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Borders and Creativity: perspectives from an expanded reason

By Fernando Zalamea; translated by Nathan Coombs

The order of the day is a return to an expanded reason. Reason reduced to language
(an acceptance of bounded logos) has limited the spectrum of human understanding.
The identification of understanding with language has led to other ways of knowing
being discarded. Reason is also needed to contemplate complex imagery (eidola) in
their contradictory concurrence; it then opens an extended space (topos) where a
pendular swing from language and imagery, attentive as much to their transits as to
their obstructions, permits us to better point to the diversity of reason. The topos of
the logos-eidos crossing cannot be understood from a perspective that reduces it to
solely two grand polarities. In fact, in ancient Greece, behind the nearly two hundred
nominal composites, whose second elements include logos, along with the sense of
logos like “word” or “discourse”, logos equally refers to the notions of
“agglomeration” or “meeting”; reason deserves all the richness of the world that
comes to collect in images, for it is more unfathomable, evanescent or fragile than it
seems. The closing of eyes and the disenchanted submersion of reason in the
slightest wandering of language, promoted by various aspects of ‘post’-modernism,
deserves to be reassessed.

This is the final chapter of Fernando Zalamea, Razón de la frontera y fronteras de la razón (Bogota:
Editorial Universidad de Colombia, 2010), pp. 107-122, a book in which Zalamea expores his ideas
with respect to the work of Peirce, Florenski, Marey, Lispector, Veira da Silva and Tarkovsky. Where
in Synthetic Philosophy of Contemporary Mathematics Zalamea stresses that the philosophy of
mathematics should not be restricted to a reductive examination of first-order logic and Zermelo-
Fraenkel set theory, therewith ignoring the geometrical turn of contemporary (post-1950)
mathematics, here similar arguments are applied to the visual arts. From aesthetics the book goes on
to consider the fluid nature of reason. Although reason is typically associated with the deductive
capacities of language, against this conception Zalamea makes a case for an ‘expanded reason’
embodied in the visual medium, one that captures the pendular motion between imagination and
reason, or the sense of Platonic logos if considered (in a heterodox way) as a constant transit between
the eidos and the eidola. (Footnotes and figures have been omitted from the translation.)
I owe many thanks to Trent Knebel for his helpful corrections and comments on my first draft of the
translation. Particularly useful was his discussion of the way in which Zalamea uses the term ‘más
allá’, which might have a religious/spiritualist ring to it, or alternatively the sense of an excessive
immanence to relations, both lost if urbanely translated into English as simply ‘moreover’. The
Spanish term has thus been placed in square brackets alongside its translation upon its every
occurrence. How to correctly translate this term will require discussion with the author, given that the
interpretation of Zalamea’s argument can vary depending upon how the term is construed.

Starting with the field of mathematics – a space of the imagination open to the free
handling of hypotheses, only subject to elementary rules of consistency – it should
be observed that this agrees with comprehending how it has been completely
distorted by the claimed identification of reason with discursive demonstration.
Quite the contrary, mathematics requires constantly living in the border between the
test and the hypothesis, between deduction and abduction. The traversal between
groups of written tests and fragments of conjectural images constitutes the lifeforce
of the discipline. Mathematical creativity requires physical images, diagrams drawn
on boards or on paper, and material ties between diverse signs, in order to propose
new connections between the underlying concepts. Without the abductive flight of
the conjectures and diagrammatic images, and, without the concrete hold of
deductive control and testing frameworks, mathematics cannot achieve its amazing
success. Looking at mathematics from the outside, you lose the fundamental
imagery and imaginative dimension of the discipline.
Following Peirce’s classificatory ordering of the sciences, phenomenology (or
phaneroscopy) appears after mathematics, and covers phenomena universally in
their immediacy. There, the three Cenopythagorean Peirceian categories reflect the
swings of vision, requiring sensible immersion in the first as rational meditations of
the third; diverse obstructions in the coming and going action-reaction of secondness
are overcome thanks to ‘epiphanies’ first and to ‘fluxions’ third. After phenomenology,
the normative sciences – aesthetics, ethics, logic – cover the contrasts and
connections between images and words. Aesthetics studies the formation of
impressions and sensations consisting (primarily) of the appropriate summum bonum,
that, according to the guidelines of pragmatics, should be evolutionary, open and
general (versus fixed, determinate and particular). Peirce’s summum bonnum, which
can be described as a “continuous growth of potential”, then opens noteworthy
gates into the progressive enrichment of the logos-eidola transit. In fact, as we can see,
Pierce’s graphical logic exhibits in detail a surprising and powerful crossing between
visual reason and deductive imagination.
The multidimensional depth of the eidolon cannot be restricted to linguistic
descriptions. The iconostasis of Florensky, the chrono-photographs of Marey, the
between-the-lines of Lispector, the graphics of Viera da Silva, the long shots of
Tarkovsky, always refer to “something more” [“más allá"] than language, wherein
man not only approaches a certain understanding, rather, it has been accessed
precisely thanks to its detachment from the word, just as in the field of images –
following Florenski, Marey, Vieira or Tarkovsky – which are also exact and rigorous.
Imagination does not “grow continuously” when you release it from all mooring,
but, on the contrary, when it clings tightly to the soil of the “real”, since the tensions
in the ties are the place of the true energy of the configuration. The two faces of the

