Tag: visual art
Transfer Phenomena & Two-Person Languages
“Spotted: a dirty brown bag crushed under a tennis shoe. Looks like someone won’t be eating dinner tonight. XOXO… Gossip Girl.” The thing about voices is they are contagious. I can’t do accents, but spend a week watching TV re-runs and I can GPT-3 an essay in the narrator’s delivery.
Kaitlin Phillips as PopLit
It was spring, around 11am and cold; we had teas with condensed milk in a small Malaysian place in the Lower East Side and I held up an AbEx painter book that was on sale and you made a joke about the page layout. For about a week the prior May I’d wondered whether or…
Institutional Myth in Contemporary Art
I’ve spent a lot of time in & around the New York visual art scene the past few years, and it’s been a very strange & uncanny & informative experience. A lot of the preference falsification and undead prestige cultures of, say, academia, or science, or politics are in play, but here the emperor can…
One way I’ve found helpful to think about “culture,” at a more manageable scale, is through the metaphor of an unending variety show, with many theaters and stages (think music festivals—GovBall, Coachella). This neverending show presents a class of problems to any audience member attempting to grok an act, or to any act attempting to…
A preprint of “A Bayesian hermeneutic” — the cogsci paper Thomas Rutten & I worked on last summer in Mexico City — is available at Research Gate here. It aims to introduce a new subfield of hermeneutics we term “predictive hermeneutics.”
Abstraction & Processing
The art historian Jack Flam (2014) refers to this aspect of abstraction as “a new claim on truth.” By dismantling perspective, abstract art requires our brain to come up with a new logic of bottom-up processing. The work of Mondrian relies heavily on the brain’s early steps in processing objects, steps that depend on line…
The Mind-Expanding Ideas of Andy Clark
The New Yorker finally got around to predictive processing with Larissa MacFarquhar’s profile of Andy Clark. Clark is the author of Surfing Uncertainty, the canonical and most comprehensive book on the subject. Perception did not, then, simply work from the bottom up; it worked first from the top down. What you saw was not just a signal…
Nasime Aghdam’s Compelling Aesthetics
Aghdam was a vegan, bodybuilder, activist, dancer, and video artist. She took her own life on April 3, 2018 in a shooting at the YouTube headquarters.
Predictive Processing & Art as Cognitive Remodeling
Visual art — representational imagery — begins somewhere between fifty and one-hundred thousand years ago, overlapping with the Upper Paleolithic Transition. The period consists of rapid gains in tool technologies alongside the beginnings of modern symbolic thought, with human societies developing currency systems, dispersed social organizations, and increasingly sophisticated religious belief.
Art vs. Design, a follow-up
Pictured above, the Krebs Cycle of Creativity, just to toss another conceptual carving into the mix. * My post from earlier this week, “Art as the Antithesis of Design,” received a fair amount of pushback.
Art as the Antithesis of Design
From the footnotes of an upcoming piece examining predictive processing and Alva Nöe’s 2015 work on aesthetics, Strange Tools: Nöe makes [his] argument through exclusion: art practices which are not interrogative, which do not challenge existing structures and practices are not, technically speaking, art. Pop songs, to Nöe, aren’t musical art, they’re a first-level human practice (or “organized activity”)…
Effect Ideas and Close Encounters
Gabriel Duquette of Liposuction has raised a number of objections to my insertion of effect-ideas into his maps/chords dualism. Either effect-ideas are not real, he argues, or they are not significant. They are trivial in that they are wildly personal, unpredictable, and unengineerable. Read rather than written into texts, they are the creations of readers…