The Museum of Vestigial Desire


Certain ideas need to be allowed to persist, even if there is no evidence of their having any value. The reasons for doing this might not be immediately apparent but they need not be known for this allowance to be given. Ideas need to be allowed to continue on the basis of what they need. If they do not ask for attention, do not ask for money, do not ask for practitioners and do not ask for validation, what is the harm in letting them do what they need to do? Sanctuaries are structures that give such inert desires that do not require much a nestling space. A nestling space only means that a space to develop from a spark to a fire is available. Resources for adding fuel to the fire exist.

But what are the criteria of such an offer of nestling space? The criteria is purely instinctive. When we feel that a desire has yet not become enveloped in a puddle of cynicism, we include it in the sanctuary. Cynicism does not allow a desire to achieve its ends. The desire gets stuck in limbo, not being able to reset and not being able to go ahead and pursue its ends either. This sanctuary does not have only a personal implication for us. It has a wider implication even if you do not care about us or the Museum. We are not saying that culture is infectious so we indirectly and invariably have some influence on the way things will shape up. But we are stating that till the total annihilation of all the sanctuaries that offer nestling spaces is completed, there is no victory for either side. Sanctuaries are detested and their role in fermenting opposition is not easily tolerated.

But this depends on what the nestling space offered is able to trigger. Provided the nestling space is actually able to seed a drastic set of alternatives, it will really end up meaning something. The truth is that there are far fewer resources available for causes that are taking a bet on the future that might never be realised. There is a simple one-to-one correlation between investable futures and liveable realities. If an idea does not have the desperate desire to become investable, then it is an empty symbolic gesture and cannot be taken seriously. Not being take seriously means that there we retain no power and remain a benign entity on the landscape.

Shop tags: nomination

A shop is a place where products are displayed. But what if the products are not displayed? What if only a person stands there telling stories about the products that could possibly occupy space on the shelves? Do we want to buy things or do we want to get entangled into the mess of the world and are willing to pay for the privilege? We do not know anything about you but we know that you want to buy yourself back as much as much as we do.

We are in debt and so we do not feel free to do what we want. We doubt every action that we may take. But our future is as important for us as our present is. And we need to free our potential from the crushing weight of our debt also.

The shadow that is cast on this current moment is only going to pass once we awaken and rise into presentness. Once we are fully here, we will make sure that we remain in control of our experience. Once we buy ourselves back, we will awake.

Our shop offers you a way to buy yourselves back by doing away with the need to buy anything at all. Our shop is empty. We haunt the alleys of the shop and talk to whoever is there to listen. Once you agree to pay money for the strange vapour comprised of equal parts story and fragments of a broken dream, you let the ghost out of the proverbial bottle. Our indebtedness disappears the instant an exchange happens. If air will be paid for, then we are millionaires. We have a vast supply of ideas that do not need to be frozen in a plastic form. We channel ephemeral concepts into experiences. Our performance cannot be transacted upon in an absolute fashion. It can be transacted upon only in a piecemeal way, with the value of each piece left unspecified. A customer in our shop does not transact upon the past, but on the richness of the present act. If our performance falters, then the value of the exchange falls. If we are invested, so is our exchange value.

We help our customers get tuned to that which has no parameter in representation. On accessing information that media is not even equipped to transmit, a kind of bending happens. This bending is the synthesis of presence in the midst of only shells.

Our shop cannot do without us. This shop needs us to haunt its alleys in order to be any kind of shop at all. Because the real estate in this shop is finite, the only way that this shop can double-up as a factory is by running a school for reading unstated languages for its potential customers. Learning to decipher the transparent is the sole project here and it is very important. Once the garb of transparency is exposed, the amount of information available to process is likely to be overwhelming.

But then shops turn into factories and factories turn into catalogs.

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Journals tags: gambit

Journals are regular editions of content that has a changing sequence of relevance for us across time. After every particular interval of time, the points to be made about the issues at hand change and need things to be articulated again. Once we start a thread, it can be woven further by public narratives. The kinds of fibres, the colours and the texture of the thread will surely differ. But these differences only help to construct the pattern in a more renewed fashion. The personal and the public understanding of the pattern get exchanged in some way and the collaboration process is continuous.

