I missed the eclipse last night due to a somewhat dis-associative bought of confusion when my alarm went off at 2am. I couldn’t get my bearing on where I was, who I was, when it was, why I was confused about these things… it went on for a good minute (which felt like an eternity). I woke up about two hours later with a complete comprehension of what had happened and that I’d missed the reason my alarm had gone off in the first place.
When I got up this morning I made the observation that this “eclipse” effect is somewhat how I process information.
I watched Slavoj Žižek: The Reality of the Virtual on Netflix’s instant stream on Sunday. Reading Žižek is anything but easy and he is only slightly more understandable in conversation – however, that tiny gap makes all the difference in the world but it just took a couple of days for me to make sense of everything.
Despite copious notes (of which I’ve always been fond) I only felt like I understood what was being said on a superficial surface level. Yet, somehow between yesterday and today everything sort of clicked and now I can’t stop thinking of some of the major points of the lecture.
The most interesting theory, which is a direct synthesis of Freudian thought, was the idea that antagonism is not necessarily a symptom of modernity, it’s simply an imbalance that’s already inherently there – we just compensate for our feelings of alienation by attributing them to external stimuli.
I think that this theory resonates with me a great deal because I believe my personal sense of imbalance stems, not from specific traumatic events, but from an actualization of the imbalance itself.
The real power of the symbolic can only be real if it remains symbolic.
There is something very cathartic in recognition of this type; it sets a part of you free, like a sigh, in a way that can’t be explained. It’s as though your consciousness is eclipsed for a moment by a glimpse of a larger consciousness.
Žižek uses Donald Rumsfeld’s “things we don’t know we don’t know” speech as an example of the way we consciously interact with our subconscious: there are known knowns, there are known unknowns, and there are unknown unknowns. Žižek believes that there needs to be a fourth thing added to Rumsfeld’s list: the unknown knowns. My recognition is a realization of an unknown known – I’ve always known that this is true, I just didn’t know I knew it until recently.
My artwork is an investigation of my personal feelings of imbalance within my environment – it affects my relationship with other people, nature, and even with myself. My anxiety is simply a result of my inability to control things outside of my control. Because this imbalance is something that society is experiencing as a whole my work functions on a symbolic narrative level and as a virtual texture that exists below the surface narrative level.
I’m excited by the new thoughts that are floating around in my head. I have much to think about.