Sunday, January 25, 2009


In the disintegration of character when does the character 'die'? Is there an exact point? Also In the reformation of its arbitrary shapes when is it 'born'?


  1. Heidegger has some interesting points to make around this issue. He restated that the work of art is at once a thing and, also, a work of art.

    What makes it "of art" beyond being a "thing?"

    His answer is, "In the work of art the truth of an entity has set itself to work." But he did not mean "truth" in the common sense we think, as "accurate reproduction"; he was not suggesting that the art work is merely the entity coming before us in its most realistic form of representation. "The work ... is not the reproduction of some particular entity that happens to be present at any given time; it is, on the contrary, the reproduction of the thing's general essence." And that "general essence" Heidegger called "the Being of beings." "The art work opens up in its own way the Being of beings. This opening up, i.e., this deconcealing, i.e., the truth of beings, happens in the work. Art is truth setting itself to work."

    The creation does not die so long as it retains its essence, which i think your fishie does even when its fins begin to look like stars in the cosmos. The video's ability to conceal/deconceal self-reflexively argues its status as Art, as truth setting itself to work.

    Art is a mode of revealing, of bringing-forth. Maybe art has fallen into the tendency to see all things as "merely things". In contrast, Heidegger suggests that the art work is something emergent, a happening. The artist is a medium to this happening. Poetry happens to the poet; art happens to the artist. Art is a way of life; a coming together, a falling apart.

  2. Very nice Lauren. Ill have a look at this Heidegger guy (If that in fact is his real name). You say that the creation does not die so long as it retains its essence. If it doesn't die then what happens to it when it loses the illusion of life? Is it not more than the sum of its parts in its 'fishie'(haha!) state.

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  4. I don't think it loses the illusion of life, but instead conceals/obscures the truth of its Being. Your video does this for a few seconds in order (I'm guessing as to your motivation now) to call attention to our processes of seeing, of equating the shapes to something in our vocabulary (in my case, a fishie!)

    My initial thoughts watching revolved around essays I've read where artists (poets, painters, whatever) talk about the need to cloak their idea/message/representation in some kind of conceit. They like to make it hard for the reader/viewer so that their fishies finally come to life in the labours of the audience's effort to understand. I guess this is another way to think about "essence", something that is injected by the creator and finally borne by the viewer.

    But your video starts with the finished product so to speak, and deconstructs it. It's like seeing the wizard behind the velvet cloth pulling the ropes. There's so much to say, but yes, Heidegger, read him, and just try to ignore all the Nazi stuff.



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