Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Back to thought

When I find myself in one of life's valleys, I can always find peace and inspiration in the pursuit, or rediscovery, of new avenues of thought. Specifically I am talking about philosophy. I mean really, just the thought of opening up my copy of The Portable Nietzsche gets me excited. That book has never failed to provide inspiration for me in the 16 years I've owned it. Whether or not you agree with Nietzsche's philosophy is practically irrelevant, because he is one of the most exciting writers you will ever find.

But, rather than go to old faithful, I've (re)started reading Jacques Derrida (WAH wah). I tried to read one of his books a few years ago (Archive Fever), but couldn't stay awake long enough to finish it. Seriously, it was like Sleepinol. His writing is so dense and pedantic, it's a chore to follow. The introduction for that book actually notes that he even writes in a style that makes it difficult to translate into English. What a dick! However, he is noted as the founder of the philosophy of deconstruction, which is heavily referenced by most of the important modern architects, specifically in deconstructivist work, so I figure it is worthwhile to try to understand him.

My brother made me a t-shirt with a montage of work from Lebbeus Woods's Radical Reconstruction. I fell in love with Woods's work as soon as Sean introduced me to it a couple years ago, but I had forgotten about it until that shirt arrived in the mail. Thanks, Sean!

Sean pointed out to me today that Lebbeus Woods has never been known as a deconstructivist, but, in his words (Sean's), certainly a futurist, and maybe, if you had to label him, we'd call him a post-functionalist.

Lebbeus Woods has a blog! Yes!

If I can derive anything useful in my study of Derrida, I'll be sure to post something about it.

Here's a picture of me with a disembodied light bulb hanging from a string. This whole post is really just a bunch of words surrounding this picture. It's a deconstructivist picture in a room that's been partially de-constructed... and I'm wearing a shirt that's disintegrating. Oh yeah, that t-shirt is like as old as my copy of The Portable Nietzsche. I treat it like a priceless artifact. It's sooo comfortable, it's almost as light as air, and as soft as a newly shorn lamb.


Yankee Leviathan said...

That shirt still exists? Holy shirt!...err......I mean shit.

Digitizdat said...

It is the holiest of shirts!

skmckinn said...

Oh my lord, Derrida. Try making a word map by linking terms to each other...and see if you can come up with contextual definitions. That's the only way to make it fun. OR--read it like it's giving you advice on life, like practical philosophy, and it'll make you laugh.

I think Derrida should've only ever written one sentence, and it would say something like: Ce que veut dire une chose est contient *entre* les mots--les realtions des mots--et non pas *dans* les mots leur-memes.

I think D&G is MUCH more fun.

Digitizdat said...

D&G look vastly more fascinating than Derrida. Anti-Oedipus and A Thousand Plateaus are now on the list. Thanks for the tip!

skmckinn said...

_A Thousand Plateaus_ was on my bedside table for like six years. It's AWESOME. I used to open to a page in order to "throw my sticks" in an I-Ching sorta way.

But be careful. You'll start seeing faces everywhere.