Sunday, October 12, 2014

Bonaventure :: In Light of the Sixth Sense

What if the addition of balance into Bonaventure's schemes collapses the active field or substrate of the material world, knowledge and reason -- landscape, bodyscape, mindscape -- into a single material based substrate and this is the intellect? The intellect as reflected light (of the creator --supreme light) that encompasses Bonaventure's superior light, interior light, exterior light, and inferior light. What if balance and touch inform interpretatively all the other senses so that they are in fact the common senses?


Looking for relational connections when the sense of balance 
is added to the structure of sensory perception


Reframing Bonaventure notions knowledge based as a reflection of toying with the sensory schema created through the addition of balance into my limited/cursory readings of Bonaventure.

Hmmm. Bonaventure in light of the sixth sense!?? Reflected light vs inferior light because all principles of temperance, justice, proportion, grace, mercy are prescribed/mapped/in existence as a result of sensory impression, sensation, reaction and then interpretively and metaphorically applicable to human interaction, "right action," survival. Hmmm, if I am physically out of balance the whole system may collapse, be damaged or cease to exist; whereas, if I keep weight distributed proportionately, I remain upright, mobile and fully functioning = principles of justice.

Balance has two functions...most the key philosophical standards proportion, temperance, justice, truth, mercy, compassion are a direct translation of the physiological acts dependent on balance and touch and the consequences of remaining unharmed and at ease. Perhaps touch and balance create interpretable data from sight sound smell and taste. Touch and balance are the COMMON SENSE. YES?

If you see something I should add, adjust verbiage, not quite right, do comment so I can tweak. PLEASE.

Then the question is how to convert this restructuring as scholarly mental experimentation vs an opinion paper...kind of like an editorial? CITATION. Damn. I hate that...but ok...so create specific citations for the parts that belong to bona venture, create specific citations for the scientific aspects of the sense of balance, acknowledge the cursory readings of Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Plotinuse, Ficini that may be manifesting in my notions since I will always work under the influence of all that i have perceived consciously and unconsciously...sigh.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Responsive Textabation #4 -- The Material World...
OMG YES! Plato, Plato, Plato! Why, oh why, did you not read Bolt and Bennett on the Material Turn?
Oh, yeah you're dead!

Thus, through the colonization of the arts by cultural theory, arts very materiality has disappeared into the textual, the linguistic and the discursive. According to this conception, art is constructed in and through language. There is noting outside of discourse and language is its vehicle.  
Barbara Bolt, “Introduction.” Carnal Knowledge:
Towards a ‘New Materialism’ Through the Arts.
2013. (4) 
In the initial stages of Toward a “New Materialism” Through the Arts, Bolt simultaneously introduces “New Materialism” through the identification of failings or lacks in historical and recent philosophical and sociological stances regarding the mind/body/culture connections to the material world. She progresses chronologically from Plato to the contemporary constructivist position. In this quote, she begins dissecting the problematic structure in constructivist’s notion that seem to deny material existence and its implication on man’s experience, thought, and generative processes. In sketching out the inherent problems in the series of significant Western stances, she guides us into what “New Materialism” is and how it might reframe our approach to art.

—— I think I love you in a purely carnal Platonic scholarly way Barbara Bolt, maybe even more than Judith Butler, and we only just met! And thank you Bolt for clearing my path of understanding with Bennett for me.

Don't worry Barbara Bolt, you are still one of my new heroes for so accurately describing my lived experience as artist. Glad to know I am riding the wave of "New Materialism"

---- bahahaaaa ----
Whilst materialist feminist theory has struggled to disentangle matter from discourses on matter, it may be argued that the art is a material practice and that materiality of matter lies at the core of creative practices. -- Bolt. (5) 
What is inherently funny is that Bolt along with her primary function of this statement in her argument uses this sentence to associate “New Materialism” directly with materialist feminist theory. She actually never directly links the two, but simply connatively attaches them by physical proximity in the first sentence of this paragraph. So how does this statement really function? Ha. It makes the reader associate “New Materialism” with materialist feminist theory as though feminists are the author of this approach. Admittedly if one watches the video documentation of Womanhouse 1971, potentially this link could be substantiated. Bolt never substantiates the significant role of feminism, particularly feminism as it played out in the artworld, to the surfacing of “New Materialism.” Perhaps it is an assumed, and I as scholarly outsider riding the fringe of the academic herd as neophyte, just can't see what should be smacking me in the face as a given.

 —— —— —— —— —— —— ——
The story will highlight the extent to which human being
and thinghood overlap, the extent to which the us and the it
slip-slide into each other. 


– Jane Bennett, “The Force of Things.”
Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things. (4)
Bennett approaches the slippery topic and nature of nonhuman thingness that is enlivened with “agentic capacities” of a particular efficacy in the moment we open ourselves to receive it with its narrative vitality. Got it? No? The above quote is a transitional summative statement in her process. Within Bennett’s transition, she recaps the way that the thinginess of an object is established as the human and thinghood intersect, penetrate and enliven one another as the object becomes Other. Even in this clarification it is difficult to pin down the expansiveness of what she means by thingness. As seen in my explanation of her summation, the elusive nature of her subject remains elusive—I linked thingness to her notion of object as Other, but her definition is far broader in that thingness is not only Object but an actant, which is neither an object or subject but an operator, therefore, potentially negating thingness’ capacity to be Other but something other. Bennett’s recap is both summative and illusive and thus the transition into explanations framed on experiential examples—“The story will highlight.” Ultimately, this whole chapter functions to establish what she means by thingness, the capacity of thingness, and its reflective traits that reveal our capacity to be both enlivener of materiality, operator, and object, nonhuman. This elusive understanding will be important to grasp the speculative implications of thingness through the rest of her book.

