cold and uncertain
Square and Circle One
photo-etching on paper
untitled moiré works
acrylic on linen on panel
acrylic on canvas
84 x 84 cm
First, re: dress, we need some language. Take two circles, diagonal or perhaps transversal to one another. Call it the portal-openings of yin and yang, or maybe the colon of linguistic precedent and thereafter, or the operational sign of mathematical notation, the eyes of occidental emoticon, or instruction of computer code. Always already in motion, they blur a vector that faintly suggests teardrops. Connect the teardrop trails of these two circles together with a wavy line, a line whose very thickness is the expressed topology of a probability curve in vibration, traces of which leave the retinal afterimage that constitutes the thickness itself but do not exhaust its possible vibrations lying virtually beyond. In this it is a snapshot of a particular wave at a moment’s notice, a point of inscription suggesting a relative harmony and its more-than, but which might also resemble sine or cosine and their normativity when viewed with a particular font-type.
Pluck the string: it is the weave that connects and communicates the two teary-eyed circles and which suggests the presence of many more, for “there are always two, even when you perceive one, connected.” The philosophy is in the bassline. Strum the fibres gently, periodically, intensively. It’s all in the rhythm, and the amplitude and the frequency. Weave the string: fibres of relation and their memories, wrapped together more or less firmly yet always in processes of decay and regeneration. The philosophy is in the treble, doubled as an aesthetics of tango and a politics of touch move to the networks of discourse. Bind the fibres tight, but give the space from which one may choose to return.
Redress. No longer Shannon’s differential equation doubled, though there are limits approached, again and again — the limits of the probably-possible. And these limits are not mathematically calculated but felt and embodied. They are an ambiguously understood affection of relation as it emerges from difference to the violence always already implicated in identifying the other as other — yet no less powerfully felt for the experience.
They resemble the “moving-limit” of an electromagnetic force field as two charged objects approach one another, at first aligned so as to attract but then rotating at the limit so as to repel, gently or forcefully depending on the volume and intensity of the respective bodies and magnetic fields in question. These are the mathematical operators of “positive” and “negative” above, the plus and minus of the Switch-as-relational-field.
But we aren’t switches, we’re curves. Moving curves, all societies of bubbles in tension and deformation at every instant, even as a vibrating wave of bubbles envelops and separates us all. Analog electricity and effervescent soma. The differential waveline signifies this approach to the limit as well as the vibrating potentials that emerge and exist as their ontogenetic terms affectively turn — spin — from positive to negative and back again. And forth again, a tango aesthetics or a politics of touch in motion, magnetically.
But we aren’t magnets, either, we’re edges. Moving edges, all fractals in proximity and trauma at every instant, even as a vibrating wave of resonance appears to dull their iterable quality. The differential wave signifies this edge in its image, though only as a set of probabilities that does not exhaust the potentials which lie virtually beyond. These edges move and their limits can be moved, in other words, their proximity and trauma dependent on the fractal patterns in question and the speed of the gestural cut. See? Saw. Push and pull and vibrate, the experience of the limit can be moved-in-negotiation over time, freed from its moorings or felt as the cut of separation (which is really felt as a tear). The question of ethics is precisely this question of how we approach the limit and its movement.
Spoken as such, this tattoo writes the skin of my chip, of my logic. We carry these sorts of signs with us all along, we affective cyborgs. From where do they arrive? From whom are they inscribed? What do we really mean? And is this the singular sign of all affective cyborgs? (Take pause.) No. It is the sign of my affective cyborg, a contagion that should perish in the intense afterburn of our programmed execution.
excerpted from “Post-Mortem: Relational Passages”,
chapter seven of On Performing the University of Disaster (in press).
Played at Low Volume
oil on linen
193 x 160 cm
The Collective Snapshot series
The Golden Gate
Sydney Opera House
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The Collective Snapshot: “Images in this series blend together dozens of snapshots to create an abstraction of the places we’ve been and the things we’ve seen. A collective memory.”