Surfaces

August 2005

"Between the wish and the thing the world lies waiting."

-Cormac McCarthy, All the Pretty Horses

Surface: the word implies already that there is more to be known, albeit an obscured more, a more to which the surface is only a clue--or more often a mask.

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Think "faces." Or better yet, think masked faces--or masked faces obscured by a thick fog, or even still, think of masked faces obscured by a thick fog in a hall of mirrors, encased in the phantasmagoric aura of gas lighting. Do you know with whom you are dancing?

A hand pressed to the small of your back is removed to trail a wave of strained extended nerves; there is movement all around, all within, you--yet from where your eyes poke through your mask, all inside seems anchored: you are a center around which the world spins. Music plays. Your surface grazes that of your partner as you trace the proscribed steps of an ancient dance. Eyes meet rarely and only for show, framed by artifice, not so much taking in as walling out--. You feel something wanting to get through the mask--something like a vacuum--facing another vacuum. It is time: the outward spin sends you on a path that leads far from the only mirror moving with you. You trace the would be cosmic motion, orbiting, returning to outstretched arms. But these arms never close around you; they are only extended in order to place you back at a safe distance inside the dance--.

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What happens between sufaces when they meet, between the density of weather making itself visible and an open sea, between words and the lexicons of their recipients, between steps and slides and bends and twirls made in the careful observation of a dance? What brought the two of us here, to the open floor with only a vocabulary of learned moves we reproduce in silence?

"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music" (Nietzsche)

"I do not know what the spirit of a philosopher could more wish to be than a good dancer. For the dance is his ideal" (Nietzsche locate)

From the chapter "Year Zero: Faciality" in A Thousand Plateaus:

The face itself is a redundancy. It is itself in redundancy with the redundancies of significance or frequency, and those of resonance or subjectivity. The face constructs the wall that the signifier needs in order to bounce off of; it constitutes the wall of the signifier, the frame or screen. The face digs the hole that subjectification needs in order to break through; it constitutes the black hole of subjectivity as consciousness or passion, the camera, the third eye." (Deleuze-Guiattari Thousand Plateaus 168)

Surfaces are thresholds that span the distance that enables vision--an objective distance with a palpable endpoint, and as thresholds surfaces exist to penetrate and to be penetrated.

Dancing in all its forms cannot be excluded from the curriculum of all noble education; Dancing with the feet, with ideas, with words, and, need I add that one must also be able to dance with the pen? (Nietzsche "Twilight of the Idols" page ________)

The Arcades Project Project is part of Heather Marcelle Crickenberger's doctoral dissertation entitled "The Structure of Awakening": Walter Benjamin and Progressive Scholarship in New Media which was defended and passed on June 27, 2007 at the University of South Carolina. The committe members are as follows: John Muckelbauer, Ph.D, Judith James, Ph.D., Dan Smith, Ph.D, Brad Collins, Ph. D., and Anthony Jarrells, Ph.D. Copyright 2007 by Heather Marcelle Crickenberger. All rights reserved. lems concerning what you find here, feel free to contact me at marcelle@thelemming.com. You are also invited to leave a message for me and other visitors HERE. The Arcades Project Project or The Rhetoric of Hypertext