Ktismatics

15 August 2007

Critical Imbalance

Filed under: Reflections — ktismatics @ 6:46 am

Our daughter likes to draw. She says that, when she shows her drawings to adults, they usually come up with a theoretical or technical observation: “You have a good eye for balance,” that sort of thing. To her these comments seem forced and pretentious. Her interest is in the drawings themselves, what they depict, her pleasure in creating them, others’ pleasure in looking at them.

Why do the critics feel like they need to know more about the artist’s work than the artist herself does?

Advertisements

52 Comments »

  1. because most critics are frustrated artists

    Like

    Comment by parodycenter — 15 August 2007 @ 9:59 am

  2. Is it possible for a frustrated critic to become an artist???

    Like

    Comment by Erdman — 15 August 2007 @ 10:20 am

  3. isn’t that the essence of criticism? you have to know everything (and therefore nothing at all) before you can criticize one thing. you can’t make anything at all, however, without ACTUALLY knowing ONE thing.

    Like

    Comment by Jason Hesiak — 15 August 2007 @ 10:31 am

  4. A lot of artists are reluctant to talk about their work or to analyze it publicly. Many are reluctant even to listen to the critics, even if reviews are favorable. A lot of artists regard the transformation of the unconscious into art as a kind of mystical undertaking, and subjecting it to rational scrutiny might just kill the magic. Maybe that’s what some envious critics have in mind.

    Like

    Comment by ktismatics — 15 August 2007 @ 11:44 am

  5. A lot of artists regard the transformation of the unconscious into art as a kind of mystical undertaking, and subjecting it to rational scrutiny might just kill the magic.

    Yes and a lot of times it’s another name for ”pretentious horse pokey” because you see genuine artistic brilliance doesn’t come every day that the artists should be in some permanent unconscious mode…

    Is it possible for a frustrated critic to become an artist???

    absolutely; I myself am a frustrated critic and a frustrated artist, and I have no problem showing my frustration to the world

    Hesiak I just got a headache trying to figure out what you’re talking about

    Like

    Comment by parodycenter — 15 August 2007 @ 11:47 am

  6. to make something is to be in it. like how making love is to “be in” the one with whom you are making love (and “pro-duce” means “for-two”). you can’t criticize the act of making love until: a) after its over, and b) you’ve made sure to see the whole and entire thing from a place OUTSIDE that actual making of the love. the critic is the third wheel (of Hegel’s tricycle, maybe, I’m not sure).

    this is so foundational that once a critic participates in the making of a work, then: a) he’s no longer a critic, and b) the work is no longer neither actual nor poesis. and i think this is the real reason why artists don’t pay attention to critics. if they did, then they, by definition, could no longer make anything.

    Like

    Comment by Jason Hesiak — 15 August 2007 @ 11:58 am

  7. Good point, Hesiak, although Woody Allen turned narcissistic self-analysis into an artform, and wouldn’t you also say that our post-modern art is all based on ”critical distancing”, selfreflexivity et ceteta… of course we would first have to judge whether postmodern art is actually art, something I am coming to increasingly doubt because for me, art is all about emotions, from earthly to sublime ones, and it’s also communication with God, and PoMo seems just so uninspired. The other day though I was remembering the work of Aleksandr Sokurov, a Russian director who still possess that poetic and emotional sweep of an Andrei Tarkovsky.

    Like

    Comment by parodycenter — 15 August 2007 @ 12:36 pm

  8. Interesting how you so understood my point as to infer and appropriate Tarkovsky reference from my thougths on pro-duce. Communication is mysterious. Some folks headaches would have only gotten worse witht that explanation. Anyway…

    After I wrote that very comment, I got to thinking of some of the same stuff. Even thought of Woody Allen’s “Annie Hall” in particular. In one scene Allen and his girlfriend are standing in line to go see a film, and some cream puff in front of them is very superficially but egotistically explaining to his own girlfirend the theories of Marshall McLuhan. Allen interrupts the guy and tells him he has no idea what he’s talking about and that he’s totally mistaken. The guy denies it, of course. So Allen says, “Here’s Marshall McLuhan right here. I have him backstage. He can confirm it himself that you are an idiot.” And Marshall McLuhan, with a glorious smirk on his face, and not being able to sneak a peak INSIDE the camera, says assuredly (basically): “Yes, you are an idiot. You have no idea what you are talking about. You are totally mistaken about my theories.”

    And I would agree, for the most part, with the lack of inspiration in Pomo art. To me an exception is also Anselm Kiefer. I need to check out Aleksandr Sokurov, of whom I’ve heard (but that’s about it).

