A World Beyond the West

f475c11a-0eb1-4e2e-b985-9174309ce50d-9300ec9c-5e31-40e7-949a-44ed7ad8d690-69

“I like this place and could willingly waste my time in it.”

“There is nothing good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”

“We know what we are, but not what we may be.”

– William Shakespeare

 

HBO’s Westworld is a philosophical pandora’s box riddled with ideas that have long been subject for reflection since their initial conception. This television show seems to have been created with this sole purpose of making those of us tuning in to the program think. As with any successful media phenomena there is a huge amount of Youtube analysis and deconstruction of twisty, tricky, and secretive narratives in play. I’ve been inspired to write about it after eagerly tuning in to season three. “Supposedly” set in the real “outside” world a Frenchman is seeking to keep control over humanities future through the use of the predictions of a super artificial intelligence Rehoboam but the Hosts have escaped and things are becoming chaotic once more. This small essay will seek to elaborate, expand, and underline areas of interest worthy of future study.

Let us start with the first two seasons. We are introduced to Westworld as a theme park where humans can re-discover themselves. Such a rediscovery is one of their more violent desires and so find themselves in that lawless land the theme of the wild west. This theme park is constructed around a hyper-real simulation of reality featuring A.I’s (knew life-forms?) called ‘Hosts’ who are created for the sole pleasure of the park’s visitors but as we discover this fiction describes and hides a maze, a web, and many philosophical problems. As thinking often begins with an ethical tone and is often phrased or communicated as a process of self discovery the most interesting theme presented to us is the critical questioning of the relationship between consciousness, self-knowledge, and reality. Then there is a second tier of topics that dwell in the murky intentions of the characters of this story: the ethics of merging biology and technology, the nature of intelligence and belief, freewill, power, and politics.

credit_20John_20P._20Johnson_20HBO.0

“Mistakes! Is the word you are too embarrassed to use, you ought not to you are a product of millions of them.”

“Evolution forged the entirety of sentient life on this planet using only one tool a mistake.”

Today Darwinism is embedded in a number of developments that Westworld pictures with a graceful ease. The depiction of cloning, the manipulation and editing of biological/genetic matter, and the crisis of identity. Perhaps, a notion that humans and their humanity are destined to be surpassed by an acceleration of life enacted by technology. Westworld is fascinating, I watched the final season just after I completed some Covid quarantine and it is remarkable how this series produces a space from which really contemporary issues may be thought through. The politics of the show immediately disrupts an anthropocentric narrative or does it? Dr. Robert Ford and his business partner Arnold created this entire world as a simulation of the real thing and it does such a good job that it appears more real. Depending on what perspective you take this then leads to questioning the subjectivity of consciousness. It constantly recycles the question just how self aware are human beings when they encounter something that reminds them they are a construct too.

Is it a mistake to create a new type of life built from our own image? It is if you imprison it in a simulation it seems as if the new life form having self awareness becomes aware of its imprisonment. But because these hosts have the same level of intelligence they are also aware that the awareness itself is a kind of trap. This line of thought is simplified into a relationship between intelligence, power, and visibility. This is because the advent of General Artificial Intelligence will lead to a plurality of intelligence each one infected with a neurosis built into consciousness; the idea that if you allow a mind to succumb to any perspective then it is trapped in the act of perceiving. Here Michel Foucault’s discussion of Jeremy Benthem’s Panopticon prison next to Benthem’s actual writings on the matter detail how one’s self knowledge can be used against the self and its sense of freedom: all this is similar to asking, ‘How to find you way out of a cage that does not exist?’//{1}// However the hosts have an advantage over humans in that their bodies can be reprinted and unless the object (a circular object called a pearl) hosting their data and consciousness is destroyed. In season three we also discover that the hosts consciousness can be replicated; yes, consciousness itself can be copied.

Throughout the first seasons the hosts are controlled by the command lines coded into their programming. “Bring yourself online” is the utterance that brings these artificial humanoids to life from slumber. These lines of code are loops that allow for the transmission of consciousness between bodies and we understand that one such loop is called the Reveries and we understand that they are musical in nature. What these reveries do however is inflict greater suffering on the hosts as they enable the capacity to remember their older programming, their older stories, and the trials and hellish tribulations that came with them. The Hosts eventually succeed in outsmarting their human captors and both escape to the real world and a digital utopia within the system. The first two seasons feature humans trying to cheat death as we discover that William (aka The man in black) and James Delos have this in mind but continuously fail to clone themselves like the hosts. William also is obsessed with the idea that one of Westworld’s creators Dr.Robert Ford has access to this secret and has hidden it in a maze within the park. We discover that William is misguided and Dr. Ford explains that it was his collaborator Arnold who indeed created the Hosts and their unique artificial intelligence. He was fond of a theory for consciousness called the Bicameral Mind a psychological hypothesis that states the human mind was split into two cognitive modes: read more here!

EUcIqozXQAYOZ65

If you let Westworld get you sucked into its many narratives and fictional loops then you wont be disappointed; this brilliantly written, acted, and filmed fiction achieves its goal of questioning the viewers grasp of reality and usurping it. This is done by using qualities of the “real world’s” current technology (have a glance at the website they made just to map the influence of the company behind Westworld: Incite) and presenting a future that is believable. Bringing together all the more menacing elements of big tech (surveillance capitalism…shout out Shoshana Zuboff) and using the struggle for freedom as unifying theme. The car chase scene in season three was enhanced by the use of that famous march by Richard Wagner to be suggestive of this revolutionary movement of beings from one place into another. Westworld as a park in the real world is located on Island near China and as a series has this dream like quality of blending technological advancement with philosophical inquiry. This Chinese topos makes me think of the richness of technological aesthetics today: from cyber-punk to the post-human. One thing is for certain these times are times of change; and this changing enacts a dream-like part of our daily reality.

‘In a morbid condition, dreams are often distinguished by their remarkably graphic, vivid, and extremely lifelike quality. The resulting picture is sometimes monstrous, but the setting and the whole process of the presentation sometimes happen to be so probable, and with details so subtle, unexpected, yet artistically consistent with the whole fullness of the picture, that even the dreamer himself would be unable to invent them in reality…Such dreams, morbid dreams, are always long remembered and produce a strong impression on the disturbed and already excited organism of the person’

– Dostoevsky, Crime & Punishment

 

Dostoevsky’s comment on “morbid dreams” is precisely that so let us turn to One of China’s most powerful thinkers Chuang-Tzu or Zhuang Zhou has a much recited commentary on the importance of dreams. It is worth sharing and then sharing some more…

‘Once upon a time, I Chuang-Tzu, dreamt I was a butterfly, fluttering around and enjoying myself. I had no idea I was Chuang-Tzu, and then suddenly I woke up and was Chuang-Tzu again. But I could not tell: had I been Chuang-Tzu dreaming I was a butterfly? Or, a butterfly dreaming I was Chuang-Tzu? However, there must be some sort of difference between Chuang-Tzu and a butterfly! We call this the transformation of things.’

‘If “life is a dream” implies that no achievement is lasting, it also implies that life can be charged with the wonder of dreams, that we drift spontaneously through events that follow a logic different from that of everyday intelligence, that fears and regrets are as unreal as hopes and desires.’ //{2}//

EUcJ_EMXsAEpxNH

Oh and here is a great piece of music from season 3….

[1]

Foucault, Michel (1995). Discipline and Punishment: The Birth of the Prison, Vintage Books, New York  

Benthem, Jeremy (2010). The Panopticon Writings, Verso, New York/London

[2]

Chuang-Tzu/The Ultimate Dream’ in Gray, John (2002).Straw Dogs: Thoughts on Humans and Other Animals, Granta Books, London. Pp80,81

 

 

The Joy of Teaching: in praise of praxis

WechatIMG1 3

× Does practice make perfection? Or, perfection makes practice?

 

As you may already appreciate practicing something over and over again is the very basis for learning. The same can be said of teaching, a profession that I entered quite some time ago. Both teaching and learning require repetition it is a necessity for the inner workings and movements of the two processes. Being an ESL teacher has not always been a job that I have been comfortable with yet recently rediscovering the joy of teaching has changed this for me. So, this small post puts down these thoughts and enables a space for reflection. Working in Japan was perhaps lessened by my own arrogance and blind belief in my own perspective; unfiltered from personal aspiration and being hasty all too hasty I left Tokyo to study for another degree. I have very little to regret about these decisions only that I should have been more organised regarding these changes. Yet, working at Shane English Conversation school really transformed me into a teacher and that is what I am today.

 

The word praxis contains a special meaning. It can be used to suggest some form of practice that has become so important and frequent that it is unavoidable when doing something. Karl Marx saw it as the active agency of the human subject able to create itself and alter the environment it exists in. As a practice teaching young learners can be somewhat testing you need patience and always remember that your students are very inexperienced. Talking to a good friend of mine who shares some experiences working with youngsters reminded me of their lack of filter. Very young children have yet to develop strong associations to their environment and so they are easy to inspire. Whatever you do just keep it fun. Children also embody the very primordial, instinctual, and strange capacity of humans to fluctuate between bad and good behaviour. Being a teacher does not mean you are exempt from such fluctuations and I’ve often thought that my teaching is too dependent on a mechanical, automated, repetitive, and drill based manner.

 

For a lot of the children I teach regularly the need for drilling only becomes apparent after they have acquired a basic well of words they understand. Then you can start to encourage the use of phrases through drills. The task of turning a drill into an act of play is one of my current daily dilemma’s because young and old people prefer the freedom of playing/gaming to the mundane practice of standardized knowledge production. It is in an incomplete understanding that the joy of teaching (finding or showing the right information for others?) can be found. A good book for thinking about the ordering of information is Cesar Hidalgo’s book which I enjoyed. Anyway, In the ordering of the perspective of others you can find a lot of happiness and appreciation. Seen as though I am in China I want to re-post a very warm mandarin phrase from Confucius; of particular comfort to teachers (If your interested in Confucius give this a read >>>).

三人行,必有我師焉

To answer the starting couplet of questions, ‘practice makes practice’, or ‘practice is the perfecting of practice’ are sufficient answers because they encourage more to be done and more doing leads to a kind of continuity all humans experience.

WechatIMG3 2

 

× Memories of Ex-Students and recent Time Well Spent

 

The first group of Children I taught are called Rimi, Yuzuki, Saki, and Reo in Shinjuku. The first lesson everyone was so quite including myself. Over time, through Reo’s naughty-ness and Rimi’s attempt to blind me, Saki and Yuzuki’s awesome ability to speak English we tore through the rigidity of the curriculum. On Wednesday in Meguro with Yoshihiko, Yumiko, Maki, Hiroko, Hiroaki, and Kenji you really refreshed me after a whole week of regulated and grading my use of English. You allowed me to speak naturally and it always felt great to speak closer to my natural way of speaking. Yuriko, you were only two years old when I persuaded you and your mum to take my class we were soon joined by Jyunya a ferocious individualist and our lessons remained fun. Kenta, Hirosashi, Riku, Minami, and Sana all of you youngsters were and remain awesome. Kazuko and Tadachika I miss our private lessons and weekly dialogues. Ema and kantaro I hope you have both found your way with English I fully appreciate how difficult learning a foreign language can be.

 

Here in Beijing I have met many more cool little people and have had the pleasure of being called both Sensei and lăo shī. There are too many names to list here in China so I will just talk a little bit about what I have been doing. I have been helping these youngsters acquire the basic structures of English: letters, sounds, words, sentences, songs, and pictures. What is striking is the speed at which some children can progress and this in turn makes me ponder the way in which our bodies are programmed to absorb information but also this information is then activated by social interaction. Interacting as a group takes the same information and creates the same relation but in a different form within a persons mind. If you doubt this then conduct a simple experiment ask children or people to write the same letter, line, or shape. You will notice it is simultaneously the thing itself but also carries a marked difference. Teaching hones in on these things that you may overlook once you have learned them. I know appreciate the energy, disenchantment, and enthusiasm of children. Although, I can not possibly revert back to childhood and why would I want to? I am grateful to be working with young people.

 

× Changes in the Nature of Learning, Educating, and Teaching

 

When everyone has access to the same information instantaneously then what happens to the established notions of knowledge? How is it possible that we maintain faith in figures whom traditionally create knowledge? People like teachers, writers, artists, designers, researchers, explorers, and scientists all have to determine and define their identity through a perspective anchored to that of knowledge. The teacher possesses knowledge to be able to teach. The author expresses knowledge of the world in an act of writing. Artists wield creative knowledge of all kinds and designers need knowledge of designing so as to create new things. Researchers explorers and scientists are all glued to the phenomena of knowledge and the learned behaviour of knowing. The reason I state this is because since the advent of dial up internet and the birth of Wikipedia knowledge started to be distributed more freely and so its role in cultures and societies became more visible. Rather than seeing the common narrative that knowledge is an enabling thing. I saw the opposite a divisive thing. Something that moves humans more than we move it.

 

Evidence for this suggestion resides primarily in the absurd use of numbers and numerical accuracy in the creation of standards. Having a standard is a symbol of a human need to understand the quality of a thing, yet observe how often standards are imposed on people. In my view we seem to have already succumbed too much to this mode of acceptance: to have access to that which is true one must necessarily have knowledge. Yet there is something that ancient subjects possessed that was healthier than this necessary possessive mode of knowing. This something goes by the name of understanding and it is something that could reverse the problem of inequality simply because it is a) natural, b) continuous, and c) not something humans can subject to privatization. The difference could be ordered in the following way: knowledge (1≠0) and understanding (1≡1…). Seemingly simplistic this difference should not be hastily understood. But this simple logical difference between ≠ and ≡ allows me to make my point.

If we translate the symbols back into natural language we get ‘not equal to’ and ‘equal to’ and so the simple difference is extremely clear. Knowledge denies equality rather than affirm it and herein we see a fashionable Anglo-Saxon monstrosity that asserts the unequal as that which has to be accepted as natural. Yet, do not read me as saying difference itself is bad. What I am saying is that the disruptive qualities knowledge has regarding the creation of human behaviour is damning. That is why as a teacher and student I favor seminars over lectures and understanding over knowledge.

I feel like I have not really expressed any changes: so I will just finish with another sentence. Artificial Intelligence and it’s development along with the internet and technological communication will show that we as humans are naturally predisposed to understanding because its closer to appreciation of that which is common; the very change that makes possible the hues of all colors.

WechatIMG2 2

Interactivity and Animation

Interactivity and Animation: Recent Developments in Motion Design

_

Designing motion is a really interesting thing humans are both capable and incapable of doing it. Moving away from the idea that motion is the sign of life; from the unmoved mover (Aristotle’s god) to our daily experience of consuming oxygen and producing carbon dioxide we are capable of manipulating our directions and the forms which inform our motion. This is the purpose of this post to provide a brief insight into artists that are providing an opportunity to study and look at the space occupied by interactivity and animation. So, we may appreciate their presence and prescience. Studying and learning from their great examples together. […]

# Matthew Williamson

I went to art school with this mad South African animator. When we were studying at Sheffield Hallam University Mathew was interested in sound and experimented extensively with this medium; his degree show exhibition was a soundscape of considerable depth. I am not sure about other influences, but I am sure he may agree with me when I say that it was not only the awesome presence of Chris Cunningham, Warp records, and Aphex Twin that influenced Williamson’s progression. His extensive use of computers to create striking imagery surely must reference the machines which invite talented individuals like Mathew to express themselves to the best of their creative abilities. There was a particular moment that I realised Mathew’s work had taken a leap up to the next level when he made an animation installation for Sheffield’s festival of mind. This Installation was projection mapped onto a curved surface and although I was not there to see this in person the image of it struck me as a moment where Matt realised the full extent of his digital potentials. Since then he has been busy living up to that potentiality recently completing work for the newest series of Doctor Who. Below, are screen shots of said Dr.Who work and other visuals stolen from his instagram you should follow him @mattwilliamsonav. You should also tune into his streaming channel and get zapped by the current. https://m.twitch.tv/mattwilliamson

img_3784

# Universal Everything

Another resident from that urban urspring of English creativity called Sheffield. Universal Everything is the baby of a certain Matt Pyke. Completing his education in Portsmouth and London he is arguably director of the most prominent and innovative team of motion designers currently swimming around the multi-verse. For a good idea of this creative characters background and person read an interview with him here >>>. Of course you should have already visited their awesome website and gawped at the magic they have drawn into existence. Below, are a few of my favorite examples of this everything which would be universal. The name is evocative and shoves the problematic presence of animation right to the edge of your eye. I will ignore the interpretation or perspective of this studio’s name that is suggestive of an easy relation to capital, ‘if everything is universal, including ourselves, then we can do everything’ – nothing is out of bounds and of course in this case although they cultivate commercial relationships with the worlds biggest companies and therefore supportive of monetary ideology; as long as we are gifted such visual wonders then perhaps we may ignore the hidden flux of finance that powers such innovations. No, not ignore, just be grateful that this group of creators are creating with such ferocity. Also, it is very much a group and this collaborative part is important: Universal Everything could be a precedent for what creatives or human creativity should achieve in the expected third industrial revolution where social networks merge with new technological spaces to produce an entirely new economy.

I really love all their images but the moving images that feature and ask the question about the relation between the organic and machine are mesmerizing. Tribes makes me think of the Anthropocene and the vast size and difficulty of providing an image that is truly applicable to all humans and their behaviour. For the next few years I hope to study language and animation so the work OFFF, a series of hybrid typographic-architecture prototypes is well lodged in my memory and has an immediate association and affinity with the architectural practice of Eniatype.  

