Author Archive

The Excluded Middle

Thursday, February 16th, 2012 | Posted by Nathan Witt

 

The law of the excluded middle is the constant demand imposed upon statements to be true or false, it is both the exclusion of abandoned facts and the affirmation of everything leading up to the demand. The poor thing is often outside of the finite conclusion- made by whatever reason, in whatever fashion; as a result of verificationism and the desire for meaning. Things that exist outside of the definition of the thing, the informe, as Krauss put it, put to one side in favour of an ancient simplified polemic.

Artists are in a constant state of availability, ready for a talk, to verify their intentions, or to confirm and allay the doubts of the audience who have claimed the artist’s ideas before the work was even made. Imagine the luxury of being an artist who can say nothing, who is not present; which is, hypothetically, what apparently exists in theory, where culture claims these things and the artist is left regretting having thought for that split second- or for having the temerity to trust in the idea. Usually it is a social pre-requisite to trust the idea- manifest in the expression “artistic integrity”, which is another social aberration that is claimed by the audience/ outside world.

The size of the middle in this context is obviously vast and impenetrable, although the latter rests upon the finiteness of language understood by individuals. Intuitively, though, the middle is both epistemological and humungous; it is the part representation of something inconceivable and overwhelming in comparison to ourselves- and people’s perception of the truth lies within that. The dichotomy is the easy bit; is the finite ontic phenomena and in this instance a utility for determining- and demanding- some kind of result or, rather, a utility that is analogous to a situation of demands that are ultimately our responsibility in accepting or rejecting. There is so much time at the extreme end of things and monolithic texts, continents, oceans, the atmosphere, physically and socially inhumane living conditions, vacuums, pressure, the literal length of time that exists, history; they all serve as a deterrent for thinking in the middle. It’s intimidating.

What seems evident is our willingness to try and attempt some kind of ontological epistemology, to become luminous beings and to, either in rationalism or intuition, submit as much of ourselves to the question and absorb as much of the question into ourselves. Defining the point where/ when this occurs seems a trivial thing in comparison to the potential- or suspected bulk- of the phenomena and the nobility and braveness required for people to participate in this difficult and ambiguous situation. That vastness is linked to knowing- or gnosis- a person suspects what things are- or may be and it is intuited but there always exists the doubt of being unable to prove or realistically comprehend as to what its actual size or value is and lots of other things we relentlessly ask. Asking questions is difficult; getting answers is rewarding but in a [perverse] temporal/ suspended way. The pessimist in me would say I have received no answers when actually I answered questions that have led to this statement, I suppose awareness, in this case, is a reflection of the person, whether they are grateful for what they have or not.

The emotional side of truth is difficult to reconcile socially, where one person’s burden is another person’s gain and art as an empathetic environment to the trials and tribulations of humanity. Personally, there is still a desire to fuck things up. In the middle there exists great swathes of judgmental and conceited behavior, the attributes of people being passed on to this ridiculous anthropomorphic form of art we invent when we discuss something phenomenologically. It is the guise of positivity as a form for change, which prevails in social behavior and art but where cynicism and negativity and skepticism, which are all essential and vital forms of scientific analysis, are abandoned, or discouraged- considered inappropriate. Science has an advantage over art in that it call really recreate the most destructive force of negativity for its means, placing responsibility of its users. The Internet moderates itself morally, outside of the realm of its designers and moderators, by the way it discourages certain aberrant social behavior- the troll, or the way a person leaves Youtube comments alone, who should know better, where a retarded sub culture exists (I’m not going to say youth). The Facebook page and the Twit feed and before that, writing itself, are all forms of socially moderated behaviour and it is easy to look for either personal conceits or the wider sociological conceits- or, specifically, conceits endemic to artistic practice. The professional versus the wannabee versus the nobody versus the anarchist versus the nice person versus the idiot versus the tourist versus the sycophant versus the genius versus the talented- ad infinitum. The judging continues.

