Nauman walks the walk. Slow Angle Walk (Beckett Walk) (1968) does the work of envisioning Watt’s “way of advancing” for you. I have cast Beckett’s description of Watt’s walk as creating a series of imperatives for the reader: you have to envision Watt’s “way of advancing,” then you have to edit that vision to account for unbending knees and feet, then again for position of head and arms. But really, it’s your prerogative (cue Bobby Brown).
The glaze in their eyes gives it away, the slight tightening of their lips, and the nervous breath. When colleagues learn about my new project, they begin to feel sorry for me. “Why friendship of all subjects?” It’s seems quaint to them or just light; in any case, not a legitimate object of inquiry.
So I taught a good class today in which I unveiled my prototype object-oriented rhetorical theory. I believe this theory allows nonhuman objects to communicate rhetorically in every meaningful sense of that word, without assuming they have a mind or anything. I know, it's weird isn't it?
One of the challenges of reading the works of Samuel Beckett, novelist, versus seeing the works of Samuel Beckett, dramatist, is, in fact, seeing. Or envisioning what you’re reading. Bruce Nauman’s film, Slow Angle Walk (Beckett Walk) (1968), both reminded and relieved me of that difficulty.
Bloopers are bloopers, but the study of bloopers is Theory. The study of bloopers can also be fun, and should be (even if an air of quasi-tragic resignation in the face of bloopers is the central, melodramatic posture of deconstruction). It can also tell us a little about the ways that we're all essentially essentialists.
I am, at any rate.
As I am about to criticize the idea of "moral truth" in the paragraphs that follow, let me begin by saying that I am not defending moral relativism. As Sam Harris points out in his recent book, The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Moral Values, "one can reasonably doubt whether any consistent moral relativist has ever existed."