|e p i g r a p h y|
|"In the quotation that both saves and chastises, language proves the matrix of justice. It summons the word by its name, wrenches it destructively from its context, but precisely thereby calls it back to its origin. It appears, now with rhyme and reason, sonorously, congruously in the structure of a new text. As rhyme it gathers the similar into its aura; as name it stands alone and expressionless. In quotation the two realms—of origin and destruction—justify themselves before language. And conversely, only where they interpenetrate—in quotation—is language consummated." -Benjamin|
quotes for notes / notes for quotes / or epigraphy v 2
What kind of unconcealment is it, then, that is peculiar to that which comes to stand forth through this setting-upon that challenges? Everywhere everything is ordered to stand by, to be immediately at hand, indeed to stand there just so that it may be on call for further ordering. We call it the standing-reserve [ Bestand]. The word expresses here something more, and something more essential, than mere "stock." The name "standing-reserve" assumes the rank of an inclusive rubric. It designates nothing less than the way in which everything presences that is wrought upon by the challenging revealing. Whatever stands by in the sense of standing-reserve no longer stands over against us as object.
Yet an airliner that stands on the runway is surely an object. Certainly. We can represent the machine so. But then it conceals itself as to what and how it is. Revealed, it stands on the taxi strip only as standing-reserve, inasmuch as it is ordered to ensure the possibility of transportation. For this it must be in its whole structure and in every one of its constituent parts, on call for duty, i.e., ready for takeoff. (Here it would be appropriate to discuss Hegel's definition of the machine as an autonomous tool. When applied to the tools of the craftsman, his characterization is correct. Characterized in this way, however, the machine is not thought at all from out of the essence of technology within which it belongs. Seen in terms of the standing-reserve, the machine is completely unautonomous, for it has its standing only from the ordering of the orderable.) [n1][back to home]
In a classic work, The Image of the City [Cambridge: MIT, 1960 -SYborg], Kevin Lynch taught us that the alienated city is above all a space in which people are unable to map (in their minds) either their own positions or the urban totality in which they find themselves: grids such as those of Jersey City, in which none of the traditional markers (monuments, nodes, natural boundaries, built perspectives) obtain, are the most obvious examples. Disalienation in the traditional city, then, involves the practical reconquest of a sense of place and the construction or reconstruction of an articulated ensemble which can be retained in memory and which the individual subject can map and remap along the moments of mobile, alternative trajectories [emphasis-SYborg]. Lynch's own work is limited by the deliberate restriction of his topic to the problems of city form as such; yet it becomes extraordinarily suggestive when projected outward onto some of the larger national and global spaces we have touched on here. Nor should it be too hastily assumed that his model—while it clearly raises very central issues of representation as such—is in any way easily vitiated by the conventional poststructural critiques of the "ideology of representation" or mimesis. The cognitive map is not exactly mimetic in that older sense; indeed, the theoretical issues it poses allow us to renew the analysis of representation on a higher and much more complex level. [...]
An aesthetic of cognitive mapping—a pedagogical political culture which seeks to endow the individual subject with some new heightened sense of its place in the global system—will necessarily have to respect this now enormously complex representational dialectic and invent radically new forms in order to do it justice. This is not then, clearly, a call for a return to some older kind of machinery, some older and more transparent national space, or some more traditional and reassuring perspectival or mimetic enclave: the new political art (if it is possible at all) [emphasis-SYborg] will have to hold to the truth of postmodernism, that is to say, to its fundamental object—the world space of multinational capital—at the same time at which it achieves a breakthrough to some as yet unimaginable new mode of representing this last, in which we may again begin to grasp our positioning as individual and collective subjects and regain a capacity to act and struggle which is at present neutralized by our spatial as well as our social confusion. The political form of postmodernism, if there every is any, will have as its vocation the invention and projection of a global cognitive mapping, on a social as well as spatial scale. [n2][back to topography][back to A moment of sobriety?][back to KGB]
...To undergo an experience with something—be it a thing, a person, or a god—means that something befalls us, strikes us, comes over us, overwhelms and transforms us. When we talk of "undergoing" an experience, we mean specifically that the experience is not of our own making; to undergo here means that we endure it, suffer it, receive it as it strikes us and submit to it. It is this something itself that comes about, comes to pass, happens. [...]
...To experience something means to attain it along the way, by going on a way. To undergo an experience with something means that this something, which we reach along the way in order to attain it, itself pertains to us, meets and makes its appeal to us, in that it transforms us into itself. [...]
