The Museum of Vestigial Desire


tags: discrepancy

Seeing was supposed to be a facility, a sense, a privilege. It wasn't supposed to be an action. Actions can be performed casually, as casually as moving a limb, moving an arm up and down. They do not need to be processed or cued or packaged within performance anxiety, as something that needs preparation. Vision is today posing as an action, inviting people at large to engage in passionate casual play. Forgetting that by doing so, it weakens the claims of its own advertisements. For many years now, visual organisers of information have been publishing boastful advertisements that are blatantly self-promotional in character. The advertisements claim that as an over-the-counter action, vision is the easiest and the most fool-proof drug available to humans. It has instant-gratification, stamina and doubtless character. They claim that vision has embedded in it the fulcrum that this entire generation needs. If you see enough, if you show enough, there is no challenge possible to the take-over of the mindful, brooding populace that is slow and caught up in recursive loops. The advertisements offer visual culture and media as a cure-all device, as a notional perpetual motion mechanism that offers wholesome distraction for the confused masses.

Also, violation of the array of sensory information that we collect is a sleight of hand. Very casually the visual record of information replaces information itself. The vision that text renders in the first place in turn consumes the capacity to read text at all. The vision is soothing, it is so soothing that it allows the medicine men to penetrate the realm of the internal projection chamber of the viewer's mind, swim within and plant thorns. Thorns which can behave like sleeper containers of bombs. At an opportune moment when the mind of the viewer is sufficiently distracted a remote trigger goes off and detonates the thorn-bombs. These conspiracies were hatched a long time back. Back when visual media was lacking a cohesive, continuous surface and it was existing only in fractured forms. Back then there used to be only predictions that one day there will be a drug so beautiful that it will become the mass delusion, mass distraction, the wilful disarray. Back then only seers and madmen would talk of vision as if it were a hard-as-knuckles, hard-as-wood dimension, as if they were not really talking with their head inside a chamber of hallucinogens. Somehow these stories were told and became a part of folklore, and slowly the present age dawned. An age which has nothing of its own at all, nothing to show, nothing to see, nothing to discover. An age which has only deep archaeological ravines to dig, an age which is committed to its pursuit of magic that will emerge from narrating weird historical fictions via tapestries of forms.

And this shouldn't even bother anyone because this is not even a simple tale. This is a biased story which clearly invests itself in what it is trying to deny. Because that is a new trick, a new recipe for disaster. What we have to spend the most energy in dealing with, what we have to cry ourselves hoarse over is what we deny. We build castles of unviable promises that do not add up in spirit or in narration and then go beating our chests proclaiming victory. Vision is the big cat in this jungle, our eyes are open and they sell us even before we learn to see (an act requiring us to create our own hierarchies and selections) to this ocularcentric system that uses each appendage in our body as a trade-in for things that help it complete the picture. For the system cannot tolerate noise. And in an event which might prove unfortunate for its own survival, noise is all that is produced here. Broken pictures seen through the noise and smoke produced by the grinding of gear wheels working hard for the system.

We have a problem with the way our eyes force us to behave because we see ourselves. Listening to our own voice from inside and on the outside are different things of course, but seeing is the same. Seeing the frames of our own bodies hanging loosely, formlessly, listlessly is a problem. We keep trying to adjust ourselves hoping to strike a pose which is graceful and correct, but it just doesn't happen. Each pose that we strike is crude. There is no possibility of grace. Grace is defined in our heads via our perception of others, the visual features we identify and appreciate in others, looking at ourselves as these peripheral creatures of this otherwise beautifully composed viewport is a problem. We try to impose on ourselves the expectations we hold from looking at others. This makes the whole faculty of vision questionable. Vision seems to be a rather insecure, prone to comparisons, lacking a strong sense of selfhood. Or in other words, the faculty of vision as it is typecast, seems to be rather fraudulent.

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