Dec.12-2014 Program: Analytical Psychology Society of Western NY, Repairing the Opposites, Doubling Stars, Turning Swine Into Pears - myself, with Kenneth Warren
- A Debacle
- Sam Harris Solves the Problem of Islamic Faith
- Cat Vision
- Deeply 80th Birthday Abdullah Ibrahim
- Relishing the Friend
- Loosing My Cool in the Cool
- The Pen
- Titanic Ambitions
- Generative Alchemy
- Nice Guys Finish
- Around and Round, and Never Off the Surface
- Between Heaven and Hell
- Imaginal Cybernetics, the Demonic Daemon, Deep Play
- Creative Workflow – Cat Trying to Swallow Its Own Tail
- “The judgment of the intellect is, at best, only the half of truth, and must, if it be honest, also come to an understanding of its inadequacy. The dynamic principle of fantasy is play, a characteristic also of the child, and as such it appears inconsistent with the principle of serious work. But without this playing with fantasy no creative work has ever yet come to birth. The debt we owe to the play of imagination is incalculable. It is therefore short-sighted to treat fantasy, on account of its risky or unacceptable nature, as a thing of little worth.” The Psychology of Individuation, CG Jung
- Generative Alchemy
- Inside the Psychologist’s Studio With Albert Bandura
- Roots of My Urbanology (II.)
- Leave-taking is as necessary as the homecoming (I.)
- Nothing that might not happen in a universe of fortuity
Tagsa-ha! adult learning analytic psychology anthropology art biology buddhism charlatanry cognitive psychology consciousness critical culture critical thinking culture current events economics education experiential learning Freeplay Softball Gregory Bateson humor management music my casual art new paradigms organizational development phenomenology philosophy poetry politics pseudo-science psychology quotes religion resources Rumi science social psychology speculations sports sufism teaching cartoons teaching story transformative learning urbanology web media
- "It requires a very unusual mind to undertake the analysis of the obvious." - Alfred North Whitehead
- More email newsletters July 2, 2014
- new language annotation software June 25, 2014
- Software, Culture, and Political Economy in New Media Capitalism June 25, 2014
- ye olde net… June 25, 2014
- re the big data explosion June 10, 2014
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
- If, during the long course of ages and under varying conditions of life, organic beings vary at all in the several parts of their organization, and I think this cannot be disputed; if there be, owing to the high geometric powers of increase of each species, at some age, season or year, a severe struggle for life, and this certainly cannot be disputed; then, considering the infinite complexity of the relations of all organic beings to each other and to their conditions of existence, causing an infinite variety in structure, constitution, and habits, to be advantageous to them, I think it would be a most extraordinary fact if no variation ever had occurred useful to each being’s own welfare, in the same way as so many variations have occurred useful to man. But if variations useful to any organic being do occur, assuredly individuals thus characterized will have the best chance of being preserved in the struggle for life; and from the strong principle of inheritance they will tend to produce offspring similarly characterized. This principle of preservation, I have called, for the sake of brevity, Natural Selection. [Charles Darwin (1859) On the Origin of Species]
- “It is essential to such a government, that it be derived from the great body of the society, not from an inconsiderable proportion, or a favored class of it; otherwise a handful of tyrannical nobles, exercising their oppressions by a delegation of their powers, might aspire to the rank of republicans, and claim for their government the honorable title of republic.” James Madison
- All the property that is necessary to a Man, for the Conservation of the Individual and the Propagation of the Species, is his natural Right, which none can justly deprive him of: But all Property superfluous to such purposes is the Property of the Publick, who, by their Laws, have created it, and who may therefore by other laws dispose of it, whenever the Welfare of the Publick shall demand such Disposition. He that does not like civil Society on these Terms, let him retire and live among Savages. He can have no right to the benefits of Society, who will not pay his Club towards the Support of it. -Benjamin Franklin
Thinking Outside the Agora
- On Vampire Diaries, The Worst Part Of Immortality: You Can't Start Over October 25, 2014Last night's Vampire Diaries had a pretty interesting set of metaphors for what it's like to be immortal and yet bound by the past. On the one hand, Stefan tries to explain to Elena the need to start a new life every 30 years. On the other, we see how badly Damon's attempt at a […]
- A Beautiful View Of Yesterday's Eclipse October 25, 2014A partial solar eclipse was visible from much of North America yesterday afternoon , resulting in a flood of gobstopping astrophotography. This shot comes from the folks at Joshua Tree National Park. For more, we recommend SpaceWeather.com and the eclipse hashtag on Twitter.Read more...
- A Google Executive Just Crushed Felix Baumgartner's Free Fall Record October 25, 2014Move aside, Felix Baumgartner. Alan Eustace, a senior vice president at Google, fell from the top of the stratosphere this morning, plummeting nearly 26 vertical miles in the span of about 15 minutes. In doing so, he has broken Baumgartner's 2012 record for world's highest-altitude free fall – and by a pretty sizable margin.Read more...
