Object Orientation

“At first, it appears that nothing could be easier than seeing. We just point our eyes where we want to go, and gather in whatever there is to see. Nothing could be less in need of explanation. The world is flooded with light, and everything is available to be seen. We can see people, pictures, landscapes, and whatever else we need to see, and with the help of science we can see galaxies, viruses, and the insides of our own bodies. Seeing does not interfere with the world or take anything from it, and it does not hurt or damage anything. Seeing is detached and efficient and rational. Unlike the stomach or the heart, eyes are our own to command: they obey every desire and thought.

Each one of those ideas is completely wrong. The truth is more difficult: seeing is irrational, inconsistent, and undependable. It is immensely troubled, cousin to blindness and sexuality, and caught up in the threads of the unconscious. Our eyes are not ours to command; they roam where they will and then tell us they have only been where we have sent them. No matter how hard we look, we see very little of what we look at. If we imagine the eyes as navigational devices, we do so in order not to come to terms with what seeing really is. Seeing is like hunting and like dreaming, and even like falling in love. It is entangled in passions–jealousy, violence, possessiveness; and it is soaked in an affect–in pleasure and displeasure, and in pain. Ultimately, seeing alters the thing that is seen and transforms the seer. Seeing is metamorphosis not mechanism.”

The Object Stares Back, James Elkins.


(The house next door has been vacant for some time now. From a certain angle, you can look right through it. The windows are huge compared to the smallness of the building and some of the inside walls have been torn down. At night it looks like a skeleton, not a scary but a sad one. A sad one, because it has been emptied of stories and all it can do at this point is stare into the night.)



Packing, packing, small breaks for eating only, and playing football at the playground down the street. We hit the ball hard, it bounces off the concrete wall, you have to run fast.
We return with rosy cheeks, out of breath, but happy again. Packing, packing. Sorting through things, finding the past, looking at it like looking at somebody else’s life. Touching an object and remembering. Towards moving, I have the same ambivalence I have about everything. I cannot stay in the same place for too long, I’m excited about the unfamiliar, but I also get tired and question my constant need for change. When I look back, it has always been a good choice to pack my things, though. But what do I know, maybe the retrospection cheats just to make up for a good story.
I only have an imaginary home, anyway. Reality is just the place where I can’t sleep and drink coffee at 5 a.m. Your body is the place I touch inbetween.



Ca. 2008



Things from the past, I find, while moving (forward).

Catholic school and beyond.

Catholic school and beyond.
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