The Return of Pan: User’s Guide

The Return of Pan

The Return of Pan: User’s Guide

If during the reign of Emperor Tiberius superstitious sailors spread throughout the empire the rumor that the Great God Pan was dead, and if this rumor was furthermore found to be an unconditional truth for two millennia, today the Great God Pan shuts the mouths of liars by his own hand. Today Pan returns.

The Burning of God Pan

On this day, May ***, 1945, at the very end of World War II, a few days after the fall of Berlin and on the eve of Nazi Germany’s surrender, during an unexplained fire in Flakturm Friedrichshain, a concrete air-defense tower built in 1941 by the national-socialists in the Berlin park Friedrichshain, part of the Berlin Art Gallery collection (then the Kaiser Friedrich Museum) was destroyed. Amongst them, alongside Caravaggio’s works, was to be found one of the most enigmatic artworks of modern times – the painting that was provisionally described as ‘The School of Pan’ by Luca Signorelli.

Pan ho megas tethneke

It was already evening when, near the Echinades Islands, the wind dropped and the ship drifted near Paxi. Almost everybody was awake, and a good many had not finished their after-dinner wine. Suddenly from the island of Paxi was heard the voice of someone loudly calling Thamus, so that all were amazed. Thamus was an Egyptian pilot, not known by name even to many on board. Twice he was called and made no reply, but the third time he answered; and the caller, raising his voice, said, “When you come opposite to Palodes, announce that Great Pan is dead.”

The Free Stone

The stone of freedom shattered the glass of the Human.

ROAD TRIP TO HELL: intro

Hell is about obsession. Actually, what takes place on the road to Hell is the gradual surfacing, through organ cavities, through skin pores, of a new unknown body, an unknown creature.

Doubles

We are immortal enough to never again run into the arrogance of life. We are dead enough to leap across any grave. We are proud enough to overcome all vanity of desire.

We are the doubles.

Panic

In the middle of the sultry summer day, at the seemingly dullest of noontide moments, when time follows its usual course as if nothing could ever break it, when danger is out of mind, then all of a sudden its course somehow comes to a standstill: time stops running.

CAPITAL PANIC

A lethal power has tried to saturate the world, to absorb all forms of existence, the whole potentiality of life, to consume it, to seize the all: it has tried to take the place of Pan.

The false Pan has now got in trouble. He is in suspension.

The Great Pan is back: Pan mortuus non est.

Panic or the nature that comes

Suspension, Time Panic is suspension. But suspension is not a mystical rupture, it is not a vertical axis of time, an apocalypse. Suspension is a turnover. It is the turnover of what is forthcoming. Panic is the very forthcoming of nature. Panic is an affect of what is forthcoming, of what is to come. The… Read more »

Panic Attack

The rupture of time becomes a rupture of the ‘inner sense’, a rupture of ‘subjectivity’. The paralysis of reflection, of ‘one’s self’, reveals ‘one’s self’ as a lapsing into the infinite moment of selfness. The self becomes Legion.

Pan: pandemic

‘Goat-horned ones of all peoples, unite!’ ∗ The name pandemic derives from the name of god Pan. Pan means all: Πάν = παντός. Leastwise, according to folk etymology of the name of the god already evidenced in the Homeric hymn dedicated to him: πάντες δ᾽ ἄρα θυμὸν ἔτερφθεν ἀθάνατοι, περίαλλα δ᾽ ὁ Βάκχειος Διόνυσος: Πᾶνα… Read more »

Fire

Yes, the philiosopher must roam along boundaries: the one who swerves off the beaten track and away from the tamed sea-waves, the one who in the end diverts the course of the world, this diversion is the only possible trajectory of the world that cannot persist without taking the risk of diverting itself, of going beyond itself, of setting itself aflame, of transforming itself, of being the volcano of its own surging, and therefore its own hell, a forge, therefore its own future. 

The Nature that Comes, or the Return of Pan

Lecture and Seminar Series, May-June 2020

Studium Generale, Universität der Künste Berlin

(Addendum April 2020:

The ‘pre-pandemic’ planning of my seminar included as its last topic the figurative analysis of an enigmatic Renaissance painting, a painting that only persists as a ghostly presence today: Luca Signorelli’s fascinating The School of Pan (c. 1490), which was lost in a fire in Berlin precisely 75 years ago, in May 1945.

Strangely, under the conditions that our lecture series will take place, this proposal acquires a highly symbolic value. Beyond the ancient folk-etymological equation of Pan’s name [Πάν] with the Greek word for ‘all’ [πᾶς, παντός] – a root we meet in many common words, such as pandemic, this work has a deeper connection to what we experience today. Pan, the Great God of Nature – nature itself, impels us to reflect on our present condition beyond its ordinary measure. We have to imagine new concepts of nature in order to face nature anew: not only as the universal object of thought, but also as subject of ‘our’ thought: not as what we think, not even as what makes us think, but also as what is thinking us.

We need to reopen the School of Pan).
University of the Arts Berlin Studium Generale Lecture and Seminar Series, SoSe 2019-2020

(Addendum April 2020:

The ‘pre-pandemic’ planning of my seminar included as its last topic the figurative analysis of an enigmatic Renaissance painting, a painting that only persists as a ghostly presence today: Luca Signorelli’s fascinating The School of Pan (c. 1490), which was lost in a fire in Berlin precisely 75 years ago, in May 1945.

Strangely, under the conditions that our lecture series will take place, this proposal acquires a highly symbolic value. Beyond the ancient folk-etymological equation of Pan’s name [Πάν] with the Greek word for ‘all’ [πᾶς, παντός] – a root we meet in many common words, such as pandemic, this work has a deeper connection to what we experience today. Pan, the Great God of Nature – nature itself, impels us to reflect on our present condition beyond its ordinary measure. We have to imagine new concepts of nature in order to face nature anew: not only as the universal object of thought, but also as subject of ‘our’ thought: not as what we think, not even as what makes us think, but also as what is thinking us.

We need to reopen the School of Pan).