- How We Use Ancient Stone-Cutting Techniques To Preserve Dinosaur Tracks October 24, 2014Unearthing the fossilized bones of dinosaurs without destroying them is already a pretty fiddly process, one that requires time, patience, and many, many delicate brushes. But when you're talking not about bones but the even more delicate tracks that dinosaurs left behind, the process gets that much trickier.Read more...
- Excellent Doctor Who Proposal Includes Gorgeous, Life-Size TARDIS October 24, 2014Getting engaged is OK, but do you know what's even better? Getting your own, personal TARDIS to sweeten the deal. And that's exactly what happened to this adorable couple.Read more...
- On Vampire Diaries, The Worst Part Of Immortality: You Can't Start Over October 25, 2014
- DiResta: Dracula’s Coffin October 24, 2014
- Makers Against Ebola – Design Goals October 24, 2014
- New Project: Trash Can Trauma October 24, 2014
- The Deconstruction: An Awesome Un-Competition October 24, 2014
- New Project: White Chocolate Skulls Cast in 3D Printed Molds October 24, 2014
Category Archives: visual experiments
The Pen – 12×12″ – from a photograph – S.Calhoun
Although it is evidently visible yet there is no one there who sees it. Amazing!
Even though it exists in everyone everywhere yet it has gone unrecognized. Amazing!
Nevertheless, you hope to obtain some other fruit than this elsewhere. Amazing!
Even though it exists within yourself and nowhere else yet you seek for it elsewhere. Amazing!
Brueghel: The Alchemist
This piece is part of a large series that will likely be presented in a short film. The film is intended to show the interplay of manipulations and recursions involved in generating different pieces.
I dedicate this new series to Ms. Uidhi. (I may be one of a handful of artists, or pseudo-artists, focusing on creative luckiness in the context of a post-academic post-scholarly focus on the situation of serendipity in adult development. This could include meandering into philosophical swamps.
IP LAF Forum: Christy Mag Uidhi on Artistic Serendipity vs. Artistic Luck, 25 Sept
Tuesday 23 September 2014
INSTITUTE OF PHILOSOPHY
Thurs 25 September 2014, 4.00pm
IP London Aesthetics Forum: Room G34, Senate House, WC1
Artistic Serendipity vs. Artistic Luck
Christy Mag Uidhi (Houston)
Supported by the British Society of Aesthetics
It is standardly thought that artworks may gain and lose art-relevant properties over time (and thereby may also admit of similar gains and losses in artistic value). From this it follows that insofar as such gains and losses may be well outside the control of the artist, we ought to expect any minimally adequate theory of art and its value as such to come with (or at least be amenable to) some minimal notion of artistic luck and artistic achievement (such that ascriptions of the one undermine ascriptions of the other). In this talk, I’ll sketch what I take to be uncontroversial minimal accounts of both artistic luck and artistic achievement. From these I show it to follow that if artworks must be products of intentional action, then there can be no such thing as artistic luck (either descriptively or evaluatively). I claim the only formative role luck might play in our understanding of art and its value as such is to provide the means by which we may productively carve out an informative sub-class of artistic achievement: specifically that of artistic serendipity.
[My bold.] Intention, serendipity. Intentional serendipity is pseudo-serendipity. It is a kind of search routine. I don’t subscribe to the idea that intentionality is properly monolithic or exclusionary. But, I concede that psychologizing the artist’s creative process may take my own considerations and sensemaking out of and away from a proper philosophy of aesthetics.
Nor do I know what Ms. Mag Uidhi has in mind to flesh out the intriguing precis.
For my own part, there is so much in my creative process that permits creative intention-up-to-the-point of pulling the curtains away, and, thus includes less discrete combinations of intention and, fundamentally, hope about the unknown!
Hell, S.Calhoun (2014) symmetry experiment
Heaven and the Garden of Eden, (2014) S.Calhoun, symmetry experiment
Without contraries is no progres-
sion. Attraction and repulsion, rea-
son and energy, love and hate, are
necessary to human existence.
From these contraries spring what
the religious call Good and Evil.
Good is the passive that obeys reason;
Evil is the active springing from
Good is heaven. Evil is hell.
Energy is Eternal Delight.
Those who restrain desire, do so
because theirs is weak enough to be
restrained; and the restrainer or
reason usurps its place and governs
And being restrained, it by degrees
becomes passive, till it is only the
shadow of desire.
The history of this is written in
Paradise Lost, and the Governor or
Reason is called Messiah.
And the original Archangel or pos-
sessor of the command of the heavenly
host is called the Devil, or Satan, and
his children are called Sin and Death.
