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Curator of becoming, Artist, Writer, Urban Tiger
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    The Aesthetic Ground (part 2)
    Project: Polytopia
    What Aesthetics dictates is the political act of infiltrating the sign; to infiltrate and to reprogram the commonplace of language.

    (From notes in black & white)

    Noun, in function of a verb.

    ‘Apocalypse Now’ by Francis Ford Coppola took 16 months to shoot, “Fitzcarraldo” by Verner Herzog was shot in 4 years, and ‘Dau’, a movie by Ilya Khrzhanovsky, has been shooting for 5 (five) years and still in the process of making.

    “The set of Dau is an enclosed bubble called the Institute; Khrzhanovsky came up with the idea of the Institute not long after preproduction on Dau began in 2006. He wanted a space where he could elicit the needed emotions from his cast in controlled conditions, twenty-four hours a day. The institute is where thousands of actors have been living the lives of their characters 24 hours a day, ever since production began, using Soviet passports and money, in a world that is exactly as things were in the 1950s”. (Edited from an article by Michael Idov, rest of the article is here)

    In language as in common sense the ‘making of’ (shooting) is a function of the ‘product’ (movie). In this story the line blurs as to what is in function of what? The making becomes a volume in itself, overlapping, intersecting and generating a value that may or may not end up being encased in the movie itself.

    There is no room in language for ambiguity in terms of directionality of function; the verb (the making) belongs to the noun (the movie), so that the process is a function of the form and the becoming is a function of being.

    The unidirectionality of the function (the verb) towards the noun is a basic precept of our perception. Thus language suggests a hierarchy between noun and verb, such that the verb is always an instrument of the noun, which is the axis around which the coherency of language rotates.

    The consequences of this are two-fold, a colonization of values towards one preferred structure - process as function of product and verb as function of the noun -, and the domestication of all flows of migration into a fictional unity directed by the noun.

    And yet, isn’t it in fact that:

    Form is function of a process?
    Noun is function of a verb?
    Being is function of becoming?

    “What are we longing for? Where does all this yearning come from?”

    Pina Bausch


    Form, in function of a process.

    Pina Bausch did not tell stories about life, or humans or relation, She tried in her work to make the ‘matter’ of being a human - the stuff that becomes, visible through dancing.

    She arranged that stuff in a political way – as an agent for social change, which was her way to assign meaning to Art. The beauty of her performances was undeniable, but it was never alien to human emotions, it was in actuality a stage upon which human emotions honorably become dance.

    Editing on the verge of chaos, this was the magic of Pina Bausch when in the creative process with her dancers. She guides them, without a clear frame of direction, into a ‘zone’ and a ‘darkroom’, in which the stuff they where made of could come out without being framed by a regime of domestication.

    When those shapes of raw stuff were interesting enough, real enough, She would ‘cut’ it into a dance through the dialogue with her dancers. This unique process unfolds a set of values different from the performance itself, the aesthetic of it lying in a sweating raw motion-sentence as a sign of realness.

    Dancing was not at the center, nor was art, it was the human in the action of becoming which clearly took the center, so that the making, the process, could stand out on its own account. Enveloping the axis of value was the impossible action of real and undomesticated becoming.

    Unlike in language, the stage of honor is given and belongs to the making, to the verb, to becoming. The noun is always in the periphery, surrounded by the aesthetic action of curating the (undomesticated) becoming.

    In Art the noun can indeed be a function of the process. It is the noun that is an instrument of the verb and not the opposite.

    “Fitzcarraldo is close to my heart. It’s not only just a movie, it’s really my life.”

    Werner Herzog


    Being, in function of becoming

    “Shooting Fitzcarraldo, Werner Herzog undertook the most insane project of his entire career as a filmmaker. Everything in Fitzcarraldo is real. No camera tricks, no special effects, no miniatures - Herzog insists on framing nothing else but the truth. In a way, Fitzcarraldo is a film that Herzog made mostly for himself.

    “Pulling a ship of this size over a real mountain in the jungle in the middle of nowhere creates a great many moments of unexpected texture and wildness and ferocity,” he points out enthusiastically. The stress, the fatigue, the breaking of branches and ropes, the sounds of the jungle, the sweat and everything around the scenes is what ultimately makes them so alive and intense. “I pulled the ship over the mountain not for the sake of realism,” he confides. “What you actually see is a very stylized thing. It looks like an operatic event, like a dream-event, and that’s what’s so strange about it. It’s not really a paradox.” (edited from site of Wener Herzog)

    In Fitzcarraldo Werner Herzog brought the becoming of a dream into the ‘Frame’. It could not be a story about a dream, or about becoming. It was ‘the becoming itself’ and not a story of ‘Aboutness’ that the camera revealed, naked and real.

    It is the singularity of becoming putting the impossible in the frame of the possible, the value of it, the commitment and integrity that goes with it, the madness that slides, the ways life opens or closes the roads in front of it, and all that of which Fitzcarraldo is a real portrait of.

    The story of Fitzcarraldo and the extremes that overflow bring into presence lucidity in exposing a state of affairs different from the ideologies embedded in the commonplace of language. A state of affairs in which being is a function of becoming, the noun is a function of the verb and form is a function of the process.

    It is through these stories that the nature of our language is exposed, making its reality limits visible.

    The history of beauty is the history of our language; the future of beauty is captured in the evolution of our language. (From notes in Black and White)

    Oscillation between modes of language

    There is a correlation between language and visibility; the visible is what is expressed, dressed with a manifest and by that earning a momentary permanence; thus any Encounter is being ‘cut’ (made visible) through language.

