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Re: [xmca] sense and sensibility
On 29 April 2011 10:09, David Kellogg <email@example.com> wrote:
> Well, I feel a little guilty about my occasionally cryptic subject lines,
> Monica. But I have spent enough time hanging around art galleries know that
> with a lot of people the title is the only contact you will ever have.
> I also think that there is a tremendous amount of mission creep in a lot of
> the subject lines, and in particular the last one on concepts. I think the
> step from concepts to "activity" was really a step too far. It's not that
> one is a product and the other a process: I think both are really processes.
Here's some clarification on the process/structure distinction.
As physicists we may say that everything is a process due to the nature of
atoms or their various energy spins. In the study of a process we recognise
relations such that a process is recognisable as a relation between
structures (which themselves can be seen as processes). Traffic lights and
roads coordinate and structure the flow of traffic. The chemical trails
that ants deposit are processes, yet in the context of ant behaviour it is
meaningful to talk about them as structuring behaviour. The shell of a
tortoise and the spines (hairs) of a hedgehog can be conceived of as
processes, yet these clearly structure and mediate their behvaiour. Even an
ordinance survey map is something that changes. Whilst in our linguistic
expression this distinction is profoundly present, we must employ structures
and processes in order to communicate.
The advantage we have in our use of artifacts is that we are not,
necessarily, bound to them in the same way that tortoises are bound to their
shells. Every system or system of use has its strengths and
vulnerabilities. In selecting our forms of mediation we have the option of
letting them go. For instance, we can step down from our soap-boxes and
explore the mediating dynamics (theory in practice): soap boxes are a boon
for exercising democracy (a recent radio 4 programme on speakers' corner
springs to mind) though I question their value in dialogue (in contrast with
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