Inside the hermetic chamber of the sculpture White Lilly lies a mind devoid of the immediate corporal experiences we take for granted on the outside. This mind has forfeited the tactile means to differentiate one from the other, thought from experience, even itself from everything else. Thus out of reach, approachable by imagination alone, it might appear as a faint echo of Jonah in the belly of the wale, Inanna descending into the underworld or Odin hung from the windy tree. The mind within appears a stranger to cultural codes and symbolical structures, almost emerges their other, as if in a state of nature.
The artifacts of Carrier Waves seem to have come together by an own, inner necessity, to merely express their own individual substances, from the veiny networks of +72 and -9595, the frail flakes of mica silicate and earthy manure of Arco, to the smooth metallic surface of the Tail and the coarseness of its horsehair. In more ways than one, these are things somewhat akin to the skin. Although the skin is the organ which most apparently separates your body from those of others – manifesting corporal individuality through division – the skin inherently strives to transcend this separation. For unlike the voice or the gaze, the skin is inevitably touched while touching. This tactile process of differentiation and association, separation and transcendence, is imitated by the vast and obscure process we know as culture. Like the skin tangibly separates the you from the I, culture produces bodies of symbolical difference, assigning them significance and separates one from the other.
The mind hidden within the White Lilly appears unreachable as it floats somewhere beyond cultural systems of differentiation. Yet these systems are somehow the very means with which we try to reach the hidden mind. Though adrift on strange waters of formless pleasures, it nevertheless seems to gravitate back to the absolute immediacy of neural experience, to cool angular white walls and minerals, amalgamations of metal, hair and horse-shit. The artifacts of Carrier Waves are these occurrences where the siteless becomes sited, the shapeless attains shape and mind, ultimately, becomes corporeal experience. The material opacity of these occurrences and the sheer otherness of their momentary manifestation as Carrier Waves, implore the cultural mind to approach them as if itself were its hidden, White Lilly-other: to be porous, translucent and osmotic, allowing itself to be touched while touching. The cultural process of differentiation and association is, if performed as Carrier Waves, ultimately a practice of transubstantiation and transcendence, where neither mind nor matter holds priory over the other, but instead flow back and forth in mutual states of potentiality and actuality. Though we have learned how to use our skin, culture remains a process we have only begun to explore.
Jonatan Ahlm Brenander
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