Jimmie Durham quote: “You think that I do, but I never think of chaos …”

“Manuel Cirauqui: So, tell me about your relationship to chaos. I suspect you must be dealing with this concept quite regularly, as it seems to occur often in your works. In many of them, you provoke things to get out of, say, the peaceful path of their becoming — in other words, you trigger an entropic process which entails a loss of form (I don’t want to call it destruction). It is as if you prompted or negotiated the passing of things toward a chaotic state: the showcase that breaks, the toy boat that sinks, and also the sudden, almost spontaneous association of tools, materials, props, clothes, etcetera, to make new objects. Do you deal with chaos as a working principle?

Jimmie Durham: You think that I do, but I never think of chaos, except that I read mathematical theory. I’m reading math all the time because I’ve got no concept of math. And I’m just trying to understand it a little bit, but it doesn’t work. I like interruptions, of any kind, especially from my own life, because we have such a tendency–something stronger than a tendency, actually–to do the same things all the time. (Pauses as chairs are moved noisily in the background). Kierkegaard wrote about repetition as the greatest human good, because it was close to holiness. Yet to me it is so strange that I do the same thing over and over, that I take the same route to the grocery store or when I walk home–it’s intolerable. I want interruptions, I want things to be different all the time” (79)

Cirauqui, Manuel. “Jimmie Durham [an interview]” Bomb. Number 118, Winter 2012. pg 76-83.
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8 thoughts on “Jimmie Durham quote: “You think that I do, but I never think of chaos …”

  1. I think this guy just said what I’ve always kind of felt (probably what we ALL kind of feel) somewhere inside. No one wants to be stuck in the rut of repeat patterns all the time. We want to break out … I love interruptions too. Some may call it procrastination. And maybe on some levels it is. But, I think it’s more my need to find something new. Perfectly stated. Thanks for the post.

  2. Good write on the chaos topic and I have to agree that in order for life to be interesting you need to invoke a bit of chaos into your everyday life or it is just a loss of feeling. A duldrum that gradually becomes routine as days fly by and you remember something from your past like it were yesterday. But, in fact it was twenty years ago. In the span of those years you find very few memories that add up to only minutes. If you had invoked a bit of chaos, memories would flood and time would not seem to pass as quickly as it did.

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