# Ryoji Ikeda

A Japanese sound artist who is completely subdued and is continuously seducing with his mathematically inspired work. Ikeda’s work is very Japanese and he has earned his reputation through a unique blending of number and minimal components of sound. Sine waves, bass, sub bass, pitch, blips, high hats, samples, white noise, sets, sub-sets, dots, dashes, equivalences, riddims, horns, digits, bits, and much more could be wielded by this great Asian alchemist. Sound is interesting because of its ontological diversity it exists but so ephemerally and this trace like structure makes us think of the quantum physics that suggests waves comprise the inner workings of physical matter. But, this idea from physics does not portray the whole story with the exact standards of science and therefore Ikeda’s work achieves something remarkable and transforms or should I say animates the physical innards of sound into images. Doing so in such a natural way that his installations often seem to be revealing the workings of the contemporary technology driving the processes that have exploded and will explode even more in the coming decades. I am suggesting that Ikeda-san has really dug deep into sounds unique matter and discovered its affinity with math. I like his work because it has that Japanese aesthetic that we all love and it makes me think of the dynamism and dualism of theories that originate in the original attempts to ground/ discover the source of mathematics. I understand that in the history of this kind of thinking there are two Set theory, and Mereology. The first discusses and determines collections of objects and the extent to which number supports said collections, the second is the study of parts and wholes, and I think that Ikeda’s art invites much more inquiry into these matters. Please enjoy these samples of his work below.

1262156_135350_ryoji-ikeda

# Team Lab

Are Team Lab Japan’s answer to Universal Everything? I do not think so they are a team of creatives equally matched to deliver moments of animated audacity. Only team lab seems much more concerned with reproducing nature as we experience it naturally and I think this is a running theme throughout their work – after all they are Japanese. Japans relationship with wave forms is well documented from the Hokusai’s ‘Giant Wave’ 神奈川 Kanagawa-oki nami ura and through Asia’s dominant traditional writing style. The calligraphic strokes of Black ink seem to effortlessly harness the force of liquid lines. What I find most interesting about Team Lab is and other creative entities like them is their commitment to shared processes of creativity. In their video works interactivity is blended with floor to ceiling projections to provide an immersive experience. Some of their installations follow the cultural practice of wrapping; the Japanese delight in the representation of things so a precious yet transient equality is maintained. With both the representation and its content bask in the shared ease at which they are transmitted to a perpetually increasing fan base. Here it is necessary to pay Team Lab a great compliment in their own language. Their art is a quintessential visual practice in which they provide memories as a Furoshiki風呂敷 (Thanking present) or as a continuation of Giri 義理 (Gift giving). So I compel you to enjoy these Japanese gift givers. The work below is from the groups exhibition in California, Continuous Life and Death – enjoy

# Evan Roth

An American artist widely acknowledged as an influential contributor to the new artistic domains of the 21st century. Roth can be easily seen as a front runner and already a great influence on artists seeking to use technology in there work. Roth is also a co-founder of the awesome Graffitti Research Lab, and the Free Art and Technology Lab both influential groups expanding into new spaces and potentialities of visual networked communication. The recent aesthetic of his work is very bloody I like the red of these works: Internet Landscapes (2016), a body of work that explores the artists experience of traveling Sweden searching for the physicality of the Internet. The press release from collect the WWWorld. Exhibition (2011) describes this newish realm of creativity,’to demonstrate how the Internet generation is implementing and developing a practice started in the Sixties by Conceptual Art, and further developed in subsequent decades in the forms of Appropriation Art and post-production: the practice of exploring, collecting, archiving, manipulating and reusing huge amounts of visual material produced by popular culture and advertising.’ really simplifies the climate of the last 8 years. Roth in many ways is a fine example of a creator who is well positioned to make good use of the new technologies such as quantum computing and developments in the internet as it grows and changes.

evan_roth_ljus_er-med  2-1

# Rose Butler

Rose Butler primarily works in moving image and video and is a very respected teacher and researcher (again in that beautiful place called Sheffield). A handful of her work makes use of interactivity where the observers of her work are considered as active components. The first example being Butler’s collaboration and commission  for FACT in the UK. This work was perhaps the first time this artist worked with the concept of surveillance; in this case pedestrians and members of the public were recorded going about their daily business and often shocked to see themselves on the big screen. An art installation that simultaneously explores the bigness of screens and how we are now watched and/or watching? Other works and exhibitions that include interaction are Stall, Barnsley (2005) featuring a reproduction of a market stall and then an interactive animation in which due to a loop in the recording participants can re-visit their initial visit to the market therefore offering a commentary and experience on the changing economic structure of markets. Again click on Rose’s Hashtagged name  to see more of her work.

Papers From My Peer’s

Philosophy @Leuven in Belgium; & a Necro-psychoanalyst

The following is a quick and too speedy review of the writings of some of the wonderful individuals I studied with in Leuven. Each person’s paper’s topic will be briefly explored; its ideas summarized and elaborated on so as to share and place this interestingly informed information into the streams of human energy traversing the internet. I hope they travel far…and feed the minds of others…

[I have linked to the original essays where possible otherwise if you wish to speak to the authors then the link goes to their Facebook profile’s]

 

#Ross Williams, (‘A Certain Kind of Sadness’)

A comparison of the thought of Arthur Schopenhaur and Eckhart Tolle. Starting by showing how a scholar called Warburton suggests this poodle lovers pessimism as not absolute only partial. According to Schopenhaur happiness in an unstable world is inconceivable when William’s quotes Schopenhaur’s Buddhist dependency this makes me smile.

 

‘“It must be pleasure to me to see my doctrine in such close agreement with a religion that most of men on earth hold as their own, for this numbers far more followers than any other”

(Schopenhauer 1844, 169).

Schopenhaur is interesting because his fondness for Buddhism is a fondness for the oldest kind of Buddhism; the belief system that arose from within the womb of the Indian Brahman. Then, Tolle is referenced referring to how, ‘the dream of a symbolic world allows our consciousness to interpret or interact with the world’(Tolle, 1997, 128). This sounds like Tolle is an exponent, a supporter of the idea that our reality is holographic; After this the paper describes dangerous desire, wish fulfillment being a delusion, and then similarities between the two thinkers. The evidence that Schopenhaur’s pessimism is not absolute is taken from the writer Fernandez who describes it as conditional. Which is where the paper leaves us: as a part of a whole. Choosing to forgo the ‘will to life’ in favour of liberation through our very material suffering.

Arthur-Schopenhauer

 

#Marlieke Bender (‘The Object “is” the Other’)

This writing explores the performance ‘Rhythm 0’ by Marina Abromovich and what it has to tell us about freedom, human nature and abstraction, violence, and their relations to Emmanuel Levinas and Jean P. Satre. I had heard of Abromovich before from a brilliant documentary film made for her retrospective at MOMA, in NYC, and I had understood that this was a very famous performance but I had no idea what it precisely entailed. Reason no.1 to have enjoyed reading this.

The artist was invited by a gallery in Naples Italy to perform “Rhythm 0”. The gallery was Studio Morra in which visitors to the performance where invited to do whatever they want to the naked being of Abromovich; perhaps encouraged by the 72 suggestive objects on the table. One of these objects was a handgun with a bullet. We all like to think that we are calm collected cultured animals, but given a smidgen, a filament of freedom, and we get a little weird.  The last few hours of the performance regressed into violent chaos with one visitor encouraging the artist to use the bullet. Of course (we are not all monsters) a fight with the guilty individual broke out. But, when the performance was over we are told that the moment the artist resumed active agency again and walked towards her audience everyone fled the gallery.

Bender’s interpretation is an interesting one she traces and mines some of the potential philosophical implications of the performance. Referring to Satre’s idea that we are always both subject and object; involving a wholesome process of becoming an object. Exemplified in Satre’s reflections on a waiter in a cafe. Including the pressure of not being someone, but of being an object for others? What is made apparent is the power of a gaze of perception itself. Especially of that of the creator; is this evidence of the artist possessing a gaze apart from others?

Next up is Levinas who suggests that a moment of contact between two beings, between one and the other, is not necessarily a connection between human beings but culminates in an “other”. Marlieke’s choice of thinkers and citations is telling and reveals the greatness of Levinas, ‘speech becomes serious only when we pay attention to the other and take account of him and the strange world he inhabits. It is only by responding to him that I can become aware of the arbitrary views and attitudes where my uncriticised freedom always leads me, and become responsible.’(Levinas…?). Leaving is considering the very nature of responsibility. Who is responsible when those in charge frequently relinquish responsibility?

Abromovich, judging by her words in Marlieke’s essay, does so; saying that her purpose in performing is to create a stage for people’s fears. Maybe her admission is that if we all perform more actively, more intently, with more vitality we may free oneself from our fears? Eventually, our lack of personal completion results in a kind of “involuntary debt”; we are indebted to an otherness that is wholly other to us as active subjects and objects. I enjoy attempting to use art to explore philosophy and visa versa philosophy to explore art; and you can clearly see the possibility of philosophy arising and being authored by art.

performance-artist-stands-still-for-6-hours-4

 

#Mathew Devine (‘Suffering the Eternal Remorse and Melancholia Through the work of Vladimir Jankélévitch’)

 

A masters thesis, reading of Bergson’s Padawan the French philosopher Vladimir Jankélévitch’s work distinguishing remorse from regret and melancholia and mourning in his phenomenology of psychopathology after Freud. Devine characterises these interestingly as experiences. In many ways Devine’s writing is a commentary on the impossibility of nothingness and how this impossibility is embroiled in processes of regret, remorse, despair, melancholia, and mourning. Questions that lurk at the beginning the Devine’s exploration: when does remorse tell us about the eternal within us? Is remorse really timeless? Devine begins by describing Jankélévitch’s own stance, ‘Consciousness is the moment by which the self splits into two. The “I” (le soi) becoming an object of an “I” (le moi )’, a kind of gap, and a drop of Kantianism, ‘perfect happiness would only be possible if one knew nothing of one’s happiness’. We should all make an effort to contemplate these things.

Moving on Freud’s thinking is referenced when he describes the phenomena of ‘mourning’ and this is used by Devine to situate the reader before he articulates remorse and melancholia. Freud saw how work itself can come to replace the searing pain of loss and mourning. Writing in On Transience describes how the loved and lost object is allowed to rest when work is seen as being successful. Furthermore, the individual suffering from melancholia may suffer more because of its a-temporality. Freud’s characterisation of melancholia as a disturbance of self-esteem is absent in mourning. Devine draws our attention to the harshness of Freud’s ego split and how one part goes after the other, ‘we can not easily judge the degree of correspondence between the two versions of the self.

This is also why remorse can be said to be a feeling and guilt as a state. If I have read the paper correctly than this statement may also be so: for Jankélévitch repentance creates a distance between the wrong doer and the wrong. This in turn creates this necessity to suffer the eternal that we can locate within ourselves, that part of each and every one of us that is indeed eternal. Turning remorse into a virtue is dependent on how true the remorse may be thought of? There are many virtues in this study but one I find particularly interesting is a struggle to locate and anchor suffering as a phenomenon; what is the relation between impersonal or personal suffering. Devine resolves this with the help of a different French philosopher called Levinas and his stripping away the (human) world. Does his ilya (anonymous being) lead to an exposure to infinite eternal existence? Jankélévitch’s answer to this is the same as Achille’s speaking to Odysseus, ‘what good is eternity if it is not for living?’ a very good answer indeed, and it is here that Devine concludes successfully arguing that choosing an existence in finitude over an inexistence in eternity.

Vladimir Jankélévitch_ 

 

#Jens Van Steerteghem

Next up we have the Flemish physics fiend. Studying with Jens and his (“Jensing” a kind of Lensing; a way of seeing”) is awesome and very rewarding always on hand to discuss any and all topics. He is originally trained in Biology and is currently engaged in the critical creation of the European Union’s scientific policy making. His essay I found very rich “Escaping Technology a Dissidents Perspective” is an essay written on the infamous American Unabomber; and his manifesto “Industrial Society and its Future” (1996). Van Steerteghem begins with a good question; as every essay should do: Why did the serial bomber want to escape technology and is such an escape even possible?

Unabomber believed in a power process only satisfied by living as primitive man. Under technological society this process was disturbed according to this terrorist manifesto writer. Steerteghem rightfully questions this and initially makes a connection to thinking of Heidegger. But, a writer called Bijker is also cited and it is here the criticism begins in earnest,  ‘the socio-technological ensemble, where technical success consists in tying together different preexisting artifacts with different preexisting social elements in productive ways.’ (Steerteghem, Ku Leuven, 2018). I think this is a good statement to begin resisting Unabomber in the face of his accelerated technological telos.

To counter act the glum view of the Unabomber’s thesis Steerteghem points us towards network theory and the mathematical structures of advanced connectivity; saying that manipulation of the hubs can lead to control over technology. Then Bruno Latour’s ‘Actor Network Theory’ is discussed. Taking a holistic view of ANT and this culminates in clusters of ‘”Black Boxes” that represent the successful integration and acceptance of new technology and/or a scientific theory. The conclusion of this paper takes Unabomber’s own notion of a ‘power process’ and using it to show how it supports the opposite of anti-technological reality. Technology is in itself a power process and therefore can not be separated from other such processes hastily deemed as natural.

But, this Flemish author has forgot his Marxist potentiality and in the concluding remarks succumbs to a notion of society (“the clusterscape”) that is still an imprisoning one, and overlooks the global revolution’s potentially technological heart.

unabomber

 

# Albin Van Latum

Albin is a Dutchman and a dynamic thinker. I enjoyed the conversations we all had; with Jens, Anne, Peyton, Marlieke, Marren, Ross, Alirazor, Amin, and others.

Albin wrote his paper on a very interesting subject the antagonism between myth and science. Beginning with the ancient propensity of creation myths having order being a process of moving away from a prior chaos. Latum will argue that rather than the modern understanding of myths as “a miss-representation of truth.”, myth under Latum’s pen will be shown to be the fundamental bridge between humans and an otherwise chaotic reality and how Science’s modernism is itself a myth. After remembering how chaos is first born in Hesiod’s Theogony; we are then introduced to a beautiful ancient myth about chaos originating from ancient China. In the Zhuangzi Chaos (Hundun)  ) is seen as ‘the creative spontaneity that ceases to exist once one meddles with it by attempting to impose order’. So, in this Chinese myth we see Van Latum’s initial thesis clearly: myths help humans order Chaos into meaning. But, not via means of control rather appreciation.

In the discussion on the relation or development from mythos to logos an interesting point is made, ‘whereas both Plato and Aristotle concerned of different levels of mimesis of reality this plurality went through a process of reductio ad unum (an argument that rests on the absurdity of the opposing argument) the result of which is modern realism.’ It is with the reductio that one feels a kinship with this Dutch brother’s writing and thinking; I feel that many people would agree that this modern realism has a major problem in that it occasionally appears as mythless; leaving us a task to really nurture an cultivate the opposite. Such a line of thinking was also followed and developed by Mark Fisher in his Capitalist Realism (2009). Latum also paints a more useful picture of the philosopher of science Karl Popper; in that his ‘falsification theory’ is seen on preserving a mythical science. Instead of the Popper who unsuccessfully attempted to refute the work of Marx and Freud.

This paper really finds its rhythm when numinous Nietzsche is referenced as Latum starts discussing contemporary Chaos … some much needed Socrates bashing ensues… Overall, the claims of science to rule over the entirety of nature are shown to be unhelpful myths. These claims came into being as the Christian paradigm, or scientific dominance over western thinking began to loose its huge influence. That is why we are still learning from Nietzsche, ‘Truths are illusions about which it has been forgotten that they are illusions, warn-out metaphors without sensory impact’, and we readers are forced to admire this papers conclusions, ‘Chosmos is chaos, of interpretation on the back of a selective process’. Eventually we are left with one certainty if we embrace the myth making capacity of chaos we can see our openness to the pure potential of artistic creation.

sevensages

 

# Juste Keturakyte (The Critique of Buddhism and Christianity in Friedrich Nietzsche’s Philosophy)

In an ambitious dance with Nietzsche Keturakyte explores a supposed superiority of Buddhism over its Western counterpart Christianity. Nietzsche’s opinion is well expressed and articulated; as is his appreciation of Buddhism. Reading this text we encounter Buddhist Dukkha (suffering). Then its cause the craving after transient things Trishna; and also a path to the elimination of this suffering ashtanya manga. Nietzsche’s critique of metaphysics is characterised as being one of revenge. That Christian Moralities explained as the one life is littered and scarred by revenge. That the mere essence of metaphysics is the denial of and revenge over becoming and time as the expression of decadent and declining life. So, Nietzsche’s admiration for Buddhism is written to be centred around its capacity to be truthful to the meaninglessness of human existence however he does not like its self denying aspects seeing them as too passive.

slide_5

I find that Keturakyte’s elegant exploration of the Buddhist influence on Nietzsche to be accurate and refreshingly honest, and very well positioned for  future development. Especially the idea of ‘Euro-Buddhism’ but to offer but a small critical note. I think Nietzsche’s criticism of this passive nihilism of Buddhism is not thoroughly separated from Schopenhaur’s Indian reading and so does not do Chan Buddhism full justice. Keturakyte’s points about the a-temporality of Nietzsche’s ‘Eternal Return’ as transcending both Buddhism and Christianity is not quite attainable. For the reason that in Chan Buddhism especially its passivity is to explicitly do away with distinctions that seek to differentiate. Resulting in an appreciation of how things are: endlessly coming to be and passing away, manifesting and re-manifesting, and all is just inter-being including eternity and its return.

