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[Xmca-l] Re: "cultivating Minds



Hi--
I want to highlight this (should be going to sleep, but I've been pulled in. 

_________

"Red is good color back in China. But it is also blood color, and it is flag color and it is revolution and it is earthquake, Sichuan earthquake. So many bloody stories. And today we hear other stories, bloody stories." 
 
Then he got down and used his face and body to PRINT the marks on the map, and finally smeared the marks all over his face, so that he looked like a Xi'an opera singer. And that was the end of the performance.
 
Why is this performance art? Vygotsky says that it is not the case that individual bodies create individual minds and that individual minds then create individual emotions and when these are socialized they become art. 
 
It's much truer to say the exactly the opposite: there is a body of emotion which is already objective, already social, already cultural. And it's those emotions, and those alone, which the artist has to incarnate and individuate and in so doing reconceptualize. That's the peculiar "aesthetic contradiction" we find in performance art, or at least in performance ART.
 
___

It is art in that he represents China, in other words. His performance piece, to borrow from Hamlet, is the play in which he seeks to capture the conscience of his audience; he carries on his body the burden of their stories, of China's past. Stepping outside of his performance, when one of his audience members chooses to wear the Claudius mask, he provides a critical analysis. But the only part I object to is this:_________

Now, if that were ALL there was to the performance, then we would have to say it was a quite typical example of preconceptual thinking: a chain complex, like those described in Chapter Five, and like those shown in Paula's video
_________
BUT: At what point is a chain complex merely a chain complex? "NaCl" has a philosophical argument: Its heroine, Chorine, is going to find herself irresistibly drawn to the opposite sex; that's chemistry. You (the heroine, Chlorine) are going to change your name, and your whole being is going to be lost in this new identity. And then you die, but out of you is born crystals of salt. Is this a tragedy? No, because this is the cycle of nature; and in a transformation out of the world of chemistry to our world, we are asked to be reminded of the love in these salt crystals that we ingest--it is we now who are become the salt of the earth, the support of our social order, being asked to live and love. 

That is poetry, not just complexes chained without an underlying thought. There is an argument there, an intention that is greater than the parts of nonsense from which it is built. 

Akira Kurusawa, in his great movie, Late Spring, tells the story of an old man whose daughter will not marry her fiance, because she cannot bear to leave her father alone, uncared for. He tells her that he is getting married, and asks her to leave his house, because two women cannot run the same house, and he wants her to make her new life with her husband, as he will make his new life with his wife. She apologizes to him for being selfish to want to stay with him. And then he tells a friend, after she has gone, that he only pretended he was getting married, and that he did not want to see his daughter deprived of a husband and a full life in caring for him. In what Kurusawa's best-known critic calls "nondiegetic" inserts, Kurusawa shows a succession of images of a nearby hillside, in which there are a few old trees among younger trees. As the film progresses, the old trees disappear, until only a very few remain. That, I would say, is diegesis in action, a chorus in the form of a montage over time. 

These are narratives that take on the same basic story from two different perspectives, each telling about life and meaning in the face of mortality. Each of them uses montages of collision to create new meaning out of parts that did not contain that meaning before their juxtaposition. 

And then there is this kind of poem:
Side ShowVery sturdy rogues. Several have exploited your worlds. With no needs, and in no hurry to make use of their brilliant faculties and their knowledge of your conveniences. What ripe men! Eyes vacant like the summer night, red and black, tricolored, steel studded with gold stars; faces distorted, leaden, blanched, ablaze; burlesque hoarsenesses! The cruel strut of flashy finery! Some are young, - how would they look on Cherubin? - endowed with terrifying voices and some dangerous resources. They are sent buggering in the town, tricked out with nauseating luxury.O the most violent Paradise of the furious grimace! Not to be compared with your Fakirs and other theatrical buffooneries. In improvised costumes like something out of a bad dream, they enact heroic romances of brigands and of demigods, more inspiriting than history or religions have ever been. Chinese, Hottentots, gypsies, simpletons, hyenas, Molochs, old dementias, sinister demons, they combine popular maternal turns with bestial poses and caresses. They would interpret new plays, "romantic" songs. Master jugglers, they transform place and persons and have recourse to magnetic comedy. Eyes flame, blood sings, bones swell, tears and red trickles flow, Their clowning or their terror lasts a minute or entire months.I alone have the key to this savage side show.
Regards,Doug


 

      From: David Kellogg <dkellogg60@gmail.com>
 To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu> 
 Sent: Tuesday, March 3, 2015 1:58 PM
 Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: "cultivating Minds
   
Sometimes xmca reiterates.