eidolon – the idea (eidos) and the concrete trail (tupos) – permit the interlacing of the
ideal and the real, the imagination and the rational. In the reason of images,
unknown to the reason of language, reason extends the potential of humankind.
One of the greatest strengths of images, and, consequently, of an expanded reason
where precise visual logics fit, consists in the peculiar capacity of the eidolon to
capture simultaneously – in fact, in the same optics – an interior, an exterior and a
border. The concrete traces of the passing of the mobile in the chrono-photographs
of Marey, in the thresholds and tears in the canvas of Vieira da Silva, in the fusion of
personalities in the passage of Tarkovsky’s takes, show the inescapable transits
amongst a profound diversity of images. The viewer acquires the immediate
consciousness of a multitude of overlapping planes. Although the etymological
wealth of words and the variety of multiple contexts in which they are used has a
similarly profound, opaque depth, and is very well hidden, it is in any case difficult
to access in the first instance. All the works of Lispector struggle to break from
within the same limits of the logos, showing the difficulty of access. The presence of
an inescapable abyss in images is, instead, immediately obvious. Already the
distance from the eyes to the world necessitates the use of multiple filters of
representation, but, also, any still image captured by these filters inevitably
introduces an undefined movement veiled between the “here” and the “there”.
Awareness of given polarities and of intermediate fields of strength between these
poles, explicit in Peirce, Florenski and Marey, combines in their work with a
methodical effort to unravel the lattices of forces from the inside out. In fact, an
image – “more there” [“mas alla”] than a word – in turn encourages and
contemplates their verse. In this coming and going between light and darkness,
between the positive and the negative, the important point is not so much the
situation’s “facts” of the “here” or the “there”, as much as how the dynamic image
provides the oscillation. When, in Peirce, on the reverse side of the sheet arise the
assertions of existential graphs the dotted cuts open areas of possibility, when, in
Florenski, reality arises in the reverse side of the plane in the warps of imaginary
numbers, when, with Marey, in the reverse of the black background of the
Physiological Station arise the traces of movement, we find ourselves before specific
configurations of the geometry of the situation requiring the use of topological tools
very sensitive to the dynamic transformation of the entities that still record their
The image and the word enrich us thanks to their different specificities. The
delimitation that provides the word, that partial clipping of the world, the
syntactical sharpening exercise that leads to a semantic difference, the symbolic
depth of the multiple levels of language, enables it to provide some of the order,
control and coherence to our vision. However, much escapes us, and the extra-

