News & Events

May 30 Monthly Meeting


Laura U. Marks

June 06, 2019 04:16 pm

As much as I was sorry to miss our always lovely group meeting, it was a pleasure to quietly watch and listen to the wonderful presentations and discussions with Ziggy and Lynn. Both Ziggy and Lynn are building series of indexical links, or I would say indexical unfoldings, in three ways that I notice:
1. Humbly drawing attention to what is already there.
2. Reorganizing the world, what I call unfolding differently, by pushing certain things into latency and drawing other things into perceptibility. I like to think of this activity as transduction, “the discovery of dimensions that are made to communicate by the system for each of the terms such that the total reality of each of the areas’ terms can find a place in the newly discovered structures without loss or reduction” (Gilbert Simondon, “The Genesis of the Individual”). Data sonification, which Ziggy uses sometimes, is a great example.
Also it seems to me transduction can occur among very disparate elements. E.g. in To hold, to miss, to remember Lynn is reorganizing a system to make lost tenderness manifest, in her tender embrace of strangers in front of the Campo Madonna de l’Orto, in the songs she gets girls to write and perform about their mothers (?), in scent. And while she making the lost tenderness manifest, she’s also inviting deep suffering, deeper than the suffering associated with the stolen Bellini painting, to unfold and perhaps to heal, for example by pointing to abuse in the Church.
3. Boldly inserting new entities. I really like this latter activity: it’s as though they’re seeding the world with new entities that materialize latent links. Making nodes, throwing rocks in the stream to intervening in the flow.

Some thoughts for each of you:
Ziggy, I find your work quite aniconic: at first there appears to be very little present to the senses, and often we need to know the background to understand what’s going on. It’s like a tiny peephole onto vast connections in space and time. (E.g. the sonic diagrams of gravitational wave events in Title to be specificed, which you didn’t mention in your talk.) I love that you use the mystic writing pad (in response to Nezih re palimpsest) as example of these many physical connections that exist but are no longer evident.
I love your “A Round for Three Rocks” in which the titular rocks appear and disappear on three surveillance screens. It seems somehow beneath the dignity of the rocks, which is funny!
For the new project here are some more cool examples of buildings that conduct light through the space:
-in Helsinki, the Tempelliaukio church (1969), dug into rock, has a slim horizontal window. On the shortest day of the year, it lets in the light for just an hour (or a minute, I forget).
-James Turrell’s near-mystical light openings
-I saw a mosque in Tripoli, Lebanon, where the windows around the base of the dome functioned as a clock: as the sun moved, the light cast on the floor would tell the time. I’m sure Carol could tell you more about this function.
I love the reference to the two-slit experiment, which JR responded to by suggesting that the people in the space can be like the particles moving around.
Since you like Deleuze’s The Fold, you will like my work on enfolding-unfolding aesthetics, such as the essay “Noise in Enfolding-Unfolding Aesthetics.” You can find a lot on my web site, and I’ll post some to SMRN too.

I love these projects! Since you’re going to collect your sighs on the Bridge of Sighs, doing you know about the tradition of tear catchers? In Roman times, women whose husbands were away at war collected their tears in bottles with a lip to press to the eye, so they could prove to their returning husbands how much they missed them. The practice continued in Arab glass blowing. Victorians did it too.
As you know, scent means on two levels, the public/symbolic and the personal/sensory. So a scent may have a lovely cultural meaning and a bitter personal meaning, if the scent memory was encoded in relation to a traumatic event. I write about this in “Thinking Multisensory Culture,” reprinted in Art and the Senses and available on my web site 
I wish you wouldn’t consult a medium about when you are going to die!