This isn't always a good thing; it's often because someone (usually me)
wants to say the same thing a second time and just can't come up with a
better way of saying it. But sometimes it's a good thing, either becuase
the list as a whole has forgotten something it once knew or (better) there
are new people who weren't here for the first part of the conversation, or
(best of all) a thread has really turned into a kind of Moebius strip and
is doubling back on itself, but in a way that brings something that was
only implicit out and makes it explicit.

All of which is an excuse for me to recycle the following posting, which I
wrote many years ago when my friend the performance artist Shu Yang was
last in Seoul.

http://lchc.ucsd.edu/MCA/Mail/xmcamail.2010_11.dir/msg00242.html

I think the point I'm trying to make here--but it is implicit and I will
try to make it a little more explicit--is that we should have predicted all
the sensationalist and EXHIBITIONISTIC excesses of today's performance art,
simply from the fact that performance art is ART, and art in a bourgeois
society will inevitably centre on the all-conquering, all-absorbing,
all-obscuring individual. So today performance art sees the body as its
main asset, but by doing this it has turned the body into its main
obstacle. Seeing performance art as a projection of performance, the body
denies performance art as an injection of art.

If performance art wants to be art and not just performance, then it has to
grasp the basic Vygotskyan principle that art is not the socialization of
bodily feelings, but on the contrary, the individuation of a social
feeling. That's what made Shu Yang's performance art, and the other
performances mere performance.

Reiterate xmca...sometimes.

David Kellogg
Hankuk University of Foreign Studies



On 4 March 2015 at 02:51, HENRY SHONERD <hshonerd@gmail.com> wrote:

