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Re: [xmca] Ingold linking "figments" of imagination and "figments" of materiality as a single ontology
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- Subject: Re: [xmca] Ingold linking "figments" of imagination and "figments" of materiality as a single ontology
- From: Larry Purss <email@example.com>
- Date: Tue, 15 Nov 2011 22:54:46 -0800
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Hi Mike, and others discussing solidity/fluidity.
Andy is asking us to recognize the centrality for collaborative projects to
be a meaningful response to the issues Bauman is articulating. Others in
this thread are asking what is the appropriate way of responding to the
fragmentation and ambivalence that Bauman and others are articulating.
The central issue as I see it is first to stand up and recognize what
Bauman is articulating as "liquid modernity" [and the central ambivalence
at the heart of this metaphor] is the central crisis that we must respond
However we respond, by engaging in collaborative projects, the answer must
include the in*forming of structures where "recognition of the other" is a
central core value of the emerging social imaginary.
I do have a particular concern if the collaborative projects which Andy
recommends will also develop within in*forming structures of some
lasting "duration". If the collaborative projects themselves are formed "in
the moment" is this an adequate response to Bauman's central question of
in*forming a cultural "order" in which "recognizing the other" is the moral
compass which orients the project.
Charles Taylor and Zygmunt Bauman both have explored the concept of "social
imaginaries" which are specific historical developments. At the heart of
each cultural order is a social imaginary that limits what can even be
expressed or made conscious. Taylor and Bauman both see "modernity" as a
particular social imaginary that is fundamentally ambivalent is its pursuit
of "freedom" and "self-expression. This IS a basic fundamental yearning BUT
modernity pursues this yearning as a MONOLITHIC VALUE with no space/place
for imagining structures of long duration [which would limit freedom] The
protestant reformation and the individuals individual relation to a
personal god is just one example. Consumer society and the freedom to
choose what to OWN is another. Freedom as the MONOLITHIC compass point
which limits alternative values in*forming collaborative projects.
[Projects which may limit my freedom]
Bauman's answer to his own question is to shatter the limits of the modern
social imaginary by generating MULTIPLE metaphorical PERSPECTIVES that call
us to respond to the cavity at the heart of our yearnings for freedom
without limits. This cavity is the world "alienation" that Bauman points to
with metaphors such as the Nazi "garden" which needs tending through
exterminating the Jews as "weeds" His metaphor of "waste" or of "liquid
modernity" are various expressions exposing the LIMITS and ambivalence at
the heart of this particular social imaginary we refer to as modernity.
Andy, I agree that collaborative projects are the answer to Bauman's
question. The question then becomes "what particular projects?" My
suggestion is that these projects must be able to give an answer to the
limits and ambivalence of freedom and "self-expression". I also intuitively
sense that the answers must also in*form structures of some "duration" that
recognize not only who we "are" and who we are "becoming" but also are
structures which recognize who we "were".
This may only be an expression of my own yearning or cavity at the heart of
my own personal development. "Dependency, "dependable" and
"interdependent" as concepts and values are limited in our pursuit of
individual freedom. There is an inherent ambivalence within these multiple
yearnings but only freedom is highly valued as a fundamental human yearning
within liquid modernity.
On Mon, Nov 14, 2011 at 5:56 PM, mike cole <email@example.com> wrote:
> Lots of deep water, Larry.
> In reading through your summary of Bauman on ambivalence, it kept thinking
> of the problem of existential uncertainty as another, ambivalently
> constructed version of the same idea/predicament.
> Reading about solidity/fluidity and time in Bauman book, as life permits.
> The affinities across such a broad range of thinkers as are being discussed
> here is
> kind of amazing. Which are the differences that make a difference?
> On Sat, Nov 12, 2011 at 1:00 PM, Larry Purss <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> > Hi Robert
> > You wrote
> > in Newspeak, “all ambiguities and shades
> > of meaning” (Orwell, 1949, p. 304) are purged from languages so that one
> > word conveys one rigidly defined thought. Freedom for example, could only
> > mean one thing. The result is that thinking in metaphor becomes less and
> > less possible.
