Archive for February, 2015

Nice one Nige!

Brecon Beacons Tourism Blog

A new Welsh rock opera written in Brecon is set to premiere at Theatr Brycheiniog on Friday 27th February! 

Greed Band Promo Greed Band Promo 

Greed The Rock Opera was written by Nigel Evans and recorded over 18 months, using nearly 30 Brecon singers, musicians and actors whose number include a nurse, a cab driver and a town councillor. Greed, the first ever activist rock opera, is a musical protest and reaction to bankers bonuses, big corporations, austerity and government cuts – a theme that brought the Brecon performers together.

Ex-Stranglers manager, Dai Davies has also called it the first ever ‘Facebook Opera’.

The rock opera was recorded during 2014, at night-time, in a disused storeroom above the local tack shop. The finished recording features hystrionic metal guitar work from joinery teacher Billy Strangward, narration from local cab driver David Luther Jones and rousing choruses from members of the Aberhonddu Male Choir.

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The tory conference came to Wales this evening, an organised party of UNISON and GMB unions were well prepared with a giant inflatable rat.

The Police politely “kettled” us all with barricades.

My friend, artist Shaun Featherstone had umbrellas which he had pre prepared with lettering for the occasion, gleefully spelling out F E C K O F F D A V E

photos to follow…

 

I then popped along to The Moon pub to SURPLUS FEST which had five anarcho-punk and ska bands. Which was a splendid evening’s entertainment. A lovely diverse evening.

photos to follow…

Transkategorial (adj) | instances of fuzzy categories | there are so many mediums to use now. How do I choose how I engage?

I’ve been getting increasingly interested in collaborations with artists and activists – and what really interests me is the growing interest in collaborative practices in relation to contemporary art and politics. I’d like to start investigating fuzzy categories.

Even if I can never change things. Maybe I can offer a resistance?


 

George Henry Lewes (1817 – 1878), (author of The Life of Goethe) said:

Philosophy and Art both render the invisible visible by imagination.

Martin Heidegger  (1889 – 1976).

The most thought-provoking thing in our thought-provoking time is that we are still not thinking.

Noam Chomsky (1928)

Modern industrial civilization has developed within a certain system of convenient myths. The driving force of modern industrial civilization has been individual material gain, which is accepted as legitimate, even praiseworthy, on the grounds that private vices yield public benefits, in the classic formulation.

Now, it has long been understood, very well, that a society that is based on this principle will destroy itself in time. It can only persist, with whatever suffering and injustice that it entails, as long as it is possible to pretend that the destructive forces that humans create are limited, that the world is an infinite resource, and that the world is an infinite garbage can.

At this stage of history either one of two things is possible.
Either the general population will take control of its own destiny and will concern itself with community interests, guided by values of solidarity, sympathy and concern for others,
or alternatively there will be no destiny for anyone to control.

As long as some specialized class is in a position of authority, it is going to set policy in the special interests that it serves. But the conditions of survival, let alone justice, require rational social planning in the interests of the community as a whole, and by now that means the global community.

The question is whether privileged elite should dominate mass communication and should use this power as they tell us they must — namely to impose necessary illusions, to manipulate and deceive the stupid majority and remove them from the public arena.

The question in brief, is whether democracy and freedom are values to be preserved or threats to be avoided.

In this possibly terminal phase of human existence, democracy and freedom are more than values to be treasured; they may well be essential to survival.

The most effective way to restrict democracy is the transfer of decision-making from the public arena to unaccountable institutions: kings and princes, priestly castes, military juntas, party dictatorships, or modern corporations (the arche?).

John Dewey (1859 – 1952)

In an imperfect society (and no society is perfect)… fine art will be an escape from, or an adventitious decoration of, the main activities of living. But in a better ordered society than that in which we live, an infinitely greater happiness than is now the case would attend all modes of production. We live in a world in which there is an immense amount of organisation, but it is an external organization, not one of the ordering of a growing experience, one that involves, moreover, the whole of the live creature, toward a fulfilling conclusion.

Works of art that are not remote from common life, that are widely enjoyed in a community, are signs of a unified collective life. But they are also marvellous aids in the creation of such a life. 

