Interview with Stan GoffPublished 2017-10-13.
LINK TO BUY "SMITTEN GATE"
May what I do flow from me like a river, neither forcing nor holding back, the way it is with children.
-Ranier Maria Rilke
The concept of matter arose only because of a very misguided concept of time. The general belief is that the world would evaporate into a mere apparition without being if we did not anchor the totality of fleeting events in a permanent, immutable reality that endures in time while its various individual configurations change. But time is not a container within which changes occur. Time does not exist before things or outside of them. It is the tangible expression of the fact that events—because of their specific nature—form sequential interrelationships.
Such is the contrivance of the cinematograph. And such is also that of our knowledge. Instead of attaching ourselves to the inner becoming of things, we place ourselves outside them in order to recompose their becoming artificially. We take snapshots, as it were, of the passing reality . . . We may therefore sum up . . . that the mechanism of our ordinary knowledge is of a cinematographical kind.
Wittgenstein’s theory of language games can be instructive on several accounts when applied to semiotic discussion. Indeed, any interaction with signs, production of signs, or attribution of meaning owes its existence to its status as a move in a language game—that is, a conceptual architecture, a grammar, that we must uncover. . . Consider the Augustinian definition of the sign: something put in the place of something else (to which it is imperative to add: in a relation of meaning or representation). Wittgenstein tells us that of the elements that make up the semiotic relation (sign, modes of representation or signifying, the sign’s referent, etc.), none exists outside a language game. In an interpretive act, nothing is “intrinsically” a sign: the grammar of the language game is what makes it possible to identify the sign, its way of being a sign and what it is a sign of.
The first is that whose being is simply in itself, not referring to anything or lying beyond anything. The second is that which is what it is owing to something to which it is second. The third is that which is what it is owing to things between which it mediates and which it brings into relation to each other.