Geo-Linguistic History

January 7, 2009

I think it’s best not to think of words, or works as artifacts, but rather to the think of the bulk of them as three-dimensional pictures, and not two-dimensional pictures with syntactical structure. Perhaps the concepts “in” bulks of words don’t make sense to the rational ear, but taken as a whole they might make non-sense. The latter is what I’m shooting for, ultimately. I want to piece together puzzles without placing them in coherent succession, but rather to let them remain scattered and reflect the aesthetic absurdity of the scattering. Upon completion of pieceing together a categorically limited puzzle, you must move on to another boudary.

In other words, to percieve the whole is leave the fragments displaced.

Robert Smithson, A Heap of Language


The heap here, is transposed onto the graph, at play with it.  Language can be syntactically sifted through, by following its rules, or it can be percieved aesthetically.  It is both two-dimensional and three-dimensional at the same time.  It’s just a matter of how one approaches it.  The language is a geological formation.  Stresses from pressure transform the languages meaning at the bottom of the heap.  One starts reading at the top, and works their way to the bottom, each glance at a word shifts the meaning of the next.  The bottom strata takes on a whole new meaning then.  Just as with history, the linguistic tools of today are used to describe the artifacts underneath the pressure of its own devise.  Language is a geological process – or even better, history is a geological process.  “History is fiction.” as Smithson pointed out.  The entropy described in thermodynamics, causes the bottom rock-layers to go through nucleation and its properties shift.  It’s physical make-up is altered.  Just as with this physical entropy, language is entropic as well.

Geological strata:

An architectural metaphor for the building of history:


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