٠ Capitalism and art: the lost sense of space and time ٠

excerpts from Frederic Jameson‘s Postmodernism and Consumer Society, essay produced after a lecture at the Whitney Museum, in 1982.

“It seems to the exceedingly symptomatic to find the very style of nostalgia films invading and colonizing even those movies today which have contemporary settings: as though, for some reason, we were unable today to focus our own present, as though we have become incapable of achieving aesthetic representations of our own current experience. But if that is so, then it is a terrible indictment of consumer capitalism itself – or at the very least, an alarming and pathological symptom of a society that has become incapable of dealing with time and history.

porcelain-paper© Joshua Suda, Untitled (painting)

Cultural production has been driven back inside the mind, within the monadic subject: it can no longer look directly out of its eyes at the real world for thereferent but must, as in Plato’s cave, trace its mental images of the world on its confining walls. If there is any realism left here, it is a “realism” which springs from the shock of grasping that confinement and of realizing that, for whatever peculiar reasons, we seem condemned to seek the historical past through our own pop images and stereotypes about that past, which itself remains forever out of reach.

It is because language has a past and a future, because the sentence moves in time, that we can have what seems to us a concrete or lived experience of time. […] In other words, schizophrenic experience is an experience of isolated, disconnected, discontinuous material signifiers which fail to link up into a coherent sequence. The schizophrenic thus does not know personal identity in our sense, since our feeling of identity depends on our sense of the persistence of the “I” and the “me” over time.

untitled-1© Joshua Suda, Untitled (painting)

For one thing, commodity production and in particular our clothing, furniture, buildings and other artifacts are now intimately tied in with styling changes which derive from artistic experimentation; our advertising, for example, is fed by postmodernism in all the arts and inconceivable without it. For another, the classics of high modernism are now part of the so-called canon and are taught in schools and universities – which at once empties them of any of their older subversive power. Indeed, one way of marking the break between the periods and of dating the emergence of postmodernism is precisely to be found there: in the moment (the early 1960s, one would think) in which the position of high modernism and its dominant aesthetics become established in the academy and are henceforth felt to be academic by a whole new generation of poets, painters and musicians.

But one can also come at the break from the other side, and describe it in terms of periods of recent social life. As I have suggested, non-Marxists and Marxists alike have come around to the general feeling that at some point following World War 11 a new kind of society began to emerge (variously described as postindustrial society, multinational capitalism, consumer society, media society and so forth). New types of consumption planned obsolescence: an ever more rapid rhythm of fashion and sty styling changes the penetration of advertising, television and the media generally to a hitherto unparalleled degree throughout society; the replacement of the old tension between city and country, center and province, by the suburb and by universal standardization; the growth of the great networks of superhighways and the arrival of automobile culture – these are some of the features which would seem to mark a radical break with that older prewar society in which high-modernism was still an underground force.

Vapor Trail© Joshua Suda, Untitled (painting)

There is some agreement that the older modernism functioned against its society in ways which are variously described as critical, negative, contestatory, subversive, oppositional and the like. Can anything of the sort be affirmed about postmodernism and its social moment? We have seen that there is a way in which postmodernism replicates or reproduces – reinforces – the logic of consumer capitalism; the more significant question is whether there is also a way in which it resists that logic. But that is a question we must leave open.

٠ The political function of landscape-family photographs in the context of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict ٠

The Brownies in Palestina© Gil Pasternak, Esther Pasternak, 1970s. Esther Pasternak collection of family photographs, 1946–99. Description: The defiant lion is a tombstone monument erected in 1932 to commemorate a group of eight Jewish pioneer settlers who, as the Israeli version of the story goes, fell to Arab village militias in the settlement of Tel Hai in 1920 while defending their homes and community. The lower part of the monument lists their names. Immediately above them, another engraved Hebrew inscription reads “tov lamut be’ad artzenu” (It is good to die for our country).

