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Jacques Lacan, The Sinthome, Seminar XXIII, 1975-76

Lacan offered seminars annually from 1952 to 1980. Lacan’s seminars make an important contribution to the Theory in the CATTt guiding the invention of Konsult in general, and theopraxesis in particular. In this later seminar Lacan makes explicit some connections with the sources of our project that until now operated as assumptions. The first of these relationships is outlined here.


Real, imaginary, and symbolic strikes me as just as valid as the other triad from which, going by Aristotle, the juice was extracted to compose man, namely, will, intelligence, and affectivity. (Sinthome 126).

As discussed in the book, Konsult: Theopraxesis, one function of our experiment is to support a transition from literacy to electracy in education (to negotiate a passage from one apparatus to another). The pedagogy is centered on egents, the ones supposed to learn, appropriating the resources of Arts & Letters curriculum as means for students to undergo and develop their capabilities—their faculties, powers, virtues, potentiality—identified in the tradition dating from the invention of literacy in the Athenian academies as the embodied intellectual virtues: Theoria, Praxis, Poesis (theory, practice, poetics; thinking, doing, making; understanding, will, imagination). Kant’s Three Critiques take up this thread. The Third Critique promotes Aesthetics to equal status with Science and Morality, to propose aesthetic judgment as mediator bridging the abyss separating science and religion. Hannah Arendt took up Kant’s project as the best option for a Public Sphere in industrialized mass society after Auschwitz.

The importance of Lacan’s contribution is apparent in this context. His mnemonic image of the embodied virtues is a bag (the body, mathematically the empty set, the one) tied closed with cord (string, ficelles). RSI (playing on rhymes and puns with “heresy” and “airesis” or choice)—Lacan’s updating of the three faculties—Real, Symbolic, Imaginary—interrelate topologically, entangled in a way that Lacan explores through knot topology, with the Borromean knot specifically manifesting the sinthome (unique symptom). We have argued elsewhere that the sinthome helps account for the image of wide scope. One implication to be tested in our experiments is that in experience we encounter the apparatus stack (the popcycle) as entangled, knotted, in a manner articulated by topology. Lacan supplies one guide for the Kant-Arendt project, that we are calling theopraxesis: the virtues and their institutions already are fully integrated in a potential state (dunamis, but in a condition of privation, steresis). The “symptom” of this virtual condition is the polemos or seemingly irreducible conflict apparent in relations both macrocosmic and microcosmic of civilization.

HOGARTH: Line of Beauty

A second affiliation with tradition important to note in this seminar is Lacan’s reference to Hogarth’s curved line of beauty as relevant to the genealogy of his knot topology. This connection makes explicit Lacan’s contribution to the larger question of the gramme, the invention of the plasmatic line in the Paleo apparatus, in continuing service up to the present, now augmented in electracy through animation and digital FX. Sergei Eisenstein cited Disney’s animated film, Steamboat Willie (1928) as a revelation of the new order opened up in media by the plasmatic line. We will have more to say about the ontological properties of this line.

2019-01-10T15:32:44+00:00 December 19th, 2018|Categories: Capability, Diagram, Draw, Lacan, Popcycle, Sinthome, Theopraxesis, Topology, Uncategorized, Wide Image|

Primal Scene: Curriculum

Mystory Curriculum. Mystory may be hermeneutic as well as heuretic, that is, it may be used to organize the curriculum, as part of a transition from literacy to electracy. It is persuasive in any case to find the image of wide scope as a structural principle operating in the arts. Examples of works across media manifesting wide images are assigned in a DH curriculum as exemplars and relays guiding egents in the design of their own wide images.

–Blade Runner 2049. A recent example is the Blade Runner sequel, the organizing role played by childhood memories in simulating human identity for replicants. The sequel narrative is motivated by the protagonist’s investigation of the memory of a carved wooden horse. This motif alludes formally and intertextually to the Orson Welles film, Citizen Kane-– the simulated documentary investigation into the enigma of Kane’s identity, his deathbed statement, “Rosebud.” The audience learns that “Rosebud” is the name of Kane’s sled, metonym of his childhood happiness. A konsult curriculum studies these works at several levels, to understand the relationship of lived experience to formal design.

