Re: Solo ea

Subject: Re: Solo ea
From: Eliot Handelman (
Date: Fri Feb 11 2005 - 02:13:57 EST

Michael Gogins wrote:

> I see your point about the imagination of music. However, I believe
> that what is imagined depends upon sound waves in a basic way. No
> sense of hearing and experience of hearing, no music. At least, in the
> biological, genetic sense (I think one could be deaf, even deaf from
> birth, and compose, at least in one's mind, but that would still
> depend on the biological and neural adaptation to hearing). So I argue
> that the objective basis of music is still necessary.

No doubt but isn't that in the brain?

The deaf cellist who feels music through her instrument (whoiever that
is) is dependent on signals that are used to create
the relevant music, just like us who hear.

I don;t like "music is language" stuff but there's surely some
equivalent biological facilitator.

Chomsly's current ideas maybe have some relevance here but maybe my
argument is tenuous and
surelt would be overcomplicated.

What's wrong with seeing the sound as signals by which some sort of
experience is engendered? I know
that you feel strongly about absolutes in art, about which I'm unsure.
If you know the art well maybe
you can say stuff like that, but that seems to defeat your idea about
some sort of direct transmission
of absolute quyality via sound.

I heard a piece by Turina on the radio today that I found great, but I'm
also pretty sure I
wouldn't have notced a million things about it had I listened to it ten
yrs ago say. I jhave the
right to devloip my hearing? Where does that fit in? How is that
contained in sound? The push
tworads development in art is made object by the existence of great
geniuses, but is mahler's impact
a sound wave thing (partly, because it;'s ALSO about esperienecing
sound in the interests of various
expressive purposes) or some vastly complex human artifact?

WHy should music be so sad? becaus ethe artist suffers. But then, as
Nieztsche says, everyone suffers, and
the artist's suffering is about his vanity and ambition. So how can this
be objective?

> About post-humanity, I don't agree with your categories exactly, but I
> certainly think that human existence has changed radically thanks to
> science and technology, and will change yet more. What I think
> constitutes humanity is subjectivity in the Kierkegaardian sense.

You mean the rationalistic irreducibility of existence to I take it.

> But, except for God, there is no subjectivity without an objective
> basis. What I think we are seeing is that techne constitutes a new
> subjectivity. I don't think this is "representations of subjectivity"
> unless I don't understand what you mean (which is entirely possible).

A p[iece that invokes "sad" is in some ways representing "sad." A
prohgram that thinks about music is
a rep. of a musically thinking mind.

> I think it is a (partly) new objective "basis" for subjectivity. What
> is interesting is that it is more or less intentional. Perhaps this is
> what you mean by "representation" -- that technical bases of
> subjectivity (cities, vehicles, media and their ikons, markets,
> computing) are more or less designed?

Sure, that all these things impose our "expression" on our environment
which is why "life imitates art" or
why Barnett Newman said "teh artist's function is to create reality."

> Since I take contemporary subjectivity to be alienated just as human
> subjectivity always has been alienated, the intentionality of the new
> bases for subjectivity causes the new subjectivity to be thus doubly
> alienated. This is related to what Mircea Eliade termed the "second
> fall."

That's why the power of new art often involves double alienation and
why pretending to be rachmaninoff doesn't usually
work, whether by EA or by other means.

-- eliot

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