An installation - white brains in a dark attic
These brains are of an ordinary size and can be grafted onto the many skulls, so often on display in exhibitions. One can make out their finely veined convolutions, gentle, deep, palpable… full and hollow at the same time – life flows through these fluctuating, unmanageable folds. These brains are made of paraffin wax, from the Latin “parum affinis”, meaning: which has little affinity with.
Paraffin wax is used to make candles and is also a necessary constituent in the manufacturing of explosives. It is both delicate and explosive, like a poetical foray in a space very like that of consciousness: the attic.
Here lies a reservoir of souls - these minds will be filled with a line of thought for apostles, for a party, for an effective method; like that which warranted “comrades” being sent to the Gulag during the great purges, but not only.
In his book, Necessary Illusions, the American writer, Avram Noam Chomsky, identifies the processes which the media and politicians use in order to communicate and draw attention away from true political issues. Maintaining confusion, maintaining an illusory sense of proximity prevents democracy from being effective: the citizen's vote is a participative Utopia, a game initiated by the State which draws attention away from what is essential.
Words chosen by decision-makers are pernicious: social networks, the citizen's vote, awareness…. however, as Ferdinand de Saussure used to point out: “a word has no meaning, it only has usages”.
Yet the brain is useful, it is excitable. It secretes serotonin, dopamine and many other illegal drugs. One now treats forms of physical traumas by sending signals to certain areas of the brain. The emotions thus triggered but also other spaces, lying “outside of reality”, allow people to feel without being subjected to. An industry built on the experiencing of emotions by proxy is developing. Already our friend Facebook allows connections that are targeted, walls are privileged, meetings are programmed, up there, from the attic, a global brain for total control.
Deviance is no longer judged or punished by the ruling power but by a powerful form of self-censorship. We are thought. The enemy can no longer be represented; the norm is internalised. The dictatorship of the superego has generated born consumers.
Michel Foucault clarified this some time ago: surveillance, (self) censorship. Security-sociability.
A sirens' song can be heard everywhere and it is most flattering, most transparent and most soft; its music is played to the ego: become yourself.
Like everybody else.
Translation: Jessica Stephens.