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everything is narrative

March 21, 2015 1 comment

from the Quietus interview with Ales Kot:

If everything is narrative – and your comics tend to bleed profusely into reality, making the line between fiction and reality a porous border – do you ever encounter the Grant Morrison mythos quality of seeing your fictions and characters embodied in the real world around you?

AK: Profoundly so, yes, in all manner of ways. The fictions we create are incredibly powerful. I have a quote on the wall – well, I have a few, some my own encouragements and reminders, and then a few by people who are not-me (but really where is the line between our identities? I find it might be just as fluid as the line between reality and fiction…) – such as Christian Wolff, Susan Sontag and… William S. Burroughs. Burroughs is also a part of the Zero narrative. Issue #15, the first issue to be a part of the fourth collection, expounds on this a bit, as you will see if you keep reading.

The Burroughs quote is this one:

“It is to be remembered that all art is magical in origin – music, sculpture, writing, painting – and by magical I mean intended to produce very definite results. Paintings were originally formulae to make what is painted happen. Art is not an end in itself, any more than Einstein’s matter-into-energy formulae is an end in itself. Like all formulae, art was originally FUNCTIONAL, intended to make things happen, the way an atom bomb happens from Einstein’s formulae.”

I believe this.

Categories: metafiction

terrifyingly easy to distort reality

March 21, 2015 Leave a comment

shout out to blog In Search of Logic for link love in post “The Ordinary Web of Lies”. Some very well organized and eloquent thinking about philosophical topics – something I’m not too used to seeing, it is a breath of fresh air.

Social reality is a labyrinth of mirrors reflecting each other. All the light ultimately comes from outside the maze, but the mirrors can distort it any way they like. The ordinary web of lies is my personal term for this. Many people will think of religion, but it goes far beyond this. When society decides a particular group is the enemy, they become the enemy. When society deems words or concepts uncouth, they are uncouth. I call these lies, but it’s not what we ordinarily mean by dishonest. It’s terrifyingly easy to distort reality. Even one person, alone, will tend to pick and choose observations in a self-serving way. When we get together in groups, we have to play the game: selecting facts to use as social affirmations or condemnations, selecting arguments to create consensus… it’s all quite normal.

This all has to do with the concept of hyperstition (see Lemurian Time War) and hyperreality. Hyperstition refers to superstition which makes itself real. Hyperreality refers to our inability to distinguish certain fictions from reality, and the way in which our fictional, constructed world tends to take primacy over the physical world. Umberto Eco illustrates this nicely in his book Focault’s Pendulum, which warns of the deadly danger in these effects.

Categories: hyperstition