[…] The role landscape and family photographs play in occidental societies, and the meanings one might associate with the information they mediate, has been greatly informed by state politics and capitalist ideologies. Preserving (and imagining) cultural, historical, and human landscape was a role officially assigned to the medium of photography when its invention was reported to the people of France by François Arago, in the Chamber of Deputies in 1839 (Sekula 1981). This resulted in photography’s widespread participation in European colonialism; in representing and shaping Otherness in compliance with European imagination, fantasy, and desire. At the turn of the twentieth century, the Kodak company further cemented this role, enticing individuals to travel with cameras and participate in the depiction of landscapes. Kodak thus invoked the nuclear family to partake in the production of geographical knowledge within the domestic sphere (Olivier 2007).
To fully grasp the operation of the photographic apparatus in family life, its involvement in politics, in landscaping, and in negotiations of power relations, one has to remember that historically, it was the invention of the one-dollar Brownie camera that enabled the practice of family photography and the production of family photographs in the way that one is familiar with today. First manufactured and sold in 1900, the Brownie, one of the first easy-to-operate cameras for amateurs, brought about the notion of the democratization of photography, and of snapshot photography in particular. It allowed virtually anyone to take photographs regardless of whether or not they possessed any photographic expertise. As Marc Olivier notes, “Beforet the snapshot, photography was largely a gentlemen’s hobby, a pastime that required technical skill and costly equipment” (2007: 1).

The Brownies in Palestina2 © Gil Pasternak, Dorit Pasternak, 1971. Dorit and Ephraim Pasternak’s collection of honeymoon photographs. Description: memorial for Moshe Levinger and Arye Steinlauff, […] two Israeli road workers who were shot dead by a group of Palestinian militants while paving the road to the Dead Sea in 1951. The memorial indicates the Hebrew date of the workers’ death alongside their names. Above these, a short inscription reads: “galed chalutzim mefalsei ha’derech le’yam ha’melach she’lo zachu le’siyum” (A monument for the pioneers who had started paving the way to the Dead Sea but were not fortunate to complete it).

[…] The experience of the physical environment and that of psychic life may be perceived as interlinked, as well as being two reciprocal conditions of the family photograph. However, I would like to suggest one encounters the family photograph as a post-memory; not purely as something of the past, but also as an informative image and object existing in, and constantly reshaping the present understanding of, the physical conditions it both portrays and materializes, whether these are credible or fabricated.

The Brownies in Palestina3The Brownies in Palestina4© Gil Pasternak, Seffi and Gil Pasternak, 1980s. The Pasternaks’ family album, 1971–89 (above and below).

[…] From the late 1980s, a new understanding of landscape emerged in the field of cultural geography, treating and discussing landscape as text. The collaborative work of Denis Cosgrove and Stephen Daniels (1988) is an exemplar of this approach. According to their research, landscape must be understood as a system of authored signs working to narrate the terrain in which they are found. The narratives that landscapes present are predetermined by their principal makers or authors, whether these are individuals or groups. Prior to the late 1980s, the predominant approach toward landscape had been derived by the theories of Carl Sauer and the Berkeley school of geographers. Landscape was thought of as a blank sheet to be overprinted with traces of human activity, a by-product of cultural practices where culture was thought to have agency. The new understanding of the term, however, suggests landscape is a product of intentional activities carried out to determine geographical features and meaning (Cosgrove and Jackson 1987; Kong 1997). Accordingly, landscape needs to be considered as a linguistic experience, writing and communicating meanings in a particular language. A capacity to engage with and read the signs used along the geographical terrain renders landscapes legible, allowing the equipped viewer to absorb the information imparted by the landscape’s designer while depriving the less privileged viewer access to its intended meaning. Those who cannot read the signs used are bound to bestow different meanings upon the very same landscape, to read it in a way that may compete with, or even override its projected significance (Jackson 1989).

The Brownies in Palestina5© Gil Pasternak, Seffi and Gil Pasternak, 1980s. The Pasternaks’ family album, 1971–89.

[…] According to Benvenisti (2002), at the end of the nineteenth century Zionist pioneers brought with them from the diaspora the desire to reclaim the landscape of their longed-for, lost homeland. Upon their arrival in the region, they faced a different reality. Although popular Zionist historiography often presented the Promised Land as a deserted, unoccupied territory, the land was occupied by non-Jewish people; its landscapes did not live up to the biblical primordial images that appeared in the pioneers’ dreams. Having searched the visible landscape for residues that might echo their collective imagination, they worked to alter its physical features and conceal threatening scenes. The second generation of these immigrants, Benvenisti explains (2002), turned to archaeological excavations that gradually exposed the past sites of the ancient homeland, creating the country’s landscape anew. By the time a third generation was born, they could not possibly experience the landscape intimately. Its alteration had rendered it a collective landscape of a nation, and the location of this nation’s identity. Yet, as Ghazi Falah (1996) reveals in an article on the cultural landscape of Palestine, some sites of past villages still contain rubble, abandoned olive groves, cactus bushes, and other indications of their previous inhabitants. Some of these stand untouched, others are hidden among thick plantations of forests “planted apparently after the houses were leveled in the early years of the Israeli state” (Falah 1996: 271). Such locations turn this landscape into a site for Israeli amnesia, where some aspects of a non-heroic Jewish-Israeli history are hidden or camouflaged.

