Forum for Cultural Memory


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MEMORY OF THE WORLD/世界的記憶

Posted November 19, 2017

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Cannetti Text

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"Show me a man of violence that came to a good end, and I will take him as my teacher."

-- Lao Tzu (d. 531 BCE)

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Edward T. Hall (1976):

Situational frames are the building blocks of both indvidual lives and institutions and are the meeting point of: the individual and his psychic makeup, institutions ranging from marriage to large bureaucracies, and culture, which gives meaning to the other two.

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Lop Nor test

FIRST WEAPONS TEST CONDUCTED BY PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA, Lop Nor, Bayingolin Mongol National Prefecture, 16 October 1964. 

Mao Zedong (1937):

In guerilla warfare, select the tack of seeming to come from the east and attacking from the west; avoid the solid, attack the hollow: attack, withdraw, deliver a lightning blow, seek a lightning decision.

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Josh Dehaas, McLean's, June 21, 2011:

When he first heard from a university administrator about a new Confucious Institute (CI) proposed at the University of Manitoba, Asian Studies professor Terry Russell asked for a meeting with the dean in charge. At that meeting he asked her to carefully consider who was offering to pay for it. The money would come from the HANBAN, an arm of the Chinese government that's chaired by the minister of education. That's the same government that employs 50,000 citizens to scour the Internet in search of dissent.

Less than six months later, the university has announced that it will join a short-but-growing list of institutions that have decided against taking Chinese government money to set up CI's. [...] But more than 320 exist worldwide. China says that the funding of CI's --$150,00 initially and up to $200,000 per year after-- is meant to promote cultural understanding. 

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Mongolian Amitabha

SEATED AMATAYAS, Mongolia, 17th-18th century. Gilt bronze. H. 4-5/8 in. (7 cm). W. 3-3/8 in. (8.6 cm). D. 2 in. (5.1 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

Curatorial Record:

The Buddha Amitayas holds a pot that contains the elixir of life; he is credited with providing devotees with health and longevity.

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"We have to numb our central nervous system when it is extended and exposed, or we will die."

-- Marshall McLuhan (1969)

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"Fire is not hot."

-- Hui-shih (380-305 BCE)

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"The physiognomy of conduct must not reveal the skeleton."

-- Marianne Moore (1922)

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ODE

Basil Bunting
1969

All cants they peddle 
bellow entangled,
teeth for knots and 
each other's ankles,
to become stipendiary 
in any wallow;
crow or weasel
each to his fellow.

Yet even these,
even these might 
listen as crags 
listen to light
and pause, uncertain 
of the next beat,
each dancer alone 
with his foolhardy feet.

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A MOUNTAIN WALK 

Tu Mu (803-853)

Climbing far into cold mountains 
     the rocky path steepens 
and homes grow rare. Up here where 
     white clouds are born,

I stop to sit for a while,
     savoring simple forests in late light,
frost-glazed leaves lit red deeper 
     than any spring blossoms.

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Telephone pole repair

" ... 'Action Chain'...". (Photo: M. Cynog Evans.)

WHAT HAS BEEN THOUGHT OF AS MIND IS ACTUALLY INTERNALIZED CULTURE.

-- Edward T. Hall (1976)

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"Past things by their very nature exist in the past and have not gone there from the present, and present things by their nature exist in the present and have not come from the past."

-- Seng-chao (384-414)

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WORLD SCIENTISTS' WARNING TO HUMANITY: A SECOND NOTICE, 13 November, 2017:

Twenty-five years ago, the Union of Concerned Scientists, including the majority of living laureates in the sciences, penned the 1992 "World Scientists' Warning to Humanity". 

The authors of the 1992 declaration feared that humanity was pushing Earth's ecosystems beyond their capacities to support the web of life.

Humanity must practice a more environmentally sustainable alternative to business as usual. Soon it will be too late to shift course away from our failing trajectory, and time is running out.

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Baxter And/Dna

Iain Baxter&, AND/DNA (window signage), 2012. Permanent intallation: North Vancouver City Library.

"Whereas it is generally industry that betrays and distorts invention in the course of its exploitation, it is usually in the distorting medium of social life that artistic invention is falsified."

-- Wyndham Lewis (1927)

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PRESENCE OF MIND/鎮定

Posted September 29, 2017

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Chi-tsang (549-623 CE):

"When nonsensical discussion ceases, the wheel of suffering will be destroyed."

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McLuhan War text

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Samuel Beckett (1946):

But it's the end. Or have I been dreaming, am I dreaming? No, no, none of that, for dream is nothing, a joke, and significant what is worse.

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"To be worn out is to be renewed."

-- Lao Tzu (sixth century BCE)

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Buddha Head

HEAD OF BUDDHA, 5th-6th century, Vietnam. Sandstone. H. 9 7/16 in. (24 cm); W. 5 7/8 in. (15 cm); D. 6 5/16 in. (16 cm); Wt. 31 lbs. (14.2 kg). Musée Guimet, Paris.

Vietnamese Zen master Van Hanh (d. 1028 CE):

The body of man is like a flicker of lightning
existing only to return to Nothingness.
Like the spring growth that shrivels in autumn 
Waste no thought on the process for it has no purpose,
Coming and going like dew.

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MIND AND BODY

by Vietnamese Zen master Cuu Chi (d. circa 1059-1065 CE)

Deep inside, mind and body are one and empty. 
From its stillness, Yes and No 
And the innumerable universes are born.
Space's vast emptiness brims over with presence.
Yet, nowhere does it stop to take shape or form. 
Countless lifetimes born and dissolving,
To make a single moment of its luminous calm. 

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Idris Ali and Christine Kim, REUTERS,  September 25, 2017:

Bellicose statements by U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in recent weeks have created fears that a miscalculation could lead to action with untold ramifications, particularly since Pyongyang conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test on Sept. 3.

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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Seon [Korean Zen] master Beopjeong (1932-2010):

In the vastness of the universe,
people are but a single speck of dust.
A speck may sway and swagger
and puff itself up. 
But someday it will be gone,
as will we.

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 TV installation

David Lamelas, SITUATION OF TIME -- installation of 17 TV sets (tuned to a non-existent channel)-- first exhibited at Visual Arts Center for the Di Tella Institute, Buenos Aires, 1967.

"There was the same gap in between the TV sets and there was no image on the screen; the idea was to show the channel of information empty of information, to show the void."

-- David Lamelas (2017)

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Chuang Tzu (fourth century BCE):

To regard knowledge as a product of time means to respond to events as if they had to be. [ ... ]  He who regards all things as one is a companion of Nature.

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Garden Picture

LATE SUMMER LIGHT IN NITOBE MEMORIAL GARDEN, September 14, 2017. (Photo: Gary Lee-Nova.) 

Zen master Dogen (d. 1253 CE):

That you carry yourself forward and experience the myriad things is delusion. That the myriad things come forward and experience themselves is awakening.