...We are not yet on our way to it. We must first turn, turn back to where we are in reality already staying. The abiding turn, back to where we already are, is infinitely harder than are hasty excursions to places where we are not yet and never will be, except perhaps as the monstrous creatures of technology, assimilated to machines.
The step back into the sphere of the human being demands other things than does the progress into the machine world.
To turn back to where we are (in reality) already staying: that is how we must walk along the way of thinking which now becomes necessary.
...But of the way which is to lead us to the source of this possibility, it was said that it leads us only to where we already are. The "only" here does not mean a limitation, but rather points to this way's pure simplicity. The way allows us to reach what concerns us, in that domain where we are already staying. Why then, one may ask, still find a way to it? Answer: because where we already are, we are in such a way that at the same time we are not there, because we ourselves have not yet properly reached what concerns our being, not even approached it. The way that lets us reach where we already are, differing from all other ways, calls for an escort that runs far ahead. That escort is implied in the key word... We have not yet commented on this directive character of the guiding key word [unless we view http://www.bestand.com/epigraphy.html as comment on 'Bestand' -SYborg]. [n3][back to topography][back to home][ur-back]
Every expression of human mental life can be understood as a kind of language, and this understanding, in the manner of a true method, everywhere raises new questions. [...]
...Mental is identical to linguistic being only insofar as it is capable of communication. What is communicable in a mental entity is its linguistic entity. Language therefore communicates the particular linguistic being of things, but their mental being only insofar as this is directly included in their linguistic being, insofar as it is capable of being communicated.
Language communicates the linguistic being of things. The clearest manifestation of this being, however, is language itself. ...all language communicates itself in itself; it is in the purest sense the "medium" of the communication. Mediation, which is the immediacy of all mental communication, is the fundamental problem of linguistic theory, and if one chooses to call this immediacy magic, then the primary problem of language is its magic. [n4][back to A moment of sobriety?]
...Anything that gives us room and allows us to do something gives us a possibility, that is, it gives what enables us. "Possibility" so understood, as what enables, means something else and something more than mere opportunity. [n5][back to A moment of sobriety?]
In his foundational work in abnormal psychology, Multiple Personality Disorder, Colin Ross makes the point that the Isis/Osiris [nota bene Osiris re The SYborg's "originary" name -SYborg] myth illustrates the fragmentation, death, healing, and resurrection of the self in a new form... [...]
...Ross can perhaps be excused for pathologizing MPD tout court, because he evinces a genuine interest in assisting the individuals he has observed whose accommodation to buried trauma causes, in his words, more suffering than it prevents. I am primarily concerned here with how the phenomenon of multiple personality fits into a broader framework of cultural developments in which the abstract machine of multiplicity (in Deleuze and Guattari's words) is grinding finer and finer. Among the phenomena at the close of the mechanical age which are useful to note is the pervasive burgeoning of the ontic and epistemic qualities of multiplicity in all their forms. [n6][back to The map is not the territory?][back to Agent 00-summer]
It was to be tightrope: to think the/a differential relation of modus operandi and modi essendi. Could "it" be grasped as colon, as slash, as hyphen, as parergon as such?—In a cultural moment, moreover, when this question persists fundamentally as what is at stake: the/a relation seems to be collapsing, dangerously...method and being, from identity toward sameness. For that matter, thought The SYborg to itself one morning while uploading coffee in Bryant Park, relation per se is disappearing...into virtuality?
For The SYborg this problem for thinking, though, could only be experienced as a problem via performance, or in other words, à la Baudrillard's America: The point is not to write the psychology or sociology of the car; the point is to drive. The point is not to grasp the difference but to be cut by it.
And The SYborg set out, struggling not to set-up. The SYborg sets out along a series of technological thematicizations. An infinitesimal difference, an excruciating difference! Calculation and chance. Inside and outside. Homeostasis and prosthenos. And the setting out of The SYborg is inseparable from walking, as it is inseparable from a governing concept: cybernetics. Let us be taken by this concept, to see if there is something within it, worthy of rescue.
The SYborg's activity in this respect, opening itself to the cutting of that difference (which one? ah, but have you already forgotten it?), becomes the perpetual reassembly of a topography, to experience again and again the flashing—Augenblick! in which you are precisely between: the grid and something other: streets and avenues and...
Cognitive mapping does not produce a map. This is not that fantastic story by Borges. Maps are flat; the world curves. Alcohol can be a ciphered communication. The City is a heterogeneous field of force.
drinking in the feedback loop
[n7][back to home][back to A moment of sobriety?][back to Satellites][back to Sophie's][back to topography too]
Postmodernism, or, the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism [see n2] makes an argument. What is at stake in the argument?
