Posted by: glue | July 31, 2008

When Concepts Dream

The dictionary of concepts compiled throughout the history of literacy becomes an acquifer for electracy. Conductive inference works across the categorial boundaries of essences, in the manner of dreamwork (condensation and displacement), following the track of encryption and its decipherment documented in the case of the Wolf Man’s magic word, and Derrida’s secret. The manner of inference undertaken spontaneously by neurotics (?) provides an outline for an imaging rhetoric.

Gorgonzola, without the Zola

Gorgonzola, without the Zola

For example, why “Gorgonzola” for the picture in the emblem created for the Superfund model? The choice was generated using the anasemic escape from a crypt.

1. Name the value structuring the narrative version of the disaster (A Civil Action, starring John Travolta).— Perseverance (the lawyer sticks wth the case against the corporation).

2. Use a dictionary to inventory other terms in the neighborhood of “perseverance”.—A number of promising displacement lines offered themselves: persian carpet; Perseus as constellation, the Perseid (a shower of meteors appearing in August radiating from a point in the constellation Perseus); perse, a very deep shade of blue. Pick one: Perseus, slayer of Medusa. Medusa is one of the Gorgon sisters.

3. Use one of the defining properties of the neighbor word as the jump word, to leap to a different syllable system. Gorgon.

4. Select the emblem sign from a neighbor of the jump word. Gorgonzola.

5. Proof effect? (bonus). The materiality of Gorgonzola cheese not only manifested the structure of the “fold” as theorized by Gilles Deleuze, but also is within the image family of poros structures with karst limestone. There is an explicit resemblance between the acquifer material of the Superfund site and the cheese. The cheese may be used to allude, enigmatically, to the disaster.

The implication is that the secret may be used also from the image side, to jump to anasemically related semantic domains. Image/text passages may be created either by using the dictionary jump (to find images) or image search to find concepts.


  1. Constellation

    Another proof was available by following “Perseus” as constellation. “Constellation” provided a guiding image for some members of the Frankfurt School (Walter Benjamin, Theodor Adorno) in a method for using concepts expressively rather than as classifications. A method for getting a conceptual discourse to show more than it says is not through direct content or theme, but by means of the relationships created among the terms, the configuration that evokes a figure the way a group of stars suddenly form a shape (a story), such as “Perseus” or “Orion.”

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