From Joan Watson

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The following quotations, video clip interviews and various other bits of info from various sources are relevant to the Visual Verbal Journey objectives, therefore, this PmWiki introductory multi-media presentation (aka, art historical combine) entitled PmWiki_AH_IS_Week_0_Main_HomePage is a shared week appropriate for use in both IS300 Junior Seminar and AH412 Metaphorical Aspects of Contemporary Art.




There is, however, nothing more wholesome for us than to find problems that quite transcend our powers
and I must say, too, that it imparts a delicious sense of being cradled in the waters of the deep —
a feeling I always have at sea.

(Charles Sanders Peirce quote used in a Robert Morris exhibition catalog, 1964)


A painter is lost if he finds himself.
The fact that I have not found myself I regard as my only achievement
(Max Ernst)


I don't want results, I want the road (Alfred Jensen) AND
A never ending sequence of becoming...the phenomenon of continuity (Cassirer)


So then are we really thinking when
the subject upon which we are thinking can not be thought out.
(Goethe)


"The Hidden Order of Art" by Anton Ehrenzweig (diagram above and text below):
The maze (serial structure) of a creative search.
The creative thinker has to advance on a broad front keeping open many options.
S-he must gain a comprehensive view of the entire structure of the way ahead
without being able to focus on any single possibility.
Any creative search involves the scrutiny of an often astronomical number of possibilities.
A creative search resembles a maze with many nodal points.
From each of these points many possible pathways radiate in all directions
leading to further crossroads where a new network of high- and by-ways comes into view.
Each choice is equally crucial for further progress.
Additionally, all artistic structure is essentially polyphonic;
it evolves not in a single line of thought, but in several superimposed strands at once.



Gerhard Richter says it's pretty easy for him to start a painting...
not scared of the vast void of the canvas so he puts on a layer of some color,
some form, that he really doesn't much care about and then the process begins.

{JW correlation: re our purposes in the AH412 and IS300 classes, try to make the leap
from this or any other bit of info included in the weekly multi-media presentations; a.k.a. the art historical combines
to your Visual Verbal Journey process -- reference the following link for additional info:

LINK #1: "Transformative Aspects of Art". Δ
For instance using the words of Richter but slightly edited for our purposes,
don't be scared of the vast void/space of your Visual Verbal Journeys.
Just begin with your chosen image -- try to stay in the present tense looking to see
the specific physical data comprising each of your images as comprehensively and imaginatively as possible
and construct your Visual Verbal Journeys accordingly. Continuing on,
consider the following info from Richter because I think them to be words of wisdom and
could provide you with ideas that might create a greater Visual Verbal Journey.}

Richter's process continues as it becomes more and more complicated.
In a certain way, he is a kind of prisoner of the painting {or whatever else} and
the further he gets {into the process}, the more complicated it becomes.

{Reference the Goethe and/or Ehrenzweig quotes, along with the map of the creative process above.}
You see that it is a kind of a process -- that he is reaching some point
where he thinks this looks {or, reads} pretty good and then he stays with it for hours,
for days, for weeks, for months, whatever it takes until it's finished.
And he says that if he understands it completely then it becomes boring and he has to change it.
The final painting then is when he has the feeling the painting {or the interactive writing} is better than him --
that it is beyond his thoughts or ideas and that there is nothing left for him to do at the paintings.

{JW correlations: Art + Audience = "More than Both", = "Reciprocal Relations", = "beyond the literal".}
Richter always said that for him there are not different styles --
that there are not different ways of perceiving painting -- that they're all the same for him --
the abstract works are as real for him as the realistic works are abstract.

{JW correlations: Philip Rawson -- chapter 1 in his book, "Drawing" (IS300_Wk4 or the link entitled "the basic building block units"), and
Robert Irwin's video clip "on abstraction" with emphasis on the "collective consciousness" (IS300_Wk4, AH412_Wk5, AH412_Wk6).}



"Against Interpretation" by Susan Sontag (an excerpt):

Given the condition of our senses…our capacities…
WHAT IS IMPORTANT NOW IS TO RECOVER OUR SENSES!
WE MUST LEARN TO SEE MORE, TO HEAR MORE, TO FEEL MORE!
Our task is not to find the maximum amount of content in a work of art,
much less to squeeze more content out of the work than is already there.
Our task is to cut back 'content' so that we can see the thing at all.

The aim of all commentary on art now should be to make works of art —
and, by extension, our own experience — more, rather than less, real to us.
The function of criticism should be to show 'how it is' what it is, even 'that it is' what it is,
rather than to show what it means.
In place of hermeneutics we need an erotics of art.

{The word, 'content' as it is used above by Susan Sontag correlates with the pre-conceived or
pre-recorded notion of the word presented by William S. Burroughs in his interviews (AH412_Wk2 and IS300_Wk8.)
Also relevant would be Proust's belief in "the intelligence that arises following an encounter"
rather than the pre-conceptions that are with us before the encounter with our images. (see excerpt from "Proust and Signs" below).}



LINK #2:THE IMAGE OF THOUGHT from a book entitled, PROUST AND SIGNS by Gilles Deleuze;

"Proust and Signs" by Gilles Deleuze (an excerpt from the chapter, "The Image of Thought"):
"
In science and in philosophy, the intelligence always comes before;
but characteristic of {art}/signs is their appeal to the intelligence insofar as it comes after, insofar as it must come after.
The same is true of memory: the sensuous signs {or art} force us to seek the truth, but thereby mobilize an involuntary memory
(or an involuntary imagination born of desire).
Finally the signs of art force us to think: they mobilize pure thought as a faculty of essences.'''