Jameson's marxism might be read as a way of negotiating the problem of criticism: neither positivism nor metaphysics critiques culture effectively because neither engages the relation between superstructure and base. Theory becomes the mode in which contradiction is demonstrated and preserved as opposed to dismissed or sublated ( contradiction is used loosely here, since it is difficult to decipher clearly the connection between Jameson's Postmodernism and "ideology critique"). Theory, then, is the result of estrangement, of crisis, but theory is also the way to recognize the estrangement or crisis that legitimates its activity. In short, theory produces the crisis that guarantees its legitimacy in the first place.
Fragments: At stake in Postmodernism, mediation—the Kant, as it were, in Marx. Cf. Frankfurt school, especially Benjamin-Adorno debate. Economic-cultural conditions as Magritte's shoe-foot—Jameson's example; is the example, the exemplary, always where the argument discloses its own limit, even as it seems to be clarifying itself? Postmodernism presented as a crisis for critical knowledge, which necessitates Jameson's writing. (Again, the question of periodicity, first because Jameson claims for postmodernity a particular relation to history, secondly because he posits an end in order to think a whole; modernity is this whole that requires its end, a post-, in order to be thought.) But in the quote-unquote postmodern artifact, the/a contradiction is already immanent; the critique can no longer critique, only point out, re-televise the object, instead of reveal its meaning (contradiction). So perhaps there is another contradiction, a contradictory contradiction, to be preserved in theory, in Postmodernism: theory's mediation of its own necessity? Jameson writing in order to rescue the necessity of writing, in order to rescue necessity as such.
In other words, in an at least vulgar marxist sense, critique (always?) finds itself in its object. Postmodernism guarantees that Jameson still has a job, a paycheck. [n8][back to Barramundi][back to preLoaded]
Freud: "The foregoing discussion has led us at last to the discovery of a third factor whose share in the transformation of the dream-thoughts into the dream-content is not to be underrated: namely, considerations of representability [Darstellbarkeit] in the peculiar psychical material of which dreams make use—for the most part, that is, representability in visual images. Of the various subsidiary thoughts attached to the essential dream-thoughts, those will be preferred which admit of visual representation; and the dream-work does not shrink from the effort of recasting unadaptable thoughts into a new verbal form—even into a less usual one—provided that that process facilitates representation and so relieves the psychological pressure caused by constricted thinking. This pouring of the content of a thought into another mould may at the same time serve the purposes of the activity of condensation and may create connections, which might not otherwise have been present, with some other thought; while this second thought itself may already have had its original form of expression changed, with a view to meeting the first one half-way."
1) "For the most part, that is, representability in visual images." How to determine this "-ability?"...as proper to the visual or as the visual itself? In other words, is anything visual already represent-able? Which raises the question of whether anything visual is not in fact already represent- ed. Perhaps in the shifting from the horizontal (page, text, left-to-right, page-turning) to the vertical (screen, network, scrolling, hyperlinking) we discover, all over again, "considerations of representability" at play. Darstellbarkeit would seem to suggest just this rediscovery: the frame of the monitor, a space of presentation, resolution.—But perhaps (again) this requires an unjustified literalness in the reading of Freud.
2) "Subsidiary thoughts attached to the essential dream-thoughts." Still, it seems, the "essential" remains untouched by those considerations of representability that affect the "subsidiary," which suggests that the representability of the essential is doubly contingent: on having subsidiaries, on having subsidiaries that "admit of visual representation." The essence of "reality" must already have subsidiary attachments that can pass, as proxies, into virtuality? The subsidiary as already virtual? And is "the representability of the essential" merely an oxymoron?
3) "This pouring of the content of a thought into another mould." Darstellbarkeit appears here metaphorically as liquidity. In order for the content in question to be represent-able, it must be possible to re-mould it... Darstell- as mould, as form, so that one should ask, if the form presents the representation of the content, then what appears in (not through) the form? And here we find ourselves close to Jameson (and incidentally Benjamin in "Goethes Die Wahlverwandtschaften"), for whom form both presents, makes possible, representation of content and itself shows, i.e., 'the content of form.' But what becomes of form when it is virtuality? Under what conditions does it become possible, moreover, to determine what appears in virtuality per se (as opposed to the representation it frames)?
Freud: "Everything that can be an object of our internal perception is virtual, like the image produced in a telescope by the passage of light-rays." [n9][back to A moment of sobriety?]
