“The economists didn’t just single out the U.S. for criticism; 70% of participants said the response of governments around the world to the global recession has been inadequate. “The Europeans or Japanese don’t seem to be doing near enough to kickstart their economies,” said Nariman Behravesh of IHS Global Insight. “It could be we’ve done all the right things, but the rest of the world goes down the tubes.” (WSJ)
Even as the numbers rise, the numbers fall. As the numbers fall, so the numbers rise. On one side, too little is being done. On another, too much. Between all of them, I sense a fog disappearing, a growing perversity—as if, secretly, this was starting to look more like an opportunity than a disaster. Continue reading
Posted in Amnesia, Barack Obama, Buddhism, Capgras' Syndrome, Continuum, Crazy Ideas, Deconstruction, Derrida, Faustian Pacts, Manifestos, Political Philosophy, Psychotic Behavior, Quiet Elation, Smells, Sounds, The Good and The Bad, The Power of the Powerless, What is Meaning?
Tagged empires in the clouds
I gave a lecture two weeks ago. Originally, I’d wanted to talk about what I call “automatic art.” The term refers to the process of using operations of chance (or mathematics) to create works of art. John Cage did this when he composed “12 Radios, 24 People,” which required the performers to adjust radios to predetermined frequencies on a predetermined schedule. While all the performers operations are controlled for, the location of the radios is not. Since different locations receive different combinations and strengths of radio stations, the piece cannot be the same in any two locations. Location, then, rather than any action by the performer, is the creative element in the piece. Cage’s algorithm simply permits location to enact its effect.
As I was preparing the lecture, I realized that to deliver a controlled, linear, sequentially-organized lecture on automatic processes and chance operations was sort of hypocritical. Or at odds with itself. The lecture had to be the product of a sequence of chance operations. Yet I still wanted it to function as a traditional lecture–providing facts and interpretation to the audience. So I rounded up all the concepts I’d considered for the lecture (including “Light Speed Travel,” “Finnegans Wake,” “Early Polar Expeditions“–I go for the gusto with these lectures), wrote them on little scraps of paper, and put them in a hat. Continue reading
Posted in Amnesia, Concentric Circles, Continuum, Crazy Ideas, Deconstruction, dream loading station, Fancy French Phrases, General Relativity, Interpretations of Finnegan's Wake, James Joyce, New York City, Paradoxes, Poetry Process, Psychotic Behavior, The Scientific Impulse, The Spectacle, theory, What Is Art?
A few weeks ago, pawing through the online edition of The New York Times, I came across a piece written by Stanley Fish about the effects of deconstruction on thought on this side of the pond. The Times is not the most unlikely place for a longish, pop-explanation of deconstruction and its impact on disparate modes of academic theory and politics. But neither is it so high-brow of a publication; some peg it as written for a 12th-grade reading level. But I suppose that’s the joy of the internet version of The New York Times. Continue reading