Reflections on Past and Future Anxieties

Where are we going: The relation of Anxiety to Anxiety

View presentation on YouTube. (From Human Rights Watch, performances curated by Michael Mahalchick at Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery

A revisiting of Gauguin’s painting “Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going?” and T.S.Eliot’s The Four Quartets in the form of PowerPoint in terms of the mathematical relation of anxiety to anxiety.

X (walk the x axis)
Y (walk the y axis)
Origin (move to the origin)
Here describes the mathematical relation of Anxiety to Anxiety in the context of Future Anxiety: the anxiety of the future and the anxiety you will feel. [or the anticipation of that anxiety]

Where are we going?
The end is where we start from and in our end is our beginning
Beginning and ends are points along axes forming the vector to where are we going
They can also describe “what are we” and “where do we come from”
But the resolution of this equation is sometimes beyond the space of the graph
So we start here at the origin where there is neither past nor future anxiety
In this first model as we begin to accumulate anxiety we begin to worry about the future
Quickly at first and then in a steady, inevitable rate.
Determining your future anxiety can be calculated based on how long you plan to accumulate the past
This is sometimes called knowledge based anxiety or time-based-anxiety anxiety and for others it is referred to as progressive inverse optimism –
Predictable pessimism for short

In the second model, we re-start at the next origin where there is only anxiety of the future
To understand this model we must back up from the end of all the possible accumulated anxieties to the intersection of a precipitous drop of future anxiety
This is due to a fast and willful self-disambiguation of the self which reduces anxiety-anxiety to anxiety and this is perilous
Under normal circumstances the disambiguation of the self looks like this, but here the self-disambiguation of the self grinds the future anxiety to null
Sometimes this is the effect of faith
Sometimes it is the effect of work
This self-willed disambiguation of the self does however, mean we can know precisely what are we in the face of future anxiety
But here there is only will and no future as there is no real anxiety.
Potential opens before us as a path but we have no idea what it is

We now move to the point that is not the first origin described but whose conditions are similar
Here there is no anxiety by volume but the origin is a clear pit of self disambiguation
This is the titration or neutralization model where equal proportions of Past and Future anxiety produces the still point that moves along with anxiety
As we accumulate past anxieties we arrive at this still point that is not so much still as an origin and anticipate the slope of anxiety to the future that rises up before us
This is where the burden of interface brings us
This is the place to ask where are we going because in our end is our beginning

So reflecting on the past slides and looking back from the still point reveals that now it is the future that causes the past to be anxious

And in the end, as seen in the middle of the middle graph, and the first of the first graph
The revenge of past anxieties on the future is only anxiety
Because they are equal in force but opposite in direction when they turn to each other to ask where are we going, the reply is always here and anxious.
That is, the memory of anxiety creates future anxiety as much as future anxiety of the past produces anxiety.
What we think of as anxiety, both past anxieties, anxiety of the past, anxiety or the future and future anxiety are all together the same anxiety, which is the anxiety here and now.