La terre est bleue comme une orange
Jamais une erreur les mots ne mentent pas
Ils ne vous donnent plus à chanter
Au tour des baisers de s'entendre
Les fous et les amours
Elle sa bouche d'alliance
Tous les secrets tous les sourires
Et quels vêtements d'indulgence
A la croire toute nue.
Les guêpes fleurissent vert
L'aube se passe autour du cou
Un collier de fenêtres
Des ailes couvrent les feuilles
Tu as toutes les joies solaires
Tout le soleil sur la terre
Sur les chemins de ta beauté.
[n10][back to L'orange bleue]
The fragment is neither a determined style nor a failure, but the form of that which is written.
...The joyous wandering of the graphein then became wandering without return. The opening into the text was adventure, expenditure without reserve....
...Lure of the origin, the end, the line, the ring, the volume, the center.
...Writing, passion of the origin, must also be understood through the subjective genetive. It is the origin itself which is impassioned, passive, and past, in that it is written. Which means inscribed. The inscription of the origin is doubtless its Being-as-writing, but it is also its Being-as-inscribed in a system in which it is only a function and a locus....
...This repetition is writing because what disappears in it is the self-identity of the origin, the self-presence of so-called living speech. That is the center. The first book, the mythic book, the eve prior to all repetition, has lived on the deception that the center was sheltered from play: irreplaceable, withdrawn from metaphor and metonymy, a kind of invariable first name that could be invoked, but not repeated. The center of the first book should not have been repeatable in its own representation. Once it lends itself a single time to such a representation—that is to say, once it is written—when one can read a book in the book, an origin in the origin, a center in the center, it is the abyss, is the bottomlessness of infinite redoubling....
... Death is at the dawn because everything has begun with repetition [emphasis-SYborg]. Once the center or the origin have begun by repeating themselves, by redoubling themselves, the double did not only add itself to the simple. It divided it and supplemented it. There was immediately a double origin plus its repetition. Three is the first figure of repetition. The last too, for the abyss of representation always remains dominated by its rhythm, infinitely. The infinite is doubtless neither one, nor empty, nor innumerable. It is of a ternary essence....
[n11][back to home][back to BIBLIOPOLIS][back to preLoaded][back to Theo A. Nusyg]
It's Mallarmé of course.
[back to preLoaded]
again: cognitive mapping
The flâneur's investigation of the city is an early attempt to read the essence of modernity in urban spatial configuration. The topography of modernity was a concern for many artists who depicted the dynamics of the city in two-dimensional representations. However, as opposed to paintings, whose vertical planes evoke the window of the perceptive model, representations of urban space very early on resorted to the horizontality of the map. [n12][back to the question of softwares][back to LBBIV]
...It follows that as the nebula gradually spreads, its nucleus condenses and becomes more organized. Loose threads join up with one another, gaps are closed, connections are established, and something resembling order is to be seen emerging from chaos. Sequences arranged in transformation groups, as if around a germinal molecule, join up with the initial group and reproduce its structure and determinative tendencies. Thus is brought into being a multidimensional body, whose central parts disclose a structure, while uncertainty and confusion continue to prevail along its periphery.
But I do not hope to reach a stage at which the subject matter of mythology, after being broken down by analysis, will crystallize again into a whole with the general appearance of a stable and well-defined structure. Apart from the fact that the science of myths is still in its infancy, so that its practitioners must consider themselves fortunate to obtain even a few tentative, preliminary results, we can already be certain that the ultimate state will never be attained, since were it theoretically possible, the fact still remains that there does not exist, nor ever will exist, any community or group of communities whose mythology and ethnography (and without the latter the study of myths is ineffectual) can be known in their entirety. The ambition to achieve such knowledge is meaningless, since we are dealing with a shifting reality, perpetually exposed to the attacks of a past that destroys it and of a future that changes it. For every instance recorded in written form, there are obviously many others unknown to us; and we are only too pleased with the samples and scraps at our disposal. It has already been pointed out that the starting point of the analysis must inevitably be chosen at random, since the organizational principles governing the subject matter of mythology are contained within it and only emerge as the analysis progresses. [...]
The true answer is to be found, I think, in the characteristic that myth and music share of both being languages which, in their different ways, transcend articulate expression, while at the same time—like articulate speech, but unlike painting—requiring a temporal dimension in which to unfold. But this relation to time is of a rather special nature: it is as if music and mythology needed time only in order to deny it. Both, indeed, are instruments for the obliteration of time. Below the level of sounds and rhythms, music acts upon a primitive terrain, which is the physiological time of the listener; this time is irreversible and therefore irredeemably diachronic, yet music transmutes the segment devoted to listening to it into a synchronic totality, enclosed within itself. Because of the internal organization of the musical work, the act of listening to it immobilizes passing time; it catches and enfolds it as one catches and enfolds a cloth flapping in the wind. It follows that by listening to music, and while we are listening to it, we enter into a kind of immortality [this paradoxical temporality is also that of smoking; see Strikes/Blows in archives -SYborg]. [...]