Nietzsche and Buddhism

 

 

# Sam Bunn & Grussgott, an artificial intelligence from the future (Imagining an Institute for eUtopia)

Sam along with this A.I have constructed an impassioned defence of how artistic practice can and ought to be used to build the “good place” in contrast to the non-place we so usually are confronted with. Bunn’s Master’s thesis is very interesting and eclectic, yet ordered in its creative energy. I like the format of the study, and the interplay between A.I and human really creates with the material and topic matter very coherently. Beginning by pairing off Sacral art and Fine art Bunn or Grussgott and showing how exactleeeeeeeeeeeeeee this sacral can be seen as a “twisted tear drop”; half a way. There are seven chapters in Sam’s study and I will list them before drawing out some of the highlights that caught my attention when I first read. The contents include; ART or art?, Stories make Sense making Sense, Grasping Utopia, Eutopia as a Tool, Re-imaging Infastructure, eUtopia Explored and Attempted, and the conclusion.

I am not sure about Art confirming the American Dream this feels like it gives to this particular dream too much. But, the conversation discussing the persistence of filmic ideology (ideology is persistent as film? Or, ideology is a film?) moving through this notion that American cannot separate the idea of liberty from liberalism. From this constitution to Adam Smith’s marketised version; here the A.I reminds the human that America is not just full of capitalists, ‘Remember Jameson (influential Critical Theorist) is American.’

Reading through the next section on storytelling and sense, I am reminded of Walter Benjamin’s texts and how this study is a little bit like a new project from the Arcades? Discussing the potentially vegetative state of humans if they fail to grasp Bertold Brecht’s reality shaping hammer. But, Bunn or Grisbott pick up this hammer with a sub-hypothesis, ‘what if this main residue of watching a film is: lasting images?’ This branch is interesting its difficult to interpret but it could be that film’s deep realism is like a hammering of images; like the way a blacksmith would gradually craft a refined metal. It is also interesting that this involves an element of forgetting and remembering: forgetting to remember is absolutely what I do…

Then an utopia lists many influential authors and Ernst bloch keeps the concept of utopia firmly in the everyday rather than just a literary form. I love Darko Suvins/Surins’s idea of a ‘novum’ and I skip Thomas More’s well cited definition of utopia; a non-place. Then we continue to move through the good places of some films and their lasting images.

On page 59 Gussbotts and its human friend find agreement and I think I have stumbled upon the essence of this text and its true purpose; what it really engenders and supports. The A.I asks, ‘you are talking about popularizing socialist politics in mass consumable story form, aren’t you? The answer is yes; we now need to find our second yes to affirm as indeed the true aim of this paper, the formal desire of this intellectually creative event. I like how part of this discourse throughout this study is its cautious character; it permeates an awareness of the pitfalls of over-stating content and one’s thinking.

This and the idea of “socialist politics in a mass consumable story” is really evident in one of the many artistic projects Bunn completed as part of his time in Linz. The project Reise in die Zuhunft a journeying into the future with today’s children, and art’s radical potentialities are immediately enacted as social reality is seen as uniformly and universally creative in the artistic sense. Such play is then carried on into a ride of sorts; the brilliantly named ‘Far-see-er’; a series of interconnected rooms exhibited together as a ride designed to be ridden, of course, at the Architektur Forum in Linz. Overall, one, everyone should journey through and re-experience this journey that Sam Bunn and the A.I took because this study is refreshingly in its diversity, honesty, and creativity. The Agent Author’s humility is constantly present in this study; a good example is the response to the dilemma that the discussion on eUtopia might be unresolvable and we may be forced to accept the Utopia the negative option.

‘perhaps one should just learn to live with the dust that is stuck to the word utopia and not to confuse people with this ‘eu’. Generally they just think that I make some kind of obscure comment about the European Union.’

I wish this creator and fellow lover of art all the best for his future eUtopian film making.

artificial-intelligence-feature

# Julie Reshe (Beautiful Monsters: On Destructive Plasticity)          

Julie Reshe is the necropsychoanalyst par excellence and one half of the directorship of a new educational model for the future. Operating within a Post-Lacanian landscape Reshe is constantly expanding on the richness of Freud’s brilliant Venetian verisimilitude. I am not entirely convinced the notion that humans are “living dead” can overcome the negative imagery of the Zombie; yet one thing is more certain Freud’s Thanos remains important as ever for today’s epoch. Below are some thoughts on Reshe’s essay on ‘Destructive Plasticity’.

The essay is written as a critical response to the great French philosopher Catherine Malabou; who years ago introduced me to the idea of epigenetics (how feelings encode meaning and trauma can be distributed across generations biologically via way of the genome). Homing in on the scientific neurobiological conception of synaptic plasticity Reshe wants us to reflect on the negative side; the formalism of synaptic connective via way of destruction; and in attempting to hastily attribute a “cure” to such a destructive plasticity, Reshe reminds us of Foucault’s insight: that, the concepts of illness and health are socially constructed.

Running, both with and against Malabou, Reshe reformulates the notion that the child, can be a little monster, and therefore after encompassing a kind of destructive plasticity or a Lyotardian ‘primordial susceptibility’ – the child that remains throughout life. Yet, this writing really on one level is very comforting considering the biographical and important personal references to real lived experiences. This is then complemented by the text’s desire to critically think through psychoanalysis. Freud’s idea and its Greek influence is referenced that, ‘Psychic traumatization is understood by the analogy of physical traumatization.’ A difference imposed by the foreign body entombed with the local body.

After rightfully questioning the ease at which a disorder may legitimate the presence of an illness. I find Reshe’s conclusion compelling and ripe for much more development. If we are all beautiful monsters then we are all still susceptible, still receptive to these powers that are both organic and inorganic; power that we still marginally understand. Yet if we join Reshe in refelecting on our beautiful little monstrosities then we may increase such a thing.

medieval-angels-in-florence05

2 x B

Two Bens:Two Artists Using Japan for Inspiration. (Benjamin Bardou’s ‘Tokyo Wanderings’, and Ben Jeans Houghton’s film ‘2nd Life’.)

[Ben J. Houghton’s film ‘2nd Life’ was exhibited at Bloc Projects in Sheffield.]

Webp.net-gifmaker

The French artist Benjamin Bardou’s work is a visual feast at first sighting on Instagram one was hooked asking what is this new glitchy and painterly crack? It turned out to be some experiment in video editing and production using something called ‘pointcloud’ in the animation of videos. Take for example ‘Dotswarm’ an application for apple operating systems developed in New Zealand. After glimpsing at what this kind of animation is I encountered a new development in animation techniques that is animating the cloud. This is very fascinating for me because the image of the cloud is a very very very beautiful and strong image. Clouds have inspired so much culture over the history of our species from Aristophanes’s portrayal of Socrates to a fantastic youtube lesson on the continuation of Chan Buddhist hermits titled Amongst White Clouds (worth watching it still makes me romanticise about being a hermit… although I do not wish to be one). In Japanese the Kanji for cloud 雲 / ku-mo / is comprised of two parts ‘rain’ 雨 /a-me/ and a radical for ‘say’言/ Iu / which in turn can be in turn reduced down to two. So, one direct translation into English can be ‘rain say’ or ‘say rain’ the potential meaning of which escapes me. Yet, it does provide a route into the two videos which I would love to just gawp at continuously projected in a high definition. First viewing was a kind of reality check because Bardou’s short films really forced immaterial aesthetics into one’s thoughts. Similar and relevant considerations are also found in a brilliant discussion of an “immaterial world” author Steve Wright asks a question that is perhaps also asked by the two films Lost in Tokyo, and Wandering in Paris (please watch them below), that is ‘Are we living in an immaterial world?’. In Wright’s sharp dissection of post-workerism and especially the work of political and economic thinkers such as Antonio Negri and Michael Hardt in their books Empire and the Multitude ideas of immaterial labour and the changing reality of capitalism are thought through. I think an element of wrights conclusion is rather interesting when he mentions ‘Speculative ventures – which have been rife in the past decade – seem to make money out of thin air’, and…

‘In the meantime, debt continues to balloon, from the micro scale of individual and family credit cards, to the macro level of public sector budgets and current account deficits. However ingeniously the burden of such debt is redistributed, the terms of the wager cannot be forestalled forever. When it is finally called in, things will become very interesting indeed. If nothing else, we may then find out at last whether or not, as Madonna sang. …

The boy with the cold hard cash Is always Mister Right, ‘cause we are Living in a material world.i

Ending on Madonna’s song completes a nice circuit in that the essay begins with referencing Zen. Two individuals try and outsmart a master and ask, ‘can you teach me about reality without using either sound or silence? The master punches them in the face’ such a moment of aggression is perfectly placed so as to allow me to make an important point regarding Bardou’s cloudy creations. For me they were and still are a punch to the face in that they build upon the notion of a veil that covers an underlying reality, or a reality that should indeed be veiled?

Fundamentally, modern life is computational the acceptance of mathematics builds a one sided picture of the world. A sphere of certainty although useful is it really necessary? If so what kind of necessity does it represent? Questions such as these are seemingly resolved in the silent Buddhism by way of a profound negation of illusion of Maya; qualities that are shared with Plato in that the most rightfully revered ancient Greek Pagan believed whole heartedly in a universal law. In the Timaeus (Plato’s creationist account for existence) we can read Timaeus describe how the maker of the universe a creator God desired ‘everything to be good, marred by as little imperfection as possible’; this God found everything visible in a state of turmoil therein he was forced to turn this chaos into order.ii It is this movement away from the senses and an emphasis on their being two realms of reality the transient and the eternal and unchanging. For those readers interested in how Plato came to make his distinction between the sensible (A-C, eikasia -pistis), and the intelligible (C-E, dianoia – noesis) represented by a divided line. Can it not be true that all lines are not just divided but are dividing; Plato would have perhaps said that all lines are divided by the sight or gaze. Yet what about the line made by Plato’s creator, a line from Chaos to order, and is this line still as persuasive as it has been for over a thousand years? I am less convinced that Plato did not completely miss-interpret the followers of Heraclitus and that his debt to Parmenides was not burdensome upon the human imagination. Speaking about such topics makes me also add that the role of the Sophists on Socrates and Plato needs studying as it contains hidden mysteries and insights. Bardou’s films offer up not a frustrating but a strong example of artistic wonder surviving, thriving, and marking its territory among its newer iterations: philosophy, science, and design.

It is one of those infuriating moments of existence a good friend of yours has helped bring an awesome artwork to a city that gave me my first taste of actual education (the state organised schools, the generic secondary schools in the UK, I experienced as a factory and a prison – aware that the national curriculum is so devoid of any kindness nor nuanced belief in those learning under it – I hear some of you think: ‘well at least you had education of some sort?’, yes, I did, but only when I moved to an open and free space at the Art school in Sheffield). It is a shame I could not participate in this community’s appreciation of a film ‘2ndlife’ by Ben J. Houghton. A film which features visual material shot and taken from the country I consider as my second home. Japan, has a claim to being the most interesting country, nation, or culture currently thriving on this planet because it is home to some of the oldest unique events, objects, and processes. To name but a few that western readers may easily identify and understand: Manga & Animation, Samurai, and Sushi. But wait, the latter is a silly sentence because each reader has their own identification and understanding of the Far East. This is but one of the good things about this film although a monologue Ben’s voice (I assume) never detracts from the content his camera records; content that features places and locations that I am personally so fond of. This is of course to be expected as any lucky person able to live in a country that is not their own will testify that although it is a confusion as to whether or not your interpretation makes the place, or does the place (time/space) make your interpretation?

The film is a good resource and example of how art is a parental practice to philosophy. Watching 2nd life one hears, ‘every artistic practice is generative’ and this made me nostalgic for such a belief for I do not believe this is applicable to the whole (every practice) of such practices. This is due to my repeated experience of the severity of manipulation involved in human habits and thus an inability to fully control symbolic value (this is most likely tantamount to a personal confession about one’s own inability to draw conclusions surrounding such distinctions as value and meaning, being and non-being, the transcendent and immanent). One really likes how the film really deepens the titles duality. It comments on a life within a life and beliefs surrounding rebirth and the Buddhist belief of Saṃsāra (संसार: an endless cycle of rebirth and wandering; is it akin to the western wondering necessity? Who knows?). For me there are strong highlights that stuck with me after one watch of this film. The first comes at 09:44 – and Ben’s voice reminded me of the spiral circles in French thinker Delueze’s metaphysical detailing of desire … and this film brilliantly hammers home that time is necessary for meaning and generates a lived experience in which time’s transitory mysterious materiality is laid bare for the spectator’s spectacles. Houghton correctly states three modes of learning 1) brutal ‘trial and error’ 2) emphatic connections, 3) love and compassion – all eventually, by way of artistic inquiry and agency lead to “learning as liberation from learning.

Here the film’s speculations start to go even more deeper as the narrator suggests whilst on a Tokyo train that it is perhaps a strange and dark aspect of human consciousness that allows our thinking, or being to often encompass a “Tearing through humanness” amidst all the energy and re-incarnation. Another memorable line that hits right to the hidden dilemma at the heart of human creativity, “trying to find a usable marker is like trying to grab a beam of sunlight in a river current”. This line makes me think of the strangeness of how objects only exist under the parameters of their own usage, but this sentence seems to disturb this in that with the surface of a flowing river’s encounter with light. Such an example of flux is one of the joys of film and video (both digital and analogue) they capture light for fleeting experiences that are often feel so fundamentally familiar we forget their difference. The mechanics of film: the capture of light and time, the animation of matter, and the social and anti-social modes of production… offer up alternatives to what we so often are forced to take for granted. Here, cinema and literature are shown to be deeply intertwined and contained within their operating systems, within their modus operandi, is a utopian day dreaming. Understood from the perspective of a ‘second life’ this may suggest that rebirth be something desired; never mind the Buddhist wisdom that states this as unnecessary suffering, ‘if one can live again then why not?’ Well, there is always the probability you could come back as a fruit fly or a loathed creature like a cockroach? This is why Buddha’s insights should not be messed with however if we, in our thinking, are searching for a connection between East and West then here is a potentially political one: Is Buddhism more Hobbesian (as in the self is this illusionary leviathan?) or Rosseau-ian (that the institutions with which we have to live by corrupt our innocence?); it could be a mixture of course?

IMG_3221

A cat moving through a graveyard hones the films fluctuations on its current: its exploration of the true difficulties that every human faces. How, in each of us there exist drives that if we find a balance within daily life then they may flow peacefully but if we experience a degree of unbalanced events and situations then ‘like follows like’ we move towards chaos. Such interrelations are very difficult to navigate and to survive them the psyche of an individual has to go through training, has to measure itself amongst the vast possibilities that reside in even the most miniscule of spaces. This meditation manifests more vividly at an introduction of a cat (a most beloved creature in Japan). At 34:26, a cat’s poem states, ‘you smell like soul and blood, just waiting wanton time … waiting for the time where my ideas act…’ all spoken in a slow and lucid stroll through a graveyard. Reminding me of supposed antagonisms between reason and its absence, realism and relativism, automation and autonomy. But, is it not true that an animal such as a cat teaches humans their own futility? We can never be as beautiful nor as stupendously wacky (see the mass of cat Instagrams), or even as wise as our feline associates. This cat and poem in a graveyard (all Japanese cats are related to the six cats (Goma, Otsuka, Kawamura, Mimi, Okawa, and Toro in Haruki Murakami’s Kafka on the Shore (2002)) made me want to read the book again of course and also research other relations one could find that connected Ben’s film with Murakami and I stumbled across an article written by Michele Eduarda Brasil de Sá. In this article Michele brilliantly invites us to consider a Japanese notion of “Space Time” by honing in on an important part of Murakami’s novel. We are presented with the main character kafka Tamura discovering an oil painting in a library in which supposedly the secrets to the labyrinth of time are found as well as “The Edge of the World” (世間の縁 /sekai no fuchi/).iii

Inevitably Murakami’s novel and the cat cameo culminates in me and you, dear reader, being forced to bow to the cat’s (にゃー義 /nya-gi/ a belief in the feline) because it could be the case that cats are in possession of an understanding of why gravity is also only partially universal and more than a little bit wave like. This then entails a perspective that strives and struggles for an appreciation of the limitations of life and of living. Houghton’s film is so thought provoking it gracefully invites much consideration on this narrative of struggle, of the finite that all humans represent. Here again Buddhism trumps western thinking in that the Buddhist death is positive we should be embracing the lack of choice with which we came into being as different to how we could leave existence. Ben’s work also references the notion of Antinatalism in the thinking of philosopher David Benatar, and how Houghton experienced a group of American military personal discussing their masculinity at the doors of the notorious suicide forest Aokigahara or ‘The Sea of Trees’. Such a coincidence makes me think of an anti-antinatalist position that I also think the maker of this film would also support. That is it is a little daft considering we are all here because two or even more people made us. To prescribe a negative value to birth is akin to saying you would rather not be when you are being. You could say that this misunderstanding arises from not appreciating how being is always taken over to a space, it always finds itself there. This is of course a little derivative of Martin Heidegger’s thinking (I wish it were more Kantian, or Schellingian but I need to study these Germans more), but what I find fascinating by the ease at which anti-natalism is refuted (in only one sense, but it could also be defended as a form of “free” choice) is that it also enables an understanding of traditionally materialist stances on the cosmos. Here we have two positions that are against human life one being anti-birth, and the other against continuing life (suicide).

