“their let-it-all-hang-out verbal style, their longings and regrets, their urgency and lack of time left”
“their let-it-all-hang-out verbal style, their longings and regrets, their urgency and lack of time left”
“‘The names of simple ideas are not capable of any definitions…’ Indeed not, since definition involves distinction and is therefore no longer simple. Simple ideas are, therefore, in Locke’s system, simpleminded; they are not the objects of understanding. The implication is clear but comes as something of a shock, for what would be more important to understand than simple ideas, the cornerstones of our experience?”
“Metaphor, gives itself the totality which it then claims to define, but it is in fact the tautology of its own position. The discourse of simple ideas is figural discourse of translation and, as such, creates the fallacious illusion of definition.”
“I must confess then that, when I first began this discourse of the understanding, and a good while after, I had not the least thought that any consideration of words was at all necessary to it.”[…]”But when, having passed over the original and composition in of our ideas, I began to examine the extent and certainty of our knowledge, I found it had so near a connexion with words that, unless their force and manner of signification were first well observed, there could be very little said clearly and pertinently concerning knowledge…And though it terminated in things, yet it was, for the most part, so much by the intervention of words that they seemed scarce separable from our general knowledge. At least they interpose themselves so much between our understandings and the truth it would contemplate and apprehend that, like the medium through which visible objects pass, their obscurity and disorder does not seldom cast a mist before our eyes and impose upon our understandings.”
“Aphoristic theoretical fragments are meant to be stimulatingly and productively unpleasant, while pleasantly, imperiously brief. Aren’t they? This is how one gets high off them and how one impels oneself toward new vistas of thought and action via their shocks, tickles, and prods.”
“By the time I use something autobiographical, it’s not about me and my life. I see it as material, stuff I can work with and make into forms. Here are some analogies that might be corny. I look at a lot of visual work. I see how artists take what might be considered junk or banal images, but which have deep relevance to them. They use material that’s freighted for them and transform it. Painters use color differently, each color has meanings to them, aesthetic and personal associations. The important thing is, those meanings exist not only for them. Artists use material aware of its importance beyond them.”
The circularity and repetition of her thinking seemed to me the way thought, when you’re not thinking, happens. Also, if…you hear your voice and watch your mind wander, stop and start, you censor it, see inhibitions, you take strange turns, words get scrambled, lead to events and incidents you couldn’t predict, and you contradict yourself often. Unlike “stream of consciousness,”…the mind returns to themes and incidents again and again in different contexts, but there are fixed points, “blocks.” It’s not all about the free play of language - that’s about writing as writing - but when attached to the unconscious, written thought will represent memories and events you can’t avoid and keep going back to. Everything you know and don’t know.
“I don’t want readers to get bogged down in unnecessary language or linguistic frills. If they need to go back to the beginning of a sentence, I don’t want it to be because it’s cluttered with verbiage that doesn’t ultimately augment and elaborate clearly even contradictory or irrational sets of thoughts. As a reader, and writer, I dislike overwrought sentences.”
To speak of evidence..here signifies nothing other than self-givenness, the way in which an object can be characterized relative to consciousness as ‘itself there,’ ‘there in the flesh’-in contrast to its mere presentification, the empty, merely indicative idea of it. For example, an object of external perception is given with evidence, as “it itself,” precisely in the actual perception, in contrast to the simple presentification of it in memory, imagination, etc.
“Thus, the evidence of a thing seems to be synonymous with its presence for consciousness, i.e., its mode of givenness is that of presentation and not of re-resentation. […] Husserl makes it clear that physical objects cannot be given in adequate evidence, since they always appear perspectivally, and hence always have hidden aspects. but what about “immanent” perception, i.e., the awareness one has of one’s own thoughts and psychological states? Is adequate evidence attainable in introspection? In early texts Husserl seems to suggest that immanent perception is characterized by a higher degree of adequacy, which gives it a certain priority over perception of transcendent objects, but…he points out that not even the givenness of an immanent experience can, strictly speaking, be adequate:”
Even an experience is not, and never is, percieved in its completeness, it cannot be grasped adequately in its full unity. It is essentially something that flows, and starting from the present moment we can swim after it, our gaze reflexively turned towards it, whilst the stretches we leave in our wake are lost to our perception.
-Daniel Birnbaum, The Hospitality of Presence
“In brief, one could say that Husserl primarily analyzes the modes of ‘givenness’ of the things under scrutiny…The ‘principle of principles’ mentioned above gives expression to this fundamental willingness to accept each thing as it ‘gives itself,’ but ‘only within the limits in which it then presents itself.’ The issue here is…an endeavor to understand things in the full richness of their givenness.”
…”Sellars declared all experience to be a ‘linguistic affair.’ The empiricist idea of ‘so-called immediate experience,’ preceding the use of linguistic signs, is, in Sellars’s view, an example of the ‘Myth of the Given,’ and should be replaced by an understanding of all experience as necessarily dependent upon, and constituted through, language.”
-Daniel Birnbaum, Hospitality of Presence
“rational distancing…the distance human beings believe necessary to include every[thing] fairly. fairness is a matter of perspective, too. people don’t realize that to image a specific event requires a specific kind of eye, who calculates inclusion that entails exclusion. framing…it’s not only a photographic term, its a cultural one too…”
“words are ‘much less bound to sentiment and convention than we are.’…how much more can i do with words than i do? how bound am i to convention and sentiment? and how much does discipline and genre dictate what gets written?”
