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

Greg and all,

So where does education fall in all this?  Is the educators job to make the strange familiar or is it to make the familiar strange, or is it to maintain the status quo?  Maybe we cannot completely understand the system we are in, but is it important that we understand it just enough to begin to see the smoke and mirrors, the illusions that have been sold to us?  Of course there are different types of education - but in the end is education supposed to protect the system or challenge it?  As a teacher is your responsibility to be Andrew Lloyd Webber and get everybody singing the same tune and walking out of the classroom feeling mildly happy but that somehow something is missing (it must be the pastrami sandwich you had for lunch) or is the teacher supposed to be Bertolt Brecht, breaking down the wall that separate character from audience and demanding "What do you think?" So that some are stunned, others walk from the theater stiff kneed, and still others move to close the production down?

Is is interesting about Foucault - in my department there is a joke about Foucault being the evil Dewey (the Dewey class and the Foucault class are often taught the same semester with the same students and there is back and forth discussion about it).  Dewey and Foucault make many of the same points about our social existence, but whereas Dewey is the eternal optimist Foucault seems to think we're kind of screwed (all you Foucauldians can commence pouncing on me.

From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu [xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu] on behalf of mike cole [mcole@ucsd.edu]
Sent: Wednesday, September 17, 2014 7:07 PM
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: mediate perception and direct perception

Sounds like Novalis was cribbing from the writings of the Wizard of the 5th
Dimension, Greg. And of course, the stramge-->familiar to familiar-strange
dynamic is the ritual rite of passage in anthropology, or it was until both
the familiar and the unfamiliar became so strange.

Overall-- Isn't it just common sense that one cannot get a full
understanding of a system one is a consituent part of? Passim the
discussion of Shotter and others - reality overflows our attempts to
understand it.

Strange isn't it?

On Wed, Sep 17, 2014 at 3:42 PM, Greg Thompson <greg.a.thompson@gmail.com>

> 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


Development and Evolution are both ... "processes of construction and re-
construction in which heterogeneous resources are contingently but more or
less reliably reassembled for each life cycle." [Oyama, Griffiths, and
Gray, 2001]