Monthly Archives: February 2013

The Parallax Gap…

‘… it is merely that viewed through the frame, reality turns into its own appearance

The Parallax View

‘… certainty is absurd’

Voltaire

The discovery of neurones around the heart and in the gut unsettles the recently adopted view that the brain is just slabs of meat and not the site of anything special, especially not consciousness. This absolute rejection is perhaps a little too sure of itself. Maybe even falling foul of exactly what it wishes most to avoid, statements of certainty… Slavoj Zizek’s book, quoted above, however entertaining, also seems rather anxious about ‘The Gap’ that metaphors are always apparently seeking to ‘close’.

‘MIND THE GAP’. Why? I do not want to ‘mind’ in any sense about the gap, I want to consider instead – THE FRAME. It is only the frame, the edges or margins, of the gap that helps us to understand that there is a gap in the first place. Also, sometimes, it is the very nature of the frame that prompts so-called reality to turn into a mere ‘appearance’ of itself; this notionally unseats what is ‘real’ because it creates a moment that is uncanny – everything is real but some things seem more real than others.

To depart slightly…

Take Alan Turing; on the one hand ‘now’ celebrated mathematician, on the other, criminalised in his ‘own’ time. Two contradictory, irresolvable perspectives, or ‘truths’, between which opens a gap, which means neither pole can become total. So, for example, the word ‘pardon’ is problematic because despite every positive intention it still enters into the original discourse of ‘wrongdoing’ at the very moment it attempts to kick it out. Also, beware the idolised, they are not ‘real’. Once vilified, Turing is now celebrated for his achievements; yet there is something reminiscent of past zeal in this movement to reclaim. Did he kill himself? Was it a ‘poisoned’ apple? These signs force the telling of a ‘single’ story about Turing’s life, his sexuality, his death – and the single story is always dangerous because it is so persuasively simple, like propaganda.

What remains is always already an effect of what is ‘left out’ of any chronology.

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