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Beauty

Post #1204 • July 7, 2008, 10:21 AM • 244 Comments

Pulled from the thread at Ed's, with some material included that I had removed for the sake of brevity at his site. James Kalm has just noted, "I appreciate people trying to do things they aren't especially proficient at (just as long as it's not my brain surgeon).

Or your dentist. Or the contractor installing your kitchen cabinets. Or your accountant. Or really anyone doing work of significant and lasting consequence.

Beauty has a universal basis that comes out of our biological functioning, in which I include our mental functioning. From that universal basis, individual acts of appreciating and manufacturing beauty come forth. These individual acts vary but do not vary infinitely. Any statement about beauty that contradicts its biological basis or its individuality of expression is likely to be flat-out wrong.

Everyone has a certain amount of ability to detect beauty. Only an insensate buffoon would find the sunset repulsive, or no woman beautiful, or the oceans lacking in wonder. Like most human activities of any richness, we have developed fields that concentrate the appreciation and making of beauty, and we involve ourselves with these pursuits in a spirit of ever-increasing refinement. People with a lot of innate inclination who put the time into these pursuits reach levels of appreciation that not everyone can or will attain. A subset of them become artists. A subset of the artists become good artists.

Unfortunately, people have come to take art too seriously in ways it doesn't justify and not seriously enough in ways that it does. There are Americans, for instance, who think of art as a universal good and therefore want the government to pay for contemporary musuems. To me, this sounds like saying that sex is a universal good and the government should pay for prostitutes. Really good prostitutes. They'd be required to obtain PhD's in prostitution. I think that's at least as arguable.

The market will supply your needs according to their sophistication and type. If you have the requisite appreciation for beauty that comes with a pulse and one or two working eyes, and you get excited about the Christian message, you can obtain a work by Kinkade or a fair facsimile thereof according to your budget. But those people probably are not reading this blog.

If you have more ability to detect beauty than that, but not enough to recognize that Kinkade doesn't exemplify it, or beauty doesn't hit you hard enough to distinguish its perception f rom thinking, or you've taken cues from what constitutes important literature, important philosophical works, or important historical events and can't work beauty into a similar assessment of art, then a bewildering array of conceptually-leaning works of art are available at a variety of price points and degrees of intellectual depth.

And then you have people for whom beauty is a dominating feature of consciousness. These people use language in a way that indicates that their visual responses and kinesthetic responses operate together, intensely. I once went into a friend's studio, and the second thing he said to me was, "Dude, you have to fucking see this fucking Sickert," as he thumbed through his new monograph. And I thought, yeah, Sickert will do that to you. Not a lot of people are like this - aesthetes in the positive sense.

People don't fear beauty, but they fear aesthetes, because people worry about being left out. This works both ways. You have people who don't detect beauty to the utmost degree making statements about the relative unimportance, changing standards, or basal subjectivity of beauty. You also have artists who would become aesthetes in the best sense if left to their own devices, but face abuse and neglect if they go through school that way or try to garner serious critical consideration in the larger art world. You also have the artists who just can't help their aestheticism. They generally fear nothing except pain and death, but a lot of the art world pisses them off.

Comment

1.

Clem

July 7, 2008, 12:56 PM

Your prostitution argument surprised even me!

And what do you mean by kinesthetic responses?

2.

Franklin

July 7, 2008, 1:18 PM

See here.

3.

Chris Rywalt

July 7, 2008, 1:27 PM

I think I can nail down the basic argument against what you've written here, Franklin: You are writing in clear, measured, logical language about beauty. As soon as someone who feels that they know about beauty, that they believe in it, that they LOVE it, reads your tone in this essay, they immediately tune out and, if they can, start formulating arguments starting from the position "You can't possibly understand anything about beauty because you sound like Mr. Spock."

The other branch of arguments against this probably come from people who want a sharper delineation between "beautiful" and "sublime." I assume your definition of beauty includes things that are possibly physically ugly and yet contain some quality which inspires awe or other strong emotions; but for some people, those are better stuck under "sublime." Meanwhile "beautiful" is usually preceded by "merely." Actually most people likely to make this argument don't understand the word "sublime" and really think that anything beautiful must be false, like a fashion model on the cover of W. That is, they've cheapened the word "beautiful" so it describes Angelina Jolie or a toaster design.

4.

Clem

July 7, 2008, 1:43 PM

"These people use language in a way that indicates that their visual responses and kinesthetic responses operate together, intensely"

I tend to think that there's a lot of different ways in which people can be stunned or physically impacted by art, and in turn express it. Your example of a friend works, but wordy & theoretical responses can showcase a similar type of excitement and passion. Maybe it's just harder to pick up on?
There's just different ways in which people express and confirm "the importance of what [they] care about" : )

5.

Franklin

July 7, 2008, 2:56 PM

Chris, there may be a tone mismatch, but if I'm going to write clearly, I'm going to write clearly. The point about the sublime is worth making, although I don't think it negates anything I said above to the extent that beauty (sans "mere") does correlate largely with sublimity.

Clem, I describe three kinds and there may be many others and variations thereof. I could see someone having a wordy response to getting hit hard by beauty - I've done it myself - but what would a theoretical response look like?

6.

Franklin

July 7, 2008, 2:57 PM

Incidentally, when did it become acceptable to say that there is a plural number of things? I've been hearing it everywhere lately and it makes me crazy.

7.

Franklin

July 7, 2008, 3:00 PM

Wait, Clem's right. Sorry. This still has been getting on my nerves.

8.

Clem

July 7, 2008, 3:11 PM

Well here's a couple of examples of what it might look like : )

http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/0226143244/ref=sib_dp_pt#reader-link

http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/0374521344/ref=sib_dp_pt#reader-link

9.

Franklin

July 7, 2008, 3:21 PM

In that case, a theoretical response indicates someone with middling sense of beauty, at best.

10.

Clem

July 7, 2008, 3:31 PM

What are your grounds for saying that, Franklin?

11.

Chris Rywalt

July 7, 2008, 3:32 PM

Note that I'm not making those arguments. Just saying those would mostly be the forms of the arguments.

12.

opie

July 7, 2008, 3:44 PM

"I tend to think that there's a lot of different ways in which people can be stunned or physically impacted by art, and in turn express it."

Like, for example, "ouch!!"

13.

Clem

July 7, 2008, 3:48 PM

"ouch"!

Opie, can I get that in a 5x8 or larger? : )

14.

Franklin

July 7, 2008, 3:53 PM

What are your grounds for saying that, Franklin?

Derrida's work doesn't indicate anything except a talent for producing horseshit in the form of joyless free verse. As for Barthes, at the point that you're dealing with signs, you're not dealing with beauty.

15.

Franklin

July 7, 2008, 3:56 PM

This is really bothering me. If "a lot" in "there's a lot of different ways" is synonymous with "many," shouldn't that be "there are a lot of different ways" even though "lot" is singular? Somebody help me out here.

16.

Chris Rywalt

July 7, 2008, 3:56 PM

I took a Derrida book out of the library and tried really, really hard to read it. While he had some interesting points here and there, like mountaintops poking through the fog, mostly it's not so much that it failed to make sense as it was just a lot of hot air. A lot of "I'm just pointing this out, and we could discuss it in detail, but not now."

17.

Chris Rywalt

July 7, 2008, 4:00 PM

I think I usually say "there are a lot," but maybe it depends on which definition of "lot" you're using. A lot could be like a feedlot, you know, a big open space with a fence around it. Then you could say "There is a lot of different ways of looking at it" because what you'd mean is there's this big fenced-in area with a crowd of ways wandering around in it, with the area being singular.

Without the contraction, though, it sounds dumb, doesn't it: "There is a lot of different ways." Really awful.

Maybe it's a British thing, like using the plural for a group name, like "Rush are Geddy Lee, Neil Peart and Alex Lifeson" instead of "Rush is".

18.

J@simpleposie

July 7, 2008, 4:00 PM

The way I read it - Barthe likens experiencing beauty to a vulnerability to being wounded, bruised, or pricked (and conversely, the ability of an image to wound or strike a viewer) which is different from making assessments of taste. The particular terms he puts into play are punctum and studium. Barthe is theoretical - but it is very difficult to actually read Barthe and come away with the impression of a "middling sense of beauty".

19.

Clem

July 7, 2008, 4:13 PM

"Derrida's work doesn't indicate anything except a talent for producing horseshit in the form of joyless free verse"

Have you ever considered that maybe you just don't have a, uh,natural sensitivity to french theory?

"As for Barthes, at the point that you're dealing with signs, you're not dealing with beauty"

Barthes, particularily in his later works, never ignored the signified, the real. A number of his texts took their inspiration from visual art. His appreciation for many AbEx and modernist painters (like Twombly) is well known. He painted himself, as evidenced by the cover of the Barthes Reader:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/0374521441/ref=sib_dp_pt#reader-link

20.

Franklin

July 7, 2008, 4:14 PM

It's a morbid characterization that leads to more morbidness. I'd still take him over Derrida.

21.

Clem

July 7, 2008, 4:19 PM

What Derrida & Barthes have you read, Franklin?

22.

J@simpleposie

July 7, 2008, 4:24 PM

Well I agree it IS a blood stream metaphor but what better way to get into a person's heart?

23.

Franklin

July 7, 2008, 4:29 PM

#20 was directed at #18.

Have you ever considered that maybe you just don't have a, uh, natural sensitivity to french theory?

Let me answer this way: Have you ever considered that you have a predilection for horseshit?

I didn't know that Barthes painted. That speaks well of him. Is there anything a little more convincing out there than that drawing? Google Images doesn't turn anything up.

I had the opportunity to read both in grad school, something concentrating on Barthes' semiotics and whatever load of crap that Derrida served up. I'd be willing to investigate Barthes further but life never required it. Derrida is so uniformly intolerable that reading him at length is foolish.

So, what Frankfurt have you read?

24.

opie

July 7, 2008, 5:02 PM

"life never required it"

Yet another reason to be grateful for life.

25.

Clem

July 7, 2008, 5:09 PM

Sure, I have a taste for horseshit. Why else would I bother responding here!

It's tricky tracking down examples of Barthes paintings. There is a french biography that includes some images. And there was an exhibition at the Pompidou that showcased some a few years back. I just noticed that Artprice.com had a listing, but I don't have a subscription. He mostly painted with oils on paper, and seemed to have given most of his pieces away to friends, colleagues, and family.

I've read both Frankfurt texts that I brought up. I haven't read any of his more decidedly academic work. Correct me if I'm wrong, but your references to Derrida (or postmodernism in general) typically don't show that much attention.

26.

J@simpleposie

July 7, 2008, 5:24 PM

I just read my comment and I would like to apologize for leaving the s off the end of dude's name three times - what an anglo, I am.

27.

Franklin

July 7, 2008, 5:30 PM

Why else would I bother responding here!

If something I have said is horseshit, you're welcome to make a case against it.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but your references to Derrida (or postmodernism in general) typically don't show that much attention.

I guess it depends on how you measure the attention. I haven't subjected myself to the pomo canon at great length. I have spent the last five years butting heads with defenders of the pomo canon on this very blog. The best I can say for them as a class is that it's hard to write something wholly true in the best of circumstances, but these folks have an especially difficult time of it. Of course, I've been looking at art characterized as postmodernist with awareness of what I was getting myself into for a decade and a half. As for Derrida in particular, once you've stepped in dog doo, protracted examination of the problematic material is not required.

28.

MC

July 7, 2008, 6:58 PM

"There are Americans, for instance, who think of art as a universal good and therefore want the government to pay for contemporary museums."

What's the libertarian take on libraries, I wonder? Otherwise, I'm with ya on the rest, Franklin...

29.

Franklin

July 7, 2008, 7:15 PM

I imagine that they're against it. Personally I am not in a big hurry to get rid of them. There are far more harmful government efforts going on at the moment.

30.

MC

July 7, 2008, 7:31 PM

You mean "against them", I think, although pluralization is/are tricky...

31.

Franklin

July 7, 2008, 7:44 PM

That damn "there's a lot" thing from the other thread has me all screwed up...

32.

Clem

July 7, 2008, 9:43 PM

"I haven't subjected myself to the pomo canon at great length. I have spent the last five years butting heads with defenders of the pomo canon on this very blog. The best I can say for them as a class is that it's hard to write something wholly true in the best of circumstances, but these folks have an especially difficult time of it."

http://artblog.net/?name=2007-10-10-11-26-panjective

Articles like this make your reading and arguments amateurish and deliberately confusing. Why cite Derrida if you don't have a clue about what he's writing, or even attempt to locate it in relation to a text? You set up binaries that are not only vague, but inaccurate.

"As for Derrida in particular, once you've stepped in dog doo, protracted examination of the problematic material is not required"

So you don't read much philosophy or academic writing, huh? I took a second to find some of Frankfurt's older essays on JSTOR, do the same if you have the chance. Then translate them into French, and let me know how smoothly they read. And do you reject an artist's work out of hand based on a few early pieces that you didn't have a taste for back in some art history class years ago? I'd hope not!

33.

Franklin

July 7, 2008, 11:15 PM

Articles like this make your reading and arguments amateurish and deliberately confusing.

I wasn't indoctrinated into the academic culture that puts a premium on that joyless free-verse horseshit that it thinks of as professionalism, so "amateurish" coming from you might be a compliment. Derrida is dead, but I'm not, so feel free to ask me about my intentions regarding the article and if I sought to confuse anyone. For that matter, if anything confuses you about the reading, I'm available for clarifications. Assuming, of course, that you're interested, and not just tossing back what I said about Derrida at my writing because this is what you think of as counterargument.

Why cite Derrida if you don't have a clue about what he's writing, or even attempt to locate it in relation to a text?

You cited Derrida. I may be having trouble with subject/verb agreement today but at least I'm not mistaking myself for other people.

You set up binaries that are not only vague, but inaccurate.

Again, that kind of statement might fly in grad school but I'm just going to laugh at you.

So you don't read much philosophy or academic writing, huh?

Lots of philosophy. I just picked up a copy of Lucretius. Not much academic writing.

I took a second to find some of Frankfurt's older essays on JSTOR, do the same if you have the chance.

I don't.

Then translate them into French, and let me know how smoothly they read.

The primary problem with Derrida is not that it doesn't read smoothly. The primary problem is that it's bullshit.

And do you reject an artist's work out of hand based on a few early pieces that you didn't have a taste for back in some art history class years ago? I'd hope not!

The appreciation of art and the appreciation of ideas are two wholly different kinds of appreciation. That you conflate them is telling.

34.

Clem

July 8, 2008, 12:00 AM

From the article I linked to:

"Is taste subjective? Is quality objective? These two questions come up repeatedly when we talk about art. The answers are so unsatisfactory that the problem must be a good one to work on.

The two questions ask the same thing, oppositely. Both try to determine whether goodness in art is a stable phenomenon, or changes according to each fickle pair of eyes. Whole ideologies hinge on the answer. If the former is true, then Derrida's signifiers can't defer meaning infinitely, and we should disregard wide swaths of his work. If the latter is true, Greenberg's liking or disliking art is a singular, meaningless exercise, and we should disregard wide swaths of his work"

Here's what you need to clarify:

1 - Give a source for this comment on Derrida.

2 - Explain what you think Derrida is getting at about language and deferral.

3 - Explain how this appropriately relates to a discussion about visual art, quality, and aesthetic judgments.

4 - (and this isn't directly related to this entry) Explain what exactly is "bullshit" about this particular idea of Derrida's.

"The appreciation of art and the appreciation of ideas are two wholly different kinds of appreciation. That you conflate them is telling."

What's funny is that I never mentioned appreciation. It's an open-mindedness that I'm advocating and this applies regardless of creative medium or genre.

35.

opie

July 8, 2008, 4:28 AM

The subjective/objective thing is not that hard to deal with but when one deals with it no one listens. It has been raked over rather thoroughly and effectively on this blog, for example. There is more reason and sense here than you will find in the heavy tomes.

