This paper explores the use of chemical symbolism in works by the new media artist Sonya Rapoport, with a focus on the pivotal Cobalt series from the late 1970s. These works, drawings on computer printouts generated by research at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, respond to experiments in nuclear chemistry. They mark the beginning of three productive decades in which Rapoport produced a variety of images related to chemistry in her work. She states, “I looked for authentic research projects that (...) were interesting to me, preferably with captivating pictorial subject matter. Then came the creative chaotic process of resolving a cohesive product that combined scientific research with art concept.” Rapoport had an unusual degree of access to scientific materials through her husband, organic chemist Henry Rapoport, a faculty member at the University of California, Berkeley. At the time of production, these works were outside mainstream art world interests and they have received little critical attention. This paper examines the development of Rapoport’s images and places her use of chemical references in context in her lifetime of work. (shrink)
All of Charles Thomas Taylor's previous writings have attempted to reveal the universal rational foundation that undergirds all of the various ethical, political, and economic systems that best nurture human existence. With a latent recognition that the presence of symbolism in other areas of human concern, such as in religion or the fine arts, essentially communicates ethical value, Taylor presents his new book to consider the current relevance or irrelevance of religion and art for the ethical life.
A gourd is a sort of pumpkin whose shell is frequently used to keep food and water. Gourds are also used as kitchen utensils, musical instruments or decoration. This paper draws attention to the time framework in gourd image representations, which symbolize universality and immortality as well as the positive notions of regeneration and emptiness. By analyzing the artistic expressions in the form of gourd representations reflected in literature and art, this paper reveals the complex notion of time in Chinese (...) civilization. (shrink)
This book presents an innovative analysis of the role of imagination as a central concept in both literary and art criticism. Dee Reynolds brings this approach to bear on works by Rimbaud, Mallarme;, Kandinsky, and Mondrian. It allows her to redefine the relationship between Symbolism and abstract art, and to contribute new methodological perspectives to comparative studies of poetry and painting. The late nineteenth and early twentieth century was a crucial period in the emergence of new modes of representation, (...) and is currently at the forefront of critical enquiry. This is the first book to examine Symbolism and abstraction in this way, and the first to treat these poets and painters together. It is an original contribution to interdisciplinary scholarship in art history, literary history, and comparative aesthetics. (shrink)
Far Eastern calligraphy has always been regarded by the Occident as an “esoteric” issue, laden with a peculiar “mysticism,” which presents spiritual and philosophical aspects too outlandish to truly comprehend. That is probably the reason why calligraphy was amongst the last artistic “disciplines” to gain access to the international world of the arts. This study focuses on Japanese calligraphy as a visual and verbal image, conducting a hermeneutic investigation into the nature and function of this type of image, into the (...) value and significance of this way of representing the sacred in accordance with Japanese spirituality. Undertaking an unusual exploration, this research draws together the symbolism of calligraphic art and that of Byzantine icons, looking for similarities and differences between them, seeing them as intuitive gateways to the mysteries of the universe, to revelations of an ontologically superior nature. (shrink)
The present text is Letter No. 187 written for the Trialogue Project, whose first volume, containing 170 letters, was published in Moscow in 2012., Addressed to Nadežda B. Mankovskaya and Vladimir V. Ivanov, the letter uncovers the chief line of the artistic symbolism in a monumental film tetralogy by Aleksandr Sokurov, a famous Russian filmmaker. The author shows how through the artistic interpretation of such historical personalities as Lenin, Hitler, and Japanese emperor Hirohito as well as such cultural-mythological characters (...) as Faust and Mephistopheles, the film director reveals varying aspects of the social display of an irrational element of Power. (shrink)
The tenacity of medieval animal iconography in the Renaissance, disguised under the veil of genre, narrative and allegory, is demonstrated in this book. A comprehensive introduction to sources precedes case studies illustrating traditional animal symbolism in Renaissance masterpieces.
