“The limits of my language are the limits of my world.” – Wittgenstein

Actuality has little to do with making sense and more to do with accepting nonsense.  Making sense is an activity that operates with 4-dimensional syntax and grammar (usage).  Logic (syntax and grammar) is a sequential (time) contextual (space) analysis – it is the rules “behind” making sense.  The limits of these rules – their boundaries – confine a sign and separate it from its context of signs, charging the symbol with meaning through its usage.  Logic gives form in an otherwise “undifferentiated mass of organic sensation”.  Without the form of a sign, it would have no meaningful content, but would rather be a powerless shape in a context of sameness.  There is a logical limit on the expressive power of languages.  What is beyond these limits is nonsense.  That is not to say that it is insignificant, but rather inexpressible.  The nonsense is something logic cannot limit.  It is either an infinity or a paradox that dissolves logic and all hopes of making sense.  The causal (sequential) way of interpreting the world is an active way of interpreting the world.  The passage of time is continuous, flowing and progressive.  Growth and decay are continuous, fluid movements.  This way of thinking of time, as Smithson pointed out, is a practical, active way of thinking about time, but has little to do with the impractical actuality of time – the present.  The present is unobtainable by any logical means.  This does not necessarily entail that it is unlimited, infinite and void.  (which Smithson might ascribe to the present)  But if time were a place where events happened, the active (logical) event would cease to happen as soon as it happened.  The present – the actual – is a space without limits… it is a space apart from logical (limited) expressive meaningful space.  It is an incomprehensible infinity of possibilities where there is no correct or incorrect.  It is a meaningless context of sameness… unobtainable.  The present is inactive.  There is no movement in an instant of time.  It is a pause between the future and the past.

The future criss-crosses the past in an unobtainable present.”  – Smithson “Quasi-infinities of a Waning Space”  Logic cannot obtain the present.  Feeling cannot seize the present.

The inactive present avoids logic and experience because it has no limits.  What we experience is the future criss-crossing the past.  This is an active, expressive time with limits that change.  It can be mapped.  Progression and evolutionary notions of time turn into logical (epistemic) tools to map action.  This time makes sense.  Using this time, the world makes sense.  Without this active time, there is no sense to be made.  It is, as Smithson suggested, an infinite void of sameness – no limits – no form – nothing to make sense out of.  Logic requires active, continuous time.  It is fundamental to thinking.  This is not to say that all of our provisional theories are wrong.  They are correct.  But they are only correct because they are within the limits of logic.  There is no correct or incorrect outside the limits of language and logic.

The interpretations of actuality have infinite possibilities, none of which are correct or incorrect.  There are historically contingent provisional theories built on logical, fallible foundations that cannot be proven correct or incorrect because the foundation (axiom) floats without context.  There is no map of the map.  The world described is limited by the epistemic tools at hand.  The world felt is limited by the glass (sensing) body.  The nonsites eliminate the body from setting up limits, to let the world set the limits.


January 28, 2009


What does it feel like?


The dots penetrate the body. I’d say this feels more like acupuncture than saying, “acupuncture penetrates the body with needlelike precision. It is a simultaneous multiplicity of bodily sensations.” I think the visual metaphor is more powerful.

Material Symbols

January 25, 2009


In anything with potential, or expressed material power, it seems to me that it is the opposing dissimilarities within their context that illuminate the matter into it’s powerful expression. Whether it be printed matter – some symbols on a page, a landscape (natural or architectural), a motion picture, or a belief etc., it is the disparates of the relative matter that surge it with expressive power. Symbols on a page, only have phoenetical or conceptual meaning because of the angular and (more generally) spacial irregularities in the symbolic context itself. The “H“, made of “l” “” and “l“, are nuetral, and powerless if isolated away from the context of “H“, or (further) “Home”, or (even further) “Homeplate is riddled with cleat marks and wet with dirt.” It becomes a mute set of symbols that are not even phoenetically powerful. However, when the “I” “” “I” of an “H” are pieced together in a context (which it can never not be), the symbol grows in strength into an expressive entity because of the angular “disagreements”. The symbolic mind, if looked at this way, becomes a recognition of opposing forms that illuminate the symbols into expressive entities. The recognition is not in the similarites, but in the dissimilarities. We read and interpret through the spatial variations of oppositions in the material. The perception of where these oppositions are, spatially, I think, give bias its relative character. The normative (rule-following) mind is hinged on the “inner eye” seeing this material, spatial play. The normative mind is following spatial rules, seen by the eyes. The symbolic structure of a letter, word, sentence, paragraph, chapter, book, desk, room etc., is only recognizable by the rule-following mind because of the depth perception of the eyes. The symbols only become rules to follow after the perception of the the spatial play of the symbols through the eyes perception of opposition. Or, in other words, the oppositions percieved by the eyes give form content. The content is then interprested and evaluated by the mediator of the normative.

