Sinkholes in Signification
Essay in collaboration with Daniel Mann
Commissioned by Sonic Acts Academy, 2017
Sinkholes puncture the landscape. Dispersed between the solid desert mountain range above and the oily seawater below, sinkholes slash into the muted representation. They dwell below the two-dimensional image, biting into it, tearing its thin surface to expose the decay that slowly expands beneath. Sinkholes are clearly defined – we see, fear, and fall into them – yet, at the same time, they defy signification, becoming intelligible only as an absence. As animated signatures of lack, sinkholes open up and put into question sealed narratives; they unearth what has been eradicated and buried in time. Developed from the sinkhole, this talk is devoted to defining the assemblage of forces that converge around it and to proposing an adequate political language that might allow us to address the presence of absence. Consolidating multiple temporal scales, sinkholes open up a space to speak of the vacuum at the heart of the image: its very lack and self-negation.