The Mortiloquist (A Sequel to Cyclonopedia)
27 Jul 2009

Aristotle's brazen head

A sequel to Cyclonopedia and the second installment in the Blackening trilogy:
The Mortiloquist
A barbaric interpretation of the life and problems of Western philosophy.
Feasting on the theatrical resources of Greek tragedy, Jacobean revenge drama, grand guignol theater, the theater of cruelty, aktionism (especially Herman Nitsch���s the Fall of Jerusalem and Orgien Mysterien theater) and employing the dialogue-commentary of scholasticism, The Mortiloquist is a cross-breed of play and philosophy. In this textual mongrel, the life of Western philosophy is gutted out by outlanders and barbarically staged.
Taking place in an alternative history of the Greek Empire during a hypothetical siege of Athens, The Mortiloquist begins with a heated debate among three philosophers. Aristotle, Speusippus and Andronosos have refused to flee from the Academy. Oblivious to the commotion in the streets, they are arguing the impact of Speusippus’ ‘alien causality’ on generation and corruption of ideas. As those who represent the philosophical militancy and political ethics of the Greek Empire, the philosophers are put into an ordeal of unspeakable cruelty at the hands of the barbarian invaders. They are forced into freshly gutted out carcasses of three oxen; the animals are then sewn up to trap the philosophers in a way that only their heads protrude.
Composed in the form of an inverse chiaroscuro, the stage consists of a tenebrous foreground and a luminous background. Three animal corpses lay in the foreground, from each carcass a chattering human head has protruded. Each act begins with monotonous De Sadesque depictions of barbarous savageries taking place at the stage background. Set against this chaotic but silent background, conversations between the three philosophers who are trapped in dead animals are audible and appear in the form of scholastic colloquies and theatrical dialogues.
In The Mortiloquist, each scene begins with a generation of a new entity from the putrefying animal carcasses. In line with Henry of Langenstein’s unsettling remarks regarding the possibility of a dog being generated from the corpse of an ox or a horse, the oxen carcasses in which the philosophers have been trapped change to canine and fox corpses among other unheard-of creative forms. Ideas and philosophical debates are renewed and shifted according to the germinal power of putrefaction and the possibility of the infinite deformity of forms in decay. The history of philosophy is, barbarically and problematically, revealed to be a differential form of arborescent emptiness which is in the process of blackening its vitalistic twists ��� a tree of rot whose supernal branches stretch toward the One and whose roots reinvent their own tortuous earth.
[This is an ongoing project which I am gradually developing.]