Since my previous EP I have been reading Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s Phenomenology of Perception. As the contents of this book have entangled themselves with my object-oriented perspectives, I have been thinking a lot about how other things are related into the world. Relation feels like a folding from a human perspective. But a folding mirror. Smothering us in our own image. These “other things” could be anything though. We want to exercise the unfurling of the folded mirror. Putting it away for a while. No need to break it. Just leave it. I am not thinking about a how in the sense of each individual object’s private phenomenological relationship with reality and how to imagine this. But the general idea: that things do encounter reality differently & that this is really just very interesting.
Ponty is keen to cultivate new methods of perceiving reality through a phenomenologically informed education. For Ponty, stepping outside of an active habit provides us with a new tactic for evading the taking-for-granted of things. How much richer is being when it is tutored in the nuances of phenomena it takes for granted, because it just does them repetitively. I think we must be careful not to allow this to give us the justification for elevating ourselves. Our talents for perceiving, apperceptively, the surroundings we collectively alter is no more or less incredible than those of well…pick an animal. We can utilise Ponty’s ideas in order to encourage the appreciation of how perception functions for any living thing. I’d even be as radical as to include non-sentient objects. We swap at this point to thinking in terms of agency.
Agency is a word disentangled from sentience, It allows us to think about consequences for other things in the same way we think about consequences for ourselves. Because agency is used for the purpose of explaining how two things related and interact in an environment, it is egalitarian. It is used when we want to say how a colour interests us. Or how the existence of object enables infrastructure, which affects how people respond to each other. I am thinking about architecture. This is the case because we do not entangle ourselves in consciousness alone as the gauge by which we determine complexity. A blind salamander, while not as intensely complex, perhaps, as a person, nevertheless deserves its existence for the energy it has expended on surviving. The busy road which is pedestrianised will change how people respond to public space. It causes conflict. All the materials & object-oriented skills are ready-at-hand. We are thrown into this world. It waits for the unborn. The salamander has cooperated with its milieu in order to formulate as stable an existence as is possible. This is the barest possible existence, in an environment as desperate as one where sunlight has no influence. This album is about thinking about coexistence.
It is while thinking about such things as aforementioned that I composed the music for this album, Visible Plateaus. You can listen here: https://open.spotify.com/album/5iCNCu2DcoHP0w8bJbXVvm?si=XPReVNX6RyO8j4rd6i56iQ, or I will put it up here on my website. Artwork by alunvoyd.com, a Berlin based graphic artist.
Hope all are well.