3 / THE Aesthetic / poetics of relation

I am made of parts that can fit into many mechanisms;

and elements that make up an infinity of combinations…


Paul Valéry

IS TO fossilizE YOURself FATAL?

In Tanzania, there is a lake  that turns animals into stone statues. It contains large amounts of natron, a mixture of soda and sodium bicarbonate, and its water can heat up to 60 degrees. Its pH reaches 10.5, almost as high as that of ammonia. Only a few seaweeds and three species of fish support these extreme living conditions. A colony of flamingos comes to breed on the shores of the lake, feeding on spirulina (a micro-algae) present in large quantities. Other species cross the expanse of water at their peril and sometimes crash, victims of fatigue, or perhaps an optical illusion that makes them take the lake for the sky. As soon as they are drowned, their bodies are attacked by the chemical elements dissolved in the water which gradually form a white shell, petrifying them literally in salt statues. When the waterlevel of the lake is low, the mineralized carcasses appear.


A bird encounters unwelcoming water, and it is transformed into a natural trinket. This is also the case with some minds when they land in hostile biotopes or retreat on themselves.


In May 2009, Russian child protection discovered a girl in the wild in Chita, eastern Siberia. She was a prisoner in a dilapidated apartment, abandoned by her father and grandparents. Dressed in rags, she had never come out of this room without heating or running water, totally unsanitary. Having contact only with dogs and cats living there, the girl socialized with them and copied their behavior. When she was discovered, she moved on all fours and communicated with yapping, grunting and barking like a dog.


In Japan, the term hikikomori refers to an individual with a psychosocial disorder. This causes him to lock himself up at home and avoid contact with the outside world, spending his time sleeping or surfing the Internet. Often young and encrusted in the parental home, the hikikomori cloister themselves in their room, fed by the meal trays of their mother. Their number is estimated at one million. Beyond thirty, psychologists believe that they have almost no chance to reintegrate society. We know the case of a hikikomori found starved to death, because his parents refused to continue to host him and have installed him somewhere else.


Lockdown is clearly a factor of shrinkage and atrophy. Moving, physically and mentally, is as vital as breathing. The needs and dangers of life generally provide for forced mobility, but if the environment is comfortable, natural inertia (that which maintains a body in its state in the absence of external causes) is likely to fossilize us insidiously.


The writer Harry Mulisch had noted this little conservative penchant common to all: "When visiting someone, we always sit at the place we occupied the first time". Many more details than we believe follow this law. We go where we've been before, we do what we've done, we see who we know. To know this inexorable numbness is already to stop it a little.


There is no attitude more constantly useful than getting back into motion. It's about putting your mind on wheels, choosing everything but a home, pushing a head to the antipodes, to have been walked on the moon, going where the arrow goes, drawing the target, and then, be surprised to have reach it so well.


Extract from…

to put it in another way

Tilt / wake up call

Many understand late

that the fate of an arrow is to fly

and not to be stuck.

Roberto Juarroz



The philosophy of the relationship would be not only an art of wandering, but literally a wandering philosophy, whose poles and points of exchange would constantly move.

Édouard Glissant



Mythology does not define the Being, the One or the Absolute, but the movement.

Claude Arnaud



I am a man of motion, for whom immobility is a constraint.

Waslaw Nijinsky



All this, and also the wonderments I expected from the Patagonian landscapes and winds, helped me to jump towards my desire. I am tormented with an eternal itch for the more remote things.

Herman Melville



To bring the thought in motion, when it has been paralyzed into doctrine or is following too well dug ruts. To impose it a thaw, a mobilization, a reactivation of its availability to accommodate the new.

Michel Bitbol



He spends his time to take stock, instead of drawing lines.

Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari



Here are the inner landscapes of a man who has left for the pole of himself for a long time.

André Breton


All in one

The cyclist is himself his own gyroscope. He does not just produce movement, he makes balance.

Paul Fournel


Too late

It is now that he should immediately, flexible and fast, jump on board this smile, settle there and run away with him for life - but hey, the girl is gone.

Jean Echenoz



I am not evolving: I am travelling.

Fernando Pessoa



Think! Rather act on my machine to be (and to think) in order to find myself in situation of being able to think new, to have possibilities of really new thoughts.

Henri Michaux


To risk

The thought was calm and rested happy in its understanding; I then approached it and asked it to bring me once again in movement and to risk everything.

Soren Kierkegaard



Fear is a passive state, and the goal is to be active and take control, to be alive here and now. The movement is from passive to active, because if the past is not denied in the present, we do not live.

Louise Bourgeois



The ideas are all fixed. But the movement of thinking, what a pleasure, similar to that of moving or breathing.

Jean-François Peyret



It is special, this faculty, vagabond thought.

Samuel Beckett



Do not let go of the movement to seek tranquility. On the contrary, one must seek tranquility within the movement. In the movement itself, there is an eternal tranquility.

Alexandre Million


Perpetual motion

All art is a search for the same goal; if it were ever reached, it would be finished; there would be no more art, everything would be fixed, motionless, absent. Now, in nature, everything is mobile, everything is possible.

Alberto Giacometti



Let's not waste time analyzing our thoughts, we should instead try to row further, to keep the pen (like a ream) perpetually in the current, to make an exact transcription of the passage.

Henri David Thoreau


About Pushkin

Not a day goes by without this force, this itinerant inspiration, creates here or there any instantaneous performance.

Vladimir Nabokov