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506 weeks ago @ 不知道 i don't... - food work · 0 replies · +1 points

it's cross-cultural madness

507 weeks ago @ 不知道 i don't... - new book on alternativ... · 0 replies · +1 points

Sure, I just need to retrieve it from Elaine first. I'll give it to you on Friday.

527 weeks ago @ 不知道 i don't... - Rong Rong on Chinese p... · 0 replies · +1 points

To be fair, in the interview I don't think he makes any kind of value-judgement either way, it's just a comment on what he's seen from the entries to the competition. Taking his quote out of context, and adding my commentary was perhaps unhelpful.

But I take your point(s). Hindsight is a great thing, and history is written by the winners, as they say.

And you're right to suggest there is some kind of conceit here. There always is. The older generations are now in a position to take advantage of their success/longevity to allow us to reappraise their previous work, indeed their continued presence forces us to do so (if only to avoid being bored to death by the existing definitions).

This has got me thinking about the CPU artist Zu Jing, who's work I once tried to reduce to "young Chinese artist obsessing on her legs - therefore unable or unwilling to deal with larger issues - wow, it's like her whole generation". That says a lot about my ignorance of Chinese society and inability to see beyond the surface of her work or place it in a context - reductive nonsense. I did her a disservice with that line. I wonder if there is any way to think of narcissism as somehow socially engaged?

541 weeks ago @ 不知道 i don't... - embedded writing · 0 replies · +1 points

Actually, the original post was a bit of hand-wringing over my role here, and confusing it with that of a critic, which I am patently unable to be precisely because of my involvement in the consequences – the perception, as you say. Everyone can think critical thoughts, but the expression of those has to be carefully managed. To be fair this applies to everyone, it's a fact of life even, but it manifests itself in different ways depending on one's role in the equation. So I guess it's back to the drawing board with that super-critical exhibition review that led to this crisis of confidence!

542 weeks ago @ 不知道 i don't... - embedded writing · 0 replies · +1 points

indeed! well I'm really not saying anything earth-shattering here, it's something we all go through whenever we write something. I'm just trying to articulate the positive aspects of it. I should just relax and say that history is the only arbiter that matters, but that of course is just as fallible in it's sanctions – but at least I'll be dead and won't care (one assumes).

547 weeks ago @ 不知道 i don't... - Chinese art market con... · 0 replies · +1 points

Thank you JingDaily, good information there and you have an interesting website, I will be keeping an eye on it. A side benefit from a dearth in the big names could be renewed attention on lesser known (and, in my opinion, more interesting) artists, thereby encouraging development in market content.

557 weeks ago @ 不知道 i don't... - "…a distinctly ... · 0 replies · +1 points

Thanks for your thoughts, Ana, very helpful.

The problems of an anthropological approach raise their head again. I would go so far as to say any idea of "distance" is untenable. Can we look from the "outside" at all; is there really any outside to look "in" from (I guess we show we have learnt to be wary of these assumptions by our use of quote-marks around words) – post-structuralist thoughts. We always have a "position," but this is but one position within the multiplicity of options, within the field of view (thought of in a physical sense) as it were.

Thinking about equanimity, one response to the above problems has been to fully immerse oneself in the (perceived) culture – to throw oneself into it, somehow circumventing the perceived divisions. I think, to begin with, by simply being aware of this problem, we may not avoid it, but at least we know when we fail.

On a unrelated note, is the over-use of punctuation a bad sign in my writing?

558 weeks ago @ 不知道 i don't... - magic? · 0 replies · +1 points

Send me an invitation and we can give it a go…

558 weeks ago @ 不知道 i don't... - magic? · 3 replies · +1 points

Thanks for those links, Robin. The Center for Tactical Magic were also showing at SHIFT Festival, so it's apposite that you should have mentioned them :

On the subject of why we crave magic in its more general form, this from Wired (via Daring Fireball ): "The rejection of hard-won knowledge is by no means a new phenomenon. In 1905, French mathematician and scientist Henri Poincaré said that the willingness to embrace pseudo-science flourished because people 'know how cruel the truth often is, and we wonder whether illusion is not more consoling.' Decades later, the astronomer Carl Sagan reached a similar conclusion: Science loses ground to pseudo-science because the latter seems to offer more comfort. 'A great many of these belief systems address real human needs that are not being met by our society,' Sagan wrote of certain Americans’ embrace of reincarnation, channeling, and extraterrestrials. 'There are unsatisfied medical needs, spiritual needs, and needs for communion with the rest of the human community.'"

566 weeks ago @ 不知道 i don't... - Koons and decoration · 0 replies · +1 points

OK, kind of putting me on the spot there! I've never been asked to justify the somewhat vague language I use before, but this is a good thing to be called out on. If I used that kind of language in a regular blog post I would be very sensitive about giving it at least a cursory definition, but it being in a comment, I was a lazy.

But enough digressing!

False consciousness is obviously taken from Engel's writings (and by allusion, Marx, although apparently he never used the term). Before I go any further I should admit to having read neither of these thinkers in any great depth and most of my knowledge comes via their commentators.

I think my understanding and use of the term is really very simple (perhaps, simplistic), although complex in its consequences. False consciousness is what we think we know about something (not just society, or the economy, it can apply to anything), when actually our knowledge has already been formed by an external agent, be that someone or something (or even the thing itself). Hence it represents forms of ideology.

The question is how would we know that? The answer might be through scientific investigation, through theory, through religion, etc. But we have to bear in mind that these are all in themselves ways of thinking about things, hence susceptible to false consciousness in themselves. A bit of a bind, no?

I am not a nihilist, though (at least I don't think I am). I am of the opinion that thought in itself is the important thing, but it must have some affect on reality. Even if that just means that you are expressing yourself into the void (as writing a blog sometimes feels like!), something has changed in reality and there is still possibility there. And that is worth carrying on for, although maybe that's a very selfish view given my (negative) views on putting more "things" into the world. aaah, so complex!

I hope this makes some contorted sense and serves whatever fate may have in store!