Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Fourth Wall

The Fourth Wall

L. Edgar Otto    07 August, 2012

On this level of abstraction considering how we view space and time as physics I am stuck by how close it corresponds in conceptual structure to our experience of the art of theater. What is this staring into a fourth wall and our interpretation of it, that is the computer monitor in our day, but the awakening to rules and possibilities of seeing through the windows of our subjective monad to the inner play that place sometimes with its own curtain that hides deeper characters or perhaps some mysterious coffin exposed to the world as emptiness. Was this not the goal to look deeper into the mysteries of science? Is it not our day the breakthrough in understanding our minds with its hidden levels of influences and subliminal receptitivities?

We ignore the idea of a ceiling and the floor in the counting to which we see essentially systems of reflective symmetry for our geometrical considerations. But these too have a place in theory to which we still debate if the inner play of hidden symmetries and higher dimensions await discovery.

In my teen years in the attic I regarded the eleven walls that entered from various angles of flat space as well as the hidden rooms over the fiberglass insulation outside what we generally regard as the four walls, even in the black curtain world of the night. It is a physical problem to sew or glue the last face of a polyhedron for such an opening or window does not close the same way as the other faces. In drama we regard the play in its presentation to have a fourth wall that relates to an audience. We ask of the audience that they accept stylized props that symbolize say, an actual horse in the plot. The general epiphany in this classical stances of the gods, of rational Apollo and the passion of Dionysus as Nietzsche described it in the analysis- the later god one of a consuming force and the state of creativity, is that we are involved very much with the wall or window as something representational in itself or as that which awakens to encompass say the otherness of worlds and others.

This comes down to the ambiguity of objective nature in that we can distinguish or assert there are three and one such walls or that in general we deal with the closure of the four together. Ultimately we imagine but one wall or brane to which we can have the laws where they touch together or are seen through or in a general unity of reality multiply connect and are everything and call it mathematical physics.

All of this starts with music, the chorus of sound that evolved into the stage while the music and its resident god keep watch over the portal into places made and discerned, sometimes in irony, of the mortals therein or as symbols to what sympathies some casual element of love or plight identifies and endears us to archetypal yet unique characters. Or the gods can come down from the heavens, the ceiling to resolve the play, to resolve also the emotional, dramatic conflict the story's representation evokes in the audience. What is the window but this grounding of voyeurism or even exhibition that it resonates with some who get caught up in the entertainment, addicted as if it a real connection and perhaps subjectively that which commands and seems to influence or mould our intentions?

In a closed room with the last face self referential and connected, even the sphere as an atom is but so many walls and one wall in which the several characters are recognized and the plots seem quasi finite in categories of events and encounters. So too we imagine the sphere and its geometry as but a wall. We imagine also on higher levels of ordering space and time a sort of tunneling that is such a wall and the viewing through or of it obeys the jumps and skips of quantum logic where enters into the play from the exits left and right again number three or strangers or in stealth the prince of the realm or a brother unrecognized, by chance comes to light.

Those who censor or monitor the heartbeats of the bedroom, who in loneliness beyond natural and decent curiosity or issues of medicine and healing, who judge by the play truly or falsely what is said and not just what is done are perhaps the major part of stalkers with an agenda of influence- this a paradox of voyeurism and exhibition to which so much of the general sense of a power can be placed into but one symbol, a window or a wall that represents the realm or the era in question that persists in the play, the description over time and new points of beginnings and departure as we are part of the dream, may observed or be in it at a distance, and that dream what we describe as well the objective reality.

The dramatis personae of our diverse and competing cultures of the blogs, as scientists giving perhaps the inspiration to the world to explore the sciences have their parts, the understudies interning for the matinees, and most de trop if they even know their lives are recorded somewhere on the fading silver screen as the world does seem to fundamentally change as we lose the race to adapt or fight it out to some surprising but expected end, so too we make bets on the chariots in the hippodrome to cheer in the great amphitheater of the city, world and universe- and some are just by chance there, even then they crave the connection to say of the race thumbs up or thumbs down for a theory. Yet, as Thespis gave his name to some design of things, our enterprise is a living philosophy of chance on which a generation tries to stand upon or dethrone what ancient achievements were really just past before they came into today's make up, made up faces with some open presenting eyes, and longed to hide away or have some fame and part in the play, perhaps if only tragicomedy it was worth the living and the loving anyway.

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