The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
A found Caprice is a threshold, a moment of shift, a sudden change which doesn’t require much explanation, it simply is. In Bataille’s “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” we discover that our sudden shifts are born out of the information we have and also the goals we intend to achieve all intertwined in that moment in time. A found Caprice is an acknowledgement of that shift in thought, brought on namely by the collision of information, time and desire. These pieces may fit together now, yet later the same pieces may no longer be accessible. We must choose wisely once the impulse strikes us and notice that the choice to defer decision until a later time is also a shift in thought, a pause in succumbing to the choice itself.
Are we all waiting for the right time? Are we all waiting for that perfect moment? We barely know if it will arrive.
“What determines the election of the loved one— so that the possibility of another choice, represented logically, inspires horror— is in fact reducible to a series of chances. Simple coincidences arrange the meeting and constitute the feminine figure of destiny to which a man feels bound, sometimes to the point of death. The value of this figure is dependent on long-term obsessive exigencies, which are so difficult to satisfy that they lend the loved one the colors of extreme luck. When a certain configuration of cards is introduced into a game, it determines the fate of the stakes; the unexpected meeting of a woman, as in the case of a lucky hand of cards, determines existence. But the best hand of cards only has meaning if the conditions under which it is dealt allow one to win the pot. The winning hand is only an arbitrary combination; the desire to win, and the winnings themselves, make it real. Consequences alone give a true character to random series that would have no meaning if human caprice had not chosen them. Meeting a woman would only be an aesthetic emotion without the will to possess her and make true what her apparition had seemed to mean. Only once conquered, or lost, the fugitive image of destiny ceases to be an aleatory figure and becomes reality determining fate.”Georges Bataille,
Visions of Excess – “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice”
Is life just a series of choices made with the data set available at the time? Are we merely playing the hands we’ve been dealt moment to moment? If so, suffice to say that choices may be better made with more access to information, although sometimes decisions are made abruptly, a split-second decision instead of a researched one sets us apart, on another journey, another path, no looking back.
We find Caprice’s in these moments. These sudden shifts in psyche, a damaging choice or the one less lethal, something saved, something borrowed, something braved, something gained, always a churning of time and information, hedging our bets so that we can open ourselves up to more options, more choices, more adventures and plans. As Bataille mentions, “the best hand of cards only has meaning if the conditions under which it is dealt allow one to win the pot” which illustrates that choices made are merely perfect if the “conditions” are ripe, otherwise we are just hedging our bets, working with the information we have available coupled with our own personal desires. What’s best today may be worst tomorrow. Our lives are a capricious dance amongst myriad choices affixed to hopes, dreams, and individual desires. We make our best guess and advance forward with the hope we have chosen wisely.