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Archive for the ‘Philosophy’ Category

Kierkegaard’s Repetition

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After several repeat readings of Kierkegaard’s book Repetition…

…a major theme of which is the impossibility of repetition, I have become convinced once again that repetition is indeed impossible. At the risk of repeating myself, I will say again that repetition  is indeed impossible.

Written by Andy Parkinson

July 25, 2012 at 7:30 am

The end of the future

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The End of the Future exhibition opening at Transition Gallery tomorrow (preview this evening) and showing until 12 August features Clive A Brandon, Matthew Houlding, Sam Knowles and Alex Pearl. I hope to get along before it closes ( If I can make my Olympics-avoiding visits to London coincide with the gallery opening times). Here’s the blurb about it:

Under the bricks and rubble of the grand Olympic project lie the broken dreams of past utopias. From Ballard to Boris, the grand advance of modernism has been abandoned beneath the dystopian shards.

Our collective current state of affairs is highlighted by past optimistic proposals such as The Festival of Britain (1951) and post-war building programmes with essentially socialist drives to improve society which are in stark contrast to the regeneration schemes and public finance initiatives, which now embody the failures of both late capitalist Conservatism and New Labour.

The End of the Future coincides with the London Olympics, for some a positive affirmation of the highest ideals, for others a cynical corporate scheme with the veneer of regeneration. The four participating artists look back at lost ideals and eras of optimism and present these though a haze of nostalgia for a future that never materialised and a knowing acceptance of failure.

Sam Knowles

Funny how once a theme comes to awareness, you keep coming across it in slightly different incarnations. Maybe it is synchronicity or seriality, or just the filtering process: I am looking for it unconsciously. I think I found the same or similar theme in Luke Turner’s article on the New Aesthetic:

…we harbour nostalgia for a past-future, one that failed to materialise, for the promise of flying cars, jetpacks and hoverboards that never came to pass (but that we secretly hope still might). We are thus cynics, and yet eternal optimists, our technologies driving our melancholia and invention in equal measure. The emergent metamodern condition allows us to face all directions in time at once, oscillating between the promises and pitfalls of the past, present and future.

And again here, at Henri Art Magazine on Retro Painting

We are at a zero point – Postmodern thought has had it’s day and we’ve been left with an unwieldy Mannerist culture that no longer makes sense. We can begin, right now, by thinking about and questioning the paths of our past in a different way, and in so doing, make a new way into the future, understand a new way of seeing. I keep thinking that the contemporary philosopher Graham Harman’s idea about the primacy of things is very important – object-oriented philosophy. It gives us an opportunity to see, not through words or contextual arrangements, but in direct confrontation with something that isn’t contingent on our “perspective,” as something primary and other, as a rising subject. “The sensual object is a unity over against the swirling accidents that accompany it”. We are not concentrated on the vastness of the shifting ground per se, but on the thing itself, the reality of the thing. This switch of one’s perspective is very interesting to me as a painter at this very moment. And I think it offers us many exciting theoretical visual possibilities!

I think I also found similar themes over at Jewish Philosophy Place.  It is too early for me to say much more about them now, only that I am finding them interesting…

The popularity of the spiritual

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I recently met a friend after a time gap of 30 years. Back then, I was highly religious (in fact, others may have called me a religious fanatic), and I wanted to make it clear that that previous version of ‘me’ was not ‘me’ any more. My friend, who would not then or now call himself religious asked me if I still saw myself as a spiritual person, and I had the impression that he was willing me to say “yes”. The weird thing is that last Saturday almost exactly the same thing happened, with a different friend, that I was meeting again after a 30 year gap.

Has it become more acceptable than it used to be, fashionable even, to claim spirituality?

I said that I didn’t know what the term means.

Today this ”daily bloom” from arrived in my inbox

The spiritual man differs from us men in being able to endure isolation, his rank as a spiritual man is proportionate to his strength for enduring isolation, whereas we men are constantly in need of ‘the others,’ the herd; we die, or despair, if we are not reassured by being in the herd, of the same opinion as the herd.

Source: Søren Kierkegaard, “Attack on Christendom” (1854)

The concept of spirituality in this quote seems so much at odds with the spiritual of the present, where suddenly it seems to be the case again that claiming to be spiritual or to ‘have faith’ makes you one of the crowd.

(The use of ‘man’, ‘men’ and ‘he’ are in the original text)

Written by Andy Parkinson

November 20, 2011 at 9:30 am

you cannot step into the same river twice

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According to Heraclitus

you cannot step into the same river twice

In Soren Kierkegaard‘s book Repetition, Constantin Constantius carries out an experiment to test whether repetition is possible. He attempts to repeat a holiday in Berlin, only to find that he is repeatedly thwarted, being unable to secure the same seats at the theatre, finding that the room he had stayed in before was no longer the same, finding even that he is disappointed by the same company he had previously held. He concludes at first that repetition is impossible, only to update his conclusion a little later with the notion that “the only repetition was the impossibility of repetition”.

(In my blog surfing recently, by chance I saw Cazbag’s blog, including posts about a trip to Berlin and looking more closely discovered that she appreciates the repetitive)

Written by Andy Parkinson

October 15, 2011 at 7:30 am

‘Shooting Zizek’ Short Film Competition (via writewhatyoudontknow)

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I’m no film-maker but I am so tempted to do this one
they only want one minute
maybe I could achieve something even with my digital camera that has a video setting?

'Shooting Zizek' Short Film Competition Verso Books just announced a challenging short film competition: Shooting Žižek short film competition Radical philosopher Slavoj Žižek has made his mark on how we view and interpret film through his writings as well as through his documentary, The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema. Now Verso Books and The Church of London are sponsoring a competition to produce a short film on Žižek’s theory of the end times. The winning entry will be chosen by Žižek hi … Read More

via writewhatyoudontknow

Written by Andy Parkinson

July 3, 2011 at 7:33 pm


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