DAN SHIPSIDES - Ha Ha Syzygetic Summitt Stammers (Bernia Ridge)




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Summit Stammer (Syzygetic experiments)

Over the last few years I've realised my stammer, that I thought I had more or less buried years ago, is still here. Present and correct.
Due to the recent needs of delivering seminars online via the video screen it has frequently tripped into action.

The lack of online spontaneity triggers it I think. One way I manage it is by saying anything - word noises - hopefully
(or perhaps creatively richer when not) relevant to the subject, then reorientating the 'idea-shapes' in my mind, into the words that seem to fit or
work best - preambling my rambling... I'm not sure I think in words - or at least when I try, in order to 'pre-word' my delivery, then the stammer is
bound to disrupt it. Ubu at play. ha ha

There's something about trying to photograph these two flags that echoes this process of shapes, forms or letters partially and then concretely
fully forming into 'sense'. ha ha

Also, it nicely echoes Daumal's essay of laughing (with Bosse de Nage's interjection) the universe into being - with the differences of space and time, perception, device speed, sun light and wind flukes all coming together in a syzygetic moment.

ha ha


Summit Stammer I. ha ha.
(Bernia Ridge set C)
Flags and poles.


Summit Stammer II. ha ha.
(Bernia Ridge set B)
Flags and poles.


Summit Stammer III. ha ha.
(Bernia Ridge set A)
Flags and poles.




Also see: ha ha Headland. 2022

‘ha ha – Syzygetically Speaking’

Whilst being able to speak, the only words the blue-faced baboon Bosse-de-Nage (Dr. Faustroll’s sidekick in Jarry’s Exploits and Opinions of Dr. Faustroll, Pataphysician, 1911), utters throughout the story are, “ha, ha”. The book, however, elaborates on the meaning of these utterances, duly expounding the ontology of being and the measures of time and space. Daumal, in his essay, (Pataphysics and The Revelation of Laughter, 1929), rearticulates these ideas locating laughter at the centre of the universe.

In producing and deploying a series of “ha ha” flags in various places, particularly in high or prominent locations such as summits, roof-tops, and tidal rocks, I have been playfully exploring these concepts and expanding Daumal’s ideas and Bosse-de-Nage’s utterances. By flagging up my own experience of stammering I seek to allow space for other possibilities in and beyond language yet grounded in the everyday experience and environment.

Like any flag (although, they are ubiquitous employed in authoring and asserting fixed identities so this might not be generally accepted) the only time the flag’s signifier is fully produced is when the wind fully unfurls the fabric to fully display the text or motif. Even more so with two flags that should read together, where this event could be further understood as a syzygy (the coming together of worlds), in that it takes the flukes of the wind, sunlight, and perception all to come together at a single moment to fully capture the two unfurled flags rendering as “ha ha”.

At other times we might conclude that the signifier is partially disclosed and therefore, we should also accept that it might potentially then be disclosing something quite different (like similar words which denote very different things). Described via machine writing, we might see such things as; ‘h’, ‘(‘, ‘(a’, ‘/:’, ‘h;’, ‘\a’, although this also goes to show the slippage between machine writing and those letters appearing in real space (perhaps an inkbrush might capture it better). Furthermore, it also demonstrates the inadequacy of language to; firstly; always render itself fully, and secondly; in both partially furled and unfurled forms, fully account for reality. It does this in the same way one might consider a stammer as a limitation or failure of expression in not fluently rendering words. These ‘failings’ should be seen as the potential for other possibilities.

I now recognise that the ‘utterances’ of the ‘ha ha’ flags, and of Bosse-de Nage’s more-than-human statements, and Daumal’s laughter were the same gateways of potential as my usually masked, stammer.

So, we should accept and respond to the potential meaning of all partial or semi-furled utterances. Surely in fact, we should insist on that. Otherwise, we deny some facet of reality and of difference.

ha ha.