Frames /sing


Visual and Lyrical Spinoza

In order to pursue the inner, intelligible yet affective kernel of Yannis Kyriakides’ lyrical rendition of Spinoza’s defintions of the affects, written about here, I shot and edited this short visual meditation on the music he composed, brought through the Latinity. It is but a stone I found in a stream nearby my house, caught in and expressing an aura of ice amid the flow of water. Let the localization of the stone defy its parameters.

Putting words to it, the film is meant to augment the flight that Kyriakides already gives to Spinoza’s text, across the body of its ideas, tenebrated up through our auditory concordance to the whole of a visual spectrum. It is my conviction that despite the acclaim of Spinoza’s supposed renunciation of the affects, in favor of the lone purity of the mind, Spinoza’s depiction of the world opens wide an entire landscape for the emotions, living free to their development and expression, an expression that is artistic, caught on the nerve. The freedom theorized in Spinoza’s thought is nothing, can do nothing, if not for the materiality of the image and the voice. This is something touched on by Yannis Kyriakides’s rich tonations and Carola Arons’s vocality.

Latin, the ancient tongue of Church, crystalizes. Ideas perform. Thoughts linger and lead. History arches its back.

[Here is where you can purchase his Spinoza composition.]

2 responses to “Visual and Lyrical Spinoza

  1. ktismatics January 3, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    Until I read what that it’s a stone, I thought the object was a leaf or some other floating thing caught in a backwater. It’s the slight shudder of the handheld camera that creates this illusion, along with the contrast of the water’s movement with the stationary object. The dynamic equilibrium happens in the hand/eye of the observer rather than in the external object or the medium in which the object is suspended.

  2. kvond January 3, 2009 at 2:06 pm

    Interesting thoughts, and they are thoughts that I think blend well with Spinoza’s point, that we, as observers, are caught fundamentally in imaginary relations which make us passive to our possibilities.

    Perhaps I should not have mentioned that it was a stone, but it is beautiful that you see a leaf there (there is a leaf trapped under the ice, in the fore, I believe). There is a point though where Spinoza argues that the illusion of the freedom of our wills is like a stone which thinks it is free as it is flying through the air. Only an ignorance of our causes gives us the illusion of freedom of will. The human being is for Spinoza ostensibly a stone.

    And yes, the observer too is folded into the flux of operations and perceptions that make up the entire world.

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