Sunday, January 30, 2011

Brick is a

In a world of postmodern, posthuman uncertainty it is a relief to find something certain of not only its identity but its immutable place in the order of things. I give you, in this precarious, preverbal modern world, the brick that could.

Being human is a rollercoaster ride and sometimes you are suspended in a weightless, breathless moment between going up and going down. I had one of those preverbal moments for the past week where words made sense alright, but not necessarily in the order in which they presented.

Suspended I imagine (Australian performance artist) Stelarc, cruel metal barbs, pendulous skin and shiny wires like contrails, strained by gravity and embodied momentum, in the space between rising and falling. Aphelion, the furthest place you can reach, as if the universe becomes suddenly viscous and existence is measured in a Brownian swirl of instants. Suspended there like Icarus about to fall.

Simultaneously pushed and pulled, at Aphelion the almost fluid body defies conventional labels. Speed, trajectory, motion itself is momentarily indecipherable. Up, down, top, bottom, beginning, ending and uncertain centre are caught in a Dervish dance of inertia and Coriolis force. At Aphelion, uncertainty is the only thing you know for sure.

At Aphelion words and meanings become detached from one another, separating like name tags from garments in a washing machine, in a mighty struggle to adapt. Suspended, but paradoxically still moving, like particles in Brownian motion, entanglements of words and meanings quickly evolve. Up means down, today means sometime and tomorrow means never. Meaning suspended, like wax in the moment before it melts, or solidifies, in a futurist arabesque.

Brick stands a bulwark against the tide of postmodern uncertainty, its place in the symbolic order of things assured. Surrounded by like, but distinctly boundaried, brick, a brick, is a brick.


  1. Beautiful piece of writing Steve and most observant. Yes, the named brick is certainly not just 'another brick in the wall'. But what is a brick? According to Deleuze and Guattari (197) a concept is a brick that may be used to build the courthouse of reason or it can be thrown through a window. Its characteristic of being able to be separate as well as joined represents the fragmented body in posthuman culture. But here the bricks appear to about the wholistic body and even though you sound like your body has been playing havoc with you, the solidity of the wall somehow consoles?

  2. Somehow brick encapsulates longing and belonging, or longing for belonging, the fantasy of constancy, that there is something to belong to, like an imagined family.