Category Archives: cultural contradictions

Conference of the Birds

(This never gets old.)

Precise Metallic Replicas of Ancient Fossils and Cells by Allan Drummond – via colossal

Quantum Poetics – Samuel Matlack – via The New Atlantis

Overlooked Unity - Stephen Calhoun

Life is a virtual multiplicity, not of things and agents but contemplations and contractions, events and responses. This means there is not a world (actual) that is then represented in images (virtual) by the privileged mind of man (the subject). Life is just this actual-virtual interaction of imaging: each flow of life becomes other in response to what it is not. The anticipation goes beyond what is actual, but also produces a new actual. The image is neither actual nor virtual but the interval that brings actuality out of the virtual. —Claire Colebrook

Karaba Blue - Stephen Calhoun
artiststephencalhoun.com

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We have created a Star Wars civilization, with Stone Age emotions — E.O.Wilson

excerpt 1:Very few species, however, have made the leap from merely social to eusocial, “eu-” meaning true. To qualify as eusocial, in Wilson’s definition, animals must live in multigenerational communities, practice division of labor and behave altruistically, ready to sacrifice “at least some of their personal interests to that of the group.” It’s tough to be a eusocialist. Wouldn’t you rather just grab, gulp and go? Yet the payoffs of sustained cooperation can be huge.

excerpt 2: Our hypersocial spirit is both a great blessing and a terrible curse. Experiments have shown that it is shockingly easy to elicit a sense of solidarity among a group of strangers. Just tell them they’ll be working together as a team, and they immediately start working together as a team, all the while attributing to each other a host of positive qualities like trustworthiness and competence—an instant five-star customer review.

Yet we are equally prepared to do battle against those who fall outside the fraternal frame. In experiments where psychologists divided people into groups of arbitrarily assigned traits—labeling one set the Blue team and another the Green, for example—the groups started sniping at each other and expressing strong prejudices toward their “opponents,” with the Greens insisting the Blues were untrustworthy and unfair. The “drive to form and take deep pleasure from in-group membership easily translates at a higher level into tribalism,” Wilson says, and can spark religious, ethnic and political conflicts of breathtaking brutality.

Wilson also traces what he considers the tragedy of the human condition to the private struggle of us versus me. He sees us as a kind of mixed economy, the complicated fruit of a sharply disputed process known as multilevel selection. By this reckoning, some of our impulses are the result of individual selection, the competition of you against everybody else for a share of life’s goodies. Other traits are under the sway of group selection, prompting us to behave altruistically for the sake of the team. It appears our individually selected traits are older and more primal, harder to constrain, the ones we traditionally label vices: greed, sloth and lust, the way we covet our neighbor’s life and paper over our failings with pride. Our eusocial inclinations are evolutionarily newer and more fragile and must be vociferously promoted by the group if the group is to survive. They are the stuff of religions and Ben Franklin homilies and represent the virtues we admire: to be generous, kind and levelheaded, to control our impulses, keep our promises and rise to the occasion even when we are scared or disheartened. “The human condition is an endemic turmoil rooted in the evolution processes that created us,” he writes. “The worst in our nature coexists with the best, and so it will ever be.”

E.O.Wilson’s New Take On Human Nature

rijksmuseum

rijksmuseum

Isn’t it rich?
Are we a pair?
Me here at last on the ground,
And you in mid-air.
Send in the clowns.

Isn’t it bliss?
Don’t you approve?
One who keeps tearing around,
And one who can’t move.
But where are the clowns?

Just when I’d stopped
Opening doors,
Finally knowing
The one that I wanted was yours,
Making my entrance again
With my usual flair,
Sure of my lines,
Nobody there.

Don’t you love farce?
My fault, I fear.
I thought that you’d want what I want –
Sorry, my dear.
But where are the clowns?
Quick, send in the clowns.
Don’t bother, they’re here.

Send in the clowns – Stephen Sondheim

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Almost Random MadLib

Imagine if academics sat down with ordinary people like you and me and ironed out some real solutions to our capital gains crisis.