In both instances the same reversal of the relation between transmitter and receiver can be observed, since in the last resort the latter discovers its own meaning through the message of the former: music has its being in me, and I listen to myself through it [emphasis-SYborg]. Thus the myth and the musical work are like conductors of an orchestra, whose audience becomes the silent performers. [n13][back to The SYborg mythos][back to Raw and cooked?]
quotation / en abyme
Quotations in my work are like wayside robbers who leap out, armed, and relieve the idle stroller of his conviction. [n14][back to BIBLIOPOLIS]
"A highly convoluted neighborhood, a network of streets that I had avoided for years, was disentangled at a single stroke when one day a person dear to me moved there. It was as if a searchlight set up at this person's window dissected the area with pencils of light." -Benjamin
These are days when no one should rely unduly on his "competence." Strength lies in improvisation. All the decisive blows are struck left-handed. [n15][back to The map is not the territory?]
"Is there anyone who has not once been stunned, emerging from the Métro into the open air, to step into brilliant sunlight? And yet the sun shone just as brightly a few minutes earlier, when he went down. So quickly has he forgotten the weather of the upper world. And as quickly the world in its turn will forget him. For who can say more of his own existence than that it has passed through the lives of two or three others as gently and closely as the weather?" -Benjamin
presence of mind
For presence of mind is an extract of the future, and precise awareness of the present moment is more decisive than foreknowledge of the most distant events. Omens, presentiments, signals pass day and night through our organism like wave impulses. To interpret them or to use them: that is the question. The two are irreconcilable. Cowardice and apathy counsel the former, lucidity and freedom the latter. For before such prophecy or warning has been mediated by word or image, it has lost its vitality, the power to strike at our center and force us, we scarcely know how, to act accordingly. If we neglect to do so, and only then, the message is deciphered. We read it. But now it is too late. [n16][back to LBBIV]
Modern technology as an ordering revealing is, then, no merely human doing. Therefore we must take that challenging that sets upon man to order the real as standing-reserve [ Bestand] in accordance with the way in which it shows itself. That challenging gathers man into ordering. This gathering concentrates man upon ordering the real as standing reserve [ Bestand].
That which primordially unfolds the mountains into mountain ranges and courses through them in their folded togetherness is the gathering that we call " Gebirg" [mountain chain].
That original gathering from which unfold the ways in which we have feelings of one kind or another we name " Gemüt" [disposition].
We now name that challenging claim which gathers man thither to order the self-revealing as standing-reserve [ Bestand]: " Ge-stell" [Enframing].
We dare to use this word in a sense that has been thoroughly unfamiliar up to now. [...]
Enframing means the gathering together of that setting-upon which sets upon man, i.e., challenges him forth, to reveal the real, in the mode of ordering, as standing-reserve [ Bestand]. Enframing means that way of revealing which holds sway in the essence of modern technology and which is itself nothing technological [emphasis-SYborg]. [n17][back to the question of softwares]
Cyberspace, in short, is unthinkable without the print culture it claims to transcend. As Marshall McLuhan suggested in the 1960s, the content of any new medium is precisely the old medium that it has replaced; and so, in McLuhan's sense, we might say that cyberspace remains fixated on the traces of the word that it ostensibly renders obsolete. It is, in part, a by-product of a tradition of metaphysics which, boats against the current, bears us back relentlessly to our past. [n18][back to the "new"]
Americans especially are addicted to lists: top one hundred this and top one hundred that and this countdown and that countdown and these top ten albums of all time and those best fifty actors in the history of film, blahblahblah. It's a wonder the millennium didn't quite add up...and just a cursory surf on the Internet! You get the picture. It's not entirely improbable that The List, as an American mode of mediation and expression, as an information processing system, is the symptom par excellence of what is commonly called the postmodern. That's a question, kittlings. Are we participants in a cultural moment that produces objects as list items? The object (of knowledge, what have you) as an exceptional being-for-listing? And—but you saw this coming—we find ourselves right back in the thick of Heidegger, again: see Bestand. -SY, 1/21/00 [n19][back to topography's (topoi)][back to yellow pages]
The true purpose of Haussmann's work was to secure the city against civil war. He wanted to make the erection of barricades in Paris impossible for all time. With such intent Louise-Philippe had already introduced wooden paving. Yet the barricades played a part in the February Revolution. Engels studies the technique of barricade fighting. Haussmann seeks to prevent barricades in two ways. The breadth of the streets is intended to make their erection impossible, and new thoroughfares are to open the shortest route between the barracks and the working-class districts. Contemporaries christen the enterprise "strategic embellishment." [n20][back to LBBIV]
The work of the French psychiatrist Eugène Minkowski, elaborated in a collection of case studies published as Le Temps vécu in 1933, was especially useful. While Minkowski explored other categories, the focus of his attention was on time, especially how his patients experienced past, present, and future. He applied the phenomenological method to understand patients who had acute psychotic disorders and could not reconstruct their lives genetically or historically as the psychoanalytic method required. His method is particularly suited for psychotics, because it is often not feasible to link their prior personality with their current pathological personality, which is generally too fragmented and disorganized. [n21]
I just had time
to catch in mo-
tion the last
car on the
train and each
time the train
was going to de-
rail I signal
ed the conductor
to show him. In
the third, second
and even the first
class there were
the large stores.
