McLuhan Between Vertical and Horizontal

 

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MEMORY OF THE WORLD/世界的記憶

Posted November 13, 2017

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"Because of today's terrific speed-up of information moving, we have a chance to apprehend, predict and influence the environmental forces shaping us --and thus win back control of our destinies."

-- Marshall McLuhan (1961)

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"The arrow is flying so fast that there are moments when it is neither in motion nor at rest."

-- Hui Shih (380-305 BCE)

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Englishman in Moscow

Kasimir Malevich, AN ENGLISHMAN IN MOSCOW, 1914. Oil on canvas. Stedlijk Museum, Amsterdam. 

Curatorial Record (Tate Modern, London):

In 1913 Malevich collaborated with the musician Mikhail Matyushin and the poet Aleksei Kruchenykh on a manifesto calling for the dissolution of language and the rejection of rational thought. Kruchenykh coined the word Zaum --meaning 'beyond reason'-- to describe a new language of sounds without meaning. 

Joined by the poet Velimir Khlebnikov, the three men staged a futurist opera, VICTORY OVER THE SUN, in St. Petersburg December 1913. The opera depicts the Strongmen of the Future who capture the sun, ushering in a new era in which time itself has been abolished. 

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All the components of "war" are present in any environment whatever: the recognition war depends upon their being stepped up to high definition. 

-- Marshall McLuhan (1966)

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October poster

Poster designed by Georgii and Vladimir Stenberg with Yakov Rukelevsky --for the film OCTOBER [a Sergei Eisenstein/Grigori Alexandrov film about the Russian Revolution], 1928. 

"Mountains produce mouths."

-- Hui Shui (380-305 BCE)

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Monkey antiquarian

Jean-Baptiste-Siméon-Chardin (1699-1779), MONKEY ANTIQUARIAN. Oil on canvas, after 1740. San Diego Museum of Art.

"The eye does not see."

-- Hui Shui (380-305 BCE?)

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Lily and bulb

Li Shan (1686-c. 1760), LILY AND BULB. Album leaf mounted as a hanging scroll --ink and colour on paper. University of Michigan Museum of Art.

Artist's Inscription:

     While its blossoms are pleasing 
     to look at, its bulb is pleasing to eat.
     Why aren't the vicissitudes in one's life
     [as delightful] as this? Regretfully,
     there are hypocritical village people ...

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"The wheel never touches the ground."

-- Hui Shih (380-305 BCE?)

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Supremist painting

Kazimir Malevich, SUPREMATIST COMPOSITION: WHITE ON WHITE. Oil on canvas, 1918.

Curatorial Record (MOMA):

Malevich viewed the Russian Revolution as having paved the way for a new society in which materialism would eventually lead to spiritual freedom.

Marshall McLuhan (1967):

Electric circuitry has overthrown the regime of "time" and "space".... It has reconstructed dialogue on a global scale. Its message is Total Change, ending psychic, social, economic and political parochialism.

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Peter Kropotkin (1896):

Anarchy, when it works to destroy authority in all its aspects, when it demands the abrogation of laws and the abolition of the mechanism that serves to impute them, when it refuses all hierarchical organization and preaches free agreement --at the same time strives to maintain and enlarge the precious kernel of social customs without which no human or animal society can exist. Only instead of demanding that those social customs should be maintained through the authority of a few, it demands it from the continued action of all.

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Silver broom

Joseph Beuys, SILVER BROOM AND BROOM WITHOUT BRISTLES, 1972. Broom (wood and horsehair) encased in 1mm silver sheet, 139 x 51 cm; solid copper broom (bristles replaced by thin sheet of felt). Edition: 20 plus IV. Publisher: Edition René Block, Berlin.

Curatorial Record (Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich):

In Düsseldorf in 1971, in a demonstration entitled OVERCOME THE PARTY DICTATORSHIP ... protesting the planned expansion of a tennis club, which would necessitate the felling of trees in a wood ... Beuys and a group of students used brooms to clean the trails of the threatened woodland. The following year, Beuys used a broom with bristles to clear away the rubbish left behind, in the wake of a May-Day demonstration by communist sympathizers. The action was a critical examination of Marxism, as Beuys himself explained: 'I wanted to make it clear that the demonstrators' ideologically fixated orientation also has to be swept away, specifically what was propagated as the dictatorship of the proletariat.'

Marshall McLuhan (1972):

Marx [1818-1883] shared with economists then and since then the inability to make his concepts include innovational processes. It is one thing to spot a new product but quite another to observe the invisible new environments generated by the action of the product on a variety of pre-existing social grounds.

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Yellow flowers

" ... 'Surround'...". (Photo: M  Cynog Evans.)

Marshall McLuhan (1971):

Electric media literally translated us into angels. On the phone, "we are there" and "they are here", and so with Radio and TV. Angelism and the occult alike are the by-products of electronics. Ecology is incidental to that. 

"The wheel never touches the ground."

Hui Shih (380-305 BCE)

 

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Chesterton text

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Stanley Brouwn, STEPS OF PEDESTRIANS ON PAPER. Street dust on ten pieces of paper, 1960. Museum of Modern Art, New York. 

"Take a stick one foot long and cut it in half every day and you will never exhaust it even after ten thousand generations."

-- Hui Shih (380-305 BCE)

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McLuhan text 76

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Edward T. Hall (1976):

There are two related crises in today's world. The first and most visible is the population/environment crisis. The second, more subtle but equally lethal, is humankind's relatonships to its extensions, institutions, ideas, as well as the relationships among the many individuals and groups that inhabit the globe.

If both crises are not resolved, neither will be. Despite our faith in technology and our reliance on technical solutions, there are NO technical to most of the  problems confronting human beings. Furthermore, even those technical solutions that can be applied to environnental problems can't be applied rationally until mankind transcends the intellectual limitations imposed by our institutions, our philosophies, and our cultures. Compounding all of this is the reality of politics.

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CONCENTRATION AND INSIGHT/專心與洞察力

Posted September 16, 2017

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Buffer plaque

" ... 'Buffer'...". (Photo: M. Cynog Evans.)

"The percept takes priority over the concept."

-- Marshall McLuhan (1971)

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Laozi text

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Looking North text

"VSI" [Visual Sensitivity Information]. Telex message sent by Iain Baxter (N. E. Thing Company Projects Department, North Vancouver) --via Simon Fraser University Library, Burnaby-- to Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Halifax, October 3,1969.

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Quiet Work text

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"When both the seeing and the seen are negated, the ground of quiesence will be found."

-- Kukai (774-835 CE)

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NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE 

NOTHING IS SOMETHING 

[ N. E. THING COMPANY LIMITED, NOTHING PROJECT, 1969 --specifications submitted by Iain Baxter to the exhibition PLACE AND PROCESS, Edmonton Art Gallery, September 4-28, 1969. ] 

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ALDOUS HUXLEY: CONTEXT IS ALL

M. K. Morton

It is unfortunate that Huxley is remembered mainly for BRAVE NEW WORLD (1932), which is a minor work, and his early novels. But, as W. H.Auden said, the words of the dead are modified in the guts of the living. Probably 500 years hence he will be remembered primarily as a great essayist.

Whatever. He was concerned with function and interaction. Probably his key metaphor was that we are  (multidimensional) amphibians --that we live in several different elements simultaneously. We are not simply matter, or mind, or social beings, or intellectual, or aesthetically appreciative, or spiritual creatures. We are always at least two of those. Thus he offered an edifying alternative to the Aristotelian-Cartesian-Galileo-Newton-John Locke-Adam Smith world-view that suffocated so many good minds for centuries.

Of Sigmund Freud's reductivism he devastatingly noted that Freud saw only sick people and based his hypotheses on what is below the norm and thus is not much of a guide to behaviour. At the same time, going well beyond W. B. Yeats' rag and bone of the heart, he cautioned that truth can be found at the bottom of murky wells, and we should not be too hasty to pass by them with our noses in the air.

How things were linked stimulated him. He mentioned that he was not a genius because his neck was too long --his torso too far from his head, thus separating his mind and his heart by too great a gap. Someone with a short neck was likely to be a genius because heart and mind were close.

Huxley was fascinated with the interplay of ends and means, the sacred and the profane, the sublime and the absurd, ideals and practice. He said the criterion of reality is its intrinsic irrelevance. Which could mean the more far-off something is the more significant it is. Thus you never know what may turn up next.

His fiction is notable for juxtapositions --his putting together of things most people would never think of. He thus is perhaps the ur-precursor of those masters of the veer, delvers extraordinaire into the inconsequential, de luxe golden retrievers of the irrelevant: Anthony Powell and Alan Ayckbornne. With perhaps Ford Maddox Ford and George Meredith arch precursors of himself, all the way back to Laurence Sterne?

He sees all things interconnectively. About the time McLuhan was becoming McLuhan, Huxley taxed Arnold Toynbee [A STUDY OF HISTORY, 1934] for neglecting the basic causes of historical change, and mocked his index which features lots of obscure monarchs with unpronouncable names no one would ever look up (but omits totally such subjects as technology, agriculture, invention, etc.).

Context is vital. But self-regardingness did not suffice. His writings about eastern religions are most significant for pointing out the distinction between ego-projection and otherness. The latter recognizes, perhaps tries to contact the not-self. Ego projection is simply our desires transformed into something beyond us but within reach: thus, for example, much do-gooding however valuable is merely an extension of a person's need to help people; and however 'selfless' do-gooders may be they are still not reaching out to the non-self. Possibly Henri Bergson's THE TWO SOURCES OF MORALITY AND RELIGION (1932) a precursor. Is Huxley himself with this idea of ego-projections precursoring McLuhan's key idea of media as extensions of our central nervous system?

Huxley is as concerned with the failure to link up as with his extensions. He notes that many are called but few are chosen because few chose themselves.

In ALDOUS HUXLEY, 1894-1963, A MEMORIAL VOLUME (1965), it is impressive how many of his friends and colleagues emphasized how kindly he was. During his brief stint as a teacher he did not want his students to show him a mechanical, artificial respect. Rather, he expected the students to try and go beyond the teacher.

Even early on he was true to the transcendent. 

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Sterne text

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Aldous Huxley (1950):

A belief in hell and knowledge that every ambition is doomed to frustration at the hands of a skeleton have never prevented the majority of human beings from behaving as though death were no more than an unfounded rumour, and survival a thing beyond the bounds of probability.

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Purple flower

" ... 'Acoustic'...". (Photo: M. Cynog Evans.)

Marshall McLuhan (1973):

Visual man cannot tolerate the study of the SUBLIMINAL and the non-visual aspect of his own life. Such is not the case in the Orient or in any other non-Western culture.

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Office furniture

David Lamelas, OFFICE OF INFORMATION ABOUT THE VIETNAM WAR AT THREE LEVELS: THE VISUAL IMAGE, TEXT, AND AUDIO, 1968. Office furniture, telex, tape recorder, microphone, telephone receivers, text, plexiglas partition, and performance. Dimensions variable. Museum of Modern Art, New York. 

Collection Record: 

First realized at the Finnish Pavilion of the 1968 Venice Biennale, this installation by Lamelas marks his departure from Argentina and the beginning of his career in Europe. 

Originally comprised of Olivetti office furniture and an Olivetti telex machine, OFFICE OF INFORMATION ABOUT THE VIETNAM WAR AT THREE LEVELS amassed news reports about the Vietnam War supplied by the Italian news agency ANSA, which were read intermittently by an attendant in Italian, French, and Spanish. When the news was not read live, recordings could be heard through the headsets. OFFICE presented records not of long-past events, but of news as it was unfolding. In contrast to the resulting sense of immediacy, the administrative setting mirrored the irony of an increasingly connected world experienced at a distance.

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"The basic changes of our time lead us towards confronting the environment as artefact."

-- Marshall McLuhan (1969)

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"Let me remind you, the perceived cannot perceive."

-- Ch'an/Zen master Huang Po (d. 850 CE) 

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Interval photo

IAIN BAXTER&, Information Mural --Digital Conversion Code [stencilled paint] with [scavenged/altered] 'idylic landscape' painting (detail). Installation view: North Vancouver Museum, 2012.

"The INTERVAL is where the action IS."

-- Marshall McLuhan (1971)

If a fleeting thought conjures the whole, 
how can I describe Reality in figures?
While empty moonlight on the water shows everything, 
the mirror of No Mind reflects Nothingness. 

-- Koen [Korean Zen] poet Baekoon Kyunghan (1299-1375)

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Ch'an master Lin-chi I-hsüan (d. 866 CE):

If you want to be free get to know your real self. It has no form, no appearance, no root, no basis, no abode, but is lively and buoyant. It responds with versatile facility, but its function cannot be located. Therefore when you look for it you become further from it --when you seek it you turn away from it all the more.

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McLuhan Stupid text

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spotlight

David Lamelas, LIMIT OF A PROJECTION, 1967. Theatre spotlight in darkened room (installation variable) --originally shown in the exhibition 'Más allá de la geometría' (Beyond geometry), Di Tella Institute, Buenos Aires.

"The idea of the piece came because I was in the process of getting out of the object."

David Lamelas (2010)

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Henri Bergson (1932):

People do not sufficiently realize that their future is in their own hands. Theirs is the task of determinimg first of all whether they want to go on living or not. Theirs is the responsibility, then, for deciding if they want to merely live, or intend to make just the extra effort for fulfilling, even on their refractory planet, the essential function of the universe, which is a machine for the making of gods. 

"Undertanding is not a point-of-view "

-- Marshall McLuhan (1970)

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CONCENTRATION AND INSIGHT/專心與洞察力

Posted August 25, 2017

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"The disincarnate TV viewer lives in a world between fantasy and dream, and is in a typically hypnotic state, which is the ultimate form and level of participation."

-- Marshall McLuhan (1978)

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Hui-ssu (514-577):

By saying substance and function are  not different, one does not mean collecting the different functions of many particles of dust to form the one substance of the lump of clay. It merely means that within the level of worldly truth, every event or character is the total substance of absolute truth.

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Eye image

Bruce Nauman, OPENED EYE [photographed by Jack Fulton,1968] -- inkjet print from INFRARED OUTTAKES portfolio, 2006. 

"The retina is only a door that you open to go further."

-- Marcel Duchamp (1966)

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Lao Tzu (sixth century BCE):

Calamity is that upon which happiness depends;
Happiness is that in which calamity is latent.

Henry James (1889):

To take what there is, and use it, without waiting forever in vain for the preconceived --to dig deeper into the actual and get something out of that-- this doubtless is the right way to live. 

-- Henry James (1889)

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Reduce Art Flights

Gustav Metzger, RAF poster initiative, 2013.

"At last year's ART BASEL I felt that something should be done in relation to the flights, both of artists and gallery people, and the transportation of works of art."

-- Gustav Metzger (2007) 

[ Note: 

Metzger's contribution to a 1974 exhibition --ART INTO SOCIETY/SOCIETY INTO ART (ICA, London)--  consisted of his call for 'Years Without Art, 1977-1980'. 

-- CAUSA Research Curators ] 

"The nineteenth-century consumer preference is not relevant to the electric age of quantum physics, even though our media bureaucracies continue to produce mainly consumer packages."

-- Marshall McLuhan (1971)

Ch'an master Niu T'ou Fa Jung (594-657):

There is neither unifying nor dispersing,
Neither slow nor quick.
Brightness and tranquility are just as they are;
They cannot be explained in words.

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Barfield text

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Ch'an master Seng Ts'an (?-606 CE):

The wise have no motives;
Fools put themselves in bondage.

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Flower photo

" ... 'First Layer'...". (Photo: M. Cynog Evans.)

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"It is by opposing to the experience of things the specter of another experience that would not involve things that we force experience to say more than it said."

-- Maurice Merleau-Ponty (1964)

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Chan master on mule

CH'AN MASTER RIDING A MULE -- hanging scroll, ink on paper. Unidentified artist, China, active mid-13th century CE. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

Inscription by Ch'an master Wuzhun (1238 CE): 

As rain darkens the mountain,
One mistakes a mule for a horse.

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W.S. Merwin (1958):

In its natural sense, of course, the question of survival has been with us since we were amoebas, or whatever we were. We may have developed ears, at first, to listen to it, and minds primarily to be haunted by it. For homo sapiens it has a peculiar meaning: one of the essential things that separates us from the other animals is our awareness of our mortality. 

In our time, however, the question has developed a special sense. Nearly as close and insistent as the old "how long will I survive," we keep hearing, "how long will anything survive?"

There are two important differences between the two questions: the old one, for example, is posed by the nature of existence, and there is finally nothing that can be done about it; the more recent one is a reverberation set up by human action, and the inference is that human responsibility might be effective in controlling it. I am not talking just about the Bomb. I go on the assumption, which I cannot avoid, that there is some link between a society's possibly ungovernsble committment to industrial expansion and population increase.

Ch'an master Seng Ts'an (?-606 CE):

The ten directions are right before you.
The smallest is the same as the largest
In the realm where delusion is cut off.

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Barfield text 2

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                               TWO POEMS 

                              by M.K. Morton 

                                          ■

             SETTLED DOWN TO WAIT, 
IMPLICITY AS SPARE AS INVISIBILITY GETS
                  HOLDS ITS BREATH
 

Stars, executing well rehearsed retreat, have left no straggle of flank.

Beyond this roadside diner,

While the entire surround tries mustering a hover,

The immediate milieu absently cultivates extensive blank.

 

Omitted any hint of catching the upcoming by the shank

Daybreak untrusting hangs back:the horizon could be a prank.

Invisibility, vaguely tempted to come out of hiding,

Seems to feel distance is the better part of presiding,


But apparently signals no need the furtive stay under cover.

The closest it slips to coming on frank,

At least until cockcrow lays down a plank.

Not a question objects may be self-displacing;

 

The case simply implicating lax, haphazard self-misplacing.

The very stillness so all-enfolding,

As if shelved, waiting conveyance elsewhere.

When beauty is every excuse for with-holding,


(She keeping to the key of the subliminal,

The explicit practically criminal)

Blooms hesitate to ascend fixated unwinding stare.

Not even the first sunrise-jealous jay scolding,

 

No premature morning-glory on what she need wear 

A sun-dial consults. On counter or in drawer, expired discounts

Stick. Either way, at this milk-run stop, rain-checks start to stack. 

Total tact heavy with provocation-lack, 


A mildly actual now figures as neither creak nor crack.

Before this slender hour makes at dawn crawl dew allowance,

When the enterprising (including cheques) dodge near primal bounce,

Time doesn't seep or even drift. More accurately said to graze.

 

While, with psycho-babble--all the less inconsequential

For being ultra-incidental, nonsequential--

Close-on apologetic paraphrase,

The barely awake their slipstream-hammocked dreams de-maze.

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               DON'T SLOW DOWN?

Gifted this patch? Unlogged. Provides no surface feature worth notice. 
W
ouldn't know to make of a solstice

What. Still, before skies clear, undeciphered, nondescript, not to miss.

Trees file mergingly past: sketch intent projecting juxtapose

As salient not likely convincing. Sense slows

In the branches' slight light. Dinge any hint of flair overthrows. 
The tax office bother to foreclose?
Probably the ownership of this passing indifferent wood

Doesn't rate the attention of a Robin Hood, The extent storm-blows its sluggish stretch has withstood

 

Who checks? But amazing, if there's nothing much to see, how much 

Can detain the eye when everything (not attempting levitation:

For no known box-store-bought lens any appeal;

It's a scene the biggest ham wouldn't want to steal)

Still is seen with, tug, mask every way, time-cupping touch.


Slackly pan this unambitious stretch--almost static its rippling, 

Restrained yet more its stippling--

The spirit is supplied with an epiphany-shy, modest (incubation

In denial) sprawled elevation

Implicitly, casually, undislodgably laid-back. Summer-invisibling,

 

Not even slops for emptying, dimly

It presents (except that would be too ambitious a term

For a prospect--another word over-the top--sporting of inspiration 

Not a germ--

Presents toneless repetitious atemporal recitation of vegetation.

 

Somnambulist-savvy, easily escapes a brush with incipient dimpling.

Stasis-achieving, thin breeze--gnarled root accompaniment--whistling? 

Regardless it prompts diction too firm,

Precious few deserts could match much this identity-belittling. 

Cloud-cover cramped, car windows almost slip off to sleep,

 

As skimming boughs toss a sluggishly drooped wink 

About secrets the forest wouldn't know how not to keep,

And only a Moebius ring would know how its sunken tracts up to link.

Anti-conspicuous the sun, even by its absence; shadows verge muted.

Such unrelievedly blurred homogeneity might be said to be cliquey.

 

Smudges on tap flatly, but certainly difficult anything outright streaky

To discern. Enfin, venue stays innocent of sneaky.  

Contrast keeping a low profile,

Distraction not here in style.

Nothing, where camouflage tucks all, is for protective colouring suited.

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"Thought requires some sort of continuity."

-- Walter Ong (1982)

"A tradition is kept alive only by something being added to it."

-- Henry James (1875)

Ch'an master Niu T'ou Fu Jung (594-657):

Within mind there is no environment;
Within the environment there is no mind.
Use mind to extinguish the environment
And both will be disturbed. 

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Duchamp postcard

Marcel Duchamp, PHARMACY -- reproduction (hand-coloured by the artist) of a rectified readymade,  PHARMACIE (gouache and enamel on chromolithograph) dated 1914-- from VIEW, Series V, No.1, New York, March 1945. Edition of 100; signed, numbered and dated in pencil.

[ Note:

Numbered "17' (hors compte/aside from the edition), this unique version of PHARMACY is inscribed with a dedication to Bernard and Rebecca Reis --an accountant/financial advisor/art patron and his art collector wife.

PHARMACIE (1914) was 'realized' through Duchamp's addition of two drops of colour (one red/one green) to a mass-produced reproduction of an unknown artist's winter landscape print,  purchased in an art supply store. Three versions of this work were produced in a single year.