    Like

    Comment by Jason Hesiak — 15 August 2007 @ 12:46 pm

  9. OH. forgot to mention. Woody Allen is, for the most part, a comedian. For Neitche comedy was pretty much just an escape from life (from what I hear). Interestingly, I saw “Match Point,” and it seems less self-reflexively-critical like “Annie Hall.” And “Match Point” is more like a tragedy; the critic’s voice is silenced in that film. To me an anomoly is “Shadows and Fog,” which seems to basically be MADE rather than critically reflected (or however you want to put it). Although even that too seems to have a bit of a critical voice sort of whispering in the background (rather than speaking so outright on screen in the foreground like in “Annie Hall”). Interestingly watching Annie Hall I laughed out loud a lot, whereas watching Shadows and Fog it was more of a long underground giggle in my soul.

    Like

    Comment by Jason Hesiak — 15 August 2007 @ 12:51 pm

  10. Interestingly The Doyle was the one who turned me on to Annie Hall, through an explanation of that very McLuhan scene that is so memorable in my head after seeing it!

    Like

    Comment by Jason Hesiak — 15 August 2007 @ 1:28 pm

  11. Hesiak, that ”the Doyle” sounds like ”Gargoyle”… the Doyle got involved in some narcissistic bitch fight at Long Sunday, I guess hoping to steal our parodic act, but couldn’t resist the Calvinist guilt that plagued him afterwards, and the essential ingredient of our parodic act is that we don’t care (or pretend not to) about what they say behind our backs. Instead, the Doyle came to us with his tail between his legs and reported that he had shamed himself publicly. I didn’t much enjoy ”Match Point”, less for the fact that (as I just wrote in the Peter Pan post) unlike American kids, I don’t need pop culture to channel Dostojevski for me, more for the boring and unsuspenseful second part where you know exactly what’s gonna happen and that the conclusion will be something like The Talented Mr. Ripley, although without Highsmith’s keen sense for the amoral. Which brings me back to the Doyle’s posting on Ripley, I do think his appeal is more in some Spinozian, than a Christian universe.

    I have nearly always enjoyed Woody Allen because if you’re anything close to the stereotype of ”the intellectual”, you have to recognize the manic self-doubting, and the idea of ”Colin” was a bit to make him into the Woody Aleen of the gay scene. My favorite remains ”Mighty Aphrodite” where Allen is sitting next to a gorgeous prostitute, chastising her in patronizing fashion, to which she tells him ”you look like you haven’t had a decent blowjob in years”. ”Shadows and Fog” I remember for being visually interesting, and not much else. Long time since I saw that movie.

    The ESPesque phenomenon of being able to tap into your fellow blogger’s Unconscious is what fascinates me about this whole phenomenon, although they’ve called me a witch before, someone who is extremely sensitive to characterization. This has alternately thrown me from psychology to draughtsmanship, because both professions sort of rest on that diagnostic talent. The Doyle here shares my ambivalence about the psychological profession, because I, too, found myself more interested in creative people than in people who, due to their problems, cannot create.

    Like

    Comment by parodycenter — 15 August 2007 @ 3:04 pm

  12. about self-reference: http://experimentaltheology.blogspot.com/2007/08/strange-loops-and-theology-part-1.html

    and the stunning movies of Sokurov you especially want to check out are: Mother and Son, Father and Son, Russian Ark and The Sun. Having seen these movies I am frankly less and less interested in what cinema (esp. the Western variety) has to offer, because man he said it all in there!

    Like

    Comment by parodycenter — 15 August 2007 @ 3:11 pm

  13. OH SHIT. I’ve SEEN Russian Ark. And LOVED it. Interestingly, I was watching it with a fellow American mainline evangelical, and at the end I was enthralled, whereas he turned his nose up. Also interestingly, I knew what was coming at the end, and that the end was what it was is largely WHY I was enthralled, whereas that’s precisely why he hated it. Thanks for the other references. I’ll have to check those out.

    Will check out the link on self-consciousness…”The Doyle” and I had a bit conversation about that starting with this comment here:
    https://ktismatics.wordpress.com/2006/10/02/the-desert-of-the-real-itself/#comment-915

    Like

    Comment by Jason Hesiak — 15 August 2007 @ 4:34 pm

  14. Interesting that he talks about the self-referencing nature of the statement “Cretans are liars.” Then of Principia Mathematica. This kind of stuff is why I find McLuhan’s theory interesting; basically that technology is the etension of man. Interestingly, too, I’ve found Michelangelo saying similar things about architecture.

    To me the question is especially important in film, though, because of how little materiality is invovled in the actual medium itself. McLuhan’s religious book is called “The Medium and Light.” Film is lots of light and not much “medium.” How human is that? If a film is self-referencing, does it still manage to be HUMAN? And if so, how?

    “It is our ability to reflect on reflections that pulls us up, cognitively speaking, from being simply stimulus-response creatures. That is, I can have a thought, then wonder about that thought, then wonder about that wondering… Emotionally, I can feel guilty and then feel guilty about feeling guilty and then feel stupid for feeling guilty about feeling guilty.”

