Laloux

I took 3-MeO-PCP for the first time in a long time in the baby-blue kitchen of L & N’s apartment. I dissolved into litboard conversations on The Brothers K and then went to the Rubin at 7:30 and smoked a spliff by the entrance and went inside and went down to the theatre and went upstairs to get my ticket and went downstairs to find the group.

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We were watching Fantastic Planet, a beautiful ‘73 Laloux animated sci-fi with a raga group doing a live score. I had no idea the Rubin was so New Agey; the next night they’d scheduled an exploration of trance that sounded adjacent to a sober rave, and the curator who introduced the film incited us consider “time: the past, the present… and the future.”

Fantastic Planet does interesting conceptual blending, i.e. the cross-domain mapping of complex inputs, such that many facets of the inputs can be compared metaphorically or contrasted through juxtaposition; such that each facet (and by extension input) is illuminated through its definition in the light of the other. Here our framing structural inputs are “the world of the Fantastic Planet with its humanoid Oms” plus our “actual” Earth. But where middlebrow art too often shoots for clean sets of one-to-one metaphors, Laloux’s relationships are messy.¹ The viewer’s gotta evaluate the correspondences on their own terms, rather than through the ideology of the author the way a 1:1 metaphor inevitably pushes a worldview.

(This is why Mulholland Drive is Lynch’s masterpiece and not Blue Velvet—adolescent, sorry! with its clean cross-domain carvings of light and darkness, robins and love. Mulholland’s conceptual correspondences are open-ended and therefore generative; Blue Velvet’s are closed and therefore terminating.)

Someone I think it was Phillip Prager? said conceptual blending is what Dada does, stuff like Man-Ray’s Gift and obviously Duchamp’s Fountain—illuminating the qualities of the iron through those of the nail, or illuminating the “male” through the female-domestic sensibilities the iron and nails suggest. (Illuminating the qualities of art through non-art, or the architecture and choreographies of the salon through those of a bathroom.)

Conceptual blending basically seems like a variation on the Lakoff/Hoffstadter theses about conceptual metaphors and figurative cognition—that we understand abstract domains like love and romance through more concrete domains like journeys. Like in conceptual blending, conceptual metaphors are “general mappings across conceptual domains,” a “fixed pattern of ontological correspondences… that may or may not be applied to a source domain knowledge structure or a source domain lexical item.” Time is a space we move toward; night is death; “we’re driving in the fast lane on the freeway of love.”

3-MeO is an afternoon drug, not an evening drug. After the initial hour of confusion and dissolution, when things begin to come back together and your brain reorganizes itself is where there is so much opportunity. Anything is possible.

Acid is a morning drug, because it will take all day. MXE is an evening drug. I got the idea during Fantastic Planet to get out a Windows OS and start mapmaking again as an art form, or maybe get Linux to run on the OS I’ve got now.

Perhaps because I’ve been reading poetry and training my neural nets to be more self-observant, or perhaps because it was a long long time since last dissociating, I came away with words I hadn’t had before to describe the dissociative headspace, body sensations like neck crack and knuckle pop. There were mild audio distortions, the sounds of music, full coherent melodies being top-down projected onto street noise and radiators. Buzzing, whistling, ringing. Wasps around making me think of the Sartre quote about crabs.

I wrote on a Rubin calendar handed out pre-show “If I’ve ever believed in fate it’s now” and then added “or drugs” after “fate.” Then I wrote about SWIM: “Sometimes, elocutions she found particularly well-coined she repeated a second time, in case someone hadn’t heard it the first time around.”

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