limitation that provides the image, the plastic semantic swing that leads to a
pragmatic integration, the iconic reflexivity of the multiple levels of seeing, achieves
dynamism, invests and renews language. In the pendular coming and going
between words and images, through the aperture of the right exchange between
reason and imagination, in the construction and taking care of sensible reason where
simultaneously fits rigour and sensibility, lie some of the best supports of creativity.
The topos of the border transits between word and image permits, in effect, man to
delve in the magma of life, to contemplate all its contradictory complexity and then
work from new perspectives.
After delimitating and contrasting, the image and the word gain much with their
respective interlacing. Like in some of the fascinating diagrams elaborated by the
heirs of Lull for the Ars Magna – where everything is mediation between the
elements, where certain visible lines permit a comfortable coming and going
between form and material, where the symbolic iconically reflects and the icon hides
a symbolic reading, where the waves of fluxion/refluxion of the universe, where
reason flows through what are almost vents in the page – in the borders between
reason and imagination can be found some of the best creative manifestations.
Exactitude and invention are not exclusive properties of one of the other areas, and
in the traversal – in the exactitude of the imagination or in the inventiveness of
reason – can often be found the new turns and inversions of masterpieces.
The Platonic distinction between eidos (idea, original image) and eidolon (visual
simulacrum, secondary image) is of great interest for the comprehension of the
mechanisms of creativity. Plato, referring to bounded physical range of our eyes,
stresses our captivity within the sensible, remote from an intelligibility that we do
not perceive; according to the philosopher, the “thing beyond” [“mas alla”] the eidola
is found in the eidos, and the secondary images are no more than copies of this
sensible and primary intelligibility. For on the one hand, Plato suggests that the
(phenomenological) distance that we observe, within the sensible world, between an
image and its mirroring can be understood like an analogy of the (ontological)
distance that really separates the idea and a visual simulacrum. Although the
ontological interpretation that grants the idea an eternal existence is difficult to
sustain in the early 21
century, the strength of the Platonic transit between the
interior of sensible reality and the totality of reality, both sensible and intelligible,
manages to conserve all their vibrant and enduring actuality. In fact, Plato’s vision is
situated in a middle way, between one way that would help us to exit this exile or
else sink. Leonce Paquet, in a notable monograph about the mediations of Platonic
seeing, shows the intention “to think the real as an All”. Seeing searches
not only the possibility (“not about introducing the vision of the eye of the
soul – and is capable” Republic VII, 518, but the necessity of capturing the real

in its complexity. Simple vision is not enough, let alone simple sensible vision.
One must deploy the suitable complexity of “seeing” that does not forbid
discernment in a synoptic manner, for being able to appreciate the secret
relationships, the One and the Many, the intelligible and the visible, the Good
and everything else, to be and not to be the same, and all that participates
from near or from far with one or another. Only the capture of these relations
permits “giving an account” of reality, without succumbing to an easy
temptation to ignore or to eliminate apparently irreducible or absurd data.
A seeing conscious of its limits, but attentive to progressive overcoming, located in
the difficult middle way between (involuntary) memory and (voluntary) oblivion,
between recording and invention, between the concrete and the ineffable, has been
the fluctuation that we have been crossing with our protagonists in this essay.
Always alert to the dialectical interlacing of uniqueness and multiplicity,
intelligibility and sensibility, existence and void, Lispector, Vieira da Silva or
Tarkovsky, not only do not reject “apparently absurd or irreducible data”, but create
works precisely from the inevitable contradictoriness of the real, “in its very
complexity”. The strength of great artists is demonstrated by their capacity to
construct their own language and images, which manage to luminously recreate,
with technical precision, this contradictory complexity. The unique forging of logos
and eidolon in each work about the All, can solely aspire to follow one of its traces.
Perhaps the greatest strength of human creativity consists in its extraordinary
capacity to evoke an entire world from this very fragile debris. Today there does not
exist a greater sense of wonder than that produced by contemplating images of the
universe captured by astronomers; nothing produces more stupefaction than
knowing that our astrophysicists can now track the total evolution of the cosmos.
From the most trivial position in the universe, from the security of our desperation,
humanity has nevertheless been able to really contemplate the All that it warps.
Although the particular view of each individual is limited, the creative capacity of
the community as a whole is truly prodigious. The fact that the human mind has
been able to search for – and, surprisingly, discover – precise correspondences
between imaginative capacity and the folds of the world, moreover [“mas alla”] the
inevitable awareness of the limits of the exploration, opens doors unexpected to
A beautiful metaphor of Peirce identifies consciousness as a lake without end where
perceptions that live in the exterior are like continuous rain over the lake, and where
ideas come and go between different levels of profundity, sometimes emerging, and
at other times submerging. The smooth and persistent rain over the lake of memory
appears concretely in much of the imagery of Tarkovsky’s films. The creative
capacity of man accordingly consists in certain obscure zones of the lake,

