Edith
Lázár




THE LESSER-KNOWN GUIDE FOR A BEZMETIC NOW*

in short case-stories and never-settling practices of (dis)order

a note to the reader:  why are you spinning around like a bezmetic?

how does it work: I might design some lines of thoughts – but you have to keep adding – make from it an artefact or a technology of wandering – just because you can’t say it, doesn’t mean there aren’t many other players – this is how it works: there is already an existing line – yours – your turn is always a sequel – remember not to limit yourself and never consider yourself a less/err – to err is erratic – to wander – any other player that fails to do so, loses – if the sound of others is not moving with them – this is how it works – first you have to know and not know – how does it work – if you make enough space – other things might grow – unknown – now:



{•} a word ‘without’ counting


does anyone know where do you start with a word, and where does it go?


Bezmetic – one of those eerie words which sometimes jumps out of the Romanian lexicon, marked by a scent of wonder. The local ‘word-breakers’, like any other linguists, subjected it to debates, shifting its use and formation between the Slavic inflexions – a trait of the Balkan region – and such modulations in an otherwise Latin language: its Slavonic root, bezŭ matokŭ, suggests a beehive in movement, wandering around without a queen (a matca) in its fearless and fearful search of settling the Latin hypothesis derives from an amphisbeticus, as ‘quarrelsome’ or litigious and, even more, someone in an irrational state of mind.


A useful notation: the prefix bez (bezŭ-) so often interpreted as a ‘lack’ or ‘without’ has, until 19th century, been used as a word in itself, as something that shouldn’t be counted for. While borrowed from Slavonic administrative language, has found its way into the popular tongue, as some troubadours have sung:

« bez the sweet wine, there’s little thing that brings up the fire inside »


In the worldliness of the everyday, however, bezmetic gets swirled around as agile, noisy, dazzled, dazzling, dizzying and incomprehensible, human and non-human at once: The Bezmetrist, the dynamic manifestation which unfolds and curls and smudges at the edges:
+the unruliness of unspoken worlds – drifting

following năluci / being zănatec

the non-human has always jostled around between many works of the imagination that permeated words as well, and nowhere did it find a better settling than in (our) folklore of unsettling stories.
:
« the mistresses of the wind/ ladies of the earth/ high up in the sky/ gliding on grass / walking over waves » the Iele – naiads made out of thin air that hold to these unruly forces binding humans into magic – into that utmost organic. Roaming pristine greeneries, Iele are ‘mysterious beings’, leaving a peculiar circle of burnt grass, a ring for the moon, imprinted in the soil, which marks their passage and their banquets. They can, without any warning, punish or make fun of the ones having the audacity to ignore their unwritten boundaries and pass through their lush domains.


Some say it is this sense of wonder of an unseen that leaves one speechless – and so, a zănatec (one touched by a zână fairy), is left to wander bezmetic in a drunkenness of a sort, a bind of temporary loss of speech and unfocused vision.

an added note: some (male) writers have portrayed these naiads as ensnaringly young girls, who often bind young men, mocking those whom they encounter. And someone rightfully asked: by what design? What are the stories? And some stories pass and tell of the many items iele must’ve misplaced, of lost artifacts endowed with healing powers. Neither good nor evil then, Ielele tend indeed to seek revenge; only when provoked.


In the structures of language, that instrument cutting through as to identify us, not being able to speak out, to place a place and name a name, might as well be another manner to resist it. Just as wielding the words high up in fictions is another kind of magic that can unhitch them from their prior meaning.




________There is a hazy story that inhabits me now – of that zână from the Valley of The Deer who transformed itself into a matca with long translucent wings, to madly dance with other creatures alike. Such fervour run in its dance that it forgot to gently blow the wings and turn back into its ethereal form before the morning dew has dissipated. Many of the zâne have cried over the loss of their sister, so the matca unsettled the hive and brushed the honeydew to visit them.









»))((« magnetism or how to handle (interior) compasses










In 1641, Athanasius Kircher declared his invention: a ‘botanical horoscope’, a device that moved away from all the ticking and tedious mechanism of time-measuring instruments. It appeared in science journals as an organic clock made out of a sunflower. Rooted in a cork, and placed in a voluminous water recipient, now unhindered by earth, the plant would naturally turn around with the sun, according to heliotropism - as a remarkable instance of plant magnetism. What the artefact turned out to be was a scam; partially, at least, confusing the credible with the incredible. A secret mechanism made of twining-magnets made the ‘clock’ move, as it was later revealed; it was still an organic dynamo, the magnetic attraction. Yet, this apparent effect was seen as an ‘artificial’ kind of magic, since it wasn’t the effect everybody was expecting.



Somehow, the sweet taste of ‘the science of the wondrous’ (magic, science, and wonder – all that couldn’t’ fit well just with explaining it away) was meant for a wandering around that goes beyond the senses and the comprehension.



Likewise, bezmetic – as a manifestation of that which pulls and attracts makes for that intuitive magnetic compass or a bewitchment of sorts: of making knowledge - just otherwise from what it is expected.




