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…

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,…

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…

Beauty and Impossibility

Looking into such a beautiful face, it brings to mind all the lives I have lived, all the dreams that I followed in some alternate reality, and all the lives that I will never, can never, live. It is as though all of these dreams, aspirations and desires have followed every possible path and configuration…

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…

Creativity and Artificial Intelligence: (some) Questions

There has been a lot of media buzz recently about the potentials and limitations of Artificial Intelligence in a general domain of creativity. I have been studying aspects of philosophy, psychology, physics, logic, computer science and art (i.e. creativity) for quite a long time now. A question of Artificial Intelligence as creative agent creates a…

Of Organisational Silos, Polymaths and the History of Art

It is interesting to observe that many, many wise benedictions on the topic of breaking down silos and valourising polymaths exist but it is questionable as to the extent of the actual application, acceptance or widespread acceptance of the associated concepts. Disassembling silos is vital for the emergence of scale-independent, adaptive, flexible and resilient self-organisational…

Tattoos and the Masks Within

Tattoos are a clear indication that all symbols, all representation and all meaning is not merely (or literally) inscribed upon our bodies and in our symbolic narratives.  All meaning and symbolic representation warps our cultural space back onto itself; it is recursively twisted and bound back upon and through itself.  All representation seeks the continuing…

Aspirational Creativity and Self-Improvement

There is no best, there is only better and it is a consequence of core psychological fallacies that we even assert or adhere to concepts and narratives of artistic, literary, ideological, political or existential completion and closure. It is always possible to creatively extend any system (or creative act of self-definition) by intuition and recursive…

Flying Kites

Returning to a particularly poorly-kept secret of our shared lives: no one actually knows what they are doing and everyone is improvising, making it up as they go along. We are born into a world of pre-existing stories, traditions and symbols which envelops us like a tidal wave and security blanket of meaning, identity and…