How do you define responsibility as an artist who doesn’t own their ideas? Who is not needed to be present? Firstly it is a statistic miracle that a human can exist, secondly it is a miracle that a human can be happy when they look at certain aspects of the world objectively- and what happens to artists is a trickle down effect of a diminishment of being, where, if they were to be silent enough, an inversion would occur- like a social void or a black hole, where language and society is left with nothing to take and then starts to consume it self like ourobouros: the snake eating its tail. It is strange to think that this has occurred by talking, whether it pre-empts the scenario is a different matter.

 

Upside down x-ray of a snake that had swallowed a heating blanket

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012 | Posted by Nathan Witt

The bookshelf and the spell check, illiteracy in Microsoft Word (2005)

 


Dictionary of Proverbs/ Baudrillard’s Ecstasy of Communication/ Dictionary of Superstition/ Deleuze and Guattari: 1000 Plateaus/ The Two Sources of Morality and Religion/ The Architectural Uncanny/ Being and Time/ Situationist International/ Anti-Oedipus/ The Social Contract/ The Nose/ Lights Out for the Territory/ Of Grammatology/ Clytemnestra/ Oedipus/ Electra/ Alcestis/ Medea/ ETA Hoffmann/ Orestes/ Lysistrata/ The Eumenides/ The Theban Plays/ Baudelaire’s The Generous Gambler/ The Napoleon of Notting Hill/ Melmoth the Wanderer/ Barthes’ The Eiffel Tower/ Rousseau’s Confessions/ Steppenwolfe/ Little Arthur Rimbaud and Paul Verlaine/ Will to Power/ Grossmith’s Diary of a Nobody/ What is Literature?/ Blanchot/ The Arcades Project/ The Stones of Venice/ Kristeva/ Nausea/ Juvenal’s Satires/ Anais Nin/ The Anatomy of Melancholia/ Beyond Good and Evil/ Suite Ventienne/

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The Prince/ Henry Miller/ The Return of the Real/ The Robert Crumb Handbook/ Madness and Civilization/ World View/ Fathers and Sons/ The Russian Criminal Tattoo Encyclopaedia/ Mark Twain/ Ovid/ Aesop/ Ray Johnson’s a Laugh/ The Man who was Thursday/ Doge and Dogaressa/ Richard Prince/ Sigmar Polke/ Priories and Abbeys of England/ Romanesque/ Ruscha’s Leave Any Information at the Signal/ Modern Man in Search of a Soul/ Why Do Women Write More Letters Than They Send?/ Barthes’ A Lovers Discourse/ Straw Dogs/ Herodotus The Histories/ The R Crumb Handbook/ Francis Wheen’s Karl Marx/ Manners and Morals/ The Moment of Self Portraiture in German Renaissance Art/ John Julius Norwich’s A History of

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Venice/ Venice and the Renaissance/ Piranesi/ Gustave Dore/ Debord’s The Theory of the Derive/ The Parisien Prowler/ Post-Humous Papers of a Living Author/ The Species of Spaces/ Down and Out in Paris and London/ Lord Jim/ Madness and Civilization/ The Object Stares Back/ Ray Monk’s Bertrand Russell Vol 1/ Ray Monk’s Bertrand Russell The Ghost of Madness 1921-70/ CT Onion’s Oxford Dictionary of Etymology/ The Compact Oxford Dictionary/ The Oxford Dictionary of Art/ The Hutton Report/ Chris Burden’s When Robots Rule and The Two Minute Airplane Factory/ Jamie Shovlin on Naomi Jellish/ Jeff Wall/ Raymond Pettibon/ Bruce Nauman/ Mike Kelley’s Catholic Tastes/ Wells Cathedral/ Caravaggio/ From Constable to Delacroix/ Moliere Three Plays/ Candide/ Mythologies/ A Lovers Discourse/ Life A Users Manual/ The Man Without Qualities/ Zazie on the Metro/ L’exercises du Style/ The Lives of the Artists/ Myth of Sisyphus/ The System of Dr Tarr and Professor Fether/ Dave Hickey/ Augustine’s Confessions/ The Critique of Pure Reason/ Erasmus’ In the Praise of Folly/ Helene Cixous/ The Aenid/ Lyotard’s The Post Modern Condition/ Lyotard’s Confessions/ Poetics of Space/ Aristophanes’ Birds, his Wasps, his Frogs and his Clouds/ The Secret Heresy of Hieronymous Bosch/ Prometheus Bound/ Gogol/ The Prisoner of Venice/ Rabelais/ Camus’ Fall, his Plague, his Rebel and his Outsider/ Faust/ Faust/ Faust/ Arrian’s Campaigns of Alexander/ Writing and Difference/ Blanchot’s Friendship/ Derrida’s On Friendship/ Betty Radice/ Michael Wood/ The Confidence Man/ Geoffrey Chaucer/ Being and Nothingness/ Bataille/ Johannes Itten/ Catholic Tastes/ Breakdown/ Plato/ John Ruskin’s Sesames and Lilies/ Harrison and Wood/ Revenge of the Crystal/ PD Ouspensky/ CG Gurdjieff/ Lucretius’ De Rerum Natura/ JK Huysmans’ Against Nature/ Paradisio/ Purgatorio/ Inferno