communicating with the fine rain of sense and mould on the surface of the water,
swept by the wind. In these swings of consciousness and subconsciousness, of
vigilance and sleep, of the light and dark, of noise and of silence, the same interior of
man is coupled in a surprising way with his external environment. Fluidity
generally enlaces polar opposites. For Peirce, this grand coupling, this grand
integration of opposites turns on the true support of expanded reason that unites
man with the continuous universal, when, “beyond” the superficial cognitive levels
of the mind, access is also typically achieved in the “profound” emotional levels:
The supreme command of sentiment is that the man should generalize, or
what the logic of relatives shows is the same thing, that it should be united
with the universal continuum, in which the truth of reasoning consists. But
this reasoning does not return, for this generalisation should happen, not
merely on man’s cognitions, that are but the surface level of being, but
objectively in the very profound emotional sources of life.
Those complex “reasons of the heart unknown to reason”, that Pascal located in
areas outside of understanding, Peirce spent in contemplating from an integrated,
extended perspective. Within Peirce’s normative sciences, reason necessarily tends
to expand, to widen its range of action, inasmuch as, to move towards its summon
bonnum (“continuously growing in potential”), reason develops, it continuously
enlarges with the environment and with the exploration of new fields of possibility.
The general tree of inventive reason that we have evoked with Florenski, whose
disjunctive sections were out of sight in a sub-disciplinary planar world, can then be
seen as a group from a higher spatial perspective.
The integration of the real and the ideal in Florenski – comprehended by seeing it
like a “face of the face” that permits access to an extended reality in whose verse
flow the ideas – also extends the scope of human creativity. In the permanent transit
between the concrete and the imaginary, both sides are indispensible. Marey, for
rigidly measuring the displacements of the smoke, opening an unexpected gate
towards a plastic imagination full of curves and mixtures. Lispector, in her
indomitable struggle to penetrate into the concretion of material, immerses us in the
idea of the continuity of the world. Vieira da Silva, in her most minimal graphics,
enters the idea of the incessant transformation of things. In his cinematic landscapes,
Tarkovsky sculpts a tension between the real passing of time and our imaginary
appropriation of this passing. Like how in Pierce’s existential graphs, too, the entire
calculation is based upon cuts that require the coming and going between the
obverse and the reverse side of the sheet, like in Florenski’s interpretation of
complex numbers that oscillates between the obverse of the real numbers and the
reverse of the imaginaries, or like how in the chrono-photographs of Marey we
simultaneously observe the interior and exterior of a figure and while we specify, in

