A vote for retromodernism

I came across this fascinating article on salon.com about the corrupting influence of nostalgia on contemporary culture. The argument of so-called Generation Void is that retro-zeitgeist nostalgia has mutated to the point that there’s no longer any original work anymore. Continue reading A vote for retromodernism

“We are all artists.” Really?

This exceedingly liberal idea that everyone is an artist –irrespective of the fact whether they’ve produced any artwork – has never sat well with me, personally. If art is the process of arresting creativity with production that is shared with others, then only a select few qualify as artists. In other words: only the actual is genuine, not the potential.  Continue reading “We are all artists.” Really?

The form of discourse in typography and photography

by Retna

This is more of a thought experiment, sort of analysis that compares and contrasts typography and photography (in the case of the “story without words,” illustration) and how their form predetermines the content. Bear with me, I’m in a Marshall McLuhan mood. Continue reading The form of discourse in typography and photography

Manifesto of Writing

A colleague of mine asked me the following question regarding my ongoing graphic novel project:

I wonder, though, whether Nietzsche’s aphorisms, or particularly La Rochefoucauld’s, are the kind of stuff that you are making a use of for your graphic novel stories?

Pretty much. The Maxims was the result of a conversation game between La Rochefoucauld and Madam de Sable and Jacques Esprit played in their drawing rooms. They wrote down sentences expressing ideas of morality and psychology in solitude and then debated them afterwards. Unlike preachers, there are no appeals to a superior moral authority, for their judgments that studied human nature and custom were ambiguous and performed at the level of man. Instead of the ponderous treatise or the prose of Cicero, or academic language, they chose short forms ( maximes, sententia) that deigned to provoke rather than instruct. And La Rochefoucauld played this game the best by turning the myth of Narcissus upside down with a spectacular demolition of heroism. Continue reading Manifesto of Writing

Modern Philosophy’s loss is Literature’s gain

In my readings I came across a fascinating theory by Stephen Toulmin that concerned the relationship between modern philosophy and literature. Philosophy underwent a paradigm shift in the 17th century, a time that was torn by religious wars (only 30 years of European peace between 1560 and 1715). Thinkers who grew tired of the pettiness of their time urged for a theoretical approach that was atemporal, all-inclusive, and independent of context. They were convinced that a pure theory, a formal logic that was free of the taint of history or culture could issue forth truths that avoided the vicious reality of violence (war, punishment, etc.) and the practical wisdom of rhetoric. Continue reading Modern Philosophy’s loss is Literature’s gain

The death of fiction and the birth of ASL….

Fiction in literature, as a serious aesthetic experience, took a long time in coming. Many literary scholars have difficulty in determining the date of its emergence. Some of the possible dates are the sixteenth century in Spain, 17th century in France, and the 18th century in England. Continue reading The death of fiction and the birth of ASL….

genealogy of modern art

Bords d'une rivière by Cezanne
Bords d’une rivière by Cezanne

Modern art emerged during the end of realism or the crisis of representation (Cezanne, Cubism, Dadaism, Surrealism). Realism is defined as the mirror theory of knowledge where the mind is a mirror of reality and objects that exist independently of the mind are represented (reproduced by a concept/work of art) adequately, accurately and true. Continue reading genealogy of modern art