The journal is not just a record of a process across time but is also a set of issues that must be thought of together. The editor’s objective is to weave this meshwork of inter-related issues. This meshwork does not exist without the existence of the journal. The creation of an issue acts like a glueing process between the trajectories of the different issues. But what confirms the relevance of the issue at hand in the journal and this glueing together of issues that it does is the conversation it can generate. It has to find novel ways of generating conversation. This does not mean that only the volume of conversations generated is important. The volume generated is significant information but the quality of these conversations is significant too. So if chasing the popularity contest logic is baffling and a strategic way of pursing an intersecting with social media cannot be found, we would like to talk about how focusing on quality can change the format of engagement.

When the content of conversation is more important than the face that you are talking in the first place. When there is a greed to want to know what is said next. This greed is called engagement. The moment the greed is not active anymore, the conversation is over. Conversation is a format of connection and the content of transfer at the same time. And the format effects the content. The personality and the positioning of the individual does effect what and how is possible to communicate through conversation.

This correlation means that the onus of saying some things must be taken on. Some things can be said only by us and we should say them. At least we should agree that we will say them, when we actually say it is open.

Soft Architecture tags: flesh

Many consider soft architecture to be the software layer of architecture in which reals methods and materials adapt software frameworks that are developed and then the physical forms are developed. But soft architecture has nothing to do with software. It has something to do with the soft layer of our existence. The layer which is programmed by experiences, memories, intuition and narrative. Architecture is equal parts soft and hard architecture. What cannot be dealt with is somewhere a problem of capacity and calibre. Here we examine spaces which have become templates of how they come to be and what their purpose is by being denied their soft dimensions.

Ideally these two should not be distinguished. They are part and parcel of the same experience. There are no clearly demarcated boundaries between hard and soft ways of doing architecture but there are certain variables that are often given up on or are not dealt with because they are too complex and the architect lacks a way of dealing with them.

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Distraction tags: cloud

Attention is concentrated focus that is applied towards the thinking of anything. If we have less attention, we are more distracted. If we have more attention, we are are less distracted.

But attention is the currency of interaction. If we do not have this currency, we are not able to play any significant part in the world.

To accumulate currency in a distracted way would mean that one becomes a channel and not a collector. A collector accumulates, a channel merely allows passage.

Allowing passage and accumulating attention only via the trace deposit of the process allows us to be distracted and at the same time accumulate attention.

We can be channels, we can be distracted and we can accumulate attention at the same time.

But what will we do with all the attention? Because we do not want to be focussed and we want to be distracted in the first place.

We will use attention only as leverage to get what we want. We are aware of the value of attention. The media conglomerate and the attention economy is based on their ability to deflect and absorb attention in desired ways.

But what do we want? We want to stick around. We want to manage.

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Freedom tags: splinters

Freedom is not just a matter of degrees. It is about the constraints and also attempts to describe the negative space of the constraints. In this description resides the potential of the freedom. In the degree of the opening, the scope of the negative space of constraints is defined. Sometimes through narrow slits and gaps, passionate potentialities are demonstrated. Because how free we feel depends only partly on how free we are allowed to feel and depends in equal parts on the level of our own disinhibition. Disinhibition cannot be rendered as a condition of the external ecosystem. It has more to do with the actor’s persona and how she has framed and declared her persona. What is the pitch of the actor’s voice? What does it say? What kind of response becomes necessary? By configuring herself, the actor defines the dynamic of the field.

The dynamic of the field can be shaped by individual actors as the interpersonal is the truly emergent space that sets chain-reaction off. Zones of freedom are demonstrations of the potential of freedom. These zones are outbursts of the improvised self-configuration exercises of actors.

Actors can self-configure if they choose to. They can also be automatic mirrors to the flux that they witness. Starting to play the game is a consent.

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