(An orchestrated project in six movements)

1st Movement – Self-fulfilling Prophecy

« On January 19 th, 2015, the museum opened to the public, the partially devastated artwork being shown as it was. The directors had resolved to proceed with the official opening, certainly unwilling to abandon the dream this event had brought forth, whilst the reasons why the collections had been vandalized in such a way remained unclear.

Hence, on that January morning, a few visitors rushed at the museum’s entrance. The museum was now deserted, as if fastened in ice, frozen in time. Everyone observed the strange disaster that had struck the museum, without perhaps realizing that the actual space through which they were moving was precisely the thin line persisting in between two contradictory possibilities: the memory of a perfectly hierarchical conservatory and its enigmatic annihilation. Thus plunged into a state of permanent irresolution, the entity was to fully disappear soon, before revealing the key to this scarcely anticipated world. »

2nd and 3rd Movements – Virus

« The fungus Ophiocordyceps unilateralis is known for its parasitism on ants, in which it alters the behavior of the ants in such a way as to propagate itself more effectively. The fungus attacks the brain of the ant, causing it to abandon its colony. The ant then bites into the main vascular vein on the underside of a leaf and stays locked in that position until it dies. The fungus is then able to spread from the ant’s body to the leaf in order to repeat the cycle. A parasitic fungus that reproduces by manipulating the behavior of ants emits a cocktail of behavior-controlling chemicals when encountering the brain of its natural target host, but not when infecting other ant species, a new study shows. The findings, which suggest that the fungus « knows » its preferred host, provide new insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying this phenomenon, according to researchers. The research focused on a species from the genus Ophiocordyceps — known as « zombie ant fungi » — which control their ant hosts by inducing a biting behavior. Although these fungi infect many insects, the species that infect ants have evolved a mechanism that induces hosts to die attached by their mandibles to plant material, providing a platform from which the fungus can grow and shoot spores to infect other ants. »

4st movement, 1st part- Replay Time Machine

« I need to explain what is Replay Time Machine It is the work done by Loris and myself in the wake of the exhibition TUNM at the Dc in Jan 2015 Our intent here is not to propose a new experience in which art would be object or the subject of intellectual inquiries. Our goal here is to present art as a method and practice of philosophy of time. And I refer here to the work done by Gilles Deleuze on Cinema in which he state that film in itself is a way to practice philosophy of time and what I want to do here is to use the work of Loris Gréaud to engage in a practice of philosophy. I know this ambitious and can sound crazy, I also know that this is necessary. I think it is necessary to take time together to reflect on artistic experience and to try to reach out and outside our judgments and preconceived ideas about art to really look for something that I call the intersubjective invariants in the artistic experience which means the things that will connect all of us across our differences through the experience of the work of art. I think that the work of Loris is very much suitable for this kind of experience. Let me start with the 5 initiations for the work of Replay Time Machine. First initiation: I had promised a year ago to document the experience of the Unplayed Notes Museum. I said that I will write a book on the experience of the UNM and I consider this to be the first chapter of this book. I had said at this time that the work of Loris had changed my life, I know that this kind of statement sounds a bit dramatic and maybe not sincere, something that one would say in society, but this is actually very true. This change is invisible and intangible. Yet, it is real. This reality is not shared without encountering difficulties, conceptual and emotional as well… I will try to share with you the aspects of this change because they relate very consistently with this philosophy of time that I want to present. Second Initiation Replay originated in the wake of the conversation that followed the UNM, and deals with the idea that, collectively: intellectuals, colleagues from local universities, curators, artists, students, art goers, gallery owners, art collectors, we should all engage in an open and broad dialog on the place of art, in our city, community and lives… Replay is my contribution to this dialog. I am coming here to open this dialog. This means that you are welcome to stop me, to question and to engage with me in this dialog. This not meant to only be a lecture. I am not here to deliver a lecture about Bergson’s philosophy of time. I am not teaching. I am talking to people I respect, most of them are friends, and I do not teach friends. Third Initiation Among the characteristics of contemporary and conceptual art, is the importance given to the spectator, the requirement of an active engagement from the viewer. I do not believe that this engagement can be naïve and spontaneous, I do not believe that this engagement can exist without being fully informed and supported by: -institutional support, hence the increasingly important role of the museums, galleries, art critics, and curators and universities; they are actively creating the context for a rich interactive relationship with the works

