an important contribution is coming from what is called non-equilibrium mechanics, because this has led to the rediscovery of time. time is really the bridging point between spirituality and matter. with the rediscovery of time, we can put together the...
By ro / lu in misc
Published: Friday, 02 March 12 - 09:00 AM (GMT -06:00)
Last Updated: Thursday, 23 August 12 - 11:29 AM (GMT -06:00)
ultra yahoo, 1967 - john chamberlain
hi brothers and sisters. it's claudette the intern.
here i am again, continuing my weekly reports on the art meet science and spirituality in a changing economy videos. on the second panel, we have scientist ilya prigogine, spiritualist huston smith, economist f wilhelm christians and artist john chamberlain, sitting in for john cage who was unable to attend. just like david bohm commanded the first panel discussion, this one truly belongs to physical chemist ilya prigogine. i will be talking mostly about his ideas. let's go.
there's a sense of urgency in the second a.m.s.s. panel discussion. what strikes me, more so here than in the first panel, is how this discussion really dates itself. the cold war's iron curtain that has just come down and the problems faced by the people of the former soviet union, the brand new gulf war, the european union being still a long shot, and the world's population (insanely greater than even a decade before) are all hot topics. it seems that it's just uncertainties everywhere and it fits that the discussion is called the chaotic universe. huston smith, a pantheist religion scholar, puts this chaos in the greater context of postmodernity of the late 80s and early 90s: "postmodernism gives us not another model for the world, but no model at all. this absence of a model for the world is the deepest definition of postmodernism and the confusion of our times." now...if i am honest with myself, i don't have a clue what makes something technically postmodern. so after a quick crash course, i now know that if modernity is understood as a cultural condition characterized by constant change in the pursuit of progress, then postmodernity represents the culmination of this process where constant change has become the status quo and the notion of progress obsolete.
different henry, 1974 - john chamberlain
"there's a general misconception about science, and especially about the present role of science. science in the past decades has entered a new period. most of the criticism about science is directed to a science that is no longer ours. it is important to emphasize the evolution of modern science."
science evolves. it is in a constant state of flux. according to ilya prigogine, modern science has been incomplete at best, and wrong at worst. referencing scientist alexander koyre, prigogine talks about how science broke down the barriers separating the heavens and the earth, thus unifying the universe. but, in doing so, it substituted our felt world - the world in which we live, and love, and die - with an abstract world. one of reified geometry. a world in which, though there is a place for everything, there is no place for man. quantity over quality. in the pursuit of one rigid truth, science for a long time tried to stabilize the very chaotic nature of the universe.
"chaos is such a misunderstood word. for many people, chaos means disorder. curiously, chaos as studied in modern science - or the new science of chaos, as it has been called - is a type of order. an unstable order."
instead of emphasizing stability and permanence, science should emphasize change and adaptation, prigogine says. we need more anarchy. we need to accept and work with "non-equilibrium" because it can produce coherence. it can produce patterns which permit to understand much better the types of complex structures we see in the world around us.
c'est what, 1991 - john chamberlain
the artists on these panels seem to be the "intuitive intellectuals" out of the whole bunch. it is as though they already intrinsically understand the lofty ideas that fill the air of the auditorium. before prigogine even explains chaos scientifically, john chamberlain casually throws out that: "there's harmony in chaos." you get the feeling that he's always known this. in one interview with louwrien wijers, he says something i think alludes to this intuition: "insanity by definition to me is the sanity that is 'in', or internal. this sanity by artists is experienced by others, but through the object." in an effort to help solve the world's complex problems, john cage on his part offers his internal sanity through the use of his chance operations, a decision-making method that tries to mimic nature's apparent randomness. by this method, you let go of control and avoid the usual ways of thinking in the hope that what you come out with is truly original. the process finds its own unique outcome.
"there are many more answers, and each one of those can perhaps discover its own answers. it won't be a single answer. there is no longer a mainstream. there are a thousand ways to go….not a thousand; it's too small a number...the greater the quantity not only of people but of things, and particularly of information. in the presence of that complexity, [the] use of chance operations is very useful"
prigogine disagrees with cage that chance isn't random because chance is borne out of chaos and chaos is, in itself, a type of order. it turns out that prigogine himself is an actual utopianist, calling for a new world, a utopia in dialogue with nature: a community belonging to, having an interaction with the universe. he believes that we should not think of the universe as a property, but that we are emerging out of this universe. i think that prigogine and cage are on similar wavelengths of thinking. they both would like us to forget about reductionist reasoning, inherited from totalitarian philosophy of the enlightenment era. we should model our pursuit for progress after nature, in all its chaotic complexities.
whoa! my mind is not done being blown by the stuff i am learning from these videos. three more to go. talk to you next week.
in the meantime, please enjoy the chaos in and around you.
posted by claudette gacuti