30 August 2011

Blacked out for 46 hours, recalling my emotional stake in electricity: I like to read by candlelight but someone told me once "it's hard on your eyes." What I like about electricity is reading at night, reading blogs instead of newspapers, pushing buttons on a laptop that make books appear in the mail, some movies. Every way that electricity can make you stupider is utilized to the fullest, including by writers. This past week I've been into Dubuffet's writings, quite helpful and freeing, including "every year there are small discoveries like the telephone or the airplane, and these small discoveries ultimately have no importance for man's mind, his condition, or his sense of life. When a Parisian who's got gas and electricity in his home speaks with a villager who cooks in a fireplace and uses a kerosene lamp, it won't take him long to realize that the villager is nevertheless not supider than he, and that things like gas and electricity are trivial, highly trivial matters, that in no way modify or even scratch the position or structure of man."

What I was driving at with Matta was first described by his precursor Duchamp: "Simply, I thought of the idea of a projection, of an invisible fourth dimension, something you couldn't see with your eyes. Since I found that one could make a cast shadow from a three dimensional thing, any object whatsoever - just as the projecting of the sun on the earth makes two dimensions - I thought that, by simple intellectual analogy, the fourth dimension could project an object of three dimensions, or, to put it another way, any three-dimensional object, which we see dispassionately, is a projection of something four-dimensional, something we're not familiar with." This is at the heart of what is accurately called conceptualism, when conceptualism is being helpful to expression - the combination of the retinal and the non- or super-retinal, the invisible dimension which the literary art has through the centuries attempted to illustrate in different ways.

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