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Nathaniel Hawthorne (1843):

The trees reflected in the river --they are unconscious of a spiritual world so near to them. So are we. 

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Computer code

Iain Baxter&, INFORMATION MURAL [Digital Conversion Code], stencilled paint --wall dimensions variable. Installation view, North Vancouver Museum, 2012. (Photo: M. Cynog Evans, CAUSA Archives.) 

[ Note:

IAIN BAXTER&: INFORMATION/LOCATION --a documentary video linking North Vancouver Museum and (Japanese-Canadian) CHIBA GARDEN, City of North Vancouver-- is accessible via the ADDITIONAL LINKS section of this website.

-- CAUSA Research Curators ]

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"People are difficult to govern because they have too much knowledge."

-- Lao Tzu (sixth century BCE)

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Crocus

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

"Absence-of-thought means not to be carried away by thought in the process of thought." 

-- Hui-neng, sixth and last patriarch of Ch'an Buddhism (d. 713 CE)

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PRESENCE OF MIND/鎮定

Posted August 19, 2017

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Pensive Bodhisattva

BODHISATTVA IN PENSIVE POSE --probably MAITREYA (Buddha of a Future Age), Korea, Silla Kingdom, late 6th-early 7th century. Gilt Bronze. H: 36 7/8 in. (93.5 cm). National Museum of Korea, Seoul. [National Treasure 83.]

Commentary by Denise Leidy and Soyoung Lee, Department of Asian Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York:

Unlike Buddhas, the ultimate enlightened beings who have transcended mortal concerns, bodhisattvas have chosen to remain accessible to help guide others in the phenomenal world. Particularly in Korea and Japan, bodhisattvas in the "pensive pose" are usually identified as Maitreya, a bodhisattva in the cosmic era who will become the teaching Buddha of the next great period of time.

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Military trucks

MILITARY VEHICLES CROSSING THE 38th PARALLEL DURING KOREAN WAR --unidentified photographer/undated image (1950-53).

Allen R. Millet (2017):

KOREAN WAR: conflict between the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) and the Republic of Korea (South Korea), in which at least 2.5 million persons lost their lives. The war reached international proportions in June 1950 when North Korea, supplied and advised by the Soviet Union, invaded the South. The United Nations, with the United States as the princial participants, joined the war on the side of the Souh Koreans, and the People's Republic of China came to North Korea's aid. After more than a mllion combat casualties had been suffered on both sides, the fighting ended in July 1953, with Korea still divided into two halves. Negotiations in 1954 produced no further agreement and the front line has been accepted as the de facto boundary between North and South Korea.

Wada Haruki (2013):

China's entry into the war [October 1950] triggered a full-scale review of the use of atomic weapons. At a Pentagon conference on December 1, Army Chief of Staff Lawton Collins said that attacks on bases in China might bring Chinese and Soviet airpower into the war: "The only chance then left to us is the use or threat of the use of the A-bomb."

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 Concrete Wall photo

" ... 'Fire & Fury'...". (Photo: M. Cynog Evans.)

Kori Schake, Hoover Institution, Stanford University:

In 1949, the United States withdrew its military forces from the Korean Penninsula. Secretary of State Dean Acheson then gave an important speech, defining American national-security interests --which notably excluded Korea. Few people recall the military retrenchment by the Truman administration, which sent a powerful signal that America was narrowing its scope of action. It's not the drawing down of U.S. forces but rather Acheson's speech that is commonly sighted as the signal of American abandonment of South Korea. Words matter: Acheson didn't cause the Korean war, but his words are remembered as the provocation. 

Words especially matter between societies that poorly understand each other's motivations and intentions, as do North Korea and the U.S. We can afford to be sloppy in our formulations among friends, where cultural similarity or exposure give context, but neither of those circimstances pertain with North Korea. So whether or not President Trump intended an ultimatum with his statement [7 August 2017] that North Korea "best not make any more threats to the United States" lest it face "fire and fury like the world has never seen," it may have serious consequences.

"The greatest eloquence seems to stutter."

-- Lao Tzu (sixth century BCE)

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IAIN BAXTER&:

T & T (Teleportation & Teaching)

...

LIGHT, BEDMINSTER, NEW JERSEY, 6:00 AM EASTERN DAYLIGHT TIME [EDT]  AND SAME TIME 6:30 PM PYONGYANG TIME (PYT), PYONGYANG, NORTH KOREA, LIGHT 

"To reprogramme the cultures of the globe becomes as natural an undertaking as curriculum revision at a university."

-- Marshall McLuhan (1964)

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Wonhyo (617-686):

Because of the arising of thought, various phenomena arise; since thought ceases, a cave and a grave are not two.

Ven. Haeju and A. Charles Muller, COLLECTED WORKS OF KOREAN BUDDHISM (2012):

He chose the name Wonhyo himself, indicating his desire to be the light of Buddhism, as the term was used in his locality to mean "daybreak."

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Buddha facing TV

Nam June Paik, TV BUDDHA, 1976. Television, video camera, painted wooden Buddha, tripod, plinth. Installation dimensions variable. Buddha: 75 x 36 x 36 cm. TV monitor: 32 x 32 x 32 cm.  Collection: Art Gallery of New South Wales. 

Curatorial Record:

TV BUDDHA was made in Sydney in 1976 --using an "old" wooden Maitreya (Buddha of the future). The work employs a "conceptual" use of video --first developed by Paik-- in which a camera and monitor loop in real time,  BLURRING THE OBJECT-SUBJECT DISTINCTION. 

Marshall McLuhan (1970):

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

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Pensive Wooden Buddha

BODHISATTVA [MAITREYA] IN PENSIVE POSE, korea or Japan. Wood (red pine). H: 48 1/2 in. (163.2 cm). Koryu-ji Temple, Japan.

Denise Patry Leidy and Soyoung Lee, Department of Asian Art, The Metropolitan Museum, New York (2013):

Debate continues regarding the origin of this statue: Was it made in one of the Korean kingdoms, possibly Silla, and gifted to its eastern neighbor? Or made by Korean immigrant artisans living in Japan? It is worth noting that the Koryu-ji piece is carved from red pine, a wood commonly found on the Korean peninsula. 

"A general definition of civilization: a civilized society is exhibiting the five qualities of truth, beauty, adventure, art, peace."

-- Alfred North Whitehead (1933)

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ANY TIME 

W.S. Merwin 
(1959)

How long ago the day is 
when at last I look at it 
with the time it has taken
to be there still in it
now in the transparent light
with the flight in the voices 
the beginning in the leaves
everything I remember 
and before it before me
present at the speed of light 
in the distance that I am 
who keep reaching out to it 
seeing all the time faster 
where it has never stirred from
before there is anything 
the darkness thinking the light

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"The deliberate aim at Peace very easily passes into its bastard substitute, Anesthesia."

