Losing Your Mind

January 21, 2009

Lose your symbolic mind in its own representation:

“[” “]“
[ ]
] [
[ [
] ]
[ [ [
] ] ]
[ ] [
[ [ ]
] ] [
[ [ [ [
] ] ] ]
[ [ [ ]
] ] ] [
[ ] ] ]
] [ [ [
[ ] [ ]
] [ ] [
[ [ [ [ [
] ] ] ] ]
[ [ [ [ ]
] ] ] ] [

… etc.

If you read this as a logical sequence, you will read the point. If you see it as a pile of abstract symbols, you will not see the point. The abstractness of the jagged angles, piled on top of one another, some lines or layers being more powerful than others in the unresolved disparities causes you to lose your interpretive mind in an embrace of the abstract power of the representation of it.  At least, that’s my hope.


I’m interested in abstract representations right now. I set up some limits using some figures (“[” “]”), and created a logical sequence that could “reach into infinity” (although I messed a few things up).

I find it interesting because it is an abstract representation of the symbolic (or interpretive) mind, for myself at least. It can be read as a logical sequence with a number of points (like “it could potentially be infinite” etc…) or it can be looked at as a bunch of shapes that don’t trigger the interpretive (symbolic) mind into conjuring up any points… but rather, you (or I do) lose my mind, because in it’s an abstract power play of multi-directional inferences (e.g. “[” might be like an “—->”), that point to nothing other than the abstract mind. It is a way of losing ones mind and entering the body of experience, I guess you could say.


Smithsons dialectic of Site / Non Site

Site                                                                       Nonsite

  1. open limits                                          closed limits
  2. A series of points                              An array of matter  
  3. Outer Coordinates                           Inner Coordinates
  4. Subtraction                                        Addition
  5. Indeterminate Certainty              Determinate uncertainty
  6. Scattered Information                   Contained information
  7. Reflection                                           Mirror
  8. Edge                                                      Center
  9. Some Place (physical)                   No place (abstract)
  10. Many                                                    One


I think, to understand this Smithson, there needs to be a clear distinction made between metaphysical aesthetics, and dialctical aesthetics.

The metaphysical inquiry into aesthetics we might call “ontological aesthetics”, strips away the logically extrapolated optics, and the vitreous body from aesthetic experience. What Smithson is trying to do, I think, is not to ontologize with logic in his earthworks (see The Spiral Jetty), but to perceive in an indiscriminate relationship between the landscape and the somewhat enantiomorphed eye and ear. The indoor earthworks, or nonsites of Smithson, are three-dimensional logical sculptures extended to their poles, like the Enantiomorphic chambers.

This site / nonsite, or earthwork / indoor earthwork dialectic of Smithson’s is a relationship between aesthetics (site / earthwork) and it’s logical extrapolation (nonsite / indoor earthwork). So his aesthetics are different from formal metaphysical aesthetics of beauty and the sublime, in that it is a dialectical relationship between the logicallyextrapolated optics of the enantiomorphic chambers of the eyes (or stereoscopic vision) and the illogicalseizure of the vitreous body in the landscape where earthworks are made. So, in the site / nonsite dialectic there is no metaphysical doctrines that can link the two. Sometimes the dialectic is diametrically opposed, where other times it seems they can connect in some fashion. For instance, the nonsite enantiomorphic chambers are logically extrapolated optics within the contained category of optics. In the site, the logical, categorical containment of this optics is undermined by the alogos, because it is a fusionof all of the senses that obliterate the logically contained extrapolation of the nonsite.

It doesn’t really have anything to do with beauty at all. It is not a metaphysical doctrine, but an (incompletely) incompatable dialectical relationshipbetween extrapolated contained logical categories, and the combined senses of the “eyes and ears”, where logical containment falls “into a mental bog.”

