“It is a delimitation of spaces and times, of the visible and the invisible, of speech and noise, that simultaneously determines the place and the stakes of politics as a form of experience. Politics revolves around what is seen and what can be said about it, around who has the ability to see and the talent to speak, around the properties of spaces and the possibilities of time.”
Jacques Rancière, The Distribution of the Sensible
The precision of the prism. Flat, grey surfaces observed in isometric space. Before the tower or skyscraper these shapes perhaps signified workmanship or construction. The plank of wood and the blacksmith’s chisel. Light leaking over perfect edges of wood or iron. Skyscrapers are fucking big. They dwarf the scaffold, the workman’s elbow. The bumpy curve of the human form has no place here. The human is dust to the skyscraper.
In 2001 two towers tumbled. A sacrifice that seemed to bring the edifice of capitalism down. Sacred realm was recapitulated as skeletal absence, as a fragile shell of flat, grey surfaces observed from the perspective of an ant. A grain of dust watching as the imitation of capitalism imploded. As representation came back to dust. A negation of the creation myth.
How profane these figures seem now. Banal empty towers in an imaginary space. We ants look back at the twin prisms, seared into memory by film, cinema, media. They are pornographic, these bodies. Images of their cold flat grey exteriors reserves for us the promise of imitation, yet they are impossible to imitate in print and celluloid. Mimesis has broken.
These flat grey bodies help hide our profanities.