-- Alfred North Whitehead (1933)

"Today, as causes and effects merge instantaneously, the new common ground is neither container nor category, but the vastness of space via media."

-- Marshall McLuhan (1992)

"How much difference is there between 'Yes, sir,' and 'Of course not'?"

-- Lao Tzu (sixth century BCE)

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Moon shaped vase

MOON JAR, Korea, second half of the 18th century. Porcelain. H. 15 1/4 in. (38.7 cm); Diam. 13 in. (33 cm); Diam. of rim 5 1/2 in. (14 cm); Diam. of foot 4 7/8 in. (12.4 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

Collection Record:

A distinctive type of porcelain from the late Joseon period, the moon jar (Korean: dalhangari) --so called because of its evocative form-- was usually made by joining two hemispherical halves.

"Not mind, not a thing, not Buddha, what is this?"

-- Seon master Seongcheol (1912-1993)

[ Note:

SEON is the Korean variant of Ch'an/Zen Buddhism.

-- CAUSA Research Curators. ] 

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

The ignorant and foolish think 
That the fist exists separately from the pointing finger.
Mistaking the finger for the moon ...  They only fabricate strange illusions in the realms of sense and object.

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Bertrand Russell (18 August 1945):

The prospect for the human race is sombre beyond all precedent. Mankind are faced with a clear-cut alternative: either we shall all perish, or we shall have to acquire some slight degree of common sense. A great deal of new political thinking will be necessary if utter disaster is to be averted.

Zen master Chuzan (935-976):

There is only one who cannot accomplish Buddhahood.

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PRESENCE OF MIND/鎮定

Posted July 20, 2017

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Benn text

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Mao Tse-Tung (1964):

Growing flowers is a hangover from the old feudal society, a pastime for the feudal scholar class, bourgeois class and other layabouts. 

[...]

We must change it now. Get rid of gardens.

Ch'an master T'ung Shan Liang Chieh (807-869):

"P'o-p'o H'o-h'o" --
A phrase but without meaning--

You can never get the substance of it 
Because it is not correct language.

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Beuys Graphic images

Joseph Beuys, HOW THE DICTATORSHIP OF THE PARTIES CAN BE OVERCOME! -- polythene bag, containing 16 printed sheets and a felt object, 1971. Issued by Art Edition, Köln, for the Organisation for Direct Democracy [founded by Beuys]. 

"We must probe (theory of knowledge) the moment of origin of free individual productive potency (creativity)."

-- Joseph Beuys (1973)

Adam Taylor, THE WASHINGTON POST (July 14, 2017):

Chinese writer Liu Xiabo died Thursday [July 13] at age 61. He was one of his country's best-known individuals and became the only Chinese national to win the Nobel Prize. But his activism against one-party rule came at  huge personal cost: when he won the Nobel, he was in the middle of a lengthy prison sentence for his promotion of democracy.

Liu was granted medical parole in late June as the Chinese government revealed that he had late-stage liver cancer, but he died under the close guard of authorities. He is the first Nobel Peace winner to die in state custody since 1938, when German pacifist Carl von Ossietzky died after years in Germany's concentration camps.

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Ch'eng I-ch'uan (1033-1107):

If one extends knowledge to the utmost, one will have wisdom. Having wisdom, one can make choices.

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Heartfield scupture

John Heartfield and George Grosz, THE PETTY BOURGEOIS PHILISTINE JOHN HEARTFIELD GONE WILD. Assemblage --doorbell, knife, letter "C" and number "27" signs, plaster dentures, Osram light bulb and other objects-- exhibited at the 'Dada-Messe' exhibition, Berlin, 1920. (Reconstruction by Michael Sellmann, Berlin, 1988.) Berlinische Galerie, Landesmuseum für Moderne Kunst, Fotographie und Architektur, Berlin. Mannequin: 130 cm / 51 in. (height). Pedestal: 90 x 45 x 45 cm / 35 x 18 x 18 in. Berlinische Galerie, Landesmuseum für Moderne Kunst, Fotographie und Architektur, Berlin. 

Brigid Doherty, Princeton University  (2010):

As Grosz and Heartfield make clear, the Dadaists dissatisfaction with works of "so-called art"  --with sculptures, for example, that "preach the flight of feelings and thoughts, away from the unbearable circumstances of life on earth, to the moon, and the stars, to the sky" --was ethical in origin. It represented their abhorrence, first, of human beings in the surrounding social world, and, second, of the hypocrisy of those artists who depicted aspects of that social world with a pathos that could not fail to be empty. Indeed, this pathos was ethically fraudulent, despite, or rather as a consequence of, its potential aesthetic effects, which for Dadaists were predicated on, and served further to reproduce, an abdication of shared social responsibility. 

"Principle is one but manifestations are many."

-- Ch'eng I-ch'uan (1033-1107)

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Maitreya image

BUDDHA MAITREYA --China, Northern Wei Dynasty (386-534). Gilt bronze,  dated 524. H. 30 1/4 in. (76.8 cm); W. 16 in. (40.6 cm); D. 9 3/4 in. (24.8 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

Museum Record:

Maitreya is the only divinity in Buddhism revered as both a bodhisattva and a Buddha. Devotion to Maitreya and the desire for rebirth in his Pure Land, known as the Tushita (Contented) Heaven, were widespread in the late fifth and sixth centuries. Rebirth in a Pure Land offered an escape from the harsh realities of daily life while one awaited another, presumably easier,  reincarnation. This complex assembly, complete with encircling musicians and a flaming halo, depicts Buddha Maitreya as he descends to earth to rescue the devout.

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Marshall McLuhan (1971):

The user of the electric light --or a hammer, or a language, or a book-- is the content. As such, there is a total metamorphosis of the user by the interface. It is the metamorphosis that I consider the message.

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Wyndham Lewis text

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

When both existence and non-existence are swept away, not empty is empty. 

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Beuys workshop

Joseph Beuys, WORKSHOP SPACE OF THE FREE INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY FOR CREATIVITY AND INTERDISCIPLINARY RESEARCH,  Documenta 6, Kasel, Germany, 1977. (Photo: Joachim Scherzer.)

Joseph Beuys (1974):

Art is the only possibility for evolution, the only possible way to change the situation in the world. But then you have to enlarge the idea to include the whole creativity. And if you do that, it follows logically that every living being is an artist --an artist in the sense that he can develop his own capacity. And therefore it is necessary at first that society cares about the educational system, that equality of self-realization is guaranteed.

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"Only after one forgets seriousness can one be serious all the time."

-- Ch'eng I-ch'uan (1033-1107)

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Ptolemy text

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Tom Phillips, THE TELEGRAPH (2014):

China's Protestant community, which had just one million members in 1949, has already overtaken those of  countries more commonly associated with an evangelical boom. In 2010 there were more than 58 million Protestants compared to 40 million in Brazil and 36 million in South Africa, according to the Pew Research Centre's Forum on Religion and Public Life [Washingtin, D. C.].

