Thursday, November 29, 2007

Ludwig Also Says

(this time substitute "musical" for "philosophical")

"Most propositions and questions that have been written about philosophical matters are not false but senseless. We cannot, therefore, answer questions of this kind at all, but only state their senselessness."
Wittgenstein, Tractatus

White Noise Ritual

Isn't it interesting that we produce broadband white noise at the end of concert performances? I think it is espiecially effective on recordings.
It is sort of like dessert.

But wouldn't it be better if everyone did it before the music started?

Maybe before AND after? I guess we do applaud before concerts sometimes.

It seems like it would do more beforehand anyway.

Sculptures

this one was in the the guggenheim





by Jorge Boehringer, all untitled
many more images at http://picasaweb.google.com/foodsuicide
this is in a forest outside of Prague, Cz





and these last two are outside of the Lourve, thanks, I Lourve You

Boudník's Theory of Super-Energy As Applied Arbitrarily to The Present Situation

The resources of music have been opened completely to include everything, and yet the idea of 'music' has gained, rather than lost, meaning. Through work with experimental forms, music now includes many other fields, some not even sounding. Music, by its natures and through the florid embodiment of its manifold forms has led musicians to explore and collaborate with others directly exploring areas as far flung as time, acoustics, cultural theory, architecture, consciousness and neurosciences both physiological and otherwise, techological reasearch, memory, semiotics, artificial intelligence, religious ritual and spiritual practice, mathmatics, and psychology. Musicians have explored these fields in ways both general and highly specific, and continue to do so moving with infinite method outward and inward in infinite direction.

Of course, not every individual is moving in every direction at once, but together this seems to be what is happening. I am a musician, but I am writing about sound. I am really writing about all the arts, and their development as I see it from a certain perspective. This multiplicity of perspectives seems a trait in the arts of today, doesn't it? Even if every artist represents only a single view (and most represent many) and finds a single form to express it (most again, find many) the opportunity here for receiving new ideas, new views and sounds is incredible. The multiplicity of perspectives itself is amazing and the potential unknown. Its effect on culture is also unknown, but from my perseptive seems that it could only benefit a human race that must realize the need for shared reasources in order to sustain life, which is itself perhaps an experimental form.

It is nice that once resources are totally liberated, and the artist is open to do anything or nothing, that there is still the inevitablity that something will happen. People exhibit a strong desire to do things. Is this a profound humanistic principal? Even boredom is beautiful.

It fills me with a profound sense of place to feel free to move my awareness from one to the next perspective, or to feel movement between them. Is this statement paradoxical? Who is in charge then? Is it my waking voice in my mind or something else?

To be offered surprise at every changing and detailed moment or awe at every shift in movement from one level of structure to another, to watch forms develop linearly, burst into chaotic turbulence and reform themselves along some other development that I can see in time or otherwise: this is amazing, this is my environment and I can feel myself, as a self portrait within it, the negative space of me even within my own body (as environment) as laid out in the outlines or the force vectors of interaction on every level including time.

Perspective itself is a profound statement, and the arts, by offering the audience an opportunity for it, to be present in it with some form as it is, or to participate in perception (the process of perspective in motion) are profound. To look is enough, something will be done.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

What Seemed So Linear Suddenly Burst Into a New Chaotic Form

In light of the multiplicity of perspectives in artistic practices and the inevitability of form in existant materials, processes, and even concepts, it is most interesting for me to discuss at this point manifestations and various approaches to artistic and experimental practices of all kinds.

I will also add to the increasing turbulence and nonlinearity of this system at this point by directing this discussion at intervals selected by chance or choice to topics which strike my need or fancy, manifestations from my own practices, and the ideas behind these as well as observations that I observe in my observation and environment.

I'll Have What He's Having


"If I try to make clear to someone by characteristic examples the use of a word like 'wish', it is quite likely that the other will adduce as an objection to the examples I offered another one that suggests a different type of use. My answer then is that the new example may be useful in discussion, but isn't an objection to my examples. For I didn't want to say that those examples gave the essence of that one calls 'wishing'. At most they present different essences which are all signified by this word because of certain inter-relationships. The error is to suppose that we wanted the examples to illustrate that this essence hadn't yet been correctly grasped. That is, as if our aim were to give a theory of wishing, which would have to explain every single case of wishing." Ludwig Wittgenstein (Philosophical Grammar)

I'll just order what he's having, but can I substitute an order of 'art' for the 'wish' please?

The arts, at least for now, have many, rather than one function. They have many, rather than one value as well and are motivated by many rather than a single perspective.

We are discussing some of these, some aspects of this.

It is, in fact possible, is it not, that this multiplicity of viewpoints is one of the most characteristic features and beneficial aspects of the arts as a whole within human societies today?

"Again, we cannot achieve any greater generality in philosophy than in what we can say...Here too (as in mathematics) we leave everything as it is." (Ibid.)

