Wildcat     Thu, Jan 19, 2012  Permanent link
"We need to rethink intelligent operation in a soft universe, extraction of singular states out of flowing streams, instantaneous processes of reconstructing mindsets together with the art and science of curating becoming.

It is Aesthetics that provides us the grounds to a new system of navigation."

Fantastic writing Xaos, thank you, one of the best contributions to the Polytopia Vision of aesthetics perspective and perception. I do believe that in this post you are laying the groundwork, or more accurately an infrastructure or pathway by which we can follow the breadcrumbs left by artistic manifestations to help us navigate the chaotic waters of the motion into virtuality.

I am very much with you in the issue of softening, though if truth must be told, I think that what we can see in the world is a simultaneous and quite conflicting direction, in which some of us are moving into the softening you describe whilst others are moving away (or back) into a hardening of contours trying to cling to past ideas.

the question of course is in what fashion do you see the function of the artist in the coming future as protagonist of a cultural softening or do you think this motion is inherently inevitable and all will align eventually no matter what we do?
Fast T     Sat, Jan 21, 2012  Permanent link
Letting oneself into the “middle”, the solid concreteness of restrictions is re-examined anew and projected into possible tensions that generate change. The structural stability of the hard yields to the dynamic potential of the soft, giving play to corridors of yet unexpressed opportunities, momentary shapes, endless reshuffling of landscapes.

In a momentary crossing over from a world of definite restrictions toward the wilderness of dynamic tensions, mind learns to morph singular states in soft matter.

Being me, after all, is a process (and so, is, as far as I can tell, being anyone). It is an epistemological process.

‘Soft’ and ‘middle’, the way they are depicted here, describe the quality of the Epistemological process, discerning at that the medium, ecology and very intelligence in which and by which knowledge is forming and morphing. The ecology and process in turn are molding ‘knowledge itself’ (I put ‘knowledge itself’ in Quotation marks to emphasize that ‘knowledge’ has no a-priori or stand alone state).

One of the focuses in this is the crucial impact states of softness have in the process of becoming, while becoming here stands for interacting with the knowledge (attained and potential) of being ‘me’; or in your words: when contact produces different versions of ourselves.

Of course one of the interesting issues here is the necessity to employ navigational tools that are, once departing from the ‘structural wisdom’ of hard matter, of open nature and in fact lacking a-priori direction.
Otherwise put, what if at all is applicable in order to maintain consistency of said versions of ourselves?

One is tempted to call whatever means employed in this context, aesthetic ones.

A conscious catalyst that interferes with becoming (of form) becomes in its turn intimate with the process of exceeding itself while in the ‘middle’. Thus opening doors that are disengaged from the natural.

The difference, where manifested, is not a matter of perfection or imperfection as in the world of Plato, rather it is an aesthetic probe, sensing where to make the difference visible, harvesting its power to un-domesticate form. From cracks on the surface of the familiar into the liquid streams of possibilities, emerging as the singular.

But are they (disengaged from the natural)? What aspect of natural might be amiss in that ‘aesthetic probe’?

I think the intimate and the alien, so beautifully brought into the thought of aesthetics, are naturally infused in the process of morphing knowledge that is at heart (in its virtual sense) of becoming human.
For this particular tension is of the richest veins along the undulating histories of our intelligent minding. One without which I find it verging on impossible to describe myself to myself.

Xaos     Sat, Jan 21, 2012  Permanent link
Wildcat thank you for your warm words, the question is indeed of critical nature. But first to your comment.

“I am very much with you in the issue of softening, though if truth must be told, I think that what we can see in the world is a simultaneous and quite conflicting direction, in which some of us are moving into the softening you describe whilst others are moving away (or back) into a hardening of contours trying to cling to past ideas.”

“The Artist” a 2011 French movie directed by Michel Hazanavicius is a black and white silent movie; the story takes place in Hollywood between 1927 and 1932, the times in which technology irreversibly altered cinema and the silent movie disappeared from the stage giving way to talking heroes. I find it in some aspect funny if not interesting that today this is the movie getting all the attention, just few moments after the production of Avatar.

Cinema I think provides us with a brilliant window into dynamics of ‘fast’ evolution’. At a moment in which the future of cinema is not clear, here comes the trend in which the present is noisy (Avatar) but the past holds our greater days. It seems that at times of fast evolution there is a tendency to look back for wisdom and cling to past ideas, so that a conflict of directionality is inevitably apparent.

But then again, I believe that as a species we are young in the art and science of periods of fast evolution. We register a threat in it and for more than one reason; leaving aside for a moment the more territorial fears (bound to rigid contours of identity at different scales) we understand the threat and consequent fear of not being able to produce a step ahead in the same level of quality of the legacy of steps that preceded our station in evolution (whether cultural or natural). It is a threat to the very criteria of what we hold precious or better yet of what we are, which is not yet balanced by concrete alternatives.

In short, emergence of conflicting direction in periods of fast evolution is inherent and maybe important. This said, I do believe that we have to develop ‘Outposts’ which escape the global patterns and conflicts and are busy in decoding and extracting the intelligence of the particular moment. Neither the past nor the future are full of treasures, yet the present junction of mind and trends, when projected across metaphors of past and future is that which is pregnant with opportunities, whose becoming is to be curated.

The magic of the silent movie was that it reflected all of us to the same plane, with Chaplin WE are, while with Godard it is individuation that takes the lead, but then came Tarkovsky and made of cinema a spiritual technology. Those three masters of cinema are not in competition, it is not that cinema should be that or this, it is the artist that makes cinema relevant or not to its audience.

When entering a metamorphosis we enter a singularity of sorts, one cannot know a priori what will emerge on the other side yet we do have a responsibility of intelligence extraction and of path finding.

So, yes, I do see the function of the artist in the coming future as a protagonist of a cultural softening, whether the motion of softening is inevitable or not. (Here the artist stands as a trait and style of mind not necessarily a specific manifest).

I believe that addressing the soft is a different challenge all together, it is not the loyalty to the medium or to a particular style that count, but rather the ability to articulate anew the interrelation medium-being, so that the emerging alternative will soften the fear from the river of instability that all futures hold.