Arriving in the
station I perceived
that the train had
and its route. I
got out and took
alone the route
of polar dreams
[n22][back to topography's (topoi)]
...a builder who has no clear ground; ancient debris of half-ruined walls, mounds, projecting rocks obstruct him, quite apart from the particular ends which are to dictate the construction of his building, and he can achieve nothing but a wild, unharmonious, fantastic structure. What he produces is not the work of his own imagination freely creating out of his own spiritual resources. [n23][back to Liquor Store]
notes for quotes [back to top]
n1: These two paragraphs are torn out of Lovitt's translation of Heidegger's "Die Frage nach der Technik," which he translates as "The Question concerning Technology"—better by far: Questioning after Technics. "Die Frage nach der Technik" can be found in: Martin Heidegger, The Question Concerning Technology and Other Essays, trans. William Lovitt, New York: Harper, 1977. Now these two paragraphs, ironically enough, have themselves been forced to stand as (part of http://www.bestand.com/) Bestand...an occasion for thinking? of thinking? Not to mention, of course, the complications of their earlier situation...see also Ge-stell. [back up]
n2: So in its activities The SYborg discovers, or rather re-discovers (whether with embarrassment or not is beside the point), the persistence of a marxist intention, albeit ambivalent in the highest sense. Poor Freddy J.! which see; both paragraphs are taken from: Fredric Jameson, "The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism," Postmodernism, or, the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism, Post-Contemporary Interventions, Durham: Duke UP, 1991. And along similar lines, The SYborg recommends: Henri Lefebvre, The Production of Social Space, trans. Donald Nicholson-Smith, Oxford: Blackwell, 1991; though it is theoretically infelicitous at several points (thus The SYborg breaks its contract, to remain only hyperplayful throughout Bestand), The Power of the City/The City of Power, ISP Papers No. 1 ["organized by the following Helena Rubinstein Fellows in the 1991-92 Whitney Museum Independent Study Program: Christel Hollevoet, Karen Jones, Timothy Nye"], New York: Whitney Museum of American Art, 1992; an astonishing piece, Stanley Milgram, "A Psychological Map of New York City," American Scientist, 1972; and finally, Anthony Vidler, "Agoraphobia: Spatial Estrangement in Simmel and Kracauer," New German Critique 54, Fall 1991. The appearance of Simmel and Kracauer recalls of course, apropos cognitive mapping, the amazing Berliner Kindheit of Benjamin. [back up]
n3: These fragments were removed from out of Heidegger's "Das Wesen der Sprache" (usually translated as "The Nature of Language"; The SYborg prefers "The Being of Language" or "The Essence of Language"), which is explicitly connected to "Die Frage nach der Technik" (see n1). The translation of the lecture from out of which these fragments were removed can be found in: Martin Heidegger, On the way to language, trans. Peter D. Hertz and Joan Stambaugh [with whom The SYborg studied Sein und Zeit for a semester], New York: Harper, 1971; the English On the way to language differs slightly, essay for essay, from the German Unterwegs zur Sprache (1959). As provocative and/or inspiring as this/a misreading-qua-recontextualization of "The Being of Language" may be for purposes of Bestand, that arises precisely as the problem: to think through and not merely to make use of...thinking along a way should not be mis-taken for method(ology; encore! cf. "Die Frage nach der Technik," n1). You are beginning to suspect, correctly! that one figure of the difference sought by The SYborg (see cognitive mapping) is the divergence-convergence-spark of Heidegger and Benjamin (ici passim). On this score see: David S. Ferris (alas! David, come back to us at C***!), "Introduction: Aura, Resistance, and the Event of History," Walter Benjamin: Theoretical Questions, ed. Ferris, Stanford: Stanford UP, 1996, which is one of the finest collections of writings on Benjamin in English.) [back up]
n4: Decontextualized pieces of: Walter Benjamin, "On Language as Such and on the Language of Man [Über die Sprache überhaupt und über die Sprache des Menschen]," Reflections: Essays, Aphorisms, Autobiographical Writings, trans. Edmund Jephcott, ed. Peter Demetz [ack!], New York: Schocken, 1978; "Über die Sprache überhaupt und über die Sprache des Menschen" also appears in: Walter Benjamin, Selected Writings, Volume I, 1913-1926, ed. Marcus Bullock and Michael W. Jennings, Cambridge: Harvard/Belknap, 1996. The importance of this very early (1915-16; Benjamin was born in 1892!) and only posthumously published essay cannot be overestimated. [back up]
n5: Snipped right out of: Martin Heidegger, "The Nature of Language" (see n3). [back up]