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Lightning Bolt, for example, and multiple personalities as an ideal

Form and function can be said to be negotiable in terms of the perspectives of the creators and users of particular forms. Even if one hasn't read any of the previous long long long long strings of words proceeding this present page, it seems obvious that if this is true anywhere within the encyclopedia of human industry it is true in the arts, especially the arts of recent times. Despite the efforts of the many lovers of classical and romantic tendencies, fearful that new ways of asking questions might threaten beloved historical solutions, elegantly elaborated throughout the ages, and addressed to problems long forgotten, AND in the face of the efforts of a critical establishment hostile towards that which it perceives as a threat to its vacuous base of power (that is, the psuedo-objective application of an arbitrary hierachy of aesthetic criteria based on conventional models arising out of a system of historical averages established through the misinterpretation of certain works considered historically significant and re-applied ad hoc to works which may in no way resemble the models in form or function which the criticism draws upon for its 'criteria'), OR despite the protest of others trying to disavow the existence of or otherwise disempower forms and functions in use by many people out of fear of the unknown or worse, DESPITE THESE THINGS, artists have managed to utilize the negotiability of form and function to discuss many possibilities from many perspectives.

"Wait, let me get a beer. Now do you mean to say that it is desirable to view things from multiple perspectives? Like even if the "thing" thereby ceases to be one things and instead becomes several??"

What I am saying is this: Art is useful for many reasons. One is Perspective, as Leonardo pointed out, but lets hold onto this idea because I have more to say about this later, for now I want to talk about experimental forms as manifest in the arts and their function. Realize, please, that I am don't mean "form" as some old or even new convention out of which works spring to to which pieces are cast in the manner of a mould. Rather I am referring to the 'form' as the thing in itself, the object or process that is present.

At first, it might seem like the notion of "experimental form" in the arts is redundant. Maybe it should be redundant. I mean, the arts are about creativity, right? Well, I thought so at least, however what seems largely expected of artists by cultural institutions, the critical establishment, and the public by and large consists of conventional behavior, a sentimentality acted on nostalgically to create warm memories of past aesthetic joys, and above all a respect for the dominant social values- even when the work in question pretends to disagree with them. Need examples? How about all the capitalist punk bands out there? It seems there is a contradiction here.

Out of this contradiction comes many things. Its like a cloudburst. One of these things is the habit of artists to consistently re-open the boundaries of the art world and art forms for themselves through the creation of experimental forms of work. One way that many artists do this, with or without knowing it, is through work in which the form and function are united, where they are simply different aspects of the same thing.

Experimental form emerges when someone decides to design or present their work in a way that the current conventional context for "art" or whatever else does not include. For example, an artist might decide that the very short film they are making (say the sixteen second one) is best presented on a very small (say, cell phone sized) screen. This is in contrast to the standards Hollywood has set, and enforced culture, for what is considered a "movie." A "movie" is thus for many people something which lasts for a specific duration and is projected a certain way, among other things. In fact, the convention could be taken further into what a "movie" has become for many people, as under the leadership of Hollywood the conceptual field available to the filmmaker is strikingly low, but this is really to frightening to discuss here. I am only trying to give an example, and that example is of a that is different from what is expected of a "movie" yet certainly could contain much useful content. In fact, the difference in presence do to this forms experimental nature might increase the effect of its content especially where the content and form are structurally integrated.

Another, deeper example could be given. If not only the form and function but also the motive behind the creation of a piece departs from the conventional set if motivating principals (if the piece has a distinctly different catalyst or reason for its existence than is common for works appearing to be of similar media) than a situation arises where the form created is already a priori its own function, which then continues to develop further functionality as it interacts with the public and the environment as a whole (including other artworks). I feel like Pauline Oliveros' music illustrates this idea nicely in that, taking active listening on the part of both performer and audience as a manner of operation, and the spiritual, conscious, awareness which her practice is involved in as its motivation she unties form and function. The uniting principal is the point of motivation for the work as well as its product.

Well I think I am going to make a new film.

"and what will it be about?"

you know I don't like talking about films I haven't seen...

"should be very popular"

I don't see why not.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Masterbation Convention

At this point we are no longer discussing the presence of form, but its function. This is negotiable. Use is dependant on context, need, analogy, and experience. People will use a tool as needed in a particular instance, and thereby, a more general tool can address itself to a larger body of needs and finds more universal utility. People also apply a solution from one problem to another that they consider analogous to the first. Their application of design to this set of challenges may be based on their experience with a particular tool or set of tools, their experience with the problem or need in question or one considered analogous, or their observation of another's situation.

Over time, good and useful solutions are perfected and become conventions: the norm. This makes life easier and progress swifter in many ways. No need to re-invent the motor for each revision to the lawn mower paradigm, especially when the revision concerns the wheels or cutting mechanism. Yet not re-inventing the basic components of a design can result in dead weight or worse, a restriction of the possibilities one has available to work with in one's conception of reality. One can take too much for granted.