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of art. In this context, the work of art should be seen as the catalyst for bringing together this community and to initiate this activity. -intellectual support. I mean by intellectual, emotional as well as theoretical and ideally a combination of both. This intellectual support IS the practice of art, only on the spectator’s side. It requires knowledge together with openness in order to combine objectively informed assessment of works of art with subjectively inspired intuition of their impact. This dual vision is what forms and informs the aesthetic experience presented as a subjective synthesis that is both hermeneutical and phenomenological. I am carefully and intentionally using the term synthesis instead of analysis to very simply suggest that what I am trying to do is a matter of convergence. The goal of this artistic practice on the side of the spectator, or intellectual support is to gather and bring together collections of signs and meanings with series of emotions, sensations, and reactions to progressively contribute to the formation of a mirror image of the work of art… or a counterpoint to the work of art in the spectator’s mind. At the moment, replaying the UNM is an attempt at creating this mirror image of the work. This image is formed by reflection and reflections. Fourth initiation: Along or consequentially with this same characteristic of contemporary art (engagement of the audience), emerges the experience of the spectator against or in front of the work of art and the shift from stable and fixed works of art to presentations of metamorphic processes and fluid experiences. This important shift suggests and calls for a displacement of the focus of the aesthetics form the study of those tangible forms permanently available in space and unambiguously accessed as images to fugacious phenomena manifested over time in ambiguous ways, very much dependent upon the viewer’s intention. My claim and one of the origins of this conference is that aesthetics of this century should be centered on the study of time or better on the study of temporalities that I would define here as manifestations of time to consciousness. I realize that these are complex and abstract concepts, but the intent is to not to (22 mn) develop them but to use them to put aside, to bracket, in the phenomenological sense, our hard concepts, ideas and ideologies about time to allow for temporalities, or manifestations of time to consciousness to arise. These are manifestations of the otherness. Fifth initiation: Finally, as a researcher, I have been working for 20 more years on the question of time in audiovisual expressions. I am not a specialist of aesthetics, traditional or emerging… I am a specialist of temporalities and of how temporalities are brought to our consciousness… I can cite 2 ways by which this is happening, or how temporalities are “revealed” to use a spiritual term or manifested to our consciousness… – spiritual or intellectual ecstasy in which the temporalities of the other (God, or any other being, including oneself) stand out of themselves and become available to myself as the essence of a phenomenon of their existence.. – I realize the existence of someone else. I realize the temporal dimension of the existence of this other one and I feel it before understanding it. – Artistic ecstasy in which the existence of the work of art, the emergence of its presence from the present of my contemplation extend and coalesce with the past of its origin and the future of its destiny. This is in the context of this ecstasy that the aura of the work of art, as Benjamin terms it, becomes perceivable. This happens at the intersection of my perception, my intentionally driven perception and the manifestation of the work of art. There is also a scientific ecstasy that we know as the famous Eureka! The idea or solution to the problem stands out and brings a temporal closure to the problem and opens up to new explorations. The past and future are re-organized in front of the emergence of the solution. The undeniable aura of Loris Gréaud’s work is to me exemplary of artistic ecstasy of time leading (almost naturally) to the elaboration of a theoretical framework that could be best defined as aesthetics of time, or chrono-aesthetics. Let me come to the first initiation of this work: the intellectual and emotional impact. It is very important for this to come back in your memory, a year ago. Walking through the galleries after the destruction. This emotional impact originates from the very poignant feeling conveyed by this first encounter with The Unplayed Notes Museum…. The strangeness, the obsessional orientation of the objects presented in the exhibition toward the past… all of them looking back to the time of their destruction and further past to the time of their creation. To the 3 temporalities of our presentation, Irresolution, self-fulfilling prophecy and anticipatory resoluteness, I need to add the fundamental one, the most intimate origin of all thoughts about time, which is the perfection of Augustine’s “distentio animi”… it is called Primultimacy and Nostalgia: I borrow this made up term of Primultimacy from philosopher Vladimir Jankélévitch, a subtle and movingly accurate analyst of our conceptions and experiences of time. Primultimacy is made of the term prime referring to the first time things happen and for the fact that things always happen as novelties… for the first time, and of ultimacy, for the fact that they will never happen again. Or happen again identically. Because, in the repetition, difference has been inserted. When I come back to the same place, I am not and will never be the same. Jankélévitch places Nostalgia at the