Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Those multiple identities whereby we learn

"The challenge inherent in cultural diversity is not posed simply at the international level (between nation-states) or at the infra-national level (within increasingly multicultural societies); it also concerns us as individuals through those multiple identities whereby we learn to be receptive to difference while remaining ourselves. Thus cultural diversity has important political implications: it prescribes the aim of freeing ourselves of stereotypes and prejudices in order to accept others with their differences and complexities. In this way, it becomes possible to rediscover our common humanity through our very diversity."

source: page 5 of, UNESCO's Report "Investing in Cultural Diversity and Intercultural Dialogue" (2009)

[note: The above quote has been posted in protest to the recent (descriminatory) decision by the US Supreme court to allow states to ban affirmative action measures intended to repair racial and socioeconomic inequality in society by increasing the diversity of students admitted to universities. The impetus:]

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A site, which plunges into the furor of its own evaluation

"In the pure vanishing image of its 'elusive foam' the sea is abruptly revealed to be a site, which plunges into the furor of its own evaluation. / This site is an event-site because among its consequences we find that the inexistent (consciousness, life) starts to exist maximally, that the ontologically vanquished becomes the living victor, that where the empty excluded of the place used to be there now stands a body capable of breaking the 'pensive form' of its submission."

– Alain Badiou
(on Valéry's poem, "The graveyard by the Sea") in Logics of Worlds, p459.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Ping elsewhere always there but that known not.

In honor of Flight MH370, the last lines of Ping:

"Ping elsewhere always there but that known not. Ping perhaps not alone one second with image same time a little less dim eye black and white half closed long lashes imploring that much memory almost never. Afar flash of time all white all over all of old ping flash white walls shining white no trace eyes holes light blue almost white last colour ping white over. Ping fixed last elsewhere legs joined like sewn heels together right angle hands hanging palms front head taught eyes white invisible fixed front over. Given rose only just one yard invisible bare white all known without within over. White ceiling never seen ping of old only just almost never one second light time white floor never seen ping of old perhaps there. Ping of old only just perhaps a meaning a nature one second almost never blue and white in the wind the much memory henceforth never. White planes no trace shining white one only shining white infinite but that known not. Light heat all known all white heart breath no sound. Head taught eyes white fixed front old ping last murmur one second perhaps not alone eye unlustrous black and white half closed long lashes imploring ping silence ping over."

— Samuel Beckett, (last few lines of) Ping [or Bing, in French 1966], collected in First Love And Other Shorts (New York: Grove, 1974) p71-2.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Thinking area... an unassimilable series that encourages the viewer to think... not fitting, but fits.

"At least one 'thinking area' could offer maximum contradictions for the possibility of abstraction in the visual art of the futurist moment and immediately after. An oasis from whatever overarching narrative the show otherwise provides. This would include works not ordinarily or, better to say, not easily considered abstract but that are exemplary of a counterclaim to abstraction. The criteria for inclusion in this area would not be because something fits but because it doesn’t, an unassimilable series that encourages the viewer to think abstractly. Implausible connections, but not arbitrary ones; a series of contingent possibilities. Not fitting, but fits."

Charles Bernstein "Disfiguring Abstraction" Critical Inquiry v39 n3 (Spring 2013) p493.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Memory as a part of our existence in the environment

"We believe that our relation to up and down or in and out, to front, to back, to boundaries and edges shares space in our memories with more purely visual and conceptual matter. The experience of our bodies, of what we touch and smell, of how well we are 'centered,' as dancers say, is not locked into the immediate present but can be recollected through time. The importance of memory as a part of our existence in the environment has frequently been denied in this century and by some is even now rather embarrassedly characterized as 'nostalgia' and dismissed again. We [however] view it as an extension of experience, certainly not as a negation of it."

– from "Body, Memory, and Architecture" Kent Bloomer & Charles Moore. 1977.

Leaves of Suggestiveness

"The word I myself put primarily for the description of [my 'Leaves of Grass'] as they stand at last, is the word Suggestiveness.  I round and finish little, if anything; and could not, consistently with my scheme.  The reader will always have his or her part to do, just as much as I have had mine.  I seek less to state or display any theme or thought, and more to bring you, reader, into the atmosphere of the theme or thought – there to pursue your own flight." 

– Walt Whitman, from "A Backward Glance O'er Travel'd Roads" (1892), in Leaves of Grass, (Library of America, 1992) p666-7.