Transposing emblem by Hayk Antonyan

The habit of aligning polarization and the discourse of extremes has come a long way. We have inherited the tradition of equating polarities and extremes. We consider it to be a given and do not challenge it; we do not engage in deep reflection on the subject. It has played a bad game with us: we have been deceived by the commensurability of polarity and extreme, wrongly thinking that it entails or implies equivalence, comparability or correspondence.

Yerevan, Armenia – The rearview mirror – Serkant Hekimci

Now comes irony. It breaks the code and transgresses the borders of convention – those conventions that were arbitrary or symbolic only, without featuring any motivation and allegory (emblem). It makes us de-polarize the extreme. It makes us consider extremes as the new normal. We invert the content and boundaries: Now boundaries are the mainstream, and yesterday’s content is at the outskirts, having to wade through the waves of mess in the absence of goodwill. It turns out that the normal failed to generate and impart goodwill. It turns out that the extremes pack a lot of excess, hyperbolicity, and that they also cannot make use of all that surplus that they now have to share with other extremes as well as yesterday’s mainstream.

Yerevan, Armenia – On ice – Artem Avetisyan

Irony heals. It becomes clear that already the work for the de-polarization of extremes and de-extremization of poles invigorates, enlivens and regenerates. It becomes clear that the profane dilemma of power versus choice produces extremes in a specific mode – one which polarizes the extremes. Extremes do not arise as polarities per se, inherently. They are qualified as polarities post hoc. No one is seeking extremity proper; we all seek the expression of our free will; extremity is what often results from that natural urge of ours, by way of our own effort, to contain and disenfranchise it. Polarization is performative in the nexus of discourse-practice, whereas “extreme-seeking” (so to say) is at the heart of our ontic being (incl. emancipation) – any motion, dynamics, peripatetics is associated with extremization – see the principle of least action in physics and the calculus of variance in mathematics.

Yerevan, Armenia – Underground – Eran Yardeni

This still sounds weird, doesn’t it? Let’s now turn to irony’s twin brother, allegory, whose vehicle is the emblem (in simplified terms of course). How do we handle the foregoing inversion? How do we handle, in particular, the stress and frustration of the mainstream when it faces things turned upside down. It neither has the skills for nor an understanding of what is new. It lacks the right vantage point. The frames and assumptions have changed. Problematizations that used to be there for decades and even centuries no longer exist and are being replaced by problematizations of their “negative spaces,” i.e. of what used to be considered under the spotlight, but was eventually found to be a complete white space – space that was completely overlooked.

Yerevan, Armenia – In a helmet – Anton Watman

And that space is the space of allegory. But allegory consumerized, brought to masses if you like. Tribalized allegory no longer works on the global scale (if it ever worked). How allegory materializes is itself ironic! Allegory materializes from those same extremes! It results from the emergence of too many extremes, and we cannot keep up with the pace polarizing them as they are born at a too high rate. Rates of processes govern the processes, as non-equilibrium thermodynamics (synergetics) teach us. In other words, our capacity to polarize extremes is limited in terms of our throughput. Fortunately for us.

Yerevan, Armenia – The laughing man – Anton Watman

The extremes gather into (hyper)molar ensembles that over time tend to self-organization. Fragments organize by transposition into emblems (following Walter Benjamin). Finally, how do they do it? When initially polarized extremes are thrown into an abyss, into no hope, into being left with/in their melancholy. Allegory arises exactly from the melancholic disposition (following Walter Benjamin). Allegory marries nature and history, allegory induces natural history. Allegory gathers (from) the polydisperse multiplicity of extremes that peripatetically wander and self-organize into bodies of consciousness.

Echmiadzin, Armenia – Kachkars – Sophie Mahdavi

Now, one feature or ingredient of that process is left. That is modulation. Extremes interact with each other, they connect to each other easily because at that stage they do not have cores, only peripheries or long-tails, and those peripheries of theirs being fugacious (peripatetic) connect to each other readily. One-to-many connectivity for each converts/translates to modulation for it: a web of diagrammaticity forms that helps by acting as chora (khora) for them each to modulate itself and form selves and identities (modulation and diagrammaticity are intimately interconnected). The formation of cores or kernels of identities follow from it by way of condensation and the like. So extremes or peripatetics are the epitomic social actants. They take life from each other, virtually, by (their) virtues.

Kapan, Armenia – Soviet apartment building – Marketa

In such settings there is no outer or detached body of appraisal or qualification that can polarize the extremes. Now all are extremes, and it never enters anybody’s mind to alienatingly label themselves or their peer polar(ity). The agonizing beautified game of cross-alienation is over now. The misadventure of alienation is succeeded by fraternity with diversity, each element of which is an extreme. All are extremes that face each other in a concave, caring and embracing space that all thus make up. Geometrically, such concave or compressive space of exact extremes makes up the ideal topology for the expression of free and good will. It is the receptacle or chora space voiced by Ancient Greeks; it receives everything, cares for everyone, erases and produces anew, yet by preserving the traces. The memory pool it maintains is accessible and shared by all, all extremes or “extremes” now.

