Unreal Nature

September 28, 2014

This Riven (Gaping? Open? Offered?) Present

Filed under: Uncategorized — unrealnature @ 5:45 am

… ploughing them, scratching them, pinching them, piercing them, moving thus to the far side of accomplishment, into beginnings …

This is from the essay ‘Changing of the World’ in A Finite Thinking by Jean-Luc Nancy (2003):

… we are talking about major ruptures that affect everyone, every generation, and all their images, languages, ways of life. From one moment to the next, this opens in us, allowing us to see this vast drift [dérive] of the world. From one moment to the next, we find ourselves sensibly and physically outside ourselves, outside the blind slipping away of our little stretch of time. We see the night that borders our time, and we touch on some aspect of it — not the future, but the coming of something or someone: the coming of something that is already of us and of the world, but that has to come from somewhere else, displaced elsewhere into an unimaginable elsewhere.

Perhaps it is an ability to touch, in the darkness, this coming elsewhere, this breaching of time, of space, and of all orientation, that will have defined a character trait specific to modernity. Modernity knows itself to be exposed (this is both a threat and a desire) to what is not itself and is not there, but is nonetheless very close or continually approaching.

Exposed: turned toward, yes, but without thereby having either a specific course or a guide, perhaps without even an awaiting, but in a situation that verges on exceeding both waiting and nostalgia. Finally, despite everything, an inclination to be and to practice this riven (gaping? open? offered?) present.

[ … ]

… We have no other discourse; all we know is that something has been interrupted, broken down at the heart of discourses that, once cherished, have now become untenable (philosophies of history, moral philosophies, and even philosophies, literatures, and poetries as a whole). We have no other discourse because it is undoubtedly — we’re just beginning to sense this — the general function of discourse itself that’s at stake here: sense’s distinction is coming to an end. It is as if all possible sense had been produced and, ultimately, “sense” itself turned out to be a crazed machine and the demand for it a senseless one.

… Art is displaced, therefor; it stops seeking out new forms and instead transforms itself and, imperceptibly, transports itself outside its site. Its horizon is no longer that of transfiguration, therefore, but of a patient practice this side of figures, flush against surfaces, bodies, clays, pulps, beats, or rhythms, in the very place where objects become strange, where the world is emptied, decomposed, or recomposed through and through.

It is no longer a matter of the composition of forms but a matter of touching on grounds, ploughing them, scratching them, pinching them, piercing them, moving thus to the far side of accomplishment, into beginnings, nascent states, alongside unfettered energies and unleashed tensions, the breaks and tremors of origins.




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