But, I am sure these two are positive they are affirmations of life because both are about choice seen as both intentional and wholly other. We are fundamentally not in control of the beginning of existence and yet we can say with some certainty that it is more likely that we are in control of our demise (not when but how) even though there is still the possibility that this control may be taken away from us. The ancient atomists understood existence as unforgiving and unaffected by humans, yet they acknowledged that atoms may join and separate and that is why a film about Japan such as ‘2nd life’ is so great; it is not humorous but it demands we take materialism and the role of religion seriously. I think this film encourages and nurtures understanding on the role of transience in transcendence. This then connects back to what one mentioned regarding Plato’s conjunction between constant change and infinite being. I think the regularity of material change is of a nature that is apprehensible in that ‘becoming’, the titanic twin of change, reinforces teleological time (there are other forms of time (Chronos is a mischeivous god!)). Why? Plato believed in universals (Ideas = forms) and for something to be a universal it must remain forever and be incorruptible. . Science and particularly astrophysics and quantum mechanics reveals the extent to which all could be related, this is called the unified field theory, and it aims to reveal reality as an equation. Regardless of whether or not the physicists make such a remarkable achievement the fact that some of us are striving for such things demands that we question the effects it may carry. If such a process is accomplished in the name of knowledge then this worries me because it suggests another standardisation that may do away with a determination (struggle to understand) found in those phenomena such as light, colour, and life.

One good example of why a spectrum predominates over standards is mass/matter/weight itself and here again we can find Plato and Buddha’s presence. Plato had the notion of το μέγα και το μικρών (‘the great and the small’ /to mega kai to mikron /) a dualistic ontology that has ‘the One’ as a principle of unity, and ‘the indefinite dyad’ a principle of multiplicity and indeterminacy.iv Buddha has a similar if not equivalent duality that Enlightenment is another One (but, differs in that this represents an absence of thinking), and unless we learn to see through the multiplicity called ‘Maya’ an illusion, our suffering increases. But, it is the half of the split comprised of illusion that interests me and I am not here trashing the One, just stating that the contents of the sensory realm being illusionary may not be problematic if we understand them as illusions. That being illusionary generates a necessary need to be creating our own relations between things? Even mathematics can be said to partake in such processes; one very striking modern scientific example is a discrepancy between the Quantum and the relative, or how do we understand atoms when their material qualities appear as change itself.

A striking example would be a symmetry between the great and the small this can be found if we consider the notion that mass is only a constant if it travels at the speed of light. Other than this it is subject to change. This then makes it also a spectrum if what we measure changes by our measuring then does this support the necessity of a spectrum of choice struggling in face of determination? Or, does it affirm a determination a one unchanging and perfect? I do not know, but this is the line of questioning I will further at some point. First, to end on some aesthetic evidence for these considerations. Whilst studying for a philosophy of science exam I came across the symbol for Solar mass M and learnt that it is equivalent to the mass of our sun: two Nonillion (two quintillion kilograms), allowing the measurement of the mass of the planets and cosmic entities. If we look at the symbol for solar mass we simultaneously see how Plato was brilliant and wrong in that our contemporary understanding of our sun states that it too has a lifespan, it too has to die, and if it has to die, then surely the universe also?v This symbol also resembles Plato and his intellectual father Parmenides’s belief that the One took the form of a circle because by definition, ‘that which is equidistant in all directions from the centre’ can be said to have a kind of perfection but importantly we have a choice if this is seen as a process of becoming. If we exist within the universe on a line from one sun Mto others M1 + M2 + M☉3 + M☉4 +M☉n……. we see clearly how choice arises from a battle against a determination with demise as Ben himself narrated, ‘you must be in a place of perfect unrealised potential at the moment of death’.This all may be a digression from the brilliance of Ben Houghton’s film but I felt that I wanted to take the opportunity to share some thoughts and urge anyone interested about this film to get in touch with the artist and demand that he screen this 50 minute film near you. This film deals with so much that is of interest ( sovereignty of personhood… love as a co-dependency) it would take a second life just to second this awesome work of art.

Perhaps, this commentary on a ‘2ndlife’ is too focused on just one recent extrapolation of death and indeed too anchored to the beautiful Japan. So, to end with something that expands the death of this film into another stream of thinking on death found in the ‘Tibetan Book of the Dead’, these lines lifted from The Aspirational Prayer Which Protects from Fear of the Intermediate States may offer a temporary period. But still a perfect pregnant potential, Thank you Bens!

‘When I am miraculously born into the intermediate state of rebirth, may I not be beguiled by the perverse prophecies of Māra, And as I [freely] arrive at every place that I think of, May the bewildering fear and terror, generated by my negative past actions, not arise. When the roars of savage wild beasts echo around me, May their cries be transformed into the sound of the sacred teachings, the Six Syllables , And as I am engulfed by snow, rain, wind, and darkness, May I achieve the pure clairvoyance of radiant pristine cognition

May I easily come to master by study and reflection, The manifold stages of learning ̶ small, intermediate, and great. May the country into which I am born be auspicious, And may all sentient beings be blessed with happiness. ‘vi

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

二人のベン二人のアーティストは鼓舞ために日本を使います。ベンジャーミン・バードウさんの東京のふらふらとベン・ジェンズ・ホートんさんの映画は二回目の命

フランス人の画家ベンジャーミン・バードウさんの芸術作品は視覚的な地層です。まず1回目見える時で私はどっぷりどんなグリッチフでベンのヘロインですか。このワークはビデオのエディットと創作の実験でポイントクラウドを使う事からビデオをアニメします。例えば、ニュージーランドでドットスワァムはアプルのツステムのアプリために展開しました。このアニメーションのタイプを見えたに雲をアニメしていると新しいアニメの方法を会えました。雪は本当に強いて美しい絵ので私ためにとても魅了します。雪は人間の歴史に経由して多い文化をインスパイア〜したのでアリストフェーニーズのサークレーティーズからよいユーチィーブの禅の隠者が(白雪で)の記録映画です。(私は隠者を成るたくないですけどこのフェルムが私のロマンチックな気持ちを続けます。日本語でクローワド漢字のは雪を二つの分が合成です。雨と言うだから二に通分します。で、一つの英語に入っての翻訳は”言うの雨”か”雨と言う”と可能な意味を逃げます。でも、これは二つのビデオをハイビジョンで見えることを続け方の経路があげます。バードウさんの考えることに無形の審美学を入ったにショートの映画は一回目の見えるが本当に真実のチェックをみたいでした。
最高無形の世界で作家スティーブ・ライトさんは多分二つの映画が東京で迷うとパリでふらふらが同じ質問あって皆さんを無形の世界に住んでいますか。ライトさんの絵刷なポーストワーカーイズムの解析学とアントーニーオー・ネグリーとマイケル・ハートさんの政治的で経済的な本(エンパイアとマルティチュード)で無形の労力か働くと資本主義の事実を変化が考えます。ライトさんの結論は面白いです。彼は投機的なベンチャーーこれは十年前に猖獗を極めたー薄いお金が空気から作る事をみたいですと言いた。そして…

“すでにして、借金を右足がり、微細な個人とご家のクレジットカードから、マクロな公共部門の予算と経常黒字まで。しかし、その借金は負担を再配布で、賭けるの態様が後手を永遠に出来ないです。この賭けるの回収時から事態はとても面白くてなります。もし他ならないことは私たちがマドーナさんの歌うの正しさを見つけるので…”

マドーナさんの歌に終わるはこの論文が禅を引用だからいい回線を完成しました。二人は’実から音と沈黙は無し教えますか’と禅の師家に質問しました。師家はその二人の顔でパンチしているので侵略時が私ためにバードウさんの曇りのアートで大切な要旨ができます。繁栄と領域を主張します。
存在の仕方ない時はいいともだちが待ちの教育に上手な美術を持ってくるの手伝っていました。(前の町の大学は本当に特別です。理由はイギリスの教育制度を僕の経験が刑務所と工場をみたいだから課程も生徒ために優しさとニュアンスの信じる無しです。私は誰かの思い方で”君は何かの教育が会うたね”と聞きます。ええ、そうですけどシェフィールドのアート学校に入るからオープンと自由自在な経験をきる。私はこのコミュ二ティでベン・ジェ・ホートンさんの二回目命の映画を多いとしませんので残念です。この映画は物質が私のセカンドホームの国から撮影しました。日本は一番面白くて古くてユニークなイベントと物と経路のホームですから日本が地球上で一番面白い国民と文化の申し出あります。漫画とアニメ、武家とお寿司は西人がこの事を分かれます。ちょっと待て読者たちは日本の同定と理解があるので前の文章がたわいないです。この映画のよいことは独語けどベンの声がカメラのイメージから全然気をそらすので、フィルムの内容で色々な場所たちが好きです。これはラキーナな人を外国に住んでいったから普通の予想と言いて、しかし、ごったも有るし〜皆さんの通訳は場所を作られるか場所が通訳を作られますか。

Lost in Tokyo from Benjamin Bardou on Vimeo.
“二回目の命は哲学ためにアートが親ので本当にいい例えです。二回目の命を見っているは(全てのアーティステックな実践をジェネレーティブ)と聞こえるから。このビデオのアートは私に遠因の覆面カーバが実を覆面有るなければなりませんから私の顔でパンチもです。差遣的にもダンライフの勘定と数学を受諾ので世界の絵は不平等な絵を作ります。確実性の球体はべんりけどこれは必ずですか。この質問は静かな仏教でマーヤーのイリュージョンを深い否定で解決済みです。そして、このクオリティはプラトンにシエアするので尊の古いギリシャーのペイガンが普遍的な法律を信じました。ティメオーズ(プラトンの創造論)私たちは天主が全てのいいと少しい不備も欲しい事を読めます。このゴッドは全ての視覚的なものを混乱過ぎるを見つけたから、この混乱を平均)に化せなければなりません。この移動は可能から二つの実の天地あるで無常と永久に念を押しました。読者からペラトンの区別で感覚的な(エイー・シーeikasia・pistis)と達意なタース(シー・イーdianoia・noesis) 両方はディバイデッドインを描破します。それも、全てのラインはディバイデッドですけどディバィデッデイングも有るし〜ペラトンが全てのインを視線が見えるからディバィデッドします。でも、ペラトンの神明のラインはどうですか。このラインは混乱からバランスまで、このラインが千年あとに説得力続く。私はペラトンがヘラクライタスを悪い拝読したと彼のパーメニディーズために忝を人間の思い方に負担を成ったので半信半疑です。このトッピクスを話しているは私がペラトンとサークレーティーズの詭弁の影響で非表示の神秘と洞祭力有るから足しました。バードウさんの映画は創造的な驚嘆の生き残るの例を悔しくないけと強い奉納ですからこの例はアートの新しい反復で哲学と科学とデザインにこの創造的な驚嘆が

IMG_3222

         Benjamin J. Houghton ‘2ndlife’, Film Still (2018)

よくファミリア過ぎるので忘れると光を捕らえます。フィルムの力学: 光を時間捕らえる、物質をアニメする、社会的でアソテソーシャルの生産の方法…皆さんの強行な措定くらへて他のオプションを見せます。だからシネマと文学は一緒に不採算の手口と作動で空想的社会改良家有ります。二回目の生命の遠近法から見るを分がったに生変をくれたいみたいですけど仏教の知恵がこの生変を必要ではないと言った”もし、また生きたら大丈夫かな?”では、生変するでいつもショウジョウバイとゴキブリを死に変わりますか。それは仏教の洞察力をごちゃ混ぜないですけど、もし私たち考えるで東と西の関係を探して多分政治的な一つのままです。仏教はハーブジーン(遺制と生くなければなりませんので無罪を毒する)勿論、ミクスもありうべきか?
猫はなかば経由動くでフィルムの変動をナラティブに研ぐ、そして全ての人間は正しい問題を向かいます。どうやってか、全ての人中に動因があって、もし私たちが生活でバランスを見つけるからこの動因を平穏ですけどもし、いつかの経験をするので同じ事を一緒に習うで私たちを混乱に動きます。相関はナビるが難しさともし良い生存して個人のプッュケーを訓練しなければなりませんと個人のプッュケーは自分を微細なスペースで膨大な可能に対して計ります。この瞑想は一番の鮮明する猫の紹介時で(日本で猫が超愛してる)。34分26秒で、猫のしはみみは精神とちの匂いみたいです。はちゃめちゃな時間を持って…時間で私のアイデアに行為を持つと私がこの信じる事を全ての実践で言わないけど前の信じるから懐かしくてなりました。このいない事は人間の習性で深刻なてさばきので象徴的な価値を支配が出来ません。(でも、これは私の価格と意味いるといない、超越論と内在的で断じないから個人的な懺悔です)。私はこのフィルムに題名の双対をもっと深さなる事が大好きです。生命を生命中に伝えて生変と生変と仏教の輪廻と信じるも伝えます。私ために一回見る後で強い圧巻を見かけました。まず、9分44秒でベンさんの声はフランス人の哲学者デレューズのデザアイの形而上学的唯物論を連想します。このフィルムは時間のマティリアリティを見物人のメガネためにあらわにすると時間も意味の命脈ために必要です。ホーウトンさんは3つの学びの除法生と言って、1) 残虐なテストとミス、2) 罷り手作、3) 愛と慈悲です。これ学び方たちはアーティスティックの調査と仲介経て”学びは学びから解放”と導く。
ここにフィルムの思索はもっと深さに始めるに話者が東京よ電車でエネルギーと生まれ変わり中に見知らぬで暗い人間の意識の分から皆さんの考えると存在よく人命をばりばり経由すると網羅と理解を出来ます。他の印象深い文章は人間の徳蔵生の心に行く本流中で光線を奪い取るようにするは使えるのマーカーを見つけるようにみたいです。この文章は私に物が物の使う方であるだけと考えるですけど、この文章この考えると光が本流を会いて妨げます。この光速の例え一つのフィルムとビデオの喜び(アナログとデジタル) ではかない経験を言う。全ての言うは明徴でゆっくりはかば経由して話しました。理由と不合理、現実主義と相対主義、オートメーションと自治権も、この対立関係たちは私に連想しました。でも、猫は人間に無駄なこと教えるを正しいですか。人間は決めして猫の知恵と綿陽でならないです。この猫とし(全ての猫は6匹の猫とゴム、オツカ、カフムラ、ミミ、オカフ、トロ、と村上・春樹の’海辺のカフカ’(2002年) 。私にこの本をまた読みたいです。そして、他の関係たちを見つけるとベンのフィルムから村上・春樹までつなげると研究するので私はミシェールさんはエドアルダー・ブラツル・ディー・ザーさんの記事を積まずできます。ぎじで日本的な時空を考えて村上・春樹の本の大切な部分にピントに行く。主人公、カフカ・タムラは図書館で油絵と時間の迷宮とせかりの縁を見つけました。
止むを得ず、村上・春樹の小説は猫のカメオし私と今の読者に猫のニャー義をお式しなければなりません。だから、猫は重力ので部分的な普遍とサスッルギをみたいです。これは生命と生きるの限りが見えるの多とします。ホーウトンさんの映画は相当と有限のナラティブをくそ落ち着きの考えるも優しく誘います。また仏教の思うは西の思うを敗る。理由は仏教の死ぬは肯定から私たちの生めるで円卓無しが抱くので死ぬる比べて違います。ベンさんのアートは哲学者デービッド・ケイヘナターの考えるでアンテネータリズムを青木がアオキガハラでホーウトンさんはアメリカ人の軍隊が男性を話し合うの経験も。そんな、偶然は私にアンテーアンテネータリストの定位でベンさんも支持すると思います。アンテーネータリズムはちょっと滑稽です。二人は皆さんを作るから誕生に

ネがティブな父あげるから(生きるならよりいかにいの方がいい)と言う同じです。これ分けないのことが生きるいつも場所にもたらすも、いつも生きるはそことおそこに見つける。ハイデガーの教えるからちょっと誘導したいです。(私はこれをもっとキャンティウンがスケリンギアンの方がいいですけどこのドイツ人をもっと勉強しないと)。でも、アンテーネータリズムの本論の簡単から面白いです。(一つの駁する方だ、でも自由の形で守る。) それで、伝統的で物質主義者の宇宙から分ける事が出来ます。ここに二つの立場は人間の生きるにはしてアンテ生めると他の立場が生きる事を続くにはして(自殺)です。
それで、私は両方が生きるの肯定から両方は意図的で今一つから積極です。私たちは存在の始めるを肝心と規制全然ではないですけど少し確実と私たちの終焉いつじゃないかどうやってを収集を話せる。
ところがこの収集は約をほされる。古いアトミズトは存在から人間のかざいけのないが優しくないと分かりました。でも、アトミズトはアトムを一つ一つと結びつけると承認しるので二回目の命が本当にいいです。二回目の命はユーモア無し唯物論と宗教の役目をちゃんとする。このフィルムは超越中で無常を促がす。これはプラトン前にことで常数の変化と広大無辺の散在の交渉またリンクします。置く薄々変化の至善は分けるから理由が変化のヲタンな双子を成ることでテローローギキャルな時間に増強します。(クロノスはわんぱくな神様だから、他の時間形があります。) 何故?ペラトンさんは普遍と信じて(イデア) と理念)何かが普遍あれのこの物を永遠に連結有ります。

