A painting is a presence. Not that it has presence, though it does. We’re talking about good paintings, real paintings; whatever any of that might mean, in them presence is an essential quality. Maybe quality isn’t the right word…. Is a being reducible to its qualities? Is presence something beyond quality as well as number?
“How we position.” Seems to call for an object, “What?” before we can get into wondering about “how;” or even, who “we” are; we want to know what.
Isolation. I wrote about it here. * Lewis Lapham has had a seminal influence on me. he’s always been a writer pursuing what lies beyond the superficial. I read Harper’s religiously when I was young, amazed at how anyone could see so clearly, write so well…. His recent remarks remind us of the birth ofContinue reading “On Isolation”
We hear this often enough. These days it probably sounds like good advice. Yet behind it is a troubling assumption. One that touches on how we keep running in circles, returning to the same traps again and again. We confuse ease with relaxation. What does it mean to be relaxed?
If we have relatively good eyesight it’s easy to think that’s all we need, “I know how to see! Just open my eyes and look!” One of the first lessons from learning to draw and paint was that I had no idea what was involved in seeing. Not just that I was lacking techniques usefulContinue reading “Learning how to see”
Once we begin to recognize what it feels like to be alive it can still be a shock to acknowledge how much of our lives is spent in circumstances that are dead and threaten to engulf us once again in the numbness we’ve just begun to leave behind. But, if we fail to let thisContinue reading “Out of the Depth of Our Numbness”
As any hope of an actual break with business-as-usual fades into the heat and glare of a summer in which discontent does not lead to action to address its causes; but becomes nothing more than a nuisance of disaffected noise signalling on both sides of our political theater that everyone – with the strongest pushContinue reading “The Politics of Nostalgia”
By the time we add in the complications and machinations of media it is damn impossible to know what is going on. Some call it Marketing 3.0….
I keep returning to the lessons of futility. We are admonished to, “Try harder!”in the face of that which we cannot change, leaving us spinning our wheels…. It has to do with cause & effect…. But this is only part of what’s going on.
“(Taoism) isn’t a process of learning more facts or greater skills. It is the unlearning of wrong habits and opinions.” — Alan Watts It’s not just the Singularity Boys who get this wrong…. What is unlearning?
I just stumbled upon Donald D. Hoffman‘s work in The Atlantic Magazine. It was one of those exceedingly rare moments when a crucial new piece is added to the puzzle. He’s a cognitive scientist. He’s been studying the roots of perception and his research has led to his articulation of a key missing link ifContinue reading “This is key”
… mostly in a single night. In it we find the yet unborn Twentieth Century – and its long tail, cracking like a whip over us even now. No need for any more warnings than that. By then others had already begun to populate dystopias and pronounce prophecies: Milton, …. What if a culture couldContinue reading “Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein in a few days…”