[iDC] IPF09 Conference thoughts

Kevin Hamilton kham at uiuc.edu
Mon Dec 7 21:17:06 UTC 2009

Yes Saul, this is part of why the passage described here, the story  
Brian started us off with, describes a limited and dead-end journey.  
I'm working on an assumption that the reason for this thread, the  
telos of this particular conversation, is to better understand and re- 
make current configurations of sensation and cultural action as they  
exist in much college art education.

For the examples cited in this thread, that means revisiting the basic  
sites of modern visual education  - figure/ground, pictorial order,  
design principles etc - and asking what might have been missing in  
those subject positions and how action is founded on them. Don Ihde's  
work on "postphenomenology" has some valuable offerings here - I also  
think of Elizabeth Grosz's work. Yes, we need different understandings  
of agency that are still rooted in sensing - and we need ways of  
teaching it.

Sorry all if we've left the conference at this point. Maybe we should  
change the subject thread heading, I'm grateful for the conversation.


On Dec 7, 2009, at 2:17 PM, Saul Ostrow wrote:

> If all that presently supports the notion that culture has a  
> political and social function is the traditions and beliefs that  
> extend form the mid 19th century, bourgeoisie’s struggle to use  
> culture to capture social power – then those who employ art as a  
> means to critique the present disparity between need and aspiration,  
> are merely seeking the fulfillment of the bourgeoisie’s promise of  
> emancipation and betterment. Consequently, though their position  
> seems antithetical to that of those artists who wish to express  
> themselves based on the most intuitive in-put, both reproduce,  
> replicates and perpetuates the same logics, conventions, and  
> histories. From this perspective, it is necessary for us to begin to  
> re-think the role that cultural production be it education, science  
> or what is traditionally called art plays in modeling paradigms  
> relevant to how we might self-reflexively determine our agency and  
> being in the world.  Such a practice requires that we develop  
> contingent positions that will allow us to redraw the bounds of our  
> cultural domain by over-writing the residual programs that continue  
> to order and limit our abilities to act in accord with our  
> collective self-interests. This task, necessitates a critical re- 
> reading and re-thinking of self and agency on an on-going basis, as  
> well as a striving to take into account the inhibitions and  
> deformities that everyday life imposes on the systems network of  
> discourse that order the social inter-change and employment of  
> knowledge, as well as the development of technologies, and cultural  
> production.
> On 12/7/09 2:04 AM, "Kevin Hamilton" <kham at uiuc.edu> wrote:
> I would contrast these two moments thusly:
> - Looking at a thing as an essence or archetype VS. looking at a thing
> as information.
> - Viewing subject as synthesizing subject VS. viewing subject as an
> overloaded navigator, dependent on others to synthesize.

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