Monthly Archives: April 2015

Free Play and the Warm and Fuzzily Utilitarian

Katz-FPS-April26-15-DSC04152

Katz, the greatest junk ball hitter of all time

THE JUNIORS     3  0  4  4  2  7  0  5   x25 
THE KATZ'S      3  1  4  1  1  7  3  4   x24

The Dilemma (opening day 2015, our 25th year begins)

It is the bottom of the sixth and the home team is losing 10-20. I hit a soft grounder up the middle of the infield. Jedi Master Matt was on first base at the time so he took off for the second base. I get to first base. I hear a commotion. A lone voice from the home team plaintively asserts: “He is safe all the way.”

Whereas, from the team in the field, come eruptions disputing the soon-to-be irrelevant opinion, and these eruptions are followed by vigorously argued alternative accounts, accounts which fly up like rubber-band powered airplanes, except the rubber bands have not been wound. These accounts collide and clatter to the ground.

Walt, the first baseman, stands next to me and offers his own view. He steps away from the base path and the legion of visiting players, stuck somewhere between a Greek chorus and a forty year reunion of The Vienna Boy’s Choir, turns toward me and moans a chorus of certitudes spiced with complaint.

Walt turns toward me. “What is your call?”

To myself, briskly, I consider the possibility of the confirmation bias having infected the perceptions of the visitors. I consider the several colliding narratives. I noted for my own part, my own senses were holistically focused on reaching first base. And, anyway, Walt blocked my view.

I regarded the rare facticity of uncertainty and a Bayesian assessment unable to be—no, I didn’t do this. Rather, I appealed to a principle of ethical utility that sometimes comes into play in our free play. A rout was at hand, and yet momentum was maybe to swing for a moment in the direction of the underdogs. A window clamped down all winter could be heard ascending its rusty tracks.

I thought to myself:

It is not a sure thing, but a possible thing, that the see-saw might swing toward competitive equilibrium if I grant amidst an irresolvable conflict that a higher, and grander principle be served. Understanding a close game favors the greatest good for the greatest number, I turned my head away from the protestors and toward the Jedi Master.

“Matt, they report you never even touched the base. Are you touching the base now?”

Yes! He replies.

FreePlaypanorama-April26-2015-DSC04148

Then I call this man safe today!

Basis of moral judgment:
I Moral value resides in external, quasi-physical happenings, in bad acts, or in quasi-physical needs rather than in persons and standards.

Stages of Development:
1. Obedience and punishment.
2. Naively egoistic orientation


Basis of moral judgment:
II Moral value resides in performing good or right roles, in maintaining the conventional order and the expectancies of others.

Stages of Development:
3. Good-boy orientation.
4. Authority and social-order maintaining orientation 25%


Basis of moral judgment:
III Moral value resides in conformity by the self to shared standards, rights, or duties.

Stages of Development:
5. Contractual legalistic orientations
6. Conscience or principle orientation 75%

(Kakkori et al, adapted from Kohlberg, Levine, & Hewer (1981) Leena Kakkori, Rauno Huttunen, Gilligan-Kohlberg Controversy and Preliminary Conclusion)

Free-Play-April-26-2015DSC04159

Fortunately for me, the visitors eked out a one-run win in one extra frame.  . . .smiling faces all around.

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How This Artist Thinks III.

Stephen Calhoun, fine artist

Mythic Figure – direct printed to aluminum – the artist in the preview gallery of Gray’s Auctioneers, Detroit Ave, Clev.

 

There was a point last month when I ran out of cell phone minutes for the first time ever. It came at a critical juncture. At the time I was coordinating printing of my pieces by Stan Bowman in Ithaca and trying to identify how the pieces were to finished by their being mounted on some substrate. Plus, I was trying to get them to the auctioneer in a timely manner. All of this was accompanied by my trying to–over the phone–learn and unlearn and take into account and discount, all the information I was obtaining, while seeking to inform myself about how/why to make the several final decisions, while, at the same time, predicting how the final production processes will cough up two finished pieces.

Sometime before, in early March, Kate of Gray’s, kindly provided the critical clue, yet, it took me a month to integrate it. She told me. “At the end of the day, it’s up to the artist to figure out what it is that makes for a completed piece.”

I ended up getting this, and, I made the final decisions. I did the successful experiment of having the pieces reprinted directly on aluminum. I kept the faces open, glassless, and, organic. My process wandered in a kind of wilderness for a month, but I got to the end of the day. The results are fantastic.