    From my trip in Europe…I have this one funny photo…The Doyle and The Erdmanian Tornado have heard about it…its of my best friend in college in the streets of Venice. Its a photo of my friend taking a photo of a photo of a woman’s beautiful butt cheeks. Interestingly, NOT in MY photo was an Italian woman’s watching me take a photo of my friend taking a photo of a photo of another woman’s nice butt.

    Like

    Comment by Jason Hesiak — 15 August 2007 @ 4:51 pm

  15. BTW, “The Doyle” is short for “Doylomania.”

    Like

    Comment by Jason Hesiak — 15 August 2007 @ 5:09 pm

  16. I have to confess that I have not known Dostojevski directly. Interestingly, Match Point seemed to be coming from somewhere – and I could kind of tell that it wasn’t up to whatever it was coming from, too – but I didn’t know where. I gave Match Point somewhere between a B and a C for effort, whereas most films from me get a default D or worse (I don’t actually consciously grade them like that).

    Haven’t seen Mighty Aphrodite. Its on my list.

    Shadows and Fog is about “now we se as if in an enigma by means of a mirror.” That and what its like to chase after wind/smoke. The end is when a circus magician says something like, “The last thing they need is more illusions,” and he disappears into a puff of smoke.

    Haven’t seen Talented Mr. Ripley. Interestingly, some of my Christian friends were talking about that the other night. And I think Doyle and Erdman were right around that time, too.

    And…can you tap into the unconscious of those folks with whom you don’t really identify? Like…I sometimes have a hard time understanding Christian Coalitian-like evangelicals…whereas there’s lots of synchronicity and such things between myself and…some other folks. I once walked into a room and there was this one particular woman there, and I felt as though I immediately knew here after not even so much as a glance. Sure enough we connected fairly easily later. Blogs can be like “rooms.” And sometimes it barely takes a glance, I think. But then I wonder if I’m being narcisstic by reading blog “rooms” that way in the first place.

    Like

    Comment by Jason Hesiak — 15 August 2007 @ 5:21 pm

  17. The Doyle is BACK and he’s being TALKED ABOUT. My self-flagellation at Long Sunday seemed particularly apropos, since I’m in a long-term out-of-phase phase that involves a great deal of ambivalence and self-pity, stereotypic reactions of the frustrated creator. Angsty stories such as mine make tedious reading and even more tedious living. While I achieved a measure of redemption — the guy who told me my analysis was wrong was also wrong himself — by the time my comment got put up on the site everyone had moved on to other concerns. This too seems fitting. I can see why Woody Allen vacillates between making Woody Allen movies and Dostoevsky movies — there’s a fine line between them.

    To me part of the intrigue of writing fiction is seeing what I come up with and then reflecting on it. But when I’m in the groove I don’t find that the self-analysis gets in the way. Do critics’ analyses get in the way? It would be nice to find out.

    Last night we went to see a local production of Midsummer Night’s Dream. There’s a play within a play where a bunch of amateurs stage a production of Pyramis and Thisbie, which is the story on which Romeo and Juliet was based. It’s not clear whether Midsummer or Romeo & Juliet was produced first, but I’m betting it was R&J. I bet the critics gave Shakespeare a hard time about it, so in response he wrote a comedic version of the same story to make fun of his own pretentions as a “serious” playwright. And didn’t Woody Allen do a movie based on Midsummer Night’s Dream?

    Like

    Comment by ktismatics — 15 August 2007 @ 6:11 pm

  18. And…can you tap into the unconscious of those folks with whom you don’t really identify? yes I think tapping into the Unconscious of another would presuppose or require that the other’s Unconscious is also tapping into yours, I think it’s a 2 way street – on the other hand, how does one explain criminologists in this context?

    The Russian Ark is lovely all over, but what hit me the most was the way the spectator was identified with a ghost (k-punk’s hauntology again!) It was also so POETIC, which you can’t say of most American films nowadays. What is your interpretation of the ending, then?

    Like

    Comment by parodycenter — 15 August 2007 @ 11:47 pm

  19. On the spectator – I don’t know about k-punk’s hauntology. But…if I remember right…I was realizing as the film went on that it was simply something or someone from the other side of the curtain. Whether a ghost or not, I dunno.

    As for the end, I had realized what would happen…in a general way…because I knew that the spectator would return to where it came from. Interestingly, I was also thinking of this as asking questions about the self-reflexion of or in film. Also if I remember right, it was a door that opened. I don’t remember exactly what happened, but I do remember that the spectator went through an orphic opening in the building, which I also predicted. The building could be said to represent the “this world” of the film itself. At the end, by returning to the beginning, you must go through an opening to return.

