Technology: Misunderstanding Each Other

Has anyone (else) noticed that the proliferation of communications technologies has occurred in direct proportion to the level of misunderstanding and confusion in the world? It is not that we do anything new by misinterpreting each other's intentions - as people have been doing this for as long as there have been people - we…

Slavery

It is a beautiful, tragic irony that the most powerful symbol against slavery might be that of the stone slave, themselves eternally imprisoned in time and matter.  There is something in this: the symbol creates and represents what it detests;  minds (and cultures) create their own unwitting blind-spots in this way. Slavery is of course…

Encoding Culture, Encrypting Identity

Conjecture: We are encoding culture but we are encrypting identity. It is not well-understood - partially because those procedural mechanisms and autonomously self-propagating waveforms (or functions) of patterned information that manifest as, in and through ourselves must also protect themselves and their own aspirational continuity. If it were immediately apparent how mental worlds and cultural…

On Mechanism, Holism and (an) Organisational Logic of Life

On mechanism and holism: we often enough mistake the discrete, bounded artefacts with which we are presented as being the reality and substance of this world when it is the immaterial abstractions and a matrix of interdependence and representational cross-reference between them which is the true reality. This is where a "logic of life" manifests…

Reality Inversion: The Emptiness in Art

"Reality" is a subtle concept. An artist creates an artefact, a fact, a reality through the skillful convergence of other facts. Those other references and earlier, representational facts were similarly composed of other, earlier facts. This is how our minds (and cultures) endlessly rebuild this world. In this way - we often mistake the discrete,…

Libraries are Mirrors

This city... the morning sun rises as though summoned by the gently floating hot air balloons and here, the National Library of Australia is so wonderfully, poetically framed in representational space.  This architecture - like some ancient Greek monument to a memory of the Gods and their dramas; but the only theatre here is that…

Reflective Subjectivity

I wonder what she is reading.  It may be the eternal burden of a reflective mind to be unable to simply accept reality at face value, to question what lies beneath, to investigate what hidden meanings or purposes might exist or dwell below or behind the superficial appearances of things.  At least she is not…

On Reason and Intelligence in Mind and Machine

What differentiates reasoning from algorithmic procedure and computation? Does reasoning suggest comprehension, agency, subjectivity or is it just a complex sequence and integrated, autonomously self-propagating network and goal-directed pattern of blind mechanism and self-inflected logic? If reasoning is really just complex algorithm, and if the treasured concepts of our own embodied knowledge and experience are…

Culture, Cognition, Meaning

Culture, like meaning, is not found in one single place but is distributed across the entire surface of our shared cognition and the proliferating multiplicity of artefact, image and a logic of sequential algorithm and rationalised procedure that informs our experience. The self-evident fact that we are unable to unambiguously or unproblematically define or agree…

Unattainable Me: An Art of Self-identity and Desire

The essential art in the formation of self-identity is the cultivation of an ideal object around which to sediment and concretise that self. Lacan identified a "Mirror Stage" in psychological development which concisely captures the cognitive and cultural arc of our shared experience. The catch (and cost) here: to maintain persistence, continuity and individuation, the…

Culture: Using Fiction to understand Fact

To understand the mood and the Zeitgeist of an era, inspect the art, the fiction, the entertainment and the overtly and consciously, intentionally superficial.  It is in the manifestation and cultivation of oblique and useful falsehood that the underlying axioms inexorably reveal themselves.  What is considered "real" or "important" reveals itself as merely being another…