In Lynch’s own speech and in the speech patterns of his films, the impression is of language used less for meaning than for sound. To savor the thingness of words is to move away from their imprisoning nature. Lynch has said, more than once, that he had to “learn to talk,” and his very particular, somewhat limited vocabulary seems in many ways an outgrowth of his aesthetic.
– Dennis Lim, David Lynch's Elusive Language
Perhaps the facts most astounding and most real are never communicated by man to man. The true harvest of my daily life is somewhat as intangible and indescribable as the tints of morning or evening. It is a little star-dust caught, a segment of the rainbow which I have clutched.
| Henry David Thoreau, Walden
Computers are doing to communication
what fences did to pastures
and cars did to streets.
On the same boat on which I arrived in 1926, the first loudspeaker was landed on the island. Few people there had ever heard of such a thing. Up to that day, all men and women had spoken with more or less equally powerful voices. Henceforth this would change. Henceforth the access to the microphone would determine whose voice shall be magnified. Silence now ceased to be in the commons; it became a resource for which loudspeakers compete. Language itself was transformed thereby from a local commons into a national resource for communication. As enclosure by the lords increased national productivity by denying the individual peasant to keep a few sheep, so the encroachment of the loudspeaker has destroyed that silence which so far had given each man and woman his or her proper and equal voice. Unless you have access to a loudspeaker, you now are silenced.
I hope that the parallel now becomes clear. Just as the commons of space are vulnerable, and can be destroyed by the motorization of traffic, so the commons of speech are vulnerable, and can easily be destroyed by the encroachment of modem means of communication.
“Science concerns itself with what is, whereas technology concerns itself with what is to be” - Henryk Skolimowski, 1966
Augmented or mixed reality is rapidly entering the mainstream, perhaps most notably with the release of the cultural phenomena that is Pokémon Go. As corporations and pop culture embrace these technologies, what role do you see artists like yourself having to play in how they are implemented and played with?
I’ve only begun to grapple with this in the Migros and Liverpool tablet works. I’m intrigued by mixed reality’s potential to make known physical locations really ambiguous again. I think of kids swarming the Westboro Baptist Church just to find a rare Pokémon, without caring what that site means to other people. It turns physical places into deposit points where different strata of social reality can be easily layered in playful and arbitrary ways. It also makes us more aware that we’re already awash in arbitrary virtual realities. The consensual beliefs that sustain a church are no less virtual than those of an exhibition space or those of Pokémon Go. There’s something very vulgar about Pokémon Go, and I think that’s great.
I feel I am heading towards some epitome
of who I am becoming:
some synthesis of characterization.
Little things complete me; a ring, a bracelet,
even something as simple as growing my hair.
I’m a horizontal waterfall rushing towards
a paramount me.
I’m going to meet me at the summit of me,
I am excited.
“It was a tremendously painful thing to do, especially in the beginning. It’s like in the everyday world, you’re just plugged into all the possibilities. Every time you get bored, you plug yourself in somewhere: you call somebody up, you pick up a magazine, a book, you go to a movie, anything. And all of that becomes your identity, the way in which you’re alive. You identify yourself in terms of all that. Well, what was happening to me as I was on my way to Ibiza was that I was pulling all those plugs out, one at a time: books, language, social contacts. And what happens at a certain point as you get down to the last plugs, it’s like the Zen thing of having no ego: it becomes scary, it’s like maybe you’re going to lose yourself. And boredom then becomes extremely painful. You really are of your own being. But when you get them all pulled out, a little period goes by, and then it’s absolutely serene, it’s terrific. It just becomes really pleasant, because you’re out, you’re all the way out.”
— Robert Irwin in Seeing Is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees
Here’s a thing that’s true for writers and non-writers alike, and also true for very young people and very old people and everyone in between: People don’t need you to be better than you really are. They’ll take you exactly as you are right now. Your job is to get out of your own way, to stop trying to seem better and rediscover your curiosity instead, to stop grinding your gears and throwing off sparks and second-guessing everything you do while judging the way everyone else does everything, and just FIND NEW WAYS TO DELIGHT YOURSELF.
The only thing I can recommend at this stage is a sense of humor, an ability to see things in their ridiculous and absurd dimensions, to laugh at others and at ourselves, a sense of irony regarding everything that calls out for parody in this world. In other words, I can only recommend perspective and distance. Awareness of all the most dangerous kinds of vanity, both in others and in ourselves. A good mind. A modest certainty about the meaning of things. Gratitude for the gift of life and the courage to take responsibility for it. Vigilance of spirit.