Monday, 27 November 2017

Hobbesian Visual Bias

My Sowl is not the wisest part of me or
Even as I grow older and knowledge recedes
Can I cede that the sagacity I once yearned for
Is over the hill where yonder learned man bleeds.

Essentially is my sowl or essential-self present in my nonhuman qualities? 
Or am I an amalgam of perceived human cognitive concepts?
The idea that humans are selfish, mechanistisic individuals who must be governed is essentially a view created and reinforced by the mechanistic media (rooted in the visual bias), the proprietors of which benefit from this mechanised system being maintained (it is not a conspiracy but a self-maintaining system). To compensate for our misgivings and to quell any longings various periodical mechanisms are used to give us of a transient soothing sense of a surrogate connection to altruistic acts of shared imagination.

Monday, 20 November 2017

Entangled Occasion with Eyelets #1

Entangled Occasion with Eyelets #1

The Sun is bright I wake up early
I take a photo of the shadow on the dining room wall
For centuries painting as gnawed at its arm in the hope of escaping the shackles of its own essential thingness (see Michaelangelo self-portrait as the flayed Saint Bartholemew) or in the hazy hope of jumping the train from Giotto at a station that is not designanted (see Phillip K. Dick The Commuter) where the soul resides. Self-harm (Fontana) anatomical dissection and denial (Kippenberger Heavy Guy) have not greatly helped in the quest for meaning, which has become a shameful joke often accompanied by a rueful shake of the head. Data and sensory input have no meaning in themselves and yet... and yet there is something there through the unremembered gate. A misunderstanding of Artistotle’s essence as inert object has led to the erroneous certainty (all certainties are erroneous repeat to fade) that by standing very still (see Ucello the Battle of San Romano) everything will line up and fall into perfect perspective. When it doesn't painters often feel like smashing things up.

A. N. Whitehead (mathmetician turned adventurer in philosophy) suggests that we try to reconfigure ourselves in a non-bifurcated mode of self-awareness. Tricky really as the very thing that gives us awareness (cognitive language) leads to bifurcation – mind/body, science/nature, good/bad, thought/words. Classic(al) ontology subjects change to the rule of fixed substances. Whitehead perhaps makes a simple reversal by seeing change as essential rather than an accidental adjunct to the timelessness of permanent substances (the universe as lego building blocks). To enter Whitehead's non-bifurcated realm is to rediscover essence as event rather than object. This state of becoming is perhaps what all entangled (bad) paintings seek to manifest (see Titian the Death of Acteon) and to do so with all the open trust that leaping onto the cosmic dancefloor entails. Perhaps this helps complete the puzzle of authenticity gifted us by Jean Paul Satre. The idea that we are essentially the projects we act as individuals and not a flawed projection of an idealised abstraction of ourselves. The problem of this particular puzzle is that we are trying to complete it in a representational mode, which can only conclude in certain death, the soul's tracing paper instruction leaflet having flitted away as we opened the box. This leaves us with only the representation on the box and in this mode of presentational immediacy we display reality in a "way amenable to analysis, showing only the more or less clear and distinct surfaces of the world..." Whitehead asks us to account for the no less real causal efficacy unfolding behind the scenes in reality's unrepresentable depths from which half glimpsed emotional particles coalesce.

We live in a realm that favours presentational immediacy because this works well with representational analysis (see "how would you describe your race?" tick box). The given of the subject and object are not essentially more real but they serve as a means of making analysis make sense of itself. The soul makes no sense what so ever within the realm of representational analysis and yet blood continues to be shed in the name of insisting that it can be made sense of in this mode -
such is the drive to convince ourselves that the representational mode is the correct and definitive version of perceptual reality. Whitehead's process philosophy presents an effort to retune the wireless to other stations (remember how gloriously enticing white noise permeated by brief snatches of foreign voices once sounded on the shortwave radio?)

I’m afraid of being alone Turning to stone (repeat to end)

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Art and the corrupting power of the market

Reading about Hito Steyerl I found the desire to reclaim the experience of art exciting but I began to recollect a discussion I had attended about theory communiste, which advocates the creation of instantaneous revolution rather than the production of preparatory propaganda for a revolution of the future. The power of the institution is upheld by direct protest art like the songs of the proles. This is what Orwell revealed when Winston and Julia betray Love in 1984. It's what one might call fucking self-neutering art. Art belongs to a realm beyond and outside of the institution accessed from the gaps in the fabric of its all enveloping mesh. Art understands the language of the soul or perhaps it is that but only by virtue of appearing in the gaps in the living society. The problem is that much time and effort is spent reacting against the patriarchal institution and yet much of this this effort by attempting to adopt a cynical or aggressive stance, rejects the soul in equal measure thus only serves to maintain the equilibrium of the institution's power.

Trying to force people to see the cracked mirror of the toxic nature of the institution via critique or detournement will only ever result in the institutions continued power. We can decide to move towards what we might do if this were not the case. To make a non-bifurcated art that refuses the institutional divisions of mind and body - science and nature - reason and poetry - emotion and thinking. Rather than make art "about" these things one can only make art that embodies this and make it visible in such a way that encourages a multi-modal way of engaging.

Dandelion Visions – William Blake and A. N. Whitehead

This is a multi-media interactive exhibition seeking through art and poetry to create a situation of entangled engagement between artists and the public. To organically disrupt the idea that art delivers a message rather than occurs within a living society. The exhibition seeks to grow beyond the walls of the conventional split of subject and object or mind and body and tries to offer a multi-modal way of being.
Inspired by William Blake the exhibition attempts to marry his fourfold vision with A N Whitehead’s idea of non-bifurcated thinking or “process reality”. Blake’s image of Newton is a vision of the fixed detachment of Enlightened frameworks, which fossilise or abstract the process of culture and life that it may be analysed. This state of stasis (essential to data processing) has the affect of not only alienating the public from art but each other too.

The exhibition is more of an on going occasion into which artists and public alike enter, reporting back on epiphanies and discoveries. It seeks to explore Blake’s idea that we imagine our realities outwards and workshops of poetry and object making add to a blurring of the distinction between the viewer and the creator. Consisting of work from all over the world the exhibition gathers around a central installation, The Nonbifurcatedman, propelling us via hyper-drive back into nature. As well as guiding the visitor into the space the central motif of the dandelion seed is used as an emblem for the spread of a collective creative imagination – so vital to a shared sense of connectedness.

The role of an artist is in some respects not to create a framework but to reveal it and in doing so offer what Duchamp refers to as a “way out through a clearing”. As Einstein joined time and space, A. N. Whitehead took the idea of relativity and asked us to reframe objects as events not static abstractions. This living state is underpinned by the concept of the soul for both Blake and Whitehead. The soul, so superfluous in an age of data and meaningless detachment, is the only thing that makes the equations of entanglement add up.

Debbie Kennard, Cabinet Member for Stronger and Safer Communities attended a recent event based around the idea and commented “I think if it doesn’t touch your soul, there’s no point, and that did. I think it’s fantastic having it [the exhibition] here in the library, it makes it accessible. Art and poetry, it’s for everyone, isn’t it. Here at the library it’s open doors, open dreams, open boxes of dreams and aspirations.”
I am not an illusion by Arzu Kiraner at Bognor Regis Library Sep 2017

the nonbifurcatedman Bognor Regis Library September 2017