–Intertext. The seminar reads or screens the works mentioned here, analyzing how early memories function in both formal and thematic terms. Citizen Kane, often cited as the best American film ever made, is structured around a journalist’s attempt to solve the mystery of the dying Kane’s last word, “Rosebud.” The audience learns in the final scene that “Rosebud” is the name of Kane’s childhood sled, emblematic of his moment of happiness, in the genre of Proust’s madeleine, whose taste triggered a recollection of happiness whose source it was the goal of the novel to discover. The carved horse, the sled, are vehicles whose tenor the fictional works dramatize, to form hypothetical wide images.

–Murakami. Another example is 1Q84, by Haruki Murakami, one of whose characters (Tengo) is driven by an early childhood memory. “Murakami’s other protagonist, a writer and math tutor named Tengo, begins 1Q84 in something of an epileptic fit. These attacks strike regularly, we learn (and come to witness), triggered by the bubbling up to consciousness of Tengo’s first memory, witnessed from the crib: ‘His mother had taken off her blouse and dropped the shoulder strap of her white slip to let a man who was not his father suck on her breasts.’ Duly unrepressed, the memory paralyzes his limbs, cuts off his breathing, and occasions the novel’s single most eyebrow-raising sentence: ‘The tsunami’s liquid wall swallowed him whole.'”

–Leonardo da Vinci. Sigmund Freud’s biographical study of Leonardo featured the one early memory Leonardo recorded in his journals. “It seems that it had been destined before that I should occupy myself so thoroughly with the vulture, for it comes to my mind as a very early memory, when I was still in the cradle, a vulture came down to me, he opened my mouth with his tail and struck me a few times with his tail against my lips.” We will return to these examples later. The point for now is just to note childhood early memories as an important motif in literature, cinema, philosophy, as resource for our heuretic curriculum. Such works are assigned, discussed, interpreted, for their own sake, but also as relays, poetics for design of egent wide images.

2018-08-14T01:14:40+00:00 August 13th, 2018|Categories: Assignments, Curriculum, Memory, Mystory, Wide Image|Tags: , |

Wide Image: Mythology

Structuralism: Claude Lévi-Strauss.  Following the rule of heuretics curriculum, to treat one’s own materials as belonging to the disciplinary tradition, I applied Lévi-Strauss’s insights into the formal design of mythologies to my wide image. The wide mage in fact is a personal mythology, not only metaphorically but formally. Lévi-Strauss showed that individual instances of a myth manifest a system of relationships, covering all possible variations on the aporia (disaster in our terms) addressed by the myth. The system of relationships is that of proportional analogy (A is to B as C is to D), the figure of hypotyposis encountered throughout the tradition. The practice of myth-work applied to a mystory set (including the Career register documented, along with Family, Entertainment, Community) is to determine which stories/scenes are related in this proportional ratio, along what axes? In my case I found Family and Career related on an axis of space (The Sand and Gravel Plant scene, materializing the Choral metaphor of Plato and Derrida); Entertainment and History related on an axis of time. High Noon plays out almost in real time, intercutting between the clock in the sheriff’s office and the gunmen waiting for their boss to arrive on the noon train, while the sheriff tries to form a posse to fight them. Custer took his Seventh Cavalry far ahead of the rest of the advancing army, hoping to strike a quick blow against the Indians, to get the glory for himself, to propel him into candidacy for President of the United States in the 1876 election.. The symmetries formed in the crossings of this four-fold are provocative, suggestive of a diagram capable of translation into an original hypothesis for konsult.

–Noon Star Diagram

2018-07-30T21:17:39+00:00 July 30th, 2018|Categories: Design, Diagram, Mystory, Terms, Wide Image|Tags: , |

Wide Image: Diagram

Wide Image into Diagram. The next step after using the emblem catechism to generate wide image is to begin translation into diagrams, extracting patterns from the intervals and relationships emerging within the matrix. Composing my first mystory in the mid-1980s, “Derrida at the Little Bighorn,” I discovered a match between Family and Career that produced an epiphany I have developed ever since. One of my first jobs when I worked at the plant was to clean the grids of the screens used to grade the gravel into sizes. Eventually the screens plugged up with stones and I had to knock them loose with a hammer. The pea-gravel screen could be cleaned by running the tip of a large screwdriver along the meshed grids, which produced an almost musical sound. This was the actual “gravel plant.” The washer with its three grades of screen, one on top of the other, was fed by a conveyor belt carrying the pit gravel from the quarry, and fed in turn three piles of sized rock, with the sand coming out the bottom. The whole contraption made a terrible noise and shook violently. I realized years later, reading Plato’s Timaeus after Derrida, that this gravel washer was a good metaphor or model for the operation of chora, sorting chaos into Earth, Air, Fire, Water.

