Emptiness in Psychology, Subjectivity and Art

This, from the book above:

(…)art functions, in essence, to “creat[e] the void and thereby introduce[e] the possibility of filling it.”

Staging Nothing: The Figure of Das Ding in Poe’s “The Raven”, Sean J. Kelly, in Psychology in Edgar Allan Poe, Logos Verlag Berlin, 2019, p. 69

Replace “void” with “subjectivity” and you have a functional definition of the constructive vacuum that compels psychological, cultural and – indeed – technological metamorphosis.

By asserting an(y) central narrative or empirical object, a fantasy, the product of a mythological entity or artefact as catalytic system of belief and self, the arc and trajectory of recursive self-propagation generates itself. This is the bootstrap.

The cultivation of self (or art) as central pivot and focal point is the constitutive invocation of an enigma. The perceived difference and logical distance between the artefact (or entity) and the perceiving person, belief system or cultural frame of reference that orbits it is irresolvable; embodied uncertainty. To close the loop, to understand or complete the epistemological aspiration to (self-)knowledge is to entirely invalidate that self. For this reason, the possibility of filling the void becomes precisely what that self can never do: to completely vanish. Art as much as self is in this way built upon nothing.

“ … the Thing is not nothing, but literally is not. It is characterized by its absence, its strangeness”

Jacques Lacan, Seminar VII

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.