Pataphysical pedagogy for primates; a caustic comedy. An exercise in unknowing. (What we cannot know about monkeys is more meaningful than what we know.) A work in support of uncertainty. (The inability to acknowledge and work with non-knowledge is what drives some into the arms of religion and conspiracy theories.) An attempt to improve the quality of our misunderstandings. (Non-meaning is logically prior to meaning.) “If a lion could talk, we could not understand him.” (Wittgenstein)

YEAR: 2022   RUNTIME: 19:30

Voice: Sharday Mosurinjohn

Drums: Liam Cole

Music Samples:
Seven Words for Cello & Strings, Sofia Gubaidulina
Invention, Sofia Gubaidulina
Are you Shivering, Coil
Del Cuarto Elemento, John Dillon
022605, John Burge

3D Animation: Emilie Surette

Sound Edit: Neven Lochhead

Writing, Camera, Editing: Gary Kibbins


Text on-screen:
This is P
(real name: unknown)
… and this is Q.
Q has a research grant.
Q’s research grant requires that he ask P two questions:
1. Can you learn non-Euclidean geometry?
2. Who are you?

In response to Q’s questions, P promptly splits into two…
So now, this is P
And, paradoxically, this is Not-P

(… a thing is itself, of course, but it is also, at the same time, another thing that resembles
Sometimes the resemblance is crude, like a shadow.
Other times, it’s an almost-exact replica, like a mirror.
This is what P&Not-P eat, when they show progress learning non-Euclidean geometry.

P&Not-P are in many ways, though not in all ways, innocent.
They are in many ways, though not in all ways, sincere.
They are in many ways, though not in all ways, funny.
They are in many ways, though not in all ways, failures.
They are in many ways, though not in all ways, conscious.
They are in many ways, though not in all ways, communists
They are in many ways, though not in all ways, experts.
They are in many ways, though not in all ways, poor.
They are in many ways, though not in all ways, religious.
They are in many ways, though not in all ways, normal.
They are in many ways, though not in all ways, impersonal.
They are in many ways, though not in all ways, immoral.
They are in many ways, though not in all ways, property.
They are in many ways, though not in all ways, perverse.
They are in many ways, though not in all ways, fanatics.
They are in many ways, though not in all ways, interchangeable.

Text on-screen:
P&Not-P, attempting to understand language and geometry, (and in order to earn a banana)
reveal that reality is artificial.

There were many objects and many things.
Some were visible, and some were hidden.
Persons arrived, covered in cloth.
None wore hats.
Water was temporarily kept in upright glass containers and could be moved, but heavy objects
moved less easily.
Outside, small stones organized themselves in nearby streams.
Some people sprinkled sound on the walls.
Essential boxes were sealed and stacked.
Nothing was found under the dog.
There was no fog.
Things made sounds, and they could be heard.
Some files and boxes were opened, and others were closed, while air passed through open
Light and darkness were seen to occur.
Some colours were noticeable and others were hidden, while some rough things and some
smooth things could be alternately observed.
Distances between things changed.
Simple things and complicated things sat side by side.
Friction was sometimes used, and it wasn’t raining.
Some things didn’t exist, and were similar to other things.
Everything was instantaneous, while there was much increasing and decreasing.
Some things belonged to other things, and some things didn’t.
Some things were included with other things, and other things weren’t.

* * *

Figure 43
The Construction of a Triangle When its Angles are Given
(P&Not-P explore the geometry of death.)

They think that simian beauty is a symbol of the good and the just.
They think that death is just another probability wave.
They think that the distance from the monkey to the man is half the distance from the man to
the monkey.
They see that the shops have all closed their doors but the display windows remain brightly lit.
They think that even if Q could speak fluent monkey, they still could not understand him.
They think that he is too ethical to be naked when he is dead.
They think that his cadaver will be unresponsive.
They think that his bond with mortality is wordy and protected with naked parents.
They think that he has is too funny to successfully die.

Figure 54
The Perpendicular Bisectors of the Sides of a Triangle
(P&Not-P let their minds wander.)