an “impossible” image, direct perception and indirect imperceptions, we meet also –
with Lispector, Vieira or Tarkovsky – before junctions and osmoses between the real
and the ideal that, far from incidental, are in fact necessary in all creative processes.
The comfortable separation of knowledges – a rigid mathematics, eternal, rational,
deductive; a poetry, plastic, dynamic, emotional, inventive – has produced an
unnecessary and frustrating paralysis. If we have to return to understanding by
“seeing with the mind and with the heart” we already have many examples that
transgress borders and reintegrate with extreme exactitude and sensibility,
rationality and imagination, control and inventiveness. Just as a mathematics
without invention, without aesthetic emotion, without dynamic evolution results in
a poor caricature of an extraordinarily alive science, a poetry without rigour, without
exactitude, without careful rational control, is otherwise emaciated (and blatant)
nonsense. Reason requires imagination, imagination requires precision. Rothko
defines “plasticity” as a “process in which reality has the form of advancing and
receding ... The forms of space have concretised the furthest prominent parts and the
remote parts of the frontal plane dissolve in the distance ... This is achieved by
certain rhythmic intervals of progression and retreat”. In the multiple intermediate
veils of vision, in the coming and going between imagination and reason, between
progression and retreat, between fluxions and cuts, is displayed all the plasticity of
Two illustrations from Canto XIII of Dante’s Inferno show the ebb and flow of human
beings doomed in the images before the forest of suicides. An illustration of
Manfredini (1907) stretches along the interlacing of the silence and agony of the
forest; it advances death, converted in the presence of the forest suicides and their
hopelessly knotted bows. Another illustration of Rauschenberg (1960) rolls back to
diverse textures and tears that evoke the forest, suicides, a drunk, a dog, wasted
water and blood; the multiplicity of drawing techniques (gouache, pencil,
watercolour, chalk) result from the difficulty of faithfully observing the transits of
life and death. The metamorphoses of reason are no less important. For wanting to
rigidly fix its position in the logos and to have walked away from the eidolon, reason
has also committed suicide. Their knots have been lost in the juggling of language,
with difficult omissions that have left out the deep murmur of the world, powerful
and unstoppable in the works of Lispector and Tarkovsky. “Violence against
yourselves” (title of an illustration by Rauschenberg) has sectioned the unitary
wealth of human creativity. Nevertheless, from real experiences of suffering in the
limits, from systematic works open to the study of borders, from true monuments of
transit in the form and in the underlying movement of the world, as we have been
exploring in this essay, an extended reason can achieve “new life”. The tenor of New
Life in Dante – the first full conjunction of critical reason and of imaginary

construction in occidental literature, with the union of a compilation of poems a
commentary in prose on the poetry, this by the same author and in the same work –
can perhaps then look to a new revival of reason.
Peirce notes that “bad poetry is false, I grant; but nothing is truer than true poetry.
And let me tell the scientific men that artists are much finer and more accurate
observers than they are, except of the special minutiae that the scientific man is
looking for.” From one the major 19
century American scientists, this wakeup call
hits harshly. The precision of artistic observations and, what is more, the truth of the
vision of the grand poet – hallmarks of Tarkovsky – cannot be very easily be hidden,
as has been tried by the cultural “fashions” of the last decades. Far from being
“dead”, truth is always looking earnestly in the grand works of science and art. The
fact that there does not seem to exist an ultimate and absolute Truth – an important
discovery – does not entail the impossibility of approaching certain partial truths,
and, what is more, does not imply that within a wider warp of fragments of truth
that some of these residues are not more important and significant than others. The
exactitude, the range, the profundity, and the essential elements of truth, can hardly
be the same between one residue and another.
One of the major obstructions facing the construction of a “sensible reason”, willing
to fruitfully transit between science and art, has consisted in the adoption of a
double basis for vision and in the belief that a glowing light provides the best
condition for seeing. The works of Peirce, Florenski and Marey show in a precise
manner that we should really invert this situation to see more and better. With the
logic of the continuum and with the pendular swing of the insertion and extraction
of information around the border, Peirce shows us the “yes” and the “no” should be
understood as ideal limits of intermediate fuzzy neighbourhoods, which in our
experience is much more real. The duality is not worth it, then, to support
understanding, but should rather be postulated as a remote ideality – a sort of “point
in the infinite” – that does not have to govern our actions. With the acceptance of
multiplying antinomies and with it approaches seeing and thought like a “faces of
the face”, opens new gates so that we can systematically situate in the reverse of
configurations. Seeing inverts the supposed ease that directly registering the light
and opening the multiple “concretions of the ineffable” that are lurking in the
shadows. With the new instruments that enrich optical possibilities and with the
effort of registering the elusive traces of movement, Marey traces the profound
diversity and the enormous breadth of the spectre of vision. The chrono-
photographs on dark backgrounds invert seemingly habitual perceptions and are
displayed as an indirect series of residues granting a great precision that it believes
are obtained with direct observation proportional to the human eye.