Duchamp's 'conceptual' use of colour  creates a ratio of interplay between  'rectified readymade' and 'recognizable symbol' --making reference to the formerly ubiquitous PHARMACY CARBOY (a transparent glass storage jar) and its red or green liquid contents. Traditionally, PHARMACISTS used the carboy as a 'marker' to distinguish themselves from APOTHECARIES (who used a mortar and pestle as an 'image' of their profession).

-- CAUSA Research Curators ] 

Third Patriarch of Ch'an Buddhism, Seng Ts'an (?-606):

Stop activity and return to stillness,
And that stillness will be even more active. 
Only stagnating in duality,
How can you recognize oneness?

Marshall McLuhan (1973):

When we are using only a small part of our faculties, we are working. When we are totally involved, we are playing. The artist is always at leisure, especially when most intensely engaged in making.

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E. T. Hall (1976):

It is never possible to understand completely any other human being; and no individual will ever really understand himself --the complexity is too great and there is not the time to constantly take things apart and examine them. This is the beginning of wisdom in human relations. However, understanding onself and undertanding others are closely related processes. To do one, you must start with the other, and vice versa. 

Marshall McLuhan (1960):

Now that by electricity we have externalized ALL of our senses, we are in the desperate position of not having any SENSUS COMMUNIS.

Zen master Hakuin (1686-1768):

If you forget yourself, you become the universe. 

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Buddha netsuke

" ... 'Syncing'...". (Photo: M. Cynog Evans.) 

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Hotei monochrome

Kano Takanobu, HOTEI, 1616. Hanging scroll --ink and colour on paper. The Metropolitan Museum, New York.

[ Note:

Hotei (Chinese: Budai), is believed to have lived in southern China in the late ninth century; he became recognized as a manifestation of Miroku (Sanskrit: Maitreya), the Buddha of the Future.

The scroll's inscription [brushed by a leading Zen monk-scholar, Tetsuzan Sodon] is excerpted from a eulogy for Budai created by the Song-dynasty Daoist master Bai Yuchan. Bai (1194-1229) integrated Ch'an/Zen teachings into his philosophy --and this affinity is evident in the scroll's inscription. It concisely comments:

       Hotei's sack encompasses the Great Emptiness.
       Holding a staff, he tramps around 3,000 worlds.
       Miroku claps his hands and laughs --ha, ha!
       The bright moon shines, the wind disappears.

This excerpted passage inflects its presence as an immense and perpetually fluent concatenation. 

-- CAUSA Research Curators ] 

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PRESENCE OF MIND/鎮定

Posted July 30, 2017

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Confucius Arhat Laozi


Ding Yunpeng (d. 1628), CONFUCIUS, LAO TZU, AND AN ARHAT. Hanging scroll --ink and colour on paper. Palace Museum, Beijing.

"The great square has no corners."

-- Lao Tzu (sixth century BCE)

'He who learns but does not think is lost; 
he who thinks but does not learn is in danger."

-- Confucius (d. 479 CE)

Hsüan-tsang (596-664):

The storehouse of 
consciousness is not 
affected by the darkness
of ignorance or by an
indifference to good and evil.

The same is true in the case 
of touch and so forth.
It is always like a torrent, 
And is renounced in the state 
of the ARHAT [a Buddhist sage 
who has achieved enlightenment].

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McLuhan People text

 

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Chu Hsi (1130-1200):

On the bathtub of T'ang [Ch'eng T'ang (c. 1675-1646 BCE), first king of the Shang Dynasty] the following words were engraved: "If you can in one day renovate yourself, do so from day to day. Yes, let there be daily renovation."

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"The user of any technology is the content of that form."

-- Marshall McLuhan (1971)

"Renovate, dod gast you, renovate!"

-- Ezra Pound (1928)

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YOU AIMING TO BE CLIMATE-CHANGE FREE?

M.K. Morton 

The climate reduced to fits and starts,
The Heritsge Society's donations vase fake Ming:
Even a survivor has to cut himself some slack. 
Given this year (picking up with a sleek mock squeak
From the fossil record gaps some seasonal smarts)

The sundial sphinx sprinkled spring 
Only a couple of times a week,
The equinox skipped the stone circle ring.
Dawn teaching dusk how to live in a crack.
Large corporations' mass followings innocence affecting,

Falling all over cloud nebulae distributing parts 
In contradictory keys, the music of the spheres bleak,
Symphony orchestras' status beyond pathetique. 
Philosophy relegated to rag-and-bone carts. 
The educated mumble, historically amnesiac.

Mindlessness even in resesarch institutes tabloid-abetted,
Reflection on an auspicious
Occurence (always regarded as suspicious) 
One of the unregretted 
Inconspicuously lost arts. 

Things so shallowed, little point worrying who may hack:
You can easily afford let egg-timers leak.
The world streaming to Pandora Fest,
The lottery guarantees Eldorado chest,
The more there's forbear tease

The carbon lobby to pretty up please. 
So, on your Atlantis-lore quest 
Than fluent re-cycle-bin Zoroaster-speak,
Better use asterisk-shy Xanadu-ese 
If you hope outlast going back to forest. 

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Tan Sitong Text2


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Wyndham Lewis:

The ideas of a time are like the clothes of a season: they are arbitrary, as much imposed by some superior will which is seldom explicit. They are utilitarian and political, the instruments of smooth-running government.

-- Wyndham Lewis (1926)

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Philo Farnsworth telegram

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Hsüan-tsang (602-664):

The various consciousnesses transform and change.

Both the discrimination (consciousness) and the object
of discrimination, are, because of this, unreal. 

For this reason, everything is consciousness only.

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Snow Corpus photo

Still from *CORPUS CALLOSUM (2002), written and directed by Michael Snow. Video --91 min. (colour, sound).

Artist's statement:

The corpus callosum is a central region of tissue in the human brain which passes messages between the two hemispheres. *Corpus Callosum, the film or tape, or projected light work, is constructed of, depicts, creates, examines, presents, consists of, and is, 'betweens'. Between beginning and ending, between 'natural' and 'artificial,' between fiction and fact, between hearing and seeing, between 1956 and 2002. It's a tragi-comedy of the cinematic variables. *Corpus Callosum juxtaposes or counterpoints a realm of normal metamorphosis (two extreme examples: pregnancy, explosions) in believable, 'real' interior spaces with 'impossible' shape changes (some made possible with digital animation). First the camera, then we the audience, observe the observations of the 'real' people depicted in the obviously staged situations. What we see and what we 'see' is involved in shifting modes of belief. There seem to be (though there is no narrative) a Hero and a Heroine. However, from scene to scene they are different people costumed identically or altered electronically. The sound --electronic like the picture-- is also a continuous metamorphosis and as the film's 'nervous system' is as important to the film as the picture. Or: the sound and the picture are two hemispheres joined by the artist. *Corpus Callosum is resolutely 'artificial,' it not only wants to convince, but also to be a perceived pictorial and musical phenonenon.

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"Don't keep looking in the rear-view mirror and defending the status quo which is outmoded the moment it happens."

-- Marshall McLuhan (1967)

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PRESENCE OF MIND/鎮定

Posted July 6, 2017

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Woodgrain photo

" ... 'Particulars'...". (Photo: M. Cynog Evans.)

"When people ask, 'Is the object of sense mental or physical?' they seldom have any clear idea either what is meant by 'mental' or 'physical', or what criteria are to be applied for deciding whether a given entity belongs to one class or the other."

-- Bertrand Russell (1915)

______________________________________

 

Ch'an master Shih Wang Ming 
(sixth century CE):

Pay no heed to forms;
Do not listen to sounds.
Listening to sounds you become deaf,
Observing forms you become blind.

_______________________________________

Gestalt vase faces


FIGURE-GROUND VASE.

[This image was first published in  the Danish-language SYNSOPLEVEDE FIGURE (VISUAL FIGURES), a two-volume work by psychologist Edgar Rubin.]

"When two fields have a common border, and one is seen as figure and the other as ground, the immediate perceptual experience is characterized by a shaping effect which emerges from the common border of the fields and which operates only on one field or operates more strongly on the one than on the other."

-- Edgar Rubin (1915)

Marshall McLuhan (1977):

The interplay between FIGURE and GROUND is "where the action is".This  interplay requires an interval or a gap, like the space between the wheel and the axle. 

[...] 

Contrary to a common misconception,  both FIGURES can be held in the visual field. This simultaneous perception is, at first, easier for some people than for  others, because it requires a certain amount of 'un-learning'. (Most of our training is directed toward keeping clear the distinction between FIGURE and GROUND.)

_________________________________________

Ch'an master Fu Yu (497-569):

The empty hand holds the hoe.
Feet walking, riding the water buffalo.
The man walks over the bridge ... 
The bridge flows, the water does not flow. 

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"The principle intellectual development of the past century or so has been the supplanting of linear perspective by a multi-locational mode of perception."

-- Marshall McLuhan (1947)

_________________________________________

Brouwn send me

Stanley Brouwn, POSTE-RESTANTE LETTER. Card (distributed in galleries),  1971.

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Ch'an master Seng Ts'an (?-606 CE):

Only stagnating in duality,
How can you recognize oneness?
If you fail to penetrate oneness, 
Both places lose their function.

_________________________________________

"Without sensibility and perceptions trained to find awareness in one's own time, one cannot really enter into other times."

-- Marshall McLuhan (1971)

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Ch'an master Niu T'ou Fa Jung (594-657):

Going, coming, sitting, standing,
Don't attach to anything.
Affirming no direction, 
Can there be leaving and entering?

_________________________________________

"The stranger has become the guide; the passenger, the driver. This multi-role playing is inevitable in an electronic world."

--Marshall McLuhan (1971)

_________________________________________

Ch'an master Yung Chia Hsuan Chueh (665-713):

Attaching to emptiness, denying cause and effect, 
Brings calamities beyond measure.
Rejecting existence and grasping is the same mistake.
Like jumping into a fire to avoid drowning.

_________________________________________

Marshall McLuhan (1974):

Acoustic space, which differs entirely from visual space, is one whose centre is multi-locational --the centre is everywhere and the margin nowhere. Is not gravity of this nature? Visual space, on the other hand, is continuous, connected, homogeneous and static. It is the only sensory mode having these characteristics. Visual space is infinitely divisible, whereas all the other senses have spaces that are quite indivisible. This is possibly why the electric space of simultaneous information is transforming our entire outlook. That is, we are now using our eye as an ear, and vice-versa. 

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Ch'an master Han Shan Te Ch'ing (1546-1623):

Self grasping another 
Is like mud entering water.
Self moved by another
Is like throwing fat on the fire.
While the outer realm is chaos, self is true.
When chaos is taken to be real, self is born.
If self is not born, 
Vexations, burning for aeons, turn to ice.

_________________________________________

McLuhan Electric Revolution

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Ch'an master Shao Liang Chieh (807-869):

As before a precious mirror,
The form and reflection gaze on each other --
You are not it,
But it is just you.

________________________________________
________________________________________

PRESENCE OF MIND/鎮定

Posted June 15, 2017

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McLuhan text

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Absence photo


" ... 'Absence'...". (Photo: M. Cynog Evans.)



Seng-chao (384-413):

The sage moves within the thousand transformations but does not change, and travels on ten thousand paths of delusion but always goes through. This is so because he leaves the vacuous self-nature of things as it is and does not employ the concept of vacuity to make things vacuous.



"But what am I? A thing that thinks. What is that? A thing that doubts, understands, affirms, denies, wills, refuses, and that also imagines and senses."

-- Renée Descartes (1641)



"I would say act like a man of thought and think like a man of action."

-- Henri Bergson (1937)

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Chou Tun-i (1017-1073):

One cannot penetrate subtlety without thought, and cannot penetrate all without profound thought. Thus the ability to penetrate all comes from the ability to penetrate subtlety, and the ability to penetrate subtlety comes from thinking.

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Carr totem walk

Emily Carr, TOTEM WALK AT SITKA, watercolour on paper, 1907. Art Gallery of Greater Victoria (British Columbia).



In 1904, fourteen indigenous Alaskan totem poles --valued, at the time, as "anthropological" curiosities--  were conspicuously presented as part of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, St. Louis.

The  U.S. had purchased Alaska in 1867; forty years later, the monumental carvings were returned to that region --being sited in a publicly owned "totem pole park" (part of  a surrounding Sitka National Monument landscape.)

TOTEM WALK AT SITKA records an occasion of what Emily Carr has termed "fresh seeing" --a probing towards the subtle "something plus" which the artist locates (literally, beyond surface appearances) at the extremities of visibility itself.

--CAUSA Research Curators

______________________________________

Marshall McLuhan and Barrington Nevitt  (1973):

Pushed to extreme, the fragmented figures of abstract Nature exclude the ground of actual nature. But always the action is in the gap. There are no "things," only processes.

______________________________________

Telex text

VSI / VISUAL SENSITIVITY INFORMATION --formula sent (via telex) by Iain Baxter (N. E. Thing Company Projects Department) ... from Simon Fraser University Library (Burnaby, British Columbia) to Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (Halifax, Nova Scotia), October 3, 1969.



"Both the past and the present exist permanently because they do not move."

-- Seng-chao (344-413)

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Black Square

Kasimir Malevich, BLACK SQUARE (installation view), oil on canvas [fourth of five versions], 1923. Russian State Museum, St. Petersburg.



Artist's statement (1926):

In the year 1913, in my desperate attempt to free art from the ballast of objectivity, I took refuge in the square form and [in 1915] exhibited a picture which consisted of nothing more than a black square on a white field.

_________________________________________

"Don't nail a stick into empty space."

-- Ch'an master I-hsüan (d. 867 CE)

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Silk Foot

Luciano Fabro, BRONZO PATINATO VERDE E SETA NATURALE (PIEDE)/GREEN PATINATED BRONZE AND NATURAL SILK (FOOT), 1968. Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam.



Artist's statement (1987):

Anyone who has touched these feet will have realised that hands feel; and anyone who has seen these feet will have realised that one can listen to stone. But anyone who is deaf will not have even thought about touching them, and will certainly not have looked at them with feeling.

_________________________________________

Marshall McLuhan (1965):

Environments are not mere containers. They are active and pervasive processes.

[...]

The function of the anti-environment, whether in the arts or sciences or society, is that of perception and control.


Harold Rosenberg (1978):

The skills of the modern artist are the opposite of those of the craftsman: instead of acquiring techniques for producing classes of objects, the artist today perfects the means suited to his particular work.

_________________________________________

"Although passing on and remaining are different, ultimately, they are the same."

-- Seng-chao (d. 414 CE)



"We must realize a commerce with the world and a presence to the world that is older than intelligence."

-- Maurice Merleau-Ponty (1945)

_________________________________________

Buddha footprint


BUSSOSEKI (BUDDHA'S FOOTPRINT STONE), Kozan-ji Temple, Kyoto.



Site Description (Kyoto Prefectural Government Information):

Kozan-ji temple was established at the beginning of the 13th century, when the monk Myoe restored a mountain temple and gave it its present name. Lush with ancient cedar and maple trees, its precincts contain the oldest tea field in Japan. Myoe is said to have planted tea seeds brought back from China by the Zen priest Eisai [in 1191 CE].

_________________________________________

Marshall McLuhan (1979):

I cannot see that the physical existence of mankind is compatible with the speed of light. There is no lack of evidence of both physical and metaphysical violence as a response to this.

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A SHORT MANIFESTO

Stanley Brouwn
(1964)

4000 A.D.
When science and art are entirely
melted together to something new
when people will have lost their
remembrance and thus will have
no past, only future.
When they will have to discover everything
every moment again and again
when they will have lost their need for
contact with others ...
Then they will live in a world of only
colour, light, space, time, sounds and movement.
Then colour light space time
sounds and movement will be free
No music
no theater
no art
no
There will be sound
                         colour
                         light
                         space
                         time
                         movement

_________________________________________

Pond photo

" ... 'Within/Without'...". (Photo: M. Cynog Evans.)



Chuang Tzu (fourth century BCE):

Do not take over the function of things. ... Personally realize the infinite to the highest degree and travel in the realm of which there is no sign.

_________________________________________

T'ao Ch'ien (d. 427 CE):

                                                      Once you're

dead and gone, what then? Trust yourself
to the mountain's flank. It will take you in.

[ Translated by David Hinton ]

_________________________________________

AN FBI DIRECTOR TESTIFIES

M.K. Morton

Don't ask me how I know
When my true under-oaths will be on show.
Who cares who said "No crime Tehranicide"?
Although nothing cannot be denied,
Inside the belt-way --nowhere to run, so much to hide--

These broncos can take you for quite the deride.
You can even end up fit to be tried.
I pointed out it is not my position to chide.
I didn't warn the president the law is not to be defied.
I didn't ask him how many bans he signed.

I didn't have the presence of mind.
Didn't even remind him of his Miranda
Rights. I sorely regret my remarks I hadn't confined
To a Prohibition era
Romanoff-run saloon being declassified

(Except for something about a --was it Anastasia's?-- tiara)
Where czarist unindicted co-conspirators still unwind
And neither Clintons nor Trumpers ever dined.
Perhaps now is the time to confide:
When an old mirror image dies

From what Zarathustra spoke
(That was one dude with presence of mind --
who cares if he lies?)
More than the smoke
Gets in your replies.

________________________________________

Marshall McLuhan (1960):

Accelerated change includes the gyroscope or vortex principles of rigidity. Also, to high-speed change no adjustment is possible. We become spectators only, and must escape into understanding. This may be why the conservative has an advantage in such an age of speedy change and is frequently more radical in his suggestions and insights than the progressive who is trying to adjust. The practical progressive trying to make realistic adjustments to change exhausts himself in minor matters and has no energy to contemplate the overall.



Ch'an/Zen master Dogen (d. 1253 CE):

The whole universe
shatters into a hundred pieces.
In the great death
there is no heaven, no earth.

Once body and mind have turned over
there is only this to say:

Past mind cannot be grasped,
present mind cannot be grasped,
future mind cannot be grasped.

_________________________________________
_________________________________________

WORLDLY (RELATIVE)/世俗(相對)

Posted May 15, 2017

______________________________________

"Give me a few more years so that I can devote fifty years to study Change."

-- Confucius (551-479 BCE)
______________________________________

"Just as it is not from the roots or from the trunk of trees that one gathers fruit, but only from the extremities of their branches, so the principal usefulnes of Philosophy depends upon those parts of it which can only be learned last."

-- René Descartes (1641)

______________________________________

Chuang Tzu (c. 395-295 BCE):

In their own way things are so-and-so. [...]  There is nothing that is not so-and-so. [...] Let us take, for instance, a large beam and a small beam ... or generosity, strangeness, deceit and abnormality. The Tao identifies them all as one.

______________________________________

Jeffers quote text

______________________________________

Marshall McLuhan (1953):

The ordinary desire of everybody to have everybody else think alike with himself has some explosive implications.... The perfection of the MEANS of communication has given this average power-complex of the human-being an enormous extension of expression.

______________________________________

Palace Painting


THE ALCHEMY OF MASTER GENG, Ming dynasty, 16th century. Hanging scroll, ink on silk. National Palace Museum, Taipei.



Stephen Little, The Art Institute of Chicago (2000):

This painting of a Taoist female alchemist depicts a scene at the Tang dynasty court in the mid-ninth century. The female adept known as Master Geng was one of a long tradition of FANG-SHI ("magicians," or "technicians" --literally "method-masters") stretching back to the Bronze age.



Wu Shu, RECORDS Of STRANGE MAGICIAN-TECHNICIANS BETWEEN THE YANGZI AND HUAI RIVERS  (975 CE):

Geng Qian could control the spirits. She  mastered the "art of the yellow and the white" (alchemy), with many other strange transformations, mysterious and incomprehensible.

In the Dazong reign-period (847-859) the emperor, being fond of the elegant and fascinated by the strange, summoned her to the palace to observe her techniques. She was not added to the pool of palace ladies but was given  special lodgings and called "Teacher [XIANSHENG].

[...]

On another occasion during heavy snow the emperor aked her if she could turn that into silver also. Saying that she could, she cut up some hard snow into the form of an ingot and threw it into a blazing fire. The ashes rose up and all was covered over with charcoal; then after about the time required to take a meal she said it was done, and taking out the red-hot substance, put it on the ground to cool, whereupon it brightened and took the form of a silver ingot, with the same knife-marks still on it.

Later on the Teacher made a lot of "snow-silver" --so much that she presented vessels made of it to the emperor on his birthday.

[ Note:

This National Palace Museum scroll presents Master Geng in the company of her patron emperor. Both figures are seated before a charcoal brazier --and several depicted vessels (resting in charcoal) remind us of a magician-technician's "snow-silver" capabilities.

-- CAUSA Resesrch Curators ]

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Ensor skeletons

James Ensor, SKELETONS TRYING TO WARM THEMSELVES, 1895. Etching printed with tone on Japan paper.

______________________________________

Leslie Jamison, HARPERS MAGAZINE (April 2017):

In the shadow of the Washington Monument, my friend Joe said that for the first time since the election, he was excited to read the news. We were helping to write the story we wanted to live. But we would need to read about it afterward, to understand what we had been part of.

[Excerpt from the author's account of her participation in the WOMEN'S MARCH ON WASHINGTON AGAINST DONALD TRUMP, January 21, 2017.

______________________________________

Prismatic photo

" .... 'Constitutive Transcedence'...". (Photo: M. Cynog Evans.)

______________________________________

Capone drawing

Hugo Gellert, US FOLKS GOTTA STICK TOGETHER ... THE LAST DEFENCES Of CAPITALISM, 1932. Wolfson-Florida International Foundation, Miami Beach, Florida, The Mitchell Wolfson, Jr. Collection.

Collection Record:

Chalk on celotex on plaster study depicting five men, Henry Ford, John D. Rockefeller, J.P. Morgan, President Hoover, and Al Capone; all but Capone have their hands on bags full of money while Capone has a machine gun.

