It’s absurd to believe that a computational model could ever account for every bit of data, or even that a reductionist model could account for significant aberrations. And yet, in politics and in culture, these lately seem to be the methods of critics who, like techies and investors, value prescience over insight.
Within the grids of Thomas Ruff’s photos, the striated facades of the Twin Towers, rising upward, are reduced to several dark, vertical lines. An abstracted representation, unforseen, disorderly, and disruptive, the remnants of a thing that exists only still in images, there for us to find when we sort through the rubble.
In the years following my grandmother’s death from a debilitating mental illness, what I remembered most were her eyes.