Monday, 4 December 2006

Peas (3/3)

Both video poems share a preoccupation w/ time. Things do not tend to happen at the normal rate, in normal orders or directions or the normal number of times.

Swarms sped up resemble thoughts. Maybe thoughts slowed down resemble swarms?

“The present” gets the once-over too, the suture between tick & tock. A flash of frozen credit. Time cannot be milked, it cannot be stored till distended. The present cannot be remembered. The past can be remembered powered by the present. Reading is a reductio of our intuitions about the seriality of subjective time: we never or seldom experience a fragment of word. What Dennett writes about the present is closely related to what he writes about meaning. Stuff does not cross some inner ‘finishing line’ after which it becomes consciousness (instead, the Multiple Drafts model, in which the phenomenological present is produced in the interplay of several perceptual, cognitive presents to which we have no direct phenomenological access. Similarly, ‘think ya’ve privileged access to yer own meaning eh? Inference not good enough for ya, is that right?’ (Dennett tends to overstate the similarity between how a speaker & listener evaluate a speaker’s meaning. To do that is pedagogically simpler than to acknowledge the speaker & listener’s sharply discriminated repertoires of evidence, missions & procedures, but epistemologically indiscernable reliance on inference)).

Both video poems are too themeatically noisy, though, to take clean readings. The most determinate themes – Swarm Intelligence’s collaboration, labour, purposiveness, language, mind, time; The Leap’s language, time, mereology, Christ, the uncanny – are so massive that any one of them could swallow everything noteworthy. Digestion is ruinous – it’s obvious.

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