A recent study found that online searches for the words "Christian Congregation" and "Jesus" far outnumbered those for "The Communist Party" and "Xi Jinping", China's president.

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THE FORGIVING EX-FUNDAMENTALISTS PRAYER

M.K. Morton

Belief in God isn't common to all religions:
What is common to all religions is orthodoxy.
And maybe a belief that one can get away with reciting a proxy.

Prompt to brandish 
A scriptural verbal fetish,
Your local congregation control-freak magnifies molehill smidgens

Into chains of frozen fountains. Dismisses the informed as foxy.
Disciple of double-think 
Around a Dead Sea scroll

With scrawny Bronze age soul
He'll slink before he'll blink.
Excuse him, touchy, shouldering suspicious,

Insisting (unless a mortal's sin danger of sounding than he even glibber),
A mouth can't too often the same few old hidebound verses squeak
While the soundness of their pre-eminence the lips avouch.

When he starts his dash for heaven from a low static crouch,
Highly qualified stickler,
None nimbler as quibbler,

Never happier then when coming up with new restrictions.
If a hopeless parishioner, taking a misstep, backslides weak,
To stick a leg out and trip the offender this stalking type ever agile.

Indeed, speedier than the papparazzis  can swiftly catafalque a celebrity,
He'll sketch the scarriest Old Testament profile.
Before they go the way of the passenger pigeons,

That every so practised doctrine dribbler,
Consigning heretics to outer exile,
May from theological shock be free,

Grant them continue --while a shiver 
Of a schism
Makes them thunderbolts deliver--

Trust, complete with stopwatch of a catechism
Their Babel-Tower-tilted sundial 
Can clock eternity.

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

Knowing arising is non-arising,
Eternity appears now. 

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Yellow flower photo

" ... 'Operative Essence'...". (Photo: M. Cynog Evans.)

Ch'an master Seng Ts'an (? - 505 CE):

Object is object because of the subject;
subject is subject because of the object.
Know that the two are originally emptiness.

Maurice Merleau-Ponty (1964):

Truth has no meaning outside the relation of transcendence .. .the "subjectivity" and the "object" are one sole whole.

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Arp star scupture

Jean (Hans) Arp, ÉTOILE (STAR), plaster, 1939. Height: 34.1 cm (13.5 in.).

"To be full of Joy when looking at an oeuvre is not a little thing."

Artist's statement (1966)

"The images which we may form of things are not determined without ambiguity by the requirement that the consequences of the images must be the images of the consequences."

-- Heinrich Hertz (1899)

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JUDGEMENTS OF PERCEPTION/感知的判斷

Posted June 28, 2017

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McLuhan zombies text

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

When a wooden man breaks into song,
A stone woman gets up to dance.
Since this cannot be understood by reasoning
How can it be analyzed?

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Edward Sapir (1932):

The true locus of culture is in the interactions of specific individuals and, on the subjective side, in the world of meanings which each one of these individuals may unconsciously abstract for himself from his participation in these interactions. Every individual is, then, in a very real sense, a representative of at least one sub-culture which may be abstracted from the generalized culture of the group of which he is a member.

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

No need to seek the real;
Just extinguish your views.
Do not abide in dualistic views;
Take care not to seek them.

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Today it is impossible to predict at what moment one may make a large break-through into new dimensions of awareness. 

[...]

The radio tube principle pushed far enough, led to to television. 

-- Marshall McLuhan (1960)

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Lichenstein Masterpiece

Roy Lichtenstein, MASTERPIECE, 1962. Oil on canvas. 54 in. x 54 in. (137.2 x  137.2 cm). Private Collection.

Robin Pogrebin, THE NEW YORK TIMES (June 11, 2017):

In January, rumors swirled that the art collector and patron Agnes Gund had sold her prized 1962 Roy Lichtenstein "Masterpiece" for a whopping $150 million, placing it among the 15 highest known prices ever paid for an artwork.

Ms. Gund is confirming that sale now, revealing that she parted with the painting (for what was actually $165 million including fees) for a specific purpose: to create a fund that supports criminal justice reform and seeks to reduce mass incarceration in the United States. This new ART FOR JUSTICE FUND --announced at the Museum.of Modern Art, where Ms. Gund is president emerita-- will start with $100 million of the proceeds from the Lichtenstein.

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PAINTING TO EXIST ONLY WHEN
IT IS COPIED OR PHOTOGRAPHED 

Let People copy or photograph your
paintings.
Destroy the originals. 

-- Yoko Ono 
1964 Spring

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

As to gain and loss,
Why call either good or bad?
Everything that is active 
Originally was uncreated.

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Marshall McLuhan (1969):

The change in all organization today is the result of putting fast electric services around slow ones. 

[...] 

Paradoxically, the slow system is "open" and the fast one is "closed". 

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Gestalt photo

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

Jacques Ellul (1948):

Despite the conviction that our era is revolutionary, we must also recognize that under the appearance of movement and development we are in fact living in complete stasis. There is undoubtedly much chaos and violence, there is technical progress, there are social and political experiments. But in reality our world is static because its structures remain absolutely fixed and its development unfolds along a completely expected rather than revolutionary path.

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Ch'an master Shih T'ou Hsi Ch'ien (700-790):

In the midst of brightness there is darkness;
Don't take darkness as darkness.
In the midst of darkness there is brightness;
Don't take brightness as brightness.
Brightness and darkness correspond.
Like one step following another.
All things have their own function,
Depending on their use and location. 
Phenomena store, seal, cover, combine.

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"All utopias are rear-view mirrors."

-- Marshall McLuhan (1977)

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Ch'an master Hung Chih Cheng Chueh (1091-1157):

There is neither mind nor world to rely on,
Yet do the two interact, mutually. 
Drink the medicine of correct views.
Beat the poison-smeared drum.

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Marshall McLuhan (1974):

Electric speeds of information literally create the mass man and obliterate the private man. If this can be called a trend, it is a trend to the loss of all life values whatever. At the old speeds of  information, before the telegraph, there were habits of detachment and objectivity which don't hold up against the total involvement and immersion in the World Tank. 

[...] 

Is it too late to point to our universal victimization by media in which private identity has been abolished?

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

To see the image in a mirror is not difficult. 
How can one grasp the moon in the water?

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JUDGEMENTS OF PERCEPTION/感知的判斷

Posted June 8, 2017

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When one is united with the sound and breath of things, one is then united with the universe. 

-- Chuang Tzu (fourth century BCE)

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Anselmo installation photo

Giovanni Anselmo, RESPIRO (BREATHING), 1969. Sea sponge and iron bars. Installation view: Catello di Rivoli, Museo di Arte Contemporanea, 1969.

