‘Traversal of fantasy’ is one of the more elusive concepts of Lacanian psychoanalysis. As with the Escher-like diagrams of the Real (e.g. Mobius strip), it requires the mediation of representation to be made somewhat palpable (then again, what concept doesn’t?). Thanks to Lynch’s Lost Highway (and Zizek’s splendid interpretation of it in ‘The Art of the Ridiculous Sublime’), we already have at our disposal a superb cinematic rendition of what it means to traverse one’s fantasy.

In his short but inversely rich essay on ‘Ambient Music’ (courtesy of Dj Eko), Brian Eno provides us, this time, with a musically inflected expression of the concept:

“In late 1977 I was waiting for a plane in Cologne airport. It was early on a sunny, clear morning, the place was nearly empty, and the space of the building (designed, I believe, by the father of one of the founders of Kraftwerk) was very attractive. I started to wonder what kind of music would sound good in a building like that…And most importantly for me, it has to have something to do with where you are and what you’re there for–flying, floating and, secretly, flirting with death. I thought “I want to make a kind of music that prepares you for dying–that doesn’t get all bright and cheerful and pretend you’re not a little apprehensive, but which makes you say to yourself, ‘Actually, it’s not that big a deal if I die.’” (Audio Culture, 96)

Doesn’t that last sentence of Eno echo Freud’s definition of the aim of the psychoanalytical practice (and of traversal of fantasy) as changing “neurotic suffering into ordinary human misery”?

K.
PS Judging by the long stretch of inactivity on the blog, folks must be consumed these days by producing only “necessary thought” (or have found other outlets for their “surplus thought”). So be it.


  • BROWSE / IN Ambient Music Brian Eno David Lynch Fantasy Jacques Lacan Psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud
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