Lecture @ Parsons Paris School of Art

14, Rue Letellier 75015 PARIS
October 3
1800 h

The basic premise behind my computer-robotic assisted paintings is the
exploration of the subjective world of the imagination under the influence
of today's high frequency electronic computerized environment. It is
difficult to make sense of today's swirling phantasmagorical media society,
and so my project is to look for a summation of this uncertainty and to put
in perspective and take advantage of today's superficial image saturation,
a saturation so dense that it fails to communicate anything except an
overall sense of delirium, as the reproduction system pulses with higher
and higher, faster and faster flows of data to the point of hysteria. The
result is that the greater the amount of information that flows, the
greater the uncertainty. So the overload of imagery and information
reproduced makes less, not more, conventional sense. It is my project to
find what unconventional sense it might make to us, based on a scatological
and decadent reading of our media environment.

The presumption is that the information bomb has already exploded,
showering us with bits of image shrapnel, drastically changing the way in
which we perceive and act, even in our private worlds. Our subconscious
mind floats on a sea of standardized media information. It is this drama,
this tension, which I find interesting as a subject for art and which I
attempt formally to exhibit by utilizing computer-robotic technology (which
normally stands for and assists the desire for order), in the creation of
my paintings, which desire imagination. In my paintings, the struggling
soul is caught in an inexorable web of proliferation and abused spiritual

The figure ascertained in these paintings resides in a field of perception
(at once seamless and fragmented) made up of phantasmagoric media images
and body parts, corresponding to the new combination of space and time -
perspective without horizon. The figure floats in an electronically created
ether. Solidity no longer exists in the technological space-time, i.e.,
its immateriality, its networks and the ensuing elimination of attention
and scrutiny. The surface of the paintings become an osmotic membrane, a
blotter of instantaneous ubiquity, of proliferation, and disinformation,
resulting in the atomization and disintegration of the figure. This
delirious merging yields a ghostly landscape, the fossilization of past
societies and technologies transforming substance into a network of

These computer-robotic assisted paintings reflect and work with the
priority of social power over the individual who has become decentered.
The world now is a code of signifiers, a collective representation,
mutating the ideology of its reproduction and intervening in society's
system of cultural interpretations and uses of social signs with their
false consciousness. But we cannot escapes the code into abstraction,
because they make us up, they form us, albeit they are relative and

Today's monism is a technologically aided all-encompassing sign-field. It
is made up of conventional, rigid social signs and unconventional
irresponsible signs (the mode that represents the real arbitrary nature of
all signs as it subverts the socially controlled system of meaning). The
anti-social sign (anti-sign) moves and it multiplies. It is not binary,
not dualistic. The sign is a convention - an illusion.

The ultra-dissemination in my work of the sign creates a hyper-logic of the
sign and as such my paintings are intended to question the received notions
of painting. They also can be used politically when used as a symbol
(pointing beyond themselves) and used against the dominant assumptions and
uses of pleasure versus utility in technology/ business. They address
painting as an institution and transgress its basic assumptions. They
decompose the sign and open it up to new spaces of malleable and
combinatory sites, hence a perpetual multiplication of meaning creating a
hybrid of meaning (of inference) like in poetic imagery, opening the
territory of signification to create a chain of decoded and
deterritorialized meaning. Meaning in art and in life then advances by
seeing more clearly into its own underlying assumptions, by facing up to
the radical implications of those assumptions, and by purging itself from
conventional ways of thinking.

I refigure reality from the circulating commodity signs of the
post-industrial era. My intention is to achieve an ultimate integration by
the dissolving of form into its original unmanifested ground, symbolic of
pure consciousness, of infinite complexity in total unity. This
conjunction of opposites represents the annihilation of all duality into
primal energy.

The interdependence of form in contemplative vision represents the ultimate
configuration, one that subsumes our world of simulation/representation
into a nexus of over-lapping unity of mind, and equals an understanding of
the unity which ties the whole universe into a single entity, linking
observations of the outer world with precise extractions of human essence.

The encounter with the limits of computer simulation creates the
opportunity for its transgression, for an ecstasy of thought and action.
Technical vertigo releases the pent up ecstatic energies, and transcends
the determinism of the technological phenomenon inherent in post-industrial
society. But the ecstatic impulse/phenomena only proliferates in
proportion to the technicization of society. Ecstasy occurs as a result of
the technological society, a function of the acceleration of
speed-proliferation. The more overwhelming and restrictive the social
mechanism, the more exaggerated are the resulting effects. As human
psychic energies are concentrated, stifled, and bypassed, an ecstatic
phenomena of unparalleled intensity and duration breaks out. Simulation
technology promotes the indispensable alienation from the self necessary
for the outburst of ecstatic experience. Inversely, technology enables the
individual to express ecstatic reactions in ways never before possible.

