It is difficult to really comprehend our thought – or perhaps it isn’t – by approaching it directly, but it may be that it can only be approached again and again through analogy. For instance, when going on a walk through a town or city, the first instinct one has is to look in, even though one has just spent the rest of the day just there, in. One escapes only to look back in at our past selves, or perhaps who we might become when we get inside once again. The light on in a room of a house or building is archetypal of all this. And perhaps with this website we are mere beggars permanently excluded from the warmth of interiority, and simply looking for signs of life – as in observing an apartment block and noting which lights are on, as where potentiality lay. On this walk, this journey, we can never penetrate inside; we always return back to our own place, what is learnt is nothing new in itself but only new inasmuch as we remind ourselves of the potential of newness itself. Therefore what do our “features” represent but so many tableaux, so many set-pieces delimited by window frames, so much a “looking in”? What are they but an askance look at the world of an other who always remains other? We are past as soon as we apprehend the scene, the content soon a distant memory, as when we see some image and then close our eyes and see it imprinted there, in the darkness. But, perhaps, the other becomes an other at least filled in with some fantasmic content, a content of a surreal poetic speculation on their art – a speculation which far surpasses the sheer empirical explanation of it. Perhaps, then, what we are truly afraid of is you becoming more than just an other, – of you inviting us inside – of you subjecting us to your internal world with all its idiosyncrasies, a world in which our poetic words can only come across as vain posturing not fit for the sublimity of the experience. And yet, despite the fundamental impasse of our externality, what is gained in this experience is perhaps not just a brief look into a domain which, other than this encounter, eludes us, but a real experience of the essence of your being. What seemed to be just an “appearance” must be taken in all naivety as representing the truth. What appeared as just a game – you show us your art, we put it in a form, we let you speak about it, we perhaps give words to it… suddenly becomes real, suddenly becomes what we were afraid of confronting, the joke becomes serious. Something changes.
Imagine, on this point, walking down a street at night. A figure in the distance is walking, but because of the dimness of light, you can’t perceive in which direction – are they walking toward you or away from you? – in the same direction as you, or in the opposite? We don’t stop walking simply to ascertain this, but instead keep walking, always trying to determine the fact. What else but horror strikes us when we realise that they are in fact walking toward us? When only just a moment before we had felt annoyed we would miss out on an encounter with another person when we believed they had been walking away from us, in the same direction. Our curiosity turns to horror in one reversal of perspective. Therefore we seek and we seek, but when we find that the object of our search “wants something from us after all”, we’re quickly struck by anxiety. And what could be more horrifying (yet enchanting to imagine) than the idea that, at the moment you are to pass each other on the pavement, they stop and arrest you for a second, ask something of you. Surely we couldn’t look this person in the eye. Yet this is just the task we demand of ourselves. So it’s a perverse or masochistic task, which perhaps has none of the pleasure that the fantasy provides of itself. Because although in our fantasy, it is us who demands something of the stranger, what could we in actuality demand? Our only utterance would be some humiliating stutter – more likely is that the stranger would ask something of us, something we could not achieve, some question which we know not the answer. This is the status of you, the imagined (and real) reader.