Thursday, August 17, 2006

As usual, I'm waiting for some more detailed discussion of culture: what it is and why.

my comments, related, from the past:
...Art and economics even as partners are opposed. Art offers description before definition. it doesn't name experience, it merely describes it (though every description has bias) Advertising as illustration names before describing, so that the audience is led passively to a conclusion. That's why TV ads run "between" episodes or scenes. Now that ads have developed their own formal independence, the advertising 'content' comes at the end of 'ads' that have become plays within plays. It's interesting but a new format is not a new kind of art. Old wine in new bottles, no more no less.
And here: [a post on Peyton Manning as actor]
...Advertising is, has always been, seen as an intellectual act, as certain forms of popular literature are seen by their fans as primarily intellectual or illustrative. Sci Fi, Fantasy, 'Speculative' Fiction, are usually nothing more than advertisements for ideas [as Randians value The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, or the Comintern promoted Socialist Realism] As a philosophy of art they're basically Stalinist; though that's become the template for all theoretical activity. The academy has become an Intellectual technocracy; it doesn't matter if you're talking about analytic philosophy or deconstruction: ideas take precedence over acts [and their description].

In describing this ad you're describing the opposite;
congratulations, you've just discovered art.
And yesterday.

At the second link, Grant McCracken responded:
Seth, Stalinist! Good lord, sir. I would argue (with the full argument to be found in Culture and Consumption I and II) that advertising is a rhetorical exercise not very different from any persuasive exercise. We have choice, we make constructions, we cocreate, but if the thing goes well meanings are manufactured for the brand. So it's not actually art just as its not actually science. These are merely the two models between which the b-school discourse as careened endlessly when all that was really needed was a few pages from Aristotle on rhetoric and especially metaphor.
my response
According to the author of the post – I see now that it’s you Grant- the ad is mostly persuasive of itself: it’s a self-legitamizing exercise. By this logic corporations are looking to attach their names to interesting advertisements.
Ergo… Giotto.
People who are interested in art are more interested in a modes of persuasion than in those things of which they supposedly want us to believe. Giotto's Catholicism is secondary to its presentation. All art is "art for art's sake" in the sense that modality precedes message. And art history -all history- is first of all the history of modalities, and only after this the history of the ideas they seem to us to manifest.

My continual frustration in involving myself in debates with neoliberals and technocrats (and none of the academic/intellectual sites I know represents anything else) [Balkin?] is the inability of PhDs and JDs, their students and followers to describe their own tastes, preferences, and ideals as modalities. They're incapable of saying, "Hey I'm bourgeois!"

Our grandchildren will see our mistakes better than we do. It is the failure of modern intellectual life that we act as if this weren't the case.
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In lieu of footnotes I'll just add the Roy Lichtenstein referred to the romance and military comics he cribbed from as 'fascist.'

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