrifice of time, a dark alleyway where purpose is burned in effigy with desultory aplomb. A place of waste and excess.

A place where waste and excess were contrived to be hidden and made discreet, where the gross permeable subject is desperately constructed as discreet object,  and where the body is discreetly sent to be scoured, emptied and sealed with a fervent efficiency, and with discretion.

The glorious failure of this.

The sunbeam shines into every mildewed crack, warms each arctic tile and sends up the stink of bodies in its heat. It illuminates the room like a cathedral.

May 27, 2010

May 26, 2010

May 25, 2010

May 24, 2010

May 23, 2010

May 21, 2010

Although I wander the old building like a ghost, I feel more solid in its empty caverns and passageways than in the classroom, now. My presence in dark closets and secret hallways is undeniable in poorly-stifled echoes of upset silence.  My trying-to-be-quiet feet shuffle up flocks of dust and cause clamors, stumbling over sills, and stacks, and stores of equipment- modular configurations of chairs like vertebrae, and nests and coils of cable and crate. An atrophic geometry of usefulness un-used. I leave gleaming strands of hair in the splinters of dark doorways.

(and if i die today, I’ll be the happy phantom. I’ll go chasing the nuns out in the yard.  And the atrocities of school I can forgive. The happy phantom has no right to bitch.)

May 20, 2010

I’m not supposed to be here- entering the auditorium at dawn. It’s dark but for the slow seeping haemorrhage of light from behind heavy curtains.  I can wander softly on the stage-not performing: an audience only for the sun as it bleeds into the stone.

Two weeks left of school. Only transgressions against productivity, territories and time will allow me to escape before I can escape

May 19, 2010

 

May 18, 2010

May 12, 2010

May 11, 2010

When I try to photograph the sunbeam now, I can’t find anything new. Its movements throughout the day and the ways its temperament changes with the weather are all known to me. I can’t find a new angle. Its every curve and gesture are lovely and familiar.

I’ve anthropomorphized the micro-climate in the hallway into an imaginary friend.

In loving things, and trying to know them, you can bind them into categories and characteristics. In order that the erotic must be preserved, an unbinding must be perpetually deployed as an antidote to love and knowing’s inevitable constraints.

I’ll go looking for it in its larger contexts As strangers then, once again we can meet.

 

May 7, 2010

May 5, 2010

May 3, 2010

May 1, 2010

Shard, cleave. Breach, fill. Funnel, fuel. March, mask, martyr bleed-

break, bind. Shatter, sheep. Fight, flee, scatter, stay.

Disperse, arouse, distort, destroy.

Enter, block. Trap, release. Grasp, release. Know, release. Desire, release. Hold, release.

Breathe, release. Breathe, release. Breathe, release. Breathe, release.

April 30, 2010

April 29, 2010

Maybe I should stop.

Work is real. The sunbeam just lays there like a sunbeam. Since I have been interned here it has abandoned the liminal margins of the hallway for the comfort of my company like a docile house cat. I’ve domesticated it.

April 28, 2010

My pushpin stung fingertips handle abused documents of disability, their clumsy immature efforts, smudges. They ask the same question over and over again, ” What else can I do?” They want me to say they nothing, that they are done, that all is completed and they are free. Instead I say words like articulate and value and blend and texture and steady hand. I am trying to tell them that this is their freedom, this chance to concentrate, to grow, to change, to enjoy doing something hard. I want to tell them if they can’t figure out how to do this, they won’t do anything well. They need to learn how to look, and respond with precision. They must develop perspective, pinpoint its co-ordinates and locate its blind spots. Then they must express this position with all available force, through every breath, gesture, and decision. Or they will speak prime time lineup, draw whole-grain, fortified cereals, walk in premium denim beats and dream backstage complexion essentials. They already do, eyes like screens, voices dialed to dead hysteria.