"The ultimate metaphysical principle is the advance from disjunction to conjunction, creating a novel entity other than the entities given in disjunction."

-- Alfred North Whitehead (1929)

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Jing Hao painting

Attributed to Jing Hao (870-930), MOUNT KUANGLU. Hanging scroll, light colour on silk. National Palace Museum, Taipei. 

Artist's statement: 

■  One sizes up the image (XIANG) of a thing and from that seizes upon what is authentic (ZHEN) in it. If it is the visible pattern (HUA) of a thing --seize its visible pattern; if it is the essential substance (SHI) of a thing --seize its essential substance. One cannot seize a visible pattern and make it essential substance. If one does not know this technique, one can perhaps squeeze out a likeness, but the representation of authenticity can never be atfained.

Likeness gets the shape, but drops out the vital energy (QI). Authenticity is when vital energy and essence (ZHI) are both abundant. As a general rule, if vital energy is passed only through external pattern and is dropped out of the image (XIANG) then image dies.

David Hinton (2012):

Now preserved as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, Thatch-Hut Mountain [Mount Kuanlu] is a remarkably beautiful complex of ninety peaks graced with names like Incense-Burner and Yellow-Dragon, Crane Song and Twin-Sword, Five Elders and Spirit-Vulture. Recluses wrote and painted among Thatch-Hut's peaks, and they meditated in its many monasteries ... [including] Cloud Gaze (founded by the patriarch of Chinese calligraphy, Wang Hsi-chih).

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David Hume (1748):

Without the influence of custom, we shall be entirely ignorant of every matter of fact beyond what is immediately present to the memory and senses. We should never know how to adjust means to ends, or to employ our natural powers in the production of any effect. There would be an end at once of all action, as well as of the chief part of speculation.

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Ch'an master Huangbo Xiyun (d. 850 CE):

On seeing one thing, you see all things. On perceiving an individual's mind, you perceive all mind. Glimpse the truth, and all truth is present in your vision, for there is nowhere at all that is devoid of the Truth.

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"At the beginning of the twentieth century, two great new inventions took form before our eyes: the aeroplane and the Garden City, both harbingers of a new age: the first gave man wings and the second promised him a better dwelling-place when he came down to earth."

-- Lewis Mumford (1945)

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Karl Krause Text

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"The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive."

-- Donald J. Trump (2012)

"I believe that the long-term future of the human race must be space and that it represents an important life insurance for our future survival, as it could prevent the disappearance of humanity by colonising other planets."

-- Stephen Hawking (2015)

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"People defeated [in argument] utter words as if to vomit, and those who indulge in many desires have very little of the secret of Nature."

-- Chuang Tzu (fourth century BCE)

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Ernst Bloch text

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Ch'an master Chou Tun-i (1017-1073):

When activity is directed along its correct course, we have the Way. When its operations are harmonized, we have virtue. The violation of humanity, of righteousness, of propriety, of wisdom, and of faithfulness is depravity. Any act of depravity is disgraceful. When pushed to a high degree it is even dangerous.

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Marshall McLuhan (1966):

The artist provides us with anti-environments that enable us to see the environment. Such anti-environmental means of perception must be continually renewed.

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"As the art of life is learned, it will be found at last that all lovely things are also necessary."

-- John Ruskin (1860)

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Azalea photo

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

Maurice Merleau-Ponty (1964):

The question whether the world be unique for all the subjects loses all meaning once one has admitted the ideality of the world; it no longer makes any sense to ask if my world and that of the other are numerically or specifically the same, since, as an intelligible structure, the world always lies beyond my thoughts as events, but also beyond those of the others, so that it is not divided by the knowledge we acquire of it, nor unique in the sense that each of us is unique.

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UNTRANSCENDENTAL ETUDE

M.K. Morton 

Before global warming ripened,
When oil companies had no spunk,
In those days while stretching to transcend,
Competing how quickly fine thoughts they could serenely process,
New Englanders had a lot less matter to possess.

Who wudda thunk
With rising sea levels having so much sunk,
The Pillars of Hercules would be crumbling funk
Because in danger of giving away to Land's End.
Bond issues pirate-class jetsam floated to find quality junk,

Elephants going the way of the passenger pigeon and trunk,
Prime-time exposure for those who formerly slunk.
Long-term associates going off the depend,
Nofhing matters unless it can be produced by a lab.
Not just Henry Ford's history has maxed out doing a World Bunk

Borrowing spree. ("Over budget? Put it on the tab.") 
By the universal hype, reactions guaranteed to resound pre-"Fab!".
While we await what forces no longer unawakened impend. 
Belatedly, we'll be scrambling to find a name, 
Let a bridging-loan initials,

For the agencies (to walk the walk not game
Since, as responsibility they disclaim,
They rush to trash the vocab?
Releasing the immaterial bafflegab
Carolled by impact-assessment officials.

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"As I see it, there isn't much to do. Just be ordinary --put on your clothes, eat your food, and pass the time doing nothing."

-- Ch'an master Linji Huizhao (d. 866 CE)

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Wang Xizhi painting


Qian Xuan, WANG XIZHI WATCHING GEESE, c. 1295. Handscroll (detail) --ink, colour and gold on paper. The Metropolitan Museum, New York.

Museum Record:

After the fall of Hangzhou, the Southern Song capital, in 1276, the artist Qian Xuan chose to live as an yimin, a "leftover subject" of the Song dynasty. This handscroll illustrates the story of Wang Xizhi (303-361) ... the calligraphy master who was said to derive inspiration from natural forms such as the graceful neck movements of geese.

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Paul Valery text

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"I believe that the poet is necessarily an anarchist, and that he must oppose all organized conceptions of the state, not only those which we inherit from the past, but equally those which are imposed on people in the name of the future."

-- Herbert Read (1938)

SOUTH LODGE

by Wang Wei (701-761)

I leave South Lodge, boat light, water
so vast you never reach North Lodge.

Far shores: I see villages there beyond 
knowing in all this distance, distance.

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JUDGEMENTS OF PERCEPTION/感知的判斷

Posted May 8, 2017

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Ch'an master Huangbo Xiyun (d. ca. 850 CE):

People are scared to empty their minds, fearing that they will be engulfed by the void. What they don't realize is that their own mind is the void.


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Malevich half figure

Kazimir Malevich, COMPLEX PRESENTIMENT: HALF-FIGURE IN A YELLOW SHIRT, 1928-1932. Oil on canvas. State Russian Museum of Art, St. Petersburg.



"Man's skull ... is equal to the universe, for in it is contained all that sees in it."

-- Kazimir Malevich (1922)

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"There is no longer a problem of the concept, generality, the idea, when one has understood that the sensible itself is INVISIBLE, that the YELLOW is capable of setting itself up as a level or horizon."

