Saturday, January 26, 2013

EPS (Existential Positioning System)

Africa, 1805
 Konsult is a practice to correlate existential experience with everyday life materiality.  For an environment to be intelligent, the apparatus needs to manage not only physical location (GPS), but EPS, which requires tracking not only presence but absence (differance).  If conventional wayfinding gives coordinates that say "You Are Here," Existential coordinates engage a more complex orientation:  You are where you are not, and are not where you are.  A Visit is an event of encounter between egents and places, both of which involve dimensions that are not phenomenal, not present, without presence and not presentable.  Thoreau's Walden concludes with a figure that provides an emblem for EPS:  What was the meaning of that South-Sea Exploring Expedition, with all its parade and expense, but an indirect recognition of the fact that there are continents and seas in the moral world to which every man is an isthmus or an inlet, yet unexplored by him, but that it is easier to sail many thousand miles through cold and storm and cannibals, in a government ship, with five hundred men and boys to assist one, than it is to explore the private sea, the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean of one's being alone.  Choragraphy as ontological mapping takes up this question of coordinating material and spiritual wayfinding, exploring the shifting borders and thresholds between inner and outer identity formations.  

Thoreau's passage is emblematic because it uses global exploration and mapping as a metaphor for self-knowledge (the kind of knowledge and the mode of expression within the cognitive jurisdiction of Arts & Letters disciplines informing EmerAgency consulting on Well-Being).  The challenge of EPS choragraphy is that the spacetime for which it is responsible is a second-order construction, figurative rather than literal, emerging through aesthetic formal manipuation of media.  But the promise of ubimage is to create an interface convergence of literal and figurative dimensions of human experience.  Clive James's explanation gives an idea of the nature of figuration that renders intelligible the nonphenomenal dimension absent from all maps.

Any poem that does not just slide past us like all those thousands of others usually has an ignition point for our attention.  To take the most startling possible example, think of "Spring," by Gerard Manley Hopkins.  Everyone knows the first line because everyone know the poem.  "Nothing is so beautiful as Spring" is a line that hundreds of poets could have written, and was probably designed to sound that way. Only two lines further on, however, we get "Thrush's eggs look little low heavens" and we are electrified. Eventually we see that the complete poem is fitting in its every part, for its task of living up to the standards of thought and perception set by that single flash  of illumination. But we wouldn't even be checking up if we had not been put on the alert by a lightning strike of an idea that goes beyond thought and perception and into the area of metaphorical transformation that a poem demands.  A poem ... is dependent on this ability to project you into a reality so drastically rearranged that it makes your hair fizz even when it looks exactly like itself.  (Clive James, "Little Low Heavens," Poetry, Sept. 2008).
Two aspects of James's description are worth noting in our context:  the figure of electrification and the lightning strike of an image, resonant with electracy and flash reason; that the version of reality made receivable through aesthetic indirection is -- like Plato's chora -- beyond both thought and perception.  This point must be kept in mind, in  the context of ubimage, given the (legitimate) resurgence of interest in phenomenology by commentators on pervasive computing, who (rashly) ignore the critique of phenomenology motivating most of French poststructuralist philosophy, not to mention deconstruction.

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