Instead we get references (seldom citations) from "authorities". As usual, common sense and clear thinking take a back seat to intellectual fad and fshion.

It is important to understand that what is right is right because it is right, but because it was said by an important person.

Forget the intellectuals. Deal with the questions directly.

36.

opie

July 8, 2008, 4:29 AM

but NOT because it was said by an important person. Sorry.

37.

Franklin

July 8, 2008, 7:02 AM

1, 2, 3: I refuse. If you can understand the sentence about Greenberg without citation and discussion, you can do the same for the sentence about Derrida. Neither is crucial to understanding the main points of the essay. This demand for citation and extensive discussion is the same tactic you (and to a more tasteful extent, Blackburn) directed at Frankfurt - it has nothing to do with the merit of the ideas themselves. This is a trap. (When Roger Kimball challenged postmodernist art criticism by shredding one author at a time over the course of an entire book, his detractors switched tactics and accused him of populism instead.)

4: I refuse. If we're going to discuss why any bit of Derrida is bullshit, we're going to do it with his words, not mine. This is also a trap.

What's funny is that I never mentioned appreciation. It's an open-mindedness that I'm advocating and this applies regardless of creative medium or genre.

Except those pesky modernist forms.

38.

J@simpleposie

July 8, 2008, 7:07 AM

It's not a trap if you know your stuff, Franklin.

39.

Franklin

July 8, 2008, 7:53 AM

If you have a counterargument, J, feel free to present it.

40.

MC

July 8, 2008, 8:00 AM

Once again, I can't help but feel like the appearance of certain admittedly snide (and invincibly stupid) commenters is in some small way partly my fault, so, apologies...

41.

J@simpleposie

July 8, 2008, 8:22 AM

Franklin, I would say exactly what Clem has done. How do you manage to continue to harbour so much antipathy toward literature, which by your own admission you are largely unfamiliar? Why do you view Clem's challenges, requests for citation etc. as a trap, when armed with knowledge you could put some meat on the bones of your argument?

42.

opie

July 8, 2008, 8:43 AM

Take that, you hater of literature!

Franklin has made humself very clear, posie.He keeps asking for specifics and people keep throwing back vague accusation.

43.

Franklin

July 8, 2008, 8:43 AM

I would say exactly what Clem has done.

That doesn't surprise me.

Where do you get the idea that I have antipathy towards literature? You should come over and help me pack my books for the move. I say I'm unfamiliar with literature because I know people like JL and Terry Teachout and I don't want to make comparable claims for myself.

Clem's challenges are traps because 1-3 set up invalid terms for the discussion of my ideas and 4 sets up invalid terms for the discussion of Derrida's. Jumping into them won't do my arguments any good.

44.

J@simpleposie

July 8, 2008, 8:51 AM

Was my comma in the wrong place? Apologies. Have you not expressed an antipathy for the work of Derrida and postmodern literature in general - literature which you admit you haven't read?

Do you not see that actual knowledge of the material, even if you don't like it, could inform you argument, take it out of the realm of well written petulance and into that of credibility?

45.

Snide

July 8, 2008, 8:51 AM

"If you can understand the sentence about Greenberg without citation and discussion, you can do the same for the sentence about Derrida"

Considering that you have actually read and understood Greenberg, there is a big difference. If I thought otherwise, I'd challenge you on this too. In the sentence about Derrida I quoted, you throw out jargon that I don't think you actually understand. I'm not asking for a tome, I'm asking for a reasonable justification of what you wrote.

"it has nothing to do with the merit of the ideas themselves"

You have an idea of what Derrida is saying, and of postmodernism in general, that is vague and incorrect. It is one one of several straw men that this blog seems to take some delight in admonishing. This indeed has to do with the merit of your writing and ideas. And it would seem that this has been pointed out to you by several commentators that preceded me.

46.

opie

July 8, 2008, 9:26 AM

I'm not sure how one admonishes straw men, Snide. To watch out for fire?

Please, folks. Be specific. If you want to discuss Derrida or whomever, let's have quotes, as Franklin asked above.

Yammering vaguely about each other's shortcomings is a bore.

47.

Snide

July 8, 2008, 9:39 AM

"If the former is true, then Derrida's signifiers can't defer meaning infinitely, and we should disregard wide swaths of his work"

Again, what do you specifically mean in this sentence? What idea of Derrida's are you referencing and how does that fit within the context of your overall argument? Pretty straightforward...

48.

opie

July 8, 2008, 9:57 AM

I guess that's for Clem to answer? (#34)

49.

MC

July 8, 2008, 10:05 AM

Franklin, really, how dare you try to address a subject as large and daunting as BEAUTY in such a short piece of writing? In his prime, and without benefit of a keyboard, Samuel Johnson could write twelve thousand words a day, and had to shit in a bucket by candlelight to boot. I also note with dismay that you fail to mention the many thinkers on aesthetics that have preceded your effort here. Sickert is the only artist or aesthete named and acknowledged in Franklin’s entire post. I found myself made uncomfortable by this, even given the demands of the blog format.

Again, biology sits uneasily with beauty, and we need an explanation of how the virtue of beauty can take on an objective life of its own and stand opposed to subjective preference. But such questions would provoke more than a lighthearted diversion to pick up while I wait for my porn torrent to download, and must be the topics of another day.

50.

Franklin

July 8, 2008, 10:14 AM

#49: LOL!

51.

Franklin

July 8, 2008, 10:31 AM

...literature which you admit you haven't read?

Literature I haven't read in depth. How deep into the cesspool does one need to wade before one notices the smell?

Do you not see that actual knowledge of the material, even if you don't like it, could inform you argument, take it out of the realm of well written petulance and into that of credibility?

Credibility to whom? I've already responded to the material in all the detail it merits. If you want a more detailed refutation, find an example and let's discuss it.

You have an idea of what Derrida is saying, and of postmodernism in general, that is vague and incorrect.

Easy to say, harder to prove. Again, the sentence is not crucial to the main points of the essay, so skip over it if it bothers you. And if you'd like to discuss Derrida, and clearly you would like to discuss Derrida, then let's find something he wrote and discuss it.

52.

Snide

July 8, 2008, 10:41 AM

"And if you'd like to discuss Derrida, and clearly you would like to discuss Derrida, then let's find something he wrote and discuss it"

"Derrida's work doesn't indicate anything except a talent for producing horseshit in the form of joyless free verse"

Some discussion...

If you're unwilling to actually take up specific writers, and specific ideas, then maybe you'd do best to avoid inaccurate characterizations of postmodernism. That's my point. And your avoidance of answering my straightforward questions proves that you're not willing to defend and clarify what you write.

53.

dude

July 8, 2008, 10:49 AM

Snideclem and J-Simplo:

I'll go all in on a hunch that the artblog regulars have read far more jelloworld rhetoric than either of you have read say, of the real Greenberg or any other of the arch perpetrators you locate as inferior by default.


'openmindedness...' hahahahahahhhaaaaaaaa!!!

54.

Chris Rywalt

July 8, 2008, 10:51 AM

The book of essays and interviews from Derrida I just tried to read (and let me tell you, I don't abandon books easily) is titled Paper Machine. I'll grant that, as a sort of remnant book, made up of odds and ends from the end of Derrida's career, it may not be the best place to start. Anyway. At one point, an interviewer asks old Jacques about people who say he's hard to understand.

It is also necessary to read the texts that my texts read! It would be absurd to say that they are all "easy," but their difficulty is not of the type that people often object to. There are two categories of "rejection" in this regard, two types of nonreader. First, those who do not work hard enough and think they are entitled to do this; they rapidly run out of steam by assuming that a text must be immediately accessible, without the work that consists of reading, and reading the authors I read, for instance. Then there are the nonreaders who use this supposed obscurity as an excuse for setting aside, really for censuring something that threatens them or makes them anxious -- deranges them. So then the difficulty argument becomes a hateful alibi.

Of course, to me, this sets up an infinite regress: You read everything Derrida's read, then everything those authors read, then.... And if you haven't done all that, you're not allowed to criticize! Really?

And then he goes on to say something which I think is really interesting:

Of course...there is no beginning -- everything began a very long time before us, didn't it?

I never thought of this. But when we come into the world of reading, when we learn to read, there really is no beginning for us: We don't start at the first thing ever written and work our way forward. No -- we start in the middle somewhere, with whatever we happen to find, and from there we just move outwards and around. I find that very interesting.

55.

Franklin

July 8, 2008, 11:07 AM

And your avoidance of answering my straightforward questions proves that you're not willing to defend and clarify what you write.

Of course I am. What I'm not willing to do is get into pointless discussions with bad-faith pseudonymous writers. The only reason we're talking about Derrida in the first place is because you brought him up. When I pointed this out to you, you pulled up an essay I wrote from last October and started asking tactically framed questions ("straightforward"? feh) about the one sentence that mentioned Derrida. When I didn't fall for it, you accused me of being unwilling to defend what I write. I knew this was coming, and I have an answer ready: I'm willing to defend what I write to anyone willing to sign his real name to a counterargument. I said as much on Ed Winkleman's blog last week. The time I give to anyone else is a gift.

So if there's something wrong with that sentence, feel free to elaborate on it. Since Derrida didn't set out to make sense in the first place (excuse me, his work offers a plethora of possible readings), I already know that any further explanation of that sentence sets me up for someone like you to respond with "I knew it. If you had spent more time with the material, you would realize that [insert alternative reading here]." Or since that sentence isn't crucial to the main points of the essay, we could talk about the main points of the essay. Or if there's some splendid passage of Derrida that you're fond of, let's kick it around and see if the bumper comes off.

56.

dude

July 8, 2008, 11:16 AM

The bumper?! That f*ckin' thing'll never start, let alone make it down to the fair for kickin'. Charging system's been dead for years, pistons are seized, body's fallen clean off. Might be able to part it out. They don't make 'em like they used to.

57.

opie

July 8, 2008, 11:23 AM

Snide, Franklin asks several times for specific references, and you reply:

"If you're unwilling to actually take up specific writers, and specific ideas..."

I know Franklin does this for fun and to keep his debating skills sharp but if he keeps kicking this Jello he will drown in it sooner ot later.

58.

J@simpleposie

July 8, 2008, 12:51 PM

Dude re #53: you go brother - all in. All the way.

Re whoever said Derrida first:

For the record, I believe it was Chris who brought up Derrida in this thread... after the person formerly known as Clem was asked for an example of a theoretical response to beauty and delivered Roland Barthes' Camera Lucida as his answer.

Stay cool Franklin, enjoy whatever makes you happy.

59.

Chris Rywalt

July 8, 2008, 1:04 PM

Clem brought up Derrida when he pointed to a listing on Amazon for one of his books.

Go ahead, it's just up the page a bit. You can read it through for yourself.

60.

J@simpleposie

July 8, 2008, 1:50 PM

You are so right Chris!

61.

J@simpleposie

July 8, 2008, 1:53 PM

The person formerly known as Clem offered two examples of theoretical responses to beauty.

62.

MC

July 8, 2008, 4:40 PM

No, Snidely Whiplash here offered one book claiming to be about "The Truth in Painting", and another claiming to be "Reflections on Photography"... "Theoretical Responses to Beauty" was a title noticeably absent in Clem's recommendations.

And, honestly, if you need to whiff more than the text on the back cover of the Derrida book to recognize that's horseshit under your nose, then you likely need to clean our nostrils, preferably with a .45...

63.

Snide

July 8, 2008, 6:41 PM

Thanks MC for yet another example of why you need to read something before commenting on it!

I'll tell you a couple of things that are wrong with your reference to Derrida, Franklin. For starters, meaning and visual quality shouldn't be confused. I'm surprised that you didn't catch this yourself. Second, when Derrida directly talks at length about aesthetic judgment (specifically in reference to Kant's Critique of Judgment) it is not to reject either truths or facts, but to search them out in relationships rather than essences. You can't just put it down to subjectivity vs. objectivity.

64.

Franklin

July 8, 2008, 7:35 PM

Gotcha. Subjectivity vs. objectivity out, relationships vs. essences in. Thank you for sharing.

(What did I tell you? "Insert alternative reading here." It's not just postmodernist, it's Pavlovian.)

From that back cover: ...I ask what happens to the desire for restitution when that desire has to do with the truth in painting.

Sometimes when I'm in a museum I ask where the men's room is.

65.

Snide

July 8, 2008, 7:53 PM

Your's isn't a reading, because you haven't done any of the legwork and aren't even capable of explaining what you've written. What does "defer[ring] meaning infinitely" mean to you and where do you find it in Derrida's work? My guess is you're going to go back to the issue of my anonymity instead of actually addressing something that you bullshit about understanding...

66.

Franklin

July 8, 2008, 8:26 PM

Your's isn't a reading, because you haven't done any of the legwork and aren't even capable of explaining what you've written. What does "defer[ring] meaning infinitely" mean to you and where do you find it in Derrida's work? My guess is you're going to go back to the issue of my anonymity instead of actually addressing something that you bullshit about understanding...

As I said already, you're waiting for me to clarify that one sentence so you can call it incorrect and supply your own reading. Since Derrida is bullshit, it's made for that sort of thing. And since you've already taken the interpretation supplied (or inferred anyway) and made your substitutions, relationships for subjectivity and essences for objectivity, I feel like we're done with the transaction.

Oh, and that "your's isn't a reading"? Priceless pomo bullshit.

Since you did ask what that phrase means to me, here's something pulled from an old thread set roughly to the Modern Major-General's Song:

I'm consummately well-versed in soiree, opening, and vernissage,
I've memorized the contents of the Louvre and the Hermitage;
To speak among a crowd of yappy art theorists, I am the first,
Forming obtuse connections 'tween Velazquez and Damien Hirst;
I am well-armed with coinages like jouissance and differance
And lots of scary-sounding terms that come from fancy schools in France.

Handing out my business card as if I were obsessional
I am the very model of a modern art professional.

Handing out his business card as if he was obsessional
He is the very model of a modern art professional.

67.

opie

July 8, 2008, 8:28 PM

Snide, put up a passage by Derrida that is signicficant in some way, and let's talk about it.

Otherwise it is just a pissing contest with no piss.

I know It's hopeless, but I thought I would go through the motions.

68.

MC

July 8, 2008, 8:39 PM

"Thanks MC for yet another example of why you need to read something before commenting on it! "

Um, yeah. First, I read the back cover text (it is horseshit), then I commented on it ("It is horseshit!").

Glad you could draw some benefit from the lesson, Snidely.

69.

UrnaryTractus

July 8, 2008, 8:44 PM

Otherwise it is just a pissing contest with no piss.

Yo dude, so what's new? This house should be called ArtPiss.net

70.

Franklin

July 8, 2008, 9:01 PM

The domain name's already taken by a site devoted to Andres Serrano.

71.

Snide

July 8, 2008, 10:46 PM

Franklin,

Is there a quality to certain readings, one's that resemble the intention and meaning of the author moreso than others? Who's edging towards hopeless subjectivity now? And most readings involve, well, reading...

And if Derrida is bullshit plain and simple, then why did you bother to reference him in the first place? Presumably because the offending phrase seems to have suggested an idea, and an ideology at the time you wrote it. But of course it's easier to just say it's crap once you're called out on not knowing what you're talking about. But by all means, continue with your distracting song & dance if that's all that your own phrase meant in the first place.

Overall, I find it strange that you don't seem to be able to offer up an simple explanation for what you said, in your usually clear and honest fashion. It's not like I'm expecting some sort of dissertation or claiming to be a Derrida scholar myself. For a guy whose later years and texts grappled earnestly with the (dare I say universal) problem of "learning to live", I think that if you tried, you'd probably find more common ground and interesting ideas than you seem willing to consider.

72.

opie

July 9, 2008, 4:54 AM

We seem to be arguing about whether Franklin is thoroughly versed in something he (and others, including myself) believe is "bullshit" ("horseshit" in Canada).

If you are farily well convinced that something is bullshit by a partial reading you don't tend to torture yourself by reading more. This is normal behavior.