With the election season over, maybe you’ve forgotten about capital gains, but I certainly haven’t. It would be easy to forget that the problem even exists, when our headlines are constantly splashed with the violence in Tajikistan, the authoritarian crackdown in Canada and the still-unstable democratic transition in Somalia. But the capital gains problem is growing, and politicians are more divided than ever. Republicans seem to think that capital gains can just be ignored. Democratic politicians like Dianne Feinstein, on the other hand, seem to think that unproductive rhetoric will substitute for a argument.

But the Democratic party of Dianne Feinstein is not the Democratic party of Bill Clinton. Clinton wouldn’t refuse to budge, he’d break ranks with members of his own party because he’d understand that the fate of the country, and his own political career, depended on a lasting solution to the problem of capital gains. The Thomas Friedman Op/Ed Generator

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End of a Paragraph

JACKSON POLLOCK from STELLALIE PRODUCTION on Vimeo.

In other words, each element – each line in One, for instance, is always rising and falling through distinct semiotic states that exist simultaneously even if they cannot be perceived all at once. This is what defines a convertible sign. Signal Processing, David Joselit On Abstraction Then and Now.

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Happy Holidays

Happiness from Steve Cutts on Vimeo.

I spotted this originally on the essential shortoftheweek.

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Alt-normal

http://squareone-learning.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/Alpha-Male-v-Beta-Male.png

This graphic itemization is a precise folk catalog. It is normative and counter-reactionary given our current climate. Thank you for taking back the concept of alpha male; as far as this goes. Following from Luce Iragaray, I would hope there is a sorting through and beyond the androcentric claims. However, the boys of the alt-right, gamergate, red pill culture, are irredeemable. The Alpha female and her practical divinity remain in the shadow of the rude boy culture of our present and presentist problem.

(My fascination with the masculinist ideologies followed from my learning of the alt-right and the culture of so-called neo-reaction. This all was a consequence of my hoping to track cultural trends during the several years of the recent presidential campaign. Even though the religiously self-indulgent Trump is not in anyway a credible icon of the goal-oriented masculine idealization on offer from the arch masculinists of the alt-right, all of the rightward aggression found at the level of the aggrieved white male, follows from Trump’s racist and misogynist call to ‘reaction.’)

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Socially Engaged For Just an Aggressive Moment

TW-The-Genius-of-the-Deplorables-(2017)-9x18-Rijks-Museum-Stephen-Calhoun-copy

Roots-of-An-Approval-Rating-(2017)-10x18-Rijks-Museum-Stephen-Calhoun

TW-Your-Post-Modern-Republican-Party-(2017)-(8x18)-Rijks-Museum-Stephen-Calhoun

TW-Trumpocracy-(2017)-12.5x18

My art practice is not directed to be socially engaged in the conventional ‘art world’ sense of my intent and the work itself referring to social problems or political challenges. (In noting this, if I needed to, I would make a case for its capacity-building potential at the scale and level of individual consciousness. This increase in self-awareness may fund constructive benefits in the social domain.) However, I am a bit of a trickster, so i noted upon visiting the Rijksmuseum’s digital collection that they allowed for open use of available downloads of digitized images from their vast collection, Plus, upon request, the museum could supply to artists hi-resolution images. One has to ask nicely it would seem. Because I had previously manipulated purloined images (via Google image search,) of favored Flemish proto-surrealists of the 16th and 17th century, when I revisited the online Rijksmuseum I had already hatched an idea.

These four works are the result.

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Upside Down

Jeff-Koons-Balloon-Dog-Orange-Sculpture
$58.4 million

“If the aforementioned tendencies—the event-driven turn in the market, the market’s ongoing globalization, the continued ascent of formerly ‘alternative’ practices to the mainstream, and persistent complication around investing in art—have all come into greater clarity over these past five years, one final factor arguably trumps all others with respect to the present vitality of the trade: the growing divide between the top of the market and everything else.” Noah Horowitz, author, The Art of the Deal

There are around 2,000,000 working artists in the USA. Many of them work at other jobs. I do not know of any social science research that is aimed to accurately capture the varieties of business models being deployed by individual artists. That said, there are tiers given by the global art market.

Regional art markets are variously describable, with specific institutional and commercial concerns leading the description of their local ‘art world,’ and, to a lesser extent, the success of some of their resident artists also adding to the description.

The top of the art world is the art world everybody is fascinated by, yet, working artists in their hometowns are much more likely to be fascinated by their local art world.