Hayk Antonyan


Snapshot 1: Lori, Armenia – Smart Center – nerses Khachatryan (Unsplash)

Snapshot 2: Yerevan, Armenia – The rearview mirror – Serkant Hekimci (Shutterstock)

Snapshot 3: Yerevan, Armenia – On ice – Artem Avetisyan (Shutterstock)

Snapshot 4: Yerevan, Armenia – Underground – Eran Yardeni (Shutterstock)

Snapshot 5: Yerevan, Armenia – In a helmet – Anton Watman (Shutterstock)

Snapshot 6: Yerevan, Armenia – The laughing man – Anton Watman (Shutterstock)

Snapshot 7: Echmiadzin, Armenia – Kachkars – Sophie Mahdavi (Shutterstock)

Snapshot 8: Kapan, Armenia – Soviet apartment building – Marketa (Shutterstock)

Cinemblem voiceover: Eric MacFadden




Cinemblem: Perypatetik youtube channel

The Syncretion of Polarization and Extremes

Ahmed, Amina. Growing up with Abuse: A Life of Extremes – Lebanon. April 2019.

Alencar, Joana. Lack of Social Trust – Brazil. January 2019.

Awdejuk, Pawel. Pole-arization – Poland. June 2019.

Baccino, Alejandra. Polarization within Ourselves – South America. January 2019.

Bondarenko, Evgeny. What You Sow Does Not Come To Life Unless It Dies – Ukraine. May 2019.

Cannarella, Daniela. A Past-Present Dicotomia – Italy. June 2019.

Casas, Marilin Guerrero Casas. Balance – Cuba. May 2019.

Cordido, Veronica. Hanging by Extremes – Venezuela. January 2019.

Dastan, S.A. Polarization and the Epidemic of Extremity – Turkey. August 2019.

Escandell, Andrea da Silva. The Illogic of Extremes – Uruguay. May 2019.

Gomez, Javier. The Canyon Inside Us – Argentina. July 2019.

Hernandez, Jonay Quintero. Extremism Is Now the New Hype? – Spain. February 2019.

Husseini, Maha. Bilingual Par Excellence – Canada. August 2019.

Israyelyan, Mania. Polarized Within Ourselves – Armenia. June 2019.

Julber, Lillian. Difficult to Understand – Uruguay. July 2019.

Kanunova, Nigina. Role of Polarization in the Life of an Individual and Society – Tajikistan. July 2019.

López, Virginia Sanmartín. Why Live on an Edge? – Spain. August 2019.

Montano, Osvaldo. Progress in the Face of Polarization – Bolivia. February 2019.

Protić, Aleksandar. Linguistic Balkanization as a Means of Polarization – The Balkans. June 2019.

Ranaldo, Mary. Social Polarization – Italy. April 2019.

Ray, Sanjay Kumar. At the Crossroads – India. August 2019.

Romano, Mavi. Censorship and Cultural Survival in a World without Gods – Spain. January 2019.

Çakir, Peren. Needing a Sustainable Future in the Midst of Political Polarization – Argentina and Turkey. September 2019.

Sariñana, Alejandra Gonzalez. Student Movements – Mexico. March 2019.

Sekulić, Jelena. The Polarizacija of Serbian Culture – Serbia. June 2019.

Sem, Sebastião. Brandos Costumes – Portugal. July 2019.

Sepi, Andreea. A World of Victims and Perpetrators? – Germany and Romania. February 2019.

Sevunts, Nane. The Era To Close – Armenia. March 2019.

Skobic, Alexandar. The Loss of Identity – The Balkans. April 2019.

Sitorus, Rina. Polarization in Politics: All a Cebong or Kampret – Indonesia. March 2019.

Spirito, Julieta. A Thought about Polarized Insecurity – Argentina. April 2019.

Valenzuela, Monica. Adults and Children – Peru. April 2019.

Vuka. Extreme Immunity to Functional Tax and Judicial System – Serbia. March 2019

Wallis, Toni. Walls and Resettlement – South Africa and Angola. February 2019.

Williams, Jazz Carl. Unfinished Episodes – Spain. May 2019.

Zakharova, Anastasiya. Feminism – Russia. August 2019.


CW 38 – Italy – Sara Deiana
CW 39 – Montenegro – Nikolina Pavicevic
CW 40 – Columbia – Christian Escobar
CW 41 – Kenya – Kenn Mwangi
CW 42 – Pakistan – Muhammad Kashif Shahid
CW 43 – Tunisia – Sarah Turki
CW 44 – Estonia – Margot Arula
CW 45 – Ghana – Kwasi Amankwah Awuah
CW 46 – Dominican Republic – Aura De Los Santos
CW 47 – Montenegro – Nikolina Pavicevic
CW 48 – America – Talia Stotts
CW 49 – Philippines – Kristian Uusitalo
CW 50 – Hungary – Zoltan Monar
CW 51 – Syria/UAE/Egypt – Ahmed Ibrahim
CW 52 – Nigeria – Ethelbert Umeh
Source: The Codex of Uncertainty Transposed

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.