The Brownies in Palestina6© Gil Pasternak, Untitled, 1980s. The Pasternaks’ family album, 1971–89. Description: This expansive view is captured from a tourist observation point located at the top of the Mount of Olives. The sitters appear comfortable, at ease within the environment and with the photographic gaze pointed at them. The background, however, is loaded with political meanings, as dominion over the Old City of Jerusalem and its sacred places has been a matter of public, regional, and
international dispute since the state of Israel captured the city from Jordan in the war of 1967.

[…] I would like to suggest an understanding of the photographic relationship between sitters and landscapes in comparison with sitters against artificial backgrounds in studio photography. […] If subjects against painted landscapes had to imagine their relationship to the background, when positioned against actual landscapes, family photographs narrate the group as directly involved in, and related to, the landscape surrounding them. This further complicates the reality of the photographic, for if both the subject and the background appear authentic, they are capable of shaping each other’s identity not only historically but also ontologically. Yet, while it could be argued that the two-dimensional painted background draws much of the viewer’s attention precisely due to its visible fabricated qualities, it also serves as an indication of intentionality. It is those already theatrical properties of the background that trigger the spectator’s interest in its symbolic value, and thereby in the possible affinity of the painted background with the sitter. Following the logic of Walter Benjamin’s historicization of photography (Benjamin 1985), it could be suggested that whereas the painted background gains prominence by alienating the sitter from a nonrepresentational space, in family photographs actual landscapes become casual through their photographic replication, allowing the sitter—a person familiar to the viewer—to stand out as the ephemeral element within the photographic image, thus imbuing the background with other significance. This recorded ephemeral encounter of the familiar figure with the inanimate surrounding has the capacity to concurrently familiarize and de-familiarize the viewer with the depicted environment, instilling in the viewer altering visions of conflicting political and social realities.

excerpts from ““The Brownies in Palestina”: Politicizing Geographies in Family Photographs” by Gil Pasternak, published in Photography & Culture Volume 6—Issue 1 March 2013, pp.41–64

٠ The photo-finders as the inauthentic photographers ٠

tumblr_mk83ksZRat1riatdoo1_500Le Fabuleux album d’Amélie Poulain

[…] The photo-finders will refer to themselves as artists or curators, editors or collectors—often, as an unclassifiable mixture. Depending on their self-described status, the archives of found, anonymous photographs they produce will be labeled works of art, exhibitions, projects, or studies—or something in between.
Departing from an understanding of the amateur photographer as an “innocent naïf,” and of his snapshot as “authentic,” the brothers and sisters of Amélie’s mysterious collector “revise the distinction between author and audience,” as the cultural critic Walter Benjamin wrote, in a different context, seventy-five years ago. Turning “consumers … into producers—that is, readers or spectators into collaborators,” their archives become political statements that embody the workings of democratic societies, and that downplay the professional in favor of the supposedly “disinterested” amateur. The twentieth century has greeted photojournalism and art photography with postcolonial critique and a postmodern “crisis of representation”; digitization and the camera-equipped cell phone define the beginning of the twenty-first. The stage is thus set for a new kind of witness to enter the scene: the amateur photographer. Closer inspection reveals, however, that he is not really all that new—nor, for that matter, all that “authentic.”

5069be36d9127e30f0000519._w.400_h.489_s.fit_from Found Photos, by Dick Jewell, 1977.

1334_dick-jewell-found-photos-c-courtesy-rachmaninoffsfrom Photobooth, by Babette Hines, 2002.

[…] Let’s call Amelie’s collector of orphaned passport pictures an artist, and his artistic method the finding, and recycling, of images that already exist. Then his is a method that says something about the artist’s (in)ability to produce original images—and in fact, his method isn’t all that original either. For the trick has been done before: Marcel Duchamp’s readymade sculptures, or Andy Warhol’s Brillo boxes spring to mind. And while it is true that the practice of working with found photography as found photography did not really come into its own until four decades ago, and did not go viral until the 1990s,12 amateur photographs have featured in artistic practice pretty much since the 1878 invention of dry gelatin plates, and the 1888 introduction of the user-friendly and relatively cheap “You Press the Button, We Do the Rest” Kodak cameras that propelled the growth of amateur photography.

is25mccpat12from Album, by Patrick McCoy, 1996.

spreadinalmosteverypicture11_2from In Almost Every Picture, by Erik Kessels, since 2001.

