Academic journal article Afterimage

The Illusion of the Beginning: A Theory of Drawing and Animation

Academic journal article Afterimage

The Illusion of the Beginning: A Theory of Drawing and Animation

Article excerpt

It may be that universal history is the history of a handful of metaphors. The purpose of this note will be to sketch a chapter of this history.

Jorge Luis Borges [1]

One could maintain that before having been produced the world was seduced, that it exists, as all things and ourselves, only by virtue of having been seduced, Strange precession, which hangs over all reality to this day: the world has been refuted and led astray from the beginning.... Because it has been led astray from the beginning, it is impossible that the world should ever verify or be reconciled itself.... This original deviation is truly diabolical.

Jean Baudrillard [2]

Where and how does it begin...? A question of origin. But a meditation upon the trace should undoubtedly teach us that there is no origin, that is to say simple origin; that the questions of origin carry with them a metaphysics of presence.

Jacques Derrida [3]

In the beginning to discover you've been preceded by another--the end--would be to discover the end of the beginning as simple, pure beginning, as well as to discover the end of the end as simple, pure end. For neither beginning nor end is simple or pure. Any assumption otherwise is itself the illusion of the beginning, as it is the illusion of the end. [4]

Whether it is Jorge Luis Borges's universal history as a handful of metaphors; Jean Baudrillard's Seduction, Illusion, Evil, fatality, reversibility, destiny; or Jacques Derrida's dissemination, diff[acute{e}]rance, trace, trace structure, the supplement, iterability, the graphic, writing, the parergon, the hymen, spacing, breaching, incision, the remainder, the remains, cryptic incorporation, the ruin and so on, we must always deal with a beginning whose logics and processes are anything but simple in fact or in explaination. [5] We must always deal with a beginning that is irretrievably lost--in ruins, aporetic, abyssal, a regressus ad infinitum (almost), the asymptote of Zeno's Paradox in reverse--a beginning that can never be revealed as such and whose "revealing" is at the same time always a reveiling.

Standing in for and repeating the irrevocably lost beginning, every beginning (including this beginning) is always already itself a rebeginning of the beginning. A rebeginning always has too much and too little to say about the beginning and is always too soon and too late for it, never coincides with it, never is adequate to it, never unveils it as such--a beginning of necessity redrawing and reanimating other redrawings and reanimatings of a beginning that is itself a redrawing and reanimating.

"The play of the supplement, the repetition of the deviation can go on ad infinitum, or almost...," writes Derrida. [6] Always the remainder, the vestige, the remains, the trace, in supplementary; substitutive play. In the beginning, in every beginning (including that of animation, of cinema, etc.), is the trace, the retracing/retracting, and its reverse anagram--the [acute{e}]cart, the stepping, the turning aside, the deviation, the displacement, the distortion, the distraction, the draw back, the withdrawal, the diversion, the seduction. In the beginning, in every beginning, is the blind spot, the black hole, the crypt, the specter that haunts it, the secret. In the beginning, in every beginning, is the originary deviation of the trace of which Derrida writes. In the beginning, in every beginning, is the originary deviation of seduction of which Baudrillard writes. In the beginning, in every beginning, is the drawn--the trace, from L. trahere. to draw; seduction, from L. seductio. to draw astray. One might say that in the dawn is the drawn. In drawing, in the drawing of anything, the sketcher is at all times being drawn in ways that exceed him, in ways that overflow with too much and too little at the same time.

Such a beginning bedevils everyone, including the analyst, for whom it marks and determines the limits of his ability to treat and account for it and all that is implicated in it (and what is not implicated in the beginning? …

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