> Larry,
> I am mashing up serveral themes lately in the chat braid:
> Style and authenticity: Are they compatible? I am thinking about the
> discussion of performance art. Annalisa posted a radio podcast about
> professional wrestling. Is it fake, and if so, so what? it’s just
> entertainment. And makes lots of money. Your three definitions of FREEDOM
> come to mind (boiled way down, leaving just the salt): 1) autonomy, 2)
> expression of AUTHENTIC self, 3) collaborative/creaiive hoping. So, I see
> PLAY saving the day in that third, hopeful space, that sweet spot. Where
> people play at being both stylish and authentic. That would never go out of
> style. That would be vital. And wouldn’t be dreadfully boring.
>
> I look back at the previous paragraph and thought I might try to unpack
> it, but that would be even more arrogant than having written it in the
> first place. So, let’s just leave it there. Play with it. Come on, peeps,
> come out and play!! Snow has melted here in the Break Bad City, all mud
> puddle luscious. We’re high desert, so this is a real treat. Sorry can’t
> send some of our mud to Mike in San Diego.
> Henry
>
>
>
> > On Mar 3, 2015, at 7:45 AM, Larry Purss <lpscholar2@gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > Henry,
> > Let's follow further the opening comment of the song [this is an
> "approach
> > that has gone out of favour in the scientific world]  Poetry as
> "metaphor"
> > but not "mere" metaphor as the handmaiden of the "realistic" and the
> > "conceptual"  Rather "metaphor AS realistic" and also the reciprocal "the
> > realistic AS metaphorical"  Chemicals as personifications
> > [anthro-morphisms] "attract" each other.
> >
> > I am "implicating" metaphor and valences AND rational conceptions as
> equal
> > "partners" in "approaching" the notion of life as "vitality" [another
> > notion that has gone out of fashion  I am suggesting that this "theme" of
> > "life" as vital/dead seems to "play" out and also
> > "play" within  internal/external "dramas".
> > Daniel Stern most recent book is on the notion of "vitality"  Also
> > Heidegger's notion of "care and concern".
> >
> > Just saying -
> >
> > Larry
> >
> > On Mon, Mar 2, 2015 at 9:43 PM, HENRY SHONERD <hshonerd@gmail.com>
> wrote:
> >
> >> Larry and Mike,
> >> I think you guys are on to something. Thank goodness for valence, the
> salt
> >> of the earth according to the McGarrigles:
> >>
> >> KATE & ANNA MCGARRIGLE
> >> "NaCl"
> >> Just a little atom of Chlorine, valence minus one
> >> Swimming through the sea, digging the scene, just having fun
> >> She's not worried about the shape or size of her outside shell
> >> It's fun to ionize
> >> Just a little atom of Cl with an unfilled shell
> >> But somewhere in that sea lurks handsome Sodium
> >> With enough electrons on his outside shell plus that extra one
> >> Somewhere in this deep blue sea there's a negative
> >> For my extra energy
> >> Yes, somewhere in this foam my positive will find a home
> >> Then unsuspecting Chlorine felt a magnetic pull
> >> She looked down and her outside shell was full
> >> Sodium cried, "What a gas, be my bride
> >> And I'll change your name from Chlorine to chloride!"
> >> Now the sea evaporates to make the clouds for the rain and snow
> >> Leaving her chemical compounds in the absence of H2O
> >> But the crystals that wash upon the shore are happy ones
> >> So, if you never thought before
> >> Think of the love that you eat when you salt you meat!
> >>
> >> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CpTzawl3OmI <
> >> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CpTzawl3OmI>
> >>
> >> Henry
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>> On Mar 2, 2015, at 8:47 PM, Larry Purss <lpscholar2@gmail.com> wrote:
> >>>
> >>> Mike,
> >>> I will follow further in Simmels and Urs Furher's footsteps as this
> >>> theme also brings in Ernst Boesch's theory of "symbolic action" which
> was
> >>> developed as a notion that all phenomena [including action] have both
> >>> objective and symbolic "aspects". Boesch wrote:
> >>>
> >>> "This 'pervasiveness' of symbolism may be easy to grasp for a
> >> psychologist
> >>> with psychoanalytic experience or with strong artistic tastes; in my
> >> case,
> >>> however, although I believe myself to have a bit of both, this insight
> >> had
> >>> much more 'rational' roots. ... I trace its inception back to the 1963
> >>> article 'Raum und Zeit als Valenzsysteme', in which I formulated, for
> the
> >>> first time, the close *interrelatedness of 'valence' *[LP- worth/value
> ]
> >>> and 'structure': the conceptual structuring of space depends, I said,
> >> upon
> >>> the location of valences [worth/values] - it was the *'wish to return'
> >> *which
> >>> led to the specification and stability of *places.*"  [cited in
> "reasons
> >>> For a Symbolic Concept of Action" in Culture and Psychology 1997
> >>> Volume 3(3): pages 423-431]
> >>>
> >>> I am suggesting that Simmel, Urs Furher, and Ernst Boesch were all
> >>> following in the footsteps of the concept of "polyvalence" [multiple
> >> worths
> >>> and  values] as symbolic actions.
> >>>
> >>> Larry
> >>>
> >>> On Mon, Mar 2, 2015 at 3:23 PM, mike cole <mcole@ucsd.edu> wrote:
> >>>
> >>>> Amazing "coincidence" Larry--- I just wrote to Urs who I have not
> >>>> corresponded with for years as a result of going through his book on
> >>>> cultivating minds. It has a chapter on behavior
> >>>> settings as media for promoting children's development that has me
> >>>> re-thinking a number of issues. Among other things, there is a very
> >>>> interesting discussion of Roger Barker's research program. Very worth
> >> while
> >>>>
> >>>> I could not open that file you sent, but I found the link to the
> journal
> >>>> article. Its here:
> >>>>
> >>>> http://lchc.ucsd.edu/Histarch/ja93v15n1.PDF
> >>>>
> >>>> There are a number of other interesting/relevant articles there. "The
> >> sound
> >>>> of the violin" is a favorite.
> >>>>
> >>>> Thanks for reminding us of Simmel.
> >>>> Today, March 1, was his birthday!
> >>>> Coincidence?
> >>>> mike
> >>>>
> >>>> On Mon, Mar 2, 2015 at 3:01 PM, Larry Purss <lpscholar2@gmail.com>
> >> wrote:
> >>>>
> >>>>> Mike,
> >>>>> I continued to explore Urs Furher's book that you mentioned on Simmel
> >>>> that
> >>>>> would be potentially beneficial to follow. In my explorations I came
> >>>> across
> >>>>> this article on the metaphor of "traces" or "footprints" in the XMCA
> >>>>> archives. It was written in 1993 and is an interesting perspective on
> >> the
> >>>>> metaphor of cultivation AS FOOTPRINTS.  It is the third article in
> the
> >>>>> newsletter.
> >>>>> Urs is pointing to the reciprocal processes of "internalizing" and
> >>>>> "externalizing" the inner "affective sense" of "place" through
> >> attachment
> >>>>> to "home" and "vehicle" as concrete ways to form one's identity
> through
> >>>>> attachment/security needs and  autonomy needs.
> >>>>> Larry
> >>>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>> --
> >>>> It is the dilemma of psychology to deal as a natural science with an
> >> object
> >>>> that creates history. Ernst Boesch.
> >>>>
> >>
> >>
>
>
>