[…] So, the stage was set, and subsequent artists working with found photography would strip the amateur snapshot ever more, laying it ever more bare. Surrealism lifted the snapshot out of the photomontage, but still presented it in a theory-heavy, artistic context. By contrast, the found photography archives that emerged in the second half of the twentieth century focused more and more on the amateur photograph as such, celebrating precisely its nonartistry and its banality.

snapshots_01from Snapshots—The Eye of the Century, by Christian Skrein, 2004.

053-photo-trouveefrom Anonymous: Enigmatic
Images from Unknown Photographers
, by R. F. Johnson, 2004.

PetArtsCntr-Girl@xylophoneAug5-Sept182011c.1920from Photo Trouvée, by Michel Frizot, 2006.

[…] The radical questioning of photography’s agenda, authenticity, and veracity remained, for many years, confined to the academic circles of cultural and literary criticism. But the arrival on the scene of digital photography and, on its heels, of Photoshop, which—theoretically at least—put an end to the indexical quality that film-based photography still enjoyed, appears to have made the issue real for the public at large, as well.
Representation, in short, was still in crisis: and artists and journalists alike continued to seek for ways to respond.
“Authenticity” is not a feature of the material itself, not something inherent in the photograph, whether it is an amateur snapshot or a skillfully composed documentary shot. Everyone, amateur and professional alike, comes to the taking and making of pictures informed by social or political intentions, cultural norms and values, and visual examples. They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder; authenticity resides in the exact same place.

excerpts from “The Authentic Amateur and the Democracy of Collecting Photographs” by Lynn Berger, published in Photography & Culture Volume 2—Issue 1 March 2009, pp.31–50

┐ Heather Cassils, this is what a durational re-performance looks like └

Cassils2-776x1200© Heather Cassils, Day 1, 02-20-10, 2011

Cassils1-776x1200© Heather Cassils, Day 140, 07-20-10, 2011.

HomagetoBenglia© Heather Cassils

“There are two constants in my life: art and exercise. Art started first, then after a serious childhood illness I discovered my body through lifting weights. I am now a visual artist and a personal trainer. My brush with mortality is something I see in the clients that come to me on a daily basis. Whether it’s recovering from heart surgery or bringing news of a brand new osteoporosis diagnosis, many of these people have come face to face with the limits of the mortal body.

Cuts: A Traditional Sculpture consists of a two-channel video installation, a pin-up, a photographic series and a zine. Last year I was asked to become an artist researcher by Los Angeles Goes Live (LACE). They were mounting an exhibition called Los Angeles Goes Live: Performance in Southern California 1970- 1983. I was commissioned by LACE to create a new artwork that spoke to the rich history of performance in Southern California. I hungrily delved into their archives and chose two works to guide me: Eleanor Antin’s Carving: A Traditional Sculpture, 1972 and Lynda Benglis’s 1974 Artforum magazine intervention advertisement. I wanted my new work to interpret these feminist pieces, which take on gender, power and the body. I project these works into a context exploring what it is to be transgendered in today’s society.

Antin photographed herself while dieting as a take on how Greek sculptors found their ideal form by discarding unnecessary material from their marble blocks. Rather than crash diet, over 23 weeks I built my body to its maximum capacity. I did this by adhering to a strict bodybuilding regime constructed by master bodybuilding coach Charles Glass. David Kalick, a nutritionist specializing in diets for sports competition, designed a diet where I consumed the caloric intake of a 190-pound male athlete. I also took mild steroids for eight weeks of the training.