Im breathing in charcoal dust and turpenoid, sitting in an ergonomic office chair, sweating slightly. I’m going through my lists. I’m hanging stuff up, I’m taking stuff down. I’m slicing long sheets of colored paper, and decorating them with the colorless slime of glue sticks. I’m not looking at the clock because I’ve got this down, and I know what’s next. And next and next and next. I’m giving glances and checking in, sighing and encouraging. I’m showing just a little too much skin. I’m daydreaming a bit. I’m discouraged about the mess, I’m shuffling things around. I’m just the right temperature; there’s just enough light. I’m looking around thinking, what else can I do?

April 26, 2010

April 24, 2010

 

April 23, 2010

The sunbeam sits patiently in the paint buckets this week, when I can’t even find time to go look for it in the hallway.

April 22, 2010

April 21, 2010

April 20, 2010

April 19, 2010

…But even during really magical moments the inert mass of objects can suddenly become magnetic. The passivity of a lover suddenly unravels the bonds which were being woven, the dialogue is interrupted even before it really began. Love’s dialectic freezes. Two statues are left laying side by side. Two objects.

 

April 15, 2010

polished plastic arcs of shutter

bandaged tight against the light

pillowy piles of gauze, canvas

threaded

knit

asssembled

strung up

into modular nests

that rest like dozing eyelids

in the dim light

they make a twilight

out of noon

(blinds).

April 14, 2010

April 13, 2010

April 8, 2010

Everyday the sovereignty of the moment is more foreign to the language in which we express ourselves, which draws value back to utility: what is sacred, not being an object, escapes our apprehension. There is not even, in this world, a way of thinking that escapes servitude, an available language such that in speaking it we do not fall back into the immutable rut as soon as we are out of it.

Going to the end means at least this:that the limit, which is knowledge as a goal, be crossed.

April 7, 2010

Going to the end means at least this: that the limit, which is knowledge as a goal, be crossed.

-Bataille

April 6, 2010


 

April 5, 2010

 

April 2, 2010

March 31, 2010

If I were asked to name the chief benefit of the house, I should say: the house shelters day-dreaming, the house protects the dreamer, the house allows one to dream in peace…


The studio, housing co-ops, permaculture , and the worker-run collective:

So many fantasies dwell in belonging, and taking-part in the taking-place. Place-ness feels like interaction and communion, an inter-subjectivity of interdependent subjects. Place is the sphere of inter-penetration that endangers distinction itself, bringing about an erotic tension.

Place (as the site of belonging) is nowhere: it cannot be located anywhere in particular.  It can only be located everywhere, in the inter-connectivity and absolute permeability of everything. The only place for this everything is everywhere.

Place doesn’t lie in a set of fixed and unique conditions. Place lies outside of those boundaries; it is nowhere and everywhere at once.

… by changing space, by leaving the space of one’s usual sensibilities, one enters into communication with a space that is psychically innovating.


March 30, 2010

March 29, 2010

I’m agitated today, and I want to agitate you.

I’m going to open this window and let in the rain and the wind.

Every time you close it, I’m going to open it again.

I want to hear the wind’s velocity barreling through the hallways, sucking doors closed with ghostly, sudden slams.

The rain is going to sizzle off the radiator and pool in puddles on the floor, and the girls are going to track it all through the building.

They are probably going to slip and slide and laugh more than usual,

and you are going to have to struggle against that only honest knot in your chest in order to shush them.

I’m going to keep opening this window just to make you keep closing it.

 

March 26, 2010

March 24, 2010

the artist, imagining the place where his work will come to grief… the predictable cubic space, uniformly lit, neutralized to the extreme...By producing for a stereotype, one ends up of course fabricating a stereotype…

(The sunbeam isn’t portable-)

…In the studio we generally find work in progress, abandoned work, sketches- a collection of visible evidence viewed simultaneously that allows an understanding of process…

(The sunbeam is taking place.)

…the museum goes to great lengths to conceal the banality of the work…

(The sunbeam is a place.)

…the art of yesterday and today is not only marked by the studio as an essential, often unique, place of production; it proceeds from it. All my work proceeds from its extinction.