Also I don't believe Franklin was the one to "reference" this matter in the first place, as indicate somewhere above.

If you have some example of the non-bullshit character of this writer, Snide, quote it. Other wise shut up.

73.

Chris Rywalt

July 9, 2008, 5:29 AM

As I wrote earlier, I've tried Derrida (I still have the book right here) and intend to try more, just to see if it really is bullshit. I think it might be, but then I have trouble reading Kant, also, but others have explained his work in a way that makes sense to me. Who knows -- maybe in a hundred years Derrida will make sense.

Also, reading this book with the translator's notes, I find there might be an untranslatable quality to his work. I'm starting to think that French might be a language of metaphor, simile and allusion even more than English. For example, the word "maintain" means pretty much the same thing in English as in French; but in French, the parts of the word are also still active words, so "maintain" literally means "hand-hold" or "hand-holding", which it doesn't in English. So "maintain" has a literal meaning and a metaphorical meaning at the same time. It may very well be that this makes Derrida much more sensible in French. He goes on at some length in this book about how he is a French writer very much intentionally sticking to French -- he's a believer in different languages, although he cautions against letting that become nationalism.

74.

J@simpleposie

July 9, 2008, 6:17 AM

Bullshit comes from bulls in Canada, Opie - and horseshit from horses. Shit is the product of digestion and therefore a very healthy thing, tissue cleansing!

If the back cover of the book constitutes "a partial reading" for you as it does for MC, there should be no need to disparage the contents as shit - should there? Nothing consumed, ventured, nothing gained - or lost, shitless, actually.

As regards, "Also I don't believe Franklin was the one to "reference" this matter in the first place, as indicate somewhere above."

Franklin asked Clem/Snide in #5:

"I could see someone having a wordy response to getting hit hard by beauty - I've done it myself - but what would a theoretical response look like?"

Clem/Snide answered by linking to Barthes and Derrida on amazon

Maybe this would have been more palateable? Keep in mind, it's only partial.


Hey Chris, I see you're posting while I'm typing this. I'm glad you're persisting. And I think the point you raise about languages and translation is key. Franklin calls jouissance a coinage. I agree. It's gold.

75.

J@simpleposie

July 9, 2008, 6:30 AM

Or go to the horse's mouth

76.

Chris Rywalt

July 9, 2008, 6:38 AM

You can actually read some of the text of that Derrida book on Amazon. I tried. It struck me as completely content-free.

Here the false title is art. A seminar would treat of art. Of art and the fine arts. It would thus answer to a program and to one of its great questions. These questions are all taken from a determinate set. Determined according to history and system.

Uh, okay. This reminds me of reading Aristotle in college, where we got a textbook which started off, "Being, or that which is, can be said to be, in many ways, as has previously been stated..." Previously? This is the first page!

(It turned out our text of Aristotle was deliberately weird because it was a word-for-word translation -- more of a transliteration, really -- from the Greek, rather than an idiomatic translation into readable English. It was supposed to be used as an adjunct to a real English translation, to allow readers unfamiliar with ancient Greek to get a sense of the original for themselves. It was not, however, very helpful as an introduction to Aristotle.)

77.

MC

July 9, 2008, 6:39 AM

SO, what did Derrida have to say about beauty, then? There wasn't anything on the back cover of the book that touched on the subject, so what was that Amazon link intending to prove, anyway? Surely it shouldn't take this long for Snide and Simple to get to an actual point...

Seriously, it's a little like asking for proof of God's existence, and getting an Amazon link to the Holy Bible in reply... not exactly adequate to prove your intended point...

78.

J@simpleposie

July 9, 2008, 6:41 AM

Well, up top you have a link to your introduction to Kant and then a link to a translation.

79.

Chris Rywalt

July 9, 2008, 6:42 AM

Incidentally, Franklin, I love your Gilbert & Sullivan. You have to introduce it like Tom Lehrer: "Set to a very possibly familiar tune."

80.

J@simpleposie

July 9, 2008, 6:46 AM

My last comment was for Chris.

Charming, as usual MC.

81.

MC

July 9, 2008, 6:54 AM

"...the art of not reading is highly important. This consists in not taking a book into one's hand merely because it is interesting the great public at the time--such as political or religious pamphlets, novels, poetry, and the like, which make a noise and reach perhaps several editions in their first and last years of existence. Remember rather that the man who writes for fools always finds a large public: and only read for a limited and definite time exclusively the works of great minds, those who surpass other men of all times and countries, and whom the voice of fame points to as such. These alone really educate and instruct.

One can never read too little of bad, or too much of good books: bad books are intellectual poison; they destroy the mind.

In order to read what is good one must make it a condition never to read what is bad; for life is short, and both time and strength limited."


- Arthur Schopenhauer

82.

Chris Rywalt

July 9, 2008, 7:01 AM

Sounds like Roger Ebert: "No good movie is too long, and no bad one is too short." (May not be an exact quote.)

83.

MC

July 9, 2008, 7:06 AM

Interestingly, Schopenhauer makes clear sense, even in translation! Good thing he wasn't French, I guess...

84.

MC

July 9, 2008, 7:12 AM

Some critics have pointed out that Derrida's low level of philosophical argumentation, the deliberate obscurantism of his prose, the wildly exaggerated claims, and the constant striving to give the appearance of profundity by making claims that seem paradoxical, but under analysis often turn out to be silly or trivial, is in itself a type of bullshit!

85.

Franklin

July 9, 2008, 7:12 AM

Is there a quality to certain readings, one's that resemble the intention and meaning of the author moreso than others?

Probably, but that wasn't your statement. You said that mine wasn't a reading, full-stop, as if you had a pointy gilded hat on your head and the power to declare such things. I've had suspicions that certain graduate programs in the humanities are basically protracted exercises in inherited abuse in which the teachers make those kinds of mysterious claims to knowledge. After a while you learn to nod your head knowingly regardless of how confused you are about the material, or they will not advance your candidacy. The next long comic I'm writing deals partly with that.

Overall, I find it strange that you don't seem to be able to offer up an simple explanation for what you said, in your usually clear and honest fashion.

As I said in #37, #55, and #66, I can, but I refuse to, because I recognize a trap when I see one. Deliberately ignoring this and repeatedly claiming instead that I can't would only work as a goad if I cared an iota what a nasty piece of work like you thinks of my intellectual capacities. I could characterize these repeated claims as shortcomings of your capabilities in turn, but unlike you, I don't believe that merely tossing back criticisms constitutes valid argument. Besides, I think calling it petty intellectual malice would be more accurate.

Opie, MC - Snide is not going to provide us with a sample of Derrida because he already knows what's going to happen if he does. Accountability. Discussion of ideas instead of people. Risk of being wrong. Things he doesn't want.

Chris, that deserves a link to one of the greatest pieces of intellectual humor of all time. I should expand mine into a full version one day.

Damn, MC, I gotta get me some Schopenhauer. What should I start with?

86.

Chris Rywalt

July 9, 2008, 7:35 AM

I have the MP3. I know people who have that song memorized, but I am not one of them. I know people who have the periodic table memorized in order. I'm not one of them, either. I just listen to the song.

I like that in the guy's animation, he uses Jack Kirby's Thor for thorium.

In the live recording Lehrer made of that song, he introduces it by saying what I wrote above.

87.

MC

July 9, 2008, 7:54 AM

Penguin has a sweetly designed "Great Ideas" series of paperbacks, and "On the Suffering of The World" by Schopenhauer is a great one indeed, laying out a range of his ideas on art and life. This little book should be placed in motel nightstands: it's that good.

They've got a John Ruskin book, a pair of essays/talks, in the same series that's quite good, too...

88.

Snide

July 9, 2008, 8:26 AM

Talk about free-verse and loose thinking Franklin, you might as well have started on about state-sponsored prostitution in that nonsensical rant. Maybe you should spend as much energy and time simply answering my question instead of complaining that it's a trap. This is a public forum, and you've repeatedly said you'd defend anything you wrote. I'm not ignoring your refusal, I'm calling it overly paranoid.

MC,

What do you think Schopenhauer has to say about aesthetics? Maybe we can trade... though you might be a bit surprised if you start with a little book called The World as Will and Representation...

Chris,

The translation is an issue. And so is keeping up with a very specific (and changing!) terminology. I do agree that interviews are a good starting point and find him a his most accessible. Sentimentality probably plays into it, but his last one is a favorite. Here's a link to someone's translation:

http://www.studiovisit.net/SV.Derrida.pdf

Opie, it goes a little something like this:
- I bring up Derrida's book as an example of a theoretical response to art
- Franklin calls it horseshit, or is that bull?
- I ask him to justify this
- He says that he's read enough of Derrida to know that
- I bring up one of his citations of Derrida and ask him to explain it and it's relevance to aesthetics, because I question his basic understanding of Derrida's ideas.
-I'm trying to stay on track, you're trying to distract

89.

MC

July 9, 2008, 8:44 AM

"MC,
What do you think Schopenhauer has to say about aesthetics?...


Schopenhauer's aesthetics are featured in the penguin paperback as well. Schopenhauer, like Greenberg, was a follower of Kant. You should pick up the book, Snide.
I've got TWAWAR too, but wouldn't recommend Franklin (or you) start there ("World as Will and Representation" is for Schopenhauer fanatics only, I'd say), since "On the Suffering..." touches so well on so much... huge return on a relatively small investment of time and money.
For an even smaller investment, listen to Christopher Janaway tell why Arthur Schopenhauer is so damn great...

90.

MC

July 9, 2008, 8:45 AM

"- I bring up Derrida's book as an example of a theoretical response to art"

No, it was supposed to be a "theoretical response to BEAUTY"... try to keep up, Snide.

91.

opie

July 9, 2008, 8:51 AM

I knew that eventually Franklin would fall into a trap, albeit a perceived rather than a real one, as long as he persisted in engaging with you.

Ok, Snide, to make it more specific, why don't you challenge Franklin directly by choosing something you think we have all missed in Derrida, something relatively profound, clear, enlightening or just interesting, and let's have at it. If he won't respond to it, I will be more than happy to.

92.

opie

July 9, 2008, 8:56 AM

BTW thanks for the Kant links, Posie. I have in the past looked for summaries and explanations of Kant but never found one this good. Students are never satisfied with me shrugging and saying "He says it's all intuitive".

93.

Chris Rywalt

July 9, 2008, 9:12 AM

I thought Derrida built on Wittgenstein, who built on Kant. No?

94.

opie

July 9, 2008, 9:16 AM

Snide, you say you "cited" Derrida, but I can't see it anywhere. Perhaps I am overlooking it. Do you mean above when you linked to a couple books on Amazon?

Let's have a nice solid quote of Derrida on beauty. OK?

95.

dude

July 9, 2008, 9:21 AM

Opie,

Can you clarify what is meant by intuitive? I've tried to wade my way into that Kant text and got scared. Can anyone give me some clear sense of what it is pointing to in terms of modernist practice? I think I've got a sense of what intuitive is meant to describe but would like it stamped out a bit more. I haven't read all of Greenberg's Bennington stuff yet, where as i recall, he goes a bit more directly at aesthetics and intuition etc.

96.

dude

July 9, 2008, 9:23 AM

My request for anyone to answer was not intended to convey desperation. Just ready to listen to anybody on the topic.

97.

dude

July 9, 2008, 9:24 AM

Well, I guess not anybody...

98.

dude

July 9, 2008, 9:26 AM

And MC,

How was that Huxley text you read a while back?

99.

Franklin

July 9, 2008, 10:36 AM

...you might as well have started on about state-sponsored prostitution in that nonsensical rant.

What about it is nonsensical?

Maybe you should spend as much energy and time simply answering my question instead of complaining that it's a trap.

Maybe I should refrain from walking into discussions that I know are traps. Yeah, that's what I'll do. I've already explained why it's a trap, and I've explained what will happen if I jump into it. If you want an answer, you're going to have to convince me that something else will happen if I do so.

I'm not ignoring your refusal, I'm calling it overly paranoid.

Actually, you were calling indicative of my inability to answer. Repeatedly. You've switched to paranoid? That would only work as a goad if I cared about your assessment of my mental state.

100.

MC

July 9, 2008, 11:00 AM

"How was that Huxley text you read a while back?"

An entertaining read. His essay "Art and the Obvious" from 1931 struck me as somewhat similar in ways to Greenberg's "Avant Garde and Kitsch" written some years later (not to say Greenberg had read the Huxley, but, who knows?).

If you want, dude, come by the Common Sense library, and I'll lend you my copy of the book.

Speaking of the gallery, Hey, Snide, why haven't you come by Common Sense yet, concerned member of the Edmonton art community that you are? I mean, even local art writer Amy Fung has come by, my criticisms of her writing notwithstanding. For all her faults as a writer, I'd never let it be said that she doesn't have balls.

Seriously, no hard feelings: come by, and I'll give you a tour...

101.

opie

July 9, 2008, 11:05 AM

Well, Dude, I kinda wish you had not asked me that because I have very thorny ideas about it which I have been trying to put into words with limited success.

The short answer, and the most practical one, is that intuition is what we call "gut feeling", a perception that is non verbalized or perhaps verbalizable. The probkem is that we live 99% of our lives "intuitively" but becuse we are creatures of language we always fall back on words and verbally specified "proofs" and such like whenever any sort of justification is involved.

Even Kant and the philosophers of his time were uneasy about really seeing that all qualities we specify, including "beauty", exist only as our constructions. Some, like "door" or "toenail" we have no problem with, because there they are. But because we lay words on anything and everything we experience "beauty" gets to be a category we must deal with even though it does not exist as a thing.

Basically, Kant meant that a thing cannot be determined to be beautiful except by non-verbal judgement, which is intuitional. Art, because it is good in itself, cannot be "good for", so therefore by its nature there is no proof of its goodness.

Don't worry. Outside of Philisophy departments (and sometimes inside them) you will not be challenged,

Aargh!! Don't get me started!

102.

Snide

July 9, 2008, 11:43 AM

I'd need to freshen up on my Schopenhauer before getting too far into this, but I'd start by saying that his description of art focuses on how it expresses or embodies ideas and states. Am I wrong in guessing that this doesn't jive with most of you? His anti-empricism doesn't really jive with Franklin's posts on quality or beauty either. That, and his corresponding focus on will, is what inspired many of Nietzsche's investigations and I'll leave it to you to figure out where some of that influence continues to play itself out. I also seem to recall that visual art and literature were always secondary to music for him. But by all means bring up your own thoughts and examples, MC...

Opie, I'd need to check out Painting and Truth again since I don't own it. And I'm not sure that he actually speaks about Beauty per say. But one of the essays does respond to Kant's description of aesthetic judgment, so I'll do my best but it may take a day or two. Now, Barthes, if you're interested, I'd be willing to discuss in a flash.

Nonsense:

"You said that mine wasn't a reading, full-stop"

A reading requires reading, in the most basic sense. Have you read any of Derrida's writing on visual aesthetics? Until you say otherwise, then my pointy gilded hat seems quite reasonable.

"I've had suspicions that certain graduate programs in the humanities are basically protracted exercises in inherited abuse in which the teachers make those kinds of mysterious claims to knowledge. After a while you learn to nod your head knowingly regardless of how confused you are about the material, or they will not advance your candidacy"

This is a all non-sequitur, much like your earlier statement that the public funding of art is comparable to the public funding of prostitution. Funding sex-education and research, or artistic and cultural programming relating to sexuality would be a much fairer comparison. For someone who doesn't seem comfortable with glossing over the differences between literature and visual art, it is nonsensical to compare the good of sex with that of art.

"Actually, you were calling [I] indicative of my inability to answer"

My presumption is that you don't know what you're talking about, not that you can't articulate what you think. You haven't even explained what you think Derrida is saying, let alone given a reasoned critique of it. Call me crazy, but that's a pretty basic starting point for any sort of debate.
If I were to mention Greenberg in a vague fashion, and in a context that you disagreed with, you'd be all over me for both of these things.

103.

Snide

July 9, 2008, 11:46 AM

That correction is incorrect, I think it should be [it].

