Now let us a take a closer look at the code of a SYMCHA, which, by being perpetually ‘incomplete’ and partially unpainted, is precisely not a “ready-made” (Duchamp). Then, in part, the idea that it is neither fully actualized nor finally grasped always leaves the spectator with a sense of lack and this is not some sort of obstruction to abundance, but rather its precondition. The second approach is that a symbol is in the process of becoming, and so it is its primary objective to self-cultivate [‘shugyō,’ ascetic methods of self-cultivation] a rich character, which further gains tempo from a self-energizing engagement with this process; – and what is this symbol-characteristic art but an “Art of War” (Sun Tzŭ), a martial art in the true sense of the word. Symbol-characteristic art is an art about art that is self-conscious and self-reflexive, and even though it appears utterly photorealistic at first glance, it is, rather, an analytical or artistic attempt to destroy this illusion, simply to display itself as art, not life. Hence a symbol character is the ideal whose materialization is made possible by ideation, and, internally, by ‘pure’ (not technical) values in hard- and software. The SYMCHA’s core, which in reality is a black hole, is distinguished by a superabundance of raw crudity or cruelty (not ‘craft’), and a concentration against ‘primitiveness’; and it is this which constitutes its highly evolved system. In fact, self-control is its most perfect virtue, so it can ‘cosplay’ the role of elder statesman [genrō], as in earlier times it once played the role of warrior.

Symbol-characteristic ingredients, just like easy-to-build, semi-assembled Dada-Surrealist objects, are always intentionally left ‘uncooked’; slightly raw, one might say. At the simplest level, a SYMCHA’s raw format is primarily affected by analogue operations using such implements as knives, blenders, mixers, graters, whisks and spatulas. Likewise, its own end-result is a “sticky mass” (like honey, glue, etc.) that behaves in a linear viscoelastic manner; so its architecture might just as well resemble a beehive. Thus, to understand a joint/junction in the behavior of an ‘assembled’ object, requires a depth of knowledge that reaches beyond an oversimplified comprehension of the sequential layering of segments. Rather, the symbol character is the expressionless blend of intricately layered impressions within impressions, which implies the existence of something more than just sets (collections) of bland narrative elements. However, the ‘expressionless’ [more on that later] mode of SYMCHAs is not a hollow aesthetic shell – neither is it the fanciful conceit of an abstract theory, since from the very beginning it was born out of poverty of expression, that is to say, out of an inability to express precisely, not out of a “needlessness” to use it in any other way than a merely ‘decorative’ one, while debasing its essential enriching quality. So, because there’s no real wealth at the centre (black hole) of a symbol character, it does not actually, neither verbally nor visually, “symbolize” the realm of Ideals, or Ideal Forms; it’s not just their symbol.

As an expression of divine reality, the SYMCHA carries enough magical/theurgic potential to indirectly manifest from without the very immanence of Superiority, however, which further proliferates under its influence. And although realistic in its essence, it rouses in the spectator sensations of the fantastic, making him more sensitive in his capacity to experience awe. The spellbound person is instantly drawn to it: such is a SYMCHA’s position and gravity that, again like a black hole, it pulls everybody in its close proximity into its orbit. There is no hocus-pocus here, no abracadabra. But similar to the magician who conjures a rabbit out of his hat, it is capable of generating surreal doors to hidden “yet-undreamed-of realms” (Jaeger). There is no magic here. Nonetheless, the spectator as omniscient witness is magically transformed – or, at least, he feels that way. He sees the big picture and what he sees are visions of a divine world, visions of idealized creatures. Thus, symbol-characteristic art feeds the insatiable hunger for ‘enchantment’ – for the real presence of a divine “heavenly body” which is locally absent – wherein the duality of art and life is finally resolved in the medium of charm/character. It is that form of “being” (Dasein) witnessed in everyday life – only embroidered or, shall we say, intensified to the point of awe – which, for instance, operates on aura, while the symbol character acts as the artificial overlay (better even: “sieve”) that systematically trains the spectator to symbolically comprehend art as alive or living.

