[-empyre-] Broken Symmetries

Michael Angelo Tata, PhD mtata at ipublishingllc.com
Sat Jan 16 12:09:32 EST 2010



Given the experiments you pursue, I would suggest you give Brian Greene's Elegant Universe a glance, as well as Stephen Hawking's Brief History of Time (esp. the stuff regarding black holes and entropy, as well as the implausibility of a Big Crunch due to the irreversibility of time).  Brian is the keenest on locking down the elegance thing, though, which is why I like him so much: through him, an aesthetic taste or tendency/tropism becomes the basis for the preference of a new system of resonating equals, as science and art miraculously converge, strangely complicit.  Even classic autopoiesis has a penchant for elegance--as does the vorticism of Ilya Prigogine, his postulate of the dissipation of entropy a strange species of heroism, even egotism in advance of the ego. 


As for M&V, I'd also give their ideas regarding allopoiesis a glance, since this production paradigm, to steal Habermas’s expression, speaks to many of the systems of self and otherness currently under discussion on this forum.  In a similar vein, their description of heteropoiesis is relevant as yet another way of making within the logic of self-sufficiency, homeostasis and homeorhesis.  As for the practice and amplification of randomness, there's always John Cage and almost anything he's done.  All in all, these peeps, at least for me, underscore how autopoiesis is a cellular phenom with literary and aesthetic applicability of the sort you desire.  Its machinations also carry immense philosophical resonance, as Nicky is always quick to notice, here and elsewhere, in his tracing back of exchange and reciprocity and excess to chemicals passing across a membrane, molecules exploding in the hot interior of the sun.  


Come to think of it, Benoit Mandelbrot’s work on fractals may be what you're after, especially as regards the theory of self-symmetry (which is what makes a fractal fractal, as whole and part reflect one another most perfectly and identically).  The resulting patterns are largely visual—but I am sure you could make them lexical.  Luhmann's systems are not the aesthetic generators you seek, but Mandelbrot's are plugged in and good to go.
Peace out, Michael Angelo        

Michael Angelo Tata, PhD  347.776.1931-USA


> From: naxsmash at mac.com
> To: empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
> Date: Thu, 14 Jan 2010 20:42:56 -0800
> Subject: Re: [-empyre-] Delightenment as Mass Perception
> Johanna
> have you got a url or download site for your Quantum ?
> I love this idea of your book.
> But i need some enightenment (from MichelA. too) - can you shed 
> lumieres on Luhmann?
> I have been riffing for a while on this sense (sixth sense) that 
> autopoesis a la Maturana etc is a linguistic generative thing... I 
> mean that you can actually make images and sounds do this as a kind of 
> meta-systems implosion- i am rambling (appropriately enough,
> as in a rumble, or a walk through the woods).
> christina
> naxsmash
> naxsmash at mac.com
> christina mcphee
> http://christinamcphee.net
> http://naxsmash.net
> naxsmash
> naxsmash at mac.com
> christina mcphee
> http://christinamcphee.net
> http://naxsmash.net
> On Jan 14, 2010, at 6:10 PM, Johanna Drucker wrote:
> > Michael,
> >
> > Wonderful wonderful! I couldn't agree more! I love Brian Green's 
> > work, by the way. I wrote a book called QUantum awhile back 
> > (artist's book), and have invoked quantum theory in the projects 
> > around speculative computing (SpecLab). Absolutely agree that we 
> > need to engage with those "non-agency agencies of systems theory" -- 
> > also part of my SpecLab stuff, just fyi -- Heinz von Forester and 
> > Ernst von Glasersfeld among my favorites, a little more imaginative 
> > than Luhmann, oddly. Also, Humberto Maturana and Francisco Varela's 
> > work very important for me. I think Maturana is filled with insight. 
> > Another reference in this realm, though some might see it darkly, is 
> > Childhood's End.
> >
> > Anyway, thanks for all this, very useful and intersting. Only, let's 
> > not call sensation "brute" -- it is the source of knowledge!
> > Johanna
> >
> > On Jan 13, 2010, at 4:09 PM, Michael Angelo Tata, PhD wrote:
> >
> >> Hi, Johanna!
> >>
> >> Your remarks about aesthetic practice and it roots in brute 
> >> sensation take me to Dewey’s anti-elitist somatism in Art as 
> >> Experience and Alexander Baumgarten’s original sense of what 
> >> aesthetics could mean back in the 18th century, when this 
> >> discipline was first systematized in the West as discrete branch of 
> >> philosophy, something different from metaphysics or ethics.