n6: From: Allucquere Rosanne Stone, "Identity in Oshkosh," Posthuman Bodies, ed. Judith Halberstam and Ira Livingston, Unnatural Acts: Theorizing the Performative, Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1995. ARS is to my knowledge the only anthropologist-turned-cultural-theorist/critic who actually knows of what s/he speaks, at least as far as technologized gender switching is concerned. Sadly, like most writing of this kind, the concern with precisely the ontic and not the ontological per se, nor their relation! produces in the thoughtful reader the conviction that: This is it, and yet it is so far from the stakes...all the same, you might enjoy: Allucquère Rosanne Stone, The War of Desire and Technology at the Close of the Mechanical Age, Cambridge: MIT, 1995. [back up]
n7: See also topography, above, and bien sûr, cf. The SYborg mythos. And see also again: cognitive mapping. [back up]
n8: From: The SYborg archives, "briefly" (11/1/99). Cf. this footnote in Sein und Zeit: "Misleading. Da-sein is exemplary because it is the co-player (das Bei-spiel) that in its essence as Da-sein (perduring the truth of being) plays to and with being—brings it into the play of resonance." [back up]
n9: From: The SYborg archives, "Freud ( encore!): long quote, short notes (apropos virtuality)" (11/13/99). The quoted passages are from Die Traumdeutung, English Standard Edition. The interpolation of Darstellbarkeit does not appear in the translation, which is problematic since "representability" should only translate Vorstellbarkeit. Sloppy, Mr. Strachey! [back up]
n10: Paul Eluard, "La terre est bleue...," Anthologie de la poésie française du XXe siècle, de Paul Claudel à René Char, ed. Michel Décaudin, Collection Poésie, Editions Gallimard, 1983, p. 287. The French SYborg is so entirely atrophied as to be useless for translation of this poem. [back up]
n11: Dismembered Derrida...first from: "Edmond Jabès and the Question of the Book"; then from: "Ellipsis"; both of which are translated by Alan Bass in: Jacques Derrida, Writing and Difference, Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1978. The SYborg, struggling to stay playful vis-à-vis "academia," makes no apology for this reductive repetition of pieces of JD's pieces...though as an alternative, if you should find yourself disturbed by this reduction, and perhaps you should, you can always email The SYborg, no? [back up]
n12: From: Christel Hollevoet, "Wandering in the City: Flânerie to Dérive and After: The Cognitive Mapping of Urban Space," The Power of the City/The City of Power (see n2). See also above both topography and cognitive mapping. As a caveat, a silly sliver from The SYborg archives: "against Hollevoet's presentation of the dérive-produced 'work' as 'an index of an ephemeral situation or immaterial concept,' the process by which the concept unfolds concretely, in the context of urban reification, must be situated. In other words, the art being addressed here would be in league with the bourgeois approach to urban space unless it can simultaneously provide a critique of that approach; this critique obtains in the negative dialectical situation of the wandering subject confronted with alienation in his/her very 'itinerary.'" Hey! or shall we on this rainy March night add a chunk from Burton Pike reading Kevin Lynch (cf. epigraphy v 2)? "The inhabitant or visitor basically experiences the city as a labyrinth, although one with which he may be familiar. He cannot see the whole of a labyrinth at once, except from above, when it becomes a map. Therefore his impressions of it at street level at any given moment will be fragmentary and limited: rooms, buildings, streets. These impressions are primarily visual, but involve the other senses as well, together with a crowd of memories and associations" (Burton Pike, "The City as Image," The Image of the City in Modern Literature, Princeton Essays in Literature, Princeton: Princeton UP, 1981; hey! need we add that The SYborg is "currently" studying both modernism and translation with Professor Pike?). [back up]
n13: From: Claude Lévi-Strauss, "Overture," The Raw and the Cooked, Mythologiques Vol. 1, trans. John and Doreen Weightman, Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1983 (orig. Harper ed. 1969). The SYborg should have a lot to say about M. Lévi-Strauss, but... [back up]
n14, n15, n16: From Benjamin's beautiful Einbahnstraße. The SYborg arrives thereby at the realization that, despite its profound shortcomings, errors, and stupidity, Double Prime deserves to be read, if only as an example of how not to think... [back to quotation][back to reach][back to presence of mind] ...ergo, here you go, so long as you know where you are going...Double Prime: the politics of quotation and Benjamin's N Konvolut (173KB zip pdf) and its central "chapter" BIBLIOPOLIS (31KB pdf) (these versions do not include images; to acquire illustrated copies, email The SYborg)...