The amazing paradox of the world of art commerce is that its model is thought to scale all the way down to the lowest tiers of local art worlds. This is paradoxical. The results speak for themselves! I’ll demonstrate this soon. The scaled-down model is preposterous on its face. However, its verities infect most everything in the local art worlds, especially the nature of gatekeeping in those worlds, and, how a simple problem is mediated, that there are many more artworks than there are post-transactional places for the pieces to end up at.

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Chronic Outside Art Worlds

Nugs Hero (Stephen Calhoun 2017)

Nugs Hero (Stephen Calhoun 2017)

This is not a post about bongs-as-art. Unfortunately the video I’d like to feature is from VICE, and it can’t be re-embedded. Still, it’s right here and needs to be viewed (5m) before I note its few exemplifications of what I call the 01% thin art world.

First, the subject of the short video is a twenty-one year old college student, although, truth be told, he joined a venture capital group, and, the location for the video is his sleek Manhattan apartment. The young man is clearly monied, entrepreneurial, and, conversant with bongs. He is addressing the question: how such implements might instantly constitute a high end in either the smoking pot or art world?

$100,000 glass sculptures are not unheard of; Dale Chihuly’s chandeliers have sold for well over that amount. (Chihuly chandeliers are large 4-8 feet in length.)

…is actually an accomplished glass blower.

(Edward L. Milstein, Mr. Grey’s father, was around twenty when he co-founded a venture capital firm in NYC.)

Art is flourishing in New York more than anywhere else in America.

The people buying this right now are smokers.

Millennials in Manhattan go to a party implicitly tasked to, hopefully, begin to elevate bongs costing tens of thousands of dollars out of their current niche as high end devices for mere smokers.

Young Benjamin Milstein briefly comments without any guile about how a market might be made in NYC. Take aways, one, throw family money at the challenge, two, enlist apparently accomplished artists/craftsmen and give them a shot at upending the world of 2D hanging art joints on walls. An,d strike while the iron is hot in flourishing NYC!

mid-to-high market bongs

working class art appreciation:

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I See You

1997: Birth of the Camera Phone from Conscious Minds on Vimeo.

The Mobile Phone in the Hands of the Nepalise People: A Humanistic Perspective of Technology (master thesis, Merilin Piipuu, pdf)

The Art of Making Photos: Some Phenomenological Reflections (Thomas S. Eberle, pdf)

cameraph

Women on the move: the mobile phone as a gender technology (Carla Ganito, pdf)

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Ngaphandle – Part One

Edward M. Gómez on Outsider Art from Sinnlicht on Vimeo.

Definitions?!

RAW VISION : The controversy surrounding the exact definition of Outsider Art and allied fields has been going on ever since awareness of the phenomenon began so here we try to clarify the different aspects.

Essay offers sub-divisions without defining the term itself.

Outsider Art Fair: Over the years, the parameters of Outsider Art have expanded dramatically to include art made by a wide variety of art-makers who share this common denominator of raw creativity. Outsiders come from all walks of life, from all cultures, from all age groups. In recent years, Outsider Artists may have even come to outnumber Insider Artists who have achieved critical validation within the elite art world, and yet who speak with increasingly less clarity and relevance to us about the human experience.

It seems to me obvious that there are more self-trained artists than there are academically trained artists.

Huffington Post 11/20/2014 10 Outsider And Self-Taught Artists Who Use Art To Create Their Own Worlds: The term “outsider art” was first used by art historian Roger Cardinal in 1972 to loop together art made by people living with certain disabilities, as well as those living on the outskirts of society. Unlike most other art movements, outsider artists don’t have much in common besides straying from the norm. They work in different media, throughout different times and places, without shared assumptions or aesthetic styles.

In fact, most outsider artists have or had no idea they would be categorized as such — or even that their art would be seen by someone other than themselves. Therein lies the conundrum — is a celebration of outsider art redemptive tribute or exploitation?

In “How to Look at Outsider Art,” Lyle Rexer defines the tricky genre as “the work of people who are institutionalized or psychologically compromised according to standard clinical norms.” This definition was amended to include those enduring an altered state of consciousness — whether from marginalization or incarceration. “Self-taught art” is a category that often overlaps with outsider art, referencing artwork made without schooling that strays from the norms and styles of the time.

