verysmallkitchen

VSK PROJECT: RESISTANCE AS PARADOX and TWO OTHER TEXTS by JACOB WREN

In Uncategorized on August 26, 2013 at 5:12 pm

13.Guitar on Floor _DJ
 
 
 
 
STORIES I STARTED BUT COULDN’T FINISH
 
 
 
 
1.
 
 
I want to start again. I want to write a book that has nothing to do with any of the books I’ve written before. This is the kind of book you write when you think you might be dead soon. A book to make enemies, to take revenge on people who most likely don’t deserve it…
 
 
 
2.
 
 
I don’t remember exactly when I started calling it The Pinocchio Syndrome, this: I want to be a real boy / I want to be a real novel thing. I don’t want to write strange, experimental, impossible to categorize, novel-like-things anymore. I don’t want to be marginalized like that. I want to write a real novel with real characters and a real story that will be taken seriously by the literary world. I think every writer of difficult-to-categorize fiction struggles to some extent with The Pinocchio Syndrome (along with the exceptions to every rule.)
 
 
 
3.
 
 
I am fascinated by the novel Mount Analogue by René Daumal and, more specifically, with its ending. As is well known, Daumal died in 1948, in the middle of writing Mount Analogue, and the book ends mid-sentence. The last line is:
 
 
[…]
 
 
I have often wondered if it would be possible to end something I wrote mid-sentence, not because I had died, but for some other reason.
 
 
 
 
06.Pinwheel _DJ
 
 
 
4.
 
 
I have been thinking so much about solar energy, about how much of what I read, especially from a mainstream perspective, seems misplaced. When I read that we will not be able to generate enough energy using solar and wind, I feel they are completely missing the point. The points are:
 
 
 
1) That these new, sustainable technologies will force us to use less, will demonstrate – on a real, lived, experiential basis – that resources are renewable but not infinite.
 
2) That there is more autonomy, and less greedy profit, in a decentralized power grid.
 
3) That the many exorbitant expenses of polluting the air and water are simply not being factored into the standard calculations. Environmental devastation is expensive on every level.
 
 
 
But it is mainly the first point I obsess over. Let’s say you have solar panels on the roof of your house. Each day, you will use only as much energy as these panels generate. When it runs out you go to sleep and wait for the sun to come up tomorrow. The energy is not infinite, not available twenty-four hours a day. There are limits and you learn, out of necessity, how to live within them.
 
This, for me, is the main lesson of sustainable technologies. They would force us to live differently, to be aware of daily limits, to find solutions that acknowledge real limitations. They do not make life easier in every way. They make life harder in some ways, ways that force a fundamental shift in how we see the world and our place within it. I also suspect that working within a series of concrete, reasonable limitations would bring along with it a kind of reality and even joy.
 
 
 
 
//
 
 
 
 
09.Jump 1 _MC
 
 
 
 
 
RESISTANCE AS PARADOX
 
 
 
1.
 
 
The paradox is as follows: we, as artists and viewers alike, know that art is fundamentally conservative, yet we still want to believe that it is radical and revolutionary. Within the space of this paradox there is room for a great deal to happen.
 
 
2.
 
 
Art is conservative because the moment you call something art (or theatre, literature, etc.) it has already been contained. The things it can change, and the ways it can change our thinking, have already been limited. Art is the corner in which transgression and questioning are allowed, at times even encouraged, and making art is like being told to go stand in that corner.
 
 
3.
 
 
The recent, romantic history of art is a history of alleged transgression. So many of today’s standard art moves began as small deviances and transgressions. And while it does seem there are now no rules left to break, more to the point is that knowing a transgression, if successful, will soon be canonized and therefore de-fanged, drains all energy from the gesture.
 
 
4.
 
 
Politics requires efficacy. Trying to change things entails immense frustration. The tension between this lived frustration and potential for efficacy often feels absurd.
 
 
5.
 
 
Politics as a spirit of resistance, as a desire to open up possibilities. And yet: resistance, in order to remain resistant, must always be unfinished, a work-in-progress, because if you win then you’re in power and somebody else has to resist against you. (I am wondering if this paradox might ease the inherent frustration involved in any act of sustained resistance.) Something similar might be said of opening up possibilities: once they have been opened one has to move on. There is something restless, unsustainable, about such modes of political thinking.
 
 
 
 
[Unfinished.]
 
 
 
 
 
 
//
 
 
 
The 3rd text is a PDF of Like A Priest Who Has Lost Faith: Notes on Art, Meaning, Emptiness and Spirituality.
 
 
 
//
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Photos: Hospitality 3: Individualism Was A Mistake by PME-ART.
 
 
 
More about Jacob Wren’s work here.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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