Monday, August 11, 2014

discursive creativity

To speak a word is an act which mediates and prescribes meaning. A word, when uttered, exists in a liminal space of time (that is, concretely). Simultaneously, a word exists insofar as it is sensible (that is, able to be sensed, to be perceived). To sense a word is to take the word and also to be taken by the word, to make a step or movement onto a path which we choose to follow and by which we are led. A word is an abstract object from which illumination is shed in many possible directions at once, a prism through which understanding might move and move us - to where, depends upon the angle at which we stand, the perspective from which we find and then define it. The word's possibilities depend upon the boundaries we draw around it. It is circumscribed only with as much specificity and intransigence as we bring to bear on it, the openings by which we grant it access to our experience and imagination. It is limited to the degree to which we fear misunderstanding and creative discourse.

The mind is used to memory and movement, from birth it begins the first timid steps of the dance, for mind is constituted of energy and change. The fear of this dance of abstraction is socially inculcated for political reasons. We are taught to accept the terms of what exists as what should exist. An apprehension of traversing allegedly fixed boundaries of the socially acceptable is reinforced by acts and images of violence which we perpetrate on ourselves and others. We are the authorities of our own imprisonment. We police ourselves to ensure the lines are always redrawn. Though the geometries may shift, the lines remain. The lines we locate everywhere; they signify order. Lines in the grocery store, assembly lines, property lines, lineage and narratives of development, architecture and urban planning, the bottom line. Lines do not have to be straight. They are insidious because they are taken for granted. A line is a path, a movement to and from. A line is a real-life application of an ideology of control. Lines are the methodology of simplification and fixation. They are what makes the world coherent. Coherence is a preliminary to reification, commodification, and control. This is the application of capitalism in action, the system whose mechanisms are calibrated to produce exchange value. An accumulation of lines and numbers, to which we alone assign meaning. We are the subjects behind this, but only if we begin to understand ourselves as such.

A word is a point on a line, if that's all you're willing to let it be.

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