Beck And Radiohead: Preliminary Material For A Realisation of a Conceptual Recipe #1

As I presented it in my previous post, I’m doing a deconstrucitve conceptual piece with the following recipe: Retype all the lyrics from Beck’s album Sea Change and Radiohead’s A Moon Shaped Pool in chronological order of the track lists, the oldest album first. Deconstruct the parts of the lyrics which you can interpret to be about break ups, thus pointing to the différance – as you coin the term – between the concept of break ups in the two albums.

To begin with the part where I coin the term différance, I here quote the paragraphs which Kenneth Goldsmith did when he sang Derrida, as a foundational resource of an analysis which recognizes that even an deconstructive explanation has to end somewhere (it’s short lines in the quote because that’s how they are when you quote from Of Grammatology in the document at monoskop and I don’t bother erasing all the line shifts. Besides, it seems more objectivist that way, and that I like):

“The
thesis
of the
arbitrariness
of the
sign
(so grossly
misna
med,
and
not
only
for the
reasons
Saussure
himself
recognizes
)
8
must
forbid
a radical
distinction
between
the
linguistic
and
the
graphic
sign
. No
dou
bt
this
thesis
concerns
only
the
necessity
of
relationships
between
specific
sig­
nifiers
and
signifieds
within
an
allegedly
natural
relationship between
the
voice
and
sense
in general,
between
the
order
of phonic
signifiers
and the
content
of the
signifieds
(“the
only
natural bond, the
only
true
bond, the
bond
of soun
d”). Only
these
relationships
between
specific
signifiers
and
signifie
ds would
be
regulated
by
arbitrariness.
Within
the
“na
tural”
rela­
tionship
between
phon
ic signifiers
and
their
signi
fieds
in general,
the
rela­
tionship
between
each
determined
signifier
and
its determined
signified
would
be “arbitrary.”
Now
from
the
moment
that
one
considers
the
totality
of determined
signs,
spoken,
and
a fortiori written,
as unmotivated
inst
itutions,
one must
exclude
any
relationship
of natural
subordination,
any
natural
hierarchy
among
signifie
rs or orders
of signifie
rs. If “writing”
signifies
inscr
iption
and
especially
the
durable
institution
of a sign
(and
that is the only
irreducible
kernel
of
the
concept
of writing
), writing
in
general
covers
the
entire
field
of linguist
ic signs.
In that field
a certain
sort
of inst
ituted
signifiers
may
then
appear,
“graphic”
in the
narrow
and
derivative
sense
of the
word,
ordered
by
a certain
relationship
with
other
inst
itut
ed-hence
“written
,”
even
if they
are “phonic”
-sig
nifie
rs. The
very
idea of inst
itution-hence
of
the
arbitrariness
of the
sign-is
unthinkable
before
the
possi
bilit
y of writing
and
out
side
of its horizon
. Quit
e simply,
that
is, outside
of the
horizon
itself,
outside
the
world
as space
of
insc
ription,
as
the
opening
to
the
emission
and
to the
spatial
distri
bution
of signs,
to the
regulated
play
of
their
differences,
even
if they are
“ph
onic.”
Let
us now
persist
in using this
opposition
of nature
and
institution,
of
physis
and
nomos
(which
also means,
of course,
a distribution
and
division
regulated
in fact
by
law)
which
a meditation
on
writing
should
disturb al-
Linguistics and
Grammatol
ogy
45
though
it functions
everywhere
as self-evident,
particularly
in the
disc
ourse
of linguistics.
We
must
then
conclude
that
only
the signs
called
natur
al,
those that
Hegel
and
Saussure
call
“symbols,”
escape
semiology
as gram­
matology.
But
they
fall
a fortiori
out
side
the
field
of linguistics
as the
region
of general
semiology.
The
thesis of
the
arbitrariness
of the
sign thus
indi­
rectly
but
irrevocably
contests
Saussur
e’s
declared
proposition when
he
chases
writing
to the
outer
darkness
of language.
This
thesis
successfully
accounts
for
a conventional
relationship between
the
phoneme
and
the
grapheme
(in phon
etic
writing,
between
the
phoneme,
signifi
er-sig
nified,
and
the
grapheme,
pure
signifier
), but
by
the same
token
it forbids
that
the
latter
be
an “i
mage”
of the
former.
Now
it was
indispensable
to the
exclusion
of
writing
as
“external
system,
” th
at
it come to
impose
an
“image,
” a
“representa
ton,”
or a “figurat
ion,”
an
exterior
reflection
of the
reality
of language.
It matters
little,
here at least,
that
there
is in fact
an
ideographic
filia­
tion
of the
alphab
et. This
important
question
is much
debated
by historians
of writing.
”’hat
matters
here
is that in
the
synchr
onic
structure
and syste­
matic
principle
of alphabetic
writing-and
phonetic
writing
in general­
no
relationship
of “natur
al”
representation,
none
of resemblance
or par­
ticipation,
no
“symbolic”
relationship
in
the
Hegelian-Saussurian
sense
,
no
“iconographic”
relationship
in the
Peircian
sense,
be
implied.
One
must
therefore
challenge,
in the
very
name
of the
arbitrariness
of
the
sign
, the
Saussurian
definit
ion
of writing
as “image”-he
nce as natural
symbol-of
language.
Not
to mentio
n the
fact
that
the
phoneme
is the
unimaginable
itself,
and
no
visibility
can
resemble
it, it su
ffices
to take
into
account
what Saussur
e says
about
the
difference
between
the
symbol
and
the
sign
(p.
101
)
[pp
.
68-6<)]
in order
to be
completely
baffie
d as to how
he can
at the
sam
e time
say of
writing
that it is an
“image”
or “figuration”
of language
and
define
language
and
writing
elsewhere
as “two
distinct
systems
of signs”
(p. 45) [po
2
3
]’ For
the
property
of the
sign
is not
to be
an image
. By
a pro
cess
exposed
by
Freud
in
The
Interpretati
on of Dreams,
Saussure
thus
accumulates
contradictory
arguments
to bring
about
a satis­
facto
ry decisi
on: the
exclusion
of writing.
In
fact
,
even
within
so-called
phonetic
writing,
the
“graphic”
signifier
refers
to the
phoneme
through
a
web
of many
dimensions
which
binds
it, like all
signifiers,
to other
written
and
oral
signifiers,
within
a “total” system open,
let
us say,
to all
possible
investments
of sense.
We
must
begin
with
the
possibility
of that
total
syste
m.
Saussure
was
thus never able
to think
that writing
was
truly
an
“image,”
a “figur
ation,”
a “represen
tation”
of the spoken
language,
a symbol.
If one
considers
that
he
non
etheless
needed
these
inadequate
not
ions
to decide
upon
the
exteriority
of writing,
one
must
conclude
that
an
entire
stratum
of his
discourse,
the
intention of
Chapter
VI
(“Graphic
Representation
of Language”
), was
not
at all scienti
fic.
\Vhen
I say
this,
my
quarry
is n
ot
46
Part
I:
Writing
before
the Letter
prima
rily
Ferdinand
de
Saussur
e’s
intentio
n or motivation,
but
rather
the
entire
uncritical
tradition
which
he inherits.”
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Beck’s Sea Change and Radiohead’s A Moon Shaped Pool: A Conceptual Recipe

