Monday, June 16, 2008

A Fistful Of Levinas

Oscar Muñoz (b. 1951) - Line of Destiny, 2006 (single screen projection)

1. The object which presents itself to the thinker determines the thinker. But it determines the thinker without touching the thinker, without weighing down on him; in such a manner that the thinker submits to the imposed content of thought ‘in good grace’, as if he had anticipated the object right down to the surprises it holds in store for knowledge.

2. [Every] loss of time, every lapse, holds on to itself, or is recuperated in the memory, finds itself again, or is reconstructed; it adheres to an ensemble through the agency of memory or historiography. Consciousness in reminiscence glorifies the ultimate resilience of presence. The time of consciousness lends itself to [self-] representation – this is more strongly synchrony that diachrony.

3. To represent is not simply to render present ‘again’, it is to fetch back to the present itself an actual perception which is flowing away . . . to fetch back to the instantaneity of thought everything which seems independent of it.

4. The Same, in its relation to Alterity, refuses what is exterior to its own instant, to its identity in order to rediscover in that free-floating instant . . . as conferred sense, as a noema, everything which had been rejected.

5. Admittedly, the self which conducts its thoughts becomes (or, more exactly, ages) in the time in which are spread out its [the self’s] successive thoughts throughout which the self thinks in the present. But this becoming does not appear on the level of representation.

Emmanuel Levinas

Musique Du Jour: Pendulum Music, Steve Reich