MNEMONIC FISSURE: Wound, toxicity, aurality, allopoiesis, animal-machine, pressure, simulation, resonance, receptacle, impulse.
By Jonathan Uliel Saldanha (HHY, The Macumbas)
Within the multi-nodal mechanism of urban territories, thick agglomerates of simulation, desire, pain, mimesis, connectivity and technique, an exquisite place survives as catalyst, common both to centers and peripheries, a cavity-space designed and programmed to perform the voluntary destruction of nexus through sound pressure, light and movement.
Such a receptacle of multidimensional architectural nature is the urn where a whole pantheon of sensations of the flesh, vestiges of synchronized gestures, bursts of violence and rites of seduction is condensed and through which the resonance of the bodies’ internal cavities dialogues with the black box around them.
This is a privileged place for surface mutations conducted by a flickering vibration between flesh and landscape, through a continuous refraction of simulation zones and immersion zones, within an ambiguous territory ruled by camouflage. The recognition of the shore surrounding the Unknown Earth, an ignoble and chaotically reproduced place, draws a hyper-conscious contour dramatizing the angles of access to its dim interior, activating a volumetry in the ineffable plasma, naming its potential organs and agencies. Such a cavity, such an unfathomable black box, is perhaps anticipated by the listing of possible simulated situations and behaviors by a protocol.
The tragedy as dramaturgic mechanism throughout the his- tory of human representation could possibly be used as a protocol regarding the analysis of the relation between body, space and catharsis in the context of these cavity-fissures. It would discover a mechanism evoking the human being’s encounter with landscape, revealing an optical matrix perceived as a potential prism to observe the wound inflicted upon daily life. A wound inscribed on the surface of the body, opening it in bewilderment to the outside world, allowing it to get in touch with and to be infected by the landscape. Allowing a reset of the uncontrollable chain of events punctuating everyday life, with a fast rhythm, as a purge. A hiatus in which everything is possible again, in which the contours of individualization become diffuse, therefore bringing forth a shift of fortune and becoming. A place of non-empathic and non-harmonic nature, allowing access to a kind of pathos, passion and sense of belonging, vertically synchronizing the multiple space-time dimensions on an axis mundi. The duration of such metamorphosis is pleasantly confined to a short period of time, some hours, maybe days, always within the well-defined limits that emanate from the operative power of naming the unnamable. To give the fissure a name.
Locus Amoenus, Locus Horribilis
Locus Amoenus, a pleasant place in the landscape, idyllic and protective, which, in its steady beauty, shelters romantic and revitalizing encounters, a relationship of emphatic fruition extracted from a pacified nature. Possible examples: Eden, campsites, theme parks, French gardens.
Locus Horribilis, a hostile nature which, by means of its inexplicability, shelters a potentially destructive force, a virus, a brutal and chaotic mass, threatening and violent. Possible examples: Narcissus glimpses his reflection on the surface of a lake, Aguirre crosses the forest, romantic garden.
Hortus Conclusus, a delimited place where nature is totally domesticated and/or enclosed. Possible examples: botanic garden, museum, greenhouse, shopping center, painting of a pregnant Madonna.
Landscape, as a canonized vegetal-mineral system, presents itself in different levels of opacity; the human, inhuman and spectral agents who traverse it oscillate between different levels of access; the nature of the place is not stable and disturbs the acting persons. In Metamorphoses, Ovid describes a landscape enlivened by unspeakable agencies and the place where human presence is felt corresponds to a moving landscape that is always changing — sometimes it is built in the shape of a garden or a civilized and orderly place, at other times in the shape of a toxic and hostile space where nature is unintelligible, murderous and alien.
The Locus Horribilis is also a sort of black box, an opaque system/oracle which we may enter or leave, based on incomprehensible presuppositions mediated only by its effect, by a set of trends. An opaque volume whose protocol allows us to observe the accident, precise coordinate of the contour.
The cavity-landscape is multidimensional, comprehending many different densities, formats and compositions, from a granite stone to a pillar made of cement, which then transforms itself in plastic and glass, surviving as pure vibration of the air until it penetrates and intersects the bodies. It survives through a discontinuity of matter enlivened by other continuities which, although apparently domesticated by human colonization, do not cease to intersect space by other means, with other agencies.
As the entry to the cavity becomes a pragmatic choice, aiming at capitalizing certain results, the possibility of a split occurring within the daily flux becomes more erratic and more and more mediated by a distortion of expectancies, thereby closing the access to the dimensions of otherness. A paradigm of competence imposes itself on alienation and monstrosity and the rhythm becomes steady again.
The fissure is the umbilical cord preserving the tangibility of connection between the daily human protocols and the absolute Other, a landscape in motion.
Those protocols, which compete among themselves in order to regulate mental, physical and social stability, convey the possibility of the disaster within the genetic reorganization of its function. A spectral architecture, a simulation chamber where bodies connect with exterior reality, landscape, through a wound, where the pathogenic agents, toxicity and oxidation get in touch with the physical system, thereby contaminating its stability. A functional encounter of strangers.
