Sunday, August 15, 2010

Certainty and Doubt

I'm consistently fascinated by nonsense, drawn again and again to the brainsqueezings of my religious youth, to insanity, to speaking in tongues, to intuition run amok. I work in a world of certainties, where the integral around a closed path of a function holomorphic everywhere inside the area bounded by the closed path is always zero, but I reside in another place, where all things are possible, where I've taken to heart so many more than six impossible things before breakfast, where art comes unbidden from the gods, channeled through us mortals during the brief period of our existence, our last gasping breath exhaled onto those who will next receive their curse.

And, if you want to keep yourself together, please don't look too closely even at that certain world for it too is plagued by doubt. Underneath it all slumbers the Leviathan, who whispers her gentle words into your ear, whispers of the power sets of the infinite and the axiom of choice which, if listened to and her hot breath smelling of the coal furnace ignored, will pull you down like a millstone to a bad place, where you will begin to ponder the Jewish Question and the Book of Revelation and other oft-proscribed lunacies. Be careful navigating these treacherous shoals where so many have wrecked before, the publishers of so many "moderately-loopy-but-eerily-hard-to-disprove Voynich Manuscript theories."

As artists, we must float above all such things, certain and uncertain alike, silliness abounding.  Last night, at a noise show at the Golden Trapper Keeper Lodge, I listened to a litany of movie descriptions, all brutal movies, Russian and Korean, members of subgenres of popular torture porn, during which all those attending, including myself, laughed at the ridiculousness of it all, the reality not ridiculous for those who experience it, those pathetic and poor victims, but the art that comes from it risible and absurd. We can't avoid it, this separation of object and subject, so let us revel in it.

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