Floating Signifier

Dismemberment of Things Past

Stuck on fast forward, we’ve accelerated to the point where our multitasking, instant-messaging speed tribes are experiencing an eerie nostalgia for the present—an ironic world-view in which every experience is framed in air quotes. Still from Decasia: The State of Decay (Bill Morrison, 2002). Courtesy Decasia website.

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The incorruptible cadaver of Saint Bernadette. Swiss Guards in Renaissance finery; solemn monks holding candles; a male choir chanting in the occult tongue of Latin; the anguished faithful, wracked with grief, clasping their hands in prayer or seeming to clutch at the passing bier; and, at the center of this deeply pagan drama, the flesh […]

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Having just returned from the grand tour of the Grand Canyon, I can say with authority that Edmund Burke didn’t know the half of it. Caspar David Friedrich, Wanderer above the Sea of Fog (1818). Burke never visited the vertiginous abyss that, more than any other natural wonder, embodies his belief that terror is the […]

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