Programme Your Retroactive Wish

Catalyst Arts Members Show
2–5 May 2018


you are a programmed tape recorder set to record and playback

listen to your present time tapes and you will begin to see who you are and what you are doing here mix yesterday in with today and hear tomorrow your future rising out of old recordings

who programs you

who decides what tapes play back in present time

who plays back your old humiliations and defeats holding you in prerecorded present time

you don’t have to listen to that sound

you can program your own playback

you can decide what tapes you want played back in present time

William S. Burroughs

Regret is a way of relating to objects and actions of the past, connecting our desires and wills to what we do and what we make.  The Members Show this year takes the idea of regret – the retroactive wish – as a potentially compelling way of seeing what we’ve made and of bringing an element of looking-back into the present.  Clément Rosset summarises Schopenhauer, saying that regret has no meaning; to do something different would have been to want something different.  Even without meaning, a retroactive wish might carry something – the ghost of an intention, a persistent illusion.

Catalyst members are all invited to show a piece of work in any medium – work that they have made recently, that they have willed into existence, suspending or embracing the possibility of retroactive wishes.

Exhibition Poster

Exhibition Poster