Christie’s : ‘Outsider Art is perhaps a catch-all term,’ explains Christie’s specialist Cara Zimmerman. ‘I tend to classify it as art made by people who weren’t working within the artistic establishment.’

In the United States, she says, the material stems from a folk-art tradition. Most Outsider artists received no formal training and were influenced by pop culture and the world around them rather than other mainstream artists.

The Atlantic The Rise of Self-Taught Artists. Out is the new in. : For an artist to be considered an outsider, he or she must first be brought inside the professional art world by an insider.

Huffington Post 1/30/15 What Is The Meaning Of Outsider Art? The Genre With A Story, Not A Style: There are various ways to make sense of outsider art as a genre. Roberta Smith calls it “a somewhat vague, catchall term for self-taught artists of any kind.“ Lyle Rexer defines it as “the work of people who are institutionalized or psychologically compromised according to standard clinical norms” or “created under the conditions of a massively altered state of consciousness, product of an unquiet mind.” Jerry Saltz argues it doesn’t exist at all, except as a discriminatory boundary preventing untrained artists from their rightful places in the canon.

Artsy – About Outsider Art: A label applied to artworks that have little connection with the art world or are created by people with no formal art training. The term is also applied to artworks by people with psychiatric disabilities and others on the margins of society. However, as more and more examples have been exhibited and subsumed into the historical canon, some have argued that the ‘outsider’ label should be retired.

Hyperallergic. What Does “Outsider Artist” Even Mean?: In a blog post from 2007, dealer Edward Winkleman discusses the issue of intent and his changing perceptions of outsider art:

Being the stubborn loggerhead I am, I can’t get myself unstuck from an assumption about the importance of intent in art. Especially intent with regard to communicating.

Taken to its logical extremes in our debate, however, this assumption has led me to conclude that the work of Henry Darger, for example, is not “Art” because (or so it’s been reported) he had no intention of ever showing it to anyone, meaning it was not created with the intent of communicating anything with anyone, and that then made it something other than “Art.”

Now I can look at Darger’s work and feel my jaw involuntarily drop. I can marvel at the vision. I can delight at the composition and especially the color. But because I know (or think I know) these works were the result of a masturbatory effort, they don’t meet my own definition of fine art, which goes beyond just intent to communicate to include what bnon called, in the thread on child prodigies yesterday, the act of “submerging [one]self in art history as well as surveying the contemporary field and carving out a niche.

Jerry Saltz on the Outsider Art Fair — and Why There’s No Such Thing As ‘Outsider’ Art: Which brings us to the the horrible Rubicon that still separates so-called “outsider,” “self-taught,” and “visionary” art from institutionally sanctioned official art. Now that even immigration reform can happen, it’s time for MoMA — and all museums — to integrate “outsider art” into their permanent collections and erase that distinction for good. They need to allow these artists to take their rightful places in the canon. In addition to the artists mentioned above, visionaries like Hilma af Klint, Emma Kunz, Bill Traylor, Adolf Wolfli, Martin Rameirez, Minnie Evans, John Kane, Clementine Hunter, Hector Hyppolite, and others must be integrated into the canon. At the Fair, there’s a 1939–1942 town scene by one of the greatest “outsiders” of them all, Bill Traylor, that would easily compare with any Picasso from the same period. Or, indeed, any artist.

With this outmoded discrimination still in place, the story of art is woefully misrepresentative — a lie, even. Millions of viewers and thousands of nascent artists are being denied the chance to see some of the best work made in the last 100 years simply because it was once decided that to be an artist meant having had pre-approved training. It’s a self-perpetuating false distinction…

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Discrete Charms

Admit something:
everyone you see, you say to them: “love me.”
Of course you do not do this out loud; otherwise
someone would call the cops.
Still, though, think about this, this great pull in us
to connect.

Why not become the one who lives with a full moon
in each eye that is always saying,
with that sweet moon language,
what every other eye in the world is dying to hear?