    A few months before my Dad died, he had an episode. We actually thought he would die that weekend. But anyway, I was sitting in my room, and my Aunt comes in all worried like and says, “Come in here. Now.” My dad is on the bed totally freaking out (picture him really skinny and yellow and sick looking from cancer), but freaking out like 70’s demon-possessed horror movies style, like my mom and sister were grabbing him but couldn’t control him. Also picture, it was really early in the morning, and my Mom sleeps with these flanel sheets on the windows and this box fan on high making it sound like a damn jet engine.

    So I say: “First of all, everyone chill out, like now. Mom, Joli (sister), stop that. Grandma, take the sheets off the windows. Aunt Pat, turn the fan off. And everyone breath deeply.” So everyone went to work. By the time all that was done, by dad was on the floor next to me (he had thrown himself there and/or fallen off the bed) laying there peacefully, and there was light in the room…as if “he” could “go somewhere” instead of feeling trapped. I could tell that he was on the threshold, but then everything about the room was holding him in and trapping him. Then we “opened things up,” and he was fine.

    Like

    Comment by Jason Hesiak — 16 August 2007 @ 11:04 am

  20. OMG Hesiak that’s a truly moving image, though it got me to think about my own dad’s protracted paralysis due to the brain stroke he suffered a decade ago and how I’m not even close to reconciling with the prospect of his death.

    What I was implying with the hauntology is that the spectator is implied as a ghost, the whole film is shot from a subjective P.O.V., and because the camera almost never rests, you get this beautiful and mournful sensation of weightlessness, of floating. It does end with the camera going through the window, which indeed might be a portal to the other dimension.

    But how do you see the meaning and significance of the continuum, the no-cut? Is it to establish a kind of a Moebius loop?

    Like

    Comment by parodycenter — 16 August 2007 @ 1:34 pm

  21. I’m glad that my image was moving. That’s kinda neat. I didn’t know I had that power, really. I guess everyone does. We move, and we’re moving.

    Interesting that your dad is stuck in like the opposite mode of the film. Movement is so closely associated with life, and your dad is paralized…but alive. And you…alive and mobile and thus alienated from your very own dad on such a profoundly deep level…are stuck in a perpetual state of “How the FU%# do I relate to this?” The subject in the film never stops moving, and yet is from “the world of the dead.” In the film it was almost as if the subject, by its very motion, was saying, “If I stop moving, I will aknowledge my being in the world of the living, where things move.” A circle never ends, but then when an axial line turns, it stops and is borken into parts.

    I also found the QUALITY of the constant motion interesting. Its like the subject is floating along evenly like a ray of light that has somehow been slowed or become curious of its surroundings or something. Anyhow, the motion of the subject is never, or rarely (?) effected by its physical surroundings. Its like its moving in one continuous line that never ends. Even when their is a TURN in the film, the speed doesn’t change, as if continuing in the same line.

    A mobius strip is still a mobius strip if you straighten it out…and it continues out past your field of vision…as it does in the film…

    Like

    Comment by Jason Hesiak — 17 August 2007 @ 1:32 am

  22. Hesiak I am sorry I have to laugh at that ”neat” and ”nifty” – sounds like some 1950s Americana – God knows what dark forces lurk beneath.

    The Doyle here is in his publish or perish mania again, forcing me to read more, but first I have to finish your own articles and make the comments I was planning to make…

    Like

    Comment by parodycenter — 17 August 2007 @ 2:24 am

  23. and yet is from “the world of the dead

    no I think he’s from the world of the undead, neither present nor absent, hence I mention derridean hauntology

    but i have to think some more for this film is incredibly complex

    Like

    Comment by parodycenter — 17 August 2007 @ 2:37 am

  24. I am used to being laughed at; its OK :) Funny, I didn’t even realize I was using Leave It To Beaver language, but I was. Anyway…

    Hauntological…I remembered last night while heading off into the darkness of sleep our conversation about hauntological. Do you remember which post?

    Now I want to see it again. And last night I saw Mighty Aphrodity. Pretty funny. Opening with an empty Greek theater listening to an ancient returned-from-the-dead (or something?) Greek chorus…which eventually performed like a Michael Jackson dance…was funny…I liked the line from Woody Allen, “I’m an ACTOR. I make things HAPPEN.” While he was in the adoption agency office frantically looking for the file on the mother of his adopted son in the few moments while the lady wasn’t in the room.

