Chapter Three: Metaphorism

by stronged

Bogost continues on where he left off charting one’s ontograph in the hope to ‘first trace the edges of the device’s qualities, nipping at the event horizon that conceals its notes from public view,’ (70) before proceeding on to into metaphorizing each device. It has become clear that Bogost’s Alien Phenomenology is about how we ‘must break with some of our own modes of knowing’ (67) in order to understand the world from a new perspective.

As he explains, ‘the only way to perform alien phenomenology is by analogy: the bat, for example, operates like a submarine. The redness hues like fire.’ (64)

The shortcomings of science, as Bruno Latour puts it, ‘”is forced to explain one marvel with another, and that one with a third. It goes on until it looks just like a fairy tale.”‘ (62)

‘the characterization of an experience through supposedly objective evidence and external mechanisms leads us farther from, not closer to, an understanding of the experience of an entity.’ (63) – This was one of the steep learning curves I experienced when first making short films. I found it increasingly easy to be caught up in the technical aspects of the craft, rather than focus on the intuitive aspects of storytelling. This would often lead to me neglecting my cast, instead, favouring the process of choosing which lens to use, or what angle to shoot from, etc. I would imagine once you have a firm grasp on the technological aspects of filmmaking you are able to then make these decisions as second nature, enabling you to focus on the story elements of the narrative.

‘anthropomorphizing helps us underscore the differences between ourselves and the objects around us – “Maybe it’s worth running the risks associate with anthropomorphizing (superstition, the divinization of nature, romanticism)”‘ – Jane Bennett (65)

‘When one object caricatures another, the first grasps the second in abstract, enough for the one to make some sense of the other given its own internal properties.’ (66) – The interaction involves an exchange of elements, in essence articulating the entanglement you yourself have with the object by defining your perception of it, and therefore your relationship to it.

‘metarealism = “earnest attempt to capture…the realism of metaphor.”‘ – Mikhail Epstein (66)

‘A metaphor is just a trope, not a copy.’ (72) = a recurrent theme of expression or motif.

‘Whether deontological or consequentialist, moral standards sit on the inside of the unit human being;’ (73)

‘If a unit is a system, then objects appear, generate, collapse, and hide both within and without it with great regularity.’ (75) ‘beings often need to eat or molt or burn or dissolve.’ (74) – The recurrent theme that destruction is necessary for creation is one that intrigues me. Perhaps with an increasing realization of this ideology I will cease to become more ‘precious’ with artefacts and projects, allowing them a chance to breath on their own accord and therefore internally combust and regenerate in new forms throughout the creative process.

‘what responsibility do I have to it through my having uttered it?’ (75)

‘When we ask after the ethics of objects, we are really asking if moral qualities exist as sensual qualities.’ (77)

‘Levinas claims ethics as first philosophy…methaphysics of intersubjectivity.’ (78)

‘Timothy Morton observes that matters of ethics defer to an “ethereal beyond.’ (79) – I always seem to automatically champion any nod to the ethereal, the celestial, in the hope of understanding that there is something more than purely the physical realm. I have experienced that this is the case, that there is an energetic plain of existence, however unquantifiable, that we seem to disregard as New Age mumbo jumbo. However, I firmly believe that there is something that binds us together that operates outside of the physical realm. How can you account for syncronicity/coincidence? Or luck? Or intuition?

‘ethics itself is revealed to be a hyperobject: a massive, tangled chain of objects lampooning one another through weird relation, mistaking their own essences for that of the alien objects they encounter, exploding the very idea of ethics to infinity.’ (79)

‘One can never entirely escape the recession into one’s own centrism.’ (80) – Why is it so difficult to separate our essence from our observations? Is it impossible to pry ourselves from our experiences?

‘metaphoristic daisy chains set up nested metaphorical renderings.’ ‘distorted understanding of its neighbour seen through the lens of the first.'(81)