Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Tablet drawing from Caravaggio in Art Institute. It was a big painting so I was able to sit on a bench with my tablet and see it to draw from. Next time I have found out there are stools meaning I can look at smaller pictures for a longer time. Time taken in looking at pictures in a gallery, relating to their position and size is interesting to think about. Apparently people in general spend roughly 3 seconds on a painting in a gallery or something. When I was at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, in April this year there was a guy walking around taking digital pics of paintings, looking at them only long enough to make sure they were in the frame of his lens, and then looking at the photo he took before moving to the next one. He didn't spend any time just stood looking in front of the actual painting at all. I'm sure this is very common and I am not actually putting a value judgment on this - it is just a strange way of registering stuff, and saving it for later. Its like over ordering books on amazon that you are never going to have time to read, or maybe like ordering downloading in bulk large amounts of media you may eventually get to watch or listen to but perhaps not, or perhaps only a fraction of it. Or like watching a whole series of True Blood or 30 rock in one weekend. The pressure of a holiday to fit everything in and see all the sights. Or not bothering at all because it seems like too much effort.

Or finding a happy medium and feeling satisfied that one feels satisfied that one has not done everything but done something, in the face of the abyss - when it is only in the face of this terror that one insists to oneself that one feels satisfied. Well I don't.

I recently was lent a piece of art work by Meredith Kooi by Conrad Bakker. I am now lending it to my friend Jessica when I have posted her package. It is a wooden book. I'll explain more later.

I have not felt able to write to friends back home to say how I am because honestly I don't know, but I love them all and have been thinking about them such a lot.

there are lots of things that I have to work through. today I have been reading a little of the language of new media by lev manovich, and a little from software studies/a lexicon by matthew fuller.
listen to this from the intro to fuller:
"software as a field is largely seen as a question of realized instrumentality"
he goes on to quote Foucault but not sure about this. I think what he is opposing is software as a commodity and its discreteness as a tool against the possibility of hackability.
what is the discontent that the "hack" signifies?

on a separate note (I am having a scatty day, but just processing what I can) I've been reading Freud (On The Problem of Anxiety) for fun. Chapter 1 he differentiates between Inhibition and Symptom, that an inhibition may be a symptom, but it might not be pathological.
but in regards to neurotic affections, he looks at 4 different "functions" that may be affected by an inhibition: sexual function; eating; locomotion; vocation.

I'm interested in the last two for now. But they may point to the first two. But I think it is interesting to focus on these two as they are not so widely talked about.
"(c) Locomotion is inhibited in many neurotic states by antipathy to walking and weakness in walking; the hysterical disability makes use of paralysis of the motor apparatus or creates a specific suspension of this one function of the latter (abasia). Particularly characteristicare the dificulties of locomotion brought about by the interpolation of definite conditions as prerequisites, the non-fulfillment of which evokes anxiety (phobia).
(d) Inhibition in the field of occupation, which so often becomes a matter of treatement as an isolated symptome, is evidenced in diminished pleasure in work, or in its poor execution, or in such realtice manifestations as fatigue if the subject forces himself to go on working. Hysteria compels the suspension of work by producing paralysis of organs and functions, the existence of which it incompatible with the carrying on of work. The compulsion neurosis interferes with work by a continuous distraction of the attention and by loss of time in the form of procrastination and repetition."

Sounds vaguely familiar, however I wouldn't want to say that my organs are exclusively controlled by my neuroses either. Sometimes they just play up all on their own. I think. That is what reminds us that we are part animal.

But the question of time takes me back to the book which isn't a book that meredith lent me.

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