Friday, December 07, 2007

As the Art World Turns II (Updated)

There's something about sitting in your studio
in the middle of the South Pacific
geographically speaking further away from any other land mass
than any other location on Planet Earth
drinking 100% Kona coffee picked just last week by my almost friend but most certainly acquaintance Isaac
and roasted only yesterday morning

that makes you feel like you can do whatever you want with your life
that the choices are yours to make and the object of your study
if you think of this duration that you "work out" in as a duration
can be the philosophical rendering of a theoretical premise
on duration
that "concrescent unison" as Whitehead calls it
that is a cross-section of the universe

Drinking 100% just roasted yesterday Kona coffee while the rain is pouring out of the mountain and smashing into my picture window as another avant-garde movement trying to bust in and destroy everything that came before it
while musing on Whitehead
led me to the performance art of David Antin
who I have also been reading lately
you would think Antin and Whitehead would have very little or nothing to do with each other but then why not especially given the contemporary remixologist's tendency to find social connectedness in everything they encounter
so with the 100% Kona I read Antin talking about not just the object of his study
which in this instance was how all art schools are alike
or are more like each other than anything else in the world
but also discussing / talking about / ruminating on
art objects in general
which he says he is surely not interested in making
and this I can of course agree with 100%
(thank you Kona for the certainty)
but he says he can see why artists would want to make art objects
because making art objects fulfills the desire of those who not only want to make things but make things that are meaningful
and whose meaning will be solidly carried forward for the duration
and that this feeling of making art objects that branch out
into the field of social relatedness that we actual entities share
is part of a desire to create something unique in the world
something that actually means something
and is part of the creative process we align ourselves with
because if the art objects don't mean anything
then there is the risk that the artist and those who encounter
the thing they made will not see these objects as art
but that if they are beautiful enough or at least play with the idea of art
and beauty and even irony (these are my words)
or are even just very much crafted into a well made thing
(one that has a certain aesthetic sexiness about it)
then it will just reek of meaning
and -- as the saying goes -- "mission accomplished"

not that we all want to make meaning out of objects
but for those who do want to make meaning out of objects
they definitely want that meaning to stick around
i.e. want it to endure
which brings me back to duration
but in a funny way
because Whitehead's version of duration
(which is different than Bergson's yet heavily influenced by him)
if I understand him even a little
is something that occurs as a contemporaneous experience
one that is part of a community of concrescent occasions
forming an immediate present while establishing
the principle of common relatedness
a principle (Whitehead tells us)
that can be realized as an element of ones datum

and reading this heavy duty process philosophy of Whitehead over a strong cup of 100% Kona with the rain slamming into the big picture window separating my studio from the pristine aloha scenery I have immersed myself in while at the same time knowing that today's beach walk will have to wait until early afternoon at the soonest and that what I was now experiencing in my immediate present was a duration that I had not anticipated but was remixologically inhabiting as part of my performance anyway

led me to turn my head and read although read is the wrong word maybe I mean processually experience
(led me to further investigate via my ongoing
hyperimprovisational / intuitive / embodied praxis)
Antin's own take on duration in relation to the art object and meaning
(both Antin and Whitehead as actual entities
were opened as books on my desk
books that were in themselves some kind of made thing or object
that were outliving their destinies
as open books
the way blogs like this one are "open books"
that have the potential to outlive their destiny
but then again "not books" too
maybe "open source materials" to jam with?)
and so turning away from Whitehead for a moment
literally turning my head toward the Antin book
and reading him say that "now i know that it is also this potential of objects for duration that is part of their attraction
both for the people who want to make them
and the people who want to perceive them
this tenacious physical hold
on existence
which gives an artist a kind of claim on human attention
over a period of time that is a promise
both for its makers and receivers
of a type of survival
in this duration
and this is something we all experience as artists
because even as a poet and a performer
which for me is nearly the same thing
i want to do something that will have all the immediacy and impact
of a wisecrack and yet will offer itself up to the mind
again and again like a koan
and stay long enough for that
which is a kind of duration"

meaning that it is easy for an artist to commiserate with the aforementioned desire to create something that can be experienced again and again
that can be re-experienced over time
not just by re-reading a book or revisiting a painting or movie or installation
or going to see the same performance two nights in a row
although all of those cultural experiences are also about
"presentational immediacy" and the "nexus of occasions"
that inform ones duration
ones accumulating life datum
(the qualitative sense data that one experiences via an embodied praxis that processes reality by remixologically inhabiting the flow of happenings they circulate in as an artist-medium rendering their body-image into the social network)
but also as an "object" that can be envisioned as
"a whole set of related experiences
maybe rich and mysterious and new"
(to sample from Antin again)

which gets me to thinking that the idea of a rich and mysterious and new set of related experiences triggered by the making of things or the remixing of data may be a fallacy
not in a negative way
but in a fallacious way
let's call it the Novelty Fallacy
but then that would contradict everything this blog is about

