Friday, April 28, 2006

Professor VJ and I

As the end of semester draws near, the collaborative Graduate student project in my seminar/workshop is picking up steam and the team is about to go into post-production. The students were asked to "play themselves" in a meta-mockumentary about a group of students trying to make a trailer about a movie about "making a trailer for a movie that does not really exist." As I wrote in the assignment:

"All seminar participants are invited to 'play themselves' in whatever form they find necessary. This can be a direct representation of what they imagine themselves to be or a more constructed persona that taps into their unconscious creative potential while becoming a kind of emerging fictional character who just happens to go by the same name they identify themselves with on their driver's license. Of course, some may choose to see these two actors, the more direct representation of what they imagine themselves to be and the more constructed fictional persona, as one and the same entity, and may wish to experimentally defamiliarize that same entity so that it becomes something else altogether new, although when investigating a potentially new you, or cluster of you(s), please keep in mind Higgins' 'neoteric fallacy' where what is new to one person may not be new to another."

This somehow reminds me of Borges and his excellent short work "Borges and I" - a piece I am remixing this morning just for you:

The other one, the one called Professor VJ, is the one things happen to. I walk through the streets of Boulder and stop for a moment, perhaps mechanically now, to look at the arch of an entrance hall to campus; I know of Professor VJ from the email and see his name on a list of professors or various blogrolls. I like Thai food, French New Wave cinema, metafiction, my new Prius, and the taste of coffee and the prose of Sterne; he shares these preferences, but in a vain way that turns them into the attributes of an actor. It would be an exaggeration to say that ours is a hostile relationship; I live, let myself go on living, so that Professor VJ may contrive his blog entries, and these entries somehow justify me. It is no effort for me to confess that he has achieved some valid pages, but those pages cannot save me, perhaps because what is good belongs to no one, not even to him, but rather to the language and to tradition. Besides, I am destined to perish, definitively, and only some instant of myself can survive in him. Little by little, I am giving over everything to him, though I am quite aware of his perverse custom of falsifying and magnifying things.

I do not know which of us has written this page.

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