Friday, October 10, 2014

I need the excess and defect of my body. I need my body, mind, and soul to function as one.

I am missing my unreasonably irrational self. I am missing the making. Sure I like the reading Judith Butler, Plotinus, Benjamin and Barthes, even Bonaventure (just because he is so clear), and I may be ready to dip my feet into some of Merleua-Ponty's Phenomenology where the body and mind aren't so split. But I need my body! My mind needs my body. I'd like to find time to work out my thinking in real space not just with mental mutated movements. I've a hankering for cutting a sewing some rubber. Besides when I actually engage my pig-pen producing body, I always sleep like a baby. All this heady stuff and sitting on my bum all day and into the night reading makes sleeping a new challenge. If my brain isn't working the data, it is fretting whether I can cut it. Dang. I know I can cut rubber. I need me some production and a tad less scholarly spectation.



Yes these are my hands--working some rubber that was especially greasy. Why dirty makes me infinite happy, I don't know. perhaps in plato's words it is that I give my self over to excess and defect. My body and mind are an integral system and it is all limping along as I am over embedded in the head. I need my hands with some time so they can go back to looking like they did six months ago; i need my arm muscles to not go all girl on me.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

I see dead people: Bonaventure in the light of the sixth sense

No silly, not ghosts or therapists. My next history of aesthetics will be trying to work the sense of balance, the sixth sense, into Bonaventure's system which is categorically and metaphorically based on the five senses. In his system the overarching structure is divided into ways of knowing (genes the relationship to the senses. These overarching divisions are superior light, inferior light, interior light, exterior light and, now with my add, reflected light. 

One function of the sense of balance is an awareness of one's body parts in relationship to one another...this is an early transferable to social function, body of Christ, etc. should be interesting. Have to flesh it out still but it seems a fun puzzle to work in to ways of knowing. I may even see if I can split the mechanical arts in terms of craft (art for bodily function-ease of body) and dramatic arts (art for pleasure-ease of mind). ? 

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Plato was worried about fair and foul: My mind fixates on fear and fitting

I recognize my own fear thoughts; I know that thoughts are not reality; fear speaks nonetheless to me like this:
What if the authority of one's interpreted spectation can only be legitimized if it claims another's interpreted spectation as supportive if that interpretive spectation has been previously hierarchically approved due to the way it legitimized a previous interpreted spectation of another's interpreted spectation who has also been hierarchically approved by those who have validated their own interpreted spectations through those they approve?

If so, does this make the authority of my spectation spectacular or simply an empty spectacle for another to use to validate their own interpreted spectation?

I've this crazy notion that lived experience is a primary source.

Shoving my hands into the real, pushing and plying the materialities, experiencing the raw resistance and reforming, allowing the unexpected to connect up with things already tucked away inside me. I've always preferred production over spectation, which is why stepping into artist felt and feels like coming home. I do spectate from time to time with the intent to turn off my own experience, my own mind, and allow the empty spectacle of another's interpretive spectation carry me away. I negatively associate spectation as a form of disengaging  from the real. Perhaps interpretative spectation on the backs of other validated interpretations is a form of production. It just doesn't feel like it to me. I am not claiming my reactionary thoughts and judgments to be true or right. It simply sits here in my gut this way.
I recognize my thoughts as a highly reactionary judgment, loaded with dripping self protecting disdain. I unmask these and they are clearly not disdain or judgment but pure fear, fear that just as I was somehow unable to fit or adapt properly into the mold of upper-white-middle-class-female-*-*-* and * (note dripping disdain again = the reality of a sense of failure vs fear), even after a twenty two year adult attempt. And I did actually want to fit. Fear that I am inadequate to the task at hand. Fear of my own unknownings. I am terrified that my unknownings and inadequacies will prohibit my fitting upon this new stage upon which I have stepped. Admittedly I thought the stage would be a little different. I had a notion that my inadequacies and unknownings might find a fluidity of movement here. I had never even considered the notion to be scholar; I came for research and to watch the shape and moves it might take. I was following a question. I am ok with things being different than expected. I did come with a question, not an answer. At an important level, my art practice has proved again and again the joy and thrill of things going astray from the pre-imagined, leading to places unconsidered. The strayings have reshaped me in door opening ways. Ha. I recognize this as my own lived truth and can codify it in vague parallels to Plato's cave analogy, sort of. But none of this changes the that I am terrified that I won't be able to fit, that my being will be more foul than fair in this setting, and that terror binds up even the fair moves I knowingly could make. Fear speaks unfittingly.