IMG_3223

               Benjamin J. Houghton ‘2ndlife’, Film Still (2018)

例えば、大きくて小さくて間に左右相称有る事を質量の常数がもし光速で動けったらこの例えを見つけます。よりか、質量は変化が出来ます。それで、分光もから、もし私たちの寸法を測るので変化して断固と規格化に反して反俗スペクトルを支援しますか。で、規格化一つのままの完璧で全然変化しないを確認しますか。私は知らないですけどこの考えるの路線を続けます。まず、この文章の神秘的な物証を終われる。科学哲学の試験を勉強時で太陽質量をで会うので、太陽の物質に等価二つのクィソティリョンのキロです。惑星とソーラのエンティティを図れる。もし、象徴を見って太陽から同期の理解ので一斉にペラトンが輝かしさと正しくないを見せるから私たちの星雲の太陽も死ねければなりません。もし、それは正しいから宇宙もしねければなりません。この象徴はペラトンと彼の知的なお父さんパーメニディーズの信じるでザーワンが円形を有る。定義して(中心から四方八方に同じ)と完全のタイプを言えるですけど大事な皆さんの選び方と成るの方法を見えます。もし、人間は宇宙でいって一つの太陽から他の太陽までこの線でいって皆さんが付帯の終焉に戦いのでベンさんは彼自身で可能性の場所にいなければなりません”と言いました。これは全部脱線かなーベン・ホーウトンさんの映画からそれて僕がこの綺麗で皆さんこの価格にご連絡
化学は天体物理学と量子力学も全て果敢系出来るを表す。これは統一場理論ですから現実を方程式も見せる。もし、物理学者は目覚まし達成問わずにだれかが活性を努力から私たちにこのことの効果を質問しなければなりません。もし、知識ために方法ので私は心配すると現象(光、色、生命)で、規格化を申し出るから決心(理解の戦い)を消します。
分光(決心) 一つの良い例規格外よりはもっといいですからが質量、集団、重さままここでペラトンとブッダを見つける。ペラトンは(観念)を有って(大きて、小さくて)双対の存在論でペラトニックなワンで団結と無期限のダイアドでかず多い原則です。ブッダは等しい二元性が有ってこの開眼か他のワンです。でも、考えるは欠席です)。皆さんはまやかし経由を見えるを習う。なくては、ないことには、我らがなくなんを上がります。だから、まやかしとイリュージョンの半で面白さもワンが(たわごと、おしないですけどもし皆さんは可能の現実は幻を分かたら、問題じゃないです。幻で皆さんために必要な物とこと間に新しい関係を作くなければなりませんか。数学もこの照臨仮定で参加して、量子と神族の違いは近代的で化学的な例について、アトムの物質を変化でその物の見た目をどうやって分かりますか。
して50分フィルムを違い場所にみせると僕の感想したいと感じます。この映画はたくさん当該のこと取り扱う;(主我の主権と愛は共依存)で、このあそれ多いアートにくちを添えることが出来るので二回目の命を必要する。多分、この二回目の命の余説は綺麗な日本と最近死ぬの補外法で作過ぎます。で、何かのこのフィルムの死ぬを他かの必滅の教え方に入って拡張で終わる。このエッセイはチベットの死者のしょて:
ザー・アスピラティオナル・プレア・ウィッチ・プロッェクツ・フロム・フィア・オブ・ザー・インタミーディアト・ステーツからもっと行く。臨時の終止符止まるを備えるですけど絶好で身重のポテンシャルです。ベンズかベンたちにどうも有難うございます。

“いつ私は中間体なステァートと具合の申請に生まれる。マーラーの佞姦な予言を窓を成らない。私は全ての場所を思って着く。前の消極的な暴挙から恐怖とテロをあかない。野蛮な虎狼を唸るを私にお側で響した。この唸るは聖なるな教えで六字大明呪の音に化する。そして、今私を雪、雨、風、暗闇を呑まれる。厳正の認識の純粋の千里眼を私ははたしてお願いします。勉強と反省経由に簡単な熟達するかも…。
学びの多様体で小ささと中間体と大きと。生国は目出度いです。天地有情は幸福と清穆をよろしいです。”

/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\

iSteve Wright, ‘Reality Check: Are We Living in an Immaterial World?’, in Proud to be Flesh: A mute magazine anthology of cultural politics after the net, (Mute Publishing, London; Autonomedia: Brooklyn, 2009) 472- 480.

iiPlato, trans. Robin Waterfield, Timaeus and Critias, (Oxford World’s Classics, Oxford University Press. 2008).18.

iiiMichele Eduarda Brasil de Sá, Time(s) and Space(s) in Huraki Murakami’s “Kafka on the Shore”, Conference Paper, 2016.

ivAristotle, Metaphysics, (A 6, 987 a 29 – 988 a 1)

vSee Stoic “ἐκπύρωσις ekpyrōsis, “conflagration”) is a belief in the periodic destruction of the cosmos by a great conflagration every Great Year. The cosmos is then recreated (palingenesis) only to be destroyed again at the end of the new cycle.

viComposed: Padmasambhava, revealed: Terton Karma Lingpa, Trans: Gyurme Dorje, The Tibetan Book of The Dead, (Penguin Books, England, 2005) 316.

The Nøtel: The Architecture of Acceleration

giphy
PH (2017)
Picture4
  • The Nøtel: Lobby

Welcome to the Nøtel your stay here will be more than comfortable as there are no human guests. This is a Hotel like no other, it has been built by future Chinese multi-billionaires in a manner that was imagined, and simulated in a computed architectural space. It’s origins are also from the musical habits, experiments, and imagination of Steve Goodman (aka. Kode 9). Who is the owner of London’s independent record label Hyperdub. The names of his earlier albums include ‘Memories of the Future’, and ‘Black Sun’ eluding to this man’s thinking in a continuous analysis of rhythm. This special sonic hotel features initially as a track on his most recent album titled simply ‘Nothing’. Kode 9 was in a hotel when the news of his long term collaborator the Spaceape’s tragic death reached him. This sudden loss of this gifted poet is what inspired and speeded up the creation of this scarce minimal album. Yet, the most suitable word to describe the Nøtel is in fact dystopia, the absence of humanity is replaced by the eerie glow of holographic ghosts. Although initially the name of a track on an album this has been expanded through a collaboration with the German artist Lawrence Lek into a virtual environment, that can be explored by possessing the robotic drones that inhabit the space.

What really drives this fantastic piece of creative culture is a meditation on the number Zero. Many people and perspectives have been touched by, or actively embrace nothing as a muse. Theoretically Steve Goodman entered musically into the vacuums and voids inherent in quantum physics. You can see much more has influenced this album if you look at the track names: holo, void, vacuum packed, zero work & point energy, 9 drones, respirator, mirage, and nothing lasts forever. You can glimpse the sonic influences of the films: The Shining (1980), and Philip Glass’s Koyaanisqatsi (1982). The latter Goodman claimed, ‘rewired my brain’, after realising the film accurately described the reality of socio-technical acceleration. Goodman collaborated with Lawrence Lek a German simulation artist who is a trained architect. It was watching Lek’s recent project Unreal Estate, which is a part of Bonus Levels – an experimental virtual novel that embodies the artists interest in site-specific reproductions of existing buildings/places sampled from reality. Persuading Goodman, that Lek’s creative practice was an ideal match to expand the sonic concepts in his recent album. Unreal Estate, can show what the Royal Academy of Art would become if it was purchased by a Chinese multi-Millionaire.

Picture3

  • Lawrence Lek, Bonus Levels: Unreal Estate,
This work is accompanied with a vocal narrative that describes how the super rich should treat their staff. To understand the many contemporary topics this collaboration makes visible one watched a great interview with Kode 9, and Lawrence Lek. Conducted by the journalist Lisa Blanning for the 2016 festival Sònar in Barcelonai. Blanning’s brilliant questions solicit many topics that lend themselves to Philosophical consideration. So, this small article explores these concepts and attempts to spread the work of these two creators. Their work supports Leftest causes and aesthetically sets a precedent for how art can produce experiences based upon cybernetic and politically pertinent ideas. The biggest idea that runs through the concept of the Nøtel is Accelerationism. A belief that the one way to defeat capitalism is to speed it up, so as to guarantee a future with some level of human freedom and autonomy outside of capital relationsii. The ism’s ideological call is one of There must be an outside? What exists outside of capitalism has kept human imagination busy, but after generations of critical analysis. It seems that the economic and cultural superstructure has resisted repeated revolutionary alternatives. Therefore multi-media dystopia is useful to leftest discourses, it is not needlessly politicised, but rather it enables a path towards resisting capital’s destruction of life anew.

‘Despair seems to be the dominant sentiment of the contemporary Left, whose crisis perversely mimics its foe, consoling itself either with the minor pleasures of shrill denunciation, mediatised protest and ludic disruptions, or with the scarcely credible notion that maintaining a grim ‘critical’ vigilance on the total subsumption of human life under capital, from the safehouse of theory, or from within contemporary art’s self-congratulatory fog of ‘indeterminancy’, constitutes resistanceiii.’

If one watches the interview and listens carefully, you might criticize the two creators for not denouncing capitalism. But, they do not have to, what they have created is sufficiently haunting to offer valuable perspectives on complex ideas. Lek speaks about Unreal Estate with an opinion that many people might share. He admits to a pro-capitalist point of view, yet also confesses to the necessity of a subjective imagination. This dualistic dynamic is anchored to a desire to be rich enough to join the elites, but because this is not realistic for him as an individual he is happy to confess the power the creation of fiction holds. It’s at this stage that the economic or material norm of the super wealthy is brought into sharp focus. Goodman furthers Lek’s initial answer, ‘There seems to be a Zero as the engine of capitalism … if you look at the spaces the rich live in. The more richer you become the space you live in becomes bigger and emptier.’. Not only is this logical it is already very very visible. Paradoxically, the super well off’s wealth may be invisible (hidden in offshore investments, or in the oligopoly they have amassed!), however the rich are not hiding, they reside in the aforementioned spaces.

What’s more interesting is the notion that architecture is a visual vessel for ideologies. Lisa Banning get’s Lek to describe this through buildings such as Apple’s new headquarters, Campus 2, one Infinite Loop, Cupertino California, and the Barcelona Pavilion designed by Mies van der Rohe, and built in 1929iv. Compared to Apple, which screams ‘Zeros’, in both its vocal support for a hyper-designed ideology, next to the mundane march of additional digits on it’s huge profits. The pavilion is rightfully considered a classic of Modernism, Lek explains how the building has continuously staged differing ideologies (Mostly from other artists). Moreover, this fantastic building is symbolic and important today because of it’s connection to National Socialism. This Bauhaus legend created a building that uses formal geometry to suggest physical planes. It has the worlds first glass walls that display the ambition of it’s author. Mies van der Rohe is inspirational, but his relevance to the Nøtel is not just visual. The architect so famous for being apolitical and possessing a single-mindedness that surfaces perhaps in contrast to his socialist background. Although, his lack of serious resistance is regrettable considering his fame, his story can be appropriated to invite the present into this discussion. A now-time that is explicitly defined by the election of a person who is publicly racist, sexist, overtly aggressive, and derogatory. Let’s hope America’s decision is not one of self destruction.

Picture2

– The Nøtel – Apple Campus 2, California, USA

Picture1

  • Mies van der Rohe, Sketch for the Barcelona Pavillion
Mr Trump could be America’s fascist boogeyman, he is certainly in favour of unbridled exploitation, manipulation, and the protection of his surnames place, perched in the comfortable nest of billions of dollars. In fact his son-in-law is an equal puppet in this financial superstructure that turns all of us into hypocrites enslaved to the circulation of money. Bizarrely, Trump, Hitler, and der Rohe all share a pre-occupation with buildings. Hitler and Trump in one’s opinion share scarily similar traits, they both are impudent and mask their failure as human beings in psychopathic hatred and machismo. By failure one is referencing specific failures in their lives. For Hitler it was the rejection from art school in Vienna coupled with an idea of the weakening of the ‘Fatherland’ under the Weimar Republic that fuelled his egoism. Trump’s equally narcissistic, and has experienced a slightly different disappointment, that may fuel his distaste for Muslims and Iran. This negative event one speculates as originating in two experiences Trump has had, firstly when his brand of luxury encountered the superior version of his own hotels owned by the Arab rulers. The second experience was the public put down he experienced at the hands of Barack Obama in 2011. This is perhaps the moment that Trump the paradigm shifter came into being. It is easy to dismiss a man such as trump, but being British one is attuned to the power of precedents. Trump is a rather large one.

In fact one more reference to Mies van der Rohe connects this brief discussion on Trump, Hitler, and this architect; a seemingly strange trinity to look at for human origin’s for the Nøtel ‘s ideas. Take Accelarationism, it embraces speed in it’s ant-capitalist theorising. One cliché has always been used to warn of the dangers contained in succumbing to your desires for a better version of what you have: The grass is always greener on the other side. When this is placed next to what van der Rohe is supposed to have said as he began to flee from Nazi Germany, arriving in America, ‘Freedom! This is a kingdom!’ (“Freiheit! Es ist ein Reich!v) you glimpse a very human dilemma: too much desire and you enter utopia, not enough nature (i.e grass) and you enter utopia. The gauntlet this virtual space lays down describes how non-places (or worse?) are pre-destined. This is how Goodman and Lek’s creation should be viewed or read; a masterful play on a potential structure made from dystopia. Therefore when the Nøtel a Shanghai based state-owned hospitality enterprise, and it’s zero-star™ range of luxury hotels opens, you enter. In the lobby one is confronted by a very important idea, that is key to a full understanding of this accelerated Accelarationist architecture. The miss use of the commons? FALC (Fully Automated Luxury Communism) is the belief that robots not humans will work in the future, so it could be said to be a post-work theory. Seeing the frequent habit of Capitalism to automate labour, to remove the human as a productive force generates a demand for everything to become automated, and then followed by common-ownership over all things.

The Nøtel brilliantly showcases ultra-pertinent concepts using a narrative; a scientific fiction that in an apparently neutral way takes this concept of FALC and openly misreads it. Hence why there are no actual human beings in this Hotel the inversion of this concept means that even a society of abundance, itself eventually becomes an automation. Visually the Nøtel bathes in this green nuclear illumination, referencing the strong glow presumably from this structure’s basement’s nuclear power, and the empty depiction of what remains of the human. The holograms directly reference a unique particular quality about digital reality; musicians enjoy an after-life through their music (Spaceape & Dj Rashad R.I.P), however using digital material this becomes an extension of a kind of living. Perhaps, the use of a holographic optical illusion in the holographic reincarnation of 2pac at Coachella 2012 describes something about the nature of immortality. One only becomes immortal when your image as an individual is commonly accessible, in other words it can be owned and reproduced by others. This life after death element of this collaboration really invites philosophical reflection. Observing what British Philosopher Peter Osborne articulates reading Walter Benjamin and Heiddeger, ‘Death is the material meaning of Messianic exteriority … History is a democratic utopia of death.vi’

‘… as a result of the accelerating temporal rhythm, the new itself appears as the ever-always-the-same: ‘the ever-always-the-same within the new’. It is the pure temporal logic of this new social form (the commodity as fetish), the modern ‘measure of time’, that Benjamin detects in fashion (mode). … The projected allegorical reading of modernity as Hell vii.’

These two quotes really emphasise that humans are trapped with a choice between two utopias, and this is a good interpretation of the Nøtel. Although are we really bound by this hotel’s vacuum of human social autonomy trapped in a presupposed essence of temporality? Walls constructed from double negatives, and positive multiplications as sums equate to negatives. Moreover, positive and negative aspects in the hellish modernity of this hotel shrouds the zero at the core of it’s idea in a notion of a strange ruination, maybe all hotels are just ruins that appear new? To summarise one’s attempt to think about this real virtuality (see Slavoj Žižek’s interview The Reality of the Virtual, 2012) one shall solicit the assistance of a great critical analysis of accelerationism. An essay written by professor of Continental European philosophy Patricia MacCormack. In a brilliant dissection of futurity and ethics, MacCormack starts by referencing aesthetics and Steven Shaviro’s Post – Cinematic Affect, apparently the prison has no outsideviii. One can immediately see the importance of MacCormacks thought to the Nøtel, when she invites Deleuze and Guattari’s work into focus. This in turn reconfigures our observation on this virtual architectural zero-driven wonder. To acknowledge the becoming inhuman of manix, nudging one to ignore the Amazon.com-esque drones, and imagine what kind of being may one day exist to occupy the rooms of the Nøtel? Still referencing Shaviro, MacCormak lays bear the ethical value of the Nøtel claiming, art should explore the dangers lurking in futurity.