 

March 23, 2010

Of all the frames, envelopes, and limits-usually not perceived and certainly never questioned-which enclose and constitute the work of art (picture, frame, niche, pedestal, palace, church, gallery, museum, art history, economics, power etc.), there is one rarely even mentioned today that remains of primary importance: the artist’s studio…

…it is in the studio that [the artwork] is closest to its own reality, a reality from which it will continue to distance itself. It may become what even its creator had not anticipated, serving instead, as is usually the case, the greater profit of financial interests and the dominant ideology. Its is therefore only in the studio that the work may be said to belong.

The work thus falls victim to a mortal paradox from which it cannot escape, since its purpose implies a progressive removal from its own reality, from its origin. If the work of art remains in the studio, however, it is the artist that risks death…from starvation…

…The work is made for a specific place…Thus when the work is in place, it does not take place (for the public), while it takes place (for the public) only when not in place, that is, in the museum…

…Thus the unspeakable compromise of the portable work…

The exile of the studio is a sanctuary; the transparency of production there maintains the relationships between things, an inter-subjectivity of things; an artist speaking of herself through tools, tools speaking of themselves through media, media speaking of itself through the artist. None can speak of itself alone: all need each other to speak, and can only speak of each other.

The starving artist mortifies her flesh in defense of this community.

Her fasting is ecstatic: it brings her close to death, close to understanding how she is made of the things she makes- from flesh to flesh.

March 22, 2010

March 19, 2010

March 16, 2010

All around us spreads a petrified world, a world of things where we play the part of ourselves, with our ego, our gestures and perhaps even our emotions, like things. Nothing can belong to us by right in such a landscape of death. We are more and more like the exile…

…In this empire of ruins under perpetual renovation, there is nowhere where we may be able to find refuge; and we no longer even have the option of escaping into ourselves.

…the Bloom is the man who has so completely combined himself with his alienation that it would be absurd to want to separate one from the other…

…Empty angels, creatures without creator, mediums without a message, we walk among the abysses. Our path, which could just as easily have ended yesterday or years ago, does not have its reason in itself; It is a wandering that carries us to and fro across the footpaths of the Identical: wherever we went, wherever we go, we carry inside ourselves the desert of which we are the hermit.

To inhabit the desert;

to shelter in a garret of desicated, sun-bleached detritus, or a cave-

a hollow within the Hollow,

and persist there.

To learn the terrain of the desert-

like where the arroyo delineates thirst,

and how the frozen eruptions of red rock expose illegible strata of shattered histories,

and where canyon-walls entomb the petrified remains of even pre-historic life.

To suffer the poverty of the desert,

as an ascetic who seeks the severe sustenance of veracity,

even if it means to starve on an ecstatic absence.

To savor the poverty of the desert

as a hermit who thrives by scavenging dead flesh;

digestion detourning.

 

March 12, 2010

After the age of churches, political refugees sought asylum in other countries under the premise of the primacy of Human Rights over the laws of individual states. The protection of Human Rights is the justification of the modern state.

The ideal of humanity must then be attacked; there can be nothing left to justify the state. There must be something less than Human, if even that has been re-purposed as a political identity.

Beneath what is Human, what is even more general, is the Flesh. The Flesh is a sanctuary; it works in constant de-legitimation of all category as it shifts, in a physical sense, from one shape to another, through time and death. And it gives license in this way, in a metaphysical sense, only to a constant destruction and recreation of meaning and value. Sanctuary in exile.

 

March 11, 2010

What are the parameters of identity? What lies beyond the boundaries of a self-hood constructed by Capitalism?

The hinterland lies outside the colony, yet still within its sphere of influence.

To no longer be anything but a specimen of an animal species called Man, this is what will happen to those who have lost all distinct political quality and who became human beings and nothing else… The loss of the rights of Man takes place at the moment where one person becomes a human being in general – without profession, without citizenship, without opinion, without acts by which she identifies herself and is distinguished by –representing nothing but her own and absolutely unique individuality.

In Roman law, Homo Sacer is the ‘sacred man,’ and ‘the accursed man.’ He has been exiled from official existence, and returned to bare life. He is denied citizenship or any other position within society. He is unrecognized and unprotected by law.

