20050601

Blinded & Annihilated: Homage to a Dying Replicant

The things these eyes have seen...the dying replicant's monologue in the climactic moments of Blade Runner marks with this synecdoche, in proper keeping with its machine nature, a distinction between the sensory orbs and the ephemeral self that both retains their data and values it as the delimiting coordinates of singular and irreplicable experience.

What these eyes have seen...the rugged and overgrown surface of the ancient Roman road, la ruta de plata, the silver road, on the southern outskirts of Salamanca, just a few yards east of the modern highway, stretching on through the grass and trees to the horizon. Stones and seascapes and hundreds of thousands of pages of data gathered, processed, and encoded by other ephemeral selves. The ordering principle of this filter has been to open the aperture wide, until the eye is blinded and annihilated by light. I, blinded and annihilated by light...
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What these eyes have seen...the gray whale, too close to the boat, breaking the surface only yards outside the breakwater in Los Angeles, flying fish, phosphorescence, and porpoises without number in feeding frenzy with air support by brown pelicans and waves of sea lion reinforcements crashing and arching their way in from all directions.
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These eyes have seen...volumes. What is written, encoded here, is only a gesture standing in for perimeter and range. The boundaries between one voyage out and the next are permeable, the distinction between living somewhere and only visiting is wholly obliterated by time. I am alive, a visitor. What these eyes see is what is before them, and when they are blinded it is by what has come before them.