A note on compulsive performativity – and how to care (for) more

Thoughts excerpted from Jan Verwoert’s text: I CAN, I CAN’T, WHO CARES (2008) Some have said that we have come to inhabit the post-industrial condition. But what could that mean? After the disappearance of factory work from the lives of most people in the Western world, we have entered into a culture where we do no…

Art on art

When your head gets filled with too much theory – try art: A SHORT TALK ON THE END What is the difference between light and lighting? There is an etching called The Three Crosses by Rembrandt. It is a picture of the earth and the sky and Calvary. A moment rains down on them. The…

chores: an excuse for not doing more important stuff

I read this interesting presentation of Svetlana Lilova’s : Metaphysical Dictionary (2016) over at Caroline’s a few days ago.  Metaphysical Dictionary is a collection of “sort-of-poems” with illustrations by Graham Falk. I say “sort-of-poems” because, as the title tells us, this is also a dictionary – and as a dictionary; a rather untraditional & personal one. If everyone chose to write…

Ars Poetica II

Originally posted on sub rosa:
Still soaked in the world of Anne Carson In ESSAY ON WHAT I THINK ABOUT MOST Carson dicuss the concept of ERROR (which is what she thinks about most) through a poem by the ancient Greek poet Alkman:  (…) There are three things I like about Alkman’s poem. (…) The…

What is Contemplation?

Contemplating Thomas Merton, contemplating contemplation: Nothing could be more alien to contemplation than the cogito ergo sum of Descartes. “I think, therefore I am.” This is the declaration of an alienated being, in exile from his own spiritual depths, compelled to seek some comfort in a proof for his own existence (!) based on the observation that he “thinks.”…

art as seizure

(In search of better words, cont.) Here’s a claim: The way we speak about art mirrors the kind of art we speak about. Presently the art and language held in favour by the establishment cultivates and celebrates the intellectual. Art is hereby reduced to a branch of philosophy. There is nothing wrong with philosophy. But reducing art to…

on my desk

My desk tends to be a rather crowded place. But every now and then I try to tidy up, mainly to clear my thoughts. The next couple of weeks I will be writing a short essay on art and feminism. It’s a commissioned work, with limits in words and a set time. An enjoyable and…

when ordinary life captured

– becomes extraordinary    michael wolf How is it, that the most ordinary scenes, sometimes – when captured by the most watchful eye – can become art? And who would dispute the beauty in this very ordinary everyday scene?  No doubt the ordinary will have a central place in my study of beauty. Recently I…

the reason of beauty is emotional

Here is David Brooks; adding valuable arguments to our ongoing study of art & beauty: We really have to trust our emotions, which are much smarter than our reason in some ways – because our emotions tell us what to value. – we don’t have the choice to control our emotions, but we do have…

how to be alone

Some years ago I read Sara Maitland’s book A Book of Silence. It’s a beautiful book based on Maitland’s own experiences of living alone in the Scottish highland. Now she is out with a new book, in a way it’s a continuation of the first, but How to Be Alone is also an attempt to…

insurmountable difficulties

As I was writing my morning pages this morning it suddenly struck me how easily my mind wanders off when I sit down to write my own texts. I’m so much more focused when working on assignments. And it dawned on me that I have to try to figure out why my mind keeps wandering….

The Inner Landscape of Beauty

you should always carry something beautiful in your mind — Blaise Pascal (1623–1662) John O’Donohue in conversation with Krista Tippett Some of you might already know the words and writings of the late Irish poet and philosopher, John O’Donohue (1956-2008). I must admit: I don’t. All I know is a few passages from Longing and Belonging, which I have been…