Granular Being

We've been encouraged to think of being (like, stuff, matter like existence) as sticky. Perhaps viscous. Space-time as a thick soup. Being is something we wade through. When it is made present to us - perhaps through our breaking of the correlationist ignorance-bond, via thought or event or uncanny moment - being might seem weighed down by its own, well, beingness.

Beings, some suggest, are gloopy perhaps, with connections and relations sticking them to other things and at the same time congealing them into themselves. And, attempting to peel away their unending skins of reality like an infinite onion, we are left with hands covered in a mucusy substance, a thick muck that smells rankly of presence.

What if Being was granular? Particular, in both senses. When we break the (practical, useful, obfuscating) correlation between human and world, could it reveal a kind of dust cloud? Might we see not plasmatic gloop, or the viscous, vicariousness of object causality, but how unconnected being is from itself? How there is a gap between the granules of being?

I'm not suggesting a return to atomism - there is still no biggest or smallest thing, but maybe the gaps between things could be as meaningful as the things themselves.

More New Drawings From an Infinitely Ongoing Series Cataloguing Every Object, Both Real and Imaginary, in The Entire Universe.

Blood Object, pen on paper, 2014

Floods Object, pen on paper, 2014

Ginger Object, pen on paper, 2014

Hi-NRG Object, pen on paper, 2014

Slime Object, pen on paper, 2014

Stroopwafel Object, pen on paper, 2014

Success Object, pen on paper, 2014

Ambient Notes #11 (Trevor Wishart)

-I'm here because a friend has organised a gig for the experimental musician who's doing this talk. I figured I would come to the talk to show my support but when I get to the talk he is nowhere to be seen.

-On the white board, partially hidden by a Genelec speaker is written:

---------------> X

-The experimental musician says, 'The only sounds you really can't make with your voice are bell sounds'

-The experimental musician says, 'Along came computers. They'd been hovering in the background.'

-The lecture is for the music department. The students are more diverse in age and levels of self-styling compared to fine art lectures.

-The experimental musician is wearing a Gore-tex pouch hanging from a carabiner on his belt. It's hard to discern what it might contain. It seems too big for a phone. Wallet and keys? Could be a camera, but then he's a composer, why would he need quick access to a camera? Maybe it's a digital audio recorder. Or a stylophone.

-In the front row there is a white girl with blue-black dreadlocks. 'Musicians', I think. 'You wouldn't get that in a fine art lecture', I think.

-Though, actually an MFA curating student got in touch the other day and when I went on her Facebook page to check whether she was attractive I saw that in some of her old photos she had dreadlocks. I remember thinking that she should have deleted those photos before she started at Goldsmiths because it kind of renders her MFA worthless.

-There is a big yellow trolley at the front of the lecture theatre. I imagine staff and students referring to it as "The AV Trolley".

-The experimental musician says, 'The brain has an automatic exact repetition detector.'

-The blue-black dreadlocks girl's phone rings. The experimental musician says, 'Hello!' and some students laugh.

-The experimental musician  says that the use of samples allows you to create surreal music as opposed to synthetic music.

-The experimental musician has a hankie that he occasionally produces from his pocket and dabs at his nose.  He wears glasses with a cord that hangs off the back of his ears and down round his neck.

-I'm with Andrea from Open School. She only came because I promised we'd go to the pub after. She has no interest in experimental music. She looks bored. I worry that she is bored.

-Sitting in front of us there is a woman with two male friends sat either side of her. Both men keep looking at the woman as she watches the talk. One of the men is older and unattractive. One is younger and I can't see his face.

-The lecturer says something about Newcastle. The younger man in front of us makes a movement of his hand and head aimed at the girl, signalling that he has some connection to Newcastle or the North East. The woman laughs and looks pleased at the younger man. She touches his arm and then rests her head on his arm for a second. The older, unattractive man looks worried.

-The experimental musician says, 'Imaginary bagpipe', 'Circular knitting'.

-The girl with the blue-black dreads laughs loudly at something. There is a pause and then all the students laugh at the girl laughing.

-The experimental musician says, 'Dance music', and the younger man laughs. The older man notices the younger man laughing and begins to laugh and looks at the woman.

-The experimental musician's lecture is getting faster and faster. He plays examples of his work for just a few seconds before he stops them, each time saying, 'I'll stop here'. His speech is getting faster too, and he moves across the front of the hall very quickly.

-The experimental musician says, 'Abstracting the musicality of the real world.'

-A man with a blonde goatee asks a two parted question.

-The experimental musician says, 'People think that because you make these horrific or weird noises that you must be a horrific or weird person.'

-When I watch lectures in disciplines of which I am not a practitioner, I find any focus on the technicalities of that practice fascinating and at the same time, necessarily banal. Like, I've never thought about those things in that much detail, but there's a reason I've not thought about those things in that much detail.

-The younger man next to the woman asks a question. He has a North East accent, but he's not a Geordie.

-The making of things is necessarily boring. Any practice is boring - the actual practicing of the practice has to be because the actions you make to make work are not interesting in themselves. To other practitioners, the discussion of the technicalities of those actions is relevant, but to non-practitioners it is meaningless. It's interesting to experience the feeling of being a non-practitioner in a specialist discussion - to not feel invested in the discussion.

-Someone asks a concise, interesting question that provokes a clear, enthusiastic answer from the experimental musician. I feel like the student should get an award, or at least someone should buy him a drink and say well done.