> > Robert, the central place of ambivalence in ALL social imaginaries is a
> > theme which Tim Ingold and Zygmunt Bauman perceive as central to ways of
> > orienting to the world.
> > Mattias Junge wrote an article "Bauman On Ambivalence Fully Acknowledging
> > the Ambiguity of Ambivalence" that documents the centrality of
> > and metaphor in all sociological imaginaries describing cultural and
> > "order" [the object of sociology as a discipline]
> > Bauman's perspective of ambivalence is expressed throughout his work from
> > his earliest articles to his latest contributions. The concept of
> > ambivalence is implicit in many sociological theories but Bauman's work
> > puts the concept of ambiguity at the heart of his project and ambivalence
> > is NOT a secondary or derived consequences of other primary processes but
> > rather ambivalences are seen as fundamentally grounded phenomenon and
> > driving force at the BEGINNING of social development. For Bauman
> > ambivalence is NOT a by-product of modernity but rather the explicit
> > impulse for freedom/emancipation AND the constitution of social order.
> > [simultaneously]
> > Bauman does NOT reduce ambivalence to a concept of "tension" or a concept
> > of "antagonistic contraries" because for Bauman ambivalence CANNOT be
> > reduced or destroyed but rather is unavoidable and indestructible. For
> > Bauman cultural, social, and moral phenomena are INHERENTLY ambivalent.
> > Bauman's theory explores the incurable ambivalence of cultural, social,
> > moral orientations.
> > Bauman suggests that by using categorical schemes [order vs freedom,
> > conflict vs consent, globalization vs localization] we can get caught
> > within the polarized scheme and oscillate between the two poles rather
> > see the two poles together as a unity of differences.
> > For Bauman, cultural and social order are the only way to build a human
> > world. Order is the necessary condition for human beings to live as
> > beings. HOWEVER Bauman also keeps a strong focus on the possibility to
> > change a given order and its deep structures.
> > For Bauman, modernity constitutes a particular cultural and social order
> > which is inherently ambivalent [two (bi) valuations (valences) in
> > Every order has an inherent classification that excludes in the process
> > legitimazing the order. Therefore the focus directed at constituting an
> > order requires ambivalence at the origin and constitution of the order.
> > Ambivalence is a fundamental CON DITION for the constitution of a
> > particular order.
> > Bauman explicitly uses extensive metaphorical language to develop new
> > conceptual [and ambiguous schemes] for sociological analysis.
> > For example, in his latest work he is exploring and developing the
> > of "waste" in "liquid" modernity [the speeding up social change]
> > Waste is explicitly a 2 sided ambivalent concept binding together the
> > wasted products of the order of classification [a fixation of liquid
> > modernity] and "handling waste" as something that constitutes the order
> > exclusion and inclusion.
> > Waste for Bauman is the NECESSARY by-product of LIMITING cultural
> > waste constitutes the realm of the excluded and encloses the aspirations
> > the modern "garden state"
> > For Bauman, this concept of "waste" creates the foundation for an ethics
> > alterity, transforming the waste of historical developments. For Bauman,
> > waste is a conceptual tool for imagining sociologically with negations
> > the focus on social order [gardening] The origin of waste stems from the
> > ambivalence of a social bifurcation between repressed [unable to choose]
> > and integrated persons.
> > Waste is the useless BY-PRODUCT of production.
> > For Bauman, naming humans as "waste" is a war cry criticizing social
> > processes of exclusion with ambivalence at the core of this particular
> > modern societal order. For Bauman there is an unavoidable ambiguity of
> > every kind of meaning and is the fundamental and UNSOLVABLE problem which
> > generates continuous attempts to deal with ambiguity in social and moral
> > orders and processes.
> > Not sure how others perceive Bauman's work but it leaves me somewhat
> > ambivalent.
> > Larry
> > On Thu, Nov 10, 2011 at 6:55 AM, Robert Lake <
> > >wrote:
> > > Thanks for sharing this wonderful treasure Larry!
> > >
> > > It is interesting ( and perhaps instructive) to imagine the
> > > polar opposite of Ingold's
> > > view of imagination. For example in Newspeak, “all ambiguities and
> > > of meaning” (Orwell, 1949, p. 304) are purged from languages so that
> > > word conveys one rigidly defined thought. Freedom for example, could
> > > mean one thing. The result is that thinking in metaphor becomes less
> > > less possible. Orwell gives an example of this one dimensional aspect
> > > freedom in Newspeak by saying that “The dog is free of lice” (ibid.).