--

In the same way that stepping into artist felt like putting on my own skin, I've hopes that on this stage when I look over at my fellow performers, I will experience a coming home, a kinship. These, these are my people. Sigh. Such a mundane normal human yearning. This is me pacifying myself as I emotionally prepare for my Plato spanking. Of course I do think I miss read him on the a bit on the cursory read, so my subarguments may be premiseless, but the larger spanking will most likely come from using my own voice, relying on my own reasoning and lived experience as a supplemental authoritative source. I am almost pacified so that I can try my hand again at interpretive spectation of others' interpretations without my normal knack for inserting the personal, my energy or voice. I hope I can lovingly push my brain the way in which it "should" at least temporarily go. If only my steel sieved memory capacity will comply.

Fear sucks dirty toad eggs.

I do actually see significant useful reasoning for noting the source of an idea which will allow another to follow it back for a more in-depth look or to take it an alternate direct. I get that...a lineage...a trace...a bread crumb to the author...of course the author is dead...in its place is a collective of collectives. I do actually understand that my own assumptions must be unpacked in how I am arriving at them and since the author is dead and no that these are not just magical notions that poof emerged in my mind. My magical assumptive notions are derivatives of the cultural histories I am embedded in. So I must unfold each garment from my suitcase and read each tag. My problem is that most the garments in the suitcase of my mind no longer have tags. I have vague notions as to the territory from which they originated but, ha, I do not know their author. Sigh. And though the personal is political it remains impotent in a social context that demands authorial validation--so in exclaiming my interpretation of my spectation I feel like the like girl that could only claimor that it is just so because argument my daddy said so...my dad is smarter than your dad. Who is my daddy? Paradoxes abound...

"intertextuality . . . undoes a hierarchical notion of tradition that give the past the most authoritative weight." Richard Deming in "A Cinematic Alchmy: Lawrence Jordan and the Palimpsest of Cinema." Apparently my interpreted spectation of my lived experience can be linked to others along the bread crumbs leading backward from my now.

Ha. Read this on 10/11/2014. Interesting the synchronicity that forms when reading from a diverse range. I love when an obligatory reading gives fodder for another courses paper. Thank you the powers that be!

"Danielle (Boulet) contextualizes transformative practices by looking at third-person, second-person and first-person research and knowledge. Most traditional academic fields focus on third-person research: finding out what people think, know or do on a particular topic, compiling and analyzing data. “In my own world, I have this huge criticism of the scientific paradigm and third person research and knowledge that can be stored, that can be written down, that can be transmitted,” Danielle explains. Instead, she recommends looking at what you want to know, why it’s important to you to learn this, and what it means to you — first-person research — as well as what/who you are in relationship to, the conversation between you and this other, and what happens in the space between you — second-person research. One of the writing prompts she often employs is “Je souviens…” — “I remember…” — to help people bring to the page what they’ve lived.“ The knowledge that we’re looking for is the knowledge that really informs the world, and informs our lives,” she says. “The key sentence I give to all my students is, ‘There is no knowledge without the knowledge of knowledge.'”" -- Goldberg, Caryn Mirriam. "Danielle Boutet: Alchemy, Art and Knowledge That Matters and Connects." Worlds of Change. N.p., 17 Feb. 2011. Web. 11 Oct. 2014.

Danielle Boulet has made it onto my lists of artists that have a writing practice that I will eventually get back to when I get to the research of my program.

*undisclosed flowing flooding judgmental disdain edited for my own well being.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Responsive Textabation #3
OBJECT [gender specificity] is to BECOME as SUBJECT [the biological] is to BORN.

“…there is also a more radical use of the doctrine of constitution that takes the social agent as object rather than the subject of constitutive act…When Simone de Beauvoir claims, ‘one is not born, but, rather becomes woman.’  
 – Judith Butler. “Performative Acts and Gender Constitution: An Essay on Phenomenology and Feminist Theory.” In: Theatre Journal. Vol 40, No. 4, pg. 519, December 1988. 
This quote functions on a multiplicity of levels. The primary function is to establish a baseline theoretical structure to understand the nature of agency in regards to identity formation. This understanding of object and its connotative characteristics (specifically that it can only move, act or perform when an outside force is involved) will then be overlaid with additional structures such as the performativity and the theatrical to map out an argument for the social context and lack of autonomous agency in construction of female identity. The notion of object as something that can only operate under the influence of something else is critical to the entire argument. The combination of this notion tied to the implication of female identity formation as artificial and a cultural construct brings her to her real argument of gender itself, not the male or female identity, but gender as an artificial cultural construct. She circles back finally to identify the implications for feminist theorists.

—-end of requested response—-

 A more subtle but critical function of choosing to set her beginning baseline as OBJECT is the overall content of her essay, female and gender identity and agency. These topics touch such a deeply rooted notion of self, even the most mature and liberated scholaress is likely to not be able to fully strip (ha) herself of the cultural baggage she has used to navigate social space either in compliance or rebellion. So to dehumanize the subject (hmm) matter of the essay creates, oddly, a safe place for the reader to find temporarily stable ground on which to set their bags. Further her choice of slipping straight from object to de Beauvoir’s quote functions as a nice ease of readable metaphorical transition into the muddy waters of gender – OBJECT [gender specificity] is to BECOME as SUBJECT [the biological] is to BORN. This is again is a nice safe ground built on logic. We stand here as she rips the binary and gender from beneath our feet.