Retype all the lyrics from Beck’s album Sea Change and Radiohead’s A Moon Shaped Pool in chronological order of the track lists, the oldest album first. Deconstruct the parts of the lyrics which you can interpret to be about break ups, thus pointing to the différance – as you coin the term – between the concept of break ups in the two albums.

Convolute B: Cheryl Donegan, Barret Newman, différance, feminism

Still from Cheryl Donegan's film, Line (1996)

Still from Cheryl Donegan’s film, Line (1996)

Barnett Newman

Barnett Newman

Skjermbilde 2015-03-08 kl. 13.02.25

Skjermbilde 2015-03-08 kl. 13.05.05

More Cheryl Donegan

More Cheryl Donegan

Still from Cheryl Donegan's film, Line (1996)

Still from Cheryl Donegan’s film, Line (1996)

Barnett Newman

Barnett Newman

Skjermbilde 2015-03-08 kl. 13.02.25

Skjermbilde 2015-03-08 kl. 13.05.05

More Cheryl Donegan

More Cheryl Donegan

“His style of writing, especially in relation to the concept of différance disrupts binary thinking and philosophy‟s quest for unitary truth. For feminism, différance offers a way of thinking sexual différance that does not deny differences, but at the same time doest not create false hierarchies. Like Derrida, Irigaray claims that the term woman is trapped inside metaphysics of presence where definition is only possible with reference to man. The question that dominates Irigaray‟s idea is how to imagine the feminism outside of a masculine symbolic order beyond binaries. Her work on new ways of explaining the symbolic order and making a space for feminine subjectivity is very important. She rejects Lacan‟s model of the symbolic order which positions femininity as lack, rather she inclines towards a model that recognizes feminine alterity.”
WINKING AT DERRIDA:
THE HAPPY UNION OF DECONSTRUCTION AND FEMINISM
Rasool Khezerloo
Urmia University

“Her video “Blood Sugar” presents a hallucinatory flash of runway models, textiles, and photographic images that pile up and vibrate anxiously against one another. The resulting flow of imagery is a disorienting reflection of how dependent we have become on the rapid, often unintentional consumption of images. The convulsing plaids and flannels that assault the screen seem to suggest a sort of frantic cultural heartbeat.”
The Coy Politics of Cheryl Donegan’s Recycled Imagery
by Howard Hurst

The Other As Commodity

And in continuing the previous post, moving from Debord to Derrida and from Plato to the Judeo-Christian God: even if différance is not God and deconstruction is not theology, the derridaian terms at least made John D. Caputo write about it in comparison to those things. That makes Derrida more of a prayer than a relativist.