 

Notes: The truth and frequency. A feeble attempt to abandon subjectivity for objectivity.

Sunday, November 27th, 2011 | Posted by Nathan Witt

X ray, gamma ray, beta ray, UV, infra-red, microwave, radio, spectroscopy, dromology. Big words and little particles that give way, indecipherably, to transform into waveform- or vice versa- when a wave opens up and regurgitates the particle under the microscope. Or the particle passes through something- or boils from its core- or its core does something unusual, like going back in time, disappearing from the laboratory forcing the scientists to sit down to work out where it went. And finding out that went to yesterday. Fat particles that move slowly (red), small particles that move fast (blue), particles that are leftover radiation behaving in different manners, some spinning x direction, some interacting weakly and some particles having no anti particles (bosons). People working hard to simplify stuff and taking damn seriously the hypothetical elements of the enquiry; the winos, the zinos, the sneutrino, the sleptons and charginos.[1] These are not sweets from Willy Wonka or the latest meme to randomly emerge from ether, although they similarly owe their existence to technocracy and the jargon of people who need a word quickly and their subconscious logic takes over. I think Jung would have liked today’s memes and it is interesting to consider their origins, whether they’re a scientist under pressure to describe something, Warcrafters, programmers who play Warcraft (!) or network protesters turning some psychotic cop casually pepper-spraying people into an icon, as he sprays his way through the Getty image archive. He’ll be on a talk show soon,commissioned by conservatives trying to appeal to the upper middle class about protecting their traumatized ephemeral wealth, their shifting pension, their shifting house and their fear of working for nothing until they die.

 

Time and time again there is this perpetual cycle of feeling defeated by one’s own inability to comprehend the world as much as one would like to, that a defeatism prevails when certain areas are approached, that desires outweigh capabilities- or that a certain mania ensues when those capabilities are analysed. The disparity between what one can do and what one wants to do- and the subsequent retreat into the world of notions and ideas to compensate those shortcomings. You can have these ideas for free, even if they are more valuable that anything else than what can be produced in material form. The author turns artist and then faces the emotional position between destroying something or deconstructing it. Constructivism and crazy hedonism ensue in the consciousness to get started, the stupid idea seeds itself and its positivity is contagious, the value can get left behind or carried away, or do this or do that, so it is good to watch it. Maintenance.

 

Yoko Ono’s transparent mazes spring to mind, revealing a skeletal form- a thing that needs to be escaped from (FORM)- leaving the participants exposed. Afterwards there was this compulsion to make an X ray maze that revealed the bones of the people walking around inside it, like in an airport or Total Recall but there is too much risk of cancer for the audience, which is already high enough. It would be good, though, and maybe euthanasiacs can sign themselves up to participate, so they can look at the insides of other like minded souls and reflect/ genuflect in the nasty invisible wash of the x ray. One feels tempted to anchor this notion to an image, like Bacon’s Pope or Goya’s Saturn, where flesh falls away, vertically, off the canvas, invisibly ripping through the air and the floor beneath it. The artists intent hitting you like a hammer as they drag you down with them.

