Speculative Disrealism: On David Lynch

The charm and intelligence of David Lynch’s films (i.e., Eraserhead, Blue Velvet, Wild at Heart, Dune, Fire Walk with Me (Twin Peaks), Lost Highway, etc.) is that they commoditized the commodity of the cliché, the underbelly of capitalist paranoia, the blended dreams of paradise and hell woven into the very fabric of a catastrophic universe. But in doing so he made no judgment, no ultimate statement, provided no prohibition of Law; but rather left us tossed upon the blank sea that is our lives, unable to resolve truth from falsity; knowing there was nothing behind the mask, behind the appearances: that this is it, the oscillating rhythm of the Void. He brought us a speculative disrealism that hinted at, but could not be stated, the unraveling of the very representations of filmography, and unleashing their flows instead. The images that flashed across the screen broke against narrative technique, portraying the frayed time-loops our lives take each moment, the inability of Mind and Consciousness to grasp either the world of appearance nor the world of our symbolic traps and cages; but rather bringing us to that point where we begin to know we are nothing more than cartoon constructions of both a social and a natural set of algorithms we can never decipher. Victims of neglect we live our lives within the impoverished eclipse of knowledge, having forfeited our memories to the world of external mirrors long ago we float between a brain that reveals us to be mere shadows, and a social machine that produces us as mere commodities and transactions in a process of endless negotiations and circulations. Artifacts of an evolutionary scheme we are clueless to its cause or effects, merely blanks upon the abyss of time, lost among the images of a screen we cannot behold nor free ourselves. 

Note: here I use “dis” as – in a different direction, between,” figuratively “not, un-,” also “exceedingly, utterly,” to set the sense of what is Real apart, as both not reality, and exceeding reality – that which is in-between. Therefore a disreality is both “not” and “exceeds the Real”; the performative contradiction (Shaviro) that cannot be reduced nor dispersed, but only confronted and suffered.