The paradox of homo sacer, that he is defined by the very law that excludes him, also describes the internal cleavage of the capitalist subject.

Exiled from identity, sanctuary lies in the hinterlands of the Flesh.

 

March 10, 2010


The earthly terrain in which we find ourselves…is shot through with suggestive scrawls and traces, from the sinuous calligraphy of rivers winding across the land, inscribing arroyos and canyons into the parched earth of the desert, to the black slash burned by lightening into the trunk of an old elm. The swooping flight of birds is a kind of cursive script written on the wind; it is this script that was studied by the ancient “augers,” who could read therein the course of the future. Leaf-miner insects make strange hieroglyphic tabloids of the leaves they consume. Wolves urinate on specific stumps and stones to mark off territory. And today you read these printed words as tribal hunters once read the tracks of deer, moose, and bear printed in the soil of the forest floor…We read these traces with organs honed over millennia by our tribal ancestors, moving instinctively from one track to the next, picking up the trail afresh whenever it leaves off, hunting the meaning, which would be the meeting with the Other…

(This is not an aesthetic project, though the sunbeam is a mark.)

…By “the Flesh” Merleau-Ponty means to indicate an elemental power that has had no name in the entire history of western philosophy. The Flesh is the mysterious tissue or matrix that underlies and gives rise to both the perceiver and the perceived as interdependent aspects of its own spontaneous activity. It is the reciprocal presence of the sentient in the sensible and of the sensible in the sentient, a mystery of which we have always, at least tacitly, been aware, since we have never been able to affirm one of the phenomena, the perceivable world or the perceiving self, without implicitly affirming the existence of the other.

(This is a relational project.)

 

March 9, 2010

March 6, 2010

The role is a consumption of power. It locates one in the representational hierarchy, and hence in the spectacle: at the top, at the bottom, in the middle but never outside the hierarchy. The role is thus the means of access to the mechanism of culture: a form of initiation.

Who can gauge the striking-power of an impassioned daydream, of pleasure taken in love, of a nascent desire, of a rush of sympathy? Everyone seeks spontaneously to extend such brief moments of real life; everyone wants basically to make something whole out of their everyday life. But conditioning succeeds in making most of us pursue these moments in exactly the wrong way with the result that we lose what we most want at the very moment we attain it.

Which leaves the hopeless cases: those who reject all roles and those who develop a theory and practice of this refusal.

(What does it mean that you closed the shade?)

 

March 5, 2010

Yesterday, I closed the shade to see if anyone would notice. Did anyone else miss the sunbeam? If they did, they left no sign; the shade was still closed this morning.

This time, Ill leave a sharper mark: a yanked cord, a loss of composure suspended in perfect equilibrium. An instant, leveraged. A call for response. An imposition into this sonombulent miasma. If all we are are strangers, even to ourselves, let me meet you within anonymity. If all we are is shattered, leave a trail of fragments for me to follow.

I am calling you: come back, come back, come back, come back.

March 4, 2010

March 4, 2010

I read about the Student Movement’s occupations from my desk at work.

We evolve in a space that is entirely controlled, entirely occupied, by the Spectacle on one hand and by Biopower on the other. And what is so terrible about this control, about this occupation, is that it is not something we might rebel against in a definitive gesture of rupture, but with which we can only compose strategically.

The regime of power under which we live does not at all resemble the mechanisms of restriction, of purely repressive coercion, that could have circulated under the administrative monarchies. And yet, these mechanisms are the only enemy recognized by revolutionary movements.

The contemporary form of domination is, on the contrary, essentially productive.

The Spectacle is the power that wants you to talk, that wants you to be someone.

Biopower is the benevolent power, full of the solicitude of a shepard for his flock, the power that wants the salute of its subjects, the power that wants you to live.

 Held in the vice, most of us adopt a sort of hopeless nature: to feign internal death, and like the Captive before the Grand Inquisitor, keep silent. In subtracting themselves from all positivity, these specters steal from a productive power that very thing upon which it could be exerted: themselves. Their desire not to live is all that gives them strength to oppose a power that claims to make them live.