This is a defiance through ecstasy against the world's blandness and
destructiveness. Here art is viewed in therapeutic and salvational terms.
The Apocalyptic Comedian inverts failure, misery, and the sense of a doomed
civilization into individual ecstasy. This philosophy provides the
fundamental antithesis to the authoritarian, abstract, mechanical,
simulated rigidities of the world.

How is it possible to transcend the numbing equivalence brought on by the
reproduction glut which reduces all difference to equivalence? Beneath the
established signs, and in spite of them, another, deeper, discourse which
recalls a time of universal resemblance exists. Beneath the interplay of
their precisely delineated distinctions, I bring a rigorous similitude to
the sign by loading all signs with a resemblance that ultimately erases
them. As a result, the entire Western cultural episteme is fundamentally
rearranged and modified, signs cease to fulfill the function of revealing
how the world is ordered. In this rupture of the new virtual space,
thought detaches itself from the order and authority of the old sign and
topples down into the realm of imagination, of fantasy, into a

This non-knowledge is certainly the most erudite, the most aware, the most
conscious and the most cluttered area of our memory, and it is also the
depths from which all being emerges into their precarious, glittering
existence. It is metaphysical only in so far as it is memory, depth,
strata, made up of all the images it has succeeded in disintegrating and
recomposing. Therefore I compose my pictures with signs scattered through
the space of memory-through this inflectional system the dimension of a
pure grammar appears. The sign no longer consists only of representations
and of marks that in turn represent the representations and are ordered
among them as the links of thought requires. It exists and consists also
of formal elements, grouped into a system, which represents the marking of
representations, they possess characters which the eye can scan and
identify because they have a structure that is, in a way, the dark,
concave, inner side of visibility. The conditions of this link resides
outside of representation, beyond its immediate visibility, in a sort of
behind the scenes world even deeper and more dense than representation
itself, where the point is reached where the visible forms of being are
joined. My pictures must direct you towards that peak, that necessary but
always inaccessible point, which drives down, beyond our gaze, towards the
very heart of things.

It is from this depth, this force, that brings representations into being
and remains in them: this cohesion that maintains its sovereign and secret
sway over each and every sign, this quivering, which I find interesting and
beyond reductive abstraction. For from this inaccessible store
representation can draw out, piece by piece, only tenuous elements whose
unity, whose point of connection always remains hidden and beyond. The
space of order, which served as a common place for representation and
abstraction, for visibility and for shared rules, this Space is from now on
shattered, and only its hidden veins are used in constructing a
meta-representation, which falls outside of representation itself, a
meta-representation opposed to the tabular space laid out by classical
thought. May I just say that this escape from the play of representation
has the most urgent political/social ramifications in our media society.
This, I think, well founded, ambiguous, epistemological configuration,
indicates the power of the media's immanent dissolution, it provides the
definition of the links that provide it communications, it expresses the
laws of composition and decomposition that rule it. It refuses to
recognize all thought in the space of representation, and by scanning the
space of representation, it formulates the knowledge of the laws that
provide its organization. It is in a sense the representation of all
representation. It attempts to represent the unlimited field of
representation, which Ideology attempts to scan in accordance with a
step-by-step, discursive method and which now appears as a metaphysics, but
as a metaphysics which has never stepped outside itself, and so had posited
itself as a uniformed dogmatism.

Most art today still belongs to this same dynasty. The emergence of the
transcendental project I have outlined above for my own work will, I hope,
contribute to the dissolution of this homogeneous field of orderable
representations. Rather, by inventing a picture in which what matters is
no longer identities or distinctive character, but great hidden forces
developed on the basis of origin, where from now on things will be
represented only from the depths of this density withdrawn into itself,
perhaps blurred and darkened by its obscurity, but bound tightly to
themselves, inescapably grouped by the vigor that is hidden down below, in
that depth. Visible forms, their connections, the blank space that
isolates them and surrounds their outline, all these will be presented to
our gaze only in an already pre-decomposed state, already articulated in
that nether darkness that is fermenting them with time (as a discourse of
representation), towards an infinity of continuous and unrestricted image


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