Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Linkage

I don't have time to write much today, but I thought I would provide a few links, all of which merit a looksee. In case you're a reader from a particular camp, though, I've broken these down into three categories:

For the artsy-fartsy readers:

Read the latest Art Fag City post, a review of/reaction to last week's The Believer Event at P.S.1. I disagree with some of AFC's ideas - most vehemently with the notion that "there has never been a time where civilizations wanted to be reminded of their mortality" - but there is a lot of good grist for the mill in the post.

Also, check out Winkleman's post on purity in photography. The subject explodes in several directions, all of interest, in the Comments section. This is yet one more example of a Winkleman post turning into a enjoyable, insightful forum. Good stuff.

For the science mavens:

I highly recommend this post at Vitriolic Monkey. In it, Devo proposes a novel way to integrate Intelligent Design into our high school biology curriculum. His solution is sure to produce a why-didn't-I-think-of-that moment in any self-respecting science nerd.

And for the conservationists and environmentalists:

I encourage readers interested in debating the morality and ethics of hunting to visit Sphere. Tom Andersen writes about the hunting of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in Darien, Connecticut. He summarizes the correlative relationship between suburban sprawl and increasing deer populations, the connection of wealth and private landownership, and the often wide gap between sustainable practice and the average hunter's approach. All of this is a few short paragraphs!

8 comments:

Dr. Smooblyboobly said...

Hell, I'll bite.
I'll give ya $25 for the last joint of your left pinky.

AFC said...

Shit, come to think of it, the Aztec show at the Guggenhiem, proved to be a civilization quite obsessed with their own mortality. Good call.

antonio said...

RE: "I disagree with some of AFC's ideas - most vehemently with the notion that 'there has never been a time where civilizations wanted to be reminded of their mortality' "

I had to stop and think about that too. Likewise when he mentioned Matthew Ronay's ideas behind of some of his work, i.e. that "societies will exhibit extreme extravagance, eccentricity, and cruelty before their fall." Besides the ref to the Roman Empire/ Caligula, what other "periods" came to an end like this? I first thought of American Empire as an example, but when hasn't America expressed it's extravagance, sadistic tendencies, and kinky behavior?

I sometimes tend to think it only feels this way because of the encyclopedia of uncensored information at our fingertips via the www.

Michael said...

I haven't read the post that ya'll are discussing, but RE: Antonio's comment... I think that a case could be made that the French aristocracy and the Russian monarchy both turned quite decadent before getting whacked. Frankly I think that Roccoco paintings alone justified mass beheading... but then again I am irrationally angered by swarms of putti.
I think that the passage that Antonio quotes seems overly cut-and-dry. It's a bit of and overstatement to say "societie WILL exhibit." Perhaps it ought to be ammended to read "many have exhibited" or " these characteristics often suggest decline."

Hungry Hyaena said...

Dr. Smoothboobly:

$25.00? C'mon...I think that's a little on the cheap side, don't you? Bidding for the joint begins at $75,000.00. I never said I was cheap, just that I would sell my body.

AFC:

Good example. I think the critical word in your original statement is "want." Society and culture may not necessarily want to be reminded of their imminent demise, but art has forever been doing just that, whether considering the Aztecs, Dutch vanitas paintings or Fischl's falling, flailing form.

Personally, as a man of melancholic temperament, I am drawn to work that forces me to contemplate death and, through it, I often find myself inspired and renewed. These experiences are the intellectual equivalent of denying mortality via bungee jumping or sky diving or, more dramatically, bear attack or hand grenade.

Antonio:

Until last week, I didn't know much about Ronay or his sculpture, but I've come across a wealth of information as of late. I like his general philosophy, but I'm not yet sold on the work. Of course, I'll reserve any real judgment until I've seen some (or a lot) in person.

Your suggestion that the apocalyptic worries, in regards to American culture (and beyond), of both the left and right are a function, in part, of the information glut is well received by me, but I think the general feeling of unease - and the trend toward pop culture cocooning - reflects a very real, potentially devastating rejection of the participatory urge/responsibility. In other words, we are witnessing the twilight of American Empire/culture. As Morris Berman stresses, however, every twilight precedes a dawn. America's day of unilateral exceptionalism may be nearing it's end, but many more days will follow. I just hope the good that was embodied - some of which still is - in this great Republican experiment carries on.

Mike:

I agree, though I think one could safely say such excess usually foretells decline. Hell, even almost always. OK, back to work. I hate this thing called paperwork.

Devo said...

I'm with Mikey on the Rococo thing. Bougereau can lick my balls.

antonio said...

I was just curious about when these signifiers appear. Can't they appear at any stage, sunrise, noon, or sunset? I do think that perhaps they are more likely to exhibit themselves when exacerbated by acute social focus & stress. Kinda like an anxious reaction,I'm thinking of Japanese post WWII anxiety which is evident in Kenzaburo Oe stories.

AFC wrote: "America's day of unilateral exceptionalism may be nearing it's end, but many more days will follow. I just hope the good that was embodied - some of which still is - in this great Republican experiment carries on."

And like Ronay's anecdote about his mother coming home while he was having a whack, America too has an option: to continue to ejaculate and risk being caught or to hold back. But maybe at this point we'd have to stop mid-shot.

AFC said...

Okay, I know I am forever setting the record straight on this but AFC is a she, not a he.

As for the Roman Empire, there are other examples of this, such as the French Aristocracy and the Russian Monarchy as noted by Michael. I was just noting the ones that Ronay himself had mentioned...I think he mentioned Napolean too, but I wasn't certain, so I left it out.