core and origin of our consciousness of time. “Nostalgia is a human melancholy made possible by our consciousness, which is the consciousness of something else, the consciousness of an elsewhere, the consciousness of a contrast between past, between present and future.” This is where everything begins. Jankelevitch gives this beautiful account of primultimacy from the Odyssey: After a long journey, Ulysses returns to Ithaca. Argos, the faithful dog dies. Ulysses is now another Ulysses, reunited with another Penelope. Any being at any instant is becoming another being, and another than this other. This experience of becoming another is given to us through the return, the coming back, the repetition, the replay… As we return to this house of our childhood, or to this work place, to this restaurant that we used to like… we are given a chance to experience this otherness of ourselves. And from this experience of otherness of ourselves, we can then experience the otherness of the other. Otherness of any being is infinite, as much as the ungraspable flux of temporality is universal. This infinity of the stream of change leads me to the concept of irresolution used by Loris Gréaud in his work. (33mn) Irresolution could be just an abstract concept as presented by Umberto Eco, in the Open work, a principle of openness, or developed by John Cage with his use of indeterminacy, or governing most of the works of art from the 1960s. But when Irresolution is experienced on the emotional movement of Nostalgia, it becomes something else… It becomes the manifestation of the ever changing of the being given with the possibility to grasp this absolute otherness of heterogeneity. Only from here can we understand how things, people and temporalities are different. Suddenly when we understand irresolution in this context of Nostalgia, we realize that these different states of being do not replace one another; they are not aligned on the trajectory of our live… they superimpose in this troubling simultaneity of a frozen time. They exchange with one another, they dialog and exchange memories and expectations… Me, as a child is present with me as a teenager and me today as an adult, and with in the future as a dying old man. They are all present together in this dimension of irresolution. This is how irresolution has to be experienced and understood in the work of Loris Gréaud: this is not the suspension of an ending. Irresolution is what happens after the consciousness of the end, where we can grasp things back from this dimension of a time that does not pass along a horizontal line but instead remains with us forever. In this true time, everything is preserved, everything is enshrined. There is no forgetting. In our memory, images do not go away, expectations do not go away, our different selves do not go way. They stay and co-exist altogether in this dimension of time. This dimension of time that does not pass is composed of the past and the future. The time that passes is what we call the present. It is different in nature. The present is Space. Space is the dimension in which everything disappears. All material manifestations disappear in space. (37mn) What irresolution brings to us is this point of connection between the present that is passing and the past and future that are not passing. Irresolution is indeed an initiation to this dimension of time. It produces the necessary displacement of the spectatorial gaze from the horizontal exploration of the exhibition happening along the pathway through the galleries to the vertiginous contemplation of works of art as processes. From these processes, we now see, altogether and vertically aligned their origins and ends. To these 2 dimensions of time, the one that I call pure time, also termed by Bergson, Memory, and the other one that I call Space, also termed Matter by Bergson, I would like to add the vision of the linguist Gustave Guillaume and associate them with these 2 terms, virtual and actual. GG has been instrumental in the study of the process of formation of language. He has identified 2 states of the language that he calls virtual langue and actual language. These 2 states are very similar to what is presented in traditional linguistics as language and discourse, except that GG pushes even further the distinction between them by defining langue as a strictly a-temporal state of the language containing all of the possible movements of thoughts before being said. This is the domain of the virtual, the unsaid. In this domain, the movements of our thoughts are pure movements, free from their attachment to space and free from their presentation on space. Thoughts and ideas can connect independently from causal or temporal relations. When the thoughts are translated or transported to the actual state of language, when they are presented, said out, the order of space is imposed upon them. This order is pure succession and causality. The principle of actual language problematically imposes causality and succession. This issue of causality is the one faced by Husserl when trying to develop his view on time: language imposes succession and reduction of the virtual dimension to its spatial actualization.
