L’avenir, for philosopher Jacques Derrida, conceptualizes the coming of the Other. In juxtaposition with the Future, which can be known beforehand, l’avenir references the unpredictable appearance of the Other.
For this blog, I currently represent the Future, i.e. an intentional attempt by my brother, Alberto, to (re)invent the content of his page. Yet, what subsequent years hold for us, I do not/cannot know. How will I affect my brother’s design thinking? And – more importantly for my wellbeing – How will he deflect my way(s) of perceiving the Human Being and its World, which (mis)guides me towards specific problematizations and reconcialiations.
In short, how will l’avenir unravel in Refraction? I can never predict it.
Nonetheless, Refraction will write the evolution of our project. Not only by focusing on different themes, but by seeing how those thoughts bounce back into unforeseen realms. We hope that our thoughts, deflected, will survive.
But what does that mean: that our vestige will survive us? Is it possible? For how long? (Obviously not for eternity.) Derrida asserted: “The trace neither lives nor dies, but survives us.” Such a claim denies existence to the trace, but endows it with a personal utility of extension or continuation of one’s life after death. Yet, this quasi-satisfactory move towards the achievement of immortality (always knowing its implied impossibility) may confuse a reader into believing in an explicit, discoverable link between an origin and its footprint. The trace, always-already disentangled from the origin and henceforth being observed through varying interpretative eyes, can never open the path to recapture an original essence (i.e. thought, feeling, concept, experience, etc.). So, even if MY-trace can never be recovered, my-trace does not merely survive, but is exists! It has its own existence, endowed by the eye of the beholder. Don’t get me wrong, my writing exists because of me, but continues to be in spite of me. (I hope that the reader nourishes the life of my-trace, to prevent its inevitable death.)