Beate Fricke (ed.), Urte Krass (ed.)
The Public in the Picture / Das Publikum im Bild
Complicity in Spectatorship
Strukturwandel der Öffentlichkeit
Training the Eye
I said “Would you like a rope? You know that haul you have is not secured properly.”
“No,” he said, “but I see you have string!”
“If this comes into motion—” I said, “you should use a rope.”
“Any poison ivy on that? ” he asked me, and I told him my rope had been in the barn peacefully for years.
He took a length of it to the bedside table. He had no concept for what wood could endure.
“Table must have broken when I lashed it onto the truck,” he said.
And, when he was moving the sewing machine, he let the cast iron wheels—bang, bang on the stair.
I had settled down to pack up the ﬂamingo cookie jar, the cutlery, and the cookware, but stopped brieﬂy, for how many times do you catch sudden sight of something heartfelt?
I saw our milk cows in their slow...
We cannot assume that all government/terrorist interactions will take the form of a two-person zero-sum game.
And what if there were a machine for doing away with memory? That one would carry in an attaché case and plug in beside one’s bed at night? A machine to stifle the shoutings to which I have never given voice?
I recognize that lobby. The Washington Hilton. Men in business suits are crammed in there by the thousands. American philosophers meeting for a convention. A compact assembly of thinkers. Thirty-five hundred of them, Newsweek published the figure. The eastern division of the American Philosophical Association. I make a tour of the counters. There are those of the airlines, TWA, Delta, Allegheny, and those of the hotel, reservations, information, mail, cashier. A perfume shop. A shoe-shine place. An art gallery with pictures painted on velvet. Crowds everywhere. Thinking crowds. All profs. Looking like insurance agents, more readily imagined talking finances than dialectic. Above a bank branch is written: Christmas, Think of it as Money. A prayer for peace follows, signed Riggs National Bank. Between Christmas and New Year’s is the time for the big conventions. I stop in front of every desk as if to bring to life the scene from...
Whatever is addressed in the elevator responds to a prior occurrence much as, inevitably, it will have an aftereffect.
The contemporary seems to be a rare animal that can rotate on its own neck and exhibit different faces…
The contemporary seems to be a rare animal that can rotate on its own neck and exhibit different faces, depending on whether we think of it as a given or an uncertain achievement, as an empty, abstract, deceptive present or a springboard into the past and the untimeliness of creation. But if the contemporary is indeed Janus-faced, even the sadness of an encounter with its emptiness, with the semblance of radicalism, must still relate to the excitement of leaping into “now time” or starting to write. Is the present not necessarily empty and therefore always a cause for sadness, also in the case when, in acquiring the sense, or developing the instinct, that is required to venture into the past’s “now time,” we begin to depart from it? In one of his last letters to a young poet, dating from 1904, Rilke distinguishes between two forms of sadness, or rather...
Tom, our idea here was that you would give us a little insight into how you find your themes, how you use theory for your texts.
I’m not really sure what is and what isn’t theory. I don’t really know where theory stops and fiction begins. If you take someone like, for example, Derrida: half of The Post Card is basically an epistolary novel; it’s fiction, there are characters, there is a character speaking to another character—even while he’s conducting a “theoretical” analysis of Heidegger. I think it’s very hard to pin down that border-line between it being theory/fiction or not theory/fiction. So theory wouldn’t just be a reflection on something else which is somehow more integral; it’s more fluid than that.
A figure like Lévi-Strauss is just wonderful in this respect: Tristes Tropiques is one of the most brilliant books and it’s much better as literature than almost all of...
Art gains (meta-)political meaning not least by revealing the positing acts, along with their rhetorics, at the foundations of our political worldviews. In doing so, it points toward the potentially endless struggle over the conditions under which a communication free of domination would be possible.
The debate on realism has always closely tied the notion of artistic progressiveness to the question of how artistic production relates to its social and cultural outside. To isolate considerations of formal creation from art’s reference to that outside is to bid farewell to the project of realism. For unlike such formalism, realism is by definition impure. It is always already open to an ethical, political, and epistemic demand: realism – as a stance, a project, a production – requires fidelity; fidelity, that is, to a reality that needs to be done justice in ethical, political, and epistemic terms. Realism attests to reality; it does not engender it. This implies that those who commit themselves to the realist project, and hence to fidelity to reality, must be the contemporaries of this reality. On the other hand, the realist project amounts to more than a positivist or automatic registration of something already given....
After all, the history of modern and contemporary art can be read as the progressive inclusion of a growing part of the formless into apparatuses.
We all know that the relationship between mathematical activity and artistic creation is a very old one. We know that for a start the Pythagoreans tied the science of number not merely to the movements of the stars but to musical modes. We know that Babylonian and Egyptian architecture presupposed elaborate geometrical knowledge, even if the notion of demonstration had still not been won. Further back still, we find formal, or abstract, outlines mixed in with animal representations, in the great prehistoric decorations, without our knowing precisely to what it is that these mixtures refer.
For the philosopher that I am, or that I believe I am, the entry into our question, as so many others, passes through the contrasting disposition between Plato and Aristotle.
For Plato, mathematics is fundamental in the sense that it mediates between, on the one hand, experience, or the relation to the sensory world, and,...