Under the signs of art, we learn what pure thought is as a faculty of essences, and how the intelligence,
the memory, or the imagination diversity {diversity} it in relation to the other kinds of signs."
{JW correlation: Ludwig Wittgenstein from "Philosophical Investigations;" especially noteworthy,
“A CONCEPT FORCES ITSELF ON ONE. (This is what you must not forget!)”
Also, reference the video clip below: "Sentences on Conceptual Art" by Sol LeWitt and sung by J. Baldessari:
“The conceptual artist is like a mystic…he/she leaps to conclusions that logic cannot reach."}

What forces us to think is the sign. The sign is the object of an encounter;
but it is precisely the contingency of the encounter
which guarantees the necessity of what it leads us to think.

{and let me repeat this because it is critical to the Visual Verbal Journey process:}
But it is precisely the contingency of the encounter which guarantees the necessity of what it leads us to think.
{And, for the sake of clarity re the functional effectiveness of signs upon yourself and your creative process;
esp. in order to affect the quality of our Visual Verbal Journeys, let's consider the word contingency as the phenomenon that it is:
a future event or circumstance that is possible but cannot be predicted with certainty;
i.e., the new possibilities for your artwork resulting from your in depth encounters with each of your collected images!}

The act of thinking does not proceed from a simple natural possibility;
on the contrary, it is the only true creation.
CREATION IS THE GENESIS OF THE ACT OF THINKING WITHIN THOUGHT ITSELF.
This genesis implicates something which does violence to thought,
which wrests it from its natural stupor and its merely abstract possibilities!

{JW correlations: thinking brought to the level of contemplation; i.e.,
the continuous use of your thought process leading to originating spirit or more simply put,
the continuous use of your thought process leading to the practice of what and how you need to create.}


''To think is always {to dare} to interpret, to explicate, to develop, to decipher, to translate a sign.
Translating, deciphering, developing are the form of pure creation.
There is no greater an explicit signification than a clear idea.'
'
{JW qualifications:
1) Sol LeWitt (below): ideas implement the concept -- and -- given that statement, then…
2) the most explicit signification would be those ideas (those artworks) that are "clear" as in "clear as a bell" --
"clear as a bell" connotes the more functional aspects of ideas that resonate;
i.e., ideas that reverberate with an expressive quality echoing something of its original spirit to the other.
…And to interject a little dose of Azar Nafisi regarding the other,
consider the benefits (or the reality) of you, yourself being the other as you interact with your own artworks.
Reference Azar Nafisi on her experiences of writing and reading in the video clip below.}


THERE ARE ONLY MEANINGS IMPLICATED IN SIGNS AND IF THOUGHT HAS THE POWER TO EXPLICATE THE SIGN,
TO DEVELOP IT IN AN IDEA, THIS IS BECAUSE THE IDEA IS ALREADY THERE IN THE SIGN,
{i.e., the intelligence contained within all things/situations}
IN THE ENVELOPED AND INVOLUTED STATE, IN THE OBSCURE STATE OF WHAT FORCES US TO THINK.


http://vimeo.com/7347046


<p>Marcel from Reel 13 on Vimeo.</p>

We seek the truth only within time, constrained and forced.
The truthseeker is the jealous man who catches a lying sign on the beloved’s face.
He is the sensitive man, in that he encounters the violence of an impression.
He is the reader, the auditor, in that the work of art emits signs which will perhaps force him to create,
like the call of genius to other geniuses.
The communications of garrulous friendship are nothing,
compared with a lover’s silent interpretations.
Philosophy, with all its method and its good will,
is nothing compared with the secret pressures of the work of art.

CREATION, LIKE THE GENESIS OF THE ACT OF THINKING, ALWAYS STARTS FROM SIGNS.
THE WORK OF ART IS BORN FROM SIGNS AS MUCH AS IT GENERATES THEM;

{JW correlations: see the following quotes from Richard Foreman + Lawrence Weiner:
"Art refreshingly, exhileratingly, thought of as an aid in teaching one new navigational abilities" (Richard Foreman) and

"If a painting, sculpture, dance, etc.
presents something to you that basically gives you new information,
you are beholden to change your entire thinking about things to fit that information…
you must change your thinking patterns". (Lawrence Weiner)


THE CREATOR IS LIKE THE JEALOUS MAN, INTERPRETER OF THE GOD,
WHO SCRUTINIZES THE SIGNS IN WHICH THE TRUTH BETRAYS ITSELF.
In science and in philosophy, the intelligence always “comes before”; but characteristic of signs
is their appeal to the intelligence insofar as it comes after, insofar as it must come after.
The same is true of memory: the sensuous signs force us to seek the truth,
but thereby mobilize an involuntary memory (or an involuntary imagination born of desire).
Finally the signs of art force us to think: they mobilize pure thought as a faculty of essences.
Under the signs of art, we learn what pure thought is as a faculty of essences, and how the intelligence,
the memory, or the imagination diversity it in relation to the other kinds of signs.

