"It’s not difficult to see how this operation could also bring opportunities for cynical manipulation and charlatanry. There is no guarantee that a shared obsession will be positive or even interesting. What obliquity offers, however, in privileging evocation and incitement over depiction and elaboration, is the possibility to communicate something inexpressible, to take (apparently) clear ideas in (nearly) sensible relationships and expose a site of unknowing; to thread a string between perception and what it purports to perceive, and to pluck that string. Obliquity could simply mean, but it could also be a means to say what cannot be said, to play what is unplayable, to give voice to an engendering silence among all manner of noise […]".
"In the study of ideas, it is necessary to remember that insistence on hard-headed clarity issues from sentimental feeling, as it were a mist, cloaking the perplexities of fact. Insistence on clarity at all costs is based on sheer superstition as to the mode in which human intelligence functions. Our reasonings grasp at straws for premises and float on gossamers for deductions."
A.N. Whitehead, “Adventure in Ideas.”
"Darboven is fond of reciting a bit of advice she received from Carl Andre during her New York period: "Never apologise and never explain.""
"The urgency of a situation broke into a cliché; the explosion of voices from a hidden past clashed with the present tense. It’s no longer just the words, it’s the voicing of disquiet that matters. The aural matter is the sound of that disquiet".
"What does this fear of knowledge mask - or what it is masking in turn? Among its accoutrements, we count and discern a deliberate cultivation of weakness and weak bids - indecision made to resemble superior insight (though no longer ‘knowledge’) - and the deluded romance with ‘minor’ gestures […]: anything minoritarian magically transformed into a site of criticality. Trial and error - but not success! The cult of ‘failure’ - behind which a terrible indulgence lurks (that of a disingenuous intelligence claiming to know what constitutes failure and what does not, while denouncing the authority implied in the experience and position of ‘knowing’ or certainty all the same). And finally, ultimately, the impossibility of saying, and hence also knowing, yes or no (as opposed to yes and no) - the undermining of all possibility of antagonism or contradiction upon which the practice of paradox (if not critique!) ultimately rests. For the mighty logical figure of paradox speaks of a love of truth - and, symmetrically, of a love of lies as that which positively requires unveiling, revealing. […] These things really exist: some things are true, some are not; some art is good, some is not; some writing is great, some is not. Confusion, erring and doubt, when canonised as ‘method’, are nothing but fancy ruses - sorry excuses (rather than ‘an’ other), for not having to choose, for not having to judge - fear of the assumption of a position of critique, in short.”
Dieter Roelstraete (in F.R. David, Winter 2009; reprinted: Dot Dot Dot 20)
"But there is a key difference between speaking (or writing) obscurely in order to leave the referent deliberately undetermined, and doing away with signification per se in order to restrict access to a few initiates of the “empty mystery.” For this reason, I can’t agree with Roelstraete’s conclusion that “All of the mind’s great strides are made in black and white.” While assertion of the “idea of truth” and necessity of “taking a position” are both urgent and convincing, it doesn’t follow that ambiguity and complexity (or to be fair what Roelstraete identifies as their current overrating) should be called to answer for the lay thinking that leaves only an empty shell. […]
"Obscurity and uncertainty can be too easily worshipped, and their abuse has both alienated a general public and created several self-appointed priests of the empty signifier. Nonetheless, I believe that it is precisely that nucleus of enigmaticalness that continues to afford art, like poetry, its status as the most accomplished form of inexact expression and linguistic experimentation, able to generate richer knowledge because of its indeterminacy.”
Francesco Manacorda, Surplus to Requirements (Dot Dot Dot 20)
"Tsunoda’s work has always been about that, complicating the conventional field recording. Starting from the position that a field recording need not be solely about a microphone pointed outwards, capturing what is OUT THERE, whether wildlife or urban environments. A field recording is an attempt to access and explore the possibilities of a specific space, the field here being more like a field of possibilities within a given constrained ‘space’ whether that be a wharf or a pipe or a bottle."