Optical Actualities

January 16, 2009

Enantiomorphic Purple light – a suggestion


 Trisoctahedron crystal symmetry


The three-dimensionality of the Necker cube is an actual three dimensional space, when considering the stereoscopic optics of the eyes. The necker cube and other three dimensional “optical illusions”, are actually three-dimensional. The enantiomorphic (or stereoscopic) vision, is an unresolved tension between disparate dissimilars (like words or lines) that only become three dimensional, when the literary mind is suspended from the stereoscopic vision of the eyes. We can see this, because the abstract lines of the necker cube refer to nothing. They are uncontaminated by “concepts”. It might be said, that they enter the eyes without entering the mind. It only becomes more apparantly three-dimensional, when the content (or the literary mind) no longer has any power over the abstract…

Smithson actually describes his enantiomorphic vision as stereoscopic vision here:

Smithson’s Steoscopic Vision:

“The dual Globes that constitute our eyes are the generators of our sense of the third dimension. Each eyeball contains a retina that functions like a photographic plate inside a spheroid camera. Rays of light penetrate the transparent cornea, the pupil, the crystalline lense and the vitreous body until they reach the end…[The eyes] percieve through a mental artiface of directions without determined distances, which in turn gives the illusion of infinite spaces… The binocular focus of our eyes converges on a single object and gives us the illusion of oneness, so that we tend to forget the actual stereoscopic vision of our eyes or what I will call ‘enantiomorphic vision’ – that is seeing double… In [Enantiomorphic Chambers – a work of Smithsons], the vanishing point is split or the center of convergence is excluded, and the two chambers face each other at oblique angles, which in turn causes a set of three reflections in each of the two obliquely placed mirrors. A symmetrical division into two equal parts is what makes it enantiomorphic; this division also exists in certain crystalline structures” – Smithson, “Pointless Vanishing Points (1967)” (my “enhancements”)

The thing that I find interesting is that the illusion of oneness, is a “binocular convergence on an object”. It is a type of binocular focus, an adjustment of the “vitreous body” to make literal sense out of an actual stereoscopic vision. It is the literal sense of vanishing points, upon convergence of the eyes, that allows us to see the objects as whole, when (for Smithson at least) the objects were “pointless”, arrayed in symetrical reflections in the enantiomorphic chambers of the eyes. In this nonsite, or indoor earthwork by Smithson, the subtraction of the literalness of vision – the act of binocular communion on an object is taken out. What is left, is actual stereoscopic vision. This was, in part, the significance of the crystalline for Smithson.

The coheseive focussed literalness is an interference of the analytical mind, to use my vocabulary, whereas the actual mirrored geometries of enantiomorphic vision are not coheseive. The literal points – the illusory morphology of the landscape – become pointless. This is an enantiomorphic vision, where the mirrored oblique reflections form perfect symetries, where the literal points of reference shatter into an array of matter, with no reference points. Without the literal (analytical) mind, the vanishing points, the communion of objects disintegrates. The object is no longer a whole, but an array of perfectly symetrical refractive and reflective light, like in certain crystal structures. The enantiomorphic vision is “foundational” to Smithson’s aesthetics. It is a way of seeing without the literal mind interfereing. (see above post # 382 on literalness) This is stereoscopic vision – the actual. For every point in the illusory infinite space (an infinite number of literal points), the points, when viewed enantiomorphically (or stereoscopically) disintegrate every point into two. It is an unfeasable image. But the literal mind is feasable as the “fused image” in stereoscopic vision, as James P. C. Southall diagrams in his, Introduction to Phisiological Optics (1961):


Smithson’s superimposed notes are in red. (I had to reproduce this in photoshop, because the internet didn’t supply the image for me.)

The “illusionistic space” is the fused image, if you consider this diagram. The fused image is the picture plane, or the stereoscopic vision combined. This is an illusion. The note “solid time” is where the images are enantiomorphed into seperate “pictures”. Although, Smithson’s stereoscopic vision differs from this one, in that the literal mind, when suspended from vision, does not result in pictures, but oblique angular refractive, symetrical reflections of light that double the already infinite vanishing points. The fused image of the photographic eye, and the literal mind, make the seen world appear cohesevely as a whole of infinite points, where the enantiomorphic vision allows the world to appear as an infinite number of “double points” making the world no longer appear cohesive at all, but rather ambiguous, and scattered.

So literacy, is an illusory impediment of the mind onto the senses. But, when one looks at things without reading them, without a categorical containment of the mind, it becomes a three-dimensional power struggle because of the disparate dissimilars in the enantiomorphically seen world. So, two dimensions is the illusion, considering that it is a product of the interference of the literary mind with the eyes. And three dimensions is the actual, considering it is percieved when the literal mind is lifted.