I documented my body as it changed, taking four photos a day, from four vantage points. I collapsed 23 weeks of training into 23 seconds, creating a time-lapse video (part of the two-channel installation Fast Twitch Slow Twitch). Juxtaposed against the speed-up of the time lapse are painfully slow motion scenes that depict moments from my training — a raw egg dropping into a mouth or a face as it “maxes out.” The audio in the installation is by San Francisco-based band Barn Owl. The music’s sonic layering echoes my body’s growth.” Heather’s statement

lbenglis-untitled1329005660326© Lynda Benglis, 1974 Artforum magazine intervention advertisement

eantin-carving1329005949795© Eleanor Antin, Carving: A Traditional Sculpture, 1972

Cassils3-800x533© Heather Cassils, Installation image of Advertisement (Homage to Benglis), 2011

More about the issue of Re-formance can be read in the article Re-performance: History as an Experience to Be Had, by Megan Hoetger

Heather’s website here

┐ Shira Klasmer – Walk the Line └

© Shira Klasmer, Walking the Line, 2012. 10’34” in loop

“The ‘painting’ is performed by the artist holding a ‘brush’ made up of a line of LED lights. The act (of painting) is photographed by two still digital cameras creating a single still frame of long exposure, capturing the traces of the action on to the camera’s sensor. A sequence of frames is edited to a video format, where each frame is the recording of one act of ‘painting’. Transforming the still frames into a video format was done by exposing; scanning each frame from left to right, similar to the direction the images where made.

When working on these sequences in the darkness of the car park, ‘painting’ is transformed to a work of performance. With no physical material engagement and resistance, ‘painting’ becomes a work of memory and repetition – the reconstruction of a mental imprint, counting steps, rhythmical gestures, movement – a task in the memorisation of the act which was never seen.”

kick3© Shira Klasmer, from English National Ballet (3D)

kick2© Shira Klasmer, from English National Ballet (3D)

“I met choreographer Itzik Galili in London while working on a shoot at Rambert with photographer Chris Nash. He explained he was putting together a show with the English National Ballet called ‘And the earth shall bear again’ and invited me to photograph a rehearsal in June 2012. I have been wanting to test out my new method of photographing in 3D and dreamed of doing so with dancers. These are some of the outcomes. You will need to view these images with a pair of Red/Cyan glasses.”

Snow-stroll-180© Shira Klasmer, from the series Abbreviations, 2009, Lambda print, Diasec, 20 x 180cm

Snow-forest-180© Shira Klasmer, from the series Abbreviations, 2009, Lambda print, Diasec, 20 x 180cm

“The ‘Scroll’ photographs began as a fascination with the transition of time, I have been exploring the etching and interpretation of movement within the still image. The works focus on motion within landscape photography and as a perpetual narrative that integrates the elements of time and space within the image.

The original image (the scroll photographs) extends beyond the standard frame dimension and provides the viewer with a visual horizontal narrative. I work with my old fashioned Pentax camera which I have modified by attaching a motor and in pulling the film through the camera while the shutter is open, I create a long exposure (up to 4min minute) of the entire roll of 35mm film. The result is a photograph that is one frame – the entire length of 36-frames, and reveals an elasticity to time where the future, present and past co-exist as one image.”

┐ Assaf Shaham – in the gap between the comma and its following letter └


1© Assaf Shaham, Untitled, from the series Time After Time and Again

“The work Time after Time and Again deconstructs photography into its components and reassembles them on one surface that encompasses the essence of the photographic act, the fundamentals of color photography, and the marvel that combines light and time into a photograph. At the same time, in a kind of an aside, Shaham also subverts the concept of freezing the moment which religiously accompanies photography and differentiates it from cinema. In a simple but not innocent still photograph, Shaham records movement on a timeline: a landscape depicting a kind of a sundial while simultaneously recording it as it becomes a photograph. In three exposures timed over one hour, in which three filters using the RGB color model, three colored projections were made, marking the location of the stick’s shadow through the sun’s movement over one hour.

Unlike 19th-century early photographs—where the limits of the photographic material’s sensitivity necessitated long exposure to light, making the details that had moved during the exposure into a pale blur or a dark color patch in the photographs—in Shaham’s photographs the movement is recorded with three clear, sharp projections whose location marks the exact time in which each of the color filters was used. The sundial on the sand demonstrates, through a single photograph within one hour, the process that the medium underwent in 170 years, and clearly and succinctly formulates the conceptual differences between continuous and fragmented movement; it is also the conceptual distance between photography and cinema and the gap between the analogue and digital worlds. This is a decisive phase in the evolution of man and machine and in the history of science and ideas, in the technological revolution of knowledge-rich industries, which is, of course, a social and cultural revolution.”

excerpt of the article Assaf Shaham: New Ways to Steal Old Souls, by Nili Goren, as in the Shpilman Institute for Photography. Continue reading here

scan2 copy4print© Assaf Shaham, Full Reflection (700dpi), 2012, from the series The King is Dead, Long Live the King!

scan3© Assaf Shaham, Full Reflection (500dpi), 2012, from the series The King is Dead, Long Live the King!

