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[Xmca-l] Re: mediate perception and direct perception



Martin,
I once heard that somewhere Foucault said (somewhat shockingly) that his
life's work was an engagement with Kant.
Phillip, and to Martin's point about not being able to step outside of the
novel, (the following is taken from Daniel Chandler's web-book Semiotics
for Beginners - http://visual-memory.co.uk/daniel/Documents/S4B/sem11.html):
"As Hodge and Tripp note, there can hardly be 'an exhaustive semiotic
analysis... because a "complete" analysis... would still be located in
particular social and historical circumstances' (Hodge & Tripp 1986, 27)
<http://visual-memory.co.uk/daniel/Documents/S4B/sem13.html#Hodge_&_Tripp_1986>.
This is reinforced by the poststructuralist stance that we cannot step
outside our signifying systems. Semioticians seek to distance themselves
from dominant codes by strategies aimed at *denaturalization*. The notion
of 'making the familiar strange, and the strange familiar' is now a
recurrent feature of artistic and photographic manifestos and of creative
'brainstorming' sessions in many fields. The phrase itself has been
attributed to the German poet Novalis (1772-1801, aka Friedrich von
Hardenberg), who declared that the essence of romanticism was 'to make the
familiar strange, and the strange familiar'. The concept is found amongst
other Romantic theorists such as Wordsworth and Coleridge. The notion is
also closely associated with Surrealism and with Brechtian 'alienation'.
However, its adoption by semioticians probably owes most to Russian
Formalist criticism (Lemon & Reis 1965)
<http://visual-memory.co.uk/daniel/Documents/S4B/sem13.html#Lemon_&_Reis_1965>
. Victor Shklovsky argued in 1916 that the key function of art was
*estrangement*, *defamiliarization* or 'making strange' (*ostranenie*) -
i.e. renewing our perception of everyday things and events which are so
familiar that our perception of them has become routinized (Hawkes 1977,
62-67
<http://visual-memory.co.uk/daniel/Documents/S4B/sem13.html#Hawkes_1977>).
Russian
Formalism was a key influence on the development of semiotics in Eastern
Europe, and the legacy of 'making the familiar strange' is an important one
for semiotics. However, as Simon Watney notes, the strategy of
*defamiliarization* is itself, of course, ideological and has been
associated with the notion that the tactic of surprise may serve to banish
'distortions' so that we may 'objectively' perceive 'reality' (Watney 1982,
173-4)
<http://visual-memory.co.uk/daniel/Documents/S4B/sem13.html#Watney_1982>.
Clearly the strategy of 'making the familiar strange' needs to be coupled
with an awareness that whilst we may be able to bypass one set of
conventions we may never escape the framing of experience by convention.

​And here is the original "familiar strange" Novalis quote as he is
defining Romantic style (in the German Romantic tradition):
"*To romanticize the world is to make us aware of the magic, mystery and
wonder of the world; it is to educate the senses to see the ordinary as
extraordinary, the familiar as strange, the mundane as sacred, the finite
as infinite.*"​

​Best,
greg​


On Tue, Sep 16, 2014 at 7:52 PM, Martin John Packer <mpacker@uniandes.edu.co
> wrote:

> Right - Kant aimed to identify universal necessities in the seemingly
> contingent. Foucault aimed to unmask the contingencies in seemingly
> universal necessities.
>
> Martin
>
> On Sep 16, 2014, at 8:32 PM, White, Phillip <Phillip.White@ucdenver.edu>
> wrote:
>
> > Foucault, moving in opposite direction of Kant, looked to see what
> contingencies were cultural constructions, rather than universal
>
>
>


-- 
Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Anthropology
882 Spencer W. Kimball Tower
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT 84602
http://byu.academia.edu/GregoryThompson