_________________________________________

CALL TO CREATION
Langston Hughes
(1931)

Listen!
All you beauty-makers,
Give up beauty for a moment.
Look at harshness, look at pain,
Look at life again.
Look at hungry babies crying,
Listen to the rich men lying,
Look at starving China dying.
Hear the rumble in the East:
"In spite of all,
Life must not cease."
In India with folded arms,
In China with the guns,
In Africa with bitter smile --
See where the murmur runs:
"Life must not cease,
Because the fat and greedy ones
Proclaim their thieving peace."
Their peace far worse than war and death --
For this is better than living breath:
Free! To be free!
Listen!
Futile beauty-makers --
Work for awhile with the pattern-breakers:
Let beauty be!

______________________________________

Unjust woodcut

David Siqueiros, THE UNJUST, woodcut, 1930.

______________________________________


Maurice Merleau-Ponty (1964):

We situate ourselves in ourselves AND in the things, in ourselves AND in the other, at the point where, by a sort of CHIASM, we become the others and we become world. Philosophy is itself only when it refuses for itself the facilities of a world with one sole entry as well as the facilities of a world with multiple entries, all accessible to the philosopher [...] it abides where the passage from the self into the other is effected, at the crossing of the avenues.
______________________________________

Seascape projection

Agnès Varda, BORD DE MER, 2009. Digital HD projection, Blu-ray aspect 16:9 colour/sound video projection, sand. [Installation: one-third still photograph, one-third looped video, and one-third real sand.]



"I give myself a structure, and I allow my mind to go elsewhere."

-- Agnès Varda (2017)
_____________________________________

Mencius (371-289 BCE?):

To act without understanding and do so habitually without examination, following certain courses all their lives without knowing the principles behind them --this is the way of the multitude.

______________________________________

Marshall McLuhan (1959):

How many thousands of years of change can we afford every ten years? May not a spot of culture-lag here and there in the great time-flux prove to be a kind of social and psychological oasis?

________________________________________
________________________________________

WORLDLY (RELATIVE)/世俗(相對)

Posted April 18, 2017

______________________________________


Marshall McLuhan (1973):

Truth is something we make with all our senses in a conscious process of remaking the world as the world remakes us physically, psychically, and socially.

[ ...]

Anyone with enough vitality to confront the actual through perception can predict the future by noting what has already happened. For the future of the future is the present.

______________________________________

"Only the most intelligent and the most stupid do not change."

-- Confucius (551-479 BCE)

______________________________________

Monochrome Ink painting

Liang Kai, POET STROLLING BY A MARSHY BANK, early 13th century. Fan mounted as an album leaf; ink on silk. The Metropolitan Museum.of Art, New York.

______________________________________

"In the buginning is the woid."

-- James Joyce (1918)

______________________________________

Hausmann collage

Raoul Hausmann, ABCD (SELF-PORTRAIT). Photo montage. (Signed and inscribed on print: Berlin 1919-1923). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

______________________________________

Hsün Tzu (fl. 298-238 BCE):

There is a great difference between what is on the one hand, and what is able actually to be done, on the other. It is clear that they are not interchangeable.
______________________________________

Oswald Spengler (1926):

"Mankind" ... has no aim, no idea, no plan, any more than the family of butterflies or orchids. "Mankind" is a zoological expression, or an empty word.

______________________________________

Pond photo

" ... 'In the Gap'...". (Photo: M. Cynog Evans.)



Marshall McLuhan (1973):

Breakdown is the old cause in action, the extension of the old figure to the new ground. Breakthrough is the effect of understanding as the new cause.

______________________________________

Neon words photo


Joseph Kosuth, FIVE WORDS IN GREEN NEON, 1965. Neon tubing. 62-1/8  x 80-5/8 x 6 in. (157.8 x 204.8 x 15.2 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.



"The 'value' of particular artists after Duchamp can be weighed according to how much they questioned the nature of art." -- Joseph Kosuth (1969)

______________________________________

Chuang Tzu (c. 395-295 BCE):

There was a beginning. There was a time before that beginning. And there was a time before the time which was before that beginning. There was being. There was non-being. There was a time before that non-being. And there was a time before the time that was before that non-being. Suddenly there is being and there is non-being, but I don't know which of being and non-being is really being or really non-being. I have just said something, but I don't know if what I have said really says something or says nothing.

______________________________________


   THE VET DROPS BY THE ECONOMICS DEPT. ZOO
                                    M.K. Morton

Academic budgeteers are trained dog-lovers who don't
Leashed realize when they've a cat on their hands.
Slow, despite so grand all-in-their-headstands,
To twig (or even bring back a stick)

That the finest canine legislation won't
Answer a feline personality's demands.
Although affluent a-plenty
Beyond more than enough,

Emulous of species unendangered glomming parasitic,
How much mistaken identity
Does it take for the constantly-moulting-fluff,
Projections-jaded body politic to strut the wrong stuff?

Eager to teach a new oil-slick an old trick
With a statistic, pet-show records downloaded
Dog-eared, indexed pensions nothing incommoded,
Environmental reviews the ultimate bluff.

And when a forest goes don't miss the wake
The fauna doth furnish forth. The paymaster gobbles,
While the cost-accounting expert coyly fondles
His latest development models.

Spread-sheets hang-glide. Graph-opaque,
Remote from the actual conditions a real town stands on,
Masters of the forecast switcheroo,
Every economic think-tank guru

Offers any and all a stratospheric overview
("Look IMF! No hands on!")
Persistently calculating, down-Hudson or up-Amazon,
A peso a day more than most locals make.

Their funny bone rarely known
To scratch, do net-debt gross deans intone:
"No Food and Drug Administration guidelines steak?
Then let them chow outsourced oat-cake".

______________________________________

"The future is not what it used to be; neither is causality, for thought travels much faster and farther than light."

-- Marshall McLuhan (1973)
______________________________________
______________________________________

DEONTIC MODALITY/義務形態

Posted March 23, 2017

______________________________________

Marshall McLuhan (1953):

Perfection of the MEANS of communication has meant instantaneity. Such an instantaneous network of communication is the body-mind unity of each of us. When a city or a society achieves adversity and equilibrium of awareness analogous to the body-mind network, it has what we tend to regard as a high culture.

______________________________________

Chang Tsai (1020-1077):

When it is understood that the Vacuity, the Void, is nothing but material force, then existence and nonexistence, the hidden and the manifested, spirit and eternal transformation, and human nature and destiny are all one and not a duality. Anyone who can apprehend  integration and disintegration, appearance and disappearance, form and absence of form, and trace them to their material force, penetrates the secret of Change.

______________________________________

Tree and Sky photo

" ... 'Fleeting Force'...". (Photo: M. Cynog Evans.)

______________________________________

"The immediate is at the horizon, and must be thought as such; it is only by remaining at a distance that it remains itself."

-- Maurice Merleau-Ponty (1964)
______________________________________

Bamboo grove painting

Guan Daosheng, BAMBOO GROVES IN MIST AND RAIN (section of a handscroll), ink on paper, 1262.  National Palace Museum, Taipei.
______________________________________

Chang Tsai (1020-1077):

According to principle nothing exists alone. Unless there are similarity and difference, contraction and expansion, and beginning and end among things to make it stand out, it is not really a thing although it seems to be. To become complete (to attain individuality), a thing must have a beginning and an end. But completion cannot be achieved unless there is a mutual influence between similarity and difference (change) and between being and non-being (becoming). If completion is not achieved, it is not really a thing although it seems to be.
______________________________________

Door photo

Marcel Duchamp, DOOR: 11 RUE LARREY, PARIS. 1927.



Memo to CAUSA Research Curators
from Gary Lee Nova
(March 2017):

Upon discovering Arturo Schwarz's photographic record of Marcel Duchamp's DOOR, I was immediately captured by a connection to the now-famous "either/or" dichotomy of Aristotelian logic.

At the time of first encountering DOOR, I was reading Alfred Korzybski (a renowned anti-Aristotelian who had located numerous logical flaws in Artistotle's discourse, including the "either/or" structure).

Duchamp's DOOR shows that "either/or" is flawed logic because the door can be simultaneously closed and open --in "both/and" situations.

I have long wanted to make a replica of the piece. It would involve electromagnetic technology that would function to slowly close a 'single' door into its frame before opening that same door and slowly closing it into its 'second' frame (closing, opening and repeating indefinitely).

Such a piece would not be on a sculpture pedestal. It would be made to be flush with the floor (and therefore a permanent installation somewhere).

Such a piece would be titled ARISTOTLE'S COFFIN/DUCHAMP'S GHOST.

This is my haunting by Marcel Duchamp. I ofter wonder which Duchamp works haunt others.

______________________________________

Ch'an/Zen master Dogen (1200-1253):

When one listens to what the worldly praise, one fails to get the truly wise. If one would get the truly wise, one should have the wisdom to illumine behind and see ahead.
______________________________________

Noh play photo

NOH actor in the "Kagami-no Ma" (Mirror Room). Photo: CAUSA Archives.

______________________________________

"The user of any medium or any technology is the content of that form."

-- Marshall McLuhan (1971)

______________________________________
______________________________________

DEONTIC MODALITY/義務形態

Posted February 16, 2017

______________________________________

Marshall McLuhan (1968):

The content of any new environment is just as unperceived as that of the old one had been initially. As a merely automatic sequence, the succession of environments and the dramatics  accompanying them tend to be rather tiresome, if only because the audience is very prone to participate in the dramatics with an enrhusiasm proportionate to its lack of awareness.
______________________________________

Chuang Tzu (399-295 BCE):

Knowledge depends on something to be correct, but what it depends on is uncertain and changeable. How do we know that what I call Nature is not really man and what I call man is not really Nature?

______________________________________

Bertrand Russell (1917):

A philosophy which does not seek to impose upon the world its own conceptions of good and evil is not only more likely to achieve truth, but it is also the outcome of a higher ethical standpoint than one which, like evolutionism and more traditional systems, is perpetually appraising the universe seeking to find in it an embodiment of present ideals.

______________________________________

Hogarth Bedlam print

William Hogarth, IN BEDLAM (SCENE VIII FROM THE RAKE'S PROGRESS), 1735. Engraving on paper.



Marshall McLuhan (1968):

The world of the cliché is itself environmental since nothing can become a cliché until it has pervaded some world or other. It is at the moment of pervasiveness that the cliché becomes invisible.

______________________________________

"We should be considerate to the living; to the dead we owe the truth."

-- Voltaire (1719)

______________________________________

Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari (1991):

The artist is always adding new varieties in the world. Beings of sensation are varieties, just as the concept's beings are variations, and the function's beings are variables.
______________________________________

Wuhai Cliffs

Dust billows out of a coal mine in Inner Mongolia --in a scene from BEHEMOTH, a documentary film by Zhao Liang (2015).



Amy Qin, THE NEW YORK TIMES:

Set in the Wuhai area of Inner Mongolia, far from the smog-choked cities that dominate headlines, the film depicts the ravaging of the regions famed grasslands by coal mining companies. In one scene, sheep graze in a green pasture. Nearby, trucks and industrial machines swivel and churn in gaping pits of billowing, gray coal dust. Day and night, nameless workers sift and shovel. In the iron works, they stoke fiery furnaces in sweltering heat. They come home to scour faces caked with dust, but their eyes almost always seem lined with black soot.

______________________________________

Prajnaparamita Stupa

PRAJNAPARAMITA ("PERFECTION OF TRANSCENDENT WISDOM"), Mongolia, 18th century CE.

STUPA (gilded bronze), Monglia, 18th century CE.



"Gone, gone, gone to the Other Shore,
attained the Other Shore having never left."

-- Mantra from the PRAJANAPARAMITA SUTRA

______________________________________

Full Fathom Five Painting

Jackson Pollock, FULL FATHOM FIVE, 1947. Oil on canvas --with nails, tacks, keys, coins, cigarettes, matches, etc.  Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Museum Record:

The title, suggested by Pollock's neighbor, quotes from Shakespeare's THE TEMPEST, wherein Ariel describes a death by shipwreck: "Full fathom five thy father lies / Of his bones are coral made / Those are pearls that were his eyes."



Marshall McLuhan (1968):

The sighted person ... takes for  granted that he can have a point of view by the mere act of arresting his movement and holding a single position, sometimes even referred as "the correct position." By contrast, the world of touch, whether passive or active, creates a relation not of connectedness but of interval. [...] If the world of the sighted naturally leads itself to a lineal connection and interrelation, the world of touch dispenses with story lines as much as melodic lines. [...] Rationality itself often has the character of the merely connected and continuous, so that an untoward event, because it doesn't fit into an expected pattern, creates an involuntary arrest of tension, which is, as it were, irrational.

______________________________________

Marshall McLuhan (1968):

New environments reset our sensory thresholds. These, in turn, alter our outlook and expectations.
______________________________________

Seng-chao (384-414):

Since things [appear to be] nonexistent but are really not nonexistent, the nonexistent is not absolutely vacuous, and since things [appear to be] existent but are really not existent, the existence is not true (absolute) existence. Since the existent as it is is not true and the  nonexistent is not entirely obliterated without any trace, although they are called differently, their ultimate meaning is the same.

[ ... ]

If the existence of things is true (absolute) existence, this existence should be eternal by its own nature and should not depend on causes to be existent. If the nonexistence of things were absolute nonexistence, it should be eternal nonexistence by its own nature and should not depend on causes to be nonexistent. If existence is not existence by its own nature but depends on causes to be existent, we know that although it [appears to] exist, it has no true existence. Since it has no true existence, it cannot be called existence in the real sense although it exists.
______________________________________

Velocities photo

" ... 'Velocities'...". (Photo: M. Cynog Evans.)



"It seems that the one all-embracing time is a construction, like the all-embracing space."

-- Bertrand Russell (1917)

______________________________________

Whatever Nature has in store for mankind, unpleasant as it may be, men must accept, for ignorance is never better than knowledge.

-- Enrico Fermi

[ Note:

In a NEW YORK TIMES obituary --29 November 1954-- Enrico Fermi was identified as ARCHITECT OF THE ATOMIC BOMB.

-- CAUSA Research Curators ]

______________________________________

"If human beings had no clichés, they wouldn't need any weapons."

-- Karl Kraus (1921)

______________________________________

Amy Goodman, DEMOCRACY NOW, 8 February 2017:

In Japan, scientists say the radiation levels inside a damaged reactor at the Fukishima nuclear power plant are at the highest point since the nuclear plant's meltdown six years ago. On March 11, 2011, a massive earthquake and tsunamis hit the northeast coast of Japan, killing 20,000 people. Another 160,000 then fled the radiation in Fukishima. It was the world's worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl. Experts are calling the radiation levels now detected at the plant "unimaginable."

______________________________________

Confucius (551?-479 BCE):

When a cornered vessel no longer has any corner, should it be called a cornered vessel. Should it?

______________________________________

Hiroshige Hawk Ukiyoe

Utagawa Hiroshige, HAWK ON PINE BRANCH, WINTER, c. 1840-42. Woodblock print --ink and colour on paper. Minneapolis Institute of Arts.



Ch'an master Daowu [Jap., Tenno Dogo] (748-807):

When you see, see it direct. If a thought moves, it is gone.

______________________________________

Midwinter Light Photo

MIDWINTER LIGHT - SOLAR WIND. Gary Lee-Nova, 7 February 2017.



"We all have a light inside; but trying to look at it makes it turn black."

-- Ch'an/Zen master Ummon (862-949)

______________________________________

Marshall McLuhan (1968):

Modern art, whether in painting or poetry or music, began as a probe and not as a package. ... And whereas the package belongs to a consumer age, the probe belongs to an age of experimenters.

______________________________________
______________________________________

DEONTIC MODALITY/義務形態

Posted January 16, 2017

______________________________________

"Popular and elite culture alike are consumer-oriented --based on a dichotomy of production and consumption which no longer obtains under electric conditions."

-- Marshall McLuhan (1960)

______________________________________

Horizon Photo

" ... 'First Sight'...". (Photo: M. Cynog Evans.)

______________________________________

Hanshan Deqing (1564-1623):

a hundred thousand worlds are flowers in the sky
a single mind and body is moonlight on the water
Once the cunning ends and information stops
at that moment there is no place for thought

______________________________________

"Propaganda is called upon to solve problems created by technolgy, to play on maladjustments, and to integrate the individual into a technological world."

-- Jacques Ellul (1962)
______________________________________

Chinese Propaganda Poster

A THOUSAND MILES IN THE WILDERNESS FORGE RED HEARTS. Chinese cultural revolution poster, 1971.

University of California San Diego Digital Collections Description:

A formation of civilians on military training exercises marches forward in three files along a windbreak of bare trees planted in a row. [...] A man in an army uniform stands to the right of the formation with a bull horn to his mouth while holding up the Little Red book in his other hand. In the background behind him a red sign bears in gold letters Mao's quotation, "Bei zhan bei huang wei ren min (Prepare for defence and prepare against natural disasters for the people)." The backdrop consists of another windbreak, power lines, farmers' fields, and rural residences..



Andreas Fulda, School of Politics and International Relations, University of Nottingham (2017):

In recent years, China has gained a global reputation for its juggernaut economy and breathtaking social change. Yet beneath that shiny veneer, an outdated Maoist institution continues to define the life chances of Chinese citizens: it's called "hukou".

Hukou is a kind of passport system, which limits access to public services, based on the birthplace of the holder. It was first established in 1954 to immobilise China's large rural population as China's Chairman Mao Zedong sought to contain any possible challenges to the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) new autocratic regime. The result was a highly segregated society.

[...]

In 2008, some Chinese citizens called on the CCP to abolish the system in its entirety. Signatories of CHARTER 08 --a progressive manifesto for the future of China-- said that an alternative system should be established, which "gives every citizen the same constitutional rights and the same freedom to choose where to live."

So far, CCP has ignored calls to abolish the hukou system. Some authors of the CHARTER 08 have been imprisoned.

______________________________________

"In the animal kingdom, the rule is eat or be eaten; in the human kingdom, define or be defined."

-- Thomas Szasz (1973)
______________________________________

Hanshan Deqing (1564-1623):

There is no beginning to what came before, and no end to what will come after. It is thought that interrupts the flow of time and calibrates it. It is thought that decides that night follows day, that death follows life, that somethings are tiny while others are huge. What, to the universe, is big or large, bright or dark, future or past?

______________________________________

Marshall McLuhan (1960):

Object as seen yields distortion.
Object as known precludes distortion.
______________________________________

Beuys Medusa Gorgon

MEDUSA GORGON, 1955. Ferric chloride and watercolours.

"For me it's the word that gives rise to all pictures."

-- Joseph Beuys (1988)



"A stepping up of visual values makes a new dichotomy between the spiritual and the material."

-- Marshall McLuhan (1960)

______________________________________

Burke Eloquence Quote

______________________________________


MIDNIGHT

by Wang An-shih
(1021 - 1086)

It is midnight; all is silent in the house;
the water-clock has stopped. But I am unable to
sleep because of the beauty of the trembling
shapes of the Spring flowers, thrown by the
moon upon the blind.

[ Note:

Wallace Stevens copied this poem in a letter (to Elsie Hall) dated 18 March 1909. He remarks, regarding the Wang An-shih text, "I don't know of anything more beautiful than that anywhere, or more Chinese." "Curious thing," he continues, "how little we know about Asia, and all that. It makes me wild to learn it all in a night."

Earlier in the same month, Stevens had begun to read Kakuzo Okakura's THE IDEALS OF THE EAST (1903.)
______________________________________


THE SNOW MAN

Wallace Stevens (1921)

One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine trees crusted with snow.

And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter

Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves.

Which is the sound of the land
Full of the same wind
That is blowing in the same bare place

For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not here and nothing that is.

______________________________________

THE TEMPLE TOWERS AT ORCHID CREEK

Yang Wan-Li (1127 - 1206)

The tall tower rises into a spire. The short one doesn't.
One sports a brocade robe, and the other a silver tunic.

I ask them why it is they never say a word, but they let
Buddha go on talking in the voice of a tumbling creek.



David Hinton (2008):

Yang Wan-Li's poetic enlightenment seems to have been part of a fundamental Ch'an awakening that is reflected in his poems. ... And he could make poems out of nothing more than a crystalline attention to things themselves.
_____________________________________

Reid Typographical Image

Robert R. Reid, TYPOGRAPHICAL IMAGE (digital design), 2017.

[ Note:

This poem is included in poet John Newlove's first book --GRAVE SIRS-- as published, in 1962, at the private press of Robert R. Reid and Takao Tanabe.

The present 'typographical revivification' (above) functions to augment a CAUSA curatorial research project at Simon Fraser University Library (Special Collections) ... ROBERT R. REID, 'ALLIED ARTS' AFFIRMATIVE ...  January - March 2017.

-- CAUSA Research Curators ]

______________________________________

"One is always in a weak position if one is speaking the truth."

-- Wyndham Lewis (1950)



"In the era of Donald Trump ... Oxford Dictionaries has declared 'post-truth' to be the international word of the year."

-- Allison Flood, THE GUARDIAN (15 November 2016)

_____________________________________

Ice crystals photo

" ... 'Authentic Temporality'...".  (Photo: M. Cynog Evans.)



"Time is only divisible in visual space."

-- Marshall McLuhan (1960)

______________________________________

One thing Viet-nam

On Kawara, TITLE, 1968. Triptych, acrylic on canvas. National Gallery of Art, Washington,.D.C.

[ Note:

In early 1965 the United States had commenced an immense campaign of bombing in North Vietnam. Contemporaneously, Mao Zedong had initiated his Cultural Revolution (as enforced by the ubiquitous Red Guards). Mao's 'revolutionary' practice resulted in the monumental massacre of Chinese citizens throughout the ensuing decade.

-- CAUSA Research Curators ]



Ch'an/Zen master Dogen (1233 CE):

When you sail out in a boat to the middle of the ocean, where no land is in sight, and view the four directions, the ocean looks circular, and does not look any other way. But the ocean is neither round nor square; its features are infinite in variety. It is like a palace. It is like a jewel. It only looks circular as far as you can see at that time. All things are like that.

