A Life

My initial thoughts are two-fold on this diagramming of a life –

I was struggling to come up with a way to depict a virtual unity – life as a groove – propelled by the virtual gravitas of the coming beat as a kind of attractor but always most interestingly actualised before or after that beat – modulated by context, circumstance, or serendipity….the complex play between anticipation and suspense as energising an intense and tenuous continuity. Circles depict event-intensities which are also becoming/rippling-orbit-paths folding/modulating past with present/perception so that polyrhythmic foldings might emerge in perpetuity..

on the other hand I kept thinking about spiralling molecular incorporations and expulsions…once again orbits and gravitas – although here embodying and describing centrifugal energies as the basis for integration/disintegration..I was thinking of the game Osmosis….

thought through some scribbling in haste maybe some more later – maybe some sound:

This is perhaps a far more eloquent diagramming of a life:

although.. this perhaps gets more to the core as a diagram of a life as the unfolding of diagrammatic absurdities;

More later..


Named after a great uncle John David who worked for the roads department and could read the granite boulders to find the seams that would crack open with dynamite, the spelling of my name congealed from what he used to be called: Jondi. In many way the juncture between a line, a crack, a seam and the reading of such is the story of a shared life of making-way and giving-way, of clearing and bafflement that has defined my life as a cast stone skipping across paved roads to unsealed ones, as if in a landslide with a mouthful of chocolate. Like a city afloat on rats,  or the vestiges of a retina in every cell, the movements we take for granted are driven by communities of interests. Therefore it is no surprise when all the cells in my body turn to the left and towards the light before I do, or that a chlorophyll consciousness runs communications between myself and the rain dates I have made with the person I have put off becoming, or that although a rat is born every 3 seconds every 15 seconds a rat is born that will change the contour of consciousness. These events are the betrayal of no surprise that a life offers to those who hold a place in place with just a nick-name.

Diagramming Invention: a selective ‘heatmap’

Below is an attempt to diagram my experiences of the passive and active affects of invention. I’ve focused on my experiences of working on ‘cars’ and working on ‘texts’. I repeat practices born of experiences that others have shared with me and through which I’ve acquired a singular comportment (in the sense of everyone having a singular appreciation of their worlds).

Imagine the colour-coded sections as secord-order diagrams that indicate a kind of time-lapse contraction of habit, like photoshopping multiple layers of time-lapse photography, that overlap the durations of experience; a selective ‘heatmap’ of a lifetime of activity. The large shape is the carport of my familial home. The rectangle top-left is every car I’ve ever worked on whilst on the side of the road. The smaller rectangles are my childhood bedroom, the lounge of my flat when I was doing my PhD, the loungeroom of my flat when I worked in the magazine industry, and lastly my office at university.

To put it rather crudely, as there is not a direct correlation between the two orders of experience, this diagram does not differentiate between passive affects of imitation and the active affects invention. If Tarde is accurate in his description of invention being the innovative combination of imitations, then my capacity to invent is assembled as much from the quiet periods of helping my father or older brother work on their cars as much as it is in my capacity to (endure/enjoy) philosophy texts and similar. There is not a dialectical relationship between the experience-based practical knowledge acquired and embodied through many years of ‘using my hands’ and the experience-based practical knowledge acquired and embodied through many years of developing my ‘conceptual toolbox’. A book, albeit a big book, is a hammer if you use it right.

The arrows capture the virtual movement across the multiple openings between various dimensions of my personal biography. They collapse multiple temporalities, just as my experience of the present collapses a multiplicity of events contracted in every (mostly bad!) habit. Memory is potent here. I work to recollect and smile as I luxuriate in the memory of the ‘simplicity’ of my child-like wonder. Of course, there was nothing simple about my strenuous attempts to learn about cars or to learn about maddening philosophies. The ‘simplicity’ is an active product: my memory is producing differentials of experience assembled from my biography, like the interference effect of the passive dampening of refracting soundwaves (echo).

Absent from this projection into the past are the no-less virtual arrows connecting openings into the future. How to take care of invention so it is not (merely?) co-opted into the machinations of capital or neoliberal management regimes of ‘affective labour’? How to produce opportunities — as a kind of virtual architecture (or dancefloor!) catering to invention — that are not territorialised by capital and overcoded by profit (‘ROI’)? In short, can ‘invention’ be ‘resistance’?