 

Images getting washed- by sunlight, predominantly, and occasionally the odd clean up- or post-art vandal assault. Like after Kempton Bunton’s mother had sprayed Goya’s Duke of Wellington with a bit of Mr Sheen to clean it up before she made him hand it back to the police[2], or like the Sultan of Brunei’s housemaid, when she found that rolled up Monet in the garage behind the wardrobe, thinking it was some old curtains and put a bit of carpet upholsterer on it. Those poor conservators, as if it is not enough preserving these crumbling CANONS they also have to train to deal with the more exotic forms of indemnity, from the mad, to accidents, the idiotic, to farce, to out and out hatred and madness- the psycho-sociopath of the anti-image world (yours truly), armed with excrement or a can of spray paint or an axe- or a can of expandable foam inside one of Henry Moore’s orifices. An image is in a cycle of being perpetually stripped and dolled up with artifice for a multitude of reasons, structurally in a literal sense it is compromised and weakened- metaphysically (and generally in some basic sense) it is supposed to have more meaning, which is an archaic, semi-religious dogma- an aspect we are hopefully slowly shaking off. Some people consider it to be a bride being stripped bare by its mother, or Marsyas being flayed, or someone writing about the Norse tradition of Blood Eagling, ripping the skin off a humans back with the back of their axe so they can break the ribs around the spine, one by one, pulling them outwards and then, finally, pull out the liver.[3] The idea being the victim looking like a bloodied eagle.

 

There is a ghoulish element that is largely present in this foggy, damp old country and, also, in some of the nations paintings, the collections themselves, and the choices of the subject matter- and I’m not just talking about creepy haunted houses, or country lanes and old folklore but when this island reveals it’s nasty side (and not just politically). We have such a bloody history- both in the sense of receiving and giving- and there seems to be this perpetual denial of it, as if negativity is a thing that has to be supressed. It reveals something about the national psyche and our relation to power and violence, like the current reaction to the class war that is being fuelled in this country by bought politicians serving the interest of money before society, who condescend the people they have profligately stolen off and then insult them- and then carry on taking some more. It might be not be wise to sit on volcanoes or powder kegs, or to provoke a volatile material but people in power don’t seem to learn, as if history is only an artefact and not a lesson to be learnt, which is saved for each miserable generation to experience for themselves (altruism is a dirty word in the market).

 

When I saw Charles 1st Insulted by Cromwell’s Soldiers by Delaroche, after over 50 years of living in cob-webs, it reminded me of a corpse on a slab- having been assaulted by an archaeological site- the latter bit being quite true in many senses. The painting was subject to shrapnel, rubble, kilos of dust, transit and, more than likely, damp. The subjects are nasty, not just the paintings recent history (being bombed): Charles the arrogant fucker- soon-to-be no longer- contemptuously looking down his nose on his tormentors, who gleefully toast to his demise. It’s like he’s a magnet to horrific violence and his nasty sneer follows us around the room. It followed him to the guillotine and it hasn’t transcended anything, in fact it still seems extremely provocative and deserving that the painting did get the shit kicked out of it by the Luftwaffe. Being a cunt transcends time, the word despot prevails and possibly diminishes their crimes.

 

Torture the Irish and Scottish> insult and steal off the your own people> get beheaded by them> get depicted as the tyrant you were> get assaulted by nature> get assaulted by fate. I want to know more about this painting; if it was loved by its owner, or why it went where it went. It’s got a similar, nasty backstory to the Goya, like when life, outside of the work, assumes a greater personal meaning, trivialising the sentient stuff in the painting, only for us to then elevate, it again as it has accompanied us on our journey of interpretation. Audience Participation[4].

 

Invert in Photoshop

 

 

Spectroscopy is one technique that art shares with astronomy. Dromology is king. The layers of age being sought out as the time it takes for the light to reach the eye determines an approximate age of the thing (the relatively distinct colours from stars- their red shift- contrasting to the paintings’ varying degrees of pallid forms that used to be brighter colours in their heyday). Blue, the small fast oscillating particle/ wave receding and red the slow fat particle/ wave coming towards us…The KECK telescope in Hawaii is such a beautiful thing. The two domes sit in the clouds on top of an active volcano, Mount Kea, in the Pacific, quietly and diligently measuring the ages of stars, systematically working their way through the points in the night sky: the domes agree on a point in space, fix on it and split the light in two, they reconvene at another point, which gives them the mean age of the light- how long it takes for the divided strands of light to reach the volcano…