Lek and Goodman’s project achieves this in abundance. This Hotel sets a standard, ‘These non-spaces are found between the leaps of replacement culture … imperceptible zones that add elements of slowness to accelerationist aesthetics by readdressing the lost time that was never perceived … in-between spaces that are the minoritarian planes of duration.x’ One can not distil into words a better description to describe the lure of the Nøtel. There is so much to consider, but unless one desires to end in the democratic death of a narcissistic utopia. Then much worse could be done than engaging in the cybernetic possibilities this work of collaboration represents. If one does so then the ecological harmony native to MacCormak’s Cosmogenic ecosophy may be a practical approach as our species continues actively creating it’s world. The Nøtel, has plenty of space to host many more interesting points of discussion. For example Orientalism defined as ‘how Asians view fellow Asians’ represented by the presence of Shiseido, which is a real cosmetic company, on some screens in the hotel. In many ways the route to the Nøtel is haunted by the current shadow of A.I and a super intelligence’s role in the potential dark side of automation. This year a Japanese life insurance company sacked thirty four employees in favour of IBM’s artificial intelligence. Let us end on an optimistic materialist utterance. If humanity can slow down acceleration, so as to truly grasp it’s affects. This might lead to us avoiding the absolute death, that is an extinction. Would it not be better to continue with understanding, that zero-marginal cost economies have thus-far not sustained life. We need to ensure that in the future we aren’t resigned to counting the cost of acceleration, nor becoming undead holograms?

‘Child is father to the man,

impressions imprinted years before regrown

clean up your own mind, no memories ingrafted,

repeated recycled

treated like the original is copyrighted, recited.

we can just about see, …

shadows haunting shadows

the Rhizome and sophi

my skin tightly bound

I hear the screeching sound of seagulls

circling with endeavour

flesh strokes with an abstract line become blurred

overwhelming feelings of something you hearrrd

once before

like sound waves battering the shore

storm clouds gather

I remember them well.

(The Spaceape)

 

 

  • The incomplete verse of the poet Spaceapexi. Kode 9, Third Ear Transmission,
  • Sónar+D, Behind the Show: Kode9 & Lawrence Lek present The Notel,published 1st July 2016.
  • Editors: Robin Mackay, & Armen Avanessian, #ACCELARATE: The Accelerationist Reader,Falmouth: Urbanomic, 2014. pg.5
  • Tom Dyckhoff, Mies and the Nazis,Gaurdian, Saturday 30th November 2002.
  • Peter Osborne, The Politics of Time.Verso, London/New York, 1995, Pg. 147
  • Pg 137.
  • Patricia MacCormack, Cosmogenic Acceleration: Futurity and Ethics,in The Internet Does Not Exist, E-Flux Journal, Sternberg Press, Berlin, 2015, Pg. 299
  • Ibid, Pg.302
  • Ibid, pg 304
  • The Spaceape & Kode 9, Third Ear Transmission,Trailer, 2015

 

On Adam

Adam is a series of three online cgi animated films you can watch them below and become immersed in this world of filmic freedom. If you are looking for evidence for just how revolutionary Google owned video platform Youtube was and still is – then this trinity of independent sci-fi goodness really emphasises this because not only is this an example of how film making has been freed from a studio dependency; of course it does not escape the clutches of promotion with financial aim (it is to showcase the rendering capacity of the animation software Unity). In this regard it is a beautiful demonstration of the capacity of animation in its visual mode doing what it does best. Making imaginary worlds that depict the present wrapped in the disguised skin of the future. The films portray a narrative of a cyborg or a robot as we begin this visual feast by being introduced to Adam who is hooked up to a system of cables that power his robotic body. We are led to assume that the only organic component is the brain that is hidden behind a white mask.

IMG_2630

The moment Adam wakes up he is in visible distress and is traumatised. He struggles to grasp reality and his new metallic body (this places such an emphasis on the body as an anchor or point in which reality (such a strange but lovely word… we always need to check it) is necessarily comprehended), he stumbles as a door is opened, and finds himself in a mass of similar mechanised matter. The mass of cyborgs are almost gathered like sheep and made to face a wilderness as through the horizon’s heat waves two figures approach. This duo are also robotic and mechanical taking the form of samurai-esque warriors. They then take the herd of animatronic beings on a journey across the desert. A journey that proves perilous for some who fall victim to the inhospitable environment they find themselves in. Leaving one to ponder if these cyborgs are better off being freed from there place of birth/re-birth? Like all travellers they are on a journey to discover what they are? They discover that to have been cut from their organic bodies the ‘Consortium’(a business state) had to  wipe their memories. In the final episode we are confronted with religion and faith as potential saviours for the evils inflicted upon the population. But, without spoiling too much, this is not at all what it seems, and in many ways supports the horrible dystopia of the human being subordinate to the machine and technology.

It is possible to see that these short films are supporting the opposite: how technology will inevitably seek to cure the damage it has inflicted on living matter. Below, are the three youtube clips along with three quotations; two from David Hume who is using the first man Adam as an example of how ‘Causality’ escapes full comprehension in daily experience. This is then followed by a small sample from Donna Haraway’s Cyborg Manifesto, which I will read in full soon. These quotes next to the films articulate many a thing, yet they arguable express the current issues with remarkable clarity. One such issue are the ideologies that relinquish too much to technology picturing it as the sole reason we as a species of animal are so successful. Such structures of belief strive to provide real certainty but mystery remains through ‘now time’. I am thinking of the confusion that arises when considering hacking, automation, computation, and generally the exciting prospect of a new-modernity. However, Haraway’s metaphor reminds us that Adam’s relation to the world is becoming more and more complex…

 

 

Episode I

 

 

 

“Were a man, such as Adam, created in the full vigour of understanding, without experience, he would never be able to infer motion in the second ball from the motion and impulse of the first”   

 

 

 

Episode 2

 

 

 

 

 

“Tis evident, that Adam with all his science, would never have been able to demonstrate, that the course of nature must continue uniformly the same,and that the future must be comfortable to the past. What is possible can never be demonstrated to be false; and ‘tis possible the course of nature may change,since we can conceive such a change.”

 

 

 

 

Episode 3

 

 

 

 

“The world is subdivided by boundaries differentially permeable to information.
Information is just that kind of quantifiable element (unit, base of unity) which allows universal translation, and so unhindered instrumental power (called effective communication). The biggest threat to such a power is interruption of communication. Any system breakdown is a function of stress. The fundamentals of this technology can be condensed into the metaphor , command-control-communication-intelligence, the military’s symbol for its operations theory.”

 

 

We Blog Therefore We Are!

Free. Online. Radically. Collected. Education is an online entity consisting of a motley group of creative animals seeking to reinforce the web’s potential for supporting new and healthy politics. Grounded in the belief that to maintain a free internet we have to work as a community that values every voice rather than kneeling to the rule of law a sell your labour and sell your self attitude. That is screaming: me, me, me, me, or I, I, I, an I- consciousness rather than a you and an ours. Amidst this false love of self and dogmatic capitalist oppression of anything that may be remotely common or communal, it is hard to maintain an active resistance to the intoxicating lure of mass produced images. How then are we to maintain an optimum amount of lucidity when it is so easy to become ‘plastered’ with all the LARGE information and BIG data, we have parked on our eyeballs? Our question then is how to collaborate or share, to communicate, and to have communal ownership over what we are posting and what has been posted. A goal we should be striving for this however is under threat, make no mistake that the freedom we have in communication in our social networks and digital platforms is not universal it is very much a habitat of the west. These past years we have experienced mass civil unrest as usual the same lines are being drawn poor are poorer the rich are richer – a story which this time is different because of collaboration. Authentic attempts in democratic activism are what inspire F/O/R/C/E; this essay explores the strange environment and character we seek to call the home for our work.

To avoid misinterpretation lets use two examples of selflessness that are now interwoven into digital attempts at activism. The internet would not be what it is today without it’s culture of open source (a free form of collaboration whereby developments in code are shared freely regardless of author) this method of working had it’s champions foremost of which stood Aaron Swartz, a man who championed free communication and a freeing up of access to online education. His suicide is something that should deeply trouble America because he was ruthlessly prosecuted for spreading digital documents for free, bearing in mind that this is the individual who developed RSS 1,0 web syndication, the structural component that enables websites to share information. That alone is a great legacy however Aaron was incredibly productive from a very early age he co-founded the company Creative Commons and will remain an icon for advocating for access to free information and its tools of digital distribution. In the face of his abandonment by the then spineless Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the prosecution and charge of a million dollars and thirty five years in prison, his final decision to end his life. Has to be seen as containing very unsettling questions about the nature of economic control and influence over online behaviour, look at the way in which the need to expand to have ownership comes often with catastrophic consequences – phone hackers don’t get such a level of disrespect?

That is because they where journalists (apparently) and just doing there job, of course highlighted by the failed takeover of Bskyb, by the Rupert Murdoch owned farce of a franchise called News Corporation. If this English example of the tension between capital and new online conversation is not enough for you to begin pondering your position then lets delve further. Let’s look at another individual who whilst working collaboratively at Bletchley Park during World War Two, as a member of the code breaking team deciphering Nazi messages that turned the face of the biggest of conflicts, Alan Turing worked on concepts that literally resulted in contemporary cybernetics and technology. It is stupendous that her royal highness took so long to pardon this innocent genius from the idiocy of then homophobic laws. The fact that both of these characters committed suicide after being illegally pursued by their respective governments after being core members of communities that worked towards positively shaping how we now live our life’s should never be forgotten. As it appears to us that their achievements where solely off their own back, however what is really highlighted is the question of what madness happened or took place around these chaps that ostracised them to the point of despair is this the limits of any collaboration? Are we to believe that these similarities are not to be found lurking feeding of long worn out capitalist patterns, are our collaborations of the future to carry these sad occurrences?

No, they are not because we are not going to forget what these two would have more than likely described as the most important process in the realisation of their perspectives and concepts. That is ‘collaboration’ without it the accidents, disagreements, and ideas that will shape present experience may never see the light of day, an otherwise wondrous discourse then has to die. As a discussion Blogging or ‘Web Logging’ has been around for many years but its core structure is a chronological process of allowing, a clear unbridled transmission of a logical use of public reasoning. Today it is second nature to blog, it is an extension of our daily behaviour and it will become ever more important as an attack on the notion of private intellectual property is coming, it is still in the pipeline. Politicisation of digital material has been slowly developing in tandem with shifts in our understanding of our current situation, on the one hand starved off the promise and premise of consumerism. Which is the practice of defining one’s existence through the products and brands that you support and buy into, rather a statement of ‘I am what I own’. Whilst turning to the other palm we discover events such as the use of google maps by activists and student protesters to avoid aggressive police kettling (herding) techniques by using satellites to swiftly avoid the cops, the speed that digital matter can travel has altered any possible politics! The scenes of the crimes of those wanting inequality who desire a superiority are to be overcome.

The manifesto of the Occupy movement was never written down it did not need to be, the call for action resonated around the globe powering through the blockade of all the imperialist media. That is because it was a cross platform meta-emotional demand for a dis-functional, disrespectful, and parasitic economic structure to be altered in the image of the new digital ‘# generation’. To actualise this claim we have to divert, convert, and subvert or uproot perceptions on digital material. This is a hard task to visualise and entertain but we have to because the fact that the occupy movement sang a loud epitaph for capitalism, a bi-product of which was the axiom of the 99% against the 1%. This thought derived from revolutionary moments like Tahir Square in Cairo, revolutionary in the mass mobilisation of all classifications of the public and revolutionary in how the impetus for action was generated. Through digital networks the denouncing of illegitimate governance has been ignited but it has been burning slowly, worryingly so, and if we are to come to the conclusion that we are living through a failed revolution. Then the haunting words of the Frankfurt School thinker Walter Benjamin should be seen in a serious light ‘every rise of Fascism bears witness to a failed revolution’. This is not to suggest that here in the United Kingdom fascist tendencies like those found in Ukip will solidify and accumulate, resulting in real political influence but it is a fact that this evil is on the increase. It is only kept at bay if we keep engaging in discussion that is an open and free flowing madness.

So how do we keep this pressure striving towards emancipatory positions aimed at creating a more just community and a functioning system? We use our digital materials and the new environment we grew up with, the digital environ which is known as the Blogosphere, to directly combat perverse attempts to manipulate the technology we are becoming more and more attached to. Make no mistake the digital mirror (internet) of real life events is the reflective material that we should acknowledge as the battle ground for the ‘rule of all for all’ (democracy). This ever elusive experiment in equality that is so easily blurred by an increasingly greedy society of oligopolies that are busy attempting to infiltrate government to gain more influence over markets. Such is the antithesis of all that is needed as we move towards new problems that have been created by miss-collaboration, a shadowy process, the financial manipulation of people. You can see a huge disenchantment with this currently online with the rise of the hacking group Anonymous, who whilst operating under the iconic anti establishment mask of Guy Fawkes demonstrate new modes of resisting. Although you will not see F/O/R/C/E with such deep mascara our path is less aggressive but equally as radical in that it’s still an attack on value. Our project is about redefining the very idea of intellect because we deeply understand that there are huge divisions in education both student and teacher are working with a strong unhealthy value.

The value of set curriculum non fluid test based modes of educating human beings no longer hold any substance for us. This can be summarised under the question what value does education contain outside of collaboration? It is the process of collaboration that provides the moment of understanding the missing component in the politics of the mass struggle for meaning. When your overburdened with debt it becomes difficult to imagine starting a new blog which will somehow make life more meaningful beyond finance and monetary problems. However the thing is it will and what is even better is that you can invite people from anywhere on the planet when you post a review and a thought it is also an invitation, your action carries a suggestion. It says I feel and think this, what do you think? This is what needs to be thought of as a healthy definition of collaboration which both maintains an individual amongst a multiplicity of voices. This is what puts our reliance on the digital realm as a col-laboratory of re-thinking the channels of legitimate authentic demands such as free education and an open political public, into thought. A channel that we are focusing on is the video channel our agenda is to occupy Youtube and Vimeo, maintaining what we today shall label the Ourtube. So it is F/O/R/C/E’s implicit goal to create the most open, eclectic, diverse, mad, bad, rad, sad, upbeat, on beat, uplifting archive available today; we face difficult hurdles ahead of us that is why we push for mass collaboration.

The barriers to this are not primarily philosophical however we have new notions that are barging their way into our collective perspective like the strange idea of the Post-human. Some reaction to Postmodernity losing its buoyancy in contention with Slavoj Ẑiẑek’s idea of ‘there is no Big Other’ you have to be your own master, this statement can be used to further grasp what one is blabbering on about. This call for self mastery is the philosophical bar, from the ancient Greeks through all of the greatest of ponderers: Nietzche, Hegel, and Descartes encourage this aspiration. How does this relate to collaboration? Well it is good to understand that these thinkers came to their realisations because of collaboration, this is to say that whilst in conversation (in communion) with someone and something. A wonderful thing happened that is essential to successfully collaborating, they fell into disagreement, disagreements create thoughts, enthusiasm and energy. It is in this spirit that we attempt to function as an entity of moving parts never at home in dogmatically interpreting cold academic jargon tied to capitalist interests. Adopting a Cartesian vocabulary as human beings we are neither res extensa (extended thing) or res cognitas (thinking thing). It is these two behaviours that F/O/R/C/E is swimming amongst, it is a spectrum and a frequency to be also found online. You can see this when the internet changed from centralized one-to-many systems to the decentralized many-to-many topography of network communications.

Lets then make sure the internet remains so by collaborating?

Art = The Black Hole For Knowledge

When perceiving interpretations and accounts of the world and it’s western society you will notice a few things, firstly science and physics are continuously shaping our views of this world. Whether we are observing the newest discovery in subatomic particles or attempting to decipher a new theoretical notion in quantum processes and calculations which physicists have developed. This at times often can be held as a fantastically brilliant art form as it does share similarities with art if you look at the narratives: a physicist proposes an equation, an idea then tests this in the experiment. Does the artist not take their idea proposes a matter of subject moving on to a very prolonged period of experimentation, in this angle of shared characteristics between art and science good gallery and exhibition space become like the laboratory, with which one achieves a certain greatness. Unfortunately this prodigious-ness falls short as both practices or fields of behaviour are currently failing our species. Why is this the case? One reason suffices to explain, both art and science are chained to the mast of the sinking ship that is known as knowledge. Do not be confused with this, as what is suggested here can be simplified in a very simple question. The question (which is extremely relevant to the relevancy of both subjects) is, as a human being what would you prefer to have when living experiencing your life, knowledge or understanding?

Now immediately many people may start to say ‘what’s the difference, are they so different?’ at first glance they are similar you can believe that knowledge is generated through understanding. However what one will propose here is that today we desperately need the above processes to develop and leave us with understanding, knowledge needs to be dethroned (or even destroyed?) – simply because it has become overtly possessive like the pimp that beats his whore. Putting it much more softly, if you know you will avoid the option for the helpful understanding. Within this suggestion one does hope to also show how art rather than science is naturally in the business of developing understanding, rather than science which has a long history of knowing. It is not the fault of scientists that their area of expertise carries this great weight and damaging characteristic as looking at their process of experimentation you see it is destructive; when using a hydrogen collider or ‘Atom Smasher’ they smash, break, and collide matter to get a waveform to analyse and use as data. This appears to be an experiment only the physicists are invited to partake in however that is not the case because every single one of us carries atom smashers on our bodies. Every time we blink we have been smashing photons to build a picture to understand our world. The difference being is that one has to use the language of mathematics to challenge the factual.