—-way outside the scope begins here—-

 Sigh. In navigating social space it is much easier for me to choose (as though i actually had independent agency) A or B. If the eye doctor said is 1, 2, 3, or 4 better, i’d be done for, Frankly i only seem to be able to navigate between 2 choices and even that is a challenge. Judith, I’d like to hold the illusion of a little ground to stand on please. The quote also functions to please Roland Barthes from the grave as he mubbles dirt bound, “’Author as object. Oh yes! Yes! Yes! You nailed it perfectly Butler.’”

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

agent as object. yes, I can only think and act under the influence

Judith Butler when discussing the doctrine of constitution, makes a distillation from phenomenological ("more radical") viewpoint that "takes the social agent as an object rather than the subject of constitutive acts."

The notion of me as an object vs the subject screams Roland Barthes' "Death of the Author" in a nicely explanatory way. An object moves only under the influence of another force outside itself; it does not stand up and walk away of its own accord. There are attributes, perhaps geno and phenotypical, inherent to the object that may impact the basis of its movement but the movement is a direct result of something else which in turn was acted upon by something else...

And to compound that we, me as object has a multiplicity of forces moving me.

As I write rebuttals in opposition to some of Plato's extremist notions, i.e. the separation of the body from intellect with the body being highly problematic and bad and the mind, the intellect, being the good, the reasoning reasonable, I am left to discover that my entire rebuttal mirrors what I've only just read in Bonaventure. So did I independently derive my notions or were they shaped hundreds of decades after Bonaventure's thinking had spread through Western philosophy. Barthe's argument would surely hold in my case that I am surely infected with Bonaventure's notions that have become embedded and remain in culture. Sigh. So I am an object writing under the influence of an amalgamation of cultural, historic, and sociological phenomenon. I cannot even claim the words to be my own since they where acquired through exposure to others already operating under the influence of language.

I am lost as sole originator because I can only function under the influence. Even within the first page of Butler's essay, I now find her pushing on the object that is me.

-----

Thinking and working under the influence with my blood cultural and historical levels off the chart, I may be chargeable by the thought police as not author just object. No matter that I might isolate myself I am simply not a discrete autonomous object.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

that simply cannot be right! there is no match made in heaven that would every place me with PLATO. Dang it all.

OMG. I ran a language style matching comparison between my blog post titled without unruly regret and chapter 10 of PLATO's Republic. I intended to use the results as a silly set up for a philosophy paper I am preparing to write in which my argument will be -- THERE IS NOT A CHANCE IN HELL I WOULD MARRY PLATO. Clearly I will throw out the obvious of temporal and geographical displacement, language, social class issues etc. It is really just a fun vehicle in which I can argue against a few points of his thinking that ring hollow (irk me) but with a humorous twist and academic compliance dragging it out to ten pages of supported and cited argumentation (sigh)...hmmm, perhaps like a marriage.

Anyhow, I used a psych/linguist software that analysizes writing styles in terms of relational compatibility. This was meant to be some of my outside humorous data to support my argument (the paper). I will still use it, but I had not assumed compatibility. As a matter of fact I was sure that the nature of our writing and thinking was in absolute opposition. He does irk the heck out of me. THE DAMN PROGRAM says we are mirroring one another at the high rate of 87% (90% is off the charts high -- maxed out). DANG. I guess I'll have to change my argument as to why Plato and I should marry after i channel him back from the dead.

In Synch: Language Style MatchingAre you and your Special Friend on the same page? Are you clicking? In synch? Seeing eye to eye? Communicating effectively?
...
Your LSM ResultsThe LSM score gives us a sense of how similarly two people are using language. It can indicate how synchronized their use of words is.

Your LSM score is 0.87Compared to other general writing samples that we have analyzed, your LSM score is far above average. To give you an idea, most LSM scores for general writing samples range between .60 and .90, with the average being around .78. The more the authors of the two samples are thinking in similar ways, the higher the LSM....

OMG.

Upon further reading I discovered that I can salvage my argument by one of the primary researchers in this field, Dr. Molly Ireland. '"We think of similarity and synchrony as good for relationships,” Ireland says. And usually they are. “But of course matching another person’s mental state won’t bring two people closer together if both are thinking about how they can destroy each other.”'-- Ha. Perfect. She will definitely be cited in my argument.

Ha. The more I read the more clear it is that i miss read the intent of the mechanism...basically it shows engagement, like thinking. It is independent of liking or disliking...The research indicates that in a conflict the more the two people match language styles the more likely they are to arrive at an impasse. That is PERFECT to support my argument. AMEn...At some level however I am still misconstruing her research and need to do more homework (why? besides my silly Plato paper, this totally relates to my research agenda for my PhD)! Bam.
...

TEST YOU AND YOUR PARTNER, a friend or your frenemy. Enjoy.

blah blah blah....thoughts while reading between centuries, between classes

I may in fact be learning more within the temporal and disciplinary tweenness rather than in any one course. The course content dances together oddly and reasonably creating something more fair than foul.

