"I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear. Why did the oil refineries around Carquinez Strait seem sinister to me in the summer of 1956? Why have the night lights in the Bevatron burned in my mind for twenty years? What is going on in these pictures in my mind?"
For the fact is that neuroscientists who study memory remain unclear on the question ofwhether each time we remember somethingwe are accessing a stable "memory fragment"-often called a "trace" or an "engram" or whether each time we remember something we are literally creating a new "trace" to house the thought. And since no one has yet been able to discern the material of these traces, nor to locate them in the brain, how one thinks ofthemremains mostly amatter of metaphor: they could he "scribbles," "holograms," or "imprints"; they could live in "spirals," "rooms," or "storage units." Personally, when I imagine my mind in the act of remembering, I see Mickey Mouse in Fantasia, roving about in a milky, navy-blue galaxy shot through with twinkling cartoon stars.
"But perhaps one must add that the image, capable of negating nothingness, is also the gaze of nothingness upon us. It is light, and it is immensely heavy. It shines, and it is the diffuse thickness in which nothing reveals itself. It is the interstice, the spot of this black sun, a laceration that gives us, under the appearance of a dazzling brilliance, the negative in the inexhaustible negative depths. This is why the image seems so profound and so empty, so threatening and so attractive, always richer in meanings than those with which we provide it, and also poor, null, and silent, for in it this dark powerlessness, deprived of a master, advances; it is the powerlessness of death as a beginning-again."
I send you this Cadmium Red … is a book of correspondence between two friends, John Berger and John Christie. It began in February 1997, when in response to an open question from Christie: “What could our next project be?” Berger replied: “Just send a colour…”
A painted square of Cadmium Red crossed the Channel.
For Berger this first colour suggested innocence. “…the red of childhood… the red of young eyelids shut tight”. Later he talked about his favourite red, the red of Caravaggio: “…the red by which you swear to love forever…the red whose father is the knife”.
An exhibition of the correspondence about color between John Berger and John Christie.
Museu d’Art de Girona, 2000
La Casa Revilla municipal art gallery, Valladolid 2001
Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, 2001
If one says ‘Red’ (the name of the color) and there are 50 people listening, it can be expected that there will be 50 reds in their minds. And one can be sure that all these reds will be very different.
∆ Josef Albers
Ever since I found out that earthworms have taste buds all over the delicate pink strings of their bodies, I pause dropping apple peels into the compost bin, imagine the dark, writhing ecstasy, the sweetness of apples permeating their pores. I offer beets and parsley, avocado, and melon, the feathery tops of carrots.
I’d always thought theirs a menial life, eyeless and hidden, almost vulgar—though now, it seems, they bear a pleasure so sublime, so decadent, I want to contribute however I can, forgetting, a moment, my place on the menu.
Feeding the Worms by Danusha Laméris
"The human mind does not work that way. It operates by association. With one item in its grasp, it snaps instantly to the next that is suggested by the association of thoughts, in accordance with some intricate web of trails carried by the cells of the brain. It has other characteristics, of course; trails that are not frequently followed are prone to fade, items are not fully permanent, memory is transitory. Yet the speed of action, the intricacy of trails, the detail of mental pictures, is awe-inspiring beyond all else in nature.”
– Vannevar Bush, As We May Think