A psychoanalytic psychology and art of unconscious emotion -- An inward turn : Vienna 1900 -- Exploring the truths hidden beneath the surface : origins of a scientific medicine -- Viennese artists, writers, and scientists meet in the Zuckerkandl Salon -- Exploring the brain beneath the skull : origins of a scientific psychiatry -- Exploring mind together with the brain : the development of a brain-based psychology -- Exploring mind apart from the brain : origins of a dynamic psychology -- (...) Searching for inner meaning in literature -- The depiction of modern women's sexuality in art -- The depiction of the psyche in art -- The fusion of eroticism, aggression, and anxiety in art -- A cognitive psychology of visual perception and emotional response to art -- Discovering the beholder's share -- Observation is also invention : the brain as a creativity machine -- The emergence of twentieth-century painting -- A biological science of the beholder's visual response to art -- The brain's processing of visual images -- Deconstruction of the visual image: the building blocks of form perception -- Reconstruction of the world we see : vision is information processing -- High-level vision and the brain's perception of face, hands, and body -- Top-down processing of information : using memory to find meaning -- The deconstruction of emotion : the search for emotional primitives -- The artistic depiction of emotion through the face, hands, body, and color -- Unconscious emotions, conscious feelings, and their bodily expression -- A biological science of the beholder's emotional response to art -- Top-down control of cognitive emotional information -- The biological response to beauty and ugliness in art -- The beholder's share : entering the private theater of another's mind -- The biology of the beholder's share : modeling other people's minds -- How the brain regulates emotion and empathy -- An evolving dialogue between visual art and science -- Artistic universals and the austrian expressionists -- The creative brain -- The cognitive unconscious and the creative brain -- Brain circuits for creativity -- Talent, creativity, and brain development -- Knowing ourselves : the new dialogue between art and science. (shrink)
Charles Bernheimer described decadence as a "stimulant that bends thought out of shape, deforming traditional conceptual molds." In this posthumously published work, Bernheimer succeeds in making a critical concept out of this perennially fashionable, rarely understood term. Decadent Subjects is a coherent and moving picture of fin de siècle decadence. Mature, ironic, iconoclastic, and thoughtful, this remarkable collection of essays shows the contradictions of the phenomenon, which is both a condition and a state of mind. In seeking to show why (...) people have failed to give a satisfactory account of the term decadence, Bernheimer argues that we often mistakenly take decadence to represent something concrete, that we see as some sort of agent. His salutary response is to return to those authors and artists whose work constitutes the topos of decadence, rereading key late nineteenth-century authors such as Nietzsche, Zola, Hardy, Wilde, Moreau, and Freud to rediscover the very dynamics of the decadent. Through careful analysis of the literature, art, and music of the fin de siècle including a riveting discussion of the many faces of Salome, Bernheimer leaves us with a fascinating and multidimensional look at decadence, all the more important as we emerge from our own fin de siècle. (shrink)
Figuring Animals is a collection of fifteen essays concerning the representation of animals in literature, the visual arts, philosophy, and cultural practice. At the turn of the new century, it is helpful to reconsider our inherited understandings of the species, some of which are still useful to us. It is also important to look ahead to new understandings and new dialogue, which may contribute to the survival of us all. The contributors to this volume participate in this dialogue in a (...) variety of ways--through personal experience, natural history, cultural studies, philosophical inquiry, art history, literary analysis, film studies, and theoretical imagining, and through a combination of these trains of thought. The essays expose weaknesses in western epistemological frames of reference that for centuries have limited our views and, thus, our experiences of animal being, including our own. (shrink)
The artist understands his work as intimately connected with the life and symbolism of plants. Art, thus, demands an attunement to life’s elemental operations, the thrust “into dimensions far removed from the conscious process.” The first part of the present essay aims at recovering what is implied in the imagery of trees, delving into ancient archives of dormant collective memories and immemorial imaginal stratifications. The second and third parts, deploying the re-energized figure of the tree, explore the theme of (...) the relation between art and life, indeed, what Klee calls the “art of life.” By reference to Klee’s 1924 Jena lecture and the artist’s diaries, the discussion addresses the intersecting themes of artistic formation, mindful self-formation, the vital importance of worldly roots, and the transcendent fragrance of flowers and fruits. (shrink)
This article addresses the art of living in a technological culture as the active engagement with technomoral change. It argues that this engagement does not just take the form of overt deliberation. It shows in more modest ways as reflection-in-action, an experimental process in which new technology is fitted into existing practices. In this process challenged values are re-articulated in pragmatic solutions to the problem of working with new technology. This art of working with technology is also modest in the (...) sense that it is not oriented to shaping one’s own subjectivity in relation to technology. It emanates from human existence as relational and aims at securing good relationships. The argument will be developed in relation to a case study of the ways in which homecare workers engaged with the value of privacy, challenged by tele-monitoring technology that was newly introduced into their work. (shrink)
Paul Crowther, in his book, The Kantian Sublime (1989), works to reconstruct Kant's aesthetics in order to make its continued relevance to contemporary aesthetic concerns more visible. The present article remains within the area of Crowther's "cognitive" sublime, to show that there is much space for expanding upon Kantian varieties of the sublime, particularly in art.