The apotropaic nature of sound, a power which either protects or exorcises evil, unveils a spasm, an astonishment in the body. Such sanguineous tremor is remembered and inscribed, since the invention of the first basic mechanisms of communication and translation, in pictorial, phonetic and mnemonic expressions of our experience of the world. Such astonishment is the consequence of our encounter with the Other, something that provokes a chain of inharmonious reactions of the body-soul, a saturation of the senses that stages moral stunts, temporary cosmonauts, doppelgangers in an interstitial landscape. This open wound corresponds to the possibility of infection by a xenomorphic organism, pre-linguistic in its polarization of a disruptive emergency.
The zone delimited by the fissure is the regulatory channel between the system and exterior reality and its mechanism has two possible implications: the emergence of landscape’s shapeless plasma and a proposition of understanding of the protocols of absorption, inscribing the plasma and its tentacles on a rhizomatic list of data. The form of the exoskeleton impresses itself in the form of a scar.
In the Echo and Narcissus myth, the latter remains hypnotized by his reflex, while Echo sees her body merged with landscape. One plausible perspective of this story may be that Echo shows signs of accepting to cooperate with landscape, therefore humanizing what before was a totally intangible and unclassified body. By becoming captive of a feeling of empathy towards her captor, Echo is possessed by landscape.
Rhythm is a cipher, a synthesis-tool regulating events, impulses which irrupt from objects under attack. An explosion that calls upon the body of the object, sculpture or simulation, the vibration that enlivens it mapping a volume and a resonance in order to evoke some kind of presence. The regularity of such events in time reveals a syntax articulated by a dry and inharmonious language; the system engaging in pointillist exercises is a direct attack on the counting of time. A quantic metronome operating in several dimensions, enlivening the human body through a friction with time.
Sound as vibration is the founding principle of all human relation with exterior reality and is one of the pacts setting landscape in motion and rescuing it from the oppression exerted by the horizon line. A catalyst evoking for the present several hidden stimuli that overlap dimension, private impulses colliding with collective desires in attrition with objects animated by other agendas.
The regularity of pulsation determines all possible relations between rhythm and body and the counting of beats per minute is a fatal tool designed to domesticate the stimuli received by human beings. The Negative Feedback grows, thereby inhibiting the external stimulus and turning it into a stable and ideal value, back-feeding the relation in order to preserve balance. By contrast, the Positive Feedback incites the exterior stimulus and its flux is back fed and optimized in order to potentiate an exponential and unpredictable growth transforming the present state. The pressure in the air, repeated by impulses of time’s artificial cadence, until the mortification of the flesh is achieved.
Chthonic Plasma The rigid exoskeleton of systems and networks passing across people, objects and landscapes, keeps inside its chthonic interior a sonorous, fluid and parasitic plasma. Infra-sounds, low, mostly inaudible, frequencies that vibrate at the lower threshold of hearing, directly usurp the body. The acoustic energy is absorbed by the flesh, causing distortion of the visual field and the pressure on both the skeleton and the internal organs due to the resonance within the body’s cavities, revealing a presence, a material, inducing altered states from euphoria to nausea. These telluric spectres produced by human societies that wander in between and across architectures and bodies. Inaudible frequencies thicken the shape- less and invisible mass inhabiting the cities as permanent dead-weight and move over great distances along and across geographic places, erratically, monstrously.
Such telluric vibrations are the largest knot in a tight web of invisible routes, massive mastodons which move according to an autonomous logarithmic, propelled by a massive volume of kinetic energy; they pass through buildings and whole blocks, leaving on those structures traces of vibration and oscillation, vestiges which gradually transform the places and the bodies, putting them into motion, forcing them to an involuntary choreography.
Bodies convey a vibrational trace of the unfathomable and in-commensurable monster. Granite, humus, cement, plastic, flesh and bone are the constituents of this giant who sails the interstitial thickness of the landscape, colliding with space and time.
The scale, spatial and inter-relational value through which the visible and the invisible manifest themselves, constitutes a spatial formalization; ratios provide all the tools needed to measure, connect and map it. The scale of the vertical axis connects the chthonic underworlds of Earth’s interior (extraction of fossil resources, tunnels, caverns) with the world of celestial creatures (ionosphere of satellites and electromagnetic frequencies) within a cosmology where proportions assume control of the intangible.
The data absorbed by the body inside a black box with a level of 110db of sound pressure feeds a mnemonic linked to a veiled logos, where the figure and avatar of Mnemosyne, the titan who embodies memory, daughter of Uranus (Sky) and Gaia (Earth), provides both the body of and the antidote to total oblivion, embodied by Tartarus, brother of Chaos.
A refraction of the individual through a state of sensory saturation such as the one described above brings forth a reflection about pleasure and death, evoking biological and material memories condensed in a memento mori. An axis where a mutation on the nuances of presence takes place, in an intermediary state of possession of the cavity-landscape by the body and possession of the body by the landscape-cavity.
We may consider such relations as merely one of the functional parameters through which a vast and multidimensional system is manifested. A system whose features are progressively revealed and become intelligible and which may, perhaps, reveal, through a process of pressure-vibration-body-repetition, new ways of interference in a possible dialogue with incomplete otherness.