–Plato, Timaeus, 52D-53A (Chora).

“My verdict is that being and space and generation, these three, existed in their three ways before the heaven, and that the nurse of generation, moistened by water and inflamed by fire, and receiving the forms of earth and air, and experiencing all the affections which accompany these, presented a strange variety of appearances. and being full of powers which were neither similar nor equally balanced, was never in any part in a state of equipoise, but swaying unevenly hither and thither, was shaken by them, and by its motion again shook them, and the elements when moved were separated and carried continually, some one way, some another. As, when grain is shaken and winnowed by fans and other instruments used in the threshing of corn, the close and heavy particles are borne away and settle in one direction, and the loose and light particles in another. In this manner, the four kinds of elements were then shaken by the receiving vessel, which, moving like a winnowing machine, scattered far away from one another the elements most unlike, and forced the most similar elements into close contact.”

–Derrida, Chora-L As part of his collaboration with the architect, Peter Eisenman, on a design for one of the folies, to be included in the Park for Creativity, Parc de la Villette, in Paris, Derrida produced a drawing and a descriptive concept for an impossible project: to build Chora. “I propose therefore the following ‘materialisation’: in one or three exemplars (with different scalings) a gilded metallic object will be planted obliquely in the ground. Neither vertical nor horizontal, a most solid frame will resemble at once a mesh, sieve, or grid and a stringed musical instrument. An interpretive and selective filter which will have permitted a reading and sifting of the three sites [at the Park] and the three embeddings.”

2018-07-30T20:35:55+00:00 July 30th, 2018|Categories: Design, Diagram, Mystory, Wide Image|Tags: , , |

TPE: Emblem, Wabi Sabi 2

–Tenor (Themata): Catechism. The image on the left is the emblem Ulmer generated from his mystory, leading to design of his wide image in Noon Star. The formal rules from Koren’s relay generates theopraxesis by requiring that the answer to the catechism questions must be derived from one of the popcycle stories, each story used once only. The three capabilities are expressed in Wabi-Sabi by three M’s (resonating with the H’MMM disciplines): Metaphysics (Theoria); Morality (Praxis); Mood (Poiesis). Egents ask themselves:

1) which of the popcycle stories, received as a fable (parable), expresses their understanding of how the world works, the character of reality. The Japanese tradition answers, “Things are either devolving toward, or evolving from, nothingness.” For Ulmer, the Family story of the botched piano recital, the red star (not gold or silver) on the sheet music, is a parable of a reality in which one is continuously judged in endless competitions.  His epigram describes that condition.

2) Morality (Spiritual Values): which popcyle story is a fable of how one must act, given the character of reality? Wabi-Sabi proposes to get rid of what is unnecessary, ignore material hierarchy. For Ulmer, Custer’s foolish ambition serves as a negative example, a fable warning against Custer’s desire for glory. Ulmer’s motto expresses his lesson: Where are your Reservations?

3) The third question is Mood: given the necessity to act in that way, in a world of that character, how do I feel? Wabi-Sabi advises acceptance of the inevitable and appreciation of the cosmic order. Ulmer found his state of mind expressed in High Noon as a fable of duty: despite his contempt for the hypocritical community, the sheriff fought the gang of killers, after which he threw away the tin star. This gesture of discarding the badge of status determined the tin star as the icon of the emblem. In practice it is best to decide which popcycle story supplies the picture, and which question of the catechism that story answers, and the rest of the emblem follows from there.

The wide image has no innate form, and  is not confined to emblem poetics. It is inchoate, accessed intuitively, acquired during the early years of embodied visceral education. It may take many forms and manifest itself within the creative production of an egent. The heuretic frame of electrate pedagogy moves egents through the transition from a condition of privation, Steresis, impotence, potentiality of capability (Dunamis, Virtuality) into Energeia, Actualization, raising consciousness of their positioning and disposition relative to the archive of world culture recording in infinite variation the unfolding of the work of realization of life and death. Konsult is equipment for living (Kenneth Burke), thus, empowering in principle the egent with the resources of civilization available for a fatal encounter with disaster.