Lispector, Vieira da Silva and Tarkovsky explore with great inventiveness the
extensive spaces outlined in the previous inversions. An energetic rejection of
restrictive limitations, of exclusive demarcations, of sure categorizations, traverses
all these works. Always in transit, always trying to move the same pair of vibrations
of the configurations (literary, plastic, cinematographic) seek to recreate, Lispector,
Vieira, and Tarkovsky discarded any excision “yes/no” and submerged it in endless
textures and intermediate dyes, the meaning of life itself. The chiaroscuros of The
Apple in the Dark, of The Sleep, or of Stalker, the traversal of contraries in the
Passion According to G.H., in the Contradictory Consequences, or in The Sacrifice,
the coming and going between emptiness and revelation in Close to the Wild Heart,
in Fields of Sainte-Claire or in The Mirror, can talk about all like crystallizations of a
dynamic that intends to join with the incessant fluidity of the world. Asymptotic
approximations between man and the mobile universe around him, are works that
serve as a bridge to suture the enforced distance that imposes any type of dualism.
Through Dostoyevsky’s novel, Bajtin makes us see like a novelist intertwining the
polyphony of diverse voices with the fabric of the novel, constructing mixes of their
own and other’s words, effectively transmitting the feeling and midtones that
tighten the narrative. The inexistence of isolated ideas and Dostoyevsky’s basic
principle that everything lives in the border its opposite, results for Bajtin in “An
event in the life of the text, that is, its true essence, always the development of the
border between two consciousnesses.” The vitalistic terminology of the critic is
very telling: in the borders lies the “essence” of “life”; far from the borders you find
“degeneration”, “death”. At the borders, Dostoyevsky illuminates us about the
complexity of the world: coexisting, knowing and understanding love and hate, faith
and atheism, nobility and felony, in the disposition of people and in the correlations
of the encountered and discussed discourses “not voices integrated monologically
but voices unfolded.”
In parallel to the distinction of the space within the narrative, but at a level deeper to
the basic procedures of thinking, Bajtin finds a fine distinction between “logic” and
“dialogue”: “The relation of feeling within an enunciation has a logico-objective
character, but the relations of feeling between diverse enunciations acquires a
dialogical character: feelings are distributed between different voices.” Certainly,
Bajtin distinguished the bivalent logic of polyvalent logic, with multiple truth
values. Like Lispector could have asserted, Bajtin shows that, from the point of view
of the creation of polyphonic literature, “dialogigical relations have a specific
character: they cannot be reduced to logical relations.” The character of dialogue is
irreducible, to a logical level, situated as it is in a polyphonic novel at the border, in
an intrinsic limit that forces the narrative about thinking. The multidimensionality of

the novel cannot be accommodated by a logic of “yes” or “no”; it forcefully breaks
borders, searches and finds nuances and polyvalence.
When simultaneous vibrations in the long tones of a chord occur, the sound, hearing
and the mind meet at the border. The conjunction of vibrations mould and intersect
their frequencies in a manifold in which we cannot separate the parts without losing
the global sense. Words and images participate in this instant in which they mix,
inseparably, their diverse orientations, nuances and tones. In the expression instant
of each sign within a systematic [polisémico] constantly materialises the crossing of
borders and, given the instantaneousness of the manifestation, the ties cannot be
untied. In this manner, words and images always go beyond themselves, opening
the space and seeking the “other”. The Writer and the Professor in Stalker are
unimaginable one without the other; awareness of Lispector’s characters always
unfold in infinite dialogues; Vieira da Silva cannot add a stroke to the canvas
without triggering in the mind a complete metamorphosis of the work. Bajtin
comments that, in Dostoyevsky’s novels “everything an everyone should be known
mutually, in meeting and in beginning to speak.” Such meeting can only be realised
in an open structure. Going beyond an individual man, who cannot find fulfilment
if, the individual is socially immersed in “the open structure of a grand dialogue”,
within which, thanks to other consciences, he is able to perform. The open and
complete [dialogizacion] of man breaks down the borders of the “I” and completes it
with the “other”.
According to Peirce the logic of abduction teaches that, in the emergence of the
hypothesis, should already exist a certain tension between making a surprise and a
set of very stable beliefs. Creativity triggers an “anomaly” that needs visualising
from new perspectives. Invention requires, then, fluctuation in an open space,
transgressing the borders and the prevailing beliefs, breaking moorings and seeking
“something beyond” [“more there”; “mas alla”]. In this adventure, the strength of
images represents a central role. Images, in fact, manage to locally glue some breaks
in the continuum, thanks to the capacity to combine sharp cuts and smooth
undulations in a fragment of space. An extended vision then permits supporting
better dialogue. You hear more and better to be able to see “more there” [“mas alla”].
The “extra”-limitation of images always invites you to seek new perspectives, and,
in this enticing expanse, also benefit dialogue and the word.
Ioana Vultur has indicated in detail as Broch and Proust meet in the imagination of
poetry a true visionary capacity; in The Death of Virgilio, behind the “multitude of
images, multitude of realities, none are truly real as long as they are alone”, poetry
can arrive to see “the symbol of an ultimate and unknowable reality that is the
totality”; in The Search for Lost Time, Marcel tries to fix in some spiritual images
that have been “forced to face him, a cloud, a triangle, a belfry, a flower, a feeling

