Since each of us was several, there was quite a crowd. Here we have made use of everything that came within range, what was closest as well as fartherest away. (Deleuze & Guattari, in the introduction to A Thousand Plateaus, 3)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

'On' and 'another' matter

Postcard #3
(From Postcards from a Past'2003)
by the author

I can’t remember the sandpit but there is a photograph of me playing in it, left hand held high as I run towards the camera. Look at this, a daisy-chain, a fairy-chain, a strand of time.
Mention sand and I think of another time years later. Lying on my back staring up into the night; the sound of waves in the dark stars above: stars upon stars upon stars drawing ever upwards dissolving boundaries pondering the possibility of endlessness. There are shapes and pattens within the constellations but I do not countenance identification it tells me nothing of the possibilities above me as I lie in the still-warm slight-damp sand. I struggle to comprehend impose meaning while considering the possibility none is possible.
Infinity offers no explanation. It attempts to label the unnameable, beyond number beyond limit beyond being and by doing so ends up by limiting itself. It is labelling the known unknown (which in the act of naming must itself become known, it is the unknown unknown the other possibilities which lie beyond the horizon of knowing which draw me). 
The universe may be considered a fabric of reality knitted together in dark matter he tells me. The stars are visible points formed of light matter, dropped stitches within the dark cloth, loose networks of filaments stretching across time and space. Knit one purl one knit one purl one a binary code in repetition which shifts evolves in errors the hesitation dropped rhythm of stitch. Chaos theory string theory or loop quantum theory with space and time made of coiled ribbons, once tangled become particles. The many strands of time entangled enfolded envelope me.
It is this repetition of stitch and not the single stitch itself which offers consolation. The knitted stitch, one needle through the stitch on the other, strand forward and looped around the needle, stitch pulled through. Knit stitch, purl stitch, increase, decrease, cast off but not the universe.
(From 26 Object Project, 2008)

The arrival of Edgar Levensen's paper, 'The Enigma of the Unconscious' (2001) last Wednesday provided that leap of understanding that perhaps, just perhaps, the questions I had been asking early in this project about 'space' and within that the void and more recently the workings of 'smooth' space could be answered by the notion of  'hyperspace'. 
Levensen's paper is about the unconscious, and the role of the analyst in the process of treatment yet I believe he manages to open up all sorts of intriguing ideas which include D&G's concept of 'smooth space'. He states;
"Conscious thinking follows the rules of Greek logic--deduction, categorizing, inferring--our Western cultural heritage. [a form of 'striated space']. In contrast, unconscious thinking seems closer to free-ranging hypertext...where words and concepts are pursued to their most unexpected implications ['smooth space']. (p247--my emphases) 
The resulting text he points out, ' a self-regenerating process'. Levensen then goes on to state:
 I think the brain is individual but mind is a field phenomenon, a network, a web. (p250--my emphasis)
It is that glimpse of possibility that the use of 'smooth space' can be helpful in generating new ways of seeing, new ways of hearing. An interactive 'cabinet of curiousity'

1 comment:

  1. I'd not heard this concept of striated/closed space and smooth/open space before. Your relating it to weaving and quilting fits well. Of course, limitations can lead to unexpected creativity (eg bonsai branching out in new forms). But the idea of quilt as infinite is true. It's what attracted me to writing about quilts and has continued to hold my fascination. It's seeing quilts from around the world, of all sizes, all materials. It's Jill Rumoshosky Werner's quilts, some of which are 6 inches x 14 yards. Or quilts whose layers are hung separately. Or the work of a friend who knits afghans out of discarded telephone wire. It’s seeing Native quilters cover rough government-issue blankets with their own work. It’s about a woman pioneer finding creative expression in her scrap bag. It’s about hearing a speaker present a new way of thinking about space. And it’s about continually finding other ways to understand the world we live in, and thereby ourselves, other people—that spark of understanding moving on, piece by piece, infinitely.