[duration slippage -- / -- micro comeback -- / -- are we there yet? -- / -- the promise of money]

oh right
now I remember
the promise of money
that's somehow connected to the primacy of meaning or the desire to create a heretofore unrealized (novel form of) meaning in objects that outlive us and that somehow these are the things we have to contend with if we are to build a legacy
or not a legacy per se
but more like a duration that outlives us even as we in our presentational immediacy only know duration as a contemporary feeling immersed in its own novelty (the mysterious resonance of being here in the now)
of generating an on the fly remix of who we are
in the presentational immediacy
of our selectively manipulated data
because (and I really have to slip this in)
money talks and bullshit walks
not that walking is bad for you
actually it's very good
you could buy a pedometer and wear it all day
and if you go over 10,000 steps you're in good shape
literally you are sculpting your cardiovascular skeletal musculature
into much better shape
10,000 smackers
which happens to be close to the same number
one of my works at Art Miami Basel is going for
meaning that someone now has to take this pseudo-thing
I've made out of the manipulated data of my life experience
and place a value on it in relation to its potential
its potential to maintain a duration
a contemporary feeling for what is novelty now
within the context of a marketplace of ideas
a contemporary feel for a marketplace of ideas
modeled after structurally integrated modes of intuition
which is not to say the art world is very touchy-feely
no far from it
the parties are the opposite of that
they are more like what Whitehead gets into when he writes about
"The Theory of Feelings"
in fact he opens his section on "The Theory of Feelings"
discussing the philosophy of organism
and how it is a cell-theory of actuality
that is to say
"each ultimate unit of fact is a cell-complex
not analysable into components with
equivalent completeness of actuality"

which in art world terms I translate as
"there is not one sure thing that drives the art market"
(not even money although money is the currency that charges
the social connectedness of the various role-players)
but a complexity of things being made by those who
in the presentational immediacy of their selectively manipulated data
form an aesthetic experience that we might call novelty
novelty as the immediate present
one that is capable of establishing the mysterious resonance
of social relatedness as currency in a marketplace of ideas
one that is fueled by this same sense of novelty
(and it really is a sense of novelty
just think of the hungry collectors hounding the scene
sniffing out the next new phase of novelty)

yes novelty fuels novelty ad infinitum
and this is process theory branded

[this of course is liable to make the artists themselves sick to their stomachs except for the fact that they too now have been trained to sniff out what those who buy art may be anticipating as the next new thing to sniff (if Art Miami Basel is starting to sound like a Coke Fest so be it)]

"The Theory of Feelings" and the ability to generate value out of novelty or the objects of contemporary duration remixed by the aesthetic designer we still call artist are related to that species of improvised creativity Whitehead refers to as an "actual entity" one that he describes as "spatialized" and actuated by its own "substantial form"

this actual entity he describes sounds to me like a remixological hacker

as when he says -- "the 'effects' of an actual entity are its interventions in concrescent processes other than its own"

and that by hacking into or remixologically inhabiting or intervening in the datum of our shared (collective, collaborative) presentational immediacy, this actual entity that I have been referring to as the artist-medium becomes an "object"

(I have shied away from the term "object" myself and have been instead using the term body-image)

Whitehead also goes on to state that the actual entity as "object"
has a formal aspect to it
and that this formalism comes to be
via a creative process that is immanent to it
something any contemporary remixologist can relate to
because the embodied praxis of the artist-medium cum remixologist
is predicated upon their ability to formally innovate new iterations of contemporaneity by sampling from the flux of data
at their immediate disposal (Source Material Everywhere)
and as we have already acknowledged
the remixologist is a novelty generator
one who performs their work in the immediate present as a way of establishing the mysterious resonance of social relatedness within the context of a fluctuating currency in the marketplace of ideas
a marketplace that is fueled by this same sense of novelty

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Blogger freedomwriter said...

So each of us is a living active vortex that is constantly assimilating information, then refracting it back out into the world, with our own uniqueness or style added to the expression. Like dancing artpieces gliding thru modernity, each creating his/her own life trajectory, influencing others, feeding off of others, collaborating in creating our worlds which is our lives. The electric expression of individuality, adding unique tones to the symphony of society. The artist is the inverter of reality, manipulator of life data, expressing a style with precision and originality hoping to connect with others, inspire, be inspired... I dunno, just ramblin' I love your blogs.

5:06 AM  
Blogger Professor VJ said...

Hey Zaigham,

Thanks for your comment. Your own "ramble" as you call it points to the beginning of a remixological style that I encourage you to elaborate on (keep the creative processing alive). Hope you'll continue playing out your rambles / rants / remixes.

3:31 PM  

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