The arts, and for now I am referring to the Fine Arts of Western Culture, are simultaneously based on convention and inventiveness. The very designation "arts" has been applied to the genesis of convention. In Plato's Republic, an artist is a master of particular set of conventions, including those pertaining to war or say, plumbing. The definition of art given here is thus closer to the modern sense of an "artisan" or master of some trade. This idea of an art representing mastery over a particular set of conventions has refined itself throughout history, to the present in which the Particular Set of Conventions one masters in order to be an Artist are the "classical" or Fine Arts disciplines of painting, sculpture, music, dance etc. Yet masters of these Particular Sets of Conventions (the Fine Arts again) have also traditionally been expected to innovate, and they do, as do many who never become "masters" because their innovations lead them right out the door of the Fine Arts. In fact these Fine Arts have lost some of their designations and clear boundaries both between themselves and the rest of the world. There are fewer of these "masters" as well, in the classical sense, who work strictly within a single field, a single discipline. And why is this?

The is clearly nothing wrong, so we shouldn't panic. People still love beautiful dancers and fast guitar players, not much has changed.

Yet if a need exists, solutions are found. Over time a useful solution may be continually refined, eventually being appreciated for its own internal elegance. It could be possible to imagine a solution where as it developed on its own over time that it might outlast its initial need and even loose sight of it, thus developing its own structure and evolving as a form on its own. We are then in the presence of a complex form, a beautiful set of conventions that, like the vermiform appendix of the human body, is a relic. Whatever problem it posed a solution to has long been forgotten, and like the appendix, it can even contain the seeds of systemic distress.

Still, if this vestige is considered elegant or beautiful enough by enough people, some will find it so important as to defend it against anything they might perceive as a threat to it. While simple conservation might serve fine for their purposes (after all, why not preserve in a living way such fine works of human refinement?), often people adopt a more militaristic approach toward what they fear to be a threat to these elegant solutions to long forgotten problems. Thus, (an individual?) categorically negative first reaction to an experimental approach seen as a threat to a much beloved set of conventions could result from fear fed by cultural anxiety created out of the loss of the reason for the conventions to exist in the first place.

Perhaps this is why many become so hung up on 'meaning' in the arts. The idea that there is some meaning believed to be lurking in the background of an art piece beyond what is simply there in front of one serves to restore the lost reasons behind these conventions. It is no surprise then, that such meanings are expected by many people to be explicit, non-discursive, presented objectively and wherever possible re-expressed in a secondary medium (the explanatory text). This attempt at the restoration of lost meaning for swollen conventions is one way of appraising value the arts for a large number individuals.

In the absence of a clear use, people have nothing to evaluate the situation (environment) before them with. This situation, when not ignored, often leads to a sort of panic. Outside the arts, things are instantly evaluated for use conscious or not, and confusing, atypical objects or ideas are filed for later, forgotten, or in a few cases, followed to the genesis of a new perspective or until they are rejected as an unsuccessful route. Within the arts, a similar algorithm is applied. This is learned in school or socially, from or other people's behavior in real life or films or whatever. Ideas of aesthetic, narrative structure, and certainly "meaning" become criteria by which art is judged, by comparing it to how these values are perceived to exist in a handful of historically acknowledged works (which, in most cases, the viewer hasn't experienced). It is curious how many people who have not actually seen a famous art work, even reproduced, can still explain its "meaning", as if the object exists as a grammatical construction more so than it's physical embodiment.

The arts are, in fact, by nature conversational. That is one use of many objects. The arts are discursive, and perceptive disciplines. Innovation has always paradoxically, in light of what has been discussed just previously, been part of the expectation of the consumer of art works, and curiosity and the asking of questions expected to be part of the working process of artists.

So what?

So the arts in the west have evolved into a new use from within their own tradition. Now, through experimental forms, the arts can point anywhere. They point inward and outward, and possibly infinitely. Inward, certainly, combining what used to be viewed as distinct media, incorporating critical discourse as or into art works themselves and in many other ways, and outward also: right out of these traditional disciplines, and out of the refined conventions of the fine arts themselves, almost back around to Plato's sense yet, importantly, without the need to 'master' anything. The arts have become a place where ideas from many disciplines can be juxtaposed or examined in light of one another's criteria, they can be made algebraically interactive with each other with unknown results. This is a laboratory for cultural, individual, aesthetic, historical, scientific, political, improvisational, emotional, empirical, expressive, and or introverted questions, design responses, examinations, and problems and curiosities of all kinds.

At this point we are no longer discussing form, but function , which along with form is negotiable.

experimental form

Human beings are designers. Responding to needs of all kinds we create new things. At times our inventiveness is such that the new forms we create bear little resemblance to the raw materials used to make them, and the use is often a departure from these materials as well.

