RE: [-empyre-] Re: Method Manifesto

> I wasn't thinking about the ontology of art.

Um, I apologize, I believe I mis-spoke in using the word "ontology". This morning it seemed like
"epistemology" is the right word. "Ontology" is about being whereas "epistemology" is about
knowledge. So that concerning the authority of institutions and historical judgements about art,
I should question the "epistemological" authority, not the "ontological" authority. Sorry.

It seems to me that one can lack
> an ontological definition of art and still operate a discourse in which certain
> objects are regarded as art by a community (lets call it the art world), which
> is our current situation.

You mean "epistemology" also, not "ontology", correct?

And rather than "an ontological definition of art", how about simply "a valid or at least
impressive epistemology of art"?

In such case, yes, I agree, we lack one, probably by necessity rather than through rectifiable
ignorance, if we agree that no one really knows what art is, which we seem to. By this I don't
mean that nobody knows anything worth knowing about art. Just that pronouncements about what art
is, or what's good art or bad art do not have the same sort of relatively strong epistemological
coherance that, say, mathematics has, although I should add that I don't think mathematics is
about timeless absolute propositions either.

I would also agree that attempts to build a valid or at least impressive epistemology of art
seem doomed to harumphing humbug, if that is implied in what you say.

There's 'poetics', where I come from, a writing background. But 'poetics' is usually not toward
a mathematically precise epistemology of art or poetry so much as a broad contextualization of
the art within the wider issues of the day and also of the past, with attempts also to say
something about the future. As you say below, jsa, it doesn't happen purely as a function of the
individual's declaration as in relation to the other. An exploration and articulation of human
relations, and an attempt to see those in relation to the work and, yes, ideas and principals.
More like a conversation than a Principia.

It is the definitional posture itself, this desire to
> ontologise the work of art that is problematic, in that it necessarily
> presupposes a position outside the moving discourses that we are embedded in.
> I never said that the authorisation of particular art-objects by social and
> institutional structures comprises an ontology of art.

Again, 'epistemology', not 'ontology', correct?

Well, we try to engage meaningfully in the moving discourse and in the moment, as we should, but
we also try to contextualize and understand in as broad a sphere as possible, also, as we
should. But apparently we do not reach the empyrean, beyond all spheres, the point at infinity,
the meeting place of all directions, the absolute, the complete.

Instead, we find ourselves on the move attempting to comprehend Hideki's importations of Western
art and philosophy into a Japanese context, and in particular, his transformations of conceptual
art and philosophy. Which is an interesting thing to do, and to be part of. Many thanks.

> In a sense we don't really disagree. But I would say that the individual's
> conferral of arthood upon some object only works in relation to other things.
> It doesn't happen purely as a function of the individual declaration. It is not
> that art is what I say it is, but rather that art happens as a function of my
> relation to the other.

Yes, I would agree with this.


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