To speculate, I imagine the material symbols come from a type of synesthesia of seeing the sounds, and then representing the sounds as sights. A backwards logic is used when then translating the sights of symbols into sounds and images, respectively. Reading (interpreting and evaluating through the normative) is a spiraling process that is set into motion by the consistent reversals of translating sounds to symbols and back again. It is a material process that rotates on an axis of depth perception.

Speculation aside, and propositionally focused – perceptual opposition in matter gives symbols their expressive power.

The Body Without the Mind

January 21, 2009


As I see it, the artist is one that sets thier own irrational limits.  However, it is a logical irrationality. By “logic” here, I mean after setting up limits within (meaning “inside”) a field of study, like optics. The creation of limits within a field (like optics) is irrational, yet after certain concepts, and/or things are irrationally taken out of the field, and placed elsewhere, the logic can resume with the removed concepts or things. It creates a whole new set of irrational limits, that the artist then has to work with. He must find logic in the new limits, and extend it towards it’s irrationally logical end (for instance – stereoscopic vision, where the focal point is removed, and what is left are two images). The artist does this, I think, not to simply create for creations sake, but to create a logical three-dimensional object (sculpture) that contains a (sometimes) violent metaphor that seeps through the glass body with a potency like that of music. It is a way for the artist, in a sense, to progress the human body, and bring it further to reality, and away from analytical thinking of the mind.

In a few words, the artist is an agent of the real, manifesting powerful sculptures that enter the glass body of experience, bringing culture back to their senses.

It is the metaphysical notion that what is irrational, is dogmatic.  The artist, I think, does not see it this way at all, but rather in reverse.  Metaphysics is a prison to the artist, that keeps within its walls a old set of untenable doctrines that lock culture into a dogma of fallable, fictional, untenable pre-suppositions, that when challenged, inverted, or thrown in the trash, give warrancy to the metaphysician to bark like a gaurd-dog at the irrationality of the artist.  It is not rationallity the artist is interested in, but the logic involved in irrationality.  The artist is manifesting a powerful bodily experience, that in some cases flattens the the mind into a one-dimensional point, where the object is pointless.  The mind is a series of points, and the art “object” an array of metaphorical matter that, sometimes, obliterates the mind into submission of the glass body of experience. 

The ice crystals above, are the glass body.  It’s penetrated, and transformed by light and entropic matter.  This is the body.  It doesn’t live without the mind, but it can be experienced without the mind.  Smithson’s indoor earthworks are a fiddling of matter by an agent of the logic of the body without the mind.

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.

Climb Back Up the Ladder

January 13, 2009

Stable Two-Dimensional Animated Three-Dimensions


I hope for immediate access to the scale of experience. I think (and I’m not alone on this) we are getting further from experiencing the scale of the eye and the ear, as one “descends”, or “ascends” the ladder of the analytical, technological mind – the two-dimensional mind. Language seems to strengthen the analytical mind that almost pulverizes the eye and ear to a death. This is to say, only, that we are moving away from the experiential scale of the eye and the eear – not to say becoming closer to the “thing-in-itself”. The experience of the enantiomorphic eyes and ears are in an inextricable, paradoxical relationship between the expressive power of the “thing out there”, and the expressive power of the eye and ear (and even the analytical mind for that matter). This makes experience, an inseperably intertwined “loopy” or spirialing paradoxical seizure, or apprehension (not an understanding) of expressive-impressiveness. It is both expressed, and impressed at the same time. The analytical mind rejects these paradoxes of the eye and ear, because it is calibrated to another scale(s). These scales are rendered uni-directionally causal. 

