Thursday, March 31, 2011

Kuniyasu, Geisha in a Hurry, 1816-18

Utamaro, Lovers in an Upstairs Room, 1788
Issey Miyake
The differences are huge between Durer and Miyake, but they both offer models that begin in the description of experience. They begin with empiricism.

Neo-Baroque even at its most luxurient is the development of an ethic of description. Working with fabric is about accepting and using the limits of gravity. It's the opposite of imposing an ideal, more the attempt to develop a graceful response to existing conditions. It's about time rather than timelessness, an implicitly narrative sense of physical form. Fabric falls, draping involves slowing or manipulating the fall. But an ethic of response is also the model for historians. Historians describe, theoreticians prescribe.

"You can't steer a wave,  dude"
The technocratic hero analogizes himself in his claims to universal knowledge as a God. Experience is narrative, and a craftsman does no more than try to respond gracefully to imposed limits, to physical forces that are predictable to some degree but over which he has no control, and to an imposed end, an inevitable conclusion: death.

The cerebral and overdetermined intellectualism of the technocrat has its parallel and antithesis in the visceral anti-intellectualism of solo extreme sport.

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