 

 

 

 

Gamma pulse- light travelling high frequency waves- sterilising food with radioactive pulses. No mass, just electromagnetic energy. A microscopic bombardment of metallic cobalt radiation, absorbed into the blood, kidneys, bones and liver but also passed out the through one’s shit and piss (it is well travelled). How does energy materialise? Wave deposits? The slow attrition of what appears to be nothing looked at closer, revealing microscopic phenomena. The scientist then looking at everything from the bottom of food chain upwards, to the things that feed of the small stuff, upwards, to the top of the food chain: amongst all that exists amongst the exotic cultures; who eats what, does what and how because of where. A transparent creature living in the cold, feeding off very little and doing very little as a consequence, possibly unaware of the light passing through its non-being and its undeveloped brain, like phytoplankton in Antarctic or Arctic waters or microbial creatures that live in trenches that are deeper than the height of Everest. AMANDA in the Antarctic being the doyenne of such things as it chucks thousands of football sized detectors in the ice, similarly working its way through that kind of carbon isotope time layering ice rod to look for Muons and stuff related to anti-matter- the unknown stuff in the universe that outweighs known stuff by 9 to 1? Is that right? Can you look at objects, or the world, or matter in the universe- and say: there is nine times more unknown stuff than all of this stuff?[5]

 

Microwaves destabilising ambient matter, something needing to be at x viscosity to be pumped all around the 100,000 miles of veins and arteries at its optimal. Fat being the seat of the soul (in the brain). Thermodynamics/ solar particles. Thermo-stasis creating an equilibrium for electromagnetic energy to pass through, over, around the lump of mass, showering the nerves. Nerves oscillating in a state of disequilibrium is a worrying thought… (epilepsy, spasmosis, cymatics). The agitated wave or where all the random factors of material forms and waveforms assume a visual form. Salt at 100 hz, or a water, olive oil and corn starch mix spread out on a speaker, turned on and left alone to perform a one off performance, where the air pressure, the humidity, the temperature, the frequency, the magnet type and the material affect the performance. Even the simplicity of pouring rice on a drum skin and singing with your mouth against the skin reveals an imprint of the ambient data of the materials. It’s an amazing form of documentation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Act of the Prosecution of Charles 1st taken from the National Archive. Pertinent, more than ever.

An Act of the Commons of England assembled
In Parliament for erecting of a High Court of
Justice for the Trying and Judging of Charles
Steward King of England

Whereas it is notorious that Charles Steward be now King of
England not content with those many encroachments which his
Predecessors had made upon the people in their Rights and
Freedoms, hath had a wicked design totally to subject the
Ancient and fundamental laws and liberties of his Nation,
And in their place to introduce an Arbitrary and Tyrannical
Government, and that besides all other evil ways and means to bring
His design to pass has prosecuted it with force and second levied
And maintained a civil war in the land against the Parliament
And Kingdom; whereby he country has been miserably wasted,
The public treasure exhausted, trade decayed, thousands
Of people murdered and infinite other miseries committed,
For all which high and treasonable offences the said Charles
Steward might long since justly have been brought to
Exemplary and condign punishment. Whereas also the
Parliament well hoping that the restraint and imprisonment of
His person (after it had pleased god to deliver him into their hands)

 

 


[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_particles

[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kempton_Bunton

[3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blood_eagle

[4] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_I_Insulted_by_Cromwell%27s_Soldiers

[5] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antarctic_Muon_And_Neutrino_Detector_Array

The Original Notion (a)

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011 | Posted by Nathan Witt

The Original Notion (a)

 

I wanted to make a 1 million-piece jigsaw puzzle. It was a whimsical piece of work, most likely to be manufactured- and outsourced- and hopefully, quite modest.

Now, I Google the stupid idea before I make it because when I did research the idea, the results were better than my thoughts- a 600 million piece puzzle with a deeper social meaning than that I had intended to provide.

I like this humility, it’s not good for me personally- nor does it bode well for artists.

