Tuesday, February 21, 2006

On the Gradual Fabrication of Thoughts While Speaking

This concept of "intersubjective jamming" that I have been bringing into both my seminar space and hypertextually influenced blog space suggests that the artificial intelligentsia is made up of all of the active artistic and intellectual agents who generate internetworked thought processes at any given moment in time. My sense is that the shape-shifting discourse that manifests itself in the networked space of flows is indicative of an autopoietic environment for this artificial intelligentsia to hyperimprovisationally perform in.

This performance is best experienced intuitively via body-brain-apparatus achievments. Participating in the networked space of flows, the performers are responsible for setting the social tone of their thought generation in history. And history, as we know, has a way of repeating itself, though not literally and, as Borges has written in his "New Refutation of Time," time is actually never experienced the same way twice (see my previous post on Rauschenberg's "combine" retrospective at the Met for more on the interrleationship between improvisation, repetition, and time).

Going way back, say to Germany in 1805, we find a short essay written by Heinrich von Kleist, collected in his now out of print An Abyss Deep Enough, entitled "On the Gradual Fabrication of Thoughts While Speaking," where the author who, like Lautreamont after him, killed himself at an early age, writes about what I am now calling "intersubjective jamming" but that he put in more direct terms. For example, he discusses how he used his sister as a creative sounding board to help crystalize his thoughts. Says Kleist:

" ...nor usually does she lead me to the conclusion by means of adroit questioning. But because I do start with some sort of dark notion remotely related to what I am looking for, my mind, if it has set off boldly enough, and being pressed to complete what it has begun, shapes that muddled idea into a new form of clarity, even while my talking progresses, with the result that my full thought, to my astonishment, is completed with period."

A few paragraphs later he intuits the Unconscious neural mechanism that triggers creative thought: "For it is not we who know; it is rather a certain condition, in which we happen to be, that "knows."

Then there are those moments when the interlocuters riff of each other's discourse in asynchronous realtime, always a fraction of a second ahead of the game, and the intersubjective jam takes "proud flight." This is when the performers begin experiencing hypsos, when the force of the sublime enunciation "scatters everything before it like a thunderbolt" (Longinus).

(The above ideas were generated as part of an ongoing conversation with the provocative mind of Scott Mann)

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