> >>
> >> I also am drawn very much to the poetics of the quantum, and look 
> >> to physics and its unfolding symmetries as another place where 
> >> material complicities are being re-imagined and re-described in 
> >> ways that transcend mere re-naming of re-branding, and which throw 
> >> into chaos that simple Cartesian separation between thinking, un- 
> >> extended and extended, un-thinking matter(s). What do we make of 
> >> the famous TOE, or Theory of Everything, something that string and 
> >> membrane theories, with their inherent elegance, to use Brian 
> >> Green’s highly aesthetic word, have attempted to grasp in recent 
> >> years in their promulgation of a resonating, symphonic universe? 
> >> And what of this spooky action at a distance, gravity, which 
> >> involves us all in the complicities of matter and energy alike, 
> >> which suffuses scientific fact and myth (that famous apple konking 
> >> Newton on the head), and which appears to me as the ultimate 
> >> metaphor for metaphor, this joining of the disparate over time and 
> >> space within a structure capable of uniting them via only spookiness?
> >>
> >> I can deal with imbrications being stricken from the list of 
> >> potential re-brands for the term ‘complicity,’ but still open the 
> >> question to everyone, as it seems important for me that we find a 
> >> way to name complicity in a way which invokes the non-agency 
> >> agencies of systems theory and postmodernism, everything from le 
> >> schizo to the CSO to the cyborg to that minimally committed 
> >> Luhmannian para-subject traversing its grooved and groovy 
> >> (geodesic?) networks. To be honest, I liked the word mostly 
> >> because it sounded onomatopoetic to me: imbrications can’t be 
> >> anything but imbricated, the tentacles of those three successive 
> >> consonants flanked by identical vowels leaving me with the sense 
> >> that I am being pulled beneath the waters of a lake by a mystery 
> >> creature part human, part vegetable.
> >>
> >> In this vein, I look to Lynn Margulis’ recent work on bacterial 
> >> symbiosis and its relevance for evolutionary biology and 
> >> autopoiesis (for example, in hers and Dorion Sagan’sDazzle 
> >> Gradually, an odd fusion of poetry and biology, much of it verging 
> >> on syphiology). For Margulis, evolution evolved because the 
> >> simplest creatures learned to coexist in such a way that each 
> >> benefited the other, a primal form of complicity for sure, one in 
> >> which the most was at stake, so much more than tenureship or wealth 
> >> or fame, whatever we gain by becoming accomplices in the human world.
> >>
> >> In her estimation, sexual reproduction, for example, began as an 
> >> act of bacterial phagocytosis; when nucleic materials were proven 
> >> indigestible, they divided along with bacterium, becoming 
> >> transmitted to new cells (reproduction minus the sex, which, when 
> >> it was introduced, could only spell death-by-meiosis). This 
> >> picture is only a rudimentary sketch, but I like very much how she 
> >> sees collusion at the heart of complexity and biodiversity, how the 
> >> exchanges we undertake in our banks and classrooms and performance 
> >> venues can be traced back to the primordial quid pro quo of 
> >> predatorial unicellular beauties benefiting from cooperation and 
> >> cooptation, albeit accidentally and contingently, and with no 
> >> concept of altruism.
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> *******************************************
> >> Michael Angelo Tata, PhD 347.776.1931-USA
> >> http://www.MichaelAngeloTata.com/
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> From: drucker at gseis.ucla.edu
> >> To: empyre at gamera.cofa.unsw.edu.au
> >> Date: Sun, 10 Jan 2010 17:37:50 -0800
> >> Subject: Re: [-empyre-] Les Liaisons Dangereuses
> >>
> >> Just picking up on all this rich exposition below -- what about 
> >> Clint Eastwood as an interesting example with regard to what MAT 
> >> has suggested here.
> >>
> >> Can I just say I really find all of what is written by Michael most 
> >> useful -- but can I also say I don't care for the word 
> >> "imbrication" -- it is one of the plague symptoms in my grad 
> >> seminars.... I know when it appears a host of critical diseases 
> >> will soon follow (paraphrasitis with risk of metacitation and 
> >> logotoxicity). Picky picky, I know...
