I rarely propose assignments. I rarely do them. I do not expect an enthusiastic response. That is not the Lichtenberg way. Our way is toss off whatever it may be with only smothered hope. Followed by a smirk. And then walk away quickly.
I propose a structure that may inspire a creative response. I’m mostly interested in whether or not the structure is useful in any and all media or though any and all modes of expression. Need the structure be explicit within the work? Good question. Visible or invisible? Subject or silent support of some other subject? Are we always aware of what stages the supporting mise en scene of our every thought, revery or effort?
The structure is built on reflection. Looking into a mirror and seeing not only oneself but also, behind oneself, another. Another looking perhaps at one’s back or at the reflection of one’s eyes. And so, what may follow? Might one try to look into the eyes of the reflected other to discern what the other sees, to see if the other sees one’s attempt to look? Everything would then circulate about the question: at any moment, does the other share the beam of sight with the one looking? A beam shared though reflected.
You can ignore everything after my initial sketch of the lines of sight, after the first three sentences of the previous paragraph. To imply that a question might reside within this structure is an imposition, I realize. Certainly a possibility within the structure, but not necessary for creative exploitation. Don’t attach anything to it unless it’s useful. You need not let this structure lead to questions of any sort.
A mundane though uniquely modern phenomenon. Mirrors certainly are part of the architecture of mind and self in the modern world. And I say modern (said it twice, now, really three times, heaven help me) fully aware that glassy reflection appears in myth, theology and other pre-Renaissance moments of thought. An aside, this paragraph, a ruffling of an otherwise smooth and unfussy texture. Or a skidding waver of the beam.
It occurs to me to add that, for the purposes of this assignment, I consider philosophy to be a mode of creative expression.