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Gilbert & George

Gilbert & George

used without permission

“We are unhealthy, middle-aged, dirty-minded, depressed, cynical, empty, tired-brained, seedy, rotten, dreaming, badly behaved, ill-mannered, arrogant, intellectual, self-pitying, honest, successful, hard-working, thoughtful, artistic, religious, fascistic, blood-thirsty, teasing, destructive, ambitious, colorful, damned, stubborn, perverted and good. We are artists.” — Gilbert & George, 1981 (Milestone Films)

British sculptors. Gilbert Proesch (b Dolomites, Italy, 17 Sept 1943) and George Passmore (b Plymouth, Devon, 8 Jan 1942) met in 1967 as students at St Martin’s School of Art in London. By 1969 they were reacting against approaches to sculpture then dominant at St Martin’s, which they regarded as elitist and poor at communicating outside an art context. Their strategy was to make themselves into sculpture, so sacrificing their separate identities to art and turning the notion of creativity on its head. To that end Gilbert and George became interchangeable cyphers and their surnames were dispensed with.
Although working in a variety of media, Gilbert and George referred to all their work as sculpture. (Oxford University Press)

Gilbert & George On Religion, Art, and Politics | WSJ

Gilbert & George – Gordon’s Makes Us Drunk (plus other videos)

The Secret Files of Gilbert & George / Hans Ulrich Obrist from issole on Vimeo.

Gilbert & George in conversation with Hans Ulrich Obrist from Serpentine Galleries on Vimeo.

Comment: Art forms are healthiest when a Charles Mingus, Isadora Duncan, or Gilbert and George come along.

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How This Artist Thinks II.

Stephen Calhoun, fine artist
Congratulations, You’re the New Head of Customer Service (2015, Stephen Calhoun)

Dream, actually a solid anima dream, from January 2014:

People are walking through a gallery of art.

I’m off to the side watching the people stop and look at the art pieces.

To myself I muse, ‘I’m the only one here who knows who is the artist.’

(The pieces are my own.)

Soon enough a very old lady is helped along by a young woman in a maid’s outfit.

They stop at the picture I’m standing to the side of. The young girl lets go of the old lady and steps close to the picture.

After a while, the girl says out loud, “Oh, I like this one very much.”

The old lady responds in a grumpy, raspy voice, “Then, he should sell it.”

art-crone-say

I asked the probe with Ken as the witness, “What should I investigate to acclimate myself to the public for art,” and, presumably to the segment possibly interested in my art. As always, the Probe tells no lies. Its suggests looking deeper into the mercurial shadow quadrant where the indication is that (my) listening and receiving feedback will be crucial. Crones Says is synchronistic verification and it also echoes my late mother’s aperçu from ten years ago, “I have figured out you have the soul of an artist!”

The last two months have been, for me, completely different from my “norm.” I’ve had to steward two pieces through printing and media finishing processes, and, in the latter stage, I encountered several dramatic bumps in the road. I learned a lot, and I’ve learned to trust my somewhat innocent judgments about technical matters, even as I negotiate the first stretch of a big learning curve.

The biggest difference in my daily program has been how much time I have devoted, and devoured, in going back into the archives of unfinished pieces and old experiments, and reanimating a string of pieces that I set aside because I didn’t want to proof them at their optimal display dimensions. See the earlier post on this.

My normal, light, scattered days, usually spent pursuing my feeling for experiences–be it studying various subjects, or contemplating or investigating or making music or doing visual experiments, or talking up friends, colleagues, projects, or designing experiential tools–has been set to the side as I’ve thrown myself into what I can call the maiden dream.

Crone Say, indeed!

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How This Artist Thinks I.

Stephen Calhoun  fine artist

Mythic Figure (2013) || Come to the Mardi Gras (2014)

(The above picture is my own assembly; and it is not a picture of an actual installation. It aims to show the scale of the two pieces.)

Two of my procedural pieces were invited to, and now are placed, in the May 6 Auction of Modern and Contemporary Art, presented by Gray’s Auctioneers, Cleveland’s principal international auction house. The auction preview and virtual bidding phase began April 6.

Come to the Mardi Gras (40w x 58h”) -2014- Lot 103

Mythic Figure (32w x 48h”) -2013- Lot 104

Among several distinctive modal differences of the digital realm, this difference between the scale of the original computer file and workspace and the final formatted production piece presents challenges. My current pieces are, with respect to this, built to be large, with a minimum of 36-44 inches on the shorter side. The original printable proof in its initial digital stage, prior to dimensional enlargement, is sized to the longer side at 11 to 19 inches.