The reconciling of the material of experience in the act of expression is not an isolated event confined to the artist and to a person here and there who happens to enjoy the work. In the degree in which art exercises its office, it is also a remaking of the experience of the community in the direction of greater order and unity. – Art as Experience, (London: Allen & Unwin, 1934) pp. 80–81.

‘‘Art has been,” according to Dewey (Art as Experience, p. 348), ‘‘the means of keeping alive the sense of purposes that outrun evidence and of meanings that transcend indurated habit.”8 In presenting a subject matter as a focus for thought and emotional attitude, distinctively fused to the imaginative exploration of material, art provides the evidence of things not seen. – (invisible?)

Contemporary philosopher Simon Critchley (in his book Infinitely Demanding) proposes a notion of post anarchist politics as resistance to state power on behalf of an ethical Call.

In a combination of Levinas, Badiou, and Lacan, Critchley deploys the notion of the subject as constituted by its recognition in an unconditional ethical Call engendered by the experience of injustice and wrongs.

– The subject emerges as a reaction to the traumatic encounter of the helpless suffering Other (Neighbor), which is why it is constitutively decentred not autonomous, but split by the ethical call,

“a subject defined by the experience of an internalized demand that it can never meet, a demand that exceeds it, an infinite demand“.

Things which do not exist yet – Simon Critchley

This is the whole point – logic of the event – to focus on those things which do not yet exist in order to bring to nothing the things that are.
The question here is simple: how are we to behave?
This is the infinite demand of art – to be in such a condition so that those things which do not yet exist might be brought about.

And that the things which are brought about are not finite.

The infinite demand is not a finite demand. It is not a demand that can be met. On the contrary.

It is like the work of love in Kierkegaard. In Kierkegaard (Works of Love) is the emphasis on the rigour of the commandment of love, on the nature of belief/faith, ‘be it done for you, as you believed’, refusal of the certainty and security of faith, faith is something that one must win at each moment, and not in some external way, emphasis on inequality (the speck in the other’s eye, the log in mine), then from 351 it gets really good: you have nothing to do with what others do to you, inwardness, this is reality, 352 infinite love, need for solitude, ‘everything you say and do to other human beings God simply repeats; he repeats it with the intensification of infinity.’ Inwardness again. ‘Here in the noise of life he perhaps does not discern God’s or the eternal’s repetition of the uttered word’.7 Need for resonance and repetition, 353, it is not just a question of sitting in sickness unto death and listening for the repetition of the eternal. No, but we need the rigor of inwardness in relation to love…

 

Adamson Hoebel (1906 – 1993) Regents Professor Emeritus of anthropology at the University of Minnesota, describes culture –

as an integrated system of learned behavior patterns which are characteristic of the members of a society and which are not a result of biological inheritance.[3]
Distinctions are currently made between the physical artifacts created by a society, its so-called material culture, and everything else,[4] the intangibles such as language, customs, etc. that are the main referent of the term “culture”.
Culture is central to the way we view, experience, and engage with all aspects of our lives and the world around us.
Thus, even our definitions of culture are shaped by the historical, political, social, and cultural contexts in which we live.[5]—Consumed cult.

 

 


 

Dr. Nina Power – ARTIST TAXI DRIVER Curates. – CULTURE IS NOT YOUR FRIEND:

http://t.co/KXqKYL62lw

 

Dr Lisa McKenzie – ARTIST TAXI DRIVER Curates. – CULTURE IS NOT YOUR FRIEND: http://t.co/16EEHXMaJS

 

David Graeber – ARTIST TAXI DRIVER Curates. – CULTURE IS NOT YOUR FRIEND: http://t.co/NXB0JPhZXl

 

Mark McGowan, ARTIST TAXI DRIVER Curates – CULTURE IS NOT YOUR FRIEND:http://t.co/4ydc2kVn9r – The Elites want to control the Avant garde. The largest buyer of art in London is married to an Israeli arms dealer. Art is on it’s ARSE.

 


 

 

EXPLICIT CONTENT

Spanish artist Luis Quiles aka GunSmithCat, has spent the last few years creating hundreds of powerful drawings, showing a disturbingly accurate vision of our world.

