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‘The stark impossibility of thinking that’ (2021)

(In the wonderment of this taxonomy, the thing we apprehend in one great leap, the thing that, by means of the fable, is demonstrated as the exotic charm of another system of thought, is the limitation of our own,) the stark impossibility of thinking that. (Michel Foucault, The Order of Things: An Archaeology of the Human Sciences, 2002, p. xvi)

One thing always turns into another to reveal a kind of magic of twos, a mirrored key for making out the difference between this and that. It’s also one that makes difference, makes a difference, makes differences that matter and have form, and tells stories which make sense. If anything, it’s a licence to put things into re-order, only ever gained in mutiny. (Ghada)  

Walking into that dark space where imagination fails there are broken sentences with letters spilling out, philosophical tomes jumbled on the floor, laws unscrolled and ripped and a swinging light bulb, that illuminates for just a moment with every swing something still forming in the corner (which might not, afterall, be a corner) and something calls from within-out or without-in, a join, a resonance, a pull between now and a time that is not now. (Helen) 

I think therefore I am. If I think differently then does that make me a different person? My bones, my muscles, my DNA all remain the same, but what about the mind? How can I become receptive to something that is seemingly impossible for me to think or even receive? Words, structures, taxonomies, meanings, all dissolve and are reconfigured anew in the maelstrom of the mind. How to overcome these stark impossibilities, perhaps an impossibility in itself. (Stuart) 

Partimos de una base en común?, un grado 0 that we can question or not, me speaking an ‘exotic’ language when you read it, because I have to learn or you haven't learnt; do we question our limitations or the hegemony of the world and the interaction between systems of thought?…(Victoria) 

And yet, perhaps, in order to think ‘that’, I must return to the position prior to that of feeling my way in, so that I can be both immersed in the language of the new world whilst attending, at the same time, to how that position in that new space effects my understanding of what I was prior to the immersion. So, thinking ‘that’ is about being attentive to my positionality and the multiple perspectives (some of which are impossible to attain) involved in any encounter with language. (Ben)      

Stark-feeling things we have thought with;  

hot mirrors in the desert,    

a glove, rat, pollen, cap, stick combo,     

the cast iron air vents of the museum,    

things ‘that from a long way off look like flies’    

They felt almost impossible at first. Their material form felt hard to picture and far away from the space of my desk in the virtual meeting room. Now they have been conjured, floated, read aloud, chewed over and traced out they feel fun, familiar, useful having opened the way for collective thinking that.  (Laura)