2018-07-30T01:53:14+00:00 July 30th, 2018|Categories: Assignments, Capability, EPS, Mystory, Popcycle, Theopraxesis, Wide Image|Tags: , , , |

TPE: Emblem, Wabi-Sabi

The Expanded Image. Hypermedia students composed an image of wide scope in four steps, extended over a semester: 1) Family Memory, read John Briggs, Fire in the Crucible, on the wide image; 2) Entertainment narrative, read Zinsser, Worlds of Childhood; 3) Community History, read Momaday, Rainy Mountain; 4) Emblem, read Leonard Koren, Wabi-Sabi: for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers. Japanese enjoys a rich vocabulary of aesthetic terms, with Wabi-Sabi one of the most important. Introducing this book to students (which they invariably liked), I asserted that it was the best single book on the poetics of “image” that I had ever read. There were certain books I introduced with some fanfare, using hyperbole as a substitute for experience, to overcome the insecurity of thinking that while Koren’s book was good, there must be other books that were better somewhere else. University of Florida is rated as a “good bargain,” since it has one of the lowest tuitions of any AAU school: $6500 a year. My introduction claimed that this book was as true at UF for $6500 as it was true at Stanford for $45,000. Helen Cixous’s Three Steps on the Ladder of Writing, I continued, is true for $6500. At Stanford for $45,000 there is no fourth step. Similarly Calvino’s Six Memos for the Next Millennium, still lacks the sixth memo (the lecture series one short at Calvino’s death) at Stanford, as it is at UF. The motivation for the hyperbole and performative framing was part of introducing students to theopraxesis, the three capabilities received from Avatar, that Koren made explicit in his exposition of Japanese traditional culture and aesthetics.

–How an Image becomes Wide. Koren demonstrates how a detail of the world is selected as a vehicle for a poetic image: for example, a worn shingle on an old hut, with a streak of rust descending from an iron nail. The tenor (theme) of this vehicle is coded in Japanese traditional culture, relative to the wisdom metaphysics of Buddhism, to express an existential insight into time and entropy known as wabi-sabi.  “Wabi-Sabi can be called a ‘comprehensive’ aesthetic system. Its world view, or universe, is self-referential. It provides an integrated approach to the ultimate nature of existence (metaphysics), sacred knowledge (spirituality), emotional well-being (state of mind), behavior (morality), and the look and feel of things (materiality)” (Koren, 41). The instruction was not to seek Wabi-Sabi in one’s own experience, but the equivalent, the mood and atmosphere, to find one’s personal version of what was modeled in Japanese tradition. The folk traditions of Blues into Jazz in global Creole syncretism (mufarse into tango, saudade into samba) is central to the thymotic and erotic dimension of world materialized in digital electracy. Koren’s analysis demonstrates how to expand the two-part vehicle and tenor of image into a six-part inventory. Students generated their emblems productive of wide image by answer six questions posed by Koren: three for vehicle; three for tenor. The three questions addressing tenor (themata) are the same three articulated in the catechism of modernism, directing theopraxesis. One implication, to be developed further, is that the system of capabilities is not confined to the Western Tradition, but functions globally across cultures and civilizations.

–Poetics: Image expanded into Emblem. The expanded image consists of two registers: material; metaphysical. Working with the narratives generated in composition of mystory, students must commit to one pedagogical object (magic tool), some detail found in at least one of the diegesis of the popcycle, to serve as logo or brand icon for the wide image. In Ulmer’s case (Noon Star), the repeating detail (like the dogs repeating in Momaday’s section III) was a five-pointed star: Family memory (the red star on his sheet music of the march, Garry Owen; Entertainment mythology (the film High Noon, Gary Cooper as Will Kane, discarding his sheriff’s star in the dirt after the gun fight); Community history (“General” Custer’s badge of rank, and Indian name, Son of the Morning Star). The three material questions are: 1) what is the prop/ icon? Ulmer chose the tin star sheriff’s badge to represent this materiality. 2) What are its attributes? (what mood or atmosphere is expressed that distinguishes this icon from its archetype, configuring it specifically for me. The context of High Noon star thrown in the dirt expresses rejection and disgust with the  hypocritical authority symbolized in the badge. 3) Archetype: what is the conventional meaning associated with this icon in the archive? (the five-pointed star has an extensive presence throughout many cultures).