For the ESSENCES dwell in dark regions, not in temperate zones of the clear and the distinct.
THEY ARE INVOLVED IN WHAT FORCES US TO THINK;
they do not answer to our voluntary effort;
they let themselves be conceived only if we are forced to do so.
To think is therefore to interpret, is therefore to translate.
THE ESSENCES ARE AT ONCE THE THING TO BE TRANSLATED AND THE TRANSLATION ITSELF,
THE SIGN AND THE MEANING

{JW correlations:
THE AESTHETIC PHENOMENON =
THE THING + YOU
THE ART + THE AUDIENCE
(Reference Duchamp's "Creative Act" and/or
Michael Haneke's thoughts on the audiences' relationship to the structure of his movie, "Caché".
AND ACCORDING TO PROUST: "SENSATIONS COMMON TO TWO PLACES, TO TWO MOMENTS" or
the idea of "More Than Both", which is a chapter from the book. "The Dancing Wu Li Masters" by Gary Zukav, 1979)}


“A CONCEPT FORCES ITSELF ON ONE.
THIS IS WHAT YOU MUST NOT FORGET.” (Ludwig Wittgenstein)
{JW: for additional relevant info on Wittgenstein;
especially, re one's need to explain: see audio clip and typed transcription at the end of this page.}


Also, relevant would be the following from "Sentences on Conceptual Art" by Sol LeWitt:
“Conceptual artist are mystics rather than rationalists;
they leap to conclusions that logic cannot reach” and


"Sentences On Conceptual Art" by Sol Le Witt as sung by John Baldessari in order
to bring LeWitt's consciousness to a larger audience (hear the following video clip):


and, in case googlevideo is not working, please click on the following url address:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q6eSfKeJ_VM



The Critic Seesa brick by Jasper Johns


Marcel Duchamp's self portrait
With My Tongue in My Cheek



With My Tongue in My Cheek,
The Readymades Are Meaningless


So, what do you figure?

And to repeat again in another way.
…Given the following two signs (1)visual and another 2) verbal);
1) With My Tongue in My Cheek,
2) The Readymades Are Meaningless,


So, what do you figure?

So, what do you figure? …especially in the context of "Ways of Seeing" by John Berger (1972) !
The main issue is between
a total approach to art by which you attempt to relate it to every aspect of your experience
and
the esoteric approach of a few specialized experts who are the clerks of the nostalgia of a ruling class in decline.
THE REAL QUESTION IS:
TO WHOM DOES THE MEANING OF THE ART OF THE PAST PROPERLY BELONG?
TO THOSE WHO CAN APPLY IT TO THEIR OWN LIVES!
…or, to a cultural hierarchy of relic specialists?

{JW qualification: reference both the Azar Nafisi and Harold Bloom video clips below.}


Extracts from Gerhard Richter: The Daily Practice of Painting. Writings, 1962

Art serves to establish community.
It links us with others, and with the things around us, in a shared vision and effort.

{This is what the Visual Verbal Journeys are all about; i.e.,
to develop your own community as a "web of relationships" based upon your distinct aesthetic investigations.
(Keeping in mind the word "aesthetics" meaning "sensitive perception", construct your VVJs based accordingly.}


My concern is never art, but always what art can be used for.

Strange though this may sound, not knowing where one is going, being lost
reveals the greatest possible faith and optimism.



Gilbert and George -- excerpts from "The words of the sculptors", 1969 --
"art for all", 1971 -- Jam Magazine) and
a slightly edited version of the video clip info re "Six Bomb pictures".

I thought this info from Gilbert & George might address the hesitancies some students have when asked to share
their interactive experiences with both their own work and those of others.

"We would honestly like to say how happy we are to be sculptors".
"It is our intention to bring to everyone a realization of the beauty and necessity of our sculpture".
"With tears streaming down our faces
we appeal to you to rejoice in the life of the world of art".


"We would never use something in a picture because we like it or we don't like it...
it's only when it has the depth of the "moral dimension".

As an example of reaching the "moral dimension", Gilbert & George discuss their obsession with images of chewing gum and after staying with the image persistently, they finally realized the significance of the chewing gum. "…Each chewing gum comes from an individual person! As a life, maybe they're dead -- chewing gum stays along time -- they have their loves and their fears and they're hopes -- the same as everyone -- and those chewing gums remain from them. AND that is the moral dimension." (George)

