(iPhone)™ as Perpetual Keepsake

by thomasmagnahastings

Dutch miniatures locketm

In this vacuum of sheets everything is so proximate that seeing things is a joke, but it takes two or more to fantasise with so instead I cup my iPhone.

Dutch eighteenth-century portrait miniatures contain a sheer density that fucks with other media as their sole purpose is to communicate gaze. Leo Bersani writes that “sexual desire initiates, indeed can be recognised by, an agitated fantasmatic activity in which original (but, from the start, unlocatable) objects of desire get lost in the images they generate.” Sometime else, the portrait miniature pretends the object of desire is locatable as it turns fantasmatic activity into a smaller, weaker object of desire that warms to the touch like the animal warmth of a hot water bottle. But there is something ocular in the crystalline sheen of its rounded surface that collapses the absent object of desire into the metallic realness of that object — a manneristic piece of the Western Tradition that only actually falsely promises.

Somewhere I am A.M. with the duvet doming overhead, and the metallic realness of this object is my real object of desire, because you can only be the images that you generate.