The subject line is pasted from Armin's nice note on typographically animated
pictogram language and the new media. And as to
We can BE THE MESSAGE
This is the challenge set, at the time of the invention of cinema, in mallarme's
poem On the Tomb of Edgar Allan Poe which ends describing how, dead, the poet is
now 'tel qu'en lui-meme l'eternite le change', which I read in Andre Bazin's
film criticism, and which translates as the poet finally becoming that into
which eternity changes him.
Mallarme I think meant something like the poet dissappearing into his works;
Bazin uses it to describe the way cinema might, in pursuing ultimate realism,
finally change life into what it always should have been – real.
But I like to think of it less as the distant future of either society or myself
(death is always distant – until its too late), and more as a question of how
we can escape this awful Western prison of individuality.
Like Armin, I write, and I love my craft, not least because there come moments
when you can feel yourself so utterly immersed in the process of language that
you no longer speak it, and at a certain stage it no longer speaks you, but the
speaking subsumes both you and language into a single process. Then you really
forget the terrible subjective/objective divide that separates individual from
individual (and intellect from environment, and rulers from ruled, and bosses
from workers, and men from women, and mind from body etc etc etc). Language is a
medium – not the only one, but one of them – which information science,
semiotics and communications believe is mediated, mediates *between* people, is
a kind of black box at best, or unbridgeable gap at worst, that *divides* us.
What we are searching for in the 3rd millenium is immediation.
Immediation means, to me, not cutting the gap between people, but exactly as
Armin says, doing away with the terminals (you/me) in favour of the messages
that traverse us all like a vast oceanic tide of meanings.
Perhaps that means that what we need isn't new words, but a new grammar?
The sun is flickering on the Mersey: I have to go and look at it.