Monthly Archives: October 2015

Report on an Experimental Practice by the Lagos Volée

One has noted a minor trend among certain volées of the Order of the Third Bird toward incorporating mirrors and other reflective surfaces in their ritual proceedings – with the expected questions in attendance: does the reflection of a work or object constitute a new or different work or object? Orthodoxy would reply in the negative, as it does to the question of whether a living being may be treated as an object of the Order’s special attentions – the subject of a future posting.

But the story of one of our correspondents presents questions of somewhat greater complexity and interest:

We have all heard arguments that the “work” – the work of art, or any object of an Action of the Order – is created by the one who looks, since the looking frames and organizes the thing. This is one element of what is called the Korffian heresy, although the Korffians have no real monopoly on it, and many respectable Birds feel the same way, especially in those volées addressing themselves to complex, multi-order reflections. These things were not my “cup of tea” however until an experience I had recently which made of me a mystic like the most enthusiastic of enthusiasts of reflections.

My wife and I have a very polished floor in our small apartment in Lagos – imitation marble tile. I found myself, in a meditative moment, looking at a sliver of light reflected in the floor, rather like a pupil gleaming under a half-lowered eyelid. It was the reflection of one of the ceiling light fixtures —but this had been switched off. Where did the light originate?


I first suspected that the fixture was reflecting the light of the sun directly – but as it turned out, it was reflecting yet another reflection: of the sun in the window of a parked car across the street. I could not determine if there was yet another intervening element involved. But in any case the half-lidded light, as it appeared deep inside the polished floor, to me gleamed as a treasure in a kind of Ali Baba’s cave. What is more each successive order of reflection appeared to multiply its depth or rather project this depth into a new, unheard-of dimension. Perhaps that half-lidded eye looked out at me from the other world, the Invisible, the place of what we call, for lack of knowledge, spirits – or something that the describable can even less approximate. This is where my fancy brought me – though of course my colleagues would not approve.

And so I called an Action the following day, praying for sun, and for the car to remain in that location, and that my colleagues and the protocol would be able to weather the odd perspectival and temporal requirements of the “object.” The Action was a success, in our opinion, partly due to the precarity of this object, which, lacking any of its exact elements, would return to the unknowable void from which it came. However I would welcome opinions from others of the Order on this matter.

We leave the reader with this request.