 

 

 

 

The Better Idea (b)

 

 

 

Reassembling a puzzle with 600 million pieces

Published On Sun Jan 20 2008
Brett Popplewell Staff Reporter

Nineteen years ago, as the Berlin Wall crumbled and democracy swept through communist East Germany, STASI agents – members of the secret police – worked feverishly to destroy millions of top-secret documents in an effort to keep them from Western eyes. Attempting to shred some 45 million items as quickly as possible, the agents fed page after page into shredding machines. The equipment quickly jammed, leaving the agents to tear up the materials by hand and throw them into garbage bags meant to be incinerated. But with East Germany quickly falling into the hands of the west, the agents were stopped before they could burn the shreds. Some 600 million pieces in 16,000 bags became the property of the current German government. They have remained, for the most part, in that state.
Then, in May 2007, the German government revealed the world’s most sophisticated pattern-recognition machine, the $8.5 million dollar (U.S.) E-Puzzler, which can digitally put back together even the most finely shredded papers. Developed in Berlin by the Fraunhofer Institute of Production Facilities and Construction Technology, the E-puzzler is a computerized conveyor belt that runs shards of shredded and torn paper through a digital scanner. Scanning up to 10,000 shreds at once, the machine links them together by their colour, typeface, outline, shape and texture – not unlike how the average human might try to piece together a puzzle. The machine then displays a digital image of the original document on a computer screen.
“The task to automatically reconstruct 16,250 bags full of torn documents using a technical system . . . presents an enormous technological challenge,” says Bertram Nickolay, the lead inventor of the machine.
During the Cold War, East Germany’s Ministry for State Security – STASI – was regarded as one of the most formidable secret police forces of its day. Using a vast network of civilian informants, the STASI kept files on up to 6 million of East Germany’s 16 million citizens through an estimated 400,000 informants from all walks of life. For decades, neighbours spied on neighbours, priests spied on their flocks, husbands spied on their wives and even children spied on their parents. They reported their discoveries to the 90,000 STASI agents keeping tabs on the population.
Prior to the creation of the E-puzzler, a team of 15 Germans had laboriously been putting the pieces together by hand. But they managed to rebuild only 10,000 documents from 300 bags during 12 years. The German government estimated it would take a further 600 to 800 years to finish the job. But having uncovered heartbreaking stories of espionage – like that of Vera Lengsfeld, a 54-year old German politician who was shocked to learn she had been spied on by her husband for 11 years – the German public demanded the files be put together more quickly. An estimated 3.4 million Germans have officially requested to see the information the STASI gathered on them. With the E-puzzler, Nickolay says the government will be able to un-shred the remaining documents by 2013. Nickolay acknowledges his machine’s importance in helping millions of Germans to piece together their former lives. But says his machine is even more significant to the rest of the world.
In addition to piecing together shreds of paper, the machine has been used by Chinese archaeologists to reconstruct smashed Terracotta warriors found in the tomb of Emperor Qin. And the equipment has deciphered barely-legible lists of Nazi concentration camp victims. There is only one E-puzzler in operation, but Nickolay’s team has received interest from other former Eastern Bloc countries looking for a way to get at their own state secrets of the past.
“It’s no longer safe to shred a document,” Nickolay says. “The only safe way to destroy something is by burning it.”

POPULARITY: THE ROLE OF THE AUDIENCE IN THE NOTIONAL SENSE AND REAL SOCIAL MISERY.

Thursday, October 13th, 2011 | Posted by Nathan Witt

DH Lawrence:
“Man is great and illimitable, while the individual is small and fragmentary. Therefore the individual must sink himself into the great whole [hole] of mankind.”

Bertrand Russell:
“If dogs were intellectual they would fight to promote the right kind of smell (Kultur) on one hand and on the other to uphold the inherent canine right of running on the pavement (Democracy).”

Lawrence wanted Russell to prove that the existing state was a prison not that all possible states were a prison- or prisons.

Russell:
“Why is man moral? Because actions against the desires of others makes him disliked, which is disagreeable to him.”

Lawrence responds with: “NO! NO! NO!”

And TS Eliot on WW1:
“Eliot didn’t mind who was being killed or why as long as they were being killed.”