Even (with the Six Bomb pictures), when they started to take these kinds of images from the Evening Standard Poster (the evening paper), they were drawn to do so but at the beginning, we didn't understand what they meant to us so we considered more and more and more and more and more {correlative situations} until we realized the significance of our choices.
"As Gilbert says, it's not finding or collecting the subject matter that tells us, it's the actual taking {in of} the images of it (until they mean something) when we peer into the lens after taking 500, 600, 700 different images of (whatever) slowly we begin to explore ourselves through looking at that subject matter and then we take on the meanings that are inherent, that are THERE."
{JW comment on the last word in the previous sentence, the word THERE: For the sake of improving our interactive experiences, let's investigate further where "THERE" is actually located. "THERE" is in both it (the thing) as well as you. Re-member, the word phenomenon means the thing (it) plus you and the spirit (or dynamic themes) found within the one will influence the spirit that is in the other (you) and together (the thing + you) = "More than Both". And "More than Both" is (essentially) the place where the thing to be translated and the the translation itself -- the sign and the meaning -- the thing and you -- the art and the audience become one! Please construct your Visual Verbal Journeys in a way that they become the creative place that Gilbert and George referred to as "there". And because this seems to be a difficult task to accomplish let me repeat: the word phenomenon means the thing (it) plus you and the spirit (or dynamic themes) found within the one will influence the spirit that is in the other (you) and together (the thing + you) = "More than Both". And "More than Both" is (essentially) the place where the thing to be translated and the the translation itself -- the sign and the meaning -- the thing and you -- the art and the audience become one! Please construct your Visual Verbal Journeys in a way that they become this creative place referred to by Gilbert and George as "THERE".
{Reference the following correlative 'bits of info' re where there is actually located:}

• the Tibetan notion of symbol as the demonstration of the living qualities of that which is.
Sensitizing ourselves to the expressive life qualities within all things can move us into new awareness --
"we cannot ignore the symbolic relationship we have with…" the nature of every and/or any thing,
"mind reacts to matter and matter reflects mind -- there is a continual exchange".


• Marcel Proust's trust in the intelligence that arises following an encounter with any thing,
"For the ESSENCES dwell in dark regions, not in temperate zones of the clear and the distinct.
THEY ARE INVOLVED IN WHAT FORCES US TO THINK;

they do not answer to our voluntary effort;
they let themselves be conceived only if we are forced to do so.
To think is therefore to interpret, is therefore to translate.
The essences are at once the thing to be translated and the translation itself,
the sign and the meaning
". According to Proust: "sensations common to two places, to two moments" --or--

• the willful intention to move beyond our pre-conceptions into new ways of thinking based on
the re-cognition of the dynamic realities occurring within all situations as discussed by Lawrence Weiner, Richard Foreman,
Susan Sontag, John Cage, and so many others chosen as the re-source materials for AH412 and IS300.
Also relevant is the following video clip interview with Azar Nafisi, along with certain bits of info I've excerpted from the video.)}


As a prelude to Azar Nafisi's discussion of her new book, "Things I have Been Silent About: memories of a prodigal daughter",
let me begin with a very significant phrase she's shared re her last book ("Reading Lolita in Tehran -- A memoir in Books").
Contemplating the writing of that book, Nafasi herself realizes…
"it's not a memoir about my life, but rather a memoir about how certain books affect lives".

{JW reiteration: its not a personal memory about her life,
but rather a memoir about herself in relationship to the dynamic aspects contained within books -- or --
any other forms of art; i.e., to the expressive dynamic (personally moving) forces contained within all things.

Additionally the following thoughts from Azar Nafisi are relevant to the Visual Verbal Journey procedure; especially due to the hesitancy expressed by some when asked to share their personal relationships to either their own work or those of others:
we tend to reduce all countries {all artworks}; all have been reduced to politics {…to the lowest denominator. …And we tend to reduce other people to this level as well}. …so more than ever, we need today the voices of the imaginative, the voice of the artist, the poet, we need the alternative eye, we need the third eye of imagination that leads us to culture -- that leads us to traditions, that leads us to histories that have been confiscated by the political. And I think that it is only through reading a book {or reading a work of art} that we can recapture, that we can regain that democracy of voices and democracy of images which puts a stop to all this stereotyping and to creating a culture of essentially segregation under the name of multi-culturalism. Because multi-culturalism is a celebration of differences, but at the same time as celebrating differences and being curious about others -- at same time, if we don't have empathy… …and it is only through stories, history, novels, memoirs, poetry, music, philosophy, etc. that we can find the common space that makes us all human and it is in that common space, that we can empathize.}

Azar Nafisi re the intersection of the private and the public and discovering the unexpected.
{JW correlation: "The human condition is the point of intersection with other forces" from Octavio Paz
re Henri Michaux's "The Miserable Miracle" re polarities.}

Azar Nafisi -- Interview on Q TV
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SUOdLWMvr70


Azar Nafisi in the discussion of her new book "Things I have Been Silent About: Memories of a Prodigal Daughter", references a quote from the Canadian American author Saul Bellow, which she uses to symbolize (i.e., to demonstrate dynamically) her relationship to the act of writing and/or reading: you live twice…once through facts and then once again when you articulate those facts -- you write about yourself because it's conclusive evidence that you have lived. {And to elaborate on this twice lived life more inclusively and as a way to give it more credence in the context of our VVJourneys: you write about yourself, but especially about your self in relationship to all the facts that would be your own artworks, as well as the correlative situations you've decided to include along with them in your VVJourneys.
Also, let me elaborate here on the "facts" (or the physical or literal) and the "articulation of those facts", it seems appropriate to use Roland Barthes on the inter-relationships amongst "the signifier, the signified, the sign and signification -- use the following link:}