> > You
> > > don't have to be a conspiracy theorist to see the trends toward
> > in
> > > standardized thinking, standardized tests and test preparation
> > > that comprise what Herbert Kliebard calls a "curriculum of
> > > followership"(1995,p. 95).
> > >
> > > Robert
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > On Thu, Nov 10, 2011 at 8:57 AM, Larry Purss <email@example.com>
> > wrote:
> > >
> > > > Hi Mike [and others who enjoy Ingold's writings]
> > > >
> > > > I'm reading his article "Ways of Mind -walking Reading Writing
> > Painting"
> > > > [see attached article if interested]
> > > >
> > > > I love the way he writes and links up concepts and images into
> > "fertile"
> > > > generative perspectives [as real]
> > > >
> > > > Page 16 & 17 describe how he "developed" the ideas for this article
> > > through
> > > > "accidental" encounters that were linked into coherence. This
> > descriptive
> > > > journey of "mind" is in itself worth the effort of reading the
> > > >
> > > > However, I want to introduce the BIG question Ingold asks in this
> > > article.
> > > > He writes on page 16
> > > >
> > > > "The question of the RELATION between the observation of marks and
> > traces
> > > > inscribed or impressed in surfaces in the WORLD and the imagining
> > is
> > > > carried on, as it were, on the hither side of eyesight, 'in the
> > > > Reading and writing surely involve the exercise of both eye and mind,
> > and
> > > > the same must be true of walking. Is it possible, then, to find a way
> > of
> > > > describing the imaginative activity that goes on as one walks, reads
> > > > writes, without having to SUPPOSE that it involves the perusal of
> > images?
> > > > Perhaps it is the very notion of the image that has to be rethought
> > away
> > > > from the idea that images represent, ON ANOTHER PLANE, the forms of
> > > things
> > > > IN THE WORLD, to the idea that they are PLACE-HOLDERS for these
> > > > which travellers watch out for, and from which they TAKE THEIR
> > DIRECTION.
> > > > Could it be that images do NOT stand FOR things, but rather help you
> > FIND
> > > > things?"
> > > >
> > > > This is a BIG question, worth asking. The fundamental question, Are
> > > > aesthetically produced objects productions or compositions OF things
> > > the
> > > > world, or are they LIKE things in the world in the sense that we have
> > to
> > > > FIND OUR WAY through and among them as wayfarers dwelling in the
> > > > Ingold says he has NO FINAL ANSWERS to this big question, but as an
> > > > anthropologist the way he approaches the question is through an
> > analysis
> > > of
> > > > the answers that people of radically different life experiences have
> > come
> > > > up with. In other words Ingold accepts the EXCESS and "ambiguity" at
> > the
> > > > center of his inquiries into the big question.
> > > >
> > > > Ingold, [like Zygmunt Bauman] engages with metaphors as a
> > > tool
> > > > for exploring the place of the imaginal within the world. Not as two
> > > > separate realities or ontologies but as a single ontology. Ingold
> > > > definitely thinks outside the frames of received knowledge.
> > > >
> > > > In a simple phrase the question becomes, Is it "true" that
> > IS
> > > > reality???
> > > >
> > > > Hope you enjoy the article.
> > > >
> > > > Larry
> > > >
> > > > __________________________________________
> > > > _____
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> > > > firstname.lastname@example.org
> > > > http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca
> > > >
> > > >
> > >
> > >
> > > --
> > > *Robert Lake Ed.D.
> > > *Assistant Professor
> > > Social Foundations of Education
> > > Dept. of Curriculum, Foundations, and Reading
> > > Georgia Southern University
> > > P. O. Box 8144
> > > Phone: (912) 478-5125
> > > Fax: (912) 478-5382
> > > Statesboro, GA 30460
> > >
> > > *Democracy must be born anew in every generation, and education is its
> > > midwife.*
> > > *-*John Dewey.
> > > __________________________________________
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