 

The World collectively vomits, a nice idea but an undesirable everyday experience. There is a virtuosity about collectivization and the promotion of individual responsibility (Post Fordian economics being of no interest) but it is saddening when the issue of artists being personally responsible for a lot of the things they do, goes amiss, and I am not sure to what extent artists realize this. Certain other aberrations are instead amplified; again popularity against virtuosity; the world being the work, fuelling the work, instantly validating it ad infinitum, which is seen as virtuosity itself. Or, similarly, just the notion popularized in space, or the unspoken acknowledgement that most artists, thinkers, doers, hold the concept of religion in total contempt but cannot address the question of applying its virtuous aspects in making art more socially applicable, which is so clearly desired in other aspects of life. The work is in extricating meaning from the mass and the artist is left with the feeling of the converted being preached to, possibly used.

The World, though, consists of speculative knowledge, obtained from random sources, generating more speculation. I am tired of the constant modifications being made to popular culture but that is life and that is popular culture; instead, I find myself yearning for simple objects with no language, or ideas with no form. Or just residing in the notional world, happy with my own conscientiously low impact on the world. How do you convert a man hating Timon into being a participant? [1]

The World as absent but not necessarily wrong. Some Readers don’t attend much, they like very little, are resistant to change and are distrusting, some have nothing to share and are commentary wise, impeded. This is not an altogether bad thing (it certainly is socially rejected, as I’m sure this will be categorized as trolling/ or being a hater) and can actually be a default position for putting judgementality on hold (which is a commonly held ideal and is virtuous) and generally the individual phenomena are vilified on their particular characteristics that is then pinned onto the Reader. Distrust is a valid scientific position for measuring stuff, resistance is used to test strength, part manifest in abstaining from doing things- will power and the knowledge that the energy will be transferred later whilst the Reader is at the mercy of a merciless dromology. So being critically objective and socially patient can be mistaken as being miserable.

Fig 1. Defaced Slater Bradley 2009

The conflict of the question of the audience’s absence -in the Internet- versus what has become mass social participation in culture- at the expense of solitary experientiality outside of the computer. It is a rare treat to walk into a gallery and be left alone – instead being approached with hyperbole on a piece of A4 (fig 1.) or some invisible observation occurring. I like conversation in galleries, one on one- not the press release- but the obvious desire to talk about the work and share a more personal form of knowledge beyond the standard PR, it’s very refreshing and an, obviously, American trait, like the propagation of crying and hugging on TV and the over analysis of self based emotions. I no longer care where I am and I definitely don’t need cultural references, it is why I like the GPS tracker in my phone’s camera so much (fig 2.) – not because it re-affirms the notion of a demanding literal culture, or that it categorizes “stuff”/ people: the tourist/ interloper/ outsider. I just like whole techno-flanerie thing about it, or how it makes the Flaneur look redundant, or like an amateur :)


Fig 2. One day urban, one day rural No Junk Mail F OFF.
A private person goes public. Google; Apple; Web; Gallery etc.

But the World is the work… Is this some kind of horrific inertia? It’s probably far worse. People are obligated to look and participate, this mentioned time and time again by Bergson in the Two Sources of Morality and Religion. It’s just the idea of obligation in art is not extolled that much, until lately, in which we are part-indebted to social collectives, however, it does look like art has been used to appropriate its ideals and that it, understandably, has more interest in social reform rather than artistic reform, which is why I’d rather flirt with the phenomena. Also, I think there is a general social misconception that virtuosity, morals and ethics are part linked to religion and that they are conceptually dead but that is Christopher Hitchen’s and Sam Harris’ territory and I’ll write about that later.

Images courtesy of the author.

[1] Mark Fisher on responsibility and not having enough time to read/obligations of collectivization stemming from political motives

Notes:

– AC Grayling on Ray Monk’s Biography of Bertrand Russell http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2000/oct/28/biography.philosophy

– Amnesia  http://www.december.com/cmc/mag/1997/nov/dimauro.html

– Virilio kind of mentions Inertia/ Amnesia in Topographical Amnesia in The Vision Machine  http://www.ctheory.net/articles.aspx?id=133