When human beings rely on ingenuity and imagination more than convention, using conceptualization to deal with an imaginary or real scenario rather than simply trying to satisfy a unique need or specific problem with a solution designed by someone else or for some other purpose however analogous, experimental forms are the result.

It is natural to borrow solutions from others, or use what worked before in your own or what is observed to be others' experience. Analogy, and one's capacity for it, is part of intelligence, or what is generally thought of as "intelligence," right? Aren't IQ tests full of analogies? And consciousness, or at least "thinking" has a lot to do with metaphor, no?

Where and in what combinations of ingenuity and imitation do experimental forms emerge?

Where in human life DON'T they?

Some of my favorite examples of experimental form have to do with basic human needs like cooking (see below) and housing. Homeless encampments and cottage handiwork, in the absence or negligence of building codes and in the face or real need and human fancifulness (pleasure- "and who is to say pleasure isn't valuable" Eames) account for the later and my friend Ben Piekut's "baklasagne" (a hybrid correspondence of baklava and lasagna) the former. Outside of architecture and culinary experimentation humans constantly innovate utilities systems and agricultural systems, on large and small scales. The design of an agri-business network of shipping transports illustrates the large scale with respect to farming, but how is Ms. Alguire's method for keeping neighborhood cats out of the garden any less involved a design problem?

Further human experiments with form deal with the transitional zone discussed in earlier essays between ideas and material forms. Several examples from capitalism's more egregious expressions spring to mind. The selling of concepts, for instance, as insurance illustrates what must have been an experimental design solution to a perceived problem. Real estate furnishes many excellent examples of this concept selling, and even the notion of private property must have begun as a solution to a need, and risky one at that: the first deed-holder took who as authority of the authenticity of the deed? Probably god, whose inspiration of the worlds many religions at least partially satisfy many people's need to deal questions as to with the nature of life. In the arts too, capitalism has articulated fabulous examples of the intersection of ingenuity and imitation in an experimental design solution. I can think of two examples of people packaging and selling air as artwork.

Many more examples from every field of human activity exist, and certainly many outside of capitalism. My fondness for selecting these examples of experimental form based in ideas from capitalist manifestations comes from the fact that so much in capitalism is itself symbolic (like currency) and yet moves physical mass, and as such sits right on the line between idea and material. Also considering that this practice is entirely human and based in a need for stable exchange value seems to illustrate the point reasonably well. Yet I have other things to discuss.

The fact that experimental form is risky accounts for many of our human attempts to contain it. Such is the reason behind the aforementioned building codes. It is interesting but not surprising that humans, who are so inventive, are simultaneously resistant to invention and even go to great lengths to keep design fenced in a pasture (at best). And with good reason: one can't have one's neighbors experimenting with radiation, can one? Besides, change is certainly difficult. Yet the risk of "falling asleep on one's feet" is also very real. One may easily come to take too much for granted, allowing social convention to proscribe solutions for needs that one might design solutions better for oneself, had one not put their ingenuity out to pasture. Often, the 'solutions' supplied by convention do not even fit the needs of the individual or solve the problem at hand. Where design is most useful, and thus most dangerous, it has been largely relegated to ornamenting existent forms in a largely decorative manner, or creating new disposable forms (or needs) for the monetary benefit of the inventor or the inventor's patron. The arts, often seen to be the site of design's greatest elegance, have come to be where it is furthest removed from any material use, and thus along with the arts, design in this sense functions solely as entertainment.

But isn't this for the best? After all who hasn't spoiled dinner and all its ingredients after hours of preparation all because of a desire to try out some idea?

And so, what is the solution to this problem?

At this point we are no more discussing the presence or existence of forms but instead, of their function, which is negotiable.

Friday, November 16, 2007

BioNatural and HomoNatural

As established previously, forms taken to be for the most part external to humans, or independent of us, operate by what we have decided to call natural laws. Basic interactive processes dependant on the internal component structures of the involved interactant parties and the overall structural rules governing the environment as a whole (a product of either larger interactive processes or component systemic structures or the synergistic or sum result of the component interactions within some field). Interestingly, within these natural systems design experiments still seem to occur, as part of the process of interaction between components of the systems themselves (organisms within environments, or even minerals in their chemical (in)organic environments).

I am more interested here in pursuing more pedestrian forms, their meetings and interaction with ideas (those immaterial forms) and their evolution as expressed in human life and especially in the arts.

Human-created forms are, of course, still governed by the same "natural laws" and interactive properties as everything else in nature. We still belong to an environment, everything we do is 'natural'. In fact, I can think of nothing unnatural (except maybe a thought, an immaterial form, that isn't really part of the universe. Still, some would say that the electro-chemical reaction that occurs simultaneously with my 'thought' is material so therefore thoughts are material, thus part of the universe, and therefore 'all natural.') That being said, our created forms must also answer to rules of interaction beyond that of many other forms found in nature. While still being beholden to their own internal structures and properties of interaction they are also subject to social needs and processes. Some extremely have extremely long lifespans thusly, while others, such as those forms governed by fashion needs, have relatively short ones.

