Erupt and Sever

Erupt and Sever, Oil, Oil-based household paint & card, By EC 2015
Erupt and Sever, Oil, Oil-based household paint & card, By EC 2015

“1) The Real. This concept marks the state of nature from which we have been forever severed by our entrance into language…Lacan sometimes represents this state of nature as a time of fullness or completeness that is subsequently lost through the entrance into language…As far as humans are concerned, however, “the real is impossible,” as Lacan was fond of saying. It is impossible in so far as we cannot express it in language because the very entrance into language marks our irrevocable separation from the real. Still, the real continues to exert its influence throughout our adult lives since it is the rock against which all our fantasies and linguistic structures ultimately fail. The real for example continues to erupt whenever we are made to acknowledge the materiality of our existence, an acknowledgement that is usually perceived as traumatic (since it threatens our very “reality”), although it also drives Lacan’s sense of jouissance. ” –



On the Relativity of Knowledge and Truth by George Lakoff (The Theory of Cognitive Models)


 Knowledge, like truth, is relative to understanding. Our folk view of knowledge as being absolute comes from the same source as our folk view that truth is absolute, which is the folk theory that there is only one way to understand a situation. When that folk theory fails, and we have multiple ways of understanding, or ‘framing,’ a situation, then knowledge, like truth, becomes relative to that understanding. Likewise, when our knowledge is stable and secure, knowledge based on that understanding is stable and secure.  Is such knowledge ‘real knowledge’? Well, it’s as real as our knowledge ever gets–real enough for all but the most seasoned skeptics. – George Lakoff


We should talk less and draw more. I personally would like to renounce speech altogether and, like organic nature, communicate everything I have to say in sketches. – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe quoted by the essayist Stephen Jay Gould

Oil on canvas, 5 x 5 cm x 4 on A4 card, By EC 2013
Oil on canvas, 5 x 5 cm x 4 on A4 card, By EC 2013


Space, if I can put it like this, is belonging: a complex nineteenth-century word, which certainly in its plural form speaks to the century’s dream of space as something possessable, but also–consider the longing built into the noun–something desired, vulnerable, patiently constructed, easily lost.

— T.J. Clark.


You can see the issue in a current debate in psychoanalysis. One version of psychoanalysis will say that the definition of mental health would be the capacity to tell a coherent narrative. From another psychoanalytic point of view, that would be precisely the problem. I think both things are true. People who have suffered ruptured, violated lives need and want some narrative coherence, but narrative coherence quickly can be a problem when it becomes a refuge from thinking. I agree that the idealization of narrative coherence is a bizarre cultural development. The problem is finding forms of incoherence that are listenable to. Psychoanalysis has tried this with the idea of free association—it can create a context in which incoherence is potentially the best way of talking to somebody.

Adam Phillips

Lyotard, Between Philosophy and Art – Else Marie Bukdahl, Ph.D

Signs and symbols affixed to the picture surface cannot be translated through concepts and categories. That is why the prime enterprise of visual art is expressing all the things that concepts cannot capture. The figures, situations, signs or abstract sequences that appear in visual art Lyotard characterizes as “depots of narrative energy” (“des dépots d’énergie narrative”) that create other “narratives” and stimulate the viewers to create some for themselves. Visual art does not transmit unambiguous signals. It keeps its secrets.

–  Lyotard, Between Philosophy and Art. Paper given at the Conference of French Philosophy and Contemporary Art at The Center for body, Mind and Culture, Boca Raton, Florida, Dec. 3-4, 2007. By Else Marie Bukdahl, Ph.D. Former president of the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Copenhagen, October 2007.