> >>
> >> Johanna
> >>
> >>
> >> On Jan 9, 2010, at 9:12 PM, Michael Angelo Tata, PhD wrote:
> >>
> >> Hi, Johanna!
> >>
> >> You’ve really piqued my curiosity with those comments about Parc de 
> >> la Villette and that little chat you attended back at Columbia. 
> >> There’s a lot to think about here: your own uneasiness, 
> >> displeasure, even outrage as these intensities surface and are 
> >> encouraged to be denied expression by a fellow colleague (gender?), 
> >> the irony of a big-wig suggesting revolutionary design for 
> >> potential parkgoers and neighborhood locals, who might otherwise be 
> >> lulled to sleep by an ergonomic opiate rendering the ugly 
> >> beautiful, even desirable, and the various complicities attending 
> >> the reception of his ideas among the leaves and tendrils of an Ivy 
> >> where rapt professors examine the productive role of misery in the 
> >> lives of the unfortunate. This story is just loaded, and takes me 
> >> to Zola, where this ideal, fantasy park would be the site of a 
> >> hideous tragedy inflicted on the wrong party, and also to John 
> >> Waters, where killer trannies would somehow find a way to make it 
> >> fabulous.
> >>
> >> I wonder: what would it be like to design difficult and treacherous 
> >> parks in the best ‘hoods, making CPW a spike garden with acid 
> >> pools, or converting Kensington Gardens into a field of Venus Fly 
> >> Traps? This could be an interesting twist, and might inspire 
> >> something marvelous. True, discomfort and displeasure do get the 
> >> gears of a coup turning, reminding me of Charles Bernstein’s theory 
> >> of language, indeed, his own ‘complicity,’ if we might call it 
> >> that, with regard to Analytic Philosophy, whose currency he is 
> >> quite smart to trade: here, opacity makes us stumble, and stutter, 
> >> as absorptions are refused and the necessity for action surfaces, 
> >> calling us to make language into something more than transparency 
> >> machine. On the other side, the silence of Wittgenstein and Laura 
> >> Riding Jackson await, complicities with quiet, renunciations of 
> >> community and convocation. Ladders take us so deeply into this 
> >> world that we leave it.
> >>
> >> As you have noted, the switch from the language of contingency to 
> >> that of complicity is a telling mutation, one with its own material 
> >> history and spectrum of concrete ramifications influencing cultural 
> >> production and reception alike. Within this schema, I implicitly 
> >> want to ally complicity with necessity, which makes some sense, 
> >> given that the nature of complicity is to necessitate certain acts 
> >> and events which in many ways are a logical consequence of the 
> >> constellation of tessellated interests that preceded and 
> >> facilitated them in the first place. But what would this mean, to 
> >> contrast the contingency of a site-specific, potentially non- 
> >> collectible installation that might otherwise be dispersed to the 
> >> four corners of the world with the necessity of Business Art, as 
> >> Warhol called it in the 80s?
> >>
> >> I know that Pop in particular invokes the language of complicity, 
> >> and that Warhol does the most to bring to the foreground 
> >> connections among lucre and aesthetic creation. And speaking of 
> >> Warhol, I am sure some one of his many reviewers—I would look at 
> >> Arthur Danto—used the word ‘complicity’ or some homonym as a 
> >> response to one of his exhibitions (my suggestions would be any 
> >> reviews of the “Celebrity Portraits,” “Still Life (Hammer and 
> >> Sickle)”, the Mao series, or any of those dollar signs, since these 
> >> collections inherently beg the question of a necessary and 
> >> productive connection to capital). Stephen Koch might have also 
> >> used the word in a Warhol film review in his Stargazer.
> >>
> >> You are correct to suggest draining complicity of its pejorative 
> >> connotations, since otherwise we will be blinded and miss the 
> >> Fibonacci motion of its unfolding. The point is not to judge it, 
> >> but to examine, maybe even appreciate it. I would go so far as to 
> >> say indulge it. As Nicky has pointed out, there is complicity in 
> >> an ornate altarpiece of High Catholicism, just as complicity 
> >> suffuses a Nine Inch Nails track: the trick is to examine the 
> >> specificities and particularities of each alliance as it 
> >> crystallizes in a particular space, place and time and among unique 
> >> accomplices—for example, the complicity of the system of patronage 
> >> is not identical to that fostered by popular entertainment within 
> >> the global village; each must be investigated in kind, savored in 
> >> its own right. 'Complicity’ cannot be reified: it changes over 
> >> time, as new connections materialize and older ones are eradicated, 
> >> even within the life of a particular accomplice. I am drawn to 
> >> evolving complicities, those ententes and unions that transform 
> >> chronologically, as, for example, in the political career of 
> >> Alcibiades, or even Arnold Schwarzenegger. I am thinking in 
> >> particular of his recent break with Gold’s Gym, which is now 
> >> forbidden to run his image in the wake of steroid scandals. 