    Like

    Comment by Jason Hesiak — 17 August 2007 @ 9:44 am

  25. We did talk about hauntology here before, but I don’t know where to look for it. But its presence now comes back in absence, haunting this post…

    The term “hauntology” came from Derrida’s essay “Spectres of Marx.” In it Derrida demonstrates how Marx the materialist allows uncanny immaterialism to haunt his ideas. E.g., what turns an ordinary wooden table into a commodity? Something mysterious and invisible is added to the materiality of the wood, making it more than what it appears to be. Says Derrida, who cites Marx:

    …the wood remains wooden when it is made into a table: it is then “an ordinary, sensuous thing [ein ordindäres, sinnliches Ding]”. It is quite different when it becomes a commodity, when the curtain goes up on the market and the table plays actor and character at the same time, when the commodity-table, says Marx, comes on stage (auftritt), begins to walk around and to put itself forward as a market value. Coup de theatre: the ordinary, sensuous thing is transfigured (verwandelt sich), it becomes someone, it assumes a figure. This woody and headstrong denseness is metamorphosed into a supernatural thing, a sensuous non-sensuous thing, sensuous but non-sensuous, sensuously supersensible (verwandelt er sich in ein sinnlich übersinnliches Ding). The ghostly schema now appears indispensable. The commodity is a “thing” without phenomenon, a thing in flight that surpasses the senses (it is invisible, intangible, inaudible, and odourless); but this transcendence is not altogether spiritual, it retains that bodiless body which we have recognised as making the difference between spectre and spirit. What surpasses the senses still passes before us in the silhouette of the sensuous body that it nevertheless lacks or that remains inaccessible to us. Marx does not say sensuous and non-sensuous, or sensuous but non-sensuous.’ he says: sensuous non-sensuous, sensuously supersensible. Transcendence, the movement of super-, the step beyond (über, epekeina), is made sensuous in that very excess. It renders the non-sensuous sensuous. One touches there on what one does not touch, one feels there where one does not feel, one even suffers there where suffering does not take place, when at least it does not take place where one suffers (which is also, let us not forget, what is said about phantom limbs, that phenomenon marked with an X for any phenomenology of perception). The commodity thus haunts the thing, its spectre is at work in use-value. This haunting displaces itself like an anonymous silhouette or the figure of an extra [figurante] who might be the principal or capital character. It changes places, one no longer knows exactly where it is, it turns, it invades the stage with its moves: there is a step there [il ya là un pas] and its allure belongs only to this mutant. Marx must have recourse to theatrical language and must describe the apparition of the commodity as a stage entrance (auftritt). And he must describe the table become commodity as a table that turns, to be sure, during a spiritualist séance, but also as a ghostly silhouette, the figuration of an actor or a dancer. Theo-anthropological figure of indeterminate sex (Tisch, table, is a masculine noun), the table has feet, the tab e has a head, its body comes alive, it erects its whole self like an institution, it stands up and addresses itself to others, first of all to other commodities, its fellow beings in phantomality, it faces them or opposes them, For the spectre is social, it is even engaged in competition or in a war as soon as it makes its first apparition. Otherwise neither socius, nor conflict, nor desire, nor love, nor peace would be tenable.

    In French “hauntology” is pronounced the same as “ontology”:

    But if the commodity-form is not, presently, use-value, and even if it is not actually present, it affects in advance the use-value of the wooden table. It affects and bereaves it In advance, like the ghost it will become, but this is precisely where haunting begins. And its time, and the untimeliness of its present, of its being “out of joint.” To haunt does not mean to be present, and it is necessary to introduce haunting into the very construction of a concept. Of every concept, beginning with the concepts of being and time. That is what we would be calling here a hauntology. Ontology opposes it only in a movement of exorcism. Ontology is a conjuration.

    k-Punk blogs on hauntology a lot: click on the link to his site in my Blogroll and search it for hauntology posts. He broadens the term to a kind of all-purpose “ghost logic,” a presence in absence, something that first appears as a return, etc.

    Like

    Comment by ktismatics — 17 August 2007 @ 10:45 am

  26. From:
    https://ktismatics.wordpress.com/2007/06/07/self-as-portal/#comment-3236
    “Derrida’s neologism hauntology is, in French, a pun on ontology and refers to the paradoxical state of the specter, which is neither being nor non-being.”

    And I found a k-punk post that I’m about to read.

    “The term ‘hauntology’ came from Derrida’s essay ‘Spectres of Marx.’ In it Derrida demonstrates how Marx the materialist allows uncanny immaterialism to haunt his ideas.”

    Something I received yesterday from Adrian:
    ——————————

    · There are two false attitudes that a modern scientist may be tempted to take towards his self-imposed boundaries. First, he may not think his science has any boundaries: it’s only a matter of time, he may believe, before science explains everything. The theologian or classically-inclined philosopher may challenge such a scientistic scientist to remain within his boundaries, but this challenge will inevitably appear to him as a form of obscurantist theological or philosophical imperialism. Of course, this very reaction makes sense only if the scientist does see the at least theoretical possibility of other, non-scientific standpoints. This leads to the second false attitude, which is more subtle: the scientist may admit that science cannot explain everything, but then add that the only things that can be explained are the things science deals with. This is what Kant thought: scientific reason couldn’t explain everything about the world, but everything about the world that could be explained could be explained by scientific reason. Science is limited, but beyond those limits is darkness. Science is the only real knowledge.
    · The way to get around these two attitudes, it seems to me, is to show that there features of the natural world that are in principle accessible to reason, but that the ideal of experimental science leaves out of account—at least as themes. This distinction betweeen conventional science1 and a “more natural” science2 opens the possibility of an intra-natural basis for science1 to redraw its boundaries in such a way that the features of nature (such as form) that are today relegated to a philosophy supposedly beyond the borders of science1 can be retrieved as properly scientific.

