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Ponder Point 5

23 Chunks of Being:

Gregory Grieve’s Experiments in Transmitting Pure actuality

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The communication model of Shannon and Weaver (1949)

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IF I COULD SAY IT, I WOULDN’T NEED TO DANCE IT: For Grieve, the actuality of reality cannot be represented in language, it cannot be directly looked at, and always defers and refers to something else, dancing on the tip, the events horizon, of your conceptual eye-tongue (llygad-dafod). Yet, because the noise of pure actuality breaks transmission, statics, and glitches, it can be perceived and communicated. It can be entered and gone through. Grieve understands transmission in two ways. The first is the Shannon and Weaver Model of Communication, which is a mathematical theory of communication that argues that human communication can be broken down into 6 key concepts: sender, encoder, channel, noise, decoder, and receiver. Grieve plays with this model in his film, Transmission 23 (2020), which transmits Grieve’s fear of Covid-19 through a filtering haze of Heideggerian philosophy, Buddhism, and the extension of the Neanderthals. The second is the Zen Buddhist notion that there exists a special transmission “outside scriptures” that "does not stand upon words.” This second notion of transmission can be seen in The Buddha Holds Up a Flower (2013), a photo collage that depicts a smartphone whose screen is the image of a rose, and  Transmission (2022), which depicts transmission as a blinding light. In fact, this notion of special transmission can be traced back to Grieve’s first piece of experiential art, Ur-God Telephone Kite (1971), which when he was a child, he assembled to form a direct attempt to engage the divine.

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