-- Maurice Merleau-Ponty (1964)

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Huangbo Xiyun portrait

Kita Genki, PORTRAIT OF JIFEI RUYI, 1666. Hanging scroll --ink and colour on silk. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

Museum Record:

Genki, a Nagasaki artist, painted this portrait of the Zen master Jifei Ruyi, which was inscribed in Chinese by the subject himself while he was resident at Fukujuji, a temple patronized by the daimyo of Kokura (present-day Kita Kyushu). The port of Nagasaki was one of the few places under the tightly regulated Tokugawa government where contemporary Chinese culture and learning could be openly discussed and studied. In the mid-seventeenth century, new ideas on Confucianism and Zen  (Chinese: Ch'an) Buddhism were brought to Japan by Chinese monks travelling through Nagasaki (including Jifei Ruyi) and by envoys from Korea. These monks formed what was known in Japan as the OBAKU SCHOOL, after the Japanese rendering of the name of the Tang Dynasty monk HUANGBO XIYUN (d. ca. 850 CE).

There are several versions of this portrait, each with a different inscription. In Zen, the teachings of the Buddha Shakyamuni are transmitted directly from teacher to pupil; in seventeenth-century practice, as in earlier ages, the Buddha's word lived in receiving instruction, rather than in reading texts. A portrait of one's teacher, suitably inscribed, was a venerated symbol of accomplishment and a tangible reminder of the special relationship around which knowledge was structured.

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"The foolish reject what they see, not what they think; the wise reject what they think, not what they see."

-- Ch'an master Huangbo Xiyun (d. ca. 850 CE)

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WISH

W.H. Merwin (2015)

The star in my
Hand is falling

All the uniforms know what's no use

May I bow to necessity not
To her hirelings

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Cherry blossoms photo

" ... 'Bounding Line'...". (Photo: M  Cynog Evans.)

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Manchurian candidate photo

John Frankenheimer, THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE (film still), 1962.

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Francis Bacon (1620):

It is a false assertion that the sense of man is the measure of things. On the contrary, all perceptions as well as of the sense as of the mind are according to the measure of the individual and not according to the measure of the universe. And the human understanding is like a false mirror, which, receiving rays regularly, distorts and discolours the nature of things by mingling its own nature with it.

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Freeman Dyson text

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Marshall McLuhan (1974):

In the new age of the instant replay, news takes on a totally new dimension that is almost metaphysical. ... The "meaning" or the relation to ourselves of a particular event, may not come home to us until much later. However, with the instant replay of our own or others' experiences, it is now possible to have the meaning without the experience.

[...]

The quality of the instantaneous in the replay of experience is somewhat like the difference between cognition and recognition. ... Recognition is an altogether higher order of awareness than cognition, and yet it is now taken for granted as a normal feature of daily life in the electric age. ... The mysterious thing about this kind of speed-up of information, whereby the gap is closed between the experience and the meaning, is that the public begins to participate directly in actions which it had previously heard about at a distance in place and time. At instant speed the audience becomes actor, and the spectators become participants. ... At instant speeds the cause and effect are at least simultaneous, and it is this dimension which naturally suggests, to all those who are accustomed to it, the need to anticipate events hopefully rather than to participate in them fatalistically.

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PERPETUAL MOTION?

M.K. Morton

Probably the last basement dwellers on the block
To replace their sundial with a clock.
Now trying to think outside the box,
are hoping to find a few new crocks

And some genetically modified hollyhocks
Crossbred with a few pretty phlox
They can, alongside the stocks
And bonds, drag inside, safety deposit

Without interruption when money talks
Quid pro status quo, if not you, who's left to kid:
How are you foxed for socks
And underwaterwear? Rumoured, but not masthead writ:

Deviously modelled on the Chicago Commodities Pit,
Out for meaty tender the latest bid
On estimates to push back the walls, skylight the lid.
Change the box? Not in the least, especially the locks. 

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Ch'an master Huangbo Xiyun (d. ca 850 CE):

A perception, sudden as blinking, that subject and object are one, will lead to a deeply mysterious understanding; and by this understanding you will awaken to the truth.

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JUDGEMENTS OF PERCEPTION/感知的判斷

Posted April 6, 2017

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Lao Tzu (sixth century BCE):

Become one with the dusty world.
This is called profound identification.
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Acacia flower photo

" ... (Merely) Known'...". (Photo: M. Cynog Evans.)

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Oswald Spengler (1917):

Every impulse proper to oneself has an expression and every impulse alien to oneself makes an impression. And thus everything of which we are conscious, whatever the form in which it is apprehended ... has for us a deeper meaning still, a final meaning. And the one and only means of rendering this incomprehensible comprehensible must be a kind of metaphysics which regards EVERYTHING WHATSOEVER as having significance as a SYMBOL.
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A DANCE TO THE MUSIC OF KILLED TIME

M.K. Morton

It isn't that we've never heard music at its most creative;
Or that we don't appreciate a fine rhapsodic concerto.
And I don't mean just the scherzo.

But with our customary cavorts sonic
Flat-out pumping raucous, so
In line it's not. Hence we revert positively synchronic,

To our habitual tastes more primitive.
The day we embrace the symphonic would for us the converse be of to go native.



"By the time I was eleven years old, I had been taught that nature, far from abhorring a vacuum, positively adores it."

Edith Sitwell (1964)

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"To follow the principles of the world without altering them and to attain one's end is virtue."

-- Yang Hsiung (53 BCE - 18 CE)

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Ernst Bloch (1954):

The emotion of hope goes out of itself, makes people broad instead of confining them, cannot know nearly enough of what it is that makes them inwardly aimed, of what may be allied to them outwardly. The work of this emotion requires people who throw themselves into what is becoming, to which they themselves belong. It will not tolerate a dog's life which feels itself only passively thrown into What Is, which is not seen through, even wretchedly recognized.

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Warhol Mao portrait

Andy Warhol, MAO, 1973. Acrylic and silkscreen on canvas.



BBC News, 2 April 2017:

An Andy Warhol portrait of Chairman Mao has been sold at a historic auction in Hong Kong --but fell short of its top estimate of $15m (£12m; HK$116m).

The iconic silkscreen portrait fetched $11m in the sale. It was bought by an anonymous Asian collector.

In the past, Chinese officials had stopped versions of the painting being exhibited on the mainland, where censors closely guard Mao's depiction.

Just four years ago, during the first comprehensive survey of Warhol's art in China, the portraits were nowhere to be seen.

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Statues incinerating

Buddhist statues --incinerated during China's Cultural Revolution,  (1966-1976).



The feedback loop plays all sorts of tricks to confound the single plane and one-way direction of thought and action as they had been constituted in the pre-electric age of the machine.

-- Marshall McLuhan (1960)

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

--Ch'an / Zen master I-Hsüan (d. 866 CE)

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"Strange that I feel no pity for the moon travelers, as though they were really robots."