2018-07-30T00:51:55+00:00 July 30th, 2018|Categories: Assignments, Device, Theopraxesis, Tutorials, Wide Image|Tags: , , |

TPE: Emblem 2

ICONOLOGY. Learning to capture the identifying gesture and attributes of the wide image in an emblem has as relay an ancient tradition.

This pictorial tradition can be traced back to an engraving by Marc Antonio. It shows an almost naked woman of Giorgionesque type watering a flower. This enigmatic motif can be explained with the help of the literary tradition. It is a symbol of “Grammatica.” As the plant grows through watering so the young mind is formed through the study of grammar. In late antiquity grammar became the foundation of the liberal arts.
Rudolf Wittkower, Allegory and the Migration of Symbols, Thames and Hudson, 1977.Wittkower inventories some of the related features associated with Grammar in her allegorical representations: “an old woman carrying a vessel which is supposed to contain medicine for correcting the children’s pronunciation and a knife for sharpening their defective tongues. She also holds a file, with which the grammatical mistakes can be removed.” Ultimately, the watering of the flower became the chief motif of the allegory.


–Artist Appropriations.With the renewed interest in allegory associated with postmodernism, contemporary artists have brought photography to bear on the tradition of iconology, as in this work.

“The Tears of Concupiscence”
from the series Imprese by Olivier Richon
Other Than Itself: Writing Photography Eds. John X. Berger and Olivier Richon, Cornerhouse Publications, 1989.

How would you picture “ardent, sensuous longing” (lust)?

–From the Archive:

Here is one example of an emblem, taken from Geffrey Whitney’s Choice of Emblemes, published in Leiden by Christopher Plantin in 1586. It is the first full-fledged English emblem book in the continental style, and uses woodblocks from a number of other emblem books, the most important of which is Alciato’s Emblematum liber. (

Dissidia inter aequales, pessima
(Disputes among equals are the worst)

The Swallowe swifte, dothe beare unto her neste
The Grasshopper, that did no daunger feare,
For that shee thought, the lov'de togeather beste,
Bycause they both, observ'de one time of yeare,
  And bothe, did joye theire jarring notes to sounde,
  And neare the house they bothe, theire dwellings founde.

Yet time, and tune, and neighbourhood forgotte,
For perfect frende, a tyrant shee became,
Which taxeth those, whome God dothe heare allotte
Like gifts of grace, to winne a lasting name,
  Yet Envie soe theire vertues doth deface,
  It makes them foes, to them theie should imbrace.
2018-07-29T19:01:34+00:00 July 29th, 2018|Categories: Art, Tutorials, Wide Image|Tags: , , , |

Theopraxesis: Emblem

Catechism: Wide Image. The catechism of modernism (drawing on the Western Tradition) is articulated in Kant’s philosophy and Gauguin’s painting. The answers to the questions are specific to each person, and are generated during the composition of the wide image. Several posts are required to unfold this poetics, by means of which egents learn to actualize in their own projects the intelligence potential (latent) in the cultural archive. This archive in its global version functions for electracy the way Avatar functioned for orality: source of absolute knowledge (the project of Avatar Emergency was learning to receive this communication of Avatar). One of the first things that happens in transition from one apparatus to another is the mise en machine of the previous apparatus. As McLuhan observed, the content of the new medium is the old medium (literacy put oral mythologies into writing; electracy digitized the libraries). The remainder of the apparatus epoch is devoted to invention and diffusion throughout society of the new metaphysics (operating practices).

–Emblem. The translation of mystory into wide image is mediated by emblematics. The emblem (having the same structure as a generic advertisement), considering its historical relationship with allegory, expresses in condensed form the image of wide scope ( sinthome, Lacan) that emerges in the making of a mystory (it embodies the pattern of signifiers that repeat when the makers situation is mapped across the popcycle). Studio and Textshop exercises explore the form, including its history from its introduction in the Renaissance through to contemporary advertising. An advantage of the form is just this combination of archival presence and pop familiarity. Ulmer designed this emblem based on his mystory: Motto is “pithy,” aphoristic, allusive, to produce an evocative connotation when combined with the picture. The epigraph is informational, clarifying what is suggested in the motto-picture juxtaposition.