In between the processes and laws of both natural and social orders, in the middle of the zone between immaterial and material manifestation, and with our brains, tongues, and opposable thumbs, we as humans create experimental forms in response to a need. Some needs are life-threatening, others are simply problems posed for amusement or research, yet through both processes experimental forms are the result.

Research, in particular, is something I am interested in. Human beings ask questions, express curiosity as a basic trait. This is the root of human inventiveness, and that is where these essays will continue: how the idea forms being discussed relates to the present human situation.

nature is like an industrial designer without a trash can

Forms that evolve external to human beings seem to do so in terms of multi-dimensional processes of interaction. An individual organism's structure develops, with luck, from birth into adult forms which then die and decay. Each aspect of this process is interactive with the others, the genetics of the organism, the interaction and individual function of the component parts within the individual, and the interactions between the individual and the environment. The behavior of the individual within an environment is even to some extent dictated by it's internal maintenance needs.

Behaving within it's environment the individual organism (or inorganic object for that matter) becomes, from the perspective of another individual, a part of this second individual's environment. Nothing within an environment exists apart from that environment. Everything is simultaneously interacting with it's own version of the shared environment (from its own perspective) whether consciously or not.

As the individual interacts with and affects its environment (by its presence, even) so too the environment acts on the individual. To an equal extent, and often to a greater one, the development of form in nature, be it organic or otherwise, is directed by the environment the form in question is developing with. "With" because every environment is itself in a perpetual state of development, as are its components.

An individual's internal structural development can be seen to be effected over time by it's environment (early death by falling rocks). Taking an even wider view, of species evolution through natural selection, one can see how the environment can shape development. Slowly, nature responds to a need or a problem which another aspect of nature creates. The solutions produced to these problems take the form of experimental forms. Nature can be seen to operate, as such, through experimental processes, in response to a need.

It is interesting to compare this view of interaction and evolution in nature to this interview with Charles Eames regarding Design, in the normal human usage of the term. It is from the film 'Design Q&A':
Q.What is your definition of “design?”
A .A plan for arranging elements in such a way as to best accomplish a particular purpose.

Q.Is design an expression of art (an art form)?
A.The design is an expression of the purpose. It may (if it is good enough) later be judged as art.

QIs design a craft for industrial purposes?
A.No—but design may be a solution to some industrial problems.

Q.What are the boundaries of design?
A.What are the boundaries of problems?

Q.Is design a discipline that concerns itself with only one part of the environment?
A.No.

Q.Is it a method of general expression?
A.No—it is a method of action.

Q.Is design a creation of an individual?
A.No—because to be realistic one must always admit the influence of those who have gone before

Q.. ...or a creation of a group?
A.Often.

Q.Is there a design ethic?
A.There are always design constraints and these usually include an ethic.

Q.Does design imply the idea of products that are necessarily useful?
A.Yes—even though the use might be very subtle.

Q.Is it able to cooperate in the creation of works reserved solely for pleasure?
A.Who would say that pleasure is not useful?

Q.Ought form to derive from the analysis of function?
A.The great risk here is that the analysis may not be complete.

Q.Can the computer substitute for the designer?
A.Probably, in some special cases, but usually the computer is an aid to the designer.

Q.Does design imply industrial manufacture?
A.Some designs do and some do not—depending on the nature of the design and the requirements.

Q.Is design an element of industrial policy?
A.Certainly; as is any other aspect of quality, obvious or subtle, of the product. It seems that anything can be an element in policy.

Q.Ought design to care about lowering costs?
A.A product often becomes more useful if the costs are lowered without harming the quality.

Q. Does the creation of design admit constraint?
A.Design depends largely on constraints.

Q.What constraints?
A.The sum of all constraints. Here is one of the few effective keys to the design problem—the ability of the designer to recognize as many of the constraints as possible—his willingness and enthusiasm for working within these constraints—the constraints of price, of size, of strength, balance, of surface, of time, etc.; each problem has its own peculiar list.

Q.Does design obey laws?
A.Aren't constraints enough?

Q.Are there tendencies and schools in design?
A.Yes, but this is more a human frailty than an ideal.

Q.Ought the final product to bear the trademark of the designer? of the research office?
A.In some cases, one may seem appropriate. In some cases, the other, and certainly in some cases, both.

Q.What is the relation of design to the world of fashion (current trends)?
A.The objects of fashion have usually been designed with the particular constraints of fashion in mind.

Q.Is design ephemeral
A.Some needs are ephemeral. Most designs are ephemeral.