The Bloom therefore signifies this: that we do not belong to ourselves, that this world is not our world. This alienness would be pleasant if it could implicate an exteriority between it and us. But it does nothing of the sort. Our alienness to the world is such that the alien is in us. Each is most estranged from himself.

 (The delinquent who knows herself to be a delinquent is no longer a delinquent, she is a Bloom who plays at being a delinquent)

Whose streets? Not mine; they are the enclosure of momentum. Whose universities? Not mine; they are the employment of curiosity. Would we occupy a prison?

Whose struggle? What struggle? All action under Capitalism is theater; it is the enaction of an allotment of rebellion. Everyone knows their lines.

Roles reify external alienation, and reproduce internal disassociation.

Today, and every today, I feel empty. Emptiness is the only self-realization.

Heroicism is absurd; to act as if you were already free is to buy another lie of Capitalism. Don’t pretend to represent those who will sweep the streets after you’re gone.

To celebrate is grotesque.

 


March 3, 2010

When did you start making pears?

What is a pear?

(She runs her fingers over one

hanging branch.)

Mmm. Yes. Its began

before I could be seen,

when the great body rang,

striking, for the first time. the earth.

Over the long day, it lay in the sun,

and the birds came, and the flesh

fell away until all that was left

was the seed. Maybe it was

when the moon swelled

the seed, maybe

when the first true

leaf quickened.

Did you always know you would make pears?

I wouldn’t know how not to.

What is your process?

I let the leaves

come to the branch

and when the bee is at the

blossom, I listen.

Is dormancy difficult?

Dormancy?

A period when nothing happens.

(The tree pauses.)

I’ve never had one.

What about drought?

I spread my root hairs and wait.

Do you ever doubt?

When the bud breaks the green wood.

Do you ever think of making apples?

What is an apple?

Could you describe the kind of pears you make?

(A ripe pear drops into her upturned hands.)

 

(the delinquent who knows herself to be a delinquent is no longer a delinquent, she is a Bloom who plays at being a delinquent. )

March 2, 2010

Every day I have to go looking for it.

It’s in a different place; it’s nestled in a folicle or scattered within the detritus of noise. Sometimes it’s behind me.

It looks different; it’s turgid or it’s dim; it’s solid like brick, and rotten like lace.

It does not accumulate. It does not progress.

But it returns every day. It’s the return of every day.

It’s time returning without arriving. It’s Messianic.

It dis-obligates me from conclusion. It disorganizes my production.

It interrupts my trajectory, and belies my momentum. Every day, I start from scratch.

February 26, 2010

February 25, 2010

 

February 23, 2010

beyond the lame distinctions (habit-formed)

negation is not a qualitative assessment
but a reality-
the absence of our ordinary selves

 

February 19, 2010

As I walk towards the sunbeam, it retreats.

As I retreat, it follows.

If I lean towards one wall, it glances up the other.

There is no sunbeam.  Each fractional shift alters it completely.

There is no sunbeam. It is a set of relations.

I am a part of the set, and so there isn’t any me.

The sunbeam has an erotic character.

It escapes itself and penetrates me.

The erotic is a theatrical disassociation of identity through role-playing. The erotic is play. The erotic is permeability, erosion, and the loss of all but ambiguity. The erotic is losing your self.

The sunbeam and I have a negative relation. We annihilate each other. We find commonality where we resist identity.

 

February 19, 2010

Every day I have to go looking for it.

It’s in a different place; it’s nestled in a folicle or scattered within the detritus of noise. Sometimes it’s behind me.

It looks different; it’s turgid or it’s dim; it’s solid like brick, and rotten like lace.

It does not accumulate. It does not progress.

But it returns every day. It’s the return of every day.

It’s time returning without arriving. It’s Messianic.

It dis-obligates me from conclusion. It disorganizes my production.

It interrupts my trajectory, and belies my momentum. Every day, I start from scratch.

February 16, 2010

It wasn’t by secret arrangement, when I met it in on the road.