LINK 3: "Mythologies"; pp. 111-117, etc. Δ

Asked about the differences between literature awakening and political awakening, Nafisi relates the following:
All literature by its nature is subversive; i.e., all great literature is subversive because the essence of writing a story is that at the same time you're reflecting on what happened, you're also challenging what happen. The essence of a story, is not only about the way things are, but there is the potential of the way things could be or the way things should be -- there's always a questioning of what happened…a sense that reality as "it is" is not doing well…so, we should move ahead to make changes. {JW correlation: as you interact with your artworks etc, attempt to achieve the perfect critique; i.e., a combination of appreciating the best aspects, as well as the worst aspects and then challenging yourself to imagine new ways to make your art. Remember the VVJouney process involves the re-cognition of the realities that is your past (last) artwork in the present tense as a way to move into the future with new ways to make the kind of work that you need to make.

Nafisi is next asked about the differences between literature {art} and politics:
Nafisi answers: Literature always complicates. Literature doesn't judge; it wants to understand, it wants to give as many voices {to the situation} as possible.
{JW correlation to the VVJourney procedure: elaborate as comprehensively and as intuitively as possible by using innumerable and diverse a grouping of correlative situations as is humanly possible} Literature {art} is based on curiosity and empathy! …And on the other hand, politics always simplifies -- politics wants to win you onto its side (and very often might be intrusive in a limiting kind of way). Great writing of literature has no boundaries, no limits, no nationality''blue%{But this is also true of the making of art or the interactive experience of anything.} ''For Nabakov, curiosity is insubordination in its greatest form -- if you want to be genuinely subordinate, it is not just about questioning the world, but it's about questioning the self and the only way you can truly question yourself is through your art. The whole idea of subversiveness is not just questioning the world, but to question the self and the only way we can genuinely question the self, it would be through thought — through imagination (through that subversive world like that in wonderland of "alice in wonderland". When Alice who dares to jump down that hole to enter wonderland -- following the caterpillar who when alice asks, who are you? puts it back onto her by asking who are you? {JW correlation: Ad Reinhardt's cartoon of an abstract painting pointing back to the man who asks of the painting, what are you about? Asks back to the man, what are you all about?}
* The following info from AtGoogleTalks — May 08, 2009 is relevant so let me interject a bit of info from that lecture here: The whole idea of reading and writing is based on the idea that going into a book {or into an artwork or anything else} is like jumping into a wonderland; like jumping into that rabbit hole, which is not to affirm your prejudices/pre-sup-positions {your preconceptions or pre-recordings}, which will not tell you what you had expected. It is instead the unexpectedness of it all; it is the fact that you are going to be questioned -- the fact that you will become a stranger even to yourself. One of the most important things for me in the act of writing, even in writing the book, "Things I've Been Silent About" (a very personal memoir), was not to talk about things that I already knew, but to discover things about myself and the world that I did not know {before the act of writing! --and let me repeat that again, "to discover things about myself and the world that I did not know before you begin the ACT OF WRITING.} …And I think that writing…i think that any genuine and serious act of imagination {? would use the word, contemplation} is always about the other. And I also believe that this other -- this seeing yourself as other and constantly giving in to being interpreted and questioned as others is very important especially in the kind of world we live in today because our world has become both small and large at the same time, but it has also become so polarized and so politicized that sometimes we forget that politics should be at the service of life and not the other way around. When you hear that I am from Iran, what comes to your mind? not a group of women who sitting around eating cream puffs and discussing the book "Lolita" ("Reading Lolita in Tehran") or the subversion action of everyday Iranians walking down the street with a little bit of their hair sticking out from under cover, or the people daring to do any other thing not sanctioned by the authoritarian rules and regulations -- no, instead most think of the political ruling powers that rule and regulate the people and this we do--we tend to reduce all countries; all have been reduced to the matter of politics. …so more than ever, we need today the voices of the imaginative, the voice of the artist, the poet, we need the alternative eye, we need the third eye of imagination that leads us to culture. that leads us to traditions, that leads us to histories that have been confiscated by the political. And I think that it is only through reading a book {or reading a work of art} that we can recapture, that we can regain that democracy of voices and democracy of images which puts a stop to all this stereotyping and to creating a culture of essentially segregation under the name of multi-culturalism. Because multi-culturalism is a celebration of differences, but at the same time as celebrating differences and being curious about others -- at same time, if we don't have empathy… …and it is only through stories, history, novels, memoirs, poetry, music, philosophy, etc. that we can find the common space that makes us all human and it is in that common space, that we can empathize. …and, if no empathy, how else can we do what needs to be done for ourselves and one another unless we have empathy. …as suggested by the narrator in "To Kill A Mockingbird": "to put yourself in someone else's shoes". So it is that essential empathy that the world today needs and that empathy can be best transferred to us through the listening of stories from others and the telling of our own stories. And, it is through that empathy that we have the "shock of recognition" -- the fact that we all share a common ground -- the fact that torture is torture no matter where …that human rights is universal -- And so at some point, the world of imagination and the world of human rights coincide with one another -- that we need to defend others in order to defend ourselves; we need to hold ourselves accountable as we hold others accountable!!!!