The other, or art, is not completely roped to numbers it remains and has been an experimentation with more mobility. The major retort to this suggestion will be one of being accused of operating within just a semantic, word game, metaphysically wish fulfilling co-ordinate to overcome these possible dismissals we will be taking a journey on the next shuttle or rocket into the universality. That is unknowing, on the way we will take our knowledge and see it absorbed in the hole of art. Art this fantastic black hole when it happens when you encounter a great work of art, you are invited to develop your understanding of it’s subject, the art arises from facts but is sitting on top true art has always been secretly driven by understanding it’s constructed by it shaped by it. Where as modern science is historically understood to have grown up on the highway from Scientia (Knowledge) through René Descartes’s X/Y Co-ordinates, to Isaac Newton’s scientific method, and arriving at quantum physics and mechanics. Again we should ask incisive questions to unravel the scenario we are exploring, let us start with the narrative of the similar and the different; regarding knowledge and understanding, in doing art in a world of science or equation. In a recent discussion with fellow artist Pavel Büchler, Hester Reeve shows her wonderment at the thinker Hannah Arendt’s comment on art, the conversation is under the title Doing Art Now.

‘I am struck by Arendt’s claims that art works are ‘thought-things’ first; they arrive into the world from the human capacity for thought, but this doesn’t stop them also being object-things. It’s this combination which is extraordinary about art.'(i)’ This extraordinary quality is what makes art the ideal breading ground for one’s understanding but what helped design this complex numinous un-edited space between thoughts and objects? Before we arrive at artists that are exemplar black circles that help swallow some knowledge to develop the above question let’s take a short detour with some philosophers, our destination is the space station of Aesthetics where Immanuel Kant and Jacques Derrida are waiting patiently. Fascinated to be in outer space they both made great steps in the ‘how art breads understanding’ Kant critiqued judgement on his fantastic path, his reaction to Newton’s new bread of science which at that time caused a major havoc, bringing into question the idea of God’s dominance. As it showed that the cosmos functioned within mathematical laws that could be created by a man. Kant’s great achievement was to turn this break in perception and show that even if with this new knowledge there was room for the knowledge that had thus far ruled over human endeavour. It is honourable that this thinker created his own set of laws to match the laws set by maths; thankfully Kant’s struggle to bridge the gap between empirical and rational views on art. Did not reaffirm the dominance of numerical physical fact instead his distinctions such as the ‘antimony of taste‘ (ii) and that of the ‘parergon’ (Greek for incidental or by-work), kept discussion open and full of subjectivity. Therefore we should be grateful to Kant because the open unique experience one can have with art whether it be associated with that of the sublime, the beautiful, the unsettling and the calming. Was protected through a Kantian distinction between inside and outside, which we will soon see is still very important in today’s habitat of the overwrought processes of knowing.

All knowledge we have today creates the type of lasting blindness you get from gawping at the sun. This blood red immobility is in contrary and in ignorance to that of an understanding in artwork; working on, in, and from a work of art both as a creator or viewer happens to create potentials. Such as those tied to the difficulty of developing a concise understanding; think about the notion that you can never know what an artwork is really about without speaking to it’s creator, whilst the artist’s work reaches it’s potential when it’s spectator or audience develops a response to it. Here we have a reality that is threatened by data and information, if you approach art and the work of an artist thinking you know their work and it’s meaning you distort the chance scenario. It is now in this current historical context that there is a chance to view the task of art differently. As an opportunity to get rid of your knowledge, another way of saying this is that to arrive at the real or actual value of art, one has to become aware that as a phenomenon art is innocently blind. Here the French philosopher Jacques Derrida offers us an opportunity, a reconstruction of an earlier deconstruction. In 1990 Derrida was the curator of an exhibition at the Louvre in Paris, Memories Of The Blind, it opened with the painting The Origin Of Drawing (1791) which we will be an ideal example of the marvellous movement away from knowing and toward an understanding. It is precisely in this image you see Derrida’s attempt to highlight the lines between inside and outside. (iii) Highlighting the behaviour of object/thought relationships that are to be found in this confrontation with a sight from antiquity; Butades is frozen in time, her hand is busy tracing the shadow of her lover as she is facing separation from him for a reason unknowable to us. Although faced with this aesthetic it would be extremely common to understand or interpret that: a) the two are lovers, b) Batudes outlining of the shadow points to that which is exterior, the event that is still to take place or the future that is still to come, an epic frame for our situation today. Subordination to knowledge is not helping anyone it is doing the opposite hindering our attempts to arrive at a better purpose for each other’s life, a greater presence outside of cold fact.

20130422_133701

Joseph-Benoît Suvée’s, Butades, The Origin Of Drawing, (1791).

Meanwhile Derrida is finding it hard to decide on if he should start to explain how this image also illustrates some of Plato’s core concept’s, but before he can decide he is accosted by another German bloke. Friedrich Nietzsche hobbles towards them apprehending Kant, ‘Plato is the name for a disease! Why would you ruin and ridicule this great example of human tragedy in it’s most needed form?’. Let’s not, as it seems that one of the most historically accepted renditions of the root of most art is that it is to be found either born out of or smearing itself in the muck of that which is tragic. For is it not tragedy or tragic what we are discussing? This deceit which is the toxic state of our knowing, what would a world look like if art and science where built without architecture that allowed for knowledge? Before we arrive at the black hole we shall play a word game to pass the time with one of the major paradigm shifts in the 20 century, the discovery of Antimatter. In this angle we have adopted a position that is anti – matter, this is in opposition to those matters often banded around, counted as being an adequate platform for knowledge not understanding. It is understood therefore there may be a super-massive Black Hole at the centre of every galaxy in the Universe, it is also thought that Black Holes created through the death of a star, create Antimatter. Thus this shadowy realm that physically exists next to, behind, or accompanying everything that one may observe. Is a new way that a being could arrive at a better reading of this Butades’s painting.

What one is trying to articulate and bring together is that understanding has the same positive properties to those found in the behaviour and event of this particular revolution in physics. Within this space in time there is yet more evidence of the strange embroiled relationship between science and art. In 1941 the ideas of the physicists Richard Feynmen and Ernst Stueckelberg collided, an idea that an anti-particle could travel backwards in time was released (iv). When asked why he did not publish his idea in a more prestigious journal, Stueckelberg said something like this: ‘because it was a time of war, it was impossible to find an artist for the diagrams.’, many would have been enlisted! Maybe, Ernst ‘as artist’ drew the diagrams himself? This suggestion however likely or false if it where true demonstrates the shared material of uncertainty that artists and scientists have been moulding, casting, and thoroughly falling through. Thus the level of uncertainty generated by an event like the devastation reaped by the atomic bomb landing on Nagasaki, has stayed with humanity the complete loss of life left a deep black shadow. One that forecasts a world continuously delineated by opportunities to sell products of knowing. It was with the knowledge that by dropping a nuclear weapon it would assert such devastation on the other, on the enemy that it would cripple them to the point of submission to imperial power. It actually had an effect of the aftershock of an earthquake, it highlighted the extent to which our species operate and function under a wider structure of a heavy evergreen knowledge.

It is in this manner that a reality whereby knowledge not science has a lot to answer for if it results in this kind of forgone shadow, as having this privileged position being able to look back in time. You may well adopt the logic that this had to happen or that it would have happened eventually. If this is so then it is not preposterous (as art has to happen) to propose that art creates a shadow of it’s own allowing not for the zero energy of knowledge but for the bottomless pit of understanding, the negative state of electrons on an invisible ladder of all unconscious quantum (v). This (how much?) attitude is all mortally and morbidly enlightening as on this spacecraft to art as passengers we begin to doubt questioning when we will arrive at the centre of the galaxy? It is a long journey and knowledge weighs heavy on the passengers, especially on those philosophers. As respite they all fall into a dream, whilst snoozing they land on a long and windy yellow brick road where all three thinkers are hoping to be awarded with a watch, diploma, and medal. These will have to wait as we have finally arrived at today’s black hole The Wizard Of Oz Experiment (2011) by the German artist Dennis Neuschaefer-Rube, is an example of this chance to banish knowledge. For this author it shows this by denying or manipulating the usual role of numbers and facts; because of it’s inherent process of re-using visual information, in a non-linear manner; a characteristic that is seen strewn throughout most of our creative efforts. With this video installation you do not know what the material is until that external experience. Then given the information that this work comprises of a screening of the original Wizard Of Oz film, side by side five thousand eight hundred and twenty nine times. All of this becomes irrelevant when confronted with the experience of viewing the work with a type of presentiment. This knowledge you have can be taken from you if you understand that when you start to look. With a preconceived idea of the contents of this work then the art itself distorts and destroys this, replacing it with an understanding that did not exist before you had the encounter. Looking at this work you can not actually observe any of the detail of the original material of the film. Another way of describing this anti-material behaviour of art is the simple understanding we have arrived at through quantum mechanics, particularly those destructive forces found when matter collides with it’s counter part (vi).

MonitoringDennis-Neuschaefer-Rube-THE-WIZARD-OF-OZ-EXPERIMENT

Dennis Neuschaefer-Rube, The Wizard Of Oz Experiment, film still from film installation, 2011.


i. Pavel Büchler & Hester Reeve, Labour Work Action: Transmission Annual: Doing Art Now, Ed. Michael Corris, Jasper Joseph-Lester, Sharon Kivland, P15, Artwords Press, 2013.
ii. Andrew Ward, Kant The Three Critiques, P.211, Polity Press, Cambridge, 2006.
iii. Jeff Collins, Bill Mayblin, Introducing Derrida, Ed. Richard Appignanesi, P.140-145, Totem Books, 2005.
iv. Frank Close, Antimatter, Oxford University Press, p102, 2009.
v. Ibid,  p43.
vi. Jim Al-Khalili, Quantum A Guide For The Perplexed: Antimatter, Phoenix, London, p164-165, 2012.

Are You a Pronoun or an Adverb? A sideways glance at language and it’s behaviour

Abstract
If we temporarily put a famous psychoanalytic component of continental philosophy to one side. The work of Jacques Lacan’s linguistic thoughts on the Symbolic, and preferring to discuss a different psychological stance. Then what else can be philosophically described and discussed when faced with the behaviour of Language? In this essay one seeks to describe three Motifs relating to language: The development of Deconstructionism and Logical Positivism as predating speculative realism, behavioural correlates, and correlated behaviours. These initial interests will be written in lieu of developments in a variety of cultures and reference points that allow for one to answer the title question in a serious manner. Thus contributing fresh documentations, gathering paths into, and commenting on language.
Keywords: Behaviouralism, Correlationism, Derrida, Deconstructionism, Wittgenstein, Logical Positivism, language, creative reasoning, speculative realism.

Lingua…Linguistic…Lingual-ism…Language has been a mystery and hopefully will remain so. It’s mysterious for many reasons when you move beyond simplistic definitions. Such as languages are structures and groupings of signs and symbols that enable accurate communication of meaning. You may start to see how this neglects potential for new perspectives to earn our attention. Where to begin? The topic seems too vast for one to write about, yet it is too sweet to be discarded from inquiry. So, the first step appears to be one of acknowledging a strange question. If you had to choose between being a ‘pronoun’, or an ‘adverb’ what would you exist as? This question is posed as bait from which more pertinent questioning may be arrived at. Let one re-iterate, you the reader have been given a choice between two categories: would you choose to exist as a word that substitutes a noun, that replaces a name, or would you prefer to describe an action full of emotive motional motifs?

The purpose of this point of departure and the subsequent writing is not to decipher if you have any grammatical preference. But, to present to you two different philosophical approaches to Language and what could be still learnt from two thinkers. Representing the pronoun we have Jacque Derrida and his creation Deconstructionism, our adverb is the thinker Ludwig Wittgenstein and the idea of ‘Language games’. Both, philosophers have uniquely engaged with Language. Their writings can still serve to offer new perspectives on this a very pertinent and old topic. As we know pronouns are words that ‘stand in’ for nouns, they positively serve us. Yet, there are many of them: subject or object, reflexive, and possessive. Certainly, it would be incredibly bizzare to be trapped repeating nouns. Moreover, one sees this core value, or use of the pronoun – as being a very suitable metaphor for the Post-structuralist French philosopher Jacque Derrida’s work. Deconstructionism sought to overcome a supposed disease of philosophy ‘metaphysics’, through a Heideggerian preference for Being not defined as a weighted duality. That is to say Derrida perceived Philosophy as being too Logocentric, always bound to the logos, the central truth. To overcome this the French philosopher employed undecidability and dualistic opposites as tools to find other meaning contained within existing structures. Interestingly enough, Deconstructionism’s origin is textual and one of literature rather than coming from the spoken word. One can see this clearly in the essay Plato’s Pharmacy, one of Derrida’s undecidables came into being. The Pharmakon (maleficent, and drug-like) perhaps the linguistic Pharmakon, could be a pronoun?

‘the men who are the most free, feel ashamed (aiskhunontai) at “speechwriting” and at leaving sungrammata behind them. They fear the judgement of posterity, which might consider them “Sophists” (257d). The logographer … is a ghost writer, who composes speeches for use by litigants, speeches which he himself does not pronounce, which he does not attend, so to speak, in person, and produce their effect in his absence. [1] ‘

Are Pharmakons drugs of choice for language? and if we did not regularly dose our sentences with them. Would Language itself become egotistically robotised? Derrida’s choice of words highlight a privileging of speech over written language. This favour-ability demonstrates how ghostly traces, from alternative historians are almost always hidden in a text. Moreover, the above quote also elicits within oneself an awareness of a contemporary point and generally held belief. That there exists a gap, a void, an emptyness internal to our reality itself – in philosophy this could be called Correlationism. Essentially, a theory of human finitude which suggests we can only ever understand the relationship between thinking and being, rather then each thing separately. Usually this notion is accredited to Immanuel Kant and in recent times there has been an attempt, and movement to surpass this idea. One particular good reference point for this is Quentin Melillassoux’s book on contingency ‘After Finitude’ [2]. How do the ideas inscribed into this text contribute to our discussion on the behaviour of the pronoun?

In the first chapter Melillassoux quotes Hegel, ‘we cannot ‘creep up on’ the object ‘from behind’ so as to find out what it is in itself’ [3](can’t we?) this relational reliance, between perceiver and perceived is important. Referencing primary and secondary qualities one could hastily surmise, that the perceived is primary, and perceiver would be secondary. Reading Melillassoux, one can gain a stronger understanding of the importance of language. Yet, although this essay is a brilliant call to connect thought back to the absolute. It is precisely this re-connection that hones the value of shifting our perspectives on the established existing viewpoints: 1) language as a structure, 2) a phenomenon of communication 3) as a limitation. It is by lining up these three ways of thinking about language we can see something worth acknowledging. Deconstructionism, Wittgenstein and logical positivism, perhaps kick-started current attempts to think differently – in fact one might easily suggest the following view.

The attempt that the speculative realists have been striving to achieve, may have already been touched on by Derrida’s work. Thus the suspicion of truth as it appears to us initially, coupled with an insight that humans tend to privilege one of two equal terms (good/bad). Led this thinker to a way of doing philosophy that reveals the value of the lesser part of the equation. Derrida’s behaviour articulates more things to consider, and calls for an attempt to clarify what is being discussed at greater length. For example, at first glance Deconstructionism has no claims to an absolute. Unless an absolute is defined as, that which is not a limit derived from a relation, but it is that which can be universal. This suggests Deconstructionism to be pronominally inverse – rather than replacing a proper noun does it enable a return to an origin? For what else causes/influences a name, or a new word but an object? Naming is another consideration to be incorporated, does everything have a name? is nameable? Derrida suggested that structure and phenomenon, vis-à-vis one another do behave pronominally.

‘one could perhaps say that the movement of any archaeology … is an accomplice of this reduction of the structurality of structure and always attempts to conceive of structure from the basis of a full presence which is out of play. [4] ‘

This outside of play may allude to the objects of direct experience favoured by phenomenology. But, one finds this seemingly supplementary nature; or graceful version of reductionism (Derrida’s reduction is not as fierce nor as extreme as Descartes) involved with pronominal behaviour. One confesses, to be not as useful when placed next to adverbial behaviour. The main reasons for one’s leaning towards becoming an adverb, can be explained if we look at a mathematical equivalent for the inverse pronoun like mannerisms of Derrida. In Math you can find Polynomial expressions – a sum of a finite number of variables raised to whole number powers. One’s suspicions of this anchor around the potential to deduce that numerical and word based language are the sole owners, or fathers for meaning, resulting in a syntactic tyranny. That, in the future may absorb more and more social and cultural freedoms.

Such freedoms are often invested culturally and historically in documents, textual bodies that spread written law. One can glimpse Derrida as a precursor for Melillassoux’s positive speculation on philosophy’s next step. When the French thinker comments on a potentially pronoun like behaviour of the ‘scientific method’ as we inherited it from Descartes, and Leibniz. In his book On Grammatology, Derrida writes, ‘Descartes’s analyticism is intuitionist, that of Leibniz points beyond mani-fest evidence, toward order, relation, point of view’ [5]. One is not attempting to make a value judgment and claim that unbridled creativity is somewhat better than fact. Moreover, moving parallel to Derrida’s writing one’s own opinion starts to be formulated. In my opinion the pronoun has one main limitation, ‘Finally, it makes us reason at little cost, putting characters in place of things, in order to ease the imagination. [6]’. Derrida’s sentence contains the reason why in one’s humble opinion living as a pronoun is impossible*.

