Ars Fatuous

  1. There is no center. There is a sign on the street that suggests a centre: Department of People. People work for this department. They are ordered in a hierarchy, an ascending chain of people placed one above the other and at the top of which sits a single individual. He thinks of himself as the centre. His orders are vague, but, like religious pronouncements, are interpreted by those in the chain below him, are made explicit, are enacted upon the world.

A shelf of neatly stacked folders unsplash-logo Image by Maarten van den Heuvel

  1. The links in the chain listen. They already have existing orders and the new ones, vague and unsatisfactory, are embellished and refined and made anew. The chains become entangled and sometimes the links between each other are unclear, and the people live and make spaces for themselves in the interstices, both person and link, interpreter, shaper, enactor.
  2. You’ve heard the stories from your friends, of their supplications to the Department. Now it is your turn: you visit. you queue, your are told what forms to fill in (you are given no pen, but you have brought your own), what desk to hand the forms in to (no dear, you need to fill in form 26a revision ii, not 26a), where to get 26a revision ii (revision ii is unavailable, but you’re given revision iib), but by then you’ve paid the application fee with the wrong cashier and no refunds are to be given, although after lunch the correct cashier opens and the long queue does move, occasionally, and you wait in line until it’s 15:00 (how did the day disappear?) and you’re given a hand written reference number and told that the Department is closing for the day, could you please return tomorrow with your forms appropriately dated for tomorrow, thank you.