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.