Institution of form
Observing an unfamiliar structured environment just outside my hotel window, travel fluctuations affect subjective relationships to external things. The subject/object dynamic is in a constant state of flux, as organisms react to presented stimulus. The vicissitudes of the given and its reception is a function of awareness of the particular within the universal.
“Whatever the universal nature assigns to any man at any time is for the good of that man at that time.” – Marcus Aurelius
Field of experience
Multicolored light sources of the Palmer House corridor provide a nice backdrop for pedestrian traffic, a visual bonus experienced at the CAA conference. Hyper-aesthetic stimulation is starting to become rather commonplace, as philosophical ideas drive the creative impulse. Reality reflects in its spiritual interaction within the physical world, an individual relation of civilization.
“The metaphorical language of art, far from being alien to philosophy and other sciences, is an essential condition for every new step into the unknown.” – Alexander Spirkin
A dark underworld of uncertainty, subway platforms are full of tension. Fortunately in their strange artificiality they are picture-perfect places to hone creative sensibility. Having an agenda other than just locomotion transforms the experiential dynamics, as trains and other life forms inexplicably come and go.
“The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls and tenements halls and whispered in the sounds of silence.” – Paul Simon
Position of abstractions
Electromagnetic radiation, in capacity of the free laws of thought formed by light-wavelength relative position, reasserts command within the arena of sensation. The fully aware functioning being is always evolving into a higher plane of perceptive reception. That which is given is graciously accepted.
“There are manifold tones of mental life, or, in other words, our psychic life may be lived at different heights, now nearer to action, now further removed from it, according to the degree of our attention to life.” – Henri Bergson
The current common definition of intuition is the ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning. However, does this explain the many other implied meanings the word signified as it evolved over the long course of the philosophical historical dialectic? Moreover, how can the creative artist tap into an intuitive zone, seeing with the soul, to produce inspired imagery capable of deeper expressive communication?
“Don’t try to comprehend with your mind. Your minds are very limited. Use your intuition.” – Madeleine L’Engle
Emotional and symbolic significance of objects, events and places, the shadowself merges with other cast shadows on a designated crosswalk. Process traces can elicit thoughts of the subject functioning as an object interacting within energy fields. Frozen in time yet full of motion anticipation, action plays out on a graphic ground.
“Causality according to the laws of nature is not the only causality operating to originate the phenomena of the world. A causality of freedom is also necessary to account fully for these phenomena.” – Immanuel Kant
What exists and how do we know what is real? Broadly speaking western philosophy is and has been occupied with a consistent search for truth translated into knowledge. Fortunately, truth can be approached in a variety of circumstances, not the least of which is found in aesthetics. A kind of organic veracity map evolves out of the ingredients of its own vulnerabilities, with increases in experience reinforcing uncertainty. There is an aspect of reality that is inferable but never knowable. We respond to energy at the threshold of human sensation. The search for truth is eternal.
“I inquire: Whence do you obtain propositions of this kind, and on what basis does the understanding rest, in order to arrive at such absolutely necessary and universally valid truths?” – Immanuel Kant
Absence of dreams
We passed by a famous flophouse on our trip to the New Museum, Manhattan’s only self-proclaimed dedicated contemporary art repository. In the ambient constructed urban environment, other existing independent contemporary artifacts reside. Contemporary art is not confined to the institution, nor is rigidly fixed in time, but rather is a coexistent subjective function of an observer. Art is contemporary if it was created during a practitioners or consumers particular lifetime. The definition of what constitutes contemporary art is always moving, anchored in the present, with a forward shifting start date.
“You never know when contemporary art is going to insinuate itself into a normally art-free zone.” – Roberta Smith
Externalized in relation
A subject is a unique entity with an interior consciousness shaped by exclusive experiences. Additionally, each individual entity is in relationship with other unique exterior entities (objects), with or without their own consciousnesses. Thus, a subject is an observer while the object is a thing observed. The subject formulates self-identify in interaction with the observed other. This duality distinction between subject and object corresponds to René Descartes division between thought (mind, soul) and extension (matter). Descartes positioned thought (subjectivity) as the essence of the mind, with extension (taking up space) the essence of matter. A problem of Cartesian Dualism is associated with freedom. That which is free is not subject to the deterministic laws of matter, because all physical things are subject to such laws. Therefore, the mind as the source of free-will must be independent of matter (including the body), allowing a subject material transcendence and freedom.
“If minds are wholly dependent on brains, and brains on biochemistry, and biochemistry (in the long run) on the meaningless flux of the atoms, I cannot understand how the thought of those minds should have any more significance than the sound of the wind in the trees.” – C. S. Lewis
Abstract sensuous existence
Ambient noise level. As participants mill around the lobby waiting for the event to begin, some subjective entities become self-consciously aware of the immediate gallery environment. Needing to develop an argument for a new theory of subjectivity predicated on the Bakhtinian notion of the “polyphonic,” I begin to consider individual voices speaking in parallel as nodes of equivalency. Bahktin advocates for the superiority of a subjective-plurality in mutual dialog, lacking any individual authority. He postulates that the resulting aggregate informational-content more closely approaches truth when more dissimilar subjective voices, in greater numbers, are in simultaneous discourse. My new theory of Subjective Transcendence recognizes the danger of this condition. Soon the combined subjective cacophony becomes incoherent in its chorus, reaching the level of background noise. Background noise is a form of acoustic pollution or interference, requiring separation and cancellation from the essential significant information in attendance.
Furthermore, favoring one form of subjectivity (pluralistic rather than individual) over another is splitting hairs. The more significant aspiration relative to subjectivity is to mitigate its influence, rising above limitations in an effort to reach truth not under any subjective control. The goal of Subjective Transcendence is to obtain an objective understanding of truth outside of a subject’s (or multiple subjects) individual biases, interpretations, feelings, and imaginings. This ambition, similar to Hegel’s notion of the Absolute, is approachable but can never be finalized.
“An objective truth and individual reason are feared above all.” – Jimmy Johnson