Friday, November 27, 2009

Art and Globalization

Modern artists had always positioned themselves as honest persons, indeed the single artist present itself as the only honest person in a world of hypocrisy and corruption. It is important to investigate how the production of trust and sincerity has functioned in modern times in order to elucidate the way it functions today.

The current idea of “global art” is set along the lines of Coca-Cola and McDonald’s—the McDonaldization of the world. Given the experiences of the past, the West knows that, on one hand, these words are only to give them comfort, and, on the other hand, it is certain that the artists of many countries do not have sufficient knowledge and the means of entry to their domain. If with great difficulty, one or two of them do arrive with a pat or two on the back, they can be absorbed within their [Western] culture.

Besides under certain circumstances, blending cultures might be beneficial, but its disadvantages are obvious. The blending of cultures can only occur between two or a few cultures which are similar, presented to the world in a compatible and harmonious manner. A commanding, dominant culture does not blend well with a dependent, imitating culture. Rather, the former devours the latter.

History has demonstrated that whenever two or a few cultures have faced each other, be it in a peaceful, coexisting manner, or in a conflicting manner, new experiences occur; we call them “multi-cultural” experiences. Today, cultures are expected to resist being devoured by dominating cultures by focusing on their own special features. The efforts of the West are aimed at presenting the art of other peoples as the “symbol of collective identities” while ignoring the individual identities of “others,” that same individuality upon which Western art established itself and through which it attained an identity.

Nowadays art is becoming like any other commodity or product exported and imported worldwide. Small artists can take advantage of a larger platform to sell their works and if they succeed they they have the possibility to reach anyone, anywhere in the world.

Does the evolution of a new hybrid language and the globalization of English provide insights into trends in contemporary art? Will local creativity and regional distinctions be lost in the rush to a common global culture? Or will cultural hybridization and international cultural exchange add strength and help to increase creative expansion?

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Illusion of the self

Thomas Metzinger makes a provocative argument: "he states that there is no such thing as a self, that there never has been, that there never will be".

Many philosophers, including David Hume, in the Anglo Saxon universe have said that for a long time. Who am I? The physical body certainly exists, the organism exists, but organisms are not selves. "He does not deny that there is a self-y feeling. He says he certainly feel like someone, but there is no such thing. There is neither a non-physical thing in a realm beyond the brain or the physical world that we could call a self, but there's also no thing in the brain that we must necessary call a self".

Buddhist philosophy had that point 2,500 years ago. So the idea that, as philosophers say, the self is not a substance, that it is something that can stay and hold itself in existence, even if the body or the brain were to perish is not a very breathtaking and innovative idea.

Metzinger states that "what we see and hear, or what we feel and smell and taste, is only a small fraction of what actually exists out there. Our conscious model of reality is a low-dimensional projection of the inconceivably richer physical reality surrounding us and sustaining us. Our sensory organs are limited: They evolved for reasons of survival, not for depicting the enormous wealth and richness of reality in all its unfathomable depth". Therefore, the ongoing process of conscious experience is not so much an image of reality as a tunnel through reality.

He says that "the experience of looking, of being directed to one's own feelings or to one's sensory perceptions of the outside world, creates itself an image. There is nobody looking at the image, it's like the camera is part of the picture or the viewing is itself a part of the process of viewing".

According to him "the self – the feeling of being a mental me in charge of the physical body – is a module within consciousness activated by your brain’s neural processing. The self is categorically not some substantial, essential invariant entity, like a soul or a spirit. He emphasizes that there are no such things as substantial selves. That instead, the self is a phenomenal (that is, experiential) construct that disintegrates entirely when you fall into a dreamless sleep, to be reactivated (usually in attenuated form) when you dream, and that reappears nearly instantaneously when you awake in the morning". The self is put online only when needed, is a part of a larger phenomenal reality generated by the brain as it represents the world and you in it.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The in-descence of time

I am taking a break (as you probably already). I will probably be back in a couple of weeks.
Thanks for your patience.I am taking a break (as you probably noticed). I will probably be back in a couple of weeks. Thanks for your support.