From: Kevin Hamilton (email suppressed)
Date: Wed Feb 08 2006 - 13:11:11 PST
It strikes me that you and I (and perhaps David) are arguing
for the same thing - preservation of subjective experience.
You don't want to see the very specific and meaningful
experiences of artists diluted by lazy viewing. I don't want
to see the also very specific and meaningful experiences of
viewers limited by restricted access to the work.
I think what I understand about your objection is that to talk
about viewer experience is theoretical, while to attempt
access to an artist's experience is more sensory and applied?
That's one point where I'd disagree with you. But the desire
to preserve subjective, even epiphanic experience, places us
on the same side of one contemporary struggle.
Besides that, just to clarify some of my position-
I'm not against artists or authors. I don't think the author's
experience is irrelevant to the experience of a work. I do
think it is possible to misinterpret work, I just don't think
it's something we should police. As in my post yesterday,
interpretation and reception serve a lot of different ends,
and not all require the same sort of accountability.
I'm also not in the business of philosophy or sociology - I
will admit that I enter this whole discussion more from
painting than from film, and even that I have viewed far less
actual films than you or David or most of the people on this
list. But I signed up for this list years ago because I'm
interested in (and moved by) particular experiences of time,
light and sound in film or video or sculpture or paint or
text. If I didn't have reactions to art or life for which I
didn't immediately have words, I wouldn't be teaching art, or
making it. But if I couldn't find words and context for these
experiences, I also wouldn't be able to share them. Theory
isn't a destination for me, but it is a way of acknowledging
and even producing the social component of art.
As you prefer not to reveal your fetishes, I prefer not to
fully reveal my loves in this context. As far as my posts to
Frameworks go, I would point at least to my love (and it is
love) for the good work of ubu.com.
On a related note, I also suggest that theory sung as karaoke,
as by Kenny G this afternoon on WFMU, is far more pleasurable
than reading it.
For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.