Although my display and proofing environment is calibrated to unity, the display size is maxed out at roughly one foot on the longest possible side on the dispaly (screen.) This means I’ve had to develop the ability to translate the feel of this screen into a vision of the final physical piece. In working to finalize large pieces, this means I am working on images that are not ever greater than 20% of the size of the finished, large piece.

My recent work is all about the grabbing the viewer and bringing the viewer into the image. I have lots of ways of describing this objective, but the simplest appeal my work makes is concerned with the truth of the viewer’s imaginative experience of the piece rather concerned with the transmission of an aesthetic or programmatic value.

I’ve been working diligently and tenaciously on pieces with this experiential goal in mind, and, to support it, I’m making the pieces really large, large enough to take over a wall, and, to take people on a trip of their own devising.

stephen calhoun, fine artist

Sun Ra In Heaven (2015) 44 x 66″

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Teaching Cartoon: Situational Awareness

GL-Race

bonus:

The following is from a ConEdison safety publication:

booklets-big

I have use of the information that that which I see, the images, or that which I feel as pain, the prick of a pin, or the ache of a tired muscle.., that all this is neither objective truth nor is it hallucination. There is a combining or marriage between an objectivity that is passive to the outside world and a creative subjectivity, neither pure solipsism nor its opposite. Consider for a moment the phrase, the opposite of solipsism. In solipsism, you are ultimately isolated and alone, isolated by the premise “I make it all up”. But at the other extreme, the opposite of solipsism, you would cease to exist, becom- ing nothing but a metaphoric feather blown by the winds of external “reality”… Somewhere between these two is a region where you are partly blown by the winds of reality and partly an artist creating a composite out of the inner and outer events. (Gregory Bateson, afterword, About Bateson)

Classic paper (really a cornerstone paper of Dr. Weick)
Karl Weick: The Collapse of Sensemaking in Organizations The Mann Gulch Disaster

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Justified Final


Justified ends, and it joins my dramatic one hour tv-in-heaven list.

1. Homicide: Life In the Streets
2. The West Wing
3. Battlestar Gallactica
4. The Sopranos
5. Justified
6. NYPD: Blue
7. Friday Night Lights
8. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
9. Firefly
10.MI-6
11. The Sarah Connor Chronicles

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Another Shot of Meta

stephen Calhoun

 

invisibility

One of my favorite aphorisms:

My only sacred cow is,

I have no sacred cows. 

(Paul Krassner)

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Post-conventional predicates

Poct-Conventional-Predicates

A hallmark of sincere and authentic and audacious post-conventionality could be: daring.

This would go along with understanding that the call beyond conventions promotes radical, storming kinds of engagements with one’s own self, with the world, and with other people.

But, the “could be” is my hedging as against the conventions of the theorization of the post-conventional. Affirmative Post-Conventional themes are, in the main, elementally meta-cognitive predicates, and these themes also reflect a kind of instrumental positivism. Some lip service is paid to the varieties of deconstruction, although, there is no deconstructive literature to be found in the field’s small, (and revealingly tidy,) body of work.

The post-conventional move into epiphanic knowledge–which is somewhat covered under the fuzzy rubric given by Ken Wilber’s causal level, the so-called path of sages–is also the move into post Post-Conventional being. The other move is not found in Post-Conventional theory , (or Wilberian theory.) There are no lively treatments of anything functionally equivalent to ecstatic intuition, or equivalent to its applications.

Ecstatic Intuition is: spontaneous development due to spontaneous insight. Its most well-known application is given by the conception of synchronicity in the Analytic Psychology. squareONE’s applications similarly provide concrete enactive engagements with procedures which elevate novel data into the learner’s field for the purpose, instrumentally viewed, of spontaneous decodification and “instant self-discovery”

What I termed twenty years ago, ecstatic organization, shadows and inflects the problem of daring. Another feature of this problem (of daring,) is recovered by extracting the direct polarity: competency <—> ecstatic intuition from the array.