Within this context, art may, at first glance, appear purely decorative; and what higher purpose would it possibly serve, one might ask? Yet, this dilemma can easily be resolved by defining art as a substitute gratification, a satiation feeding, which assumes the existence of a vital (or life) force. If we decide that the fine, or ultimate purpose, of art is of secondary importance to life, we would then (wrongly) accuse it of being only the “ornament succeeding necessities; but all life moves upward to achieve ornament, for ornament is free and necessities are necessary” (Frye, 2013). But conversely, it is also true that our secular ethos would rather prefer decoration to necessity – finesse to justice (brutality) … or is it? And there is also this deeper battle wound: contemporary criticism, in a bulldozer-like manner, always tries to emphasize the history and philosophy of art, while crushing the beauty, pleasure, and ‘culturedness’ (kul’turnost’) on which it is grounded. So: the symbol character is supposed to be the incorporation of the greatest possible artistic energy bound – or embodied – in the most characteristic and subsymbolic form. Here, decoration and necessity could, therefore, be the same thing; only the latter is the product of integrated power. Indeed, the traditional term “needforce” perfectly describes my argument; while, on the other hand, we know that what has disappeared as a ‘need’ may have not disappeared entirely, but will come back again as ‘décor,’ that is, as figure and model, as a second presence in its absence.

Just so, the “symbol character” of a spellbinding charismatic myth is itself already a representative not heavenly body – which does not mean it is ‘unreal’ or ‘untrue’: It is a hyperreal holographic projection, not exactly an optical illusion – but difficult to distinguish from one; or, it might just as well be the only real presence. If it exists, it may in fact be a much more powerful ‘moving existence,’ precisely because of its intrinsic multiplicity, which allows the SYMCHA to be many things at once: a psychological effect, a psychoanalytic symptom, an aesthetic category of the sublime, the tragic, the comic, and so forth; a verbal chimera, or a visual chameleon. Therefore, it is more or less blurred, and the most fundamental of ‘arts’ as it witnesses itself to be (already) the ‘work of art itself.’ In this force field (Kraftfeld) we can observe its near-magical transformation into heightened life where it starts to ‘breathe,’ only because it has an impulse towards and is directed by irrational judgment, which overrides the rule that illusions can never come alive. Of course, it does not include any new force, or any solid spiritual truth; it simply ‘suspends’ judgment on truth and regards all dogmatic systems as bigoted injustice. This doesn’t make it ‘superior.’ It, too, will break, disintegrate, or perish one day. This is something that we all can observe in any art form, no matter how heightened it is, still yet, it is erroneous and exhaustible – alive but not immortal. And mortal as it is, it has no right to step into the magic circle where the wizard works…


A Philosophy of tic-tac®-Dragées

Contemporary developments in society that operate across a range of historic-cultural ‘layers’ usually form a tangled or rhizome-like network whose degree increases constantly with the number of nodes, which makes it difficult to establish a singular origin. And, the more randomly generated nodes (points in space) and links (line segments connecting nodes) are displayed, the sharper, and, paradoxical as it sounds, the more blurry the image appears; until it becomes impossible to transfigure the fragmented jigsaw pieces into a clearer picture. Yet, it is a high degree of precision and clarity which is much sought after in philosophical writing as elsewhere. Sorting through this overwhelming quantity of information is like assembling a thousand-piece puzzle from a billion possible pieces; to be able to do so, one needs to master the subtle art of reductionism – and is there anything briefer and more brutal than a ‘point’? Making a powerful point is the matter of drawing a line (infinite sequence of points) through the liquid layers (strata) of history. Here, the (philosophical) writer acts as “silent” compiler selecting, arranging, juxtaposing and reformulating “material,” in order to make coherent palettes and schemes. At its most basic level, the “voiceless” model of contemporary and pointillistic writing is akin to the blank page – or the all-white canvas –, first thoughts, fresh, pure and undefiled by use, leaving no gap/critical space between himself and the source of information, while functioning as primer for further creative work.