The articles “the”, “is”, “has”, as well as present tense nouns like, “runs” “walks” etc… create, I think, a belief in stability, and present moments that could be frozen.  This, however, is a result of the technological scale that language operates in.  It is not the scale of the eye and ear.  It is the scale of the analytical mind.  The freezing of moments into two-dimensional pictures of memory, has scaled the mind down to a place where the cybernetic exists – a place far from the senses, that makes us cyborgs.  We are human-machine, because of the practical power of the analytical two-dimensional maps.  They have nearly destroyed all belief in reality.  The project of art and peotry is to bring back a lost belief in reality – a lost scale.

(For those that don’t understand the non-understandable:  )

Allow me to define a few things first, rendering the my words into 2-dimensional maps:

enantiomorphic reflections – This means to reflect the three dimensionality “out there” into the chambers of the three-dimesnional “inner eye” without antropomorphizing it with the analytical mind. Allowing the many reflections to remain abstract.

causality of the scales – Think about it in terms of Scientific scales of the micro and macro worlds – QM and General relativity respectively. Now, the way I see it, there is a scale in-between those scales which is what the instruments of the eye and ear detect. Not unlike a microscope or a telescope. At this scale, there are varying degrees of zooms (like on a camera). If one “zooms in” so to speak, on the structure of language with a “zoom scope”, it becomes a One-way causal “structure”. However, if one “zooms out” and widens the scope to the Eye and the ear, there is this “thing” we can do that Smithson calls seizing the spiral of the “combinatory” sensations of the eye and ear. This is achieved through the senses distancing themselves from the morphology (transformations) of the interpretive mind that can only account for the one-way causality of the subtle scale change, or “zoom” that we experience analyzing language through syntax.

perception as lattices – No. Perception (enantiomorphic reflections) are not “erected” from a lattice, or grid. The analytical one way causal mind is “erected” from a grid that has been detected by the analytical mind, that functions on a different scale than the eye or the ear. So it would be more appropriate to say, “analytical emergence from grids.”

pictures of scales – When one analyizes, with the mind, a “syntactical structure”, it becomes a two-dimensional, very precise picture of language.

round earth to become a potentially infinite flat earth – We need ground to walk on. This is a metaphorical three-dimensional picture of the “temperament” about the relations between the analytical mind (flat earth), and the enantiomorphic three-dimensional reflections (round earth). The analytical mind is encroaching and breaching the enantiomorphic chambers, and distancing us from apprehending the reality around the eye and ear. So, the mind is calibrated at a different scale than the eye and ear.

Site – the experience of an open landscape.

Metaphysics – (in this sense) a transcendent set of limits that restricts the map to rules and the map-maker to rule-following. Whereas art is enantiomorphic reflections, not maps. Metaphysics falls apart in the seizure of experience. (see “Site” below)

–  Literacy works at a scale that is not the scale of the eye and ear. It is uni-directional (one way) causality.

–  The scale of the eye and ear, is a poly-directional, paradoxical scale, that doesn’t “fit” within metaphysical confines.

–  The epistemology you are confined by, if at all metaphysical, is because of the scales “above” and “beneath” (i.e. uni-directional scales) the disassembled array of poly-directional experience.

Metaphysicians confine artists by thier limits in the form of what Smithson would call a “Wardon-Curator” in the metaphysical limits of a gallary, as opposed to letting artists set thier own limits.

Now, take this into consideration:

Site (my interpretations of Smithson)

1. open limits (metaphysics falls apart; Epistemic limits have no merit)
2. A series of points (displaced abstract reflections)
3. Outer coordinates (what is beyond the map)
4. Subtraction (ambiguity)
5. Indeterminate Certainty (no categorical containment)
6. Scattered information (enantiomorphic reflections)
7. reflection
8. Edge
9. Some place (physical)
10. Many

The paradoxes of experience at the scale of the Eye and Ear:

It is a mania for two-dimensional literacy distancing us from the actual. Language is seized by the enantiomorphic chambers (smithson) of the eyes. “Enantiomorphic” means “unchanged”, “not exposed to the anthropomorphic tendencies of the psyche”. Poetry is not to be read, but experienced in three-dimensions through the enantiomorphic chambers of the eye, or the “inner eye”, or the imagination. Language is both expressively and impressevly (or “embedded”) relating to the expressive and impressive experience. Simultaneous enantiomorphic (unchanged) expressive-impressive “dialogue” “constitutes” the experiential seizure of language, where one seizes language and language becomes a seizure. It is not unlike the three-dimensional “inner ear” where sound is an enantiomorphic reflection into the body of experience, where textures, lines, shapes, colors make a three-dimensional reproduction that animates the body into dance. It is unhindered by the literary mania in anthropomorphizing “lifeless waves”, or “dead letters” into an assemblage of categorical content. If language is looked at, and not read, the dead letters make nonsensical reflections in the eyes’ enantiomorphic chambers. So language “itself” is a false notion you hold. There is no “itself’. It is all a relational, process between the “foreground” (landscape), “middleground” (enantiomorphic reflection), and “background”(two dimensional mapping).

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.


Robert Smithson – Corner Mirror with Coral, 1969

The classifications of the ever sprawling and transformative myths are the entropic rotations of the crystalline.  The crystal, it seems, is a looking glass, a scope where the light eventually becomes diffused into an opaque “death”.  Each three-dimensional geometry in the crystal is refracting, and absorbing light, “pushing” some through, while containing “bounce light” refractions.  This, might be looked at as a three-dimensional metaphor for the geo-linguistic classifications of time.  The entropy of the heat is the essential cause of this nucleaic procedure of rotation, and geometric emergence.  It is a three-dimensional mirror of geo-linguistic time.  It contains a powerful metaphor in the reflective experiencing mind.  It might be the reflection of the mirror.  Or in other words, when one looks at a crystal, the abstract three-dimensions of the scattered reflective mind are expressed in the crystal, and impressed (or “embedded”) in the reflection.  It is a “back-and-forth” entropic dialogue that sprawls out new three-dimensional categories.  The crystalline is a three-dimensional map of the reflective mind.  It is a “sediment of the mind” as Smithson might say.  Inside this nonsite contains a powerful metaphor that shifts with the entropic structure of geo-linguistic time.  

The crystaline is transparent glass that one looks through to see itself.  It is unlike anything else.

Radioactive Matter

January 6, 2009

Or, Emotional Buzz Words

“By drawing a diagram, a ground plan of a house, a street plan to the location of a site, or a topographic map, one draws a ‘logical two dimensional picture.’ … The Non-Site (an indoor earthwork) is a three dimensional logical picture that is abstract, yet it represents an actual site…” – Robert Smithson, “A Provisional Theory of Non-Sites”

Science has extended beyond conventional mythologies of old, now mapping the brain with Positrin Emission Tomography, or PET scans.  They are “three-dimensional” maps of neuro-chemical processes in the brain.  In these short films, the brain becomes a radioactive “material” ebbing and flowing, like a nuclear waste dump.  The activity in the brain is isolated into sections called, “The Frontal Lobe”, “The Temporal Lobe”, and subsections called, “visual” and “auditory”.  But, the visuals and sounds are nowhere in these maps.  It is really a two-dimensional short film of the temporally dependent organic matter that maps reflections.  It is a continuous map of mapped reflections, where neither the map, nor the reflection are metaphored in three dimensions.  It is nuclear waste pulsing and wobbling in eight-bit resolution.  The neon art of Bruce Nauman comes to mind.  The buzzing electric words, like “human”, “hope”, and “desire”, are materialised in three-dimensions.  “Hope” radiates in an electric red at both a visual and auditory scale that is detected by the eye and ear.  “Hope” is no longer a concept in the mind, but a surge of electric noise and light rattling the senses.  Hope here, is felt by the body, rather than conceptualized by the mind.  One might wonder what three-dimensional qualities, “The Cerebral Cortex”, or “The Frontal Lobe” might have if sent buzzing through a neon tube. 


Maybe creating a three-dimensional metaphorical brain is impossible, where one doesn’t reduce the brain into a library of concepts, but makes it a sensational experience.  How does one feel the three dimensional metaphorical brain?  Perhaps Bruce Nauman has already achieved this through emotional buzz words.