    · Experimental science lives tacitly from the perception of something like Gestalt. This is true not only in biology, but also, analogously, in chemistry and physics. The shift from science1 to science2 consists in retrieving the thematization of this Gestalt as part of science, indeed, as the more important part of science than the experimental part. Gestalt is the principle, middle, and end of experimental research; therefore, the thematization of it is not a way of generating experimental results. Rather, it is a way of re-reading the meaning those results have for the sensible whole—and to do so in light of the sensible whole itself as the principle, middle, and end of experimental research.
    ——————————–

    Crap…I have to go…didn’t even finish reading about hauntological…

    Like

    Comment by Jason Hesiak — 17 August 2007 @ 10:58 am

  27. Here’s another example of Marxian hauntology as cited by Derrida:

    Commodities cannot themselves go to market and perform exchanges in their own right…. [T]heir guardians must place themselves in relation to one another as persons whose will [ Willen] resides [haust] in those objects, and must behave in such a way that each does not appropriate the commodity of the other, and alienate his own, except through an act to which both parties consent.

    Like

    Comment by ktismatics — 17 August 2007 @ 11:11 am

  28. I’m an advocate of science3: science can potentially explain everything, but there are other kinds of discourses besides the scientific that can also potentially explain everything. Science is another kind of Chomskyan generative structure, like language (as discussed recently on Erdman’s blog): a scientist can create an unlimited number of hypotheses from within a given scientific structure (or paradigm). Marx tries to be a historical behaviorist, in which chains of events lead to inevitable results. But he’s proposing a structural theory, and he can’t explain how theory works from within the sort of mechanistic behaviorism he advocates. So for Marx theory is uncanny, haunting the material world.

    Like

    Comment by ktismatics — 17 August 2007 @ 11:31 am

  29. A) Probably more later (bosses over shoulder almost), but my point was that I don’t think you have to posit the hauntological to explain the presence of theory.

    B) I’m missing how your science avoids bieng a combination of the two “false attitudes” described by Adrian in the first bullet point that I posted?

    Like

    Comment by Jason Hesiak — 17 August 2007 @ 11:43 am

  30. And does whether we think of the position of the SPECTATOR as natural or “hauntological” depend on whether or not what we do not see has substance?

    Like

    Comment by Jason Hesiak — 17 August 2007 @ 11:44 am

  31. “I’m missing how your science avoids bieng a combination of the two “false attitudes” described by Adrian in the first bullet point that I posted?”

    Who says they’re false? Anyhow, I say that the first false attitude is actually true; the second false attitude I agree is false. The “more natural” science2 is premised on this from Adrian: there features of the natural world that are in principle accessible to reason, but that the ideal of experimental science leaves out of account—at least as themes. I think this statement is false, so I think science2 is false. The Gestalt business invokes another old idea from psychology that tried to get beyond behaviorism. It implies that the theoretical constructs are actually part of the phenomena, which you can perceive directly if you learn to see properly. I think that also is false.

    Like

    Comment by ktismatics — 17 August 2007 @ 12:06 pm

  32. So…for my understanding.

    Science can explain everything and doesn’t really have any boundaries.

    And if theoretical constructs aren’t actually part of the phenomena, and themselves can’t be percieved as such…is there any connection between theory and practice?

    When you experience a building built by Michelango, is the residual almost-Medieval-almost-modern sort-of-mystical-reasoning actually present? When you visit the Bauhause in Germany, are the theories of modernism actually present?

    Conversely, does the theory acutally change the world? Does Michelangelo’s way of viewing the world actually change the world that is his buildings? Does Gropius’ way of viewing the world actually change the world that is his buildings that are quite different from Michelangelo’s buildings in ways that are quite appropriate to their differing theories about the world?

    How does all that shake out? Michelangelo’s and Gropius’ respective ways of viewing the world (of theorizing) are themselves practices, or even crafts? That would seem to validate the thought that theoretial constructs are part of actual phenomenon, wouldn’t it?

    Like

    Comment by Jason Hesiak — 17 August 2007 @ 12:35 pm

  33. There was supposed to be a QUESTION mark at the end of “Science can explain everything and doesn’t really have any boundaries.” So: Science can explain everything and doesn’t really have any boundaries?

