Monthly Archives: July 2011

representational realism

The question of direct or “naïve” realism, as opposed to indirect or “representational” realism, arises in the philosophy of perception and of mind out of the debate over the nature of conscious experience; the epistemological question of whether the world we see around us is the real world itself or merely an internal perceptual copy of that world generated by neural processes in our brain.

Naïve realism is known as direct realism when developed to counter indirect or representative realism, also known as epistemological dualism, the philosophical position that our conscious experience is not of the real world itself but of an internal representation, a miniature virtual-reality replica of the world.

Indirect realism is broadly equivalent to the accepted view of perception in natural science that states that we do not and can not perceive the external world as it really is but know only our ideas and interpretations of the way the world is. Representationalism is one of the key assumptions of cognitivism in psychology. The representational realist would deny that ‘first hand knowledge’ is a coherent concept, since knowledge is always via some means. Our ideas of the world are interpretations of sense data derived from an external world that is real (unlike the standpoint of idealism). The alternative, that we have knowledge of the outside world that is unconstrained by our sense organs and does not require interpretation, would appear to be inconsistent with everyday observation. (wiki)

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Caprice

At the heart of this exhibition is the two-screen video installation entitled ‘a couple thousand short films about Glenn Gould’ from 2007. Compiled from over 1100 individual snippets that the artist downloaded off the Internet and edited using software that he himself devised, we are treated to a video version of the 1st variation from Johann Sebastian Bach’s Goldberg Variations. At a bewildering speed, the images alternate from person to person as each individual plays a completely different instrument, each time performing a single note from Bach’s composition. The pianist Glenn Gould used the technique of piecing together various recordings to produce his commercial records, something which Archangel takes here to its humorous extreme. hamburgerbahnhof

This work is a product demonstration of the artist’s Gould Pro software, named after the famous twentieth century classical Canadian pianist Glenn Gould, whose playing was distinguished by its outstanding technical proficiency and articulation of polyphonic musical textures and whose recordings featured the early use of electronic editing techniques. Arcangel wrote the software in order to make a series of videos that re-create well-known classical, atonal, or baroque compositions out of notes from YouTube videos at a faster speed than commercial editing programs would allow. He previously used the software in his video Drei Klavierstucke op. 11, 1909 (2009) to assemble Arnold Schoenberg’s famous piano pieces entirely from YouTube clips of kittens playing piano. whitney

 

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Michael Gordon: Rewriting Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony

listen to the whole thing here.

Press blurb:

Gordon’s remarkable re-imagining filters one of the classics of the classics through the lens of the 21st century. Not looking to improve on the work’s timeless quality, but to imagine ‘what if someone unknowingly used this material in the course of writing his or her new work?’

Gordon himself:

Perhaps the most interesting interaction with classical music that I’ve had was a commission from the Beethoven Festival in Bonn, Germany, to write a new piece for orchestra that referenced Beethoven in some way. It was a challenging request and for a while I wasn’t sure how to proceed. In the end, I decided to take one theme from each movement of Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony and work with them as if they were my own.

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