Personally I feel it is amazing work, provocative in every sense of the word. It’s noticeable that the eyes of nearly all of the females are either sad and tortured or devious and plotting, there are deep societal reasons for this common theme.

The following 15 images explore the darker side of social media and internet access and the modern psyche, they might make you feel dirty, but they will also definitely make you think.

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This is the artist’s homage to Mylie Cyrus and her Disney heritage http://gunsmithcat.deviantart.com/art/NEW-YEAR-505271160

 

“A local man came up and said ‘Please – what does this mean?’ I explained I wanted to highlight the destruction in Gaza by posting photos on my website – but on the internet people only look at pictures of kittens.” — Banksy

Banksy unveils a new video and series of pieces in Gaza, Palestine.


 

Banksy creates street art in Gaza criticising ‘world’s largest open-air prison’

Banksy has created new street art in Gaza in one of his most provocative political projects to date.

The street artist’s graffiti stencils on concrete rubble include an image of a crying figure wearing a head scarf, a dark scene of children playing on a fairground ride and a white cat licking its paws.

Banksy posted photographs of his work to his official website, captioning his first stencil of the sad, crouching figure simply as “Bomb damage, Gaza City.”

A Banksy sprayed on concrete called 'Bomb damage, Gaza City'

A Banksy sprayed on concrete called ‘Bomb damage, Gaza City’

In another caption, he says: “Gaza is often describes as ‘the world’s largest open air prison’ because no-one is allowed to enter or leave. But that seems a bit unfair to prisons – they don’t have their electricity and drinking water cut off randomly almost every day.”

His final image of a huge white cat appears to be a statement about the rest of the world’s indifference to the Israel-Gaza conflict.

Banksy's stencil of a giant cat appears among rubble in Gaza

Banksy’s stencil of a giant cat appears among rubble in Gaza

Under the photograph of the large mural, Banksy wrote on his website:

“A local man came up and said ‘Please – what does this mean?’ I explained I wanted to highlight the destruction in Gaza by posting photos on my website – but on the internet people only look at pictures of kittens.”

The anonymous street artist also posted a video about Gaza on his website, entitled “Make this year the year YOU discover a new destination.”

The spoof video sells Gaza as a desirable tourist destination to viewers with strap lines such as “the locals like it so much they never leave”, which Banksy then counters with comments such as “(because they’re not allowed to)”.

The two minute video also shows a local man’s reaction to Banksy’s big white cat graffiti.

“This cat tells the whole world that she is missing joy in her life. The cat found something to play with. What about our children?,” he said.

A Banksy stencil of children enjoying a fairground ride appears in Gaza

A Banksy stencil of children enjoying a fairground ride in Gaza. 

In 2013, Banksy undertook an unofficial “artist’s residency” in New York, in which he created a piece of street art a day for a month including his controversial graffiti “Ghetto4Life” in the Bronx.

William James. “Pragmatism’s Conception of Truth”. Lecture 6 in Pragmatism: A new name for some old ways of thinking. New York: Longman Green and Co (1907): 76-79 of 91

Pragmatism | William James | truth | stages of ideas

https://www.brocku.ca/MeadProject/James/James_1907/James_1907_06.html

Classic stages of a theory

(77) the classic stages of a theory’s career.

First, you know, a new theory is attacked as absurd;

then it is admitted to be true, but obvious and insignificant;

finally it is seen to be so important that its adversaries claim that they themselves discovered it.

A Pragmatist doctrine of Truth

(77) Truth, as any dictionary will tell you, is a property of certain of our ideas. It means their ‘agreement,’ as falsity means their disagreement, with ‘reality.’ Pragmatists and intellectualists both accept this definition as a matter of course. They begin to quarrel only after the question is raised as to what may precisely be meant by the term ‘agreement,’ and what by the term ‘reality,’ when reality is taken as something for our ideas to agree with.

The truth of an idea is not a stagnant property inherent in it.

 the great assumption of the intellectualists is that truth means essentially an inert static relation. When you’ve got your true idea of anything, there’s an end of the matter. You’re in possession; you know; you have fulfilled your thinking destiny. You are where you ought to be mentally; you have obeyed your categorical imperative; and nothing more need follow on that climax of your rational destiny.

