The Living Klein Bottle House of Time

Tue Sep 26, 2006

Is the title of a painting by Paul Laffoley. One of its features is the Agnosticon, described in Laffoley’s The Phenomenology of Revelation (Kent Fine Art, 1989) this way:

The purpose of this device is to allow its user to engineer their doubt or faith processes. In my opinion, it is necessary to engineer doubt and faith in relation to accelerated space-time frames of reference that would be encountered with the time machine, in order to survive and perceive these unfamiliar world-views. The basis of the Agnosticon is the heptahedron, which is a seven-sided convex polyhedron made from a piezoelectric crystal shaped like an octahedron an electromagnetically charged along its major axes and surfaces. As a structured singularity, the heptahedron is kept isolated from other singularities so that it can function specifically in relation to human beings. (20)

You can find a reproduction in Grand Street #60, “Paranoia,” and perhaps elsewhere on the internet. I don’t know. Speaking of “structured singularities,” I noted that Cosma had recommended at some point Richard F. Hamilton’s The Social Miscontruction of Reality (Yale, 1996). Though the book has interesting details on Weber and the German elections, I thought that the chapter on Foucault was neither new nor convincing; and the introduction seemed to go over too lightly (and with faint contempt) several difficult subjects. Hamilton quotes Bourdieu’s The Logic of Practice on “the structured structures predisposed to function as stucturing structures” (226 n6), for example. What you find when you look at the text, however, is a relatively pellucid (given that it’s been translated) definition of an emergent property.