(Sally McKay is on blog-sabbatical, writing her PhD.)
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Ed Pien at the Tree Museum, Gravenhurst, Ontario
Psycho 2009 one of 12 polished metal disks, 2.5 feet in diameter
Heidi Schaefer - elevation at Stantec Window Gallery, Spadina Ave and Wellington St., Toronto until September 20, 2009
Notes on making value judgements and empiricism vs universality...
I'm reading neuroscientist Semir Zeki's new book, Splendours and Miseries of the Brain (2009). Zeki is the guy who basically founded neuroaesthetics with his influential 1999 book, Inner Vision: An Exploration of Art and the Brain. I'm digging the new one more. He's been engaging seriously with artists and art historians over the past ten yeras and he's refined his theory in a good direction.
As I mentioned in a recent post, one of the problems with neuroaesthetics is the tendency for people to focus too much on the autonomic systems. It makes sense, because the unconscious processes are the ones that can be isolated and studied with the technologies (fMRI and monkey experiments) available to neuroscience. Most neuroscientists make it very clear that their experimental findings do not address the whole picture of human consciousness. But some art folk, like historian John Onians, have been taking up this focus on unconscious brain activity with unbridled enthusiasm and layering it with dubious meanings.
Dyan Marie 2009 Billboard installation at the tree museum, Gravenhurst, Ontario
Sunday Devotional: Split Enz
(VB via SM)
Attached to the choo-choo train of history the angelic aspect of Pollock's use of line was, for Clem, registered in the flight it could take, the statement it could make against the realm of matter and substance, and thus the sublimation it could perform.I have been reading Rosalind Krauss' The Optical Unconscious (1993) and enjoying it very much. The above quote (from pg.290) made me laugh. Choo-choo train of history? Ouch! The way she argues with Clement Greenberg is highly charged. She's mean, and I suspect that was one way of getting through to the man, speaking his language. Of course, her arguments are not really addressed to Greenberg. Her goal isn't to convince him (she's not delusional), nor even, ultimately, to taunt him, but to assert her own paradigm for assessing works of modern art. Not only does she dissemble his theoretical positions with cogent argument, but she does so on his rhetorical terms. If one can talk of "owning" when it comes to shared cultural ideas, Greenberg is widely understood to "own" high modernism. But Krauss would beg to differ. Modernism isn't Greenberg, it's an historical era and Krauss has her own compelling version of events.
eeek! A leopard.
Brain Science is everywhere these days. If you're interested, you can study neurocomputing, neuromarketing, neuroeconomics, neuromusicology, neuroaesthetics (which is what I'm studying) and more.
As I complained recently to Joester, its getting a little ridiculous with all the neuro-this and neuro-that, as if everything we've ever produced as a species wasn't influenced by our brains. That prompted Joester to coin a useful new term: neurobrains. Joester didn't define his term, but I'm going to take a stab at it. Neurobrains refers to the state of the human brain in a heightened mode of disassociation. It's a cognitive state in which all of the autonomic systems (the ones that regulate physiological activity without us having to think about it) are intentionally and theoretically isolated from thought and intention. Human volition and free will are treated like a pretension — a myth that needs de-bunking — while the autonomic systems are welcomed like long lost Moms and Dads ("tell us what to do!"). Neurobrains is a theoretical and scientific mode of analysis, obviously reliant on higher-order processing and cognition, but, ironically, it devalues higher order processing and cognition in favour of unconscious behaviour.
International Woman of Mystery October 23 – December 6, 2009 at Bronx River Art Center, NYC