≈*≈ to miss a normalcy - the bezmetic might have actually been first a dandelion

along some other route of words and worldings:

--------------bezokij: someone who lacks a clear vision

--------------bezaku: improper, or disorderly even, showing a lack of conduct


‘reason’ has turned out to be not so reasonable at all – according to which law, but this, we got measured and ordered around, cut in well-defined pieces of data to be digested, and thrown away as if disposable? – the restrictive normalcies of what one should be



switching tables, in the flâneuring time of dandies (who looked down on dandisettes) someone yelled bezmetici! at those refusing normative behavior – sexuality and gender included – as if ‘they don’t know what they’re doing,’ as if they are failing an order… of governing


but let’s leave the class aside (just for a little while)

what about the dandelions


Before the order of reason, the small flower as an encapsulated sun, was medicine and magic. The fairy clocks were almost predictably moving with the time of the day-light. Boiled, the flowers made a syrup as thick and yellow as honey, tending to the body. Strengthening its roots in the soil, yet unhindered by it, the dandelion travelled around by the power of seeds, shedding its perfectly shaped corolla out in the wind

and maybe that was its own demise

when, in the 12th century, ended up proclaimed as a weed

because it spreads, oh, well, so disorderly.




… as if it was falling out of an order

quite literally


Dandelion: symbolic of the kind of magic that firmly changes those conditions that no longer serve its environment
§§ the fable of the bees and the ‘stupular’ thought

bezmetic: « is this a word used mostly for honeybees, or is it used regardless? » and « if it can get transferred to anything else, is its origin still valid? » • playing once again the tune of settling a language: as it turns out, the word’s primary use did concerned honeybees, as in everyday speech its transfer to that ‘something else,’ concerned mainly people.


A useful note: When the 18th-century philosopher, Bernard Mandeville, wrote his Fable of the Bees implying that bees might be as faulty as humans, little did he knew that he was about to shatter with such a bang the apparent effect of an ideal society. So terrific was the disdain and the outrage, that the book ended up burned, by popular demand, out in the public square. No wonder, when the ‘insect wing’ museum of social forms had hosted for such a long time: The bees –  the utopian trinity of living with each-other: community, collective care, and labor – the ultimate worker working not for one alone, but for all its fellows.



The honeybees have served us well as ‘natural’ models through various regimes, including the constitutional monarchy or liberal democracy. Our latest domestication: one that makes as well for the domestication of technology »»» the hive mind: of horizontal built software or models of distributed intelligence; and the swarm: the technicities of algorithms – both wonders of ideal intelligence.



then being bezmetic might as well mean out of the stupular thought, a sort of involuntary hack that silently resists such structurrrrrres… even if it roams through them.



– what about the ultimate workers at the end of the pit? who is to hum and sing their songs? – or did I misplaced this line of thought once again?



ø’ there, where we meet the dark void of the cosmos matter

the screen opened out of nowhere. There was no projection, just a blue light invading its entire surface. Slow. As the night passes into day, where the first rays of light meet the dark void of the cosmos matter___________only for one to look deeper into the eyes of the abys.



- sharing the same page in the dictionary – bezna (the darkness or pitch-black), the abys, of the vast marine space or the celestial (cosmological) one



our bodies are not that far away, though we look at them so-close, familiar, shaped by the culture and the customary – filled up with all the automation owning us like a double-reflex, for granted. It is a body-home of violent discipline, of routinized movement and financial habits. But what lies in it – if you ask any medical opinion – it’s a speculation. So ask and see where ‘it might be this, or it might be that one’ imbue speech for all that scientifically talk.


But there is another, two-part from this body-machinic: the one that resides at the periphery: the peripheral body of the unknown which tingles the fingertips, which needs manifest – a nameless body; but it’s not helpless

like with the shattered screens, it is from the cracks that it can emerge – but towards what?



Blown towards other channels – bezmetic startles the home-body, and in its drunkenness touches upon blind spots, but only as a temporary state. In it lies the promise of always arriving at ashore. It is a jump in the alien garden that has grown right in the back of our garden. A se dezmeticii – to come to one’s senses, keeps it company. Yet, like magical thinking which entangles, it’s not back to consciousness, but into it. Just like the ‘order’ the wandering beehive returns to it’s never the same – even if we idealize it as such. Neither is the ‘order’ to which a person returns.