that he had perhaps under these signs something very distinctive that should be
attempted to be described.” Incisively exploring the limits of memory and time,
Broch and Proust will delve in the grand continuum of sensations and reflection.
“Beyond” [“mas alla”] a multitude of images or isolated realities, “beyond” [“mas
alla”] the diversity of the cloud, the triangles or the belfry, the hoarse, powerful and
“very distinctive” continuity of the world it becomes in the ultimate objective of
poetry. Although being incomprehensible in the totality, the continuum unfolds in
certain “privileged moments” before open vision. The vivid visual wealth of Proust’s
writing – concreting in a true sensible reason – can be understood as one of these
privileged “hinges” that is situated in the border of the logos-eidolon topos.
Lispector, Vieira da Silva and Tarkovsky also intend to evoke the possibility of
“something very distinct” under the signs that they contemplate. Nevertheless, the
access to this “something” is much more severe and disenchanted; a hermeneutic
impulse combines with an awareness that the interpretative exercise is, in the final
instance, impossible; the combination of advance and retreat – progression and
regression, iteration and de-iteration – strains and tears all of their works. The
greatest creative effort is concentrated, then, in inventing new plastic signs for
representing the hiatus between reason and sensibility in the discussion of man. As
such, one of the greatest merits of the grand works of art consists in, as a
consequence of the profound representation of a caesura, the storing away of the
caesura. Just as the conscious discovery of a vortex in the deep lake of the
subconscious helps to dissolve it [the vortex], the creative capacity of humans is
representing the limits of understanding that have been expanded following
previously unsuspected paths.
Everything in Lispector, Vieira da Silva and Tarkovksy in effect produces a sensation
of duration that, after submerging in these works, we understand with great
faithfulness the world and our fragile place in it. The fact that this happens not in
spite of the limitations and the inaccessible evocations of these works, but precisely
thanks to their recording of obstructions, is solely an apparent paradox. Peirce,
Florenski and Marey explicate as from the reverse, from the occlusion, from the
residue, which can best observe the complete framework of its counterpart. The
coming and going between opposite poles of seeing, the inversion of perspectives,
recognizes borders that should be overcome, expanding the range of vision. “More
than” “mas alla” the crude duality between the “+” and the “-“ (with a trivial law of
signs “- x - = +”), a much more complex law of signs governs the transits of reason.
Far from a shining light, knowledge seems to be obtained with the most subtlety
when situated in semi darkness; diverse veils of the positive are then achieved that
reintegrate certain differentials in the reverse side of perception, some that can be
expressed thanks a law of extended signs “± = ∫ δ (-)”.The pendular swing between