My sense is that the scientism implicit in the meta-cognitive bracket helps secure the means, and the developmental applications, which all aim to build practical post-conventional capabilities.  Whereas, what I term the meta-enactive bracket, (or what might be viewed as the interface, dissolves scientism, is spontaneous and oft spontaneously messy,  and is altogether forcefully disposed toward post developmental, or non developmental, modes of being and being-in-response. Ecstatic organization and ecstatic intuition is impractical, (and may even be anti-fragile per Nassim.)

If you, reader, are able to sense this bracket’s dynamic quotients of: the irrational, of eros, of soulmaking, of Bateson’s conception of mindedness, and, sense also its more direct route away from the neocortex and intentionality, you’ll also recognize I really meant it when I first spoke of daring.

Lastly, the scope of unlearning, of learning to unlearn, is discoverable in the daring foray to be made through the Coincidentia Oppositorum, into the Oppositorum. This means going in the direction away from what you know, how you know it, and, as dear Desse put it many years ago, also means going in the direction away from how you know it is that you know.

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Discovering Novel Approaches

squareone learning

Learning Intention: Suggest ways of contemplating the problem I have with a person who just will not walk their talk.

comment:

First, a Cube-O-Probe casting from the newest Cube Sets, Archetypal #3, Archetypal #4, and Experiential learning #3.

Second, this learning intention isn’t directly my own, I’ve borrowed another person’s challenge and used his challenge to fashion a worthwhile intention. Note the intention precedes the casting of the Cube-O-Probe. It addresses a common enough problem.

Third, Because I’m expert at formulating learning intentions in the context of prospecting for transformative learning, this nicely shaped intention displays the several facets of a well-shaped intention to learn. It doesn’t ask for a solution, it asks for suggestions. It aims at deploying helpful ideas for the sake of exploring better ideas.

Fourth, The pole opposite TRANSITIONAL is HEROIC. (The given opposite of a pairing rendered by a cube is the pole of the pair that cannot be shown at the same time as its opposite. It is on the other side of the cube!)

Alterity is a philosophical and anthropological term meaning “otherness”, strictly being in the sense of the other of two (Latin alter). It is also increasingly being used in media to express something other than the sameness of the imitative, numbing conformity often found in today’s mass media. (…fairly good snap definition, via Wikipedia)

In philosophy, the phenomenological tradition it is usually understood as the entity in contrast to which an identity is constructed, and it implies the ability to distinguish between self and not-self, and consequently to assume the existence of an alternative viewpoint.

serenity-prayer-051

 

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Cubes Upon Cubes

Archetypal-Cubes-3

Values for Archetypal Cubes – set #3 (2 cubes)

archetypal-cubes-4

Values for Archetypal Cubes – set #4 (2 cubes)

The cubes of the Cube-O-Probe are color coded to make it easy to constitute different aggregates from the several sets.

The following is one cube set of dichotomies taken from what I term the Covert Pairs of the experiential learning theory of David A. Kolb.

set of dichotomies taken from what I term the Covert Pairs of the experiential learning theory of David A. Kolb

Tomorrow I’ll use the set to address a situation for learning.

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Cutting to Pairs

One needs the correct tool for the job of cutting into the fabric of conceptualization.

One needs the correct tool for the job of cutting into the fabric of conceptualization.

Toward the end of Formal, Transcendental, & Dialectical Thinking Errol E. Harris, writes:

(2) The ultimate character of the universal whole

Development of the last topic would naturally lead into reflection upon the second question raised for discussion. Is the universal totality merely a logical schema? Is it a spatiotemporal or a taxonomic structure? Or is it at once all these things and more besides – a living, self-conscious, special being? Of course the first two descriptions must be readily admitted, but they cannot be exhaustive. No dialectical system such as I’ve posited can be limited to a mere logical schema, or even to an evolutionary series extended in space and time. The dialectical relations require that the prior phases be retained sublated in their successors, even though they are superseded by them. Equally, the only complete, the only full reality which the prior phases enjoy is the realized actuality of their potentialities in the higher forms. (Harris, 1987)

Harris identifies at least two pairs in this paragraph. His intention is not to pair the aspects, rather he is working toward the inherent self-specification of the universal reality. Yet, the pairs are specified once the cutter operates on the conception.

squareONE learning

There are two ‘matrical’ operations that enable two four-fold relationships.

squareone learning

squareone learning

How would you characterize the crucial differences, or otherwise differentiate the effects, of the two forms?

Also see: The Quadralectic Archtecture, The Theory of Quadralectic Architecture Marten Kuilman, 2013

Hints.