From Amazon:

By Thomas Thornton on May 27, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Caputo is perhaps too academic and single-minded for the average reader, even one who knows all about differance, a word almost on every page, as the summing up of Derrida in a word. If this word is unfamiliar to you, forget this book. If you at least know that it is a neologism combining difference and differing, you still have to make your way through the critique of Levinas in the next chapter. I prefer simply to read Derrida in the original in his piece ‘contra Levinas’. If this controversy is new to you, this book won’t help dispel it since Caputo is hooked on deconstructing the way to the Wholly Other. Briefly Derrida tries to dissociate (the highest) choice from the usual metaphysical predicates (autonomy, consciousness) and think of it as the other’s decision in me. Let’s capitalize that Other. In other words, we are passive receptors of the Other’s message.

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Différance And American Attitude

Minerva wrote this about American Gods:

“The reader encounters here on another important feature of the modern American culture : Consumer Culture . Just like that one spends money on new things, we use money on experiences, which also includes the sacred. In America waits always on the next new , whether it is products, ideas or experiences, and replaced regularly in the same way as other goods. Once rejected meaning, they no longer holds something for those who previously kept them alive.”

But as you can read in these excerpts, especially in the paragraph about Disney World, this consumer culture is carrying a loss within itself, a différance from the ideal literary object and the resume in literature criticism. The careful reader will maybe recognize this as a global phenomena in capitalism and spectacular societies.

From “American Gods” by Neil Gaiman:

“This is the only country in the world,” said

Wednesday, into the stillness, “that worries

about what it is.”

“What?”

“The rest of them know what they are. No

one ever needs to go searching for the heart

of Norway. Or looks for the soul of

Mozambique. They know what they are.”

“And . . . ?”

“Just thinking out loud.”

“So you’ve been to lots of other countries,

then?”

Wednesday said nothing. Shadow glanced at

him. “No,” said Wednesday, with a sigh.

“No. I never have.”

(…)

“This is a roadside attraction,” said

Wednesday. “One of the finest. Which means

it is a place of power.”

“Come again?”

“It’s perfectly simple,” said Wednesday. “In

other countries, over the years, people

recognized the places of power. Sometimes

it would be a natural formation, sometimes it

would just be a place that was, somehow,

special. They knew that something important

was happening there, that there was some

focusing point, some channel, some window

to the Immanent. And so they would build

temples or cathedrals, or erect stone circles,

or . . . well, you get the idea.”

“There are churches all across the States,

though,” said Shadow.

“In every town. Sometimes on every block.

And about as significant, in this context, as

dentists’ offices. No, in the USA, people still

get the call, or some of them, and they feel

themselves being called to from the

transcendent void, and they respond to it by

building a model out of beer bottles of

somewhere they’ve never visited, or by

erecting a gigantic bat house in some part of

the country that bats have traditionally

declined to visit. Roadside attractions:

people feel themselves being pulled to

places where, in other parts of the world,

they would recognize that part of themselves

that is truly transcendent, and buy a hot dog

and walk around, feeling satisfied on a level

they cannot truly describe, and profoundly

dissatisfied on a level beneath that.”

“You have some pretty whacked-out

theories,” said Shadow.

“Nothing theoretical about it, young man,”

said Wednesday. “You should have figured

that out by now.”

(…)

“So according to your theory,” said Shadow,

“Walt Disney World would be the holiest

place in America.”

Wednesday frowned, and stroked his beard.

“Walt Disney bought some orange groves in

the middle of Florida and built a tourist town

on them. No magic there of any kind. I think

there might be something real in the original

Disneyland. There may be some power there,

although twisted, and hard to access. But

some parts of Florida are filled with real

magic. You just have to keep your eyes open.

Ah, for the mermaids of Weeki Wachee . . .

Follow me, this way.”

tired of yourself and all of your creations

“Now when all of the bandits that you turned your other cheek to

All lay down their bandanas and complain

And you want somebody you don’t have to speak to

Won’t you come see me, Queen Jane ?

Won’t you come see me, Queen Jane ?”

Bob Dylan

“My dove in the clefts of the rock, in the hiding…”

Song of Solomon 2,14

I’m blogsick, I wish I’d never write you, my fading picture

letters and pixels

Paraphracing Ethan Kleinberg

We have a point in an undifferentiated space that doesn’t take up space, like a spot of light or something. This point negate itself into a line, like when you see a spot of light on the floor and then start looking at the sun beam which makes it and the dust the light is falling on, it’s a series of points, like photons, the point lifts itself into the line. And then the line consequently passes into a plane, which on the one hand is a determinateness opposed to point and line, but on the other hand it is the sublated negation of space. Perhaps this is a better one: like a square cut with a knife in a black curtain in a window with dark night outside, first the point of where the knife goes in, then the vertical line it makes, and in the end the three remaining lines which make the piece fall out and complete the square. Now, if the night have the curtain’s color you can’t tell the difference, only the différance, maybe.

Paraphraced from this lecture: