Re: [-empyre-] Artists as internal mental sense organs
Yes. I totally agree. I was at first taken aback by the phrase
"selective mistranslation", but it is quite true.
The term I used when I taught creative writing ( I teach english and new
media art theory as well as practice) is "enlightened ignorance".
It is the way of learning to think and see and interpret in metaphors, to
open that pathway if you will. It is essential, but also on a certain
level counterintuitive. We are taught sight and memory and their
linguistic processing interfaces as staid and static in the sense of
meaning, function, processing etc. The way to teach a more metaphor
enabled pathway from what is seen to how it is processed is to essentially
teach people to subvert what they have come to do in regards to perception
A very young child does not have fixed data sets and thus asks fantastic
questions, may draw sky as purple, etc..... this has to be relearned as
an adult and it is against a lifetime of processing to that point.
You can relate it to how the pathway of sight to brain has mapped older
pathways. Driving sometimes falls back into the more primitive processing
mode, described by some researchers as "the caveman cognition" or "caveman
path': a vague spatial awareness, a simplicity in processing speed and
detail cognition but a sharp awareness of danger that once triggered opens
a faster path and processing rate.
I should add that I am a new media artist, but also have studied
meteorology and other sciences and work with fusions of hard science and
Hello all! I'm going to dive in right up to my neck with the statement
> of a lot of matters of opinion.
> As I see it, all art is to some extent synesthetic. It features the
> selective mistranslation of external-sensory or internal perceptions.
> This transformation can be on the easily communicable surface, with
> substitution of, for example, color for sound. It can also be deeper, as
> when the original signal percieved is the mind itself functioning. In
> the specific and limited case of art, what qualifies as "interesting"
> often involves major category errors, figure/ground reversal, garbling
> of cause and effect, and generally a lack of adherence to logic.
> To try to explain my theory of this phenomenon, I'll state what I hope
> won't be too simplistic a general viewpoint to function as a backdrop
> for future conversation in this vein. First a bit of natural history:
> The mechanisms of perception and comprehension, ostensibly tasked with
> keeping us more or less in sync with our surroundings, were not
> "designed". They grew reactively, coevolving with the viability of the
> species' animal survival. Human brains have many functions that are
> evolutionarily old. Consequently they are overwhelmingly complex and
> (currently) inscrutable, and surely built by chance upon the unlikely
> interrelation of disparate phenomena. It is a system with great
> redundancy and obscure cross-linkages. It is also a system with enormous
> potential for multiple simultaneous and often non-communicating
> perceptions, with heavy emphasis on pattern recognition and immediate,
> non-reasoned apprehension. This was exactly the sort of brain most
> useful to a nonverbal animal living in an ever-changing world.
> The development of language caused an enormous shift in the function of
> the brain. Due to the limitations of our oddly repurposed organs of
> communication, it became necessary to break up the ongoing swirl of
> perception and parallel thoughts into discrete chunks that could be
> symbolically encoded and serialized. It is my feeling that this change
> built upon a similar transformation that occurred much earlier, with the
> advent of the focusable eye and the need to move it, scanning the world
> in p
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