MFA in Ceramics RISD '15,
Semester in progress.
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July 18th, 2014
Strangest morning dream
I dreamt that two phosphorescent and sexually dimorphic insects grew out of the palm of my hand. They looked like mutant moths or deviant butterflies and had small asymmetrical wings and premature insect parts. Immediately after their birth from my hand, at first sight of each other, the two insects were in deep love. When I turned my sight away, they started making love so deep into each other’s being that one started growing into the other at the point of intimacy. Panicked, I anxiously pulled one out of the other’s orificial envelopment. I soon realized my act of separation had taken their life away because the parted bodies now began to wilt and shrink into two little coils of slow humiliating deaths.
If I could catch these two creatures from my dream before they wither to death, I’d preserve them in a glass box and maybe store this specimen in one of the Nature Lab cabinets (secretly, though) !
To be haunted by a ghost is to remember what has never had the form of presence… Modern technology, contrary to appearances, although it is scientific, increases tenfold the power of ghosts. The future belongs to ghosts.
When Barthes grants such importance to touch in the photographic experience, it is insofar as the very thing one is deprived of, as much in spectrality as in the gaze which looks at images or watches film and television, is indeed tactile sensitivity. The desire to touch, the tactile effect or affect, is violently summoned by its very frustration, summoned to come back, like a ghost, in the places haunted its its absence. In the series of more of less equivalent words that accurately designate haunting, specter, as distinct from ghost [revenant], speaks of the spectacle. The specter is first and foremost something visible. It is of the visible but of the invisible visible, it is the visibility of a body which is not present in flesh and blood. It resists the intuition to which it presents itself, it is not tangible. Phantom preserves the same reference to phainesthai, to appearing for vision, to the brightness of day, to phenomenality. And what happens with spectrality, which phantomality- and not necessarily with coming-back [reverence] - is that something becomes almost visible which is visible only insofar as it is not visible in flesh and blood. It is a night visibility. As soon as there is technology of the image, visibility brings night. It incarnates in a night body, it radiates a night light. At this moment, in this room, night is falling over us. Even if it’s weren’t falling, we are already in night, as soon as we are captured by optical instruments which don’t even need the light of day. We are already specters of a “televised”. pg 116-117
- Me: Yes, do you need help?
- A student: No, I'm just admiring the things in here. So many dead things...
- Me: Dead things? Preserved things. It's life, preserved!