The “squaring of the circle” is one of the many archetypal motifs which form the basic patterns of our dreams and fantasies. But it is distinguished by the fact that it is one of the most important of them from the functional point of view. Indeed, it could even be called the archetype of wholeness. (C. G. Jung. Mandalas, 1955)

Hevajra deity

Hevajra deity

squareone learning

Kufic Azif – The meeting of the Old Ones and the Hidden  Ones

 

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What Is Your Personal Culture?

culture-contextOne view of the reduction to practice, or to application.

In the fall of 1968 I entered ninth grade. I was, up to ninth grade, a lackadaisical student. What was at the time termed social studies, and english, were my favorite subjects. However, I was dreamy and had not internalized the point of it all. At the same time I had spent a good chunk of 1964-1966 reading/skimming through my family’s 1962 World Book Encyclopedia. All sorts of stuff fascinated me and I was a voracious reader.

Here I am describing experience that began to gather together the elements of my personal culture.  (This was happening in the First Order of my self-constitution, because at the time I knew nothing about culture or intentionality!)

Late in September 1968, the head of the experimental program that had been implemented for ninth graders at Roxboro Junior High, a chain-smoking professorial type named Jim McGuinness–teachers smoked in the classroom in this era–asked me into his office, where also sat an english teacher, Ron Palladino.

The shorter version of this meeting was that Mr. McGuinness requested Mr. Palladino

“Take Stephen under his wing and support in any way Stephen’s quest for knowledge while also helping Stephen organize particular presentations which will verify his learning.”

(His directive to his colleague was something like this.)

Oh, I went to classes too. Yet, the eventual upshot was: ninth grade was my single all-star year in the sweep of my formal education. I aced everything and, moreover, I learned a lot and learned I love learning.

One year later my parents had managed to leverage this stellar performance into my admission to Hawken School, a college preparatory day school. I did well in everything but the two subjects that came to thrash my transcript, spanish and math.

But, with the exception of an art teacher and a cross country coach, I was subject to educative mechanics which neither served: my narcissism, or my intrinsic motivation, or my developing culture. I learned mountains more from reading my way independently through a variety of subjects, until, I came onto my social personality in the counter-culture milieu devised by the affluent sons of the professional class, constituting a hippie tribe at prep school. Mainly, I was bored and turned off by the first institutional fault, no teacher cared to massage my narcissism by taking my wide-ranging fascinations seriously.

I loved learning on my own,  loved learning with customized support, but, I didn’t get school. And I surely didn’t understand that the purpose of schooling is potentially fulfilled when the student gets school. Nor did the fear factor over school performance and adult outcomes introduced into the mix by my professional parents take hold. Nor did either ever ask about or cared to understand my motivations. I arrested my development in one direction yet liberated it in another dimension.

All of these elements are crucial aspects of what is today, at sixty, my own personal culture. In turn, my personal culture reflects how it came to be, and, what are its main and side and untravelled roads.

My own culture soon evoked the independent, wandering, perennial student, and this in turn is the ocean underneath the present-day experimenter, theorist, artist, and, colleague.

As a practitioner, and taking my lead from Jim McGuinness, it is required groundwork, when possible, to learn what are some of the cultural features of the learner. Practitioners carry their own unique culture into the situation of practice, and, every such situation also instantiates the culture of its subjects, those who are the unique individuals come to find themselves in the specific situation.

Where the tips of educator and learner intersect is the point at where the twined reduction of the total genetic systems of experience, learning, knowledge, and personal culture of both persons comes together and, out of these now entangled wellsprings, there is newly constituted a co-creative unique cultural production–so-to-speak.

Slides from my recent presentation at the quarterly EL-COP session.

No matter how complicated the background of practice may be, at the point of application there is a reduction to application-in-situ in the ad-mixture of the now entangled unque cultures of practitioner/client.

In the example of one-on-one practice there would be the point of contact constituting the reduction, and, underneath this contact, are two vast generative oceans of prior experience and learning.

The key question able to excavate personal culture, echoing the pragmatic turn of William James and John Dewey, is: What interests you?

Three schema purloined via google image search that suggest to me vectors for investigating personal culture, and this includes the kind of auto-ethnography a person can do for themselves, about their self.

de-reconstruct-learning

Bell's quadrants

Bell’s quadrants

8 Ways of Aboriginal Learning

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Teaching Cartoon: Accountability

accountability

Mobpsychologist

“He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.” Benjamin Franklin

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