The interconnected thoughts developed in the virtual dimension of absolute simultaneity are transformed by language into series of causal links. The process of the experience and interaction with temporal objects reverses this radical transformation of time into space. The flow of consciousness intentionally attached to the flow of the time object leads to the transcendental perception of the essence of the time object: its temporality. The object is experienced and known as a whole: the series of its changes over time are integrated in its transcendental unity from which its beginning and ending are not distinct moments of its existence but permanent states constantly present along the perception of it. From this perspective, we can now approach the next temporality: self-fulfilling prophecy, without repeating what has been presented in the video… Self fulfilling prophecy imagined from the vertical and virtual dimension of time is different. Self-fulfilling prophecy within this dimension addresses projects as temporal objects. For Loris’s projects viewed as such a temporal object, the origin and the end are not any more fixed instants that the passage of actual time (space) erases and eventually reveals: they are core components of this temporal object, moving with it along the continuity of its development. They accompany the project throughout its entire existence…. As retentions and protentions of the temporal object, they continuously provide horizons of its past and of its future. The project within this temporality acquires autonomy and agency; it identifies itself by departing from the actual time and the unfolding of its successive states, and by reaching the virtual dimension of time in which it exists as an autonomous entity in the state and process of becoming forever. The hermeneutical analysis of the project within this state becomes the search of the forever-receding moment of the origin. The self-fulfilling prophecy is the attachment and coalescence of all phases of the project into this unique being whose existence is characterized by its obsessional sacrifice of its own future to the realization of its present. Loris Gréaud’s project informs us poignantly about the last temporality that I intended to present: Anticipatory Resoluteness This concept comes from Heidegger as one of the conditions of the authentic realization of existence. In this context, anticipatory resoluteness is the phenomenon by which existence acquires its autonomy and constitution as a finite temporal object. The awareness of the closure and its anticipation is what guides the realization of existence towards its authenticity. This is an interesting paradox suggesting that the future is imprinting and determining the present. This is how our time machine is actually working… Replay does not come from the past to reach the present again it comes from the future and from the end to the present to guide and organize it. What is replayed now is the anticipated future. We usually think that the past influences the present and shapes the future. This is the order of mundane causality that explains and supports prediction and the traditional scientific reasoning. Most of the time, we are in full agreement with this order and do not feel the need for another one. Only when placed in the context of another kind of meditation do we experience the disruption of this order. In the experience of the Unplayed Notes Museum, when touched by Nostalgia, and moved the vertigo of true time, we accept that time can happen in another way. When we see that there is no difference between past and future. When our experience causes this slight detachment of actual time, we feel the future influencing our present state. I realize that it is difficult to conceive of this in a strictly rational manner. One of my colleagues at UT Dallas, Prof. Mihai Nadin has been working consistently through the years on the question of anticipation to bring evidences from science and from life that our present is informed by future states. When looking for examples, the best I can find is that of musicians improvising. They are playing together and modulate their present actions and gestures according to the future states of the piece of music that do not exist. They are not playing in reference to something that exists in the past, like a score. They are playing in reference and in accordance to something that will exist only in the future, at the end of the performance. They truly anticipate and act towards the fulfillment of requirements that are only expressed in the future. There are many other examples in our lives, where we act and behave, just like musicians do when improvising. The other example is happening right now, in front of you: me talking to you. While I am doing so, I am not predicting the next work I will be saying. The next work comes from the previous one, it is not dictated by the past. It is determined by the tension my thought between the present and the future. I am not repeating something that had already been formulated, I am anticipating. When expressing our thoughts, we place ourselves in this dimension of virtual time where past and future are merged together, and from this dimension we command our discourse, we shape our present. This is what makes and creates Novelty. This is where the difference between novelty and innovation resides. Innovation is a process initiated in the past and evolving in the present. Novelty, or something that allows for the authentic experience of difference, comes from the future. Novelty is looking at the present from the future to change it. Geniuses like Steve Jobs or artists are anticipators: they do not improve or innovate. They radically transform our present in an unpredictable manner. This is why we feel something different when confronted with such works. This is what happens at the end of Loris Gréaud’s work, we realize through these several extases of time that our present has been affected by the future. Going from Nostalgia, to Irresolution and self-fulfilling prophecy, and finally to the acceptance of Anticipatory Resoluteness, we enter in a true time machine: our perspective on life is changed.»

« Frank Dufour »





5th Movements : The Unplayed Notes Factory

Final Movement – Release of the catalogue