Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Last Post

Tout probleme humain demande a etre considere a partir du temps. L’ideal etant que toujours le present serve a construire l’avenir.
  Franz Fanon

In general, I try to distinguish between what one calls the future and “l’avenir.” The future is that which – tomorrow, later, next century – will be. There’s a future which is predictable, programmed, scheduled, foreseeable. But there is a future, l’avenir (to come) which refers to someone who comes whose arrival is totally un-expected. For me, that is the real future. That which is totally unpredictable. The Other who comes without my being able to anticipate their arrival. So if there is a real future beyond this other known future, it’s l’avenir in that it’s the coming of the Other when I am completely unable to foresee their arrival.
Jacques Derrida

What can be described can happen.
Ludwig Wittgenstein

I arrived to my friend’s house to find that the “piano is not working”. That’s a very metaphysical question that reveals a certain relation of the person with the object. Or to bring Marx immediately into the conversation, is a sentence that shows that the piano is full of metaphysical niceties.

I had never opened a piano before, and without even my laptop to google it, after short inspection the full mechanism was in plain view. It took me a while to realize that the nobs at the sides were threaded and after taking them out, the whole mechanism was out of the piano and ready to be inspected in detail.  The guys tried to take a look and broke two of the leather straps that hold the action in place, I left the piano alone and went for dinner. After dinner, I took another look and realized that there was a small piece of red felt missing in the mechanism in the few keys that were not working. Next morning I went to the city, bought hide glue, red felt and a screwdriver for 60cents and in 15 minutes I had the first key back in game.

The not so metaphysical red felt

“What was the problem?” somebody asked. “There is a piece of felt missing in the action that doesn’t let the key move the back hammer.” What can be described can be fixed.

Compare the two sentences, on the one hand the piano doesn’t work, and on the other, there is a piece of felt missing in the action of keys 1, 14, 55, 59, and 79. The first sentence assumes the metaphysical dimension of the piano as something that exists independent of myself and that is out of order. There is nothing we can do, we need to call the expert (or leave it there for lack of money, as my friend did for a year and the previous owner for a few more). On the second case, you need hide glue, felt and a screw driver and 15 minutes per action to fix it. There is no metaphysical entity here, but simply something that needs glue.

Let’s look at this painting. I have no idea who made it, found it in a youtube video of some bach concerto or the like.

It’s the building of the city. Or the building of modernity if you want. A half dead tree in the front, stones and timber to build new houses. The sky. Street dogs and people passing by. Not any kind of people also. Rich merchants and a beggar; workers are nowhere to be seen, maybe in the back covered in dust.

The construction of modernity. The rich merchants were just building their houses but in truth they were creating the fertile ground for colonial expansion, death and ruthless capitalism around the globe.

I think of all this as the hours pass and the flight nears. The tools in my bag, the wood in the house, the people around... all the tasks my mind goes over and over again trying to organize the future to create something I cannot really foresee: l'avenir.


That was it. Now just wait for the plane (I'm boarding in 30min) and try to sleep some of the 18 hours that I will be in the air. See you on the other side of the pond. In the south one.


  1. Have a good trip.

    1. thanks! up to now it's been fine. Let's see how the customs strike in chile looks like.