–Advertisement.The Marlboro Cowboy
In 1954 Philip Morris Corporation sought an advertising agency to design a campaign that would allow men to smoke a filtered cigarette in public without embarrassment. Leo Burnett (The Burnett Agency) did some research to determine the most “virile” male image in American culture, which not surprisingly turned out to be the “cowboy.”

2018-07-29T18:09:54+00:00 July 29th, 2018|Categories: Design, Device, Overview, Theopraxesis, Tutorials, Wide Image|Tags: , , |

MYSTORY: Maurice Sendak

Maurice Sendak is best known for his Caldecott Medal winning illustrated children’s book, Where the Wild Things Are (1963), made into a film by Spike Jonze. Given the importance of childhood experience and how it is remembered to the Wide Image, Ulmer often included in the Hypermedia course a book of short essays by authors of children’s books on the art and craft of writing for children: Worlds of Childhood, edited by William Zinsser. (1998). Sendak’s essay, “Visitors from My Boyhood,” is organized as a mystory, addressing each of the popcycle slots in order to explain the source of his poetics, which suggests there is something intuitive or inherent in the popcycle as a matrix of imagination. Two other features recommending Sendak’s craft as relay for an Exercise is that his stories were rarely more than 300 words (the length of one micro fiction, the narrative  building-block of mystory documentation), and the drawings did not merely illustrate the words but developed the diegesis of the world in their own terms. Students used Sendak’s essay as a relay: making an inventory of his popcycle; extracting a template of examples for each slot; finding equivalents in their own experience.

–Family (Personal): Composition of mystory usually begins with a memory from early childhood, life with the family. Up to three such memories are allowed, to avoid getting stuck deciding on one that is most important (that dilemma if it arises is resolved when the remaining slots are filled, following the rule what resembles assembles). Sendak proposed two memories: the first was one of his earliest, an encounter with one of the pedagogical objects Pasolini mentioned, a book his older sister received from her book club. The book was very thick with a hardcover of pale green with gold lettering. Although not yet able to read, Sendak was fascinated with the book and demanded to have it, creating so much commotion the parents made his sister give it to him. When he finally returned it to his sister it was in bad shape, including suffering from being licked all over.

–Entertainment (Mythology): The popcycle premise is that identity is configured through identifications with people, places, and things during formative years: just as one has a capacity (potentiality) for language in general, with one’s native language depending on the chance of birth; similarly one has a capacity for imagination, and one’s native imagination (wide image) is formed within uniquely particular circumstances (visceral learning). A shortcut to determine which identifications took is just introspection: what remains in memory? Writer’s are good relay resources modeling these shaping identifications of which they necessarily become aware in learning their craft. For Sendak the memory was of The Wizard of Oz, and one scene in particular that he said “stole into my life in 1939 and has been flooding my work continually ever since.”

I was eleven when I saw the movie, and I remember it vividly because of how intensely in frightened me. The moment I am talking about is the one when Dorothy is trapped by the Wicked Witch of the West, and the witch takes an hourglass and turns it over and says something horrible like, “When the sand runs out, you’re dead, honey.” Judy Garland is left alone in the room, and one of her best moments ever was her way of saying, “I’m frightened,” and then, as though that realization has just actually dawned on her, says it a second time, “I’m frightened.” I still remember how her hand went to her head–the way she had of fluttering her hand, her desperation was so convincing. There was no way out of that room, nothing she could do. And suddenly, in the witch’s crystal ball, she sees her Auntie Em, back in Kansas, standing in the yard and calling to her. And she rushes to the crystal ball, and stands over it and screams, “Auntie Em! Here I am!”

–Community (History). Family and Entertainment memories are personal and convincing because they “belong to me.” The assumption of the History slot in the popcycle is that identity is formed within a social habitus, which is a major source of education (interpellation) received uncritically and internalized. To access this level of distracted education students first must decide with which Community they identify. Not everyone grows up in a home town. Community could also be an ethnic group, religion, race, military branch, nation. Whichever Community chosen, the story told must be one the Community tells about itself (what the Community remembers). Many students actually knew very little about their communities, so that some research was required. A shortcut was just to recall street names, festivals, memorials, school names and the like, to make a short-list. At that point some personal connection may help the selection. Sendak’s relay is somewhat awry, in that he did have a strong emotional association with his History event (as did James Joyce with the history of Parnell). The particular contribution of the History story is register a Value important to the Community. The Event documented by Sendak was the story of the Lindbergh baby.