> >> Perhaps Arnold will forbid his Mapplethorpe from being exhibited as 
> >> well, since it, too, can be read as document of a past medical 
> >> order he can no longer avow. Reversed complicities, such as Sartre/ 
> >> nicotene, are also curious developments, calling the temporality of 
> >> complicity into question (what can complicty be, if it might take 
> >> be undone posthumously, subjected to historical revision and its 
> >> motivating forces?).
> >>
> >> On this map, which border separates complicity from collaboration? 
> >> For example, in the 80s triumvirate Debbie Harry, Stephen Sprouse, 
> >> Andy Warhol, so much more is at stake then electric camouflage. Is 
> >> there an art of complicity, an almost honest duplicity, as we find 
> >> with Jeff Koons, or perhaps Machiavelli (and Makaveli, as revised 
> >> by Tupac)? Where does complicity meet the gesamtkunstwerk?
> >> To turn to your own fascinating work on visuality and textuality, 
> >> what relationships do Dada orthography embody, create, mobilize, 
> >> move, erase? Is the intertextuality of Dada script, its evocation 
> >> of other venues, other surfaces, other dialogues, other languages 
> >> and language games, relevant here, pointing to a cultural 
> >> complicity riddled with revolutionary aspirations via the twists 
> >> and turns of a détournement? And what of those secret complicities 
> >> that surprise us in their emergence: for example, Man Ray’s 
> >> displeasure when his famous eye-metronome (Object to Be Destroyed) 
> >> is actually destroyed, or efforts on the part of Agrippa’s 
> >> publisher to violate Heisenberg and make Gibson’s poem both 
> >> readable and collectible? Are these acts of aesthetic treason, 
> >> secret moments when an entente between art and temporality is 
> >> revealed, and ephemerality finds itself suddenly and surprisingly 
> >> dissipated, when all along it has been promised to us as the 
> >> glittering content of modernism?
> >>
> >> Perhaps we have moved from complicity to imbrication, to use the 
> >> word so popular among New Historicist circles. This would gel with 
> >> systems theory and its interconnected networks redefining humanism 
> >> and ethics, as well as cyborg subjectivity, which rejects models of 
> >> depth in favor of those emphasizing intertwining, conjunction, 
> >> nexus. The CSO cannot be complicit, but it can be caught up 
> >> (ironically, via disinterest and counterproduction). Most notably, 
> >> your experimental poetic hypertexts call out for a technocracy even 
> >> before one properly exists, emitting a telepoetic call not unlike 
> >> Nietzsche’s addressing of a community-to-come in texts like 
> >> Zarathustra (and hence a complicity-to-come). Yet in here 
> >> somewhere, we must locate that elusive term, which, as the post- 
> >> différance Derrida reminds us, might or might not exist. 
> >> Philosophically, it is only a rumor, a ripple transmitted from 
> >> Aristotle to Montaigne to Nietzsche to us, its inheritors and heirs 
> >> and signatories, and the site of a recoil: friendship. I am 
> >> reminded of Hannah Arendt’s forgiveness of Heidegger, as well as 
> >> Levinas’ withholding of this gift. But if there is no friendship, 
> >> can there be complicity? Perhaps complicity is an idealized or 
> >> perverted version of friendship, or friendship an idealized/ 
> >> perverted version of complicity? I pass this stream along to 
> >> Cinzia, who holds the key.
> >>
> >> Love to All, Michael Angelo Tata
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> *******************************************
> >> Michael Angelo Tata, PhD 347.776.1931-USA
> >> http://www.MichaelAngeloTata.com/
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> From: drucker at gseis.ucla.edu
> >> To: jhaber at haberarts.com; empyre at gamera.cofa.unsw.edu.au
> >> Date: Mon, 4 Jan 2010 06:44:40 -0800
> >> Subject: Re: [-empyre-] Unfolding Complicity
> >>
> >> All,
> >>
> >> Great to read all this! I find myself nodding and wanting to 
> >> underline and put notes and check marks in the margins of these 
> >> texts! So much for the awful physical impermeability of screen 
> >> space. So here are a few affirmative comments and a couple more 
> >> thoughts.