more and less, encrypted in the linking of inverted operations of differentiation and
integration, manages to capture the spatial oscillations of all the intermediate spaces.
In a similar way, reason and the imagination require glimpsing without ceasing to
explore part of this wide world that appears to the gaze. Certain hazy zones
(Tarkovsky), conjectures (Peirce) or antinomies (Florenski), are just as necessary as
“exact” zones, full of distillations, filtrations and separations, where the mixtures of
the world are decanted. The forgetting of malleable, still indefinite, zones, disposed
to plastic deformation, or the inverse forgetting of rigorous and sharp zones,
partakers of certain fragments of truth, in either of the two cases leads to a restriction
on the creative capacity of man. The pendular consciousness/unconsciousness of
Martim in The Apple in the Darkness takes part in an overlapping between these two
zones; in need of oblivion for penetrating the experience of the neutral, the mind
nevertheless then reflexively returns upon itself, and it [reurde] the offspring of
language in order to enhance this full rapprochement with the material. The Zone of
Stalker acquires all its attractive mystery in virtue of the fact that it mediates between
these zones, and overlaps with both simultaneously; the rigorous control of space
and the retreats and advances of the characters plotted on the wasteland. The Zone
becomes a kind of “quasi-mind” in Peirce’s sense, a protoplasmic medium in which
the semiotics progressively grows and goes on to assimilate diverse material, in a
swing between liquefaction and cohesion. The magma of creation requires, then,
situating in this in-between of imagination and rationality, in this short line in the
grit where sizzling lava falls into the sea, in this winding and mobile border where
the major turns of art and science are forged.
Goethe notes the impossibility of accessing any form of totality without a symbiosis
between art and science. If we find this access to the All increasingly difficult and
elusive, with the already unfathomable volume of material that we should
contemplate, the opening exercise of seeing when you are situated in the border of
the imagination and the rational remains extraordinarily useful. An extended reason
into which fits an inventive magma and an exact crystallization allows the greatest
possibility for man, and, in certain “privileged moments” provides a concrete
perception of the “something beyond” [“mas alla”] that is met beyond the proper
limits of any understanding. From the same limits of reason, man can continue to
incessantly extend and open gates to new and surprising panoramas. The excessive
proclamations of “the death of reason”, “the death of history” or the “death of art”
(it is currently difficult to declare the “death of science”, but not for want of trying
by the followers of weak thought) are nothing but the declarations of a disoriented
desire. Without maps, without contrasts, without hierarchies, a petty solipsism
governs many artistic manifestations; on its side, the normal activities of science

have taken comfortable refuge in the (sub-)sub-disciplines. Nevertheless, beyond
these mutilations with which artists and scientists actually seems happy, with our
protagonists we have seen in this essay how they can concretely invert these
restrictions, and how – from residues and from the limits of knowledge – creativity
can arrive to explore spaces that were apparently forbidden.
“To see with the mind and with the heart” is not only still perfectly possible, but
more than ever necessary. The conjunction of exactitude and plasticity that we have
explored in Lispector, Vieira da Silva and Tarkovsky, the constant coming and going
between the front and the reverse side of reason in Peirce, Florenski and Marey, the
wealth of the border and the intermediate, acquires a singular relevance in actual
instances. Transmodernity with its soaring “multiple time lines” [multicronia] and
“hybridisation”, cannot be abandoned to unreason and the praising of vagueness;
appropriately for hybrids and mixtures, should oscillate between an imagination
every time more concrete and precise, and a reason every time every time more
flexible and inventive. The complex topology of movement and of time does not
prevent millimetric recordings, as Marey and Tarkovsky show; but neither does the
accumulation of small strokes of paint prevent the occurrence of a higher, plastic
revelation, as Florenski or Vieira da Silva show.
The vision from a border combines the inherent multivalent wealth of images with
the inherent coming and going that is founded situated at a limit. In this manner, a
dynamic reason of the border becomes a basic point of support for exploring certain
borders of reason and, in the continual swing between exact concretions, residues of
the border and intangible schematics, goes on to expand – lightly and with fragility,
but with the magnificence of perpetually new phoenix of life – the spectrum of
human creativity.