However mundane it may sound, pointillistic philosophy certainly can be compared to the small plastic box of “tic-tac® fresh orange” dragées that we see so often on our supermarket shelves. In this regard, pointillism’s variable is a kind of tic-tac® box; its plot [sujet] is the label, or flavor, written on the flexible lid. Opening the box with a single click – achieved by the ‘magical act’ of reciting its underlying “symbol character” as some sort of ‘keyword’ – grants access to the many dragées that had been placed ‘inside’ it: here, the pointillistic value of the variable consists of but one dot/point, however. The unique aspect of this philosophy’s variable (symbol character, SYMCHA) is a transparent, strongly tinted box stripped of top, bottom, and sides, abstracted away from any particular “art” of optics and geometric “science,” of no specific size or form, nor situated in time or place. So, while the box’s hue might gradually change from one color to another according to the flavor characteristics of the content, the actual tic-tacs are, or at least were, always ‘spotlessly’ white, like a laboratory – and therein lies the key to pointillism: at the core of it, each dragée (dot/point) is engineered to the point of sterility. A small, simple (or neutral) particle/molecule that catches our eye, either because of its ‘hypervisibility’ (displaying itself where it is not expected to be) or its obvious absence (disappearing where one may have expected it) – moving randomly along various zig-zag paths within the transparent box in an entirely unpredictable manner.

Dotting Down the Blind Spot

When viewing the Hermann grid, one can ‘see’ an optical illusion of dark spots at each intersection of the grid, except for the one directly looked at. In a similar vein, pointillism makes the case that absolute philosophical certainty (accessed through scientific objects, tools, methods, and activities) is as illusory as the non-existent “dots” of the grid, and that our need to ‘connect’ these, therefore, does not bring forth a state of auspiciousness. The absence of vision – a “blind spot” –, on the other hand, may reflect a state wherein certain aspects, though real, cannot be captured by simply “putting them into words,” because there is this “sense that behind anything that can be experienced there is something that our minds cannot grasp, whose beauty and sublimity reaches us only indirectly and as a feeble reflection,” as Einstein once said. In putting the pieces together, the same pointillism-like approach can, however, indicate the areas which contain breakdown spots and complex singularities at their centers; the ‘balls’ pointillistic philosophy ‘foolishly’ tries to juggle with are akin to black holes or dark matter and, indeed, appear rather mysterious to many. The “black hole” is described as a “region of space-time from which nothing, not even light, can escape. A typical black hole is the result of the gravitational force becoming so strong that one would have to travel faster than light to escape its pull” (Byers) – and if we think of it as a point in time, it is a good way to think about the concept/practice of pointillism in ‘new’ writing.

While the ‘systematic’ mind is loth to accept this ‘blind spot’ for a piece of reality, at the same time, it seems rather bizarre that our visual perception is deficient, fragmentary, and even lacking entirely like this: It goes against our better judgement that an overall perception of an object (rationally processing on one consistent whole rather than the parts/dots) may be incoherent and nebulous, thus leaving its readers confused about the actual meaning. Yet again, as far as pointillistic philosophy (mosaic writing) is concerned, there is an awareness that uncertainty and unknowns are the price one pays for creative expression – in fact, any type of imprecision can be viewed as a source for new artistic impressions. In this regard, absolute certainty, if it exists at all, always leaves a ‘bitter aftertaste’ of scientific generality and rigor on the tongue, as it represents a disfigurement of ‘pure’ philosophical writing. So rather than creating synthetic islands and “floating piers” (Christo), that is, models of reality (which is so typical of art and science), pointillism is constantly searching for a technique to dissolve the rigidity of a state of ideal, or complete, coherence into partial equilibrium, or non-coherence. Here, pointillistic philosophy adopts a more open and flexible approach to art and science, which makes formal and, finally, physical space for the indescribable, swift, brief, punctual moments of senseless in-seeing. Pointillism is literally and figuratively pointless – a pointlessness that allows for a dynamic world of open-ended possibilities.

Scattered Across the Chessboard

Continuity and coherence, as mentioned above, are well-known proponents of law and order (or other related variables such as clarity, reason, logic, ‘making sense,’ and even power) which denote aesthetic qualities that identify the text pieces as a contribution to a larger whole where everything fits together to form a solid room (with no empty space inside) of limited dimensions. Because the room is so small, our general expectations for narrative unity and meaning – which involve a seemingly endless amount of lexical-semantic repetitions and recurrent multi-word clusterings – make it quite stuffy inside. Here, a unified spatial whole with its own density-connected cohesion may exist; however, order should not illude us into thinking that this ‘trash-filled’ apartment with its damaged walls and broken windows is, in truth, a sight to behold. … Let’s be honest – it is not. Now, it is perfectly true that pointillistic ‘mosaic philosophy,’ as presented on Mavorswenera®, defies ‘normal’ principles of writing, intention, goal, or closure, therefore lacking common law or ‘common sense.’ Also, it may fail to elicit a response and be judged sketchy and disjointed by readers and, if so, I plead guilty; but such methods or deviations from the norm, singly or jointly, do not intend to create incoherence, at least not on the conscious level. In making use of ‘arrhythmic narration,’ the quietly heartbreaking chronicle, one might cause processing difficulty in reading, which however, even when extreme, does not correspond with reduced cohesion.