> >>
> >> Since I find myself so much in agreement, I will only mention one 
> >> or two things. John's comment at the end of his last post seems 
> >> really important -- we really DO have to make judgments because 
> >> that is part of the ongoing civil project. I remember once, years 
> >> ago, when I was a young prof teaching contemporary art. I was a 
> >> guest in public forum addressing free speech issues and took the, 
> >> to my mind at the time, only position which was that all speech 
> >> should be free and all censorship avoided. A visitor from 
> >> Scandinavia raised his hand and said very gently that no, that was 
> >> not the case, that in fact the very nature of a civil society was 
> >> that it was always engaged in figuring out what was permissible/ 
> >> acceptable and what was not. That remark changed my thinking in 
> >> many ways, most profoundly, because it pointed out the always 
> >> unfinished and ongoing foundation of ethical behavior. So, that is 
> >> just to extend John's significant remark.
> >>
> >> I originally thought of complicity as a way to complicate the 
> >> historical sequence of concepts that began with modern autonomy and 
> >> was replaced by contingency in a post-modern formulation. It was 
> >> meant to express much of what Cynthia put eloquently into her post 
> >> -- the combination of our understanding of ourselves within a 
> >> structuralist/poststructuralist sense of subjecthood (enunciated 
> >> and enuciating) but also with the recognition that pace Baudrillard 
> >> et al, we are still individuals with actual quirky selves and lives 
> >> that matter in a humanistic sense. I'm resolutely against the 
> >> notion of posthumanism, as I think it makes concessions to a mind 
> >> set that is destructive to the social values of a culture that 
> >> needs to keep the fictions of humanism alive -- that is, the 
> >> respect for individuals within the polis -- while evolving a more 
> >> conscientious and sophisticated understanding of community. I guess 
> >> I think that for all I love Luhmann's work, he seems not to be able 
> >> to create a model in which the somewhat contradictory conditions of 
> >> system theory, complexity, and autopoiesis, and humanist self-hood 
> >> fictions all co-exist. I see all of those things in daily life, and 
> >> hear them in what Cynthia and Sean are saying (though do correct me 
> >> if I am misreading).
> >>
> >> Finally, here is a story about hypocrisy and academics to make my 
> >> other point clear, because of course I am an academic as well as an 
> >> artist and love critical thought as much as any other theory-head. 
> >> Once, when I was teaching at Columbia, I had occasion to attend a 
> >> talk by a very famous architect and theorist whose name I honestly 
> >> do forget, though someone else will no doubt remember. He was 
> >> talking about the then recent renovation of Parc de la Villette in 
> >> Paris. He took issue with the design that had been developed-which 
> >> was created to make a recreational, pleasant outdoor space in a 
> >> high density neighborhood whose demographic was working class and 
> >> at the lower end of the economic scale. He suggested instead that 
> >> the park should be made as unpleasant as possible, disagreeable, 
> >> difficult to use, grating on the senses because then and only then 
> >> would the working classes rise up and overthrow the capitalist 
> >> masters. This from a person whose yearly income had long since 
> >> topped out the salary scale at the University and who lived a life 
> >> of security and relative luxury. I found this appalling, but the 
> >> colleague I was with told me to hold my tongue because the audience 
> >> was in thrall -- all thought this was the most brilliant and 
> >> radical talk they had heard in ages. This seems to me to be a 
> >> completely different thing from teaching students Foucault, for 
> >> instance, to give them tools for critical thought.
> >>
> >> Johanna
> >>
> >> Hotmail: Trusted email with powerful SPAM protection. Sign up now. 
> >> _______________________________________________
> >> empyre forum
> >> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
> >> http://www.subtle.net/empyre
> >>
> >>
> >> Hotmail: Powerful Free email with security by Microsoft. Get it 
> >> now. _______________________________________________
> >> empyre forum
> >> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
> >> http://www.subtle.net/empyre
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > empyre forum
> > empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
> > http://www.subtle.net/empyre
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
> http://www.subtle.net/empyre
Hotmail: Trusted email with Microsoft’s powerful SPAM protection.
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: https://mail.cofa.unsw.edu.au/pipermail/empyre/attachments/20100115/b37695bd/attachment.html 

More information about the empyre mailing list