“This is not a pipe” because the map is not the territory

Screen Shot 2019-06-01 at 11.35.49 PM.pngThe initiator of these observations was the Polish-American scholar Alfred Korybski. He most likely influenced Magritte’s art. Korzybski said “The Map is Not the Territory”. What he means is that the territory is the world and the map a generalization we use to make sense of it. It also proposes that we don’t have unmediated contact with the external world/reality (Expand your World). Korybski saw that language was at the same time the thing that made possible cultural development of the human race and at the same time the one that harmed it’s perception (Expand your World). When we communicate an experience, we often use generalizations in our words, and those generalizations leave out the things that made that event unique; they leave out the concrete experience, which results in a small abstraction of things out of a whole.

http://www.fusionmagazine.org/why-this-is-not-a-pipe/

For more on the concept, “the map is not the territory”

The Map Is Not the Territory

This Crappy, Virus-Infected Laptop Just Sold for $1.3 Million

Screen Shot 2019-06-01 at 11.16.40 PM.png“The piece emphasizes that [the] Internet and IRL are the same place,” Guo tells artnet News. “Placing these pieces of malware—which we ordinarily think of as remote processes happening somewhere on [a] network, but surely not to us—into this one crappy old laptop concretizes them.”

https://www.popularmechanics.com/culture/web/a27615547/virus-infected-computer-art-project/

 

Debating the history of the Stonewall Riots

As we approach the 50th anniversary of the famous New York riot that is credited with having given birth to the modern LGBT rights movement in the US, much has been written about the popular history of the event and how it is remembered. In addition, there was a 2015 movie about Stonewall that drew a lot of criticism because of its portrayal of the event. This issue raises a lot of interesting questions about history, how it is written and how it is remembered. It also raises interesting questions about the historical accuracy of movies and what responsibility artists have to being historically accurate.

Who Threw the First Brick at Stonewall? Let’s Argue About It

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that the internet can spread misinformation, but why had this particular fantasy of Stonewall taken on such importance in the queer imagination?

To find out, I interviewed people who participated in the Stonewall uprising, historians who had devoted years to studying L.G.B.T.Q. history and contemporary queer writers. It turns out that it wasn’t just the question of who threw the first brick: Apparently no one can agree on almost anything about Stonewall.

Gay rights activists give their verdict on Stonewall: ‘This film is no credit to the history it purports to portray’

Roland Emmerich’s film about the 1969 riots has been labelled an offensive whitewash by many critics and campaigners. So what do some of those who were actually there at the time make of it?

Promoting the film, Emmerich defended both his narrative decisions and choice of lead, saying that he’d made the movie for as wide an audience as possible, and that “straight-acting” Danny was an “easy in” for heterosexual viewers.

https://www.theguardian.com/film/2015/sep/25/stonewall-film-gay-rights-activists-give-their-verdict

I was at the Stonewall riots. The movie ‘Stonewall’ gets everything wrong

But “Stonewall” is uninterested in any history that doesn’t revolve around its white, male, stereotypically attractive protagonist. It almost entirely leaves out the women who participated in the riots and helped create the Gay Liberation Front, which included youth, trans people, lesbian separatists and people from all other parts of the spectrum of our community.

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/arts/stonewall-movie

Can silence be music? “The Story Behind John Cage’s 4’33″”

Knowledge Questions: What is art? What is the role of the artist’s intentions when interpreting art?

Discovering uncharted sounds became Cage’s trademark. Where other composers heard noise, he heard potential. Pots. Drum brakes. Rubber duckies. It wasn’t provocation; it was necessity. The world was brimming with sounds musicians had never used before—it was as if all the world’s painters had agreed to restrict themselves to only a few colors. Cage heard every squeak and honk as a possible ingredient for music…

People thought 4’33” was a joke or some kind of avant-garde nose-thumbing. During a post-concert discussion, as Cage biographer David Revill notes, one local artist stood up and suggested, “Good people of Woodstock, let’s drive these people out of town.”

https://mentalfloss.com/article/59902/101-masterpieces-john-cages-433

In the Maverick that night, one could likely hear the sound of the breeze in the trees, rain pattering lightly on the rooftop, the chirping of crickets, a dog barking aimlessly somewhere in the distance, the sound of bodies shifting their weight on creaky pine benches, the sound of breath being drawn and being expired.