104.

Franklin

July 9, 2008, 12:24 PM

Yours truly, #5: Clem, I describe three kinds and there may be many others and variations thereof. I could see someone having a wordy response to getting hit hard by beauty - I've done it myself - but what would a theoretical response look like?

Clem/Snide, #8: Well here's a couple of examples of what it might look like : ) [links to cover of book by Derrida]

Opie, #94: Let's have a nice solid quote of Derrida on beauty. OK?

Snide, #102: Opie, I'd need to check out Painting and Truth again since I don't own it. And I'm not sure that he actually speaks about Beauty per say [sic].

There goes that point.

A reading requires reading, in the most basic sense. Have you read any of Derrida's writing on visual aesthetics?

To the extent that Derrida can be said to address a particular subject at any given time, sure.

References for the culture of certain humanities departments.

For someone who doesn't seem comfortable with glossing over the differences between literature and visual art, it is nonsensical to compare the good of sex with that of art.

Art is a pleasure. Sex is a pleasure. If the state pays museums to provide art to a wider audience, why shouldn't it pay to provide sex to a wider audience?

If I were to mention Greenberg in a vague fashion, and in a context that you disagreed with, you'd be all over me for both of these things.

And I would do so by providing a specific passage of Greenberg that contradicts what you said. I likewise insist on specific passage of Derrida that contradicts what I said.

105.

dude

July 9, 2008, 12:35 PM

MC,

When you mentioned the Huxley book before it peaked my interest and I had to have it, so I found a funky older edition on ebay cheap. I haven't read it yet, and in fact kinda forgot I had it until now. Better get on it.

Opie,

It seems to me that one of the thorny parts about intuition as a descriptive, is finally having to point to the thing as proof of this type of knowledge, and it is actually not enough for some. Rather, I should say most. We have to go round and round with words otherwise Jelloworld refuses to acknowledge any common ground and yet words don't really apply. The beginning of your comment lays it all out...we use intuition all the time in our awareness but somehow some get caught trying to bring a different measure, read verbal or non-visual, (or at least try to make a case for one) to the art thing.

If there is an unbridgable divide between concept driven and visual driven work (and i think there is at bottom, hence the jackassery in some of these threads), then why is Jelloworld so eager to negate the knowledge behind the latter?

106.

Snide

July 9, 2008, 12:55 PM

Sorry, but you don't make a lick of sense, Franklin. A theoretical response to beauty is not the same things as the theorization of beauty.

"A reading requires reading, in the most basic sense. Have you read any of Derrida's writing on visual aesthetics?

To the extent that Derrida can be said to address a particular subject at any given time, sure."

I'm not talking about any particular subject, I'm talking about visual aesthetics. Yes or No? And if it doesn't seem like too much of a trap, give a single example. I remember being asked, and responding to someone's request about what Greenberg and Bannard I'd read in an earlier thread.

"And I would do so by providing a specific passage of Greenberg that contradicts what you said. I likewise insist on specific passage of Derrida that contradicts what I said"

I have already said that your mention of Derrida fails to say much of anything. You reference jargon, and now seem unwilling to explain what you mean and why it's appropriate. You do that, and if I disagree with your take I'll gladly provide relevant passages and arguments. And to be clear, I'd do the same if you mentioned "deconstruction" so emptily. There's plenty of people who can both reasonably understand Derrida and in turn disagree with him.

107.

Franklin

July 9, 2008, 1:16 PM

A theoretical response to beauty is not the same things as the theorization of beauty.

Sorry, but you don't make a lick of sense.

Yes or No?

Yes.

And if it doesn't seem like too much of a trap, give a single example.

It does.

I have already said that your mention of Derrida fails to say much of anything. You reference jargon, and now seem unwilling to explain what you mean and why it's appropriate. You do that, and if I disagree with your take I'll gladly provide relevant passages and arguments.

You already disagree with my take, or we wouldn't be having this discussion. So go ahead and provide the relevant passages and arguments.

108.

Chris Rywalt

July 9, 2008, 1:19 PM

Maybe next we can argue about whether or not we're even arguing! That's be frickin' AWESOME!

Or not.

109.

Franklin

July 9, 2008, 1:57 PM

Tell me about it, Chris. Thing is, even if Snide did finally succeed at bullying me into providing further explanation of that one sentence in that essay, we'd still be none the wiser about my ideas or Derrida's ideas. Unfortunately, bullying is what they train pomos to do at pomo day camp. See that link at #104 for details.

Actually, we're getting a pretty good sampling of the pomo arsenal here:

Condescension (or, My Educational Background Can Beat Up Your Educational Background):

Articles like this make your reading and arguments amateurish and deliberately confusing.

Yours isn't a reading.

I Accuse You Of That Which You Accuse The Author I Like:

My guess is you're going to go back to the issue of my anonymity instead of actually addressing something that you bullshit about understanding...

Talk about free-verse and loose thinking Franklin...

I Accuse You Of That Which I Am Guilty:

-I'm trying to stay on track, you're trying to distract

The Smoke Machine:

A theoretical response to beauty is not the same things as the theorization of beauty.

And then there's the feigned surprise and the derailed arguments and the overstatement already pointed out elsewhere. There is a limited value to battling all this. About a hundred comments worth.

110.

Whiplash

July 9, 2008, 2:18 PM

"My presumption is that you don't know what you're talking about, not that you can't articulate what you think."

Snide but true.

111.

Franklin

July 9, 2008, 2:24 PM

Snide but true.

My presumption is that comments like the above come people deficient in both intelligence and courage.

112.

J@simpleposie

July 9, 2008, 3:02 PM

I wouldn't worry about any perceived courage or intelligence deficiencies Clem/Snide/Whiplash.


Artblog.net's been running out of frenchmen to flog since Yves-Alain Bois showed up on Iconoduel that time three years ago. By now it's an established pattern to base one's critical opinions on nothing much. Plus ca change!

113.

Franklin

July 9, 2008, 3:25 PM

This, from the author of Franklin, I would say exactly what Clem has done.

114.

J@simpleposie

July 9, 2008, 3:29 PM

In other words, if things don't change, they will most likely stay the same.

115.

J@simpleposie

July 9, 2008, 3:31 PM

But don't go changin' to try to please me.
I love you jjust the way you are.

116.

MC

July 9, 2008, 4:09 PM

"I'd need to freshen up on my Schopenhauer before getting too far into this"

Too late...

"but I'd start by saying that his description of art focuses on how it expresses or embodies ideas and states. Am I wrong in guessing that this doesn't jive with most of you?"

Jive? I don't even know what you're talking about...

"His anti-empricism doesn't really jive with Franklin's posts on quality or beauty either."

His whatnow? What exactly doesn't 'jive' with Franklin's posts on quality or beauty, in your opinion?

"That, and his corresponding focus on will, is what inspired many of Nietzsche's investigations and I'll leave it to you to figure out where some of that influence continues to play itself out."

I don't think Schopenhauer can be held responsible for how others are influenced by, or misunderstand, him.

"I also seem to recall that visual art and literature were always secondary to music for him. But by all means bring up your own thoughts and examples, MC..."

Yes, I seem to recall that Schopenhauer lived in Germany, and was a contemporary of Beethoven, so it comes as little surprise that music was at the top of his list, over and above the visual art around him...

117.

opie

July 9, 2008, 4:15 PM

I know I am a pedant, but:

It is PER SE not "per say". Per say is what it would be called if Franklin charged for comments.

It is JIBE, not "jive". Jive is Clemsnidder's stock in trade.

It is PIQUED, not "peaked". Peaked is the shape of the head covered by that pointy cap.

118.

Snide

July 9, 2008, 4:23 PM

Well, I guess it is more interesting to move on if you're only going to keep shitting your pants about my "trap" and imagining pomo tactics and training camps!

Thanks for the link to that translation of Kant, J!

I was particularly interested to go back to his division of fine arts at § 51. It's important not to forget that so much of his discussion of aesthetic judgment and beauty doesn't have to do with man-made arts. I'm also interested to see what you guys think of his categories, particularly the last two.

Under "formative arts" painting is described as "sensuous semblance in artful combination with ideas". I almost wonder if a NewMo version of art fits more closely under "The art of the beautiful play of sensations" (which he mostly speaks about in terms of music), and specifically "the art of color"? If it is under this last category, Kant's hesitation about the objectivity of these judgments stands out:

"We cannot confidently assert whether a color or a tone (sound) is merely an agreeable sensation, or whether they are-in-themselves a beautiful play of sensations, and in being estimated aesthetically, convey, as such, a delight in their form"

119.

opie

July 9, 2008, 4:31 PM

Dude, the unbridgable gap is between good art and bad art. What is actually "conceptually driven" is really just guesswork. A lot of artists talk the pomo talk and then make regular old art in the regular old way anyway. It's beside the point. The art either works or it doesn't.

"Proof" is for science. Or the law. We don't deal in proof, we deal in effect, what the art does. An artist makes a thing to affect another person, just like a comedian tells a joke to affect another person. Art can be said to be a kind of entertainment. I think something is carried over by that entertainment, that pleasure, but it is hard to say what it is or why art has the effect it has. I know it is there because art told me it is.

Jelloworld is academic. It throws all its value over into words. Academia does not like all that feeling stuff. Academia is cold and precise and humorless, born of the monastic life.
Now the whole artworld has caught the academic bug and all of those - the great majority - who can't see art or feel art and should not be messing with it cling to the academic, to "meaning" and all the vulgar baggage that goes with it, as a kind of armor to protect them against their abysmal ignorance and insensitivity. To hell with them. Derrida Schmerrida.

120.

Franklin

July 9, 2008, 5:12 PM

Well, I guess it is more interesting to move on if you're only going to keep shitting your pants about my "trap" and imagining pomo tactics and training camps!

Interesting. I said "day camp," not "training camp." Is there something we should know about, Snide? Do you guys lease space from Al Qaeda? At any rate, based on your output, I'm wondering if pomo is all tactics at this point. And since you can provide no examples to the contrary, I'll assume my sentence conforms exactly to Derrida's thinking. Indeed, let's move on.

Which work are you quoting in #118?

I'm more confident than Kant, I guess, about that problem: the tones are in themselves beautiful and we perceive them as such. It would be pretty weird if the phenomenon that causes pitch to separate by octaves every half or double wavelength had nothing to do with our development into creatures who could hear it accordingly. Something similar is going on with our handling of shape, color, and modeling - on some level, these things are inherently gratifying.

121.

Snide

July 9, 2008, 5:26 PM

MC,

For Schopenhauer, beauty (and the sublime) are about giving expression to ideas--the Idea, in fact. I think even you can see how that runs contrary to artistic quality being primarily equated with visual quality.

Saying that quality has a biological basis (even when this includes the workings of the mind) does not square with Schopenhauer's anti-empiricism. For him, will can't be reduced to materialism.

Opie,

I stand corrected on the first two points.

And your sermons are nothing, if not consistent! : )

122.

MC

July 9, 2008, 5:38 PM

Snide, it sounds like you've really misunderstood whatever you've read of Schopenhauer, especially when you keep mischaracterizing him as an "anti-empiricist", and all the rest...

That said, I never implied that Schopenhauer's aesthetics is the template for New Modernism, only that he's an interesting read, for many reasons, most having very little to do with art, per se...

123.

Chris Rywalt

July 9, 2008, 5:46 PM

Franklin sez:
Something similar is going on with our handling of shape, color, and modeling - on some level, these things are inherently gratifying.

I've read that our sensitivity to color and shape comes from our primate ancestry -- we needed to be able to recognize fruits and ripeness for most of our diets.

124.

Franklin

July 9, 2008, 5:59 PM

My knowledge of Schopenhauer now consists entirely of his Wikipedia article, but one passage lines up pretty well with what I said about the illusion of the subjective/objective split:

According to Kant, things-in-themselves ground the phenomenal representations in our minds. Schopenhauer, on the other hand, believed phenomena and noumena to be two different sides of the same coin. Noumena do not cause phenomena, but rather phenomena are simply the way by which our minds perceive the noumena, according to the Principle of Sufficient Reason.

125.

Franklin

July 9, 2008, 6:02 PM

Also:

We know that our consciousness inhabits a physical body, similar to other physical objects only known as phenomena. Yet our consciousness is not commensurate with our body. Most of us possess the power of voluntary motion. We usually are not aware of the breathing of our lungs or the beating of our hearts unless somehow our attention is called to them. Our ability to control either is limited. Our kidneys command our attention on their schedule rather than one we choose. Few of us have any idea what our livers are doing right now, though this organ is as needful as lungs, heart, or kidneys. The conscious mind is the servant, not the master, of these and other organs. These organs have an agenda which the conscious mind did not choose, and over which it has limited power.

Organs including the eye.

126.

MC

July 9, 2008, 6:08 PM

Schopenhauer on aesthetics, in his own (translated) words:

"... It is quite obvious that the beautiful as such excites pleasure in us without having any kind of connexion with our personal aims, that is to say with our will.... when an aesthetic perception occurs the will completely vanishes from consciousness.... The perception of this, however, demands that, when contemplating an object, I really abstract its position in space and time, and thus abstract its individuality."

I don't see anything in there that's starkly at odds with anything Franklin's written, that I can think of... Franklin?

127.

Franklin

July 9, 2008, 6:11 PM

Looks good to me. What does he mean by "abstract its individuality"?

128.

Franklin

July 9, 2008, 6:29 PM

Wouldn't you know, there's a Wikipedia page on Schopenhauer's aesthetics and it says:

When the Marxist critique of capitalism was stirred into the aesthetic stew, Schopenhauer's essentially ascetic view of the purpose of art laid the foundation for the opposition of kitsch versus the avant-garde which is found in theorists such as Clement Greenberg.

I'm not down with his idea of the will as evil and would tend to think of the aesthetic experience as a continuation of desire rather than a respite from it, but all this merits closer examination.

129.

MC

July 9, 2008, 6:41 PM

I knew those words would stick out, plucked out of context, as they are (an understanding of his "Will and Representation" system is helpful here)... what he means is, although each artwork is judged individually, the perception of the work's underlying Platonic Idea, or the artwork as "will" (its 'artness', as it were), is an objective perception of what the art has in common with other art, and not merely what makes each work different.

Put another (more artblog.nettish) way, the "will" of art corresponds to its quality...

"I'm not down with his idea of the will as evil..."

Well, one source of confusion with Schopes is his dual use of the word "will", which is actually the truer, nobler flipside of the world as representation, which you can access only by denying your "will", as in your desires... That, and the paradoxical meanings of "idea", too, lead to some confusion... I blame the translations, of course...

130.

Franklin

July 9, 2008, 6:45 PM

We could call him Schopie.

131.

MC

July 9, 2008, 6:50 PM

"...tend to think of the aesthetic experience as a continuation of desire rather than a respite from it..."

But, as Scholdpro points out, the central problem of aesthetics "can be stated very simply: how is it possible for us to take pleasure in an object when this object has no kind of connexion with our desires?"

132.

Franklin

July 9, 2008, 6:53 PM

It's going to be a tough proposition to get pleasure apart from desire. Does he make that distinction?

133.

MC

July 9, 2008, 7:00 PM

Aesthetic appreciation results not in the fulfillment of desires, but in the abolition of suffering, through the cessation of willing. No will = no desires = no possibility of suffering...

Schopie does this all better justice than I, though...

134.

Franklin

July 9, 2008, 7:06 PM

That I could see panning out, in the sense that great art stops thinking. Good stuff.

135.

dude

July 9, 2008, 7:22 PM

sorry to interject there good fellows...

"We cannot confidently assert whether a color or a tone (sound) is merely an agreeable sensation, or whether they are-in-themselves a beautiful play of sensations, and in being estimated aesthetically, convey, as such, a delight in their form"

So...estimated aesthetically = judgement ?

And then the conflation of judgement and it's corresponding value steers us off course into the mire as a result of its shamelessly ego driven intellectualism that is not supported by the value (the direct apprehension of which is its quality?) of the object itself?

