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Excerpt from the Toward a Science of Consciousness III (MIT Press), introduction to section VIII: The Timing of Conscious Experience, by Stuart R. Hameroff
[...] Libet concluded that somehow the brain appreciated sensory input after a significant delay but corrected the timing by referring the conscious signal backward in time! Libet's data and conclusions have been widely debated, with quite different interpretations. Some physicists take the backward time referral seriously, as supportive evidence for a quantum mechanism in consciousness. Others believe classical, nonquantum explanations suffice. The debate continues in the first two chapters in this section.This set of articles has been bugging me since I read the book last fall. Had no idea they were online!
I watched the adult anime (hentai) Nightmare Campus the other day. The end is pretty hilarious, with a gigantoid penis that rises up out of the planet, with a little tiny tiny girl wiggling around on top of it. But what I keep thinking about is the images of nuclear explosions - a giant white flash, a dome of light/force that explodes into cataclysm. Is the whole cosmic rebirth phenomenon in anime related to the fact that Japan was victim of nuclear bombs? Am I stupid to be only really thinking about this now...? or is there something weird and blinkered about the fact that we in North America fetishize all things Japanese, and carry our own embedded nuclear nostalgia paranoia, but do not talk about a Japanese internalization of nuclear holocaust?
Maggie MacDonald's the Rat King Mini Rock Opera
The time will come to pass / when wealth and social class / will be as meaingless / as rat's feet over broken glass
I went to see the Tin Tin Tin performance (curated by Carl Wilson at Toronto's new Drake Hotel ) on a whim, and came away stunned and moved. The music was good. I liked Three-Ring Circuits quite a bit although Jonny Dovercourt's stagey attempt to shush the talkative audience was unfortunate. It's your job to win our attention, Mr.Guy-On-Stage. I liked Act 3 (Polmo Polpo, Great Bob Scott, & Chris Gartner) okay: live jazz to a projection of super 8 film (baboons with a warthog and a leopard) that was being aesthetically slowed, paused and melted on the spot, to nerve-wracking effect. Kinda like a snuff-film, only its the film itself that's getting snuffed (plus, maybe some baboons, when the leopard shows up).
But all this is preamble to the main event: the Rat King Mini Rock Opera, by Maggie MacDonald (sorry for the lame link - I know there must be better out there), which was grEAt! This performance was supposedly a 'workshop' or 'rough' run-through, but it captivated and transported us (we audience), bad wigs, funny rat-hats, gawky on-stage props, reading-from-scripts and all. The music was great and Magali Meagher took performative control with such poignant panache, that we all surrendered our disbelief en mass. Jes Singer was calm and confident as the lanky, scary dad with daughter issues, and John Caffrey made a lovely rat king, complete with jiggling third-hand, protruding from the torso. This was very fine, small-venue, scary/funny, cathartic theatre the way those ancient Greek dudes made it up to be.
Canadian Art Quote #3
Dowler is writing here about the controversies that arose when the National Gallery of Canada purchased Barnett Newman's "Voice of Fire" in 1990, and then again when they exhibited Jana Sterbak's "Vanitas" (aka. meat dress) in 1991.
From the "In Defense of the Realm: Public Controversy and the Apologetics of Art" published in the anthologoy Theory Rules published by YYZ Books and University of Toronto Press, Toronto, 1996. pg.82
The collapse of the distinction between, on the one hand, the sphere of aesthetic production and reception and, on the other, the spheres of everyday social and political interaction, even if only brief, can produce some interesting and unanticipated consequences. Until recently, the uselessness of art, its pure negativity, ensured its freedom to function as critique, since it rested beyond (and therefore was incapable of infecting) the horizon of everday life. However, with the erosion of the autonomy of aesthetic practice and the broadening of the scope of reception (once encouraged by the avant-garde), art can no longer hold the priviledged position that was the sign of both its freedom from constraint and its lack of utility.
Ironically, the occasions which do seem to produce some social effects and which would indicate a certain success as regards the claim for the centrality of aesthetic experience have led instead to a shrill rhetoric in defense of artistic (and, concomitantly, institutional) freedom. This appears to run into a contradiction that emerges in relation to both aesthetic practices and discourses: the persistent desire, first expressed by the avant-garde, to reunite aesthetic experience with quotidian experience, and the insistence that art remain immune to the social and political criticism of its contents.
I started the day ready to post something cynical about valentine's and red dye #2. but then I read today's beautiful post over at Mr. Wilson's Arboretum. Thanks for this Alex: "Sex is Nature, while Love is Culture, but a connective tissue of metaphor (which is to say, meaning) grows between, and knits our bodies to our souls. "