Griselda Pollock in Agency and the Avant Garde derives from Roland Barthe:
Writing is not a personal property or expressive medium for the creative self. It is cultural, social, historical, a field of codes and conventions in which meaning is produced through the play of its signs, within its traditions, through its connotative systems over which no one person can claim mastery. 
Yet this is seen much further back than Barthe perhaps to Augustine...the Augustine, De Muscia VI, might argue the autonomy of the man and free will and such, but still...
Whatever I make out of anything which I have seen, I make by means of memory...(and of what is not seen)..comes from mental movements arising out of other mental movements which are contained in memory. (admittedly pulled out of context)
It seems pretty straight forward that memory stores  and it is going to store all that is experiential and code based "cultural, social, historical, fields of codes and conventions...signs, within its traditions...connotative systems over which no one person can claim mastery." Thus all making comes from an assemblage of the re-membered both at the reasoning cognitive and the direct experiential levels, as well as incorporating the undercurrent baselines established by communal living. "No man is an island." Making is a hybridization of all that is directly and indirectly stored in memory.

Though I am still trying to wrap my brain around these notions because I am pretty sure I slept my way through my reading of Augustine and only now upon rereading am finding him of any interest.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Responsive textabation #2
Theory to practice; practice to theory; it's messy

2.1
She, Griselda Pollock, lost me at…
…I have to work out to WHAT I shall be referring if I use the word Van Gogh.
Griselda Pollock, “Avant-Gardes and Parisians Reviewed” (pg 319)
How she intends for this statement to function vs how it functions within me as reader co-creating the text with her probably differs. Not only does this statement reveal the death of the artist/author, it strips artist/author of any residual humanity. The quote functions to highlight the dehumanizing dilemma of authoring (ha) a text or an analysis of an art object or artist when holding tightly to a theoretical model of approach. The situation is made humorous as she reasserts herself, her agency, her role as interpreter, through the repetitive use of the word “I”, which appears three times in the short string of text. The quote functions to reveal how unstable structuralist/post-structuralist theory can be in practice.

—- end of requested response ——
Writing is not a personal property or expressive medium for the creative self. It is cultural, social, historical, a field of codes and conventions in which meaning is produced through the play of its signs, within its traditions, through its connotative systems over which no one person can claim mastery. (pg 323) 
 A beautiful summation of how these theories play out and ring with a “truth”, yet in practice of analyzing the entity that channels an object/text, the non-claiming producer becomes dehumanized. The artist or object simply function as an X variable in an equation. Finally, moving beyond the dehumanized, Pollock arrives alongside of Raymond William’s idea of art as practice for her approach. Sigh. She wore me out as I sat on her should working together through the problems of various theory driven art writing approaches and finally to arrive at a satisfactory approach method via the practice of art.

--------------------------------------------------------
2.2
Anything we can read as a coherent
ensemble of messages constitutes a text.

Gerald Rabkin, “Is There a Text On This Stage?” (pg 151) 
After a real world discussion of the complexities of authorship, ownership, interpretation and text in the realm of theater, Rabkin revisits the basic notions of structural and poststructural ideologies concerning what is the text. He derives the above quote from these notions and sets this quote as a baseline from which he can then distinguish between a work and a text as they relate to the actual theatrical performance. In this case he is setting up the text as the performance from which the audience will read and the script as a work, a source document from which the performance was generated. The source document, the script, remains legally connected to the one who penned it, the playwright. For Rabkin to create a viable conversation around these topics in theater, he must at least temporarily throw down a line on the stage to define what is the text that is being read. Tomorrow he can draw a different line and we can begin again in this exploration.

—- end of requested response ——

 It is an interesting dilemma of where the text is even located when there are so many intermediaries between the source document (script) and the final reader (ticket holding audience). Who is generating the text for the audience’s reading—the playwright, the director, the performers? Is the audience reading a reading of a reading? And to whmo is the script actually written for? If one considers the structure of the script, one may question who the intended reader is—the director, the performers and stage designers, the ticket buyer? For whom is the work constructed, penned? So interesting.

Monday, September 22, 2014

textual + physical influences. if i were to pick again tomorrow, the list would shift about a bit. at the moment of writing this is what i called to mind.