Sorry so clumsy. This stuff is some of the finer points in the dialogue that I don't have worked out just yet. Spellcheck welcome anytime, opie.

136.

MC

July 9, 2008, 7:31 PM

"That I could see panning out, in the sense that great art stops thinking."

I think this was precisely what Clement Greenberg was on about with his "cognitiveness without cognition" stab in his 'Homemade Esthetics'...

137.

opie

July 9, 2008, 7:42 PM

That art is the "giving expression to ideas" is a continuum from those who didn't get art from the greek s to Ayn Rand. It is simply wrong, not the least because it embodies not only a misunderstanding of art but an inability to have a clear idea of "idea".

What Schopenhauer means by "abstracting individuality" is what Kant means by "disinterested".

Greenberg was not a theorist.

138.

opie

July 9, 2008, 7:45 PM

I'm a lousy speller myself, Dude. What I was correcting above was words spelled right but wrong beause they were misplaced thorough phonetic association..

139.

Franklin

July 9, 2008, 9:19 PM

Greenberg was not a theorist.

Good point. I just changed it.

140.

Snide

July 9, 2008, 9:32 PM

MC,

"it sounds like you've really misunderstood whatever you've read of Schopenhauer, especially when you keep mischaracterizing him as an "anti-empiricist", and all the rest..."

Schopenhauer's philosophy posits a profound dualism of the phenomenal (or ideational) and the material, and as I hinted before, the title of his most important work doesn't shy away from stressing where he thinks our consideration of aesthetic judgment should begin. Read the first section of WWR, "The World as Idea" for his criticism of why various empirical sciences aren't "concerned with the inmost nature of the world". He contrasts logic with materialistic sciences precisely because of their different natures and means. It's not that he doesn't see a role for empirical sciences, but that they don't address what he is primarily concerned with, and definitely not aesthetic experience with is repeatedly defined in terms of transcendental ideas:

"Genius, then, consists, according to our explanation, in the capacity for knowing, independently of the principle of sufficient reason, not individual things, which have their existence only in their relations, but the Ideas of such things, and of being oneself the correlative of the Idea, and thus no longer an individual, but the pure subject of knowledge. Yet this faculty must exist in all men in a smaller and different degree ; for if not, they would be just as incapable of enjoying works of art as of producing them ; they would have no susceptibility for the beautiful or the sublime ; indeed, these words could have no meaning for them. We must therefore assume that there exists in all men this power of knowing the Ideas in tilings, and consequently of transcending their personality for the moment, unless indeed there are some men who are capable of no aesthetic pleasure at all. The man of genius excels ordinary men only by possessing this kind of knowledge in a far higher degree and more continuously. Thus, while under its influence he retains the presence of mind which is necessary to enable him to repeat in a voluntary and intentional work what he has learned in this manner ; and this repetition is the work of art. Through this he communicates to others the Idea he has grasped. This Idea remains unchanged and the same, so that aesthetic pleasure is one and the same whether it is called forth by a work of art or directly by the contemplation of nature and life. The work of art is only a means of facilitating the knowledge in which this pleasure consists. That the Idea conies to us more easily from the work of art than directly from nature and the real world, arises from the fact that the artist, who knew only the Idea, no longer the actual, has reproduced
in his work the pure Idea, has abstracted it from the actual, omitting all disturbing accidents. The artist lets
us see the world through his eyes. That he has these eyes, that he knows the inner nature of things apart from all their relations, is the gift of genius, is inborn ; but that he is able to lend us this gift, to let us see with his eyes, is acquired, and is the technical side of art"

(Sorry for the long passage, but I figured you fellas would prefer that to my summary)

While Schopenhauer definitely makes room for the empirical, in terms of acknowledging the role of craft, I don't see how you can possibly ignore the fact that this is not the function of a genius' art, but his means.

p.s. Sorry MC, but your taste in Penguin covers seems pretty awful. That series had the worst design since some of their more recent editions for kids. But then it's tough to live up to Tschichold!

141.

dude

July 9, 2008, 9:42 PM

Re: 138

Phonetic association check welcome anytime then. Is my comparison (#135) regarding aesthetic 'estimation' and 'judgement' reasonably on track?

142.

Snide

July 9, 2008, 9:51 PM

Franklin,

The sections I mention are from this link that J provided earlier:

http://denisdutton.com/kant_third_critique.htm

"I'm more confident than Kant, I guess, about that problem: the tones are in themselves beautiful and we perceive them as such. It would be pretty weird if the phenomenon that causes pitch to separate by octaves every half or double wavelength had nothing to do with our development into creatures who could hear it accordingly"

If you look at the problem of tuning, it's pretty easy to see that there's no "natural" basis to man-made scales.

"Something similar is going on with our handling of shape, color, and modeling - on some level, these things are inherently gratifying"

Gratification isn't enough to guarantee judgments of beauty.

143.

Franklin

July 9, 2008, 10:17 PM

The artist lets us see the world through his eyes. That he has these eyes, that he knows the inner nature of things apart from all their relations, is the gift of genius, is inborn...

That's fascinating. The Chinese phrase this in exactly the same way.

If he means "Idea" the way I would use "idea" then I wouldn't accept these terms. But a little more Googling indicates that he doesn't. It looks like one could translate Vorstellung as "presentation" and that the will and the presentation can be known via the body. It sounds alternately correct, and mistakenly Platonic. I'll have to read more.

If you look at the problem of tuning, it's pretty easy to see that there's no "natural" basis to man-made scales.

Actually, it's pretty easy to see that it is. Grabbing the center of a taut string gives you an octave position. The fifth is at 3:2. You can actually measure the cycles with a meter. Are there no tunings based on octaves or fifths?

Gratification isn't enough to guarantee judgments of beauty.

It's an excellent start though. I've referred to this before as understanding what makes the medium good. It's not that all arrangements of tones are good, but that if you have an ear for it, tones will give the impression of being promising, as if something good could come of them. This is true of shape, color, and modeling as well. If you get a thrill from looking at dry powdered pigment, you know what I'm talking about. If not, you don't.

144.

MC

July 9, 2008, 11:08 PM

"Sorry MC, but your taste in Penguin covers seems pretty awful. That series had the worst design since some of their more recent editions for kids. But then it's tough to live up to Tschichold!"

Sorry Snide, but you're a buffoon.

145.

Snide

July 9, 2008, 11:21 PM

Re: Tuning

Look into various reasons for tempering, then get back to me. And while you're at it, notice that various tunings have culturally specific conceptions of what sounds "natural".

"That's fascinating. The Chinese phrase this in exactly the same way"

The Chinese, hey...

"If he means "Idea" the way I would use "idea" then I wouldn't accept these terms. But a little more Googling indicates that he doesn't. It looks like one could translate Vorstellung as "presentation" and that the will and the presentation can be known via the body"

Wrong. For Schopenhauer, the material body and world are known by the phenomenal--an individual's will and intellect--not the other way around. For him, the Idea is not something material. It is something which includes, but is not limited to materiality.

"It's an excellent start though. I've referred to this before as understanding what makes the medium good. It's not that all arrangements of tones are good, but that if you have an ear for it, tones will give the impression of being promising, as if something good could come of them. This is true of shape, color, and modeling as well. If you get a thrill from looking at dry powdered pigment, you know what I'm talking about. If not, you don't"

Funny that I feel the need to remind you that the possibility of beauty shouldn't be mistaken for it's actual accomplishment.

146.

Snide

July 9, 2008, 11:51 PM

Penguin has gone to great lengths to make the most of (read: exploit) their design-history over the past five years, and an unfortunate result has been gimmick after gimmick once they eased off the Pentagram redesign of their classic template.

The typography is horrible both individually and as a family. Individual flourishes, whether visual or in terms of production, don't have anything to do with the texts themselves. They're like paper samples showing off new materials and processes, without bothering to be used with a solid rationale. And of course they're plain old U-G-L-Y.

Even the excessive "designer classics" have the decency to at least look good, even if they don't all constitute thoughtful design:

http://www.penguin.co.uk/static/cs/uk/0/minisites/designerclassics/index_idiot.html

147.

Franklin

July 9, 2008, 11:54 PM

Look into various reasons for tempering, then get back to me.

I did. Octaves and fifths come up a lot. I'm going to guess that's not an accident.

Wrong. For Schopenhauer, the material body and world are known by the phenomenal--an individual's will and intellect--not the other way around. For him, the Idea is not something material. It is something which includes, but is not limited to materiality.

I just looked up the terms, and the above doesn't look quite right. He's using Will to encompass effort, desire, urge, and like terms. Idea encompasses everything the mind experiences outside itself. He has a special class for the body - the immediate object - and the body becomes the reference point for legitimate understanding of things-as-they-are as Kant meant it. Hey, it's Wikipedia, so it could be all crap, but that's what I have to work with this evening.

Funny that I feel the need to remind you that the possibility of beauty shouldn't be mistaken for it's actual accomplishment.

I don't see why you feel the need to point this out. Am I claiming as much?

148.

Franklin

July 10, 2008, 12:05 AM

I bought a few of those Penguin titles. I'm a sucker for red-white-black designs and affordable books, so I was pretty much pegged by this whole series. They were certainly striking en masse. Individually they had their moments.

149.

opie

July 10, 2008, 4:35 AM

Dude I assume what is meant by "estimated esthetically" is the same as judgment., but let's not get into the word tangle again. When we see something that gives us pleasure the pleasure is the judgement. With art is happens involuntarily. The writers who are being talked about here all say this and it is certainly true. It is a description of a process.

The more interesting question is what comes across and why do we make it so important to us.

150.

opie

July 10, 2008, 6:27 AM

"Gratification isn't enough to guarantee judgments of beauty."

"Judgements of beauty" cannot be "guaranteed". What a ludicrous supposition!

151.

Chris Rywalt

July 10, 2008, 6:51 AM

I love dry powdered pigments. I never use them for anything and don't own any, but I find it magical just to see them in their jars in the store. In fact I love art supply stores in general, and also stationery stores. Although I feel Staples has sort of ruined it for me -- they're all a little too warehouse-like for the magic.

I read a book about pigments which started out very promising, but sadly wandered off into cloth dyes, which I found less exciting. Still, it was an intriguing read: Color: A Natural History of the Palette.

The best section was on the Aborigines of Australia and how they value and trade their pigments; only Aborigines can learn where they get them and how they use them. It's a spiritual secret. In this world of everything-on-the-Internet it's enticing to know that there are still secrets.

I'm a materials nut: I love different papers, their different textures. I love the look and feel of fresh oil paint. Pigments are awesome. I love a freshly gessoed panel and how smooth and white it is. To some degree, when I paint I'm trying to live up to the inherent beauty of my materials.

152.

dude

July 10, 2008, 7:10 AM

'To some degree, when I paint I'm trying to live up to the inherent beauty of my materials.'

Chris, it sounds like you take your first cues from the from the inherent characteristics of the medium itself...hmmmm. It's an extraordinary idea, I'll have to try it.

153.

ben

July 10, 2008, 7:34 AM

"The more interesting question is what comes across and why do we make it so important to us."


Leo Tolstoy said, "Art is not, as the metaphysicians say, the manifestation of some mysterious idea of beauty or God; it is not, as the aesthetical physiologists say, a game in which man lets off his excess of stored-up energy; it is not the expression of man’s emotions by external signs; it is not the production of pleasing objects; and, above all, it is not pleasure; but it is a means of union among men, joining them together in the same feelings, and indispensable for the life and progress toward well-being of individuals and of humanity."

From Art and Sincerity, linked on www.denisdutton.com

154.

Chris Rywalt

July 10, 2008, 7:54 AM

That's an interesting point. Which I guess one would expect from Tolstoy. He is, after all, Tolstoy.

I definitely think that union Tolstoy writes of, I think that union is important. When I stand in front of a Picasso, some of the feeling I get comes from knowing that Picasso stood right where I am while he was painting it. It's a time machine, and also egalitarian: Anyone with eyes can stand in the same spot and see the same thing.

That feeling, for me, is not, I think, connected to the really deep feelings engendered by great art, though. Those feelings -- which are very rare -- don't come from any thought process, and so can't be reduced down to that kind of cause and effect.

155.

opie

July 10, 2008, 8:03 AM

it is difficult to live up to the inherent beauty of your material, and very easy to turn them into inert sludge.

Tolstoi was wrong about pleasure. Good art gives pleasure. He knew better. He has a point about the "brotherhood" thing but this needs to be described more clearly and thoroughly and if it were it might not be what he was thinking about.

156.

MC

July 10, 2008, 8:08 AM

That Wikipedia page sounds far less like crap than Snide's 'phenomenal' manglings, Franklin... I assume that in addition to NOT being a Derrida scholar, it is safe to assume Snide is NOT a Schopenhauer scholar, either... I can't wait to find out the next are of Snide's inexpertise...

157.

MC

July 10, 2008, 8:52 AM

"Clem
Wednesday 11 June 2008 6:43 pm

Oh so I'm just an idiot, functionally ignorant, dishonest, and oh yeah, functionally illiterate."


The most accurate thing Snide's posted here yet, and here we are, a month later, and she continually offers up more evidence...

158.

J@simpleposie

July 10, 2008, 9:01 AM

Can the acrimony. It doesn't become you.

159.

MC

July 10, 2008, 9:13 AM

Hmmm... what a dilemma:

Obey the toothless and dull who forbid biting sharpness;

v. add curt acrimony...


I know which option an anagramist like myself would choose...

160.

Snide

July 10, 2008, 9:43 AM

Re: Tempering

Different systems of tuning work to correct intervals so that they sound right. They are attempts to address different tonal commas.

Re: Schopenhauer's Ontology

"It is true that at all times an etiology, unmindful of its real aim, has striven to reduce all organised life to chemism or electricity ; all chemism, that is to say quality, again to mechanism (action determined by the shape of the atom), this again sometimes to the object of phoronomy, i.e., the combination of time and space, which makes motion possible, sometimes to the object of mere geometry, i.e., position in space (much in the same way as we rightly deduce the diminution of an effect from the square of the distance, and the theory of the lever in a purely geometrical manner) : geometry may finally be reduced to arithmetic, which, on account of its one dimension, is of all the forms of the principle of sufficient reason, the most intelligible, comprehensible, and com pletely susceptible of investigation. As instances of the method generally indicated here, we may refer to the atoms of Democritus, the vortex of Descartes, the mechanical physics of Lesage, which towards the end of last century tried to explain both chemical affinities and gravitation mechanically by impact and pressure, as may be seen in detail in " Lucrece Neutonien;" Eeil s form and combination as the cause of animal life, also tends in this direction. Finally, the crude materialism which even now in the middle of the nineteenth century has been served up again under the ignorant delusion that it is original, belongs distinctly to this class. It stupidly denies vital force, and first of all tries to explain the phenomena of life from physical and chemical forces, and those again from the mechanical effects of the matter, position, form, and motion of imagined atoms, and thus seeks to reduce all the forces of nature to action and re action as its thim:-in-it.self. According to this teaching, light is the mechanical vibration or undulation of an imaginary ether, postulated for this end. This ether, if it reaches the eye, beats rapidly upon the retina, and gives us the knowledge of colour. Thus, for example, four hundred
and eighty-three billion beats in a second give red, and seven hundred and twenty-seven billion beats in a second
give violet. Upon this theory, persons who are colour blind must be those who are unable to count the beats, must they not? Such crass, mechanical, clumsy, and certainly knotty theories, which remind one of Democritus, are quite worthy of those who, fifty years after the appearance of Goethe s doctrine of colour, still believe in New ton s homogeneous light, and are not ashamed to say so. They will find that what is overlooked in the child (Democritus) will not be forgiven to the man. They might indeed, some day, come to an ignominious end ; but then every one would slink away and pretend that he never had anything to do with them. We shall soon have to speak again of this false reduction of the forces of nature to each other ; so much for the present. Supposing this theory were possible, all would certainly be explained and established and finally reduced to an arithmetical problem, which would then be the holiest thing in the temple of wisdom, to which the principle of sufficient reason would at last have happily conducted
us. But all content of the phenomenon would have
disappeared, and the mere form would remain. The "what appears " would be referred to the " how it appears," and
this " how " would be what is a priori knowable, therefore entirely dependent on the subject, therefore only for the subject, therefore, lastly, mere phantom, idea and form of idea, through and through : no thing-in-itself could be demanded. Supposing, then, that this were possible, the whole world would be derived from the subject, and. in fact, that would be accomplished which Fichte wanted to seem to accomplish by his empty bombast. But it is not possible : phantasies, sophisms, castles in the air, have been constructed in this way, but science never. The many and multifarious phenomena in nature have been successfully referred to particular original forces, and as often as this has been done, a real advance has been made. Several forces and qualities, which were at first regarded as different, have been derived from each other, and thus their number has been curtailed. (For example, magnetism from electricity.)
Etiology will have reached its goal when it has recognized and exhibited as such all the original forces of nature, and established their mode of operation, i.e., the law according to which, under the guidance of causality, their phenomena appear in time and space, and determine their position with regard to each other. But certain original forces will always remain over; there will always remain as an insoluble residuum a content of phenomena which cannot be referred to their form, and thus cannot be explained from something else in accordance with the principle of sufficient reason. For in everything in nature there is something of which no ground can ever be assigned, of which no explanation is possible, and no ulterior cause is to be sought."

