Saturday, February 22, 2014

Savage Minds,  Anthropology + Design: Nicolas Nova.

my comment:
Natural language is not designed. Cultures are built but not designed. Myths don’t have authors. The stuff we refer to as ‘art’ is the product of a kind of making that tries to approximate the sense of something between natural and artificial, man made and not, that we find in fables. Artists we think of as great we see as seeming to have the imaginations of many, containing multitudes. The result is stuff we think of as engaging us without command. Art is something to think with, as we think with religious and political texts. The doctrine of “originalism” is a peculiarly American fixation compared with other democracies, but fundamentalism is part of our heritage.
Balkin: "Why are Americans Originalist?" SSRN

“Design” in the sense we use it now is not peculiarly American but it’s peculiarly modern. The art of command economies is command culture; people may enjoy living in a house by Frank Lloyd Wright but it’s considered perverse to follow his diktats for interior design. “Overdetermination” is the enemy of economics because it’s the enemy -social- life, therefore of art. Underdetermination is chaos. We’re awash now in fans of one or the other.

Art is fiction, a place we go to think seriously about things while actually doing nothing. It’s a place to think about teleology while being as close as we ever get to being without a telos. It’s engagement by choice and at leisure. Design is estheticized functionalism glossed with science, a velvet glove for an iron fist. It’s not the possibility of moving in any direction, it’s an arrow, a path, that tries to amuse us while telling us where to go. Art for neoliberalism. We’ve back with Grant McCracken. again [link added]

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