“Regarding The Emperor’s New Clothes

Imagine two scanners facing one another as they perform the only function they are capable of performing: scanning. They embark on an intense seductive mating ritual. One head moves up, the other one down, they both go down and simultaneously go back up again; In movement, whether in or out of synchronization, they exchange fluids and perform a discursive sexual act.

Susan Sontag claimed that photography is “not such a successful form of intercourse” 1 because the camera maintains a distance between that which is penetrating and that which is being penetrated. Assaf Shaham’s scanners will never feel each other. There will forever be that distance between them, rendering actual contact impossible. The resulting works of this sterile intercourse are yet surprisingly fertile. Flat, mechanical and technological to the extreme, these color fields are exemplary sons of a formalistic dynasty: they are Mondrian’s grandchildren, Rothko’s nephews and Walead Beshty’s adopted children. The yellowish light of the projecting bulb used in the darkroom is here replaced with the bright white light of the scanning device and random strips of lights, the sharp and accurate inkjet prints are favored over chemical photo paper and the ready-made was chosen over the artist’s darkroom.

The King is Dead, Long Live the King!

Shaham’s work is concerned with the very space between the king’s death and the beginning of his successor’s reign, precisly in the gap between the comma and it’s following letter it happens after photography has been repeatedly murdered; after it died, was re-born, fell down, rotted from within, was salvaged and brought back up on its feet again.

What appears like a large-scale replica of an Ilford photo paper pack leans against a wall, basking in a realistic glory of sorts. It is a marvelous reproduction of the original with a three dimensional appearance that was only altered as the original motif was replaced by the artist: where a harmless consensual image once appeared, Shaham has implanted a photographic rape scene.

In a small piece, dark silhouettes are burnt within a split of a second. It is a black footnote at the endpoint of a prolonged history of power and violence. American radiation in Hiroshima scorched out an eternal memory in real time. The gesture of the original photographer of this image – equally created by the bomb – is reactivated here by Shaham. That photographer is dead, long live the new photographer.”

┐ Harmut Lerch & Claus Holtz – 36976 portraits└

“The theme of dehumanization was the subject matter of many works in a variety of media. None was clearer or more appropriate to the exhibition than Portrait, a video tape by Harmut Lerch and Claus Holtz which consists of 100,000 photographic portraits viewed consecutively at a gradually increasing rate, up to 20,000 faces per second. As the photographs (which share a common eye level) are shown more and more rapidly, they gradually blur together into one homogenized image, a sexless, expressionless face neither beautiful nor ugly. This is a straightforward work about conformity and lack of uniqueness, yet its simplicity (in conception, not execution) does not detract from the strength of its message leading the viewer to fantasize about futuristic uniform societies produced by cloning. The vision is pure 1984.” source: Feldman Gallery

┐ Tobias Kruse └

© Tobias Kruse, Untitled, from the series The Parting, 2007

Graduation trip of the Carl-von-Ossietzky-Gymnasium examination year 2007, at Lake Balaton, Hungary

“Alcoholism extends the impersonal and transcendental event of the ‘crack up’ across a life by way of a caesura of time. Alcoholism, Deleuze writes, ‘hardens’ the present (Deleuze 1990: 158). In Fitzgerald, alcoholism’s temporality is that of the past perfect – I have-acted, I have-broken, I have-touched – where the present auxiliary is the hardened present and the past participle the volatile, churning real it extends across and holds in its entirety: a volcano held in porcelain. Still, in alcoholism, the ‘I have-drunk’ collapses the near past of the last drink with the distant past of sobriety (Deleuze 1990: 159). Hardness becomes indifference and the present loses its hold on the past without ceasing to enclose it; lava turns to dust. Further, each drink is always already a drink I have-drunk, faded into the past at the same time that the past is washed out by the indistinction of its points. For the drink to break through the present is for the undifferentiated past to break upon the present and wash over it. The crack becomes a wound as the drunk meets her alcoholism and becomes an alcoholic, and no longer a sober companion to another self who has drunk. The self collapses into a single ego, no longer split into the actual event and a double that might ‘counter-actualise’ it.”

in From the Archive, Introduction to Günther Anders’ ‘The Pathology of Freedom’, by Katharine Wolfe