______________________________________

Kakuzo Okakura (1904):

A painting, which is like a universe in itself, must conform to the laws that govern all existence. Composition is like the creation of the world, holding in itself the constructive laws that give it life.

______________________________________

Ma Yuan Painting

SCHOLAR VIEWING A WATERFALL,  Ma Yuan (Chinese, active ca. 1190 - 1125). Album leaf, ink and colour on silk. The Metropolitan Museum, New York.

______________________________________

Buddha Video

Nam June Paik, TV-BUDDHA, 1974. Video installation, closed-circuit, 18th-century Buddha statue. Stedelijk Museum Collection, Amsterdam.

______________________________________


"The integral being cannot be a hero, or even tolerated, in a fragmented or specialist society."

-- Marshall McLuhan (1968)

______________________________________

"Mind alone has no opposite."

-- Chu Hsi (1130 - 1200)

______________________________________
______________________________________

TRANSPOSABILITY/轉置性

Posted December 6, 2016

______________________________________

Fascist

______________________________________

Mao Zedong (1963):

Where do ideas come from? Do they drop from the skies? No. They come from social practice, and from it alone.

______________________________________

"The discarnate TV user lives in a world between fantasy and dream, and is in a typically hypnotic state, which is the ultimate level of participation."

-- Marshall McLuhan (1978)

______________________________________


READING HISTORY

Wang An-Shih
(1021-1086)


Renowned achievement's been bitter business from the beginning.
Who can you trust to tell the story of all you've done and not done?

Whatever happens is already murky enough, and full of distortion,
then small minds muddle the truth further and it's utter confusion:

they only hand down dregs. Their azure-green and cinnabar inks
can't capture the fresh kernel of things, the quintessential spirit,

and how could they fathom a lofty sage's thoughts, those mindless
sentinels guarding the thousand-autumn dust on their pages of paper?




David Hinton (2008):

Wang An-shih was a remarkable figure --not only one of the great Sung Dynasty poets but also the most influential and controversial statesmen of his time. The deep commitment felt by intellectuals in ancient China in both the Confucian realm of social responsibility and the Taoist realm of spiritual self-cultivation gave rise to a recluse ideal that answered both of these imperatives. [...] Wang-An-Shih was one of the great exemplars of this recluse ideal. A devoted civil servant, frugal almost to a fault and completely immune, even hostile to the grandeur of high office and political power, Wang rose to no less a rank than prime minister. As prime minister, he instituted a controversial system of radically egalitarian social reforms in an effort to improve the lives of China's dispossessed peasants. And once those reforms were securely in place, he left the government in the hands of trusted compatriots and retired to a reclusive life in the countryside near Chiang-ning (River Serene), on the south shore of the Yangtze River.

It was after his retirement that Wang wrote the poems on which his reputation is based. He spent those  later years practicing Ch'an Buddhism and wandering the mountains around his home, a Taoist
/Ch'an cultivation of the rivers and mountains realm that shapes his poems. But however profound the Ch'an wisdom in Wang's late poetry, it was haunted by the failure of his political dream. Wang's compatriots eventually lost power in government, and he had to watch helplessly as conservative elements dismantled the social reforms he had worked so hard to put in place.





EAST RIVER


East River's swollen current surges around fallen trees;
and yellow reeds cut, island shallows open away, empty.

It is light at South Creek, smoke rises Vast and silent,
western mountains hover between presence and absence.

__________________________________

Giambattista Vico (1710):

The creation and rule of the true is to have made it. Accordingly, our clear and distinct idea of the mind cannot be a criterion of the mind itself, still less of other truths, for while the mind perceives itself, it does not make itself.

-- Giambattista Vico (1710)


__________________________________

Ikkyu

Zen master Ikkyu (1393-1481), GAIKOTSU/SKELETONS, woodblock print series, 1692.



If they can serve
To bring us to loathe them,
The troubles of this world
Are most welcome.

-- Ikkyu Sojun

___________________________________

Death

James Ensor, DEATH CHASING THE FLOCK OF MORTALS, 1896. Etching and drypoint.

______________________________________

Charles S. Peirce (1839-1914):

No general description of the mode of advance of human knowledge can be just which leaves out of account the social aspect of knowledge. What a thing society is!

______________________________________

Alfred North Whitehead (1920):

An object is an ingredient in the character of some event. In fact the character of an event is nothing but the objects which are ingredient in it and the ways in which those objects make their ingression into the event. [...] Events are only comparable because they bring forth permanences. We are comparing objects in events whenever we can say, 'There it is again.' Objects are the elements in nature which can 'be again.'

______________________________________

"Omnipresence has become an ordinary human dimension."

-- Marshall McLuhan (1973)

______________________________________

Ensor

James Ensor, STARS IN THE CEMETRY, 1888. Etching and drypoint.



"Between reason and understanding, between the appearance and the content of things, a deep discrepancy remains."

-- James Ensor (1933)

______________________________________

Saigyo Hoshi
(1118-1190)

Fishermen
by a rocky shore,
winds blowing wildly
in a boat unmoored --
such is our situation.

______________________________________

LIFE FROM THE LIFELESS

Robinson Jeffers (1938)

Spirits and illusions have died,
The naked mind lives
In the beauty of inanimate things.

Flowers wither, grass fades, trees wilt,
The forest is burnt;
The rock is not burnt.

The deer starve, the winter birds
Die on their twigs and lie
In the blue dawns in the snow.

Men suffer want and become
Curiously ignoble; as prosperity
Made them curiously vile.

But look how noble the world is,
The lonely-flowing waters, the secret-
Keeping stones, the flowing sky.

______________________________________

Duchamp

Marcel Duchamp, EPITAPH (placed
on the artist's gravestone, in accordance with his instructions), Rouen, 1968.

Inscription:

"D'ailleurs / c'est toujours les autres qui meurent." [By the way / it's always the others who die.]

______________________________________

"The artist as a maker of anti-environments becomes the enemy in society."

-- Marshall McLuhan (1967)

______________________________________

Shao Yung (1011-1077):

Spirit is master of Change. It therefore has no spatial restriction. Change is the function spirit. Therefore it has no physical form. [...] If change had a definite, physical form, it would not be able to penetrate things and would cease to be Change. Although Change seems to have a physical form, it is but a symbol by which physical form is manifested.

______________________________________

"Belief is something felt by the mind, which distinguishes the ideas of the judgment from the fictions of the imagination."

-- David Hume (1748)

______________________________________
______________________________________

TRANSPOSABILITY/轉置性

Posted November 14, 2016

______________________________________

THE WORLD IS RULED BY LETTING THINGS TAKE THEIR COURSE. IT CANNOT BE RULED
BY INTERFERING.

-- Lao Tzu (sixth century BCE)

______________________________________

Wyndham Lewis (1926):

Prostration is our natural position. A wormlike movement from a spot of sunlight to a spot of shade, and back, is the type of movement that is natural to men.

______________________________________

"Since Sputnik [launched in 1957] put the globe in a 'proscenium arch,' and the global village has been transformed into a global theater, the result, quite literally, is the use of public space for 'doing one's thing'".

-- Marshall McLuhan (1970)

______________________________________

Wyndham Lewis (1954):

Beyond a certain well-defined line --in the arts as well as everything else-- beyond that limit there is NOTHING. Nothing, zero, is what logically you reach, past a line, of some kind, laid down by nature, everywhere.

______________________________________

If

______________________________________

Rose

Joseph Beuys, ROSE FOR DIRECT DEMOCRACY [Rose für Direkte Demokratie], 1973. Graduated cylinder with inscription, 33.5 x 5 cm. Edition: unlimited.

[ Note:

On the occasion of the DOCUMENTA 5 exhibition (Kassel, 1972), Beuys had established a 'political bureau' that functioned to augment an initiative that he had recently launched: the  ORGANISATION FOR  DIRECT FREE COLLECTIVE REFERENDUM.

A slender glass vase containing a fresh-cut red rose had been placed on Beuys' desk during each day of the 1972 Documenta 5 exhibition.
ROSE FOR DIRECT DEMOCRACY (documented above), has been inscribed on glass (according to the artist's specifications) --thus creating an articulate presence that 'spirals upward' from the base of a graduated cylinder.

-- CAUSA Research Curators ]



Joseph Beuys (1979):

Bud and bloom are in fact green leaves transformed. So in relation to the leaves and the stem the bloom is a revolution, although it grows through an organic transformation and evolution.

______________________________________


"Before ourselves we all pose as being simpler than we are: thus we take a rest from our fellow men."

-- Friedrich Nietzche (1886)

______________________________________

WHAT IS REALITY? AN ICICLE FORMING IN FIRE.

-- Zen master Dogen (1200-1253)

______________________________________

Marshall McLuhan (1970):

It is just when people are all engaged in snooping on themselves and one another that they become anesthetised to the whole process. Tranquilizers and anesthetics, private and corporate, become the largest business in the world just as the world is attempting to maximize every form of alert.

______________________________________
______________________________________

RELATIVE ABSENCE/相對的缺乏

Posted October 25, 2016

______________________________________

"Today, the hunter, the engineer, the programmer, the researcher, and the aesthete are one."

-- Marshall McLuhan (1972)

______________________________________

Evil

______________________________________

THE TREASURE

by Robinson Jeffers (1924)

Mountains, a moment of earth-waves rising and hollowing; the
earth too's an ephemerid; the stars --
Short lived as grass the stars quicken in the nebula and dry in their
summer, they spiral
Blind up space, scattered back seeds of a bright future; nothing lives
long, the whole sky's
Recurrences tick the seconds of the hours of the ages of the gulf
before birth, and the gulf
After death is like dated: to labor eighty years in a notch of
eternity is nothing too tiresome.
Enormous repose after, enormous before, the flash of activity.
Surely you never have dreamed the incredible depths were prologue
and epilogue merely
To the surface play in the sun, the instant of life, what is called
life? I fancy
That silence is the thing, this noise a found word for it; interjection,
A jump of the breath at that silence;
Stars burn, grass grows, men breathe: as a man finding treasure
says 'Ah!' but the treasure's the essence;
Before the man spoke it was there, and after he has spoken he
gathers it, inexhaustible treasure.

______________________________________

Ch'an master Bao'en Xuanze (ninth century CE):

A monk, wondering about the 'stillness' of the transcendent principle, asked, "What is the meaning of 'no movement'?"

Bao'en replied, "The river rapids heave and crash. The sun and moon swirl in orbit."

______________________________________

Event site

" ... 'Event/Site'...". (Photo: M. Cynog Evans.)



Albert Claude (1974):

Life, this anti-entropy, ceaselessly roloaded with energy, is a climbing force, toward order, amidst chaos, toward light, between the fire which devours itself and the silence of the cold. Such nature does not accept abdication, nor skepticism.
______________________________________

Ernst Bloch (1964):

Hope is the opposite of security. It is the opposite of naive optimism. The category of danger is always within it.

[...]

Hope is not confidence. If it could not be disappointed, it would not be hope.

[...]

Hope is critical and can be disappointed. However, hope still nails a flag on the mast, even in decline, in that the decline is not accepted, even when the decline is still strong. Hope is not confidence.

Hope is surrounded by dangers, and it is the consciousness of danger and at the same time the determined negation of that which continually makes the opposite of the hoped-for object possible.

______________________________________

Lao Tzu (sixth century BCE):

The Way that can be told of is not an unvarying Way. The names that can be named are not unvarying names.

______________________________________

INSCRIBED ON A WALL
AT SUMMIT-TOP TEMPLE

by Li Po (701-762)

Staying the night at Summit-Top Temple,
you can reach out and touch the Stars.

I venture no more than a whisper,
afraid I'll wake the people of heaven.



David Hinton (2008):

Two defining characteristics of the [Chinese] language --empty grammar and graphic form-- are reflected in the Taoist cosmology that became the conceptual framework shared by all poets in the mature written tradition.

[...]

At the level of deep structure, words in the poetic language function in the same way as presence, the ten thousand things, and the emptiness that surrounds words functions as absence. Hence, the language doesn't simply replicate but actually participates in the deep structure of the cosmos and its dynamic processs; it is in fact a part of the process.

______________________________________

hunlun

Zhu Derun, HUNLUN TU / PRIMORDIAL CHAOS, 1349. Ink on paper, hanging scroll.

James Cahill (1997):

Hunlun refers to a great undifferentiated matter out of which the cosmos was formed, and the philosophical intent of the work is stated in Zhu's inscription which takes the form of a brief essay on this Daoist concept. Hunlun, he writes, is not square but round, not round but square. Before the appearance of heaven and earth there were no forms, and yet forms existed, but their constant expansion and contraction, or unfurling and furling, makes them beyond measuring

______________________________________

Gilles Deleuze + Félix Guattari (1991):

The other is a possible world as it exists in a face that expresses it and takes shape in a language that gives it a reality. In this sense it is a concept with three inseparable components: possible world, existing face, and real language or speech.

______________________________________

Art

______________________________________

Marshall McLuhan (1973):

[The] enormous gap between man's natural equipment and his technology has gotten bigger and bigger. I suggest that the artist's role is to fill that gap by returning and modifying the perceptual apparatus that enables us to survive in a rapidly developing environment. Art provides the training and perception, the tuning or updating of the senses during technological advance.

______________________________________

Crystal

Joseph Beuys, CRYSTAL MEASUREMENT, 1954. Watercolour, 40 x 46.8 cm.



John Dewey (1929):

When theories of values do not afford intellectual assistance in framing ideas and beliefs about values that are adequate to direct action, the gap must be filled by other means. If intelligent method is lacking, prejudice, the pressure of immediate circustance, self-interest, and class-interest, traditional customs, institutions of accidental historic origin, are not lacking, and they tend to take the place of intelligence.

______________________________________

"To know that we know what we know, and that we do not know what we do not know, that is true knowledge."

-- Kung Fu-tzu / Confucius (d. 479 BCE)

_____________________________________
_____________________________________

LITERALITY/文本化

Posted July 29, 2016

______________________________________

Frontier

" ... 'Frontier Problem'...". (Photo: M..Cynog Evans.)



"Perhaps nowadays it is our demure contemplation of the Imperfect that the West and East can meet in mutual consolation."

-- Okakura Kakuzo (1906)



Marshall McLuhan (1973):

The effects come before causes in all cases. The GROUND comes before the FIGURE in all situations.

[ ... ]

The effects come first, and the fact of the effects coming first indicates that the study of environmental action ... must begin with the effects rather than with a theoretic pursuit of causes. The effects are percepts, and the causes tend to be concepts.

______________________________________

"Reality has no limits, so anything real includes it all."

-- Ch'an monk Fenggan (fl. ninth century CE)


______________________________________

Sitwell

______________________________________

Aperceptive

" ... 'Apperceptive Reaction...". (Photo: M. Cynog Evans.)



Marshall McLuhan (1973):

Any loss of identity prompts people to seek reassurance and rediscovery of themselves by testing, and even violence. Today, the electric revolution, the wired planet, and the information environment involve everybody in everybody to the point of individual extinction.

______________________________________

Wyndham Lewis (1927):

DYNAMICAL, as the most "hurried" of men is aware, means the bustle and rush of ACTION --of big business, Armaments, Atlantic "hops," Wall Street and Mussolini. A "dynamic" personality means, in journalism, an iron-jawed oil-king in an eight-cylinder car, ripping along a new motor-road, with a hundred-million dollar deal in a new line of poison-gas bombs blazing in his super-brain, his eye aflame with the lust of battle --of those battles in which others fight and die.

______________________________________

Lao Tzu (sixth century BCE):

Tao never does;
Yet through it all things are done.

[ ... ]

The blankness of the Unnamed
Brings dispassion;
To be dispassionate is to be still.

______________________________________

Malin

Ma Lin (ca. 1180 - after 1256), QUIETLY LISTENING TO THE WIND. Hanging scroll (colour on silk), before 1246. National Palace Museum, Taipei, Taiwan.



"Where would the masses be if there were no pretext for getting jammed together and making noise?"

-- Chuang Tzu (399 - 295 BCE

______________________________________

"There are no mountains to enter outside of mind, making the unknown your hiding place."

-- Zen master Shido Bunan (1603-1676)



Peter Kropotkin (1896):

Each individual is a cosmos of organs, each organ is a cosmos of cells, each cell is a cosmos of infinitely small ones; and in this complex world, the well-being of the whole depends entirely on the sum of well-being enjoyed by each of the least microscopic particles of organized matter. A whole revolution is thus produced in the philosophy of life.

______________________________________

Onement

Barnett Newman, ONEMENT 1, 1948. Oil on canvas. 69.2 x 41.2 cm. Museum of Modern Art, New York.



Barnett Newman (1948):

Terrror can only exist if the forces of tragedy are unknown. We now know the terror to expect. Hiroshima showed it to us. We are no longer, then, in the face of a mystery.

______________________________________

A dead thing can go with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it.

-- G.K. Chesterton (1925)

______________________________________

Newspaper

MARSHALL McLUHAN, DECEMBER 1972. (Photo: Louis Forsdale.)



Marshall McLuhan (1966):

A medium creates an environment. An environment is a process; it is not a wrapper. It's an action, and it goes to work on our nervous systems and in our sensory lives, completely altering them.



Hugo Ball (1916):

How does one attain eternal bliss? By saying dada. [ ... ] Dada Dalai Lama, Buddha, Bible and Nietzsche.

______________________________________

Wyndham Lewis (1927):

Romance and reality, these are the two terms we most often employ to contrast what we regard as dream and truth respectively.

[ ... ]

There is nothing that has a monopoly of "reality," nor a monopoly of "romance." Romance, even, is certainly real, existing not in the imperfect manner of a unicorn or a golden mountain (though existing as highly mentalized fact certainly); and Reality can be, when it wishes, extremely romantic; if "romantic" you decide shall describe that which is full of the pungent illusion of life, and not consider it as the description, merely, of the unreal and impossible glamours of some super-existence.

______________________________________

MU

MU (WITHOUT)

Calligraphy (ink on paper, mounted on scroll) by Torei Enji (1721-1792).

[ Note:

A monk since the age of nine, Torei Enji became (at age twenty-three) a student of the Zen master Hakuin. Six years later, the Master awarded Torei with a certificate of enlightenment.

-- CAUSA Research Curators ]



"Not knowing how near the truth is, we seek it far away."

-- Zen master Hakuin (1686-1768)

______________________________________

Nishida Kitaro (1949):

The self exists as the absolute's own self-negation. We exists as the many through self-negation of the One. Therefore the self has a radically self-contradictory existence.

[ ... ]

Zen's principle of the absurd is not merely irrational. [ ... ] It is a form of the contradictory identity of universal and particular, of knowing and acting.

______________________________________

NOYes

Georges Ribemont-Dessaignes (1920):

Poetry: Art; not Poetry: Art. Words like a game: Art. Pure sentences: Art. One sole meaning: Art; no meaning: Art. Words drawn by lot: Art. Mona Lisa: Art. Mona Lisa with mustaches: Art. Shit: Art. Newspaper announcement: Art.

______________________________________

Ch'an master Yun-men (862 - 949 CE):

A monk asked Yun-men, "What is Buddha?"

Yun-men said: "Dried shitstick."

______________________________________

TO MAKE A DADAIST POEM

-- Tristan Tzara (1920)


Take a newspaper.
Take some scissors.
Choose from this paper an article the length you want to make your poem.
Cut out the article.
Next carefully cut out each of the words that make up this article and put
them in a bag.
Shake gently.
Next take out each cutting one after the other.
Copy conscientiously in the order in which they left the bag.
The poem will resemble you.
And there you are --an infinitely original author of charming sensibility,
even though
unappreciated by the vulgar herd.

______________________________________

Halfway

" ... 'Halfway'...". (Photo: M. Cynog Evans.)



HANG FEI TZU book (early third century):

Principles [Li] are the markings [Wen] of completed things.

Tao is that whereby all things become complete. Therefore it is said that Tao is what gives principles. When things have their principles, the one (thing) cannot be the other. [...] Tao brings the principle of all things into single agreement. Therefore, it can be both one thing and another, and is not in one thing only.

______________________________________

Nishida Kitaro (1949):

The principle of self-negation requires an articulation of the absolutely contradictory identity of that which forms itself expressively, that which is infinitely creative, and that which is created and creates, which is made and makes. The relation between creative and created is then the dynamic interface between that which is expressive [creative] and that which is expressed and which responds expressively [the created].

______________________________________

Marshall McLuhan (1977):

Everybody tends to merge his identity with other people at the speed of light. It's called being mass man.



Chuang Tzu (fourth century BCE):

The Tao has reality and evidence, but no action and no form. It may be transmitted but cannot be received. It may be attained but cannot be seen. It exists by and through itself.

Aldous Huxley (1949):

With the next generation I believe that the world's rulers will discover that infant conditioning and narco-hynosis are more efficient, as instruments of government, than clubs and prisons, and that the lust for power can be just as completely satisfied by suggesting people into a loving servitude as by flogging and kicking them into obedience. [...] Meanwhile, of course, there may be a large scale biological and atomic war --in which case we shall have nightmares of other and scarcely imaginable kinds.



Chuang Tzu (fourth century BCE):

If there is no other, there will be no I. If there is no I, there will be none to make distinctions.



Peter Kropotkin (1910):

When men are reasonable enough to follow their instincts, they will unite across the frontiers and constitute the Cosmos.

______________________________________

ANY FACE TO SAVE?

M. K. Morton

Atheists and agnostics exclude so much
of existence as to be unworthy of serious
attention. -- Maurice Bowra

A gestalt escaping a prism,
Its coincidence destiny's understudy? Can that frisky anomaly
Be a sign there' s more than chance to life's lottery?
Faced with this question, of getting its synapses' boots muddy

Virginally apprehensive and lest its death-mask countenance turn ruddy
Terrified, science (amazingly spry even trim
Despite its two left feet giving out a puritanical dosey-doe rhythm)
Stands exposed a lab-bright, old fuddy-duddy.

