(or a way of being unitive according to Raúl Cordero)
To Chick Korea (RIP)
Listening to your Spain
Omar Pascual Castillo
If anything has the ability to mutate, it’s language. Through linguistic drifts and deviations, languages are continually being enriched through a process of mixing that generally derives from the transgression or colonisation of borders. Rarely does this occur without violence, but when it does, it is through a process of sedimentation, as layer settles upon layer.
It would be interesting to return to this deconstructing notion of what we are through the understanding that we are all mixtures and blends, now that it has become so fashionable to think in terms of an essentialist, racialised identity, one that is ultimately stereotyped, socially-agenced, polyglot and decolonial; now that “being from the Tropics” (from the “global south”) is in tune with the epicurean need to live intensely after the global scare that merely served to highlight the obvious: “we are fragile.” And also ephemeral, like delicate cigarette papers that burn as they oxidise while exhaling and expiring oxygen and carbon dioxide, with difficulty. We are clearly ephemeral beings because all life is. A universalist, pan-ecumenical conception, best explained by the recently deceased Chilean biologist and philosopher Humberto Matucana, through his idea of “autopoiesis”, the capacity of the planet and of us as a species to be an organism that is in constant construction, being built biologically, neuronally, psychologically, and thus, as a mass of individuals that behaves like a living being. That which we call “Société”.
For within that organism, languages have evolved exponentially in the last fifty years since the planet became globalised. Everything today is language. “We are an echo (post-Umberto) neither as apocalyptic or as integrated” -paraphrasing De La Nuez and Roma-, we are instead rhizome in a Deleuzean sense. A social animal without organs, with the organs of the senses hyperbolically hypertrophied through the overdoses imposed by modern life through the everyday barrage of information. Everything is text, picture, reverberation, hollow sound, signs without mystery, transparencies. Tautology, everything is copy and repetition, an infinite carousel. A signifying fragment that swoops down and pummels itself. It becomes body, memory.
Returning to the echo. In relation to this idea of vibration, all of Raúl Cordero’s work, even without his knowing it, is structured through a model system that appears to have been devised by Severo Sarduy. His entire oeuvre seems to me to be a retombeé, a round trip that stands on end and escapes from itself again and again; a baroque breath held in the air, trying to grasp it through ritual slowing down that is the exercise of art, as a reflective and contemplative tool, endowed with knowledge and sensoriality.
Perhaps because much of his work is about lack or absence. For those who understand music in its entirety, absences are silences, empty spaces to be harnessed, to create a vacuous sound; but absence is also reverberation, much more so in quantum times. Ask the astrophysicists. Raúl engages them in dialogue, reverberating. Vibrating like them, from drop to drop, atom to atom, particle to particle falling on the flat medium.
While all individuals in my lifetime have experienced the process of what was once watertight becoming porous, the mixing of impurities, the transfiguration of a monolithic universe into a fractal hybrid one. We are experiencing this in a traumatic way in one way or another, but for Cordero it was a natural process. Maybe because he was already bilingual. And because from very young age he understood the world as a compendium of fragments, never a whole, because the whole is always personal. Unitive. Untested beyond its absorbing limits.