Like me, it was just there.

I recognized it right away.

February 12, 2010

There is no struggle.

History proves that no so-called revolutionary group has ever really
been revolutionary, but only the managers of possibly revolutionary
situations, which usually lead back to hierarchy and Capitalism.

Which means that anything we freely choose in this reality under capitalism to resist it will be recuperated.

We cannot think past the unknown of what the effects of growing up under capitalism has done to us.

What does sticking by our intuition, our gut, mean anymore?

But

Is it possible to find commonality in our negativity, not in what we want, but in what we reject?

Real rejection is just that: done away with, not thought about, walking away from, leaving. Realizing life through the impossibility of living it the way we want.

Hence the resignation

What remains of who we thought we were? How do we see each other?

What seems like a paradox: the idea that our subjectivities are totally produced by Capitalist socialization, but that this condition seems to be premised on the existence of an ‘original’, more ‘free’ consciousness. And if the socialization is total, from what vantage do we critique it? Not to imply that that vantage is not occupied as well, but just to ask the question, what is it?

Let’s take a step back. We keep hitting a wall. It is the limit of our consciousness as we know it.

Pay attention to yourself if you have any focused attention left.

What are the words that wait for release, the words that eat you away inside because there is no context for them being meaningful in a society where meaning is of our creation?

Can we sketch out this impossibility: the ability of consciousness created by capitalism to speak of its own future annihilation?

This is the small window we have, the crack that could open more once already opened.

Can we find each other here?

 

February 11, 2010

What is this detour in which I get lost when I try to find myself? What is this screen that separates me from myself under the pretence of protecting me? And how can I ever find myself again in this crumbling fragmentation of which I am composed? I move forward with a terrible doubt of ever getting to grips with myself. It is as though my path is already marked out in front of me, my thoughts and feelings following the contours of a mental landscape which they imagine they are creating, but which in fact is moulding them. An absurd force — all the more absurd for being part of the rationality of the world, and seeming incontestable — keeps me jumping in an effort to reach a solid ground which my feet have never left. And by this useless leap towards myself I succeed only in losing my grip on the present; most of the time I live out of step with what I am, marking time with dead time.

Vaneigem, The Revolution of Everyday Life

Today, the sunbeam was faint. I searched the corridor for it, finding only frail gestures of light with edges so diffuse I could hardly discern the sunbeam as an entity distinct from the daylight’s banality. Instead, my search led me to focus on the hallway itself. I established no romantic awareness of the commonplace, feeling instead like I was examining the walls of my own cell. Without the sunbeam to shroud its corners and illuminate its planes, the hallway was laid bare. It’s oppressive functionality as a facilitator of passage seemed obvious even in its only ornament, the radiator plumbing.  It’s value seemed quantifiable rather than constituted by qualities of ephemeral and ambivalent significance. It seemed to no longer be a place in its own right.

February 10, 2010

When I photograph the sunbeam, I’m looking to capture a fissure between the category of ‘sunbeam’ and the sensory experience of it. I want to find the moment where my mind is no longer limited to floor, wall, window and light, and where it becomes aware of water, soot, ultramarine, broken glass, and things I don’t have words for. I want to sense an infinite field of reference.

Buddhist texts assert that the self is a delusion of the ego. The Situationists told us that the self is an invention of Capitalism.  Identities, and their imperatives, weigh heavily. I want to watch them pass over me like clouds.

February 9, 2010

The sunbeam requires the angle of my approach. Depending on the hour of the day, and the degree of light, this angle is a particular alignment between myself, the window, and the reflective plane of the worn tile floor. Within this ephemeral orientation, the sunbeam strikes. It strikes from my vision all but itself.

It blinds me; it un-binds my vision, and un-binds me from vision.  As I pass through the instant of blindness on my path down the hallway, I am momentarily bound to the other senses of navigation. The space around me-I feel it in the heat radiating off the walls, hear it in the echo of the soft padding of my feet, and smell it in the confined movement of the dust disturbed.

I am disoriented; I am reoriented.