Re: [-empyre-] multi-perspectival / cultural hegemony of space

On 08.06.03 17:19, "John Klima" <> wrote:

> i often look to the transitional figures as they tend to explain alot
> about both sides of thing they are transitioning (cezzane is another
> favorite of mine). i always felt bosch to be more on the medieval side,
> particularly the garden and its blatant, practically porno content.
> perhaps it was easier to get over on the medieval censors because, after
> all, it is a religious painting. to my knowledge, no other renaissance
> artists were quite so "graphic" in their representations of heaven and
> hell, what with all manner of things coming out of and going into all
> manner of orifices.
Botticelli's illustrations to Dante's "Inferno" aren't half bad, in this
respect. Breughel also had his moments. A favourite of mine is "The Ship of
Fools", which might indicate something as to how I see the world, although
"The Allegory of the Blind Man Leading the Blind" is equally evocative.

> if a tree falls in a forest it makes a sound whether i'm there or
> not (and if a man says something and a woman is not there to hear it, he
> *is* still wrong :).
This is where we diverge philosophically. I am a big fan of the
pre-Socratics mainly because they had no empirical methods to impede their
imaginations. They explored what the world might be not via observation but
through discovering which arguments sounded best...what we today call
sophistry, which whilst derived from Sophocles' name actually refers to
rhetorical methods pre-dating his dialectical approach. The advantage of the
pre-Socratics though was that they never claimed to deal in absolutes. They
never claimed to know the truth. They saw their roles as tragi-comic
observers of the possible rather than the actual.

I also have a lot of time for the Scholastic school of philosophy (Aquinas
et el) for the same reasons. They really did argue about how many angels
could dance on the head of a pin. Exploring their arguments can tell you
more about human beings and what makes them tick than several books of
empirically based psychology. This in turn illuminates what the world might
be...note I do not say what the world is...I have no idea as to how one
could arrive at a justification that would allow you to claim you know what
the world is. That is why I am less ready to make the claim that the tree
does make a sound when it falls.

To take this issue into the realm where we make our lives, we could discuss
the relationship between author and reader and the question of where the art
comes into being. Is it made by the author or is it a function of
reading...or is it a property of the author/reader interaction...or is it,
in the Platonic sense, elsewhere, an absolute? Further to this, how does
this relate to artworks that are generative, at least partially machine
authored, often actively involve the reader in the production process (of at
least an instance of a work) and in the case of 3D work literally exists
depending upon your point of view?

> well, we have got to get off this doomed rock sooner or later if the
> species is to survive. whether or not this species deserves survival is
> debatable.
Highly debatable. My instinct is that the universe is better off if we do
not find a way to the stars, just as the American Indians would have been
better of if the Europeans had never invented the sail. That said, if the
Moon is made of cheese at least we will not have to arrange long distance
take out.

> the times i've experienced a "plurality of perception" were when i was
> on drugs. convincing though these experiences may be, they can't be
> trusted. 
Why can't manipulated states of perception not be trusted? Why should a
particular mode of perception be trusted above another? Is there any mode of
perception that isn't manipulated or mediated in some manner? How can one
argue that one mode should be dominant?

> hmmm. hegemony, me thinks, is not an exclusively western phenomenon.
Here we are in total agreement. Hegemony is hegemony, whether it is the
Taliban, corporate Capitalism, Catholics, Zionists or, like your brother,
Buddhists (although as a life-long atheist I have to admit that Buddhism is
the only religion that even begins to make sense to me in that they have no
deity, no absolutes and usually a good sense of humour). If Osama Bin Laden
made all religions, ideologies and organising principles of collectivity his
targets I would probably be his biggest fan. As it is he also sees the world
through one eye, more or less as our own leaders do...

...which allows us to bring the discussion back to questions of 3D, as
without stereo-vision important aspects of 3D perception are of course lost.



Simon Biggs

Research Professor
Art and Design Research Centre
Sheffield Hallam University, UK

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