The major event of my childhood was the kidnapping of the Lindbergh baby in 1932. That nightmare was probably the origin of my conviction that children can’t be shielded from frightening truths. Although I was only three, I remember intensely the details of the Lindbergh case. Lindbergh was our Prince Charles, and his wife was our Princess Di. I particularly remember a newspaper that had the front-page headline LINDBERGH BABY FOUND DEAD and a photograph of a scene in the woods with a black arrow pointing to something awful. I’ve since learned that Colonel Lindbergh threatened to sue if the New York Daily News didn’t have the morning edition pulled off the newsstands, so I guess not many people saw the  picture.  But I saw the picture.

The first phase of composition is to document each of these scenes (in your own popcycle): use micro fiction form, three micros (900 words) for each register, focusing on the diegesis of the event. The goal is to capture and annotate details of the scene, since wide images emerge in patterns of repeating signifiers.

2018-07-26T21:54:27+00:00 July 26th, 2018|Categories: Assignments, Design, Mystory, Popcycle, Tutorials, Wide Image|Tags: |

Existential Disaster: Pasolini

White transparent blind. The Italian auteurist film director and semiotician, Pasolini, outlined a theory of education that is electrate, with its emphasis on the formative importance of early childhood, (the Paleo) as foundation for the other popcycle educations. Before parents, school, or television, Pasolini insists, your educative sources “are dumb, material, objective, inert, merely present. And yet they have their own language which you, like your companions, can decipher extremely well. I am speaking of objects, of things, of the physical reality that surrounds  you.” Pasolini’s education is of the same sort Blanchot associated with the writing of the disaster (the existential epiphany of his childhood window). The wide image comes out of such conditions, relevant also to the phenomenon of transitional objects interfacing inner/outer experience in a child/mother interaction (object relations).

  Our first memories are visual ones. In memory life becomes a silent film. We all have in our minds an image which is the first, or one of the first, in our lives. That image is a sign, or to be exact, a linguistic sign. So if it is a linguistic sign it communicates or expresses something. I shall give you an example. The first image of my life is a white, transparent bind, which hangs–without moving, I believe–from a window which looks out on to a somewhat sad and dark lane. That blind terrifies me and fills me with anguish: not as something threatening and unpleasant but as something cosmic. In that blind the spirit of the middle-class house in Bologna where I was born is summed up and takes bodily form. Indeed the images which compete with the blind for chronological primacy are a room with an alcove (where my grandmother slept), heavy “proper” furniture, a carriage in the street which I wanted to climb into. These images are less painful than that of the blind, yet in them too there is concentrated that element of the cosmic which constitutes the petty bourgeois spirit of the world into which I was born. But if in the objects and things the images which have remained firmly in my memory (like those of an indelible dream) there is precipitated and concentrated the whole world of “memories,” which is recalled by those images in a single instant– if,  that is to say, those object and those things are containers in which is stored a universe which I can extract and look at, then, at the same time, these objects and things are also something other than a container. . . . So their communication was  essentially instructional. They taught me where I had been born, in what world I lived, and above all how to think about my birth and my life. Since it was a question of an unarticulated, fixed and incontrovertible pedagogic discourse, it could not be other–as we say today–than authoritarian and repressive. What that blind said to me and taught me did not admit (and does not admit) of rejoinders. No dialogue was possible or admissible with it, nor any act of self-education. That is why I believed that the whole world was the world which that blind taught me: that is to say, I thought that the whole world was “proper,” idealistic, sad and skeptical, a little vulgar–in short, petty bourgeois. (Pier Paolo Pasolini, Lutheran Letters, trans. Stuart Hood. Carcanet Press: New York, 1987).

As may be inferred from the accumulating citations and references to Holton, Blanchot, Pasolini, Proust, and numerous examples of early childhood memories grounding the popcycle, the original aspect of konsult pedagogy is to recover, retrieve, this early education. By the time egents reach the age of five they have earned their visceral Ph.D.

2018-07-23T13:41:46+00:00 July 23rd, 2018|Categories: Disaster, Intuition, Memory, Mystory, Orientation, Tutorials, Visceral, Wide Image|Tags: , , |