back to the Q TV interviewer who interjects a negative criticism some have toward Azar Nafisi because of her focus on western literature; that she loves western literature --however-- she counters by stating she is a great lover of all literature! …and the focus on western literature happened because I was writing a memoir about a time in my life while teaching english and that was my life as an Iranian inter-relating with english at the time. --But you know, the only realm for me (where there are no boundaries/no nationalities) is the realm of imagination! • The Q TV interviewer asks about the possible conflict between Nafisi's desire to expose her love of western literature and the need to expose her love of Iranian/Persian literature's rich tradition.
Nafisi answers, I completely disagree with those who consider writing or the making of any kind of art as a conventional political or nationalistic occupation. {JW correlation: reference similar thoughts expressed below by Harold Bloom in his video clip interview.}
When I first arrived here in the U.S., I was very disturbed by the limited view people here had of the Iranians. I believe in … to be continued: • GO BACK TO TC 13:30 TO ADD MORE INFO HERE FROM THE VIDEO CLIP: Literature--all art is always about the other--it is always about something else!!!

Interviewer: The average Iranians know and revere all poets/poety. …And this may be the greatest way by which Iran is misunderstand.

Azar Nafisi: yes that is what I was trying to say earlier, …that cultures should meet through the best of what each has to offer.

…the greatest criticism would be to appreciate the best, as well as, to question and challenge the worst of it.


A simple listing of Azar Nafisi's books is very telling in and of itself:

  1. "Images of Women in Classical Persian Literature and the Contemporary Iranian Novel." The Eye of the Storm: Women in Post-Revolutionary Iran. Ed. Mahnaz Afkhami and Erika Friedl. New York: Syracuse University Press, 1994. 115-30.
  2. "Anti-Terra: A Critical Study of Vladimir Nabokov’s Novels" (1994).
  3. "Imagination as Subversion: Narrative as a Tool of Civic Awareness." Muslim Women and the Politics of Participation. Ed. Mahnaz Afkhami and Erika Friedl. New York: Syracuse University Press, 1997. 58-71.
  4. "Tales of Subversion: Women Challenging Fundamentalism in the Islamic Republic of Iran." Religious Fundamentalisms and the Human Rights of Women (1999).
  5. "Reading Lolita in Tehran -- a memoir in books" (2003).
  6. "Things I've Been Silent About: Memories of a Prodigal Daughter" (2008).


"The Western Canon" — Harold Bloom (54:46). Interview with Charlie Rose 4 years ago. Segment 1: Harold Bloom, Yale University Segment 2: Chuck Jones, Animation Director
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-3614849423230018899&hl=en#







'''"Desert Islands" by Gilles Deleuze — especially noteworthy for the Visual Verbal Journey process is
the following quote from "On Nietzsche and the Image of Thought" -- a correlative situation shared with the AH_IS seminar classes by a former student, Emilie Miyauchi.'''

"First you have to know how to admire; you have to rediscover the problems posed;
i.e., his {or, her - its} particular machinery {machinery;
i.e., the inner workings, organization of the various components of an artwork}
.
It is through admiration that you will come to genuine critique.
The mania of people today is not knowing how to admire anything:
either they are 'against', or they situate everything on their own level while they chit-chat and scrutinize.
…When Jerry Lewis or Jacques Tati
{see'Playtime' by Jacques Tati at MICA's 2008 film series on September 30 at 7:30pm}
'criticize' modern life they
don't have the complacency, the vulgarity to show us ugly things.
What they criticize, they show as beautiful, as magnificent:
they love what they criticize and give it a new beauty. Their critique is only the more forceful.
In every modernity and every novelty, you find conformity and creativity;
an insipid conformity, but also a 'little new music';
something in conformity with the time, but also something untimely —
separating the one from the other is the task of those who know how to love,
the real destroyers and creators of our day. Good destruction requires love.

(This was sent to me by Emilie Miyauchi in memory of the spirit/content of AH412 and IS300.)
And, I think it to be a great introduction to the following artists who know how to love.'''




Additional information on Ludwig Wittgenstein

Ludwig Wittgenstein -- gardener, primary school teacher, architect, engineer, war hero,
millionaire who gave away all his money, hospital porter, and
arguably the most significant philosopher of the 20th century.
Tractatus Logico and most importantly beyond:


http://nigelwarburton.typepad.com/philosophy_bites/2008/01/barry-smith-on.html

Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus -- Preface -- L. W. (Vienna, 1918). "This book will perhaps only be understood by those who have themselves already thought the thoughts which are expressed in it -- or similar thoughts. It is therefore not a text-book. Its objective would be attained if it afforded pleasure to one who read it with understanding.

The book deals with the problems of philosophy and shows, as I believe, that the method of formulating these problems rests on the misunderstanding of the logic of our language. Its whole meaning could be summed up somewhat as follows: What can be said at all can be said clearly; and whereof one cannot speak thereof one must be silent.