But in the book of Job, Milton’s
Messiah is called Satan.
For this history has been adopted by
It indeed appeared to Reason as if
desire was cast out, but the Devil’s
account is, that the Messiah fell, and
formed a heaven of what he stole from
This is shown in the Gospel, where
he prays to the Father to send the
Comforter or desire that Reason may
have ideas to build on, the Jehovah
of the Bible being no other than he
who dwells in flaming fire. Know
that after Christ’s death he became
But in Milton, the Father is Destiny,
the Son a ratio of the five senses, and
the Holy Ghost vacuum !
Note. — The reason Milton wrote
in fetters when he wrote of Angels
and God, and at Uberty when of
Devils and Hell, is because he was
a true poet, and of the Devil’s party
without knowing it.
excerpts from William Blake – The Marriage of Heaven and Hell (fulltext)
In zoom mode in Photoshop, while preparing a large new piece to be reduced to a PNG for publishing on the gallery blog, an interesting overall configuration of small details in the edge style of the digital image file.
Because I’m nowadays very sensitive to the level of complexity a possibly worthwhile mirror transformation requires to hopefully capture an intriguing symmetry, I moved around the small scale details looking for a candidate. The first image shows the workflow and the second image above is the detail I discovered.
The result is a symmetry I like. (more I like)
The actual details of the 300dpi original are too small to really see in the 16×10″ proof.
The two hallmarks of my creative ethos and artistic experimentation are: generativity and recursion. I work toward a surprising conclusion by implicating those two procedural factors. In the visual realm the manifestation of both is very clearly exemplified in the above example: the discovery of a small scale within the large scale provides a recursive capture and the mirroring manipulation generates the symmetry. I act as a spotter.
Interestingly, the small scale details result from generative manipulations of the original piece, and the original piece itself is the result of blending two layers both captured in different generative procedures that are keyed by programmed search routines. Those generative instrumentalities, then, represent a recursive routine in their own right.
The final recursion is: this all evokes Gregory Bateson. (see: Peter Harries-Jones: Gregory Bateson, Heterarchies, and the Topology of Recursion. Cybernetics and Human Knowing 12(1-2): 168-174 (2005))
Among Bateson scholars, Peter Harries-Jones (1995) is notable for looking at Gregory’s “ecology of mind” in the context of his mature work, using terms for it associated with that period, “recursive epistemology” or “ecological epistemology.” The processes with which Gregory was concerned were essentially processes of knowing: perception, communication, coding and translation. Ergo epistemology. But basic to this epistemology was the differentiation of logical levels, including the relationship between the knower and the known, ergo a recursive epistemology. Ideally, the relationship between the patterns of the biological world and our understanding of it would be one of congruence, of fit, a broader and more pervasive similarity than the ability to predict in experimental contexts that depend upon simplification and selective attention. It seems useful to refer to Gregory’s ecology of mind as an epistemological ecology to contrast it with the largely materialistic ecology of academic departments. It seems essential to underline that recursiveness is a necessary feature of such an epistemology (and perhaps of every epistemology, since every effort to know about knowing involves the cat trying to swallow its own tail).
Bateson was haunted in his last years by a sense of urgency, a sense that the narrow definition of human purposes, reinforced by technology, would lead to irreversible disasters, and that only a better epistemology could save us. Certainly irreversibilities lie all around us, many, like global warming, the decay of the ozone layer, and the movement of poisons through global food chains, set on courses it is too late to change although we have yet to suffer their full effect. Still, the situation has not worsened as rapidly as he predicted and perhaps he sometimes succumbed to the lure of dramatizing a message in order to get it across in ways that later undermine that message. But the habits of mind that he described can be seen in every newspaper or newscast: the search for short term solutions that worsen the problem over time (often by mirroring it, such as violence used to oppose violence); the focus on individual persons or organisms or even species, seen in isolation; the tendency to let technological possibility or economic indicators replace reflection; the effort to maximize single variables (like profit) rather than optimizing the relationship among a complex set of variables.
Mary Catherine Bateson – new Introduction to Step to An Ecology of Mind by Gregory Bateson, 2000)
One last recursive piece – that can be thought of as recursive in a second order, thus by way of duplication and “re-relation.”
Amusement Park – S.Calhoun 2014 – 14×11″ – from a photograph
Of course there’s a giant genre of youtube videos featuring point-of-view roller coaster rides. For me, nearing sixty, the scariest thing about a roller coaster is waiting in line for a couple of hours.
Camus’s would-be favorite:
There once lived a great warrior. Though quite old, he still was able to defeat any challenger. His reputation extended far and wide throughout the land and many students gathered to study under him.
One day an infamous young warrior arrived at the village. He was determined to be the first man to defeat the great master. Along with his strength, he had an uncanny ability to spot and exploit any weakness in an opponent. He would wait for his opponent to make the first move, thus revealing a weakness, and then would strike with merciless force and lightning speed. No one had ever lasted with him in a match beyond the first move.