(Hafiz)

Thus Adam might have called the animals “by their own names” in two senses. Either he gave them the names that, by some extralinguistic right, were already due them, or he gave them those names we still use on the basis of a convention initiated by Adam. In other words, the names Adam gave the animals are either the names that each animal intrinsically ought to have been given or simply the names that the Name Giver arbitrarily and ad placitum decided to give them. (Umberto Eco, Serendipities, Language and Lunacy)

Natalie Johnson Dance presents: AGEN, Sunday 1:30pm, March 2017 from Natalie Johnson Dance on Vimeo.

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Extreme Cases

cavepainting

NUMINOSUM

At the threshold of the divine, how to know
But indirectly, to hear the static as
Pattern, to hear the ragtag white noise as song—

No, not as song—but to intuit the song bird
Within the thorn thicket—safe, hidden there.
Every moment is not a time for song.

Or singing? Imagine a Buddha, handmade,
Four meters high of compacted ash, the ash
Remnants of joss sticks that incarnated prayer.

With each footfall, the Buddha crumbles. Ash shifts.
With each breath, the whole slowly disintegrates.
To face it, we efface it with our presence.

An infant will often turn away as if
Not to see is the same as not being seen.
There was fire, but God was not the fire.

Eric Pakey is the author of ten collections of poems, most recently Trace (Milkweed Editions 2013) and Dismantling the Angel (Free Verse Editions 2014). A new collection, Crow-Work, is due out from Milkweed Editions in 2015. He is the Heritage Chair in Writing at George Mason University. Kenyon Review Fall 2011

Werner Herzog on Chickens from Tom Streithorst on Vimeo.

Since most categories are matters of degree (e.g., tall people), we also have
graded concepts characterizing degrees along some scale with norms of various
kinds for extreme cases, normal cases, not quite normal cases, and so on. Such
graded norms are described by what are called linguistic hedges (A4, Lakoff
1972), for example, very, pretty, kind of, barely, and so on. For the sake of imposing
sharp distinctions, we develop what might be called essence prototypes,
which conceptualize categories as if they were sharply defined and minimally
distinguished from one another.

When we conceptualize categories in this way, we often envision them using
a spatial metaphor, as if they were containers, with an interior, an exterior, and
a boundary. When we conceptualize categories as containers, we also impose
complex hierarchical systems on them, with some category-containers inside
other category-containers. Conceptualizing categories as containers hides a
great deal of category structure. It hides conceptual prototypes, the graded
structures of categories, and the fuzziness of category boundaries.
In short, we form extraordinarily rich conceptual structures for our categories
and reason about them in many ways that are crucial for our everyday
functioning. All of these conceptual structures are, of course, neural structures
in our brains. This makes them embodied in the trivial sense that any mental
construct is realized neurally. But there is a deeper and more important sense in
which our concepts are embodied. What makes concepts concepts is their inferential
capacity, their ability to be bound together in ways that yield inferences.
An embodied concept is a neural structure that is actually part of, or
makes use of, the sensorimotor system of our brains. Much of conceptual inference
is, therefore, sensorimotor inference. ( George Lakoff Philosophy in the Flesh )

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Compare and Conjoin

creativity

Cube-O-Probe – Locate Creativity?

creativity probe

  • From the symbolic potency of the solar system, which generates the sense of depth suggested by McGilchrist, astrology offers us what in neuroscience is called environmental enrichment, in other words, stimulation of the brain by its physical and social surroundings. As an enriched environment for imagining incoming archetypal energies that can feed bio-dynamic entities such as ourselves, astrology stimulates the brain through its imagination of electrical, chemical, and network charges, arousing us to satisfy our needs for: 1) attachment; 2) control; 3) self identity; 4) pleasure. With astrology these needs can be met on the cosmic and personal scale of an imagination that transforms presumably random events into the narrative of a soul’s journey through the space/time of earth. (Kenneth Warren)
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Outside, Looking Outside

In his pamphlet, Asphyxiante culture, a classic statement of an anti-cultural attitude, the artist Jean Dubuffet relates an instructive anecdote to illustrate the degree to which cultural preconceptions can completely stifle the proper apprehension of anything that resists accepted ideas about art. It concerns a conversation he had with a teacher to whom he tried to expound the hypothesis that throughout history there have always been forms of art alien to established culture and which ipso facto have been neglected and finally lost without a trace. The teacher expressed his conviction that if such works had been assessed by contemporary experts and deemed unworthy of preservation, it was to be concluded that they could not have been of comparable value to the works of their time that had survived. To support this view, he cited the example of some German paintings he had seen in an exhibition. Though these had been executed at precisely the time the impressionist school was directing art into new channels, they bore no traces of that influence. After submitting these forgotten works to a thorough and objective perusal, the teacher felt obliged to admit that they were aesthetically inferior to the work of the impressionists; art criticism had accordingly been perfectly justified in preferring the latter.

