Fit Audience Though Strange: Skipping Steps, Sublimity, and PFS
The manner in which Schopenhauer defines "sublimity"- an aesthetic object which simultaneously seduces and threatens the human will- is as good a starting point as any for attempting to come to grips with the body of artistic work left by the Philly Free School. In the paradigm shift from post-modernity to new modes of self-consciously high art, we skipped several steps- the most obvious step skipped being representations of the merely beautiful or charming, as (again) defined by Schopenhauer. By building sublimity into "The Lost Twins," here shown, Apparition Poems, and the rest, we assured ourselves a reaction from beleaguered post-modernists, of extreme fear, mistrust, and loathing- and, for all the positive wheels turning around us, their continued and continual silence in our direction signifies this extreme fear, mistrust, and loathing.
"The Lost Twins," in particular, manifests so many levels of sublimity that it seems impossible that Abby should've painted it, even in Aughts Philly, against an aesthetic back-drop which not only devalued (and devalues) painting, but one strictly focused on what I might call, as a legitimate inversion, the anti-sublime- ironic conceptual jokes, cloying politically correct installation art which aims to press all the most facile, cozy PC-consonant buttons; video art, fanciful and Dada-esque in its execution, which, underneath a patina of artistic daring, plays to the self-congratulatory peanut galleries of curators, investors, and art press bound by a play by the po-mo rules mentality.
Make no mistake- Schopenhauer's sublime is menacing- and, by daring to be a menace, and one not to be lightly dismissed on any level, Abs guaranteed herself an indefinite media/gallery/museum quarantine. That is, perhaps, one reason Abs sees her twins as "lost"- they dare to engage painting in all its primal and primordial (sublime) splendor- and, as voyeurs to their voyeurism, we overhear their overhearing what the illustrious past of painting has been, and how stranded in the darkness of ignorance it has become- devalued by charlatans, perpetuated by tepid quacks, shrouded in the chiaroscuro of an uncertain future.
"The Lost Twins," in fact, may be taken as a dazzlingly complex self-portrait, of an artist not menaced into silence by depth, shadow, and thematic complexity. If anything in the 20th century compares, including Picasso, I am not aware of it and have not seen it. Abby's sublimity has a brick wall quality, the implacable quality of a work of resolutely high art, which compromises nothing to a desire to please or sell.
The parallelism between myself and Abby is profound- in terms of pendulum-swinging, from the dross of thoughtlessness and post-modern cliche to the loftiest, most cognitively challenging form of high art, Apparition Poems enacts the same kind of internal drama that "The Lost Twins" does. Apparition Poems has received reviews, but none which evince any critical authority- if the book is to be reviewed by critics with no thorough knowledge of Keats and Wordsworth, or even Yeats and Eliot, then it is easy to get the feeling of what the losses imposed by post-modernity on literature are. A typical literary critic, from this context, can't put Apparition Poems in any perspective, can't see it clearly or begin to define its parameters in an original way, formally or thematically; in short, the English-language literary critics in 2014 other than myself are largely cretinous imbeciles; and the scholars, lost in pointless, meandering digressions and perfunctory quote gathering, are not much better.
One thinks of Milton's "fit audience though few" paradigm, and us, and is then hit on the other side of it by the fact that we do have some visibility and popularity- our work securely (and, truth be told, glamorously) locked into place on Internet Archive, high numbers for our books and pdfs all over the Net. It's an awkward situation, man...very awkward indeed. By pole-vaulting over the ridiculous and into the sublime, and not making any concessions to the ridiculous, PFS has created an extended moment and a socio-aesthetic context so stark and challenging that, for the time being, only the venturesome may approach us in good faith. I invert for us, Milton's paradigm into: "fit audience though strange."
Notes on Subsistent Matter as a Triadic Number Sequence (1-2-0)
Regarding subsistent matter: note that the number sequence 1-2-0 is capable of representing how cognitions, conditioned by the constraints of existence (time/space/causality), must attempt to represent to themselves what is subsistence/subsistent matter, which cannot be completely represented within these constraints-
In this context, any copula becomes "subsistent matter is (1)- subsistent matter is not (2)- fall past representational limits (0), which potentially erases 1-2 (1-2), or may not erase it (1-2-0), etc.
Learning to Dance on the Chicago List
An interesting exchange on the Chicago List about my Postulates.
Ontology and the Kabbalistic Tree of Life Pt. 1
Middle Pillar notes:
In ontological terms, Kether can be designated as Idea or Idealism, in its pure state; Malkuth as Will; both within the formal parameters of existence (space, time, causality); Tiphareth and Yesod are both within the formal parameters of (mere) subsistence; void-space matter, causality, substance; Tiphareth as matter stable-within-subsistence; Yesod as matter unstable within subsistence.
As for formulated paths, Kether-Tiphareth as a chiasmus- Kether down to Tiphareth is the path of philosophy; Tiphareth up to Kether the path of science; Yesod-Malkuth as a chiasmus- both paths, up and down, express degradation, decomposition and decay; Yesod-Tiphareth as a chiasmus- from Tiphareth down to Yesod is the path of damnation; from Yesod up to Tiphareth the path of redemption.
Tiphareth and Yesod, which represent subsistence past existence, are the two most protected stations on the Tree of Life; the formal parameters of existence (space, time, causality) which bind the other stations subject their energies to deluges of distraction and impurity; Tiphareth, also, represents unimaginable harmony, while Yesod represents unimaginable discord; neither form/un-form of energy is directly accessible to human consciousness.
A postulate derived from a reading of Schopenhauer
Substance, causality, that-which-is, can be represented from two sides- as abstract object for a perceiving subject, who projects the a priori forms of time and space onto it; that is, from the side of existence, the posited existence of substance, matter, causality; and, represented from the side of existence, matter extends infinitely (or into infinity) for a perceiving subject into an infinite past and future, and through an infinite present moment; or then as a non-object, perceived by no perceiving subject, not subject to the a priori formal imposition of time and space; that is, from the side of pure subsistence, the posited pure subsistence of subtance, matter, causality; and represented from an imagination of pure subsistence, matter takes on a "void form," as self-subsistent, or as an unimaginable void, subsistence within a void state; or as merely subsistent matter; so that matter, substance, causality, without a subject's imposition, both is and is not, must be and must not be.
Kant-Space Between-Substance in Full Text
The new set of postulates in full-text from Internet Archive.