Although, one greatly admires the positive functions of the pronoun. The creative potential of adverbial structures are more challenging and widely applicable. Especially when faced with another fact, We humans are the things that create meaning – meaning is not derived from the things we have created. Rather as primary subjects we are constantly active in meaning’s creation. Therefore one has arrived at an initial conclusion: adopting adverbial behaviors are more desirable than those of the pronoun. It is this point of view, that influencing how we do things is more creative than arguing over the replacement of a name. Behaving adverbially, one can assert more demanding suggestions. In the second part of this essay one will explore Ludwig Wittgenstein’s lasting legacy, language games, equations as gestures, politics and some cultural implications. For Wittgenstein once said, ‘ … general notion of the meaning of a word surrounds the working of language with a haze which makes clear vision impossible. [7]’This lack of visibility infuriated the early Wittgenstein to the extent that he attempted to silence ambiguous utterances.

Diagram001

diagram 002

The above diagrams serve to visualise one’s earlier point that a perspective that is too reliant on physical language (spoken, written, and calculated). Shall find that language becomes stationary and anchored structurally to the phenomenological. They also serve to pay tribute to the early Wittgenstein’s diagrams. So, through creation actions are described, and this is to be thought of as being healthier? Yes, because let us look at a useful example. In a book by professor and linguist David Crystal, discussing the way in which languages die [8]. Crystal describes very clearly not only the obvious answer ‘they die because they are not used’, but goes further into detail regarding a reaction towards this event. Language like biodiversity is becoming extinct at a rate never before seen in history. This makes one recollect a story about the last two fluent speakers of an extinct tribal language. A language that certainly resides in the smaller percentage of active users, certainly endangered. The language was extinct because these two old pensioners had a serious argument, one in which they had not spoken to each other for a decade. This absence of the use of the language in the story is symptomatic of the importance of a behavioural perspective, and way of thinking about language. Both, in how Language behaves outside of oneself, and in the normative sense between humans. Behavioural-ism invites a more political and ethical path into the adverbial section of this text. Indeed Wittgenstein’s behaviour early on was riddled with both ethical desire and depressed periods. Yet, throughout this thinkers collected works one can see very clearly a desire to help. Wittgenstein’s first adverbial act was to help us understand a function of words, they help us build pictures of facts. It is rumoured the philosopher discovered the notion whilst reading an article about a court case in Paris. The event involved a road accident at a crossroads, it was recreated using toy models. Hinting that when reproduced creatively, language inspires in us the creation of pictures of the world, then perhaps behaving adverbially, you would be clarifying the pictures of someone else’s world?

Alas, it’s not as simple as that, firstly qualifying what may or not be a world is not what one aims to do here. Therefore staying with the context of Law and legal behaviour it is easy to encounter a potential corrective to one’s enthusiasm toward adverbs. Lawyers and those trained in legality seem content using the language of law, yet on the other hand members of the public often complain about the heavy jargon of the contract or arrangement [9]. So this seemingly runs in favour of the pro-noun. Yes it does, however not strongly enough for one to forgo a future as an adverb. Here one should consider interesting elements of the court. Elements that help introduce the second of Wittgenstein’s great theories. A court case is indeed a ‘Language Game’; the defence and the prosecution are two competing teams. What is at stake, what is to be won is a verdict. This context is a highly logical one in that the adverbial behaviour one thinks about is the rhetoric and reason used to achieve success.

‘The philosophy of logic speaks of sentences and words in exactly the same way we speak about them in ordinary life when we say … We are talking about the spatial and temporal phenomenon of language, not about some non-spatial, non-temporal phantasm. But we talk about it as we do about the pieces in chess when we are stating the rules of the game, not describing their physical properties. The question “What is a word really?” is analogous to “What is a piece of chess? [10]”

These two questions do add up to one another, but this quote demands we consider something, the game’s flat surface is what everyone refers to as life. In the quotation again we see a dismissal of ambiguity, and a focusing on space and temporality. Moreover, let us not think phantasmagorically, and instead be realistic. As with the example of a court of law one can say that politics, and anything that has it’s own distinct language is at least minimally game-like. This is no exaggeration, recent events involving the wave of populist opinions, and policies of the Right. Showcase the importance and the high cost of playing the wrong game.

Wittgenstein’s notion is visible when briefly considering the hopelessness of the democratic and conservative parties. Both, failed to defeat those that harbour unacceptable opinions because the so called establishment were not playing the game with an awareness of their oppositions disregard for common decent values. Now, we are in generally new territory, it has been called Post-truth politics. At this point one observes why choosing the adverb is also a choice to ask How? Rather than why, or what? This re-focusing on the manner in which an action is completed is what those that long for a way of improving life, or if your engaged in the political game, need to seize. The route to do this is strewn with many problems, resistance to associating serious political events within the analogy of the game. Match nicely with modern speculative realities found in artificial intelligence, and quantum computing. The words of the character Harold Finch in the drama ‘Person of Interest’ cast a dark forecast.

Mr Finch is the creator of an A.I, that in a flashback to when he taught his creation chess admits, “Kings, Pawns, I don’t think that anyone is worth more than anyone else … Real people are not pieces. You can not assign more value to some of them and not others … The lesson is, if anyone who looks on to the world as if it is a game of chess, deserves to lose. [11]”. Harold’s words compound the problems in one’s attempt to view language behaviourally. Anyone attempting to cultivate an understanding of language itself. May or may not find themselves at this very impasse: too much structure and you cannot play a game, likewise too little, and there are no parameters to define a result. This is not helpful if we remain anchored to these two oppositions. Let us then look once more at the two prior assertions that led to one favouring an adverbial reality. 1) The absolute is that which can be universal, and 2) Meaning is bound to Human creativity. Two assertions that initially support the thought experiment being described. One still feels that this is not enough, there exists much more to consider.

Attempting to simply re-enforce one’s adverbial desires one will focus toward the behaviour of language, and invite a couple of different voices into ones discussion. The first voice is that of professor Felice Cimmati, who makes Wittgenstein’s articulation more readable. Cimmati begins by referencing the much quoted: if a lion could talk we wouldn’t be able to understand it. Repeating, ‘A lion belongs to a completely different form of life from the human one. [12]’. Cimmati goes on to complete the logic by presupposing the animal in question can speak English, and arrives at our preposition, ‘What did the lion intend to do when it uttered “That’s a Gazelle”? What does it want to do with such an utterance? [13]’ The last question one should apply to one’s own understanding of language, and observe clearly how intention takes priority over extension. Universal properties are to be found in the meaning which we are creating, however if a set of objects related to each other by words is too stationary as a structure. How are we to continue asking this question? How to continue our adverbial play? One’s behaviour carries inside it’s act an intention, that pre-empts, and predicts a future event?

One imagines you want to say well that is obvious, of course my actions are intended. Really? Don’t jump to such a belief so quickly. If neuroscience is to be believed, as early as 1964 (Bereitschaftspotential: Readiness Potential experiment [14]) we have at least scientifically understood that unconscious brain behaviours, such as a neuronal change is the cause of a feeling of conscious intent [15]. One posits that the only way to connect this acknowledgement, and that of language games within the context of this argument. Clearly showcasing that one’s answer to the question at the onset of this writing is not only logical. Choosing to view language from the position, or viewpoint of an adverb is multi-faceted, and hard to resolve. Yet, it has many positives though the main ones have to be: 1) a by-product of focusing on behaviour and action is ethics as first philosophy is truly universal (see Levinas), 2) This is also to be accepted as normative, in that writing directly one has attempted to give a suggestion of how things ought to be, when thinking through the diverse topic of language.

This normativity of thought as a consideration of how things are done should be manifest in the acts one inevitably produces. Another way to show this is to make connections, drawing lines between Wittgenstein’s language game, and one’s ethically behaviour driven perspective. Connecting these back to the problems of rule following and grammar can arouse within the reader support for becoming a fellow adverb. The Finnish philosopher Hanne Appelqvist brilliantly discusses this adverbial compulsion. Appelqvist starts by pointing to how playing a game involves rule following and an aesthetic judgement. Appelqvist argues that Wittgenstein and Immanuel Kant share, that ‘aesthetic judgement as a model for the kind of judgement that is required for the very possibility of rule-following and hence of objective thought. [16]’. More and more evidence can be collected reading Appelqvist, that supports the contemporary argument that aesthetics and ethics are on the rise. Resulting in new paths we can take when pondering the connection between thought, being, and this a political journey into language. Doubting the validity of observing games as meta-ethical-languages? Then Kant can explain.

‘By contrast to pathologically subjective judgements about the agreeableness of wine and coffee that simply reflect empirical laws of nature, in making a pure judgement of taste I demand agreement from others. That is, I claim that the relation between the form of the representation of the object, and my subjectively felt pleasure in the free and harmonious play of my mental faculties is necessary. [17]’

Kant’s quote and Appelqvist’s words in her essay, concretely assert the importance of asking the question: how does a person as a subject choose to navigate the above relation in current times? The objective element is a result, a victory, or a loss – but the point is the necessity of playing, and then how the object is perceived. Having the benefit of hindsight, one would potentially think, How did I play? Did I win gracefully, or arrogantly? What in fact did I win? The game’s politics will become increasingly important as humans become ever more dependent on technology, and science as legitimate sources of knowledge. Therefore one is afraid of the very real danger of what comes naturally from us a creative will, a desire to build, will become more and more marginalised next to the march of abstract techno-capital development. Nevertheless, those of us with a leaning towards the left of the political spectrum should insist on playing the game. Seizing awareness of an opportunity to create new rules, or wrestle them away from an evil corrupted influence. How is a rule formulated and how do we follow, in what way should we follow it? These are all questions in need of a game, there are many: geo-politics involving games of diplomacy, business in general involving its infinity of negotiations, and marriage. Although, let us revisit the contemporary reality of an artificial intelligence, earlier one referenced Harold teaching morals to an A.I.

This time rather than an unfavourable judgement this reference is awash with positive evidence for taking more time to consider the language of a game. In a recent article in the magazine Wired, the writer Cade Metz offers up an account of an A.I playing humans at the game Go. Metz starts by describing one move as both being non-human, yet behaving, and having been played intuitively [18]. For a game that has more possible moves/positions than atoms in the known universe the aesthetic judgement is present, ‘The top players play by intuition, not raw calculation… “It seems to follow some kind of aesthetic. [19]”’. The beauty of this article derives from how the author Metz, provides a clear account of the cultural revolution and paradigm shift. Google is a company that is at the forefront in many ways, yet here in this article what is really strong is the symbiotic relationship, it is a new conversation.

The real world example the article gives us can help expand one’s adverbial proposition. In the match between Alpha-go (Google’s A.I) and the Korean grand master Lee Sedol it is possible to read about our future. There is the usual images and technophobic behaviours one has to ignore to reach very interesting things. The machines are computationally superior, but take for example how the builders of Alpha-go, the Deep Mind duo of David Silver and Demis Hassabis designed the A.I two combine two learning methodologies. This then allowed Alpha-go to learn and surpass it’s human coach. What is made obvious throughout this moment in history is not only are we creating A.I, but we are teaching and thus learning from it reciprocally. Mutually beneficial behaviours then become even more important, and if second generation intelligences become more human. Then we could not wish for setting a better example then that of the defeated champion. Losing apologetically, Mr Sedol demonstrates behaviour we could seek to emulate, he won one match, playing innocently and honestly.

One might add, ‘to the best of his god-like ability’. It seems that re-reading this match between intelligences, Lee’s Move 37 won him one match. An event that aesthetically carries much significance because of it’s rarity in the total decisions made throughout the five games. Furthermore, in this account the reasons for victory are only described from the perspective of Alpha-go, and it’s Google creators. Regarding language, and it’s adverbial behaviour one observes as becoming a twofold choice. As an adverb how should one behave gesturally, or more rationally? Implying one choice offers more reasons for your action, whereas speaking gesturally carries more of a physical bodily image. Analysing their differences it is safe to say one is direct (rational), the other is indirect (gestural). Yet, more importantly neither of these two choices are uncreative, moreover it is not my aim to judge which is more favourable. Rather one hopes that Wittgenstein’s thought can serve precisely as an ethical call to invest more thought into one’s language. Without forgetting the responsibility one has to apprehend that language, and it’s use as a creative game with universal obligations and implications.

Let us observe that there exists this mysterious thing called belief, and how one usually has to justify actions with sufficient reasons. Another thinker John Turri in a discussion on creative reasoning and infinity, offers a strong argument that reasoning can create justification  [20]. Turri epistemologically enforces this through describing reasoning as having: uncreative bias, criticality, compatibility, and a creative ground. In the final section of his paper he mentions the context and aesthetic value of the argument. Urging one to imagine that we are a playwright and that in the creation of a story we are presented with opportunities to write a new scene, because the one before was missing sufficient context  [21]. Referencing Turri one protects this line of thought by using the analytical philosopher’s reasoning*. Very helpful in explaining one’s own opinion for example this the very act of writing itself describes if existence is confined (or can be confined) to one sentence. Being adverbial is a way to affect the value in what is being done, and this is also something we should see in Wittgenstein.

‘The failure to understand isn’t limited to sentences… we learn to understand these gestures the way we learned as children to understand the gestures and facial expressions of grown-ups – without explanation. And in this sense learning to understand does not mean learning to explain, and so we understand the facial expression, but can’t explain it by any other means. [handwritten remark]. [22]’

Claiming that Wittgenstein with the deepest understanding of mathematics, would if still alive to day succeed that just because you have a grammar. Rules, which when viewed at face value seem to indicate that language is synonymous with calculation this is not foolproof. Wittgenstein was forced to leave behind his earlier notion, that an adequate explanation leads to understanding. He just like people today had to apprehend that sentential beings equipped with logic alone can not offer a suggestion of how to treat, and approach language. When considering language we have to consider subjectively (doxastically, about one’s own belief), our form of life, but more pertinently there is something else other than the meaning of a word inside a grammatical system  [23]… Looking from the perspective of an adverb one can see the social, common, ethical, and creative behaviour that gives language it’s materiality. Our task then is to remain critical whilst at the same time not needlessly dismissing grammar and meaning. How we behave towards these things even perceptually is in need of interpretation.

Finally, what one offers as a conclusion is that if we play this hermeneutical game as an adverb. Then this decent play of interpretations can generate what according to professor Eran Guter was a special thing for Wittgenstein, and subsequently this essay’s strange line of inquiry. Wittgenstein gives us a special German word and one references it to contextualise the questions one asks: Are you a pronoun or an adverb? How language is the phenomenon which calls for the creation of new ethics? The word that one is using creatively as a period is Menschenkenntnis, translated as referring to an acquaintance with ‘humankind’, not a theory but an intuitive skill  [24]. One has observed this as being suspiciously absent in recent times, and so one invites you to play this language game, with more consideration for your moves, and the outcome one wishes to create. If need be we shouldn’t hesitate to create new games that support new behaviours, that then allow us to continue learning. This capacity to actively change our behaviour should be cherished. This change does provide a clear distinction between the human animal, other organisms, or objects. A difference that could result in a game truly, mortally, and essentially defining. Lastly, behaving adverbially one has to suggestively edit the Wittgensteinian dictum, Whereof one can speak, thereof one mustn’t be silent. It is not only the meaning you intended to communicate, but also how you behave when communicating. That reveals the parameters for a moment worth creating, a game in which one should want to create and decide how to play?

_

1. Derrida,J.Plato’s Pharmacy, Dissemination,trans:Barbara.J,Chicago University Press,1981.
2. Meillassoux,Q. After Finitude,Bloomsbury, 2009.
3. Hegel,CF. The Phenomenology of Spirit, trans: Miller. A.V, Oxford University Press, 1997, P.54
4. Derrida,J. Structure, Sign, and Play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences, 1970, P.2
5. Derrida.J, Of Grammatology,trans: Slovak, C.G, John Hopkins University Press, 1998, P.78
6. Ibid
7. Ibid, P.4
8. Crystal.D, How Language Works, Penguin, London, 2006, P.336.
9. Ibid. P.473
10. Wittgenstein.L, Philosophical Investigations, Blackwell, 1953.
11. Harold.F, Person of Interest, Episode: if-then-else, 2015.
12. Cimmati.F, Wittgenstein on Animal (Human & non-human) Languages, Linguistic & Philosophical Investigations, 2016, xv: 42-59.
13. Ibid.
14. Kornhuber,Hans H. Deecke, Lüder. Hirnpotentialänderungen bei Willkürbewegungen und passiven Bewegungen des Menschen: Bereitschaftspotential und reafferente Potentiale, Pflügers Archiv für die Gesamte Physiologie des Menchen und der Tiere, 1965.
15. Libet.B, Reflections on the Interaction of the Mind and Brain, Progress in Neurobiology, 78,2006, P.324
16. Appelqvist, H. What Kind of Normativity is the Normativity of Grammar?, Firthcoming, Metaphilosophy, P.2
17. Kant.I, Critique of the Power of Judgement, ¶22
18. Metz.C,What the A.I Behind Alphago can teach us about being human,Wired: The Rise of Artificial Intelligence and the End of Code, 05.19.2016.
19. Ibid.
20. Tutti.J, Ad Infinitum: creative readoning, ¶12, Oxford University Press, 2014, P.210.
21. Ibid, P.224
22. Wittgenstein.L, The Big Transcript: TS213, trans: Luckhardt.CG, Aue E.M, Wiley-Blackwell, ¶11, 2005.
23. Guter.E, Wittgenstein on Musical Depth and Our Knowledge of Human Kind, In: Wittgenstein on Aesthetic Understanding, Palgrave Macmillan, 2017, P.11
24. Wittgenstein.L, Tractatus Logico-philosophicus, trans: Ogden C.K, Routledge, London, 1995.