As back-up, its snooty, dismissive stand-in for buddy --
Lonely, anaemic scepticism --
Overpersuades itself that getting down cold
The odds in the scheme of things

Is what familiarity
With the purported latest spiel of nature's laws brings.
This anti-life force, putting the universe on black-holed,
Aside flicks

The inexplicable. Its take on phenomena never approaches flattery.
Believes the way it can please
Is by reducing the dance of dialects to fossilese.
Preening itself as master of the syllogistic quick fix,

Insectoid-persistent although so tottery,
Probably born complacent, the ultimate in snobbery.
(Widest cast of net narcissistic
Yet still for all that simplistic.)

Constituted by what it debunks, this sidekick's
Less clean than it believes, more blottery.
On any hint spots of time might be open to jamboree,
its reproving eye casts less sombreroly

Than disgusted and sombrely.
Claiming no thing is real unless it is susceptible of repetitions,
Making an art form out of cosmic inhibitions,
These white-coated technicians and theoreticians

Leave us nothing but a universe of definitions.
Yet, needing understand not just physics but existence itself,
Adip the shifting gradients of reality's continental shelf
We quest for the flukes, sports and one-offs life ignitions.

______________________________________
______________________________________

FROM NOW ON/由今而後

Posted July 7, 2016

______________________________________

Orwell

______________________________________

"Nature is not human-hearted."

-- Lao Tzu (sixth century BCE)


______________________________________

Wyndham Lewis (1927):

Everyone, I am pursuaded, must today fit themselves for thinking more clearly about the problems of everyday life, by accustoming themselves to think about the abstract things existing, more distinctly than ever before, behind such problems. Where everything is in question, and where all traditional values are repudiated, the everyday problems have become, necessarily, identical with the abstractions from which all concrete things in the first place came. And the everyday life is too much affected by the speculative activities that are renewing and transvaluing our world, for it to be able to survive ignorance of those speculations.

______________________________________

Chuang Tzu (399 - 295 BCE):

Those who are caught in the machinery of power take no joy except in activity and change --the whirring of the machine. Whenever an occasion for action presents itself, they are compelled to act; they cannot help themselves. They are inexorably moved, like the machine of which they are a part. [...] Never in a whole lifetime do they recover their right mind. [...] What a pity!

______________________________________

Marshall McLuhan (1967):

In the electric age, there is no more nature. The whole planet becomes programmed like a teaching machine. The whole human environment is now a teaching machine.

______________________________________

Ch'an master Shao Yung (1011 - 1077):

Forms have no definite activity. They only change this activity. Activity has no definite form. It only transforms this form. Form and activity intermingle, and the TAO of humans and things is thereby completed.

______________________________________

Bal Dada

Tristan Tzara, GRAND BAL DADA [poster], Geneva, 1920.



"Those who are with us preserve their freedom."

-- Tristan Tzara (1918)

______________________________________

"It is easy to keep things at a distance; it is hard to be naturally beyond them."

-- Zen master Shido Bunan (1603 - 1676)

______________________________________

Cut

Hannah Höch, CUT WITH THE DADA KITCHEN KNIFE THROUGH THE LAST WEIMAR BEER-BELLY CULTURAL EPOCH IN GERMANY, 1919. Collage (posted papers). Nationalgalerie, Staatiche Museen zu Berlin.



"Alienation was very much in the air ... in Berlin between 1917 and 1922. We were living in a world that nobody with any sensitivity would accept or approve."

-- Hannah Höch (1959)

_____________________________________

Hanagami

Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1797 - 1861), THE SAMURAI Hangami Danjo-no-jo Arakage KILLING A GIANT SALAMANDER IN THE TANTAGAWA RIVER IN THE PROVINCE OF IZUMO. Edo Period, woodblock print.



Zen master Bankei (1622 - 1693);

When the Master was at the KORINJI [a Rinzai Zen Buddhist monastery], a samurai came to see him. Holding up his fan, the samurai said: "When it appears in the realm of being, this object is called a fan; yet originally it's non-existent. Do you know what sort of thing it is at the moment it descends from Heaven?"

The master said, "I know."
The samurai asked, "What do you know?" The Master told him, "I know that I don't know." The samurai sighed admiringly, and declared: "The Great Sage [Confucius] himself said that 'knowledge is to say you do not know a thing when you do not know it.'"

The Master shook his head and said: "That's not it at all."

______________________________________

Beuys1

Joseph Beuys, RHEIN WATER POLLUTED [RHINE WATER POLLUTED]. H2O + 10,000 Poisons, 1981.



"To provoke means to evoke something."

-- Joseph Beuys (1969)

______________________________________

Ford

______________________________________

Shao Yung (1011 - 1077):

The branches and trunk of a tree are what earth and stone have completed. Therefore they do not change. The leaves and blossoms are what water and fire have completed. Therefore they change.

______________________________________

Human beings

______________________________________

"The present has become so rich and complex and terrifying that people do all they can to hide from it."

-- Marshall McLuhan (1967)


______________________________________

Thinking

" ... 'Thinking'...". (Photo: M. Cynog Evans.)



Zen master Bankei (1622-1693):

A layman asked: "I've heard that your Reverence is able to see into people's minds. Right at this moment, what am I thinking?"

The Master said, "You're thinking precisely THAT."

______________________________________

Beuys3

Joseph Beuys, 7000 OAKS - CITY FORESTATION INSTEAD OF CITY ADMINISTRATION, Kassel, Germany, 1982- 1987. (Photo: Matte Ruhnke, 1982.)



Joseph Beuys (1982):

I think the tree is an element of regeneration which in itself is a concept of time. [...] The tree planting enterprise provides a very simple but radical possibility ... when we start with the 7000 oaks.



[ Note:

Each tree has an "adjunct" basalt stone at its foot. Of the accompaying component, Beuys observes: "This stone can be transformed only by taking from it, when a piece splinters off, say, never by growing."

-- CAUSA Research Curators ]

 

______________________________________

"We want a new race of philosophers, INSTEAD of 'hurried men,' speed-cranks, simpletons, or robots."

-- Wyndham Lewis (1927)

______________________________________
______________________________________

FROM NOW ON/由今而後

Posted June 2, 2016

______________________________________

"The whole culture in action simultaneously equals war."

-- Marshall McLuhan (1967)

______________________________________

"Getting robots to learn is one of the most challenging things but it is fundamental because it will make them more intelligent."

-- Fumiya Iida, Machine Intelligence Laboratory, University of Cambridge (2016)



"A postulate that is not speculative --that is to say, a theory that does not suggest new ways of looking at the Universe --is unlikely to be an important contribution to the development of science."

-- Michael Ovenden (1961)

______________________________________

"In a realm where every straight is doubled by a crooked, and every good by an ill, surely mankind has gone long enough astray?"

-- Lao Tzu (sixth century BCE)

______________________________________

Lewis

______________________________________

Merzbau

Kurt Schwitters, THE HANNOVER MERZBAU (Main Room), 1933. Architectural installation at artist's residence/studio (from about 1923 until 1937).



Isabelle Erwig (2005):

Armed with a pair of scissors and a homemade pot of glue, Schwitters cut the syllable 'merz' from an ad for the Komerz- und Privatbank, and integrated it into a composition that mixed painting and various found objects. [...] Later on, Schwitters expanded the 'Merz' denomination to all his collages and to his other creations and activities, to the point of calling himself 'Merz'.



"Art as we would have it is neither proletarian nor bourgeois: the forces it develops are strong enough to influence the whole of civilization, rather than let themselves be influenced by social conditions."

-- Kurt Schwitters (1923)

______________________________________

"External exploration has ended, and the future of exploration is
necessarily internal, whether in medicine or entertainment."

-- Marshall McLuhan (1967)


______________________________________

Jan4

On Kawara, DATE PAINTING --from the series TODAY (1966-2013). Liquitex on canvas.



"It is easy to keep things at a distance; it is hard to be naturally beyond them."

-- Shido Bunan [or Munan] (1603 - 1676)



[ Note:

This image and its text accompaniment augment a multi-site curatorial initiative, VAST OCEAN / VAST HEAVEN: NITOBE MEMORIAL GARDEN: CONCEPTS AND PROSPECTS, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, December 2015 - 2016.

-- CAUSA Research Curators ]

______________________________________

SMALL CHINESE POEM

by Kurt Schwitters (1937)


I stood before my iron front door.
My friend drove by on a dirigible bicycle.
Then my thoughts remembered her.

______________________________________

SELF-PORTRAIT IN PRAISE

by Wang An-shih (1021 - 1086)


Things aren't other than they are.
I am today whoever I was long ago,

and if I can be described, it's as this
perfect likeness of all these things.
______________________________________

Nancy

Gary Lee-Nova, UNTITLED, May 2016.



Zen master Bankei (1622 - 1693):

We retain the things we saw and heard in the past, and when these come up, they appear as traces and are reflected. Originally, thoughts have no real substance. So if they're reflected, just let them be reflected; if they arise, just let them arise; if they stop, just let them stop. As long as you're not ATTACHING to these reflected traces, delusions will not be produced.

______________________________________

"Everything great must be dealt with while it is still small."

-- Lao Tzu (sixth century BCE)

______________________________________

Marshall McLuhan (1967):

I'm very indebted to Steve Allen [1921-2000] for an observation he made a long time ago that the funnyman is a man with a grievance. I tried that one backwards and said, "All right, then, where there are grievances, there should be lots of jokes." Mostly it proves that way. [...] As a result of paying attention to grievances, I've discovered quite a batch of jokes, and I pay special attention to media jokes like the one about the teacher speaking to a class. "Now, class, what does this century owe most to Thomas Edison? " A hand went up and the student said, "Teacher, if it weren't for Thomas Edison, we would be watching TV by candlelight."

[...]

I've recalled another communication story about the two Navajo Indians who were having a little chat across an Arizona valley by smoke signal. Midway through their chat the AEC [Atomic Energy Commission] released an atomic charge, and when the big mushroom cloud cleared away, one of the Indians sent up a little smoke signal to the effect, "Gee, I wish I'd said that."

[...]

Good old Steve Allen and his observation. If jokes arise from grievances and irritation, then perhaps they serve as a release or a catharsis of the same.

______________________________________

Zen master Dogen (1200 - 1253):


In the third month of spring
the fruit is full on the enlightenment tree;
One night the flower blooms
and the whole world is fragrant.

______________________________________

IAIN BAXTER& (2016):

In 1969 [at SFU ... a public research university in British Columbia] I hosted a meeting of the International Association of Art Critics.... At the meeting I carried out a performance with them. I had them all stand up, hold their arms apart, and then I told them to press their hands together, and after a few seconds of them doing this I said, "OK, now release your hands". I then thanked them for helping me create a new performing work called PRESS RELEASE.



[ Note:

From 1966 to 1971, IAIN BAXTER& (formerly Iain Baxter/N.E..Thing Co.) functioned as Resident in Visual Arts, Centre for Communications and the Arts, Simon Fraser University. During that period, the artist began to develop his work as a socially engaged field of research --concisely defined (by him) as VSI / VISUAL SENSITIVITY INFORMATION.

-- CAUSA Research Curators ]

______________________________________

Zen master Shido Bunan [or Munan] (1603 - 1676):


The moon's the same old moon,
The flowers are exactly as they were,
Yet I've become the thingness
Of all the things I see.

______________________________________

Teaching

" ... TEACHING MACHINE...". (Photo: M. Cynog Evans.)

[ Note:

The New Westminster 'FRIENDSHIP GARDEN' (designed by the Vancouver Japanese Gardeners Association) has been maintained since 1965 --in honor of 'SISTER CITY' Moriguchi, Japan.

Founding members of the Vancouver Japanese Gardeners Association were trained by Professor K. Mori (Chiba University) --the landscape architect responsible for designing Nitobe Memorial Garden (as realized at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, in 1960).

-- CAUSA Research Curators ]

______________________________________

"Death is a tough habit to break."

-- Don DeLillo (2016)

______________________________________

Lao Tzu (sixth century BCE):

See, all things howsoever they flourish
Return to the root from which they grow.
______________________________________

Zen master Shido Bunan [or Munan] (1603 - 1676):

When living
Be a dead man,
Be thoroughly dead --
And behave as you like,
And all's well.

______________________________________

Marshall McLuhan (1967):


We do, after all, have a rarher deep desire to work out a livable equilibrium for the human community. We do go to so much trouble to create upsets and disequilibrium.

_____________________________________
_____________________________________

FROM NOW ON/由今而後

Posted May 6, 2016

______________________________________

Awareness

______________________________________

"Rely not on your narrow views to abuse the infinite."

-- Ch'an master Yung-chia Hsuan-chueh (665 - 713)

______________________________________

Cedars

" ... 'Cedars of Lebanon (Gone)...". (Photo: M. Cynog Evans.)

[ Note:

A layer of sawdust marks (temporarily) the site where two trees, selected by architect Francis Rattenbury as enduring accompaniments to the design scheme of a newly-completed British Columbia Courthouse (in 1906 --nineteen years after the introduction of Canadian Pacific Railway 'Trans-Pacific' steamship services from Vancouver to China, Japan, and India) were cut down, in the 'Terminal City' (on 18 April 2016).

The tree-felling was completed with local government consent (in a region where mature, thriving trees are uniformly protected). The aesthetic/cultural/social significance of that 'violent' initiative functions as a 'revelation' concerning a rapidly-advancing (globally-conditioned) WORLD OF DISCONTINUITY.

-- CAUSA Research Curators ]



"The peculiar dimension of the mass audience is that it's all-at-once."

-- Marshall McLuhan (1966)

______________________________________

Fast

" ... 'Fast-Moving'...". (Photo: M. Cynog Evans.)



"The struggle between 'for' and 'against' is the mind's worst disease."

-- Excerpt from FAITH IN MIND, (traditionally attributed to the Third Ch'an Patriarch, Jianzhi Sengcan, 606 CE). The poem is now presumed to have been writen by a later (anonymous) Ch'an/Zen master.

[ Note:

This image and its accompanying augment a multi-site exhibition, VAST OCEAN / VAST HEAVEN: NITOBE MEMORIAL GARDEN: CONCEPTS AND PROSPECTS, initiated at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver (December 2015 - January 2016).

-- CAUSA Research Curators ]

______________________________________

"Haste is a variety of waste."

-- Kurt Schwitters (1919)

______________________________________

Marshall McLuhan (1974):

At the present time, one of the effects that is heaped up a mile high for which no cause has yet appeared, but a cause will shortly appear, is anti-gravity. [...] The effects are here. The causes will be here shortly.

______________________________________

Refocus

" ... 'Re-focus'...". (Photo: M. Cynog Evans.)

[ Note:

Built to commemorate the JAPAN WORLD EXPOSITION (1970), the NIKKEI PLACE GARDEN (Burnaby, British Columbia) was designed by the VANCOUVER JAPANESE GARDENERS ASSOCIATION. The VJGA was organized (initially) to facilitate and conserve practical apprenticeship experience that had been provided to the Japanese-Canadian community in Greater Vancouver --both during and immediately after the realization of landacape architect Kannosuke Mori's design plan for the UBC Nitobe Memorial Garden.

-- CAUSA Research Curators ]

______________________________________

Saisho (circa 1490):

Earth, mountains, rivers --hidden in this nothingness.
In this nothingness --earth, mountains, rivers, revealed.
Spring flowers, winter snows:
There's no being or non-being, nor denial itself.

______________________________________

"Pattern recognition in the midst of huge, overwhelming, destructive force is the way out of the maelstrom."

-- Marshall McLuhan (1979)

_____________________________________
_____________________________________

FROM NOW ON/由今而後

Posted April 19, 2016

______________________________________

Xiang Xiu (c. 223 - c. 275):

Where there is life, there are feelings. Feelings are part of nature. To cut them off and put them outside means to become just like an inanimate object. What good, then, is it to be alive at all?

______________________________________

Marshall McLuhan (1964):

Today, at the end of the neolithic age, we have the Bomb as environmrnt. The Bomb is not a gimmick or a gadget. It is not something that has been inserted in the military establishment any more than automation is something that is now being inserted into the industrial establishment. The Bomb, like automation, is a new environment consisting of a network of information and feedback loops. In moving from the mechanical to the electronic age, we move from the world of the wheel to the world of the circuit.

______________________________________

Chakra

CHAKRA (WHEEL). Japan, early fourteenth century (Kamakura period). Gilt bronze, diam. 13 cm (5-1/8 in.).



In Buddhist texts and ritual, the phrase "Turning of the Wheel of the Law" refers to the act of teaching by the Buddha Shakyamuni, and in India the wheel was used in early Buddhist imagery to represent the historical Buddha himself. [...] Thus chakras were believed to be endowed with the power to overcome illusion. [...]

The chakra was introduced from China to Japan as an important ritual object during the earliest period in the history of Japanese Esoteric Buddhism.

-- Miyeko Murae (Special Consultant for Asian Art, The Metrololitan Museum of Art)



Ch'an master Han Shan (1546 - 1623):

As the law of causality can neither err nor decay, it is called 'control'. Since all the saintly and the worldly arise from it, it is called a 'door'. To 'stream out' of it is to come from it.

______________________________________

The entire world is not unchangeable, is not immovable. It flows. Flowing, is like Spring. Spring with all its numerous aspects is called flowing. When Spring flows, there is nothing outside of Spring.

-- Ch'an / Zen master Dogen (1240)

______________________________________

Elevation

" ... 'Elevation and Detachment'...". (Photo: M. Cynog Evans.)

[ Note:

This CAUSA ARCHIVES document is linked to an ongoing curatorial research project, VAST HEAVEN / VAST OCEAN: NITOBE MEMORIAL GARDEN: CONCEPTS AND PROSPECTS (a multi-site exhibition at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, December 2015 - January 2016).

-- CAUSA Resesrch Curators ]

______________________________________

"If you wish to strive for peace of soul and pleasure, then believe; if you wish to be a devotee of truth, then inquire."

-- Friedrich Nietzche (1865)

______________________________________

Onko

Jiun Onko (1718 - 1804), ENSO. Hanging scroll, ink on paper.

Inscription (top):

"How many people can pass through?"



"Circles are the great void --there is nothing lacking and no excess."

-- Ch'an / Zen chronicle JINGDE RECORD OF THE TRANSMISSION OF THE LAMP (1004 CE)

______________________________________

D. H. Lawrence (1931):

We have lost the cosmos. The sun strengthens us no more, neither does the moon. In mystic language, the moon is black to us, and the sun is as sackcloth.

_____________________________________

Nolde

Emile Nolde, WANDERING AMONG THE STARS, undated (c. 1945). Nolde Foundation, Serbüll, Germany.

[Note:

Nazi officials in Germany accused Nolde of producing 'degenerate art' --and in 1941 he was placed under police surveillance. Despite being officially forbidden to fuction as an artist, he continued his research through inconspicuosly-sized watercolours (in lieu of large-format paintings).



Chan master Han Shan Te-ching (1546 - 1623):

"As the light of the self-nature shines, it instantly eradicates ignorance; hence 'permanent eradication'."

______________________________________


"Improvements in communication ... make for increased difficulties of understanding."

-- Harold Innis (1951)

______________________________________

Probe

PROBE, Autumn 2009. (Photo: Gary Lee-Nova.)

[ Note:

This 'functional' image enlarges the CAUSA Curatorial Archive by way of a 'timely' (self-defining) COUNTER-ENVIRONMENT (located beyond the Nitobe Memorial Garden gate).

Here (there) a 'constellation' of formal-formless (concentric-fugitive) mind-ground (subject-object) relations can be localized (realized) by alert, conscientious observers.

-- CAUSA Research Curators ]

______________________________________

Han Shan (fl. 750 - 800?):

I gaze on myselt in the stream's emerald flow
or sit on a boulder by a cliff,
My mind a lonely cloud leans on nothing
and needs nothing from the world and its endless events

[Note:

Included in the "saintly persons of unofficial status" category [SANSHENG] of the Ch'an Buddhist hagioghraphy, this poet is considered to have been a manifestation of Manjushri, the bodhisattva associated with transcendent wisdom.

-- CAUSA Research Curators ]

______________________________________

George Santayana (1896):

The surprised enlargement of vision, the sudden escape from our ordinary interests and the identification of ourselves with something permanent and superhuman, something much more abstract and inalienable than our changing personality, all this carries us away from the blurred objects before us, and raises us into a sort of ecstacy.

______________________________________

A mass

______________________________________

Ch'an / Zen master Dogen (1200 - 1253):

Late in autumn the days are cool and clear;
In the dead of night crickets are chirping
Under the crescent moon,
The cacophony of sound echoing my mixed emotions;
Here I sit, gazing up
At the Big Dipper
Slipping off to the east,
As daylight is about to break.

______________________________________

Marshall McLuhan (1965):

If the natural play of circuitry is depth and ever-increasing involvement and responsibility, it would seem that it does demand a great increase of human autonomy and human
awareness. I think if there is a logic, and a hopeful one that appears in this, it is the dispelling of all unconscious aspects of our lives altogether; that in order to live with ourselves in such depth, in such instant-feedback situations, we have to understand everything so that our easygoing lolling about in the lap of the unconscious cannot endure, that we will have to take over the total human environment as an artifact.

[...]

If we have used the arts at their very best as a means of heightening our awarenesss of the otherwise unconscious environment, then turning a whole skill to the making of the environment itself into a work of art, namely, of transcendent awareness, would seem to be the logic of this form. And the programming of environments as artifacts, as works of art, is something that people have been moving towards on many hands. Even town planners are a familiar example of this attempt to faahion the total environment as if it were artifact instead of just introducing artifacts into the environment. I think up until now mankind has been content to introduce artifacts into environments that are otherwise beyond conrol, to use the arts as control. The possibility of using the total environment as a work of art, as an artifact, is a quite startling and perhaps exhilarating image but it aeems to be forced upon us. The need to become completely autonomous and aware of all the consequences of everything we're doing before the consequences occur is where we're heading.

