The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive


on hemiptera, Lacan, others

years ago, in the Far Hills Project (1973), I was already faced with
taxonomic anomaly. in recording pond-life employing an EIAJ NTSC video
camera through a Leitz microscope, I was well aware of the fuzzy encoding
that occurred between the real and the analog. later, I would write of the
distance between one scan line and another, a broken distance, with
nothing between, nothing cohering, contiguous at best - already presaging
the deep digital disconnect between a pixel and its neighbor.

at that point, I considered the topology of intention in relation to
microworlds: opening spaces at 2000x magnification, close to the limits of
optical microscopy (newtonian diffraction rings, etc.) - how does
taxonomic identification occur, what schema are utilized? in pre-DNA days,
or on the level of the amateur naturalist, the phenomenology of
consciousness, of anomaly and coherence, plays a large role. now I find
myself returning full circle: these insects are deeply unidentifiable, and
I bring every means, every symptom, to their occasion. the distancing
mechanisms are still there, as are the radical disconnections; in a sense,
I've learned nothing, except that the vast array of knowledge before me
has an imperfect, at best, relationship to my own neural processes. the
clues just don't add up, as if they ever did. even if I succeeded, the
most I'd gain would be a name - but at least that would lead out of this,
would lead elsewhere.

perhaps I'm not being clear, faced with the clarity and fuzziness of the
world - of which these are already phenomenological, aesthetic terms. it's
not that I want certainty, or even to know what I'm stepping into - so
much as what I will be, in the future, leaving behind. in the Everglades
I'm faced  with inconceivably tangled matrices of molecular organization,
micro-ecological niches, human mayhem. a name, just a _name_ for the
_thing,_ would add and subtract.


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