the effects of rays

All empirical knowledge is based on assessable facts: they are observed, compared, analyzed, weighed, measured in linear dimensions, ground, split, distorted, compressed, loosened, dried, vaporized, detected, dissected.
Living matter is usually measured at that threshold where it has already been sacrificed to us: before this is performed, 55 questions demand plausible answers, to be written in the application for performing experiments on living mammals, according to §8 (1) of the animal protection law, in its currently active version.

But what if the ambassadors and consumers of thought and knowledge become the objects of examination? What happens when the medium addresses the audience, at a symposium, from the pulpit, or in the DJ booth? When living matter can’t easily be summed up or directly measured, when instead it is taboo, we are left with a headache.

To understand the history of science, the French scientist and philosopher Gaston Bachelard studied publications about the phenomenon of fire, from all disciplines, including art and poetry.
With regards to the passing on of knowledge he makes the following assessment: “Consequently, one must find the opportunity to set up in a place where the primal drive splits. Where, in spite being tempted to succumb to a personal anarchy, one is forced to seduce the other.”

In this day age, the place he mentions can be found among scientists and artists. On the one hand, they want to withdraw in order to loose themselves in their experiments and their art pieces, on the other hand they need to answer to their investors and the audience. So seduction is implemented, bait is presented, mental nourishment, which the hungry are happy to accept. To find out what this nutrition consists of one might require instruments from the hunting grounds of living matter: military science offers different methods to search out human beings and their covert activities. An artist could arm herself or himself with these tools and go on a search for the effects of media rays.

Translation: Julian Neville

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