The Bindery Projects, St Paul

I. Plot

I am perplexed, forgetting why I entered the room. Why am I here? As if reason stands separate from action.

When asked “Why did you do this?” I recollect a series of events, which appear to inexorably lead to my present circumstance.  Does my mind work back from effect to cause seeking a preliminary intention, or does this narrative reveal itself in its entirety like a constellation—a line that retrospectively binds disparate points in time and space?

If asked again “Why did you do this?” do I produce a new constellation or refer to my previous plan?

“What is the plot?” As if a plot, like a key, is separate from a story and yet necessary for its comprehension.  A key without a lock is useless.

There are many stories with the same plot and a subplot in every story.  Perhaps this is the relation between intention and narration—action encompasses both.

Then there are narratives with no plot at all.

II. Corpse

A mystery begins with a corpse

A chalk line that delineates the prone body—a minimum boundary that separates figure from ground. Eventually this boundary too disappears.

The chalk line inscribes a closed loop. Every line that leads to it and unravels from it is an entangled segment of this Zero Knot. A line  with an infinite number of entangled appearances that always resolves into a loop—zero.

Every form of presence has its analogous form of absence. Remove the word “form” from the previous sentence.

1-1≠1, 1-1≠2, 1-1≠3, 1-1≠4, 1-1≠5, etc.

III. Property

The stray dog that circles a site the size of its body.  Asleep, invisible until stepped upon it bursts into flight, baring its teeth or squealing. The volatile and vulnerable claim of the sleeping dog.

Before this was my land, there was land.  Before there was land, there was nothing.  Yet, knowing nothing leaves me ignorant of concepts such as “my,” “this” and “land.”

Before this was his land it was their land.

“With false documents and brute force the land was extorted from them.” While the concept of ownership may be fundamentally unstable, this instability does not displace the ethical issue of rightful ownership.  The two concepts are irresolvable but interconnected.

The first landowners claimed a plot, then circumscribed and protected it.  Their original claim had no foundation—We have substituted divine decree for this absence.

Law is both the means of instituting and of maintaining private property.

Then there are those who occupy the fragile margin of this law. Their property is provided only so long as they are useful or invisible.

The visible claim of the squatter lays bare the primitive law of property, a law that is hidden by the map, the decree and the document. This plot is mine.

The sleeping dog has no right besides its insistent occupation of space.  Yet, we know that this may be wrenched from it in a moment. What is this existence, this right to be, that precedes (or exceeds) property?