This was music for John Cage. And unlike compositions designed to make the outside world fall away, here was a music that, when it engaged you, made the present world open up like a lotus blossoming in stop-motion photography. It was all very much in keeping with Cage’s Zen world view, which emphasized the power of unmediated experience and direct perception of what Cage called the “isness” of life.

https://www.npr.org/2000/05/08/1073885/4-33

Who decides what art means?

There is a question that has been tossed around by philosophers and art critics for decades: how much should an artist’s intention affect your interpretation of the work? Do the artist’s plans and motivations affect its meaning? Or is it completely up to the judgment of the viewer? Hayley Levitt explores the complex web of artistic interpretation.

Impact of reading fiction on emotion and social skills

Literature’s Emotional Lessons

Characters are fictitious abstractions, and, without actors to bring them to life and makeup and digital tricks to make the drama feel real, students may strictly do the analytical work teachers expect without the interference of a significant emotional response. That’s a bad thing. An emotional response should be part of the curriculum.

https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2016/04/educating-teenagers-emotions-through-literature/476790/

In the Minds of Others

Recent research shows that far from being a means to escape the social world, reading stories can actually improve your social skills by helping you better understand other human beings. The process of entering imagined worlds of fiction builds empathy and improves your ability to take another person’s point of view. It can even change your personality. The seemingly solitary act of holing up with a book, then, is actually an exercise in human interaction. It can hone your social brain, so that when you put your book down you may be better prepared for camaraderie, collaboration, even love.

http://www.sscnet.ucla.edu/polisci/faculty/chwe/austen/oatley2011.pdf

‘They had us fooled’: Inside Payless’s elaborate prank to dupe people into paying $600 for shoes

Knowledge Questions: What role do expectations play in our sense perception? To what extent can our judgments be objective?

But the prank also points to a reality about the human mind: Consumers are not capable of discerning the quality and value of the things they buy, said Philip Graves, a consumer behavior consultant from Britain. Slap a fancy-sounding European label on $30 shoes, and you have an illusion of status that people will pay an exorbitant amount of money for.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2018/11/30/they-had-us-fooled-inside-paylesss-elaborate-prank-dupe-people-into-paying-shoes/?utm_term=.dab90144f733

 

This is similar to a prank Penn and Teller did at a restaurant telling people they were drinking fine waters but were actually drinking water from a garden hose behind the restaurant.

 

Pearls Before Breakfast: Can one of the nation’s great musicians cut through the fog of a D.C. rush hour? Let’s find out.

A world famous violinist, Joshua Bell, set up to play in the middle of a busy train station in DC.

“Each passerby had a quick choice to make, one familiar to commuters in any urban area where the occasional street performer is part of the cityscape: Do you stop and listen? Do you hurry past with a blend of guilt and irritation, aware of your cupidity but annoyed by the unbidden demand on your time and your wallet? Do you throw in a buck, just to be polite? Does your decision change if he’s really bad? What if he’s really good? Do you have time for beauty? Shouldn’t you? What’s the moral mathematics of the moment?”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/magazine/pearls-before-breakfast-can-one-of-the-nations-great-musicians-cut-through-the-fog-of-a-dc-rush-hour-lets-find-out/2014/09/23/8a6d46da-4331-11e4-b47c-f5889e061e5f_story.html

Banksy Has Unannounced Art Sale with Genuine Signed Canvases in Central Park, Sells Almost Nothing

What is the value of artwork? How do we determine? Why did it matter whether people knew or didn’t know whether these were original works?

“For his 13th day in New York, Banksy pulled a fantastic prank on unsuspecting passersby in Central Park yesterday by setting up an unannounced art stall with dozens of 100% original signed canvases. In a world where copies of unlicensed Banksy works are available for a dime a dozen, it’s not inconceivable for somebody to peddle cheap knockoffs for $60 apiece. To further camouflage the artwork the booth was labeled simply “SPRAY ART” and manned by an unsuspecting old man who seemed completely uninterested in what he was doing.”

http://www.thisiscolossal.com/2013/10/banksy-art-sale/