The snake stands in for the evil that humans do. Eve ate the apple, she chose to disobey. The snake is the go-between. He was there in the Garden of Eden, witness to our first mistake.
If we can kill the snake, then, we imagine, there is no witness and if there is no witness, then what happened, never happened. The snake is a drawn line just like the lines of a border, but in movement.
He comes out from the crack in the fissure. He is the cracking of the fissure. He is the fissure come to life. He disobeys systems and borders. Humans, on the other hand, are trapped inside the frozen line. The cardboard tube is, again, waste and the snake moves from this container, from this waste.
The snake breaks away from the container of the bucket and from the fissures in the bucket. Much of this march of images move over texts: documents and open books which appear to be anthropological in nature. The video is itself a compendium of images and stories culled from various cultures.
All of these images are presented in an expansive manner. What we see on the screen is a computer screen with windows opening like the drawers in a cabinet of curiosities. The images along with the music and narration create one steady, unified stream, knock- ing away any borders. Because the narration gives no specific explanations for each occurring item, the viewer experiences all images as equal.
The film becomes a parade of images, none more important than the others. What we see when we see Grosse Fatigue is the unraveling of systems and meanings—we see the world undone.
The film is, in fact, an enactment of the snake. And the snake does not see. Or, rather, snakes can see, but they have poor eyesight. A snake moves in darkness, using its tongue to sense, instead. Perhaps this is what we should be doing.
It is con- structed upon years and years of codes and systems, codes and systems based on means of cataloguing we have been taught and conditioned to accept. Our eyes connect to our minds and our minds tell us what to make of what we see. And to say: I understand, we often say: I see. That is: I see something, framed as and reduced to an object— conceptual, mental—for my comprehension.
I recognize something that already has a face according to a model, a paradigm, an edidos, that I have been taught. And yet, the snake is what cursed us with this knowing, with this seeing that is a not-seeing. When Adam and Eve ate from the fruit of knowledge, we lost forever our not-knowing, our child-like ability to truly see. It is in this way that we ingest and take in its rules and systems—so we can find our place within it and remain assured that we have a place in the world and its systems.
And if we find ourselves in the lower strata, we do what we can to move ourselves to a higher place within these systems. We are imprisoned within our systems of meaning and hierarchies. In the end though, it is in the theater of the mind that we can begin to see. My eyes do not work alone—they need the assistance of my mind to translate what it is taking in.
So by working with the mind, by retraining, in a sense, that one organ, we might be able to begin to truly see. And by seeing what I mean is to look at an object, a person, or an animal and see that thing or creature without first killing it off with categorization. How, then, can we begin to unlearn?
Watching Grosse Fatigue is to watch systems of categorization unravel and vanish. Like a slow-motion film of a bud coming to life, the film is a quick-motion disintegration of categories of meaning. Grosse Fatigue posits an alternative universe in which categories and borders no longer exist. To move the snake, pop out the last element of the array and shift it on the top as first element.
Therefore if x or y of an element of the snake, don't fit inside the canvas, the game will be stopped. We are almost there! But we need the keys controls to move the snake up, down, left and right. We can use the onkeydown event which occurs when the player is pressing a key.
The video is itself a compendium of images and stories culled from various cultures. If we imagine ourselves a snake, we imagine ourselves without arms, without a voice. But attention! From inside the bowl, the glossy black ribbon of a garden snake emanates.