The Racket #18 : OBSESSION
Poster by Ryan Tovani
04.23.2018 - ADOBE BOOKS - 7PM
We find it difficult to actually write about obsession in the abstract, as obsession is less a form or shape to view from a distance, but rather the fabric of our lives. We don't view ourselves as obsessed, we just are, quite deeply, obsessed. With words, - written, spoken or carved into wood - with image, with sound, with song, with the small human interactions of our daily lives, with Japanese love motels, with the golden age of rap, with Dutch rolling tobacco, with the memoirs of alcoholism, with 50-foot figures sprayed against a concrete wall, with the texture of paper, with 60s spacemen and women, with, with, with. Obsession is not stacks of withering pulp fiction left in a corner, a runnel burned through faded newspapers, a record reduced to naught by repetition. Or it is this, it is every song ever recorded by an obscure Swedish folk artist culled from the internet, it is the careful sectioning of our schedules and our lives to allow our obsessions to breath - it is very much this, but we see no difference between the composition of our fixations and the makeup of our lives.
We often wonder if our lives move along with the looping, repetitive cycles of our obsessions, or if our obsessions are the force that shapes us. Do we enjoy life because we consume literature, or have we been formed by our (potentially) unhealthy adherence to narrative structure, to the sweeping lives of fictional character? Are we better because of the hours spent in the dark caves of movie theaters or have the celluloid images replaced what we believe to be memories? Is our life an obsessive one, or have our obsessions become our life?
There is a schedule to our obsessions - neat and orderly, chiseled into the moments our daily activity - to when we obsess over some poorly lit filmic alley, to when we devour fantasy novels by the bagful, to when a single song becomes fused to our emotional being, a soundtrack to a single moment. And when we look at the schedule, when we see the minutes attributed to our obsessive pursuits run parallel to the minutes of our days, it is quite apparent - our obsessions are who we are.