I am very grateful for the opportunity to produce the work I have been able to do over the last few months. People have been taking risks and putting work in unexpected places, also the work has been interesting and varied which really challenges me in a positive way. I don’t take these opportunities for granted and I always hope a risk can be productive and show different communities what can be achieved. In days like these people need to come together and be positive and what better way to do that than with art.
Well I went looking for classic schizophrenia cases and came across Gogol’s short story “Diary of a Madman” which is considered to be the first description in literature and so far I have got through most of the other stories. Gogol has a disarming style, he makes you feel comfortable and then he pulls away the veil and there we are disarmed and a tad vulnerable. He neatly dispenses humour within his stories only to describe a corpse but it isn’t pure horror just a version of realism that Gogol mastered though it is said he was a perfectionist and continually edited and burned, rewrote then burned again all to get to what he felt was worthwhile. Then I saw the wikipedia entry for the first recorded case of schizophrenia documented and my daughters school tells the kids not to trust wikipedia but I love it especially the inaccurate bits because unless it is ridiculous I wouldn’t know any differently. And ridiculous it was, The “Air Loom Gang” and I thought this is gold, what an interesting thinker I would have loved to have met this guy. He was a conspiracy concoctor of big proportions and when a political disaster appeared he was convinced it was all due to the “Air Loom Gang”
see illustration of Air Loom Machine below
I have always donated to wikipedia over the years and boy is it worth it. The book though of Gogol is slowly being read and I can’t wait to get to the really mad bits.
Really like this article from this blog about the machine. It is interesting that in classic schizophrenic thought (If I can call it that….why not) there can exist the “MACHINE”. The machine can be in many forms sending out emanations or commands to those that can hear it. The machine is out there controlling the persucuted individual and really controlling everything. This observation is quite logical on most levels but loses grip as it is simply hallucinated. Funnily enough we all have to deal with machines as part of everyday life. The most ubiquitous being the computer, not so much a “MACHINE” but more a machine. But these days it seems more akin to the upper case variant something with a rather sinister motive operating somewhere in the background. Privacy has become a battle ground and we are all conceding defeat by sharing our wonton noodle soup with the world, the world though finds our wontons rather boring though it is the advertisers that want to know you love that soup (and other soups too!) soon enough somewhere in your feed is something you actually like and that is the advertisers with too much information.
The problem is all of this information sharing is relatively new so we don’t know how far it will go before it becomes a real problem. That is the risk and when I am on social media I try not to interact too much with it because my feed seems to becoming an echo chamber. My likes are being fed back to me and honestly it is getting boring. It is true that the machine is not your friend as the article hints at from the link above. Big companies, big data and a hell of a lot of soups are being compiled on a hell of a lot of servers (called the cloud) and that data is being crunched minute by minute not to make the best soup in the world or the tastiest but the most bland and most liked broth ever concocted.