Affective entropy: art as differential form
Source TitleAngelaki: Journal of the Theoretical Humanities
University of Melbourne Author/sCOLMAN, FELICITY
AffiliationCulture And Communication
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsCOLMAN, F. (2006). Affective entropy: art as differential form. Angelaki: journal of the theoretical humanities, 11 (1), pp.169-178
Access StatusOpen Access
C1 - Journal Articles Refereed
As I faintly smell the sulphur in the air, hear the crunch of my boots upon the salt crystals that have grown upon this art form, and taste the saltiest water ever, actualities are overtaken by the ‘limitless scale of one’s mind’, just as Robert Smithson described. As I traverse the territory of the infamous Spiral Jetty, the gyrations of this Utah time machine shift gear and offer a smorgasbord of sensations. Intensive magnitude. Morpho-sorcery. Alchemical differentiation. This affective place of my choosing turns me into a larval subject of Smithson’s system. This world sings its salt hymn in my ears: a slight wind off the snow covered mountain ranges that encircle the spiral coming across the solid lake, rustling the parched low level scrub, invisibly moving over the basalt rocks that cluster at Rozel Point. Today, the end of winter, it is a deathly silent space, haunted by the incessant affect of the multiple temporal positions that cohabit within this world’s stark geological formations. To arrive at the end point of the jetty, finally, is to realise that one has to indeed, begin at the ‘indeterminate’ yet singular middle to access the complex place of the reality one is immersed in, where the spinning categories of map and material – all possible configurations of east, south, west, north, mud, salt, crystals, rocks, water, as the infamous chant goes – admit uncertainty, ambiguity, chaos - just as the crystal lattice of the steady growth of the salt maintains a coherent site. One enters Smithson’s virtual underground movie house, generative of an endless thought of ‘jeopardy’ – ‘a spiral lightening bolt’. Does the experience of this walk reveal the aesthetic art form to be a chiasmatic synthesis of the fourth dimension – ‘laughter’ as Smithson once described it (after Buckminster Fuller) another name for – ‘entropic verbalization’? Or is this empirically formed cogito of mine merely another empty reminiscence? Here I will argue that Smithson’s spiral is indeed an affective prompt for a moving image of the thought of demented time (Deleuze); a deranged time (Smithson), a Peircean graph of duration that in charting aesthetic movement, becomes a study in the texture of forces.
KeywordsArt History and Appreciation ; Philosophy not elsewhere classified; Film and Video ; Arts and Leisure not elsewhere classified
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