The Museum of Vestigial Desire

Formalism

tags: singer published on:

If you have a problem with content, can you get way with working on other parameters of presence? The thing with presence is that each parameter is important. You cannot get away with working on form or context in isolation.

Content is always accessible, whether or not the form of an entity allows such an access to happen or not.

Formalism is about paying isolated attention to the form hoping for it to convey everything. But should it convey anything at all? Form conveys only that which it can, a sense of balance between the elements, a kind of frontal pleasure of visual encounter.

Behind the frontal encounter, what is the taste? How do you account for the experience if you are not even looking squarely at it? We are not constructing flip-flops of content and form here, we are talking of an expanded vision. A frame that can hold more than one, a receptacle that can hold the incident in complexity.

If content is uncomfortable to engage with because of its viscidity, the discomfort can be dealt with. The discomfort of dealing with content can be called a kind of flux anxiety. There is an anxiety about encountering ideas that hold the potential of creating ripples on the surface of their stream. At the same time, this anxiety co-exists with the desire to socially engage. If content is channeled into bodies that hold both these force-fields together, then the problem can be solved. There is a value in performance. There is a value in speech. There is a value in letting spaces resonate with the current of presence. Some can only receive content mediated through people.

Formalism is the acceptance of a distorted position. In a moment of honesty, formalism can dissolve into hunger for presence and its electricity. It can accept that instead of playing charades with the arrangement of positions and their empty shells, it can be simpler to let it all fall down. Relationships between elements of a surface can be disrupted by chaos. Form struggles with chaos that doesn't easily betray a pattern. Form eventually hits a wall. This wall is the precipice of meaning. At the very edge of human experience where meaning and delirium intermingle freely, form struggles to make sense of content.

Content could have been the same as anguish but instead it has become the gooey matter beyond the precipice, never accessed and never understood. Content is never accessed, it might as well be gibberish.

The cognitively challenged masses access content only through metadata. Metadata is slim, it bears only the leftover traces of the real thing. At that point there is nothing to do except tinker with form and spark empty passions.

‹ index