Some time ago I had a studio in an old building on a factory site. On the way through the main gate to my workplace, I pass masses of huge black hoses. Through some of
the open gates of the factory, I can see inside the large brick halls; mountains of stored hoses piled up, machines and people are working diligently. Two huge chimneys smoke nonstop and the factory produces day and night. I don’t know what this factory actually produces. I like this building and the semi-industrial periphery in which it is located. Especially the walks home after a long day of work through the factory grounds at night. At nighttime, they are almost festively brightly lit but I never see any people, just occasionally a dirty cat that roams between the black hoses. In the dark, they look like big intestines. The machines work and the towers smoke. But the machines seem to be more relaxed and the steam now is tainted in pink by the red warning lights of the factory. It seems to me as if the factory shows an intimate side at night and I feel as if the cat, the machines and I now share a secret.
The eyes provide living organisms with vision and the ability to receive and process visual detail. But it is only for brevity’s sake that we say we “see” at once a railway station at night. (1) The eye is an organ which hears and smells, which transmits heat and cold, which is attached to the brain and rouses the mind to discriminate and speculate. (2)
We say that something is strange when it defies reason, when we can’t find an explanation satisfying enough to stop wondering what it is. (3) Our very existence shelters mystery in the dull common place things we do all the time. When you repeat the same word more than 20 times, saying it out loud, you feel less and less that you actually know what it means. It’s also a question of how you perceive the world and the real on an every-day basis. The vividness inherent in the objects of our daily routines unfolds by de-familiarizing them.
1. Virginia Woolf, The Sun and the Fish, p. 8, Damocle Edizioni, Venice 2017.
3. J.F. Martel, Reality is Analog, Philosophizing with Stranger Things, available on https://www.metapsychosis.com
— Ernst Yohji Jaeger & Inga Charlotte Thiele