______________________________________
______________________________________

FROM NOW ON/由今而後

Posted April 4, 2016

______________________________________

Marshall McLuhan (1959):

As we move into the world of the simultaneous out of the era of mechanism and the lineal succession types of analysis, we not only move into the world of the artist, but we see the disappearance of the old oppositions between art and nature, business and culture, school and society. It really does not matter to which phase of our culture we turn. The habit of simultaneous vision of all phases of process is what characterizes the articulate awareness in the field.

______________________________________

Sooner

" ... 'Sooner / Later'...." (Photo: M. Cynog Evans.)

[ Note:

This document augments a multi-site exhibition, VAST OCEAN / VAST HEAVEN: NITOBE MEMORIAL GARDEN: CONCEPTS AND PROSPECTS, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, December 2015 - January 2016.

-- CAUSA Research Curators ]

______________________________________

Fu Ta-shih (c. 490 - c. 560):

There is a thing preceding heaven and earth,
It has no form and is in essence still and void.
It can master all things in the world
(And) follows not the four changing seasons.

[ Note:

Fu Ta-shih is acknowledged as an incarnation of the bodhisattva Maitreya (Miroku Bosatsu) --a prophetic 'Buddha of the Future' (and Japanese patron deity of libraries).

-- CAUSA Research Curators ]

______________________________________


"A centre can place and four are no more and two and two are not middle."

-- Gertrude Stein (1914)

______________________________________

Zhi Dun (314 - 366):

A human lifetime, one generarion
Is but a dewdrop falling.
My self is not mine, not me,
And yet --who fashioned me?

______________________________________

Sun Simiao (581 - 682):

Going beyond all in one's body, one whirls out of normal relations. In creative change, in numinous pervasion, all beings are reached. Here the myriad paths come to an end. This is called the final ultimate.

______________________________________

Stars

" ... 'Stars Rain Sun Moon' ...". (Photo: M. Cynog Evans.)

[ Note:

This document augments a multi-site exhibition, VAST OCEAN / VAST HEAVEN: NITOBE MEMORIAL GARDEN: CONCEPTS AND PROSPECTS, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, December 2015 - January 2016.

-- CAUSA Research Curators ]

______________________________________

Okakura Kakuzo (1906):

The Tao is in the Passage rather than the Path. It is the spirit of Cosmic Change --the eternal growth which returns upon itself to produce new forms. It recoils upon itself like the dragon, the beloved symbol of the Taoists. It folds and unfolds as do the clouds. The Tao might be spoken of as the Great Transition. Subjectively, it is the Mood of the Universe. Its Absolute is the Relative.

______________________________________

Northead

______________________________________


"If the true immutable is sought
One finds it above the motion."

-- Chan master Yongjia Xuanjue (665 - 713):

______________________________________

Jean Gebser (1949):

It is our task to presentiate the past in ourselves, not to lose the present to the transient power of the past. This we can achieve by recognizing the balancing power of the latent "future" with its character of the present, which is to say, its potentiality for consciousness.

______________________________________

"If you put your conditioned intellect to rest for a long time, suddenly it will be like the falling out of a bucket --then you will eventually be happy and at peace."

-- Chan monk Yuanwu Keqin (1063 - 1135)

______________________________________

Maurice Merleau-Ponty (1960):

My perceived world and the half-disclosed things before me have in their thickness what it takes to supply more than one sensible subject with "states of consciousness"; they have the right to many other witnesses besides me. When a comportment is sketched out in this world which already goes beyond me, this is only one more dimension in primordial being, which comprises them all.

______________________________________

Lions

"The Lions - April 1st, 2016 - 7:00AM, Vancouver, BC." (Photo: Gary Lee-Nova.)

______________________________________

Absolute

Jiun Onko (1718 - 1804), ABSOLUTE REALITY. Hanging scroll, ink on paper.

[ Note:

Jiun Sonja (the Venerable Jiun) was the founder of the Shôhôritsu school of Shingon Buddhism. His posthumous name was Onkô.

The two characters contained by this scroll, SHIN and NYO, combine as translation of the Sanskrit word TATHATÂ...the 'esssence' of all creation...the 'unchanging' truth...the 'reality' of all that is.

-- CAUSA Research Curators ]



Shigemi Komatsu (1989):

Jiun was not attached to any particular religious doctrine.... His dream was to reform Buddhism in contemporary Japan and return to the conditions that prevailed in Buddha Shâkyamuni's lifetime. After attaining enlightenment, therefore, he discarded the teachings of the Japanese priests and even the treatises and teachings of the Chinese monks of the Sui and Tang dynasties. He tried to rediscover Buddha's teaching through his own words, the sûtras. It was his whole endeavor to return to the primary truth. In conequence his Sanskrit studies were far in advance of anything known at the time. He wrote more than a hundred books.

______________________________________

Marshall McLuhan (1966):

Give any form at all a new environment and it acquires art status. In other words, it becomes visible because that is the peculiar character of art. It creates attention; it creates perception. And the role of the artist as a creator of perceptual models and perceptual means is perhaps misunderstood by those who think of art as primarily a blood bank of stored human values. In our time there are a great many unhappy people who see the great art treasures of the past being polluted by a corrupt new vulgar environment. It never occurs to them that perhaps their job is the penetration and exploration of these new environments, and that the mere accomodation of past human experience in blood banks called art does not really contribute very much toward the perception of our current environment.

______________________________________
______________________________________

FROM NOW ON/由今而後

Posted March 22, 2016

______________________________________

Plight

______________________________________

"If you make inquiries by manipulating different information, then even unknown details will become apparent."

-- Han Fei Tzu (d. 233 BCE)

______________________________________

"We have to take reality as many, and to take it as one, and to avoid contradiction."

-- F. H. Bradley (1893)

______________________________________

LUM

Ken Lum, VANCOUVER ESPECIALLY (A VANCOUVER SPECIAL SCALED TO ITS PROPERTY VALUE IN 1973, THEN INCREASED BY 8 FOLD), February 21, 2015 - Autumn 2016. [ Vancouver Chinatown.]



Project Description, 221A, Semi-Publc Program (271 Union Street, Vancouver):

The installation is a 1:3 scale replica of a mass-produced Vancouver architectural style of homes known as the "Vancouver Special", popularized from 1965 to 1985 with an estimated 10,000 homes built. The scale of the artwork is determined by the $45,000 artwork production budget, comparable to the value of a Vancouver Special in the 1970s.

[ ... ]

Vancouver is consistently listed as one of the most livable places in the world and one of the most unaffordable places in the world --a perverse marker of success for investors who make money from the struggles of affordability.



Ken Lum (2011):

The Real that exists outside what we can express in language, I'm interested in that limit: When does art become non-art?

[ ... ]

The Real for me comes into play because I am not satisfied with much art.

[ ... ]

Generally speaking, when art starts shrinking down into the art system it becomes less interesting.

______________________________________

LUM2



Ken Lum (2011):

As an artist you always have to have a program. I don't mean program in the sense of Page 1, Page 2, the Preamble, Foreward.

[ ... ]

I believe that when you are making art you are making a kind of theory about how you see life, and about how art can theorize life.



(Photos: M Cynog Evans)

______________________________________

"In the electric age the alteration of human identity by new service environments of information have left whole populations without personal or community values to a degree that far exceeds the effects of food and fuel and energy shortages."

-- Marshall McLuhan (1979)

______________________________________

Wallace Stevens (1951):

The imagination is the liberty of the mind. The romantic is a failure to make use of that liberty. It is to the imagination what sentimentality is to feeling. It is a failure of the imagination precisely as sentimentality is a failure of feeling. The imagination is the only genius. It is intrepid and eager and the extreme of its achievement lies in abstraction.

______________________________________

Alfred North Whitehead (1929):

The greater part of morality hinges on the determination of relevance in the future. The relevant future consists of those elements in the anticipated future which are felt with effective intensity by the present subject by reason of the real potentiality for them to be derived from itself.

______________________________________

Marshall McLuhan (1973):

The job of the artist is dislocation of sensibility to prevent us from becoming adjusted to total environments.

[ ... ]

The job of the artist is to upset all the senses, and thus provide new vision and new powers of adjusting to and relating to new situations.

________________________________________

Ch'an/Zen master Dogen (1200 - 1253):

Just at the moment
Ear and sound
Do not interfere--
There is no voice;
There is no speaker.
________________________________________

"Linked rings can be separated."

-- Hui Shi (380 - 305 BCE)

________________________________________

Marshall McLuhan (1967):

Art makes the corporate and communal accessible to the individual, whose task it is to assimilate the tradition, to modify it in relation to the new situations that are continuously forming. The artist does this by creating counter-environments as mirrors of the present.

_________________________________________

Mass M

" ...'Mass Movement'...". (Photo: M. Cynog Evans.)



"Chinatown [Vancouver] is being treated as a commodity, not community.

[ ... ]

We can't wish for the Chinatown of 1886 ... or even the 1960s ... but different doesn't mean you change the whole character."

-- Joe Y. Wai, co-architect, Dr. Sun-Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden.

________________________________________

Feeling, thought and volition (any groups under which we class psychological phenomena) are all the material of existence, and there is no other material, actual or even possible.

-- F. H. Bradley (1893)
_________________________________________

The prologues are over. It is a question, now,
Of final belief. So, say that final belief
Must be a fiction. It is time to choose.

-- Wallace Stevens (1942)

_________________________________________

Marshall McLuhan (1979):

The main aspect of our simultaneous-instantaneous time is essentislly acoustic, not visual, since no point-of-view is possible to the ear.

To the world of the simultaneous and the instantaneous there is no sequence. There is no logic. There is only the simultaneous-instantaneous burst breakthrough.

_________________________________________

Close your mouth,
block off your senses,
blunt your sharpness,
untie your knots,
soften your glare,
settle your dust.
This is the primal identity.

-- Lao Tzu (1979)

_________________________________________

_________________________________________

BETWIXT / BETWEEN/不即不離 /どっちつかずの間

Posted March 12, 2016

________________________________________

"I think electric technology is Orientalizing the entire Western World even while we are trying to westernize the Orient by old technology."

-- Marshall McLuhan (1967)

________________________________________

Zhuangzi (c. 360 - c. 280 BCE):

Your life has limit, but knowledge has none. If you use what is limited to pursue what has no limit, you will be in danger. If you understand this and still strive for knowledge, you will be in danger for certain.

________________________________________

Absoluteness

Kojo Sakamoto [Kiyoshi Kojin Seicho Temple, Takarazuka, Japan], SYMBOL OF ABSOLUTENESS OF TRUTH, ink on paper, 1966.



"My sole desire is to nurture through art the religious concepts in the minds of all people of the world, and so to contribute to world peace and international good will."

-- Kojo Sakamoto (1960)

[ Note:

This image/text assemblage augments a multi-site exhibition, VAST OCEAN / VAST HEAVEN: NITOBE MEMORIAL GARDEN, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, December 2015 - January 2016.

-- CAUSA Research Curators ]

________________________________________

"If you stop and confine yourself to one place, you will develop prejudices."

-- Guo Xiang (d. 312 CE)

________________________________________

Enstasis

" ... 'Enstasis'...". (Photo: M. Cynog Evans.)

________________________________________

"The important thing is not to be able to read, but to understand what one reads. Outside of that, reading has no meaning.

-- Jacques Ellul (1962)

________________________________________

"If you turn your light inwardly you will find what is esoteric within you."

-- Huineng, sixth and last patriarch of Ch'an Buddhism (638-713)

________________________________________

Rootable

" ... 'Rootability'...". (Photo: M. Cynog Evans.)

________________________________________

"The language and the landscape are the same."

-- Conrad Aiken (1955)

________________________________________

"Modernity --it is the transitory, the fugitive, the contingent: half of art, the other half of which is the eternal, the unchanging."

-- Charles Baudelaire (1863)

________________________________________

Fabro

Luciano Fabro, PAVIMENTO (TAUTOLOGIA) / FLOOR TAUTOLOGY, 1967. Installation (dimensions variable).

[ Note:

This continuously renwable sculpture entails the 'exhibition' of a rectilinear field of single-sheet-thickness newspaper pages. An 'assembly' of such sheets (intermittently replenished) functions to conceal a portion of floor that will have been recently washed and polished. In accordance with Fabro's modest specifications, the perpetual 'maintenance' of an ephemeral 'presence' locates a site of motionless motion --thus posing the paradox of 'unchanging' variation.

-- CAUSA Resrarch Curators ]

________________________________________

Sense is both the expressible or the expressed of the proposition, and the attribute of the state of affairs. It turns one side toward things, and another side toward propositions. But it cannot be confused with the proposition which expressed it any more than with the state of affairs or the quality which the proposition denotes. It is exactly the boundary between propositions and things.

-- Gilles Deleuze (1981)

________________________________________

Gertrude Stein (1914):

If comparing a piece that is a size that is recognised as not a size but a piece, comparing a piece with what is not recognised but what is used as it is held by holding, comparing these two comes to be repeated. Suppose they are put together, suppose that there is an interruption, supposing that beginning again they are not changed as to position, suppose all this and suppose that any five two of whom are not separating suppose that the five are not consumed. Is there an exchange, is there a resemblance to the sky which is admitted to be there and the stars which can be seen. Is there. That was a question.

________________________________________

Shide

SHIH-TE, hanging scroll traditionally attributed to Yen Hui (second half of the thirteenth century CE). Tokyo National Museum. (Registered Important Cultural Properties.)

[ Note:

A poet and lay Buddhist monk (early eighth century CE), Shih-te worked in the kitchen at Kuo-ch'ing Temple (Mount T'iant'ai), China.

-- CAUSA Research Curators ]



Zen master Sokei-an Shigetsu Sasaki (1938):

The cook is a high position in the temple. The highest job is cleaning the bathroom! The next is cleaning the food. The lowest is keeping the library.

________________________________________

Concentric

" ... 'Concentric Absolute'...". (Photo: M. Cynog Evans.)

________________________________________

"It is possible that to seem--it is to be,
As the sun is something seeming and it is."

-- Wallace Stevens (1945)

________________________________________

"What is the look on your face before you were born?"

-- Huineng, sixth and last Patriarch of Ch'an (638-713)

________________________________________

William James (1842-1910):

The deeper features of reality are found only in perceptual experience. Here alone do we acquaint ourselves with continuity, or the immersion of one thing in another, here alone with self, with substance, with qualities, with activity in its various modes, with time, with cause, with change, with novelty, with tendency, and with freedom.

[ Note:

This text is excerpted from a collection of James' posthumously published philosophical writings (1911).

-- CAUSA Research Curators ]

________________________________________

________________________________________

BETWIXT / BETWEEN/不即不離 /どっちつかずの間

Posted February 10, 2016

________________________________________

Marshall McLuhan (1966):

I have found that to consider art as an anti-environment or as a means of perceiving the hidden dimension of the environment, is exceedingly useful. Instead of explaining to people that art is something to be taken seriously because of some inherent superior quality, it makes more sense to point out that art has an indispensable function in cognition, and that men without art strongly tend to be automata, or somnabulists, imprisoned in a dream.
________________________________________

Landscape

IAIN BAXTER& ... window signage ...
North Vancouver City Library.
L&SCAPE ... 2012....

City of North Vancouver Public Art Collection (2016).



Michael Darling, James W. Alsdorf Chief Curator, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2011):

While surface readings might suggest discontinuity from
place to place --periods working under his given name ... then
N.E. Thing Co., and then under his own name, modified with
the attached ampersand-- strong lines of connection structure
his output.

[...]

While BAXTER& is surely a pioneer of conceptual art who has campaigned tirelessly to expand definitions of art and perceptual phenomena throughout his long career, he was simultaneously an early advocate for the environment, using art to broker insight and awareness of nature, as well as its more common reference points in culture.



[ Note:

The artist was awarded a Japanese Government Foreign Scholarship to support his study abroad, from 1961 to 1962.

His first solo exhibition was presented in Japan --at the Yamada Gallery, Kyoto-- in December 1961.

-- CAUSA Research Curators ]

________________________________________

Buson Mounts

Yosa Buson (1716 - 1784), MOUNT GABI ABOVE THE CLOUDS. Horizontal scroll, ink and slight colour on paper. Private Collection, Japan.

[ Note:

The 'makimono' (horizontal scroll) is traditionally intended to be viewed in consecutive stages --its 'entirety' remaining always (temporarily) unseen on the occasion of any single viewing session.

-- CAUSA Research Curators ]

________________________________________

Blown from the west,
fallen leaves gather
in the east.

-- Buson (1716 -1784)
________________________________________

LIKE MOST REVELATIONS

Richard Howard, 1994

(after Morris Louis)

It is the movement that incites the form,
discovered as a downward rapture--yes,
it is the movement that delights the form,
sustained by its own velocity. And yet

it is the movement that delays the form
while darkness slows and encumbers; in fact
it is the movement that betrays the form,
baffled in such toils of ease, until

it is the movement that deceives the form;
beguiling our attention--we supposed
it is the movement that achieves the form.
Were we mistaken? What does it matter if

it is the movement that negates the form?
Even though we (give up) ourselves
to this mortal process of continuing,
it is the movement that creates the form.

________________________________________

Point

Morris Louis, POINT OF TRANQUILITY, 1959-60. Magna (acrylic resin) on canvas. Hirshorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Museum, Washington, D.C.

________________________________________

ANDAND

IAIN BAXTER& ... window signage ...
North Vancouver City Library.
AND/DNA ... 2012....

[Photo: M. Cynog Evans.]

City of North Vancouver Public Art Collection (2016).



Lucy Lippard (1969):

Baxter is ... probably the prototype of the new artist.... Like the archetypal artist, however, he is concerned with ways of seeing, and seeing the natural world and the artificial environment, and he is concerned with communicating these ways so that others see more clearly the world about them.

________________________________________

Marshall McLuhan (1967):

Have you noticed that the word "escapism" has almost disappeared from the language? "Involvement" has taken its place. Under electric conditions there can be no escape.

_________________________________________

"Finally: standardization is desirable or the reverse according to the quality of the standard."

-- Wyndham Lewis (1948)

_________________________________________

Charles Sanders Peirce (1885):

The actual world cannot be distinguished from a world of imagination by any description. Hence the need of pronoun and indices, and the more complicated the subject the greater the need of them.

_________________________________________

THE NEW SONG

W. S. Merwin, 2011

For some time I thought there was time
and that there would always be time
for what I had a mind to do
and what I could imagine
going back to and finding it
as if I had found it the first time
but by this time I do not know
what I thought when I thought back then

there is no time yet it grows less
there is the sound of rain at night
arriving unknown in the leaves
once without before or after
then I hear the thrush waking
at daybreak singing the new song

________________________________________

Zen master Bankei (1622 - 1693):

What does it matter, the new year, the old year? I stretch out my legs and alone have a quiet sleep. Don't tell me the monks aren't getting their instruction. Here and there the nightingale is singing: the highest Zen.



[ Note:

In 1889, five years after the Meiji Restoration, the cultural/legal date of the Japanese New Year --previously based on the Chinese lunar calendar-- was offically transferred to the first day of January.

-- CAUSA Research Curators ]

______________________________________

Close up

" ... 'Close By'...". (Photo: M. Cynog Evans.)

[ Note:

This document functions as an 'archival augmentation' to a multi-site curatorial project ... VAST OCEAN/VAST HEAVEN: NITOBE MEMORIAL GARDEN: CONCEPTS AND PROSPECTS ... University of British Columbia, Vancouver ... December 2015 - January 2016.

-- CAUSA Research Curators ]

________________________________________

Buddhist monk/hermit Yoshida Kenko (1283? - 1350?):

The world is a place of such uncertainty and change that what we might see before our eyes really does not exist.... External things are all illusions. Does anything remain unaltered even for the shortest time?

________________________________________

End of Time

IAIN BAXTER& ... window signage ... UNTIL THE & OF TIME ... North Vancouver City Library ... 2012... City of North Vancouver Public Art Collection (2016).

Installation / Orientation: West.

________________________________________

"Bad news concerns the few, but good news can upset a whole culture."

-- Marshall McLuhan (1968)

________________________________________
________________________________________

BETWIXT / BETWEEN/不即不離 /どっちつかずの間

Posted February 3, 2016

________________________________________

Marshall McLuhan (1970):

Poets and artists live on frontiers. They have no feedback, only feedforward. They have no identities. They are probes.

________________________________________

Pure Land Buddhist nun
Chiyo-ni (1703-1775):

A hundred gourds
Born
From the mind of one vine

________________________________________

Joseph Beuys (1974):

Only art is capable of dismantling the repressive effects of a senile social system that continues to totter along the deathline: to dismantle in order to build 'A SOCIAL ORGANISM AS A WORK OF ART'.

________________________________________

lute

HEAVENLY WIND AND OCEAN WAVES ... inscription on a zither made 609-916 and buried in 1389. Excavation: 1970-1971, from the tomb of the first emperor of the Ming dynasty.

________________________________________

"The fear of being misunderstood may, in many cases, be more aptly defined as the fear of being understood by too many --so many, indeed, as to endanger the psychological reality of the image of the enlarged self confronting the not-self."

-- Edward Sapir (1935)

________________________________________

Ortega y Gasset (1932):

In order to answer the question, 'What are things?', I must answer my own question, 'What am I?'

But I am he who must cope with my surroundings, who must be in them. What I can be and what I must be depends, then, in turn, on my environment.

________________________________________

Hoshi

HOSHI (BAOZHI) ... Heian period, 11th century. Saiho-ji, Kyoto, Japan. Important Cultural Property.

[ Note:

A Chinese monk, Hoshi (417-514) was famous for his alleged 'magical' powers and demonstrated 'prescience'.

This particular 'portrait' entails an image of Hoshi 'transforming' into a boddhisattva --Eleven-Headed Kannon; it was carved from a single block of wood (ICHIBOKU ZUKURI), so as to retain the cylindrical shape of the 'now invisible' tree that complements it.

-- CAUSA Research Curators ]

________________________________________

Ch'an master Wumen Huikai (1183-1260):

One instant is eternity;
eternity is the now.
When you see through this one insant,
you see through the one who sees.