My take: it ain't for nothing that Schopenhauer is working in the tradition of continental idealism, even if he is critiquing parts of Kant's aesthetics. Franklin's is just getting into Schopenhauer but it's plain ignorant for MC to trumpet Schopenhauer without understanding either his basic ontology or epistemology. Didn't the guys at Chapters let you know about his transcendentalism? : )

"I don't see why you feel the need to point this out. Am I claiming as much?"

First, a start is not a finish. Second, you have yourself said that people will completely different tastes certainly enjoy the art they love, they're just plain wrong is all.

Now Opie,

"Judgements of beauty" cannot be "guaranteed". What a ludicrous supposition!

My comment was in relation to Kant's argument. So your problem is with him, because he definitely thinks that something guarantees Beauty, and hence any sound judgments of it.

Re: Great Ideas, Poor Designs

I love having different materials, knowing about different printing and productions methods as much as the next guy. That doesn't mean that you pull them out just cause it's something different. They might well draw your attention and excite you because they reference possibilities that Penguin doesn't typically use (Uncoated paper, embossing/debossing, die-cuts, a broader range of fonts...) but don't confuse this with quality, let alone meaningful design. Visually speaking, they are cheap.

161.

Snide

July 10, 2008, 9:47 AM

All this Schopenhauer has gotten to me! One of my sentences should read: "Second, you have yourself said that people with completely different tastes certainly enjoy the art they love, they're just plain wrong is all"

162.

Snide

July 10, 2008, 9:58 AM

And not to jump too far into book-design (I know how people like Opie prefer looking to theorizing) here's a family of books that are worth buying for their covers if nothing else:

http://www.lesallusifs.com/livres/librairie.php

Pages one, two, and most of three are based on Paprika's redesign which was also award-winning-- but unlike MC I tend to think this is largely beside the point : )

163.

opie

July 10, 2008, 10:01 AM

Give me a citation, Snide.

Yeah, sure. Fat chance, right?

164.

MC

July 10, 2008, 10:11 AM

No need to repeat my comment #157, I suppose. Carry on, Clem...

165.

MC

July 10, 2008, 10:17 AM

"Transcendental is the philosophy that makes us aware of the fact that the first and essential laws of this world that are presented to us are rooted in our brain and are therefore known a priori. It is called transcendental because it goes beyond the whole given phantasmagoria to the origin thereof."

A. Schopie

166.

J@simpleposie

July 10, 2008, 10:29 AM

What's the origin thereof?

167.

dude

July 10, 2008, 10:30 AM

How does transcendentalism really make us aware of anything a priori?

MC, is that bit a snippet from a larger critique of transcendentalism or is this a lead in to Schop's take on the same?

Just trying to stay afloat....

168.

Snide

July 10, 2008, 10:41 AM

Opie,

From most of §44 of the first book and section of Critique of Judgement:

"Where art, merely seeking to actualize a possible object to the cognition of which it is adequate, does whatever acts are required for that purpose, then it is mechanical. But should the feeling of pleasure be what it has immediately in view, it is then termed aesthetic art. As such it may be either agreeable or fine art. The description “agreeable art” applies where the end of the art is that the pleasure should accompany the representations considered as mere sensations, the description “fine art” where it is to accompany them considered as modes of cognition

Agreeable arts are those which have mere enjoyment for their object. Such are all the charms that can gratify a dinner party: entertaining narrative, the art of starting the whole table in unrestrained and sprightly conversation, or with jest and laughter inducing a certain air of gaiety. Here, as the saying goes, there may be much loose talk over the glasses, without a person wishing to be brought to book for all he utters, because it is only given out for the entertainment of the moment, and not as a lasting matter to be made the subject of reflection or repetition. (Of the same sort is also the art of arranging the table for enjoyment, or, at large banquets, the music of the orchestra — a quaint idea intended to act on the mind merely as an agreeable noise fostering a genial spirit, which, without any one paying the smallest attention to the composition, promotes the free flow of conversation between guest and guest.) In addition must be included play of every kind which is attended with no further interest than that of making the time pass by unheeded.

Fine art, on the other hand, is a mode of representation which is intrinsically purposive, and which, although devoid of an end, has the effect of advancing the culture of the mental powers in the interests of social communication

The universal communicability of a pleasure involves in its very concept that the pleasure is not one of enjoyment arising out of mere sensation, but must be one of reflection. Hence aesthetic art, as art which is beautiful, is one having for its standard the reflective judgment and not organic sensation".

Can you see how this division of aesthetic experience is relevant to my question about where NewMo might fall under Kant's classification of different "Fine Arts"? As this last line implies, taste is guaranteed to the extent to which it finds its basis and standard in "reflective judgment" and not "organic sensation". Which is precisely why Kant's is hesitant about the third division of fine arts that he sets up.

169.

Franklin

July 10, 2008, 10:42 AM

Different systems of tuning work to correct intervals so that they sound right. They are attempts to address different tonal commas.

Which demonstrates that the intervals are fundamentally valuable.

First, a start is not a finish.

Point to where I claimed that a start is a finish.

Second, you have yourself said that people with completely different tastes certainly enjoy the art they love, they're just plain wrong is all.

I said specifically that people with poor taste enjoy their taste as much as people with good taste enjoy theirs. The disadvantage to the former is that they miss out on the best art. I'm trying in vain to relate this to your comment that says Funny that I feel the need to remind you that the possibility of beauty shouldn't be mistaken for it's actual accomplishment.

It doesn't look like Schopenhauer bought the tradition of idealism wholesale. Right after the end of your excerpt, he says what can't be explained:

This is the specific nature of its action, i.e., the nature of its existence, its being. Of each particular effect of the thing a cause may be certainly indicated, from which it follows that it must act just at his time and in this place,; but no cause can ever be found from which it follows that a thing acts in general, and precisely in the way it does. If it has no other qualities, if it is merely a mote in a sunbeam, it yet exhibits this unfathomable something, at least as weight and impenentrability. But this, I say, is to the mote what his will is to a man; and, like the human will, it is, according to its inner natue, not subject to explanation; nay; more - it is in itself identical with this will.

As transcendentalism goes, this is markedly physical.

170.

Franklin

July 10, 2008, 10:45 AM

That Preview button isn't just for grins, Snide. Everybody hold on a moment.

171.

Snide

July 10, 2008, 10:46 AM

MC,

You quote that passage like you think it means something to your earlier objections. What do you think it proves?

172.

Franklin

July 10, 2008, 10:50 AM

Okay, continue.

173.

opie

July 10, 2008, 11:16 AM

Franklin: I think it is better not to assume that people with poor taste enjoy the art they like as much as people with good taste. It may be that there is a difference. I'm basing this on my own experience, but I certainly cannot even think about deminstrating it so it will remain moot.

Snide, you said:

Gratification isn't enough to guarantee judgments of beauty.

I said:

Judgements of beauty" cannot be "guaranteed". What a ludicrous supposition!

You said:

My comment was in relation to Kant's argument. So your problem is with him, because he definitely thinks that something guarantees Beauty, and hence any sound judgments of it.

I said:

give me a citation, please.

So you did the usual temporizing trick of providing unnecessarily long complex quotes which are at best tangential to the question. Kant did NOT say "Gratification isn't enough to guarantee judgments of beauty" (nor would he; it makes no sense) and he did NOT say something "guarantees beauty".

What he DID do is distinguish between ordinary pleasure and "art" pleasure, which by inference means that pleasure does not necessarily have beauty as its source.

174.

MC

July 10, 2008, 11:23 AM

Dude, that snippet is just what the guys at Chapters told me about his transcendentalism, via his book, Parerga and Paralipomena, which overlaps in content a fair bit with the oh-so-controversially-designed Penguin paperback of collected writings mentioned earlier.

I wonder if Snide objects as vehemently to the design of this one, too...

(of course, I know I'm baiting the elitist-version of Snide every time I bring up anything at all even remotely hinting of 'popular literature', even if it is just a somewhat-popularized reprint of an otherwise obscure German philosopher, but really, I never thought I'd provoke such an overblown reaction to describing the Penguin series as being "sweetly designed"! Perhaps Snide's problem is that she thinks faster than she understands...)

175.

Snide

July 10, 2008, 12:09 PM

My bad.

Franklin,

"Which demonstrates that the intervals are fundamentally valuable".

I've never said they aren't valuable, but that this value doesn't perfectly correlate to uniform tonal difference. Different commas show how the physical values need to be compromised-- which is why tempering comes about. Have you already Wikipediaed it (it looks like there's a listing of specific ones too)?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comma_%28music%29

"Point to where I claimed that a start is a finish"

I'm pointing this out. Having knowledge of a medium and getting a good sense from one's "ear" doesn't mean your going to be able judge (or make) beautiful art. I'd agree that it's a suitable starting point, but its one that people with incredibly different tastes share.

"It doesn't look like Schopenhauer bought the tradition of idealism wholesale"

If you're implying that I said that, read again. And regarding your quote, I never said that Schopenhauer's ontology and aesthetics didn't include the physical. But it's far from your brand of empiricism, which was my point in the first place. As his remarks on empiricism and atomism clearly show, he'd never buy anything like your "panjective" -- which I 'm guessing tolerates no transcendentalism.

Opie,

Next to your sermon's this is your favorite tactic, ain't it? Let's clear some things up.

Gratification was something that Franklin mentioned in response to my first citation of Kant. Kant's doesn't speak of gratification, but I took this as Franklin referencing "agreeable sensation" (vs. "a beautiful play of sensations").

Now on the matter of guaranteeing. The quote responded to you sets up the basis on which "fine art" can be distinguished from "pleasurable art", and in turn the basis for "fine art" which achieves beauty. If someone's taste meets this standard of "reflective judgement", this guarantees their assessment of beauty.

MC,

You quote that passage like you think it means something to your earlier objections. What do you think it proves?

(Second Request)

(Not that it's much of a surprise that you'd rather continue to talk about the design of the books you bring up instead of their content.)

176.

Snide

July 10, 2008, 12:12 PM

I swear that wasn't there in preview... : (

177.

Snide

July 10, 2008, 12:20 PM

Arguing on two and a half fronts apparently takes a toll!

178.

Franklin

July 10, 2008, 12:36 PM

I've never said they aren't valuable, but that this value doesn't perfectly correlate to uniform tonal difference.

You said that the problem of tuning shows that there is no natural basis to man-made scales. A lack of perfect correlation between the natural intervals and uniform tonal difference does not support that statement.

Having knowledge of a medium and getting a good sense from one's "ear" doesn't mean your going to be able judge (or make) beautiful art. I'd agree that it's a suitable starting point, but its one that people with incredibly different tastes share.

Here's what I said: "It's not that all arrangements of tones are good, but that if you have an ear for it, tones will give the impression of being promising, as if something good could come of them." How did you get from this to what you're contradicting above?

If you're implying that I said that, read again.

Okay. "My take: it ain't for nothing that Schopenhauer is working in the tradition of continental idealism, even if he is critiquing parts of Kant's aesthetics." Thank you for the clarification.

As his remarks on empiricism and atomism clearly show, he'd never buy anything like your "panjective" -- which I 'm guessing tolerates no transcendentalism.

I buy his version partially - maybe he would have bought mine in equal measure.

Next to your sermon's this is your favorite tactic, ain't it?

You'll notice that "tactic" didn't come up until after I used it to describe the I Accuse You Of That Which I Am Guilty strategy previously mentioned. Kindly cut that out.

179.

Chris Rywalt

July 10, 2008, 12:41 PM

OP sez:
I think it is better not to assume that people with poor taste enjoy the art they like as much as people with good taste. It may be that there is a difference.

I've found that elitist arguments often end up somewhere like, "You only THINK you enjoy it!" Actually, a lot of arguments end up there. Ask a 1960s-style feminist if it's possible for women to enjoy anal sex, for example.

I admit I fall back on that argument at times, also. There's this idea that there's enjoyment and there's enjoyment -- that going to the trouble of refining one's pleasures brings one more pleasure than not. You might think that Budweiser is good beer if you've never had really good beer. You might think that Kinkade is a great painter if you've never really looked at a good painting. And so on.

I don't know, though. How does anyone compare pleasure or pain? I know that pain isn't relative: Being in a concentration camp sucks, but so does middle-class American ennui. They each suck equally to the people suffering from them. But to anyone outside of either, clearly one sucks more than the other. Even to someone who's been in a concentration camp -- a decade or so later, they might find themselves forgetting how bad it was and suffering from middle-class American ennui anyway.

I assume pleasure isn't relative, either. And I suppose it doesn't admit comparisons. And yet we compare anyway.

180.

MC

July 10, 2008, 1:19 PM

"You quote that passage like you think it means something to your earlier objections. What do you think it proves?"

Oh, is that how I quoted the passage like... you read in a most novel fashion, Snide: part illiteracy, part telepathy...

P.S. don't fucking "second request" me, you faceless sack of dung. You don't respond to a single request that ever risks blowing away your smarmy shitscreen, much less the repeated thirds and forths (See #57-#63 at the end of this thread for a recent example).

181.

Snide

July 10, 2008, 1:31 PM

"You said that the problem of tuning shows that there is no natural basis to man-made scales. A lack of perfect correlation between the natural intervals and uniform tonal difference does not support that statement"

Just like our discussion of color, I'm not denying the physics involved, but that our organization and labeling of them isn't natural. If I look at your first posts on the mater :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Just_intonation

The sound clips do a good job of illustrating why we typically choose to correct, rather than keep, natural tuning. It's why your original comments about octaves and fifths doesn't hold with most historical music making and enjoyment.

"How did you get from this to what you're contradicting above?"

If you think I've misunderstood or missed your point, why don't you try to explain what's you're saying. I'll take a deep-breath and listen.

"I buy his version partially - maybe he would have bought mine in equal measure"

Schopenhauer takes the empirical into account as part of his ontology, but doesn't seem like he would ever limit himself to it. If you don't think that your "panjective" limits itself in this way, I'd again be happy to listen.

182.

opie

July 10, 2008, 1:35 PM

Snide sez:

"If someone's taste meets this standard of "reflective judgement", this guarantees their assessment of beauty"

Opie sez:

Wrong. Reflective judgement is a type, not a criteria. It guarantees nothing (for Kant) except that it is attending something esthetically.


Chris, I was basing my observation on enjoyment on experience. It is not (yet) an argument, only an observation.I had to develop my taste as i grew older and I found that the intensity of my enjoyment grew with it. As I said, I can't begin to demonstrate it, but my experience certainly will keep me from ever asserting that enjoying Elton John is the same as enjoying Louis Armstrong. I don't care; it's just different.

183.

