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

far from finding this ongoing dialogue tedious, when I distilled what I was
really interested in, I found these gems from simon biggs (answering john
klima) allow a way into thinking about how space itself has been commodified
by the empire of homogeneity we find ourselves in today

perhaps a way forward is in fact a way back, or sideways, into the world of
the anachronism -- a person or thing that belongs or seems to belong to
another time 


8/6/03 8:43 AM, "Simon Biggs" <> wrote:

> On 07.06.03 18:04, "John Klima" <> wrote:
>> i feel, arguably of course, that the compositional traits of medieval
>> painting have less to do with cultural signifigance and more to do with
>> a naivet of spatial understanding (naturally the individual viewer
>> brings to the apprehension of the work their own bias - you tend to
>> place more emphasis on the cultural reading of a work, and i the
>> formal).
> -----
> There is nothing naïve in Medieval thinking, least of all about space. They
> had a very sophisticated take on things with fractional shadings of value
> that we today, in our blunt and materialist world, find hard to appreciate.
> It is we that is naïve in believing that an empirically arrived at
> perception of the world might even begin to approach what it is to be. It is
> this that so many Islamists, and many others on this planet, find so
> disturbing about Western culture...and one can only have but a lot of
> sympathy for them.
>> if, as you suggest, fundementally hegemonic conventions determine how we
>> see things, and how we believe things actually are, it would in a rigid
>> sense, stand to reason that medieval society thought that things things
>> with signifigance are actually larger. i cant imagine that is what you
>> are suggesting, as i can't believe that the medieval person thought this
>> as well. 
> -----
> I would argue that the manner in which Medieval people represented the world
> was actually a model of how they "physically" saw it, just as is the case
> for us today. If you are going to argue that there is such a thing as
> progress (that is, trot out the Modernist line that we approach truth
> through an iterative process of improvement) then you will have lost me
> right from the beginning. I am an arch-relativist. For me there is no
> "truth", of any kind, nor any progress...just difference of arbitrary value.
> There is a chasm between our world-views.
>> cartesian space does not represent an arbitrarily arrived at world view,
>> determined not by how things are, but by the force of western greed and
>> self-rightousness (the axe you have the tendency to grind). if that were
>> so, it would stand to reason that the spatial systems employed in
>> chinese landscape painting would have worked equally well at putting a
>> person on the moon. without renaissance perspective, we would still
>> assume the moon was not terribly far away, made of cheese, or
>> what-have-you. you know, there prolly actually is this thing called
>> reality, that actually does play by certain rules, that we are endlessly
>> in the process of trying to understand, and that though we are all
>> limited by our cultural background, sometimes we just get it right. i'm
>> not trying to suggest that cartesian space is the "correct space" i'm
>> sayiing its a really really really useful space, a close approximation
>> of our everyday perception, regardless of the culture that produced it.
> -----
> One has to ask whether putting somebody on the Moon is necessarily of
> import. Another West/East example here would be gunpowder. The Chinese
> invented it and found it was great for parties. The West then appropriated
> it and found it was really effective at killing people and destroying their
> property.
> Your acceptance that there is "prolly" something called reality, to me,
> tends to suggest an easy going approach to life that will likely keep your
> blood pressure low but will pay few dividends when it comes to seeking a
> plurality of perception.
> best
> Simon
> Simon Biggs
> Research Professor
> Art and Design Research Centre
> Sheffield Hallam University, UK
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum

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