Five nonfiction texts (scholarly sort of) – In order of exposure

1. Debord, Guy. The Society of the Spectacle. New York: Zone Books, 1995. Encountered – 2005
I read this while drifting maplessly afoot through Paris’ historic district in a lame imitation of Walter Benjamin. I would stumble onto cafes, enter, and consume croissants, hot tea, and Debord. Every margin became filled with comments about my own experience in within the microcosm of my affluent neighborhood in the suburbs of Houston. At the time of consumption I had no idea the text was applying Marxist theory and philosophy to American culture. I had no idea that it was a seminal text for the Situationalists, I just recognized that he was calling a spade, a spade, and speaking into my lived experience. The book is significant for me in two ways: it inflamed my interest in the observing of patterns of agency in culture, and the form in which it was written, though critical, seemed to not take a dry academic approach to the topic. 
2. Gergen, Kenneth J. The saturated self: dilemmas of identity in contemporary life. New York: Basic Books, 2000. [In process of reading Relational Being: Beyond Self and Community, 2009] Encountered – 2006
In this text, speaking from the domains of social psychology, specifically around the topic of agency/identity, Gergen grasps and plays with notions that we are not an autonomous, free-willed selves, that there are manners in which we form agreed upon structures that we work within. He addresses the fluidity of agency within the context of ongoing cultural conditions and shifts. This text actually is highly related in terms of social psychology to Debord’s text, just more focused on the individual. So what? This search for patterns in human function, agency, and the relationship to the larger structures of other and otherness just frankly fascinates the crap out of me. Here is a research academic in the social sciences presenting his data, ideas, musings, etc in a softer narrative form that is atypical of my stereotypes of the high and dry academic past (and often current). This is important to me because the idea of producing high and dry is one I don’t want to spend my life pursuing. I prefer the nitty gritty where the theorist does not separate himself from his work nor from the reader. 
3. STAR/WAM/BAM SO RELEVANT. Pennebaker, James. The secret life of pronouns. New York: Bloomsberg Press, 2011. Encountered – 12/2013
Damn. When I found this, it screamed this is “my lucky day.” I had stumbled upon a methodology for my research (Latent Semantic Analysis (LSA) and Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC)). The horror of reading every artists’ writings over the last 100 years to hunt for some patterns within the body of texts (subjectively) kept me at bay from pursuing questions about the nature of the writings that seem a part of so many visual artists’ practices. Hmmm, if I were a fast or even average reader, that might drop the sense of horror, leaving me with only the subjectivity of pattern hunting within the texts. Pennebaker, a psychologist and professor at the University of Texas, has been studying the patterns of function words (those words that lay between content words). He and his grad students have developed software that analyzes patterns in writing. They have developed and continue to a database identifying many of the patterns correlated to likely meanings. They have found relationships to texts and rates of physical healing, job acquisition, overcoming trauma, deceit, social hierarchy, personality type, affluence, etc. Win. The methods and software are available for scholarly use, available to me. I emailed Dr. Pennebaker (“Dear Famous Professor”) earlier this week about my ideas for study and ask if I might cyberbug him with questions over the next five years. As he is of retiring age (perhaps soon), he replied and gave me his personal email address. Even better the next day he was interviewed on NPR. Here again is another researcher in the softer sciences who wrote a book in which he does not stand outside of his own research waggling the size of his authority and knowledge with language of his priesthood. Instead, he humorously and personally parses out his academic research findings, study methods, etc. His is a style I might hope to match. 
 4. Wolf, Naomi. Vagina: A new biography. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2012. Encountered – 2014
Yet another text written in a very intimate style presenting a wide variety of studies on the current female condition with relevant historic backstory right down to some language studies as to the origin of the word cunt. Her main topic, which she supports with current medical, cultural, and historical studies, is the “vagina brain connection.” Alongside these studies she is unafraid to layout her own personal experience within the context of the issues addressed. The personal and academic are blended. Wolf is a social critic and activist. This is relevant to me because my writing style probably will not match that of an art historian, nor is it my burning desire to do so. 
5. Dan Ariely. Predictably Irrational, Revised and Expanded Edition: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2008. Encountered – 2014
Another social theorist, Ariely, a professor at MIT and now at Duke, working in the dominion of psychology and behavioral economics, presents experimental data on human behavior without divorcing himself from his own text. You read his text and akin to all of the aforementioned researchers writers, he makes you laugh, cry, blush, and look at some damn interesting experimental outcomes. He does not distance himself from the reader but engages as though in direct dialog. Like all the works mentioned, the reader can easily extrapolate the findings to their own observations and research interests. The priestly exclusionary language and structure is set gently aside to allow others access to the domain of behavioral economics. 
Five initial artists’ whose bodies of work clicked something in me that allowed my move from designer to maker. The first encounters with this whole batch was in 2004 while in a mandated Contemporary Painting Art History Class.

1. William De Kooning. The numbered women paintings, 1950-53.
2. Philip Guston. Bad Painting period, 1970s.
Both De Kooning and Guston’s work gave me some kind of odd permission to make bad art. The idea of this kind of cultural permission granting set me free. I had to make a lot of bad art to get to the more formative works. Without De Kooning, Guston (to an untrained designer lacking a background in the high arts) and the likes, I would not have begun. So I partially blame an art historian at the University of Houston for moving me from a consistent livable wage to an impoverished wage I associate with migrant workers. Though she gets credit for giving me permission to finally walk in my own skin. Amen. 
 3. Robert Rauchenberg. Combines, 1955+, and his black paintings, 1951.
The idea that a painting didn’t have to involve paint or that it could be embedded with the everyday was shocking. I simply didn’t know it was an option. So my first work as artist (not for school) was a series of black paintings involving tar, nails, mattress pads, and found ropes. Hmmm. I like to say that Rauschenberg heavily influenced it but then again I did just returned from three weeks in Europe with my mother-in-law (former). Even today much of my work still harkens back to black paintings, I just happened to have moved away from tar toward remnant combine tractor tire tubes. 
 4. Marcel Duchamp. Three standard stoppages, 1913-14 (and of course all of his work).
 While Duchamp was still painting but moving continually away from being “as stupid as a painter” his work that incorporated random chance I found provoking. Not quite as random as Duchamp, I am still at the mercy of materials that don’t allow me the precision or control that a designer might require. There is no cmd-Z, no infinite undos of the digital. Always my work incorporates an element of chance with an unknown outcome. 
5. Womanhouse. California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) Feminist Art Program, 1972.
This goes back to Rauchenberg and away from Greenbergian thinking on purity of medium as well as allowing the personal to enter in to the work and not holding to any specific materiality but harnessing whatever work for the ideas at hand. Specifically it introduced to me the use of materials that were metaphorically personal or descriptive of my condition. 
6. Eve Hesse. Sculpture beginning with the works done in Germany, 1964-1970. Frankly Hesse’s work tapped my need for the tactile, the repetitive and the use of industrial materials to convey feminine forms.

