Thursday, August 22, 2013

dramatic cactus (or: thought, perception, sensation, and inexhaustible historicity)

This looks likes snowdrops on steroids.  And I should have included something to show the scale, because it could be mistaken for something as delicate as snowdrops, or lilies of the valley.  But this is a substantial part of a two-foot-or-so spike of flowering cactus - one of the best surprises in the garden that we came home to.  The plumbago is still flowering spectacularly in the background - as it's been doing for months.

All of this is a way of saying, I guess, that it's a huge pleasure to come back from work to find this all.  Actually, it was probably as great a pleasure to find that the books that I badly needed were possessed by the library, and available, but that's less easy to illustrate.   MSA paper well underway, remarkably.  We'll see whether or not I still feel the same way by, say, Sunday - writing about how flash photography shifts from the sensational to the ordinary in the scope of 40 years, by way of some documentary interiors - yet how it nonetheless continues to make visible the sheer ordinariness of an interior, throughout.  I feel I should be able to push something further than that, and resist the temptation to fall back on Jacques Ranciere's rather good chapter on photography in his new Aisthesis in order to support what I have to say.  But I love the way this chapter concludes, so I may not succeed in resisting: The objectivity of photography is the regime of thought, perception and sensation that makes the love of pure forms coincide with the apprehension of the inexhaustible historicity found at every street corner, in every skin fold, and in every moment of time.  Maybe I should start with that as an epigraph?

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