Franklin

July 10, 2008, 1:36 PM

I'm sure I that loved Guns and Roses back in high school with all the fervor that I now love Dave Brubeck. But I got whatever pleasure I was going to get out of G&R - my taste used it up after a while and latched on to better music. I can see listening to Brubeck for the rest of my life. Maybe pleasures are like different densities of fuels that burn slower or faster.

184.

MC

July 10, 2008, 1:43 PM

I just saw DB and his f'n Q play in Calgary a few weekends back. They're all over 80 years old, and they rocked.

For their encore, they played a haunting version of "Mama Kin", if you can believe it...

185.

Franklin

July 10, 2008, 1:46 PM

Those motherfuckers are still gigging 250 shows a year, too. I'd love to see them live.

186.

Snide

July 10, 2008, 1:59 PM

"Snide sez:

"If someone's taste meets this standard of "reflective judgement", this guarantees their assessment of beauty"

Opie sez:

Wrong. Reflective judgement is a type, not a criteria. It guarantees nothing (for Kant) except that it is attending something esthetically"

You're not reading Kant very closely, Opie. That he speaks of a standard is key. For Kant, aesthetic judgment that meet this standard do what the they're meant to do, judge beauty. It's what allows Kant to evaluate individual judgments, works, and even forms of fine art.

MC,

In your own words, what is Schopenhauer saying about transcendentalism in the passage you quoted?

187.

Snide

July 10, 2008, 2:03 PM

"Wrong. Reflective judgement is a type, not a criteria. It guarantees nothing (for Kant) except that it is attending something esthetically"

[Citation needed!]

188.

Chris Rywalt

July 10, 2008, 2:15 PM

OP sez:
Chris, I was basing my observation on enjoyment on experience. It is not (yet) an argument, only an observation.

I know. I was just adding my own thoughts. And also a reference to anal sex, which is key.

Regarding Brubeck: Time Out ("Take Five" in particular) is encoded in my DNA along with Herbie Mann at the Village Gate. My dad played them on LP so far back into my childhood that when I heard them again as an adult, it was like I'd never stopped listening. (Don't think it was all peaches and cream: I was also subjected to Kenny Rogers and Willie Nelson. Although I'm still fond of Willie's Stardust album.)

I was sad when Herbie Mann died a few years back. Also George Carlin -- I'd always meant to see them live. I guess I still have time for Les Paul and Dave Brubeck. I'd better hurry for Paul, though.

189.

Chris Rywalt

July 10, 2008, 2:21 PM

DB&Q are playing in D.C. soon -- April 18, 2009. Jeez, do they even know if they're going to be alive by then?

Heck, I don't know if I can make it that far!

190.

dude

July 10, 2008, 2:30 PM

RIP, Mr. Carlin. You were one of the best bullshit detectors ever.

191.

Franklin

July 10, 2008, 2:37 PM

Just like our discussion of color, I'm not denying the physics involved, but that our organization and labeling of them isn't natural.

The labeling can't be natural because nature doesn't label things until we get involved. And the very choice of words in "why we typically choose to correct, rather than keep, natural tuning" shows that you agree that natural tuning provides the basis, hard as you're trying to avoid admitting it. Indeed, this seems to be the case in the majority of tunings, increasingly so as you go back farther in history.

It reminds me of color quite a bit. Artists who care about these things will tweak their palettes to perfect suitability. It would be silly to have yellow ochre and raw sienna on your palette at the same time, but you might choose one or the other depending on whether you wanted that position to work more like yellow or more like brown. You can even get a red shade of yellow ochre, which for me would imginge uselessly on the position I have for Venetian red. Meanwhile I have four blues (phthalo, cerulean, cobalt, and ultramarine, going from more green to more purple) and find none of them redundant. All this has a natural basis as well, my preferences notwithstanding.

And maybe this will adequately clarify that sentence you're contradicting for reasons I don't see. I don't think that having phthalo on my palette will cause me to make great art. (Quite the opposite, in fact - phthalo is like a loaded shotgun.) But on the question of whether things are beautiful or we perceive them as such, I come down with Schopie that they're two sides of one coin. The phthalo on my palette evolved into its position there by emulating the successes of Prussian blue, with its green shade and transparency, but without its misbehavior in the presence of zinc white, and for this I'm willing to put up with phthalo's disproportionately high tinctoral strength and the acidity of its hue. The collective human effort that brought it there and its physical properties are a single, continuous phenomenon.

192.

MC

July 10, 2008, 3:55 PM

Snide, point to one single critic, other than Simon Blackburn, who has suggested that Frankfurt might be guilty of bullshitting, as you have previously claimed on the other thread. Umpteenth request...

193.

opie

July 10, 2008, 4:10 PM

What the hell do you mean by "citation needed", snerd?

The interpretation, which is obvious, came from your text.

194.

MC

July 10, 2008, 4:15 PM

I just remembered the reason Schopenhauer came up here in the first place: for his admonishment to avoid bad writers.

Sorry, Arthur, it won't happen again, I promise...

195.

MC

July 10, 2008, 4:41 PM

Well, this is decently written, anyway: a review in a Canadian paper for the Action/Abstraction show.

Chris will definitely want to read it, as it contains the phrase "red-outlined, hairy gash"...

196.

Chris Rywalt

July 10, 2008, 7:10 PM

Mmm, hairy gash....

197.

Noah

July 10, 2008, 11:01 PM

I'm not big on Enright.His criticism offers more when it talks about what's in the show rather than what's not. Or who's not. And,by the way, Zeus didn't spring from anyones head. Cronus ate a rock instead of eating him.

198.

Mike

July 11, 2008, 4:14 AM

What about the beauty based on historical and traditional views and, basically, human psychological perceptions. Those qualities are lasting through many generations. Why we still respond to Greek sculpture or Roman mosaic? I didn't come across with good explanations of this. Is contemporary New Yorker brain "better wired" than Roman Consul 2000 years ago? I doubt. The stimulants are may be slightly different but basic human responses remain the same. Our brains are expandable and eager to accept "new and fresh" as a stimulant. We are kind of addicted to stimulants, aren't we? But if we cross boundries defined through the tradition and history most of the audience will flush "new" to the toilet and sharing between the artist and audience become exchange of fake pleasantries but not experiencing a beauty. The universalism of beauty rather belongs to inborn psychological qualities of us, humans, than theory of beauty and theoreticians like Derrida.
I am addicted myself to the "new beauties-stimulants" and I am looking for fresh ones constantly. It energizes my brain to work on my paintings. Dave Brubeck, Mile Davis, classical music all of those are fine and gratifying but at certain point they loose stimulating quality after repetitive listening.
My latest stimulant is "international heavy metal." Although this stimulant is not 2000 years old but is "new and fresh" to me. It makes flow my juices when I paint. For how long, I don't know. I may add, I am not a spring chicken anymore and I live in L.A. so I should love to death everything American but still...

German
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QUB7Zytbn3Y&feature=related
Turkey
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vl63cRjIcoo&feature=related

199.

opie

July 11, 2008, 6:47 AM

"The universalism of beauty rather belongs to inborn psychological qualities of us, humans, than theory of beauty and theoreticians like Derrida."

Of course it does, Mike. Keeping that in mind is a clear path through all the verbal brambles.

Your "stimulus" approach sounds a bit desperate. If something loses its freshness It may just not be that good. Turn to something better, not to something that will be even shorter term.

200.

Snide

July 11, 2008, 7:48 AM

Re: Tuning

I don't think you're trying to say this anyhow, but there are no notes, no scales, no intervals in nature. These are things that are superimposed on what does occur naturally, and in turn modified. My point about tunings is that we aren't limited to perfect frequency ratios (and do these actually occur naturally?) because they don't sound good and don't actually produce consistent results. Tuning is a system, something that is not the case objectively in nature. Starting point, sure, but we're not bound to it. Again, a survey of different cultures' tuning solutions and tastes is proof enough of this.

"But on the question of whether things are beautiful or we perceive them as such, I come down with Schopie that they're two sides of one coin"

Can you flush out how you think you're on the same page as Schopie about the perception of beauty?

"The collective human effort that brought it there and its physical properties are a single, continuous phenomenon"

Part of the problem with your ongoing argument that everything comes out of nature, out of our biology, is that it leads to imprecise and unprovable statements like this. You're muddling the history of science and artistic practice (which could have been different) with physical properties. They are certainly related, but not "a single, continuous phenomenon".

MC,

I did miss your "request" in the last thread and will reply there. But feel free to make an actual argument about Schopenhauer's basic ontology until then!

Opie,

I've already said that you've missed Kant's point in that passage. But feel free to show me where (or how) the standard of reflective judgment is just a category. The nature of the aesthetic category provides its criteria for judgment.

201.

opie

July 11, 2008, 8:30 AM

Kant is making a distinction, not a value judgment. I shouldn't have to show this to you; it is apparent from the text.

202.

MC

July 11, 2008, 8:30 AM

"But feel free to make an actual argument about Schopenhauer's basic ontology until then!"

Huh? What does that have to do with beauty, anyway? I hardly feel compelled to discuss Schopenhauer with someone like you, who honestly thinks the word "phenomenon" means its exact opposite.

You need the sort of remedial reading help that I do not give out for free, Snidely. Good luck to you in your future endeavors...

203.

Franklin

July 11, 2008, 8:48 AM

These are things that are superimposed on what does occur naturally, and in turn modified.

We agree.

My point about tunings is that we aren't limited to perfect frequency ratios (and do these actually occur naturally?) because they don't sound good and don't actually produce consistent results.

Not because they don't sound good, but because they don't sound good enough, and the distinction is important. You'd have to have no ear at all not to hear a similarity between a note and its octave. These kinds of innate capacities cause us to respond to art in a universal way (in general, not in specific). Taste is the ability to detect quality, and people with senstive taste can make fine distinctions regarding their subject - hence the adjustments. We go from red ochre from a particularly nice patch of dirt, to washed red ochre dirt, to Venetian red, to synthetic iron oxide in an effort to get increasingly pure versions of that color.

Re: Schopenhauer, I'm going by the quote in #124. Wikipedia ≈ truth, of course, but that's where I noticed the idea. (Flesh, not flush. Eek.)

They are certainly related, but not "a single, continuous phenomenon".

Until someone demonstrates to me that we have minds that exist apart from our bodies, I'm going to regard them as a single phenomenon and their works similarly. The evidence at least somewhat supports that supposition, which I can't say for equivalent claims rooted in social determinism. It also gives shared humanity, and thus shared responses to art, an eminently reasonable basis - human genomic similarity the world over.

204.

Snide

July 11, 2008, 9:04 AM

Opie,

That distinction forms the basis for aesthetic judgment, living up to that basis guarantees a means of evaluating fine art and beauty. He fret's about the third type of fine-art precisely because there's the danger it doesn't live up to that standard.

If you're quibbling with my word choice (which you usually do), I'd gladly say that for Kant reflective judgment anchors the ability to correctly judge beauty, justify one's taste. By guarantee, I certainly didn't meant that all aesthetic judgments are correct for Kant, but that we have recourse to a standard which can evaluate correctness.

MC,

Look at what you challenged me on about Schopenhauer, then look up what ontology means and that's its generally known as first philosophy. Maybe you can piece it together, all on your own.

205.

opie

July 11, 2008, 9:17 AM

Snide, you said ""If someone's taste meets this standard of "reflective judgement", this guarantees their assessment of beauty"

Although it is difficult to make sense of this sentence, it certainly seems to say that if one exercises reflective judgement then they will necessarily correctly comprehend and appreciate beauty.

My response is that Kant said no such thing. He merely said that reflective judgement is a necessary condition for appreciating beauty, not that it "guarantees" it.

It is more than word choice. It is a matter of writing precisely and clearly.

206.

Snide

July 11, 2008, 10:35 AM

Opie,

How many times can you necessarily incorrectly uncomprehend that I'm is pointing to a standard? Kant uses this standard of reflective judgement to seperate aesthetic judgement from what it is often mistakenly taken to be.

"He merely said that reflective judgement is a necessary condition for appreciating beauty, not that it "guarantees" it"

He's talking judgments, not appreciation, so be a little more precise and clear in your reading of him.

207.

Franklin

July 11, 2008, 10:40 AM

be a little more precise and clear in your reading of him.

I Accuse You Of That Which I Am Guilty

208.

opie

July 11, 2008, 11:32 AM

Anyone reading this blog who has not figured out what it is like discussing something with Snide, please view the following:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tPrm6luPmME

209.

Snide

July 11, 2008, 11:33 AM

"Not because they don't sound good, but because they don't sound good enough, and the distinction is important"

If you play the sample scales that I linked to earlier for most people, are they going to say that the just intonations sounds "good enough"? It is impurities that different tunings involve, ones which are often culturally or historically specific. Try finding some of Werckmeister's if you want to hear something that sounds "unnatural".

I'll get back to you on the Schopenhauer.

"The collective human effort that brought it there and its physical properties are a single, continuous phenomenon"

This reads to me like you're saying that history is commensurate with the physical properties of the world. I say that we work with these properties, but that doesn't determine our historical trajectories or individual outcomes. The thing about social-determinism is that neccesarily has to be open-ended, unlike something like the fundamentals of physics or biology-- which I'm not arguing about with you.

210.

Snide

July 11, 2008, 11:39 AM

True to my handle, all I'm saying Opie is that I didn't think anyone else had as poor a grasp of Kant as Greenberg...

: )

211.

Franklin

July 11, 2008, 11:49 AM

That's great when they crack each other up in the routine at 4:12. I had only ever heard recordings.

212.

MC

July 11, 2008, 12:19 PM

"Look at what you challenged me on about Schopenhauer..."

Ok...

Snide, #121:
"...Schopenhauer's anti-empiricism..."

MC, #122:
"Snide, it sounds like you've really misunderstood whatever you've read of Schopenhauer, especially when you keep mischaracterizing him as an "anti-empiricist"...."

Snide, #140:
"It's not that he doesn't see a role for empirical sciences..."

"While Schopenhauer definitely makes room for the empirical..."

Snide #175:
"I never said that Schopenhauer's ontology and aesthetics didn't include the physical. But it's far from your brand of empiricism, which was my point in the first place."

Snide #181:
"Schopenhauer takes the empirical into account as part of his ontology..."

Wheee! That was fun! Next, to look up ontology...
I think I'm getting the hang of this!

213.

Franklin

July 11, 2008, 12:46 PM

Describing any form of determinism as "open-ended" is oxymoronic.

We have a limited choice about where to put our awareness at any given moment. That is the full and total extent of our free will. That little bit of freedom ends up having significant consequences for our lives, particularly if we cultivate it and exercise it, and we should exactly because it is such a scarce resource. Otherwise we owe what we are and what we do to literally everything else. Biology and material fact can provide a way to an integral philosophy instead of a deterministic one, by acknowledging ourselves as continuous with nature and therefore continuous with each other. Such integral systems contain enormous dynamism. I assert that art works in the way it does because of that shared nature.

I say that we work with these properties, but that doesn't determine our historical trajectories or individual outcomes.

Mostly these properties are working with you, not the other way around, and they absolutely determine your trajectory. Did you select to exist in the gender you are, whatever that may be? Did it not effect your outcomes at all? Do you live somewhere that has sporadic access to food and water? Material properties dominate your whole existence and the less you use your awareness the more it dominates. Even that awareness is a material process - a tablespoon of ether can disable it - but at least we have some limited say in what to do with it.

214.

opie

July 11, 2008, 1:26 PM

#213 2nd ¶ - Dynamic/determined - very good. Work this out, how the determined enables the dynamic, etc.

215.

Snide

July 11, 2008, 2:14 PM

MC,

Empiricism does have a stranglehold on the empirical, most epistemologies incorporate it after all. Maybe Wikapedia it if the guy at Chapters is busy!

Franklin,

It is a bit of a contradiction, but we know that social constructions have changed a lot more readily than say the fundamentals of physics.

"Biology and material fact can provide a way to an integral philosophy instead of a deterministic one, by acknowledging ourselves as continuous with nature and therefore continuous with each other. Such integral systems contain enormous dynamism. I assert that art works in the way it does because of that shared nature."