    Beauty is a reminder of the inherent non-similarity between the encounter and the available linguistic maps. It exposes the relation of tension existing between any encounter and the language that describes it, so that minding the tension between the encounter and language creates an infinite game of approximations.

    In the world of cinema that which is under the light and seen by the camera is the visible, the making in its fullness is the production of the visible. In fact, Cinema is art because the movie in all of its layers is a totality of designed visibility (including that which is ‘out of the frame’).
    Indeed, cinema, the art in and of it, lies in the immersive experience of a total designed visibility, which is proposed as a function of a further becoming (this time of the beholder).

    Art leverages the passage between ‘out of the frame’ to 'visible' as a membrane of discontinuity, to bootstrap becoming, decomposing and recomposing the coherency of process to a new and elated plane of freedom. Yet it knows the membrane to be fictional and not a structured separation. The mutual function of visible and invisible is an oscillating directionality, never structurally encased. And look around we have a multiplicity of such live, breathing membranes that have been colonized by language, encased in pre-set structures of value, the flow of passage through them domesticated to a preferred functional direction. Thus functionally: process to product, verb to noun, chaos to order.

    Cinema provokes oscillation between modes of language, so that it is not just ‘lingua’ that leads the unfoldment of the visible. This oscillation between modes of descriptive languages (light, image, sonic just to name a few) is ‘natural’ to our minds.

    It is in fact essential to our mind-flow, the switching between different modes of visibility and types of signs allows the yield of our enriched mind ecology. Thus our understanding of becoming that is not arrested in language, but rather seeks to infiltrate the sign and reprogram it, altering the reality that the common place dictates.

    Minding the sign is a poietic instance

    Beauty is a ‘Dreamware’ for the evolution of language, in which the sign is pregnant with approximations. A sign thus is a pointer to a space of exploration; a sign enfolds interesting, expressive and inexhaustible shape of becoming.

    It is after all Language that stands between our insights and our perception of the world, it is language that stands between thought and thinking, between sign and meaning; beauty is a reminder that the imperceptible awaits our evolution.
    Being language the medium of in between, the sign sets the syntax of engagement, language in this sense is political - the politics of embedding models of reality. Beauty is a reminder that the syntax of engagement (sign) is open-ended and inexhaustible.

    Minding the sign is an open poietic instance, multiple styles of composition awaits, minding a sign enfolds opportunities of becoming, to infiltrate and reprogram the sign means to alter the ready-mades.

    Infiltrate the sign

    Beauty reminds that the ‘what’ is not separated from the ‘how’, nor from the ‘who’, the sign is an interplay (of minding).

    Thus, to curate becoming, hence, aesthetic, means at first not to fall prey to the separation between form and becoming.

    Curating becoming begins by infiltrating the sign, while consenting to the understanding that our language has evolved in tandem with the need for form.

    Thus all our signs, while being a triumph in our thrive to grasp and occupy the realms of space-time encounters, are “infected” with an underlying agenda of coming to a hold. A hold, which best suits our needs by taming our many speeds and stabilizing the event of encounter at a consistency of sorts.

    The speed of our cognitive event isn’t one. Yet the speed of coherency in which signs are stepping stones of stability takes advantage a-priori. It is that tendency, to sustain this particular advantage that gives political power to signs.

    A language of ataraxia (a lucid and free state according to the Greeks) is a language with which we are not bending our cognitive knee to the determinacy of form. On the contrary, it is a language with which we open up the ‘end-station’ regime of our pragmatically shaped perception. A language with which we taste the ambiguous non-saturated nature of becoming. In which allowance for simultaneity of noun and verb adds rather than subtracts from clarity.

    Beauty. Again.

    Language seems the undercurrent basis of history. Now, in seducing futures, we cannot afford to think of grammar and syntax as any farer than our own flesh.

    Beauty, unlike the stories of old, always was and is the site of the edge of language, there, oscillation between modes of language, between visible and invisible, unfolds an inexhaustible encounter. Whose entities (signs) are a composition of form and becoming immersed in silence.

    A composition of process and snapshot, of verb and noun, of participation and observation, of individual and collective, of self interest and collaborative pleasure, of one and multiple. That breath into each other, whisper into one another and flow into one another, like my little daughter and old age, like longing and me, like this lighted screen - a form and becoming on a plane of silence.

    Image 1 - “Only when I break this language can I speak”—Susan Hiller
    Image 2 - Mel Bochner, Language Is Not Transparent,
    Image 3 – Pina Bausch
    Image 4 – Klaus kinski in Fitzcarraldo
    Image 5 – C.E.B Reas, process Compendium
    Image 6 – Joseph Kosuth, box, 1965
    Image 7 - Marco de mutiis - "ʌnˈrɛst" - video installation

    Sat, Dec 3, 2011  Permanent link
    Categories: language, aesthetics, Sign, curating becoming
    Sent to project: Polytopia
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    gamma     Sat, Dec 3, 2011  Permanent link
    I cannot believe my eyes. I just watched the ship going over a mountain, and I thought that I was in hell. I was there is South America and I forgot what day it was today. I scrolled down to the photograph of glass boxes, and saw another wonder. "Box" and "cube" stand out in front of other boxes and I disagree with the signs. I do not respond to them, I do not accept them. "Empty", "clear", and "glass" are beautiful and I can penetrate through those boxes.

    Language seems the undercurrent basis of history. Now, in seducing futures, we cannot afford to think of grammar and syntax as any farer than our own flesh.

    Ouch. So good. The end of organic space in which I can exist. Momentous knowledge followed by a smooth blue flame burning from my head and body. I do not believe that the inner self has an end in this world, where it can reach far shores.