Identification and singleness

Of course there comes a time when the practical matters need taking care of.   For me, that’s now – I really should get to practical matters now.

But there sometimes is a time amidst the pull of practical matters to think about what might be a larger picture, and I’ll take that time now so I can get back to those matters with clearer head. Hopefully.

The wish to identify everything, to record and analyze everything, in a big sea of data, is dependent at some level on 1) things being identifiable in the first place and 2) representations being useful enough to act upon — especially at that scale.

From a practical standpoint, these are sensible things to do. At some point, one must admit that a city map is a city map, and one must be oriented to it.

However, the certainty of orientation in a city is not quite the same as the certainty of being in the city yourself. And the more virtuality there is in the representation, the more one is likely to feel unstable at root, and a bit lost in the game-like mapping of the world.

And there is a bit of this problem in the on/off basis for digital representation. At a certain level, there is an absolute identification of a single thing at the very bottom, and that must be somewhat false.

You can sense a reaction to this problem in the popular tilt toward ‘non-binary’ living (especially around gender issues). But it seems to lead to atomisation of identity around ever-smaller units.

I suspect that it is one of the jobs of music, which circumvents the possibility of absolute identification by being invisible, to puncture this absoluteness.

Which is why I should get back to the practical matters of my own music work, I suppose.


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