The book will, therefore, draw a limit to thinking, or rather -- not to thinking, but to the expression of thoughts; for, in order to draw a limit to thinking we should have to be able to think both sides of this limit (we should therefore have to be able to think what cannot be thought)". {JW: consider some of the following. L.W.'s idea that some nonsensical statements can actually illuminate the limits of language -- Robert Smithson on limit/limitlessness -- -- the "Hermes Trismegistus" on the reconciliation of opposites.}

"The limit can, therefore, only be drawn in language and what lies on the other side of the limit will be simply nonsense." {JW: refer to Mel Bochner quote noted below.}

"How far my efforts agree with those of other philosophers I will not decide. Indeed what I have here written makes no claim to novelty in points of detail; and therefore I give no sources, because it is indifferent to me whether what I have thought has already been thought before me by another.

I will only mention that to the great works of Frege and the writings of my friend Bertrand Russell I owe in large measure the stimulation of my thoughts.

If this work has a value it consists in two things. First that in it thoughts are expressed, and this value will be the greater the better the thoughts are expressed -- the more the nail has been hit on the head. -- Here I am conscious that I have fallen far short of the possible. Simply because my powers are insufficient to cope with the task. -- May others come and do it better.

On the other hand the truth of the thoughts communicated here seems to me unassailable and definitive. I am, therefore, of the opinion that the problems have in essentials been finally solved. And if I am not mistaken in this, then the value of this work secondly consists in the fact that it shows how little has been done when these problems have been solved." L. Wittgenstein (Vienna, 1918)

Barry Smith on Ludwig Wittgenstein's Conception of Philosophy


http://cdn1.libsyn.com/philosophybites/SmithWittMixSess.MP3?nvb=20080824193438&nva=20080825193438&t=0dc6bbeeec27e3296bf22

This audio clip has been transcribed by JW for educational purposes. "Wittgenstein -- What philosophy is? -- The Nature of Philosophy" {Re: "the nature of...", reference the following info from our blackboard site: "the nature of..." and/or the "basic building block units" folders.} "As well as giving us philosophical ideas, thesis, and positions that we can explore, Wittgenstein is actually interested in the activity of philosophy -- what philosophy itself is about -- what is its subject matter? -- in other words, he's self-conscious -- all the time he's doing philosophy, he's wondering what is he...what is it (philosophy) up to?

He began as a student of engineering -- a concern with mathematics -- what makes mathematic statements true? --
what is the subject matter of 2 + 2 = 4? When we arrive at these kinds of truths, what is their subject matter?
We don't spill our coffee on them -- we don't trip on them and yet we seem to be speaking of something actually sure and certain.
the quest to know what that was: what is the subject matter of both mathematics and logic became his central preoccupation
interested in the nature of logic (Bertrand Russell and he at cambridge)

Questions of interest to Wittgenstein:
How our thoughts relate to the world?

What are our truths of logics truths of?
What actually gives us some grip on the idea that something is logically right or wrong?
Logic doesn't seem to describe the world and yet
if logic describes something beyond the world -- something more mysterious...and transcendental,
how does it apply to us in our thinking and in our lives?
So really Wittgenstein's quest is to find a way in which logic is in the world -- and -- he finds that logic is actually the structure and the boundary of our thinking.

We hold beliefs about our world and we hope our beliefs are true, but we must go out and check and find evidence.
If we know that our beliefs are contradictory -- that we both believe in something and its opposite --
then we know that they can't both be true at the same time, so unless our thinking is at least consistent, there's no chance of it fitting the world -- there's no chance of us getting it right...
SO, for instance, we can't believe that we can be in two places at once."
{JW correlations: Hermes Trismegistus and the Bill Viola video clip from IS300_Wk1A and Proust on essence from AH_Wk4a}.
"Logic structures the limits of what we can think and our relationship to reality." {BUT Wittgenstein is (and, artists are) interested in where the limits are and what's on the other side -- reference William Burroughs/Brion Gysin and Mel Bochner notations below.
'''"We want to describe reality we want to figure all the ways that reality can be -- not only how it is but also how it could be!
What is it that provides this logical boundary or logical constraint on the way reality can be?
One aspect of Wittgenstein's answer was his "Picture Theory" -- "Pictures of reality" (not only an actual scene, but also a possible scene!)'''
If we think language can describe states of affairs -- that it can describe situations -- if we think of all the ways we can describe the world -- and if we could do that exhaustively, we could then use that very language through rearrangement of parts of the sentences into new sentences to describe not just the way it is but the ways it could be -- alternative versions of the world!" {JW correlation: William Burrough's use of Bryon Gyson's "cut up" technique.}

"If we have sentences that work to describe reality correctly, Wittgenstein thought they were in some sense, pictures of reality and just as a picture of reality -- like a painting -- need not be of an actual scene, it instead could be a possible scene!