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Picture yourself sitting in a fancy cocktail lounge looking at the bright-colored wall of liquor bottles and juice jugs that were carefully placed behind the wooden bar; while, all the while, the “liquid chef” plays around with some strikingly refreshing molecular mixology techniques – either creating the ever classic Tequila with its grenadine and orange layers of gelatin, or “[re]mixing”/modifying the very structure of cocktails altogether. So, not content to simply rehydrate ourselves with plain water (without which we couldn’t survive more than three days), we have devised this wide palette of delicious drinks. And, isn’t it because without the fulfilling pursuit of creative expression – without love for creation – we couldn’t strive for a mere second, let alone a few days. At least since Masaru Emoto’s water crystal experiments, we know that liquids have the ability to copy and store information. With that in mind, the essence of this spagyric art of mixology lies in the melt separation on the one hand, and compressed synthesis on the other; as expressed by the formula ‘solve et coagula’: the order to dissolve and (re)join (in a manner akin to a bartender pouring a drink or even Pollock’s poured-painting-technique). The ‘symbol’ [Greek: “symbállein” = to throw together] as well as the ‘articulation’ [Latin: “articulus” = small joint] therefore both depend upon nuanced implications that eventually lead to the realization of an opaque, unspoken whole, as soon as the symbol characters turn out to be more than the sum of their parts (molecules).

Even so, I argue that symbolism/charactery is, simply put, a binder – an “aesthetic adhesive,” a cultural glue. Therefore, the symbol character (further referred to as ‘SYMCHA’) itself has no shape, but is quick to take on any chameleon form at any moment. The SYMCHA as soft glutinous core within a storyworld (narrative) formulates a “structure of structures,” which may be universal and culturally specific at the same time. It is the art of surreal jump-cutting and the (Dadaist) collage, which juxtaposes the SYMCHA into two cross-sections: hardware [an outlined figure, lightly sketched] and software [a ‘mental model’ that feeds information into the “character construct” (Emmott), or character cocktail]. It is always also a neutral zone (see further “super-zero” concept) of connectedness to the same conceptual hole within which the two – i.e., the shell and core – are seen as an amalgamation, in spite of their opposite nature. No SYMCHA stands for one thing only without also containing its opposite – the number of possibilities for these wild but “beautiful compositions” (Novalis) hence remains inexhaustible in depth of meaning and richness of expression; yet each part reflects the infinite complexity of the whole (i.e., storyworld). As in the ‘chess-board dualism’ of black and white – or zero and one – the question of the origin of the SYMCHA and the rationale behind it arises from the notion of an act of ‘creatio ex nihilo’ (creation from nothing), which aligns with Sartre’s characterization of a “nothingness” that penetrates our “being.”

When our symbols have become like fancy bottles filled with a pale opaque liquid and deprived of their former clarity, society wishes to experience ‘reality’ in its most primitive and simple form. Like a snake, we try to peel off the skinny layers of being, which have hardened our sensibility, rather than remaining pliant (not in the sense of tame) and flexible in the “brute force” of life. While writers and artists always lavished their symbols (in an almost flamboyantly vulgar way), the ‘scientist’ (for professional reasons) propagates ‘eliminativism’ and formalization of imaginative thought, which nowadays requires proven justification because we cannot stand to acknowledge the ‘mystery’ and sheer translucency of it. In his “New Science,” Giambattista Vico specifically mentions this particular form of ‘barbarization’ which he considers not to be the result of degenerating “into pre-civilized conditions, but rather as the unworldly overcultivation of concepts that have become empty in highly developed cultures” (Marienberg). Thus, it is this form of “barbarous sophistication” (Vico), which paints a picturesque society constantly at war against itself – ever aspiring to reach a higher level, and ever relapsing into the primal wilderness. This Manichean struggle between powers of humanity and bestiality, sanity and madness, order and chaos, extreme measurement (Mondrian) and apparent randomness (Jackson Pollock), is further internalized within the SYMCHA and also projected upon the storyworlds/systems through which the latter moves.

To be continued…