"Every critique of the old world has been made in the language of that world, yet directed against it and therefore automatically in a different language. Every revolutionary theory has had to invent its own terms, to destroy the dominant sense of other terms and establish meanings in the "world of meanings" corresponding to the embryonic reality poised to liberate itself from the dominant trash heap. The same reasons that prevent our l, not only enable us to assert alternative positions that negate existing meanings, they also prevent us from proclaiming any definitive certitudes; definition is always open, never definitive.
"Language is the house of power, the refuge of its police violence. Any dialogue with power is violence, whether passively suffered or actively provoked. When power wants to avoid resorting to its material arms, it relies on language to guard the oppressive order.
"Just as the Christian God is the necessary mediation between two souls and between the soul and the self, the discourse of power establishes itself at the heart of all communication, becoming the necessary mediation between self and self. This is how it is able to coopt oppositional movements, diverting them onto its own terrain, infiltrating them and controlling them from within. The critique of the dominant language, the détournement of it, is going to become a permanent practice of the new revolutionary theory."

--the situationist international

As usual, i find it useful to resort to the situationists in order to explain what the hell it is i mean to do. the project, all writing is fiction: a book of things is a means of discussing the manmade objects we use everyday, their origins, their uses, their social and psychological implications. by no means do i hope to offer any definitive meaning, but rather intend to initiate discussion that can be forwarded anywhere, anytime, in any form and by anyone.

one important thing i mean to substantiate is the fact that language is not an accident. words have specific meanings that relate to specific functions performed by specific people to specific ends. but then, all of life is that way. the moods and emotions we sense each day are the manifestation of concrete choices we make—and the immediate choices we make far outweigh those made in the past. the belief that the past informs our present is a choice made in the present. why, then, should i concern myself with definitions that are past? in effect, i am not seeking objective definitions. i am looking for the subjectivity of these objects. more than what they mean to us, how does what an object mean for us lead us to understand what that object means to express of itself. in effect, to counter the failure of the economy—the abstract assignment of values to the elements of our home by naming—we must learn more of the ecology that sustains us. ecology, the language of the planet, a total communication that objects suggest to us the more willfully as we increase our ability and capacity to listen.

of course, there's a certain enjoyment that comes to any writer in the experience of language. projects like roland barthes "mythologies" or "fragments of a lover's discourse," walter benjamin's "one-way street" or "arcades project," gustave flaubert's "dictionary of received ideas," countless poems, essays, etc. handed down to us through over the years. mostly, this is about enjoyment. i enjoy doing this kind of thing, and i hope that it can offer you, for a moment, some enjoyment of your own.

a peaceful and happy new year


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