Q.Ought it to tend towards the ephemeral or towards permanence?
A.Those needs and designs that have a more universal quality will tend toward permanence.

Q.To whom does design address itself: to the greatest number (the masses)? to the specialists or the enlightened amateur? to a privileged social class?
A.To the need.

Q.Can public action aid the advancement of design?
A.The proper public action can advance almost anything.

Q.After having answered all these questions, do you feel you have been able to practice the profession of “design” under satisfactory conditions, or even optimum conditions?
A.Yes.

Q.Have you been forced to accept compromises?
A. I have never been forced to accept compromises but I have willingly accepted constraints.

Q. What do you feel is the primary condition for the practice of design and its propagation? A.Recognition of need.

Q.What is the future of design?
A.(No answer)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Summary and Disclaimer (form, part 7)

In the previous essays I have used many words. Lest some be misunderstood I will clarify some things now.

First of all, in case it is not obvious from these previous essays, the idea of "form" being used here has nothing to do with "essences" in the Platonic or Phenomenological senses. Rather, this designation has been chosen in light of its common usage as regards artistic and especially musical practices. This will be the subject of the forthcoming section of which the previous section serves as an adjacent land.

What I have been discussing here is not concerned so much with ontological arguments of proofs or refutations of this existence of independent entities. One needn't simultaneously assert the existence of some idea or object (thereby putting it to use) and simultaneously be troubled as to whether the thing being used exists. Or rather, that too is an interesting approach, but is not the approach of these essays.

This discussion is concerned with the fallacy created by attempting to refute the formal existence or structural attributes of propositions and material objects stated to exist or expressed in utility. The falsifiability of such a proposition, and especially a material substance is paradoxical, and while entertaining it is otherwise useless. It is a partial description of a void in a made up language that violates its own grammatical rules.

As such, while phychology is also very interesting, the chemical processes, emotional correlates, and behavioral manifestations of the individual mind are not the subject of this discussion. I want to talk about action in light of forms the actor believes to exist.

Nor is the subject at hand Intentionality, even though I am discussing ideas.

Nor have we need to bring up whether or not ontology or epistemology is being placed first in the chain of analysis. That is another game, and besides for the purposes here they are quite linked, embedded in one another even. Here we are concerned with use, not even value (so ethics aren't really relevant either).

Furthermore, certainty is not the issue. We are dealing with material as such. It is said to exist, it is used, and thus its existence is demonstrate-able. The question is: can something which exists be deprived of form or or structure?

Points in Rotation (form, part 6)

It seems that the meeting place for material and immaterial forms in human life and history is a zone of controversy. In the history of Science, for example, neither "the ether" nor gravity have ever been found to have either a physical body or to exhibit mass (lets ignore the controversial 'graviton' for ease of conversation). Yet both act as fundamental concepts, the ground on which much of the science of their (in the case of the ether) or our (in the case of gravity) rests. A change in belief as to the fundamental nature of these concepts, themselves fundamental, offers many new perspectives not believed to exist if not a complete shift in the shared predominant worldview, the 'reality' of science. Concepts moving from substantial (material) being to non-being (immaterial, insubstantial being) thus create quite a stir. Yet formally of course, they still exhibit structure much as material objects (mathematics, for instance, can be expressed entirely conceptually- this is the very nature of its existence. Yet, as pointed out in earlier essays, it, for all its mass-less-ness it has no lack of structure, but that is a different conversation).

It is interesting to note that before their redefinition, reevaluation, or replacement by other objects on the border between form immaterial and material that concepts held to be the fundamental ground on which systems of ideas are based function not only to support ideas but also as a barrier, or fence over which the imagination has a difficult time reaching. This is basically the converse of the idea in the last paragraph: the REASON that a change in belief regarding the structure of an idea between material reality and immateriality is often such a breakthrough (or alternately controversial) is that what is being tested is the limit of what was thought to be possible, even as a conception. Thus conceptual borders, fences, assume physical behavior in terms of what can be believed to be possible.

Also worthy of consideration is the strange power which energy in this transitional space takes on. People start WARS because of such shift in ideas. Religions, with all of the strife, oppressive behavior, magnificent architecture, civic organization, and mass movement of people that they inspire, require, effect and so forth have no mass! They are just concepts, and they clearly illustrate a pivot between the material and immaterial world. In fact, in many religions it is a gesture from a spiritual immateriality that granted existence to material suchness! Of course, though many people also feel that this evolution happened in the opposite direction, it cannot be denied that this point of transmutation, transmigration, or transmediation (whatever they call it) between the material and immaterial worlds of form and vice-versa (if one considers religions whose goal for the individual after death is a paradise- thus movement from material to immaterial form) serves as a center of motivation within a particular aggregation of individuals, an intense bond of unity capable of momentous action.

