In Search of the Night

Natsumi Sakai
28th September 2022

1. I am in search of the night. While suffering from sleeplessness and restlessness in the Netherlands, the trip to a cottage in Slovakia became the ideal escape. I could finally sleep.

2. When summer comes to Iceland, the night that had covered Reykjavík recedes up north. It was then found in Djúpavík. Yet, it left for some further place when Hotel Djúpavík began its summer season business. Perhaps it could be found in the glaciers and other patches of inhabitable land.

3. The night is sometimes found in smaller areas, such as objects.

4. When the night is incorporated into the definition of art, art cannot be things that are simply craft, design, decoration, or infographic based on semantics. Because such things tie the work to a particular time and place, hence holding a social function within the designated community - making the work a tool. While functioning as tools in the designated community, outside it is prey to those seeking the ‘diversity’ badges for themselves as cultural objects.

“Silence is the night. It is essentially inhumane. It is the enemy of humanity. Yet, at the same time, silence is the mother. We are all born from silence.” (Tanikawa)

6. “To tie one human to another is not the only function of words. Words are of humans, and at the same time, not. When the poet calls <to the blue sky……>, the poet is saying those words for themselves, the blue sky, and the people.” (Tanikawa) What Tanikawa states here can be likened to Yoshimoto’s understanding of language, where he creates two categories of language: Self Expression and Indicative Expression. Indicative Expression is when words are used to point to something, to communicate to another human. Self Expression is the expression for the sake of expressing - the other function Tanikawa infers.

7. “ might well be a part of the world (after all it is a made thing), but at the same time, it is apart from the world. And this apartness, however it is theorized, is what constitutes art’s importance.” (O’Sullivan) To O’Sullivan, this apartness of art is the Affect, the experience of art, and what art can do. “Art opens us up to the non-human universe that we are part of.”

8. “If I could be something, a little more cold.” I say these lines, wishing to be a rock.

9. Markus argues, against aesthetic constructivism, that art is not a result of an external force.  “Beauty is not a psychological construction that reduces to something human animals appreciate. According to new aesthetic realism, beauty qualifies as success…”(Markus 20)

10. Some traces of the night is found in graveyards. So it is in requiems, prayers.

11. Standing still

Works Cited

Gabriel, Markus. “Introduction.” The Power of Art, Polity, Cambridge, UK, 2020, pp. 1–20.

O'sullivan, Simon. “THE AESTHETICS OF AFFECT: Thinking Art beyond Representation.” Angelaki: Journal of Theoretical Humanities, vol. 6, no. 3, 2001, pp. 125–135., doi:10.1080/09697250120087987.

Tanikawa, Shuntarō. Kiku to Kikoeru: On Listening 1950-2017, Sougensha, Tokyo, 2018.

Yoshimoto, Takaaki. Gengo Ni Totte Bi Towa Nanika. KADOKAWA, 2001.