‘“our business is to see what we can do with the old english language as it is. how can we combine old words in new orders so that they create beauty and that they tell the truth. that is the question. words hate anything that stamps them with one meaning or one attitude. what is our nature but to change? it is because the truth they try to catch is many-sided they convey it by being many-sided, dashing this way and that thus they mean one thing to one person, another thing to another person.’...while you can’t control meaning, you try as best you can to use the right word.”
“materials free of unwelcome artistic associations…and endowed, by contrast, with a natural affinity with the body and the gesture. Made to be manipulated. Wouldn’t it be interesting to create works with those materials, going along with their nature?”
“The stuff…found its full meaning only when the visitors, following simple rules laid down by the artist or inventing their own, made use of the pieces”
“basic gestures prompted by the works… a crystallization of psychological and physical relationships between human beings in space through visual and plastic form”
“What [Eliasson] calls ‘the reintroduction of time’ is just the first step in a strategic attempt to break down the ‘governing dogma of timelessness and static objecthood,’ making possible an individual relationship with the world based on personal engagement….’If the individual is simply-and passively-produced by the space, she fails to mobilize the critical potential embodied in the situation.’ writes Eliasson, emphasizing the fact that the subject is not given as a stable structure once and for all, but is actually constituted by forces from the outside.”
“To a certain extent you produce the work, but in turn you are produced as a subject by te environments the artist constructs. ‘It could perhaps be called a relationship of co-production,’ says Eliasson. Is it the intentionality of the active viewer who enters the work of art and fully explores its most extreme possibilities that determines the limits of what it means to be a subject? Or is it the work itself that defines the parameters of new forms of subjectivity, perhaps involving modes of awareness that dodge the framework of phenomenology?”
-Daniel Birnbaum, Finitude’s Index
“I also became aware at that time that I had no taste for putting myself on show, or for occupying even a trace of the symbolic position of an author. I told myself that I would be a long-term performer, in the sense that presence is my goal, but my concern is to authorize rather than to be an author.
I consider my images and objects as tools, articles of use:practical above all else. The point of departure of my work consists in images that have found a support in photography. I am not saying that I do photography, but that I make images, in the same way as I make objects, not sculptures, because sculptures are only a typology of objects. What are the conditions of the work? My criteria are that it should be complete in itself, separate, and that it should bring with it, in such a way as to be plainly visible, all the conditions under which it was produced. But also that it should have a direct link with what it has been separated from, which is to say, the world. This separation I speak of is not pathological, but liberating. It is in being as impersonal as possible that I try to keep looking at the world. To separate oneself is first and foremost to elude the temptation of realism, of moralizing. My wall images play on representation, while my objects play on presence. To go into the sense of impression or expression doesn’t interest me; rather, it is the tension between the two that matters to me. A work is an affirmation and, at the same time, a negation. It is a battlefield.
I do not attempt to control the discourse and analysis of my work; on the contrary I try to surrender all control…I never use the word “project” concerning my work; it is always simply a matter of practice. Becoming aware of your own practice is retrospective. There is no art, and no theory, that comes before practice. It is only when you become aware of your practice that you can begin putting something into form. When the first phase of the practice is of the order of feeling, allowing a return into the area of perception, it is then that a conceptual space arises through the act of forming. The act of forming is of the order of technique. […] The form of a work has no stake in the game other than to make experience possible; it is a kind of rhetoric that helps to communicate thought. That’s why what is common interests me far more than what is singular. I share something with the other, and that shared something is my playing field.
Thought, to my mind, is an act that forces one out of oneself, not an imposition of personal singularity. This means that I must take into account even what I reject. It is by starting from the center, not the periphery, that one can gain an overall view of what goes on in the world. Photography is an instrument of frontally.”
“Jean-Luc Moulene tends to call himself a ‘plasticien’…a revealing move that suggests not only that image-making is just mark of his practice, but that the idea of materials, their manifestation, and what they might say about the form of society and the possibility of its transformation is at the core of his work.”
he “…makes explicit every factor that intervenes in the construction of the images…a disclaimer that they are not ‘by Molene, but simply presented or made visible by him.”
“I conceive of them all like objects after a world of photography. therefore they are not objects in the sense of statuary or sculpture. They are objects linked to the questions of production, representation, post-photography objectivation. As such, photography continues to be the research tool for these objects.”
“The notion of work stoppage is a useful metaphor to use in relation to what I do: I stop things, make the image concrete. The idea is simple: If you objectify floating mental images, they no longer float, they become tangible. My work has often been about that: giving concrete existence to mental images.”
“I’m interested in producing work that is, in itself, the site of conflict, that presents existing conflicts in pre-sensitive and therefore sensitive form. From these forms, a detachment and a gap are created and a critical consciousness can occur.”
“Moulene’s forms defy typology, in that they are fabricated from resemblances and alterity, preferably nondescript; formless, with no clear usage. His plasticity of choice has potatoide (potato-shaped) qualities - that is to say, his forms are somewhat absurdly undefinable and challenging.”