G.A Powell
Northern Virginia Community College
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Cosmic Transgression
Dedalus 22-23 (2018-2019), pp. 301-319. Download PDF

Rather than aborted, God spewed Man out of the primordial Garden into the world; God cursed Man with the eyesight of consciousness – one eye open (episteme), the other sewn shut (doxa). Aware of his own Historical facticity – born to die, Man used language to transgress against his given primordial origin; made anew – to cast a narrative in his own image that adheres to a mythology (A-history) of his doing; and in bad faith to commit violence against his being and the natural order of things. This meditation is grounded in Cioran’s speculative pessimism (not to be confused with the existential nihilism of Sartre, Camus, et al.) as it explores acts of transgression and its symbiotic relationship to the image that articulates Man’s being-in-the-world. What is possibly revealed by shedding shadow to the image is fourfold: (1) transgression as an eternal epistemic failing (the need to resurrect God/meaning from the dead) and the ontological provocation with being born; (2) the symbiotic relationship between A-history and gravedigging, Man’s necrophilic relation to God; (3) Man’s use of language to inflect violence on his being-in-the-world; and (4) indifference as a mechanism for mummification in which Man is no longer possessed or self-possessed.
Transgression, Violence, Indifference, Necrophilia

Biographical note
Gerald Powell (b.1975) is an American professor, media archeologist, writer, and cinematographer. He embraces a wide array of mediums to explore critical themes of speed, space, ennui, everydayness, and compression in society. He has an interdisciplinary range of written publications and audio-visual experiments and installations within the fields of philosophy, cultural studies, semiotics, anthropology, and cinema. He is the author of Daily Conversations with My Interloper: Healthy Exercises in Ennui and Malaise. He has filmed and directed a number of productions, most notably, I’m American: Am I a Prostitute? and Globalization and Its Discontent. He has taught and/or lectured at Murray Edwards College, University of Cambridge; Fatih University, Turkey; and The New School, New York City. Powell is currently a professor at Northern Virginia Community College in Manassas, Virginia.