The Politics of Perception

Published in Everyone's a fucking poet! 1995

i will try to put it plainly.

the first subject
"subject a"
sees the object
and records the experience as
which describes
the perception of object o
by subject a.
(mustn't fall into the trap 
of blindly placing faith
in the transcendental being
of the object qua percipi.
whatever the "truth of being"
of a given object/perception,
it must not, because
it is precisely that "truth"
which is in question,
play a supporting role
in this analysis :
the phenomenological bracketing)

revision :
the first subject
"subject a"
has the experience 
which is typically described as
the perception of object o
by subject a.

a second subject
"subject b"
which is in turn described as
the perception of object o
by subject b.

our inquiry, then, concerns
the reality of object o,
its ontology (as sartre
would say), or its
mode of existence (in
the words of foucault).
the dogmatic myth of platonism :

presupposing the material
and factual existence 
of object o prior to 
any given perception
(oa, ob, etc.), 
the determination
of truth is based upon 
accuracy with respect 
to the transcendental object.

example :
	subject a has the experience
	"ao," where "o" in this case
	is taken to represent
	the origin of language.
	The experience "ao" then describes
	the specific attitude (perception)
	taken by subject a
	towards the origin of language,
	which, in this example, is that
	language evolved 
	as an instrument 
	of man's expression and that
	the series thought-speech-writing
	describes the accuracy 
	of representation in language
	with respect to ideas, in
	declining order of strength.
	notice that this expression 
	places implicit value
	on the notion of proximity.

	subject b, meanwhile,
	has the experience "ob,"
	with "o" again depicting
	the origin of language.
	"ob" then describes 
	the perception of 
	the origin of language
	by subject b
	or, more particularly, 
	the notion that language
	erupted spontaneously
	(following lévi-strauss)
	and that valuing speech
	over language depends upon 
	a metaphysics of presence
	which is itself an historical
	but unjustified presuppostion.

	in modern times
	it has been proclaimed
	definitively and factually
	that subject b
	has "correctly" described
	the object "o"
	and is therefore entitled
	to bash subject a
	over the head with 
	a fistful of diplomas.
the dada myth :

subject a grows
hyacinths or crystal
mesmerized, the flame
glub glub
the ultra-nietzschean myth of free play :

to begin with or
to find along the way
the object-corpse &
bold proclamations of
death! death! death!
until the truth-value 
of object o
becomes nothing more 
than nostalgia,
the naïve ignorance
of infinite deferral
from metaphor 
to metaphor,
a film without end 
and so no middle
either, i.e.,
all references to the transcendental 
object are dismissed as fallacious;
the game of truth has no winners.

example :

	on the one hand, 
	subject a
	undergoes the perception 
	"oa," where "o" is
	mistakenly believed to be,
	for the purposes of this example,
	the intentional attempt 
	at meaning made by
	the author of a given work.
	the perception "oa"
	is thus believed to be
	a reasonable reading of object o
	by subject a.

	subject b,
	on the other hand,
	having thouroughly  
	examined the texts 
	of nietzsche, derrida,
	and paul de man,
	experiences "ob"
	and shrewdly acknowledges
	the absence of any 
	definable object o
	and therefore describes 
	said perception
	with words devoid
	of any intentional content
	 "ob" is thus 
	one link in an infinite chain of signification
	without center or point of reference.
	we have been blessed 
	with a number of such
	poignant revelations
	which unfortunately
	(due to the breakdown
	of communication theory)
	we are unable 
	to understand.
	subject b
	runs circles of obscurity
	around subject a.
the myth of in between :

based upon a subtle awareness
of both the autonomous & 
problematic power of language
as well as the finer points of 
semiotic theory, this is
the myth of commonsense
par excellence,
whereupon the experience
describes only
a perceptual experience
on the part of subject x
with regards to an object o
whose reality is not
an a priori transcendental
but an a posteriori
dynamical object defined
by the intersubjective meaning
granted it by the community.
example :

	subject a
	experiences "oa"
	where "o" refers to
	subject b
	and subject a
	describes "oa" as
	the perception I have
	of subject b 
	as object o
	which by no means
	entirely defines 
	subject b but which
	must be considered 
	as a constituent part of
	the community which
	determines the reality
	of subject b. 

	(subject b
	is anti-social 
	and feels uncomfortable
	outside a university setting.
	lost in a linguistic crisis,
	subject b is incapable
	of determining 
	whether or not
	such a thing as 
	perception exists,
	much less subject a.)

	adherence to the notion of
	social consensus in the 
	construction of referents,
	or to historical systems
	of internally  consistent
	logic and a belief 
	in the possibility 
	of dialogue
	being -- as they are --
	terribly outdated,
	the estranged and yet
	somehow reactionary
	philosophic tropes
	of subject b are
	evidently more applicable
	to the anguish
	of twentieth-century
the problem gets bigger
when you realize
all subjects 
are objects even

the greatest myth of all :

know thyself
we love a challenge.


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