________________________________________

Aya

Michael Snow, LA FERME, 1998. [Installation view.] Color photograph, 34 in. by 24 ft.



Michael Snow (2012):

La Ferme (The Farm) was first shown in a solo exhibition at La Ferme du Buisson, a museum in the suburbs of Paris.

The following series of events produced the photo-work: a slow, hand-held pan was shot on 16mm film, of a group of cows gazing towards the camera from behind a fence. The successive film frames reading the scanning movement were vertical (one after another, top to bottom). The film strip was then cut up, and the successive frames put side by side horizontally, the way the recorded scene was seen through the camera.

The human viewer of the long photograph recapitulates the movement of the camera as it recorded the cows' possible witnessing of this event --which is now an exchange between the foreign opacity of a cow's stare and your appraisal.

________________________________________

"We haven't complete chaos in the world, so we must co-ordinate with disharmony, with chaos, through human behaviour."

-- Hiromi Fuji (2014)
________________________________________

Mori

NITOBE MEMORIAL GARDEN ... University of British Columbia, 1960.

[ Note:

In the realization of the Garden, landscape architect Kannosuke Mori was assisted by specialist (guest) artisans from Japan.

This photograph documents traditional Japanese construction of the Garden's teahouse: a pole upright being marked for the placement of cross members. ]

________________________________________

Bankei (1622-1693):

Good is awful
Bad is awful
And awful is awful too
Things and events
Are only the product of circumstances

________________________________________

"Instead of worrying about programme content, the job is now to program the total sensorium."

-- Marshall McLuhan (1964)

________________________________________
________________________________________

BETWIXT / BETWEEN/不即不離 /どっちつかずの間

Posted January 19, 2016

________________________________________

"Today, when we need to get our bearings in our own culture, and have need to stand aside from the bias and pressure exerted by any technical form of human expression, we have only to visit a society where that particular form has not been felt, or a historical period in which it was not known."

-- Marshall McLuhan (1964)

________________________________________

Perfect Peace

Kojo Sakamoto, PERFECT PEACE, hanging scroll, ink on paper, 1966. Installation view ... VAST OCEAN / VAST HEAVEN: NITOBE MEMORIAL GARDEN: CONCEPTS AND PROSPECTS ... University of British Columbia, Vancouver ... December 2015 - January 2016. [Photo: M. Cynog Evans.]



"A doctrine of Kobo-Daishi, founder of the Shingon [Buddhist] sect, taught us that services for "stars" in the heaven are very important.

[...]

We hold three grand services every year to pray for world peace, celestial bliss, and the longevity of all people."

-- Kojo Sakamoto, 37th superintendent priest, Kiyoshi-Kojin Seicho-ji Temple (built in 893 CE by Uda Tenno, the 59th emperor of Japan), Takarazuka, Hyogo, 1966.

________________________________________

"The great age does not care for cost, it usually manifests at a minimum of material expense and a maximum of cerebral outlay."

-- Ezra Pound (1933)

________________________________________

Kochi

PRIEST KOCHI WITH HIS DEATH POEM, woodblock print, nineteenth century.



FAREWELL VERSE


Should people ask
Who is the master of Iwasaka,
--The soughing wind through the pines
Of an ink painting


[ Note:

A Shingon Buddhist adept, Kochi died in 1731. His mummified body --indicator of an esoteric concept, "precious longevity" --is preserved at Saishoji Temple, Teradomari, Niagata Prefecture.

-- CAUSA Research Curators ]

________________________________________

Kochi

Marcel Duchamp, COURANT D'AIR SUR LE POMMIER DU JAPON (DRAFT ON THE
JAPANESE APPLE TREE), oil on canvas, 1911.



A monk asked Ch'an / Zen master Joshu,"Why did the First Patriarch
[Bodhidharma / Daruma] come from the West? Joshu replied, "The oak tree in
the front garden." The monk said, "Oh priest, you shouldn't talk to me of
external things." The monk again asked, "Why did the First Ancestor come
from the West?" Joshu replied, "The oak tree in the front garden."



"For me the title ['Courant d'air sur le Pommier du Japon'] was very
important.

[...]

I wanted to put painting once again at the service of the mind.

-- Marcel Duchamp (1946)



A monk asked Joshu, "Does the oak tree have Buddha nature or not?" Joshu
said, "Yes it has." The monk asked, "When does the oak tree attain
buddhahood?" Joshu said, "Wait until the great universe collapses." The
monk asked, "When does the great universe collapse?" Joshu replied, "Wait
until the oak tree attains buddhahood."

________________________________________

"Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek what they sought."

-- Shingon Buddhist sect founder Kobo-Daishi (774 - 835)

________________________________________

If I could bundle
Fuji's breezes back to town,
What a souvenir!


-- Basho (1644 - 1694)

________________________________________

9

Marcel Duchamp, 50 cc OF PARIS AIR [Readymade], glass ampoule, 1919. Philadelphia Art Museum.

________________________________________

"The human body is an instrument for the production of art in the life of the human soul."

-- Alfred North Whitehead (1933)

________________________________________

Munakata

A CYPRESS TREE IN THE FRONT GARDEN, Munakata Shiko, 1959. Hanging scroll, ink on paper.

________________________________________

Alfred Caldwell (1987):

Finally, there is no such thing as an architectural problem anymore, there is only a world problem. You can't isolate a problem anymore and say that's an architectural problem. That's only part of the vast problematical nature of reality in our time. [...] You can't isolate architecture in a vacuum.

________________________________________

"Heaven and earth are of the same root, the ten thousand things and I are of one substance."

-- Buddhist monk Baoshi --later known in Japan as Hoshi (417 - 514)

________________________________________

"By Buddhism all existences are divided into HIJO, things without desire, such as stones and trees; and UJO, things having desire, such as men and animals. This division does not, so far as I know, find expression in the written philosophy of gardens; but it is a convenient one."

-- Lafcadio Hearn (1892)

________________________________________

Whitehead

________________________________________

"To escape from the world means that one's mind is not concerned with the opinions of the world."

-- Ch'an / Zen master Dogen (1200 - 1253)

________________________________________

"I have a deep and abiding belief in man's potential to grow and learn, to plumb the depths of his own being and to learn the secret songs that orchestrate the universe."

-- Marshall McLuhan (1961)

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BETWIXT / BETWEEN/不即不離 /どっちつかずの間

Posted December 20, 2015

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"Speaking of the principles shaping our culture ... in general, their naturalism, when we compare it with the Chinese, must be condemned."

-- Wyndham Lewis (1950)

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sesshu3

INK WASH landscape painting by Sesshu (1420-1506). Private Collection, Kurashiki, Japan.

[Note:

Aligning classical Chinese aesthetic principles to his 'individuated' conception and 'experimental' practice of Ch'an / Zen painting, Sesshu's art was held in high esteem by his contemporaries in China (where he had resided in 1468-69).

Acknowledged as one of Sesshu's final works, this INK WASH landscape is designated as a National Treasure in Japan.

-- CAUSA Research Curators ]

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In any kind of place there is a top to covering and it is a pleasure at any rate there is some venturing in refusing to believe nonsense."

-- Gertrude Stein (1914)

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Poster1

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Detail1

" ... Detail'...". [Photo: M. Cynog Evans.]

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multi

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Detail2

" ... 'Detail'...". [Photo: M..Cynog Evans.]

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Sakamoto2

Kojo Sakamoto, SYMBOL OF ABSOLUTENESS OF TRUTH, ink on paper, 1966.

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Curatorial

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snow

Michael Snow, IN THE WAY (2011), video installation, colour, silent, 23 min., endless loop.

Installation view: The Secession, Vienna, February 23 - April 15, 2012.

[ Exhibitor's note:



Note by Michael Snow (January 2012):

IN THE WAY, 2011

"In the Way" can have varied meanings. If something is in the way it is an obstacle. A common use of the word is "something is in my way," meaning that "something is impeding my progress." A way fundamentally describes a path or road, as in the word highway. In another usage one may say "I do something in my way," meaning "my personal method."

My projection work In the Way urges the spectator to look at the results of a camera moving this "way" or that "way." It also invites the spectator to stand in the image. In fact to be "in the way" (in the road).

The image consists of constantly panning views shot from directly above at varying speeds, over a very rocky and very muddy road. The road sometimes becomes gradually grassy, so that besides the very rough road images there are also passages looking down on and moving over fields of grasses and flowers. Hard and soft.

In movie terminology, the moving images are described as "trucking shots," and in fact the images of In the Way were shot from a structure on the back of a truck.

I am intetested in the physical and psychological effects of panning (trucking) images. Seeing the movements of In the Way from above (as they were seen by the camera in real life) will cause new physical and mental experiences in the viewer.

Snow2

Michael Snow, IN THE WAY (video still), looped video projection, 2011.

Grass

Michael Snow, IN THE WAY (video still), video installation, 2011.

"Is it not evident that the moment that sequence yields to the simultaneous, one is in the world of the structure and of configuration?"

-- Marshall McLuhan (1964)

________________________________________

"Clarify and harmonize your life without losing the Single Eye which sees the context of the two eyes which recognize the details."

-- Ch'an / Zen master Dogen (1200-1253)

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BETWIXT / BETWEEN/不即不離 /どっちつかずの間

Posted December 10, 2015

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Nitobe3

" ... 'Moving Image'...". [Photo: M. Cynog Evans.]

Iain Baxter&, TRANS-VSI [VISUAL SENSITIVITY INFORMATION]:

VANCOUVER 3:07 PM PST (PACIFIC STANDARD TIME) LIGHT AND SAME TIME 8:07 AM JST (JAPAN STANDARD TIME) KYOTO LIGHT

[ CAUSA 'curatorial augmentation' to the multi-site exhibition VAST OCEAN / VAST HEAVEN, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, December 2015 - January 2016 ]

________________________________________

Sakamoto

Sakamoto

Bishop Kojo Sakamoto knew Tomioka Tessai during the last years of that artist's life. He had been able to assemble a rare collection of paintings for the Tessai Museum at the Kiyoshi Kôjin Temple in Takarazuka, Japan. At the invitation of University of British Columbia Professor B. C. Binning, Bishop Sakamoto had organized a Tessai exhibition --and an assemblage of fifty paintings was installed at the Vancouver Art Gallery in 1960.

An exhibition of Bishop Sakamoto's own paintings was organized by Professor Binning and presented at the University of British Columbia in 1966. In offering his calligraphy practice for public scrutiny, the Bishop had rigorously/unequivocally understood his commitment to be "paving the way for the peace of the world in the future."

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"In the facts of direct experience, there is no opposition between subject and object and no distinction between mind and matter; matter in itself is mind and mind in itself is matter, and there is only one actuality ... the unity of spirit and nature is not a unity of two types of systems --fundamentally they exist in one and the same unity."

-- Kitaro Nishida (1911)

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Hand

Sakamoto2

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PEACE FLAME, Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, Hiroshima, Japan.

[ Note:

First lit in 1964 (and still aflame to date), this 'local presence' is intended to remain active until all nuclear bombs are destroyed and the 'global village' is free from nuclear threats.

-- CAUSA Research Curators ]

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BETWIXT / BETWEEN/不即不離 /どっちつかずの間

Posted December 7, 2015

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Nitobe3

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Tradition

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Hokusai

Curatorial Component from the multi-site exhibition VAST OCEAN / VAST HEAVEN --a CAUSA research project at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver-- December 2015 / January 2016).

Hokusai2

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Dogen

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Soseki2

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Kojiki

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Koan

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FOCALIZATION/焦點化

Posted November 19, 2015

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Lao Tzu (sixth century BCE):

"Be tattered that you may be renewed."

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Limitless

" ... 'Limitless'... ". [Photo: M. Cynog Evans.]
________________________________________

Marshall McLuhan (1964):

Just before an airplane breaks the sound barrier, sound waves beome visible on the wings of the plane. The sudden visibility of sound just as sound ends is an apt instance of that great pattern of being that reveals new and opposite forms just as the earlier forms reach their peak performance.

________________________________________

Elias Canetti (1971):

Were the transgressions of hell less serious when people still believed in them? Were our infernal natures more bearable when they knew where they would wind up?

We, proud of abolishing hell, are now spreading it everywhere.

________________________________________

“The [Maoist] dream… is nothing less than the belief that man's nature can be changed and that his motivation for living can be a dedication to working for the good of all men.”

John F. Melby (1972)
Chairman of the Department of Political Studies,
University of Guelph


In the afternoon of August 5, 1966 some grade ten students started “beating the black gang”—including three vice-principles and two deans…Students forced the teachers to kneel on the ground while they beat them with nail-spiked clubs and scalded them with boiling water. After hours of abuse, one of the Vice Principles, Bian Zhongyun, a fifty-year-old mother of four, lost consciousness and died. She was the first victim of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution.

Hu Jie Although I am Gone (Documentary Film 2007)


“...crush those people in authority who are taking the capitalist road… criticize and repudiate the reactionary bourgeois academic "authorities”…"

“Decision Concerning the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution"
Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party (August 8, 1966)

MEMO

To: CAUSA Research Curators

From: Terence Russell, Asian Studies Centre, University of Manitoba

Re: Canada-China Relations

When Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau established official diplomatic relations with the Peoples’ Republic of China in 1970, the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution was in full swing. From 1966 until 1976 when Chairman Mao died, between three and five million Chinese citizens were killed or committed suicide. Mass killings have been far less common since the end of the Maoist era, but the Chinese gulag of “education through labour” and “reform through labour” concentration camps continues to exist and houses hundreds of thousands of individuals considered undesirable by the Chinese state. Many products exported from China to Canada are produced by slave labour in the Chinese gulag.]

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"I myself have seen several statesmen, mostly ignorant and, if not ignorant, either shallow or shifty, all engaged in passing the buck, or in avoiding the question, i.e. ANY question whatsoever."

-- Ezra Pound (1935)

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Canal

CANAL OF HAPPINESS, mass distribution poster, 1973.

[Note:

The Canal of Happiness/Red Flag Canal --dug entirely by hand labour-- was started late in the Great Leap Forward and completed in 1965. Bringing water through a mountain in forty channels, this irrigation canal exemplified Mao's ZILI GENGSHENG -- DO IT YOURSELF strategy to harness nature.

-- CAUSA Research Curators ]



Edwin Daniel Jacobs, Rutgers University (2013):

Riding the coattails of collectivization of 1955 - 1956, and the plentiful harvest of 1957, Mao announced a five-year plan (i.e., The Great Leap Forward) to the People's Commune in 1958. Mao continually increased the agricultural production quotas due to early bountiful yield of crops. Whereas the early bounties were produced by sound pre-Maoist agricultural methods, the farming methods imposed by Mao (which included natural collectivization --growing incompatible seeds together) were an unmitigated disaster.... The five-year programne, which only lasted three years, ended in utter catastrophe, inducing a famine that produced an estimated twenty to forty-three million deaths.

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"Revolution has become a sort of violent and hollow routine."

-- Wyndham Lewis (1929)

_________________________________________

Rem Koolhaas (2002):

Junkspace is the bodydouble of space, a territory of impaired vision, limited expectation, reduced earnestness. Junkspace is the Bermuda Triangle of concepts: an abandoned petri dish: it cancels distinctions, undermines resolve, confuses intention with realization.



Edwin Daniel Jacobs, Rutgers University (2013):

The death toll amassed by Mao and his regime ranges from forty- to seventy-million, eclipsing the Jewish victims of Hitler's Holocaust by a factor of six to eleven times.

_________________________________________

Zhang Chun, THE DIPLOMAT (30 September 30, 2015):

China is launching a wide-ranging set of ecological reforms in a bid to develop what the government calls an "ecological civilization." [...] The aim is to get local officials to give greater priority to the environment, compared to the economy. [...] Although observers say Chinese leaders are keener on coming up with slogans than implementing them, this is the most authoritative reform proposal issued since Xi Jinping's advocacy of the "ecological civilization" concept in 2007.



Mao Zedong (1955):

Idealism and metaphysics are the easiest things in the world, because people can talk as much nonsense as they like without basing it on an objective reality or having tested it against reality.

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Marshall McLuhan (1964):

Perfect adaptation to any environment is achieved by a total channeling of
energies and vital force that amounts to a kind of static terminus for a
creature. Even slight changes in the environment of the very well adjusted
find them without any resource to meet new challenge. Such is the plight of
the representatives of "conventional" wisdom in any society. Their entire
stake of security and status is in a single form of acquired knowledge, so
that innovation is for them not novelty but annihilation.

___________________________________________

Dept

" ... 'Public Address'...". [Photo: M. Cynog Evans.]

___________________________________________

"The hopeful things in every system:
whatever is left out of it."

-- Elias Canetti (1968)

___________________________________________

"Observe that all things are born from causes and conditions, and so have no individual reality, and hence are ultimately empty."

-- Fa-tsang, Buddhist ideologue (643 - 712)

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_________________________________________

TRANSENDENCE AND CHAOS/超越與混亂

Posted November 11, 2015

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"Every Communist must grasp the truth: 'Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.'"

-- Mao Zedong (6 November 1938)

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Marshall McLuhan (1968):

We are now in the midst of our first television war ... the television environment [is] total and therefore invisible. Along with the computer, it has altered ever phase of the American vision and identity. The television war has meant the end of the dichotomy between civilian and military. The public is now a participant in every phase of the war, and the main actions of the war are now being fought for in the American home itself.

________________________________________

David L Anderson, THE COLUMBIA HISTORY OF THE VIETNAM WAR (2004):

The leader of the Chinese Communist Party from 1935 until his death, Mao Zedong [Mao Tse-dung] had a great influence on Ho Chih Minh and other communists, both as a revolutionary theorist and as direct supporter. Mao was a founding member of the Chinese Communist Party in 1921 and led it to victory over the Nationalist Party in the Chinese Civil War. He became the first president of the People's Republic of China (PRC) in 1949 and remained the Supreme Chinese leader throughout the rest of his life. As a theorist of Marxism-Leninism, he adopted that ideology, inspired by industrial Europe, to agrarian rebellions in Asia. From his experience, Mao developed the strategy of "people's war," a form of protracted guerilla warfare in which a disciplined and politically conscious force can withstand and defeat a materially stronger and less motivated adversary. The Vietnamese communists followed his people's war model, although they modified it to include external assistance and conventional tactics. After creation of the CPR, Mao took an active role in advising and aiding the Vietnamese revolutionary war againt the French and Americans. He met with Ho on several occasions and arranged substantial assistance in materiel and technology. Mao used support for the Vietnamese as part of his campaign, known as the Cultural Revolution, to maintain revolutionary fervor in China. As tensions grew in the 1960s between the PRC and USSR, however, Mao began to contemplate rapprochment with the United States. Mao and Richard Nixon had a dramatic meeting in Beijing in 1972 that greatly eased tensions between China and America, lowered the strategic importance of Vietnam to the United States, and helped set the international stage for the negotiated exit of all U.S. combat troops from Vietnam in 1973.

________________________________________

Mao Stalin

CHINA POSTAGE STAMP COMMEMORATING THE SINO-SOVIET TREATY OF FRIENDSHIP [Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong shake hands], 1950.

________________________________________

Marshall McLuhan (1973):

The coverage is the war. If there were no coverage, there'd be no war. Yes, the newsmen and the mediamen around the world are actually the fighters, not the soldiers anymore.

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LOOKING AT STONE CREEK WAY-STATION, HEARING A WOMAN CRYING

by Li Duan (ca. 780 CE)

Outside the door of the mountain station is a woman,
Crying bitterly into the night clouds of autumn.
She told me her husband died in the wars;
This morning she met his general coming home.

________________________________________

Magee Poem

________________________________________

Trudeaumao

PRIME MINISTER PIERRE TRUDEAU AND CHAIRMAN MAO ZEDONG, OCTOBER 13, 1973.

[ Note:

Pierre Trudeau's third tour of China marked his first official visit as Prime Minister of Canada.

This photograph is a record of the day on which China and Canada established Trade Agreement relations. Trudeau's brief encounter with Mao enhanced his image as an advocate promoting new economic ties between the two countries. (Canada established diplomatic relations with Beijing in 1970.)

-- CAUSA Research Curators ]

________________________________________

Marshall McLuhan (1975):

Television brought the brutality of war into the comfort of the living room. Vietnam was lost in the living rooms of America --not on the battlefields of Vietnam.

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ANALOGICAL AWARENESS/類比意識

Posted November 6, 2015

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Lao Tzu (sixth century BCE):

What is to be overthrown
Must begin by being set up.
He who would be a taker
Must begin as a giver.

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Marshall McLuhan (1954):

In the modern world we have through the very perfection and instantaneity of our means of communication made it possible to resolve the conflicting claims of the numerous societies and cultures which are now in association.

-- Marshall McLuhan (1954)

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Conjuration

" ... "Conjuration"...." [Photo: M. Cynog Evans.]

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LAMENTS OF THE GORGES [3]

by Meng Chiao (751 - 814)

Triple Gorge one thread of heaven over
ten thousand cascading thongs of water,

slivers of sun and moon sheering away
above, and wild swells walled-in below,

splintered spirits glisten, a few glints
frozen how many hundred years in dark

gorges midday light never finds, gorges
hungry froth fills with peril. Rotting

coffins locked into tree roots, isolate
bones twists and sway, dangling free,

and grieving frost roosts in branches,
keeping lament's dark, distant harmony

fresh. Exile, tattered heart all scattered
away, you'll simmer in seething flame

here, your life like finespun thread,
its road a trace of string traveled away.

Offer tears to mourn the water-ghosts,
and water-ghosts take them, glimmering.

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"The poetic process is a reversal, a retracing of the stages of human cognition."

-- Marshall McLuhan (1954)

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Lofty Lu

Shen Zhou (1427 - 1509), LOFTY MOUNT LU. Hanging scroll, ink and colours on paper. National Palace Museum, Taipei.



CATARACT ON MOUNT LU

by Li Bai (701 - 762)

The sunlit Censer peak exhales a wreath of cloud;
Like an upended stream the cataract sounds loud.
It's torrent dashes down three thousand feet from high
As if the Silver River fell from the azure sky.