Unread but expect it and author to be useful in my studies at Tech is Stiles, Kristine’s Theories and Documents of Contemporary Art: A Sourcebook of Artists' Writings. California, University of California Press, 2012.  

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Bonus books : who can only eat 5 potato chips?
Annie Dillard. The Writing Life. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1990. Encountered – 2005. 
Merton, Thomas. Echoing Silence: Thomas Merton on the Vocation of Writing. Massachusetts, Shambhala Publications, Inc, 2007. Encountered – 2009.  
Annie Lamont. Bird by bird, some instructions on writing and life. New York: Anchor, 1995. Encountered 2013.  
Brown, Brene. The power of vulnerability: teachings on authenticity, connection, and courage. Sounds True, 2012. Encountered 2013.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

A responsive textabation #1
Author as object. Author writing under the influence [cultural, historical, social, etc]

I've a need to re-enter my blogging practice. In this case I shall simply dump a responsive reading assignment. The task at hand was to pull a quote from the text, explain how it functioned in the author's argument and to give a tad of context.

TEXT #1 Roland Barthe "The death of the author"

literature is that neuter, that composite, that oblique into which every subject escapes, the trap where all identity is lost, beginning with the very identity of the body that writes.-Barthes (pg 2)

This quote functions however I damn well read it since I now occupy the privileged space of meaning maker becoming the texts defining author. Perhaps I exaggerate a tad, nonetheless, I consume the text into my here and now. This consumption, this mulling over, this reading, builds a mechanism in which I layer a multiplicity of understandings derived simply from my own shifting dominion of self, context, and language overlaid upon his string of words. Barthe who penned the quote experienced his own detachment, death, in its writing. He was buried under language’s power to perform independently of him. The author and his intent is but a residual fragment, “a gesture forever anterior”, an assemblage of pre-exisiting signs, a “void process” locked in cultural histories distant from my own. As reader author, I choose to hunt for Barthe and his residual “readymade” of meaning and only in this choice may a “remote imitation” of his intent reenter the text. My own textabation now ransoms me not as meaning maker but as obsolete. These strings of text I thumb out are no longer able to act upon my here and now, my reality. As you birth its meaning, I am lost.

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TEXT #2 Sally MacArthur. Towards A Twenty-First Century Feminist Politics of Music. “How is the Composer Composed?”

…use the matrix…they are told…they are told…fed…a diet…tossed with a hefty dose…to…condition…upon some…system, which had to be justifiable…progress…derived from…prompting…doctrine…dominance of…being indoctrinated…in the…endless reproduc[ion]…of…training…locked into static conventions…the…repetitive…the…narrow…the…deterministic…the…normative…
access…is buttressed…by privilege…reinforce(ing)…status…and the dominant…produces the composer; and the composer produces the dominant…endlessly…ignor(ing)…the…creator…as...enclosed…in…a… homogenized…system.
The new…the autonomous…is oblivious…and forges…necessity…in..elitist and hierarchical…to avoid risk…to seek…safety and predictability…new…is replicating itself…ceasing to become…removing the possibility…of trajectories of…unfolding.– Sally Macarthur (pgs 41-45)

This assembled fragmented quote of sequentially pulled keywords condenses the author’s descriptor of the current conditions and conditioning of the “high brow” artist as a result of their emersion in the academy. She argues that the academy’s ongoing rejection of relatively current “isms” reshaping our understanding of creation, construction of meaning and its intersection with authorship, has impeded the institutions capacity to train artists to be truly innovative. Pinpointing weaknesses in poststructural and postmodern approaches that remain strongly binary, she outlines excuses for the academy to brush them aside – Barthes’ death of the author that privileges the reader, Foucault’s sidestep of meaning, Grosz’ remnant male/female, author/text attachment to positive/negative constructs. Macarthur proposes that striping the composer from under the privileged label of the rational, all-knowing, author and promoting the composer instead as one to be “continuously…under construction” will allow an unfolding of alternatives within the “high-brow subsector” of art music. Using poststructuralist notions of the dissassemblage of the author, she looks specifically to Deleuze’s “machinic (re)assemblage” for a metaphor and method. Unfortunately she fails to logically link the machinic assemblage to her well-crafted pedagogical closing example, a shame because her example is a fine alternative practice to compose the composer for innovation.

