..appreciate the sciences of other cultures, which are far beyond our own capacity to imagine. it might diminish our own arrogance. but we just walk in and say we'll explain to you atomic energy. as soon as we say "we understand", we stop being scientists
By ro / lu in misc
Published: Friday, 23 March 12 - 08:00 AM (GMT -06:00)
Last Updated: Friday, 23 March 12 - 10:46 AM (GMT -06:00)
a bookcase for onestar press, 2007 - lawrence weiner
sup brothers and sisters, it's claudette the intern.
in the 4th installment of art meets science and spirituality in a changing economy, entitled the transforming world, the issue of economy is more directly addressed than in any of the previous panels (3, 2, 1). the idea of "exchange" is at the center of the discussion and, without a doubt, the most compelling insights on the topic are those of artist lawrence weiner and of biologist rupert sheldrake. i will focus on those insights. but introductions first: on the panel with weiner, we have spiritualist sogyal rinpoche, economist jean maxime leveque and scientist alfonso liquori (sitting in for rupert sheldrake who is only present via a previously recorded interview with a.m.s.s. mastermind, louwrien wijers)
sheldrake is best known for "morphic fields", his concept on how form and order come into being in nature. according to this view, form and instincts of organisms are inherited as a collective memory from past members of their particular species. this inheritance is not accessed through the genes but it is rather a non-material exchange, as transient as memory itself. one gets a completely different take on reality once it is understood that the fundamental laws of nature are less like permanently fixed systems and more like habits. when repeated enough, these habits create stable "morphic fields" that, in time, can easily be tapped into by future members. this is how species survive: by successfully tapping into and strengthening their own collective unconscious. this stuff is so intense that i am not even sure i am relaying it correctly.
vers les étoiles (towards the stars), tattoo on florence bonnefous, 1990 - lawrence weiner
"if you can in some way enhance the quality of life of a human being, that enhancement will pass on to the next aspiration. if you are a scientist or an artist, and in your own solitary study, you push something to a point where you are confronting a reality that's different than the reality that you previously had, in some way this adds to the genetic morphology of the world. in some way, you have changed the ontology of the world. that someone in a completely different part of the world can basically come up with the same thing. those involved are tapping in the same cultural "morphic field". i want to believe in sheldrake's ideas."
lawrence weiner is critical of the apparent commodification of everything by western cultures, especially when other cultures are involved. in a service-based economy, such as it has increasingly become in the west, ideas are as much a commodity as a piece of steel. in his hardened and disaffected kind of way, weiner repeatedly proposes something that is actually really poetic: shifting the meaning of value. how about building an economy, a social system based on looking at value in a way that challenges what we are taught value is? weiner would rather we found something else that is of value in other cultures, besides what we already know. something that's not necessarily a prime resource, something that we never gave value to before - it could even be a song - but it has to be something from these places that have been excluded all these years from participating in our rich lives. something that is of value that doesn’t fuck up their whole life.
if i were to imagine some sort of economic collusion between weiner's ideas and sheldrake's, i would say that it's all about the possibility of new forms of exchange, not quantifiable in spread sheets. it's about recognizing and hopefully tapping into the value of humanity's own "morphic fields", the creative instincts that are inherited from the collective unconscious, our cultural memories of the world.
"all of us are creatures of habits. we build up our own habits, we inherent cultural habits. even our creativity happens to have a huge background of habit. creativity is always working against the background of habit. if the creativity is successful, useful or something that takes root and is repeated, habit is then something that grow out of creativity." - rupert sheldrake
please enjoy the value of the habits inherited from our collective memory today.
posted by claudette gacuti