Epistemologically you are in stable equilibrium.

Pragmatism, on the other hand, asks its usual question. “Grant an idea or belief to be true,” it says; “what concrete difference will its being true make in anyone’s actual life?

How will the truth be realized?

What experiences will be different from those which would obtain if the belief were false? What, in short, is the truth’s cash-value in experiential terms?”

The moment pragmatism asks this question, it sees the answer:

True ideas are those that we can assimilate, validate, corroborate and verify.

False ideas are those that we cannot.

That is the practical difference it makes to us to have true ideas; that, therefore, is the meaning of truth, for it is all that truth is known-as.

(78) This thesis is what I have to defend.

The truth of an idea is not a stagnant property inherent in it. Truth happens to an idea. It becomes true, is made true by events. Its verity is *in fact an event, a process: the process namely of its verifying itself, its veri-fication. Its validity is the process of its valid-ation.

 

… the possession of true thoughts means everywhere the possession of invaluable instruments of action; and that our duty to gain truth, so far from being a blank command from out of the blue, or a ‘stunt’ self-imposed by our intellect, can account for itself by excellent practical reasons.

The importance to human life of having true beliefs about matters of fact is a thing too notorious.

We live in a world of realities that can be infinitely useful or infinitely harmful.

Ideas that tell us which of them to expect count as the true ideas in all this primary sphere of verification, and the pursuit of such ideas is a primary human duty.

The possession of truth, so far from being here an end in itself, is only a preliminary means towards other vital satisfactions.

If I am lost in the woods and starved, and find what looks like a cow-path, it is of the utmost importance that I should think of a human habitation at the end of it, for if I do so and follow it, I save myself. The true thought is useful here because the house which is its object is useful.

The practical value of true ideas is thus primarily derived from the practical importance of their objects to us. Their objects are, indeed, not important at all times.

I may on another occasion have no use for the house; and then my idea of it, however verifiable, will be practically irrelevant, and had better remain latent. Yet since almost any object may some day become temporarily important, the advantage of having a general stock of extra truths, of ideas that shall be true of merely possible situations, is obvious. We store such extra truths away in our memories, and with the overflow we fill our books of reference.

(79) Whenever such an extra truth becomes practically relevant to one of our emergencies, it passes from cold-storage to do work in the world, and our belief in it grows active.

You can say of it then either that ‘it is useful because it is true’ or that ‘it is true because it is useful!

Both these phrases mean exactly the same thing, namely that here is an idea that gets fulfilled and can be verified.

True is the name for whatever idea starts the verification-process, useful is the name for its completed function in experience.

True ideas would never have been singled out as such, would never have acquired a class-name, least of all a name suggesting value, unless they had been useful from the outset in this way.

From this simple cue pragmatism gets her general notion of truth as something essentially bound up with the way in which one moment in our experience may lead us towards other moments which it will be worth while to have been led to.

Primarily, and on the common-sense level, the truth of a state of mind means this function of a leading that is worth while.

When a moment in our experience, of any kind whatever, inspires us with a thought that is true, that means that sooner or later we dip by that thought’s guidance into the particulars of experience again and make advantageous connexion with them.

This is a vague enough statement, but I beg you to retain it, for it is essential.

 

 

 

Had a seminar today on the philosopher Karen Baras wish I had stumbled onto this yesterday. Thanks for this post.

What is Ontology and What is Epistemology? 

Ontology is the nature of reality (Hudson and Ozanne, 1988) and the epistemology can be defined as the relationship between the researcher and the reality (Carson et al., 2001) or how this reality is captured or known. There are two dominant ontological and epistemological traditions/ideologies: 1)Positivism, 2)Interpretivism.

Positivism:  

The positivist ontology believes that the world is external (Carson et al., 1988) and that there is a single objective reality to any research phenomenon or situation regardless of the researcher’s perspective or belief (Hudson and Ozanne, 1988). Thus, they take a controlled and structural approach in conducting research by identifying a clear research topic, constructing appropriate hypotheses and by adopting a suitable research methodology (Churchill, 1996;Carson et al., 2001). Positivist researchers remain detached from the participants of the research by creating a distance, which is important in remaining emotionally neutral to make clear distinctions…

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