[-empyre-] language, reporting the virtually true

Erik Ehn shadowtackle at sbcglobal.net
Wed Nov 5 23:25:44 EST 2014

[about hesychios: see his written for theoduolos in v.1 of the philokalia: https://archive.org/stream/Philokalia-TheCompleteText/Philokalia-Complete-Text#page/n109/mode/2up/search/Hesychios]

[continuing from yesterday - performance and the lure of mere sense. moving on from: "In terms of scripts: we are writing into the ads for our writing. Our ironies and glibness suggest what kind of art we would make if we felt like it, but we don’t feel like it, because something hates me or has left me and my fear produces a serum of anger that serves a biological need to defend against feeling..."]

When a paranoid production process drives us to clarify the event of our plays, we are often encouraged to settle specifically on event as aftermath – what one takes away from the play. A play you can take anything from has to exercise ownership – has to be premised on private property, on stabile units cleanly transported (portablilty). This is undramatic. A play is public property and doesn’t go anywhere; it is, like an angel or a star. An angel has useless wings – the wings suggest movement, but the angle doesn’t have to actually move – it’s mentality and physicality are perfect – nothing inhibits and angel so its choices are constant and ambient – the angel is the complete string-theory cosmos – is every possibility of itself, realized in active adoration – is perfectly reciprocal; is all-contemplation, all praise. Better than the post-hoc event is the precipitating event, the source of action, not it’s read-out. Passover is a
 gorgeous drama – “why is this night different from every other night?” – the precipitating event isn’t the answer – it is the asking of this question.

A play in response to terror is barely there, is more question than answer, is an occasion for collaborative labor (the labor of not-knowing, not-having, not-expecting); it is without consolation. It is ceding language, losing its language as it spills it.

A play’s action doesn’t matter, in the sense of the activities it sequences or ideas it builds, the action is the action in us – the event in the play is not what we comprehend, but what moves us to action, what starts up our discontent through irresolution. (Bert States: plays used to embed self summaries, tellingly called “arguments” a play is just enough itself to disagree with itself.)

Event as description is marketing; plays of description sell specifically what has already passed away. Sell death. Sell us what we’ve already bought and has already been worn down, worn away (trailers for movies that in essence, we’ve already seen).

9/11, as an act of terror, was recognizable because it was a cliché – we had already seen it. 

On Tuesday, November 4, 2014 6:34 PM, John Hopkins <jhopkins at neoscenes.net> wrote:

----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
On 04/Nov/14 15:47, Daniel O'Donnell wrote:
> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> You know, I've been wondering about this: since the Taliban blew up the Buddhas
> and then with the destruction of the domed mosques and manuscripts in Mali and
> environs, and now this.

It was painful to watch the video of the Buddha sculptures, especially knowing 
why it happened. It's always painful to see what we might consider unchanging 
reality suddenly lose its persistent form and ... change. It acts as a bitter 
reminder of mortality.

But isn't it such that cultural accession over time is doing essentially similar 
things all the time, over the vast reaches of history. And our contemporary 
focus on, literally, digging up the past and preserving it has limits. (We 
probably only do so because we have such a glut of energy flowing around our 
'developed' world, because re-organizing the past in any form (from library to 
archive to buildings) definitely takes energy!).

While the Buddhas were obliterated rapidly, using modern weapons (explosives), 
time via entropy continually devolves the detritus of the yesterday, and it is 
only the socio-cultural context (or even 'fashion') that dictates what is saved 
and what is allowed to slip away into chaos. Contexts change, and what was 
important in one context becomes passé in another.

> I wonder if there shouldn't be an emergency scanning fund that would help pay
> for capture of threatened built heritage. Maybe some kind of Unesco thing.

This is where the question of choice of what to preserve and what to let go 
surfaces. We are witnessing the procession of history and it seems we are in the 
moment as powerless as others in the past, watching accepted heritage be ground 
to dust. It's a strange process to witness. (and interesting that Johannes 
suggests that "archaeologists and anthropologists will surely confirm that the 
past cannot be lost" -- once humans have interjected their changes into the 
world, the change will persist (though it gradually dissipates, never quite to 
zero, until the universe resets itself...)

And maybe it's the same as watching a national 'infrastructure' collapse slowly 
when the national treasury is sapped of resources through war...

So it goes...

Dr. John Hopkins, BSc, MFA, PhD
grounded on a granite batholith
twitter: @neoscenes


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