-- Elias Canetti (1969)



"Our overall goal is that, by around 2030, China will be among the major space powers of the world."

-- Wu Yanhua, deputy chief of The China National Space Administration (2017)

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DEONTIC MODALITY/義務形態

Posted March 16, 2017

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"Direction is the living, aim the dead."

-- Oswald Spengler (1926)



Marshall McLuhan (1953):

The irrational has become the major dimension of experience in our world. And yet this is a mere by-product of the instantaneous character in communication. It can be brought under rational control. It is the perfection of the means which have so far defeated the end, and removed the time necessary for assimilation and reflection. We are now compelled to develop new techniques of perception and judgment, new ways of the languages of our environment with its multiplicity of cultures and disciplines. And these needs are not just desperate remedies but roads to unimagined cultural enrichment.


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Glass piano

" ... 'Image of a Counterworld'...". (Photo: M. Cynog Evans )



EVERY PSYCHOLOGY IS A COUNTER-PHYSICS.

-- Oswald Spengler (1926)

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Marshall McLuhan (1968):

An environment is naturally of low intensity or low definition. That is why it escapes observation. Anything that raises the environment to high intensity, whether it be a storm in nature or violent change resulting from a new technology, turns the environment into an object of attention. When it becomes an object of attention, it assumes the character of an anti-environment or an art object.

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Landscape painting

Kerstiaen de Keuninck, A MOUNTAINOUS LANDSCAPE WITH A WATERFALL, c. 1600. Oil on wood. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.



Museum Record:

Kerstiaen de Keuninck continued the Flemish tradition of imaginary mountain scenery that descended from [Joachim] Patinir. This large panoramic landscape ... illustrates his concern with contrasting pictorial effects --such as heavy passages of opaque paint set off against areas sketched in a very thin medium-- and with bold marks like the water spray formed by flicking the brush.

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Window painting

Marcel Duchamp, FRESH WIDOW, 1920. Miniature window, painted wood frame, and panes of glass covered with black leather. Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Museum.Record:

Constructed by a carpenter in accordance with Marcel Duchamp's instructions, FRESH WIDOW is a small version of the double doors commonly called a French window.  Duchamp was fascinated by themes of sight and perception; here, the expectation of a view through window panes is thwarted by opaque black leather, which Duchamp insisted "be shined every day like shoes."

With the change of three letters, Duchamp transforms 'French Window' into the title 'Fresh Widow,' a pun that points to the recent war and the bawdy tradition of amorous (or 'fresh') widows of soldiers.



"Death is the mother of beauty; hence from her,
Alone, shall come fulfilment to our dreams
And our desires."

-- Wallace Stevens (1915)

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

-- Shido Bunan Zenji  (1603-1676)

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Snowy field

" ... 'Propositional Form...'. (Photo: M. Cynog Evans.)



"Our minds are finite, and yet even in these circumstances of finitude we are surrounded by possibilities that are infinite, and the purpose of human life is to grasp as much as we can out of the infinitude."

-- Alfred North Whitehead (1941)

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IN MEMORIAM
Michael Ovenden
1926-1987


Allan H. Batten (Dominion Astrophysical Observatory, Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics, Victoria, British Columbia), JOURNAL OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY OF CANADA (August 1987):

The death of Michael Ovenden on March 15th of this year deprived the Canadian astronomical community of one of its most original thinkers.

He made his choice of career shortly after explosions of the two nuclear bombs that ended WWII, events that turned him to astronomy rather than physics, in the hope that his work and knowledge would not be used for destructive purposes.

Later, he ruefully acknowledged that methods of integration he used in celestial mechanics were also employed in the computation of the trajectories of intercontinental ballistic missiles.



Michael Ovenden (1962):

As we look at the history of evolution on Earth, it would seem that time and again some slight variation or peculiarity of the Earth has started evolution off in a particular direction. The diversity of which the molecular architecture that is life is capable no doubt dwarfs into insignificance the diversity of our imagination.

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Ch'an master Hung-chih (1091-1157):

The round pearl has no hollows. The great raw gem isn't polished. What is esteemed by the people of the Way is having no edges. RemovIng the road of agreement, senses and matter are empty. The free body, resting on nothing, stands out unique and alive.

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Watercolour landscape

Wang Yuanqi, FREE SPIRITS AMONG STREAMS AND MOUNTAINS (detail), handscroll, ink on paper, 1684. Walters Art Museum, Baltimore.



John Blofeld (1965):

Taoism, perpetuating ways of thought and action that antecede Laotzû, its founder (500 BCE approx.), teaches us to live close to nature, to observe natural processes and to model our activities upon them. The virtues of water are especially extolled. Water does not attack impregnable obstacles, but peacefully finds its way around them. Rivers, though they seek the lowest level and the easiest course, do not fail to reach the sea. The art of life requires knowledge not only of where and how to act but also of when not to act; wise action confines itself to dealing with whatever positively insists on being dealt with; were it to go further than that, it might stir up the need for more action and lead to involvement in things left better alone. If all the world were Taoist, sleeping dogs could sleep long.

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M.K. Morton

               AHEAD OF WHOSE TIME?
 
                             Creativity is seeing the next move when
                             there is no next move--Niall Williams


Poach an idea flaking the loosely-lintelled edge of thought--
Slippery ledge yet spirit's abundant and future tenement
Where dizzy goes the gavotte
Once fresh art invokes the right to squat:
Convenience address for the (easy but not inexpensive)

Muses. Rainbow-salmon their raiment, spoiling to be comprehensive
Hence even willing the occasional off-key element
Ensconce. Prompts you--heeding pecking from the upcoming--latch
Onto an unpredictably hesitating hatch:
An aspiring sprig of form distinguishable from a blot

Barely. Till you have, emancipating your range of variables,
Loosed most apropos features, fixtures and factors among a
No fixed quota of quadrilles and quandries--that flirts hilariables
Encouraged by the mix daisying a ripe sweep of phenomena.
Then, leaving neither i's to dot

Nor t's to cross, into eloquent theme, design or plot
Up it worked. Privileged  moment when Eureka! clasps palms with Aha!
Still ever the crowd not
(Its back to the band, engaged in lazy foxtrot
With the rear-view-mirrored Lady of Shallot)

Able to signify import let alone upshot
Imbuing the high-tariff marvel you've, tradition scoff-lawing,
Been able spot
Sprouting duty-free, before articulating as much as the future forgot.
For follow-up? Somehow that time-slipping, very knowing gnawing

Now of this aborning stranger
(To our idea of up-to-date a game-changer)
You've, fisher-instinctive reeling, drawing
In, dashed whirlpudlian, tellingly supple-taut.
Rinsing us with the about-to-be. So, lightly vu dejaing,

Your flair continues try ambigufy oompahpahing,
Playfully untangling conundraing, faithfully Cynaraing,
In celestial nocturne hummingbird hints of dappled summer   
Unpredictably chiaroscuring. You'll sooner or later summon
Further arrivals the farther side creativity's chasm thawing:

Rare quest narrative; mellifluent philharmonia aria uncommon
Honeyed,
Transcribed dulcimer;
Sonnet pulsing a last eternal rambler sub rosa simmer;
Comedy infinitely funnied

Or landscape balanced, seesawing centred on a sudden.
Then the forward-facing present (its flimsy vest not store-bought)
Again's disclosed as an, if less than sullen,
Undulant chart-free, crafted close-wrought
Net in which a shred of the churn-teased future is caught.