In this way shared immaterial forms container at the very least function in the material environment of material forms for the population which shares them. Despite the fact that this process is itself mental, some of these forms can function on a metastructural level, underlying basic thought processes resulting in assumptions as to the nature of existence shared by a collective population. These assumptions are strong enough to influence even individual perceptions of 'real' objects, to place the previously mentioned boundaries around the imagination (which, to be fair, might not be able to function without them) and effect even the ground of collective thought believed to be empiricist in nature. Thus immaterial forms can serve to control the aggregate if seen from a wider view (in a psychologically fascist sense). Of course, the same ideas can be seen to be the result, rather than the cause, if this process is viewed in reverse, as an (unconscious?) collective democracy, actively participating in the creation of their reality.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Independant Worm Saloon

In light of all this discussion about form and structures innateness within things that exist it is interesting how easy it is to create something as a human being. As human beings we have such an ingenuity with which to create forms of infinite variety, basic natural forms (like our bodily forms) and the natural forms we create. I am espiecially interested in the forms that we create out of experiment, play, or individual or direct responses to specific needs.

It is interesting that the minute a sentence is uttered it can begin to acquire multitudes of meanings both for the speaker or for those who hear it. Not only can a proposition uttered with some literal intent carry many meanings but even a phrase created out of a deliberate attempt at obsurdity acquires meaning and exhibites form an structure as soon as it is uttered. Perhaps this even occurs as the phrase is being uttered, this aquisition of structure acting as a physical transition between the mental form (what we where referring to as a "special" sort of form) and the physical form (its spoken version, which not only exhibits grammatical and semantic structures but involves physical displacements of air molecules and muscular and nervous actions on the part of both sender and reciever).

Pavla is speaking about Dada here to me. Dada as impetous as a reaction to the senselessness of the war, and as senselessness itself. Yet there is no senselessness is there? Not once some form is put forth. The reseach value of Surrealism as expressed by its participants (and espiecially the early participants such as Desnos and Ernst) seems to circulate around this point. Juxtapostion, association, reaction conscious and unconscious - forms and minds interact through thier structures and processes and meaning arises, sometimes seemingly out of nothing.

I would like to give an example of one such (as Breton paraphrases Lautremont) "chance meeting of a sewing machine and an umbrella on a dissecting table," but rather than utilize the tired and perhaps at this point overly associative heritage of the surrealists or other bastard children of dada I would prefer to use an example close at hand. Take these two Butthole Surfers records "Rembrant Pussyhorse," "Locust Abortion Technition," and "Independant Worm Saloon." I mean each of those phrases consists of words that wouldn't really suggest the others. They could have easily been chosen at random or selected from lists of three word juxtapostions assembled by opening the dictionary at random. Yet each of them (I am reading them one at a time, slowly) suggest many images, and come with whole imaginary stuctures attached and carry moods, atmospheres, emotional overtones, as such meanings.

I am picturing an Independant Worm Saloon as an animated worm dressed as a cowboy with a hat and leather holsters standing at a wooden bar against a yellow background. The bar is in Texas and there is going to be a Libertarian party meeting but the Worm we are watching wants to get drunk first. He is drinking a tequila with a worm in it.


Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Form is Inevitable, Part 4

What can be said to exist? Can anything not? If it is asserted that a thing does not exist is the assertion itself enough to prove it's existence?

Recall that we are not discussing the 'complexity' of the form in question. Recall also (Part 3) that ideas exist in a 'special' way that is different from other forms existent, and this is because they lack mass and do not occupy space. Yet ideas move forms that do occupy space and in fact have mass. Thus, while it is certainly a danger that such a discussion could easily avail itself to defenders of religious or of solipsistic world views, ones which are not within the scope of my present interest, I must still address some questions concerning the special form of the 'idea' and its role in defining 'reality' and its constituents.

It is often the case that they consequences of an observer's ignorance of an otherwise existent phenomena are negligible. The Form simple does not exist for this individual. If their internal structure or interactive processes are not impacted by this omission (say, as in the example which concluded Part 1) then it makes no difference either way whether said phenomena exists or not. This individuals world is complete without it. They can function in their environment (which they share with this ghost they have no knowledge of) and they strength of the both form's interactions are negligible to the other.

This completeness of a perceives world is called into question by doubt. Doubt arises out of interactions between a body and an unknown body, or between known bodies in which the interactions themselves are foreign, unpredictable or inexplicable under the structures and processes (the world view) believed by one form or another to exist. Of course by belief I am referring to human forms but the idea of belief could be extended to plant life. An organism is could be said to be expectant of, say, sunlight. If it does not arrive death does. Nor is any sort of consciousness necessary: Having removed what I believed to be all the rocks on the path outside my house I am stymied by my sandaled toes interaction with a sharp stone, out of which arises doubt in my belief that no stone existed there.