Text on-screen:
P – please: noise, and bananas.
A’ – nature: my greatest weakness.
a’ – laughter is more like breathing than talking.
R – … our boredom is beginning to take on a nihilistic quality…
R’ – there is no nature, only appetite.
C’ – wanted: a divine engineer.
Q’ – not wanted: violations of the unnatural order.
S – cats are so unnecessary.
P – … and highly modulated contractions of the diaphragm that results in the characteristic “ha
ha” sound.
P – move quietly past the sleeping dog.
M’ – nature is the worst side of the bargain.
Q – all norms extracted from nature are void.
C’ – pray to the sleeping monkey.
C – pray to the sleeping monkey.
S – everything in the countryside is fake.
T – we love watching trains go by.

We shall endeavour to provide binding proofs where uncertain propositions might otherwise
prove confusing.
Let simplicity and economy be our guide.
More secure foundations will reveal themselves in time.
We shall endeavour to show that the lines which link unrelated objects are curved, and
consequently that life does not just belong to living things.
Refinement and rigour will come later.

Points, lines, curves, planes, surfaces: we like them. We think they’re much more meaningful
than just convenient terminology.
In some mysterious way, the fallacies count for more than all the points and lines and curves do.
It’s the natural order of objects.
But after all, we are only monkeys, and are able only to see a world of proper nouns.

All this may touch you personally.
And that’s all there is.
Now fuck off.
More shame is on the way.
Rob, murder, fornicate.
But not too often.
Revenge is on the way.
But not too much.
Mistrust each other.
But with intimacy.

We are grateful to those who have seen the true vitality of bananas and set them in motion.
Our private life is impersonal.
If that is all there is to feelings, then by all means let us pursue our scholarship on the subject.
We think that consciousness is nothing more than a technique of living.

Figure 62
The Limiting Curve as Related to Circles and Equidistant Curves
(P&Not-P Provide Moral Guidance: A 7-Step Plan

Text onscreen:

  • You have no reason to believe in yourself! Stop it! You are defined by your limitations!
  • And don’t be so naïve as to believe in the duality of life and fiction!
  • If the world were smooth, it would be covered in 4 kilometers of water!
  • We can choose what we do, but we cannot choose what we choose!
  • There are at least two points on every line, and there are at least three points on every plane
    which do not lie on the same straight line!
  • … perhaps, if you have time, you might think to free up captive potential!
  • ha! ha!

Figure 68
The Ratio of Corresponding Areas of Concentric Limiting Curves
(P&Not-P explore God as a probability)

Text on-screen:
C: Those who obey the teachings of perfection live encumbered with themselves until death.
C1: Ride a coffin car all over the city. (Y. Ono, 1962)
B: The soul swims in a sea of joy.
B1: Imagine your body spreading rapidly all over the world like thin tissue. (Y. Ono, 1964)
Q: We are deceived, for it is the fire of hell in our brain that incites us.
Q1: Draw a map to get lost. (Y. Ono, 1964)
P: It is for those who have forsaken the world and have given up concerns for the active life.
P1: Write all the things that you want to do. Ask others to do them and sleep until they finish
doing them. Sleep as long as you can. (Y. Ono, 1960)
A: … that you may be touched with a ray of the divine light…
A1: Watch the sun until it becomes square. (Y. Ono, 1962)

Figure 19
Comparison of Infinite Areas
(P&Not-P and Flowers: a report on how their thinking has evolved)

P&Not-P don’t see the logic of organizing flowers by species.
P thinks there should be one name – “flower.”
Not-P thinks that either they should remain unnamed…
Or there should be trillions of names.
One for each flower.
What follows is an interview with P&Not-P.
It has been lightly edited for readability.

Q: Will you acknowledge the fact that this banana is not real?
P&Not-P: If the banana was real, there would be no need for acknowledgment.

Q: Why do you deliberately misquote people?
P&Not-P: Because I speak to the body, and because everything begins from nothing.

Q: Don’t you sometimes worry that you’re exploiting ambiguity?
P&Not-P: The line-up is always long. I will find something else to do.

Q: Is it because of your ambition to be everything that you protect yourself from outsiders?
P&Not-P: Yes, because that is how the monkey is born. I walked beside the river.

Q: Why do you insist on misunderstanding non-Euclidean geometry?
P&Not-P: Because I walked beside the river. Thank you for sending me flowers.

Q: Sometimes it seems that you treat hunger as a game. Why?
P&Not-P: Because that is how to make the banana less sad, and because those are the words
that accompanied me beside the river.