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

Sunday, November 8, 2009

She Was a Visitor

Robert Ashley is in my good books for the wonderful vocal performances on Eliane Radigue's songs of Milarepa discs.

For a soundtrack to The Ecological Thought look no further than “She Was a Visitor” (you can get it on iTunes). It's a beautifully simple idea. Ashley repeats the phrase “She Was a Visitor” and the audience vocalizes the consonants and vowels. A gradually swelling ocean of fractalized lingual sound arises around the individual voice, a Dionysian chorus of others, a giant flock of letters, organs without bodies. It's as if we glimpse the infinite strangeness of a unique person, their non-holistic multiplicity (how many people are in that crowd of vocalizers? Does it matter?). Intimacy and infinity at the same time. Like Jacques Derrida's idea of the arrivant, the “visitor” who is utterly unexpected, and to whom we owe an infinite hospitality. Like extraterrestrials, already living here. Uncanny strangers: we are them, and we are among them.

This is how The Ecological Thought thinks of life forms.

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