Much against the advice of his concerned students, the old master gladly accepted the young warrior’s challenge. As the two squared off for battle, the young warrior began to hurl insults at the old master. He threw dirt and spit in his face. For hours he verbally assaulted him with every curse and insult known to mankind. But the old warrior merely stood there motionless and calm. Finally, the young warrior exhausted himself. Knowing he was defeated, he left feeling shamed.
Somewhat disappointed that he did not fight the insolent youth, the students gathered around the old master and questioned him. “How could you endure such an indignity? How did you drive him away?”
“If someone comes to give you a gift and you do not receive it,” the master replied, “to whom does the gift belong?”
from: Zen Stories to Tell Your Neighbors
The first example is the final version. Second is the original photograph of lilies taken in our backyard, and then follow several versions. Recently, I’ve taken my one year+ experiments in applying symmetry translations to photographs and other sources in a new direction by applying additional generative content to the pre-mirrored raw sources. If that content is itself a symmetry, then I can mirror the symmetry in the mirroring of the conjoined source.
The final version reflects–pun intended–the layering of a pattern over the photo of the lilies. This pattern was derived on the iPad using an app, then mirrored, enlarged, layered at partial opacity over the photograph and mirrored a last time.
symmetry experiments: tumblr
my naive art: online ongoing gallery
On July 2 I publicized the new Tumblr site for barely washed results from the symmetry section of the visual lab.
Soon enough I realized the title of the Tumblr blog and the URL were not in alignment. I cast off the old URL and sent all the old addresses into something like intertube purgatory. However, the now congruent site at least reflects its theme in its titling and addressing.
Vertical symmetry. I recently had reason to do a lot of searching in PD image resources. Because I have a good idea of what makes for good source material for adding to my symmetry series of visual experiments, I knew this Hubble photo from NASA would be a likely fruitful source. Yup.
I created a tumblr for my symmetry and mirroring visual experiments, Symmetry-hypothesis.
The main gallery of experiments my naive art will receive the best of my symmetry and other visual experiments, while the tumblr will receive symmetry-focused rejects, works-in-progress, amusing failures, and the good stuff. Be sure to click on the icons to see the full view.
The Dowser — series – symmetry sketches from a photograph – S.Calhoun 2014
The source photograph, taken with an iPhone 4s, ProCamera app, is at the top. The manipulations were all done using the excellent stand-alone application (for Apple devices,) FX Photo Studio Pro 2.7.
I do not know if there is a keeper in this series. Still, the series reflects the fascinating metamorphosis of feel that simple alterations generate. The black and white bottom item looks like an old illustration in a children’s book.
Above it is one that might be worth doing manipulations within Photoshop.
African parable: A hunter went into the bush and found a human skull. The hunter asked, “What brought you here?” The skull replied, “Talking brought me here.”
Overwhelmed with his find, the hunter ran to tell the king. When the king heard the story he said, “Never in my life have I heard of a talking skull.” He summoned his wise men and asked them about this oddity. But none of them had heard of a talking skull, either.
So the king summoned one of his guards and said, “Go with this hunter into the bush. Find the skull. If it talks, bring it back to me. If the hunter is lying, kill him.”
The hunter and the guard went into the bush and found the skull. The hunter said, “What brought you here, skull?” But the skull was silent. So the guard killed the hunter on the spot.
After the guard departed, the skull opened its mouth and asked the dead hunter, “What brought you here?”
“Talking brought me here,” the hunter replied.
Candles in the Dark A Treasury of the World’s Most Inspiring Parables compiled by Todd Outcalt
The Set-Up – the ongoing model two-master being slowly integrated into the garden. It’s been there for over a year. As a photographic subject, it has been the source material of a handful of intriguing pieces in my ongoing Symmetry Series.
Sepia Invitees 2014 -S.Calhoun – 19″x13″
This is a spooky piece and I’m on the fence about whether or not I will run it through the large format printer.
Shell Game – 2014 – 14 x 11 – digital proof for dye giclee
My symmetry experiments continue. This is a manipulated photo from the set-up in the garden, a decaying model three master, that I’ve been using to generate source material for the experiments for the past year.
Here’s the first keeper from the experimental series, from last summer.
God of the Navy – 2014 – 10×8″ dye proof
A keeper from the symmetry series of experiments–and for every keeper there are 20 thrown away and maybe one or two future record covers.
Real Voodoo #1 work-in-progress – SCalhoun 2014 – 12″ x 12″ dye proof
This is the original I’m working with to some conclusion, eventually.
Concept & Visual design by Romain Tardy
Music composed by Squeaky Lobster
2013 Here We Are SCalhoun; photograph and post-processing