As such, doubt may come from any activity between forms. An unexpected form emerging within or joining an environment, or an unexpected interaction intruding on an unwitting form. Doubt, or enlightenment depending on how optimistic one feels about it, thus may bring all attributes of known forms and structures (again, the world view) within an environment into question. Especially for people, which is something I am interested in speaking about here for a moment.

Similar situations arise when two or more observers or groups share some environment but act under diverse perceptual sets. Thus their mental models of the environment, on which their interactions within this environment are based, include different pictures of 'reality'. While as in the case of the individual some of these attributes are negligible many must be agreed upon before the observers can interact within the environment without damage to one another. Conflict occurs as these differences are made apparent.

Another interesting case, similar to the solipsism mentioned earlier (or that of some schizophrenics) , is to imagine a phenomena that only a single individual responds to. In fact, many of these instances must exits, and perhaps they exist in every human consciousness. Again, most of these doubtless have negligible or even beneficial results giving us say, a creative or unique view of a situation or a solution to a particular problem. Other times, however, a phenomena known to exist by only a single individual can wield such a power over the individual and create such a strong divide between this individual and others that the doubt mentioned earlier can become expressed violently or destructively.

This is a problem for analysis by psychologists (they are working on it already of course). The question as to whether a phenomena existent for only one individual is likely a malfunction within that individual or not is a difficult one, as human beings must, of course, preserve their visionary and creative potential.

This discussion must wait, however, as first we must treat the relationship between form and structure in phenomena acknowledged by a majority to exist.

Isn't that, after all, how cities work? Is this very different from any human group? It seems that the collective unconscious manifests itself as a democratic reality.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Form is Inevitable, Part 3

Can ideas be said to exist in the same way as other forms of existence?

Certainly they, like other objects, materials, or processes can be seen to exist throughout their interactions within their environments. Also, like other objects, materials or processes (that is, those things external to a person's imagination, those that occupy three dimensional space or exhibit mass) ideas can be seen from a multitude or even perhaps an infinity of vantage points. They also often have structures similar to the body in which they reside (the mind, the perceptually fueled imagination world of consciousness, or unconsciousness to the extent this could be said to exist). They may even control complex structural processes, generating or moving masses of other forms while having no measurable weight or even a discernible physical body and that is very interesting, isn't it?

Nonetheless, ideas must be considered special sorts of forms, even when they can be seen to exist in many people's imaginations or consciousnesses simultaneously, even when they drive the creation of three dimensional forms exhibiting mass. The can be said to exist, but they are "special," aren't they?

Form Is Inevitable, Part 2

Form is built out of other forms. Structures, in the sense of the elements of which a single body is constructed and Processes, interactions between these elements. Form is also defined by its environment to a large extent, and in a parallel way analogous to its interactions within this environment.

In other words, the environment defines its physical body through its own systems of Structures which interact with individual Forms physically. At the same time, environmental Processes are interactions between the Form and other forms which together create the environment. A form apprehended and those apprehending it define themselves both in terms of their own physical mass and structure, and the mass, structure, and effects of their interactions within the environment that is their own creation. Thus an environment is defined and evolves at the same instant.

The environmental processes and structures with respect to a particular form spiral out from that form creating eddies around themselves and other existants within the environment. These eddies can be thought of as a lattice of structures within the environment (rigid or static structures within a crystalline frozen picture) or as vectors (active, moving) which define the shift in meaning and physical intensity between processes of interaction between forms and their structures.

The vector image of these interactions could be graphed as three dimensional waves or as lines of force (the lattice idea) displaying in a frozen moment the constructive and destructive interferences between all existants within an environment and even within a singular form. The processes and structures within each could be shown to spiral out from the center of each disturbance or action in a wave like manner in at least three dimensions, in turn effecting the structure/processes and the effects, themselves propagating like wave vectors in a similar manner of all other forms in the environment.

A thing which exists can be denied neither form nor structure.
As such, make sense of this:

http://www.digitalisindustries.com/foxyd/reviews.php?which=2736

Form is Inevitable, Part 1

As much as something can be said to exist it can be said to posses form.

Form may be determined by the internal component structures of a body, or by other factors such as the internal component structures of other forms interacting with the primary form. Thus internal structures or processes of some bodies which exist in the environment of a specific body may be said to subjectively determine the form of the body in question, though of course this does not necessarily change the formal aspect of the body in question.

Between observers, attributes, or even the existence of a particular form may be disputable. This, however, often has more to say about a particular observer than about the phenomena (body, primary form) in question.

A form interacts with its environment. This is one way in which its existence can be described, or "proven".

The absence of an observer's belief in an existent form may in fact negate the existence of the form for that observer. The effect of this is more of less negligible depending on the strength of the form's interactions within the shared environment between the form and the (non) observer. This shared environment may be described in terms of an array of vectors of interaction which describe strength and proximity in the relation to and object existent and one perceived.

Of course, this is how a person may be struck by a car they didn't realize existed.