n17: Hewn from Heidegger's "Die Frage..." (see n1). Bracketed interpolations belong to the translator, except those of Bestand, which The SYborg has made. Here is what this translator has to say about Bestand (see also Bestand) and Ge-stell:
" Bestand ordinarily denotes a store or supply as 'standing-by.' It carries the connotation of the verb bestehen with its dual meaning of to last and to undergo. Heidegger uses the word to characterize the manner in which everything commanded into place and ordered according to the challenging demand ruling in modern technology presences as revealed. He wishes to stress here not the permanency, but the orderability and substitutability of objects. Bestand contrasts with Gegenstand (object; that which stands over against). Objects indeed lose their character as objects when they are caught up in the 'standing-reserve'" [hey, there are far worse footnotes -SYborg].
"The translation 'Enframing' for Ge-stell is intended to suggest, through the use of the prefix 'en-,' something of the active meaning that Heidegger here gives to the German word. While following the discussion that now ensues, in which Enframing assumes a central role, the reader should be careful not to interpret the word as though it simply meant a framework of some sort. Instead he should constantly remember that Enframing is fundamentally a calling-forth. It is a 'challenging claim,' a demanding summons, that 'gathers' so as to reveal. This claim enframes in that it assembles and orders. It puts into a framework or configuration everything that it summons forth, through an ordering for use that it is forever restructuring anew" [now this footnote, mmm, lacks, for there are, in the opinion of The SYborg, more favorable translations of Ge-stell, "set-up" for example -SYborg]. See also Die Kehre...nach (and its ensuing nach-shocks) in The SYborg's Pretense Petting Zoo. [back up]
n18: From: Robert Markley, "Introduction: History, Theory, and Virtual Reality," Virtual Realities and Their Discontents, ed. Robert Markley, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1996. The SYborg once went to a conference partially run by Markley (see also FRAGMENTum's OPEN LETTER) and was convinced then, as it is now, that in spite of several nice points in his introductory essay (like the one above, in which he refers to McLuhan's Understanding Media and The Medium Is the Message), Markley is * ********* *******... blahblahblah, Bruno Latour, blahblahblah, Bruno Latour, blahblahblah... [back up]
n19: An altogether strange but strangely cogent and fun look at listing in American fiction would be Patrica White's difficult to find (originally her dissertation?) Gatsby's Party: The System and the List in Contemporary Literature, Lafayette: Purdue UP, 1992. [back up]
n20: From: Walter Benjamin, "Paris, Capital of the Nineteenth Century," Reflections (see n4). "Paris, Capital of the Nineteenth Century" was one of the first précis to be captured from the ever-expanding Passagenarbeit (finally available in translation from Harvard Belknap); it provoked Adorno's ire re the question of mediation in dialectical materialism, but The SYborg thinks it's lovely all the same. [back up]
n21: From: Stephen Kern's magisterial The Culture of Time and Space, 1880-1918, Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1983. [back up]
n22: Vicente Huidobro, "Warning to the Tourists," translated by Mary Ann Caws, for whom The SYborg worked for a couple of years; those interested in so-called reality will want to peruse the acknowledgments in The Surrealist Painters and Poets, Bloomsbury and France, and Modernist Manifestos. [back up]
n23: Found written in red ink on a 3x5 card in The SYborg's archives; above it: "Hegel on LL928's architect." It is presumably a slice of the Aesthetics. [back up]
"Necessity of listening for every accidental quotation, every fleeting mention of a book, over many years." -Benjamin
"forward" to epigraphy v 2
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