Robert Smithson, Enantiomorphic Chambers

The minds of some, in the “mania for literacy” (Smithson) is a frozen picture of memory, where anything that causes an animation, or even a tug into another spatial dimension is something to be weary of. It is intellectual agoraphobia at “play” here with the open spaces of the enantiomorphic (or “non-morphed, unchanged, letting be abstract”) chamber of displaced reflections. These frozen two-dimensional pictures are “filled”, or pasted with fictional anthropomorphic two-dimensional facts-of-language. Literacy is bounded by rules, and one abides by those rules. The syntactical “sifting through”, or reading of language is a “structure” that is “erected” not by the poly-dimensional scale of the eye and ear, but the uni-directional scale “beneath” the “dead letters”, or “meaningless sound-waves”. Language, if read through the technology of logical two-dimensional pictures only works at a uni-directional causal scale. This is the level of literacy that has caused the actual (or the “foreground”) to move beyond the horizon of the enantiomorphic seizures of this “eye and ear middle scale” into an unseen dip over the infinitely approaching, never obtainable horizon. These frozen two-dimensional pictures of the mind are a result of the fictionally internalized God-of-reason. The uni-directional causality of the scales above and below sense perceptions are the lattices of where technology was erected into three-dimensions. The micro and macro scales of physics are multi-dimensional, unidirectional short films, where the film reel, screen, and projector are not accounted for. In other words, the pictures of other scales are neglecting the poly-directional paradoxical “causation”of experience.

This neglect of the enantiomorphic three-dimensionally displaced reflections has caused the scale of literacy to become “actuality”. It has resulted in the round earth to become a potentially infinite flat earth. The ground we walk on as literate language-followers is a fictional two-dimensional “surface” far removed from the actual (or the “real”, or “foreground”). The actual is beyond the horizon of thought, in the three-dimensional enantiopmorphic reflections of the scale of the sensationally scattered experience.


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:

The Crystal Mono-Myth

January 6, 2009

Rule Binding Otherness, or Rationalizing the Absurd



Ice is the medium most alien to organic life, a considerable accumulation of it completely disrupts the normal course of processes in the biosphere.” – P.A. Shumki, Principles of Structural Glaciology

A crystal grows along the lattices lines, rotating on a nucleaic axis. As the axis rotates, polygonal symmetries are formed, through neucleation (a thermodynamic process).

In this sense, a crystal is like language. The crystal might be said to be the language of the biosphere. It’s a thermodynamic process, called nucleation where an ice crystal either grows or melts. This is from the sun. The sun is the mono-mythical determinant of the fate of the crystal. Likewise, God(s) (like the Freudian Triad, or mythical figures) are the determinants of the fates of language. Language, as with crystals, are a rule-bound expansion or retraction. Crystals are an expression of “… the normal course of processes in the biosphere.” Or, they adhere to the shifts of one God (the Sun) in geological time. The development of language adheres to many gods across many platforms, influences, revisions, interpretations etc. With the Scientific revolution, our language is becoming revised or “rotated” in a rapid manner. Take this etymology as an example, not a line of reasoning:

Mirrorc.1225, from O.Fr. mireor “a reflecting glass,” earlier miradoir (11c.), from mirer “look at,” from V.L. *mirare, from L. mirari “to wonder at, admire”.

The latin “root” “contains” a psychological meaning. It is the from the Latin Gods, or the “roman” gods.

The Cultus deorum romanum, or “the cult of the Roman Gods”:

The indigetes were the original gods of the Roman state […] and their names and nature are indicated by the titles of the earliest priests and by the fixed festivals of the calendar; 30 such gods were honored with special festivals. The novensides were later divinities whose cults were introduced to the city in the historical period, usually at a known date and in response to a specific crisis or felt need. Early Roman divinities included, in addition to the di indigetes, a host of so-called specialist gods whose names were invoked in the carrying out of various activities, such as harvesting. Fragments of old ritual accompanying such acts as plowing or sowing reveal that at every stage of the operation a separate deity was invoked, the name of each deity being regularly derived from the verb for the operation. Such divinities may be grouped under the general term of attendant, or auxiliary, gods, who were invoked along with the greater deities.” – Wikipedia

The latin Gods were revised from older geographical myth-making. At every stage of agriculture, a different Deity was invoked. The psyche was devoted to accounting for several aspects of agriculture. The explanations of the agricultural aspects were attributed to Gods. This, in many ways, is very similar to the way our science “rules” language functions. Science (meaning ammendment-rationality) is now our “God”, only this is no God at all. It is revisable to a potentially infinite “end”. The axis of the Crystal-language is rotating at an ever more rapid pace. It is expanding along lattice lines from the evolution of God into Science. The language-Crystal is enormous.