Please clear up what you mean by integral.

"Mostly these properties are working with you, not the other way around, and they absolutely determine your trajectory. Did you select to exist in the gender you are, whatever that may be? Did it not effect your outcomes at all? Do you live somewhere that has sporadic access to food and water? Material properties dominate your whole existence and the less you use your awareness the more it dominates. Even that awareness is a material process - a tablespoon of ether can disable it - but at least we have some limited say in what to do with it"

I've never disagreed that we live in a material world. But what we do with materials and our biology these days is a modification of nature, not an extension. Your description of the development of paint shows this clearly enough. What is the relationship between "a particularly nice patch of dirt" and "synthetic iron oxide"? The search for purity that you talk about is something we've experimented with and chosen, it is artificial, not natural. You want to gloss over that distinction, tie our culture and history into our biology, but where do you see anything else like it in nature?

And for god's sake, biological sex is not gender, and at this point we can choose either.

216.

opie

July 11, 2008, 2:55 PM

"...biological sex is not gender..."

All humanity bows to your deep insight, Snide.

217.

Franklin

July 11, 2008, 3:46 PM

...we know that social constructions have changed a lot more readily than say the fundamentals of physics.

The fundamentals of physics don't change but the actions of physics result in natural systems we can barely predict given a huge amount of information.

Please clear up what you mean by integral.

By integral, I mean panjective.

What is the relationship between "a particularly nice patch of dirt" and "synthetic iron oxide"

FeO2. The more interesting question to me is, Why did we decide that making really pure rust was a good idea?

People who say that you can choose your gender are on the same team as those religious bigots who go on TV and say that homosexuality is a lifestyle choice. The only difference is that the latter don't understand gay people well enough and the former don't understand straight people well enough.

218.

MC

July 11, 2008, 6:07 PM

I couldn' find a webpage for 'Wikapedia', so I tried the Google insead... this is what I found:

"It is the skeptical and exacting empiricism of The Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason, and the first three books of the WWR that firsts alert the student to the radically different brand of idealism he has discovered in Schopenhauer: the hypothetical-deductive method, so foreign to the soaring metaphysical speculations and Romantic claims of his contemporaries, informs and delimits Schopenhauer's work in both form and content; and this is no less evident in his ethics than in his epistemological, or psychological, or any other part of his writing, with no special exception left over to religion, metaphysics, nor any other matter.{3} What confronts us in the WWR is a systematic idealism discovered, discussed and proven, not through myth (as in Plato) nor through theological sophisms, nor bald speculation, but with the relentless empiricism of a Hobbes, a Locke, or a Hume, and predicated upon a critique of that empirical base in the tradition of Berkeley and Kant -- which is precisely the critical tradition to which list Schopenhauer adds his own name in the historical essays of the P&P. While, as I shall discuss presently, Schopenhauer is accurately called an idealist (if we understand by that term a tradition dating back to Plato's problem of eidos and idea) he is more precisely a critical idealist, and with this distinction must be understood as diametrically opposed to the speculative idealism which earned his life-long rancor and rebuff. This is no merely academic dichotomy, nor an easily overlooked difference of philosophical method: it describes a unifying characteristic of Schopenhauer's work, upon which a political expression follows as necessarily as Hegel's statism follows upon his historicism."

Sincerely, I pity your students, Snide. Oh well, carry on, if you must: our shovels are at the ready, as always...

219.

Franklin

July 11, 2008, 8:17 PM

My bad - iron oxide pigment has a few variations but is basically Fe(2)O(3).

220.

MC

July 11, 2008, 9:44 PM

I find Fe(NO3)3.9H2O much more useful, myself...

221.

Snide

July 11, 2008, 10:19 PM

Great source, MC!

In your own words and from your own reading, what's empiricism and where do you find it in Schopenhauer?


Franklin,

I don't know what your point is about predictability. My point was that the something like marriage has changed a lot more in human history than say the earth's gravitational system.

It is interesting to consider our tendency to try and work towards purity, especially since it doesn't seem all that common naturally. Sometimes there's a practical purpose, but this isn't always the case. Back to your statement about the history of paints, has this purified form made painting any better? And does it do a better job of either enacting or approximating nature?

I'm not here to speak on behalf of people who do change their gender (and those who support them), but I have to admit to being taken aback by your comments. What do you think they don't understand about heterosexuality?

222.

Franklin

July 11, 2008, 11:25 PM

I don't know what your point is about predictability. My point was that the something like marriage has changed a lot more in human history than say the earth's gravitational system.

It's to counter this idea you have that social-determinist systems are "open-ended" and biological ones are not. I don't know about the former one way or the other but the latter is false. The biological systems have astounding possibilities of outcome.

...has this purified form made painting any better? And does it do a better job of either enacting or approximating nature?

The pure materials have certainly made it technically better. Technical improvements mean more control and predictability of handling, which could lead to more ease in approximating nature. Of course, the approximation of nature is not the point of art any more than music.

What do you think they don't understand about heterosexuality?

Its inevitability for the heterosexuals - the converse of what the religious people don't get about the queers. Gender not a choice. The people who switch have it in their natures to switch. The people who don't, don't.

223.

Franklin

July 11, 2008, 11:27 PM

"Gender is not"

224.

opie

July 12, 2008, 4:56 AM

Iron and oxygen combine to form many different compounds. They are very stable and each has its own (relatively unsaturated) color: black, brown, red, yellow All of our basic earth colors are iron oxides.

MC what use can you have for ferric nitrate? Cleaning metal?

225.

MC

July 12, 2008, 6:51 AM

My point was simple: to show, once again, that you are full of shit and don't your ass from your elbow, Snide, although there is already a mountain of such evidence here, accumulating as it is over the past... oh my... MONTHS! Wow... talk about your dedicated trolls! What started out as a little prank, has turned into something of an obsession for you, hasn't it? I mean, will Samantha be writing her thesis on your efforts here?

Snide, you're just a dead horse who can't tell when it's been beaten... or, like the Black Knight from Monty Python, YOU'RE INVINCIBLE! Even when you've had your legs cut out from under you... "THE BLACK KNIGHT ALWAYS TRIUMPHS!"

226.

MC

July 12, 2008, 6:52 AM

No, opie, the opposite: I use it to make metal rusty...

227.

opie

July 12, 2008, 7:59 AM

Yes, as an oxidizer. That makes more sense.

the Black Knight comparison is perfect. For those who don't know the skit check it out on youtube.

228.

Chris Rywalt

July 12, 2008, 8:40 AM

Anyone with the sense of humor of a Modernist knows the movie well. Hell, I memorized it when I was young and unwise.

229.

Snide

July 12, 2008, 2:20 PM

MC,

The only dead horse is you pretending to know what you're talking about when it comes to the philosophers that you reference. You might as well stick to a book of quotations, because you don't seem to know your stuff. That said, feel free to make an actual argument about Schopenhauer and empiricism anytime...

Franklin,

"It's to counter this idea you have that social-determinist systems are "open-ended" and biological ones are not. I don't know about the former one way or the other but the latter is false. The biological systems have astounding possibilities of outcome"

We've agreed time and time again that our biology generally has the same basis, even with all the diversity out there. The same can't be said for social contexts, either geographically or historically. Compare the history of man's politics with the history of our biology, and this is pretty clear. I don't think you can equate the possibilities both entail.

I'd like to understand a bit better where you're coming from, so let me ask you this: why do you believe that human nature is the basis of all that we do? What's at stake if I think that our social developments don't necessarily result from our biological nature?

"The pure materials have certainly made it technically better. Technical improvements mean more control and predictability of handling, which could lead to more ease in approximating nature. Of course, the approximation of nature is not the point of art any more than music"

Could is right. Do you find the point of visual quality, as you mean it, in nature?

"Its inevitability for the heterosexuals - the converse of what the religious people don't get about the queers. Gender is not a choice. The people who switch have it in their natures to switch. The people who don't, don't"

This is a tough one, because even transgendered people argue over the rationales for their gender identities. But again, what's a risk with taking people at their word if they say it was a choice, since as far as I know there's no proof that its in their biological makeup or nature?

230.

Snide

July 12, 2008, 2:23 PM

And by the way, plenty of people appreciate Monty Python for their postmodernism too... : )

231.

MC

July 12, 2008, 4:13 PM

Wow! The ol' "I Accuse You Of That Which I Am Guilty" really is your favorite, isn't it, Snide?

lol... give it a rest, already!

232.

Franklin

July 12, 2008, 7:25 PM

Why do you believe that human nature is the basis of all that we do?

It comes from trying to answer where quality takes place. I had heard too many times from people that quality reduces to a social construction, which fails to account for practically everything about art that matters. The modernists I knew were working too hard on their art to do anything except rebuff that notion by instinct, rightly so, but because of the blog I had cause to clarify the matter. The breakthrough came when trying to figure out why asserting that quality was subjective or objective produced equally unsatisfactory results, and it occurred to me that the subjective/objective split corresponds to normal experience but doesn't actually exist except as a side effect of our inability to feel our brains operating. It turns out that this has a fair amount of data on its side and explains nicely how art works in the way that it does - intuitively, cross-culturally, and cross-temporally - by locating quality in the arrangements of materials and taste in perception. I could do so without embarassment because of the materiality of perception.

Since the above implies biological determinism, I started to think about free will. Zen practice came in handy here because if you sit you see the enormous extent to which you operate with no consciousness whatsoever, and your conscious parts spend most of their time reacting to stimuli. But to a degree you can elect what to do with your awareness of those stimuli. That awareness causes some space to open up between stimuli and responses, and choices become apparent in that space. You have free will to the extent that you practice mindfulness, and it never amounts to much but the consequences of attending to it or not has profound consequences. We have involuntary reactions to art if we're using our taste, and that involuntary quality correlates with this paucity of free will. Taste is a perception, a detection of quality, and perception is a stimulus.

What's at stake if I think that our social developments don't necessarily result from our biological nature?

If you underestimate biology, and consequently overestimate free will, you will make claims for acculturation that don't square with reality. I'm still getting over your comment from a while ago that "people have a concept of grief." (For the sake of charity I assume you do not interact with the grieving accordingly.) You won't deal with quality except as a phantom. You'll make mistaken assumptions that mirror those of the pre-modernists. I hope it ends there, because a similar overrating of choice and underestimation of biology results in heinous policies like abstinence-only education.

Do you find the point of visual quality, as you mean it, in nature?

While the point of art is visual quality, visual quality has no point. It exists like life exists. Life also has no point, but I'm enjoying it anyway.

What's a risk with taking people at their word if they say it was a choice, since as far as I know there's no proof that its in their biological makeup or nature?

One, Google "gay brain." Two, if someone makes that claim for himself, I won't argue it, because nature gave him the requisite flexibility. If the postmodernists make it for me, or the pre-modernists make it for the gays, we have a problem.

233.

Franklin

July 12, 2008, 7:43 PM

Hee! You have free will to the extent that you practice mindfulness, and it never amounts to much, but attending to it or not has profound consequences.

234.

ben

July 13, 2008, 11:40 AM

Sorry but "panjective" is an unworkable idea, essentially division by zero.

235.

Franklin

July 13, 2008, 11:59 AM

Really, Ben? Then I guess I'll just junk it. Thanks for letting me know.

(slaps forehead)

236.

ben

July 13, 2008, 12:12 PM

Good idea!

237.

Franklin

July 13, 2008, 12:27 PM

Prove it wrong, Ben.

238.

Snide

July 13, 2008, 10:23 PM

"It comes from trying to answer where quality takes place. I had heard too many times from people that quality reduces to a social construction, which fails to account for practically everything about art that matters."

Can you give some examples of what it fails to account for?

Besides, I don't think they're too many theorists who think that social construction is everything. As I've said, Derrida, Butler, you name em, they don't discount biology.

"The breakthrough came when trying to figure out why asserting that quality was subjective or objective produced equally unsatisfactory results, and it occurred to me that the subjective/objective split corresponds to normal experience but doesn't actually exist except as a side effect of our inability to feel our brains operating"

There's a difference between a split and choosing one or the other. As I said, I don't think that too many people choose just one, but feel free to bring up examples.

"We have involuntary reactions to art if we're using our taste, and that involuntary quality correlates with this paucity of free will. Taste is a perception, a detection of quality, and perception is a stimulus."

Speaking for myself, I think that a lot more weighs into taste than this. The moment you step into a gallery, decide that you're going to take in some art, then you're fooling you're putting yourself into a mindset that is far from involuntary-- same thing when you are creating art.

"If you underestimate biology, and consequently overestimate free will, you will make claims for acculturation that don't square with reality"

Are you saying that I'm overestimating free-will? And if so, how?

"I'm still getting over your comment from a while ago that "people have a concept of grief." (For the sake of charity I assume you do not interact with the grieving accordingly."

Let's be clear about what I mean by that. Lumping cultural expressions of grief together and tying them to our biology is ludicrous. The way we learn to grieve is not merely an extension of our instincts.

"One, Google "gay brain."

Point to a single conclusive study on this.

"Two, if someone makes that claim for himself, I won't argue it, because nature gave him the requisite flexibility"

Where do you find the equivalent of individual's who choose to switch genders artificially anywhere else in nature?

p.s.

This weekend I started reading In Defense of Lost Causes and Zizek also makes the claim that Frankfurt is guilty of bullshitting, specifically in reference to his example of John McCain as someone who explicitly values truth over political bullshit.

p.p.s.

Maybe you should start by proving your panjective : )

239.

Snide

July 13, 2008, 10:38 PM

Apologies for the sloppy editing...

240.

Chris Rywalt

July 14, 2008, 6:16 AM

Even I am getting tired of this waltz.

241.

opie

July 14, 2008, 6:27 AM

I have never seen anyone who so persistently and instinctively (involuntarily?) points 180 degrees away from specificity, Snide. Every response and every request for reaction you make leads further into dialogical indeterminacy. You continuously spin a cocoon of chaos.

242.

Franklin

July 14, 2008, 7:26 AM

I hear you, Chris, and you're not the first person to express that to me. It ends here.

Sorry, Snide, but too much of #238 looks like deliberate misinterpretation. Even if it isn't, since we don't have your work to compare it to, you have nothing at stake and your arguments against mine increasingly reflect that. Thank you for the conversation.

243.

Snide

July 14, 2008, 8:26 AM

There's no question that trying to talk with someone with whom you fundamentally disagree can be trying, and quickly become stale. Not to mention when you keep getting accused of bad-faith and purposeful distortion. And try all of this without home-ice advantage!

I've been under no illusion that we'd ever be able to solve the question of artistic value. All that I'd hoped for was a measure of respect and consideration for works and ideas that it seemed a lot of you had prematurely shut your eyes to.
And that's about the only reason that I've staked my time and effort to this in the first place.

244.

Chris Rywalt

July 14, 2008, 8:46 AM

Ben: There's nothing wrong with division by zero. It's not "not allowed." It's perfectly acceptable. In fact there's very little in mathematics that's not allowed. You can do anything. The question is whether what you do is useful -- leads to interesting results -- and whether (in applied math) it reflects what we know of reality. If division by zero can be used in some way, you can bet mathematicians are using it. Cf. the square root of -1.

Snide: I'm a firm believer in arguing for the sake of argument. I think it helps both sides to clarify their positions to try and convince the other side, even if there's almost never any hope of actually doing so. However, there's a point where both sides are being deliberately obtuse. I think we've reached that point. That's why I called it a waltz -- you need at least two people to waltz, and I think Franklin and MC and everyone else are also not giving your side the weight it deserves. Which is not to say I think you're right or even close -- but I've said from the beginning that too many people here have approached you looking for a fight.

It seems to me you're mostly to blame because you've been baiting Franklin. But regardless, I'm tired of it. If what you want is a measure of respect and consideration for works and ideas, then you should present those ideas more clearly, frame questions more carefully, and otherwise try not to antagonize everyone else. Just for future reference.

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