ah, remember the taste of the word ouroboros? Sometimes I think that’s what my thesis is, how strange that a word can look like how it means, and how it sounds is like what it looks like. (totally different note, but the idea of ouroboros is kinda like Nietzsche’s eternal recurrence? can ouroboros be an ethical process?)
Anyway bluefish was like: “ah, your post reminds me of mandalas!” and they are pretty cool:
Interestingly: “….In common use, mandala has become a generic term for any plan, chart or geometric pattern that represents the cosmos metaphysically or symbolically, a microcosm of the universe from the human perspective” (wiki) What’s interesting is that it seems most religions have some variation of the mandala? cool beans! I’ve decided that yea, if if I’m trying to represent some kind of secular internet divine — might as well go all out on it. I don’t really take it as criticism I think…. more like critique? I guess if I want to make the invisible divine visible, manifest it in architecture I might as well go all out on it – not just the romantic Sublime but just go all out in awesome splendour like that crazy rosetta stone church
Although I personally think that Baroque architecture is not very Sublime. (its too messy!!) For me, Sublime architecture is like the work of Louis Kahn — I love his work! Actually in spring I went to Montreal for exactly that reason, they were doing a retrospective of him in the Museum of Architecture there and it was amazing *o* I think his work is Sublime because it fulfills the qualities necessary for a Sublime experience. Longinus wrote this fantastic work called Treatise on Sublime in the 10th century which I think should be the foundation of historical understanding of the Sublime and the conditions needed to create Sublime experiences (it’s weird, Wiki doesn’t have a page on it… you can get a translation from Gutenberg though)
Little bit of Greek lesson – the word for Sublime in ancient Greek is ‘hypsos‘, which translates to ‘of height’; ‘height’ as in ‘magnitude’. Hypsos was traditionally referred to as the area above a doorway, so literally it’s like ‘beyond the height of a door’. It was through the Greek–>Latin translations (somewhere around 12th century, I believe) that ‘hypsos’ was translated into the Latin ‘sublimis’ (trans. ‘elevated’) but elevation didn’t carry the sense of Greek sense of ‘magnitude’…… in a way, it moved from an XYZ scalar (Greek) into an XY scale (Latin).
Anyway back to Louis Kahn — why did he (and to some extent, the 18th century Romantics) succeed where the Baroque, Renaissance and Gothic did not; despite the excessive splendor?
For me — or at least in my reading of Longinius, it’s the fact that while they did manifest the divine in architecture, they did not manifest any sense of material purity. It wasn’t just about elevation, but of ‘going beyond the height of a door’; so in effect, the path of the non-human (Kant would say, ‘inhuman) experience materialised into human understanding. The infinite, while it cannot be understood, can be glimpse’d. And it is in Kahn’s materiality, that constructed order in chaos (the same way Fiedrich manifested the order of the void in painting, or Fritsch’s sculptural motifs — or even in modernity, the work of the Wachowski siblings who have a peculiarly good understanding of creating epic humanity) It’s a kind of construct, where the human construct reveals itself and through the revealing creates a sense of material purity but that purity is unknowable because it is not human. In a way, it’s kind of like Heidegger’s aletheia, except without essence/daesin but with configurations and assemblages instead. (the black box reveals another black box, which reveals more boxes in boxes in boxes like unfolding strings of pearls; different, repeated, linked, separate)
Ran into Ed K. today along 2 west, and he gave me lots of think about!!! I like him a lot, even if I’m not really into the whole Speculative Realism thing (there are so many elements in it I dislike, but this is a personal bias) Anyway he gave me a lot of cool readings!!!!
Text: A Massively Addressable Object
“A physical text or manifestation is a provisional unity. There exists a potentially infinite array of such unities, some of which are already lost to us in history […] Grammar, as we understand it now, affords us a level of abstraction at which texts can be stabilized: we lemmatize texts algorithmically before modernizing them, and this lemmatization implies provisional unities in the form of grammatical objects of address.”
The Ancestral Text
“In this post I want to understand the consequences of “massive addressability” for “philosophies of access”–philosophies which assert that all beings exist only as correlates of our own consciousness. The term “philosophy of access” is used by members of the Speculative Realist school: it seems to have been coined largely as a means of rejecting everything the term names. Members of this school dismiss the idea that any speculative analysis of the nature of beings can be replaced by an apparently more basic inquiry into how we access to the world, an access obtained either through language or consciousness. The major turn to “access” occurs with Kant, but the move is continued in an explicitly linguistic register by Heidegger, Wittgenstein, Derrida, and a range of post-structuralists.”
Accelerando – Stross
“One of his e-mail accounts is halfway to the moon with automatic messages, companies with names like agalmic.holdings.root.8E.F0 screaming for the attention of their transitive director. Each of these companies — and there are currently more than sixteen thousand of them, although the herd is growing day by day — has three directors and is the director of three other companies. Each of them executes a script in a functional language Manfred invented; the directors tell the company what to do, and the instructions include orders to pass instructions on to their children. In effect, they are a flock of cellular automata, like the cells in Conway’s Game of Life, only far more complex and powerful.”
Geopolitical Aesthetics – Jameson
“all thinking today is also, whatever else it is, an attempt to think the world system as such and that cultural texts can therefore be read as forms of ‘political fantasy which in contradictory fashion articulate […] both the actual and potential social relations which constitute individuals within a specific political economy’. Culture, by this reading, ‘conflates ontology with geography and endlessly processes images of the unmappable system’ of advanced industrial capitalism.”
And then afterwards I met Paul N. for advising — I’ve always put him as ‘distant-cool’ type, but actually he’s really funny and quite easy to talk to. Anyway next semester I need 1 academic class (hopefully!!! with K.W!!! as an IS!!!) and one more support elective (something simple, non time-consuming hopefully since all my energy will be in thesis-mode)
Besides that I have some horrible news…. my STL files BROKE! 18 days before the exhibition!! So now I have 3 days to remake all 15 of them for 3D printing. It’s very horrible experience and is stressing me out like mad. I just really need to complete this well not only because I don’t want to disappoint other people, but also because I don’t want to let myself down D: D: D: in some ways, I’m really my own worst critic.