Dubuffet points out the stupidity of this sort of reasoning, based as it is on a notion of objective value that betrays the worst kind of cultural myopia: where respected critics have testified their approval, there can be no dissension; bad marks in art can never be forgiven, at least not by layman. Dubuffet stresses the futility of the man’s ‘objective’ certainty, and suggests that it is only as a result of a particular education, of a particular cultural formation that the teacher made the judgement he did. His aesthetic preference was totally determined by these factors. A difference in his background or a difference in the opinion of the experts might well have led to a completely different assessment of the paintings concerned. Instead, the teacher bowed before the prevailing wind emitted by the Establishment, and could consent to find objective beauty only in the place marked out by a superior order. Roger Cardinal, “Cultural Conditioning,” Outsider Art (1972) excerpt | hat tip Petullo Art Collection

Cardinal’s essay bookends, for me, Clement Greenberg’s The Historical Context of the Avant-garde and Kitsch. I’m nominally an outsider artist, not much at all a naive artist, surely am an untrained artist, and in all ways a self-trained artist. Most art is created by self-trained artists; like 99%.

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Fronting Front

Rock stars seems to be an odd metaphor for art, given the state of the world of rock music, and, even more so, given the difference between the scarcity model of high art that underlines art world status, and, the popularization model–based in hits and reach–of pop music. There isn’t a good way to bridge Justin Bieber with Al Wu Wei, or Adele with Damien Hirst. Anyway, I wonder about this–while Mr. Bidwell’s sense does, once again, moves me to consider the similarities and disparities betwixt the art and music markets.

Jens Hoffman asserts “real creativity doesn’t necessarily happen anymore in LA or NY.” Is not the objective truth that real creativity has always happened most everywhere? The validation of artistry supplied by the entanglement of capitalism with the sociology of normative artistic practice provides a rather thin warrant for speaking of necessity, as Hoffman does so.

I’m being charitable. NY and LA are art centers because of the scale of capitalism and culture, and laws of institutional attraction that unfolded in the two largest American cities. From my idiosyncratic perspective, real creativity and the sites of its happening is not a question resolved by affirming the obvious, that L.A. and NYC are America’s principle art centers. First order creativity does happen where it does happen, and this would tend to disrupt the facile tautology that reduces to: city A is an art center because it is a center for art.

It will be fascinating to observe both ideas become joined by the outcome of the curatorial process which will unfold for the sake of shaping a Triennial roster of international art stars and their local counterparts.

In music, the democratization inherent in the self-organizing operations of the internet have led the mainstream music business to counter this an solidify a global cartel; and then affirm by its reach a mostly reactionary (as against an avant-garde,) “pop music.”

bonus:

FB-Sixteen-Faeiries-(2017)46x21-Stephen-Calhoun

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Water and Animals and Humans

Ganesha_Wallpaper

The self is a metaphor. We can decide to limit it to our skin, our person, our family, our organization, or our species. We can select its boundaries in objective reality As the systems theorists see it, our consciousness illuminates a small arc in the wider currents and loops of knowing that interconnect us. It is just as plausible to conceive of mind as coexistent with these larger circuits, the entire “pattern that connects,” as Bateson said. Do not think that to broaden the construct of self this way involves an eclipse of one’s distinctiveness. Do not think that you will lose your identity like a drop in the ocean merging into the oneness of Brahma. From the systems perspective this interaction, creating larger wholes and patterns, allows for and even requires diversity. You become more yourself. Integration and differentiation go hand in hand. From: ‘World as Lover, world as Self’ Joanna Macy


earth-water-distribution-bar
56ca59f3c72b793dfcc839b6f5070378

urban-water-cycle

“I like the rain, because I know it will always end.” [Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh]

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Pure Experience

http://artiststephencalhoun.com

Organized Detritus (2017) Stephen Calhoun

What is left of experience if from it are erased feeling it, thinking it, feeling about it, thinking about it?

