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Terms: Everday

  Everyday life is a dimension of the lifeworld addressed in the tradition of Arts &  Letters disciplines dating back to Marx’s commentaries on the revolutions in France (Paris) beginning in the middle of the nineteenth century.  The issue is central to electracy, in that the digital apparatus is associated with the rise of the industrial city.  The primary institutional condition to be remedied through a new (image) metaphysics is the impoverishment of everyday life codified in the concepts of alienation, reification, objectification.  Marx diagnosed the problem as due to the division of labor, and the new cultural and social environment created by the commodity form in market capitalism under bourgeois hegemony.  Life in the industrial city became “uncanny,” due to a discontinuity, disjunction, between individual agency and collective events.  An equivalent of the Unconscious opened within culture, a return of the repressed in which citizens suffered the consequences of their collective actions as if visited upon them by divine powers (commodity fetishism). “Routine” in this context is the habituation of daily ritual that must be dispersed by means of shock arts devices of estrangement (defamiliarization).

Konsult is an experiment in overcoming alienation as part of an electrate public sphere, drawing upon a counter-movement in modernity that began in Bohemian Paris, the cabarets of Montmartre, the emergence of the avant-garde arts. Walter Benjamin theorized Paris as the Capital of the Nineteenth Century, featuring the life and poetry of Charles Baudelaire as the paradigm.  This invention stream of a new metaphysics, grounded in aesthetic practice, spread through world culture in the style of surrealism, was extended by the Situationists (Guy Debord, Society of the Spectacle), theorized by French post/structuralism (especially Tel Quel), and promoted by thinkers as diverse as Henri Lefebvre and Michel de Certeau.  Konsult experiment is to design and test a practice (theopraxesis) that makes aesthetic experience in all its dimensions (poiesis, aesthesis, catharsis) available as a capacity of everyday life, serving the interests of well-being in the public sphere. As always, the unspoken expectation is: what is that for me (what is my everyday life?).

See Stephen Johnstone, Ed. The Everyday (Documents of Contemporary Art).

2018-07-25T01:19:12+00:00 July 25th, 2018|Categories: EPS, Orientation, Terms|Tags: , |

Assignment: Avatar Emergency 3

  Situation.What does it mean to approach Everyday Life with an aesthetic attitude? There is nothing novel about framing one’s quotidian roles in some state of mind — wisdom, science, religion. As practice, the aesthetic attitude is included within a situation, adding to the intentionality of some project the distance that generates aura of signification.  “Situation” is a guideword, evoking the existentialist point that circumstances become a situation when considered from the point of view of one’s “project,” the goals of a practice, encountering a scene not indifferently but according to its affordances for some purpose.  In a Visit (for konsult) this project or purpose is given an aesthetic frame.

Ulmer’s Visit documented in Chapter 13 (Wisdom) of Avatar Emergency offers a relay for our instructions.  What is Ulmer’s situation:

  • Family:  Mother’s Day holiday, with three generations of relatives sharing a rented house.
  • Work: Ulmer continues to ponder the perplexities of a theoretical question (the image metaphysics of electracy: the diadoch Damascius).
  • Memory: A formative experience in Ulmer’s past — a night in an olive orchard in Spain, 1966.
  • Current Events:  History of the present unfolding in daily reports and analysis of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.
  • Site: Place, Ponte Vedra Beach on the Atlantic coast of Florida.
  • Form:  The Aesthetic Attitude includes familiar forms and genres, constituting a mythology: popular culture for laymen, but for Ulmer (academic) the forms are high art (Titian’s Allegory of Prudence,Kafka’s aphorisms).

A relevant context to Visit as the construction of an epiphany is the common experience in the history of creative insight of the Eureka moment appearing during some ordinary activity:  Archimedes in his bath; Poincaré stepping off a bus.  In Ulmer’s relay, adopting the Aesthetic Attitude means that he consciously scans his setting for some feature he recognizes as an objective correlative for his state of mind, registering the Mood or atmosphere attuning as vehicle and tenor (outer and inner) dimensions of his life world.  The feature he recognizes, promoting it to object @, is the sand castle built by his granddaughter the previous evening.

2018-07-25T00:15:37+00:00 July 25th, 2018|Categories: Assignments, EPS|Tags: , , |