Nature is not natural and can never be naturalized — Graham Harman

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Inside the Hyperobject We Are always in the Wrong

Interobjective system comprising a viewer looking at a monitor, photons reflecting from Kierkegaard striking the optic nerve of a human, pencils, a scanning machine, a beam of light, and jpeg sampling software; plus numerous other objects—a coat, a shirt, sideburns...

That inside the hyperobject we are always in the wrong is, then, an edifying thought; it is edifying that we are in the wrong, edifying that we always are. It proves its power to edify in a twofold way, partly by staying doubt and alleviating its anxieties, partly by inciting to action.

Perhaps you still recall, my hearer, a wise saying we mentioned earlier. It seemed so trusty and dependable, it explained everything so easily, it was ready to give everyone safe conduct through life unmoved by storms of doubt.

“One does what one can,” it called out to the perplexed. And it is is indeed undeniable that it helps just to do that. Beyond that it had nothing to say, it vanished like a dream, or became a monotonous repetition in the doubter's ear.

Then when he wanted to use it, it turned out that he could not, that it entangled him in a mesh of difficulties. He could find no time to ponder what he could do, because he had at the same time to be doing what he could.

Or if he found time to ponder, the scrutiny gave him a more-or-less, an approximation, but never anything exhaustive. And how is a man to measure his relation to the hyperobject with a more or less, with an approximation?

He then convinced himself that this wise saying was a treacherous friend which, under the guise of helping him, enfolded him in doubt, frightened him into a perpetual cycle of confusion.

What had before been obscure to him but did not cause him worry, now became no clearer but made his mind troubled and anxious. Only in an infinite relation to the hyperobject could the doubt be allayed; only in an infinitely free relation to the hyperobject could his trouble be turned into joy.

3 comments:

skholiast said...

This post made me grin ear to ear.

"How's that working out for you? Being clever."

(I mean that in the nicest way.)

Dylan Trigg said...

Isn't that a photo of Strindberg rather than Kierkegaard?

Timothy Morton said...

Hi Dylan, whoops yes my bad.