    Like

    Comment by Jason Hesiak — 17 August 2007 @ 12:39 pm

  34. “is there any connection between theory and practice?”

    Theory IS practice, as you say toward the end of your comment. It’s like our discussion of generative grammar: a theory is a cognitive structure for generating hypotheses; theorizing is the practice of generating hypotheses that conform to the structure of the theory.

    Are the theories that generate buildings actually present in the buildings? I’m inclined to say yes: the transformation of natural material into an artifact is a kind of concrete manifestation of theory. But on further reflection I say no: architectural theory is part of a praxis for generating buildings. Theories are conceptual artifacts; buildings are material artifacts. The practitioner of a particular architectural theory might generate buildings of a distinctive style, and it’s also possible to reverse the process by inferring the theory that the architect used to generate a particular building. But theories and buildings are two different kinds of artifacts. Don’t you think so?

    “Does Michelangelo’s way of viewing the world actually change the world that is his buildings?”

    Yes. His view of the world includes an architectural praxis that he uses to change the world in tangible ways, by putting buildings in place that didn’t exist before. And I’d also say that ideas themselves change the world of ideas. But a practice for creating a thing isn’t the same as or part of the thing that it creates. Just like a bulldozer isn’t part of the road.

    Like

    Comment by ktismatics — 17 August 2007 @ 12:56 pm

  35. I would in fact say that theoretical and practical are, I guess you could say, two categories of craftsmanship. But…

    How is…”architectural theory is part of a praxis for generating buildings. Theories are conceptual artifacts; buildings are material artifacts. The practitioner of a particular architectural theory might generate buildings of a distinctive style, and it’s also possible to reverse the process by inferring the theory that the architect used to generate a particular building.”…different from…”the theoretical constructs are actually part of the phenomena, which you can perceive directly if you learn to see properly.”…which you said was false? I seriously might be missing something…??

    Like

    Comment by Jason Hesiak — 17 August 2007 @ 1:31 pm

  36. Are you reading into my take on the matter a kind of separation of theory and practice that would say that thinking is itself not a craft (at the origins of the Modern…this was because it was assumed to be occring in a vacume…I think)? And that because I hold to the essential that thought can’t be craft? Because I would say that craft can – and does – participate in what is essential…in fact what is made is made from what is essential…originally.

    Like

    Comment by Jason Hesiak — 17 August 2007 @ 1:36 pm

  37. “Just like a bulldozer isn’t part of the road.”

    But what about the pre-layed asphalt…and dirt…and such things (I am referring analogically here to the question of essentials)?

    Like

    Comment by Jason Hesiak — 17 August 2007 @ 1:39 pm

  38. Natural science is praxis for studying natural phenomena, not for creating material artifacts. You could, if you were of a mind to, propose that a Creator used these scientific theories to design the natural world, in the same way that an architect used architectural theory to design a building. But the theory still isn’t the same as the thing; it’s a tool for making the thing. Nor, for that matter, is the person who builds the thing the same as the thing.

    Like

    Comment by ktismatics — 17 August 2007 @ 1:42 pm

  39. …getting away from the hauntological and the spectator…sorry…althogh I’d say the question of essentials is related…this thread started as a question of the NATURE of…whatever…of the spectator…

    Like

    Comment by Jason Hesiak — 17 August 2007 @ 1:42 pm

  40. “But the theory still isn’t the same as the thing; it’s a tool for making the thing. Nor, for that matter, is the person who builds the thing the same as the thing.”

    So, thinking does occur in a vacume? Intellectual and/or spiritual things (same thing, really) don’t have substance?

    Like

    Comment by Jason Hesiak — 17 August 2007 @ 1:45 pm

  41. …to reference the asphalt/dirt thing agan…

    Like

    Comment by Jason Hesiak — 17 August 2007 @ 1:45 pm

  42. THIS IS FUN, btw!
    :)

    Like

    Comment by Jason Hesiak — 17 August 2007 @ 1:47 pm

  43. This is related to hauntology. Does the spirit of Michelangelo haunt the Sistine Chapel? Does some part of Michelangelo, some sort of immaterial material, suffuse or permeate the paint on the ceiling? Does the spirit of Darwin now commingle with every reproductive act and genetic mutation and dog-eat-dog competition for scarce resources?

    Like

    Comment by ktismatics — 17 August 2007 @ 1:50 pm

  44. “So, thinking does occur in a vacume?”

    I guess it depends on the emptiness of the thinker’s head.

    Like

    Comment by ktismatics — 17 August 2007 @ 1:51 pm

  45. “I guess it depends on the emptiness of the thinker’s head.” Funny. I lol-ed. But seriously; does thought itself have substance (because your answer doesn’t really answer that, I don’t think)?

