K.’s Helmet

Apparently entirely by chance, since, 6 days have passed.

The following would be an insignificant and redundant exercise in proving the measure of memory.

At some point during an experimental short appended as an extra to the main feature – an interview, a meandering record taken during the filming proper, or a discrete and willed piece – K. locates or happens upon a gathering of ants, about the entry point to their quarters. The image of an endoskeletal human hand permitting overrun by the dwarfed exoskeletal businesspeople appears memorable, likely. The tone, of subject, depiction, and delivery is somehow indisputably military: sand, a khaki, ants, their pacing, a kind of terrestrial fixture, audio, cloth-flapped and wind buffeted, all blacks, darknesses of green.


As though spoken in amplified translation of one of these ants, or by a more designed prompting, K. is occasioned to share the traditional saying, [~] If your head explodes, just keep it inside your own helmet. Certainly there is all manner of crackling explosion within each of these tracers, all-head, by turn, forward, reverse, prodding, within their exoskeletal armour kept. But aside from this microcosm, the original, or even more broadly occasioned, context of explosion and helmet is unyielding to memory. The use, however, remains not as an oppressive justification in instances of enforcing internalised trauma or as a moral rejection of sharing (indeed, one’s “own helmet” may be one’s surrounds, but as a manner of dignity and honesty with and within oneself with the content of one’s explosion, self. At any rate, the instance, the scene, the phrase surfaces frequently.

The inevitable tonal unity of such a contingent palette is unavoidable, indeed unavoidable contingency may be K.’s concerted and penetrating scheme. That path lays earth bare, that ants reveal innards of earth, that hand reaches, that mutual curiosity teems, that head explodes, that keeping is not by choice but occurrence, that one is wearing a helmet (more aptly: that one is surrounded by helmet). Yet for want – as per the redundant exercise – of revisiting the outnumbered memory, the pause will arrive in which to speak and recall or think the reason for depicting the happenstance setting at all, what inseparable relationship between ant an proverb: so as to depict an ant-occasion relevant rather than of contingent imagination (a magnetic and perhaps lamentably unavoidable faculty likely closer to our makeup and our making up).

And what is tentatively given, is that ant colonies, to banal human comprehension, are an apparent proof in the narrow metaphor of holistic functioning as mutually exclusive to intimacy: where the intimate is shared, the fine order of functioning is exploded (the most literal of intimate sharings). Marching about their opening: only by virtue of their discrete individuation do ants subsist individually or collectively. Certainly the ironic opposition of skeleton and flesh, helmet and explodable between human hand reached and ants is not lost: in sentiment, also only the opposite, even as conception of health and functioning and holism, might be reasoned. And yet we assume the phrase, or may. Which is to define a helmet as a bone able to be summoned, an instrument, an inner-screen useful, and removable. 


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