Where does the owl fly? The Hegelian owl of Minerva had not so much a destination as a time: it spread its wings at dusk, seeing the completion of wisdom in a blackened hindsight. This owl signifies a theory that always arrives too late, when the form of the world it describes is already passing: a funeral pall, shrouding dead matter to show the form of its departed spirit.
Our owl similarly flies at night, but at a time ‘before the stars had fled the sky’, a moment of dirt-filled dancing tongues. It is an emblem not of wisdom completed in its nostalgic decay, but of an illegible origin, born of gesture and soil. Its time is inseparable from its arrival at the cedar bough. Is is here that we percieve the valley of the shadow as pharmakon:
"The pharmakon is the movement, the locus, the play: (the production of) difference (...) It keeps itself forever in reserve, in an undecided shadow and vigil, even though it has no fundamental profundity nor ultimate locality. We will watch it infinitely promise and endlessly vanish through concealed doorways that shine like mirrors and open onto a labyrinth.
- J.D, Dissemination
To inhabit the valley of the shadow is to affirm-differently, creating a new mode of subjectivity that disregards teleological and providential striving away from death: a sovereign indifference to the machine that generates the boundaries between human/inhuman, pure/diseased, living/dead. This return to earth is also a breaking-through:
a formulation that defies reduction to either chthonic atavism or a leap into purified transcendence. There is no way beyond the earth - but the burrow, implicating itself into the darkness of the earth's matter breaks further:
this breaking is both rupture and folding of the subject, a subject born of frictions rather than dialectics.
The forest unfolds from its own rotting layers. It is by following its poisoned traces that a way toward fullness is discovered. This fullness may not be that of simple pure divinity, but it is nevertheless unconditional and absolute in its twisting, polluted creativity. These woodland paths lead to no clearing of being, but are the passageways of a sovereign growth, a sovereign decomposition.
𝖌𝖔𝖙𝖍𝖎𝖈 𝖕𝖆𝖘𝖙𝖔𝖗𝖆𝖑 𝖎𝖎𝖎: 𝖙𝖍𝖊 𝖛𝖆𝖑𝖑𝖊𝖞 𝖆𝖓𝖉 𝖙𝖍𝖊 𝖘𝖍𝖆𝖉𝖔𝖜
𝔦𝔰 𝔱𝔥𝔢 𝔱𝔥𝔦𝔯𝔡 𝔦𝔫 𝔞𝔫 𝔢𝔳𝔬𝔩𝔳𝔦𝔫𝔤, 𝔪𝔲𝔩𝔱𝔦𝔭𝔩𝔞𝔶𝔢𝔯 𝔤𝔯𝔬𝔲𝔭 𝔢𝔵𝔥𝔦𝔟𝔦𝔱𝔦𝔬𝔫 𝔰𝔢𝔯𝔦𝔢𝔰 𝔢𝔵𝔭𝔩𝔬𝔯𝔦𝔫𝔤 𝔱𝔥𝔢 𝔞𝔣𝔣𝔢𝔠𝔱𝔰 𝔬𝔣 𝔱𝔥𝔢 𝔫𝔢𝔴 𝔭𝔞𝔰𝔱𝔬𝔯𝔞𝔩. 𝔬𝔲𝔯 𝔭𝔯𝔢𝔰𝔢𝔫𝔱-𝔡𝔞𝔶 𝔡𝔢𝔰𝔠𝔯𝔦𝔟𝔢𝔰 𝔱𝔥𝔢 𝔥𝔬𝔯𝔦𝔷𝔬𝔫 𝔞𝔰 𝔞𝔫 𝔦𝔫𝔣𝔦𝔫𝔦𝔱𝔢 𝔰𝔢𝔯𝔦𝔢𝔰 𝔬𝔣 𝔠𝔬𝔩𝔩𝔞𝔭𝔰𝔢𝔰 𝔞𝔫𝔡 𝔯𝔢𝔠𝔬𝔫𝔰𝔱𝔯𝔲𝔠𝔱𝔦𝔬𝔫𝔰; 𝔱𝔥𝔯𝔬𝔲𝔤𝔥 𝔫𝔢𝔱𝔴𝔬𝔯𝔨𝔢𝔡 𝔪𝔞𝔱𝔢𝔯𝔦𝔞𝔩 𝔯𝔦𝔱𝔲𝔞𝔩𝔰, 𝔴𝔢 𝔠𝔲𝔩𝔱𝔦𝔳𝔞𝔱𝔢 𝔞𝔫𝔡 𝔯𝔢𝔩𝔢𝔞𝔰𝔢 𝔱𝔥𝔢 𝔲𝔫𝔰𝔬𝔯𝔱𝔢𝔡 𝔢𝔫𝔢𝔯𝔤𝔦𝔢𝔰 𝔴𝔥𝔦𝔠𝔥 𝔥𝔞𝔳𝔢 𝔞𝔠𝔠𝔯𝔲𝔢𝔡 𝔞𝔠𝔯𝔬𝔰𝔰 𝔥𝔦𝔰𝔱𝔬𝔯𝔦𝔠𝔞𝔩 𝔢𝔯𝔞𝔰 𝔞𝔫𝔡 𝔤𝔢𝔬𝔰𝔢𝔪𝔦𝔬𝔱𝔦𝔠 𝔰𝔱𝔯𝔞𝔱𝔞.
Gothic Pastoral is a project exploring the auras of the new pastoral, the 1000s of miles of apocalyptic sky gracing the overgrown fields and twisted forests which comprise so much of our world: no-tier, nowhere, a new “nature” that exists in contrast to -- and is the production site of the globalized affluence which supports -- the leafy green fantasy. We join in the endless shambles and ethereal thickets which can only be produced as the feral byproduct of our orderly consumer world, overriding the sentimental focus on idyllic and peaceful constructions of nature as the pristine opposite of the “manufactured world". We search out and build a pastoral codex which which speaks to ancient and current conditions of life: one which is carnal, polluted, adulterated, but still striving to experience beauty and relentlessly full of both life and destruction.
with works by @runurunulnnnn + @caulis.9 @simon.saarinen + @iidajonsson_ @cedric_esturillo + @jeanbaptistejanisset + @floryanvarennes @gerard_carson @divulsion @funw_wworld + @100.element @nihiliste_hydraulique @vxaexi + @nxntrnt @__tegdirb__ @5phemerephotogene @persefon6 @unaligned_temple_warrior @dr3amysphere + @ligesindet @greedy_rigor + @hood.winkler
curated by Torre Alain (Underground Flower) and Ian Bruner (Rhizome Parking Garage)
Text w. fragments by Steven Shakespeare (ed. Nicola Masciandaro) and Halo