    “This is related to hauntology. Does the spirit of Michelangelo haunt the Sistine Chapel? Does some part of Michelangelo, some sort of immaterial material, suffuse or permeate the paint on the ceiling? Does the spirit of Darwin now commingle with every reproductive act and genetic mutation and dog-eat-dog competition for scarce resources?”

    I would say, “Yes.” But is this like necessarily a spiritual/mystical thing, or simply inherent in the nature of things that appear in the world?

    Like

    Comment by Jason Hesiak — 17 August 2007 @ 2:00 pm

  46. Does thought have substance? I’m not sure. A thoroughgoing materialist would say that thought never exists independent of some material manifestation: a brain activation pattern, a string of sentences written on a page, etc. But what is the substance of the idea that can be abstracted from these various material implementations? I don’t know. Very tentatively I’d say that a thought isn’t a thing but rather an action generated by the act of thinking. And that action does work its way materially through the thinker’s hardware. Still, that doesn’t answer the question about how a new brain activation pattern comes into existence inside a brain. So I don’t know.

    Like

    Comment by ktismatics — 17 August 2007 @ 2:19 pm

  47. :)
    Hence my (Libeskind’s) notion of a “higher Ground,” which is supposedly from Jewish mysticism…but that’s my whole point here…I don’t think its necessarily mystical…more just part of nature.

    Like

    Comment by Jason Hesiak — 17 August 2007 @ 2:22 pm

  48. …higher Ground…like a playing field on which the game occurs. Like you said (sort of like you said): “Very tentatively I’d say that a thought isn’t a thing but rather an action generated by the act of thinking.”

    Like

    Comment by Jason Hesiak — 17 August 2007 @ 2:23 pm

  49. This is the whole immanence-transcendence question, along with materialism-idealism. It’s theoretically possible to reconstruct the origins of a new thought all the way down to the biochemistry of the synapses, which might be stimulated either by other cognitive activity or by sensory input. This would leave the thinking self as someone who comes in after the thinking has already been done by the brain. So when self says “I think that…” what it really means is “I recognize this new brain pattern that just bubbled its way up as valuable.” Again, this hardcore biochemical explanation might be entirely accurate, but it’s not the only way of explaining it.

    Like

    Comment by ktismatics — 17 August 2007 @ 2:36 pm

  50. for Dejan (and others), on “Ground.” Libeskind speaks of the follwing building as having two Grounds, a higher and a lower:
    http://www.daniel-libeskind.com/projects/show-all/jewish-museum-berlin/

    Not the quote I’m thinking of (the quote is in a book at home, and I’ve already shared it with Ktismatics for all to see at this site), but:
    ——————–

    Moreover, Libeskind’s museum is lower and narrower than the Berlin Museum, and its zinc-plated facade seems relatively self-effacing next to the ochre hues of its Baroque neighbor. Though outwardly untouched, the stolid Baroque facade of the Berlin Museum itself is now recontextualized in its new setting adjacent the Jewish Museum. For, as designed by Libeskind, the connection between the Berlin Museum and Jewish Museum Extension remains subterranean, a remembered nexus that is also no longer visible in the landscape but buried in memory. The Berlin Museum and Jewish Museum are thus “bound together in depth,” as Libeskind says:

    The existing building is tied to the extension underground, preserving the contradictory autonomy of both on the surface, while binding the two together in depth. Under-Over-Ground Museum. Like Berlin and its Jews, the common burden–this insupportable, immeasurable, unshareable burden–is outlined in the exchanges between two architectures and forms which are not reciprocal: cannot be exchanged for each other.36

    “The entrance to the new building is very deep, more than ten meters under the foundations of the Baroque building,” Libeskind tells us.

    From the entrance, one is faced with three roads: the road leading to the Holocaust tower which. . . has no entrance except from the underground level; the road leading to the garden; and the road leading to the main circulation stair and the void. The entire plane of the museum is tilted toward the void of the superstructure. The building is as complex as the history of Berlin

    from:
    http://iupjournals.org/jss/jss6-2.html

    ——————

    :)

    Like

    Comment by Jason Hesiak — 17 August 2007 @ 2:36 pm

  51. off to lunch…

    Like

    Comment by Jason Hesiak — 17 August 2007 @ 2:38 pm

  52. BTW – Dejan – My grandfather, my dad’s dad, actually, had a stroke and was – I don’t remember the explanation very well – partially paralized from the neck down for the rest of his life. Its interesting, it was when I was a young kid, so its kind of like I remember two different grandfathers. But anyway, he could like move his arms and point a shaky arm and finger at my siser and I when we were fighting or wrestling or something. But he couldn’t really talk clearly, so he would just make a really loud sound as if to say we better stop or else we were going to give him another stroke, lol. And I do remember seeing him walk down the hallway to go to bed every now and again, with his cane on one side and a person on the other (my grandma or aunt, usually).

    Like

    Comment by Jason Hesiak — 22 August 2007 @ 11:06 am


RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: