Monday, October 27, 2014

Responsive Textabation #5 -- Metaphor and the binary as structures understanding the abstract (so freaking true)

Because I cannot leave well enough alone, I will discuss two quotes. The first quote is included because it is the essential framework for the essay to be communally comprehendible and fulfills the assignment. The second quote is chosen because it can be easily mapped over culture and the position of artist/theorist as a dissonant function of that culture, followed by the culture practices within the academy to control, reintegrate and normalize the artist/theorist and the resultant deformations to the system caused by dissonance. This mapping seems relevant to the inclusion of interdisciplinarity routes for art and theory within the academy.
“… that metaphor is the inescapable means by which we map knowledge across the domains of physical embodiment and abstract conceptualization: Metaphor pervades our normal conceptual system. Because so many of the concepts that are important to us are either abstract or not clearly delineated in our experience (the emotions, ideas, time, etc.), we need to get a grasp on them by means of other concept that we understand in clear terms (spatial orientations, objects, etc.). This need leads to metaphorical definition in our conceptual system. Lakoff and Johnson have argued that metaphors tend to cluster … “image schemas,” such as CONTAINERS, PATHS … FORCES … BALANCE …”

— Straus, Joseph Nathan. “Disability Within Music-Theoretical Traditions.” Extraordinary Measures: Disability in Music. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2011. 107. 
In this quote referencing the work of Lakoff and Johnson, Straus establishes the essential need for and function of metaphor in understanding abstract ideas and experiences such as music. He presents ideological clusters—containers, paths, forces, balance—based on similarities of metaphorical constructs that he will use to explain the uniformity, variation and risk that occurs in music. Further, the metaphorical construct of the human body and the correlating ideological clusters of container, paths, force and balance, Straus indicates are already implicit in the language and practice of music. He goes on to discuss ideas extrapolated as a result of mapping the human body metaphor over music—that the form of music like the body is categorized into binaries—normal and abnormal, formed and deformed, mobile and paralyzed, balanced and imbalanced, enabled and disabled. So Straus specifically identifies the metaphor, the metaphorical language and binaries and the pros and cons of their use in how they have traditionally been applied to music theoretically and practically. His entire essay hinges on the reader understanding these terms and relationships. Additionally by quoting Lakoff and Johnson, Straus frames his application and unpacking of metaphor and the resultant language in a pre-existing peer vetted knowledge base versus being a manifestation of his mere opinion. Straus legitimizes his essay with this move and other similar references within the piece—BAM, scholarly and not an opinion, editorial or touchy feely piece.

—-the end of the requested—-

That we cannot pin down the abstract experience and thus produce knowledge and apply it through systems of parallel almost equivalents and opposition relationships is profoundly interesting. We are limited to only understand “this” from “that” and definitely the not “that.”

—-Kathy’s blah, blah, blah, reactive need. Second quote (paragraphs 2 + 3 of page 118)—Waaaa, too tired to show how artists are the cultural abnormalities—blockages, perforations, dissonance—within the body of culture and the academies role to harness these deformations to prevent cultural implosion or paralysis. So the academy functions as the cultural bodies normalizing system thus allowing for a degree of artistly dissonance, absorption of what is useful, and regulating/repressing/remedying the disability. Within the academy additional dissonances began deforming the already normalized domains, this in “Turn” has been regulated through the creation of interdisciplinary studies the regulate and normalize evolving Theory and differences expressed as cries of oppression from otherness. This is purely my opinion in response to the metaphor of the reading and not scholarly justified. I’ve a Bonaventure paper to finish that has to establish Immersion (Piss Christ), The Dinner Party, and A Fire in My Belly as an inherently beautiful things that leads one back into union with divine mystery, God, despite congressional and religious right moral uproar. Dang straight, it is doable, but I’ve got to get it written up in a coherent and scholarly fashion as I parrot congressional documents, spew sacred texts and justify St. Bonaventure. Sigh.

There may be no better example with which to think about the aesthetics of human disqualification than the medical photography. —Tobin Siebers, “The Aesthetics of Human Disqualification,” in Disability Aesthetics (2010), 44. 
[My bad, I have addressed Tobin as female, he is male] This statement comes late in her essay after she has effectively linked a sequence of relationships—human disqualification based on disability by assumed inferences of inferiority, philosophical aesthetics as structured on an acceptance and rejection of object/other based on wholeness and difference (defect), biology as a disqualifier being a cultural construct. Seibers has cogently made a case for her argument “that … disqualification is justified through the accusation of mental or physical inferiority based on aesthetic principles” in her discussion of the philosophy of aesthetics, Hitler’s tauting of Great German Art vs Degenerate Art, and the public reaction to Alison Lapper Pregnant: “Why Shouldn’t My Body Be Considered Art?” The quote from page 44 of her chapter highlights as important and leads into her final support for her argument. Though she has already fully supported her argument and driven the point home with her previous examples, this statement claims that this will be her strongest support yet—“no better example.” Unfortunately, this section appears highly forced to fit into her established aesthetic argument structure. The topic is a viable application of cultural production of the positioning of disabilities as a qualifier for inferiority and thus a human disqualifier, but she does not link it adequately to her aesthetic argument. It is common in an argument to work in three examples of support. Medical photography is one of her three and her inability to structure cogently with the previous portion of her argument weakens the entire chapter. The intended function of this quote as highlighting her final argument’s support as being the strongest instead weakened her previously established ideas.
 Crap, I do this all the time when trying to manipulate that initial notion or important point I thought belonged at one time to fit into my current structure in which it no longer fits.
 …a writer writes … he intended several urgent and vivid points, many of which he sacrificed as the book’s form hardened … The part you must jettison … was to have been the very point … (perhaps it was) the passage on which the rest was to hang, and from which you drew the courage to begin.— Annie Dillard, The Writing Life.

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 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 claim's 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. And that spectation is vicarious nonliving-living in which direct experience is traded for consumptive interpretation. 
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 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 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.’”