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Smelling, touching, listening are to be learnt again by the ones who might want to succeed in lock-picking, and if they do – they are warned - they shouldn’t think “I made it” but wonder “what exactly happened ?”. Because the point isn’t why resistance leaves the place to openness, but how that happens.
There is a science of quality that defies logic, it rules the domain of the love conquest whose champion is Don Giovanni, restless wrecker of moral boundaries and petty bourgeois common sense, moved by the mere pleasure of adding another name to his list. There is a use value that ruins all exchange value. And there is an accumulation of competence that threatens all other possible accumulation.
If this manual contains information, it must be said that it can only be used in the way one would follow directions for spiritual exercises. Never think about yourself and never think about the lock : ego gets in the way of lock-picking as much as it does for any Zen practice. Visualizing the invisible, evaluating the con-sequences of the least of our gestures, reaching a state of concentrated relaxation are parts of the process, whose unspoken aim is becoming something between flesh and metal - like Odradek is both a bobbin and a begging creature, but he is neither of them.
Some instructions for the sharing of private property is a story of asceticism told by various anonymous voices. Because the morality of the lock-picker resembles the one of the fidèles d’amour : there are many easy ways to break into places, but picking a lock is the more virtuous one. Cultivating this virtuosity involves sensing the world more intensely, sanding one’s fingertips until each grain of sand paper can be distinctly felt, making oneself as rigid and cold as a key until perfectly understanding what every clicking noise means, being aware of the infinite states that exist between closed and open, all to be inhabited and influenced.
Lock-pickers belong to a clandestine congregation, which has the means to enter our houses and our hearts, but here a choice is presented to us : becoming one of them or taking closed doors for an answer.
Claire Fontaine, March 2011