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The Museum of Vestigial Desire


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What is the negative space of following mandated behaviour? The allowance of social life is what allows cultural evolution to progress. This allowance is not governed by only being present and being the most optimal kind of actor possible. It also depends on the kind of landscape one can navigate. The landscape is not just the present. It is the hybrid interface of time that opens up into each moment a bracket of the past, the future and of course the ongoing enigma.

This navigation is performed with the agency of imagination and performance. Performance can’t be about producing affect in the present only because the performance is being seen in an hybrid interface of time, that we mentioned. If the synthesis of the perception of performance is happening within a hybrid landscape, then the production of the performance also needs to happen in hybrid time. Memory of the past, projection into the future, the sentiment of approaching this specific moment all have to be integrated into the scope of the production of experience.

This compulsion is arrived at because of a rational understanding and a reverse modelling of experience. Nothing that we experience is any one specific thing nor is it experienced in any one mode. Distraction is a leak. It makes even the ongoing moment something more than just purely itself.

The absolute nature of personal experience and the razor’s edge it represents is not the most appropriate basis to formulate a philosophical position. Personal positions need not be formulated at all. If formulation happens in the fashion of the establishment of architectural fixtures on the landscape, involving the colonizing of territory, clearing then marking of the space with a specific structural institution. The formulation process involves negation and the validation of the personal position with a priority over the positions of the others on the landscape.

We have not been able to deny the presence of others in this landscape. While only we seem to cast a shadow, others at least exist as leaks in the brilliance and resonance of the content of this scene. If an empty hall produces an echo, at least a hall filled with people (even if they are dumb people who do not articulate their voice) does not produce an echo.

And this change of the properties of the hall means that we need to acknowledge the presence of other bodies.

Acknowledgement does not mean lending any precedence in matters of production. Yes, we can see you. But no, the production of our presence has nothing to do with you.

The production of our presence involves only the processes we have summarized before. Before after we come to be present on the scene, then what is the quality of our social experience depends on the nature of the self-articulating formulations that we can propagate. We need to work with the shells of the people who surround us. The fragile shells of the people who surround us are opaque and have a consistent external surface. These consistent external surfaces can reflect in a consistent manner. Without involving the specific nature of people’s minds and the flavour of their being, we can work on the basis of the angle of the reflection that they perform. This is a post-performance moment. We do not care so much about the limitation of our performance. We do not care so much about proclaiming the formulations of our positions (but we will proclaim them all the same). We do not care so much about formulating on the basis of what we can negate.

  • Numerous points above based on conversations with Lawrence Liang.

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