[Note:

'Censer Peak'/Xianglu Feng is the highest point of Mount Ge (a Taoist precinct); 'Silver River' is the Chinese name for the Milky Way galaxy.

-- CAUSA Research Curators ]

________________________________________

Aldous Huxley (1944):

There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that's your own self. So you have to begin there, not outside, not on other people. That comes afterwards, when you have worked on your own corner.

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Coral bleaching

Coral Reef 'Die-Off' ... Bleaching in American Samoa ... Before and After. [Left: December 2014. Right: February 2015.]



THE GUARDIAN (London, 8 October 2015):

Scientists have confirmed the worst-ever global bleaching of coral reefs is under way and warned it could see the biggest coral die-off in history.

Since 2014, a massive underwater heatwave, driven by climate change, has caused corals to lose their brilliance and die in every ocean. By the end of this year 38% of the world's reefs will have died forever.

[...]

Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, director of the Global Change Institute at the University of Queensland, Australia, said the ocean was now primed for "the worst coral bleaching event in history".

[...]

Like rainforests on land, coral reefs are home to a riot of biodiversity. On just 0.1% of the ocean's floor they nurture 25% of the world's marine species. The impact of losing this would be devastating for the 500 million people who rely on coral ecosystems for their food and livelihood. These effects would not be felt immediately, but over the coming years as fish species move on or die off.

________________________________________

Elias Canetti (1956):

The beyond is within us; a grave realization, but it is trapped inside us. This is the great and insoluble fissure in modern man. For within us we also have the mass grave of creatures.

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Ch'an / Zen master Dogen (1200 - 1253):

Mind has no substance
That one can see;
The only binding
Of the body is
Like the dew and frost.

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Direct effect

" ... 'Direct Effect'...." [Photo: M. Cynog Evans.]

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"There is the Lord of the Slaughter always ready for his task, and to do it in his stead is like thrusting oneself into the master-carpenter's place and doing his chipping for him."

-- Lao Tzu (sixth century BCE)

________________________________________

Peter Kropotkin (1910):

ANARCHISM (from the Greek ... contrary to authority). The name given to a principle or theory of life and conduct under which society is conceived without government --harmony in such a society being obtained, not by submission to law, or by obedience to any authority, but by free agreements concluded between the various groups, territorial and professional, freely constituted for the sake of production and consumption, as also for the satisfaction of the infinite variety of needs and aspirations of a civilized being. In a society developed on these lines, the voluntary associations which already now begin to cover all the fields of human activity would take a still greater extension so as to substitite themselves for the state in all its functions. [...] Moreover, such a society would represent nothing immutable. On the contrary --as is seen in organic life at large-- harmony would (it is contended) result from an ever-changing adjustment and readjustment of equilibrium between the multitides of forces and influences, and this adjustment would be the easier to obtain as none of the forces would enjoy a special protection from the state.

________________________________________

Korea

A. R. M. Davis, MAIL IN KOREA, oil on canvas, 1950/51. (Included in the Twentieth Annual B. C. Artists Exhibition, Vancouver Art Gallery, 1951.)

[ Note:

As the earliest conflict in which U. N. played a role, The Korean War (1950 - 1953) resulted in the death of 516 Canadians --in addition to a total of 36,914 American fatalities.

For lack of a conclusive peace treaty, the Korean War has technically never ended.

-- CAUSA Research Curators ]



"I'm not afraid of nuclear war. There are 2.7 billion people in the world: it doesn't matter if some are killed. China has a population of 600 million: even if half of them.are killed, there are still 300 million people left. I'm not afraid of anyone."

-- Mao Zedong (November 1957)

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Korean war

DAILY NEWS (New York, 1950).

[ Note:

The News was the first U.S. daily printed in tabloid format; from 1920 to 1991 it adopted the slogan "New York's Picture Newspaper".

-- CAUSA Research Curators ]



Friedrich Nietzche (1883):

A state is called the coldest of all monsters. Coldly it lies; and this lie slips from its mouth: "I, the state, am the people."

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Seon [Korean Ch'an] master Hyobong Hangnul (1881 - 1966):

At the bottom of the ocean, a deer hatches
an egg in a swallow's nest
In the heart of a fire, a fish boils tea in
a spider's web.
Who knows what is happening in this house?
White clouds float westward; the moon rises
in the east.

________________________________________

"Only by not forgetting the past can we be the master of the future."

-- Ba Jin, Chinese anarchist writer (2003)

________________________________________

Marshall McLuhan (1967):

The impression has solidified that all the cosmic, the fundamental questions no longer exist and perhaps even that they never did. This stolidity and indifference is now the contemporary intellectual mode. Under this surface there lies --historically and characterologically-- the repressed anxiety. Under this, the nihilism or disbelief. Under this the capacity for the expression of grief and anger. Only then does the possibility of real faith or belief arise at all. How to regain this possibility is the fundamental problem of the intellectual (secondarily and to a less intense degree, the general human problem, since it takes its way of living from the leadership).

________________________________________

Lao Tzu (sixth century BCE):

He who does his own looking sees little,
He who defines himself is not therefore distinct.

________________________________________
________________________________________

UNIVERSAL STUPEFACTION/普遍發呆

Posted October 19, 2015

________________________________________

MEMO from CAUSA Research Curators to Asian Studies Centre, University of Manitoba:

The McLUHAN'S FAITH AND WORKS conference programme (Winnipeg, 18-19 October 2015), has included two 'official' presentations 'in absentia' ... but our CAUSA/ASIAN STUDIES CENTRE 'Internet Probes' remain uniquely connected to the wider electric world.

Actively developing a CAUSA knowledge transfer platform in honour of McLuhan's legacy, we confidently anticipate the resonance of our pending (second/final) 'augmentation' to the Winnipeg proceedings.

[ Via email, 17.10.15. ]

________________________________________

"Can your mind penetrate every corner of the land, but you yourself never interfere?"

Lao Tzu (sixth century BCE)

________________________________________

"That the entire planet should become show business on a twenty-four-hour
basis is not only inevitable now, but it creates 'challenges' for all
levels of the establishment on a scale that will gradually obliterate
consciousness."

-- Marshall McLuhan (1969)
________________________________________

Ai Weiwei

Ai Weiwei, ACCORDING TO WHAT? [installation view at the Perez Museum, Miami], 2014.

________________________________________

Jonathan Jones, THE GUARDIAN (18 February 2014):

A "protest" at a Miami art museum raises some questions about what exactly art is, now.

On Sunday [16 February 2014], a man called Maximo Cominero has smashed an artwork by Ai Wewei, one of the most famous artists of this century and a hero to many for his defiance of the Chinese State. Cue apalled face. But this is not such a simple story. Caminero's proclaimed motive [that the Perez Museum should be showing local, not global art] has accidentally punched a massive hole in the logic of contemporary art.

For the "vase" that was smashed is actually a Han dynasty urn that Ai Weiwei "appropriated" for his own art by painting on it. The Han era in China was contemporary with the Roman Empire in the west. In other words, this is a major antiquity made by a Chinese artisan roughly two thousand years ago. But that's not why the urn is valued at $1m or why its destruction is world news.

No -- it's because it was part of an installation by Ai Weiwei. It is the Ai Weiwei artwork, not the Han dynasty object, that is being mourned.

[...]

In the exhibition Ai Weiwei: According to What?, at which the vase was smashed, an array of repainted "Han wares" are shown in front of a sequence of black-and-white photographs of the artist smashing one.

The artwork is called Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn and for me it is Ai Weiwei's most provocative gesture. It shows the artist letting go of an elegant object made with intelligence, imagination and love more than 2,000 years ago and letting it smash to bits on the ground.

Much as I wish there were, there is no apparent doubt about the authenticity of the Han artefacts Ai Weiwei uses in his art. He bought a batch of them in the 1990s and started painting them before creating his photographed performance Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn in 1995.

[...]

Ai Weiwei certainly does capture the industrial world's disconnection from making, our loss of crafts and even of basic respect for them. But he also embodies those cynical attitudes as he smashes that lovely old vase.

[...]

Ai Weiwei is courageous and eloquent but this [Miami] incident and his response to it--for he has condemned the vandal-- make me wonder about the rules of art right now.

______________________________________

"Sentimentality, like pornography, is fragmented emotion; a natural consequence of a high visual gradient in any culture."

-- Marshall McLuhan (1968)

______________________________________

"The mother tongue is propaganda."

-- Jacques Ellul (1965)

______________________________________

Discarnate

" ...'Discarnate Togetherness'...." [Photo: M. Cynog Evans.]

________________________________________

"Myth is anything seen at very high speed; any process seen at very high
speed is a myth. I see myth as super-real."

-- Marshall McLuhan (1970)

________________________________________

Bowersock

Nicholas Poussin, LANDSCAPE WITH ST JOHN ON PATMOS, oil on canvas, 1640. The Art Institute of Chicago.

[ Note:

For his Christian beliefs Saint John The Evangelist had been banished to the Greek island of Patmos --by the Roman Emperor Domitian (81-96 CE). In this painting Poussin ponders the saint as an 'isolated' figure 'engaged' with recording his version of the Apocalypse (as projected in the Book of Revelation).

Having observed first hand evidence of a Greco-Roman 'antiquity' --in Italy, where he developed the major portion of his career-- Poussin located a sustaining impetus for his paintings as both generalized expressions of religious conviction and particularized interrogations of the phenomenon of 'faith' itself.

-- CAUSA Research Curators ]

________________________________________

King James Bible (1611). Luke 11: 9-10:


Ask and it shall be given you;
seek, and ye shall find; knock,
and it shall be opened unto you.

For every one that asketh receiveth;
and he that seeketh findeth; and to
him that knocketh it shall be opened.

________________________________________

Chuang Tzu (c. 369-286 BCE):

There is no thing that is not that, there is no thing that is not this. That doesn't see itself as that. Self-knowledge precedes knowing others. So it is said, "That arises out of this, but this is also caused by exactly that. This is the theory that this and that are born together." And although that is true enough, where there's birth, there's death; where there's death, birth. Where there's a possible, there is the impossible; with the impossible, the possible. Cause right and you cause wrong; cause wrong, cause right, Right? So be it."

________________________________________

Henry James (1915):

"It is art that makes life, makes interest, makes importance, for our consideration and application of these things, and I know of no substitute whatever for the force and beauty of its process."

________________________________________

Marshall McLuhan (1977):

I have never been an optimist or a pessimist. I am an apocalyptic only.

[ Note:

McLuhan understood the term 'apocalyptic' to be derived from the Greek word APOKALUPTEIN ('uncover/'reveal').

-- CAUSA Research Curators ]

________________________________________

Ch'an/Zen master Dogen (1200-1253):


The world --
Like an elephant tail
Not passing through the window,
Although no one is there
Holding it back.


________________________________________
________________________________________

AMBIVERSION/多元歸還

Posted October 16, 2015

________________________________________

MEMO from CAUSA Research Curators to Asian Studies Centre, University of Manitoba:

It is our plan to provide an online 'augmentation' to the McLUHAN'S FAITH AND WORKS Conference (18-19 October 2015).

In that regard we are making ready CAUSA assemblages -- for dispatch slightly before/immediately after the 'local' event itself.

McLuhan would have appreciated these 'electric' dynamics.

[ Via email, 12.10.15. ]

________________________________________

Ch'an master Yang-shan Hui-chi (814-890):

While the Master was sitting with his eyes closed a monk came upon him and silently stood near him. The Master opened his eyes and drew a circle, then wrote the word 'water' in it. He looked at the monk, did not utter a word.

________________________________________

Timemachine

First edition (cover): London, 1895.

"It is a law of nature we overlook, that intellectual versatility is the compensation for change, danger, and trouble."

-- H.G. Wells

________________________________________

"It is critical vision alone which can mitigate the unimpeded operation of the automatic."

-- Marshall McLuhan (1951)

________________________________________

Lao Tzu (sixth century BCE):

The perfect door has neither bolt nor bar,
Yet cannot be opened.
The perfect knot needs neither rope nor twine,
Yet cannot be untied.

________________________________________

LANGUAGES

by Carl Sandburg (1916)


There are no handles upon a language
Whereby men take hold of it
And make it with signs for their remembrance.
It is a river, this language,
Once in a thousand years
Breaking a new course
Changing its way to the ocean.
It is mountain effluvia
Moving to valleys
And from nation to nation
Crossing borders and mixing.
Languages die like rivers.
Words wrapped round your tongue today
And broken to shape of thought
Between your teeth and lips speaking
Now and today
Shall be faded hieroglyphics
Ten thousand years from now.
Sing --and singing-- remember
Your song dies and changes
And is not here tomorrow
Any more than the wind
Blowing ten thousand years ago.

________________________________________

James Joyce (1922):

Thought is the thought of thought. Tranquil brightness. The soul is in a manner all that is: the soul is the form of forms. Tranquility sudden, vast, candescent: form of forms.

________________________________________

Angel

" ... 'Angle of Approach'...." [Photo: M. Cynog Evans.]

________________________________________

Alfred North Whitehead (1938):

The mentality of mankind and the language of mankind created each other. If we like to assume the rise of language as a given fact, then it is not going too far to say that the souls of men are the gift from language to mankind. The account of the sixth day should be written: "He gave them speech, and they became souls."

________________________________________

McLuhan

"To say that any technology or extension of man creates a new environment is a much better way of saying that the medium is the message."

-- Marshall McLuhan (1969)

________________________________________

"Intrinsic beauty is in the Interpreter and Seer, not in the object or content."

-- Wyndham Lewis (1914)

________________________________________

PASSAGE

by W.S. Merwin (1977)


In autumn in this same life
I was leaving a capital
where an old animal
captured in its youth
one that in the wild
would never have reached such an age
was watching the sun set
over nameless
unapproachable trees
and it is spring

________________________________________

Félix Guattari and Gilles Deleuze (1991):

Mental landscapes do not change haphazardly through the ages: a mountain had to rise here or a river to flow by there recently for the ground, now dry and flat, to have a particular appearance and texture. It is true that very old strata can rise to the surface again, can cut a path through the formations that covered them and surface directly on the current stratum to which they impart a new curvature. Furthermore, depending on the regions considered, superimpositions are not necessarily the same and do not have the same order.

________________________________________

"At the speed of light, now the normal speed of life --information's speed-- there is no peace."

-- Marshall McLuhan (1977)

________________________________________

Lao Tzu (sixth century BCE):

Which of you can make yourself inert,
to become in the end full of life and stir?
Those who possess this Tao do not try
to fill themselves to the brim,
And because they do not try to fill
themselves to the brim
They are like a garment that endures all
wear and tear and need never be renewed.

________________________________________
________________________________________

DISEMBODIED DYNAMICS/無形動態

Posted September 23, 2015

________________________________________

Time sequence

" ... 'Time-Sequence' ...". [Photo: M. Cynog Evans.]

________________________________________

"Understanding is not a point of view."

-- Marshall McLuhan (1971)

________________________________________

"The foolish reject what they see; the wise reject what they think, not what they see."

Ch'an master Huang Po (d. 850 CE)

________________________________________

Date

On Kawara, 'TODAY' SERIES [TUESDAY]. Acrylic on canvas, 1973.

[ Note:

On Kawara's life course (1932-2014), comprises 29,771 days. His first 'date painting' was realized on 4 January 1966; like every other painting in the 'Today' series it was completed prior to midnight on that particular date.

-- CAUSA Research Curators ]

________________________________________

Ch'an / Zen master Dogen (1200-1253):

In a large amount of water a huge moon is reflected. In a small amount of water a small moon is reflected. The moon is reflected as large where it is supposed to be reflected as large. The moon is reflected as small where it is supposed to be reflected as small. But the moon itself does not change in size. The duration of time, long or short, is just that.

________________________________________

Wyndham Lewis (1927):

The matter which forms a world is an undivided flux, and undivided also the life that runs through it, cutting out in it living beings all counter to the first, but the first obtains, all the same, something from the second.

________________________________________

Damien Gayle, THE GUARDIAN (London), 17 September 2015:

Ai Wewei and Julian Assange have made what seem to be gestures of contempt for their critics in a selfie posted to an Instagram account.

[A] picture uploaded to Ai's Instagram account on Wednesday [16 September] ... shows both men grinning impishly at the camera, left hands raised with their middle fingers extended.

[...]

The artist and dissident Ai was detained without charge in China for 81 days in 2011, during a crackdown on political activists.

[...]

At the Royal Academy, in London, Ai currently has a retrospective ... featuring artworks dating to 1993, the year he returned to Beijing after living in the US for 12 years.

________________________________________

"The true value of a human being is determined primarily by the measure and the sense in which he has attained liberation from the self."

-- Albert Einstein (1934)

________________________________________

Félix Guattari and Gilles Deleuze (1991):

Opinion is a thought that is closely molded on the form of recognition --recognition of a quality in perception (contemplation), recognition of a group in affection (reflection), and recognition of a rival in the possibility of other groups and other qualities (communication). It gives to the recognition of truth an extension and criteria that are naturally those of "orthodoxy": a true opinion will be the one that coincides with that of the group to which one belongs by expressing it. [...] The essence of opinion is will to majority and already speaks in the name of majority. Even the man of "paradoxes" only expresses himself with so many winks and such stupid self-assurance because he claims to express everyone's secret opinion and to be the spokesman of that which others dare not say.This is still only the first step of opinion's reign: opinion triumphs when the quality chosen ceases to be the condition of a group's constitution but is now only the image or "badge" of the constituted group that itself determines the perceptive and affective model, the quality and affection, that each must acquire.

________________________________________

"When electricity allows for the simultaneity of all information for every human being, it is Lucifer's moment. He is the greatest electrical engineer."

-- Marshall McLuhan (1977)

________________________________________

Casual

" ...'Casual Curiosity'...." [Photo: M. Cynog Evans.]

________________________________________

Patrick Brzeski, THE HOLLYWOOD READER (September 20, 2015):

Ahead of president Xi Jingping's visit to the United States this week, Warner Bros. announced a major agreement Sunday with China Media Capital (CMC), a giant investment fund backed by the Chinese government, to form a joint venture, Flagship Entertainment Group Limited.

[...]

"We look forward to working with CMC in this exciting new venture, as we gain additional insight into the Chinese film industry," said Kevin Tsujihara, chairman and CEO of Warner Bros. "The country's incredibly rich history and culture provide a huge trove of great stories, and we want to help tell those stories for new new generations of filmgoers, in China and around the world" [said Ruigang Li, China Media Capital's chairman].
________________________________________

Ch'an master Yang-shan Hui-chui (814-890):

A question was asked: "How great is the distance between heaven and hell?" The Master used his staff to draw a line upon the ground.

________________________________________

"In the computer age, speech yields to macrocosmic gesticulation or the direct interface of total cultures. The silent movies began this."

-- Marshall McLuhan (1969)

________________________________________

David E. Sanger and William T. Broad, NEW YORK TIMES (May 16, 2015):

After decades of maintaining a minimal nuclear force, China has re-engineered many of its ballistic missiles to carry multiple warheads....

What makes China's decision particularly notable is that the technology of miniaturizing warheads and putting three or more atop a single missile has been in Chinese hands for decades. But a succession of China's leaders deliberately let it sit unused; they were not interested in getting into the kind of arms race that characterized the Cold War nuclear competition between the United States and the Soviet Union.

The choice of which nuclear missiles to upgrade was notable [said a Ashley J. Tellis, a senior associate of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace], because China chose "one of few that can unambiguously reach the United States."

________________________________________

Marshall McLuhan (1970):

To divert electrical energy and circuitry into atomic bombs shows the same imaginative power as wiring the dining-room chairs to enable one to electrocute the sitter in the event that he might prove hostile. It is part of the age-old habit of using new means for old purposes instead of discovering what are the new goals contained in the new means.

________________________________________
________________________________________

AIM AND AMBITION/宗旨與野心

Posted August 20, 2015

[ Note:

This assemblage is being dispatched as an 'augmentation' to the 21st International Symposium on Electronic Art (Vancouver, August 14-19, 2015)

-- CAUSA Research Curators ]

________________________________________

clear sky

Xie Shichen (1487 - after 1567), CLEARING SKY AFTER SNOW ON THE PURPLE EMPYREAN PALACE AT MOUNT WUDANG. Hanging scroll (ink and colours on silk), dated 1541. Shanghai Museum. Photo: CAUSA Archives.

[ Note:

Built in 1413, this temple's particular mountain location has been associated with Taoist adepts since the second century BCE. The temple is priviledged by it association with an 'immortal' (once resident at Mount Wudang) who is recorded as having received transmission of the TAO TE CHING, directly from Lao Tzu.

-- CAUSA Research Curators ]

Artist's Inscription:

When I was young I passed through this country [of Wudang Shan]. Now I do not have the strength to do it again. On impulse, inspired by longing to return to the scene, I gave it form in order not to forget it. The scene gradually emerged from within my eyes.

________________________________________

Marshall McLuhan (1966):

People in new environments always produce the new perceptual modality without any difficulty or awareness of change. It's later that the psychic and social realignments baffle society.

________________________________________

Lao Tzu (sixth century BCE):

What is sheerest white looks blurred

[ ... ]

What is in its natural, pure state looks faded

[ ... ]

The Great Form is without shape.

________________________________________

TWO POEMS FROM A MOUNTAIN RETREAT

by Ch'an/Zen master Dogen (1200 - 1253)

In the stream,
Rushing past
To the dusty world,
My fleeting form
Casts no reflection

The moon
Beyond the peak
Is not my companion on this hill,
For it must return
To cast its light on the floating world

________________________________________


THE VISION OF JUDGEMENT

by Lord Byron (1822)

[Excerpt]

God help us all! God help me too! I am,
God knows, as helpless as the devil can wish,
And not a whit more difficult to damn
Than is to bring to land a late-hook'd fish,
Or to the butcher to purvey the lamb;
Not that I'm in for such a noble dish
As one day will be that immortal fry
Of almost every body born to die.

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