Monday, July 07, 2014

Sold. On to the next adventure!









Soulful puppy making the transition from dog heaven freely chasing rabbits, deer, cows and horses to the life of leashed leisure out in Lubbock. She will adjust (I hope).


Goodbye my sweet, sweet hermitage, microforest and minimeadow!






Saturday, June 21, 2014

Up, down, sold (ok, well, under serious contract)

I I suppose it is just bragging, butttt my realtor first showed the hermitage at 11 am, by one I had a viable offer, by three a contract was being drafted up. Bam! I feel fabulously giddy (til I think about missing her, the hermitage and microforest. Fortunately I will be far to occupied in a pleasurable endeavor to give a rip very long). She was a beautiful gift I cherished for the time that was gifted to me.

Now I really have to clear it quickly. Whoop!

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Last add to the hermitage

Originally there was a view blocking picket rail between the two levels. I ripped the eye sore out within the first five days of owning. When I bought it I always had this idea in mind, shelving in the dead space, extending up to second level for seating AND allowing me to look out the front window to the meadow each morning when I awaken.


Sweet to realize it. Tonight I'll prime this baby and tomorrow paint her with good old fashion oil based paint to match all the trim and window sills. 



The perk if being artist is that you can build awesome functional stuff not just useless art. :) art self slam. And you've already got the tools to get the job done even if it is your first ever shelving to build. :)

Yup. Proud of myself and very satisfied with the add. It is perfect with the rest of the house. 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

the hermitage draws close to being market ready and my floors arerocking!

admittedly i've been showing her anyway because the micro forest and mini meadow and she built deck can sell themselves...the finishing of all the reno projects on the hermitage just make her totally smittenable.

one more layer to be laid down. the final will be a satin finish.


dining room


den


bedroom #2



Monday, May 12, 2014

hermitage flooring coming along

pro floor finisher comes next week as i have finished with cutting, fitting and securing the floors in the bedrooms, den, living, dining and stairwell. yay.

I cut and laid 8" planks in the bedrooms which contrasted nicely from the adjoining den that is laid with 36x36 squares.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

hermitage, microforest, minimeadow going on the market

I have loved on this space I call home, I call gift. But I will be going to do my PhD in Lubbock and don't know where I will land at its end so the hermitage in the woods must go. It is located on ten acres two miles from the NW corner of Sam Houston National Forest. A fifteen minute drive from Sam Houston State University and 76 miles from the heart of downtown Houston. It would make a fine weekend place.



Monday, March 31, 2014

if I avoid the unsightly, the inappropriate, that negates the bulk of my living and leaves me straining in falsetto. damn the unseemly.

I get stuck. the only way i know to unstick is to approach the very moment in which i reside. so i do. i drag myself down the aisle. pulling one more box from the shelf, the smallest yet, i trudge the cart-rolling trek back shamefacedly to the register. i am sure i still blush at purchase and think with each passing month it is my last.

but no. NOoo.

george is here again, sitting with me in my mom's chair. i rock wedged between the big open windows of the hermitage and its fireplace. his presence, not that comfy. with his added weight, the wicker bites ridiculous patterns into my rump as i wait his leave. i hate his visits.

i distract myself with the thumbing of my keypad and the muffled morning rain thrumming on the metal roof. from here, i see that the leaves are beginning to clump, cling and mat. i rock; it drizzles; i bemoan the visit. still, hunting for distraction, i damn yesterday's rotten log with its belt busting force decommissioning my tractor's mulching blade. now i will have to work up the words to ask mr. bushee for a lesson in belting my banged up red babe. i am hard on my tools and toys, haranguing them to work in irregular ways. as a she-child, i did not get the useful learned lessons in machined mechanisms or their care. frankly even now, the shop bought fixetties leave me wanting. the red babe, my bladed beast, has returned from the shop more broken than not. whaaat? i paid work earned money for these repairs. they alleviate her nonfunctionalness, but bang and break something new every fricking time--broken fender, dangling head light. grrrrr. superficial i suppose, but my hard wear exasperates their bangs and breaks -- front face plate recently gone as the broken fender caught hold and ripped free from a limb clutching branch. admittedly i only forked over a hundred bucks for her, a divorce trophy from some poor souls' split.

my mind wanders back to george. how can it not, as he asserts himself with a fierce, unforgiving force. bastard. try as i might to avoid his impinging, he arrives with foreseeable frequency. here but a few days then gone again for twenty six. his nature, damn cyclical. only now has he begun to slow, stutter, and wane with the wear of age. why must he come for these excavations with his little cutting, barbaric detissuing knives? i bleed each visit. damn bastard. a week early from his habit, he sits with me in this chair. sit still, rock, he cramps me. this fall he has toyed, failing, fluttering and fluctuating in his visits, as though to leave me. i am ready for him to be gone. i yearn for the flat lake calm that will settle with the absence of his hormonally driven storms. perhaps i will be less of a woman in his wake. i've premourned his leaving for sometime -- fretting my fading femininity. he has had his damn stay for near thirty nine and three quarter years! i am ready for him to be gone. bastard.

i suppose menopause will be his unseemly boxless bitch. perhaps she will linger longer.