“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.

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.

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.


“… [Merleau-Ponty] indicates this aspect of time when he notes that “a point of time can be transmitted to the others without ‘continuity’ without ‘conservation’” (Visible 267). These flashings of time in which one moment comes to be joined with others “without continuity” suggests how moments of time become “piled up,” enjambed, as “sudden reversibilities.” The time of aspects of the “inbetween” may be more like a fractal constellation than that of a continuous “spanning” among moments. We may see that it is in this way, even though we may think we are not directly working with machines, that we might have become enfolded in distant mechanical processes that have restructured what our own histories have come to mean to us.” – Glen A Mazis, “Cyborg Life: The In-Between of Humans and Machines”

George Kubler, like Ad Reinhardt, seems concerned with “weak signals” from “the void”. Beginnings and endings are projected into the present as hazy planes of “actuality”. In The Shape of Time: Remarks on the History of Things, Kubler says, “Actuality is … the inter-chronic pause when nothing is happening. It is the void between events.” … The future criss-crosses the past in an unobtainable present. Time vanishes into a perpetual sameness.” – Robert Smithson, “Quasi-Infinities and the Waning of Space”

The “in-betweens” of time, from one moment to another – the criss-cross of time, are possibly what allows for the cyborg. Our ability to follow rules, making tools and using language is our use of the temporal fractals, and not its continuity. The overlapping, “folding over”, criss-crossing of time is an ebbing matrix wallowing somwhere in the elsewheres of the mind. It is, as I see it, a technology itself. The matrix of time is a technology, not much different than a spear, a smudge of paint on a wall, or a computer. It is a design that is also the designer.

The designed-designer of Time, it seems, would look like this:


With a stick drizzling, splattering, and splashing paint onto a canvas, Pollock seemd to paint his temporal fractals.  The stick twists, with the flick of his wrist, into a prosthetic of his aesthetic expression.  The paint becomes “the past, and the canvas becomes the future.  This play of time freezes the past and future into an “unobtainable present”, or an indeterminate certainty that resembles the fractaled past of grey, blue, black, red, and yellow.  The white future, or the “blank canvas” is at play, criss-crossing the fractal of time.  The present is no longer there in this painting.  It is the fractaled matrix of Pollocks past and future.  Pollock, the expressionist, is an agent of the criss-crossing past and future, animated between the past and the future, where time is the “loopy” animator.

To me, it’s violent, joyous – all of the attributive adjectives to humans. It achieves this through an abstract anthropomorphic rendering. That blasts back at you a myriad of fragments that make non-sense. Sometimes there is something thier – a three-dimensional “skull”, and attribute nouns to the adjectives. This spawns the imagination to bound itself into a fictional world of psychosis. These are the power of adjectives – the power of the world in the middle of the Fruedian triad. Language is at work here in this painting. It becomes alive.