Electronic displays are suspended in Plexiglas tanks filled with honey, thinned blood and water. The text runs continuously from one display to the next.
The language and the object signified by it are not the same: the language summarizes the essence of phenomena, concepts and things that are named by it, but the message it carries is invariably distorted by the emotions of the speaker/writer and as such reflect the structure of his/her mental language. Language is stuck in a trap and is unable to get to reality. It never expresses the truth – at best, it can be capable only of “representing” it.
The “effect” of any given text is a result of how any phrase contained therein relates to all other phrases that exist: “Each word lights up the next one, in the same manner a flame lights up a fuse.” As these relationships extend beyond the specific text and encompass the rest of the language, a creator of a text does not have any influence on its meaning. The source of meaning within a language is contained in “structures” of such relationships, rather than in the meaning of any given expression; an expression in itself simply does not convey any real substance. Expressions are products of culture, and as such they have no basis in reality.
No meaning can really be captured, because it arises from relationships that have been established or reconstituted quite recently and as such can never be complete. This inevitably makes any reading of any text “interpretation” and “dis-interpretation” at the same time; in fact, it is pointless to distinguish between the terms that, according to the same theory, are irrelevant.
The words have no equivalent in any independent reality; they only signify themselves. Any statement can refer only to the experience of a person who makes it.
Misinterpretation can be more interesting than an interpretation that comes from an author of a statement, because it is less dependent on what the author “meant to say” and more on how it is understood.
In our minds the truth gets confused too often with usefulness, which in turn means legitimizing one’s selfish and contradictory opinions; for there is no statement, including a false one, which would not be deemed useful by someone. The never-ending devaluation of the concept of permanence brings together a variety of qualities that are lost, rare or threatened; it creates a common denominator for all things and states that are solid, durable and stable. The best days for all these features are clearly in the past.
The solution to this paradox seems to lie in another general entity – in the language; or rather in yet another paradox, arising from the use of language.
Language can be used to talk about objects, but it is also a blade that cuts off and separates us from the things themselves, from their immediate presence. Using words as yarn, we can weave a fabric – but it will never fully represent the reality, neither one that we ourselves experience nor that experienced by any other speakers of a language. As much as credibility and veracity are concerned, these “non-depicting fabrics” do not differ greatly from the rest of the phenomena that surround us. And so by the means of language we can experience the world which we were removed from, the world in which we do not participate; the world that exists – that could exist – when we are no more; one that existed before us. This world is horrifying: it belittles and dismisses everything we do, or can do. An unequivocal refusal of admission to this world is the most painful form of rejection.
There are verbal structures, however – these verbal tanks of sorts, available in the pharmacy of language – which contain not only the rejection but also an antidote. The addition of this antidote makes the pain of passing bearable, by adding a feeling of eternal life: this way the finite and the infinite intertwine: a moment blends with eternity. If this life is still worth living, it is thanks to conditional sentences: they are the only ones capable of reconstructing or changing the past, the present and the future (by redefining coordinates of pragmatic reality).
The only hope we have lies in the grammar. The sentences displayed in continuous streak inside the tanks (the first of which contains honey, the second diluted blood, and the third water) are Wittgenstein quotations. We acquire the sense of futility along with that of absurdity, and of fear, and of hope; this is probably the best deal humanity has made in its entire history. The invention of eternity is one peculiar and unique magic trick that language is playing on us: it becomes a tie, a rope, a joining force that binds a life which will end soon with the world which will last forever.
The viewer’s perception gets overpowered by the simultaneous attack of sentences and words, continuously flowing one after another; the viewer must make a choice between two different ways of perception: either to concentrate on the mosaic of words and sentences, or to read the same words / sentences as they appear in different “environments” (honey, diluted blood and water).