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"A world of pre-fabricated houses is NOT where the rainbow ends."

-- Wyndham Lewis (1950)

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In this world we walk
on the roof of hell
gazing at flowers

-- Issa (1763-1828)

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Ovenden text

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"If you want to learn through experience the words 'the whole earth' and 'the whole cosmos' mull them over three times and five times."

-- Zen master Dogen (1200-1253)

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DEONTIC MODALITY/義務形態

Posted February 2, 2017

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Wyndham Lewis (1927):

What we generally name "the new" is the very old, or the fairly old. It is as well to point this out, and even stress it, since it is an impressive fact not sufficiently recognized.


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Durga Image

MAHAKALA PANJARANATHA (PROTECTOR OF THE TENT). Tibet, late 14th/early 15th century. Steatite with colour and gilding. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

Collection Record:

Mahakala is the principle destroyer of the bonds that tie us to spiritual ignorance. Here he plunges his flaying knife into the skull cup that simmers with a flaming sea of sense organs, and in in the crook of his arms he holds a baton for summoning monks to assembly.



Waka Takahashi Brown, Stanford University Program on International and Cross-Cultural Education:

Buddhism ... began in India around the sixth century B.C.E.

[ ... ]

The goal of Buddhism is to become enlightened and reach NIRVANA. NIRVANA is believed to be attainable only with the elimination of all greed, hatred, and ignorance within a person. [ ... ] According to Buddhist belief, a final NIRVANA is attained at the time of an enlightened being's death, and is no longer part of the cycle of reincarnation and death.

[ ... ]

Buddhism in Tibet is quite different from traditional Chinese Buddhism. Tibet adopted Buddhism centuries after China and did not model itself on Chinese Buddhism. Rather, in the seventh century, Tibet actively studied and imported aspects of Indian, rather than Chinese, civilization.

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Repentant Magdalen Painting

Georges de la Tour, THE REPENTENT MAGDALEN, c. 1635-1640. Oil on canvas. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.



"The FEEL of the dark against the SIGHT of the skull."

-- Marshall McLuhan (1968)

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Wyndham Lewis (1927):

You can no longer nourish yourself upon the Past; its stock is exhausted, the Past is nowhere a reality. The only place where it is a reality is in TIME, not certainly in space.

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Temperance adjusting clock

TEMPERANCE ADJUSTING A MECHANICAL CLOCK. Manuscript illustration for a text by Christine de Pizan ("L'Epitre d'Ortea"), 1405.



Susan Croag Bell (2008):

As she [Christine] wrote in Le Livre
du Corps de polisie [written between 1404 and 1407], knowledge is not valuable unless it can be passed on to others.

[ ... ]

She was not only a creator of extraordinarily interesting and original books; she was a scribe and is carefully represented as such in many of her manuscripts.

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Marshall McLuhan (1968):

When we live in a museum without walls ... new strategies of attention and perception have to be created. When the highest scientific knowledge creates the environment of the atomic bomb, new controls for the scientific environment have to be discovered, if only in the interest of survival.

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Recesses Photo

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



Shao Yung (1011-1077):

By viewing things is not meant viewing them with one's physical eyes but with one's mind. Nay, not with one's mind, but with the principle inherent in things.

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"I come to realize that mind is no other than mountains and rivers and the great wide earth, the sun and the moon and stars."

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

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Daruma boating print

Suzuki Harunobu, DARUMA IN A BOAT WITH AN ATTENDANT, c. 1767. Polychrome woodblock print; ink and colour on paper. The Metropolitan Museum, New York.

Museum Collection Record:

In an unusual display of vanity, Daruma, the founder of Zen Buddhism, extracts hairs from his chin with a tweezer as he leans over the edge of a boat, using the river as a mirror.

[ ... ]

Ukiyo-e artists parodied revered figures, particularly Daruma, as a means of exposing the hypocrisy of society. During the Edo period [1615-1888] the word daruma became a slang expression for a courtesan, and a darumaya meant a brothel.
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Ellis Quotation

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Beuys Shaman Houses

Joseph Beuys, HOUSES OF THE SHAMAN, 1965. 2 works on paper: brown oil paint [Braunkreuz/Browncross] and graphite. Tate Gallery, London / National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh.



"It is the transformation of substance that is my concern in art, rather than the traditional aesthetic understanding of beautiful appearances."

-- Joseph Beuys (1979)

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Seated Jijang

SEATED JIJANG BOSAL [Bodhisattva Kshitigarbha] FLANKED BY MONK DOMYEONG AND DEMON KING MUDOK GUIWANG --AND SURROUNDED BY THE TEN KINGS OF HELL AND THEIR RETINUES. Hanging scroll: ink, colours and gold pigment on silk. Artist unknown. Korea, 18th century.



Se-Wong Koo, Stanford Program on International and Cross-Cultural Education:

The arrival of Buddhism in Korea led to the fundamental transformation of local society and a blossoming of Korean civilization. Situated at the end of a long trade route spanning the Eurasian continent, the three Korean Kingdoms of Koguryo (375 BCE - 668), Paekche (57 BCE - 663), and Silla (57 BCE - 935) ... absorbed the numerous continental cultural products and ideas carried by Buddhist monks. It was the beginning of a golden age on the peninsula.

[ ... ]

But Buddhism never completely eradicated the local religion. Instead, it incorporated local cults into its system, and gave them legitimacy as protectors and devotees of the Buddha.... The local religion, too, did not denigrate Buddhism for long, inviting the Buddha into its rituals and treating him as just another transcendental entity with tremendous power to benefit humans. The harmonious co-existence of Buddhism and the local religion --which some scholars have taken to calling "shamanism"-- can still be observed today in Korea, when one visits a Buddhist temple, where a shrine may be set aside for a god of mountains and stars, or a shaman's house, inside which are paintings and statues of multiple deities including Buddha and Bodhisattvas (all-powerful Buddhist practitioners with superhuman attributes).
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Marshall McLuhan (1968):

Conventionally, society is always one phase back, is never environmental. Paradoxically, it is the antecedent environment that is always being upgraded for attention. The new environment always uses the old environment as its material.
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Wang Yang-ming (1472-1529):

Question: Is that which emanates from the mind material force?

Answer; No, that is simply consciousness.

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