Re: question on Emak Bakia (Man ray, 1926)

From: malgosia askanas (email suppressed)
Date: Sun Feb 15 2009 - 10:28:38 PST

There might very well be a "passive" aspect to the mental posture you
describe, but I think that the active-passive distinction alone is
simply neither fine enough nor informative enough to adequately
account for these kinds of receptive strategies. And "receptive" is
perhaps a crucial parameter - what you describe is a kind of
"receptive passivity", assumed strategically _in order_ to be able
to receive what one is confronted with. Does it have a kinship with
what Castaneda calls "turning off the internal dialogue"? Or
perhaps with the Zen state of "no-mind"? Do those two in fact have a
kinship with one another? I don't know; but simply calling all those
states "passive" does not gain one much insight...


At 4:24 AM -0500 2/15/09, Ken Bawcom wrote:
>As I am not a psychologist, I can only speak for myself, but when I
>see a film that presents images too quickly, or too many
>simultaneously,* for my conscious mind to process with its normal
>cognitive methods, I find that I cease the futile attempts at such
>processing, and attempt to observe in such a way that I can take it
>all in. As this is absent the normal active conscious processing, I
>think it fair to call it passive, at least at the conscious level.
>I feel that such images are entering into my subconscious, and have
>supposed that was generally the film maker's intent, to bypass the
>rational mind, and enter into more subjective territory, to have
>them dealt with there. Not unlike subliminal messages.
>* Robert Nelson's "Hauling Toto Big," and to a lesser extent, Peter
>Greenaway's "Prospero's Books" are examples of films where the
>images don't change all that fast, but are so numerous, and layered,
>that normal conscious processing isn't always possible. At least,
>not for me...
>Ken B.

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