We’ve been reading Viola in preparation for this week’s New Media Seminar. So much of it is swirling around in my head; the way Facebook edits “our year,” edits our life, the way we rely on the unseen data space, the way we move through nonlinear formats in our linear ways. All this has been on my mind. (And let’s say that is the reason this post is so… unedited.) The re-directing of my thoughts towards the question (below) was helpful in steering me down a different path of connecting the dots in Viola’s work.
Given this framework, I suggest we also understand the parable of the porcupine and the expository sections of the essay as equal outward expressions of the same underlying thing. What is that/the thing?
The thing that is the parable of the porcupine, the mantra, and the geometric diagram (after much thought) is spacial, but not necessarily specifically temporal which compels me to propose it is a type of movement; not to be confused with progress, but a different type of movement… perhaps simply motion. This interpretation is (of course) founded in my preoccupation with space and time and place, (or, movement and location), but I feel there is an argument to be made for the way we perceive movement and are perceived to move.
Being able to move through and with technology opens up new conceptual and literal doors; however, the motion can still happen without the technology. The porcupine made it across the road in the dark.
I also read echoes of Barthes in this text—the space, altered by the words on the page does not apply to computers and Viola reads that as freeing. I have always found the movement of my mind to my finger to the motion (or movement) to the key, the sound it releases and the immediate projection of the known sign on the white (blue) screen is powerful and empowering. I am back again, to the power of motion.
Bonus question: Is data space a sacred space, a secular space, or something else altogether?
This text and question lead me to focus on the power of the mediated mantra. I first experienced it’s power around 2006 while interning for a documentary film team.
The space made by the sound of words emitting through the air, occupying the space around total strangers, and the way it connected to the intimate, self-reflective moments of introspection I had in the mantra trailer as a 20 year old trying to figure out what to do next… this is powerful and I would dare to say sacred. However. I am not sure what the implication of deeming the space sacred over secular is… does it alter the form of the space to suggest that it’s function is bound by the separate spheres of sacred/secular?
Perhaps it is a third space… similar to Foucault’s heterotopia or Marc Auge’s nonplaces… something between the here and now serving as a space between… I would assert, a space for movement.