Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Shadows of Totalization, Part X

I return to Orla’s quotation,

“Isn’t this exactly what thinking should be: A Disturbance? Of conventionally used images. The Dynamics of Creative Interruption.

Or to continue this hypertext of texts (or waves creating waves) with a Deleuzian quote, 'The logic of a thinking is like a wind that pushes us in our backs, a series of gusts and tremors. As Leibniz says, you think you have safely arrived in harbor, but discovers that you are still on the open seas'.

And isn’t this what open, generous blogging should be: Tender gusts, irritating head winds, warm breezes, deadly twisters, and inviting waves? Curves instead of angles.”-from Valentine's Day 2009.

I’m willing to swing at curve balls--there are several in Orla’s quotation. In fact, “Curves instead of angles,” is a wicked one… Maybe Orla has a career ahead of him as the greatest major league screwball pitcher since Gaylord Perry.

For my own purposes, I’ll trace the trajectory of this screwball…It’s worth studying.

We start out being asked to consider that thinking should be a disturbance or disruption of conventionally used images. We end with the prescription “Curves instead of angles.” I don’t know where it comes from (have I given it to myself?) but there is a suggestion here that we think of disturbance and interruption (and thereby the act of thinking) in terms curves instead of angles. In order to disturb or interrupt conventional images, we need, Orla thinks, curves instead of angles.

I am willing to try this little thought experiment of imagining a disturbance or disruption as a curve instead of an angle. Of course I wonder why a disturbance is seen as either a curve or an angle, or why one is necessary while the other is to be excluded, as well as a variety of other wonderings. I have to admit that the notion of disturbance as a curve does work against my conventionally-used imagery. I probably do ordinarily think of a disturbance as angular rather than smooth (curved.)

So: have I, through this little disturbance of my conventionally-used imagery, been forced to think?

Perhaps I am the only one who can answer this question, but before doing so, I am going to stop in order to give Orla a chance to respond. What was his purpose here? Was the intention in juxtaposing the idea of thinking as disruption with the comment about curves instead of angles intended to disrupt a conventionally-used image, or was the "screwball" really a screwup?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Yusef,

I can't continue your baseball analogy. I don't know the game well enough. I'm more of a soccer and boxing guy.

I can, however, play along in the semi-ironic style of,

So: have I, through this little disturbance of my conventionally-used imagery, been forced to think?

- by adding "imagery of THOUGHT" (maybe I should have made that clearer) and the question: is your post an example of thinking?

I think so :)


1:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No irony. Did you intend to recommend disturbances be thought of as curves, and if so, why? (Also, how?) Was the point that our image of thought is angular, and if so, what does that mean, exactly? Rectilinear, grid-like, as in the Cartesian plane? Do you think the Cartesian plane--the image of this we have from school--conditions our image of thought? Is that what you wish us to avoid?


9:26 PM  

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