Sunday, March 4

Double Images

I apologize for the fact that I initially read this editorial cartoon as being about our discussion of the Paul Chan studio visit incident. This at first might seem like an allegorical reading but it's not. Neither story is being read through or in terms of the other. The cartoon appeared in the February 24th-March 2nd issue of The Economist (unsigned in keeping with their usual editorial policy of the magazine). We posted our discussion on February 15th. I find instances of synchronicity of this sort intriguing when they happen to me personally. Supernatural explanations are tempting but I'm more inclined to think it has something to do with the selective nature of our attention at any given moment. Anyway, I initially read "an American chap on eBay" as a reference to Chan not George Bush. I of course immediately realized that I was misreading the cartoon which was, nonetheless, producing two distinct gestalts for me. And each gestalt has nothing to do with the other. If I focus my attention on one it obscures the other. This intrigues me. Is it a non-retinal analogue of one of those "classic double images" both Salvador Dali and Jasper Johns seem so fond of?

1 comment:

de Selby said...

However, the two gesalts of the linked image actually do come together as a unified third gestalt -- the optical illusion of the double image. It is in this way that they are unified and resolved. Unlike this linked image I may have grafted another gestalt, a personal one, on to the public or popular gestalt the cartoonist clearly intends to activate. The other gestalt exists only through my personal and anecdotal instance that it is there. And it is completely supplemental (in a Derridean sense). It is based entirely on my personal context (and the selective focus of my attention at this moment).