I’ve been reflecting on the paradox of mindfulness. Mindfulness, over the last several years, is among the hottest trends in management and organizational “self-improvement.”

It seem to me partly counter-intuitive in that mindfulness’s site is individual consciousness, whereas both managers and organizations tend to strongly focus their collective consciousness on some master plan given by holistic “master” assumptions.

Yet, there is the lower level paradox found in the second/third order appreciation of mindfulness, which is: to speak of it is not to be it.


Carl Manchester reads Chapter 2 A World of Pure Experience, from:

William James: Essays In Radical Empiricism (download via archive.org)

Pure experience is the centerpiece of a larger, radical empiricism, one that rejects the assumptions that created the epistemic gap between experience and reality in the first place. This gap is predicated on “an artificial conception of the relations between knower and known,” James says, and this fake problem is his first target. The history of philosophy has shown that all sort of theories have been invented to overcome this gap, he says. Some theories put a mental representation into the gap, common-sense theories left the gap untouched, believing that our minds could just make the leap and, he tells us, and the Transcendentalists brought their Absolute in to perform this epic task. James and Pirsig, on the other hand, say that subjects and objects are not the conditions that make experience possible. Instead, they have been carved out. As James puts it, inner and outer are just names for the way we sort experience. They are linguistic affairs, products of reflection, concepts derived from experience. To supposed that these terms mirror Nature’s own divisions or otherwise correspond to pre-existing ontological categories is to reify these concepts. Under our radical empiricists, subjects and objects are stripped of their metaphysical, ontological status and otherwise demoted to the rank of mere concept – thereby eliminating Cartesian dualism and replacing it with an experiential monism. For the radical empiricist, experience and reality amount to the same thing. This is the context in which James and Pirsig make their claims about pure experience or the pre-intellectual cutting edge of experience. Pure Experience and Dynamic Quality February 16, 2012 by David Buchanan partiallyexaminedlife.com

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Addenda: Zeitgeist

I was asked by someone why I thought President-elect Trump was mentally ill. During the campaign I was chastised by someone, by a few someones, for stigmatizing the actually mentally ill by casting mental illness as an insulting description.

Cluster B: flavors of anti-social personality disorder, narcissistic personality order, with some inflections of both sociopathy and paranoia; (plus, how else might we describe Trump’s birther fantasy except as a delusion?) Just sayin’.

Will he successfully bully people into doing his bidding? Will he threaten Iran with tactical nukes? Over on the alt-right, there are some who think a state of emergency might afford Trump the opportunity to do something about all those pesky hippies, tree huggers, SJW’s, feminists, snowflakes, and ivory tower elitists. I won’t locate another source, but there is a blog I frequent that has reached a fever pitch in anticipation of either the defeat of the deep state, DC insiderism, progressivism, collectivism, and both “very similar” political parties, or, alternately, the victory of these same parties over their Drumpf problem.

For my own part, besides understanding how population density is the real explainer here, it strikes me our current government is hoping to etch a black chapter in the future history books. After all the newly fashioned white nationalist Trump/GOP Inc. hopes to to erase the output of the first black U.S. President, and, dial back the policies of the New Deal, (the deal that came to eventually rescue many of the elderly from poverty, while, at the same time, making it possible to visit your elderly parents rather than feed and clothe and take care of them.)

Healthcare, everybody eventually needs it! How to square Christianity with Paul Ryan’s dream of ending some of what he believes is mooching, with this same end also promising literal killing fields–except these fields will be defined by not being located in the homes of GOP congresspersons? Luckily, Trump has promised the new Trumpcare will be cheaper and offer better coverage.

The ACA is spilt M&Ms compared to the bigger eats on the agenda. Trump has come to vanquish the antichrist! Or, he is the antichrist! Maybe not.

Parachute.

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Zeitgeist 2017

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h/t thinkingoutsidetheagora.blogspot.com

Alexey Kodakov

Alexey Kodakov

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Tellitlikeitis

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Durga Slaying the Buffalo Demon, Raktabij, and Kali

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