So thus, we carry around, like bezmetici, unknown universes resting in the corner of our eyes



»»» through osmosis / through cosmosis / through chaosmosis – around and around and around we go: the torrential strands of information run lose while, with extraordinary precision and delicacy, push information into form. Whatever the events we find ourselves in, we have to evaluate the circumstances of the world we are given. And that is still an algorithm, but one closer to a rhythm landing in the land of Indeterminacies – what turns out from it, might be another roll of dice.
˚ that ineffable affinity - such a sentimental issue


the universe is a mysterious place indeed, existing as a multiple between different laws of physics, for which our falling into place the way we did, life, might as well be a lucky roll of the dice. But when we contemplate all the things happening across Earth, the realest of them all is happening on the surface of the skin. It’s an You and I, and another You and I staying next to each other, as cliché as it might sound. It’s in the oily trace we leave as an emotional map of the things we touch and touch us back. In all that grows out of it as lush patches of vegetation, non-human growth without our awareness. A world of worlds. Though neither of us can read them well, we know that through them is where we pass. You call me sentimental, but have you torn yourself for dreams of prestige? Was that the medicine for all our discontent? Was that the medicine you were looking for?

:

The universe is a mysterious place indeed


the touch, the cuddle, intimacy of bodies, intuiting archives, shortening the tongue



[the skin that walks]



in these erratic, bezmetic wanderings,

might be just one of the many ties that bind

:

the pre- and the un-settling / that soft-spot of in-between

to know and to not know / slow

like the day passes into night,

where the last rays of light meet the dark void

of the cosmos matter / in the fabric of our senses

porous






*now, if you ask me what a bezmetic does, I can’t but wonder…


- bezmetic notes – edith lázár – 2020 -






____________________________________________________________________

from where the words have followed:

{•} after accounts of Slavonic misbehaviour from Sergiu Drincu’s, Prefixe Românești de Proveniență Slavă (2), in Philologica Banatica, (2), 2014; and the eerie tales of words of G.I. Tohăneanu, Ciudata viață a cuvintelor, vol.3, 2018

+  on some poetic understandings of Andrei Oișteanu’s Motive și Semnificații Mito-Simbolice în Cultura Românească, 1989; and Andreea Bargan delve into the The Probable Old Germanic Origin of Romanian Iele (evil) fairies, in: Messages, Sages and Ages, 2 (2) 2015 ____________plus a most-likely misremembered story from Nestor Urechia, Zânele din Valea Cerbului, 1987

»)):((«  based on Koen Vermeir texts on the power of imagination… and science – Impossible Instruments and Technological Determinism, 2010

≈*≈ once again that Slavonic misbehaviour in language and a misplaced book on plants, translated from German by the hive-mind of the internet

ø’ extracted out of Alina Popa & Florin Flueras’ unsorceries mingling the peripheral body to unfold – The Second Body and The Multiple Outside, in Unsorcery, 2018

§§ according to Mariana Silva’s guided tour in The Insect Wing of the Museum of Social Forms, in: Matter Fictions, 2017




Short bio
Edith Lázár – was born on a 22 - the card of vagabondage, leaps of faith, improvisation,

of wonder and wandering – a bezmetic in the making.


an art writer and (unprofessional) fashion theorist based in Cluj-Napoca, Romania; she has a background in art history and is a dropout academic in the field of philosophy. Her research and wanderings focus on fictions, aesthetic politics, speculative design and the socio-political threads of fashion. She has been an associate editor for the contemporary art platform anti-utopias – in charge of The Fashion Series –, and since 2015 she has been involved in various art projects. She holds dearly her collaboration with SPRLQDT Art Space for digital art exhibitions; and she is the co-founder and part of the curatorial collective Aici Acolo - an 'on-the-move' project that reactivates unused or abandoned urban spaces in Cluj by showcasing young artists. Recently, she sent Out of Stock into the ether – a journal having nothing to wear but thinking on dressing-up the future.



She is always in some sort of working (attempts) of a fragmented sci-fi novel using storytelling as an artistic medium and creating settings for audio-readings.

ťLinks:
»Aici Acolo https://www.aiciacolo.ro/


At the Center of the World There is a Fiction – was an insert accompanying the homonymous exhibition, part of Aici Acolo's 2020 programme, Fictions of Tech & Life - Expozițiile Aici Acolo that explores fictions as an instrument of reframing the everyday, our mediation through technology, encounters and the narratives that shape our contemporary society.


Aici Acolo is a curatorial collective formed by a group of friends, artists, and curators, organizing pop-up exhibitions in unused or abandoned spaces in Cluj-Napoca.



»Out of Stock https://outofstock.xyz/

Out of Stock is an artistic-research project that poses as a fashion and design journal. Initiated by (unprofessional) fashion theorist and art writer Edith Lázár in collaboration with Ana Labudović – designer and printer-publisher n00b – the project has set itself to become a playful platform for experimental ideas and forms of writing, thinking, and sensorial imagining. The first and only issue of the journal is the result of an open call that addressed ‘scarcity and shortages’ as tools for reframing the everyday and for finding empowering imaginaries of future(s) ways of living when an indefinite, dreary present seems to have taken over ideas of what is to come.



»Spam-Index https://spam-index.com/

Initiated by Gabriela Mateescu, Taietzel Ticalos and Roberta Curca – it is the first online platform designed to promote Romanian digital, internet and post-internet art as well as artists who investigate and reflect on the impact of the internet in today’s society. The online platform has a dual purpose: to compile a database of Romanian artists, and create theoretical input.