He wanted to see how philosophy could describe the limits of language as the limits of reality:
here's how language can actively be used to describe how things might be and here are the limits on what we can think or describe as the way reality could be -- and -- for Wittgenstein, the limits of language were the limits of reality.
Re: Sense and nonsense. For Wittgenstein, there are two kinds of nonsense: 1. putting words in any order -- those that don't make any sense BUT Wittgenstein was also interested in 2. statements which purport to describe reality but he thought didn't actually succeed in doing so, BUT they might nevertheless show us something important about reality and the laws of logic do this. When you say that a proposition can not be both true and false at the same time, you're not describing a fact purporting to picture some part of reality, but its nonetheless showing some of the limits and boundaries of reality.
So for Wittgenstein, some nonsensical statements were actually illuminating! ...the laws of logic -- the limits of intelligibility are the ways of showing what those limits are without stating them."
{JW correlations: Robert Smithson's use of limits.
"THERE’S NO ORDER OUTSIDE THE ORDER OF THE MATERIAL.
I don’t think you can escape the primacy of the rectangle. I always see myself thrown back to the rectangle.
That’s where my things don’t offer any kind of freedom in terms of endless vistas or infinite possibilities.
There’s no exit, no road to utopia, no great beyond in terms of exhibition space.
I see it as an inevitability; of going toward the fringes, towards the broken, the entropic.
But even that has limits. Every single perception is essentially determinate.
It isn’t a question of form or anti-form. It’s a limitation.
I’m not all that interested in the problems of form and anti-form,
but in limits and how these limits destroy themselves and disappear.
It’s not a matter of what I’d like to do, but how things result.
There are strict limits, but they never stop until you do".
Relevant again would be the quote from Mel Bochner:
"Proceeding logically to a point past which logic has no access."}


"In 1929, Wittgenstein comes up with a new conception of language: language as use rather than as pictures of the world. {JW correlations: "Specific Objects" by Donald Judd and "What Does Language Name" by Octavio Paz}
Now, although Wittgenstein thought he solved the problem of philosophy in the "Tractatus" stating what the limits of reality and language actually are, he realizes that philosophers still hanker for some form of explanation and he wonders what do we want when we want explanation? What are we trying to explain?

Wittgenstein comes to diagnose our problem in philosophy as the search for explanations where none can be given -- and -- he recommends instead a way of avoiding explaining and returning to just describing how things actually are...and so now his view of language is: don't try to explain how language would work if it were in perfect order, try to actually describe how it really works -- just see how we use language" {JW: both our visual languages and our verbal language}.

"So philosophers who thought to revise our ordinary language practice to make it fit for the job of describing signs or mathematics wanted to revise our ordinary practice -- BUT -- as Wittgenstein points out, we don't have any problem with our ordinary practice, we use language as second nature -- we're comfortable with it -- and -- if we're going to try to understand how it actually works as opposed to how philosophers think it should work, we ought to just describe it BUT to do that we have to attend to it very carefully to get it right" {to get it right for yourself in relationship to whatever you choose to focus upon}.

"Wittgenstein sounds now like a sociologist.

Wittgenstein's philosophy is to convince other philosophers to accept 'you don't need explanations but instead, descriptions'" {JW correlation: Susan Sontag -- "The aim of all commentary on art now should be to make works of art -- and, by extension, our own experience -- more, rather than less, real to us. The function of criticism should be to show 'HOW IT IS' what it is, even 'that it is' what it is, rather than to show what it means.}


We can't just use a word to mean anything, we do in fact use our words selectively. AND, what makes us use our words selectively -- what is the difference between correct or incorrect use? We use the word red for red things. ...when we use a word correctly, we're following rules, but what is it to follow rules? {JW notation: this transcription is in process -- to be continued later -- in the meantime, there is the audio clip noted above.} {Re: "What is the difference between correct and incorrect use? ...We use the word red for red things" -- however -- consider the following complementary situation -- a painting -- by Jasper Johns:}


Jasper Johns -- "False Start"


{Also relevant within this context would be
• Jasper Johns' "number" paintings (depicted below); especially as they relate to the following quote from Mel Bochner:
"proceeding logically to a point past which logic has no access".
• And -- regarding the inter-relationship between one kind of language and another;
i.e., the subject matter and the media I found the following quote from Jasper Johns:
"I like to repeat an image in another medium to observe the play between the two: the image and the medium.
In a sense, one does the same thing two ways and can observe differences and samenesses --
the stress the image takes in different media." (Jasper Johns, 1979).
• -- notes from "Drawing" by Philip Rawson and various other 'bits of info' in the folders entitled,
"The Nature of..." and/or the "basic building block units at our blackboard site".)
• -- "ABC of Reading" by Ezra Pound. Especially significant might be the following thoughts on Chinese pictographs
from Ernest Fenollosa's Essay on the Chinese Written Character --
the difference between various languages and their relationship to reality:
For instance, in the west when asked for the definition of red, we say it is a color
(a move from the reality of red) whereas, in the east or with the language of science,
the tendency would be to investigate and demonstrate the phenomenon directly by sharing innumerable things that are red.}



Jasper Johns -- Numbers_Grey


Jasper Johns -- Numbers


Jasper Johns -- Lands' End, 1982 (ink on plastic)

Jasper Johns -- 0 through 9







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