Makin' Stew

This week, I am thinking about texts and other media as “a tissue of citations” and the idea of digital and analog hypertexts (latter examples being the bible or Joyce). How can I highlight my own references and influences or otherwise create entryways or pathways in my work? Do I believe that the author is “dead” or, to be more precise, do I believe that the reader is symbolically at the controls? Whether or not I do, how do I apply this thinking to my work? This is an open question still.

 

I love the idea of discursivity as it applies to Marxist and Freudian theory. I believe the jist is that variations on these theories are always building upon themselves while simultaneously returning to the original text/concept. This differs from scientific theory because there is a fixity to the scientific method which allows new outcomes with its application, but not necessarily evolution of the original theory. 

 

I happened to read about a supposed angel language called Enochian this week, which was developed by an alchemist in the 16th century. This fictional language speaks to some of my thoughts about the way something is willed into being versus the way that something organically develops. The forced language was clunky and unnatural (which probably allowed it to feel otherworldly). Another important takeaway from this was the separation in history of magic and science, which seems to have made room for philosophy as its own form of study. A big question for me about artists is what the role truly means today. I think it is ever-evolving. What was once a way to record history, important events, and spiritual idols and tribute, is now neither philosophy, decoration, or record-keeping. I often think artists in the early 21st century are all dilettantes. Its “uselessness” or unquantifiable nature is its strength. But will this yield a newer field? And what, by the way, is the purpose of storytelling? We discussed how primitive storytellers were more like shamans. Does anyone believe today that artists have some higher wisdom?

 

I have been thinking a lot about the way our influences shape our work as well as the collective unconscious or half-conscious trends. I feel the wider aesthetic trend in popular culture is turning away from minimalism and toward some other version of “authenticity.”

 

This is a link to an article about Minimilism being the aesthetic of Gentrification that has really got me thinking:

https://www.currentaffairs.org/2019/02/death-to-minimalism

 

I want to also share this piece about the concept of “The Big Flat Now”:

https://www.businessoffashion.com/articles/opinion/op-ed-welcome-to-the-big-flat-now

 

Also on my mind because of Helene Cixous and Barthes is idea of productive cavities: the ear and active listening, the mouth and singing, the vaginal canal and birth. In conjunction with this I am thinking about laughter as being involuntary and my long-running thought about art functioning like humor. Should art create involuntary reactions, rather than intellectualized coerced ones? Is work that creates the equivalent of polite laughter successful? Finally: is there anything without sentience that laughs or sings?